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Mantra Museum

"Mantra" pages from the ZhurnalyWiki in alphabetical order:

Mantra - As It Is


... all things are as they are — the challenge: awaken to that, accept that, and simply love that!

"As it is" was the life philosophy of Mr Universe of 1952, Manohar Aich, according to "Healthy and Wise", a 2013 profile in Outlook (an Indian magazine); it is quoted in Aich's 2016 New York Times obituary ("Manohar Aich, 4-Foot-11 Bodybuilder Known as the Pocket Hercules, Dies at 103"). He lived quietly and happily — no worries, no quest for fame or fortune, no secrets.

As it is ...

(cf. Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Not Always So (2009-07-04), Radical Acceptance (2015-05-13), ...) - ^z - 2016-06-18

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Mantra - At Your Side

At Your Side

... a reminder of partnership, reliability, protection, loyalty — worthy traits to practice with others and in kindness to oneself!

(and "At Your Side" is the slogan of Brother Industries Ltd, the international corporation founded in Japan in 1908) - ^z - 2015-09-18

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Mantra - Attention, Attention, Attention


... in Philip Kapleau's The Three Pillars of Zen:

One day a man of the people said to Zen Master Ikkyu: 'Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?' Ikkyu immediately took his brush and wrote the word 'Attention.' 'Is that all?' asked the man. "Will you not add something more?' Ikkyu then wrote twice running: 'Attention. Attention.' 'Well,' remarked the man rather irritably, 'I really don't see much depth or subtlety in what you have just written.' Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times running: 'Attention. Attention. Attention.' Half-angered, the man demanded: 'What does that word "attention" mean anyway?' And Ikkyu answered gently: 'Attention means attention.'

... and note the "gently" in that answer ...

(cf. Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Mantra - Notice and Return (2014-11-30), Attention (2015-03-03), Just Zazen (2017-01-29), ...) - ^z - 2017-05-27

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Mantra - Awareness, Blameless, Change

Awareness, Blameless, Change

... adapted from Ayya Khema's suggestion in "To Transcend Everyday Consciousness" of "Awareness, No Blame, Change": be aware of faults and try to improve, while not judging. Similarly, in Beginner's Guide to Insight Meditation Arianna Weisman and Jean Smith counsel holding oneself in lovingkindness and not shooting a "second arrow" into the wound caused by a first mistake.

It's (not!) as simple as A, B, C ...

^z - 2014-12-17

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Mantra - Be Early

Be Early

"... take a moment to breathe, feel yourself, and enjoy. ... One minute here and there can change the whole rhythm of a day by allowing you to catch up with yourself. ..." - (from Lorin Roche, Meditation Made Easy (2008-11-01))

(cf. Five Minutes Early (2009-05-14), ...) - ^z - 2015-04-19

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Mantra - Be Earth

Be Earth ...

      ... Breathe

... an anagram-coincidence of English letter-rearrangement — and thoughtful advice, like the images of Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Mountain Meditation" in his book Wherever You Go, There You Are.

Be the earth — and just breathe ...

(cf. Be Earth (2010-12-07), Being with Your Breath (2010-02-20), ...) - ^z - 2016-10-03

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Mantra - Be Like a Log

Be Like a Log

... in times of conflict and stress, try to bite your tongue, pause before replying, observe your emotional state, and de-escalate — you will feel better, the battle will be briefer, and maybe it will turn out not to be a battle at all, just a brief ripple on the surface of the ocean that soon returns to calm awareness ...

(highlighted by a friend when reading Emotional States (2012-04-26); perhaps the phrase alludes to Shantideva Chapter 5 in the Bodhisattvacaryavatara; cf. Space Between (2013-10-15), Betwixt (2015-07-04), Moving from Experiences to Experiencing (2015-08-06), Learning to Pause (2015-08-10), Mantra - Gap (2015-11-11), ...) - ^z - 2016-01-26

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Mantra - Be Obvious

To catalyze creativity, collaboration, and communication, some calming attitudes:

Be Obvious!

... and

Be Positive!

... and

Don't Do
Your Best!

... so Zen — not-try, not-do — from Keith Johnstone's Impro and Impro for Storytellers:

... I encourage negative people to be positive, and clever people to be obvious, and anxious people not to do their best. ...

(cf. Yes, and... (2012-11-14), Positive and Obvious (2012-12-12), Make Mistakes (2013-02-27), Don't Punish Yourself (2013-05-08), Keith Johnstone Improv Quotes (2013-12-26), Creativity Quotes (2014-06-12), Mantra - Yes, and... (2016-01-30), ...) - ^z - 2016-08-29

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Mantra - Be Time


"Me Time" is a popular concept: setting aside a block of minutes to reward one's Self. And sure, that's important, maybe vital.

But in addition/instead, perhaps try to experience a bit of Be Time — to just be, without subject or object, without end or beginning, without future or past, without purpose or goal, ...

Or maybe try to Be Time itself — that strange dimension orthogonal to "... the depth and breadth and height / My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight / For the ends of being and ideal grace ...".

(cf. Power of Now (2011-12-14), Being Zen (2014-05-26), Swiss Cheese (2014-07-04), ...) - ^z - 2017-01-07

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Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend

  Your Own
Best Friend

... treat yourself with love and kindness, as you would any other person — don't set impossibly high standards, don't always sacrifice yourself for others, don't blame yourself for things outside your control ...

... and since We Are One, being kind to one's own self is also being kind to everyone else ...

... and maybe sometimes we can even be our own Best Friends Forever! — for short:


(cf. Just One Thing (2012-12-02), Notice and Return (2013-03-11), Opening to Love (2013-09-27), 01 (2013-11-05), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Mantra - For Us (2015-11-28), ...) - ^z - 2016-02-16

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Mantra - Be a Duck, Not a Sponge

  Be a Duck,
Not a Sponge!

... let it go — don't cling to desires, insults, possessions, positions, ... and maybe not even to "self" itself ...

(cf. Mantra - Be Like a Log (2016-01-26), Mantra - Cling to Nothing (2016-04-17), ...) - ^z - 2016-08-15

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Mantra - Be on Good Form

A delightful British idiom that aptly names a mindful non-goal goal:

    Be on
Good Form

... as in the Optimist Creed, "... to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind ... to think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best ... to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble."

... and as Guy Claxton describes one approach to it in The Heart of Buddhism:

... Buddhism helps people be at their best more of the time. All of us have periods when we are "on good form", in which these qualities are available to us. But we are also only too aware of the other times, when we are ratty and muddled, mean-spirited and intolerant. Buddhism expands and consolidates our better natures. ...

... and how? Well, that's a longer story — maybe it involves waking up, and letting go, and saying "Yes, and..." to oneself ...

(cf. Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), 0-1 (2014-08-29), ...) - ^z - 2016-05-10

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Mantra - Be the Silence

Be the

... the pause between words
... the chasm separating mountains
... the yin that defines the yang
... the void that surrounds and embraces every thing ...

(cf. No Method (2010-01-21), Empty Cup (2012-05-08), Space Between (2013-10-15), Nothing But Faith in Nothing (2014-09-07), Mantra - Pause and Breathe (2015-02-25), Mantra - Vast Emptiness Everything Sacred (2015-03-17), Mindfulness of the Body (2015-06-14), Betwixt (2015-07-04), Mantra - Gap (2015-11-11), Seeking Negative Space (2016-04-21), Holding Space (2016-07-22), ...) - ^z - 2016-12-10

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Mantra - Beliefs Are Knobs, Not Switches

The Big Problem — the root cause of so many mistakes and fights and wasted resources — is the natural human tendency to imagine that beliefs are true or false. This is (almost always) wrong:

Belief is a Knob
    Not a Switch!

