Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Analysis Paralysis?

A . . . great distraction at times are so-called "running commentary" thoughts such as, "Now I am not thinking of anything," "Things are going very well now," "This is dreadful; my mind just won't stay still" and the like . . . . All such thoughts should simply be noted as "Thinking," and, as Huang Po says, just "dropped like a piece of rotten wood." "Dropped," notice, not thrown down. A piece of rotten wood is not doing anything to irritate you, but is just of no use, so there is no point in hanging on to it. . . . Nor is there any need to try to retrace the links in a chain of associated thoughts, nor to try to ascertain what it was that first started the chain. Any such impulse should itself be noted simply as "Thinking," and the mind should revert to the breathing. However badly things have just been going, one should take up again at the only place one can--where one is--and go on from there.
- - Bhikkhu Mangalo, The Practice of Recollection

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Toddler Mind,,,

"Discipline" is a difficult word for most of us. It conjures up images of somebody standing over you with a stick, telling you that you're wrong. But self-discipline is different. It's the skill of seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no power over you. It's all a show, a deception. Your urges scream and bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry no stick at all. You give in out of habit. You give in because you never really bother to look beyond the threat. It is all empty back there. There is only one way to learn this lesson, though. The words on this page won't do it. But look within and watch the stuff coming up-restlessness, anxiety, impatience, pain-just watch it come up and don't get involved. Much to your surprise, it will simply go away. It rises, it passes away. As simple as that. There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience.
- Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Don't share your grumbly mind space. OK????

Talking disparagingly about a third person is inviting the listener to share your grumbly mind space.
--Sylvia Boorstein

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where's Glurg when you need him?

Where is Glurg? Does anybody know?

We last saw Glurg sitting quietly by a river in the Mango forest. Peaceful, forlorn, whistfully mourning lost love, gleefully soaking up the mango juice, softly whimpering, thriving on the warmth of new love, and quietly meditating. Yes, Glurg was having a party of attitudes in his brain. Not exactly a roller coaster... More of a mini-putt.

The ideas and feelings start off moving in some direction, bounce off a wall, get distracted by some quirky hump in the landscape, tumble through a pipe in the darkness, and end up 270 degrees in the other direction and a level down.

And nothing changes. Glurg is there. Thoughts bouncing and bumbling on the artificial turf of the mind.

On a good day, Glurg watches the bouncing just as if it were perky colored balls on the mini-putt course. On a bad day... Glurg gets stuck in the tunnel of darkness not knowhing why he is rolling downhill and curving unexpectedly.

Stuck. That's the epitome of the darkness. Locked onto the careening balls and bouncing around wildly, forgetting to manage the trajectories of the mind. Mindlessly rolling and surprised by every bounce and bump in the turf.