Compassion

All posts tagged Compassion

Loneliness

Published 26/06/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Sometimes I just sit alone and think, often thinking too much about my life, the people around me, my family, my friends, my work colleagues, spending too much time overthinking and allowing my ego mind to have it’s way with me!

Our days are filled with wasted time, hour after hour our mind ticks over, relentlessly sending us it’s opinions based upon our thoughts on the things we see, hear and fell, judging this and judging that, telling us to hate this person, stay away from that person, beware and fear this or that and holding us back from living our lives to the full.

Somedays our hearts are totally controlled by our mind, we feel lost and alone, its like something is missing from our heart, like a lost loved one, something is missing and causing us pain, we become tearful, agitated, anxious and sometimes so down that we just don’t want to get up or go out, the feeling is so strong that it controls our very being and stops us from moving forward with our lives.

Loneliness and the lack of love for ourselves feeds our ego mind, it fuels its fire and allows damaging thoughts to be generated at a rapid speed, negativity reigns supreme when the ego mind is at play, controlling our very being.

When your feeling down and lonely, its hard to pick yourself up when the ego mind is holding you down , twisting your mind with its negativity, pumping your body full of non-productive, suppressing ideas as to how you should live your life, it’s in total control…but how do we break free from the clutches of our ego mind?

Well, in my case, meditation is the key, it brings me peace and allows me to break free of the chains that my ego mind has wrapped around my soul, meditation takes me to a place of peace, to a solitude of silence where I can connect with my soul, with my Divine Self and where I can take back my life from the clutches of this egotistic mind that is at play with me.

If you suffer from any form of loneliness, unhappiness, anxiety in your life then please try meditation, seek out someone to help you, to guide you in the early stages of your practice……feel free once again and regain your happiness, then start living your life of joy 🙂

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Touching on Love Again!

Published 16/06/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Ah, here I am again talking about love 🙂

But what is love?

I have posted about Love so many times, love for self, love for others, unconditional love etc……

But when i sit down, meditate and go into my heart centre i realise that most of us are under the wrong impression of what love really is!

Oh my!, What am I letting myself in for now!…..I guess I will get lots of replies stating…’Rubbish Post’,……. Love is….etc!

Well, here goes anyway 🙂

To me, Love is everything, Love is with us from the day we are conceived because our mother gives us the love from her body to help carry us through the pregnancy period; until the day that we are born, then we receive the love from our parent/s, our siblings, our families… we receive love from our friends, our colleagues and from our experiences in life.

Love is all around…..So we should be happy, right?

Actually, the next time your sitting with your dog or your cat, take a proper look at the feeling, the sensation and their energy towards you, they are in fact giving you love, unconditional love, especially from the dog. Cat’s.. well, they have their own opinions on life and will give you their love when they are ready, but a dog’s love is unconditional and always!….Then take a long look at your life, where is your love? how do you show your love? do you love yourself?…I don’t mean how you look in a mirror, but deep down, Do you love who you are?, What you stand for and where you are going with your life?

I often ask my friends:-

What is important to your life,

What do you feel is missing from your life?,

What are you seeking, looking for in your life?

And the answers are:

Love

Happiness

Success

But love comes, and it goes…We think and believe that love is just a relationship thing between two people, a partnership, a marriage etc,…and then, when that love goes away, we are left in a mess, often deep down in depression, bringing anxiety, unhappiness and sadness to our life ……

So! How many of us actually love ourselves?…..

Actually not that many of us because most of us don’t love the way we look, we are not happy with our weight, body shape, we are either too tall or too short, too much hair or (in my case lack of hair) 🙂 We don’t love our jobs, we don’t love our daily lives, we don’t love our homes and, on and on the lack of love for ourselves goes on causing us to be unhappy with who we are……

Well! , let me tell you something.

If you don’t love yourself then how do you expect to attract love into your life?

So, pick yourself up, start a new page and take another look at yourself…..What’s not to love!……..Right?

You are a Divine being, you are a wonderful creation, you are love itself!…And the sooner you realise this and make this your daily mantra then the sooner you can start enjoying your life, attracting more love into your daily life then bringing about happiness and then achieving all the success you truly want in your life.

So, if you are going to say  ‘Rubbish Post’ then fine, but if for one second you feel you are not 100% happy with the love in your life and the love for yourself; then please take a long look at yourself, see who you really are, connect with your Divine Self, connect with your heart and see the love, then share the love and …Love….Will come right back at ya 🙂

Go on, do yourself a favour for once…ACT!

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

The Most Beautiful People In The World

Published 05/06/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat,

known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.

These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life

that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends.

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

What Beliefs Are We Feeding Our Children?

Published 03/06/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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How do our children learn to hate, become racist, judgemental or prejudiced?

We all come into this world innocent, we don’t harbour any belief systems, we don’t hold any hate in our hearts, we see every other human being as the same as us, we make friends easily irrespective of social, religious or ethnic differences and we love each other unconditionally…..

…….So what goes wrong, how do we learn these behavioural and emotional traits?

As parents, grandparents and siblings, it is our duty to help our children to grow, to learn and to evolve, to help them achieve the best life they can and live their lives in peace with love and compassion in their hearts, this is our duty…..

