Yoda is a Buddhist

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” - Yoda

So there's a whole 'nother post that I'll work on about Yoda's belief system and how it reflects other religions near and dear to my heart. It's becoming more and more obvious to me that the source of most things hurtful is fear. I tap in to a bunch of resources about this - fear.less magazine (great), Brene Brown, Pema Chodron, and more.

But, actually, this blog post is really to talk more about faulty belief systems. I recently listened to Pema Chodron's talk, Don't Bite the Hook, on audio CD. I seem to be finding these messages all about me now - when the student is ready the teacher will appear, I suppose.

The most recent lesson I read on this was this post, courtesy of the awesome site Dumb Little Man, about taking the opportunity to shift your thinking to release yourself from frustration. The post describes how to stop and evaluate your angry thoughts as they happen. At the time that a situation came up that I could use this insight toward, I couldn't remember each of the steps it described, but the ones I remembered were to 1.) stop, 2.) evaluate whether your thought is true or not, and 3.) shift your thought to take ownership of the thing that is frustrating you or making you angry.

So I had the opportunity to practice this last night - what a great feeling! Here is the scenario: I'm going into the kitchen to make dinner, and all around the counters are coated in flour and cornmeal from John making us mini-pizzas for dinner the night before. He'd done a *lot* of work, and I must say that usually whoever cooks doesn't have to do the clean up, but he'd done all the dishes and really done 99% of the cleaning up, it was just a few areas that still had the signs of all the efforts of the prior nights' work. I was in the kitchen, getting ready to cook, and thinking "he should have cleaned up all this cornmeal! I mean, look, it is everywhere!"

I realized the faultiness and selfishness of my thoughts, seeing that he had cleaned up and done so much already. I stopped my thoughts, considered them (is this true?) and then turned it around to take ownership of it - changing "he should clean up..." to "I should clean up...", and began cleaning up. It was such a great and powerful feeling, and I knew that it was right; it is the way that I should be thinking, the right path.

I encourage you to think this way the next time you are frustrated with someone. Stop. Evaluate the thought (is this really true?). Turn it around and take ownership (from "he/she should..." to "I should..."). Free yourself from the shenpa!!

Have you encountered this? Would you try these techniques? Let me know!! I'd love to hear about others' experiences with this!


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