Sunday, 23 August 2015

#717 Many Contemplative Practices

     There's a bewildering array of ways to intentionally go deeper, to experience and engage more profoundly with this amazing human journey (see illustration below). Nor is this illustration complete - missing are the numerous and varied specific secular mental-health approaches.
     All of these paths can help one function better and live a happier life.
     A small proportion of people elect to follow a path until it leads to complete transformation of heart-mind-body, referred to in some traditions as awakening, enlightenment or liberation.
     

© The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Concept & design by Maia Duerr; illustration by Carrie Bergman

Friday, 21 August 2015

#716 How Mindfulness (MBSR) Can Change Your Life

     "Mindfulness is a way of being - a basic human quality of awareness that is cultivated by learning to pay wise attention to whatever is happening in our lives.
     People who participate in a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program, learn through their own experience how to take better care of themselves, by understanding the interplay of mind and body, allowing for greater access to inner resources for coping, growing and healing. 
     MBSR is an approach that combines meditation, dialogue, reflective inquiry, mindful yoga and movement, as means to assisting participants to work more effectively with stress, pain and illness, as well as the challenges of life in the 21st century."

 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

#715 A Quick Introduction to Mindfulness

     Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD, originator (in 1979) of the now immensely popular Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, presents the helpful brief (12min) introductory video below.

     Key suggestions:
               • Practicing just for fun, out of curiosity. 
                          Not to get anywhere, or become anything eg more relaxed, a great meditator etc. 
                          Not to solve some problems you're having.
               • Simply holding this moment in awareness
               • Maintaining a still, dignified posture
               • "Meeting this moment in it's fullness with alertness"
               • Seeing if we can feel the breath (instead of think about it)
                          Seeing if you can surf on the sensations of the breath coming in & out of the body, moment by moment by moment
                          Letting everything else going on in the mind, in the room - sounds, everything, just be in the wings. Not suppressing anything, just featuring the breath.
                          Letting the breath take center stage in the field of awareness, as if your life depended on it, which of course it does, in more ways than you may think.


     See also the superb brief intro to "awareness": http://mindfulnessforeveryone.blogspot.ca/2012/04/113-excellent-introduction-to.html 


Monday, 17 August 2015

#714 Cultivating Attunement

     “When we cultivate our capacity for balance and attunement, 
     we can experience joyful inner liberation, 
     no matter what the outer circumstances.”                                           Jack Kornfield


     "Love is omni-inclusive,
     Progressively exquisite,
     Understanding and tender
     And compassionately attuned
     To other [and] self."                                             R. Buckminster Fuller  [I replaced "than" with "and"]



     attunement:
 
             • bringing into a harmonious or responsive relationship;
             • causing (a person, company, etc.) to have a better understanding of what is needed or wanted by a particular person or group; 
             • becoming aware or responsive;
             • a feeling of being "at one" with others.


 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

#713 Acceptance of Circumstances - Outer & Inner


     “the painful aspects of life, the really hard times … That’s the stuff you work with. … It may seem like the outer circumstances are the problem, but the challenge is actually what they bring up in you – the inner experiences of anguish or sorrow or suffering that they provoke or trigger in you.
     I don’t feel self-loathing and those kinds of intense emotions anymore, but I sure remember what they feel like. I know that the single most important thing for people today is the extent to which they feel really bad about themselves. I have a passion for finding a way of talking about this that can help people make friends with themselves. That requires a deep acceptance of yourself and learning how to accept things inside you that are considered unacceptable.
     Usually we spend our whole lives trying to avoid feeling that ‘there’s something fundamentally wrong with me.’ The view I’m coming from is that we’re actually complete and whole, and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with us. In fact, we are fundamentally good, and we can connect with that goodness. We can move closer to accepting and honoring all parts of ourselves, while knowing that almost everybody shares those bad feelings about themselves. This is just what it’s like to be human.”                          Pema Chodron

        “Connect with the Best of Yourself – An Evening with Pema Chodron and k.d. lang.” Shambhala Sun, September 2015 



Friday, 14 August 2015

#712 Curiosity, Questioning, Progressive Opening ...