Is it yours?……….

Be a part of your child’s life, show them the right ways in life, allow them to meet with and integrate with other children from other religious backgrounds, countries and cultures, take them out and show them the wonders of mother nature, let them feel the warm sun on their skin, the rain on their face and the grass beneath their feet, teach them to respect nature and all it glory, teach them to love animals as equals and to foster if you can.

Our planet is under great threat, humanity, and our natural resources are under great threat, these threats including global warming, famine, severe water shortages and wars between countries, religions and ethnic races are just a part of these threats, animals are becoming extinct, wiped out from the face of this earth due to greed and we,…and our children can turn it around….

We can make a difference,

We can bring back love, compassion and a true sense of brotherhood for mankind…… for the benefit of us all!

Now is your chance….

Make a difference in a child’s life,

Make a difference for humanity.

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Worry, Worry, Worry!

Published 26/05/2015 by inspiringyourspirit
My Dear Friends, please take the time to watch / listen to this wonderful and powerful music by B.B.King then read the lyrics and the following post below 🙂
Namaste with Love
Always
Mark
Music & Lyrics From Worry, Worry, Worry by the late great B.B King

Worry worry worry
Worry is all I can do
Oh worry worry worry baby
Worry is all I can do
Oh my life is so miserable baby
Baby, and its all on account of you

You hurt me so bad baby
When you said we were through
Oh you hurt me
You know you hurt me so bad baby
When you said we were through
Oh but I would rather be dead baby
Then to be here so alone and blue

Someday baby
Oh someday baby
Oh! someday baby
Oh! oh! oh oh yes
Oh! someday baby

“Ladies. I said ladies ladies if you got a man and the man don’t do like you think he
Should ladies you don’t hurt ‘im. I said don’t you hurt him! man happens to be
God’s gift to women! so ladies you must know that the man is already grown so you can’t
Raise him over again

So the thing to do is throw your arms around him! hold him close to
You! look him straight in the eyes! and then you tell him you tell him, you
Say “now baby you been messing up, but I know you gonna do me better.” and when he
Look at you as if he wanna know when, then you tell him “someday baby.” and if it seem
Like he’s hard of hearing or not paying you much attention or something do like you ladies
Are known to do put your hands on your hips and then you say it again ow! he have to
Be a mighty hard hearted person not to listen to you

But I don’t think it’s fair to just talk to the ladies, I think I should say a few words to the
Men too. so fellas I said fellas! fellas if you got a woman and the lady don’t do like
You think she should
Don’t you be goin’ upside of her head now. you know what I’m talkin’ about, don’t you be
Beatin’ on her. the judgment’s much cheaper if you don’t beat her. and you see if you hurt
Her you only do one thing I said if you hurt her you only do one thing! you make her a little
Smarter and she won’t let you catch her the next time. so the thing to do is throw your
Arms around the pretty little thing! now listen to me, listen to me I don’t care if she
Weigh thirty-two and a half pounds wet or five hundred and fifty pounds on her feet. if she’s
Your lady and you dig her, than she’s your pretty little thing and then you tell
Her! you say “baby! baby I don’t care what they say about you on the next block, your
My little lady and I dig you. let em talk, let ’em say what they want to say”

And fellas, you must know too that the ladies, god bless their sweet little souls, ladies
Happen to be god’s gift to man too fellas. you all agreed? you better say it cause your wife
Is listening. but there’s just one more thing I must say to you fellas, just one more thing
Don’t be too proud to beg. I said don’t be too proud to beg! if you have to fall
Down on your knees to let your woman know that you love her, go on down there
I can see some of you cats got dirty minds in the place this evening what I’m tryin’
To say, ladies love to hear their men say “baby I love you!” don’t
You ladies? I said ladies love to hear their men say “baby I love you!”
Don’t you ladies? so fellas tell your lady that you love her! she might
Think you’re lying though. tell your lady that you love her even if you are
Lying

But seriously speaking, when I goof, when I goof I usually slide up to my woman and I look
Straight at her I have to get my look first I usually say I look like a little puppy begging
For that last bone you been holding out on. I look straight at her and I say “baby! please
Forgive me honey!” and then I wait a few minutes to see how she take it. and then I
Say “baby! please forgive me honey!” and then I stand back far enough so that when
She swings I can duck and then I say “baby! you know when I goofed last week I
Was high “if she let me get away with that then I look at her real pitiful like this say
“Baby, honey you know when you’re high it don’t count. ” and then I tell her, I say
“If you forgive me honey I’m gonna do better.” And if she look at me as if she wanna know
When then I tell her “someday baby ”

Yes someday, baby
When the blood runs cold in my veins
Someday, baby
When the blood runs cold in my veins
You know you won’t be able to hurt me no more baby
‘Cause my heart won’t feel no pain

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The purpose of this post today my dear friends was for us to draw our attention through music and the wonderful skills of the late B.B. King to the subject of ‘Worry’, Worry catches us all at one point or more in our lives, and some people worry all the time! Worry about not being worthy, worry about not being loved, worry about loving someone, worry about their relationship, worry about life, worry about our children, worry about our jobs, worry about making ends meet each month, worry about work, worry that we are just not good enough, worry about our safety, worry, worry, worry!

