THOUGHTS: You Have The Right To Be Assertive

You have the right to be assertive. Other people have the right to be assertive too. Being unassertive will cause you more stress in the long-term. Being unassertive will reduce your feelings of self-worth. Being respected and respecting yourself is more important than being liked. Give a reason for your assertive response if you feel it is appropriate, but never an excuse or an apology.

With practice assertiveness will become second nature to you.

Getting Unhooked From Thoughts

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Getting hooked means getting caught up in thinking and losing touch with what is happening outside of our minds. When we get hooked by unwanted thoughts it is as though they push us around or bully us, like a critical coach who stands on the sidelines giving harsh feedback.

Getting unhooked means stepping back from our minds and experiencing our thoughts without evaluating them, trying to change them, or pushing them away. That is, paying attention to the experience of having the thoughts, rather than focusing on their meaning (for example, “there must be something wrong with me).

That doesn’t mean you have to like or want the thought. It is more to do with acknowledging that you are having the thought and that pushing it away may not have been very helpful. The more you resist, the more the thought persists.

Buddhism: Compassion, Wisdom & The Path

“The Buddha taught that to realize enlightenment, a person must develop two qualities: wisdom and compassion. Wisdom and compassion are sometimes compared to two wings that work together to enable flying or two eyes that work together to see deeply.


In the West, we’re taught to think of “wisdom” as something that is primarily intellectual and “compassion” as something that is primarily emotional, and that these two things are separate and even incompatible. We’re led to believe that fuzzy, sappy emotion gets in the way of clear, logical wisdom. But this is not the Buddhist understanding.

The Sanskrit word usually translated as “wisdom” is prajna (in Pali, panna), which can also be translated as “consciousness,” “discernment,” or “insight.” Each of the many schools of Buddhism understands prajna somewhat differently, but generally, we can say that prajna is understanding or discernment of the Buddha’s teaching, especially the teaching of anatta, the principle of no self.

The word usually translated as “compassion” is karuna, which is understood to mean active sympathy or a willingness to bear the pain of others. In practice, prajna gives rise to karuna, and karuna gives rise to prajna. Truly, you can’t have one without the other. They are a means to realizing enlightenment, and in themselves, they are also enlightenment itself manifested.

Compassion as Training
In Buddhism, the ideal of practice is to selflessly act to alleviate suffering wherever it appears. You may argue it is impossible to eliminate suffering, yet the practice calls for us to make the effort.


What does being nice to others have to do with enlightenment? For one thing, it helps us realize that “individual me” and “individual you” are mistaken ideas. And as long as we’re stuck in the idea of “what’s in it for me?” we are not yet wise.

In Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts, Soto Zen teacher Reb Anderson wrote, “Reaching the limits of practice as a separate personal activity, we are ready to receive help from the compassionate realms beyond our discriminating awareness.” Reb Anderson continues:

“We realize the intimate connection between the conventional truth and the ultimate truth through the practice of compassion. It is through compassion that we become thorougly grounded in the conventional truth and thus prepared to receive the ultimate truth. Compassion brings great warmth and kindness to both perspectives. It helps us to be flexible in our interpretation of the truth, and teaches us to give and receive help in practicing the precepts.”
In The Essence of the Heart Sutra, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote,

“According to Buddhism, compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind, wanting others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive — it’s not empathy alone — but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others from suffering. Genuine compassion must have both wisdom and lovingkindness. That is to say, one must understand the nature of the suffering from which we wish to free others (this is wisdom), and one must experience deep intimacy and empathy with other sentient beings (this is lovingkindness).”
No Thanks
Have you ever seen someone do something courteous and then get angry for not being properly thanked? True compassion has no expectation of reward or even a simple “thank you” attached to it. To expect a reward is to maintain the idea of a separate self and a separate other, which is contrary to the Buddhist goal.


The ideal of dana paramita — the perfection of giving — is “no giver, no receiver.” For this reason, by tradition, begging monks receive alms silently and do not express thanks. Of course, in the conventional world, there are givers and receivers, but it’s important to remember that the act of giving is not possible without receiving. Thus, givers and receivers create each other, and one is not superior to the other.

That said, feeling and expressing gratitude can be a tool for chipping away at our selfishness, so unless you are a begging monk, it’s certainly appropriate to say “thank you” to acts of courtesy or help.

Developing Compassion
To draw on an old joke, you get to be more compassionate the same way you get to Carnegie Hall — practice, practice, practice.

It’s already been noted that compassion arises from wisdom, just as wisdom arises from compassion. If you’re feeling neither especially wise nor compassionate, you may feel the whole project is hopeless. But the nun and teacher Pema Chodron says, “start where you are.” Whatever mess your life is right now is the soil from which enlightenment may grow.