     "The path opens up as soon as one's life is exposed as a question rather than a bundle of more or less interesting facts. This questioning is not intellectual curiosity. Zen speaks of it being asked through one's skin and bones."

       Stephen Batchelor. "Living with the Devil. A meditation on good and evil." Riverhead Books, NY, 2004.



 
 Photograph by P. Michael Lovas

Saturday, 8 August 2015

#711 Who Am I Really?

     “Today, we tend to live within an ethos of authenticity. We tend to believe that the ‘true self’ is whatever is most natural and untutored. That is, each of us has a certain sincere way of being in the world, and we should live our life being truthful to that authentic inner self, not succumbing to the pressures outside of ourself. To live artificially, with a gap between your inner nature and your outer conduct, is to be deceptive, cunning, and false.”
       David Brooks "The Road to Character." Random House, NY, 2015. 

     The refrain "I've got to be me", and Paul Anka's song (made famous by Frank Sinatra) "I did it my way" is very much like Brooks' statement above. The question arises: is our true nature simply equivalent to our egoic tendencies?

     A fascinating statement from a senior Zen teacher: 
          "You're perfect as you are.
           Try harder!"

Thursday, 16 July 2015

#708 Authenticity, Safety AND Courage

     Authenticity is an absolute requirement for peace of mind and real life satisfaction. Yet, we rarely express honestly who we are & our core values. Too often we feel that who we really are would be unwelcome - even unsafe, to share with colleagues, friends or even family.
     The mind-numbing "comfort zone" is where we tend to languish. A lot of unhealthy pressure builds up from "living a lie", so we "act out", causing ourselves & others untold suffering.
     A number of "safe places" have been created to allow people to speak from their heart: sweat lodges, talking circles, individual and group psychotherapy sessions, truth and reconciliation events, restorative justice processes, support groups, Balint groups for physicians, etc. But these are only safety vents, not living an undivided life.

      Living authentically - thriving - happens at our growing edge. So it demands courage and energy to show up there. Living an authentic life is all about showing up, over & over & over again, at our growing edge, with an open heart-mind.
     A wonderful example of one person's courageous resolve to live authentically is beautifully explored in the 2014 documentary by and about Lacey Schwartz: "Little White Lie", available on Netflix and iTunes.

Lacey Schwartz - Photo: Nicholas Calcott
 

Friday, 10 July 2015

#705 Love, Love, Love, ...

"Love is the sauce
and
the Source."

Una Nicholson

WisdomAtWork.com


"There is only love.

All else, repeating stories exhausting themselves."

Rashani Rea






Wednesday, 1 July 2015

#702 The Best Defense is ... What?

     The idea that the best defense is a strong offense might explain some peoples' apparent unprovoked aggressiveness. They seem to be yelling: "Don't mess with me, I'm bad!" Maybe fear cowers behind facades of aggressive posturing. And don't we all, to a lesser degree, at least think, and perhaps speak with some hostility?
     So why is there so much defensiveness? Would there be any if we had all received perfect unconditional love from day one? Perhaps behavior is conditioned by all - remembered & forgotten - past experiences. So maybe nothing is completely unprovoked - the present situation may just be stirring up an old wound.
     For me, the most impressive individual is authentic, open and decent. Such (rare) people have dropped their offensive-defensiveness ball & chain. They're able to simply connect directly - one human being to another. I suspect they began with self-observation & self-acceptance, which then spread to acceptance of others. Awareness & acceptance nurtures unconditional love, authenticity & peace.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

#701 Self-talk Drives Us Crazy YET We Cling to It - Why?

     When we first learn to meditate, many of us try desperately to "get rid of our thoughts." No wonder! Doesn't self-talk feel nightmarishly repetitive?
     Then why do we also compulsively entertain every thought that comes by? Because we seem to assume that self-talk IS our very self! 
     IF this internal chatter were "a direct readout on reality," emanating from our "self", then of course we should hang onto it. BUT doesn't internal chatter strike us as irritating, superfluous noise? AND when we have rare moments of mental stillness, peace & quiet, instead of dying, doesn't it feel wonderful? Don't we actually feel MORE vibrantly alive?
     With a bit of courage & lots of persistence, we gradually let go of clinging to ("entertaining") passing thoughts. As we do, we can progressively become healthier.
     Shunryu Suzuki, a highly regarded Zen teacher, advised:
               "When you sit,
               you leave the front door open,
               you leave the back door open,
               and you don't serve tea."


