Buddhist idea of no self – True or not?

buddhist

A Buddhist makes the claim that the self does not exist. In Sanskrit this is called anâtman. In other words my notion of I or myself is an illusion. When people first hear this, they are astonished. How can anyone deny they exist? Don’t we have our own thoughts and feelings? Don’t we act in … Continue reading Buddhist idea of no self – True or not?

Humility – Where’s the good in it?

humility

People often equate humility with submissiveness, low self-esteem and low confidence. Not qualities suited to say being a leader or entertainer. However, Jim Kong Kim (President of the World Bank) is a leader who recognises the value of humility. He says it allows him to ask for coaching of new personal skills and request feedback … Continue reading Humility – Where’s the good in it?

Gratitude – How to feel it?

gratitude

Psychology research is showing that grateful people are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression. An attitude of gratitude can make the difference between a life of fulfillment, or a life of emptiness. True gratitude is more than merely saying ‘thank you’. It is not just noticing … Continue reading Gratitude – How to feel it?

Hope – But what to pin it on?

hope

Turn on the television news, look at your bank statement, listen to your friend’s woes. Faced with the basic problems of living who hasn’t despaired of things ever turning out okay? How are you to be delivered from all that is going wrong with the world – the hate and violence, crime, stress, family breakdown, … Continue reading Hope – But what to pin it on?

What’s so bad about a bit of self-pride?

Self-pride

A bit of self-pride seems part of the positive trait of self-esteem. Possible danger of self-pride Yet we speak of pride before a fall. The story of Icarus is about a young man’s attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus ignored instructions not to … Continue reading What’s so bad about a bit of self-pride?

Criticise them – But how to do so safely?

criticise

Yes it can happen. No one likes their faults to be pointed out and some with thin skins see criticism as a personal attack. They get shirty, defensive or bite back. You probably would think twice before taking the risk of saying what you really think to them. Yet keeping quiet means not doing anything about the problem.

Do I get my way too often?

get my way

Okay so you seldom shout at your teenage son to keep his bedroom tidy. In fact you don’t voice explosive anger, never mind verbal abuse or a threat of violence to get your own way. But perhaps without even realising it, do you sometimes use less obvious methods of manipulation?

Do your attempts at influencing others amount to trying to make them think, act, or feel the way you do? How do you assess the way you manage other people in your life? Do you get your own way too often?

A Vision of Utopia

Turn on the television news and there is an almost overwhelming focus on financial mess, social problems or crime. So what actually is the meaning of life? When I look around me I can’t help longing for a better kind of world. Sometimes I feel we are so used to the unsatisfactory state of things that we have given up hoping for something better.

Is idealism completely out of fashion? Have we become too cynical to have a vision of utopia? Or are we too scared of being tarnished with the same brush as the fanatical extremists who have not been slow in broadcasting their own hate filled criticism of modern life. Perhaps I’m being hopelessly idealistic but surely society could be better. How can I find my perfect society? What follows are the prejudices of an idealist.