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In @LisaDiane 's thread (Need Input About MY Family Drama...) she asked @Emerging Buddhist and I to start another thread "about this way of BEING." At the time, I thought to myself "What in the world does she mean? What way of being?" as, to me, this is just how I am. But I thought about it throughout the day, and as I pondered, I think I came to realize she was kind of asking, "How did you get to be how you are?" Clearly, I wasn't born this way! LOL Okay, I think I have somewhat of a nature for loving people, but you know... I was a kid and did foolhardy things, and I got married and was married all wrong, and life came along and even death came along.

But boy, how in the world do you write "about this way of being"? That puzzled me. I thought I would just get it started, and see where it goes. Right now I am learning about "practice" so I thought I would start where I am learning and what I am thinking. Feel free to jump in at will!

So I consider myself a Christian, and by that I mean someone who follows Christ's teachings. As such, I tend to study them, and by study I mean that I look up the original Greek words, I investigate what that word meant in it's fullest definition, I read surrounding context to see if I can catch a glimpse of the intent, and I research some history so I can tell what was going on in the world at that time that might be relevant to the meaning. And then, after all that, I think about each word, and why that word was chosen and not some other word. I think about what truth was trying to be communicated. I think about my own self and what that means TO ME and how it might change me--how I act or think or feel. And then I PRACTICE.

There are several things in my life that I am practicing right now. Practice, to me, means that I haven't mastered it yet, but I am continuously working on it, trying again, getting it wrong, evaluating and adjusting, trying again, doing better, and gradually improving. For me, practice often means changing the way I think, because changing your thoughts changes your feelings and actions. I find I often think in ways that are not best for me, and so I think of those thoughts as the "issues" I'm dealing with, and I PRACTICE changing my thoughts. I also PRACTICE being the woman I want to be. Of course, I'm not perfect at this!! LOL Far from it!! But as I go along, I see that I did this and this and this alright, and that and that and that not so much...so tomorrow I'll work on the first that and see if I can practice something different. In an even simpler way, I also PRACTICE Tai Chi. I have been learning it for about ... well shoot about 1 1/2 years I think. But I'm really not very good yet. It's something that is a practice. I discipline myself to do it. But sometimes not, and so I practice the discipline. When I do it, I practice the forms and sometimes I place my foot just right and I think "Oh that's it!" and I feel confidence that I am getting that form...and as it flows to the next form, I don't put my hand into the right position and forget part. The point, though, is that it is all practice.

So that's the current lesson I'm considering "about this way of being." It's not a state. It's a practice. I'm still practicing. I'll have to practice as long as I live. But my hope is that maybe I'll master some of it...this way of BEING.
 

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BEAUTIFUL!!!! I love this post!

I would also love to hear about how you "change your thoughts", and I mean literally HOW - what actions do you take to alter your thoughts...because it must come AFTER you have the thought, right? For me, that is what I am working on right now - my THOUGHTS. Your posts (as well as those from others) in my other thread, plus things I am dealing with right now in my life, have brought to my attention that the thoughts running through my mind are actually more negative and hurtful (to myself) than I realized...yet I really struggle to control them, or even modify them!!

I would love to know how your PRACTICE for that looks...

THANK YOU for this!!! :)
 

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In @LisaDiane 's thread (Need Input About MY Family Drama...) she asked @Emerging Buddhist and I to start another thread "about this way of BEING." At the time, I thought to myself "What in the world does she mean? What way of being?" as, to me, this is just how I am. But I thought about it throughout the day, and as I pondered, I think I came to realize she was kind of asking, "How did you get to be how you are?" Clearly, I wasn't born this way! LOL...
Also, I wanted to let you know that I asked you to start a thread because I am very interested in HOW your practice looks when challenges to your goals of BEING come up...I can't think of anything more specific right now, but if anyone else has issues with family, spouses, or within themselves, I would love to know how you and @Emerging Buddhist use your practice and spirituality to align your reactions (and thoughts) with how you want to BE...if that makes sense!
 

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The simplicity of it is that we train for how are... whether it is intentional or not, what we practice, we become.

