Buddhas Among Us

813 LW-R Relax and Succeed - Be soft do not let the world make you hardToday is Remembrance Day in Canada, and so like every year I will be at the cenotaph with my parents , who both served during wartime. Today I leave you with a piece that reminds me a lot of my Dad. May it bring peace to your soul.

Lest we forget.

peace, s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Relax and Succeed

I met a Buddha the other day. While I was delighted by this knowledge, it did not come as a complete surprise. But where I found this Buddha will probably surprise you

144 Relax and Succeed - Happiness is not somethingVirtually all of us were brought up to translate vestments and beads into spirituality. We look for our guru’s in churches, or ashram’s, or temples, or in New Age settings. We look for sacred texts, or candles, or certain kinds of music. We seek quiet, somber people who speak in parables and riddles. We will often look outside of our own culture and toward the world’s oldest cultures in Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and other ancient cultures including Native North and South Americans. Many people travel all over the world—literally or virtually—in search of answers. And yet there are Buddhas among us to learn from.

I’ve met this woman many times. She always comes across as very friendly…

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Other Perspectives #82

766 OP Relax and Succeed - Stuck in between I wanna get my life togetherIt’s a holiday here in Canada, so today I’m linking you to a well-loved post you’re unlikely to have seen. It’s a personal favourite about how we value ourselves and our time on this Earth. I really think you’ll like it. I’m going to enjoy some extra time working on my new book. Wherever you are, do all you can to make your day beautiful too. Enjoy:

Are We Having Fun Yet?

*

Much love, s

Scott McPherson is a writer, mindfulness instructor, coach and communications facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Other Perspectives #68

686 OP-R Relax and Succeed - When you start seeing your worthIt’s a holiday here in Canada so I hope you have the day off and can spend it with your loved ones. In today’s Other Perspectives I discuss that very thing—how to spend healthy time with your loved ones. Because a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about what a good, healthy, long-lasting relationship looks like.

Enjoy.

peace. s

Relax and Succeed

414 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - A healthy relationship

Uh. Be careful with this one. A lot of people will misinterpret this. This doesn’t mean you help your partner improve. It means you help them become who they really are. Improvement was what I originally thought too. A lot of people make that mistake. My ex-wife and I—me more than her—saw potential in each other that was unrealized and so we urged each other to realize it. We were totally well-intentioned. But what we’re essentially saying to the person is, “you’re not okay the way you are already.” Ouch. People don’t “make” anyone better, people grow at their own pace relative to the nourishment they have. Period. So in the relationship I had after my wife, I didn’t wake up and look at her and think wow you have so much incredible potential that I want to help you realize—I thought instead: wow I cannot believe how patient…

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The Point 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday is Remembrance Day in Canada and so I’ll be where I always am on this day—I’ll be proudly watching my father march in the annual Remembrance Day parade past the cenotaph.

Both of my parents served and I love them both dearly, and by extension I love all of the brave people that both fought and lost loved ones.

Today is a day for deep and profound gratitude. Let us not repeat the horrors of war. Let us all enact peace in our lives and lead the world by example.

With respect to veterans everywhere, enjoy this day and the many freedoms that it is so easy to take for granted. I wish you all the very best.

peace. s

Relax and Succeed

Whether I’m doing group classes or one-on-one sessions with people it’s not uncommon for them to go home and have a friend or relative ask them how the class went and what they learned. But the people are always surprised when the students tell them that they did learn a lot, but they’re not really sure how to describe it, or the lesson. That’s because it isn’t a lesson in the adding knowledge kind of way. It’s a different kind of learning.

170 Relax and Succeed - Most things are difficultFor me as a writer, the hardest part of creating this blog was letting go of my habits as a writer. On top of the typos we all inevitably make, now I also had to ignore some grammatical rules. I had to have no internal “correctness” editor, because what I’m communicating cannot afford any flexing or hewing. And because of what I’m trying to do within the reader’s…

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Think For Yourself

It’s a long weekend here in Canada. I like to use those days to bring some attention to a previous blog that, due to the day it was posted, didn’t get the attention it deserved. Today is just such a blog about confidence, opinion and individuality. Enjoy.

