Hi Everyone - Happy Thursday! Today I would like to rebog this wonderful post of Ron and Alexandra Speigel. It was featured by some of our ActiveRain groups. I printed it out to reread for its information and invaluable insight.Thank you, Ron and Alexandra. You are excellent writers. Jane ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I recently read about a new private school in Miami, (elementary) where prior to enrolling the students, the administrators met with the parents for an interview. They asked the parents what it was they wanted their children to achieve in life. The first answer for the majority of the parents was happiness followed by the basics of education.
The school will be teaching the kids meditation and mindfulness as part of a curriculum which includes a Mandarin immersion program. And in addition they will contribute an after hours school program of meditation and mindfulness for all children who live in the community. One of the advisers to the school is " Tal Ben-Shahar, an expert in the field of positive psychology who co-founded an organization called the Happiness Studies Academy and previously taught a course at Harvard on how to be happy."
Our parents, (Ron's and mine) used to cite happiness. "We want you to be happy, that will add to our happiness!" was their refrain to us. Perhaps that is what led us to studying Eastern philosophies as part of our trek to finding happiness, meditation and mindfulness
One of our favorite authors is Alan Watts. Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher who interpreted and popularized Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Wikipedia. Here are a couple of quotes that spoke to us:"
"No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now."
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
Here are two more quotes by two Buddhist teachers that also defined this concept:
“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” – Pema Chödrön (Buddhist nun)
“Altogether, the idea of meditation is not to create states of ecstasy or absorption, but to experience being.” – Chögyam Trungpa (meditation master)
And one more quote from Thich Nhat Hanh:
Meditation is not evasion it is a serene encounter with reality!
Wishing you all a wonderful happy week ahead!
Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
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