The path to perfection will only lead to exhaustion and disappointment; meanwhile, your actual life will be passing you by. - Mark Van Buren
Though Buddhism is classified as a world religion, it's really a solid, practical psychology for dealing with life. Buddhism has much to offer any person struggling and seeking to recover from alcohol, drug and other behavioral addictions. Here's an insight I appreciate very much from a Buddhist view but with application to the good work AA does:
“I find that using certain Buddhist teachings as higher powers—the power of karma, the power of mindfulness, the power of lovingkindness—is very useful for people who struggle with the kind of theistic tone of the language in the 12 steps,” said Kevin Griffin, a Buddhist teacher, writer of Recovering Joy: A Mindful Life After Addiction
A Buddhist monk received a call from a lay member of his temple. "Would you please come to my house today and perform a blessing?"
"I'm sorry, I can't come because I'm busy" replied the monk.
"Well, what are you doing?" inquired the caller.
"Nothing! That's what monks are supposed to do," he answered.
"Okay" said the caller and hung up.
The lay Buddhist called again the next day asking: "Would you please come to my house today and perform a blessing?"
"I'm sorry, I can't come because I'm busy," replied the monk.
"What are you doing?" asked the caller.
"Nothing" replied the monk.
"But that's what you were doing yesterday," complained the caller.
"Yes" replied the monk. "But I'm not finished yet!"
You may not always be
an ocean of bliss,
think that way anyway
and it will help.
- Maharishi Mahesh
“Consider the eight-part program laid down in Buddhism: Right view, right aim, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right mindedness and right contemplation. The Buddhist philosophy, as exemplified by these eight points, could be literally adopted by AA as a substitute for or addition to the Twelve Steps. Generosity, universal love and welfare of others rather than considerations of self are basic to Buddhism.”
- from the Akron Pamphlet; “Spiritual Milestones in Alcoholics Anonymous” edited by Dr. Bob, co-founder of AA.
Silence is very important. It is food for the soul. If we can make our mind absolutely silent, our body absolutely silent and our emotions absolutely silent, just for a few minutes, we can quiet down. We then begin to draw divine energies from the central core of the universe itself. The noise of the mind, the noise of the emotions and the noise of the physical body often block these divine energies. - Sivya Subramuniyaswami
Reverend Doctor Gene Reeves, respected Buddhist scholar and teacher, and Unitarian Universalist minister, died on Wednesday, May 8, 2018 according to www.buddhistdoor.com.
Born and raised in a small industrial town in New Hampshire, Reeves graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a psychology degree, and then pursued a degree in theology at Boston University, subsequently gaining a PhD in philosophy from Emory University.
Before he retired, Reeves taught at the University of Tsukuba and Rikkyo University in Japan, the University of Peking in China, and at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Meadville Lombard Theological School, Wilberforce University in Ohio, and Tufts University, and Antioch College in the United States.
Reeves lived in Tokyo for more than two decades, where he studied, taught, and practiced Buddhism as encapsulated in the Lotus Sutra, for which he also published a widely respected modern translation from Chinese into English--The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic (Wisdom Publications 2008)—that was intended to appeal to readers with little familiarity with Buddhist vocabulary, as well as long-time practitioners and students.
In an article for Dharma World Magazine, Reeves recounted of his life: “. . . I was raised Christian. At 20 I became a Unitarian. At 30 I became a Unitarian Universalist. And at 50 I became a Buddhist. But not once did I think of those becomings as a conversion from one faith to another. And so I remain, in my own self-understanding, Christian, Unitarian, Universalist, and Buddhist.”
I've come to believe that seeking happiness is not a frivolous pursuit. It's honorable and necessary. And most people forget even to think about it. - Goldie Hawn
Scientific American magazine recently carried a major feature titled Why We Need To Take Pet Loss Seriously. Written by psychologist Guy Winch, he stresses how real, how deep and how pervasive pet grief can be saying “we all need to change our attitudes about it.” Here are some of his insights which can guide us all to better helping a friend who's animal companion has died recently.
* Pet grief is just as real as grieving a human being. “Symptoms of acute grief after the loss of a pet can last from one to two months with symptoms of grief persisting up to a full year (on average).”
* Like human grief, pet grief can be severe.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported that a woman whose dog died experienced Broken Heart Syndrome—a condition in which a person’s response to grief and heartbreak is so severe, they exhibits symptoms that mimic a heart attack, including elevated hormone levels that can be thirty times greater than normal.
* Pet loss and ensuing grief is unsupported and therefore complicated. “Because pet loss is disenfranchised, many of the societal mechanisms of social and community support are absent when a cherished pet dies,” Winch notes. “Few of us ask our employers for time off to grieve a beloved cat or dog as we fear doing so would paint us as overly sentimental, lacking in maturity or emotionally weak. And" few employers would grant such requests were we to make them.” Thought social support for pet grief is crucial, it’s generally absent.
* Pet loss recovery is greatly helped be connecting with others who have lost an animal companion. “Given our societal attitude that invokes responses such as It’s just an animal and You can just get another one” Winch advises seeking out others who have experienced a pet death. “Our best bet is to reach out to people we know who have also lost pets as they are likely to understand our anguish and offer the best support,” he says adding that “many animal clinics offer bereavement groups for pet owners.”
The intention when meditating with emotion is to stay steady with every sensation, just as we might do with sound meditation. Just listening. No commentary. - Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Victor M. Parachin ...is a
Vedic educator, yoga instructor, meditation teacher and author of a dozen books. Buy his books at amazon or your local bookstore.