Kindness, is a combination of many things... patience, compassion, empathy, generosity to name a few... these opportunities to share such wonderful gifts with others are not as "on-demand" as we need them to be without understanding the best practices of mindful connections with each.

Want to see life different?

Buffer everything with kindness... this alone is a testament of an "if you cannot change your scenery, change your eyes" moment.

Here is where the practice really applies... as we face the challenges of the day I learned one simple rule in the beginning of training my chi that l apply with almost all things: If you can be anything, be kind.

Akin to calm, it was kind of like a super-power.

After a while, you begin train negative feelings out... oh you still get frustrated from time to time, everybody does, but what you learn is an understanding and awareness that bad feelings take a lot longer to expel when you support them, so don't... it can really be that easy.

Easy you say?

Sure... we all get cranky but the ones who stay cranky are often the ones who forget their kindness buffers. You cannot have bad feelings and be kind at the same time so buffer those bad feeling with kindness, start with yourself by asking yourself "what person do I really want to be friends with"?

For me, kindness buffers are those boundaries I place on myself for myself...

Then practice that kindness with others.
 

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The simplicity of it is that we train for how are... whether it is intentional or not, what we practice, we become.

Kindness, is a combination of many things... patience, compassion, empathy, generosity to name a few... these opportunities to share such wonderful gifts with others are not as "on-demand" as we need them to be without understanding the best practices of mindful connections with each.

Want to see life different?

Buffer everything with kindness... this alone is a testament of an "if you cannot change your scenery, change your eyes" moment.

Here is where the practice really applies... as we face the challenges of the day I learned one simple rule in the beginning of training my chi that l apply with almost all things: If you can be anything, be kind.

Akin to calm, it was kind of like a super-power.

After a while, you begin train negative feelings out... oh you still get frustrated from time to time, everybody does, but what you learn is an understanding and awareness that bad feelings take a lot longer to expel when you support them, so don't... it can really be that easy.

Easy you say?

Sure... we all get cranky but the ones who stay cranky are often the ones who forget their kindness buffers. You cannot have bad feelings and be kind at the same time so buffer those bad feeling with kindness, start with yourself by asking yourself "what person do I really want to be friends with"?

For me, kindness buffers are those boundaries I place on myself for myself...

Then practice that kindness with others.
One thing I've started doing over the past few months to check my thinking is to ask myself "is anyone being harmed by this?"

If I get cut off in traffic, am I actually being harmed? I'm being inconvenienced, but I don't think I'm being harmed. For example.

It's been helpful to me to recognize when I'm not angry, I'm just annoyed. And to let that stuff go more.
 

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So @LisaDiane, it appears to me that you would like to know more about two questions:

1. ...how you "change your thoughts", and I mean literally HOW - what actions do you take to alter your thoughts..

2. ...HOW your practice looks when challenges to your goals of BEING come up...

How about if we take one at a time, starting with the first one?

I'm going to approach this in a super practical way, but I think a little introduction might be reasonable. As you know, I was physically and emotionally abused as a child: my mom has untreated mental illness and would beat me, and my dad is an alcoholic, so FOO was very dysfunctional. My first husband was diagnosed bipolar and borderline, and he cheated; we divorced when I was in my mid-thirties. My second husband was a more healthy choice but I cheated on him and we reconciled and were married very happily through my forties and early fifties; he passed away in 2017. And here I am on my third husband, married to @Emerging Buddhist about a year ago!

I bring all this up because I wanted you to know that I come with some background. I have had a lot of stuff happen in my life, and it took me considerable effort to get to where I am today. As a result of all this background, I do have some degree of PTSD and I work on that too but it's there...I call that my "landmines" because on the occasion without intent someone can step on a landmine and set off an explosion. Also kind of relevant, I think, my Myers-Briggs personality type is INFP. My first husband was an ESTJ--so my exact opposite (no wonder we had trouble communicating!). My second husband was INTP/INTJ so he was much closer and he actually taught me a lot about Thinking and Feeling. My last husband :) is ENFP so just one letter off AND I have strong E tendencies and he has strong I tendencies, and thus we really see quite eye-to-eye.

