emotions

What makes you not a Buddhist (book 4 of 12)

What makes you not a Buddhist (book 4 of 12)

May 8, 2020
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Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, author of What makes you not a Buddhist, has really managed to clarify for me what makes me not a Buddhist, and consequently, what would make me a Buddhist. I appreciate his take on this, and the book, short and easy-read that it is, is very informative and to-the-point.

”All compounded things are impermanent.
All emotions are pain.
All things have no inherent existence.
Nirvana is beyond concepts.”

If you do not accept these four truths, you would not be a Buddhist.
If you do, well, then… you are?!

”The recognition of impermanence is the key to freedom from fear of remaining forever stuck in a situation, habit, or pattern.”

Finished reading the book, and the morning after, was sent day 19 of the 21 days of Abundance-meditation by the (Deepak) Chopra Center. And funnily enough, the exercise for the day, attached to the meditation, centers around the parable of This too shall pass.

And I have to say, in my ever-deepening knowing of this, through and through, I find life more enjoyable to life. The high’s. The low’s. The nothing-much-is-happening-at-all’s. All of it.

”[…] when we remember that things are impermanent, we are less likely to be enslaved by assumptions, rigid beliefs (both religious and secular), value systems, or blind faith. Such awareness prevents us from getting caught up in all kinds of personal, political, and relationship dramas. We begin to know that things are not entirely under our control and never will be, so there is no expectation for things to go according to our hopes and fears.”

This is right up my alley, and something that greatly helps me in life. But no. I don’t see myself as a Buddhist, nor do I have any desire too. But I also want to clarify that in no way, does this mean that I don’t feel. That I don’t cry tears of despair as well as tears of the utmost joy.

I do. And I want to.
In no way do I want to go through life numb.
But knowing that whatever is, is right now and not forever, makes it easier to feel in the now, and not fall down the rabbit hole (at least not as often, as long, or as easily) of getting stuck in remembrance of feeling into what was, or imagining what might be.
Being here. Now.
Knowing nothing lasts forever. 

Recognizing the instability of causes and conditions leads us to understand our own power to transform obstacles and make the impossible possible. This is true in every area of life.


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2020, to read and blog monthly about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, books that I already own.

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More silence in life?

April 23, 2020
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The silence.
Again, the silence!

Of all the feedback I and my two fellow Buddhas have gotten from people listening to one or more episodes of our recently launched podcast Buddhas by the Roadside, the one thing that keeps coming up over and over again is the silence.

10 seconds.
20 seconds.
30 seconds.

I don’t know how long there have been silent parts in these episodes, as I haven’t timed them, but they are there, they are quite frequent, and they are definitely part of the way we are, together, the three of us, me, Caspian and Dominic. Well… in 3D the silences can last for way longer than half a minute, but that’s beside the point. The point is… sometimes, it is just so lovely to be able to have a bit of emptiness, to let me, my thoughts, my emotions, make their way, leisurely, to the Point of Now. Not necessarily catch up, that’s a phrase that doesn’t ring true for me, here, but rather just… at my own pace, making my way to a meeting point, an energetic center, where connections can be made, where all of it, all of me, my thoughts, my emotions, can go off again, side by side or in different directions… only to reconvene later on at a new meeting point.

For me, this is a skill I’ve rediscovered, or perhaps relearned, as I used to be working on my retort while the other was speaking, which had me not be present in the conversation. I very rarely do this, anymore. I’ve learned to listen. And then, to see what pops up. If anything, because now and again, there’s just space, vast space, of the most glorious silence. Within.

And these silences are not edited out from Buddhas by the Roadside. There are allowed their own space. And I wonder at the way these silences of ours are picked up. Might it be, that there is a longing for more silences in the lives of our listeners? That these silences stick out for the listeners could perhaps be a sign of a longing, a need, a wish for more silences in life?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Advent Calendar 2 – Help en route to become gentle with myself

December 2, 2018
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Pondering what has helped me learn how to be gentle with myself, I realize me, myself and I have been my foremost help and aide on this journey. I have let myself open up for insight, for new thoughts. For asking questions, and listening for the reply. I excel at intake, reading, listening, talking, taking in new stuff, getting hints and ideas worth trying, to see what I might gain from them.

Leonard Cohen famously wrote that there’s a crack in everything, and that’s where the light comes in. Then I recently read somewhere, that the crack is also where the light shines through from within. And that’s what I’ve let myself do (and become), a person where light can both enter, but also exit. I take in light – and I transmit light.

My loved ones have also been an integral part in me learning to be gentle towards myself. My ex-husband played a big part, and my children. They are the reason why I started therapy some 12-13 years ago or so. I didn’t want to be such an angry mom for them, and took help, because I was at a loss on how to transform myself.

I’ve attended a myriad of different courses, specifically coaching courses and summits of various kinds, but neither of these courses I’ve picked with the specific purpose of becoming gentle to me. And yet… they have all helped me reach the place where I can say, with complete honesty, that I am. Not 100% of the time and in all situations. Of course not. But that’s not a goal I strive for, becoming “perfect” in this sense.

