Yesterday I read an article in a Dutch mindstyle magazine with the title “Work-out for your soul” that made me think and that I want to share with you too. The article is based on an interview with Timber Hawkeye, author of the Buddhist Boot Camp book.
I haven’t read his book yet but after having read the article and having listened to Hawkeye I might actually buy it. Everything he says is so simple yet so powerful.
“Succes means being happy”.
According to Hawkeye most of our suffering is self-inflected. We eat bad food and become sick, we want to be surrounded by luxury and therefore overwork ourselves. Our focus lies on the performance society instead of being happy and satisfied with what we have.
He argues that a scream for help hides behind this behavior.
Instead of focussing on others and what we think others expect us to do we should focus on ourselves, be nice to ourselves and our environment. But how? The trick is to react to everything from a feeling of love and compassion instead of from egoistic fear, so Hawkeye. We should ask ourselves by everything we do: “Is this good for me? Is this good for my environment?”
According to Hawkeye peace in the world starts with inner peace. If we are peaceful from inside we will act friendlier towards others which will increase the chance that they will act peacefully too. He argues that in order to find inner peace we need to sit and meditate so that we can choose how to react to external triggers. It also helps to realize that what we know, think and feel is only one way to look at things but that the opposite of what we know is also true. Sitting down everyday for a few minutes and thinking about what we are grateful for will make us also happy.
Next to meditation we can increase inner peace in ourselves by observing ourselves when we feel peaceful (e.g. during a walk in nature, when reading an inspiring book) and making more time for those things. At the same time we should try to limit the activities that make us restless such as watching violence on tv etc.
Friendliness and understanding are two other keywords Hawkeye promotes. He says that a vegetarian can be friendly towards a non-vegetarian, a bike-rider can be friendly towards a car-rider etc. We all follow our own paths; enlightening and maturity hits everybody at a different point in time. Moreover the beliefs of somebody else are as real to him or her as are our beliefs to ourselves.
In order to practice friendliness Hawkeye suggests to come up with why we are grateful for something whenever a negative thought comes up in us. So for example when we feel an angry thought coming up about the fact that our partner leaves behind the dirty dishes we can feel grateful that somebody wants to live together with us and start a friendly conversation. Whenever we evoke gratitude, negative thoughts will disappear since according to Hawkeye positive and negative thoughts cannot exist at the same time.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”.
And with these words I would like to close this post. Till next time!