Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve

and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Power of keeping Quiet

Photo by Retha Ferguson

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

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Whatever Transformative Experience , Questions emerge often clamoring for Attention

“We are like a chick, afraid to break through
the ever-so-thin shell of the
already outgrown and painfully confining egg.”

Whatever Transformative Experience , Questions emerge often clamoring for Attention:

Who am I beyond the functions I’ve served?

Where have my past habits of body and mind, enacted throughout the decades of my life, led me in terms of peace and happiness?

Who am I when the habits of a lifetime are stripped away?

Who am I beyond the persona I’ve presented to the world and to myself? Who am I, bare?

 What really matters at this point in my life?

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beginning to see yourself as you are now…

You can’t make radical changes in the pattern of your life until you begin to see yourself exactly as you are now. As soon as you do that, changes will flow naturally. You don’t have to force anything, struggle, or obey rules dictated to you by some authority. It is automatic; you just change. But arriving at that initial insight is quite a task. You have to see who you are and how you are without illusion, judgment, or resistance of any kind.

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The Art of Transforming Suffering

Releasing the Arrow
by Thich Nhat Hanh from No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

There is a Buddhist teaching found in the Sallatha Sutta, known as The Arrow. It says if an arrow hits you, you will feel pain in that part of your body where the arrow hit; and then if a second arrow comes and strikes exactly at the same spot, the pain will not be only double, it will become at least ten times more intense.

The unwelcome things that sometimes happen in life—being rejected, losing a valuable object, failing a test, getting injured in an accident—are analogous to the first arrow. They cause some pain. The second arrow, fired by our own selves, is our reaction, our storyline, and our anxiety. All these things magnify the suffering. Many times, the ultimate disaster we’re ruminating upon hasn’t even happened. We may worry, for example, that we have cancer and that we’re going to die soon. We don’t know, and our fear of the unknown makes the pain grow even bigger.

The second arrow may take the form of judgment (“how could I have been so stupid?”), fear (“what if the pain doesn’t go away?”), or anger (“I hate that I’m in pain. I don’t deserve this!”). We can quickly conjure up a hell realm of negativity in our minds that multiplies the stress of the actual event, by ten times or even more. Part of the art of suffering well is learning not to magnify our pain by getting carried away in fear, anger, and despair. We build and maintain our energy reserves to handle the big sufferings; the little sufferings we can let go.

 

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coping mechanisms

A range of coping mechanisms anyone can call upon – 

• Get enough rest and sleep.
• Make time for yourself every day to be alone and quiet.
• Make sure you get outside to refresh your connection to nature.
• Maintain an active life—don’t be chained to the situation.
Share duties and responsibilities. Ask for help before you feel overwhelmed.
• Pursue a regular routine—this helps offset unpredictable events.
• Find an activity that makes you feel in control.
Find a confidant with whom you can share your feelings without judgment.Don’t martyr yourself by taking on more than you can handle.
• Fight the urge to feel victimized.
Don’t isolate yourself—keep up your social activity.
• Seek out people in the same situation who can empathize with you and offer positive support.
Resist self-judgment. Be easy on yourself, accepting the ups and downs of emotions as natural.
Where there is the possibility of finding joy, pause to appreciate it.

The Healing Self: A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life
Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi

Far more important than what you are listening to is the act of listening itself

True listening is another way of bringing stillness into the relationship. When you truly listen to someone, the dimension of stillness arises and becomes an essential part of the relationship. But true listening is a rare skill. Usually, the greater part of a person’s attention is taken up by their thinking. At best, they may be evaluating your words or preparing the next thing to say. Or they may not be listening at all, lost in their own thoughts. Continue reading