Outside of definitions and math (and even within much math) there are degrees of certainty, odds and likelihoods, ranges of numbers rather than specific answers, errors distributed across a zone, a universe of multiple possibilities.

When new information comes in — evidence — it's vital to update beliefs rather than throw them away. "Turn the Knob", more or less, based on the balance between the weight of prior knowledge and the strength of new data. That's Bayes Theorem, in a qualitative nutshell.

Don't be too sure!

(cf. Statistics - A Bayesian Perspective (2010-08-13), Introduction to Bayesian Statistics (2010-11-20), Fallibilism (2013-05-14), Adventure of the Bayesian Clocks - Part One (2013-12-04), Adventure of the Bayesian Clocks - Part Two (2014-01-05), ...) - ^z - 2017-07-03

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Mantra - Change a Little

To Change a Lot,
  Change a Little
    Many Times

... from the Greater Than Code interview with Keith Bennett:

... we can hack ourselves — we can change ourselves, and the way to change ourselves a lot, I believe, is to change ourselves a little many times. We can ask ourself in a situation, "How far am I willing to go before I start feeling uncomfortable?" and then ask ourself, "What can I do in addition to that? How much further can I go in addition to that without feeling super-uncomfortable?" and doing that. Once we start exercising that muscle more and more, we can make more progress than we would otherwise. A lot of times we cripple ourselves by just thinking about where it is we want to go and we look at how far that is and we think, "Oh, man. I'm never going to get there so I'm not going to try," and that's unfortunate.

(cf. Changing Selves (1999-05-20), Eating One's Own Cooking (1999-06-17), Mantra - Awareness, Blameless, Change (2014-12-17), ...) - ^z - 2017-12-17

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Mantra - Cling to Nothing

  is to be
clung to

... as Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests in Mindfulness for Beginners and in Coming to Our Senses:

The Buddha taught for forty-five years. He is said to have said that all of his teachings could be encapsulated in one sentence. If that is so, perhaps we might want to remember what it was, even if we don't necessarily understand it all at first. Imagine forty-five years of profound teaching distilled into one sentence: "Nothing is to be clung to as 'I,' 'me,' or 'mine.'"

(cf. Cling to Nothing (2011-01-29), Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), 01 (2013-11-05), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Nothing But Faith in Nothing (2014-09-07), ...) - ^z - 2016-04-17

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Mantra - Complement


... and as per Keith Johnstone: reverse the opposite, invert the negative, create the positive, and say "Yes, and..." — to everything!

(cf. Take It Up (2011-05-13), Category Theory Concepts (2016-04-25), ...) - ^z - 2018-03-08

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Mantra - Deal with It and Move On

  with It
        Move On!

expanding Mantra - Move On, quoting Rayna Matsuno's report on getting lost during an ultramarathon:

Joyce and John Dodds showed up and eventually our large group found the right way back onto the trail. I walked alongside Joyce and expressed my frustration. Joyce looked me straight in the eye and said, "This is where that sense of humor comes in. Sh*t happens. You just have to deal with it and move on." I thought about the time I almost dropped at BRR. Joyce told me back then to just keep moving, and that it was OK to take it easy if I wasn't having a good day. She saved me then and she saved me at Laurel.

As we approached the trail, I was determined to find my groove again, and a mile or so later, I finally did. The rest of the run was incredibly enjoyable. It was amazing to be surrounded by fields of ferns and run between tall rock formations. Everything was so beautiful, and the light rain topped it all off.

... and yes! — everything is so beautiful — this is an awesome world, and offers us all so much ...

(cf. MoveOn (2007-01-16), ...) - ^z - 2017-07-14

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Mantra - Different, and Good

Different, and Good

... a Möbius-twist on Mantra - Good but Different — emphasizing the change ...

(cf. FragileBeauty (2001-09-15), WeltschmertzRx (2005-07-13), Buddhism Without Beliefs (2008-09-19), Transient, Unreliable, Contingent (2013-06-14), Good, But Different (2013-06-20), 0-1 (2014-08-29), 2015-05-17 - Fonda 50k Plus (2015-06-10), ...) - ^z - 2015-06-21

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Mantra - Different and Better

Different —
      and Better

... the loving-kind-wise answer of a dear friend who, when facing huge challenges, finds a third way to emerge beyond ...

(thanks always to smBFF; cf. Mantra - Different, and Good (2014-12-11), Mantra - Good but Different (2016-06-21), Mantra - We've Fallen (2017-08-11), ...) - ^z - 2018-02-08

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Mantra - Discover and Remember


... new and old: the complementary pair of creativity, of insight, of all mental operations ... analogous to the computer-science Apply & Evaluate pairing of Program & Data ...

(cf. DataVersusProgram (1999-05-01), GreatIdeas (1999-05-03), ...) - ^z - 2016-01-01

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Mantra - Ditto


... the shortest way to say Agreed! — and a cute code for "We Are One!" — magnify the wee double-quote and see it as 11 aka "Two Ones" — and remember, "We're All In This Together!" ...

(cf. 01 (2013-11-05), ...) - ^z - 2015-08-30

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Mantra - Do Finite Things in an Infinite Way

Do Finite Things
  in an
    Infinite Way

... a reminder to transcend, from Chapter 15 ("Peace of Mind") of Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart:

... the experience and the experiencer disappear. And the disappearance of these two is their spontaneous coming together, through which we experience the One. In deep samadhi, our zazen is nothing but this oneness: gateless gateness. It is nothing but inner and outer, in-breath and out-breath, just this.

Life is suffering, the Buddha taught, because we want some permanency, some guarantee. If we let go of this desire and just follow a path of doing finite things in an infinite way, then ordinary becomes extraordinary; secular is sacred. Preparing the food, washing the dishes; everything is a sacred act.

This path must be followed without any shortcuts. Unlike instant coffee, enlightenment isn't bought in a jar. ...

(cf. This (2013-03-09), How to Wake Up (2016-11-11), Finite Things in an Infinite Way (2016-12-16), Just Breathing, Just Being, Just This (2017-04-03), ...) - ^z - 2017-09-27

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Mantra - Do Less, Better

Do Less,

... especially when resources are limited, time is tight, and the situation is critical ...

... especially if it's not clear what to do, or how to do it ...

... especially as one gets older, and can't do as "much" or as rapidly as in former years ...

(kudos to bb-SMB; cf. Less More (2005-03-14), Do Without (2005-06-04), Do Less (2007-08-24), Let It All Go (2011-09-03), As Much Nothing as Possible (2016-08-05), ...) - ^z - 2016-12-14

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Mantra - Don't Be the Fixer

Don't Be
  the Fixer!

... you can't heal every broken bird, you can't protect people from themselves, you can't solve the world's problems, and you can't make everybody happy all the time (if ever!) — so, as Toni Bernhard advises (Sublime States), when tempted to "fix" try instead to think something like:

  • I love you, but I cannot keep you from experiencing suffering.
  • Your happiness and unhappiness depend on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
  • May you live in peace regardless of your circumstances.
  • May you accept with grace both your successes and your disappointments.

... and since we can't even fix our self (and "Unselfing" is so hard!) maybe just say "Forgiven, Forgiven, Forgiven" to oneself more often — and more sincerely!

^z - 2017-01-19

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Mantra - Doubt


... stay open:

  • delay judgment ...
  • hold space for skepticism ...
  • let go of decisiveness ...
  • admit the possibility of error ...
  • resist the rush to closure ...

