Sam’s Garden
 Blog Tabs 

(Just click on my icon and look to your left to find these tabs)

These are the main sections of the blog. “Buddhism” takes you to introductory information on Buddhism. ”Meditation” takes you to introductory information on meditation. “Book Shelf” takes you to our extensive free online library. “Resources” takes you to videos, diagrams, instructions on yogic breathing, music and sound resources and much more. “Sam’s Guides” takes you to my guides on popular topics and is the first place you should check if you have a question. You may well find it answered there.

“The Gallery of Fine Art” is my online art gallery of masterpieces from the last 25,000 years from all over the world. ”Music” takes you to some of my favorite music including classical, indie, classic rock, ballads, Celtic, and soft rock. “Beautiful Images” takes you to pages of photography carefully selected to be pleasing to the eye and calming.  “Responses to Asks” takes you to previously asked questions and my responses to them. “Quotations” opens recent inspirational quotes.

The “My Posts” tab takes you, of course, to all my original postings. “Articles and Links” takes you to articles, journals, videos, scientific publications or any other linked material posted here. My latest addition is the “Recipes and Food” tab which takes you to my recipe section and all of my vegetarian and nutrition posts. My hope is to make the experience a little more streamlined and accessible. There are additions and updates daily so check on back!

Also, Don’t Forget the Search Box!

On this new blog I carefully tag my posts so that the search box on the main page of the blog gives intelligent responses. Try searching keywords like “watts” for Alan Watts for example. The tag “bio” will take you to short biographies I have written about some of the most quoted teachers on Tumblr such as Pema Chödrön, Mooji, Ramana Maharshi and several more. Other search tags might include “science”, “history”, “philosophy”, “psychology” “Jung”, “medicine”, “evolution”, “poem”, “religion” or “consciousness”, “Jesus”, “Islam” “exercise” ‘meditation” or “story”. These are just of few of many search tags you can use. So give it a try if you are looking for something in particular or just want to browse a particular subject. 

The Inscrutable Oriental

In the days before political correctness it was common in the West to hear people from East Asian cultures described as “inscrutable”. Inscrutable means “difficult to interpret”. This is because in the East people influenced by Confucianism people learned from a very early age that to show emotion to strangers or in public was the sign of an immature and childish nature. The sole exception being while drunk. This is believed to be one reason that Japanese business men chose to drink with their business partners and subordinates i.e. to see them with their defenses down. Asians for their part were disgusted by the lack of emotional control shown by Westerners. 

Other People

"Hell is other people. ”
Jean-Paul Sartre

People. Other people. They have a nasty habit of doing what they want instead of what we want. Parents, teachers, friends, co-workers, bosses, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives and husbands. Not to mention strangers and enemies. They do at times try our patience. Sometimes we get worn down and exhausted by strife and competition. Ego against ego. Yet, there is a solution. You see, the world is as it is and thus it shall be. It is our perception which changes as we change.

An awakened human being can find beauty and meaning in a prison cell.
The solution then is empathy and true compassion. We do not judge. We have neither the right nor the ability to do so. All we can do is accept that which we cannot control and choose the path of our own bliss. Ego wants to strive. It is our animal nature to strive. Yet, we can rise above this and still work and play in the real world. We seek to be a beacon unto others.

This is not a mere platitude. If one lives in loving kindness and compassion light will follow. We will illuminate the darkness around us and light and beauty shall shine down upon us even in times of hardship and adversity.

There is a legend about an enlightened Bodhisattva in India many centuries ago. It was said that she could not tread upon the ground because lotus blossoms fell from heaven where she stood. Now, of course, this is allegory. What it means is that her light spread beauty to the world in her presence.

We, each of us, can be as she was.

Sam's Guide to Dealing with Difficult People

One of the problems we all face in our lives is dealing with difficult, angry, obnoxious and aggressive people. They can be a teacher, an employer or manager, co-worker, fellow student, family member or even a “friend”. 

What do we do?

Well, it goes without saying that dealing with difficult people can be … well … difficult.  You see we cannot change other people. This is a tough one to accept but it is true. They are going to do as they will and the only thing we can do is decide how we are going to let their behavior affect us.

Who says we have to take offense when somebody is rude, pushy or obnoxious? In fact if we let their behavior influence our state of mind then we have granted them power over us.

Why granted?

Because words are just so much air. So long as there is no physical violence then words can be ignored, rejected or deflected. 

It is our ego that gets in the way of this. It is ego which can be hurt by a slight, insult or criticism. No ego, no offense. Besides, these people are soul sick, sick inside. Why else would they be deliberately trying to harm someone else, especially someone in their family?

Just as you would not be angry with a small child or a person with a brain tumor who said hurtful things you should treat these people as sick friends. Don’t fight back, don’t show pity or condescension just get out as soon as you can and forget about it. This is hard at first because ego wants to retaliate; however, it gets easier with practice.

In the beginning, maybe even for months or years, we will sometimes fail in this. After all we are trying to break not only a lifetime’s habit but 100,000 years of human conditioning. We want to fight back. It seems unnatural not to fight back, and it a way, it is. The trick is to view every single verbal attack as an opportunity. How well can we do this time? How long can I maintain my composure? Can I beat my “highscore” from last time? Keep at it. Not only is it good for you, but for them and indeed, since these emotions are transferred from person to person, for the entire world.

See: Anger is Violence 

See also: Sam’s Guide to Dealing with Anger 

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore  (via elige)