Stepping Through That Door

"Do you like Guinness? No, I've never had one”Sometimes we have an opportunity to do something different, something that takes us out of our comfort zone and challenges our courage. At that point we have a choice to make. Do we grasp the opportunity with both hands, jump in with both feet, or do we tell ourselves that it’s more prudent to back away and take the safe route?

Years ago, when my Dad retired, we went to the pub together, just the two of us, and one of only a handful of times we ever drank together. Now my Dad was a really good man, he stood up for his principles and he cared for his family as all good men do. He was always risk averse, never went out on a limb, always taking the prudent path.

I remember asking him that night in the pub, “Do you like Guinness Dad?” to which he replied “No, I’ve never had one”. It was funny, it was very much my Dad. He would not leave his comfort zone, even for a different beer. Now my aunt has often said that I am “Just like my father” and in some ways I am, and proud of it. But with this opportunity, I’m going to be different, I’m going to leave my comfort zone and grasp it with both hands. I’m going to use all the wisdom, courage and compassion at my disposal and make the most of the opportunity.

On Making Decisions

Fork In The RoadLife is a journey full of possibilities, for which we have to make decisions, and for which in turn, we are all accountable.

Wouldn’t it be marvellous if there was a What-If machine, which you could use to play out each possible choice, see which one worked out best, and then make your decision based on that outcome?

Sadly there isn’t, nor will there ever be. So it is left up to us to make the best decision at the time, and then live with the consequences.

Of course, many of the decisions we make are of little consequence, tea or coffee, red or white wine, vote or abstain etc. none or these will, in all probability, change your life. But there are some decisions that, whichever way you decide, change the course of your life irrevocably. Not only that, but whatever you decide, you will never, ever know how things would have turned out had you made the opposite choice.

When I find myself faced with such a conundrum I chant, and chant and chant, until the possible outcomes are clear in my head, as well as all the reasons for why I might make each of the choices available, that I have identified all the pros and cons, I make the choice, and it is made with wisdom, courage and compassion. Once it’s made, there should be no going back. There is nothing worse than flip-flopping between decisions. It does no good, and can do a lot of harm, so stick to your guns.

Choose Happiness

Choose HappinessIt may seem to be a strange thing to say, but our happiness, or otherwise, is actually a choice we make for ourselves. It’s basically tied to the way we view the challenges that life throws at us.

When something happens, something we would rather hadn’t happened, we have a choice to make. Do we throw our hands in the air and go into a mood of depression, or do we face the issue head on?

If we take the former route, only seeing the bad side of things, the issue will seem to get bigger and worse than it actually is. Our depression will make things even worse, and a negative spiral ensues. This is not a good route to a positive outcome, and even if we were to conquer the problem, it would take us longer and require more effort in the long run. How often have you got into a state over something, only to realise, in the fullness of time, that it really wasn’t as bad as you thought?

The other way to approach things, is to remain calm, look for the positives, and there will be some, rather than focussing on the negatives. A calm mind works better than a frantic mind. Focussing on the positives actually raises our life-state, which makes us feel more energetic and more able to do what needs to be done and meet the challenges head on.

Enlightenment has been described as a state in which we are continuously happy. Now that might sound a bit far fetched, but if we make the right choices, consciously and subconsciously, we can maintain a state of happiness.

To attain the ability to control our minds to such a degree that we make the right choices every time is no small matter, which is why the path to enlightenment is long and winding. But I know that I am further down the path each day, and the goal is worth every ounce of effort.

Decisions, Decisions

Fork In The RoadLife is a journey full of possibilities, for which we have to make decisions, and for which in turn, we are all accountable.

Wouldn’t it be marvellous if there was a What-If machine, which you could use to play out each possible choice, see which one worked out best, and then make your decision based on that outcome?

Sadly there isn’t, nor will there ever be. So it is left up to us to make the best decision at the time, and then live with the consequences.

Of course, many of the decisions we make are of little consequence, tea or coffee, red or white wine, vote or abstain etc. none or these will, in all probability, change your life. But there are some decisions that, whichever way you decide, change the course of your life irrevocably. Not only that, but whatever you decide, you will never, ever know how things would have turned out had you made the opposite choice.

When I find myself faced with such a conundrum I chant, and chant and chant, until the possible outcomes are clear in my head, as well as all the reasons for why I might make each of the choices available, that I have identified all the pros and cons, I make the choice, and it is made with wisdom, courage and compassion. Once it’s made, there should be no going back. There is nothing worse than flip-flopping between decisions. It does no good, and can do a lot of harm, so stick to your guns.

Choosing Happiness

Happiness Is A ChoiceIt may seem to be a strange thing to say, but our happiness, or otherwise, is actually a choice we make for ourselves. It’s basically tied to the way we view the challenges that life throws at us.

When something happens, something we would rather hadn’t happened, we have a choice to make. Do we throw our hands in the air and go into a mood of depression, or do we face the issue head on?

If we take the former route, only seeing the bad side of things, the issue will seem to get bigger and worse than it actually is. Our depression will make things even worse, and a negative spiral ensues. This is not a good route to a positive outcome, and even if we were to conquer the problem, it would take us longer and require more effort in the long run. How often have you got into a state over something, only to realise, in the fullness of time, that it really wasn’t as bad as you thought?

