Sunday, November 20, 2016

Buddha-ish or Buddha 2.0

I am an American well passed the age of 70.  I like to read and I have read and benefited from reading about the ideas and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, a man who lived in the area of present day Nepal a long time ago.  This man is often referred to as the Buddha, the Awakened One.  

Since I am an older American with an Anglo heritage and have a American Protestant background and an American public school education and since I am a dabbler, a hopper who reads and thinks in a shallow way about a large number of topics, I get as deep into ideas as seems helpful. Because times are changing and because of the nature of American life and me, some clues from the Buddha are likely to be modified for use by people like me.

Sometimes, I think or feel myself into some sort of a trap, an entrance with no exit.  Maybe a worry that is vague, scary and big.  Then, when I realize where I am mentally, I drop the whole business. Like an exit from a dream where I am engrossed and trapped by a situation.  I simply wake.  The thoughts, the worries, the facts, factoids, suppositions and fears evaporate.  They may return later.  I may very well invite them back but into a relatively civilized meeting.  

The most important words in the previous paragraph are "realize" and "wake".  When I realize, when I wake, I become aware of what is going on in my mind.  That awareness is the 'mindfulness" that everyone is getting interested in.  The army, the physicians, the students, the athletes, the businessmen are using meditation to increase their ability to look at what is happening in the mind without panic or fury or judgment or shame or elation or joy - just look and see.  When I see, I can say,"Later" and come back to the issue at a later time, if and when the issue needs further adult attention.  

Here is a link to clues for increasing mindfulness by a little practice of meditation.

It is pretty easy to increase one's sensitivity to what is going on mentally.

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