Where does worrying get us in the end?……..Absolutely nowhere!……..I don’t think anyone can give you a perfect answer where worrying brought you anything but more worry and more pain, it certainly did not bring an end to your worrying so……! What’s the point in worrying?….Focus on whats good, whats great in your life, focus on the loving people you have in your life, focus on the beauty you see when you look in the mirror, look into your heart, connect with your inner child, connect with the love that you really are, be the light once again that makes you happy, be the joy that brings joy to your life and to the lives of others, be the strength that resolves problems and not the victim of those problems……

STOP WORRYING…..

If you need help with worry issues, please let me know and I would be glad to help.

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Unconditional Love from a 7 Year-Old Boy to His Mother and His Final Wishes To Save Her Life

Published 22/05/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

My Dear Friends,

I watched this video and read many Chinese articles about this brave and very articulate little boy Chen Xiao Tian and his final wishes to save his mothers life by gifting her his kidney after he passed away. Such wisdom, such bravery and unconditional love from this tiny little boy.

There are angels amongst us, watching over us and helping us do the right thing when our time is called.

Blessings to Chen Xiao Tian, may his soul rest in peace and may he fly freely with the angels who watch over humanity.

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

How Long Can Compassion Last in Nursing?

Published 12/05/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Image copywrite unknown

Artical written by Helen Cowan, R.N. — Oxford, UK

Article taken from an Aysha Mendes Blog for International Nurses Day ayshamendes.com

Having been a nurse for 11 years, I have encountered and experienced tales of joy, inspiration, resilience, frustration, and the darkest despair. Nursing is a fascinating career in its variety of roles and depth of human understanding, and it’s an immense honour to come alongside a patient and make their life, or perhaps just that day, more manageable. This must be remembered when frustrations arise from all corners, sometimes becoming overbearing.

 Patients themselves, through no fault of their own, can test the patience, kindness and compassion of the best-intentioned nurse. In my current workplace, I can think of Martha, the desperately underweight, sad lady who refuses the best efforts to help her eat, or Phyllis, the lady with severe constipation who refuses all intervention, or Reginald, the stroke patient who refuses to believe he can ever get out of bed and so has remained bed-bound for 5 years despite the encouragement of the entire caring team. Then there is John, who shouts for help all day even when staff are at his bedside offering to help in any way. Every day, we think that we will be the ones to really make a difference, and yet we fail again.

 As nurses, we can continue to care for patients like these and treasure every moment where we can help, but it’s hard when everything else seems like it’s against us. For example, the 8-hour shift that becomes a 15-hour shift because there is no nurse to cover the late shift as a result of short staffing. Or the plan to carry out a complex leg dressing or set of blood tests, only to find that there is no equipment. The last straw might be when we feel attack from all corners when we are just trying to do our best.

 During one particularly trying shift, I was approached by a sour-faced inspector demanding answers to questions that seemed to focus on paperwork and not patients, a GP who seemed harassed at being called out to visit a patient with a minor, yet valid, ailment, and a relative with a long list of complaints that should have been discussed with the (absent) management rather than the busy nurse. Meanwhile, the daily newspaper heralded another story about abuse at the hands of nurses.

 As this was unfolding, a dear patient was dying and had no family. I took the decision that my most important role was to be with her as she breathed her last breath. I read to her some precious words that I know she had chosen and held her hand as she slipped away. Acting on decisions like this, where I know that patient care has really come first, helps to keep me in the profession.

…………………………

Nurses and Nursing, a service provided to us all over the world by people with big hearts often working for very low pay, under extreme pressure and working extremely long hours. It’s about time we honoured this profession properly all around the world not just with a international nurses day but through the giving of respect for what they do for humanity, their love, compassion and continual caring attitude is what keeps us alive and they should be honoured accordingly!

Namaste my Dear Nurses of the world and thank you all for your service.

Blessings of Love and Light

Always

Mark

The Light of God Is Within, Love and Happiness is Within, Don’t Search for them Without!

Published 30/04/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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My Dear Friends,

I was talking with a dear friend yesterday, who is lost, and what I mean by lost is; she is lost on her way in life, she is troubled and holds anger in her heart right now, uncertainty as to her relationship with her husband, her child and her future, this uncertainty and loss of direction has stopped her in her tracks, she is now standing at the crossroads of life with a blank look in her eyes and a furrowed brow and she is finding it difficult to choose which fork in the road to take on her journey of life!

When we sat down and talked, I could see the pain in her eyes and feel that the energy in her body was at its lowest ebb, she spoke of ‘her life, her sorrow and her despair’ and her real uncertainty of where her life was taking her!

Negativity was in each word and each sentence, everything she spoke about and every thing in her life right now had a negative tone or emotion attached, her unhappiness was being controlled by her ego and the negativity was building a wall right around her, holding her captive and playing with her mind, her life and her future.

