Why Buddhism is true

Robert Wright, the best-selling author of The Moral Animal and The Evolution of God, has written a new book titled Why Buddhism is True. Don’t be put off by the audacious title, though.

Source: Why Buddhism is true – Vox

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How to Be Mindful When You’re Anxious

woman sitting on floor with cloud above her head

Good thoughts in here! Go to the source for the rest of the article…

Anxiety is not all bad. It can prompt us to take stock of our actions and life situation. It can give us a psychophysiological flick toward taking corrective, repairing action or artfully dodge oncoming peril. In these ways, a certain amount of anxious ants in our pants is helpful—it’s a major component of our in-the-moment motivation for healthy change.

The problem arises when anxiety overwhelms and blocks us. Traditional contemplative tradition refers to a pool of water (representing the mind), with anxious restlessness being the whipped up waters leading to muddiness, a lack of clear seeing to the bottom. When anxiety gets this wild inside us, we don’t see ourselves or the world accurately. We distort and react in order to stave off this internal chaos and we are hindered in our ability to relax into seeing clearly. We have a harder time focusing, and our efficiency in daily life takes a hit. Our brains juice up with the stress hormone cortisol in an ancient attempt to reduce threat, and we’re left feeling drained and depleted.

Go to the source for more: How to Be Mindful When You’re Anxious – Mindful

Change the Channel

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The metaphor I use for dealing with unwanted thoughts is Pandora. Almost everyone is familiar with this music service; give a thumbs up to the music that you like and a thumbs down to the things you don’t like. I don’t need to ruminate about my failed marriage – when that thought comes into my mind, I can give it a thumbs down and move on to the next thought. Perhaps author Rick Hanson says it better:

Sometimes the inner practices fail you – or at least aren’t matched to the pickle you’re in. You’ve let be, let go, and let in. You sat to meditate and it was like sitting on the stove. You tried to be here now and find the lessons – and wanted to whack the person who told you to do this. You still feel awful, overwhelmed, angry, afraid, inadequate, or depressed. Now what?

Sometimes it helps to change the channel, to take some kind of action. Watch TV, eat a cupcake, ask for a hug, get out of the house, something (not harmful) to shake things up, distract yourself, tune out, burn off steam, etc.

At some point you still have to engage the mind directly and do what you can with your situation. But there is certainly a place for respite or pleasure in its own right, plus these help refuel you for challenges.

Plus, changing channels has the built-in benefit of taking initiative on your own behalf. This helps counter the natural but harmful sense of helplessness that comes from tough times, and it supports the feeling that you and your needs truly matter.

Go to the source for more: Change the Channel | Psychology Today

It may be as simple as the old Perry Como song: “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don’t mess with Mr. In-between.”

 

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