All posts tagged: Buddhism

Week 52 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Personal Change

It’s the final week of this journal prompt series that I wrote to help you make introspection and deep thinking a daily habit. We made it!  Thanks for reading, liking and commenting throughout the year. I hope you found the content useful, or at least interesting, challenging, and thought provoking!   Next year’s blog project TBA! This week’s journal topic: Personal Change There’s a quote on Pinterest usually attributed to Lao Tzu: “When I let go of what I am, I become who I might be.” Regardless of the source – a fake quote or not – I like it.  It’s versatile as a reminder that progression requires letting go.  Being attached to our identity (i.e., how we choose to perceive and think of ourselves) makes letting go is a difficult and painful process.  Letting go is not a “whatever” or “don’t care” attitude, a disinterested shrugging of shoulders.  True letting go is a process requiring self-reflection and deep looking inward, followed by recognition of what will be let go and why, motivated by what will …

How to Heal the Mind and Create Lifelong Benefits in 15 minutes per Day

It’s 9 pm already and you haven’t yet had a second to concentrate on yourself. Even if you want to devote time to healing and self-development, it’s a challenge to find time. What can you do in 15 minutes to cultivate a loving attitude, heal your emotional pain, develop discipline, and change your brain for the better? Let me reassure you: fifteen minutes a day can change your life’s trajectory!

NEW Emotional Wellness Workshop – Vancouver, BC, Canada

I’m excited to announce the first of a series of four workshops on emotional and mental wellness.  The first workshop is taking place on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver. There are limited spaces, so please RSVP by emailing me at hytutoring.emily@gmail.com This workshop focuses on teaching the skills required to live happily and healthily.  It’ll be fun, informative and transformative.  It will end with a Restorative Yoga practice to leave you feeling refreshed!

Week 20 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Fear

(This post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This week’s journal topic: Fear You’ve undoubtedly received all kinds of contradictory information about fear.  As a child, nauseous with nerves before stepping onstage in the school play, you probably heard your parents or teacher tell you that “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself” (FDR, former American president). If you’re a child of the 80’s or 90’s, you might remember the brand No Fear, whose edgy (at the time) T-shirts mocked fear. Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real These quotes tell us that fear is some kind of illusion; moreover, it’s an illusion that loses its power when we laugh at it and clearly see the illusion.  Fear is like a rubber snake dropped into your lap.  It’s impossible not to react, but when you see that it’s rubber, it’s funny. What is fear? Fear is really made up of two aspects: physiological and emotional.  In an environment in which our bodies perceive fear, the body reacts …

Week 17 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Happiness

(This post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Happiness Do you want to be happy? For all humans, the answer is an unambiguous Yes.  To be human is to seek happiness, wouldn’t you agree? The desire for happiness simultaneously brings humanity together and tears us apart. Sure, we are all united in our desire to be happy. However, happiness means different things to different people and therefore, we’re divided in how we go about getting it! Concepts of Happiness Happiness as Pleasure: The Greek school for “happiness as pleasure” is called Hedonism.  Hedonism thought that pleasure was the ultimate human good. There were higher pleasures and lower pleasures.  A lower pleasure is a physical pleasure such as eating or sex. Higher pleasures were intellectual goods and virtues which had the effect on the possessor of increasing her other pleasures.  For example, the virtue of moderation allows a person to receive the most pleasure from her body – if you drink …

A Brief Analysis of Rousseau’s Ethics of Compassion in “Discourse on Inequality” and Relation to Buddhist Teachings

Last week, I read Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Discourse on Inequality.”  It’s a fascinating work of political philosophy written in 1754 by Rousseau as an entry for an essay contest that challenged authors to address the question: What is the origin of inequality among men, and is it authorized by natural law?  In order to thoroughly answer this question, Rousseau expounds a philosophy  of man, discussing who and what man is as an individual, what is freedom, what are man’s essential and accidental qualities, what is the effect of society on man and the ideal political situation.  As someone who is interested in Buddhism’s answers to these same questions, I was curious if there was any similarity between Rousseau’s answers and Buddhist views. I think there are at least two similarities.  The first similarity concerns Rousseau’s account of man’s natural morality of compassion; this corresponds with the Buddhist view of compassion as constitutive of morality.  The second similarity arises out of Rousseau’s lamenting about the detriments of rational thinking to man’s mental constitution; likewise, Buddhism teaches that …

Week 12 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Nature

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic:  Nature Ever wonder why climate change and oil extraction/transport are such contentious topics?  Why do some people join eco-protests, while other worry about a healthy economy? Answer: moral attitudes, values and religious beliefs underlie these opinions about the treatment of the environment. Consider a breadth of attitudes towards nature: Science: Nature is something to be controlled.  Nature has power that we can and should get better at harnessing for our own purposes.  Nature is an indication of the “proper function” of organisms, except when it isn’t and when we prefer to do things another way.  In that case, we can and may alter nature’s course. Bible: God created all of nature; nature is evidence of God’s works.  Follow God’s laws and you will do right by the Earth. But humans should propagate and fill the Earth (Genesis 9:1), and man has “dominion over… every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26). …

Can you Be Present AND plan for the Future?

Years ago when I first started doing yoga, I thought the instruction to be present meant that I should eliminate external goals and forget about my future. Since then I’ve figured out that was a big misunderstanding on my part. This post myth-busts pop-culture’s superficial notion of what it means to be present. Being present does not require us to forego planning activity. Don’t equate the practice of being present with never thinking about the future.

Should You Fear Death?: A reply to Chi-Tsung’s argument against fear

Not where the monk Chi-tsang lived.  Definitely one of my travel photos from Ngong-Ping, Hong Kong (2018) The Buddhist monk Chi-tsang (549-623) (吉藏 , Jizang; born Sanlun Zung) on his death bed said: Man cherishes birth and fears death as he does not understand the true aspect of birth and death.  Death originates from birth.  Therefore, man should fear birth instead of death.  If I were not born, then I would surely not die.  If birth, the beginning, is realized, then death, the end, will surely be known.  In this sense, man has to be sad about his birth and need not fear death. In other words, human fear of death springs from ignorance of metaphysical facts about existence. When we recognize that the necessity of death actually comes from the state of being born, then the result should be that we transfer our fear to birth (as the source of death) and fear birth instead. Reductio ad absurdum It’s difficult to recognize it at first, but in this quote Chi-tsung provides a reductio ad absurdum argument, …