But do not ask me where I am going – Dogen

But do not ask me where I am going, As I travel in this limitless world, Where every step I take is my home.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – A Therapy based on Eastern Spiritual Concepts

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

This pic belongs to a group for Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) in FB. ACT is a modern day therapy based on Eastern spiritual techniques like mindfulness, and is used to treat depression, anxiety disorders and many other psychological issues. I have mentioned ACT in my book as it actually helps to bridge science and spirituality, which is also one of my visions.

In my book, I have talked about several psychological concepts like hedonic treadmill, self concept, cognitive dissonance, cognitive biases, operant conditioning, brain and it’s functions, especially the left brain interpreter etc, in an attempt to show an empirical validity for certain spiritual concepts which I found to be true iny experience.

For people who want to explore ACT, I recommend reading the books of author Russ Harris; his latest book covers in depth about ACT. This therapy has a very good future and potential. Dr.Russ Harris is also one of my friends in FB now and he wished all the best for my book. I have quoted him in my book too. So I thank him for accepting my friend request and welcome him to our friends club.

From his bio:

Russ Harris is an internationally acclaimed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) trainer and author of the best-selling ACT-based self-help book The Happiness Trap, which has sold over 600,000 copies and been published in thirty languages. He is widely renowned for his ability to teach ACT in a way that is simple, clear, and fun–yet extremely practical.

I have stressed the importance of witnessing meditation enough in my blog and book. But when I came across a quote by Sigmund Freud in an ACT group, I was pretty surprised that even he was aware of the power of witnessing. Witnessing is not about just noticing one’s thoughts. It stands on a firm spiritual understanding of the three marks of existence and the discrimination between the subject and the object. So witnessing meditation may seem to be too simple to ignore but it is very subtle and understanding it is very tricky. Here is the quote from Freud:

Sigmund Freud quotes

What Is Non-attachment? What is True Renunciation?

People think that a person who is walking on a spiritual path or the one who has found his liberation should not possess wealth. But sannyasa and jnana are not about not possessing anything; it is about non-attachment towards one’s possessions, one’s knowledge, one’s experiences, fruits of one’s actions and one’s self concept or the personal story. Non-attachment doesn’t mean non-involvement. In fact, it is easy to involve when you are not attached.

Non-attachment is beautiful because it frees you from worry and fear. One can live in this world just like everyone else but not touched by it in any way. This has been compared to how water never sticks to the lotus leaf even though it is always inside water.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used another metaphor. A boat can be in the water but the water should not be in the boat; or else it will drown. The same way, you can be in this worldly life but not let the worldly things enter your mind as the objects of attachment.

Ramana Maharshi quotes

Social Media is like a Fire – Using Facebook the Right Way

Dear friends, social media is like a fire (Just like many other things in the world are); with fire, you can light a lamp and you can also burn down a city. Social media is being used for both right and wrong reasons..

The most common usage is to share your pics, opinions, events etc with your friends. This is a great way to be in touch with your friends.

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But the wrong reasons include many things and we all know it. One such example is trolling and venting out your hatred, anger, jealousy etc. And this behavior is poisoning both social media and people’s minds. What people cannot do in person is being done in social media and it may soon turn into a socially accepted behavior.

Anyway, if we use it in the right way, it has unbelievable potential. I am planning to make a video on this soon. Here are some creative ideas but their power is usually untapped by most of the people. I am using social media to it’s maximum potential and you can check my posts to get an idea: http://www.facebook.com/shanmugam83.

1) Knowledge is precious. Every objective truth that we have found out and have been finding about the nature and the universe is valuable. Even the phone that you are holding on your hands right now or the computer screen you are staring at is the product of cumulative scientific knowledge that we have gathered. We can use Facebook as a knowledge sharing platform, as a tool of education. No matter who you are, you may be curious about a certain narrow field of knowledge. For example, you may be trying to build muscles and need some useful tips. Find out the Facebook groups related to your area of interest and join them. Trust me, you will want to thank me later. A word of caution though. False information spreads more rapidly in social media. Always double check if the information you find is authentic.

2. Many of us live a stressful life and need to have a good laugh once in a while. Laughter is indeed one of the best medicines. And sharing the jokes you come across with your friends is a pleasure.

3. Travelling is something people always enjoy but not everyone has the time or money for it. But fortunately technology has enabled us to watch colorful high resolution pictures and videos right in this tiny, sleek device that fits into your pocket. I have been sharing some beautiful pictures which are usually never seen on the internet. Doing such things always keeps human beings in wonder. When you are frequently exposed to the marvels of nature and reminded about the vastness of this universe, you will feel humble and can surrender very easily to the flow of nature.

4. Are you a man or woman blessed with a lot of creativity? Facebook is your stage. Don’t be shy and don’t miss out the opportunity to share your work, like painting, poetry, story, music, dance video or anything. I have seen people who are creative in just using emoticons.

5. Are you running a business? If you are not aware that there is something called social media marketing, then you haven’t done your homework.

Some people see social media as something negative. They are like people who have seen fire burning down a city but has never thought that they could light a lamp or cook food with it. Don’t be one of them. If you are worried about your privacy or security, there are tons of settings in Facebook to customize it the way you want.

Finally, one of the good code of conduct in social media is to like and share useful posts. You know what to do with this post now. Come on, are you going to ignore without sharing this? 😉