My Mastermind-group and my #skolvåren back office-gang. Funnily enough these two major parts of my personal development (in many ways) both have their moment of birth in the first months of 2013.  The amount of stuff we’ve worked through together, sharing beliefs, knowledge, questions, fear, longings and bas the basis has been a general sense of curiosity, we’ve helped each other grow and expand. Enriching ourselves through continuous discussions  where the underlying love and respect we all have for each other sets the tone.

And then… all the conversations I’ve had. These have been a huge factor as well. Conversations with myself, as well as others. I have a few very intimate friends whom I’ve shared so much with – and thanks to their knowledge and wisdom, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of myself. And that in turn has also helped me become gentle towards myself.

And the benefits are massive. For myself, of course. Being harsh or gentle in my inner dialogue definitely makes a huge difference. For me. But it also impacts those I meet. If I am harsh with myself – it’s much more likely I will be harsh with you as well. Even thought that isn’t what I aim for. And logically, the opposite is true as well. The more gentle I am with me, the easier it is for me to be gentle with those in my vicinity.

Thanks to me opening up to both myself as those around me, letting these different avenues all help me learn to be more gentle with myself, my experience of life today is one which has me smile softly just writing these words. And I love how my body and my emotions so visibly guides me by showing me what serves me, and what doesn’t.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 2 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking (book 23 of 26)

November 18, 2018
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in Tip
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Coming closer to the end of my reading challenge of 2018, the part which has me reading 26 books in Swedish and 26 in English, books I already had in my possession at the start of the year. The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking by Christopher Hansard, is a book I got a year or two ago, on the recommendation of D.

“From the beating of our hearts at birth to our final breath in death, a continual stram of thought flows through us, making us, forming all our desires and directing unconscious actions, yet always guiding us towards greater self-knowledge. The power of thought is immense.”

It is. And the difference in how living life as me, before and after I realized exactly how powerful thought is… Huge.

“‘You are what you think.’ […] ‘Thoughts directs all things’, he said. ‘People pride themselves on how they think, but really it is thought that moves through people. Our thoughts create our lives, they make us sick, happy or successful. Our thoughts can pollute our planet through the actions we take. Thoughts on their own will gather like clouds in the sky, good thoughts coming together with other good thoughts and unskilful thoughts attracting other unskilful thoughts.'”

Or said in another way: we get more of that which we focus on. Another one of those clichés that I see people sharing, without fully realizing what it actually means. It means what it says. I do get more of that which I focus on. It’s simple physics. Like attracts like.

“Emotions are the teachers of human experience and we must always give thanks for them. They must not be denied but understood, loved and transformed.”

Allowing myself to feel what I feel, while at the same time, not necessarily take it so bloody seriously, or, for that matter, react upon every emotion that pops up within. Asking myself, how does this serve me, giving me that tiniest of distances towards myself, which can stop me from reacting, and instead having me choose my action.

Those are just a few of all the passages I’ve marked up until page 22. With another 250 pages to go, you do the math. So pick up a copy of this book, and find out for yourself what the ancient Tibetans (the Bön tradition, which began 17 000 years ago!) discovered about the world, our place in it and how everything connects.

“Complaining is damaging because words are the houses in which our thoughts live. They way you speak will indicate the way you think.”

That’s one reason why I have consciously chosen to be very restrictive with certain words. Such as right/wrong, good/bad, must/should/would/ought to. To name a few.

“If we become softer and slow our rush [in our search for happiness and meaning], the fear of desperation will fall away and we can then hear the tender voice of pure thought energy wishing only to guide us.
Make things simple in your life. Let your life become simple in its actions, communicate simply and let your love be simple, for then it will be profound.”

This reminds me of the phrase “Slowing down to the speed of life“, which actually is a book title, of a book I have yet to read. I will though, one of these days…


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own. 

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Time travelling

February 2, 2018
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I sit here, headed home by train, after being away for a night and a day, on assignment for a new client. The sounds and movements of the train help lull me into an experience of timelessness; the sense of time passing, and yet… not. I’ve ridden a lot of train in my days, and I gather all those memories weigh in, to awaken the sensation of being outside time, somehow.

Perhaps I’ve also been influenced by the fact that I’ve travelled through time while the trains have been taking me first north, and then south. Time travelling through a multitude of episodes of the second season of Outlander, this favorite series of mine. Season one is my absolute favorite, and I recently viewed it yet again, for the umpteenth time. In season two, which I just finished re-watching, there’s more sadness, more sorrow, more darkness. A series worthwhile watching, definitely. Especially if you, like I, have a taste for the ways of the past. A few weeks ago I watched the third season for the first time, and now, that I’ve finished re-watching season one and two, I will revisit the third season once more. I already look forward to it, a smile not far from that of the Cheshire cat upon my face.

