Voluntary Vulnerability

Deliberately Choosing Vulnerability

We have been trained to think of vulnerability as weakness;

But what if we were to think of vulnerability as strength?

 

What if vulnerability is the ability to open up to everything?

What if vulnerability is the ability to begin to heal everything?

 

I believe that the keystone of the arch that is the Tao Te Ching is Vulnerability.

 

Begin – Finding Inner Courage page 251-255 Mark Nepo

“How do I dress the wound in you that is me?”

Few of us intend to be hurtful, but we often perpetrate pain on others in our insistence and passion for how we believe good needs to be done. The truth is that we are frightfully flawed, and it is only our attempts to keep loving our mistakes into pieces of the path that make any difference.

In this regard, we have these choices about how to live. As we have seen, we can remain blunt and unaware and so replay our suffering on others. Or, if blessed to be thrown into open living, we can be drawn into what we need to learn. In time, this may allow us to face ourselves and others in an effort to own our own trespasses. This is liberating and humbling. Believe it or not, the effort NOT to tear each other’s wings can heal the world, if we can stand by our core and love each other until we surface our true nature. This is the work of being VULNERABLE, the word comes from the Latin word VULNUS, which means THE ABILITY TO CARRY A WOUND GRACEFULLY. It is difficult, but crucial, to be vulnerable.

The sufis have a notion that experience and devotion will lead to “polishing the heart into a mirror.: This is another name for the transformative education of being vulnerable, which no one can escape, though we can stall or distract ourselves from all that matters.

Let me tell you about three ways of being vulnerable.

The first involves a quiet man whose life-changing moment is inspiring. He was Wu Feng, a Manchurian diplomat of the 1700s posted with an aboriginal tribe in the outskirts of Taiwan. Wu Feng befriended the aboriginal chief, whose tribe beheaded one of its members every year as a form of sacrifice.

Finally, after living with the tribe for twenty-five years, Wu Feng once more pleaded with the chief to stop this senseless killing. But this time, when the tribe member was called forth, Wu Feng took his place and said, “No, if you will kill this time, it will be me.”

The chief stared long into his friend’s eyes, and having grown to love Wu Feng, he could not kill him. From that day, the practice of beheading stopped.

Of course, Wu Feng could have been killed, but his courage shows us that, at a certain point, how we live inside takes priority. At a certain point for each of us, talk evaporates and words cannot bring love into the open. In the end, it is not enough to THINK what we know. We must LIVE it. Only by living it can love show itself as the greatest principle.

There are many questions and lessons waiting in this story. Key to them all is: What made Wu Feng finally put himself in the middle of the issue? What made watching become intolerable? What ounce of inner courage, starting in what quiet corner of Wu Feng’s soul, moved him to stand before the chief? And what ounce of courage finally opened the chief to change? Where does the Wu Feng in us live? Where the chief? How do we make a practice of moving, like Wu Feng, from watching to standing by our core? And how do we, like the chief, make a practice of softening our adherence to a tradition or old pattern that kills, and so open ourselves to love?

The second story comes from our own time. Richard Luttrell is a Vietnam vet, a gentle soul from the Midwest who thirty-nine years ago found himself as a young man in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Quickly, he fell into hand-to-hand combat with another young man. They didn’t speak the same language though they faced the same terror. Richard wound up killing his counterpart. It was his first kill. As his fellow soldiers were looting the body, Richard pulled a small photograph from the dead man’s wallet. It was the young man and his little girl. “I remember holding the photo and actually squatting and getting close and actually looking in his face and looking at the photo and looking in his face.”

The quiet American soldier kept the photo. Through the years, it called to him and plagued him. He became obsessed with it, as it kept the humanity of the man he had killed alive in his heart. Finally, it depressed him. He tried to get rid of it. When the Vietnam Memorial was built in Washington, D.C., Richard made a pilgrimage and left the small, unlabeled picture at the wall. But it was gathered into a book called OFFERING FROM THE WALL, and through a fellow vet, it made its way back to him.