Be a better Bayesian — recognize uncertainty, and adjust belief as new information arrives.

Say "Yes, and ..."

... and empty ...

... and soften ...

("Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one." - Voltaire; cf. Faith to Doubt (2010-03-11), Nothing But Faith in Nothing (2014-09-07), Mantra - Soften Into Experience (2014-11-26), Holding Space (2016-07-22), Mantra - Uncertainty, Kindness, Peace, Hope (2017-06-29), Mantra - Beliefs Are Knobs, Not Switches (2017-07-13), ...) - ^z - 2018-01-14

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Mantra - Expand the Context


From the chapter "Vision" in Jon Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go, There You Are:

... So, if you practice purposefully expanding the context of the anger (yours or someone else's) right in those very moments that it is arising and peaking, knowing that there must be something larger and more fundamental that you are forgetting in the heat of the emotion, then you can touch an awareness inside yourself which is not attached to or invested in the anger-fire. Awareness sees the anger; it knows the depth of the anger; and it is larger than the anger. It can therefore hold the anger the way a pot contains food. The pot of awareness helps us cradle the anger and see that it may be producing more harmful effects than beneficial ones, even if that is not our aim. In this way, it helps us cook the anger, digest the anger, so that we can use it effectively, and, in changing from an automatic reacting to a conscious responding, perhaps move beyond it altogether. ...

... alternatively:

  • step back
  • grow the scope
  • widen the angle
  • push the envelope
  • enlarge the field of view

(cf. Expanding Contexts (1999-10-15), Two Perspectives (2002-02-10), Envelope Pushing (2003-04-24), What We Know (2006-08-15), In the Palm of Your Hand (2006-09-11), ...) - ^z - 2016-03-12

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Mantra - Fine and One and Blessed

We are
  Fine and
    One and

... a reminder from a friend — to always be thankful, aware, loving — for all that we have, all the good in the world, and all that we can do for each other ...

(cf. Opening to Love (2013-09-27), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Mantra - Help, Thanks, Wow (2015-01-06), SHIP of Lovingkindness (2015-08-18), Mantra - Safety, Health, Insight, Peace (2015-10-30), Mantra - Stop, Notice, Appreciate (2016-04-03), ...) - ^z - 2016-09-23

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Mantra - Follow the Breath

Follow the Breath

... a simple always-present tool to help stay in the now ...

(cf. Try It for a Few Years (2009-05-19), Sitting by Fire (2010-01-11), Being with Your Breath (2010-02-20), Breath and Awareness (2011-03-12), Just Sitting (2011-05-21), Coming Back to Your Breath (2011-09-25), Notice and Return (2013-03-11), Countdown Breathing (2013-12-18), ...) - ^z - 2015-06-09

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Mantra - For Us

For Us

Since we are One, it's totally ok to take turns and let a friend (or anyone else!) carry the load for us sometimes — and likewise, it's fine for us to pick up the check for others, without any thought of compensation or reward. We're all in this together!

... and as Sylvia Boorstein notes in It's Easier Than You Think:

... I used to think that if I began seeing all beings as my kin, it would be a big burden. The opposite is true. When someone I know is doing something admirable I don't feel I need to be doing it. She is doing it on my behalf, or as me, relieving me of that particular task. Mary and Chodron are being nuns for me, Alex is teaching for me in remote places, Itzhak Perlman is me playing the violin, and Joe Montana is me, too. So is his mother.

... and as the protagonist realizes in the finale of the film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, when he discovers the Power of Self-Respect, if we're all one then with the right attitude there's neither self-sacrifice nor selfishness. There's simply another chance for unselfing ... for letting go ... for realizing that clinging is optional ... for discovering freedom ... for centering ... for erasing boundaries ... and for just being with nothing and everything and all the changes between ...

^z - 2015-11-28

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Mantra - Forgiven


... from True Refuge by Tara Brach, Chapter 10 ("Self-Compassion: Releasing the Second Arrow"), as the author describes a session with a person full of self-blame and self-hatred:

"... take a moment to view yourself as if you could see all this through the eyes of a friend, someone who really cares about you and understands that you are feeling demeaned and ashamed." I paused to give Sam some time to bring this to mind.

"Now," I said, "with that kind of view, begin to send yourself some words of forgiveness and compassion. It might be 'I forgive you,' or 'forgiven, forgiven, forgiven,' or maybe, 'I care about this suffering.' Offer whatever words communicate understanding and care." ...

(cf. Wings of Acceptance (2015-05-26), Watch the Wound (2015-07-24), Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend (2016-02-16), So I Will See (2016-03-27), Mantra - Worthy of Love (2016-07-24), ...) - ^z - 2016-08-02

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Mantra - Gap


... attend to the space between thoughts ...
      ... notice the void between objects ...
           ... watch the pause between event and choice ...
                ... examine the moment between stimulus and response ....

... and just observe ...

(cf. Emotional States (2012-04-26), Ground of Being (2013-10-03), Pause and Breathe (2014-07-25), No-Self and the Space of Wonder (2014-10-20), Vastness, Equanimity, Selflessness (2015-06-04), Mantra - Remember to Remember (2015-09-07), ...) - ^z - 2015-11-11

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Mantra - Go Slowly, Breathe, and Smile

Go Slowly,
      and Smile

... from Beginning Mindfulness by Andrew Weiss ...

(cf. Being with Your Breath (2010-02-20), Smile and Listen (2011-08-20), Pause and Breathe (2014-07-25), ...) - ^z - 2016-07-03

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Mantra - Go for the Moon

    Go for
the Moon!

... from Andrew Weiss's Beginning Mindfulness:

... Don't get caught up in technique. Remember that the instructions and techniques, and even the words of great teachers, are no more than a finger pointing at the moon: Always go for the moon.

(cf. Go for the Moon (2013-10-26), ...) - ^z - 2016-07-18

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Mantra - Good Moments and Good Memories

The purpose of running — and any other worthy activity, perhaps? To create:

 Good Moments
Good Memories

(cf. Thinking, Fast and Slow (2013-10-24) re the "experiencing self" (moments!) and the "remembering self" (memories!), ...) - ^z - 2015-08-09

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Mantra - Good but Different

Good but Different

When things change, they can still be fine — but clinging to the past may hinder recognition of happiness today. It's still good, but now it's different than it once was ...

(cf. Good, But Different, 0-1, ...) - ^z - 2014-12-11

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Mantra - Grind New Lenses


... see everything more sharply: invest in better tools for improved perception and understanding, while recognizing that the lens is not important — awareness is!

(from SMB; cf. Edge of the Universe (1999-06-08), Looking Down (2004-12-06), What We Know (2006-08-15), Infinite in All Directions (2003-12-02), No Beginning, No End (2013-03-24), Mantra - Go for the Moon (2016-07-18), ...) - ^z - 2017-12-26

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Mantra - Hear, Read, See, Speak


"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." — Goethe

(from book 5 chapter 1 of Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years: "...'Man sollte', sagte er, 'alle Tage wenigstens ein kleines Lied hören, ein gutes Gedicht lesen, ein treffliches Gemälde sehen und, wenn es möglich zu machen wäre, einige vernünftige Worte sprechen.'"; cf. Conversations in Paint (2008-08-18), ...) - ^z - 2018-01-30

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Mantra - Hear the Happy Birds


... a reminder from a dear friend to pay attention, always — and to notice the music, everywhere ...

... especially after a long, hard, sad, dark night — when dawn is about to begin, and the world begins to smile ...

