Ignorance of distraction

The principal enemy of mindfulness – or of any meditative practice – is our deeply conditioned habit of being distracted by thoughts.

The problem is not thoughts themselves but the state of thinking without knowing that we are thinking.

In the beginning of one’s meditation practice, the difference between ordinary experience and what one comes to consider ‘mindfulness’ is not very clear, and it takes some training to distinguish between being lost in thought and seeing thoughts for what they are.

– Sam Harris, ‘Waking Up’

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Retreat

No doubt there are many motives for retreating from the world, and some of them are psychologically unhealthy. In its wisest form, however, the exercise amounts to a very simple experiment. Here is its logic:

If there exists a source of psychological well-being that does not depend upon merely gratifying one’s desires, then it should be present even when all the usual sources of pleasure have been removed.

– Sam Harris

How completely and utterly normal it was to feel weird

Hundreds and hundreds of Telegraph readers wrote to me with their well wishes, but most importantly their stories. All of them were putting their hands up and saying “me too!” – if not OCD, then some other form of mental illness. I realised then how completely and utterly normal it was to feel weird.

7 Things the Buddha Never Said

To read the full article by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, please go here:

https://www.lionsroar.com/what-the-buddha-never-said/

  1. “Life is suffering.”
  2. “Past love is but a memory. Future love is but a dream. True love is in the here and now.”
  3. “There is no self.”
  4. “Everything is impermanent.”
  5. “Suffering comes from resisting change.”
  6. “If you want to see a person’s past actions, look at his present condition. If you want to see a person’s future condition, look at his present actions.”
  7. “A thousand candles can be lit by a single candle and yet not diminish the first candle’s light. Happiness is never diminished by being shared.”

At 60, the EU continues to inspire

People have short memories. Most people living in the 28 EU countries today take the peace they enjoy for granted. They forget that peace is not the natural state of affairs in Europe.

The Europeans had been at war with one another for centuries. We should never forget that World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945) both started in Europe.

It was by a miracle that, after World War II, we saw the emergence of a number of European visionaries who were determined to put a stop to the endless cycle of war in Europe.

In 1952, the two historic enemies, France and Germany, decided to establish the European Coal and Steel Community. The idea was to deprive themselves of the possession of the raw materials to make the implements of war.

The inspiration was to abolish war and promote peace by integrating their economies.

Guided by this inspiration, the economies of the 28 members became more deeply integrated into what we have today – a single market and production platform, with free mobility of labour and a common currency (for 19 of the 28 members) … …

The bottom line is this: Because of the EU, Europe has enjoyed 60 years of peace. This is unprecedented in European history. It is possible to say, with great confidence, that war between any two EU countries is unthinkable. It was therefore entirely appropriate for the Nobel Peace Prize to have been conferred on the EU in 2012.