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[SG Faire: The Kin] How to Avoid the Red Ajah Thinking You're a False Dragon

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We all know how the False Dragons were caught: they caused trouble, made lots of noise, and then made a fuss when the Reds showed up. We at the Kin believe if they had just followed these (somewhat) simple routines, they could've gotten through it like we did. C'mon, the Reds never found US! :)

 

We thought we'd share these tips with you to help you make it to the Last Battle, too!

 

*Little medical note: We're not doctors or Gray Ajah. A few might be Wisdoms, but most of us are just people who just want to find a way to reduce stress and find a happier us. As such, please use your best judgement when attempting any of these strategies and call a professional if you're dealing with something a little aroma therapy and a chat with a friend can't handle.

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I personally think that all self-help needs to start with yourself. In order to did anything that's not working, you have to figure out what's broken.

 

So, my first step is always to examine yourself. I keep a list of everything that annoyed me, everything I have to do, and everyone I am responsible for for a solid week. As a teacher, those last two lists get pretty long.

 

Then, I take that list and label the things you can control and the things you can't control. Cross off everything you have no control over (like the price of gas and how other people act). As you cross them off, LET THEM GO and make a conscious effort not to let them annoy you, anymore. No, that's not easy. It's not going to work right off the nose. You are going to have to work on that part for a while. Cut yourself some slack and make sure you notice how good it felt when you were successful.

 

As for the rest of that list, group them into things that are related (like rushing to get to work and getting caught in traffic, which makes you late for work) and then create a plan of attack for the largest group of things. For the example above, get up 30 minutes earlier, or organize your clothes the night before. If you need ideas about how to attack those things, ASK someone! Giving up on it is only going to add to your headache!

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I have a son with ADHD so I've always had to be pretty structured in the mornings or we would have never get off to work/ school. Having all of the needed things in place is a big help as well as the routine that never changes. It helped me have a better outlook when we got off smoothly.

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I like Metta Meditation.

 

 

Example:  info.med.yale.edu/psych/3s/metta.html

 

The Practice.

 

"The hard work and repetition required of an individual engaged in Mettapractice endows the four universal wishes (to live happily and to be free from hostility, affliction, and distress), with a very personal inner love, and by so doing, it has the power for personal transformation.  Although serious practitioners of Metta meditation offer Metta for an hour or more morning and evening, you may wish to begin by offering Metta for just 10-15 minutes each day.  You may do your practice as a formal sitting meditation or while walking (preferably without destination).  You may also choose to integrate your Metta practice with daily chores.

 

To begin, take a few moments to quiet your mind and focus your attention on the experience of loving kindness.  You will begin by offering Metta to yourself.  If distracting thoughts arise, acknowledge them, make a mental note to return to them after your Metta practice, but quickly move them aside to maintain concentration.

 

Recite the following phrases to yourself at a pace that keeps you focused and alert. 

1.  May I be safe and protected.

2.  May I be peaceful and happy.

3.  May I be healthy and strong.

4.  May I have ease of well being (and accept all the conditions of the world)

 

Continue reciting the phrases in the first person.

 

Then when you are comfortable, try offering Metta to a beneficiary, someone who supports you, who has always "been on your side." Forming visualizations of this person while reciting the phrases can be helpful; for example, imagining this beneficiary as a child or grandparent, can assist in 'opening the heart.'

 

1.  May s/he be safe and protected.

2.  May s/he be peaceful and happy.

3.  May s/he be healthy and strong.

4.  May s/he have ease of well being (and accept all the conditions of the world)

 

Next offer Metta to a loved one.

 

1.  May s/he be safe and protected.

2.  May s/he be peaceful and happy.

3.  May s/he be healthy and strong.

4.  May s/he have ease of well being (and accept all the conditions of the world)

 

Once your Metta flows easily to a loved one, begin to include in your practice one or more of the following categories of persons to whom you will offerMetta:

 

  • A close friend.
  • A neutral person (someone you neither like nor dislike)
  • A difficult person (no need to start with the most difficult person, but someone whom you have a distaste for)
  • All beings, individuals, personalities, creatures (choose whichever word to describe all 'beings' that you please; it may be helpful to break up this category into subcategories;  i.e., all men, and then all women, all enlightened ones, and then, all unenlightened ones, all beings who are happy, and then all beings who are both happy and suffering, and all beings who are primarily suffering.

 

1.  May s/he/it be safe and protected.

2.  May s/he/it be peaceful and happy.

3.  May s/he/it be healthy and strong.

4.  May s/he/it have ease of well being (and accept all the conditions of the world)

 

Although one traditionally starts by offering Metta for 'oneself ' and ends by offering Metta to 'all beings,'  please do not expect to be able immediately to offer these phrases to all beings from the onset of your practice. We all struggle to offer this unconditional love to many people in our lives, and it is truly difficult to include everyone, though this aspiration is reasonable if we are committed to Metta practice.  Between these two 'categories' -- oneself and all beings -- one should choose freely from any category or any number of categories.  Categorical divisions serve only as tools to keep Metta from overwhelming someone new to the practice. They should not create restrictions within the practice once one gains familiarity with it. 

 

In truth, any one individual may fit into a number of different categories.  This ambiguity should be expected and embraced.  Awareness of our feelings toward another is always the first step in converting this energy into loving-kindness. Noticing a feeling of aversion, or indecisiveness, when evoking the image of a particular person in your practice does not mean you are failing to offer Metta.  Rather, you are leaping forward in your practice.  According to Buddhist teachings, the worst plague a human being can suffer is one that s/he cannot identify, or does not even know exists.  Similarly, aversions (and cravings) that lie below the level of conscious awareness fuel habit patterns of the mind that inevitably lead to suffering. So, as you peel away the layers of self, allow any negative emotions to arise, so that you can actively replace them with Metta, a loving-kindness."

 

I very much like aspects of Buddhism.

May you be safe and protected.

May you be peaceful and happy.

May you be healthy and strong.

May you have ease of well being. (and accept all the conditions of the world)"

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I really like that this method starts with you first, too! 

 

Meditation is good for the soul, anyway. Taking ten or fifteen minutes to just sit and not think about anything other than your breathing will help you feel centered! 

 

I really like the program at Cerra Advocates, too.  They will send you a daily e-mail to help you focus on the piece you're on and it's a 7 week plan. When things start getting a little rough for me, I start over with this plan and have them send me the e-mails. I keep a journal at night, so I use these as my focus prompts and somewhere in that entry, I will address it. (I advocate keeping a journal, too. Vent and never show it to anyone. You'll be surprised how much better you feel and how much better you sleep!). 

 

The first week at Cerra is for feeling grounded. The e-mails center around you acknowledging what's around you and what makes you feel at peace and happy. I love that it forces you to look at the positive things in your life when you catch yourself only repeating the negative things. Sure, it sounds cliche, but watch what happens when you match every negative thought with a positive one. :) 

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