^z - 2017-05-20

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Mantra - Help, Thanks, Wow

Help, Thanks, Wow

... the "Three Essential Prayers", as Anne Lamott describes them in her book Help, Thanks, Wow — a cry from the depths of despair, a heartfelt expression of gratitude, a gasp at the glorious wonders of the world — and maybe all three at once work even better!

^z - 2015-01-06

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Mantra - Hold More Space


... gently make the space between thoughts larger ... pause ... notice the gaps ...

(cf. Emotional States (2012-04-26), Mantra - Pause and Breathe (2015-02-25), Betwixt (2015-07-04), Mantra - Gap (2015-11-11), Mantra - Be Like a Log (2016-01-26), Holding Space (2016-07-22), Mantra - Be the Silence (2016-12-10), ...) - ^z - 2017-06-12

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Mantra - How Deep is the Yes

How Deep
  the Yes?

... say "Yes!" — and then, as it echoes, ask how deep it can go — look for a chance to add "and ..." to the Yes — and then to accept and embrace whatever emerges!

(from dear BB-bff-KS, who credits Tara Brach; cf. Not Always So (2009-07-04), Yes, and... (2012-11-14), ...) - ^z - 2018-02-15

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Mantra - I'm In

I'm In!

... an especially nice thing to say if a dear friend has just proposed a crazy adventure — or to hear from a dear friend no matter what you need, or want, to try to do!

(adapted from original Twitter post by dad_on_the_run (2015-10-10); cf. Yes, and... (2012-11-14), ...) - ^z - 2015-10-12

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Mantra - I Choose


... inspiration from conversation during a long training run with a friend:

... So much better to choose for oneself and find worth, instead of having one's value dependent on other people or external events....

... in friendship, virtue, love, work, life!

(cf. the song "Freewill" by Rush; and Knowing Choosing Doing (1999-05-29), Precision Living (2002-03-31), Will Power (2008-07-18), This Is Water (2009-05-21), ...) - ^z - 2016-06-06

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Mantra - In Reserve

Always Keep
    in Reserve!

... stay strong, take care of yourself, and you'll be better able to help others when they need you! (remembering of course that there are no "others")

... and as the joke goes, there are Two Great Secrets in life; "Keep something in reserve" is the first.

(cf. Strong and Lasting (2013-02-02), ...) - ^z - 2016-11-19

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Mantra - Inhale, Exhale


... good advice whenever things are tense and thoughtful action is needed — words from Masao Yoshida, chief manager at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, as told in the New York Times article "Videos Shed Light on Chaos at Fukushima as a Nuclear Crisis Unfolded". Shortly after the earthquake, tsunami, and explosion, Yoshida told his men, "I fear we are in acute danger. But let's calm down a little. Let's all take a deep breath. Inhale, exhale."

(cf. Try It for a Few Years (2009-05-19), Being with Your Breath (2010-02-10), Coming Back to Your Breath (2011-09-25), Inhale, Exhale (2012-08-12), ...) - ^z - 2016-05-14

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Mantra - It's All Good

It's All Good!

... the ultimate in optimism, joy, thankfulness, ...

(originally heard from dear friend Caren Jew during long trail runs; cf. All Good (2007-01-13), Byron Katie (2014-09-12), ...) - ^z - 2015-01-09

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Mantra - It's a Blessing

    It's a

Stressful situations, bad news, ongoing problems, looming disasters, ... — alas, there are so many challenges in life! — not least of which is fretting about past woes and potential catastrophes.

But as dear friend SJF reminds, a crisis is also a chance to change, to remember the good, to touch the ground of existence, to give thanks, to hug one's friends (and self) closer, and to extend lovingkindness to a larger circle.

In the friend's words, re lonely angst and sadness:

"But I need only reach out to you, and you are always there. That makes loneliness turn into a blessing. Loneliness becomes an occasion to be reminded of the wealth I have in my bond ..."

... and to recall that we are never alone!

(cf. Mantra - Help, Thanks, Wow (2015-01-06), Mantra - It Is Our Practice (2015-07-20), Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), Mantra - We Are One (2017-04-18), Mantra - We Got This (2017-09-13), ...) - ^z - 2017-11-23

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Mantra - It Doesn't Always Get Worse

It Doesn't
Get Worse

... a proverb from the ultrarunning world, where sometimes after a few (tens of) miles the going gets tough and the will tends to waver — and it's worth reminding oneself not to get (prematurely) discouraged. "Things might be bad now, but they will improve. This is a chance to solve my problem."

(cf. Mantra - Relentless Forward Progress (2016-02-10), ...) - ^z - 2016-05-27

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Mantra - It Is Our Practice

It's Our Practice

... no matter how frustrating, boring, or scary: every moment is an opportunity to pay attention, to monitor one's reactions and let them go, and to notice the spaces between ...

... and maybe for short, just: IMP = "It's My Practice" ...

(cf. Try It for a Few Years (2009-05-19), Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Expect Nothing (2012-02-20), Honor Your Practice (2013-01-04), ...) - ^z - 2015-07-20

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Mantra - It Is What It Is

It is what it is!

... and just as things are, right now, right here, is all that there is — and it's perfect ...

(originally from Dr Kristin; cf. Extreme Clarity (2006-12-15), Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Voluntary Simplicity (2008-12-24), Not Always So (2009-07-04), Roadside Distractions (2011-04-30), Ceaseless Society (2012-05-10), This (2013-03-09), No Beginning, No End (2013-03-24), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Winter's Tale on Truth (2014-12-09), 2015-02-06 - Thirteen Degrees, 2015-03-04 - Grizzly Statue, Radical Acceptance (2015-05-13) ...) - ^z - 2016-03-06

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Mantra - It Will Be OK

  It Will
Turn Out

... the faith that, ultimately and in the end, everything really will be all right — as it always has been, and as it always will be — and that, as a dear friend once pointed out, my stories always end with, "... and it turned out OK" — because it did!

(cf Karma (2009-07-15), Equanimity (2012-02-01), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Equanimity and Magnanimity (2015-02-19), This Is Equanimity (2015-03-15), Vastness, Equanimity, Selflessness (2015-06-04), Perfect Size for Letting Go (2015-09-14), ...) - ^z - 2016-04-30

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Mantra - Keep Digging


... persist: something good may turn up with the next spade full of earth!

(cf. Posture (2009-06-05), Honor Your Practice (2013-01-04), Strong and Lasting (2013-02-02), ...) - ^z - 2017-02-13

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Mantra - Keep Looking


... from "How to Track an Animal" in the New York Times, a comment by Paul Rezendes:

"Once people label something, they think they know it. They stop looking, and they stop learning. You have to keep looking."

(cf. SeeingNature (2005-07-19), This Is Water (2009-05-21), Coming Back to Your Breath (2011-09-25), Bringing Back a Wandering Attention (2013-02-13), Pay Attention (2013-12-05), Intentional Attention (2014-07-29), Heart of Meditation (2016-01-22), ...) - ^z - 2017-05-30

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Mantra - Let Go and Let Be

Let Go
Let Be

... from the last page of Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach ...

^z - 2015-12-02

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Mantra - Let It Go

Let It Go!

... perhaps accompanied by a hand-gesture of opening the fingers to release — a shorter way to remember nonattachment, non-clinging, liberation, ...

(cf. CutTheVolume, 2009-08-22 - Two Bees, or Not Two Bees, Core Buddhism, 01, 0-1, ...) - ^z - 2014-12-27

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Mantra - Let Others Be

   Let Others Be Right
Let Others Be Generous

(cf. How to Win Friends and Influence People (2008-05-17), Smile and Listen (2011-08-21), Let Others Be Right (2012-12-31), ...) - ^z - 2015-11-19

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Mantra - Let the Mind Pass By

Let the Mind
    Pass By

... from Pragito Dove's Lunchtime Enlightenment:

Remember not to be too serious. Nothing special is supposed to happen. There is nothing to figure out or analyze, no success or failure. You are simply allowing yourself to be less identified with the body, mind, emotions, and environment, which then leaves space for insight or understanding to arise.