Monday, 22 June 2015

#699 Humility & Mindfulness

     "Some people think that humility is thinking lowly of yourself; some people think it's not thinking about yourself. 
     But to me, the best definition of humility is radical self-awareness from a distance. Seeing yourself from a distance, and saying 'What's my problem?'.  ...
     Success is earned externally, by being better than other people.
     Character - that unfakeable goodness - is earned by being better than you used to be."

       from David Brooks' interview (below) by Judy Woodruff, about his new book: "The Road to Character." Random House, NY, 2015.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

#698 Father's Day Wish

     On this Father's Day, I fervently hope - for the sake of our beloved children and grandchildren - that each and every one of us commits to living more intelligently, wisely, lovingly every day of our short lives.

     “Each of the enduring religions contains universal principles that transcend time and culture. It’s not easy to extract those values from religions that are not our own, but it can be done Huston Smith says, if we see their followers as men and women who face problems much like our own, and if we rid our minds of prejudice that dulls our sensitivity to fresh insights.”

      Bill Moyers: “The Wisdom of Faith, with Huston Smith” DVD, 2011. 



Saturday, 20 June 2015

#697 Choosing to Nurture Wisdom over Ignorance

     At our deepest level, we all know to what degree we're being honestly authentic.
     From this depth of authenticity, we act with innate loving wisdom, increasing joy and decreasing suffering for all.
     Yet, fear and ignorance can lock us into our small selves, small cults, small dogmas, and other self-serving ideologies, leading to hate crimes against our fellow humans, other living creatures, and our environment. 
     So all of us carry both seeds of wisdom, as well as seeds of ignorance.  
     But what determines how we actually live our lives?

     An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
     The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
     The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

        http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TwoWolves-Cherokee.html



     “... I have seen evil men become good and that’s the only miracle that interests me.”                                     Satprakashananda
       Dana Sawyer “Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper. Living the World’s Religions. The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant.” Fons Vitae, Louisville, KY, 2014. 


Thursday, 18 June 2015

#696 Freedom


     “We are free when we are not the slave of our impulses, but rather their master. Taking inward distance, we thus become the authors of our own dramas rather than characters in them.”

        Huston Smith, Jeffery Paine. “Tales of Wonder. Adventures Chasing the Divine. An Autobiography.” HarperOne, NY, 2009.




Wednesday, 17 June 2015

#695 Accepting Ourselves, Accepting Others, and Then ...

     We keep trying so desperately to be accepted, valued and loved. We're acutely aware, at some level, of our many imperfections. And we fear our very survival hinges on eliminating, hiding, or overcompensating for our "defectiveness".
     After a while, we start realizing that nobody is perfect; and that unconditional love is painfully rare. Imperfection is tolerable, but life without unconditional love is brutal. What can we do about it? We know that we can't make others do anything
     But we can learn to accept ourselves as we are, then it's relatively easy to accept others as they are, and then, perhaps, we ourselves can become the source of unconditional love - the absolutely most precious, nurturing aspect of life. Perfection within imperfection?

     “When you came into this world, you cried and everyone else smiled. You should so live your life that when you leave, everyone else will cry, but you will be smiling.”                         Paramahansa Yogananda
        Dana Sawyer “Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper. Living the World’s Religions. The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant.” Fons Vitae, Louisville, KY, 2014.



Public Gardens, Halifax, NS

Thursday, 11 June 2015

#693 Wisdom via Mindfulness

     "In the development of wisdom, one quality of mind above all others is the key to practice. This quality is mindfulness, attention, or self-recollection. The most direct way to understand our life situation, who we are, and how our mind and body operate, is to observe with a mind that simply notices all events equally. This attitude of non-judgemental, direct observation allows all events to occur in a natural way. By keeping the attention in the present moment, we can see more and more clearly the true characteristics of our mind and body process. "                                       Jack Kornfield

WisdomAtWork.com



Wednesday, 10 June 2015

#692 Mindfulness Training & Wisdom

     Participants in mindfulness training programs eg 8-week MBSR courses, often come to better manage their stresses, & thus improve the quality of their lives. However, these objectives ultimately require nothing less than the cultivation of wisdom - which mindfulness practices facilitate.

