Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How To Handle Today's Disturbing News

Reporters and rescue workers from countries around the world assisting in the Japan rescue efforts, are amazed how calmly the people of Japan are enduring such a horrific crisis.  
They noted there is no looting or blatant displays of public anger like we have seen in other countries struck by earthquakes and disasters, including the US.
Japanese store owners are giving away their supplies.  People are quietly helping one another sharing their last morsels of food with strangers.   
Reporters say it is the culture to not show much emotion. Maybe, but is also  part of their Spiritual practice. Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two major religions. They have been co-existing for several centuries and have even complemented each other to a certain degree. Most Japanese consider themselves Buddhist, Shintoist or both.
About 91 million people in Japan claim to be Buddhist practitioners.
This Sporting the Right Attitude newsletter is based on the 2,500 year old Buddhist practice of Mindfulness, along with Christianity and other ancient religions, including Judaism, and Native American teachings.  All are leading to the one path, discovering your Higher Self. 
We were first introduced to  Mindfulness through our Japanese teacher, Eiko Michi, nearly 30 years ago.  Eiko is a mystic from Japan who was also a former UCLA professor.  We were blessed to know her.  She changed our life and our path.   For decades we have remained in touch with her.  

Unfortunately, the last few days we have been unsuccessfully trying to contact her.  
This is what we learned from Eiko which helps to understand the mindset of how the Japanese are enduring this horrific crisis, and why you won't see blatant displays of uncontrolled emotions.   
Buddhism is based on the Four Noble Truths:
  1. Suffering exists
  2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
  3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
  4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path
The Eightfold Path is practicing:
 1) right view 2) Right Intention 3) Right Speech 4) Right Action 5) Right Livelihood 6) Right Effort 7) Right Mindfulness 8) Right Concentration.
Mindfulness Practice, a type of meditation, is the way Buddha taught us to live, which is closely aligned to the Christ Mind.  However, Mindfulness which comes from Buddhism, is not a religion.  It is a practice to help us live in the moment.
Mindfulness is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction.  Pain and cancer clinics around the country are teaching mindfulness as well as in some schools and branches of the military. 
Mindfulness is having less emotional reactivity and more stability of mind.  Not overreacting emotionally brings greater mental clarity, which is healthy,  Having stability of mind makes you better able to cope with any disaster in your life.
YOU TOO Can Practice Mindfulness to Deal and Overcome You Suffering.
As you watch the news of Japan's disasters, or when you are handling disasters and bad news of your own, remember Buddha's teaching.  You don't have to suffer despite the circumstance.

Here is the Mindfulness practice to help you deal with the news in Japan, and in your own life: 

Try to get comfortable as you can in your sitting posture.  If you lie down (not recommended), try not to go to sleep.  You can also do this standing in line at the post office.  Mindfulness can be done anywhere at anytime.
First take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to connect with your body.  Notice how you back feels against the chair.  How do your clothes feel on your body?  How do the soles of your feet feel in your shoes if you are standing?  What does the floor feel like?

Bring your attention to the area of your body that feels uncomfortable.  Usually people feel a clutching or tightening in their body when they are dealing with an unpleasant situation, or hearing bad news.

Explore in your body  where you may feel uncomfortable,  Is it sharp or dull?  Burning? Stabbing?  Is it moving, or does it stay in one place?  How deeply does it go into your body?  Get very curious about the changing set of bodily sensations.

After 30 seconds or so (you can choose any short amount of time), Notice your attitude toward the unpleasant feeling.  Do you hate it, fear it, resent it, blame yourself for it?  Do not judge or criticize your feelings.  Observe and let them go.
Be sure to breathe.  
Thich Nhat Hanh, a world renown Zen Master (we currently study, and attend his retreats), teaches this way of practicing Mindfulness:
"There are three sorts of feelings--pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral.  When we have an unpleasant feeling, we may want to chase it away.  But it is more effective to return to our conscious breathing and just observe it, identifying it silently to ourselves:  "Breathing in, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me.  Breathing out, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me."  Calling a feeling by its name, such as "anger," "sorrow," "joy," or "happiness," helps us identify it clearly and recognize it more deeply."
Remember you are simply observing, not trying to change anything.  The first law of Science, is what is observed, changes.  Mindfulness is the act of awareness, which acts like a laser to dissolve any blocks emotionally, mentally,  or physically.  You will notice during this practice, a space between you and the uncomfortable feeling happens.  Suddenly, you won't feel overwhelmed by this emotion.  In this space is where you will find peace, understanding, and clarity.
Make Mindfulness a daily practice to release stress and to help you deal with any and everything in your life.

Coming soon:  "Your Happiness is Within"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The very people who drive us nuts, are the ones who will help us to become stronger.
They are some of our biggest challenges.  However, they also can turn into our biggest triumphs.
No matter if it's a relative, a co worker, a child, or significant other who is difficult, the challenge is the very thing we need in our lives for character development.  
We don't necessarily ask for those people challenges.  However, there is a part of us that needs the life lesson.  The lessons can take any of these forms:
Learning to stand up to someone.
Being more patient.
Knowing when to release someone.
Learning how to love.
Appreciating and honoring yourself like you honor others.
Respectful of other's feelings.
Being more compassionate.
Releasing fearing others.

