Balance

“A healthy sense of self-confidence is a critical factor in achieving our goals.  This holds true whether our goal is to earn a college degree, build a successful business, enjoy a satisfying relationship, or train the mind to become happier.  Low self-confidence inhibits our efforts to move ahead, to meet challenges, and even to take some risks when necessary in the pursuit of our objectives.  Inflated self-confidence can be equally hazardous.  Those who suffer from an exaggerated sense of their own abilities and accomplishments are continuously subject to frustration, disappointment, and rage when reality intrudes and the world doesn’t validate their idealized view of themselves.  And they are always precariously close to sinking into depression when they fail to live up to their own idealized self-image.  In addition, these individuals’ grandiosity often leads to a sense of entitlement and a kind of arrogance that distances them from others and prevents emotionally satisfying relationships.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

“Our culture is so focused on progress that we frequently don’t experience our own lives just as they are here and now.  But the world will always be exactly as it is in each moment.  It’s astonishing how much time and energy we expend in trying to deny this simple fact.  This doesn’t imply passivity.  Our visions and ideals are also part of this moment.  Everything changes, no matter how slowly, and we can act to alleviate suffering.  Yet if plans for the future are not balanced with acceptance and joy in this moment, just as it is, our lives go unlived.  The challenge is to work with our lives as they are rather than imagine that things are different.  If we can learn to soften our aversions and desires, our lives might become less frantic and more spacious.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude

“We often seem to value activity above all else, but like all beings we need to rest and recuperate.  I suspect the widespread occurrence of depression in our culture is linked to our refusal to allow ourselves quiet time.  Feeling the need to remain constantly busy – mentally or physically – in socially productive activity can prevent us from turning inward to simply be with ourselves.  Such inward turning requires time and might lower productivity and social standing.  It is not that all activity is bad, but many of us are far out of balance and our activity does not come from a place of stillness and wisdom.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude

“You can be fit without being healthy, but you can’t be healthy without being fit.  Meaning… you can be in great shape on the outside, but if you don’t eat great and don’t take care of your insides, you aren’t necessarily healthy.  History shows us there were plenty of athletes who were in great shape but suddenly died of a heart attack.  Balance is key.” ~ Jesse Itzler, Living With A SEAL

“To improve your mind without the cultivation of your physical gifts would be a very hollow victory.  Elevating your mind and body to their highest level without nurturing your should would leave you feeling very empty and unfulfilled.  But when you dedicate your energies to unlocking the full potential of all three of your human endowments, you will taste the divine ecstacy of an enlightened life.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

“It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.” ~ Ohiyesa, American Indian

Relax Your Mind; Flow Like A River – A Short Zen Story

Relax Your Mind; Flow Like A River - A Short Zen Story

There is the story of a young martial arts student who was under the tutelage of a famous master.

One day, the master was watching a practice session in the courtyard. He realized that the presence of the other students was interfering with the young man’s attempts to perfect his technique.

The master could sense the young man’s frustration. He went up to the young man and tapped him on his shoulder.

“What’s the problem?” he inquired.

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“In the end, we need two things to lead a balanced life – a sense of the world and a sense of ourselves; it’s like breathing in and breathing out.  And if you can only get to know the world by stepping out, and losing yourself in experience, you can only get to know the self by stepping back, and finding yourself in contemplation.  One without the other leads to a kind of madness.” ~ Pico Iyer