Remember, let the mind pass by. These are the five key words for watching the mind. There is no concentration, because concentration creates tension. No forcing, no trying to stop the mind, no fighting with the mind. Just let the traffic of the mind pass by. You are the watcher, observing, disidentified, with no judgment, accepting whatever passes by, as if one would sit high up on a mountaintop, watching life pass by with no attachment or involvement. This will bring you to your essential self.

(cf. Let the Mind Pass By (2010-12-28), Mantra - Let It Go (2014-12-27), Awareness of Thoughts (2016-04-01), ...) - ^z - 2016-09-17

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Mantra - Listen and Smile

Listen and Smile

(cf. How to Win Friends and Influence People (2008-05-17), Smile and Listen (2011-08-20), Ground of Being (2013-10-03), Vastness, Equanimity, Selflessness (2015-06-04), ...) - ^z - 2015-12-08

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Mantra - Love, Simplicity, Humility


... as variously translated and interpreted from the Taoist "three treasures", chapter 67 in the Tao Te Ching:

  • love - compassion, pity, tenderness, kindness, mercy, gentleness, benevolence, charity, ...
  • simplicity - frugality, moderation, economy, restraint, sparingness, prudence, ...
  • humility - patience, not daring to be first or ahead in the world, modesty, ...

(adapted from Wikipedia's "Three Treasures (Taoism)", etc.; cf. Taoist State (2004-11-12), Mystic Mantra (2005-01-15), Not Care (2006-02-13), Hidden Mystery (2011-11-07), Journey Inward (2013-10-31), Gentleness, Sensitivity, Compassion (2014-03-09), ...) - ^z - 2016-03-29

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Mantra - Love Your Self


... be kind to yourself, forgive your mistakes, and feel compassion not just for others but for you!

... and as Toni Bernhard says in Chapter 16 ("Compassion: Start with Yourself") of her book How to Wake Up, "... there's no limit to what you can feel compassion for yourself over — even your inability to be self-compassionate!" (that's rather meta-metta, eh?!)

(cf. Essence of Metta (2015-09-01), Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend (2016-02-16), Mantra - Forgiven (2016-08-02), ...) - ^z - 2016-12-30

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Mantra - Making Some Slight Progress


... and as artist Paul Cézanne said he felt he was doing late in life: "I work obstinately, and once in a while I catch a glimpse of the Promised Land."

(cf. Conversations in Paint (2000-08-08), ...) - ^z - 2016-01-14

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Mantra - Mind Like Sky

As Pema Chödrön is often quoted, "You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather." — or, in Tara Brach's words from Chapter 4 of Radical Acceptance, "... Like the weather, sensations, emotions and thoughts were just moving through the open, empty sky of awareness. ..." — and more briefly:


(cf. My Own Weather (2009-04-17), Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Mantra - Let It Go (2014-12-27), No Thing and Every Thing (2015-09-20), ...) - ^z - 2016-02-29

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Mantra - Mind Like Water

Mind Like Water

From David Allen, executive coach and productivity maven:

In karate there is an image that's used to define the position of perfect readiness: "mind like water." Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is, totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input; then it returns to calm. It doesn't overreact or underreact.

(cf. Quiet in There (2011-05-31), Mind Like Water (2011-12-24), ...) - ^z - 2015-05-04

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Mantra - Mindfulness, Nonattachment, Oneness


Like vehicle, highway, destination — and the journey is life.

  • Mindfulness — non-judgmental awareness, direct moment-by-moment attention to the Now and Here ...
  • Nonattachment — letting go of externals and internals and the I/me/mine ...
  • Oneness — no barriers, no divisions, just This ...

(cf. My Religion (2000-11-06), Work of a Lifetime (2009-02-01), This Is Water (2009-05-21), Being with Your Breath (2010-02-20), Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), O (2012-10-24), This (2013-03-09), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Clinging Is Optional (2013-08-21), 01 (2013-11-05), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Mantra - Cling to Nothing (2016-04-17), ...) - ^z - 2017-01-25

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Mantra - Move On


(cf. Move On (2007-01-06), Mantra - Soften Into Experience (2014-11-26), Mantra - Let It Go (2014-12-27), Mantra - Mindfulness, Nonattachment, Oneness (2-17-01-25), ...) - ^z - 2017-02-04

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Mantra - No Drama

No Drama!

... just the perfect depth and beauty of every moment as it is, without goals or stories or ...

(cf. No Drama (2015-01-15), ...) - ^z - 2015-06-16

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Mantra - No Effort Is Wasted

No effort is wasted.

... from the Arnold Bennett 1923 collection of advice How to Make the Best of Life ... and likewise from the Bhagavad Gita translation by Stephen Mitchell, 2.40:

On this path no effort is wasted,
no gain is ever reversed;
even a little of this practice
will shelter you from great sorrow.

... as in Mantra - Relentless Forward Progress ...

(cf. No Method (2010-01-21), Power of Optimism (2016-02-23), ...) - ^z - 2016-03-16

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Mantra - No Gifts, No Givers

No Gifts
No Givers

From the chapter titled "Generosity" of Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn: "At the deepest level, there is no giver, no gift, and no recipient . . . only the universe rearranging itself."

(cf. My Business (1999-05-30), No Glory (2000-01-11), Concerning Charity (2003-12-22), Mantra - Ditto (2015-08-30), Mantra - For Us (2015-11-28), Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), Mantra - No Self (2016-10-25), Mantra - We Are One (2017-04-18), Mantra - Say Thanks, not Sorry (2017-06-21), We Are One (2017-07-22), ...) - ^z - 2017-09-09

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Mantra - No Goals

No Goals!

... just attending to the now, with no purpose, no method, nothing to attain ...

( cf. Being Nobody, Going Nowhere (2008-10-18), Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Goals and Failure (2014-12-13), Now and Here (2015-06-07), ...) - ^z - 2015-07-26

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Mantra - No Hope


... and, as Charlotte Joko Beck says (in "Giving Up Hope"):

... we have to give up this idea in our heads that somehow, if we could only figure it out, there's some way to have this perfect life that is just right for us. Life is the way it is. And only when we begin to give up those maneuvers does life begin to be more satisfactory.

When I say to give up hope, I don't mean to give up effort. ...

(cf. Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Expect Nothing (2012-02-20), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), No Expectation (2015-01-02), Mantra - Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2015-02-21), Mantra - No Goals (2015-07-26), No Goals (2016-06-08), ...) - ^z - 2017-12-28

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Mantra - No Others

"How are we to treat others?"

There Are
  No Others

... attributed to Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), who may also have said (in various translations):

... Does my realisation help others? Yes, and it is the best help that you can possibly render to others. But really there are no others to be helped. For the realized being sees only the Self, just as the goldsmith sees only the gold while valuing it in various jewels made of gold. When you identify yourself with the body, name and form are there. But when you transcend the body-consciousness, the others also disappear. The realised one does not see the world as different from himself. ...

We are One ...

(cf. Unselfing (2009-01-14), 01 (2013-11-05), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Mantra - Ditto (2015-08-30), Mantra - For Us (2015-11-28), ...) - ^z - 2016-06-27

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Mantra - No Panics, No Surprises, No Enemies

No Panics
  No Surprises
      No Enemies

... in times of stress, take a breath and stay calm — give early warning if events may take an unexpected turn — build long-term friendships and alliances ...

