Something about Buddhism always bugged me. Of course it wasn’t Buddhism itself, but what I heard. What stood out and bugged me was essentially the statement made by the Buddha that, “Life is suffering.” Not only did I not believe it, I thought the whole of Buddhism revolved around that negative idea. Rather than look deeper, I resisted the thought as though I could control the Universe and keep suffering away from either myself, or those I cared about. Flash forward about 30 years. Now I not only understand a great deal more about Buddhism, I also agree that suffering can and does happen every day to scores of people all around the world. In fact, after a tragedy like what happened at the school in Connecticut, how is it possible to think for a minute that suffering isn’t real? Of course the lesson taught by the Buddha doesn’t stop there. Instead the Buddha explained that freedom and peace lies in a space beyond suffering, and that liberation is available to us all. Continue reading
Tag Archives: peace
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Do you know whether you’re and innie or an outie? While those terms usually refer to a belly button, they apply even better when you are asking about a person’s spirituality. In other words, is your spiritual life inner-directed or outer-directed? And it doesn’t really matter what religion you practice. If you live your life based upon what others tell you to do, be, have or care about—even if that “other” is a spiritual leader of sorts—then you are outer-directed. If you instead listen to your own soul—especially in matters of the heart and spirit—then you are an innie. A huge part of living SMART 365 is learning the difference and then following the still, small voice within. Continue reading
Happy Holidays everyone! For those of us who are aware of the abundance of holiday celebrations that occur during December around the world, it’s easy and SMART to admit how appropriate that greeting is for us all. It means no disrespect to anyone, and instead acknowledges that different people experience different ways to find meaning in their world. In fact, even if you have a favorite way to celebrate, acknowledging with love, kindness and compassion the diversity among us, just might be the most spiritual and enlightened way celebrate and enjoy the season. Continue reading
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Drop a light bulb on the floor and it shatters. Drop an apple and it bruises. Drop a hard rubber ball and it bounces back—good as new. What about you? Every single one of us experiences a variety of events every day. Some experiences are smooth and pleasant, some merely okay, and others downright tough. While most of us can sail easily through the good times—whether we shatter, bruise or bounce during the tough times are as individual as we are. We all know a few people who are amazing at bounding right back. Others—not so great. The good news is that with the desire, every one of us can improve our bounce-ability quotient. Continue reading
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” ~E.B. White
A few weeks ago I posted about how it was “SMART to Spend Time in Nature.” That’s because there are dozens of scientific studies that now prove that not only is it healing for the body, it is also extremely good for our mental health to experience time in the great outdoors. Since writing that blog, I have since discovered that not only is it good for us physically and mentally—spending time in nature also makes us nicer and more generous people.
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Has anything pleasantly unexpected happened to you lately? Why not? If your day is starting to look and feel like the movie “Ground Hog Day” then maybe you have closed yourself off from the new and possible. Just holding open the possibility that something new and wonderful could happen today—very likely might crack open that door to a miraculous possibility that never before seemed feasible.
Some of the posts here on SMART Living 365 might lead you to believe that SMART Living is merely keeping a positive attitude. You might also think that once you embrace what I have been calling SMART Living that nothing unpleasant or bad ever happens in your life. Actually, while it might be nice if that were true—it’s not. SMART Living isn’t a place you arrive at like taking a trip to Hawaii and never coming home. Instead, SMART Living is a journey of discovering that no matter what happens, you have the consciousness, understanding and tools to deal with whatever comes your way. Continue reading
Just over six months ago Thom and I added a new family member to our household—a puppy we named Kloe. To be sure, a puppy ads havoc, lots more work and a great deal of responsibility to anyone who cares for them. However, the increased value and joy Kloe brings to our lives more than compensates for any inconvenience. Not only does Kloe make us laugh on a daily basis, there is plenty of proof that she is also good for our health.
“Research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings,” Richard Ryan.
As some of our friends and family know, Thom and I have been renting a house for a month every summer up in Idyllwild for around 17 years. Idyllwild is a very small mountain town, (less than 2,000 permanent residents) about an hour from our home in the desert. Back in 1993 we did it for the first time because, quite frankly, we couldn’t afford any other type of vacation—it seemed like a good way to escape the desert heat and was a great bargain as well. Little did we know back then that the experience would be so rewarding, that we would still be doing it 17 years later. Now, not only do we consider it still an amazing vacation value, more especially we are living examples of the restorative power of spending time in nature. Continue reading
“It took some good calm thinking in order to get myself to calm down and stop throwing myself against the boulder.” –Aron Ralston, mountain climber and author
Yesterday Thom came across an interesting article on Huffington Post about the lack of common sense in the world today. The article by Dr. Jim Taylor said, “common sense is neither common, nor sense. There’s not a whole lot of sound judgment going on these days… so it’s not common.” We both agreed with his suggestions on how to bring more open and rigorous thinking to our decisions, but there was something else missing. Maybe that final ingredient to all common sense should be some “calmNsense.” Continue reading