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A Practice

Here lies a list

From which I try to exist.

Forever unfinished and unperfected

Like Napoleon Bonaparte resurrected.

  • Only say what is true, don’t exaggerate or speculate.

  • Only seek what is true.

  • Slow down. Be patient. Always take your time. When we slow down, we’re better able to lead a life of compassion. Rarely does anything require you to “rush”. Be mindful of this.

  • Be kind (to yourself and others).

  • Be forgiving (of yourself and others).

  • Compassion.

  • Self-discipline.

  • Awareness.

  • Remember to be compassionate towards yourself. What would you say to a friend who was uncomfortable, anxious, or not feeling well? Treat yourself no different. To be a good friend to others, we must learn to be a good friend to ourselves. So easy to forget this.

  • And when need be, give yourself a hug, a pat on the back, or a (figurative or literal) gentle holding of the hand.

  • If anger arises, remember to breathe.

  • Have a learner’s mindset.

  • Accept and even embrace when you’re wrong. It means you're growing.

  • Understand that suffering is a necessary part of life. You can never fully escape what is out of your control. But most suffering is unnecessary. Be compassionate towards others suffering. Be kind to your own.

  • Laugh often.

  • Laugh at yourself often.

  • Smile often.

  • Smile to yourself often.

  • Able to smile when in true awareness.

  • Thich Nhat Hanh.

  • His books:

  • Peace is Every Step.

  • The Art of Living.

  • Old Path White Clouds.

  • Living Buddha, Living Christ.

  • The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

  • Every aspect of life is a practice toward greater awareness. Embrace it all. Embrace the journey we’re all on together.

  • Laugh at yourself often.

  • Rule #6. (Don’t take yourself so damn seriously) from The Art of Possibility

  • Meditate.

  • Discern a wholesome (healthy) desire from the alternative.

  • Remember the fleeting pleasure from chasing most sensual desires. Keep in your heart that which is wholesome—that which brings lasting joy.

  • Know your mortality.

  • Meditate on mortality.

  • Meditate on impermanence.

  • Try to listen more than you talk.

  • Pick your words carefully. When speaking, slow down. Our words are windows to our souls. Try to keep yours clean. Try to keep it true.

  • Breathe. Fill the belly and feel it expand. Release the air and feel it contract.

  • Remember what Thich Nhat Hanh said about our emotions and to imagine them as if we were a tree. The wind may blow the branches about, but if we go into the trunk of the tree, it is stable, and calm. The trunk is our belly breathing. Go back to it when we feel as if we're swaying in the branches.

  • Remember that everything worth doing in life is a practice—compassion, empathy, understanding, love, etc.

  • Even watching Television is a practice towards virtue. Always maintain your breath. Always hold tight to the path.

  • Remember how you practice equanimity when you now watch the sports teams you grew up rooting for. It is a great spiritual practice to feel the primal instinct of tribalism. see the microcosm within such sports, and the "die hard" fans who root so vehemently. See the bigger picture. Breathe as you watch, and see deeply. Train your mind, rather than just numbing it, and giving in to the lesser angels of your nature.

  • The enemy of good is perfect.

  • Always look for ways to help others. The joy we feel from helping others far surpasses any selfish endeavor. Bringing others joy is the key to a joyful world. each act, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, has the power to alleviate the suffering in others. Think on your own journey with suffering. Think on how you’ve received so much help.

  • Be compassionate to all living creatures. Even bugs. This is a challenge, and like all else, a practice. Be kind to your progression. Do your best. Find what your best is.

  • Be realistic about expectations. An example is golf. Golf is a great activity to practice staying grounded with reality. Tiger Woods spent endless hours practicing his craft. His greatness was a product of hard work. Never lose sight of the path by only focusing on the goal.

  • Be mindful of distracting your mind. Too much distraction from true understanding and awareness always creates the conditions for unnecessary suffering.

  • Dalai Lama.

  • Desmond Tutu.

  • The Book of Joy.

  • Marcus Aurelius.

  • Meditations.

  • Write daily.

  • Express gratitude to those you’re grateful for.

  • Keep a gratitude list.

  • Notice when others do good.

  • Notice when others are kind.

  • Notice.

  • Appreciate the small things.

  • Know that thoughts aren’t reality, just warped interpretations of it.

  • Nobody can take your freedom. It is within.

  • Nelson Mandela.

  • Peace and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.

  • Think about the mothers who forgave the murderers of their children.

  • Depression, as with all else, is only temporary.

  • River visualization.

  • They’re all just like you, trying to be happy and avoid suffering unnecessarily.

  • Monty’s life is short, relatively speaking to your own life. Treat him well.

  • Your life is short, relatively speaking to life itself. Treat yourself well.

  • Be able to hold opposing ideas at the same time.

  • Seek to unite those who oppose one another.

  • Separateness is pain.

  • The divided always fall.

  • Embrace vulnerability.

  • Brene Brown.

  • Equanimity.

  • Eat right or feel wrong.

  • Understand that strong emotions are just sensations in the body. Able to be felt. Able to discern as temporary and non-threatening to our survival, though they may seem otherwise without awareness.

  • Be aware of dopamine triggers. Sex. Pleasure. Food. Distraction. Cheap thrills.

  • Practice self-control.

  • Gaze at trees.

  • Smell flowers.

  • Notice the seasons change.

  • Be grateful for your health. So many have it worse.

  • Read or listen to inspiration to start each day.

  • Be content with what you have.

  • Know you do not need much. Compassion, empathy, and love is enough.

  • Seek truth.

  • There’s no pleasure without pain.

  • Enrich and absorb positive experiences.

  • Aim for less “I, me, my”.

  • Aim for more “we & us”.

  • It’s ok to take your time.

  • Better yet--take your time.

  • Notice when your batteries are low. If you’re run down, overworked, or exhausted. You’re less good towards others and yourself when this occurs. Be mindful and notice the signs. And then rest. It’s ok to rest. Even if there’s seemingly “so much to do” or others are asking much of you. Only you know how you feel. Notice it and take care of yourself in kind.

  • Remember the feeling when you ran through The Woodlands for the first time.

  • Smile to your fellow man and woman.

  • Smile to yourself.

  • Smile to those who aren’t smiling. They may need a smile the most.

  • At every stoplight you come to, practice awareness of the light changing. When noticing the light turn green, take a breath, filling your belly with air, then gently release it. Then happily, and peacefully, drive on.

To live deeply,

we must love deeply.

To love deeply,

we must understand.


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