The 12 Thoughts of Christmas

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I have been thinking again about my Zen philosophy of life. True Zen is always personal: it is always your own. It is always moving and changing with the shape of the world and your place in it. You spend a very very long time reading and learning the best teachings in the world, past and present, practical and spiritual. Then you need to stop taking in information and start to use your own thoughts to make sense and to advance your own existence and the reasons for it.

I am a little more realised now than I used to be. Just a little. I hope to live another 30 years. I will be much wiser. The story so far is mostly about what I do not understand…that and a few things I may understand just a little. I don’t like giving advice. I do tell it like it is from where I am standing at any one given moment.

This moment is Christmas 2014, the day after another birthday. These are some things which, for now, seem to make sense. If you know me you will recognise me from this … even if I am a fool!

The 12 thoughts of Christmas

  1. Try to give more than you get
  2. Always be thankful for what you’ve got
  3. Grin and bear it
  4. There is always someone worse off than you
  5. Take yourself out of the middle of your picture.
  6. Only look back if you can laugh
  7. Suffering is normal. It’s how you deal with it that gives your life meaning
  8. Friends are worth more than money
  9. If you earned £1 billion then well done you! If you’ve kept it, hang your head in shame.
  10. It’s not what you say it’s not what you think it’s what you do
  11. To your own self be true
  12. Adventure is your real life

It’s pointless trying to “explain”. Here are a few random thoughts:

Try to give more than you get
And that’s really hard to do, because the more you give the more you get. It flows like blood itself. So give give give … it’s great and you get back in spades!

Be thankful for what you’ve got
We live in a world of plenty and we subsidise those who have not. Beware UKIP as they have no compassion. Do not envy others goods or their jobs. They are as unhappy as you are so there’s no need.

Grin and bear it
Whatever you are going through, a smile, fearlessness, a stiff upper lip will make your ordeal better. Never never give in.

There is always someone worse off than you
Go to a small community in Africa …maybe Tchad … and meet a young girl with her brother on her back. Parents macheted to death in front of her before they put out her eyes and cut off her hands. She is trying to make a shelter for her brother and she is singing to him…do you really have any problems?

Take yourself out of the middle of your picture
Stop making this all about you!!!! Focus on others and what they are going through. Just bloody ignore your own stuff. Ignore it. You can.

Only look back if you can laugh
Don’t blame any part whatever of your new life on your old life. It’s completely bogus, very humanly backward and unproductive. In fact it’s pathetic.

Don’t blame your parents, your schools, your poverty, your social class, those in power at the time, your lack of confidence…that’s all a cop out. It’s always been down to you and you alone.

Suffering is normal. It’s how you deal with it that gives your life meaning
No suffering - no compassion, no humility, no courage. Everyone suffers. Just deal with it and think of others at all times.

Friends are worth more than money
Money makes people progressively more unhappy after $150,000 … you’d better believe it … it’s Harvard!

If you have kept £1bn hang your head in shame
You are not yet realised. Accumulating wealth over about £4million for personal wealth is excessive greed at the expense of others. capitalism has a big potential as it can create great personal wealth that can be diverted into great causes. Otherwise, the trappings of conspicuous excessive wealth are the trappings of a laughable fool.

It’s not what you say it’s not what you think it’s what you do
Don’t sit at dinner parties saying what needs to be done. Get up from the table and do it or you are worth nothing at all.

To your own self be true
The easiest suggestion of all. Simply say what you feel and believe at all times. What could be easier?

Adventure is your real life
Find the limits of your fears, examine them, identify them then try to enlarge them. Take every adventure possible, wherever it comes. And if it doesn’t come then go find it.

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