Deep down inside, in her subconscious mind, her ego mind, maybe in previous lives or old karma attached to her was a deeper problem, a problem that was holding her back, a problem or a past experience, / series of experiences that were now coming to the forefront of her mind and stopping her in her tracks. These past emotions were so strong that she was totally lost, contemplating her life, her relationship and her very future with her husband and her baby!

I listened and questioned and allowed her to speak out the words of unhappiness, her anger and feeling of loneliness, her fear of the future, her fear and hatred for all that is in her life right now, I asked her to think back and think of when these feelings commenced and how she felt when the feelings started, what brought on this change in her life. Questions were answered with negative responses and emotions were negative at every point, the fact that the love between her and her husband had started at the birth of their child, the gap widened, the distance between them as a loving couple became greater every day, the sleepless nights took their tool on both of them, the relationship changed as they now both felt trapped and no longer did they have a life together as a couple, she followed her tradition, she followed her parents, she listened to her friends, socialised only with her friends, she started to lead a separate life away from her husband and her baby was just a part of married life and what was expected of her. She worked late most nights, maybe as an excuse to be away from home as much as possible, she socialised with group friends as and when required but she passed off her baby as often as possible, socialising as was expected of her and playing mummy as was expected of her, but deep down inside was her screaming child, her inner-self, trying to break free of all that was controlling her, holding her down and keeping her captive…Her life, in her minds eye had been taken away, she was no longer that young girl, care free, with no worries or cares in the world, a fun and loving partner and wife and friend to many…In her eyes she no longer had a life, so she needed to break free, break free of these chains that held her down, the marriage that was holding her captive, the child that had taken her young life away, to walk away from her promising career, to walk away from it all, with no plan, no cares… she was ‘LOST’

We discussed love and happiness and she said she has no love, she needs love and she wants happiness in her life, and she needed to break free, to go out into the world and start anew, to look for love, for happiness and a new life….I told her, love and happiness is ‘within’ and unless you can love your self you cannot attract love from outside, happiness also starts from within. Positivity leads to positivity and it attracts positivity, her life right now is full of negativity, she expels negativity and anger and hatred in her words, her actions and her aura, and we need to work on changing this so she sends out positivity, love and happiness, we need to build up that confidence, her child like previous self, one of which was loved by many, the happy smile she once had needs to come back to her face, the furrowed brow replaced with a radiance of love and light. We can do this together, we can make this change, we will make this change, love will shine once again in your heart, you will be happy, you will have a smile, you will reclaim your life, your relationship with your husband will repair and you will love your baby together as a family once more….you will…. you will 🙂

This my dear friends is the start of my friends new journey of life, she has chosen to take the road of family life once again, I will help and guide her along the way and she is supported by the light of God, the ascended masters, healers, and angelic beings at each and every step along the way, all she needs to do is accept that she is love , love is within her, happiness is within her and the support of her husband and child is ‘Always’ with her.

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Shenpa…Attachment and What it Means in Your Life

Published 23/04/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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BY PEMA CHÖDRÖN

Shenpa is the urge, the hook, that triggers our habitual tendency to close down. We get hooked in that moment of tightening when we reach for relief. To get unhooked we begin by recognizing that moment of unease and learn to relax in that moment.

You’re trying to make a point with a coworker or your partner. At one moment her face is open and she’s listening, and at the next, her eyes cloud over or her jaw tenses. What is it that you’re seeing?
Someone criticizes you. They criticize your work or your appearance or your child. At moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste in your mouth, it has a familiar smell. Once you begin to notice it, you feel like this experience has been happening forever.

The Tibetan word for this is shenpa. It is usually translated “attachment,” but a more descriptive translation might be “hooked.” When shenpa hooks us, we’re likely to get stuck. We could call shenpa“that sticky feeling.” It’s an everyday experience. Even a spot on your new sweater can take you there. At the subtlest level, we feel a tightening, a tensing, a sense of closing down. Then we feel a sense of withdrawing, not wanting to be where we are. That’s the hooked quality. That tight feeling has the power to hook us into self-denigration, blame, anger, jealousy and other emotions which lead to words and actions that end up poisoning us.

Remember the fairy tale in which toads hop out of the princess’s mouth whenever she starts to say mean words? That’s how being hooked can feel. Yet we don’t stop—we can’t stop—because we’re in the habit of associating whatever we’re doing with relief from our own discomfort. This is the shenpa syndrome. The word “attachment” doesn’t quite translate what’s happening. It’s a quality of experience that’s not easy to describe but which everyone knows well. Shenpa is usually involuntary and it gets right to the root of why we suffer.

Someone looks at us in a certain way, or we hear a certain song, we smell a certain smell, we walk into a certain room and boom. The feeling has nothing to do with the present, and nevertheless, there it is. When we were practicing recognizing shenpa at Gampo Abbey, we discovered that some of us could feel it even when a particular person simply sat down next to us at the dining table.

Shenpa thrives on the underlying insecurity of living in a world that is always changing. We experience this insecurity as a background of slight unease or restlessness. We all want some kind of relief from that unease, so we turn to what we enjoy—food, alcohol, drugs, sex, work or shopping. In moderation what we enjoy might be very delightful. We can appreciate its taste and its presence in our life. But when we empower it with the idea that it will bring us comfort, that it will remove our unease, we get hooked.