Relax and Succeed

A student I was working with told me that he wanted more confidence—he wanted to do well with girls. When I asked him what he meant by “doing well,” he told me that most of the girls he approached at the bar didn’t seem interested in him. I asked him why that was a problem and he said that he was a young man and that he was failing if that didn’t happen. It was supposed to happen.

Okay, first off, nothing is supposed to happen. What you mean when you say that is that you wanted and expected it to happen, but wanting and expecting aren’t forces that shape other people’s actions, so if you’re going to want and expect, then be prepared to be disappointed. Secondly, I asked my friend why he got to order every girl in the bar around? He said he didn’t want to…

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Bits of Wisdom

A friend recently asked me to elaborate on an Eckart Tolle quote he found opaque. These things are always hyper-subtle semantic issues, so to someone who does not have the appropriate perspective an author can appear to contradict even themselves. In this case, the 206 Relax and Succeed - When you no longer believequote does lend itself to misinterpretation, but that in its own way speaks to the reality of our daily lives.

I’m not sure what context the quote is from or even if it is necessarily accurate, but that is inconsequential when our point is to clarify its meaning. The quote goes: “When you no longer believe everything you think, you become aware and realize that the thinker is not who you are.” Whether you think you do or think you don’t understand that, I’ll try to be useful to everyone.

Imagine you are a computer. You’re beautifully built out of the very best parts and you’re sitting in a popular location where a few primary programmers are responsible for you (but a lot of different programmers will still have access to you). You have received all of the popular programs like How to Operate A Physical Body, Language, Reason, Basic Physics, even Regional Cultural Norms and Beliefs like Hip TV Shows and Bands, popular hairdos, etc. etc.

Along with those very useful programs came some viruses. These programs don’t accomplish anything—they just use up the computer’s resources and prevent it from playing more music, or watching more movies, or playing more games, or completing more work. These are programs like Guilt, Resentment, Pride, Envy, Jealousy, and Desire.

Now imagine that you are running all kinds of software all the time, and then some person loads in a copy of Philosophical Questions from Scott. And as you run that program, you develop some new and very abstract concepts. Let us say this special programming results in sentience. Let us say you the computer is aware. Let us say this computer has consciousness.

206 Relax and Succeed - Not everyone thinksA conscious computer. So what would it be conscious of? Well, the only thing it’s doing is running software, so it would become aware of that. It would become aware of its own thinking. It would become aware of the fact that other people would have used actions and language to load programs or pathways into the wide open innocence of the computer’s physical memory. And the very nature of those pathways means we are cut off from other possibilities. In short, pure potentiality gets replaced by pre-wired ideas.

So while there is undoubtedly a much larger world out there, the world as any computer knows it is created by the programming, not the computer. Which means that any computer could have any software. Which means that every computer could potentially have been any other computer. Do you see why Enlightened people are quite peaceful? What sense does it make for two computers to argue?

Can you see that if you truly recognize that you’ve been programmed by experience to be who you are, and you also recognize your own lack of control over almost all of that programming, then everyone instantly becomes innocent—including you. Your mistakes cease to exist because they are only temporary calculations made by the computer. Yes, ultimately many of us are running valuable programs while others run viruses or violence, but even if they are running viruses, that’s still not the computer’s fault.

206 Relax and Succeed - Life is not a problemYou think from a perspective. That perspective is not you, that is your ego. The real you is expansive and capable of being anyone, just as you were as a baby. Your ego is necessarily created as a byproduct of you moving through the universe. There is no way to move through life without our experiences leaving a footprint on the ego. Fortunately we can work around most of those. But there is no way around the fact that they will colour how you see the world. But that’s no more or less valid than anyone else’s way of viewing things, so stop trying to be neutral or perfect and stop trying to change other people’s programming and instead just be you. You have to be someone. So have a perspective. Just don’t take it too seriously.

