Cultivating New Attitudes (part one)

I taught on wisdom in general recently, and we established many different terms regarding this wisdom word that is thrown about so casually. You know, you can probably buy wisdom tea, and perhaps it comes in little organic bags; wisdom tea or wisdom soap. I bet someone makes wisdom soap. You could also find a cotton shirt made of wisdom cotton. So, if you attach the word wisdom to anything, there will be a certain number of people who will rush out and buy it! I am just joking. That is not exactly true, but perhaps.

Now we take time so that we can use established methods by which students or you and I can dialogue regarding different kinds of wisdom so that we mutually understand what valuation we are applying. An important aspect of this includes gaining confidence in your ability to manipulate Buddhist concepts. Just because various deeper or more subtle wisdoms exist, are described as important dynamics, and are acknowledged as the basis for transformative experience, it is not good to disrespect your own education.

A true path incorporates your experiences, your common sense, your thinking ability, and your logic as your present basis for growth. Meanwhile, we study in order to be able to understand that there are other kinds of wisdoms, including some very honorary degrees of wisdom, which are bestowed upon people both in the east and the west as skill levels. Your knowledge gained from that teaching might make you valuable and more confident in a discussion about the nature of reality and Buddhism. We continue to establish the meanings and discussion parameters of wisdom and inner healing so we can converse intelligently about deep subjects.

As part of that introduction to an education about establishing meanings, today we begin defining the idea of new attitudes. In order to understand that concept, however, that means there must be some attitude that you would like to possess that you do not now have. There would be no need to cultivate a new attitude or perception if you were already in full possession of all of the careful attitudes that you always wanted to hold in your nature. Obviously, there would be no need to cultivate something that you already possessed as part of your working personality and inner attitudes. New perceptions or alternatively, new attitudes, have an energetic configuration associated with the perceptions that is called a feeling.

Any intelligent person would work at cultivating new attitudes toward psychological well-being and higher ethical standards their entire lifetime, isn't that so? Some western philosopher said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." We will attribute it to Thoreau because it would be like something he might say.

Your perceptions are not just something like an old-fashioned ticker tape machine. The perceptions are not shooting out this little dry piece of paper filled with punches that express data. There is an energetic process that occurs because your perceptions are moving that causes something else to happen and what is associated with that is called a feeling or state of mind. I do not think there is any way to separate perception from feeling. However, you cannot change your feeling, but you can change your perceptions. That gives us a broader spectrum, an objective lifted view, like taking a picture of your house from outer space in order to be able to work carefully with changes. This is done while an engorged active state of feelings is not present, as that tends to overwhelm careful changes we want to incorporate into our skillful nature.

So, what is it that you want that you are not feeling? What is it that you want to be feeling that you are not feeling? Perhaps you want to feel clearer or you want to feel more confidence, something that you are not able to generate with your present perceptions. Someone told me that they wanted to feel in control, however, to say in control, does not really grasp the problem. It is far too complex a dynamic. You know, this is very typical of western culture and people who have education, to try to rise to a complex dynamic to be able to describe what it is that they want, so much so, that they cannot separate the elements in order to work with them carefully. Instead, we need to look at subjective feelings that are more simple.

You want to feel better, you want to feel whole are also too complex to work. I choose happy. Excuse me; I am going to go stand at the back of the class because I am giving an answer that I thought would be first on your list. What is it that you want that you are not feeling? Happy. To me, it is very clean. Some other answers make me dizzy. What are you feeling without displaying complexities? Someone wants to feel natural. I like it. You want to feel natural, which is a little bit complex, but not so much. What are some other easy answers? Peaceful! There is something that I want that I am not feeling. I am not feeling peaceful. Perhaps you are not feeling safe. These are examples of possibilities. What about missing the feeling of being joyful and free or satisfied with life?

Many people suffer because they are not feeling loving toward everyone and at the same time fearful that others will find that out! We want to have a spontaneous feeling that is loving and that is genuine. We want to have compassion and love toward everyone but we also want to feel that compassion and love coming from ourselves toward others. You definitely want that feeling to be genuine before others find out that you do not possess that, because then they are not going to like you, and then you have other issues.

My last answer, but certainly not the least of choices of what we might miss feeling, would be not feeling respected. Now, these are some very common issues that are played like notes on a dysfunctional piano: Not happy, not satisfied with life, not loved, not respected, ba bum, ja bum, ja dee, da da, one after the other. To be continued…..

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