So the improbable journey continued, wherein Richard Luttrell found the little girl in the snapshot. She is Lan Trong Ngoan, the daughter of the man he killed so many years ago. Compelled by a yearning to give the photo back, Richard and his wife flew to Vietnam, where he gave the small photo to this forty-year-old woman, who had no picture of her father.

Through an interpreter, Richard introduced himself. “Tell her this is the photo I took from her father’s wallet the day I shot and killed him and that I’m returning it.” With a cracking voice, he then asked for her forgiveness. After an awkward moment, Lan burst into tears and fell into his arms, and there, the two held each other up against our century, sobbing and embracing.

We have so much to learn from Richard Luttrell and Lan Trong Ngoan. What sort of quiet courage kept Richard’s heart open, for all those years, to the pain of what he’d done? What made him listen to that pain and not seal it over? What enabled him to surrender to some journey he couldn’t understand? What led him with Gandhi-like love to seek out Lan and return to Vietnam? And what made Lan want to meet him? What gave her the courage to forgive him? To fall into the arms of the man who killed her father? Like the immense example of South Africa, how do we find the inner steps that allow us to knit our wounds together, so we might put down our allegiances to those wounds like rusty weapons?

The third story comes from my good friend George. He just returned from Bali. Still jet-lagged, his eyes are incredibly clear. And the image he’s carried back, the one he is eager to speak of, is of Hindu women flowing in their sarongs, wearing wide-brimmed hats filled with small bowls woven of palm and banana leaves. Each bowl is filled with a handful of rice and topped with a few petals. Every day, they deliver these throughout the village. One by one, they cup each bowl into place, into every opening they can find, as an offering to the gods that everyone feels but which no one can see. Every day, these kind people leave their little offerings in doorways, in stairwells, on roads, on windowsills, on the black sand that rims the sea. They place the tiny woven bowls so carefully that even the gods have to bow to inhale the gift.

George and I talk about this for quite some time. He is struck by the way these simple quiet people aren’t SAYING they are grateful but are BEING grateful and how these gestures soften the climate. It makes me wonder, what if we teach the children how to bless every opening, how to bow to every threshold? What if we slip it in between when they learn how to tie their shoes and how to count? In a generation’s time, would our fear of each other quiet down? Would we celebrate the unexpected? What if we were to place such a small bowl at each other’s feet? What if we were to treat each other as openings to be blessed every day?

It seems the act of blessing is a lesson we have to earn, and for this reason it is not really hidden but allowed by grace to grow where it is still difficult for us to spoil. And so, somewhere in the midst of four hundred islands that we call Indonesia, thirteen time zones away, on a small island of bland sand, in the north away from the thirsty tourists, the elegant women of Bali quietly place the small bowls of rice and flowers at your door before you wake to bless the opening we call the day. Such a simple secret , one that God has tucked away till we are vulnerable enough to find it.

Finding Inner Courage page 251-255 Mark Nepo – End

 

The power of vulnerability  Brene Brown

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Partial Transcript

14:35

So this is what I learned. We numb vulnerability — when we’re waiting for the call. It was funny, I sent something out on Twitter and on Facebook that says, “How would you define vulnerability? What makes you feel vulnerable?” And within an hour and a half, I had 150 responses. Because I wanted to know what’s out there. Having to ask my husband for help because I’m sick, and we’re newly married; initiating sex with my husband; initiating sex with my wife; being turned down; asking someone out; waiting for the doctor to call back; getting laid off; laying off people. This is the world we live in. We live in a vulnerable world. And one of the ways we deal with it is we numb vulnerability.

15:24

And I think there’s evidence — and it’s not the only reason this evidence exists, but I think it’s a huge cause — We are the most in-debt … obese … addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history. The problem is — and I learned this from the research — that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t say, here’s the bad stuff. Here’s vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. I’m going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin.

16:04

(Laughter)

16:06

I don’t want to feel these. And I know that’s knowing laughter. I hack into your lives for a living. God.

16:15

(Laughter)

16:17

You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then, we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.

