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|Hey, kids, have you tried Glint? Breaking Bad Happy Meal (pastemagazine.com)|
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|Protecting police from murder charges after they murder (Left Coast/Stephanie McMillan)|
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|Police state? What police state? (Ted Rall/rall.com/latimes.com)|
|Bully: Hey, you st-pid b--ch, you're fat, and flat, and you suck. Get lost (Carmalt-Vener)|
The first step is to focus on the mind [in many ways synonymous with the heart in Buddhism].
To what extent is the mind making it harder to endure these things? The Buddha gives the example of a person shot by an arrow. Being shot by one arrow isn't enough: We shoot ourselves with more arrows. How? The first arrow is the actual pain; the extra arrows are all our mental flailing around in reaction to the pain.
These extra arrows are the real problem. As Thai master Ajahn Fuang once said, "If physical pain isn't killing you, you can take it." But for most of us, the problem isn't so much the physical pain. It's all that extra suffering that we add on top of it, all the extra arrows we shoot into the heart/mind.
One way is to develop a good sense of humor around the whole situation. Who knows the Pali word for humor?
- Pali is the ancient Buddhist language, a Middle Indo-Aryan tongue related to Sanskrit but used exclusively by Buddhism, which literally means "text."
- VIDEO: JOKES II: The Buddhist Comic!
- The Inappropriate Yoga Guy (comedy)
- Laughing Buddha on Father's Day (comedy)
- Buddhist hip-hop rap music video (comedy)
|I spent way too much on this eavesdropping device!|
The external conditions are the same in either case. If we haven't eaten enough, we sit there complaining, "I can't practice today! I have no energy! I'm feeling hungry! I'm feeling tired and weak!" That's a condition for laziness.
The condition for aroused effort, if we haven't eaten enough, is to say: "Ah, the body is light! I don't have to worry about digesting my food today! I'm not sleepy or drowsy or weighed down by the food!"
|I love your smile! (Massulan/flickr.com)|
Some may have heard the story of the 19th century Englishman who went across northern Canada with a group of Dene Indians (a First Nations group). He noticed that on the days when they couldn't find any food, the Dene tended to joke and laugh the most. That's how they were able to keep up their spirits.
|U.S. economy as dark humor: breaking bad|
They're suffering a lot less than the Americans, who just sit around moping over their individual sufferings, plotting revenge on one another.
|Dalai Lama birthday humor|
So we develop that attitude as we practice. This is why adjusting the breath -- the focus of anapanasati or mindfulness-of-breathing meditation -- is sometimes called playing with the breath.
If we're sitting with pain, let's ask ourselves, "What can the breath do that I haven't had it do before?"
|Laughing in leaves (Eldholms)|
We see what we can do to keep ourselves entertained with the breath, to gladden the mind and heart.
We become more proactive toward the pain: We investigate it, are curious about it, instead of just passively suffering and "enduring" it.
Keeping a good humor helps to put us in a position of power. That's one attitude to ease the burden of endurance. More
- Buddhist Comics (BuddhaNet.net)
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- News of the World (Democracy Now!)
- The Int'l Dragon Con Parade
- Tweets of the Week (Paste Mag)
- Oscar Wilde on Facebook
- VIDEO: actor Steven Seagal is a violent, lying blowhard (Jimmy Dore), says John Leguizamo (Q with Jian Ghomeshi)
|The (de-)evolution of intellectual freedom from grad school to death (spiritual-artworks.org)|