How Do We Change?

Conventional wisdom tells us we change by first deciding which behaviors we no longer want to engage in and then trying to stop them by an actold life new life of will. Generally speaking, Buddhist philosophy disagrees and says that the things we pay attention to, or give our energy to, or resist, in fact grow by virtue of our directing energy at them. Instead, they suggest, we need to devote our attention and energy to those things that we would like to see or do more often. For example, if we want to lose weight it won’t be effective for us to try to stop eating. Rather, we need to become more active and eat in a healthy way. If we want our relationships to improve, rather than trying to decrease our anger we need to work on increasing our patience and compassion.


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