Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Glass Question

A university professor visited a Zen master. The professor ambled on about the sutras he had studied. 

While the master silently served tea, the professor talked about glasses full and empty.

The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. 

The professor watched the overflowing cup until he yelled, "It's full! No more will go in."

"This is you," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."

The third ancestor in china, Seng Ts'an, said, "Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions." If we empty ourselves out, let go, and cease to hold on to our views, the truth will come to us.

Consider the reality of an event from an optimistic or pessimistic perspective. 

When thinking of the future, why do we often see through the glass to what appears muddied?  Could we look through clarity of glass?  Might that reflect a shine?

How do you deal with the glass?

These exercises will help promote Optimism:

1. Focus on your sense of humor to provide buoyancy in all types of weather. Laughter strengthens the stomach muscles and releases chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, to elevate the mood.

2. When a negative emotion crosses your mind, write it down. How often do you write frustration, anger, worry or fear? What emotions counteract them? Give them names and write a dialogue between the opposites.

3. If you think of a troubling situation that could occur in the future, write it down and place it in a box.  In a week, open the box and notice how many things you fretted about did not occur.

3. Make three columns and list your three greatest accomplishments. In each column, write ways you accomplished these Feats of Fantastic. Keep the list with you and add to it. Include problem solving techniques, strategies and anyone you contacted for assistance. If you feel frustrated during a challenge, refer to the list to see how you succeeded in the past.

4. Take time weekly to write about what makes you feel good about your accomplishments. Also probe in writing choices that get in the way of what you want to achieve. Continue to ask what you learned about yourself and how you meet challenges. Bring these talents to a new situation?

4. Who is a Hero in your area of expertise or life in general? How does this person achieve success? How do you suppose this person greets failure?

If you spend time working on the above areas, you will develop Positive habits that will grow into your Best Friends during times of need.

What will you write about in one of the above areas today?

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