Archive for July, 2007

Slowing down

We often have a tendency to pack our lives full of stuff. We continuously obsess over hundreds of goals, or obsess over one goal in hundreds of ways. There is always so much we want to do, or feel that we have to do. Our minds are constantly at work thinking of ways to get happiness, or ways to avoid pain. Yet despite this excess of mental activity, often we seem to just go around in circles, getting nowhere.

Perhaps the solution is to simply slow down. Do we need to be in such a rush? If our minds are never at rest, and we can barely finish one activity before starting the next, how can we ever get anywhere? We may be moving very fast, but this is useless unless we have the clarity to know where we are going. What would happen if we just calmed down, did one thing at a time, stopped to rest, and took a break from that endless chatter inside our heads?

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Holding a peaceful mind

We have previously discussed the value of a peaceful mind. How do we go about this? First, I think our natural state is one of peace. Thus, a peaceful mind does not require doing anything. It just consists of just letting go of anything that disturbs it.

There are two approaches here, the negative and the positive. The negative approach is to ruthlessly police all these anxieties and discontentments, and instruct the mind to drop them immediately! This approach seems flawed. It is like fighting fire with fire. Policing your unpeaceful thoughts will probably just continue disturbing your peace.

I prefer the positive approach, which is to actively cultivate peaceful thoughts We can do this regardless of our state of mind. In times of both peace and unrest, always go about cultivating contentment, patience, and understanding. When this is done habitually, the mind becomes stronger and clearer. Those anxieties that use to plague us seem less important, easier to deal with, and life is one of joy and peace.

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