You are not your thoughts. You are expansive and capable. You are the infinite possibility of the light, being projected by your consciousness onto the screen of your reality, and what you see is the results of your programming. Don’t take that programming too seriously. But do remember to enjoy your time while the power’s on.

peace. s

The Pebble in Your Shoe

Winner: 2013’s Blog of the Year #7

The journey through your life is comprised of individual steps. These Moments are each distinct and unique aspects of the universe, but you will use your consciousness to string those individual steps together into what you call the journey of your life. So to be unforgiving is like walking with a pebble in your shoe. Each step of your journey you re-remind yourself that you are in pain. And rather than stopping and removing the pebble from the shoe of your conscious identity, you instead continue on, getting angrier and angrier at the pebble.

129 Relax and Succeed - A lof of the pain that we areSo it also goes with love. If you look for your former lover’s face in every passing stranger, then that is the pebble in your shoe. If you constantly think about how you were wronged in the past by someone or some institution, then that is the pebble in your shoe. If you watch the world for the next impending disaster, then that is the pebble in your shoe. If you hate someone for teasing or abusing you, then that is the pebble in your shoe. If you focus on your spouse’s key faults rather than their key strengths, then those faults will be pebbles in your shoe.

Don’t be upset by the pebbles themselves. They will have gotten into your shoe by nature. There’s no way to avoid them. Just the act of walking will kick some up, and every now and then one will make it inside the shoe of your conscious identity and eventually it will find its way to somewhere painful. So it getting there is inevitable. But you continuing to walk on it is choice.

People will be self-critical and they’ll blame the pain on who they have become—on what shoes they chose to wear—and yet everyone walking the Earth will necessarily have shoes, and there’s no way getting around the fact that all of them kick up pebbles to be walked on.

129 Relax and Succeed - In every walk with naturePeople will sometimes be upset with the pebble itself, and yet it got there through natural means. It’s not like the pebble was looking for a foot to irritate. It was just laying there on the path of life and it happened to be one of the ones that ended up in your shoe. If it wasn’t this one it would be another one. So there’s no getting around the fact that we will end up with the pebbles. There’s no way to avoid that. So the real question is, what do we do when we become aware we have one?

That’s where the advantage of the pain comes in. The whole reason it hurts is because that is the universe communicating to you that you have a pebble of thought in the shoe of your identity, and that thought is rubbing your identity the wrong way. If we’re wise that notification will be used as an opportunity for you to stop what you’re doing, pause, and then consciously choose to take off your shoe and dump out the pebble. That is the purpose of the pain. It’s a notification system regarding your thoughts.

We all had to pick a style of shoe. Maybe we’re aggressive like an athletic shoe. Or maybe we’re open and free like a sandal. Maybe we’re pointed and sharp, like a business shoe. Or maybe we’re a casual shoe—something we can’t run in, but at least they’re easy and comfortable. But no matter what shoe-identity we’ve put on, they’re all susceptible to different kinds of pebbles. So don’t be surprised when the pebble ends up back in your shoe. But the process is still the same. You simply notice the pain, stop walking and you remove the pebble. Notice your emotional pain, stop thinking about that subject and replace those painful thoughts with something nicer. It’s that easy.

129 Relax and Succeed - What you allowEventually we learn to walk in ways that discourage a few of larger pebbles from getting into our lives. But don’t lament their existence. They are an integral part of the path you are walking on. They comprise the surface of the path of your life. Most times they carry your weight. But when they do get under your foot and generate an irritation—don’t start thinking you’re on the wrong path. Because a wise person doesn’t change paths. A wise person just gets really good at pausing and removing pebbles.

Don’t complain about emotional pain. Recognize it as your own thinking and get conscious and change it. Because if you can get good at letting thoughts go, then you will have minimized the amount of suffering you will do on your journey. And that makes for a beautiful walk through life.

Enjoy.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.