Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My last lecture part 2: dealing with the world as it is

This is part 2 of My Last Lecture. It describes my dealing with the world as it is.

The practice of mindfulness promotes an equanimous, happy and compassionate life. It creates a visceral sense of connection and compassion with others, even those whose beliefs and actions we profoundly disagree with. Here are some resources:

A compassion meditation for time of war. I remember weeping during this meditation as my anger about 9/11 shifted.

Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation by Professor Mark W. Muesse. This superb introduction might be the only guide you will ever need. I have gotten great benefit from two contemplative practices discussed my Prof. Muesse:

The Impermanence of All Things. This leads me to appreciate what is here, right now

Just Like Me. For me, this practice reinforces the compassion developed in "A compassion meditation for time of war" mentioned above.

In addition, I recommend two more practices:

Mudita is my primary antidote for envy. Mudita is the delight in other people's well-being, accomplishments and good fortune. I cultivate mudita by going where people are enjoying themselves, say by riding a bicycle around Madison on a beautiful summer day. If you want to be happy, practice mudita and compassion. If you want to suffer, envy others and enjoy schadenfreude.

Laughter yoga. A great way to connect with people and to remove barriers to joy.

That's it. In the long run, we can't know whether our actions are solutions, mitigations, or entirely useless​, ​but in the short run​​ they certainly will have some effect.

1 comment:

  1. I will post because you used the word compassion several times. In my opinion a person cannot claim to follow a compassionate lifestyle while consuming animal products. Meat, animal milk, honey, leather, and even wool are all products which promote the abuse and mistreatment of animals. Beyond the aspect of compassion, they also put undue strain on the environment.

    Did you know that the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of almond milk is about 1 pound of CO2 per gallon while it is over 17 pounds of CO2 per gallon from dairy milk.

    I hope that anybody considering the fate of our planet, whether it be environmental or ethical/moral, considers veganism to be critical to the solution.