Forgiveness of others.
Forgiving self.

Being more understanding.
Simply letting go of trying to be right.

The way I have found to deal with others is to ask the question.  What inside of me has caused this to reflect in_____________?  In other words, if John, a co-worker does not speak to you.  Ask yourself, 'What inside of me is reflected in John?'
It may be the memory you store as a child.  Someone completely ignored you, and your subconscious stored that memory that is reflected in John. 
If your child is not behaving, no matter how you discipline that child, the lesson may be you are trying too hard to make them behave.  You may be overbearing and too controlling.  It could also be the opposite.  You are too soft and not disciplining the child.  Or, the lesson could be to take more time to listen to the child and find out why is she misbehaving.
Standing up to ask why you are having difficulty with anyone is the first step to healing that relationship.  Too often we are quick to dismiss someone's behavior and not look at the responsibility we have to take in that experience.
Even a rude clerk in a grocery store can easily be a lesson overlooked.  Are you going to let that one person ruin your day?  Do you need to stand up and take the time to speak to their manager?  Are you going to overlook one more person being rude to you, or are you going to speak up?   Or maybe you are going to recognize that this clerk has a  problem and is suffering, and just release the incident? 
The answer to dealing with any difficult person is to first take responsibility and know this is something you need to clean up which is why that experience came to you.  These experiences are from old data, old memories that keep us stuck and keep repeating in our lives.
The way to cleanse the data and memory it is to say, to your data and memory,
I love you
I am sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you.
You are not saying this to the difficult person, but to your own data and memory to erase the program.  
I have found in my own life, just saying I love you over and over to the data inside of me that has attracted any unpleasant situation, has given me almost instant freedom and peace, especially with difficult people.  
Remember, You are not trying to change the other person.  You are only working on yourself and taking full responsibility.
Light, love and blessings,
Here is a video on this ancient practice of the old Hawaiian practice called Ho'oponopono,  One of our teachers, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, co-author of Zero Limits, who is being interviewed, explains this powerful cleansing process to deal with any challenge.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Try This to Succeed

Have you ever decided you were going to change a bad habit, or deal with someone's negative energy, and you get a tremendous surge of strength and power.  You feel this time you are going to succeed.But, before long you find yourself back in the same rut?  
You may have stopped the behavior temporarily, or you go to a minister, a healer, or do whatever you need to do, and whatever form of treatment works for a while, but before long, you are back at the beginning. 
This is because somewhere deep inside, you have a thought, or a belief that keeps you  from achieving your goals.
When you take out these old beliefs, this leaves a void.  Nature abhors a vacuum.  It will fill it up with something.  So this is where many people slip back into old behaviors and situations that keep them stuck.  The old beliefs come back. 
So What Do You Do?
You fill up that void with a thought, an affirmation, a prayer, a mantra, a chant, a prayer or meditation to nullify the old thoughts that keep coming back until your thoughts change.
We know, we know.  In each weekly message, we keep emphasizing meditation, however, it is a practice, and it may not work for you.  There is no sense beating yourself up if you can't do it.  Many people can't.  There are other ways to find your center.  Prayer, mantras, and affirmations are other ways.
If you have a person, a situation bringing you down, instead of resisting, which does not work, it only makes the negative energy stronger, find a one or two line scripture, or affirmation that you can use to nullify the old thoughts.
For example:  You may be lonely.  However, you have decided to change your attitude.  You get out of the house and go where you can  meet people. But,those old thoughts come back to haunt you.  "I won't meet anyone."  "It's too hard to meet someone."  "Men  (or women) are no good." "I'm too old to meet someone."  "I'm too young." "I'm too fat." "I'm too skinny."
This is when you use a counter affirmation, scripture, or mantra to nullify the old thoughts.  And, you keep saying it over, and over.   How many times?  A thousand times or more until you believe it.  Too many times you say?  OK, then go back to your old way of thinking and suffering.  Keep thinking you are lonely a thousand times.  This will get you no where.
If you say affirmations, scriptures, etc. over and over.  How will you know you are believing positively?  You will know, because people will come into your life, and you will look around and have a new friend or friends.
Here are some affirmations to use:
"I am breaking through the illusion of loneliness."
"Someone out there is looking for me."
"The perfect friends are coming into my life right now."
"I am now attracting the perfect person who will love me." 
There is an old adage, if you want friends, you have to be a good friend.  Start helping others, and also volunteer. 
God wants me to have a rich, full and happy life of love.
By doing this you become a Spiritual Warrior, or as Spiritual Gangsta!    You are refusing to be a victim.  
This is a key point.  You are not trying to trick your mind.  You are not trying to make something happen.  You are not trying to hypnotize yourself.  You are simply stating the truth.  
You were not put on earth to be broke, lonely, or unhealthy.  You were placed on earth to live a rich, full and abundant life.  
Affirmations, scriptures, and mantras reaffirm your Divine Right for these gifts.  Your thoughts have kept you from these gifts.  Choose to claim them.
Here is a wonderful affirmation that you can use for any challenge, by Catherine Ponder in her book, "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity."  All of her books are wonderful
"No.  I do not have to accept this situation.  God in His (or Her) almighty goodness is dissolving and removing all negation from my world.  No situation dismays me, for God the Spirit of Good is with me, upholding and sustaining me and making all things right."