On Observation

TranquillityThe advent of each day brings us joys and challenges, each of which have the ability to alter our life-state in some way. Joys tend to raise our life-state, challenges may lower it if we let them, and therein lies the conundrum. We need to be vigilant, to observe our life-state from moment to moment, but in doing so, we affect that life-state.

Just as in quantum physics, the mere act of observation affects the phenomenon being observed, self observation of our life-state can, and most likely will affect it too. Imagine a situation where you become angry because something has not gone the way you would like. Initially you may be reacting instinctively, in an animalistic fashion. But as soon as you realise that you are reacting in such a manner, in other words, you observe your life-state, there is a large chance that you will change to that of a more calm and reflective mood, even into a state of tranquility.

So we have this little test for ourselves. We must be, as far as possible, aware of our life-state. Ideally we want to be in one of the higher states, not grubbing around in the worlds of Hell, Hunger, Animality or Anger, but in Learning, Realisation, Bodhisattva or even Buddhahood. The act of testing can help us raise our life-state through awareness, which is a good thing. But be warned, when the results come back, and you find you are in one of the lower worlds, that can be a sobering moment, when you realise that you are not as far along the path to enlightenment as you would like to be.

Failure To Transmit?

Errr Hello !!!Sometimes it feels as though nobody is listening to us. No matter how important our message may be, it is falling on deaf ears, or so it seems. So maybe we speak a little louder, make our words a little more pronounced, like we are speaking to a child, nothing happens.

Actually, we may be right, maybe our message really isn’t getting across, but speaking louder, even shouting, still won’t make people listen. So what is really going on here? Well, the problem is that we are transmitting on the wrong frequency, or using the wrong type of media, or language.

Of course I am being metaphorical, we all speak within a frequency range between about 60 and 7000Hz, varying slightly person to person. But unless someone is ready to hear something in particular, they may not respond to you at all.

We have all had the experience of being in a noisy room, at a party or on a busy street where all conversation is a jumble, until someone calls out our name. We hear it, we can pick it out from all the background chatter and clatter, we are programmed to do exactly that, almost from birth.

So if you want to get a message across, say the name of the person with whom you wish to converse. Then, when they have stopped saying whatever they were saying, or doing whatever they were doing, they will be ready, and most likely willing, to listen to what you have to say.

If, having got their attention, you can deliver the message in a positive and friendly manner, there is even more chance that they will take in the content of the message. If you can actually make those contents helpful to the recipient, you really have got it cracked.

Honestly, This Is Taking Forever

This Is Taking ForeverWhen you are waiting for something, a change, an answer, a decision, an outcome, it can be almost like the world is holding its breath.

Sometimes the World of Tranquillity can be a true blessing, a time to recover after a period of intense work for example.

Sometimes it can be be like the dying notes of a moving piece of music or the fading echoes of the most magnificent firework display.

Maybe the biggest difference between the two is whether you wish for Tranquillity or not.

If you do wish for it, Tranquillity can be the most restful of time, if not it can be like the quiet of the grave, peaceful but not something which you might actively desire.

Winning, But With The Right Goals

Winning, But With The Right GoalsI had a resounding victory today, and my future will not be the same for it. But we must all take care to set the right goals for ourselves.

Set your goals with care. Whether they are big or small, work towards realising them.

You must be serious and dedicated to your goals – you will never get anywhere if you set them on a whim, or just treat them like a joke.

An earnest, dedicated spirit shines like a diamond and moves the hearts of people. That is because a brilliant flame burns within.

If we are sincere, people will understand our intentions, and our positive qualities will shine forth. It is pointless and destructive to be overly conscious about outward appearances.

As the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote,

“How may one get to know oneself?

Never by contemplation, only indeed by action

Seek to do your duty, and you will know at once how it is with you”

Goals are at the heart of our success, in fact they are the Kyo, and indeed the very basis of Kyo Chi Gyo I. Set your goals with care, and once they are set, aim for them with vigour passion and determination in equal measure.

Taking A Little More Responsibility

Be ResponsibleResponsibility, they say, can weigh heavy on the shoulders of some people. But that need not be the case if we all accept that each and every action we take comes with automatic responsibility.

We all make mistakes from time to time, we are only human after all and mistakes are an all too human trait. The mistakes themselves are, quite often, easily forgiven, if we take the simple, and honest action of owning up.

Owning up is a bit of a strange saying, don’t you think? Owning means responsible for, owning a dog means being responsible for that animal, owning a house means being responsible for the upkeep of that building. So owning up to a mistake really means accepting that you are responsible for that mistake.

The big problem comes, it seems to me, when we refuse to be responsible for making, or refuse to accept that there is, any mistake we have made. Being a fully paid up member of the human race, I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes. The problems have always come along when I’ve failed to own up.

