4 august 2012
[17 Near-Death Experience Accounts from “Beyond the Light”
Beyond the Light, originally in hardcover, Birch Lane Press, New York City (reprinted as a paperback through Avon Books, New York City, 1995 – ISBN: 0-380-72540-1)]
2 august 2012
The Shadow Exercise
“Think of someone you know whom you don’t like very much. Maybe you even hate this person. On a piece of paper, write down a description of that person. Write down what it is about this individual’s personality that you don’t like. Be as specific as you can.”
When everyone in the class is finished writing, I tell them to draw a box around what they have written – and at the top of the box write “MY SHADOW.”
“Consider this,” I tell them. “What you have written down is some hidden part of yourself – some part that you have suppressed or hidden. It is what Jung would call your SHADOW. Maybe it’s a part of you that you fear, can’t accept, or hate for some reason. Maybe it’s a part of you that needs to be expressed or developed in some way. Maybe you even secretly wish you could be something like that person whom you hate.”
Invariably, the students’ reactions to this idea are mixed. Some immediately see the connection; some immediately reject the idea. When I ask the class how many of them have friends or romantic partners who fit the description of the “hated” person, many are surprised to see that this is indeed the case. The exercise always leads to interesting discussions about how we project suppressed parts of ourselves onto others, and about why we sometimes choose these “hated” people for our close relationships.
1 august 2012
[At 12:10 am on July 24, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche passed into parinirvana. His death was not only a deep shock, but a truly tragic loss to the world of spirituality in general and Buddhism in particular—well, actually a tragic loss to the world, period. Traleg was one of what can truly be called a genuine Kosmopolitan—a truly universal human who had a deep understanding not only of Eastern culture and practices, but a genuinely profound grasp of the West and its various philosophical strands. … ]
31 july 2012
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
30 july 2012
[What is the one of the biggest obstacles that you can face in achieving personal mastery?
Your mind, your thoughts. Master them, and you master yourself. Then there is little you cannot do over time. Happiness, character, external success – they all begin in the mind. As the famous saying goes – “As within, so without.”
The moment we begin paying attention to our thoughts we discover how unruly they are. We don’t really beat our heart, it beats itself. Neither do we control our thinking – we are being thought. Estimates place the number of thoughts we have each day at 40 to 60 thousand, and we don’t have more than the most basic control over them. Increasing this control – mental labour – is often said to be the hardest work of all. The good news is; even the slightest increase is well worth it. …]
[The world cannot be separated into the good-enough and the not-good-enough. No matter how hard we try to do so.
If you felt ashamed, alone, apart recently, this post is for you.
When I was a girl my best friend was Sarah. She was tiny and perfect. Every grown-up loved her. Her parents kept a shrine of violins, starting with the smallest, tiniest one that she had played on, and adding new ones as she grew …]