So we could also call shenpa “the urge”—the urge to smoke that cigarette, to overeat, to have another drink, to indulge our addiction whatever it is. Sometimes shenpa is so strong that we’re willing to die getting this short-term symptomatic relief. The momentum behind the urge is so strong that we never pull out of the habitual pattern of turning to poison for comfort. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve a substance; it can be saying mean things, or approaching everything with a critical mind. That’s a major hook. Something triggers an old pattern we’d rather not feel, and we tighten up and hook into criticizing or complaining. It gives us a puffed-up satisfaction and a feeling of control that provides short-term relief from uneasiness.
Those of us with strong addictions know that working with habitual patterns begins with the willingness to fully acknowledge our urge, and then the willingness not to act on it. This business of not acting out is called refraining. Traditionally it’s called renunciation. What we renounce or refrain from isn’t food, sex, work or relationships per se. We renounce and refrain from the shenpa. When we talk about refraining from the shenpa, we’re not talking about trying to cast it out; we’re talking about trying to see the shenpa clearly and experiencing it. If we can see shenpa just as we’re starting to close down, when we feel the tightening, there’s the possibility of catching the urge to do the habitual thing, and not doing it.

Without meditation practice, this is almost impossible to do. Generally speaking, we don’t catch the tightening until we’ve indulged the urge to scratch our itch in some habitual way. And unless we equate refraining with loving-kindness and friendliness towards ourselves, refraining feels like putting on a straitjacket. We struggle against it. The Tibetan word for renunciation is shenlok, which means turningshenpa upside-down, shaking it up. When we feel the tightening, somehow we have to know how to open up the space without getting hooked into our habitual pattern.

In practicing with shenpa, first we try to recognize it. The best place to do this is on the meditation cushion. Sitting practice teaches us how to open and relax to whatever arises, without picking and choosing. It teaches us to experience the uneasiness and the urge fully, and to interrupt the momentum that usually follows. We do this by not following after the thoughts and learning to come back to the present moment. We learn to stay with the uneasiness, the tightening, the itch of shenpa. We train in sitting still with our desire to scratch. This is how we learn to stop the chain reaction of habitual patterns that otherwise will rule our lives. This is how we weaken the patterns that keep us hooked into discomfort that we mistake as comfort. We label the spinoff “thinking” and return to the present moment. Yet even in meditation, we experience shenpa.

Let’s say, for example, that in meditation you felt settled and open. Thoughts came and went, but they didn’t hook you. They were like clouds in the sky that dissolved when you acknowledged them. You were able to return to the moment without a sense of struggle. Afterwards, you’re hooked on that very pleasant experience: “I did it right, I got it right. That’s how it should always be, that’s the model.” Getting caught like that builds arrogance, and conversely it builds poverty, because your next session is nothing like that. In fact, your “bad” session is even worse now because you’re hooked on the “good” one. You sat there and you were discursive: you were obsessing about something at home, at work. You worried and you fretted; you got caught up in fear or anger. At the end of the session, you feel discouraged—it was “bad,” and there’s only you to blame.

Is there something inherently wrong or right with either meditation experience? Only the shenpa. Theshenpa we feel toward “good” meditation hooks us into how it’s “supposed” to be, and that sets us up forshenpa towards how it’s not “supposed” to be. Yet the meditation is just what it is. We get caught in our idea of it: that’s the shenpa. That stickiness is the root shenpa. We call it ego-clinging or self-absorption. When we’re hooked on the idea of good experience, self-absorption gets stronger; when we’re hooked on the idea of bad experience, self-absorption gets stronger. This is why we, as practitioners, are taught not to judge ourselves, not to get caught in good or bad.
What we really need to do is address things just as they are. Learning to recognize shenpa teaches us the meaning of not being attached to this world. Not being attached has nothing to do with this world. It has to do with shenpa—being hooked by what we associate with comfort. All we’re trying to do is not to feel our uneasiness. But when we do this we never get to the root of practice. The root is experiencing the itch as well as the urge to scratch, and then not acting it out.
If we’re willing to practice this way over time, prajna begins to kick in. Prajna is clear seeing. It’s our innate intelligence, our wisdom. With prajna, we begin to see the whole chain reaction clearly. As we practice, this wisdom becomes a stronger force than shenpa. That in itself has the power to stop the chain reaction.

Prajna isn’t ego-involved. It’s wisdom found in basic goodness, openness, equanimity—which cuts through self-absorption. With prajna we can see what will open up space. Habituation, which is ego-based, is just the opposite—a compulsion to fill up space in our own particular style. Some of us close space by hammering our point through; others do it by trying to smooth the waters.

We’re taught that whatever arises is fresh, the essence of realization. That’s the basic view. But how do we see whatever arises as the essence of realization when the fact of the matter is, we have work to do? The key is to look into shenpa. The work we have to do is about coming to know that we’re tensing or hooked or “all worked up.” That’s the essence of realization. The earlier we catch it, the easier shenpa is to work with, but even catching it when we’re already all worked up is good. Sometimes we have to go through the whole cycle even though we see what we’re doing. The urge is so strong, the hook so sharp, the habitual pattern so sticky, that there are times when we can’t do anything about it.

