This community is designed to be a welcoming space to enhance mindfulness inquiry and exploration. In this spirit, please share and respond mindfully and compassionately, cultivating continued respect, safety, and support for all.
Hi Gillian, I would recommend Swami Sarvapriananda's youtube video on Adveita Vedeanta and his one on Maya. The first describes what Advaita Vedanta is and the second focuses on the meaning of the world we live in, which is somehow an apperance of the eternal Atman, the God or the True Self. I am glad you asked me to recommend a video. I had to think seriously about which to recommend. That spurred me to think what I enjoy about Swami. I had already shared that he is younger but deeply aware of his philosophy, could be funny and is joyful as well as serious when he needs to be. Today, it all came together, he is a brilliant scholar besides these things. I went to a college, now university, filled with brilliant scholars. I adored them and respected them. My major professor at SIU-Carbondale and the chairman of the Department of Higher Education were brilliant scholars as were the two directing Pediatricians I worked with in the Department of Pediatrics. It is clear that I am having a very positive transference reaction to Swami. I love his dedication to learning. He is a true master of Advaita Vedanta. So skilled, that he can admit all the challenges to it, value other philophies and religions in their particular quests and have his ear on popular culture. Quite a person. I prefer Buddhist philosophy and psychology but their scholars have met their match in Swami Sarvapriananda. Daniel
I really want to emphasize what I think is implicit in the others’ responses and that is kind and full acceptance of disliked traits in yourself as distinct from some sort of resignation. Those traits were not chosen by you out of malice but were the result of a wide net of causes and conditions. So, it is like embracing and protecting a wounded child, puppy or kitten—guiding it not to lash out and at the some time nurturing and transforming it. Repression and self-aggression don’t work. I suggest turning the self-critic on its head by kindly telling it: “Of course I see those traits, but far from ridiculing myself for them I applaud my recognizing them because it affords me opportunities for healing and growth.” You still can firmly resolve not to act them out again. That can be a good thing as long as you aren’t harsh on yourself if you fail in your resolve; with kindness you begin again. That is my thinking anyway.
This week's question asks:
What can you approach today with a beginner's mind?
In theory, everything can be approached with a beginner's mind. From waking up in the morning to doing the dishes to talking with a friend, we can approach any daily interaction with openness and a lack of preconception. This question invites us to name a couple of things that we can approach today without assumptions, preconceived ideas, or expectations.