(cf. Big Lessons (2001-02-17), Ementor Emantras 2 (2012-04-10), ...) - ^z - 2016-10-21

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Mantra - No Problems


... as family friend Joyce, living with brain cancer and raising three teenage daughters, once gently said, "If that's the worst problem you have, then you don't have any problems!"

... and in a meta-move: inverting turns problems into opportunities!

(cf. No Problems (2003-11-29), Yes, and... (2012-11-14), No Worries, Mate (2012-11-24), Being Zen (2014-05-26), Happiness Is (2015-07-28), Joko on Joy (2015-09-03), Mantra - The Problem is Not the Problem (2016-08-21), Mantra - She'll Be Right (2017-02-21), Mantra - We Got This (2017-09-13), Mantra - It's a Blessing (2017-11-23), ...) - ^z - 2018-03-15

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Mantra - No Self


... become invisible — take a walk through the Fourth Wall — and remember, We're all One ...

(cf. Unselfing (2009-01-14), Unselfing Again (2009-11-01), Nonattachment to I (2012-01-15), 01 (2013-11-05), 0-1 (2014-08-29), Mantra - For Us (2015-11-28), No Me (2016-01-18), Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), No Watcher, Only Watching (2016-10-07), ...) - ^z - 2016-10-25

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Mantra - Not Yet

... Not

... as suggested by Rein Henriches in the interview/podcast Greater than Code #063 ("The Distribution of Brilliance and Opportunity, with Rehema Wachira"):

... whenever you catch yourself making a statement about who you are that comes from a fixed mindset, like "I don't know how to write JavaScript", what you do is, you tack the word "yet" at the end.

The "fixed mindset" refers to the notion that there's only a finite amount of wealth, wisdom, opportunity, etc. in the world. The "growth mindset" in contrast focuses on the chance to improve, discover, maybe even transcend.

We don't know how to escape the box — not yet!

(cf. One Transcend Suffices (2009-10-14), Metacognition and Open Mindedness (2015-11-15), Learning vs Performing (2016-02-08), ...) - ^z - 2018-01-19

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Mantra - Not to My Taste

It Is Not
  to My Taste
    Right Now

... a soft way to refuse something, with less judging and less clinging to the decision — from a preschool child who learned to say that instead of "No!"

... and next, can the "My" also fade away?

(cf. Not to My Taste (2014-08-24), ...) - ^z - 2018-02-21

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Mantra - Notice and Return

Notice and Return

All of meditation in essence is noticing the absence of mindful attention and then returning to awareness. So — kindly, patiently, gently, non-judgmentally — "Notice and Return".

(cf. Jok Hae in Notice and Return (2013-03-11), Jon Kabat-Zinn in Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), ...) - ^z - 2014-11-30

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Mantra - Notice the Music

Notice the Music

... and "music" includes the breath, the trickle of water over stone, the rustle of wind through leaves, the chirping of birds, ... as well as the glimmer of starlight, the scent of cedar, the touch of a friend ... it's all about noticing ...

^z - 2014-12-06

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Mantra - Now, Here, Nowhere


... word-play and reminder:

    Stay Between

in the gap where
future touches past,
the missing point
at the center of all

... just being,
going nowhere

^z - 2016-04-08

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Mantra - Pause and Breathe


... from Chapter 6 of ("Positive Insecurity") of Pema Chödrön's Practicing Peace in Times of War, "... Before the chain reaction starts, before the aggression or the habitual pattern clicks in, there's a shock and open space ... pause and breathe deeply in and breathe deeply out. Never underestimate the power of this simple pause. ..."

(cf. Beginning Mindfulness (2013-09-22), Space Between (2013-10-15), Pause and Breathe (2014-07-25), ...) - ^z - 2015-02-25

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Mantra - PnE

"Possibility, not Expectation"

... or, abbreviated for texting and quick invocation: PnE!

(cf. Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Expectations vs. Possibilities (2013-08-13), Processes not Goals (2014-02-20), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), No Expectation (2015-01-02), ... ) - ^z - 2015-07-14

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Mantra - Pull Back the Veil

Pull Back
The Veil!

... from Adrienne Maree Brown:

Things are not getting worse.
They are getting uncovered.
We must hold each other tight and continue to pull back the veil.

(cf. Yes, Virginia (2004-12-26), Saying Yes to Life (2014-07-08), Veil of Separation (2015-10-14), Mantra - Go for the Moon (2016-07-18), ...) - ^z - 2016-12-21

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Mantra - Quiet Fierceness


... the paradoxical combination of power and love, intensity and calm, strength and softness — another perfect dual/non-dual Yin-Yang complement!

... and from Chapter 21 ("Strong and Lasting") of Rick Hanson's collection of essays Just One Thing:

Notice how good it feels to be strong. Feel the pleasure in your body, perhaps a quiet fierceness and resolve. Enjoy the confidence that strength brings, the sense of possibility. Appreciate how your strength empowers your caring, protectiveness, and love.

^z - 2017-12-04

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Mantra - Refuse to Be Busy

  to Be

... as suggested by K J Dell'Antonia in her New York Times essay "I Refuse to Be Busy":

... Busy implies a rushed sense of cheery urgency, a churning motion, a certain measure of impending chaos, all of which make me anxious. Busy is being in one place doing one thing with the nagging sense you that you ought to be somewhere else doing something different. I like to be calm. I like to have nothing in particular to do and nowhere in particular to be. And as often as I can — even when I'm dropping a child off here or there, or running an errand, or waving in the carpool line — I don't think of myself as busy. I'm where I need to be, doing, for the most part, what I want to do. ...

... and even when doing many things, try softening and, in the moment, choosing not to feel "busy" ...

(cf. All Caught Up Now (2006-07-31), a Rose Is Rose comic strip in which the central character is hurrying and thinking "Somebody please stop the world until I catch up! I have so many things to do, I ...", then catches sight of a fawn, stops and watches it — and in the final panel thinks, "Thank you. All caught up now. Way ahead, actually.") - ^z - 2018-02-24

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Mantra - Relax - Slow Down - Breathe

Slow down

... from a recent essay about graceful, safe, efficient flying, by Dave English, titled "Are you a low-gain pilot?", which quotes from Rowland White's book Into the Black about test pilot/astronaut Joe Engle:

... he barely moved the stick, anticipating the need to do so and making small, necessary corrections in plenty of time. His inputs were smooth and progressive, never snatching at the controls. ...

And, as English notes, "... You can't make small smooth control inputs if you are gripping the yoke too hard. Relax. Slow down. Breathe. Think ahead of the airplane, so you see early, when a small correction is all that is needed. It's part of being one with the wing ...".

... which suggests another phrase to hold lightly (and then release!):

Be One with the Wing!

(cf. Great Peace of Mind (2011-02-20), Mantra - Pause and Breathe (2015-02-25), Mantra - Mind Like Sky (2016-02-29), Mantra - Inhale, Exhale (2016-05-14), Mantra - Go Slowly, Breathe, and Smile (2016-07-03),...) - ^z - 2016-07-10

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Mantra - Relentless Forward Progress

An ultrarunning motto that applies everywhere:


... no matter how bad the current situation is, don't give up — walk a mile, take a nap, eat a snack — things will get better!

... and if not today, then learn something (if only "No Goals!") and try again another day!