So there are two simple ways to help with our mistakes. Think before you think, say or do anything, and if it transpires at a later time that it was a mistake, take responsibility for that mistake before it causes any more problems.

Is This Happiness?

Is This Happiness?Before asking the question, maybe we should ask … what do we mean by happiness?

There may be as many answers to that as there are stars in the sky, everyone has their own idea of what makes them happy, and what doesn’t.

Maybe it is the love of a partner, being part of a family, the pay cheque at the end of the month or that new car you had always promised yourself. Whatever your idea of happiness, we all crave more of it.

We can probably agree that it is all too often a transitory state, punctuated by periods where we are unhappy, or at least a bit glum. So what would you give to have more of this illusive life-state, and how can you go about achieving a happier life?

Well speaking personally, I can almost guarantee happiness from my Buddhist practice. That might sound a little trite or even rather far-fetched, but for me it is true. My practice helps me see life from all angles, the ups and downs, from my view-point and from that of others, and it ‘smoothes’ out the emotional bumps we encounter each and every day.

The idea at the very core of Buddhism is the removal of suffering, and that in itself helps us to be happier. Seeing the beauty in nature, the best facets of another’s personality, the joy in helping others, happiness is there for us all, all of the time and all around us. Living a life that is more concerned with others than ourselves, giving more than we take, and so on, will also bring feelings of happiness. All we have to do is look out for it.

Living in a society that is more concerned about what we own, than who we really are, we all struggle to put those ideas into action. We hear about people earning ridiculous sums, whilst providing little by way of return, and wonder how they can live with the guilt. If society valued the good in people more than the goods of people, the world would be a much fairer, happier place.

Whatever flavour your own happiness comes in, I wish you more of it, now and in the future. And when it arrives, please make sure that you share it around. That way you will find it grows and grows, and that it lasts just that little bit longer.

Just Think About It

AngerNo matter the situation, make sure that the last thing you say is not something, you or the person you say it to, will regret for the rest of your lives.

We’ve all been there, a disagreement or a heated moment, where we’ve said something we later regretted. Imagine if that were the last conversation we ever had with that person, it could leave a shadow hanging over us forever.

In terms of karma, it’s never going to be in the plus column either, is it?

So whatever you may be feeling, however the situation will be left, you can always find something positive, kind or caring with which to end the conversation.

What’s the worst that can happen? It may be the last chance you ever have to say it, so have the Wisdom, Courage and Compassion to make it constructive.

Namaste

On Inner Happiness

develop within ourselves a brilliant inner palaceSuch things as money, fame, and material possessions offer a fleeting satisfaction, something that can be called relative happiness.

However, when we transform our lives internally, when we develop within ourselves a brilliant inner palace, then we can be said to have established absolute happiness.

If we develop a state of mind as vast and resplendent as a magnificent palace, then nothing—no matter where we go or what we may encounter in life-can undermine or destroy our happiness.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

On Setting Our Goals

Goal SettingSet your goals with care. Whether they are big or small, work towards realising them.

You must be serious and dedicated to your goals – you will never get anywhere if you set them on a whim, or just treat them like a joke.

An earnest, dedicated spirit shines like a diamond and moves the hearts of people. That is because a brilliant flame burns within.

If we are sincere, people will understand our intentions, and our positive qualities will shine forth. It is pointless and destructive to be overly conscious about outward appearances.

As the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote,

“How may one get to know oneself?

Never by contemplation, only indeed by action

Seek to do your duty, and you will know at once how it is with you”

Goals are at the heart of our success, in fact they are the Kyo, and indeed the very basis of Kyo Chi Gyo I. Set your goals with care, and once they are set, aim for them with vigour passion and determination in equal measure.

Karmic Recycling

Karmic RecyclingGoing back over our errors,  asking ourselves painful questions and giving honest answers is a difficult experience.

We’ve all made mistakes in life, some more serious than others, but talking them through, trying to explain why you made this decision at that point in time, makes you re-examine your own values.

Our history is set in stone, we cannot go back and make those decisions anew. But we can try to make amends, apologise for any hurt we have caused, and, above all, be honest with ourselves and others.

We can also learn from mistakes, to do anything else would be considered foolish, but sometimes those mistakes are not as obvious as we might think. If you find yourself in a repeating cycle of events over time, it is definitely worth taking a long hard look at why that appears to be happening.

Karma, the law of cause and effect, will be behind the cycle somewhere, so we need to examine the causes and change them if we are to break the merry-go-round of sadness, and move onto pastures new.

Some people fear change, but if life is just not working the way we want it to, then we have to make changes. Embrace the opportunity to make life better, examine the causes that need to change and make those changes whole-heartedly, you will not regret it once the effects, and the happiness, start coming through.

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