Principal – I LIVE myself into a new way of thinking.
I’ve been reading the book “The Joy of Living” by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Three Rivers Press, 2007. I’m in a weekly Zoom meeting with other Buddhist aspirants and the foundational basis for the group now is this book. The book investigates the author’s experience in relating the Buddhist concept and practice of happiness with the cellular/neurological processes of the human brain.
From page 25: “In neuroscientific terms, the capacity to replace old neural connections with new ones is referred to asneuronal plasticity.The Tibetan term for this capacityisle-su-rung-wa, which may be roughly translated into English as ‘pliability.’ You can use either term and sound very smart. What it boils down to is that on a strictly cellular level,repeated EXPERIENCE can change the way the brain works. This is the WHY behind the HOW of the Buddhist teachings that deal with eliminating mental habits conducive to unhappiness.”
This description from the book reminds me of one of my favorite and meaningful AA sayings: I don’t THINK myself into a new way of living; I LIVE myself into a new way of thinking. Oldtimers in AA will say, “If you want what we have (sobriety, peacefulness, a life under control) – you must DO what we DO.” They don’t say think what we think. They don’t say put affirmation stickies all over bathroom and bedroom. They don’t say read AA literature and quietly think about it. If, as an example, you are a people-pleaser and you have a problem saying No, then you must begin by verbally saying “No!" when asked for something or to do something. It will feel very awkward and uncomfortable at first. It may take a long time before it “feels” natural. But, if nothing changes, nothing will change.
Like Nike – Just Do It.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) says the same thing. In the introduction to the Workbook for Students [paragraph 8], the author (Jesus) states: “Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe, and others may seem to be quite startling.This does not matter.You are merely asked to APPLY the ideas as you are directed to DO. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to USE them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true.”
[Capitalized emphasis throughout is mine]
How the Bible Became the Bible - Exploring how the Bible came to be and why a literal interpretation of it may be dangerous. This exploration may open a door to your continued spiritual growth.