Wednesday, January 2

Miserable Git or The Secret of a Happy Life?

It says here that "The key to a happy relationship could be accepting that some miserable times are unavoidable"

Well it's worked quite well for me both inside and outside the marital arena (Oops - now why did I choose that particular word I wonder - only joshing Mrs JH - lol)

An interesting solution is offered though - "The authors recommend using mindfulness, a Buddhist meditation technique, to help cope...... The technique requires individuals to focus on their present thoughts and actions.."

Sounds like a natural benefit from walking, especially solo, annd particularly in the hills.

Wonder if the "miserable times" ever had ridge walking in Lakeland rain & wind?

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Comments:
Are you changing your blogging moniker to MG!
 
You were so miserable on New Year's Eve I was thinking of talking a walk myself! Mrs JH.
 
ha ha guys

Actually I can't ever say i would fit into the 'miserable' category. Thats far too negative and I'm not that sort of person at all. Doesn't mean that I can't have a dissenting voice amongst all the happy clappy blurb thrown at us.
Nope - Mr Reality thats me. I call it like I see it, despite it not neccessarily being 'PC' at times
 
There's no such thing as a miserable time. Misery is an emotion, it exists only in the mind. It's not the time or the event which is miserable, it's how you choose to react to it. And you do choose your reaction, even if you're not aware of it. It all depends how you've programmed your mind.

The key is to put a positive spin on everything, to look for the silver lining in the cloud, the opportunity in the problem. Many people's lives have changed for the better as a result of something bad that happened. Easier said than done of course, but it can be done.

To take a simple example, if you've planned a walk and it's pouring down raining, instead of cancelling the walk, think of it as a great opportunity to visit some waterfalls. To take some more extreme examples, if you get paralyised from the waist down in a car accident, then you'll have plenty of time to write that book you've always planned to! If you go blind, then learn to play a musical instrument!

Of course, in a relationship, there needs to be a positive attitude on both sides. At worst, simply agree to disagree. Again, easier said than done, but it is possible to put a positive spin onto pretty much anything if you develop the right mindset.

As for Buddism, I'd steer clear of that. From what I've heard it's based on a philosphy of avoiding worldy pleasures, suffering to get into heaven and all that sort of thing.

I'd recommend looking into Taoism instead. Although it later turned into a religion, it started as a philosophy, one which seems to make perfect sense to me. It's all about "the way", going with the flow rather than against it, letting the river carry you downstream instead of paddling against the current. It's about accepting things the way they are and working with them rather than against them.

Search for the Tao te Ching by Lao Tse. You can download many different interpretations on the net. It's not that easy to understand or to put into practice in the modern world, but it seems quite fascinating.

http://www.religiousworlds.com/taoism/ttc-list.html

Also search for The Tao of Pooh, a great little book that explains some of the core concepts of Taoism through the medium of Winnie the Pooh. Entertaining and enlightening at the same time.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/329/7458/151

Paul
 
"how you choose to react to it" - Buddhism in a bottle!

"As for Buddism, I'd steer clear of that. From what I've heard it's based on a philosphy of avoiding worldy pleasures, suffering to get into heaven and all that sort of thing"
Nope - quite the opposite as I understand it. No god, no heaven and recognition that emotional response is what brings the individual their problems.
Zen in particular is an excellent relection of the outdoors "thing".

I'd really recommend digging a bit deeper. Don't get caught up by any religious overtones, it was never intended to have anything to to with that IMHO. Try this out for size?
"It is said that Buddha's last dying words to his disciples were, "Be a lamp unto yourselves." Be your own light, your own authority, your own Buddha. Kill off every image of the Buddha, see who and what you are in this very moment, see that there is no Buddha other than THIS MOMENT"
 
You said:

""As for Buddism, I'd steer clear of that. From what I've heard it's based on a philosphy of avoiding worldy pleasures, suffering to get into heaven and all that sort of thing"
Nope - quite the opposite as I understand it. No god, no heaven and recognition that emotional response is what brings the individual their problems."

Are you sure you're not confusing Taoism with Buddism? It's Taoism that has no god. What are all those statues of Buddha for?

"Zen in particular is an excellent relection of the outdoors "thing"."

Taoism in particular is an excellent reflection of the outdoors "thing". Are you sure you're not getting these confused?

"I'd really recommend digging a bit deeper. Don't get caught up by any religious overtones, it was never intended to have anything to to with that IMHO."

Again that sounds like Taoism! Taoism was never a religion, it started as a philosophy! It was later turned into a religion, but it wasn't!

"Try this out for size?
"It is said that Buddha's last dying words to his disciples were, "Be a lamp unto yourselves." Be your own light, your own authority, your own Buddha. Kill off every image of the Buddha, see who and what you are in this very moment, see that there is no Buddha other than THIS MOMENT""

If what you say is correct, then I'm wondering if Buddist's borrowed some ideas from Taoism, which I think came first. But what you say doesn't equate to what I've heard/read (not that I'm an expert on any of this, so I admit I may be wrong).

To quote from the last link I gave in my previous comment; "The author explains that Taoists try to appreciate, learn from, and work with whatever happens in life, whereas, in contrast, Confucians seek to impose order on a chaotic world and Buddhists see life's tribulations as obstacles to be overcome before achieving Nirvana."

I freely admit to not being knowledgeable in these subjects, but what you wrote sounds more like Taoism to me. So let's do a deal, you look into Taoism and I'll look into Buddism. And what about Confucianism? Which one does Zen belong to?

Paul
 
"Are you sure you're not confusing Taoism with Buddism"
Nope - the statues are mostly symbolic, but like any movement icons spring up (a splinter from the original cross anyone?)

"Taoism was never a religion, it started as a philosophy! It was later turned into a religion, but it wasn't" - same again I think you'll find.

"Buddist's borrowed some ideas from Taoism, which I think came first"
Both are 5th/4th century BC, but wherear B spread to China I don;t think Taoism ever made the same global movements on the whole.

Zen - its an arm of Buddhism but with a more instinctive reaction at its base.

These are huge fields to cover in any detail, and whilst I've had an interest in all the areas we are discussing Its been only a passing involvement at best, despite years of rubbing up against these things.
Interestingly we've another blogger on a convergant theme at present if you want to check it out.
http://solitary-walker.blogspot.com/2008/01/buddha-dharmas-third-truth-simply.html

To close - I think we're broadly in agreement here at the underlying aim, whatever we call it. The unconscious acceptance of the outdoors on an instinctive levels with true openess, on rare occasions that it creeps up on us.
 
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