Discover The Wisdom of Letting Go
When a great Zen Master returned to his country after many years of studying abroad the people asked what he brought with him. He said, "I've come with nothing but empty hands."
What are these empty hands? What value are they of us today? Usually our own hands are full, filled with tasks, problems and possessions that seem impossible to put down. Our lives are crowded with decisions, plans and dreams. When these plans are not fulfilled, when events do not go as we would wish, or when change comes unexpectedly, many start to grasp and hold on. This grasping itself increases anxiety. Few know how to truly deal with change or understand why it is happening to them. Living by Zen shows us how to stop clinging and open both our hands and minds to the new possibilities that are always present for us.
Many people's lives are centered around accumulation. They become very proud of what they have accumulated; money, degrees, skills, friends, information, property, lovers. Soon they are so full they can hardly move, and yet they still search for more, cramming every corner of their homes and lives full. Before long, they even believe what they have is who they are. It is not so easy to stop accumulating and simply clean out the drawers. Many have not yet learned the value of empty space.
Along with the process of accumulation, the process of attachment appears. Many become afraid of losing that which they have. Everything seems precious, no matter what. How often do they stop and ask, "Do I need this anymore? Is it still valuable? When is it time to let go?"
How We Know Ourselves
Most of us feel we are our job, possessions, achievements, and relationships. This is how we know ourselves. If we lose one of them, we feel we have lost part of ourselves. Somehow we have not identified with the basis of all life, which is constantly moving, changing, growing. In order to expand our sense of selves it is necessary to stop fighting and resisting life, to become willing to let go.
But, whether or not we want to let go, life itself decides for us. Change comes in its own time, both giving and taking things away. When this happens, many suffer greatly from this sense of loss. A usual response is to hold on tighter.
When Change Comes
When change comes, the first thing we must realize is that the harder we hold on, the more we crush what we have in the palm of our hands. This is not the way to avoid suffering. In fact, the pain of loss is caused by resistance to what is going on. The more we fight what is happening, the more we resist the natural flow of life, the more we suffer and helpless we can feel.
There are many ways we hold on and resist what is happening in our lives - through domination, depression, denial, endless activity, immediately making new plans. By fighting change this way we are insisting that life meet our particular demands, fulfill our needs and expectations. A battle is set up. Much energy is squandered.
As we live by Zen, we find a different way of approaching change. When change, loss or disturbance comes, we plant ourselves in the center of the storm and allow ourselves to fully experience what is going on. Instead of being blown all over by the turbulence, we become the center of the tornado, filled with energy and focus. We let go of the ways we "think" things should be going and allow ourselves to fully be with what is. As we do this a great question arises - what do we really have that we can lose?
This question is called a koan; a question that cannot be answered rationally. As we work on this koan, our minds, heart and hands become empty, open and clear for a new way of understanding and being. As we stop clinging, and start letting go into the truth of the moment, we discover who we truly are and are filled with fresh wisdom.
Now as we are living by Zen fears diminish, grasping lets go and our sense of being becomes planted on a stable foundation. In this process we begin to experience life differently and also have a taste of who we truly are. Our hands then become empty too. Empty hands are pliable, flexible, and useful. They can touch and comfort, they can give and receive, they can do what is needed when the moment appears.
Discover 2,000 year old Zen secrets to being calm, balanced and positive, no matter what is going on in your life through Living By Zen, (Timeless Truths For Everyday Life), http://www.livingbyzen.com by Dr. Brenda Shoshanna. She is a psychologist, speaker and workshop leader, long term Zen practitioner and teacher and also author of Zen Miracles, (Finding Peace In An Insane World), Wiley, 2002, Zen and the Art of Falling In Love and other books. Dr. Shoshanna teaches in universities, the community, online for Barnes And Noble University and is relationship expert on http://www.ivillage.com. Her wonderful program on Living By Zen is available at http://www.livingbyzen.com (Contact her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. (212) 288-0028.)
Coping With Stress
When something happens in our lives, we automatically assess the situation mentally and try to determine if it is threatening to us. If we feel that we don't have the skills or resources necessary to deal with the situation then we feel stress. We don't feel stress when we think that we have more than enough resources to cope. Not everyone sees a situation in the same way; therefore, no two people react to stress in the same way. I have identified 5 steps for managing stress.
One Way to Beat Stress: Arrive Early!
