The Yoga Path • Omaha, NE

Icon

{ Practicing Physical, Mental & Spiritual Health }

Are You Sure?

There is a Zen story that you have perhaps heard. This condensed version is borrowed from the writings of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

One day a farmer went to the field and found that his horse had run away. The people in the village said, “Oh what bad luck!” The next day the horse returned with two other horses and village people said, “What good fortune!” Then the farmer’s son was thrown from one of the horses and broke his leg. The villagers expressed their sympathy, “How unfortunate!” Soon after, a war broke out and the young men from the village were being drafted. But because the farmer’s son had a broken leg, he was the only one not drafted. Now the village people told the farmer that his son’s broken leg was really “good luck.”

It is difficult to judge whether an event is fortunate or unfortunate, good or bad. Success contains failure and failure often offers lessons we wouldn’t learn any other way. And many of these judgements arise from our perceptions of how we think things ought to be. This is good and this is bad, right or wrong. Then these perceptions lead us to creating a story about what will happen in the future or if only something different had been done in the past.

Wrong perceptions can create a host of problems. So much of our suffering and dissatisfaction arises from our failure to recognize things as they are. There is a phrase; a question in Buddhism: “Are you sure?” Asking ourselves this question can sometimes stop the story and give us space to reflect what is really happening.

‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Filed under: Education, Stories, Virtual Yoga, , ,

Discipline of Rewiring the Brain

In June of this year, a 21 day Mindfulness retreat was hosted at Plum Village in France for scientists throughout the world, taught by the Vietnamese  Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.  At this retreat Thay explained the connection between the five mental formations and the neural pathways in the brain. He describes how, with the practice of mindfulness, we can erase the neural pathways that lead to suffering and open new paths that lead understanding and happiness.

From this came an article by Paul Tingen call Using Mindfulness to Rewire the Brain.We’re reading this article at the end of classes at the Yoga Path to foster a practice of tapa/discipline (the third niyama),. We are striving to do things in our lives that strengthen well-being and thus allowing us to be strong enough to mindfully embrace and transform the suffering in our life.  The link to this article is below.

Rewiring the Brain

Filed under: Education, , , , ,

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Yoga Path Blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 662 other followers

Visit our Site