Skip to main content

Mindfulness - take care of yourself, take care of your country

Sure there will be a lot of noise over the air waves from now until October 19th but I believe we must not lose sight of the power from within to choose what is in our best interests in the long term.

In Thich Nhat Hanh's book The Art of Power he lays out five spiritual powers - this is the power from within, a discipline to defend our selves from an unconscious manipulation from other powers.

They are:
  1. The Power of Faith
  2. The Power of Diligence
  3. The Power of Mindfulness
  4. The Power of Concentration
  5. The Power of Insight
I have Faith I am a being of integrity and that I have a right to be here. I don't have to be right all the time, or good all the time - I have the capacity to think about and learn from my mistakes and to observe the integrity of others.

Hanh says there are four aspects of Diligence: first - when negative emotions haven't manifested in your mind, you don't give them a chance to manifest; second - is calming and replacing negative seeds (anger, hate, fear, despair) in your conscious mind; third - is to always invite good seeds to manifest (love, forgiveness, joy, peace, happiness); fourth - is trying to keep a good mental formation such as compassion, joy, peace, by nurturing it.

"Mindfulness is the energy of being aware of what is happening in the present moment. When we have the energy of mindfulness in us, we are fully present, we are fully alive, and we live deeply every moment of our daily life."

The power of Concentration can lead to a breakthrough, to see deeply into the object of your focus. If we are suffering some ill-health, say a back ache, we can concentrate on that pain and perhaps link it to an emotional event that we have brushed aside.

The power of Insight "is a sword that cuts painlessly through all kinds of suffering, including fear, despair, anger, and discrimination." Hanh goes on to say that an insight is more than a notion and his key teaching is the insight of impermanence. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

About Humanity

"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.

As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.

How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create…

Creating Chaos

A very important article in The Guardian analyses the rise of hyper-masculinity and the phenomenon of Angry White Men.  "Sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s foremost experts on the phenomenon. - His recent research has looked at topics including spree killers (who are overwhelmingly male and white), as well as the relationship between masculinity and political extremism."

In the article there is a report on a study on testosterone where 5 monkeys are observed. The one who rises to the top beats up number 2 and number 2 beats up number 3 - and so it goes down to number 5. 

"So the experiment is: he takes monkey three out of the cage and he shoots him up with testosterone, off the scale, and puts him back in. What do you think happens? When I tell this story my students always guess that he immediately becomes number-one monkey. But that’s not true. What happens is that when he goes back in the cage he still avoids monkeys number one and two – but he beats the …

Albert Camus: Our task