Tag Archives: Buddha

Grasping The Hot Coal

via Daily Prompt: Grasp

holding-on-to-anger-is-like-grasping-a-hot-coal.jpg

The quote is often attributed to the Buddha, however, he never said it (see: fakebuddhaquotes.com). It is thought to have originated from the fifth century commentator Buddhaghosa who said: “By doing this you are like a man who wants to hit another and picks up a burning ember or excrement in his hand and so first burns himself or makes himself stink.” Visuddimagga 1X,23. At least the Quotery didn’t get it wrong.

What a great quote! Another great teacher, Jesus, once said “… do not let the sun go down on your anger …” So a similar perspective – don’t hang onto it.

Whichever quote you choose, the point is made, that anger grasped and held is toxic. We know that feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are, but when we hang onto one or another they change us. Science can now show how the hormones associated with anger, especially when suppressed or lacking expression, poison our system affecting us body, mind and soul. Stress, cardio, respiratory, muscle, blood, all deeply affected. Anger is normal in context, but to never express it or deal with it will affect our lives in every way. When anger becomes a pathology, a way of being, a default, it cripples us, and especially because in that way, we are most likely unaware of it. It can be difficult when anger is attached to identity issues, rejection, depression (anger turned inwards) suppressed gratification, bullying and so on. However, we must learn to let go, to set issues aside, to talk it through, to call for help, get a perspective, find a position of empathy and compassion, I find meditation forms very helpful. Anger isn’t wrong, just don’t hang onto it otherwise it will consume you. Besides, who wants to be defiend by anger?

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under life, mindfulness, psychology, self-development, Spirituality

Gratitude

via Daily Prompt: Gratitude

Martin Seligman, sometimes referred to as the ‘father of positive psychology’ is well known for his work on Learned Helplessness and working with soldiers who have PTSD. At the core of his work is a basic principle: knowing and experiencing what it is that makes you happy is the first step in achieving it. Seligman and others have been advocates for the benefits of gratitude in changing stress, anxiety, relationship problems, and more. It’s a rewiring of the brain that is so simple and yet so profound.

But going further back, the spiritual greats like Meister Eckhart, St. Paul, Buddha, all speak of the centrality of gratitude for a fulfilling life. Again there is a basic principle, that once we realise we have life, that we have enough, that we are good enough, there is a sense of contentment and fulfilment in a spirtual sense that reorders our perspective on life. Hence the joy in poverty for St. Francis who surendered great wealth so that he could be free to serve the poor and the outcast.

I have a collection of quotes that I draw from periodically, and these are some of my favourites on gratitude:

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” (Marcel Proust)

“In a normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Letters and Papers from Prison)

“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” (Melodie Beattie)

I can’t say I’m great at doing it, but more often than not I am grateful for much and try to express it. I try to recollect each day the good of it, no matter how small to the mind’s eye (yet huge to the heart), like a single blossom, an eagle in flight, a drop of water on a blade of grass have been a few. I think gratitude does change me, makes me more mindful, less greedy, more aware, less worried. For me the glass is always a gift no matter the level of fluid in it. Imagine a world of gratitude!

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under life, Spirituality