Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Stephen Levine's passage ...

The Year-To-Live Experiment

On Jun 4, 2007 Conrad wrote:

Excellent selection. I’m reminded of the Paul Coelo’s quote from a recent Viral and Nipun communication: "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams…” I am also reminded of the potential for our schools to educate (help fulfill one’s dreams) by encouraging students to focus on their present fearful experience. When a student is encouraged by a teacher to focus on their present fear, the teacher and student will not know exactly what will arise from the students’ openness to present experience. Openness to any thought or feeling that may arise is an indication of vast openness. Some (more than five or ten pound) scary feelings may temporarily arise, but noticing them can bring less fear in the long run. One can notice that they are not afraid of fear after a more lengthy present noticing of their fear. Focusing on the present is a way of beginning focusing for a year or for a lifetime. My deceased friend, Jim Guinan, was clearly not afraid of his fears. He created (or at least e-mailed me) what I now call the twelve stem ways of behaving (ways to assist in facing and reducing fears and ways to generate that which helps one search for one’s present dreams—I mentioned them several weeks earlier in a similar context). 1. have an increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen. 2. have frequent attacks of smiling. 3. have feelings of being connected with others and nature. 4. have frequent, almost overwhelming, episodes of appreciation. 5. have the tendency to think and act spontaneously, rather than from fears based on past experiences. 6. have unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment, and to make the best out of each experience. 7. lose the ability to worry. 8. lose interest in conflict. 9. lose interest in interpreting the actions of others. 10. lose interest in judging others. 11. lose interest in judging self. 12. be compassionate to self and others without expecting anything in return. Thanks for the opportunity to respond.

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