This is important to know because by the way I was raised, by my life experiences, and by my natural personality I interpret things through my feelings (the F of the INFP). I feel emotions strongly and don't tend naturally toward that rational, data-driven kind of evaluation before making a decision. Thus, this is something I've had to learn. I used to think that I couldn't help my emotions...that they just "were" and I had little or no control over them. What I've learned, though, is that I actually do have some control over them, in that thoughts lead to feelings, and thus by training my thoughts I can train my feelings too. Now on the occasion an emotion will just overwhelm me like a big old wave that washes over, but I've learned to just recognize it's a) while I'm emotional I'm not very thoughtsful so don't make decisions, and b) just like a big old wave, the emotions wash in and then recede...so just wait for it to recede.

To change/train my thoughts, I have a couple steps:

1) Just learn to recognize the thoughts--catch myself. Start to notice if I'm thinking the same thing over and over again (I call that "regurgitation"). Notice if the thought has a negative or judgemental tone (toward myself). Just become aware "Hey I'm doing that thought I always do."

2) Change self-talk. I teasingly say that I have voices in my head, but of course we all do. Some of the voices are the ones where we heard others judging us and we hear it over and over ringing like a bell. Some of the voices are protective or afraid. Some of the voices are nurturing or self-supportive. But all those voices are self-talk. I, for one, had a LOT of negative, judgemental type self-talk, and so I worked to notice how I talked to myself about myself in my own head.

Then, I would argue with the voice in my head! Is that really true? Is that kind? To start to balance the negative I heard a lot in my ears and in my head, I put up some notes around the house, and I would read them OUT LOUD to myself so that my ears and my head began to hear positive. For example, I use post-it notes, I write on the mirror, and I make "leaves" that I tape to my computer screen...and they say things like "Remember who you are" "Is that true?" "You CAN do this...go ahead" "It's okay to take time to decide"

3) Change language. The very words we use, in our heads and out loud, can have an effect. Thus, one way of changing thoughts is to think about which words you are choosing when you talk to yourself, and see if there are words that are emotionally-charged or that hold a connoctation, and change the kinds of words I use. So "You are so bad at this" might change to "This may not be a skill you have yet." As you speak to yourself in your head, think about the words. How might you change the words to be truer? kinder?

4) Choose what I'd LIKE it to be. Here's where you need to be a bit in touch with your own self and what you find valuable and what you don't. If the goal is to change your thoughts, there has to be some point at which you think about what you'd LIKE to think about or what you'd like your thoughts to be like. Thus, if we changed "I am bad at this. I'm making a fool of myself" to "I don't have this skill yet. I'm still learning" we might also consider "Do I even want to learn this?" or even consider "Is this true? Am I learning?" or "What level of skill would I like to have? Is this important to me?" If my thoughts are toxic to me, I might ask "What would more healthy thoughts look like?" or "Exactly what do I wish I thought like?" This part is pretty much up to you, but for me, I found it helpful to have what I call wise counsel, which is people whom I know, whom I trust, who maybe have been through something similar and came out better, or who I believe how trustworthy training. Sometimes it's a counselor or therapist--sometimes it's an older friend--and sometimes it's a good self-help author!

5) Set a plan on small steps to get there. I'm talking about planning small habit changes. You might start with just catching yourself when you're doing stinkin' thinkin' and saying "Alright...woohoo I'm aware!" Then think about the other steps so far and figure out how you'll make a little plan to do that step. Do you need to go buy post-it notes...okay then do that! It's a step. Do you need to write out the more positive way of viewing or thinking? Okay put it on a calendar when you're going to do that! Set a plan, and make the plan small so it doesn't feel overwhelming. I personally do one step and then sit on that step until it feels "natural". At first it will fee "unnatural" because it's something new and not "What you're used to" but that doesn't mean it's necessarily healthy. If you are aware of thinking you want to change, if you're aware of what you're saying to yourself, if you're aware of what you would like to say...just make a plan how to get from A to B. I am here-->I want to be there.