I'm so excited that I have discovered this secret today. It's something that I promise will reduce the stress level in your lives. It's easy, convenient and all you have to do is plan: THE NIGHT BEFORE!
The Underlying Cause of Nervous Breakdowns
Life can offer us many challenges having to do with loss. When we are faced with relationship loss, financial loss, loss of health, loss of limb, loss of regard, or loss of love, we can feel overwhelmingly anxious, depressed and stressed. When the anxiety, depression and stress get too big, we may have a nervous breakdown ? that is, we become incapable of functioning in our everyday life and incapable of coping with our daily challenges.
Living on the Edge: Stressed Out and Nowhere to Go
Is your stress level higher than it should be? Are you struggling with changes in life that you neither anticipated nor caused? If so, keep reading! Most of us carry far more stress than did our parents and grandparents. Life seems more complicated than ever. Nothing is certain, reality is artificially produced, and fantasy is real. No wonder we're confused!
Stress & Self Esteem: Raising One by Lowering the Other
In our article about Exercise & Stress, we looked at the way these two factors form a self-reinforcing cycle that can work for us. With stress and self-esteem, however, the relationship is negative ? both in the technical sense of the words (i.e. as one increases, the other decreases, and vice versa), and in its ultimate result upon the person concerned.
Stress Managment and Mastery: Too Much to Do Stress - Write it Down, Break it Down, Knock it Down
"I've got too much to do, I've just got too much to do!"
Dealing with Workplace Stress
One of the hardest forms of stress to avoid is workplace stress. After all, you need to go to work and there are plenty of things to worry about once you get there. However, that does not mean that workplace stress is unavoidable. Just like other kinds of stress, there are ways to manage workplace stress and there are ways to avoid it. Maybe you cannot avoid it entirely, but that is no reason not to try.
3 Kinds of Workplace Stress
Workers across America will tell you that stress
10 Ways to Enjoy Your Stress More
1. The Mentor Method: think of your favorite person. Someone you love, admire, trust, like a mentor or someone from your spiritual tradition. Simply thinking about them will help you change your focus from the stress hooey to a more desirable response associated with your favorite person. Also, you do not need to wait to get stressed out to do this as thinking of your hero's always makes you feel better. Pictures of family and loved ones also help so make sure you have these at work. Think of happy and/or silly times you've had with these people. Feel better already don't you? Good. Now relax, take a deep breath and enjoy yourself even more as you read on...
Using Exercise to Relieve Stress
Most people know of the importance of exercise as a means of weight loss, strength gains, and increased endurance, but exercise can play a major role in the reduction of stress. Along with just stress relief, exercise can help improve mental health, emotion and mood.
Stress Management: Have To Vs. Get To
File this one under the category of "watch your language."
Simple Tips to Help Simplify Your Life! - Make it Great!
Quote of the week
Shit happens. I know this to be a fact, because I read it on a t-shirt. ;-)
Extreme Self-care: Make Time for Yourself
If you've recently experienced loss or are going through a time of high-stress or uncertainty, it's important that you make a special effort to look after yourself. Here are a few things you can do to care for yourself physically and emotionally:
Secrets to Aromatherapy II - Psychological Complaints
Aromatherapy is very therapeutic when it comes to healingemotional and psychological conditions. This is because theessential oils from plants contain all kinds of compounds,phytoestrogens and phytochemicals that have the ability tosubtly alter brain chemistry for the better.
Stress Management and Mastery: Practicing Perspective
Q. I wonder if you could help me with a problem that just seems to be getting worse. I seem to blow everything out of proportion. I react so strongly to even small problems and always think the worst is going to happen. My friends tell me I do it, my husband tells me, and I know I do and I'm tired of it.
Army Ranger Reveals How to Control Corporate Stress
"Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one." Hans Selye - the "father of stress" and founder of the Canadian Institute of Stress.
Stress And How To Avoid It
Everyone knows that stress isn't good - that it can get ontop of us and effect our wellbeing. What most people don'trealise is that stress can effect much more than just ourmood or mental state. Stress has been shown to have adetrimental effect on many parts of our body and indeedpeoples health in general.
The Power of Five
Do you ever fret? In today's materialistic age, sometimes fretting is inevitable. With so many goals to achieve and needs to meet, fretting has become the "official emotion of the generation."
Stress Management: An Owners Manual for Your Brain
Here's an amazing quote from Time magazine:
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