16:47

One of the things that I think we need to think about is why and how we numb. And it doesn’t just have to be addiction. The other thing we do is we make everything that’s uncertain certain. Religion has gone from a belief in faith and mystery to certainty. “I’m right, you’re wrong. Shut up.” That’s it. Just certain. The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we are, the more afraid we are. This is what politics looks like today. There’s no discourse anymore. There’s no conversation. There’s just blame. You know how blame is described in the research? A way to discharge pain and discomfort. We perfect. If there’s anyone who wants their life to look like this, it would be me, but it doesn’t work. Because what we do is we take fat from our butts and put it in our cheeks.

17:44

(Laughter)

17:47

Which just, I hope in 100 years, people will look back and go, “Wow.”

17:51

(Laughter)

17:53

And we perfect, most dangerously, our children. Let me tell you what we think about children. They’re hardwired for struggle when they get here. And when you hold those perfect little babies in your hand, our job is not to say, “Look at her, she’s perfect. My job is just to keep her perfect — make sure she makes the tennis team by fifth grade and Yale by seventh.” That’s not our job. Our job is to look and say, “You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” That’s our job. Show me a generation of kids raised like that, and we’ll end the problems, I think, that we see today. We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an effect on people. We do that in our personal lives. We do that corporate — whether it’s a bailout, an oil spill … a recall. We pretend like what we’re doing doesn’t have a huge impact on other people. I would say to companies, this is not our first rodeo, people. We just need you to be authentic and real and say … “We’re sorry. We’ll fix it.”

19:02

But there’s another way, and I’ll leave you with this. This is what I have found: To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen … to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee — and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult — to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.”

And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough” … then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.

20:06

That’s all I have. Thank you.

20:08

(Applause)

Partial Transcript

 

Cheapitalism

Cheapitalism is what we should really call Capitalism!

Capitalism has resulted in cheapitalism darkxshade, Aug 12, 2010

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Article I

Section 8. The Congress shall have power… To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

The laws of the United States hold that a legal entity (like a corporation or non-profit organization) shall be treated under the law as a person except when otherwise noted. This rule of construction is specified in 1 U.S.C. §1, which states: In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise– the words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals;

I feel it CHEAPENS me as a human being to be placed in the same category with corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies.

It appears to me that Congress has created “super persons” in the form of corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies endowed with “super rights”.

What do Corporate “persons” get from your local, state, and federal governments that regular citizens don’t:

  1. Free or cheap land (also includes CHEAP resource and mineral rights)
  2. Infrastructure assistance (CHEAP infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies)
  3. Tax-increment financing (CHEAP local property tax and subsidy for the development)
  4. Property tax breaks (CHEAP property taxes)
  5. State corporate income tax credits (CHEAP operating costs)
  6. Sales tax rebates (CHEAP operating costs)
  7. Enterprise-zone (and other zone) status (CHEAP operating costs)
  8. Financial maneuvering between subsidiaries to avoid State and Federal income taxes. (CHEAP taxes)
  9. Transfer pricing manipulation or trade mispricing, involves corporations’ charging their overseas subsidiaries lower prices for goods and services, a common move that lowers a corporation’s tax bill. It is estimated that about 60 percent of international trade happens across national boundaries but within the same corporate group. (CHEAP taxes)
  10. Two out of every three United States Corporations (Corporate “persons”) paid NO federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. (They literally had TAX-FREE TRADE as far as federal income tax is concerned)
  11. U.S. News & World Report By Katherine Peralta, Staff Writer |Dec. 11, 2014, at 4:57 p.m. Outsourcing to China Cost U.S. 3.2 Million Jobs Since 2001. (CHEAP labor)

I ask you:

Does it appear to you that all “persons” get equal treatment under the law?

How do Corporate “persons” that are to be regulated by Congress get to influence the election of the people’s representatives in Congress?

When Corporate “persons” declare themselves as Multi-National are they really American citizens anymore?