6) Practice the plan. And here is where "practice" comes in. Usually the very first try doesn't go that well because you go all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum. The next try might be a bit better because you learned something the first time. And the 15th time you try will likely be more toward successful because you've tried several times. By practicing, you gradually do change your thoughts and become more and more the person you want to be.
 

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I hope you don't mind if I chime in.
I would also love to hear about how you "change your thoughts", and I mean literally HOW - what actions do you take to alter your thoughts...because it must come AFTER you have the thought, right?
Well, not exactly. There is some training in advance, in between times, before the thoughts arise, so as to be prepared.

I'd compare the thought to an advert on a billboard. If I don't want that message, I don't have to change the billboard, or remove it. I can just view it with scepticism: "I wonder if what it says is true?" or "I wonder who put it there and why?" , curiosity. That's how I'd teach a child to look at adverts.

And the practice to prepare for that, for me, is mindfulness meditation, where you notice thoughts arising, and don't engage with them. Just be mildly curious, notice that you didn't choose to have that thought. You didn't decide what thought to have next. It just came, and you can just let it go, while sitting meditation. It gets easier with practice. (Note: this can be a religious meditation but doesn't have to be. Lots of sources can be found on the web).

Also, I wanted to let you know that I asked you to start a thread because I am very interested in HOW your practice looks when challenges to your goals of BEING come up...I can't think of anything more specific right now, but if anyone else has issues with family, spouses, or within themselves, I would love to know how you and @Emerging Buddhist use your practice and spirituality to align your reactions (and thoughts) with how you want to BE...if that makes sense!
The second practice I use (and I do one or other of these every day, and sometimes both) is loving kindness meditation. The word "loving" is a bit misleading. "Good will" might be better. Again anyone can find lots of tutorials out on the web for doing this. It changes your life, and specifically your relationships with people, starting with your relationship with yourself.
 

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I hope you don't mind if I chime in.

Well, not exactly. There is some training in advance, in between times, before the thoughts arise, so as to be prepared.

I'd compare the thought to an advert on a billboard. If I don't want that message, I don't have to change the billboard, or remove it. I can just view it with scepticism: "I wonder if what it says is true?" or "I wonder who put it there and why?" , curiosity. That's how I'd teach a child to look at adverts.

And the practice to prepare for that, for me, is mindfulness meditation, where you notice thoughts arising, and don't engage with them. Just be mildly curious, notice that you didn't choose to have that thought. You didn't decide what thought to have next. It just came, and you can just let it go, while sitting meditation. It gets easier with practice. (Note: this can be a religious meditation but doesn't have to be. Lots of sources can be found on the web).


The second practice I use (and I do one or other of these every day, and sometimes both) is loving kindness meditation. The word "loving" is a bit misleading. "Good will" might be better. Again anyone can find lots of tutorials out on the web for doing this. It changes your life, and specifically your relationships with people, starting with your relationship with yourself.
One of the things we did on the mat to retrain our minds was to allow ourselves to get hit. See, we spend all this time learning how to avoid getting hit, which makes you predictable, controllable, and fearful. One of the tests our old sensei would do is to throw a punch suddenly, and stop short right before our face. He was so fast even in his late 60s that you literally could not see his arm move.

If you blinked, you failed. You had to meet the punch with open eyes and deal with it, he said. Accept your death if that's what it was going to be. And then choose not to die - even if that meant taking the punch, because it could just be a distraction punch. To be conscious and respond appropriately, not reactively.

We all failed. And couldn't figure it out. Until I was training with my direct sensei one day and I couldn't figure out the body movement for a given technique, and just wasn't getting out of the way. We were going at full speed, and he punched me in the stomach so hard that he lifted me up in the air, and I collapsed to the mat and passed out.

I couldn't train for days. Hell, I couldn't eat for 3 days. But when I got back on the mat and did that technique, not only did I do it properly, but my body had let go of the fear of the punch. I found that I could freely choose what I was going to do after that.

And next time our old sensei came by, I passed the blink test.

Retraining your instincts and thought pathways is very possible. It's hard, but it's possible. For me, I have to confront the fear or whatever is driving my reaction - usually some form of avoidance. Even while meditating, I need to confront whatever I want to retrain my brain about. It's hard and often painful, but for me it's a way that usually works. My mind is very stubborn.
 

