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From the teachings of Norman Fisher,
Poet and Zen teacher.

Wisdom to survive in difficult times

Fear and uncertainty mark our lives as we face our own difficulties and those of a troubled world. Yet in difficult times we can discover the love and vulnerability of the human heart, and so much more.



Troubled times are the best times for spiritual practice - for meditation. To find inner relief from your troubled mind the best thing is to just sit down and be present with your situation. Do not attempt to make your troubling thoughts go away or cover them up with pleasant thoughts. As you sit and relax you will realize that your anxious feelings are just that - thinking, feeling. Just realize that these negative feelings are just thoughts and you may be able to walk into the light.
Confronting, accepting, being with negative thinking and feelings, knowing that they are not the whole of reality, and not you, is the most beneficial of spiritual practices - better even than experiencing bliss or oneness if you can practice this by meditation.

Another way to reorient yourself with your thoughts and feelings is to share them with others. No doubt, many of your friends feel some despair as well these days - so listening to someone elses problems will allow you to forget about your own for a while. The best medicine is thinking of others - even if it is only for 5 minutes.

Whatever your problems or challenges, feel grateful to be alive - it is a gift. You exist in this beautiful world with others, with trees, plants, sky, water, stars, sun and moon. If you sit still long enough, and regularly enough you will feel this, even in your darkest moments.

What is really important is to be alive, to love and be loved. Be kind to others, regardless of expectation, losses and circumstances.

Sometimes difficult times bring out the best in us. When there is less, there is more appreciation, more capacity to soften critical judgement and simply enjoy what happens to be there, even if it is not the best.

We have lived in a society of ever increasing prosperity, a naive lust for material goods. We have lost all sense of proportion, and have forgotten how our ancestors lived, and how most of the world still lives today.

Suppose there will be no upward reaching growth of the economy, because we have reached the limits on a depleted planet. This may cause crisis and despair.
Maybe we could learn to share more with others and help them in their needs, learn to cook food, do a little more work around the house without outside help, learn to mend our clothes etc.

Even if the economy will recover to what it was, wouldn't it be nice to visualize and celebrate a simpler life - and maybe even to live it to be grateful for the more basic and beautiful things that it has to offer.
Last edited {1}
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Thank you yoko,
for the very enlightening post.


quote:
Whatever your problems or challenges, feel grateful to be alive - it is a gift. You exist in this beautiful world with others, with trees, plants, sky, water, stars, sun and moon. If you sit still long enough, and regularly enough you will feel this, even in your darkest moments.



Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life, not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

-Kahlil Gibran

*****************


We have been spoiled with all the abundance that the Earth has given us, and we forget how many beings have to survive even in the best of times.

Let us just be grateful to be alive, and enjoy the beautiful living beings on Earth, and every moment that we have.

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  • Bearsmiley
Last edited by Inda
Thank you for the wisdom yoko.

quote:
Maybe we could learn to share more with others and help them in their needs, learn to cook food, do a little more work around the house without outside help, learn to mend our clothes etc.


Maybe we need to go back to some basic living.
We have taken too many things for granted where we no longer really appreciate them.

Love,
Vicky 2Hearts

Last edited by Vicky2
Thank you yoko.

This is a very enlightening post.
I agree, we need to get used to a simpler way of life.
Our expectations have gone out of hand.

Let us sit still and be grateful for all the things that we have, and that many people cannot even see in their dreams.

Originally posted by yoko,

What is really important is to be alive, to love and be loved. Be kind to others, regardless of expectation, losses and circumstances.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Love,
Sue

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Last edited by Sue 1
Thank you yoko.

quote:
Another way to reorient yourself with your thoughts and feelings is to share them with others. No doubt, many of your friends feel some despair as well these days - so listening to someone elses problems will allow you to forget about your own for a while. The best medicine is thinking of others - even if it is only for 5 minutes.


Sincerely,
Gisele
Thank you for sharing this post with me.

Love,
yoko
~~~~~


The nature of our world is transitory-always has been, always will be.Change occurs every second. Breathe in, then breathe out. But despite the interconnectedness of everything, we still have a say in how we handle the weave of the fabric. We can let the status quo confine us to a narrow thread, or we cut through that fabric to see its true nature. Our lessons cannot be learned if the sun is shining every day. And on rainy days, we might share our umbrella with another.

-Michael Shillingford

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Often what I have perceived as a difficult time has turned out to be exactly what I needed at the time. This insight has led me to take a step back in challenging situations and understand that something in this situation is going to be very valuable to me, although I may not know what it is yet. Understanding that the things we fear most may actually be our greatest blessings can be a wonderful path through these difficult times.

Peter Cutler

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  • buddhatall
Last edited by yoko
The western world will remain in a state of economic turmoil for a long time. This is a message someone sent me, and it may be helpful to many of us:


Knowing and understanding your problem is part of having a financial plan. Establish a budget. Cut out extranenous things you don't need. You need to tighten your belt to hold onto what little bit you are making. This is another way of being able to control your financial freedom, while you aren't able to control the world.

Last edited by Sue 1
Thank you Sue for the good advice.

Erring and Erring, We
Walk the Unerring Path

If we use them as opportunities to work with our mind, all our mistakes, confusion, and difficulties become an unerring path of awakening. This says The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is the essence of the Buddha's wisdom for difficult times.

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Last edited by yoko

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life, not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

-Kahlil Gibran

***************************************

Thank you yoko for this original post.

What is really important is to be alive, to love and be loved. Be kind to others, regardless of expectation, losses and circumstances.

Troubled times are the best times for spiritual practice - for meditation. To find inner relief from your troubled mind the best thing is to just sit down and be present with your situation. Do not attempt to make your troubling thoughts go away or cover them up with pleasant thoughts. As you sit and relax you will realize that your anxious feelings are just that - thinking, feeling. Just realize that these negative feelings are just thoughts and you may be able to walk into the light.
Confronting, accepting, being with negative thinking and feelings, knowing that they are not the whole of reality, and not you, is the most beneficial of spiritual practices - better even than experiencing bliss or oneness if you can practice this by meditation.

Another way to reorient yourself with your thoughts and feelings is to share them with others. No doubt, many of your friends feel some despair as well these days - so listening to someone elses problems will allow you to forget about your own for a while. The best medicine is thinking of others - even if it is only for 5 minutes.

Whatever your problems or challenges, feel grateful to be alive - it is a gift. You exist in this beautiful world with others, with trees, plants, sky, water, stars, sun and moon. If you sit still long enough, and regularly enough you will feel this, even in your darkest moments.

What is really important is to be alive, to love and be loved. Be kind to others, regardless of expectation, losses and circumstances.

Sometimes difficult times bring out the best in us. When there is less, there is more appreciation, more capacity to soften critical judgement and simply enjoy what happens to be there, even if it is not the best.

We have lived in a society of ever increasing prosperity, a naive lust for material goods. We have lost all sense of proportion, and have forgotten how our ancestors lived, and how most of the world still lives today.

Suppose there will be no upward reaching growth of the economy, because we have reached the limits on a depleted planet. This may cause crisis and despair.
Maybe we could learn to share more with others and help them in their needs, learn to cook food, do a little more work around the house without outside help, learn to mend our clothes etc.

Even if the economy will recover to what it was, wouldn't it be nice to visualize and celebrate a simpler life - and maybe even to live it to be grateful for the more basic and beautiful things that it has to offer.

_________________________________________________________________________

Thank you again yoko for these wise words.

Last edited by Sue 1

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