Reduce Stress by Exercising Present Awareness With Buddha Standard Time
Time-related stress is the result of our fast-paced modern American life. Reduce stress and find inner peace by introducing Buddha Standard Time into your 24-hour day.
Life in the 21st century moves at breakneck speed. Learn how to experience the Eternal Now and discover an alternative to the ceaseless hustle and bustle of modern American life in “Buddha Standard Time.”
Kick addictions, reconnect with nature and enter the realm of timelessness where every choice, every action and every breath can be one of renewal and infinite possibilities. Buddha Standard Time (HarperOne, 2011) by foremost Western Buddhist teacher and national bestselling author Lama Surya Das offers an alternative to the ceaseless hustle and bustle of modern American life. Incorporate Buddha Standard Time into your life and reduce stress, find greater focus, fulfillment, creativity and even wisdom. The following excerpt was taken from the introduction, “Making Peace with Time.”
"To be able to be unhurried when hurried;
To be able not to slack off when relaxed;
To be able not to be frightened
And at a loss for what to do,
When frightened and at a loss;
This is the learning that returns us
To our natural state and transforms our lives."
—Liu Wenmin, early sixteenth-century poet
For eons people have been grappling with the concept of time. From Sophocles to Ben Franklin to Einstein to Mick Jagger, the wisdom has been passed down to us: Time is the stuff life is made of. Time is money. Time is of the essence. Time flies. Time is relative. Time is on my side. Time is a cruel thief.
We measure time. We lose time. We kill time. We are strapped for time. These days, that last sentiment is what I hear most often from people. With varying degrees of vexation, agitation, or despair, they are constantly telling me, “I don’t have enough time!”
It’s not surprising that many of us feel this way. The pace of life today is far more frenetic than it was a generation ago, and unimaginably faster than what it was in the ancient world of Moses or Confucius. Trying to keep up with today’s tempo can take a huge toll. That stress shows up in our suppressed immune systems, high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke, insomnia, and digestive ailments. Stress contributes to the inability to think clearly or make competent decisions, to short tempers, and to sloppy work. As a result, we have more everyday problems: arguments at work and home, car accidents as we speed and yak on our cell phones, and unresolved grief because we don’t have time to mourn properly. Stress also contributes to fertility problems, turns hair gray, and wears out bodies before their time. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, weight gain, and substance abuse.
I learned for myself some stark lessons about the daunting acceleration of life when I came back to the United States in the late 1980s after spending almost two decades in the East. I had lived in India and the Himalayas for most of my twenties, in a slow-paced, natural-rhythm, electricity-free zone. I then spent my early thirties in a traditional Tibetan Dzogchen meditation retreat at the Nyingma Retreat Center in the thickly forested Dordogne River valley of southern France. When I finally returned home I felt like Rip Van Winkle: The complexity of the world had increased so exponentially that modern American life was almost unrecognizable to me. I wasn’t used to the rampant commercialism, the constant clamor of products being hawked. Even meditation centers and ashrams had become veritable spiritual supermarkets, with boutiques and cafés selling imported goods and wares to help support their nonprofit status.
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