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My friend @SunCMars open a wonderful door on forgiveness, one that touches the very heart of that which holds so many back if not for themselves, then for others.

So was said:

One of the greatest gifts is being able to forgive people their ways and thoughts. Within limits, of course.

Tolerance makes you the Saint or the Masochist.
also:

One of the greatest gifts is being able to forgive people their ways and thoughts.

True tolerance makes you the Saint or the Masochist.

a) Or maybe, just a Stone.

b) Or maybe, just a Jellyfish.


If one of the above, (a,b) then tolerance becomes the curse.

Being, one of those unfeeling, enjoying no pain and no pleasure.


Arriving at Nirvana makes one.....no longer human.

The trade-off then becomes too severe.


At least to.... us.

We thrive on stress.


We enjoy a little pain, it keeps us alert....and moving.
...and I thought to myself "how can one even relate forgiveness to an absence of feeling human"!

I have learned that at times our loss of compassion directly affects how we forgive, especially if you do not see yourself invested. If one looks at life without a means of the relationship with it and it becomes easy to build resentments... one might see themselves close to person they are angry with but the truth is that the farther away from them your heart is, the more angry one is to become.

I know that when I have been angriest with someone is when I felt the least close from the greatest disappointment. As soon as I changed my view to compassion at the suffering brought by either of us I was able to open the door of forgiveness, understanding, and growth.

I went through many bouts of stress in my previous relationships, and I realized how little satisfaction came from the resentment, the historical stubborn fights born of holding onto perceived right and being able to match like for like without giving ground. My ex told me as we were divorcing that I had done something she couldn't... free myself of the resentment of the hard times, something she felt she deserved to keep to protect herself as we parted.


Being human means to suffer, some suffering come naturally as age and illness forces their hand or the unkind actions of others desire's that are not in our control. Other is shopped for... superficial irritations, aggravations and offenses brought on as life is looked at something owed regardless of the accountabilities and actions brought by others.

Forgiveness is practiced for our own health, a counter to the false promise of anger, an emotional substitute we often cling to first that feeds all the other darkness that comes. To think that moving through the birth and death of all the bad feelings that are brought until one can reach such a state of patience where we can say "I listen, not react", "I hurt, and can ask why without accusation" is a Nirvana in itself... freedom to forgive at our fingertips.

Remember that with forgiveness, the deed that was done to you doesn't go away, it can't. You have to be humble enough to be willing to trust that life, in all it's dynamic will present itself with another challenge, in another way, and you understand how to change it in a way that is far more kind and loving way than was presented to you.

To me, that is human.
 

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I cannot speak for the others in my head.
I have many others.

They all use the same (brain) pathway in speaking and writing, This would explain the similar flow of the words and word choices.

There is a (final edition) editor that adds or detracts from each beings copy, prior to uttering, and prior to print.

.............................................................................................

Are Dee- myself, I am now in focus.

I compartmentalize my emotions, from my logic, from my plans for the day, to plans for all the near tomorrows.
I am forever planning.
I find purpose in living.
Purpose is doing something entertaining, and not harming others (hopefully!). Purpose must occupy much of your time and be affordable.

When stressed, which is often, I leave this realm and enter one where The
HeadMates
are fore-frontal lobe.

I tune out those things I have no control of.
I escape.

I refuse to get embroiled in daily drama, drama is my bane.

I am forgiving by Nature. My Moon conjoins both Venus and Jupiter. A very lucky strike.

We were created by our parents, their parents, on and on. And, created by a (normally) indifferent Universe., we are, what we are.
If I do not like what you are, I avoid you, *refuse to hate you. (I remember, you did not create yourself, and your place in the race).

I sometimes fail in this endeavor. While it may seem that some people are worthy of hate, they are more worthy of being ignored, or at some point *'eliminated'.

**Others, not myself do the eliminating, namely, the police, the courts, the state prisons, maybe the legal executioners. Or, you are murdered by some other broken soul.

** I did serve in the military for near 40 years. I did some eliminating in Viet Nam, none in Iraq, or in Afghanistan. Um, I was ready to.

