A Zen Master Reveals 10 Fundamental Mindful That Will Make You Much Happier

The only moment that truly exists is the here and now, and that is the key to living life in a mindful way.

With the stress of family and career, it is hard not to get caught up in the rush of everyday life. By practicing mindfulness everyday, we learn to embrace the truth that the path to peace exists only within ourselves.

I came across this brilliant article from a Zen master that goes through 10 essential habits of mindfulness. I’ve summarized the most important points below.

These 10 daily habits to practice mindfulness will help you to connect with the joy and balance that can be found within each present moment.

1) Release Judgment

 

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 This not only applies to others, but to yourself as well. Don’t judge yourself so harshly for your perceived faults. Instead, honor the strengths within you. Remind yourself that there is no wrong way, only another way.

2) Honor your Feelings

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Fighting against your emotions and thoughts will only increase anxiety. Slow down and acknowledge what you are feeling and the reasons why. By approaching your feelings with a calm mindset you can stop negative emotions in their tracks.

3) Remember to Breathe

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Breath is the essence of life, and consciously being aware of your breathing has dramatic affects on the mind and body. Make it a daily habit to stop throughout the day and take several slow, deep breaths.

4) Make Time for Yourself Everyday

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You cannot take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. When practicing mindful living, give yourself the gift of taking time each day to honor your own needs.

5) Notice the Small Things in Life

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Living in a mindful state means appreciating and acknowledging the simple joys of the world around you. Make time for a short walk everyday, and use this time to focus on the simple beauty that surrounds you.

6) Live your Passion

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Live your passion, and all else will follow. Be aware of your emotions throughout the day, and make it a habit to look for the positive in every situation.

7) Smile at Strangers

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A smile and kind word has the power to turn around someone’s day. Practice reaching beyond your comfort zone and share your joy with the world. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

8) Unplug from Technology

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Technology is involved in every aspect of modern society, and the constant distractions have disconnected us from each other and ourselves. Take time each day to completely unplug from the blackhole of technology and spend quality time with those you love.

9) Try Mindful Meditation

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Mindful meditation focuses on the idea that you are not your thoughts. Through conscious breathing and honoring of your emotions, practicing mindful meditation will teach you to reconnect with the present moment.

10) Focus on One Task at a Time

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Multi-tasking is the norm in today’s society, but trying to do everything at once is the opposite of practicing a mindful life. Prioritize your to-do lists and take on tasks one at a time.

Living a mindful life is a simple idea, but one that is hard to put into practice in this modern world. Release judgment as you start to incorporate these daily habits into your life, knowing that every moment is the perfect moment to begin anew.

 [Original Article]

By admin-January 7, 2017

 

 

The Number One Cause of Suffering According to Buddhism (and What You Can Do About it)

[Original Article]

Ever heard of the four noble truths of Buddhism? If you haven’t, it’s basically the four principles of life that govern Buddhism philosophy. They are:

  1. The truth of suffering (dukkha)
  2. The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
  3. The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)
  4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

In this article, we’re going to talk about the second noble truth on what causes our suffering and then discuss strategies we can use to overcome it.

What Causes Our Suffering

According to Buddhism, suffering arises from attachment to desires. These desires can vary from material objects, sensual pleasures or even your relationships. The reason desiring causes suffering is because attachments are transient and loss is inevitable.

Buddhism says that the only constant in the universe is change, and by desiring you are trying to control and make something fixed. Suffering will follow because you are going against the forces of the universe, which is what causes anxiety, depression and negative emotions.

Suffering Ceases When Attachment To Desire Ceases

The end to suffering is when the mind experiences freedom from attachment. It’s letting go of any craving or desiring. This state of enlightenment is called “nirvana” which means freedom from all worries, anxieties and troubles. They say that it isn’t comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

How Do You Eliminate Desire?

It’s important to remember that it’s impossible to eliminate desire completely. In fact, most people that embark on this journey face the obvious dilemma that when you “try” to eliminate desiring, you are desiring not to desire.

What we really need to do is eliminate attachment and desire as much as we can.

In order to end suffering, Buddhists say we must follow the Eightfold Path. This liberation from suffering is what many people mean when they use the word “enlightenment.”

There are eight attitudes or paths you must follow to find freedom from suffering:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

What Are Some Practical Strategies?

Here is a brilliant article from Tiny Buddha on 6 ways to decrease suffering. I’ve summarized the most important points below. If you have time, I highly recommend you read it.

1) Let go of creating stories.

When we experience suffering, we tend to create “stories” about what happens. For example, when we face the end of a relationship, we tell ourselves things like “I will never find someone as good again” and “there is no way out of our suffering”. However, this simply adds layers of meaning that don’t exist within the original feeling. Instead, practice positive self-talk and living in the moment. You’ll find that things aren’t as bad as you think and your reality exists only in each moment.

2) Embrace Change.

Buddhism says that the only law in the universe is change. Keep in mind that all feelings, whether negative or positive, will change. This will give you hope during the bad times, and make you realize to enjoy every moment you can because they don’t last forever.

3) Smile, even if you don’t feel like it.

Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” This is a wonderful reminder that we have more power to change our mood than we realize.

4) Jolt yourself out of your usual routine. 

Whatever it is that may pull you out of your rut, give it a try and see how it changes the nature of your suffering.

5) Soften someone else’s suffering.

Everyone experiences suffering, and it’s helpful to realize that someone is probably suffering more than you right now. Be kind to someone else. Get yourself thinking about others and it will improve your well being.

6) Remember your basic goodness.

“Basic goodness” is a wonderful concept that comes from the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. It reminds us that no matter how chaotic or negative the circumstances of our life, there is a ground of basic goodness in ourselves and in the universe that we can count on.