Rock climbers do a thing called “projecting,” which is working out the details of a challenging route, or a “project,” until the climber is able to climb to the top without falling. We call this achievement “sending a project,” or “sending a route.” A tough project can take days, months or even years to finally send. I’ve sent a few projects lately and every time I do, I want to celebrate with others. I want people to bake me a cake, carry me on their shoulders and sings songs about me for generations. But after a high-five or two, it seems like nobody cares.
Cheering myself up is not just about making myself happy when I feel sad. It is a core element of the Buddhist path. Cheering myself up is something I try to extend into all aspects of my life by paying attention to conscious and unconscious ceremonies. By generating an uplifted state of being, I am not only growing my own capacity for love, forgiveness, patience and wisdom, I am also better equipped to help others recognize their own basic goodness. Continue reading “Cheering everyone up”
When a friend was struggling with a break-up, I didn’t have a magic potion, but I suggested buying flowers and arranging them on the dinner table. It’s something new, something he would never think to do. But something about cutting fresh flowers and figuring out how to situate them in the house is uplifting. The activity stops your mind, and suddenly the house feels less empty. Continue reading “Cheering myself up”
My dad, who is a long time meditator, told me recently that meditation is great for helping us deal with the difficulties of life, but that meditation doesn’t seem to work when we feel highly emotional. My experience tends to agree. Continue reading “The Stormy Waves of Emotion”
Sometimes my mind spins itself into a frenzy of negative thinking. It usually happens at night, when my body feels tired and the outside world is full of terrors. My mind transforms me into a werewolf. I go down this terrifying path and eventually fall asleep in a heap of fearful trembling. The next morning I awaken without fur or fangs. I wonder what the hell happened and how I can escape my mind when it gets like this. Continue reading “When I Was A Werewolf”