Archive for October, 2012

OCTOBER 25, 2012

Some Hints On Practicing

Posted by Dorothy under Community Interests, Interesting Reads, Philosophy, Wellnessno responses

In our lives, we constantly talk about practicing to attain perfection. How much one practices and how much one will gain depends on the mindset during the practice. Sometimes, more effort does not mean better results or less effort, lesser results. To understand  how or why one should reconsider the way their practice is being done, I have decided to post the following text. This text is an excerpt from the compilation of a Thai Meditation Teacher, Achaan Chah‘s teachings in a book entitled ” A Still Forest Pool – The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah “.

As you practice, various images and visions may arise. You see an attractice form, hear a sound that stirs you- such an image must be observed too. This kind of vipassana image can have more energy than one that may arise from simple concentration. Whatever arises, just watch.

Someone recently asked me, “As we meditate and various thing arise in my mind, should we investigate them or just note them coming and going?” If you see someone passing by whom you do not know, you may wonder, “Who is that? Where is he going? What is he up to?” But if you know the person, it is enough just to notice him pass by.

Desire in practice can be a friend or a foe. At first, it spurs us to come and practice; we want to change things, to understand, to end suffering. But to be always desiring something that has not yet arisen, to want things to be other than they are, just causes more suffering.

Someone asked, “Should we just eat when hungry, sleep when tired, as the Zen masters suggest, or should we experiment by going against the grain at times? And if so, how much?” Of course, one should experiment, but no one else can say how much. All of this is to be known within oneself. At first, in our practice, we are all like children learning to write the alphabet. The letters come out bent and sloppy, time and again-the only thing to do is to keep at it. And if we do not live life like this, what else is there for us to do?

A good practice is to ask yourself very sincerely, “Why was I born?” Ask yourself this question three times a day, in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night.

The Buddha told his disciple Ananda to see impermanence, to see death with every breath. We must know death; we must die in order to live. What does this mean? To dies is to come to the end of all our doubts, all our questions, and just be here with the present reality. You can never die tomorrow, you must die now. Can you do it? Ah, how still, the peace of no more questions.

Real effort is a matter of the mind, not the body. Different methods of concentration are like ways of earning a living-the most important thing is that you feed yourself, not how you manage to get the food. Actually, when the mind is freed from desires, concentration arises naturally, no matter what activity you are engaged in.

Drugs can bring about meaningful experiences, but the one who takes a drug has not made causes for such effects. He has just temporarily altered nature, like injecting a monkey with hormones that send him shooting up a tree to pick coconuts. Such experiences may be true but not good or good but not true, whereas Dharma is always both good and true.

Sometimes we want to force the mind to be quiet, and this effort just makes it all the more disturbed. Then we stop pushing and some concentration arises. But in the state of calm and quiet, we begin to wonder, “What’s going on? What’s happening now?” and we are agitated again.

The day before the first monastic council, one of the Buddha’s disciples went to tell Ananda, “Tomorrow is the Sangha Council. Others who attend are fully enlightened.” Since Ananda was at this time still incompletely enlightened, he determined to practice strenuously all through the night, seeking full awakening. But in the end, he just made himself tired. He was not making any progress for all his efforts, so he decided to let go and rest a bit. As soon as his head hit the pillow, he became enlightened. In the end, we must learn to let go every last desire, even the desire for enlightenment. Only then can we be free.

 

Our Next 2N 3D Langkawi Yoga & Nature Retreat 2012

Our Next 4N 5D Langkawi Yoga & Nature Retreat 2012

Our New Ayurveda Retreat

 

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OCTOBER 20, 2012

Free Yourself

Posted by Dorothy under Community Interests, Natural Highs, Philosophy, Wellnessno responses

Here are best tips you can take before filing for divorce that will protect your interests and your bank account.

After a divorce is started in South Dakota, the courts automatically issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that prohibits you and your spouse from transferring money and property. Therefore, pre-divorce planning is very important, get the most professional assistance available regarding divorce law.

Before starting a divorce, please review these general considerations:

  • Some of these action steps may not fit your situation, and that is okay. The items on this list depend upon your unique situation.
  • Some of these action steps are very much in the “contemplation stage” and this list could be divided in terms of preparing yourself for divorce or leaving the home tomorrow. The general rule is that the more prepared you are, the better off you will be.
  • Children were intentionally left off this list as they should be shielded from the angst and turmoil as much as possible. You should always be looking out for the best interests of your children. In other words, keep the kids out of it.

MONEY

Tip #1 -  Open your own new and separate account, preferably at a separate bank. If possible, re-route your paychecks into this new account.

Tip #2 - Start saving small amounts of money in your separate account. You will inevitably need the money for living expenses and legal fees. Think of  this as an emergency/rainy day fund that only you have access. Even if a reconciliation takes place, you can spend this money on more pleasant ventures. Something even as simple as the Acorns investing application on your phone will suffice.

Tip #3 - Make sure you have at least one credit card in your name only. Bonus points if the balance is zero.

Tip #4 - Review your credit report. You may be surprised (or not) by what you find. This is a good way to mark your financial situation on the day of  separation.

Tip #5 - Joint Credit Accounts. In the event your spouse has uncontrolled spending, or even if s/he does not, it may be wise to close all joint credit  accounts or risk being accountable for your spouse’s spending.

Tip #6 - Joint Accounts. There are four things to do with a joint checking/savings account depending on the circumstances of your case. While option  four definitely may not be the most prudent, each situation is different based on the spending, personality, resources, and needs of each spouse.

  1. Leave it alone, do nothing; or
  2. Use it to pay bills, credit cards, medical bills, and or other big-ticket expenses; or
  3. Transfer half of the money into your own separate account; or
  4. Transfer all of the money into your own separate account.

Tip #7 - Download and/or save bank statements showing transaction history – you can tell a lot about a person by where and how they spend their money.

 

DATA

Tip #8 - Change all of your passwords even if you do not think your spouse has them. This is especially important for your telephone, computer, and  online accounts.

Tip #9 - Obtain a separate email account to communicate with your attorney. Change all of your social media accounts to back up and restore to this  email.

Tip #10 - Obtain a separate post office box, especially if you plan to move from the marital home.

Tip #11 - Do not post about your unhappiness on social media and do not boast about your plans with your friends. It is not unheard of for your “best  friend” to end up with the very spouse you are talking about.

RECORDS

Tip #12 - Download a telephone application that inventories and saves your text messages. Assume any communication will be read by the judge.

Tip #13 - Keep a journal of your experiences. Write about how your spouse’s actions affected either you or your children, not just the awful things s/he  either did or said. If the record is kept with some consistency, this is useful evidence if you need to go to court.

Tip #14 - Obtain all of your spouse’s information at your disposal - calendars, diaries, old cell phones, computer hard-drives, bank records, retirement    account information, bills, etc. There are data specialists that can inventory and extract this information.

 

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