(cf. Move On (2007-01-16), Solve the Problem (2007-05-24), Tough-Minded Optimists (2009-12-22), ...) - ^z - 2016-02-10

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Mantra - Remember to Remember

Remember to Remember

... before responding (especially with strong emotion, panic, anger, etc.) pop up a level to meta:

  • note the gap between impulse and action ...
    • feel the feelings rise ...
      • choose to choose ...

(cf. Meditation Made Easy (2008-11-01), Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Karma (2009-07-15), Waking Up to What You Do (2010-03-21), Find the Beauty (2011-04-03), Emotional States (2012-04-26), Notice and Return (2013-03-11), Remembering to Remember (2013-08-23), Space Between (2013-10-13), ...) - ^z - 2015-09-07

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Mantra - Safety, Health, Insight, Peace

Safety * Health * Insight * Peace

... loving wishes to make for others — freedom from danger, illness, darkness, strife — and for oneself!

(cf. Opening to Love (2013-09-27), Lovingkindness - The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (2015-07-12), SHIP of Lovingkindness (2015-08-18), ...) - ^z - 2015-10-30

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Mantra - Say Thanks, not Sorry

  "Thank You!"
        "I'm Sorry"

Instead of apologizing and self-blaming, give a gift: express appreciation for people's forgiveness, patience, kindness, tolerance, strength, and love!

(cf. Yao Xiao's [1] and [2], and Best Response to Feedback (2013-08-31), ...) - ^z - 2017-06-21

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Mantra - Share the Why


... explain reasons and motivations to others — and listen to their explanations! ...

(cf. Fundamental Attribution Error (2013-11-13), Big Biases (2014-01-09), There Are No Secrets (2014-02-26), ...) - ^z - 2016-10-30

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Mantra - She'll Be Right


... Australian slang for "Everything is OK" — no problem ... things will all work out somehow ... don't worry ... it's good enough ...

As, in fact, it always it!

(cf. Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), Lord Love a Duck (2010-02-15), No Worries, Mate (2012-11-24), Mantra - Things Can Only Get Better (2016-09-11), ...) - ^z - 2017-02-21

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Mantra - Soften Into Experience

Soften into Experience

... or perhaps simply ...


... a reminder to relax and remain aware, especially when times are stressful and the tendency is to harden, push back, or otherwise resist reality ...

(cf. Softening into Experience, a quote from Phillip Moffitt's book Emotional Chaos to Clarity: How to Live More Skillfully, as well as Gentleness, Sensitivity, Compassion from Wolfe Lowenthal's There Are No Secrets, and Aikido Spirit from Greg O'Connor's The Aikido Student Handbook ...) - ^z - 2014-11-26

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Mantra - Stand By You

    I Will
Stand by You

... a promise of loyalty: to protect, to serve, to share, to love ... beautifully sung by Rachel Platten in "Stand by You":

Hands, put your empty hands in mine
And scars, show me all the scars you hide
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine so yours can open, too
'Cause I'm gonna stand by you

Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes
And hurt, I know you're hurting, but so am I
And, Love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine 'til yours can open, too
'Cause I'm gonna stand by you

Even if we're breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can't find heaven, I'll walk through Hell with you
Love, you're not alone, 'cause I'm gonna stand by you.

(cf. Four Mantras (2014-06-26), ...) - ^z - 2017-10-06

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Mantra - Stop, Notice, Appreciate


(cf. This Is Water (2009-05-21), Find the Beauty (2011-04-03), Help, Thanks, Wow (2013-02-25),The Places That Scare You (2015-01-08), Attention (2015-03-03), Ordinary Beauty (2015-12-20), ...) - ^z - 2016-04-03

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Mantra - Stress, Recover, Improve

Stress - Recover - Improve

... from Kenny Moore's biography Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, in a speech by coach Bill Bowerman to new students:

... Take a primitive organism ... any weak, pitiful organism. Say a freshman. Make it lift, or jump or run. Let it rest. What happens? A little miracle. It gets a little better. It gets a little stronger or faster or more enduring. That's all training is. Stress. Recover. Improve. ...

... and of course, it applies to far more in life than mere physical activity!

(cf. 2006-08-19 - Shaky Ladder 'Speedwork', ...) - ^z - 2015-07-10

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Mantra - Take Notes

Take Notes!

... at meetings, after conversations, when something needs to get done ... for the record, to avoid confusion ... and above all, to clear your mind so it can be more relaxed and creative and aware!

Write It Down!

(cf. Practical Productivity (2004-01-20), Helpful Homilies (2007-09-02), Ementor Emantras (2011-05-02), Mind Like Water (2011-12-24), Mindless Mind (2012-10-06), ...) - ^z - 2016-11-15

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Mantra - The End of Now

This isn't the end of everything
     Just the end of now and
   The start of just after now

... a thought on the boundary between past and future, on letting go of expectations and and being open to new possibilities, on change and nonattachment, ...

(suggested by Rayna Matsuno; cf. Not Always So (2009-07-04), No Beginning, No End (2013-03-24), The End of Now (2013-07-16), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Meditations from the Mat (2013-07-20), ...) - ^z - 2015-05-28

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Mantra - The Method of No Method

The Method
No Method

"... no going anywhere, nothing to practice, no beginning, middle, or end, no attainment, and nothing to attain ..." — just being awake to what is ...

(cf. No Method (2010-01-21), Mantra - No Goals (2015-07-26), ...) - ^z - 2016-01-20

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Mantra - The Problem is Not the Problem

            The Problem is not the Problem —
The Problem is your Attitude toward the Problem

... a saying of Hungarian champion swimmer Katinka Hosszu ("The Iron Lady"), as quoted in Elizabeth Weil's essay "Seeing What My Muscles Can Do" in the New York Times (August 2016).

... much like "The 84th Problem", as told in Ezra Bayda's book Being Zen:

Once a farmer went to tell the Buddha about his problems. He described his difficulties farming—how either droughts or monsoons complicated his work. He told the Buddha about his wife—how even though he loved her, there were certain things about her he wanted to change. Likewise with his children—yes, he loved them, but they weren't turning out quite the way he wanted. When he was finished, he asked how the Buddha could help him with his troubles.

The Buddha said, "I'm sorry, but I can't help you."

"What do you mean?" railed the farmer. "You're supposed to be a great teacher!"

The Buddha replied, "Sir, it's like this. All human beings have eighty-three problems. It's a fact of life. Sure, a few problems may go away now and then, but soon enough others will arise. So we'll always have eighty-three problems."

The farmer responded indignantly, "Then what's the good of all your teaching?"

The Buddha replied, "My teaching can't help with the eighty-three problems, but perhaps it can help with the eighty-fourth problem."

"What's that?" asked the farmer.

"The eighty-fourth problem is that we don't want to have any problems."

(cf. Posture (2009-06-05), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Softening into Experience (2012-11-12), Being Zen (2014-05-26), ...) - ^z - 2016-08-21

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Mantra - There Are No Secrets

There Are No Secrets

... well, ok, maybe that's a secret — but there are no other secrets!

(cf. TwoGreatSecrets (2001-11-09), KeyToTheTreasure (2004-04-23), BigSecret (2005-07-05), There Are No Secrets (2014-02-26), ...) - ^z - 2015-10-02

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Mantra - Things Can Only Get Better

Things Can Only
    Get Better!

... even (especially!) if the situation is rough right now — don't panictake a breath — and try to smile, and think, just a little bit. Whatever is happening, it is what it is — and in perspective, from the big picture, this will somehow all turn out ok.

