Category Archives: Delusions

Isn’t it Ironic?

Have you noticed how we spend our whole life planning?

Planning for later, next week, next month, next year?
What we can do, where we can go, what we can buy?

From planning our next trip to the coffee shop to planning our next interview or holiday we are constantly planning on ways to make our life happier. Even right down to the nitty gritty things in our life such as making sure we nip into the best vacant table in the restaurant, get the train seat with a table, or even squeeze in the queue so we get the last piece of cake.

To do
We live our whole life from the same perspective, we are the centre of our whole universe and everything else revolves around us. We don’t knowingly wake every morning and make this affirmation to ourselves but its like a little hidden agenda that governs every waking moment. We devote our whole life to making ourself happy, we probably include our friends and family in this circle because they are our friends and family, so we give them some importance in the grand scheme of things.

We all do this.

We want to be happy so this is the way to go about it, surely?

Ironically, we’ve got it wrong.

As the great Buddhist master Shantideva said:

“All the happiness there is in this world arises from wishing others to be happy
And all the suffering there is in this world arises from wishing ourself to be happy.”

If you thing about it we have followed this view of ourself as the most important thing in the world for some time now, yet we are still not happy 24/7 are we?
We still get irritable, impatient, angry, and generally fed-up at some point every day so we need a new game plan. Continue reading

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Lose the pain.

How many times a day do we feel uncomfortable, miserable, irritated or upset? Stopped in our tracks by irritating things that tarnish our happiness and take the edge off our joyful day.

Do you recognize any of these scenarios…………..

‘I had to wait 20 minutes to get into the bathroom’

‘All the corn flakes were gone when I went for my breakfast’

‘Somebody pushed past and took the last seat, I had to stand right through’

‘I texted them three times and they still haven’t answered’

‘They all went together but I wasn’t invited’

‘I felt so upset when he answered so sharply’

‘I didn’t even get a birthday card from them’

‘It wasn’t my choice of restaurant so I didn’t enjoy the meal’

These may be relatively trivial situations, but how often do we say ‘I’m really fed up, it’s been a miserable day,just one thing after another’ ?

raining umbrella

All these little things rattle us in one way or another, we feel just a little pain from criticism, dejection or irritation, rather than sailing through our day with a light and happy mind. Sometimes situations really get us down and we feel the scene has been set for a disastrous day, our mind feeling heavy already at the prospect. So how can we avoid all this? Continue reading

Becoming the Eye of the Storm

The power of a storm consumes all in its path to fuel its increasing intensity and damage. Everything it touches is dragged into this disturbed atmospheric state, often destroyed then cast aside. The calmest place to be is at the eye of the storm.

As parents we often experience ‘disturbed atmospheric states’ when our troubled teenagers (T.T.) erupt into fury for one reason or another, or indeed when we have other difficult relationships with partners or work colleagues. It is so easy after constant bombardment to be swept up into this angry fury, fuelling it further and resulting in further damage. In these situations we need to become ‘the eye of the storm’, the still, peaceful place in the center of this mayhem. This way we remain calm and controlled and can avoid being dragged into the frenzy, allowing us to peacefully buffer the negative energy affecting those around us.

eye of the storm

How can we do this?  Continue reading

Love hurts (or does it?)

Love is meant to be a happy thing isn’t it?
Hearts and flowers, hugs and kisses, cuddles and snuggles.
From the flush of first romance to the joy of a snuggling newborn: “love is all you need” .
The Beatles were 100% accurate with that line.
image

So what about the painful love songs?
‘Love hurts’
‘Tears on my pillow’
‘Nothing compares to you’
‘Heard it on the grapevine’
Why is so much pain involved in something which is meant to be so beautiful? Continue reading

This toolkit doesn’t work properly!

What is a toolkit?

Toolkit

In the ‘old days’ a toolkit was considered to be :

” A set of tools to be used for a particular purpose”, or

“A personal set of resources, abilities or skills”

In our modern world we now have the addition of:

“Software designed to perform a specific function, especially to solve a problem”

With either definition I think we can agree that a toolkit is to help us perform a task or solve a problem. The skills we have been learning throughout our life to help us survive our modern world could be considered to be a ‘toolkit’, a set of mental strategies for making our way through life dealing with any hardships or problems that may occur and hopefully having a happy time on the journey.

So just for a bit of fun, here is a teeny questionnaire:

( you wont need a pen and paper!)

1. Your partner/relative/ friend is bad-tempered Angry man

and giving you a hard time, do you:

a) get angry and shout louder than them.

b) phone a friend and complain angrily about the situation

c) slam out of the door and stomp up the stairs.

d) decide they are having a bad day and be calm and patient with them.

2. You have had a piggy day / week and decide you need a coffee and cake treat. The cake, though it looks nice is dry, tasteless and unenjoyable. Do you:

Cakea) buy another, then feel sick after overeating.

b) dwell on your misfortune and feel even more fed up

c) complain loudly to the waitress in no uncertain terms

d) decide you are experiencing some unfortunate Karma and accept patiently.

3. You don’t get the job position you were hoping for. Do you:Hungover

a) feel gutted, miserable, get depressed, have a few too many drinks

b) think of all the reasons why the other person shouldn’t have what you deserved

c) feel very jealous and vow to avoid the other person forever

d) try to develop some good feeling for their good fortune.

Now here’s the scoring:

Answers a) b) c)………………………. Score 0

Answer d)……………………….Score 10 points

Results:

If you scored 0:  you are using the wrong toolkit to enable you to live a happy life.

If you scored 10 or above: you have started to collect the necessary mental tools in your toolkit which will lead you to a happy life.

Explanation:

During our brief lives we become familiar with certain mental traits or behaviours which we think will enable us to succeed in our society and establish the  life we wish to experience, we could call this our ‘mental toolkit’. Continue reading

Sticks and stones may break my bones……..

..but words will never harm me.

Right?

We have known this simple rhyme since childhood but how often do we get ourselves into trouble by unnecessary responses to words that don’t harm us?

When we live in close proximity to others, their cute little habits and idiosyncrasies may lose their charm when experienced 24/7. In addition to this when somebody in your family is experiencing some form of stress, irritability or mood swings, their responses and behaviour can become erratic, careless and hurtful.

How great is the temptation to fire a caustic comment in response?

Burning arrow

“How dare he / she speak to me like that” and a million other thoughts flash through our head, before we know it we are verbalizing an unpleasant aggressive response just to “let them see who’s boss”. Continue reading

Any way the wind blows……Part 2

In Part 1  we looked at our own possible reactions to having an unpredictable teen in our family, and ways in which we could deal with any difficult states of mind, or delusions  we may be experiencing, thereby improving our ability to support our teenager while retaining some degree of sanity!

The Buddhist term ‘delusion’ refers to negative minds such as anger, greed, jealousy, impatience, selfishness and attachment, which destroy our peace and wellbeing. However, positive states of mind such as love, generosity, patience and cherishing others, result only in happiness, both for ourselves and others around us.

It is vital not to label ourself with these negative minds, i.e. we are not inherently an angry person,or an impatient person etc, these are uncontrolled states of mind which arise within us. We know from our own experience that none of these minds are permanent, we may be very angry for a period of time but eventually this subsides. Our mind is like a balloon on the wind which is carried backwards and forwards out of our control, dragging us with it wherever it goes. This is why we can feel happy one minute and then maybe sad or irritable the next.

Balloon in the sky with girl

If we choose to label ourself in any way, we are perceiving ourself as something, that in fact , does not exist. We are not fixed or unchangeable, either physically, mentally, or in any other way . Continue reading