Tag Archives: compassion

Every Barking Dog is an Opportunity to Practice

I am very blessed to be able to live in a wonderful wooded setting so near a great town like Chapel Hill. As I was walking the two dogs that live next door would bark at me as I neared their house and keep barking for most of my circuit of about 1/5 mile…I noticed that I was feeling really tense and agitated by their barking…So I decided to change my thinking about it…Tonglen is a compassionate practice of taking on the suffering of someone who is hurting whom you wish to help…

Being Ruthless about Life when Bad Things Happen

Recently, I’ve had a number of clients and friends go through what most would consider personal hardships or even tragedies. Whether losing a job or a loved one or being diagnosed with a serious illness, these are things that we are rarely prepared to deal with. And you can’t really prepare for them when things occur with little or no warning.

When someone we know is going through a difficult time, it’s hard to know what to do or say. Our impulse is to try to make it better, but that is not the best direction to take,…

Two Year Olds are Too Young for Weapons of Mass Destruction

It dawned on me that when it comes to technology we are like two year olds.

Those of you who have children remember that wonderful time. We call it the “terrible twos” because that’s when they get to have tantrums about what we’re not letting them do. These tantrums are often because a two year old is more advanced physically than she is mentally and emotionally. A two year old might be able to climb onto the kitchen counter to get a knife, but she doesn’t have the ability to know how to use it safely without hurting herself and others. So we have to take it away from her and she has a tantrum because she can’t quite yet get that it’s more unsafe than fun.
When it comes to technology, we’re very much like two year olds…

Feeling Good While People are Suffering in Japan

Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering in the wake of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Many have lost their homes and loved ones and might also be vulnerable to exposure from radiation. My heart goes out to these people, but still I am able to enjoy my life. Does my feeling good mean that I don’t really care about these people? Does compassion mean I have to suffer along with others’ suffering. Am I shallow to watch all that basketball, but not do anything directly to aid those who are suffering in Japan?

Why I Care About Charlie Sheen

Why do we pay so much attention when celebrities self-destruct in public? … Maybe we need others to fail so that we can feel good about ourselves. Maybe we’re jealous of his success and feel good to see him knocked down. …Perhaps, it’s just shadenfreude, getting pleasure from the misfortune of others. Even when I find my attention drawn to a drama like Charlie Sheen’s I don’t spend a lot of time there. My choice when I notice that my less enlightened aspects have reared their ugly heads is to use it as an opportunity to practice compassion and learn something about myself…the other practice that comes less easily to me is realizing that whenever I have judgment about someone else it says something about me…