There is something we can do after the fact, however. We can go sit on the meditation cushion and re-run the story. Maybe we start with remembering the all-worked-up feeling and get in touch with that. We look clearly at the shenpa in retrospect; this is very helpful. It’s also helpful to see shenpa arising in little ways, where the hook is not so sharp.

Buddhists are talking about shenpa when they say, “Don’t get caught in the content: observe the underlying quality—the clinging, the desire, the attachment.” Sitting meditation teaches us how to see that tangent before we go off on it. It basically comes down to the instruction, “label it thinking.” To train in this on the cushion, where it’s relatively easy and pleasant to do, is how we can prepare ourselves to stay when we get all worked up.

Then we can train in seeing shenpa wherever we are. Say something to another person and maybe you’ll feel that tensing. Rather than get caught in a story line about how right you are or how wrong you are, take it as an opportunity to be present with the hooked quality. Use it as an opportunity to stay with the tightness without acting upon it. Let that training be your base.

You can also practice recognizing shenpa out in nature. Practice sitting still and catching the moment when you close down. Or practice in a crowd, watching one person at a time. When you’re silent, what hooks you is mental dialogue. You talk to yourself about badness or goodness: me-bad or they-bad, this-right or that-wrong. Just to see this is a practice. You’ll be intrigued by how you’ll involuntarily shut down and get hooked, one way or another. Just keep labeling those thoughts and come back to the immediacy of the feeling. That’s how not to follow the chain reaction.

Once we’re aware of shenpa, we begin to notice it in other people. We see them shutting down. We see that they’ve been hooked and that nothing is going to get through to them now. At that moment we have prajna. That basic intelligence comes through when we’re not caught up in escaping from our own unease. With prajna we can see what’s happening with others; we can see when they’ve been hooked. Then we can give the situation some space. One way to do that is by opening up the space on the spot, through meditation. Be quiet and place your mind on your breath. Hold your mind in place with great openness and curiosity toward the other person. Asking a question is another way of creating space around that sticky feeling. So is postponing your discussion to another time.

At the abbey, we’re very fortunate that everybody is excited about working with shenpa. So many words I’ve tried using become ammunition that people use against themselves. But we feel some kind of gladness about working with shenpa, perhaps because the word is unfamiliar. We can acknowledge what’s happening with clear seeing, without aiming it at ourselves. Since no one particularly likes to have his shenpa pointed out, people at the Abbey make deals like, “When you see me getting hooked, just pull your earlobe, and if I see you getting hooked, I’ll do the same. Or if you see it in yourself, and I’m not picking up on it, at least give some little sign that maybe this isn’t the time to continue this discussion.” This is how we help each other cultivate prajna, clear seeing.

We could think of this whole process in terms of four R’s: recognizing the shenpa, refraining from scratching, relaxing into the underlying urge to scratch and then resolving to continue to interrupt our habitual patterns like this for the rest of our lives. What do you do when you don’t do the habitual thing? You’re left with your urge. That’s how you become more in touch with the craving and the wanting to move away. You learn to relax with it. Then you resolve to keep practicing this way.

Working with shenpa softens us up. Once we see how we get hooked and how we get swept along by the momentum, there’s no way to be arrogant. The trick is to keep seeing. Don’t let the softening and humility turn into self-denigration. That’s just another hook. Because we’ve been strengthening the whole habituated situation for a long, long time, we can’t expect to undo it overnight. It’s not a one-shot deal. It takes loving-kindness to recognize; it takes practice to refrain; it takes willingness to relax; it takes determination to keep training this way. It helps to remember that we may experience two billion kinds of itches and seven quadrillion types of scratching, but there is really only one root shenpa—ego-clinging. We experience it as tightening and self-absorption. It has degrees of intensity. The branchshenpas are all our different styles of scratching that itch.

I recently saw a cartoon of three fish swimming around a hook. One fish is saying to the other, “The secret is non-attachment.” That’s a shenpa cartoon: the secret is—don’t bite that hook. If we can catch ourselves at that place where the urge to bite is strong, we can at least get a bigger perspective on what’s happening. As we practice this way, we gain confidence in our own wisdom. It begins to guide us toward the fundamental aspect of our being—spaciousness, warmth and spontaneity.

Calming The Mind…Meditation

Published 19/03/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

Following on from yesterday’s post on anger, hatred and loving compassion, I thought I would share with you another video by Mingyur Rinpoche. His smile and his softly spoken voice always calm me down and help me with my meditations, I hope he will have that effect on you too?

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Connecting With and Understanding Yourself…. Enjoying Your Life To The Full

Published 26/02/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Understanding Self:

Getting to understand yourself, is an art form that many never achieve in their lifetime, many people believe they know who they are but actually they don’t have the slightest clue!

