Mar. 28th, 2012

sabrinamari: (Default)
"Test how self-compassionate you are"

http://www.self-compassion.org/test-your-self-compassion-level.html

Score interpretations:

Average overall self-compassion scores tend to be around 3.0 on the 1-5 scale, so you can interpret your overall score accordingly. As a rough guide, a score of 1-2.5 for your overall self-compassion score indicates you are low in self-compassion, 2.5-3.5 indicates you are moderate, and 3.5-5.0 means you are high. Remember that higher scores for the Self-Judgment, Isolation, and Over-Identification subscales indicate less self-compassion, while lower scores on these dimensions are indicative of more self-compassion (these subscales are automatically reverse-coded when your overall self-compassion score is calculated.)

Self-Kindness: 4.20
Self-Judgment: 3.00
Common Humanity: 5.00
Isolation: 1.50
Mindfulness: 4.25
Over-Identification: 3.75
Overall score: 3.87

Thoughts about this:

Buddhism really helps with this stuff. I don't actually think of Buddhism as a religion. I think of it as a structured practice for observing, then consciously shaping, the human mind.

Buddhists like Pema Chodron focus on helping others develop self-compassion, and since I read her work so much, it rubs off on me.
sabrinamari: (Things can go pear-shaped...)
Right now I'm reading "Working-Class Heroes: Protecting Home, Community, and Nation in a Chicago Neighborhood," by Maria Kefalas.

I've never understood the worldview of ethnic White communities like the one she describes, nor the way in which people's houses serve as expressions of their core identities. For me, a home is a refuge, a place of renewal---a place to snuggle, laugh and feel good. But I've never really thought about a house as a powerful expression of my values or my identity, and certainly not as an expression of my character in the world. OK, my mom lost her mind if people came over and the place wasn't spotless, but I am trying not to live that way...trying, anyway...

But as a mixed-race kid from a middle-class, academic family, I've never really understood the values that drive the creation of an absolutely immaculate lawn. I've always understood that neatness was important, and I also understand the importance of a beautiful and harmonious environment in maintaining a peaceful, happy life. For me, the beauty of the environment within and without is all about promoting sweetness, delight and peace. Home is a place to feel fulfilled and cared for.
Read more... )
sabrinamari: (Golden Buddha)
So, this post is not really about my favorite quote from "A Fish Called Wanda."

That was just the perfect title.

Recently, on the [livejournal.com profile] the_wildhunt, our intrepid Pagan reporter noted that Reverend Dennis Terry said this:

“I don’t care what the naysayers say. This nation was founded as a Christian nation. The god of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. There is only one God. There is only one God, and his name is Jesus. I’m tired of people telling me that I can’t say those words. I’m tired of people telling us as Christians that we can’t voice our beliefs or we can’t no longer pray in public. Listen to me. If you don’t love America, and you don’t like the way we do things, I’ve got one thing to say, get out! [...] We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Mohammed, we don’t worship Allah. We worship God. We worship God’s son Jesus Christ."

He and many others have covered the deeply ethnocentric nature of this comment and others like them. I'm not even going to address that. I'm also not going to point out that Reverend Terry contradicts himself.

Instead, I want to point out something much, much smaller, just to make sure that folks understand.

Buddhists do not worship Buddha.

The Buddha was just a human being. An ordinary person who was more reflective than most, and who reached an awakened, fully conscious state often referred to as enlightenment.

The whole point of Buddhism is that this is available to anyone.

Some hybrid forms of Buddhism recognize gods and goddesses. Others don't.

The most essential and streamlined forms of Buddhism---mostly those that have not morphed with other belief systems---don't have that much to say about the gods.

That's not what's important in Buddhism.

Buddhism is about how to be a fully awake human being. That's it. It doesn't spend much time on the gods, or on demons, or on other kinds of beings at all. I mean, it's got nothing against them, its just that its focus is totally on understanding human nature, coming to know the human mind, and learning to actively shape one's conscious self.

If you accept Dion Fortune's definition of magic as "...the art and science of changing consciousness according to the Will," then Buddhism is absolutely a kind of magic.

It offers a systematic method for observing the human mind in action (via several varieties of sitting and active meditation). During these observation periods, it asks practitioners to test a range of basic principles (hypotheses) against their own experience and then suggests several ongoing practices for achieving conscious control of/detente with/peace with a whole bunch of different neuroses.

That's it. That's Buddhism at its core, as I understand it.

So, just in case you were wondering: Buddhists do not worship Buddha.

They steal his methodology and mimic his practices in order to become saner.

That's it.

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