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August 31, 2009

The Buddhist Rule about Worrying.


Relephant read: Pema Chodron: How to do Tonglen, a meditation practice for difficult times.


“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”~ Mike Tyson.

Buddhist rule re: Worrying.

We can talk about spirituality or yoga or meditation or mindfulness all day, but life has a way of testing whether our understanding is superficial, or thorough. There’s a famous story about Naropa meeting a wise old woman who tested him on this point.

What I will say is that fear is a doozy. We’ve got to breathe through it, but we’ve also got to get into self-inquiry, and discover what it is we’re really afraid of or anxious and worried about.

“If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing.”~ Ernest Hemingway 

Don’t Worry, Be Present.

I tweeted the below casually awhile back, and it got more RTs than all my other posts combined, today. So, guess it warrants being made into a short, sweet blog post in and of itself.

The Buddhist rule re: Worrying is simple: don’t.

Or, as Shantideva said more eloquently,

If it can be fixed; why worry?

If it can’t be fixed, what’s the point of worrying?

Or, more properly: “If a cure exists, why worry? If no cure exists, what use is there to worry?”


“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

“If it can be solved, theres no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

(1) Identify objective at hand. (2) determine if you are on track (3) identify controllable and uncontrollable factors. (4) intentionally shift focus away from uncontrollable factors.

You will feel better.

Aristotle said: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

“It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is the rust upon the blade. It is not the movement that destroys the machinery but the friction.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” ~ Marcus Aurelius


The Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.


“90% of the things you worry about are out of your control so it’s not helpful to worry. The other 10% you can control so do something about it instead of worrying.”


“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” ~ Mark Twain

Bonus round:

Leonardo DiCaprio on Worrying and Failure: [Quote]

worrying dicapriopooh worry anxiety anxious

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