After I heard how factory farming animals were treated, all I wanted to do was to become a vegetarian, that was 20 years ago.
I’m still very happy I went meatless, but switching diet is a big deal and it took some education to make it work.
In fact, I’ve failed many times: alternating between meat binges and vegan fundamentalism. Continue reading
This is my second post in the “How to be an Urban Monk” series.
For those who arrived late, the previous episode was about not wasting time. Today I’ll focus on problems and how to crush them consciously :)
Don’t you ever fantasize on the day when you’ll leave everything behind to live a simple, spiritual life?
Dreaming of becoming a Buddhist monk or a Yogi in a meditation cave is often a mental trick to send our current problems to hell:
- Gone the bills every months: the monastery would provide.
- Gone the arguments with the family and partner: celibacy would cut through relationship complications.
- Gone the city, its nastiness, violence and noise: replaced with unlimited vacation in the Asian countryside.
Dwelling in a gorgeous place by the side of a mountain, listening to the distant humming of Buddhist rituals as you fetch water in the river…It’s a daydream I used to have.
this is a quick post to proudly announce that I’ve been interviewed by Vaibhav Wankhede on his travel blog Leaving My Footprints.
Vaibhav was curious about my “Free and Homeless Experiment” and has kindly shared our QA session in this post.
I encourage you to follow his blog, which should be a source of inspiration for all those contemplating to go for a long trip and coach surfing.
If you’d like to read more about the Free and Homeless Experiment (a travel diary that I wrote on the roads of latin america and the US), here are some of my best articles:
- Episode 1: When I decided to leave everything behind
- Episode 5: The “Antigua Machete Attack”
- Episode 7: Stopping at San Pedro, Freaks Paradise
- Episode 16: A post about my old Tibetan Master
Stay in touch, I’ll continue to send updates about what I do in my weekly posts :)
Lately, a friend at the yoga studio asked me if meditating 5 minutes a day would make a difference for him.
He’s used to Bikram Yoga and its hellish 90 minutes sessions, so he was doubting the fact that meditating a short time daily could have any impact on his life.
I told him that things change tremendously if you practice 5 minutes a day, as long as you keep doing it no matter what circumstances.
“Sometimes I feel like a big eardrum” – Liz
We resonate with things, all the time.
When a baby’s crying next door
When our boss gets angry at us
When a cat touches our nose with his
Daily experiences leave a trace in us, a persistent feeling, our hands keep shaking, we get restless, we start singing a song frantically, or we’re left with a subtle wave of bliss flooding our nervous system.
We can’t control it.
Because we’re humans, we label these experiences, we have names for every emotion, in an attempt to to keep them within the boundaries of knowledge and rationality but let’s face it, deep down, we know that feelings don’t care what they’re called. Deep down, we’re affraid they’ll rule our lives and take over at any time.
At any time we can get mad, or start crying, or have a strange orgasm (one that the neighbor will hear and comment)… At any time our feelings can be too much to handle and push us over the edge.
If we lose it, we’ll be weak and exposed publicly, some people might witness that and think that we’re ridiculous.
But it doesn’t freaking matter.
Instead of living in the constant paranoia of being attacked from the inside, the point of this article is to briefly expose a simple approach to live your feelings consciously and boldly.
Didn’t you identify with a super hero when you were a kid?
I know I did, children often use imaginary role models to build their personality, yet now that we’re adults, do we still need that kind of substitutes?
Like for instance, did you hear about the notion of “Higher Self”?
I’m referring to the term as used in self-help literature.
Think of the higher self as a fully blossomed version of you. It’s who you should become in order to accomplish your mission on earth, a perfected version of you, after years of improvement.
It’s obviously a very enticing idea, but I’ll call bullshit on it: I think that it’s a misleading approach if you really want to grow and improve your life.
You really don’t need that kind of pseudo-spiritual marketing jargon to set inspiring goals for yourself and achieve them.
I wrote this article to show:
- Why this higher self thing doesn’t work
- What to do instead Continue reading
Too often, my mind gets crippled with worries.
When that process starts, everything feels like a serious and urgent problem: taxes, cat food running out, my next blog post that looks fairly bad, global warming, the cancer that I haven’t been diagnosed with yet.
I call it the problem solving syndrome, when you start to see everything as an issue and you forget that the main problem is your own anxiety.
Waking up in that mode guarantees you a mind totally jammed in an inextricable network of concerns for the entire day.
I hate being in that state; it’s a pain in the butt, not only for me but also for the ones I love (I’m nasty when worried).
Now that I’ve mentioned the dark side, here’s the nice part: I learned to snap out of mental traffic jams pretty fast, using self-help and meditation, and I’ll tell you how.
You might not recognize yourself as a brainy person with a cluttered mind, but if you do, I’d like to share some of my best practices with you, things that I do as a minimalist and a Buddhist.
I got fired from a tele-marketing gig.
It was a horrible job.
I had applied for the position because I needed the money real bad.
They fired me two weeks later: I hadn’t sold anything.
That’s it, “Growing The Roots Of Happiness” is now a one-year-old-baby.
I’d like to thank all of you for regularly stopping by and leaving comments.
Writing a blog made me spend lots of time on the web, much more than a reasonable user. Since I dug in a lot of content, I’d like to share with you the best of what I saw: Continue reading