Human Practices that Connect Us II

4. Surrender/acceptance/embracing. Buddhists insightfully describe suffering as seeing how things are and wishing they were different. More time spent in surrendering and accepting things exactly how they are is exactly the path to ending suffering. That does not mean that we stop working for meaningful change. We suffer less along the way, and are better able to embrace fully what is. We end up being more clear-headed in the process.

a. What parts of myself do I reject or wish were NOT me?

b. What around me do I continue to deny they are or exist the way they are?

c. What “surrendering” practices might I embrace that would allow me to be more at peace with my life, the world, and how things are in the world?

5. Gratitude/appreciation/gratefulness. These ideas build from those in number 2 above. How can we come to “want what we have” vs. “wanting what we do not have.” I suppose it is normal to want things, but obsessing over the things (usually) we do not have is what leads to unrest, suffering, and unthinking reactions.

a. What are the things and who are the people in our lives we could bring to mind that have contributed in a positive way, and that, if we stop for a moment, we are grateful for?

b. What are the skills and talents of my co-workers that they contribute to the team and me, and that I genuinely appreciate about them?

c. How can I begin sharing more gratitude for all the experiences this life offers me?

6. Joy/bliss/passion. When are remove and/or heal the wounds and obstacles that many experiences in our life have created, it is said that what we are left with is our natural state of joy and bliss, and passion. That makes sense to me.

a. When was the last time you genuinely felt joyful? What were you doing? Who were you with?

b. What unhealed wounds do you have that keep you from experiencing more of your natural passion and zest for life?

c. What actions can you take that will provide more of these experiences?