Vajra Blue

Mindfulness and Compassion. Understanding trauma in young people.


The eyes have it where depression is concerned?

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The eyes are the windows to the soul.
William Shakespeare

Depression can vary from a mild annoyance to a life threatening illness.  Those of us who have been in it’s clutches, would gladly escape any further experiences of Churchill’s Black Dog, and much time and effort has been spent in searching for ways to effectively treat the first episode  of the disorder and hopefully to prevent recurrence.
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How to start the move from depression to happiness.

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I’m sure many of us care about how we will look back on our lives on our deathbed, but the value of our lives comes from the experiences of pleasure and purpose over our lifetimes and not from a judgement we might make at an arbitrarily chosen moment in time.

Paul Dolan.

Most of us want to avoid depression and to be happy. Happiness is something that we pursue with varying degrees of intensity. There are even greater variations in the success that we have in pursuing this Holy Grail of the emotional world. Much of the time we do not even seem to be aware of what we mean by happiness, and seem to have even less idea of how we might possess it. Continue reading


5 ways to make your resolutions stick

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It is that time of year when we all usually decide that we need to change something about ourselves. We drink too much, we are killing ourselves through smoking or eating too much chocolate. We were going to exercise more, cycle to work or get better at being organised.

Somehow we usually seem to find something that we can use to beat ourselves up. We are not good enough, so we must stop doing something in order to make ourselves better people. Very occasionally we meet people who do not make negative resolutions, but instead make resolutions that are positive. They choose to take up more sensible ways of behaving or decide to do something new.

Somehow, these people seem to be able to carry through on their decisions much more effectively, whatever new habit they have decided to adopt.
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Transition is not death

Something to think about at the time of year when generosity is celebrated.
Please walk in someone else’s moccasins for a while.
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a gentleman and a scholar

We need a better way to talk about trans children.

Christmas is the hardest time of the year for me. Not for the reasons why it’s so hard for so many trans people – their reasons first, and then mine.

This time of year brings it home – in mundane, everyday little ways – that trans people are so often people without families. Or, rather, without families of origin – by necessity, we’ve become adept at building our families of choice.  A facebook status asking for a donation to help homeless trans teenagers, or a recommendation for a trans-friendly shelter for victims of domestic violence – overwhelming numbers of empathetic responses rooted in experience. Invitations to alternative festive events, on days when most people are expected to find themselves with parents, grandparents, the in-laws. Survival guide blog posts for those trying to face their family of origin – knowing that…

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Thinking: the fault lies in our logic – not in our stars

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Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.

Alan Alda

Thinking is a three-step process.
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Only connect.

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At the holiday season many of us choose to visit family and friends.  

For many this is a time of joy, when we reconnect with our families and remember why we are alive.

For others it is a time of dread when long-standing tensions and difficulties with our  relationships are brought to the surface, usually accompanied by alcohol fuelled dys-control.  

Quite often we may say things that we did not mean and end up exacerbating the situation, and worsening our relationships, and making ourselves unhappy with a further burden of ill will to carry into the new year.

This is a great shame.  
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Mountains of mindfulness.

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Do you need to convert to Buddhism?  Do you need to abandon the tradition in which you were raised or the ideals to which you have a deep commitment?  Do you need to cast aside anything that your intellect or understanding of the world tells you is true?

Absolutely not. You can retain your current frame of reference and accept only what you are prepared to accept, a piece at a time, and only what you in fact find helpful.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. Beyond Mindfulness – in plain English.

When I was a teenager the space race was in full swing.

Neil Armstrong was making a complete hash of his line about one small step, and the world was looking outward into the depths of interstellar space.
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Why yo-yos don’t get depressed.

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It is a widely accepted axiom that what goes up must come down.

Yet the converse does not seem to be true.

A much harder question to answer is; “Why do only some things that go down, come up again?”.

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Mindfulness: Flow states and staying calm.

“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”
Dogen Zenji 1200-1253

When I was young my grandmother took me to see a Chinese circus perform in Edinburgh.  One of my favourite acts was the mysterious girl in the red cheongsam, emblazoned with dragons, who span plates on long bamboo poles.  I became quite worried as the plates slowed down and looked as though they were about to topple to the ground and smash at any moment.

Only this never happened.

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