Luxury Travel Blog + strange love

The Buddhist
The Buddhist

photo by Wings of the Raven/Deviant Art Jamie asks this week:

What do you wish to be gentle with? And I have to say... myself. As anyone who has read even a few of my posts knows, I am my own worst enemy. If my mental slapdowns only affected me that would be OK - I'm used to my self-abuse by now - but it effects how I interact (or not) and connect (or not) with my husband, family, friends, and strangers too.

Being gentle is a loving action. If I can't learn to love myself, I can't really love others very well either (although I can fake it for a while). Meditation is helping me learn, slowly, oh so slowly, how to be gentle with myself. When I find myself distracted by miscellaneous thoughts the Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron has instructed us to say the word, "thinking," and your busy thoughts will clear (usually) and you can go back to your breath (until the next round of thoughts). But I found myself using the word like a club instead, "THINKING!" WHAM! BAM! "LOSER!" until I read in her When Things Fall Apart about a Texan who told her that he did the same thing and discovered that if he thought "thinking good buddy" he could go back to his breath without feeling frustrated and bad about constantly being distracted. So I decided to try that myself, but instead I say, "thinking sweetie" and it has made a colossal difference. Now instead of feeling like I am whupping myself upside the head it is more like, awwww, I could pinch my own cheeks!

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