In truth, although you may take one step at a time, Buddhism is not a “one step at a time” process. Each of the eight parts of the Eightfold Path supports all the other parts and should be pursued simultaneously. Every step integrates all the steps.

That said, most people begin by better understanding their own suffering, which takes us back to prajna — wisdom. Usually, meditation or other mindfulness practices are the means by which people begin to develop this understanding. As our self-delusions dissolve, we become more sensitive to the suffering of others. As we are more sensitive to the suffering of others, our self-delusions dissolve further.

Compassion for Yourself
After all this talk of selflessness, it may seem odd to end with by discussion compassion for oneself. But it’s important not to run away from our own suffering.


Pema Chodron said, “In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.” She writes that in Tibetan Buddhism there is a practice called tonglen which is a kind of meditation practice for helping us connect to our own suffering and the suffering of others.

“Tonglen reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure and, in the process, we become liberated from a very ancient prison of selfishness. We begin to feel love both for ourselves and others and also we being to take care of ourselves and others. It awakens our compassion and it also introduces us to a far larger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness that Buddhists call shunyata. By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being.”
The suggested method for tonglen meditation varies from teacher to teacher, but it usually is a breath-based meditation in which the meditator visualizes taking in the pain and suffering of all other beings on each inhalation, and giving away our love, compassion, and joy to all suffering beings with each exhalation. When practiced with complete sincerity, it quickly becomes a profound experience, as the sensation is not one of symbolic visualization at all, but of literally transforming pain and suffering. A practitioner becomes aware of tapping into an endless well of love and compassion that is available not only to others but to ourselves. It is, therefore, a very good meditation to practice during times when you are most vulnerable yourself. Healing others also heals self, and the boundaries between self and other are seen for what they are—non-existent.”

Source: https://www.learnreligions.com/buddhism-and-compassion-449719

04/05/20: UPDATE What Is Life Now? A True Horror Show

I’ve been putting writing this post off for a while now, there has been a lot of resistance within myself, stress, sleep deprivation and confusion of how I am to word this post of my current reality.

I have no idea how I am still alive.

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I can begin by stating that my life is absolute misery, pain, terror and a horror story. It’s all about how you perceive things but believe me, transfer your consciousness into this physical vehicle and you would go to the nearest train station, find the nearest rope, find as many pills as you can, find a cliff and jump. It’s pure torture, being whipped metaphorically by the devil and tormented and chained up. Every moment of everyday I am screaming and begging for it all to stop. If you continue reading, if you dare, you’ll find out why. Life is far from the pretty pictures of flowers and plants I post. It’s all pretend and fake; it makes me sick. I feel so misunderstood and of course we are all living our subjective experiences but there is no unity of connection or relation in my world. I feel so alone it’s like being in the underworld of Greek Mythology, in pitch black and no one can hear your screams, all they hear is your fake laughs and words. All I have ever wanted was peace. Instead I have gotten the very opposite. I have brought it on myself ultimately but of course I never wanted this.

I’m fucking proud of myself for getting this far. If I died today I would die in awe of how I have fought this battle and overcame absolute terrifying experiences. I am the weakest strongest person in a paradoxical sense.

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Daily I experience fibromyagia, this is a chronic pain condition with no cure, it causes burning sensations all over the body, fatigue and cognitive issues like memory problems. The pain in my body seems to be getting worse, I limp some days and can’t get out of bed. I can’t sleep because of the intense pain I am in. Invisible knives jab at me. I wake up and feel as if I have been in a car crash. This condition seems to be getting worse and I cannot cope with the level of pain I am in. Every single thing I do, move, breathe, eat, it screams at me from my limbs. Acid is burning away at my bones. I sit here with my whole body knotted up and my limbs creaking every stretch I take. It feels like I haven’t stretched in years. In a 20 year old body I feel about 70. Waking hurts, moving hurts, staying still hurts. Every single second is agony and unbearable. My knees feel like some unseen force is grinding them dowon with a big chisel and drilling into them. My ankles feel as if they have been squeezed and chained up in cuffs. My spine is so sore every step I take it aches like a thousand bruises line my back. My neck can barely hold my head up. Every part of my body burns 24/7. No medication, no therapies, nothing works and I feel like I am chasing my own tail, going round and round in circles.