How often do you shut your self away from the world, and by shutting away I don’t mean going to the top of the Himalaya’s and sitting in a cave by yourself for ten years 🙂 What i mean is; do you switch off from the world each day, do you set yourself time each day to have no interruptions, in a room with just you, no tv, no radio, no newspapers, books, magazines, no phone, no computer,no electronics, no people, no children, nothing to disturb your time with yourself?

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It’s not easy at first, setting aside time in what you probably believe is already a fully scheduled day, getting up, shower, breakfast, dressing for school, work or getting yourself and or your children ready for your day, attending back to back meetings, dropping the kids to school, picking them up, taking them to after school activities, checking homework, making dinner, eating dinner, bathing and dressing the children, putting them to bed, watching tv, reading a book, getting yourself ready for bed…etc, etc, the list is endless, or so we all believe!

We just don’t have any time in our lives for ourself!

Wrong!

It’s your life, you can make choices re your life, you are the master of your schedule and you, only you can make the time! After all, it’s certainly in your own best interest to make time for yourself, your body needs this time, your mind needs this time and your heart certainly needs this time! So why is it we are so bad at setting time for ourselves?….Well, we feel guilty, that’s why! We feel that we are being self indulgent by setting ‘valuable’ time aside just for ourselves,…..Bullsh*t (sorry for the bad language my dear friends)……., take it from me…STOP IT, NOW!, Set up time each and every day to give yourself quality time on your own, start small, it can be 10 minutes per day at first, try this for a few days then increase your time slowly to 15, 20,30 minutes, or even better 45 minutes or an hour, but make sure you set your schedule, set your time, your phone whatever to remind you to go and enjoy time with yourself, don’t give up on yourself, keep the commitment to this time each and every day and I guarantee you will start to know yourself so much better than you do right now, you will have no external influences, just you, your time is your own for you, only you and your meditation, reflections on who you are, where your life is right now and where you want to be, this quality time will enhance your levels of understanding for others, you will be more empathetic towards yourself and to others, your life will benefit from the quality time you give yourself…TRUST ME… give it a try, if you need help, I’m here to help you, if you need help with meditations, just let me know and i will send you some to help you along the way, but please, please my friends…get in touch with yourself and start to enjoy the rest of this life 🙂

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

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Freezing Homeless Child (Social Experiment)

Published 25/02/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

My Dear Friends,

Please take a few moments to watch this short video and think about what you see, it literally broke my heart to see literally hundreds if not thousands of people in New York walking past this young boy in the freezing cold of day with no one stopping to see how he was, let alone offering him any help. Until the one homeless man walked up and offered not only help in the form of his own coat, but also the little money he had whilsy he also offered his advice and comforting support for what he saw in this young boy!

I love the words of this homeless man…“Im homeless too and We got to look out for one another”

Remember my dear friends “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody”!

Let’s together make changes to our world, let’s bring humanity back together where we actually care for one another, where we don’t chase money and things, where we don’t turn our backs on the needy, where we start loving one another and we listen to each other with the intent to understand…

We can make a difference, we can make change happen…but we have to stand up and say…… “I will”

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Happy Valentines Day My Friends

Published 14/02/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

 

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My Dear Friends,

Today is February 14th, Valentines Day, so I thought I would send out this short message to remind you all that ‘You Are Loved’!

Valentines day is not just about a relationship from one person to another but its also about remembering that ‘You are Always Loved’ by someone, it may be a friend, a colleague, a pet or a family member, it may also be that you are loved for what you do, what joy you bring to someone’s heart through your blog, your charitable work, your artwork, you are an inspiration to someone…so please remember

You Are Loved..

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

It’s More Fun Being Compassionate and Kind.

Published 22/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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It’s actually so much easier
and much more fun
Being compassionate, kind
Generous and forgiving.
But people tend to forget this
And wonder why they find themselves
Living in a world which is
Out of balance.

When we forget ourselves
We loose touch with the Earth,
Believe in powerlessness,
Invent a wrathful God
Cruel leaders
Uncaring parents
Rebellious children
A desolate world.

Your relationship with the Universe
Reflects what you remember.
There is no advantage to living in fear.
Wake up my friends
And pay attention.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

The Endless Nativity of Light

Published 21/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Life is eternal and everywhere
Yet remains a quality precious,
Treasured and rare.

Receive the quality of openness and
Know clarity,
Centeredness, and know focus,
Playfulness, and know joy;
Receive the quality of humility
And know the greatness of life.

Without openness there is separation
Without centeredness, interference
Without playfulness, decay

Without humility, the endless repetition
of pain.

Humility is the highest blessing of
Life;
Through it the great serve the lowly
And the lowly serve the great.
In this way the Universe ever uplifts
Itself:
The endless nativity of light.

Namaste with love
Always
Mark

My Way or The Highway!…Or Is It?

Published 14/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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My dear friends,

There are I believe many true words written in the image above. Words that reflect some of the problems we have in this world, where one country believes it is greater than another, one religion believes it is the only religion, one corporate which believes it is the only business on earth or one person who believes they are better than you or I, or one media outlet which believes it is the only voice or opinion to what is going on in our world!

