(This post contains affiliate links.) I recently came across the following quote from Living Buddha, Living Christ in which Thich Nhat Hanh describes a simple breathing technique that we can easily add to our meditation and pranayama practice to help us to eliminate any negative feelings we have towards others:
Buddha taught, “Breathing in, I recognize my feeling. Breathing out, I calm my feeling.” If you practice this, not only will your feeling be calmed down but the energy of mindfulness will also help you see into the nature and roots of your anger. Mindfulness helps you be concentrated and look deeply. This is true meditation. The insight will come after some time of practice. You will see the truth about yourself and the truth about the person who you thought to be the cause of your suffering. This insight will release you from your anger and transform the roots of anger in you. The transformation in you will also help transform the other person.
Thich Nhat Hanh goes on to tell us:
Mindful speaking can bring real happiness, and unmindful speech can kill. When someone tells us something that makes us happy, that is a wonderful gift. But sometimes someone says something to us that is so cruel and distressing that we feel like committing suicide. We lose our joie de vivre.
Thumper, the fictional rabbit character from Disney’s animated films Bambi and Bambi II, conveyed similar sentiments when he said, simply:
If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
Laruga Glaser’s flowing sequence of arm balances in this video are awe-inspiring. She sure makes my goal of balancing in Crow Pose for 60 seconds seem a little feeble!
Following on from my post entitled Is Reading Fiction a Form of Meditation?, this month I have taken time out to read a couple of books for no other objective than the enjoyment of reading and the pure escapism of immersing myself in a fictional land. The books I chose to read were The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. They both lived up to the hype! I actually listened to the audiobook versions of them on Audible and I feel the narration really added to the experience of both books. Nevertheless, both books could certainly be described as ‘page-turners’ and they had me fighting to keep my eyes open into the small hours, wanting to hear ‘just a bit more’.
The last few months have brought their fair share of struggles for me. I have three business projects on the go at the moment and time is fast running out before one of them needs to start performing! It’s frustrating to put a lot of time and effort into something that seems like it will never pay off. Doubt and fear creep in as time ticks on and I wonder if I am spending my time on the wrong things – putting my eggs in the wrong basket, so to speak.
I have read in the past that most people fail because they simply give up too soon and that one day success will just come, not because we’ve had a lucky break, but simply due to the culmination of our past efforts. This month, it’s been hard not to give up, but I’m learning that failure is simply a step on the (often stony) path to success. I’m clinging to the words of Aristotle,
You have only failed if you have given up. Until then, it’s learning.
I’m not giving up yet. Nevertheless, success needs to come soon!
Following on from number 4, some of my inspiration this month has come from my new addiction to Tony Robbins’ videos on YouTube. For those of you who are not familiar with Tony Robbins, he is a world famous motivational speaker and author of self-help books such as Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within. Choosing a YouTube video to feature in this post was no mean feat as I’ve loved almost every one I’ve listened to, but this one struck a particular chord with where I am in my life at the moment:
Last, but certainly not least, the discovery this month of seven Earth-size planets revolving around the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 was pretty awesome, right? According to Amaury Triaud, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge, this discovery is a “crucial step” towards finding extraterrestrial life in the universe. Three of the planets orbit within the habitable zone and the rocky terrain, composition and atmosphere of these three planets may make them hospitable to life as we know it. It’s early days, but it’s still pretty exciting!