High Strung

There is a tendency for many of us to be high strung. Balancing alertness with relaxation is important in meditation, as in life. Being high strung impedes this balance, creating an environment of stress and clinging. Being too lazy also impedes this balance, becoming unaware and letting reality slip away completely. Realizing reality requires this balance, a middle way. Too tight and we grasp at a fixed world and ego existing on their own. Too loose and we deny the world. Finding the right balance is crucial to deconstructing the ego, which in reality never existed! Emaho! ~ Barry Kerzin

Inner Peace

Inner peace is essential for wellbeing. Without it we often feel anxious, fearful, and suspicious. So how do we cultivate inner peace? There is no magic. You’ve received all the advice/teachings. Now we must make effort. I repeat, now we must make effort to implement them! Start thinking more about others – concern for their wellbeing. Let go of hurts through the practice of forgiveness; start with the small ones. Practice gratitude with each breath, or at least practice with each meal. Meditate daily even for 5 minutes to cultivate a habit of meditation. Be kind to yourself – OFTEN! Slightly reduce expectations of yourself. Work on recognizing anger early, and then practice transforming it into patience, tolerance, and eventually compassion and love. Love yourself and allow that love to radiate out to all others. Inner peace will then come automatically. Emaho! ~ Barry Kerzin

Exchanging self for others

Excessive self-centeredness of me, my, and mine, is fraught with unhappiness. We become anxious and fearful. Distrust and suspicion ooze into our life. We don’t sleep well. We don’t digest our food well. We often feel miserable and don’t know why. Other-centeredness brings happiness, not only when practicing enlightenment, but also in normal everyday life. Practicing Bodhicitta to become enlightened for others — other-centeredness — is called “exchanging self for others.” It means exchanging the attitude of self-centeredness for the attitude of other-centeredness, thinking and acting for the complete welfare of others, all the way to enlightenment. In normal life, the more self-centered we are, the more people walk away from us. We are never satisfied, always wanting more. Other-centeredness, on the other hand, builds trusting relationships filled with meaning, love, and happiness. Emaho! ~ Barry Kerzin

What Is a Disturbing Emotion?

When our minds are disturbed by anger, attachment, selfishness or greed, our energies likewise get disturbed. We feel uneasy; our minds aren’t calm; our thoughts run wild. We say and do things that we later regret. If we notice a sudden disturbance in our minds and energies, we can be sure that it’s the work of some disturbing emotion. The trick is to catch it as soon as it appears and apply some opponent mental state, such as love and compassion, to avoid the problems we’d create if we give in to the troublemaking emotion and act it out. – Dr Alexander Berzin

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