Things you can control

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Kim O'Hara
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Things you can control

Post by Kim O'Hara »

This list may be helpful -

things-you-can-control.jpg
things-you-can-control.jpg (78.1 KiB) Viewed 1385 times

It has an imaginary twin, "Things You Can't Control", which you can probably work out for yourself. :smile:

:namaste:
Kim
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Things you can control

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Mon Apr 24, 2023 6:47 am This list may be helpful -


things-you-can-control.jpg


It has an imaginary twin, "Things You Can't Control", which you can probably work out for yourself. :smile:

:namaste:
Kim
Playing devils advocate here, most people actually have trouble “controlling” their thoughts, attitudes and perspectives. In fact, if a person has never addressed just how automatic some of these things are for them, they likely have little awareness or agency over them in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m intimately familiar with this kind of thing due to my work, and there’s som real value here. It just strikes me as more and more outdated to state that people have full control over their thoughts, perceptions, etc.

Why does it matter? Well, people often lean into a desire to “control what they can”…this works with external decisions, but more and more it’s found that on an internal level that top-down “control” strategies are not very effective.

The “paradox of thought suppression” is one example of this:https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/dwegner/files/ecs.pdf
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

-Marvin Gaye
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justsit
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Re: Things you can control

Post by justsit »

How often, how long, and where you go online.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Things you can control

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Apr 24, 2023 7:12 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote: Mon Apr 24, 2023 6:47 am ...
Playing devils advocate here, most people actually have trouble “controlling” their thoughts, attitudes and perspectives. In fact, if a person has never addressed just how automatic some of these things are for them, they likely have little awareness or agency over them in the first place.
Yes, I know. Perhaps the heading should be something like "Things you may be able to learn to control"
Don’t get me wrong, I’m intimately familiar with this kind of thing due to my work, and there’s som real value here. It just strikes me as more and more outdated to state that people have full control over their thoughts, perceptions, etc.

Why does it matter? Well, people often lean into a desire to “control what they can”…this works with external decisions, but more and more it’s found that on an internal level that top-down “control” strategies are not very effective.

The “paradox of thought suppression” is one example of this:https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/dwegner/files/ecs.pdf
So what is the current best-practice secular approach?

:namaste:
Kim
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Ayu
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Re: Things you can control

Post by Ayu »

I shared a meme of this topic some time ago somewhere.
I think, it's good to know what I cannot control and therefore stop worrying about it:


In my & out of my control
In my & out of my control
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Things you can control

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

I think a distinction needs to be made between
controlling arising of thoughts, and controlling what happens with thoughts.
Thoughts are like ink in a pen or on the top of a Chinese paint brush. The pen controls the ink, or else it would just spill out. The artist’s hand controls the flow from the paintbrush. That’s just discipline.
Likewise, at first we may not be able to control which thoughts of emotions pop into our heads.
But we can work with the mind so that eventually there is no cause for certain thoughts to arise. This can be good or bad.

For example, I can say absolutely that thoughts of violent revenge will never arise in my mind. I just don’t think that way. Of course, many people do. But this is a type of response that can be changed. On a negative side, there are people who can commit all sorts of terrible deeds and no feeling of remorse or self-doubt ever arises in their minds. However, most can also learn empathy, simply because one can experience one’s own pain.

There is also the case where one sees something terrible and then can’t “unsee” it.

I think that while we generally cannot stop some thoughts from arising in the mind, but most of the time we can direct those thoughts and put them where we want them to be.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook produces outward insight.
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Re: Things you can control

Post by DharmaJunior »

Thoughts are by and large in service to our in built security system. I'll use the metaphor of a home alarm system here. You can go switch it off in five minutes or leave it running for hours. Some people cannot discriminate, and if the brain isn't working correctly or at all then everyone and everything is an uninvited guest. For others there is some level of discrimination, and there's a 'doubting thomas' on both ends of the scale, but even then people in general don't recognize that a deep rooted biological alarm has gone off.

First of all, an awareness of this would be quite useful for some. Being ignorant of ignorance or aware of ignorance? ! Better still, having a better sense of perspective. Ignorance will lead to hate, if the alarm is left unchecked, then it's everyone else's problem and not my security alarm at fault. Even at times when we know and can discriminate, our safety and well being is improved but if anything is out or place or the wrong thing said, then anarchy is right around the corner.

Hopefully folks can see the funny side of this because 'isn't it ironic?' Greed does factor in here too, and I was going to talk about some examples in history, but for now I'll stick with my over simplistic observation that the house alarm has been going for days annoying everyone in the neighborhood because there's nobody at home- same as it ever was..
Miorita
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Re: Things you can control

Post by Miorita »

Things you cannot control:
* Death
* the time when one is done grieving

Remember you are alive!
Last edited by Miorita on Fri Apr 28, 2023 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aemilius
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Re: Things you can control

Post by Aemilius »

Miorita wrote: Fri Apr 28, 2023 2:12 am Things you cannot control:
* Death
* the time when one is done grieving

Remember you are alive!
I suppose you mean that you cannot control the time of your death (?) Anyway, in Abhidharmakosha-bhashyam Vasubandhu explains that if you have attained the four dhyanas, you have certain amount of control over your life span and over the time of your death. You can prolong your life, if you deem it helpful for the Dharma. And you can discard your remaining life span, like Buddha Gautama does in the Maha-parinibbana sutta. It is quite amazing to read these (quite short) instructions on this topic in the ABK, but it certainly is there.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Miorita
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Re: Things you can control

Post by Miorita »

Aemilius wrote: Sat May 06, 2023 9:27 am
Miorita wrote: Fri Apr 28, 2023 2:12 am Things you cannot control:
* Death
* the time when one is done grieving

Remember you are alive!
I suppose you mean that you cannot control the time of your death (?) Anyway, in Abhidharmakosha-bhashyam Vasubandhu explains that if you have attained the four dhyanas, you have certain amount of control over your life span and over the time of your death. You can prolong your life, if you deem it helpful for the Dharma. And you can discard your remaining life span, like Buddha Gautama does in the Maha-parinibbana sutta. It is quite amazing to read these (quite short) instructions on this topic in the ABK, but it certainly is there.
Yes, that is what I meant.

:anjali:
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