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I can’t sleep. For the past three weeks since I left the city and you because I had to, I have had insomnia. Four hours here, three hours here. I brought a new duvet, new soft pillows and they help a bit, I’ve started to get 6 hours of sleep that is broken into parts. I wake around 2pm every night and cannot get back to sleep until around four or five am in the morning. My mind is so active and hyper, it won’t settle down. The evenings are scary, I don’t know if I’ll be alone awake all night by myself, staring at the ceiling wishing I was dead. I yearn for sleep, to go unconsciousness so I don’t have to deal with this reality anymore. All my sleep problems started when I travelled to The Netherlands and lived in a squat; all day everyday there was loud techno music playing constantly. I’ve been on high alert since. Along with copious amounts of trauma and homelessness in various countries no wonder I cannot sleep. I was smoking weed for the past two years on and off here and there to sleep, to cope with the fibromyalgia pain and to escape from the misery of my reality. I’m three weeks clean from cannabis now. I don’t want to smoke cannabis anymore, not for a long while. Maybe here and there sometimes but I realise that this plant is sacred and I want to use it in beneficial and respectful way in the fugue. I’m already up there you know, I’m already in the sky, I’m already able to see psychedelic visions and get high without cannabis.

I’ve moved back to my parents house, I’ve been here three weeks for reasons I do not need to disclose. I’ve come back to the place where all the trauma and pain started. I’ve been running away from this village and bedroom for years and always end up coming back. A lot has happened in this bedroom I am writing in, taking psychedelics, dark nights of the soul, spiritual awakenings and a whole truck load of pain. I’ve designed it with plants, new pillows, posters and wall art; materialism doesn’t change my mental health but all I could do was try. It is a beautiful room though but part of me wants to chuck it all out of the window.

I’ve started therapy and have help from a man who is very much spiritually aware for all the issues I deal with: fibromyaglia, PTSD, anorexia, OCD, traumas, insecurities from bullying and giving my power away. I am wary of therapy as I have had so much pain fro other human beings that I don’t trust anyone anymore, so in the beginning my therapist focused on me becoming a tree, stable and grounded, which is a common theme in my life I need to implement, I’ve punched pillows and tried to release all the anger I have inside. I’ve spent my whole life suppressing my feelings. I’ve been walked all over because of my empathy and kindness being abused. I have this deep inner anger welling up inside that I do not know what to do with. I am finally standing up for myself. Things that have happened to me, that I have experience are not okay. I have let people take advantage of my purity. Not anymore. All this trauma I have is stored inside of my body and manifested as fibromyalgia. I’m angry at myself for letting all this happen to me and for letting myself get fucked up so to say. Working with these too people I have expected more, they are not my friends, they are my helpers, I have to realise that. I’ve written letters to my young and older self and forgiven. I’ve visualised the places where I was bullied and told my younger self she is beautiful and these people who bullied me were projecting their insecurities onto me; I do not need to carry that baggage anymore. I need to stop trying to understand everything with my intellect and just let thing be. I need to let go of the same of having sex with men when I was younger and being taken advantage of; I was a lost young girl who was searching for human connection. I need to observe my thoughts and choose which ones are good for me. I need to set boundaries and know that it is okay to say no. The voice telling me that I have to do things is my ego (edging away from god). Breaking down is waking up or breaking through.

I’m going through weed withdrawals. I can’t sleep well, I now get around five or six hours instead of two, none or three. I have to wait it out. I’m waking up drenched in sweat, I feel weird in the evenings and don’t know what to do with myself. I have had thoughts that I am going crazy. I am now three weeks clean, I hope dear god that I can sleep. I’ve never been addicted to cannabis, however I had used it as a crutch and have been dependent on it.

My periods are awful these days. I’ve now been bleeding for ten days which is very unusual and disturbing as they usually last at the maximum four or five days. My hormones are completely out of wack. I get aggressive energy when I’m bleeding and my suicidal thoughts increase to the point where it is unbearable. The pain in my ovary area is immensely horrific, I curl up into a ball and beg for the pain to stop; if I could describe it, it would be lightning bolts of electric volts attacking my lower area. I take paracetamol when I have to but it doesn’t do much. I get more manic and scatty too. It is truly diabolical.

Everyday I experience this: manic episodes, manic depressive episodes, racey thoughts, paranoia (a little because I’ve had so much trauma that I don’t trust people), headaches, blurry vision, diminished senses, eye pain, burning pain all over my body, sleep problems, memory loss, cognitive issuses, heart pain, lowering of the heart rate, nausea, feeling sick after I eat, swollen breasts, severe back pain, anxiety, flat mooded with no emotions, completely numb and dead. Reality does not feel real. Dissociation. Depersoanlisation. Derealisation. Panic attacks of impending doom on my chest, Forgetting where I am and who I am. Tracers of people’s past movements for three seconds. Confusion. Nightmares. Vivid dreams of Orwellian realities. Pain. Ghost-like mood where it feels as if I don’t exist, claircognizance (knowing when things happen before they happen), knowing what people are thinking, knowing all a person’s problems just by stepping outside and seeing them and feeling their aura. I am so sensitive and delicate. I notice the slightest change in energy and if it feels like bad energy I want to kill myself. Suicidal thoughts every ten minutes or five minutes. Loneliness. Fear. I am petrified. I shake, have muscle tremors, I feel the list just goes on and on. Starved of spirit, life force and human connection. I can only eat around ten foods or else my face will swell up. I’m terrified of having a psychotic episode because of all this

It’s as if everyone around me is living their lives and mine is trapped in a cage and the oxygen is disappearing, I’m gasping for air. It

Time seems to be speeding up, I can’t grasp it.

