The Paradox of Our Age

30 11 2009

 

I read a quote from the Dalai Lama today, and was struck by its relevance. It really makes you think.

The point I got from it was that each and every one of us has the choice – every day, week, month and year – whether to make our world a better, more relational, more humane and openhearted place… or to make it more closed off, colder, and less like we would want it to be.

Both history and our own personal experience show that our world is not in a fixed state – it is rather an aggregate of people just like ourselves, and is constantly in flux. What will our society look like in 30 years time? The challenging answer to this is that it will be determined largely by OUR priorities, the day to day decisions we make to reflect those priorities, and the responses we give to those around us. “Those around us include not only family and friends, but also complete strangers. Consider that our actions toward strangers may be even more significant in shaping our society and culture (interesting thought?).

Enjoy… and reflect.

Quinton

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The Paradox of Our Age

We have bigger houses but smaller families;

more conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense;

more knowledge, but less judgment,

more experts, but more problems;

more medicines, but less healthiness;

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,

but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.

We built more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever,

but have less communication;

We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;

Tall man but short character;

Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It’s a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.

14th Dalai Lama





Free your mind – let it be

12 11 2009

free_your_mind_small 

I found this article while browsing SuccessConsciousness.com – a great site full of thought-provoking articles and resources. One of the realities of life is that, if we don’t live intentionally, deliberately, we won’t get very far. Life is a verb more than a noun, in the sense that it is not a placid state, but a “thing” that is always “happening” – no matter where we are at in life, we and our circumstances are undergoing some kind of transformation! The key to actions is found in your thoughts – so if you want to act and live deliberately, then you need to first learn to THINK deliberately. This involves, sometimes, choosing what to think and what not to think. A very challenging task in the age of multi-media information overload! Enjoy the article.

Quinton

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– Are you aware of the thoughts that pass through your mind?

– Do you remember what you thought a few minutes ago?

– Do you know how many thoughts pass through your mind in 24 hours?

– Do all your thoughts originate in your mind? Are they your own thoughts or other people’s thoughts that you think are your own thoughts?

Thinking is very useful in every area of life, but people go too far with it. It has turned into some sort of slavery. Instead of thinking on what you want, when you want, you think all the time, every hour of the day. Every word you hear, everything you see brings thoughts to your mind. The mind is always busy, most of the time thinking meaningless thoughts as a reaction to external stimulus.

People have lost the ability to stop thinking when they don’t need to. Thoughts come and go whenever they want, distracting the attention, spoiling concentration, and keeping the mind in a state of endless mental activity. It is like a machine that is never switched off.

Many of these thoughts are negative, causing anxiety and worries, wasting one’s time and energy.

Instead of using thoughts to help in your affairs, you are being used by thoughts. They take your time and they take your energy, without giving you anything in return. They constantly produce noise in your mind, preventing you from experiencing real inner peace.

Are you able to stop thinking negative thoughts? Are you able to stop all those thoughts that keep moving your attention from one thing to another? Do you keep worrying, and do you expect the worst? Does your mind keep busy with what someone said about you, and do you keep thinking how life is bad for you, because someone at work got promoted, and you were not?

 

Do you keep thinking about other matters while studying, talking with someone, driving your car or travelling by bus or train?

You deserve to give your mind some rest, at least for some moments during the day. You can learn to resist the temptation to be always thinking. When thoughts stop for a little while you don’t lose consciousness! You become more conscious and more aware. You become more alive. The mind is afraid to stop thinking, afraid of what will happen if it becomes quiet. There is great peace and happiness inside, but constant thinking hides it, like the clouds hide the sun.

When the number of thoughts go down, there is no vacuum, instead of the mind’s activity, there will be inner peace and inner happiness, which can be experienced even in the midst of activity, at work, at home and everywhere else.

Here is a basic exercise that will help you learn about the process of thinking:

Stop what you are doing, and for ten minutes watch your thoughts. You don’t have to be alone in practice this exercise. you can practice it at your work, in a park, at home, or wherever you happen to be, but not while driving.

For this exercise you don’t need to relax your body, sit in a certain pose or breath in a special way.

All you have to do is try to be aware of your thoughts, and find out where they came and how. Don’t analyze them, just watch the process, how they arise in your mind, and how they change or are being replaced by other thoughts. You will be surprised to discover that many of them arise as a reaction to events, environment or other people’s words or thoughts. Some of these thoughts that arise automatically in certain circumstances, triggered by certain people, events or other external stimuli.

After going through this exercise, I want to ask you, are you free? Is your mind free? Do you experience inner peace or a state of endless thinking, often unaware of what you think? Do you choose your thoughts?