« Israel on verge of becoming a Jewish authoritarian nation | Main | Stoicism advises being happy with what we already have »

July 30, 2023


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

>> I want to do for Laurel what she wants done for her. Which is for us to stay in our current house for the foreseeable future. I don't see any point in visualizing or imagining Laurel being happy here. By not exerting any pressure on Laurel to move, I'm acting in a way that makes Laurel happier.<<

I have gone through what you wrote and certainly do agree with your conclusion that pleasure goes with being kind and understanding towards others and that you for that reason do not need anything in return let alone pressure another human being.

But than it goes on hammering in my mind....
What about Brian?
Should he not be looked after?
What is she doing in that marriage?
Is he there to be loved?
Is he her servant of love?

These are just "MY" questions that go on in "my" mind reading what you wrote in this public domain.... these questions do not need and answer, let us put that clear ... nor does it say anything, as it should not, about your marriage, and the ideas both of you entertain about it.

For every "gardener" it is a great pleasure to contribute to the welfare of his plants and does what he can to create circumstances, for each and every plant to exposes the individual "beauty"

But what about the gardener?

Does he not need, "light", "food" etc as his plants do??

From a naturalist point of view, whether it’s tonglen or metta bhavana or any other spiritual practice of wishing others and self well, it ultimately comes down to an act of self-interest. In wishing others well, the motivation has to come from the well wishers interests. To wish family, friends or others well stems from one’s own desire to primarily feel good and secure about oneself.

In nature, even altruistic behaviour has a self-motivated purpose. Equally, the sacrifices of human parents and partners are ultimately geared to species survival – even if toward the less-er goal of survival of the family rather than the species as a whole.

With other species it seems to be merely a case of passing one’s genes on to the next generation and ensuring their survival; with us humans it is also important in wishing the best for family and friends for us to feel psychological satisfied and secure. In other words, it is our old friend the self-structure (or ego if you like) that needs the peace of mind and security to know – or hope – that we are doing our best to support and nurture those who are dear to us. All very natural, whether it physical or psychological (feeling okay about ‘me’) survival.

Perhaps this is where spiritual or religious concept arise; to wish for something above nature, something that gives us meaning and hope that we are not just here to survive and pass on our genes – generally concepts that arise from our ‘self’ motivated fears of lack of meaning and annihilation.

Whatever practice uncovers the insight and the strength within each of us to understand and act for the good of all, and avoid harm to anyone, is a good practice.

Whatever takes us closer to that is good.

Hi Um
You asked
"But what about the gardener?

" Does he not need, "light", "food" etc as his plants do??"

They are cared for by their own Gardner, who, through them, provides light and food.

We care for each other, relying upon a greater strength, greater insight that is caring for us. Greater than any of us.

@ Spence

After the demise of my partners some years ago I have had ample time to reflect about our relationship, with lots of coffee and walks in the countryside.

That made me write:
And what about You, Brian.

Drinking coffee, an walking around, i came to understand many things, a kind of open book was presented to me, let us say more or less neutral, objective, just showing facts without values and meaning attached to them .. these facts got lost after her demise.

I am a human being Spence.

Never heard of Tonglen, that was new. Sounds a lot like Metta.

As a psychological exercise, I can see how this might work, to an extent. But when it comes to aiming this thing at some specific person who's suffering from some specific thing, then, if the intent is to impact anyone other than the one doing the Tonglen thing: well, that's a lot like Reiki, and Sanjeevani Vidya, and frankly sounds completely woo. (I mean, if the idea of aiming the Tonglen at some specific person, entails the belief that that might help this other person, whom it's being aimed at.)

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you just have to admit you're wrong. And so, I've come to the realization, and the acceptance, that the the democrats are correct.
Outside of the bank records, the suspicious activity reports, the wire transfers, the Privat bank transactions, the LLCs, the texts, the emails, the WhatsApp messages, the photos of Joe with Hunter’s business partners, the voicemails to his son, the two business partners saying Joe is the “brand,” the “big guy,” and “the chairman,” the two whistleblowers testimony, the recorded phone calls between Biden and Poroshenko, the video of Joe Biden bragging about firing the Ukrainian prosecutor, and Hunter’s statements that he’s giving his dad half his income, there is NO evidence of Joe Biden being involved.

Tonglen, metta, or any formal or informal, structured or spontaneous, variation thereof is imo and ime an extraordinarily powerful "spiritual practice", the summum bonum of all "spiritual practices" and technologies.

Imo, it is not merely a "practice" but the very ground, path and fruition of all spiritual pursuits. In other words, it is not just a practice, but the very attainment of "sach khand", enlightenment or whatever itself. This is my very personal opinion and experience, there is no evidence or logic behind it... mainly just experience.

Any true experience of this would entail an automatic and resolute awareness of the emptiness of not letting such a "practice", or more rightly"experience ", not be reflected in all one's actions and behaviour in the world, day by day, second by second. Which is not to say we become perfect saints, but rather we are committed to trying to behave as skillfully with compassion and empathy as possible in what can be a very challenging world. With every failure to behave with love, compassion or empathy in heated or stressful moments comes an opportunity to reflect, apologise, recognise the "triggers" and try to react with less reactivity in future.

In other words, it is not an abstract distraction from our real life, but a constant awareness which influences all our behaviour, thoughts and emotions.

This "practice" expands one's sense of "self" until it contains the whole universe.

The world could do with more people engaging with this "practice" imo

But I must confess, this is just more words, words, words...🥱

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.