When I sit down and talk to anyone, I use empathy, I listen with the intent to understand, I may not fully agree with everything that person says but I will observe their thoughts and treat them with respect in the understanding that they will offer me the same levels of support and courtesy. This is how I was brought up. I remember my grandfather talking to us children and saying that everyone we come to meet in our lives irrespective of their name, their title, the colour of their skin, their job etc was to be treated with the same levels of courtesy and respect and I have thankfully remembered those words all my life, I still get sad when I see people being treated badly, often on the street, in restaurants, service counters and of course the media, where people think ‘They’ are better and look down upon the people they are talking to (or often shouting at)!

Wouldn’t it be nice for once to have a world full of respect, where ‘We’ as human beings started to actually respect each other, to look at each other eye to eye, to look inside the eyes of the person we are talking to and to see their soul, to connect with empathy and to listen with actual intent to understand what they are saying or trying to say, to reflect on their thoughts and digest the emotions that are shown to us before we respond with our reply.

I believe that respect is a genuine staring place towards world peace, once respect is established, we can foster love, build relationships and live happier lives.

Just a thought…..

Namaste with love
Always
Mark

What Is Your Calling In Life?

Published 08/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Having a Complete Life

How can we live a complete life, an ideal life that is full of happiness joy and fulfillment? The key to this success lies in making the best use of the limited time we have. We only have decades to live, and if we then subtract all the time we spend sleeping and eating, what’s then left isn’t much.

The sacred and spiritual task is the reason we came into this world. These specific tasks are different for each person, but most of them involve being of service to something greater than oneself. People who manage to actively work on their own sacred tasks are filled with happiness and joy, because they understand the mission, and they know what to do.
Their reward is a profound sense of satisfaction.

When they look back at their experiences, the people they have helped, the friendships they have made, they cannot help but smile. They have done a hundred out of a hundred things they wanted to accomplish. Theirs is the complete life, a life of meaning.

The sacred task is your primary purpose in life. I wonder if you have already identified it? If not, look for something that leverages your talents and abilities to serve a greater purpose. It will be a calling, something you are called upon to do. Discovering what it is will be your first step to start living the complete life of your own.

Have you found yours?

Food for thought my friends, food for thought!

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

A Simple Act Of Kindness Creates a Ripple Effect That Comes Back to You.

Published 07/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

My Dear Friends,

You may have already seen this short video, I had not but; I thought it was well worth sharing again because of the reminder of this simple but profound message within the short story. The video certainly brought tears to my eyes and I’m happy that I came across it to remind me of the importance of doing good each and every day. This simple act of kindness like so many others that we can do will help others in their time of need and bring about the receipt of goodness in response to our acts of kindness.

Please watch the video and enjoy the message.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

The Pendulum and the Sage

Published 06/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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The pendulum swings to and fro
From darkness to light
From sickness to health
From goodness to evil
And back again.

It’s enough to make anyone confused.
The sage has found the still point between;
Remaining neutral
He teaches by living a simple, honest life;
He creates by allowing,
He feeds without forcing,
And gives by receiving.

He heals by perceiving
One’s inner wholeness,
Then lets go,
He’s always in touch.

Can you find the still point between?

Meditate on this one my friends 🙂

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Love, Compassion and our Best Wishes for 2015

Published 05/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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My wife and I meditating at the top of the Grampian mountains on New Years Day 2015.

I would like to take a moment to thank you all for all your follows, your comments and your support during 2014 and for the friendship and love you have sent me from all around the world.

Love, compassion and awareness of life and the world we live in is what I stand for, I try my best to promote these things through my blog and my daily activities, it is not always easy, there are often set-backs, challenges and sometimes even extremely negative and abusive responses and comments to my posts, I do however take these negative comments in my stride and think of all  for the love and support that you guys give me which in turn provides me with the strength to continue on in the hope that we can together help make change.

May and I had the opportunity to spend Christmas and New Year in Australia this year, we spent most of our time in nature, meditating and connecting with the beauty and spirit of Australia’s outback, the positive energy, the weather, the trees and the mountains gave us strength and we are both re-energized to do even more this year 🙂

The dawn of 2015 brought about the sad deaths of 36 people in Shanghai, the city where we live, those souls were lost to our world after a deadly stampede on New Year’s Eve killed 36 and caused the cancellation of celebrations across the city. At least 47 people were injured, including 40 still serious enough to required hospitalization, the Shanghai government said on its website. “The stampede — the city’s deadliest disaster since 2010 — started about 11:35 p.m. on New Year’s Eve as tens of thousands of people crowded into the historic Bund riverside district for a light show”.

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My prayers go out to those who are no longer with us and to their families and friends during this time of sorrow, may their souls rest in peace.

2015, what will it bring us?

I do hope that 2015 will bring about greater self realization, more compassion and a greater understanding of our world to us all. For us to work together in the name of peace and move forward towards a happier world where we can all live without the need for war, where we actively work together as one to find ways in which we can bring about the end of poverty, feed the hungry and save our environment from the ravages and destruction of our insatiable greed for more!…We can, I believe; achieve great things in 2015, we are on our way, our voices are now at last being heard, the powers that be are now starting to take notice, we can make a difference, we can bring about change.

I know you are there and I am very happy!

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

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