“Clear” thinking

Here are some steps I use when trying to work my way through a reaction…

instead of just reacting in a heated manner, 

I’m learning to use more logic and reasoning

to understand a possibly frustrating situation…

I’ve been using these steps, again and again and again for the past year, and I find them really helpful…lots of positive changes in how I react…or don’t react…

Perspective: Step back, look at multiple situations, times, events (to support not seeing this challenge as the only aspect of a situation, relationship etc..that situations in life are vastly complex, and intertwine with other times, situations etc…)

Not Permanent: It may seem like it will continue to be this way, but it won’t…everything changes…impermanence.

Not Pervasive: To be careful not to expand or exaggerate what is happening…to see that it is a “part” of how a person might do something, of a challenge in a relationship, of a situation that I may not like.

Follows the laws of cause and effect: There are multiple and varied factors from the past that have been  leading  to whatever is happening in this moment. And what I  choose to do in this moment will lead to its own effects…so to keep that clearly in mind.  This particular challenge or situation happening now isn’t “random”…the pieces have been there and accumulating,  but they are coming to “fruition” now.

To do with each person’s “parts and pieces, causes and conditions”: we all have different qualities, strengths, weaknesses, past history and experiences that are leading to this moment…and we’re all different. What each one of us is doing or saying in this moment comes out of these “ppcc”  (parts and pieces, causes and conditions are extremely helpful and logical concepts and terms used in Buddhism…extremely helpful ideas that have been understood and expanded upon for 1000’s of years)

Merely Labeled: We put labels..adjectives, adverbs, describers etc on situations…in our attempts to try to “define”, “understand” or communicate ideas…but that label is very  limiting and can exclude multiple factors and awareness of interdependence, multiple factors etc…

Dependent Origination:  Every thing arises out cause and effect…causes and conditions…depending on factors etc

Intedependence: We are all connected and interdependent…and the myriad of factors that are woven into this situation

This page is also on our kitchen cupboard door...so that I can keep coming back, again and again and again, to an understanding and use of this type of logical understanding….it seems to take soooooo much practice for me to learn  a different way of thinking and reacting…but the benefits of that practice have been wonderful…

By the way…I’m okay at thinking in a logical manner….actually, I love thinking in  a logical, step by step manner…but in the “heat of the moment”…I have a tendency to NOT  do that…I tend to react. And so to learn to bring good reasoning skills to that moment…

Here is a link to a  different page: “Dependent origination, impermanence and the true nature of phenomena” from another website…with really good ideas from a wonderful friend, Jampa, who is a Buddhist monk… there are lots of pages in that site that really help with these ideas… (that site, Reflections From a Friend, is the same format as this one…click on the “Home” button and scroll through the various pages…there are some wonderful, kind, helpful and encouraging ideas in that site…

Paul Ekman, a researcher at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) has a wonderful book that is sooo helpful with these ideas: Emotions Revealed. I HIGHLY Recommend that book…it’s full of excellent, logical ideas, many exercises for practicing those ideas…remarkable book. He also has extremely helpful software and books about Facial Expression Recognition, a really helpful skill to develop in order NOT  to misinterpret how others might be reacting. A New York times interview with Paul Ekman about facial micro-expressions. He’s also a very engaging speaker… I’ve learned so much from his work and ideas…

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