     "Although wisdom is a complex concept and difficult to define, historically it has been considered the pinnacle of human development.
     (Bergsma & Ardelt) define and operationalize wisdom as an integration of cognitive, reflective, and compassionate personality characteristics.

     (They) define and operationalize wisdom as a three-dimensional personality characteristic: 
          • the cognitive dimension of wisdom refers to the desire to know the truth. This does not only imply a knowledge of facts but also a deep understanding of life, particularly with regard to intrapersonal and interpersonal matters, including knowledge and acceptance of the positive and negative aspects of human nature, of the inherent limits of knowledge, and of life’s unpredictability and uncertainties.
          • A deep and undistorted comprehension of reality can only be achieved by overcoming one’s subjectivity and projections through the practice of (self-)reflection. The reflective dimension of wisdom highlights this aspect and represents the ability and willingness to invest in self-examination, self-awareness and self-insight. It requires the perception of phenomena and events from different perspectives and the ability to ‘see through illusions’. ... ‘one must be able to first become aware of and then transcend one’s projections before one can develop both the empathic skills and the cognitive processes associated with wisdom’.
          • Reflectivity tends to reduce self-centeredness, which leads to a deeper understanding of one’s own and others’ motives and behavior, and is likely to result in greater sympathetic and compassionate love for others. All-encompassing sympathetic and compassionate love accompanied by a motivation to foster the well-being of all denotes the compassionate component of wisdom.

     ... this definition of wisdom does not imply that wise individuals will avoid or suppress negative emotions toward themselves or others if they arise. On the contrary, through self-awareness and self-examination (the reflective wisdom dimension) wise persons are able to acknowledge, regulate, and ultimately overcome their negative emotions and projections without adversely affecting their own lives and that of others. For example, the practice of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation appear to facilitate the acceptance and eventual transcendence of negative emotions and behavior."

       Ad Bergsma, Monika Ardelt. Self-Reported Wisdom and Happiness: An Empirical Investigation. J Happiness Stud (2012) 13:481–499. 

       DOI 10.1007/s10902-011-9275-5 

     See also "Two Paths to Wisdom": http://mindfulnessforeveryone.blogspot.ca/2015/02/638-two-paths-to-wisdom.html




Saturday, 6 June 2015

#691 Engaging Life

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell - don't go back to sleep,
You have to ask for what you really want - don't go back to sleep.
You know, there are those who go back and forth over the threshold
where the two worlds meet, and the door it's always open
and it's round -
don't go back to sleep."

Rumi




Friday, 5 June 2015

#690 Interwoven Flowing

     “aboriginal languages [are] not so much noun-centered as they [are] verb-centered, trying to emphasize not the thing aspect of Creation but rather the pattern, flow and function aspect. … When Indian eyes look upon Creation, they see a much more fluid, transforming and interconnecting reality than Newton ever did, with his linear, billiard-ball chains of cause and effect.

     things [aren’t] separate at all … Instead, all things acted within complex webs of relationships. Whatever happened with one rippled out to touch and affect all others. If you talked about one, you were talking about all, and any point in their relationship would do. … the real essence of Creation lay in what was going on between things. That’s where attention [is required], to all the relationships that bind things together so strongly that a question about blueberries gets an answer about bears.”

       Rupert Ross. "Indigenous Healing. Exploring Traditional Paths." Penguin, Toronto, 2014.



Monday, 1 June 2015

#689 Two Basic Modes of Being

     Is it possible that we can sense two basic modes of being in this world?
     In one, we take a very broad mature perspective on things, not just horizontally - as things are right now for us & everyone & everything else in the world, but also vertically - taking the past & future into account.
     In the other, we have a very young, narrow, self-centered perspective - fearful, exclusively-about-poor-me.
     The first perspective, does include ourselves - but in a balanced, rational relationship to the whole! 
     The second, is completely egocentric. Totally ignoring our human & non-human ecology - the home which gives life to & sustains our very being - is unsustainable & makes no sense, like thrashing one's home during a "party".

