Andrew Furst

Meditations on Gratitude – Science

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Hypothesis, Argue, Repeat Debate, logic and rhetoric are wonderful things.  They are the tools by which we capture hearts and minds. They are the nuts and bolts of leadership, politics, and philosophy. They are my tool kit for writing this article. I love them dearly and do not wish them vanquished. But what benefit do they have to offer?  Are they calibrated for goodness or for truth? Do they produce facts (setting aside the argument on the Socratic Method).  Do they create buildings, feed the hungry, or guarantee freedom and justice? No. In…read more

Touch – Meditations on Gratitude

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The senses are the gateway to the ultimate. Oh what a joy and a privilege to have your senses available to you. The sense of touch is grounding, the feeling of the palms touching, or making contact with another brings things to the moment with a sense of gentle urgency. Here is a brief meditation on touch which can ground you when your feeling stressed.  It’s very simple. Read the instructions first, then give it a try: Close your eyes very slowly, notice your lids sliding down your eyeballs and making contact…read more

Hearing – Meditations on Gratitude

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The senses are the gateway to the ultimate. Oh what a joy and a privilege to have your senses available to you. Particularly relevant to Pure Land Buddhism is the ability to hear the name that calls.  Namo Amitofo. AVALOKITESVARA’S MEDITATION ON HEARING FROM SURANGAMA SUTRA When one dwells in silence, Rolls of drums in ten directions, All can be simultaneously heard. Thus is hearing complete. Seeing cannot penetrate a screen, Neither can taste nor smell; Feeling comes only in contact, And thought in focus lack. But sound whether near…read more

Gratitude Under The Microscope – Meditations on Gratitude

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Humans are an ungrateful bunch.  That’s not so much a judgement as an observation.  Given our busy lives, it feels impossible to slow down enough to pay respect to everyone and everything that deserves our appreciation. I have a friend, Tim Swallow, who is a traditional Lakota holy man.  He moves at what we jokingly refer to as Indian time. It is a much more natural pace. It is rich with appreciation and wonder. But in many ways he stands apart from life as most of us know it.  This creates many…read more

Meditations on Gratitude – Our Partners

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If you’ve been together with your partner for a while, I guarantee that you’d quickly articulate what it is about them that irks you.  You probably remember the last thing they did that angered or annoyed you. The word resentment will trigger emotions that you’ve probably been holding onto for some time.  There are a lot of colloquialisms that capture the nature of long term relationships familiarity breeds contempt absence makes the heart grow fonder we don’t know what we have until it’s gone I’m no stranger to these emotions.  The most important teacher I…read more

Meditations on Gratitude – Children

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What’s the shortest path the awakening?  Children. Kids clarify life instantly. Any delusions of grandiose purpose are shattered. We are alive to raise our children.  Our purpose, motivation, and desire are all governed by the primary biological directive – pass on your genes.  This isn’t a disparaging or cold observation, it’s functional and illuminating. Surrendering to our “higher purpose” is both liberating and satisfying. Looking into the eyes of your child, whether they were born two minutes ago or two decades ago, stokes the fire of unconditional love. I have two children who have…read more

Meditations on Gratitude – Leaders

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Congressional approval levels are at 16%. President Obama’s is at 43%, the lowest in a year. The poll results below show that  81% of the people don’t trust the government most of the time. We don’t like or trust our leaders. To be honest, I think that’s a healthy position to take.  Given the propensity for corruption that power has on all of us, we should not let our guard down.  The US Constitution bakes that mistrust into the structure of our government.  There are checks and balances.  Leaders have well…read more

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