What if Things are Great?

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“…it is not men’s acts which disturb us, for those acts have their foundation in men’s ruling principles, but it is our own opinions which disturb us.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations Chapter 11

Yes, this is the very same quote from my last post. You know, the post where I talked about all the terrible things that can happen to you, and how Continue reading

Marcus Aurelius, Christmas, and Death

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“Sixth, consider when thou art much vexed or grieved, that man’s life is only a moment, and after a short time we are all laid out dead.”  Meditations Chapter 11 Rule #6

Nothing says Merry Christmas like contemplating my death. Continue reading

Fortune and Misfortune: The Story of Maybe

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Often we think that if we can’t have a certain thing we will be crushed.  Other times we may think that if our life does not go a certain way, we will not be happy.  In fact, there may be things in our lives that seem like misfortune, when in fact they are a turning point that leads something even greater.  That, I think is why grasping for an “if only…then I’ll be happy” is such a mistake.

There is a story that runs in Zen circles, normally it goes by the title of “Maybe.”  It is appropriate in describing how we shouldn’t judge whether something is fortune and fortune.

Here it is: Continue reading

Rule #3: Nobody’s Perfect, Learn from Mistakes (My Own and Others)

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…and now for Rule 3 from the Nine rules:

“Third, that if men do rightly what they do, we ought not to be displeased; but if they do not right, it is plain that they do so involuntarily and in ignorance. For as every soul is unwillingly deprived of the truth, so also is it unwillingly deprived of the power of behaving to each man according to his deserts. Accordingly men are pained when they are called unjust, ungrateful, and greedy, and in a word wrong-doers to their neighbours.” The Meditations Chapter 11 Continue reading

A Personal Creed: Do You Have One?

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I am a man of action, leading with passionate equanimity, rational self-interest, and never forgetting the power of individual liberty.  I will never forget that my wife is my queen, and I her king, and that my children are my gift to humanity.  I will respect the dignity of all, but measure the character of each.  I will honor my body and mind by taking care of them. I will light a candle in darkness.

The passage above is my creed.  This is not some fancy introduction to something I read, it really is mine.  I developed it over a period of years.  Continue reading