Do corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies have “personhood” endowed by their Creator?

Do you see a trend; Capitalism values CHEAPNESS above everything else.

Raj Patel, a food justice activist and professor at the University of Texas at Austin together with Binghamton University professor Jason W. Moore have written “A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things” (University of California Press, 2017), which aims to put it all together for us. The seven “things” of the title aren’t physical objects as much as they are a hidden social, ecological and economic infrastructure: nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives. The point being that CHEAPNESS is a process of responding to economic crises by DEVALUING (CHEAPENING) each of those forces so that CAPITALISM CAN CONTINUE TO CONCENTRATE WEALTH IN THE HANDS OF THE ALREADY-WEALTHY (This is the ONLY THING that capitalism doesn’t CHEAPEN!) In that sense, “CHEAP NATURE” refers to the way in which land and its resources are systematically given away to businesses for exploitation, “CHEAP WORK” refers to slavery and other anti-worker tactics that keep wages low, and so on.

Think about it: CHEAP NATURE, CHEAP MONEY, CHEAP WORK, CHEAP CARE, CHEAP FOOD, CHEAP ENERGY, and CHEAP LIVES.

Raj Patel: A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6jCjzPXNqg

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman once said, “I believe in capitalism. But capitalism only works if you have safety nets to deal with people who are naturally left behind and brutalized by it.”

 

Psychic Entropy


“Psychic entropy is a state of mind where your thoughts cannot flow to have concrete ideas but are stuck in the same state of thought like a Merry go Round.  Because of the negativity, anxiety, being sad, alone and not interacting socially, being by yourself and having or thinking about the same thing over and over.   The inability to handle complex thoughts without being overwhelmed and not knowing how to resolve or come to a conclusion about an idea or problem.  Best thing to do in that situation is to go out socialize, do mundane tasks to take your mind off the chaos that is festering in the brain.  Attention is very fragmented and needs to be defragmented just like a computer.”  Mirjana Cross

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990, p. 3)

Psychic or psychological entropy is a state of mind first written about by Carl Jung and later developed by  Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in his concept of “Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience.” A state of psychic entropy is characterized by anxiety, sadness and boredom consisting of looping negative thought patterns (what I call death spirals of obsession). Psychic entropy is a state that leaves us with a greatly reduced ability to deal with complex external tasks or useful inner reflection. We all know what this feels like — being frazzled, fragmented and unraveled, paralyzed by inertia and self-absorption, worried thoughts gnawing our mind like a chew toy. So what can we do about that?

One answer is “Attention to Awareness.” To use such times to do easy repetitive mundane tasks like hoeing the weeds in the garden that can be done even if your attention is a bit unfocused. I find that paying full attention to being aware of hoeing will get me fully in the present. I can even shift into automatic mode and drop into lucid dreaming. I used to do this with long distance running but now do it with long bicycle rides or hikes also.

Another answer is “Distraction”. Listening to audio books (like “Authentic Happiness”, “Flow”, or “Finding Inner Courage”) on headphones while taking a long hike or hoeing the weeds in the garden to replace the chaotic inner turmoil with better quality content.

Psychic entropy is more likely to occur while alone so try positive social contact. Focus on considering others’ needs rather than your own — as psychic entropy is based on self-absorption. Alternatively, you could go all the way in the other direction and sit down in solitude, perhaps with a journal open, and carefully observe, or even record, all the looping negative thought patterns; see what subpersonalities they come from and what their issues are (you need a very strong will to do this!). If the state of psychic entropy comes from a lack of meaning in your life then see what you can do to increase meaning and purpose for your life (considering others’ needs or a purpose larger than self).

 

Consider Csikszentmihalyi’s “5 C’s” of a Complex Personality:

“The Complex Personality knows how to integrate a variety of experiences into its overall experience, making the dullest moments interesting. Being in Flow leads to Complexity for when you experience Flow, you want to experience more of it and construct your world to pull you irresistibly towards experiences within the Flow. Focus on these to craft your world:

1) Clarity – Know what you want to do in your life every day. Have clarity of goals, listen to feedback and adjust yourself to the feedback you receive from the world.