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Nowadays it’s easy for me to experience the full spectrum of available emotions, from deep love, to the most wondrous joy, to dark despair and heartwrenching sorrow. Place me in front of a clip from Britain’s got talent, and I cry my eyes out – from joy, from pride, from the nerves so visibly strung, sometimes breaking, sometimes making the sweetest art. So watching Outlander most definitely has me on an emotional rollercoaster, let me tell you. And I love it. As I get to f e e l.

I am not afraid of feeling, of experiencing emotions, from the darkest to the lightest. I relish in it. In the experience. In having my heart constrict along with my throat as my eyes well up… to laughing out loud revelling in the humor of the moment at hand… to sensing my blood heat up and rush to erogenous zones spread out across my body as I watch a hand stroke a thigh, a chest, a breast; as two mouths meet up in a kiss, be it soft and tender, or hungry and desperate for more.

I know it will pass, as all emotions, feelings and sensations do – but as they pass through me, I get to f e e l them. And the more I enjoy the actual feeling of them all, the less afraid I am of experiencing whatever feeling comes to pass. It enriches my life, making it easier for me to acknowledge what I feel as I feel it, to stand up for myself and what I sense, while at the same time, not take myself too seriously.

Because that is not a contradiction – feeling it all, all the while not taking myself seriously -, though I fear many believe it is? I know the sensation in the moment will pass, and my old-time companion – the query “Is this serving me?” – helps me to act when it does serve me to, and to refrain from acting when it doesn’t. Except for then I say bugger all, and act full well knowing it is not serving me (whatever it might be!), just because I stubbornly want to. Deliberate and intentional, not blaming my actions on anyone but myself. Taking full responsibility, knowing full well, that no one else can make me feel anything, that’s my prerogative, solely.

So.
Time travel is up, for now.
The train rolled in to Malmö Central, I got off and got on my bike, and am now plonked in ”my spot” on my sofa, with Pop the cat cuddled up beside me, the soft and melodious sounds of
Myrra Ros accompanying me as I finish writing this.

Long. Rambling.
Not especially coherent.
As blog posts go, far from a master piece of mine.

Don’t really give a hoot though.

Getting back on track with daily blogging will likely have me ship stuff, that could – should? – be improved upon. But hey – sometimes there’s a point to that as well. In Lund there’s even a museum dedicated to it, a museum of sketches, called the Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art. I’ve never been there. Think I might go visit it soon. Get inspired by watching ”the birth of a work of art”, as the founder of the museum intended.

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Avoiding war, just to fall into a trap!

April 18, 2016
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Had another wonderful conversation with D. At the end if it, he gave me a gift, that opened up for a new insight in me.

The insight was this:armed
I have gotten to know myself so well by now, that when I am upset about whatever, while in a low state of mind, I don’t want to drag other people into my personal hell with me. So I (try as best as I can to) refrain from picking fights, withstand the urge to arm my self and to lash out, or at least, only to lash out while keeping myself under a tight leash to minimize the damage I do when cracking my whip. So I hide away, find some solitude, curl up all alone, and weather the internal storm without letting on what’s going on.

When the storm passes, and I move into a higher state of mind, I no longer feel the need to communicate whatever it was that had me upset in the first place. I don’t see the point to it. So I keep quiet. Even though my loved ones know I’ve been to hell and back – that’s apparent. They sense what I’ve been through, just as I sense it when they go through something similar. Without knowing the specifics. Without grasping possible insights or reflections that comes from it.

And that was the gift. Understanding that my burning desire to avoid going to war with someone important to me, had me fall into another trap! The trap of shutting them out when I don’t share my experiences once I’m in a higher state of mind. My loved ones don’t have a clue as to what I went through on the journey. If I don’t let them in, if I avoid to share my hardships with them, I effectively stop them from empathizing with me, from sharing my journey. And that can, in a sense, be as damaging as outright fighting can be. And I never knew. I just never thought about it this way.

But I see now, that in my efforts to shelter my loved ones from vitriolic words and emotions – anger, resentment, disgust, frustration, pain, annoyance – I’ve gone a step to far. I am happy I have learned to minimize the amount of vitriolic words and emotions that I expose my surroundings to, and that is something I will keep on working on, but… But!

I will start to share my experiences, once I am out of the rabbit hole, to open up for conversation, understanding, connection and deepening relationships. I will try to share, in such a way that I don’t pass the responsibility for my experiences onto anyone else, try my very best to communicate that I take full responsibility for me and my experiences, while at the same time, letting those near me in. Letting my loved ones come close. Closer. Not push them away, by enclosing myself behind a high and thick wall, not shove my loved ones away, out of a fear of hurting them.

The strategy I’ve been applying for the past few years is not optimal. I knew this. I know this. I feel it and have done for quite some time. I just never knew what it was that wasn’t all there. And now I do. Thanks to D. As so often in our conversations, he presented me with a gift, and I received it. Opened it. Listened within to what arose from hearing his thoughts spoken out load. Letting the insight wash over me. And expanded.

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