I have a good sense of humor and a good sense of the ridiculous.

I do have a good sized Ego and rather thin skin. <---- I consciously fight both these things.

For the reasons above I cannot be an Altruist, nor a Buddhist.
I am a Martian, my Sun is in tight conjunction with Mars, both rising in the 1st House. Wham, bam.

My natal Mercury is in conjunction with my Ascendant, hence, my love of writing.
I am able to communicate my thoughts, not so much my emotions, I keep those bottled up.
 
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My friend @SunCMars opened a wonderful door on forgiveness, one that touches the very heart of that which holds so many back if not for themselves, then for others.

From what he wrote: I thought to myself, ""How can one even relate forgiveness to an absence of feeling human"!
A Saint can forgive because of gained, sustained, and (taken to heart) Wisdom.

A Masochist has some need or desire to be punished, and feels no need to judge.
No judgement = forgiveness of sorts.

Making no judgements can also mean, you are a stone. No pain can reach you.
A sad state, this.

Making no judgements can also mean, you are a jellyfish, too soft and squishy, unthinking and enduring.
A sad state, again this.

...............................................................................................................................
.
As a Martian, I can neither be an emotionless stone, nor a roll-over, ever forgiving jellyfish.
I sense Wisdom, it lives within us, but it is muted by our Ego.

I am High Desire.

Wisdom and High Desire
are rarely in sync.


Are Dee-
 
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This is a helpful tool I use to soften difficult times and reflect inward, not blame outward, the conflicts in life.

If we welcome our emotions and respond, not react, we learn compassion from the inside out.

RAIN Mindfulness Tool

1. R
Recognize what is happening

2. A Allow life to be just as it is

3. I Investigate inner experience

4. N Non-Identification

Here’s how you can use the RAIN method in a difficult time…

R: The “R” in the R.A.I.N method stands for ‘Recognize.’
Take a moment to recognize that a strong emotion is present and gently turn towards what you’re experiencing in an open and non-judgemental way.

Tune in to the direct present moment experience of what is happening in your body and mind… the emotions, the thoughts and sensations that are here.

It can be helpful to mentally name it, for example, “I am feeling stressed” or “I am feeling overwhelmed.” This recognition of what your feeling, opens up inner space and brings you into full contact with yourself and the actuality of the present moment.


A: The “A” in R.A.I.N stands for ‘Allow.’
Allowing means to ‘let it be as it is.’ It is the acknowledgement and acceptance of your present moment reality. Allowing doesn’t mean we have to like the situation. It means we aims to soften (or drop) our mental resistance to what is happening.

The reason this is so important is because we often have the unconscious impulse to push away, suppress or ignore difficult emotions. When we engage in an inner struggle in these ways, we unknowingly create more suffering and tension.

In this unconscious struggle we also tend to get ‘caught up’ in our thoughts and emotions, therefore we are more likely to react rather than being able to choose a conscious response.

By allowing, we’re able to bring an inner ‘yes’ to our present moment experience. You may notice almost immediately a sense of softening and ease around the emotion.


I: The “I” in the R.A.I.N. exercise stands for ‘Investigate.’
Now that you have recognized and allowed this emotion you can choose to investigate it. You may not always feel you need the “I” step as sometimes just the recognition and acceptance is enough. At other times you may feel naturally drawn to using this step.

So to investigate, you can mentally enquire with questions like “Why do I feel the way I do?” “Are there events that happened ahead of the emotion that might have influenced it?” “Are there physiological factors (Such as not getting enough sleep) that are affecting the emotion?” “What do I really need right now?” “Are there actions I could take to nurture and support myself (and/or others) in this difficult time?”

These questions can help us come into wiser relationship with emotions and thoughts. With this process of investigation we can also choose a conscious response to foster a more meaningful life. Investigation may even resolve and dissolve the emotion completely at times (although it is not the goal).


N: The “N” stands for ‘Non-identification.’
In the “N” step of R.A.I.N, you turn your attention to the simple realization that YOU are not your mind nor are you your emotions. You are the awareness that is always there underneath every thought, emotion and sense perception.

