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Breakthrough
"Productive insight; clear (often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."  Free Dictionary

Pop the bubble of conditioned thinking and emerge into the creative realm of "no absolutes," continuous change, uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.

Then, there can be innovation, adaptation and optimal performance.
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded:questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  

Mindful: consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

Breakthrough Newsletter

VOLUME VI ISSUE NO. 11 | NOVEMBER 2014 
 
Wisdom and Right View
By George Pitagorsky


Wisdom is the key to happiness. The way you see the world and know how it works is critical to your ability to live skillfully and perform optimally in whatever you do.

 

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is applying accurate knowledge, understanding, experience, insight and good judgment to living. Wisdom is the ability to take appropriate actions at a given time.

 

The first Psalm says

"Blessed are the man and woman who have grown beyond their greed 

And who have put an end to their hatred and no longer nourish illusions.

But they delight in the way things are and keep their hearts open, day and night.

They are like trees planted near flowing rivers which bear fruit when they are ready.

Their leaves will not wither. Everything they do will succeed."

 

In that view, wisdom is going beyond greed, hatred and delusion to an open hearted acceptance of things as they are.

 

Thanissaro Bhikku, an expert in Buddhist thought, says "For all the subtlety of his teachings, the Buddha had a simple test for measuring wisdom. You are wise, he said, to the extent that you can get yourself to do things you don't like doing but know will result in happiness, and to refrain from doing what you like but know will result in pain or harm."

 

Wisdom is a Foundation for Skillful Living

All the world religions highlight wisdom as a critical factor in living a healthy and successful life. On a practical level, it is pretty obvious that wisdom, or objectively and experientially knowing how things are, is an important edge for successful living.

 

View and Intention

In Buddhism, there is an eightfold path to Nirvana. The path is divided into three parts, wisdom, skillful behavior and meditation. Right view and right intention are the elements that make up wisdom.

 

Right view is having a clear sense of the way things are and right intention is the commitment to go beyond one's conditioning to unconditioned happiness.

 

The word "right" in right view doesn't mean right as opposed to wrong but instead it refers to a view that fully describes and agrees with things as they are. It is an objective view as opposed to one that is distorted by habits and beliefs. It is said that the Buddha advised that if you wish to experience Nirvana you must free yourself from attachment, including attachment to fixed views, philosophical and religious beliefs. Where knowledge is intellectual, wisdom is experiential. A person can have a great deal of knowledge and not be wise.

 

Wisdom is the opposite of ignorance. Wisdom enables skillful living and results in a display of compassion and loving kindness, free of the stress that comes from a distorted view. Meditation is a means for cultivating and realizing wisdom.

 

Right View

So what exactly is an undistorted, complete view?

 

From a Buddhist perspective it is a view that understands our ability to awaken to the recognition that everything is impermanent (everything is subject to change), that unsatisfactoriness is a natural part of life (don't expect everything to always work out the way you want it to) and that everything results from an ever changing stream of causes and conditions. It is a view that understands that unnecessary suffering, in all its forms, from minor anxiety and disappointment to severe depression and anger, is caused by wanting things to be different than they can be.

 

Observe objectively the world around you and your inner world of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations and you will see that nothing lasts forever. Mountains crumble, everything changes. Since everything changes and we like the things we like to stay the same, there is a degree of unsatisfactoriness in our lives. We have hopes and fears and our hopes are often unrealized while our fears materialize.

 

Because we want things to be different than they can be and things are impermanent and conditions constantly change, we are unnecessarily stressed. As wisdom dawns there is less clinging to the things we can't keep and less pushing away the things we don't like. As wisdom matures, these causes of our negative experience dissolve until we are left with unconditioned happiness born of the acceptance of things as they are.

 

If you are convinced by your own experience that everything is impermanent and the result of a continuous flow of causes and conditions, it is likely that you will not cling to things you cannot keep and push away things you cannot avoid. Acceptance becomes a natural quality of your life.

 

Acceptance Does not Mean Passivity

Wisdom and the acceptance it brings does not mean that you have to passively stand by and watch as bad things happen. Right view includes the recognition that we are responsible for our action and inaction. We cannot change the past or the present moment. We can change our attitude and we can influence the future through what we think, say and do.

 

Wise beings are activists. They realize that it is their responsibility to manifest their wisdom as loving kindness and compassion. Positive action can take many forms. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi transformed the wisdom of peace and freedom for all beings into political action. Nelson Mandela transformed the wisdom of forgiveness into policies that saved South Africa from a revenge fueled bloodbath.

 

Wisdom recognizes that through skillful effort we go beyond conditioning to spontaneity.

 

Becoming Wise

How can we become wise? We can use our intellect, our devotion, contact with realized beings and/or our immediate experience in meditation.

 

Intellectual knowledge is transformed into wisdom through study, reflection and meditation with the intention to awaken to reality.

 

Wisdom can arise when you lose yourself in devotion, melting into the beloved or when you are spontaneously awakened through contact with a realized being or by coming in contact with a prayer, poem or song that cuts through the illusion of conditioned thinking and results in an experience of things just as they are. You can have a spontaneous experience and realize a complete and accurate view in that moment.

 

Study involves reading, listening and observing our inner process and our surroundings. We intellectually learn about how things are and how things can be.

 

Reflection allows us to refine this knowledge and integrate it into our thinking process by assessing it.

 

Meditation is experiential. It gives the experience of spaciousness and serenity as well as the clear knowing that everything is impermanent and that our clinging and pushing away are unnecessary causes of our anxiety, anger and sadness. Through meditation, as through the path of devotion, there can be the experience of insight that by itself can result in wisdom.

 

A teacher can point out the experience of awakened mind.

 

Once there has been an experience or some sense of the difference between wisdom and ignorance, that experience can be a touch stone. Remembering it over and over again, as a reminder to not be caught up in the delusion of conditioned living, true Wisdom dawns.

 

Wisdom's Display

Wisdom manifests as compassion. 

 

On a more practical level, "You are wise to the extent that you can get yourself to do things you don't like doing but know will result in happiness, and to refrain from doing what you like but know will result in pain or harm." In other words, wisdom is displayed as skillful behavior

 

How wise are you?

What path are you taking to realize your innate wisdom?

 

It is said that wisdom, particularly right view, is both the beginning and the end of the path to enlightened living. In the beginning we take on a view based on a momentary experience of the vast, unbounded clarity and emptiness that is the basic ground of our existence or based on something we have read or heard. In the end we realize the view as our natural state.


 

2014 George Pitagorsky                                                 Top

Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness

Open-minded: 

questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  
 
Mindful:
 consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

 Learn More
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The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.

 

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