I’ve been in a mental car crash for these whole twenty years of my life. I don’t feel twenty, I feel 16 but also 90 at the same time.

The lock-down I believe is bullshit. Yes, I think there is a virus but I don’t think it is as bad as what the media states it is. There is a big battle going on between the light and dark. On my blog some beautiful quotes have been replaced by dead bodies or something dark when I look back thirty minutes later and I change it back. The spiritual healer I work with says it could be spirits trying to push me over the edge.. I know they can interfere with technology. Something strange is going on.

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I am currently on three medications: Pregablin (an anti-anxiety, nerve pain reducer, anti-epilepsy drug) at 400mg, 200mg twice a day. Diazapam (anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant) at 10mg, 5mg twice a day and if I cannot cope with the reality I experience. Zopiclone (sleeping pills) at 7.5mg as I cannot sleep properly and have PTSD flashbacks. I also take magnesium supplements at 300mg and Vitamin D at 10mg because after a test at the doctors they found out I had a severe deficiency. I do not like taking highly addictive medication however desperate people do desperate things. I was offered no help when I came back messed up from travelling except pills. I’ve been on so many different ones that I have lost count. There was no help, left in the cold with pills. I had nothing else to help me survive. I want to come off them but I’m stuck with them at the moment as I am not stable enough to come off them. They barely help me function day to day, I don’t feel right without them.. They have gotten me to where I am today at least. I experience nasty side effects like suicidal ideation, increased suicidal thoughts, constipation, feeling constantly nauseous, no appetite then increased appetite that is scatty, feeling lethargic, depressed, on edge, agitated. I am disgusted that I have gotten no help from the NHS and all I have is pills. I went to four meetings at a young peoples centre connected with the NHS in the local city and the meetings consisted of filling out forms, ridiculous and I asked for a letter to go with my benefit money appeal and instead got a girls suicide notes.

I’ve written many emails to shamans and spiritual healers from around the UK and world. I’ve had some beautiful responses that I have already posted on my blog, but some have been hard hitting with the truth. I hope to be able to discern which messages and people are right for me and can work with me. Tomorrow I have two sessions with two shamans; one is doing psychic surgery on me with his spirit allies (I know this may sound wacky but this is my soul path regarding spirituality and shamanism). I don’t know where this will lead me, I just hope something changes, I pray something changes. I don’t have faith in any of them because I’ve been let down so so so many times in the past.

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Living in a room in my parents is making me go loopy. I pace up and down like an animal getting exercise, I watch videos, study, try and function when I feel like my brain is breaking down. I am completely lonely and isolated, I have no friends or anyone to truly speak to anymore. Night times are awful, as I mentioned, I cannot sleep, I dread life and sleep.

How do I cope? I live for the next cigarette, for the next meal, for the next blog post, for the next banging on my djembe drums, for the next sleep, for the next conversation, the next piece of information. I bike or walk (sometimes limp from the amount of pain I am in) to get out of this bedroom and my mind half expects to see you in the woods or by the pond. I walk away feeling disheartened and in pain. I curl up into a ball and cry out for help everyday, I lie staring at the ceiling wishing it could all end. I also cope by knowing that I can kill myself, I’m just scared that it will go wrong and I’ll wake up in hospital or have brain damage.

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I want to kill myself. I want to live but the pain is drowning me. I know the fifth attempt is coming, the right opportunity. I am scared that it won’t work but I’ve had some experience in this and know what I have to do. I will die alone as I was born alone in complete fear and misery. If someone revives me I will be VERY angry. If that attempt fails I will have to resort to lying on train tracks to finish me off. Of course I have a conscience and feel sick that the driver would have to experience that. However, I feel like I have no escape from this pain and it would be my last resort. I will find a way to finish myself off. It is suicide out of self-love and it’s hard maybe for people to grasp this concept and understand. I want to die out of self-love and release myself, find peace from the pain I am in. At any moment I feel I could impulsively go.

I wish I could be friends with you Michael. What will be will be.

I have no idea what I am going to do. I have no idea what to do with myself. I feel paralized by confusion going round and around and round and around and round in circles.

I try my best and get up everyday. I am so proud of my being but also want to die so badly.

Standing up for myself these days has given me a little personal power back. For example standing up to people who have hurt me, letting them know that they are no better than anyone else. We are all one. We are all infinite consciousness and love experiencing itself through these individual souls we have.

Yes, it’s fucked up. My blog is raw and that’s it. What do I do?

I wish I was you.

Have a good life,

Amber

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