2) Center – You are in Balance. Your goal is to focus, to know how to avoid distractions, to become at one with what you’re doing, with all of your attention under your control.

3) Choice – Knowing there are a variety of possibilities around you, that you’re not determined by outside events but have choice and can move within it. Whatever you do, you do “at Choice”.

4) Commitment- Care for what you’re doing at all times. Remain conscious of what you care about. Commit to it.

5) Challenge – Keep upping your challenges as you master a certain level. Always make life more challenging.”

 

 

Wholeness of Living Tao Te Ching 22

Tao Te Ching 22

 

Written by Lao-tzu

From a translation by J.H. McDonald

 

If you want to become whole,

first let yourself become broken.

If you want to become straight,

first let yourself become twisted.

If you want to become full,

first let yourself become empty.

If you want to become new,

first let yourself become old.

Those whose desires are few get them,

those whose desires are great go astray.

For this reason the Master embraces the Tao,

as an example for the world to follow.

Because she isn’t self centered,

people can see the light in her.

Because she does not boast of herself,

she becomes a shining example.

Because she does not glorify herself,

she becomes a person of merit.

Because she wants nothing from the world,

the world can not overcome her.

When the ancient Masters said,

“If you want to become whole,

then first let yourself be broken,”

they weren’t using empty words.

 

Tao Te Ching 22

by Lao-tzu

  1. Legge, Translator  (Sacred Books of the East, Vol 39) [1891]

 

The partial becomes complete; the crooked, straight; the empty,

full; the worn out, new. He whose (desires) are few gets them; he

whose (desires) are many goes astray.

 

Therefore the sage holds in his embrace the one thing (of

humility), and manifests it to all the world. He is free from self-

display, and therefore he shines; from self-assertion, and therefore

he is distinguished; from self-boasting, and therefore his merit is

acknowledged; from self-complacency, and therefore he acquires

superiority. It is because he is thus free from striving that

therefore no one in the world is able to strive with him.

 

That saying of the ancients that ‘the partial becomes complete’ was

not vainly spoken:–all real completion is comprehended under it.

 

Tao Te Ching 22

 

Written by Lao-tzu

From a translation by S. Mitchell

 

If you want to become whole,

let yourself be partial.

If you want to become straight,

let yourself be crooked.

If you want to become full,

let yourself be empty.

If you want to be reborn,

let yourself die.

If you want to be given everything,

give everything up.

 

The Master, by residing in the Tao,

sets an example for all beings.

Because he doesn’t display himself,

people can see his light.

Because he has nothing to prove,

people can trust his words.

Because he doesn’t know who he is,

people recognize themselves in him.

Because he has no goad in mind,

everything he does succeeds.

 

When the ancient Masters said,

“If you want to be given everything,

give everything up,”

they weren’t using empty phrases.

Only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself.

The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

The twin sister to Kelly McGonigal

The top five regrets of the dying.

Number one: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

Number two: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Number three: I wish I had let myself be happier.

Number four: I wish I’d had the courage to express my true self.

And number five: I wish I’d lived a life true to my dreams, instead of what others expected of me.

 

Here are the top five things that people with post-traumatic growth say “My priorities have changed”:

“I’m not afraid to do what makes me happy.”

“I feel closer to my friends and family.”

“I understand myself better. I know who I really am now.”

“I have a new sense of meaning and purpose in my life.”

“I’m better able to focus on my goals and dreams.”

 

Now, does this sound familiar? It should, because the top five traits of post-traumatic growth are essentially the direct opposite of the top five regrets of the dying. Now this is interesting, right? It seems that somehow, a traumatic event can unlock our ability to lead a life with fewer regrets.

 

But how does it work? How do you get from trauma to growth? Or better yet, is there a way to get all the benefits of post-traumatic growth without the trauma, without having to hit your head in the first place? That would be good, right?

