Friday, March 25, 2016

Right speech? What is it and how to do?

A couple of weeks ago, from one of our former participants of a program, I got a story about right speech. Right speech? Isn’t that what we already learned? Don’t you think we know how tos peak? What to learn…?
Maybe much more than you are aware of right now. Triggered by her story I want to give some more background information about this ‘right speech’.

Right speech is one of the 8 guidelines the Buddha gave in his teachings called the “Noble Eightfold Path” or “Middle Path” which he himself discovered and which forms the essence of his teachings.
The Buddha encourages people to style their life according to this Middle Path. Following this eight guidelines opens sustainable freedom, peace and happiness.

Speech is ‘right’ when it can pass three sieves or filters.

The first sieve is connected with the personal question:
Are you for 100% sure that it is true what you want to tell?
Lots of times we only know parts of a story, hear only one side or half of it and create our own thoughts. To howl together with the wolves in the forest is not what is mend by right speech.
The size of the maze of the sieve also express; Do not make the story bigger than it is. It can only pass in its original true way without things added out of your thoughts or already a given direction to your personal understanding or wanted outcome. 

The second sieve is connected with the personal question:
Do you have a positive intention with your speech? Does it support a person, thing or situation in a positive way?
Without even knowing sometimes we hurt other people or situations on behalf of ourselves or our friends being afraid to lose them.  Gossip or slander for instance has nothing to do with right speech.

The third sieve is connected with the personal question:
Is it necessary to tell the story?
Is there any profit in it?

The story lines that pass all three sieves you can see as right speech.
To be honest, several times I did not succeed and still do not succeed this sieve test. Sometimes I missed a sieve but…

To help me telling this background and spreading this news as a metaphor I bought three sieves. A great and easy way for guests and myself to understand and be more aware of this guideline in the Noble Eightfold Path. The power is in repeating and explaining.
This way I try to share instead of hold the news for myself and learn from it.

Feel invited to do as well. 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”

Friday, March 18, 2016

Letting go of good things. Accept the emotion, avoid the pain.

Lots of people have big problems with letting go.  I already (May 22nd 2015) wrote a blog about this. About one month ago I learned even more during a Buddhist teaching. An insight I really want to share.

To let go, first of all means that you got something. It can be a fulfilled desire, love, a thing, work or what else. So to say… it came on your life path. In the beginning it made you very happy and excited. Lots of time you accepted it as ‘normal’ during the time together temporary ‘having’ it. When you miss it this makes you feel sad and can sting or hurt you.

When it is something ‘bad’ in your life – most of the times – you do not have a single problem with the process of letting go. It even can make you happy. When it was something good you experience a problem.

There is a wonderful saying: “Pain is inevitable suffering is optional”.
During this teaching I got a different insight. Even pain in most cases is optional.

The Buddhist philosophy learns everything in life has a meaning. It is connected with Karma (action). And the Karma is there for us to let us learn and to build up our inner wisdom. When we do good things we get good things in return. Most of the times not the things we want but always and just at the right time the thing we need most to learn and grow to fulfil our mission in life.

So the first step, before we can talk later about letting go, is you got something. During the teaching we got the metaphor of you are a piece of floating wood in a river (your life stream). The wood does not make any effort to swim back but is floating and on its way floating it meets other pieces of wood. You can see them as things or people to connect. You cannot be for yourself alone. You are always connected with things.

It is quite natural that for a while, longer or shorter, pieces of wood stay together. At a certain, expected or unexpected, moment there is a time to say goodbye. Even the wood itself passes away sometime. The pieces of wood and the river do not make a real problem of that. When you observe this process you can see it as a period of learning and enjoying together and sharing the same stream (life path).

As human beings we make the problems about this letting go ourselves. We keep going on with longing for the past (that does not exist or comes back any more). We do not open for the future because we are not willing to understand that new challenges are waiting for us to grow.

We got a metaphor for this as well. You can see it as broken glass laying in your hand. You can be sad about it that it is broken, you can try to repair it but… you already know. You will never get it back in the same state it ever was.

In our process of not letting go we try to hold it stronger and stronger. And here the pain starts coming. We are not only sad but we ruin ourselves by hurt and pain because the broken glass parts work as knifes. Nobody ask us to hurt ourselves.

The Buddhism leans, accept the emotion so if you want to cry, cry. The emotion need only time to fade away and you cannot force that process. The emotion is caused by your subconscious and the only thing to help to change this feeling is to focus and imagine on for you positive things.

Turn your hand palms down and drop the pieces of glass. After that turn the hand palms up again. See that you are open and willing to receive something new to grow and start flourishing again.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

The wise lesson of a coin during a cremation

It is quite usual in Thailand and in Buddhist culture that people, after passing away, will be cremated instead of buried within three days. In the countryside nearly every village has its own open air cremation area.

Sometimes, as a wise lesson, family members put a coin under the tongue of the dead person. Just to give more attention and awareness of the reason of life.

Most cultures do not speak to much about death. In Buddhism it is accepted as quite a natural part of life. It is connected with the inner believe in destiny, an over and over again being. The ongoing cycle of birth, living, leaning, sharing and building up wisdom and passing away to give space to rebirth and so on. The Dharma cycle or cycle of Samsara.

You enter the world alone and you leave the world alone. Most of the time we are not even aware of this principle. You cannot take anything with you when your time to go, expected or unexpected, is there.
We go on making ourselves sick to fulfill our desires. Nothing wrong to have desires but lots of time we go too far. It seems there is never an end. We are running into the future where we think some happiness is waiting for us, not even knowing that we are standing right on top of our happiness. We join the ongoing rat-race to earn more and more money sometimes not even enjoying living anymore because of this desire.

The wise lesson of the coin under the tongue of a dead person during the cremation shows two things. After the cremation only ashes and dust remains (and off course remembrances for the people who stay a little bit longer till their time is there). The other thing that remains is still this coin. It shows it did not support you passing away this life.
The second thing is that the coin, after the cremation process, turned black and dirty. It does not support you or the good things you could have done with it any more.

The underlying meaning? LIVE life. Know in the understanding that you are here to do good things, to grow and share and to leave a mark. Money, till a certain amount, is necessary. Do not go too far and use it to LIVE NOW and to do good things. Enough is enough. Do not spend your time building up more than you need to live and to fulfill your mission in life.

You come alone (naked) and you will leave alone (without a single coin). 

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”