The other way to approach things, is to remain calm, look for the positives, and there will be some, rather than focussing on the negatives. A calm mind works better than a frantic mind. Focussing on the positives actually raises our life-state, which makes us feel more energetic and more able to do what needs to be done and meet the challenges head on.

Enlightenment has been described as a state in which we are continuously happy. Now that might sound a bit far fetched, but if we make the right choices, consciously and subconsciously, we can maintain a state of happiness. To attain the ability to control our minds to such a degree that we make the right choices every time is no small matter, which is why the path to enlightenment is long and winding. But I know that I am further down the path each day, and the goal is worth every ounce of effort.

Decisions, Decisions

The Fork In The RoadSometimes we have an opportunity to do something different, something that takes us out of our comfort zone, and challenges our courage and determination. At that point we have a choice to make. Do we grasp the opportunity with both hands, jump in with both feet, or do we tell ourselves that it’s more prudent to back away and take the safe route?

Years ago, when my Dad retired, we went to the pub together, just the two of us. Now my Dad was a really good man, he stood up for his principles and he cared for his family as all good men do. He was always risk averse, never went out on a limb, always took the prudent path.

I remember asking him that night in the pub, “Do you like Guinness Dad?” to which he replied “No, I’ve never had one”. It was funny, it was very much my Dad. He would not leave his comfort zone, even for a different beer. Now my aunt has often said that I am “Just like my father” and in some ways I am, and proud of it.

But with this opportunity, I’m going to be different, I’m going to leave my comfort zone and grasp it with both hands. I’m going to use all the wisdom I have accrued over the years and make the most of the opportunity, after all, they don’t come along every day.

Positively Choosey

Choosing The Right WayIt may seem to be a strange thing to say, but our happiness, or otherwise, is actually a choice we make for ourselves. It’s basically tied to the way we view the challenges that life throws at us. When something happens, something we would rather hadn’t happened, we have a choice to make. Do we throw our hands in the air and go into a selfish mood of depression, or do we face the issue head on?

If we take the former route, only seeing the bad side of things, the issue will seem to get bigger and worse than it actually is. Our depression will make things even worse, and a negative spiral ensues. This is not a good route to a positive outcome, and even if we were to conquer the problem, it would take us longer and require more effort in the long run. How often have you got into a state over something, only to realise, in the fullness of time, that it really wasn’t as bad as you thought?

The other way to approach things, is to remain calm, look for the positives, and there will be some, rather than focussing on the negatives. A calm mind works better than a frantic mind. Focussing on the positives actually raises our life-state, which makes us feel more energetic and more able to do what needs to be done and meet the challenges head on.

Enlightenment has been described as a state in which we are continuously happy. Now that might sound a bit far fetched, but if we make the right choices, consciously and subconsciously, we can maintain a state of happiness. To attain the ability to control our minds to such a degree that we make the right choices every time is no small matter, which is why the path to enlightenment is long and winding. But I know that I am further down the path each day, and the goal is worth every ounce of effort.

Catching Up

Catching UpHaving a weekend at home has given me chance to catch up with all the things that get left behind while I’m up in Bristol with Bumble. So today has been a day of making good all the missing posts on my blog, washing all the clothes from the holiday, not all fun stuff I’m sure you’ll agree.

But it’s also been great to be able to chant in front of my Gohonzon. I enjoy, if that is the right word, chanting anywhere, as you may have seen from my Chanting in the Dark post. But I have to say that having the Gohonzon in front of me does seem to make it more relevant.

Now that may sound a little trite, but I imagine the same might be said for people praying in church, rather than by kneeling next to their bed. I think it is probably more to do with the focus of my practice, rather than any inherent power in the scroll itself.

Anyway, there is a certain satisfaction in getting the chores up square. It was also nice to be able to sit and watch the Tour de France live without feeling guilty. But given the choice, I would choose spending the weekend with Bumble over doing the washing, and I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear that.

You Decide

Fork In The RoadLife is a journey full of choices, for which we have to make decisions, and for which in turn, we are all accountable. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if there was a What-If machine, which you could use to play out each possible choice, see which one worked out best, and then make that your decision? Sadly there isn’t, nor will there ever be. So it is left up to us to make the best decision at the time, and then live with the consequences.

Of course, many of the decisions we make are of little consequence, tea or coffee, red or white wine, vote or abstain etc. none or these will, in all probability, change your life. But there are some decisions that, whichever way you decide, change the course of your life irrevocably. Not only that, but whatever you decide, you will never, ever know how things would have turned out had you made the opposite choice.

When I find myself faced with such a conundrum I chant, and chant and chant, until the possible outcomes are clear in my head, as well as all the reasons for why I might make each of the choices available, that I have identified all the pros and cons, I make the choice, and it is made with wisdom, courage and compassion. Once it’s made, there should be no going back. There is nothing worse than flip-flopping between decisions. It does no good, and can do a lot of harm, so stick to your guns.

Now I bet you are all wondering what this momentous decision is that I have to make. Well, thankfully, it’s not me having to make it, though it is one of the biggest of all life changing situations. I doubt that the person making the decision will even read this post, but if they do, I hope that reading it will help them come to terms with what they decide.

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