A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the category “Health”

Insomniacs, shift workers, and the jet lagged, the end of your suffering may be in sight

Are you one of those who need more sleep. Some causes such as a new-born in the house are temporary problems, that time will solve. Others such as shift work. Those who don’t work the usual 9 – 5 considered the norm in western society, actually out number those who get the golden shift. For all those who work in the service fields, such as healthcare, transit, police, and other emergency services, food service, hospitality, and many more 9 – 5 is more like a dream than reality. Then there are those who travel for work and cross multiple time zones, getting jet lag. Have you watched the person next to you, walk off the plane like they just woke up after crossing several time zones, while you drag your brain along in a semi coordinated state of mobility? Perhaps you have traveled halfway around the world on a holiday, and ended up with your mornings feeling like bedtime. For temporary situations many people use melatonin or other over the counter treatments to get by.

Well thanks to researchers at two Canadian universities, these issues might soon be manageable. Researchers have found that mice that either lack or have lower levels of a protein overcame disruptions to their circadian rhythm faster than mother mice. Also the study shows that having a stronger biological clock may affect how we age. So lets hope the researchers at McGill and Concordia are successful in finding the solution to a better nights sleep for many.

However strategies such as learning how to calm your mind through meditation, will help you without medication. Eliminating those late night caffeinated beverages, and not drinking fluids within a few hours of bedtime. Also not watching late night television or reading in bed might help.

Being radical requires acknowledgement

Acknowledgement is defined as defined by the Oxford dictionary includes:

1.acceptance of the truth or existence of something

2: recognition of the importance or quality of something.

You can also acknowledge responsibility, a confession, and ownership of something.

By acknowledging the truth that exists, regardless of how you wish to change it, gives you the basis to make changes. By acknowledging our faults, and taking ownership of them, we gain ownership of them. If we own something we can change it or even dispose of it.

So acknowledge what you wish to change, and take ownership of the situation. Once you own it, you are in control.

This series starts here.

Becoming a radical means showing compassion

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” Mohandas Gandhi

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” both by the 14th Dalai Lama

“If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.” Lao Tzu

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” St. Francis of Assisi

I started this post about compassion with the quotes, to show it doesn’t matter which path you are following, we all need to show compassion to other beings. The opposite may hold true, as various research studies have shown that adult violent offenders, have a higher rate of having inflicted unnecessary pain on animals, during their youth. These studies don’t include such activities as toddlers or young children, pulling the cat or dogs tail.

The next time you decide to respond to a beggar on the street, instead of just tossing a coin into their hat or cup, take 10 or 15 minutes and talk to them, perhaps offer to buy them a meal, even if it is from a street vendor or fast food establishment. One of the most common statements, I have heard from the formerly homeless, I talked to who moved into a social housing project, I used to manage, was the lack of meaningful contact they experienced while homeless. Watch how many people will avoid eye contact with a beggar, and some will cross the street to the other sidewalk to avoid them. Some of these beggars are, people who have mental health issues, that need caution in approaching, yet others are peaceful, and lonely.

Compassion can extend to helping your neighbor who is feeling sick, by dropping off a meal they can heat and eat. In winter, where snow falls, shovel the sidewalk for a senior, hold the door open for others, and many more ways to make others lives a little less painful.

This series starts here.

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