     Can we learn to FEEL which of these two states of being we're inhabiting? 
     Can we keep choosing to embody the one that FEELS healthier?

North Street, Halifax, NS

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

#688 Loosening the Grip

     I suspect a lot of us are burdened by an impossible-to-achieve, idealized image of how we'd dearly love to be perceived. 
     It's very instructive & humbling becoming aware of the number & variety of maneuvers we execute to avoid consciously experiencing the painful gap between this ideal & reality. We pour so much of our energy into guarding & mending the hurt part of ourselves that never could, nor ever will be able to live up to others' expectations. No amount of work, dieting, fancy clothes, fancy trips, booze, drugs, plastic surgery, or any other compulsive activity or avoidance helps.

     Could it be that life is not, after all, about perfecting our appearance, possessions, intelligence, wealth, or fame? One of Adyashanti's guiding principles: "to progressively realize what is not absolutely True is of infinitely more value than speculating about what is."

     What if letting go of terrified, obsessive self-concern, is not only feasible, but in fact transforms each of us small, starving-for-love particles, into so much more than we can currently imagine?


Monet's Bedroom

Sunday, 24 May 2015

#687 Worldview AND Behavior


     “To the ‘practical man’ the [philosophical questions] may seem irrelevant. But in fact they are not. It is in the light of our beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality that we formulate our conceptions of right and wrong; and it is in the light of our conceptions of right and wrong that we frame our conduct, not only in the relations of private life, but also in the sphere of politics and economics. So far from being irrelevant, our metaphysical beliefs are the finally determining factor in all our actions.”                                Aldous Huxley in Ends and Means

       Dana Sawyer “Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper. Living the World’s Religions. The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant.” Fons Vitae, Louisville, KY, 2014

Gretel

Saturday, 23 May 2015

#686 On Listening


     “In the city, there are so many loud noises, and here in the country we have church bells. Church bells and this silence. It’s the most important thing: Learn to listen to this silence, because it will tell you many things, unimaginable things, things of great beauty and meaning.”                                 Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras

        Michael Paterniti “The Telling Room. A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese.” The Dial Press, NY, 2013 



     “Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence.”                           Max Picard, Swiss philosopher

       Dana Sawyer “Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper. Living the World’s Religions. The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant.” Fons Vitae, Louisville, KY, 2014.


Public Gardens, Halifax, NS

Friday, 22 May 2015

#685 Shipwrecks, Throughout Life


      An unpredictable number of complete collapses & rebuildings from scratch, of all that we understand to be true about the world & ourselves, are normal throughout life.
     How else could an innocent baby possibly come to know, accept & integrate the full range of her own, other humans' & Nature's ways & capacities?

     "For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like destruction."
       Cynthia Ocelli                www.wisdomatwork.com

          Shipwrecks: http://www.johnlovas.com/search?q=shipwrecks
          and  http://mindfulnessforeveryone.blogspot.ca/search?q=shipwrecks
          and  http://healthyhealers.blogspot.ca/search?q=shipwrecks


Public Gardens, Halifax, NS

Thursday, 21 May 2015

#684 A Bird in the Hand Koan


     My daughter-in-law recounted a Tibetan teaching about having a wise relationship with transient moments of perceived happiness. 
     Consider a precious dove landing, briefly, on your open palm. And the moment the dove starts flying away ... can you truly love it, while letting it go?

     What if the dove's total freedom & happiness is not different than yours?


