A Formula for Suffering (Part 2)

Posted Posted in Expectations, Mindfulness, Perception and Reality, Self-Care, Trust and Control

In Part 1, we concluded that, while feelings (i.e. emotions and sensations) are a constant in life, suffering can be reduced by letting go of control. However, control also serves as a coping mechanism for handling stress, so reduced control means reduced coping, which can add to suffering. Here are the formulas we used to represent these lines of thought: (10) Suffering = Feeling x […]

A Formula for Suffering (Part 1)

Posted Posted in Expectations, Mindfulness, Perception and Reality, Self-Care, Trust and Control

Metaphors come in all shapes and sizes, which is good, because different people resonate with different images or concepts. Sometimes, even mathematics can be helpful in exploring an idea. A prime example is using algebra to better understand the nature of suffering. As a starting point, we will use two formulas that are attributed to Shinzen Young and his Fundamental Theorem of Human Happiness: (1) […]

Believing is Seeing

Posted Posted in Expectations, Perception and Reality, Trust and Control

The idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy is that sometimes, for better or worse, we can make something true simply by believing in it. This basic concept goes by a wide variety of names such as the expectancy effect, the Pygmalion or Rosenthal effect, the placebo effect, the law of attraction, and the secret. Some people would like to believe that this phenomenon is an absolute […]

Dammed Emotions

Posted Posted in Mindfulness, Trust and Control

Emotions are not static. From moment to moment, they intensify, shift, move, recede, and transform. I’m not talking about the thoughts and labels we associate with our emotions, which can be deceptive, but rather the underlying sensations or feelings themselves. At this level, our emotions are very much like a body of water (e.g. a stream, river, or ocean), always in motion, seemingly alive, unpredictable, […]

Kick Up a Little Dust

Posted Posted in Trust and Control

Foster possibility by always keeping things a little unsettled. Allow chaos to work for you in your life. Don’t over control. Don’t try to push the river. When you resist and restrict the flow of life, you only fight your own possibilities. So, leave a little slack in the reins. Leave the doors and windows in your life unlocked and slightly ajar. Listen carefully for […]