Non-identification means that your sense of who you are is not fused with or defined by your thoughts and emotions. This brings about a natural sense of freedom and ease. It gives a sense of having peace in the middle of it all. No matter how intense and painful the emotional storm, there is always a part of you which is still, silent and untouched.
 
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I have changed a lot as time had passed. How much of this is due to getting older and learning more about life and people, and not worrying about what others think, and how much is due to my faith in Jesus Christ I don't know.
I worry far less, I am more confident, I have much less desire for 'things', my priorities have changed, I have more inner peace or should I say the peace that God gives.

The thing I often have to remind myself of is that it's largely God working in me that brings about the good changes and not my own efforts. I just need to let Him do it and be open to it.
Also Jesus has taught me a lot through my husband who is also a strong Christian and one of the most easy going, easy to please, stress free people ever, and a lot of that has rubbed off on me.
He also has a very close relationship with his Dad(God) which has helped me as I was bought up in a high religious church setting so my idea of God was very skewed back then.
 

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Spirituality has many dharma doors... we just celebrated Theravada New Year last week!

One of the activities was taking a handful of sand and while holding, to think about all of the wrongdoings you have done in your life, recognize them as your mistakes, and think about ways on how you can correct them or to never do them again. As you introduce the sand back into the river, it is washed away, as are your wrongdoings and you are born anew – a better person, a better individual.

Another reason why I think Jesus was in the East studying during those years from 13-30, he introduced so many Eastern practices into Jewish life that it became its own path. ;)
 
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This is a helpful tool I use to soften difficult times and reflect inward, not blame outward, the conflicts in life.

If we welcome our emotions and respond, not react, we learn compassion from the inside out.

RAIN Mindfulness Tool

1. R
Recognize what is happening

2. A Allow life to be just as it is

3. I Investigate inner experience

4. N Non-Identification

Here’s how you can use the RAIN method in a difficult time…

R: The “R” in the R.A.I.N method stands for ‘Recognize.’
Take a moment to recognize that a strong emotion is present and gently turn towards what you’re experiencing in an open and non-judgemental way.

Tune in to the direct present moment experience of what is happening in your body and mind… the emotions, the thoughts and sensations that are here.

It can be helpful to mentally name it, for example, “I am feeling stressed” or “I am feeling overwhelmed.” This recognition of what your feeling, opens up inner space and brings you into full contact with yourself and the actuality of the present moment.


A: The “A” in R.A.I.N stands for ‘Allow.’
Allowing means to ‘let it be as it is.’ It is the acknowledgement and acceptance of your present moment reality. Allowing doesn’t mean we have to like the situation. It means we aims to soften (or drop) our mental resistance to what is happening.

The reason this is so important is because we often have the unconscious impulse to push away, suppress or ignore difficult emotions. When we engage in an inner struggle in these ways, we unknowingly create more suffering and tension.

In this unconscious struggle we also tend to get ‘caught up’ in our thoughts and emotions, therefore we are more likely to react rather than being able to choose a conscious response.

By allowing, we’re able to bring an inner ‘yes’ to our present moment experience. You may notice almost immediately a sense of softening and ease around the emotion.


I: The “I” in the R.A.I.N. exercise stands for ‘Investigate.’
Now that you have recognized and allowed this emotion you can choose to investigate it. You may not always feel you need the “I” step as sometimes just the recognition and acceptance is enough. At other times you may feel naturally drawn to using this step.

So to investigate, you can mentally enquire with questions like “Why do I feel the way I do?” “Are there events that happened ahead of the emotion that might have influenced it?” “Are there physiological factors (Such as not getting enough sleep) that are affecting the emotion?” “What do I really need right now?” “Are there actions I could take to nurture and support myself (and/or others) in this difficult time?”

These questions can help us come into wiser relationship with emotions and thoughts. With this process of investigation we can also choose a conscious response to foster a more meaningful life. Investigation may even resolve and dissolve the emotion completely at times (although it is not the goal).