Agricola Street, Halifax, NS

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

#683 Mindful Awareness - So Much More

     What do these words really mean? Obviously not daydreaming while performing activities requiring careful attention.
     But aren't there surprising similarities between the type of attention it takes to rob a bank, perform intricate surgery, watch a fascinating movie, yell at someone in a fit of anger? Could a fairly young person muster this type of attention? How about certain animals? Have you seen how quickly a crow can custom-design a simple tool? So there must be far more to mindfulness than focused attention. 
     Learning to stabilize attention on the flowing, changing content of the present moment is an important, but partial aspect. It helps us to let go of clinging to the past, the future, to stuff that never was & never will be. But replacing all that with clinging to the present doesn't help much! Everything in the present is also temporary, fleeting, can't be held onto, nor identified with - this is simply the way reality is.
     As we abandon our delusions & wishful thinking, our attention shifts from self-obsession to an open-hearted embrace of the big picture - everyone & everything - the flow of present-moment reality. And everything changes, both gradually and all-at-once.

The Biscuit Eater, Mahone Bay, NS

Thursday, 14 May 2015

#682 How Meaningful?

     As we get older, it seems we try to squeeze more & more things from our "bucket list" into a shorter & shorter space of time - like several "trips of a lifetime" each year, year-after-year! We become desperate to keep busy - clearly needing to remain permanently distracted.
     Is this really the best use of the limited time we have left to live?

     What about QUALITY (vs quantity)? What about MEANING (vs distraction)? Shouldn't we inquire deeply "who am I?" "What is this?" "How can I embrace life most authentically?"

     Isn't quantity & busyness inversely related to quality? Shouldn't we carefully choose what we do, prioritizing only those things that have the most meaning for us at this time of life? Isn't it time to quit trying to escape, but to engage life with an open heart-mind?


Monet's garden, Giverny

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

#681 Enlightened Self-Interest?

     We waste an inordinate amount of our time, energy, and far more than our share of the world's resources, in a desperate, futile attempt to make ourselves happy. Being self-centered at the expense of others & the environment is primitive, simple-minded self-interest. It's very easy to see how foolish this is within a small family, but it takes some wisdom to see its global impact - hence our present-day global meltdown.
     As we progress in our mindfulness practice we gradually become wiser. It becomes progressively more clear that self-concern is not only addictive, but like all other addictions, fails miserably to bring about our happiness. On the contrary, selfishness brings us, and all those around us, suffering. 
     Self-centeredness is a miserable burden, yet, like any addiction, difficult to let go of when it becomes our identity. And self-centeredness is our human default, brain-stem-based, way of dealing with life! Mercifully, a part of our makeup also holds unimaginable potential. One can think of enlightenment as our life journey or path from being a spoiled-rotten kid to a wise loving grandparent.
     The path is rocky, with ups, downs, detours, but with patient, intelligent, persistent mindfulness practice, we absolutely will prevail. And as we pay more & more attention to doing what's right & best for the common good, we realize that we ourselves naturally become more deeply happy, peaceful & content in the process. This is sometimes referred to as "enlightened self-interest" - dropping self-centeredness is, paradoxically, key to one's own happiness.


Montseratt Cemetery, Paris

     

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

#680 Give & Take - More or Less?

     After a business transaction that didn't "go your way", or perhaps someone belittled you, you can actually feel diminished in some way - less than your normal sense of self. A surge of anger too often obliterates more subtle feelings. A swell of urgency to quickly repair perceived losses. We instinctively rush to top up life's vitality glass, which like our blood volume, definitely doesn't feel good enough at half-full.
     Conversely, you feel somehow bigger, expanded, "flush" when you unexpectedly or undeservedly come by some extra money, praise, or stuff. Doesn't it feel, if only momentarily, like you've transcended mere human limitations when you win something? Losing something has the opposite effect - makes you feel very vulnerable.

     So it seems that we have a rather solid, physical, materialistic, almost mechanical sense of ourselves, others & our world. Is an 8 foot tall person worth twice that of a 4 footer; a 350 lb person twice that of a 175 pounder? How about net worth, fame, attractiveness, earning potential, health, longevity, etc? Don't we rate everyone, including ourselves, based on a combination of such metrics?
     Isn't each of us far, far more than a handful of such useless measures? Doesn't it take a lifetime of meditation practice to catch ourselves judging - ourselves & others - much like an animal sizes up a potential mate or potential prey? Isn't this where our primitive judgmental attitudes originate? We're "little monkeys" aren't we? We really do need to slowly, patiently, evolve into our pre-frontal cortices, don't we?


Paint & Rust, Agricola Street, Halifax, NS