Inner State. . .
If we can change our inner state of life and believe in ourselves, then the way we handle stress changes.
Buddhism teaches that how we experience the world depends on our inner state of life. Meditation and chanting are ways to believe in ourselves against all odds each day. When we focus, we are declaring that we have the courage and wisdom needed to take on any situation. Stress then becomes a tool to help us rise to the occasion of whatever problem we are facing.
Physical and mental training transform our experience of things. The same steep slope that for the unskilled skier provokes only terror is, for the expert, a source of excitement and joy. Likewise, with persistent effort, we can draw knowledge and inspiration from the most deep and difficult moments.
Once we overcome a challenge we thought was impossible, we develop greater confidence in ourselves and have the capacity to take on even bigger challenges. Our Buddhist practice allows us to dig deeper and deeper with each difficulty we face. When we do this again and again, we become unshakable.
From the Buddhist perspective, a stressful situation is a challenge to believe in ourselves like never before.
Peace and Love, Jim