N: The “N” stands for ‘Non-identification.’
In the “N” step of R.A.I.N, you turn your attention to the simple realization that YOU are not your mind nor are you your emotions. You are the awareness that is always there underneath every thought, emotion and sense perception.

Non-identification means that your sense of who you are is not fused with or defined by your thoughts and emotions. This brings about a natural sense of freedom and ease. It gives a sense of having peace in the middle of it all. No matter how intense and painful the emotional storm, there is always a part of you which is still, silent and untouched.
WONDERFUL!!!!!

Thank you so much for this!!!
 

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Spirituality has many dharma doors... we just celebrated Theravada New Year last week!

One of the activities was taking a handful of sand and while holding, to think about all of the wrongdoings you have done in your life, recognize them as your mistakes, and think about ways on how you can correct them or to never do them again. As you introduce the sand back into the river, it is washed away, as are your wrongdoings and you are born anew – a better person, a better individual.

Another reason why I think Jesus was in the East studying during those years from 13-30, he introduced so many Eastern practices into Jewish life that it became its own path. ;)
BEAUTIFUL!!!!
 

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Spirituality has many dharma doors... we just celebrated Theravada New Year last week!

One of the activities was taking a handful of sand and while holding, to think about all of the wrongdoings you have done in your life, recognize them as your mistakes, and think about ways on how you can correct them or to never do them again. As you introduce the sand back into the river, it is washed away, as are your wrongdoings and you are born anew – a better person, a better individual.

Another reason why I think Jesus was in the East studying during those years from 13-30, he introduced so many Eastern practices into Jewish life that it became its own path. ;)
Well obviously I can't go along with your take on Jesus. As a good Jew and obedient son(to God His Father as well as his mother and earthly father), He would have been learning His Father's trade and growing up alongside his siblings and living the Jewish way. Going to the temple and observing the Jewish special and Holy days.
 

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I am sure Jesus was inspired and enlightened in many ways... I love his examples of compassion and kindness.

I have nothing but respect even though I see connections to his path in the unwritten years differently.

If I'm not accurate?

Based on what was written of his nature I'm just as sure he'll forgive me. ;)

Live a happy heart... namaste.
 

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Being in a lifelong partnership with another human being is not an easy crucible to live in. Relationships require that both parties give and receive, and that both parties teach each other, not in the form of Teacher-Student but in the form of Respect-Respect. Both partners are there to help the other as they mature along their life path: iron sharpening iron. Today that was true for us more than ever.

In my lifetime, I am saddened to say, I never, ever watched the TV Show "Lost" and thanks to @Emerging Buddhist 's excellent leadership and guidance, I was able to experience the mysteries such as "What the heck is the smoke monster?" "How did the Black Rock end up there?" "Who is the Man in Black?" "WHO (or what) are The Others?" "What is the deal with Hurley and the Numbers?" ... ON and ON! We watched each and every episode. Oh the anticipation was exquisite! I never was so thrilled with plot Tweest as I was with this show.

And now I have returned the favor. The student becomes the guru.

Tonight we were watching the movie "Kick Ass 2"--let me summarize the plot for you: a regular kid decides to try being a superhero and McLovin becomes Super Bad. Evil, really. So in the movie, the kid recruits a little "gang" of superheroes...so they can superhero together. One of the gang is the guy who played Turk on Scrubs. I tell @Emerging Buddhist , and he says "Who's Turk?" "You know, JD's best friend on Scrubs...the surgeon...." He had NEVER SEEN SCRUBS! Not once! (GASP!)

Needless to say, he is now experiencing all the anticipation of when JD will kill his first patient, the thrill of Dr. Kelso transforming before his very eyes into Satan himself...and Dr. Cox's sarcastic, cynical, quick and cruel wit!

Iron sharpening iron. :D
 

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I am sure Jesus was inspired and enlightened in many ways... I love his examples of compassion and kindness.

I have nothing but respect even though I see connections to his path in the unwritten years differently.

If I'm not accurate?

Based on what was written of his nature I'm just as sure he'll forgive me. ;)

Live a happy heart... namaste.
He says that He does what He sees the Father doing, so His spiritual learning came directly from God His own Father. No better teacher than the one who created everything.
 
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