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  • Re: Mindful drinking of beer as a meditation

    You can look at this in 2 ways I would suggest. Firstly from a Buddhist perspective which is pretty cut and dry. The mind whilst in a sober state is perfect for cultivating mindfulness, awareness and compassion. Skewing the mind with intoxicants such as alcohol is not wise and there is no getting away from the fact that it will not benefit your understanding of the Buddha Dharma (I guess thinking about how much you're suffering on a hangover can be quite insightful however) - Buddhism shows us that there isn't anything else external we need to elevate suffering, things like alcohol help us indulge in ignorance and sensual pleasure seeking.

    The other way you can look at it, which is from the point of view of lay people is that questioning whether or not your alcohol consumption is negative to your life. If you get drunk once or twice a week, but you don't cause harm to others, and you keep it in semi moderation, is it that much of a hindrance to your life? I think it comes down to personal preference.

    I used to be a binge drinker who would get sloshed 2-3 times a week, from about the age of 16 - 22. Now I drink maybe once every 3 weeks and I rarely ever get drunk anymore. I hate the feeling of being literally poisoned, and I prefer to keep a fit and healthy life, being spiritually grounded. Everybody is different, but alcohol has no place in Buddhism period.

  • Re: What Are My Intentions for Today?

    The 5 precepts are things all humans should adhere to, and it is very handy to keep reaffirming them to oneself, so thanks a lot for this post. Subtly going against them is still going against them!

  • Re: Anxiety, direct experience and mindfulness

    I'm just going to chip in my 2 cents @Kerome and maybe you may be able to take something away from it.

    I'm 29 now but at around the age of 12 I started having hypochondria, literally convinced I was dying of a brain tumour or whatever it was from month to month, as it did change once I was cleared of any disease. It was torment actually, I don't wish that upon anybody.
    Then when I was around 17 I started to get social anxiety, which at one point grew in intensity throughout the coming years, at one point I stayed inside my house for 4 months, only to go out to the ATM machine 3 times at night. I even flunked out of college because of it, I just couldn't hack it. I still had hypochondria at this stage too.

    I tried covering this up with substances illegally and legally, and actually the legal substances did the worst damage (I abused them though)

    However in the past 2 years I have almost lost my social anxiety completely, and I have weak cases of hypochondria. I started to observe my anxiety when I was outside, so for example if I was waiting in line at the store, I saw how my anxiety grew up to a 9 or a 10, but after time it would fall somewhat. Also if I made an effort to talk to the cashier a little, I would walk out with a smile feeling I had accomplished something. The key is to observe your thoughts, see how they can be irrational in nature, and to work on being rational step by step.

    Your anxiety seems to be about the future, and mainly at night. Firstly you can only work on the future now, so whatever you do now will ripen in the future in some way. As long as you do your best with compassion and virtue, anything else that happens is beyond your power and thus not important right now. If you know what you want from your life, do what you need to do to get there, but be aware that it probably won't turn out exactly in the way you intend, that's not to say it won't work out, just very rarely things turn out like we intend perfectly.

    Also maybe you can try melatonin supplements, melatonin being a hormone naturally occurring in our brains in the evening that makes us sleepy. If you combine the supplements with no phone, computer or TV an hour before you want to sleep, you may become very sleepy easily. Other natural helpers would be valerian root and lavender.

    Lastly, do you exercise? Not only will it unleash energy during the day making you more sleepy in the evening, but if will make you feel productive and more content about yourself and life in general. Working out has actually been a huge part of why I no longer am anxious anymore.

    Hope this helps in some way shape or form, and all the best :)

  • Thoughts On Resistance

    Resisting the way things are can be the root cause of the majority of mental suffering, wanting to change the way things are instead of accepting reality and going with it, the whole be the tree that sways with the breeze rather than the tree leaning into the wind dealio. But is it as simple and as cut'n'dry as 'if you cannot change the situation, leave it, but if you can, try'?

    There will be some people who may argue that for example, if they would have accepted things, even though it seemed futile with no hope, they would not have their business now, or they would not have that job etc. What are your thoughts on resisting things?

  • Re: Thoughts On Resistance

    @silver said:
    I don't think what the Buddha taught and meant about resistance had much to do with the ambition it takes to do what needs to be done to earn a living and that whole scenario you mentioned. I'm pretty sure it has mostly to do with acceptance of getting old, suffering diseases/conditions, and death.

    Most people have some sort of cause(s) near and dear to their hearts and I don't think they're wrong for writing/blogging/talking/protesting, etc. about them. But it's been said before here - it's about what are practical things that can be done.

    The whole career things was just an example. But yes in my own life recently I've observed certain situations and realised that me stewing over things, my mind trying to enter down various avenues to find a solution to a situation I had very little to no control over was futile. As soon as I realised this, things did get a lot easier there and then. From there on though, it's a task to keep reminding myself this simple yet helpful little gem of wisdom. It leads back to the teaching that enlightenment is there each and every moment, just that through ignorance we add layers of delusion over it, essentially masking it and causing suffering.