... and remember the refrain from the Howard Jones song and video:

And do you feel scared, I do
But I won't stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better

(... and likewise listen to the 2013 Cedric Gervais remake of "Things Can Only Get Better"; cf. Finding the Quiet (2009-12-05), Mantra - Mind Like Water (2015-05-04), ...) - ^z - 2016-09-11

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Mantra - This Is How It Is Right Now

Is How It Is
      Right Now

(cf. This Is It (2008-11-14), This Is Water (2009-05-21), Softening into Experience (2012-11-12), This (2013-03-09), Dance and Sit (2013-11-23), ...) - ^z - 2015-04-27

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Mantra - Touch and Go


... in the present moment, fully here, but not clinging — as Pema Chödrön suggests in Touch and Go (in Chapter 4 of her book The Places That Scare You), "... We touch thoughts by acknowledging them as thinking and then we let them go. It's a way of relaxing our struggle, like touching a bubble with a feather. ..."

(cf. Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Kundun (2010-03-31), Fully Present (2011-02-14), Wakeful, Open, Tender (2016-08-25), ...) - ^z - 2017-04-01

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Mantra - Uncertainty, Kindness, Peace, Hope

  • Uncertainty - realizing that knowledge is limited, and that judgments always need to be tempered with caution
  • Kindness - going beyond what's required, to act gently and helpfully toward other living creatures
  • Peace - choosing not to return violence to violence, but rather to strive for harmony and calm
  • Hope - believing that things will get better and good will triumph, and that in the long run love wins

(cf. Underappreciated Ideas (1999-07-06), ...) - ^z - 2017-06-29

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Mantra - Vast Emptiness Everything Sacred

Vast Emptiness
Nothing Sacred

or perhaps better:

  Vast Emptiness
Everything Sacred

(cf. 2008-03-23 - Sunrise Service at Seneca Creek, Zen Soup (2012-02-09), Nothing But Faith in Nothing (2014-09-07, Vast Openness (2014-10-16), ...) - ^z - 2015-03-17

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Mantra - We're the Best

Are the

... no "I", no conflict, no rivalry — pure striving together to achieve greatness and glory ...

You push yourself and he pushes himself harder. I said, 'Naim, you're the best,' and he said, 'No, Valerios, we're both the best.'

(comment by Greek weightlifter Valerios Leonidis, quoted in the New York Times obituary of Turkish three-time gold Olympian Naim Suleymanoglu, from the video by Bud Greenspan "The Historic Battle for Atlanta Weightlifting Gold"; cf. Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), Running through the Wall (2005-01-23), Mantra - Be on Good Form (2016-05-10), Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), Mantra - We Are One (2017-04-18), Ingressive vs Congressive (2017-07-08), ...) - ^z - 2017-11-26

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Mantra - We've Fallen

We've Fallen
  from Greater

... as a dear friend (smBFF) commented in the midst of crisis: worse things have happened, worse things may happen, and we shall survive — and emerge stronger!

(cf. Parachute Color (2011-12-06), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Up Again (2016-12-04), ...) - ^z - 2017-08-11

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Mantra - We Are One

We Are One

    ... there is no Other ...

        ... there are no Others ...

            ... One thing, All things ...

(cf. This Is Water (2009-05-21), Indra's Net (2009-06-21), Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), Mirroring Each Other (2013-05-12), Ground of Being (2013-10-03), Forgiveness and Oneness (2013-10-08), 01 (2013-11-05), 0-1 (2014-08-29), It is Thou (2014-09-24), Mantra - Ditto (2015-08-30), Mantra - For Us (2015-11-28), Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend (2016-02-16), Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), We Are One (2017-07-22),...) - ^z - 2017-04-18

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Mantra - We Got This


... together, as one, it will turn out OKno worries!

(cf. Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), We Are One (2017-07-22), ...) - ^z - 2017-09-13

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Mantra - Widen the Skirts of Light

Widen the
  Skirts of

... an image of hope and loving-kindness, from Middlemarch by George Eliot, in Chapter 39 as the protagonist describes her "religion" — a belief that comforts and guides her life:

... That by desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don't quite know what it is and cannot do what we would, we are part of the divine power against evil — widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower ...

... it helps her persevere in the struggle for Good in the world ...

... yes, and somehow it's all good!

(cf. Religion and Reverence (2001-07-08), True Story (2002-11-30), ThreeThoughts (2004-11-21), Big Ideas (2012-05-20), Mantra - Mindfulness, Nonattachment, Oneness (2017-01-25), ...) - ^z - 2018-01-06

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Mantra - With Dignity


... stand, sit, live — in worthiness, honor, self-respect, mindful awareness ...

(cf. Bringing the Mind Home (2009-02-26), With Dignity (2010-12-04), Zen and Self Improvement (2011-11-19), ...) - ^z - 2015-12-26

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Mantra - Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation

Without Effort,
Or Expectation

... as described in Finding the Quiet by Paul Wilson, in the section "The art of letting go":

... be prepared to allow things to happen at their own pace. Without applying effort. Without trying to analyze in any way. And without expecting any particular outcome. ...

(cf. Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Expect Nothing (2012-02-20), Expectations vs. Possibilities (2013-08-13), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), No Expectation (2-15-01-02), ...) - ^z - 2015-02-21

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Mantra - Worthy of Love

I Am Worthy
    Of Love
  In My Life

... from Tara Brach's book True Refuge, Chapter 10 ("Self-Compassion: Releasing the Second Arrow"):

... Marge was experiencing what I call "soul sadness," the sadness that arises when we are able to sense our temporary, precious existence, and directly face the suffering that has come from losing life. We recognize how our self-aversion has prevented us from being close to others, from expressing and letting love in. We see, sometimes with striking clarity, that we have closed ourselves off from our own creativity and spontaneity, from being fully alive. We remember missed moments when it might have been otherwise, and we begin to grieve our unloved life.

This grief can be so painful that we tend con consciously to move away from it. Even if we start to touch our sadness, we often bury it by reentering the shame—judging our suffering, assuming that we somehow deserve it, telling ourselves that others have "real suffering" and we shouldn't be filled with self-pity. Our soul sadness is fully revealed only when we directly, mindfully contact our pain. It is revealed when we stay on the spot and fully recognize this human being is having a hard time. In such moments we discover a natural upwelling of compassion—the tenderness of our own forgiving heart.

When Marge's crying subsided, I suggested she ask the place of sorrow what it longed for most. She knew right away: "To trust that I am worthy of love in my life." ...

... and remember: be as kind to yourself as you would be to others ...

(cf. Breath and Awareness (2011-03-12), Just One Thing (2012-12-02), Opening to Love (2013-09-27), Forgiveness and Oneness (2013-10-08), Meditation Retreat - December 2015 (2015-12-16), Mantra - You Are Loved (2016-01-10), Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend (2016-02-16), ...) - ^z - 2016-07-24

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Mantra - Yes, and...

And ...

As Keith Johnstone says in Impro:

There are people who prefer to say 'Yes', and there are people who prefer to say 'No'. Those who say 'Yes' are rewarded by the adventures they have, and those who say 'No' are rewarded by the safety they attain. There are far more 'No' sayers than 'Yes' sayers, ...

So just say, "Yes, and..." ...

(cf. Yes, and... (2012-11-14), Mantra - I'm In (2015-10-12), ...) - ^z - 2016-01-30

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Mantra - You Are Loved


... remind yourself, especially in dark times or places, that you are worthy, you are good, you are much loved ...

... and treat yourself with the kindness and compassion that you would give to a dear friend!

(cf. Underappreciated Ideas (1999-07-06), Bursting the Bubble of Fear (2014-03-26), Without Anxiety about Imperfection (2015-05-21), Wings of Acceptance (2015-05-26), ...) - ^z - 2016-01-10

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