Four kinds of resilience:

1.  Physical resilience.

2. Mental resilience.

3. Emotional resilience.

4 . Social resilience.

‘Live long and prosper’ is an abbreviated version of a traditional Jewish religious blessing. It came to a wider public in the Star Trek TV series. It was used there by the character Mr. Spock (actor Leonard Nimoy, himself Jewish) as the greeting of the Vulcan people.

Live long and prosper.

How to make stress your friend

Grandfather (Stalking Wolf) had it right – BELIEF is most important in your life.
Part of transcript (listen to it all!):

01:21

Let me start with the study that made me rethink my whole approach to stress. This study tracked 30,000 adults in the United States for eight years, and they started by asking people, “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?” They also asked, “Do you Believe that stress is harmful for your health?” And then they used public death records to find out who died.

 01:48

(Laughter)

 01:49

Okay. Some bad news first. People who experienced a lot of stress in the previous year had a 43 percent increased risk of dying. But that was only true for the people who also believed that stress is harmful for your health.

 02:08

(Laughter)

 02:10

People who experienced a lot of stress but did not view stress as harmful were no more likely to die. In fact, they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study, including people who had relatively little stress.

 02:24

Now the researchers estimated that over the eight years they were tracking deaths, 182,000 Americans died prematurely, not from stress, but from the Belief that stress is bad for you.

 02:37

(Laughter)

  02:38

That is over 20,000 deaths a year. Now, if that estimate is correct, that would make believing stress is bad for you the 15th largest cause of death in the United States last year, killing more people than skin cancer, HIV/AIDS and homicide.

02:57

(Laughter)

 02:59

You can see why this study freaked me out. Here I’ve been spending so much energy telling people stress is bad for your health.

 03:09

So this study got me wondering: Can changing how you think about stress make you healthier? And here the science says YES. When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress.

The three power words of the English language

The three power words of the English language

YES, NO, and WOW (Wonder of Wonders).

Mat 5:37  “But let your* word be, ‘Yes, Yes’ [or] ‘No, No,’ but the [word which is] more [than] these is from the evil [one].

What do these three have in common?

They are all complete sentences by themselves and they are the irreducible lowest form of all choices.

YES means I want that in my life.

NO means I do not want that in my life.

WOW means I open myself to all that life has to offer. From the opening page of my blog “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.  William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

WOW is the choice to try and see everything as interconnected.

WOW is the choice to try and see rightly. One purpose in life is not to set things right, but to see them rightly.

We will use things rightly if we see things rightly.

But how do you see things rightly? You have heard the saying “seeing is believing”; I think we have it backward “believing is seeing”. When you first enter this world “seeing is believing”, but after you have built up your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices then “believing is seeing”. First you build your beliefs, then you filter what you see through them. You have programmed the way you view reality and have allowed others to program the way you view reality. In order to see things rightly you need to change your paradigm, your way of viewing reality. Your paradigm is your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that have been imprinted on your subconscious mind.

If you want to make small changes in your life change one behavior at a time. If you want to make large changes in your life change your paradigm (your way of viewing reality).

Let’s take a quick look at some opposing filters of your perception:

objective—————-subjective

tolerance—————-dominance

acceptance————–judgement

preferences————–addictions

love———————–fear

The more conviction behind the filter the more it changes what you perceive you see. These filters can also affect how you react to events that spring up in your life.

Choice (in every event in our lives there is a moment to determine the direction that we will grow toward or that the event will shape us toward) simply put; choice is practice.

I believe our paradigm is built by the habituation of our choices.

Ancient Mystics believed that habituation should occur for at least 1 Lunar Cycle to make the paradigm shift permanent in the subconscious mind.

Can you see how changing your paradigm: your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices would be more effective in changing your life than changing behaviors one at a time?

This is why we read good books, listen to good talks, discuss our discoveries with other free thinkers, and choose to practice good things that we discover.

 

As far as you can go

If your everyday practice is open to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that – then that will take you are far as you can go. And then you’ll understand all the teachings that anyone has ever taught.

Pema Chodron