Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mt. Shuksan: Transcendentalism, How to Choose to Be Happy, Giving Synergies

What are salient aspects of New England Transcendentalism (and possibly the related Transcendental Meditation), beyond what might seem curious or unfamiliar given current ways of thinking, that we might cultivate?

How might we select fascinating aspects of New England Transcendentalism, 'normalize' them, and possibly develop them in new directions vis-a-vis those forms, for example, that the U.S. experienced 200 years ago and 40 years ago {with Transcendental Meditation - one of an extraordinarily large number of practices that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s}? Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Nature" is one of the key texts of Transcendentalism, and expresses a kind of approach to unity with nature.

The relaxation response is one example: http://www.relaxationresponse.org/steps/

What relation is there here to virtuality vis-a-vis information technology, and words?


Oneness and thinking? {Thinking in the ways that graduate students in great philosophy departments, and at great universities, do}.


How We Choose to Be Happy

{How this works according to Foster and Hicks. There's wisdom in this}.

How might we synthesize, and create synergies between, a kind of contemporary New England Transcendentalism and "How We Choose to Be Happy," as well as with World University & School?

1. Intention (Chapter 1 in How We Choose to Be Happy) is not simply the desire to be happy, but the intent to be happy. It is the fully conscious decision to choose happiness over unhappiness. As you go through your day, to what extent do you actively intend to be happy?

2. Accountability (Chapter 2) is the choice to assume full personal responsibility for our actions, thoughts and feelings, and the emphatic refusal to blame others for our own unhappiness. It is the insistence on seeing ourselves as having control over our own lives, rather than being at the receiving end of circumstance. When happy people have been hurt they refuse to act like victims. To what extent do you assume personal responsibility for your life and take a pro-active stance in the face of sad or difficult circumstances?

3. Identification (Chapter 3) is the ongoing process of identifying for ourselves what makes us truly, deeply happy. So, happy people can tell us in an instant, what makes them happy. As you go through your day, to what extent do you ask yourself "Which choice or direction will make me happiest?"

4. Centrality (Chapter 4) is the happy person's non-negotiable insistence on making that which creates happiness a central activity in life. Happy people don't "wait to retire" or put off for later that which gives them greatest joy. They live their passions and dive into those things that make them happiest regardless of the complexities of their life circumstances. To what extent do you insist on doing this?

5. Recasting (Chapter 5) is the choice to turn problems into opportunities and challenges. It is also the moving and profound ability to convert extreme trauma into something meaningful, important and a source of life-giving energy. To what extent do you recast everyday problems by turning them into opportunity? Do you allow yourself to feel unhappy emotions deeply, and then, as healing allows, move through sadness by converting trauma into opportunities and meaning?

6. Creation of Options and Possibilities (Chapter 6) is the decision to approach life by being open to any new possibilities, and of taking a flexible approach to life's journey. In your own life, are you aware of opportunities? Do you take risks? Do you try new things? Are you flexible enough to jump into the unknown for the experience of trying something important or new?

7. Appreciation and Aliveness (Chapter 7). Happy people actively appreciate their lives and express gratitude and thanks to the people around them. They seem to revel in each moment rather than focusing on the past or worrying about the future. They talk about being exquisitely aware of the fragility and preciousness of existence. To what extent are you aware of the moment and grateful for your life and those around you?

8. Giving (Chapter 8) Sharing one's self with friends, community and the world at large without the expectation of a "return on investment" is a hallmark choice of happy people. Giving is a constant in life, and may manifest itself in one's profession, community work, or with friends and family. It is the act of sharing yourself — your talents, resources and hospitality. To what extent do you give richly of yourself to others?

9. Truthfulness (Chapter 9) Happy people "speak their truth" in an accountable manner, enforce personal boundaries, and will not conform to the demands of society, the corporation or the family if it violates their personal belief systems. Their truthfulness becomes a contract they have with themselves and, most important, it is a way to check their thoughts and actions against their own internal, personal code. How truthful are you with yourself and others?

and Synergies emerge from these


The above ideas explain in another way how eliciting happiness might work. Why not focus on eliciting loving bliss with these approaches, especially, for example, vis-a-vis New England Transcendentalism vis-a-vis these? (This makes sense to me).


Is this blog a form of giving? I hope people find it helpful.


To the Harbin pools soon ...



No comments: