MEDITATION

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10 Days In A 'Prison' Of My Choosing

I voluntarily submitted myself to prison for 10 days. I packed one bag with bare necessities and submitted myself, mind and body, to the Dhamma Sikhara Himachal Vipassana Centre. There I observed noble silence for the period of the course and refrained from reading, writing and any other entertaining activities. The timetable required me to wake up at 4am and meditate till 9pm, with shorts breaks in between for rest and meals.
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Danger: ‘Democracy' At Work

What does the mind do when it sees all those values it was brought up to believe in start to evaporate? More extremism: nationalism, racial superiority, religious certitude, male domination, bigotry, egotism... the usual list which has seen so many Trumps of the "Me Tarzan, You Jane" variety get democratically elected in the past: Hitler, Mussolini, Berlusconi, Erdogan, Putin, Le Pen, Fujimori...
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Misery Functions Like A Magnet

Misery makes you capable of attracting people's attention. Whenever you are miserable you are attended to, sympathised with, loved. Everybody starts taking care of you. Who wants to hurt a miserable person? Who is jealous of a miserable person? Who wants to be antagonistic to a miserable person? That would be too mean. There is great investment in misery.
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The Childcare Revolution That Changes Everything

The usual game of bribery, via punishment and reward, is unnecessary and counterproductive. Kids are already motivated by life itself, motivated to live their own lives, but not necessarily to live the lives that adults want them to live! Naturally they rebel and parenting turns into a war zone. Of course, they will need our help in distinguishing between a dangerous hot plate and a harmless cold plate. But rather than seeing the issue as only of them learning from us, caregivers are realizing that this learning process is a two-way street.
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Get Rid Of The Voices In Your Head

You were taught obedience, you were taught to say yes to everything your elders were saying to you. You were taught that you have to follow whatever your teachers or your priests are doing. Nobody ever told you to search for your own voice; nobody asked you, "Have you got any voice of your own or not?" So your voice has remained very subdued and other voices are very loud, very commanding, because they were orders and you had followed them -- in spite of yourself.
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It's The Conditioning That Kills, Stupid!

Look at the painful debate provoked by the latest college killings in Oregon. One side keeps repeating that guns have to be controlled because guns kill. The other side keeps repeating that guns don't kill, people do. People keep dying and the divide between the two points of view is never resolved. Each side is both right and wrong: of course guns kill only with the help of people -- people conditioned, from childhood, to use guns to kill. It is the conditioning that is the killer.