Friday, June 19, 2020

Beyond Fame and Disgrace

E·qua·nim·i·ty: noun; mental calmness,
composure, and evenness of temper,
especially in a difficult situation.
“Equanimity is bigger than our usual limited perspective,” wrote Pema Chödrön in The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times.
“That we hope to get what we want and fear losing what we have — this describes our habitual predicament. The Buddhist teachings identify eight variations on this tendency to hope and fear: pleasure and pain, praise and blame, gain and loss, fame and disgrace. As long as we’re caught at one of these extremes, the potential for the other is always there. They just chase each other around.
“No lasting happiness comes from being caught in this cycle of attraction and aversion. We can never get life to work out so that we eliminate everything we fear and end up with all the goodies. Therefore the warrior-bodhisattva cultivates equanimity, the vast mind that doesn’t narrow reality into for and against, liking and disliking.
“To cultivate equanimity, we practice catching ourselves when we feel attraction or aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity. We train in staying with the soft spot and use our biases as stepping-stones for connecting with the confusion of others. Strong emotions are useful in this regard. Whatever arises, no matter how bad it feels, can be used to extend our kinship to others who suffer the same kind of aggression or craving — who just like us, get hooked by hope or fear. This is how we come to appreciate that everyone’s in the same boat. We all desperately need more insight into what leads to happiness and what leads to pain.”

Friday, June 5, 2020

Why So Furious?

Let's not discount the appeal of pure racism to knuckle-draggers. Some can be happy being miserable as long as they are told they are superior to "the Others" whom they're planning to make MORE miserable.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Fox News: A Plague in Its Own Right

People get confused. Fox News is not there to provide information. Fox News is there to validate ignorance.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Container for Fear and Frustration

“The key to the transformational potential of bare attention lies in the deceptively simply injunction to separate out one’s reactions from the core events themselves,” wrote Mark Epstein in his book  Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective.
“Much of the time, it turns out, our everyday minds are in a state of reactivity. We take this for granted, we do not question our automatic identification with our reactions, and we experience ourselves at the mercy of an often hostile or frustrating outside world or an overwhelmingly or frightening inner one. With bare attention, we move from this automatic identification with our fear or frustration to a vantage point from which the fear or frustration is attended to with the same dispassionate interest as anything else.
“There is enormous freedom to be gained from such a shift. Instead of running from difficult emotions (or hanging on to enticing ones), the practitioner or bare attention becomes able to contain any reaction; making space for it, but not completely identifying with it because of the concomitant presence of nonjudgmental awareness.”
(Emphasis added)

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Trump Pegs the Meter on Stupidity

Trumpolini and his lunatic Dunning-Kruger mob are a direct threat to human civilization, and most of them are too stupid to know it.