Reading Corner

Links related to the weekly posts.


This week in our blog, we wrote about how mutual solutions help you to solve disagreements and avoid arguments. Since this is very much a central theme of ours, we have written extensively on it; here are three of our past blogs that cover different aspects of the topic.

How to Work Through Disagreements to Reach a Mutual Solution “You may find yourself at odds with your partner, friend or relative when discussing your wants and needs in a particular situation. It is important to peaceful relating to have a process for preventing this kind of disagreement from turning into a full-blown conflict. When the decision affects both of you, it can seem at first that there is no solution, but as long as you are both flexible, that’s rarely the case. There are ways to not only transform a potential argument but instead to actually find solutions and make decisions that create an even stronger sense of agreement and mutuality.”

How to Reach Mutual Solutions in Your Relationship “There are multiple outcomes that would satisfy us; we can’t see them at first because we are staring at our metaphorical strawberry ice cream. There are more flavors in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. The first step is not to be stubborn, and to accept that there are always other possibilities that we haven’t seen yet. Locking onto a single solution is a kind of identity panic.”

How to Find Mutual Solutions With Your Partner “Can you avoid conflict in your relationship? Absolutely! And we don’t mean avoid as in ducking out of the room when it looms. No, we’re talking about negotiating differences without descending into recriminations, counter-attacks, hostility, hurt feelings and battle scars. We never go there, and you don’t have to, either.”

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Our blog this week was about supporting peace in the world by expanding your circle of trust. Here are some inspiring writings on manifesting peace in your relationships and in the world.

How to Strengthen Loving Relationships with Mindfulness “‘Of all the experiences we need to survive and thrive, it is the experience of relating to others that is the most meaningful and important,’ [Cozolino] writes. His thinking grows out of the relatively new field of interpersonal neurobiology, based on the recognition that humans are best understood not in isolation, but in the context of their connections with others. Our brains, Cozolino writes, are social organs, and that means that we are wired to connect with each other and to interact in groups.”

12 Simple principles to build peace in your community “Now, you may be thinking: “How can we honestly make a difference?” Well the reality is that change really does start at home folks! If we build strong united communities, we can fight hate crime, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and take a stand against divisive politics. If we fight toxic narratives, common misconceptions and negative stereotypes, the media and politicians lose their power to drive communities apart, scapegoat groups and divide people.”

Ten ways you can promote peace “1. Develop your understanding of the frames of mind that promote conflict and violence against another group
• The perception that another group threatens our well-being
• A sense of uncertainty about our safety and security
• The belief that our own group is superior to another group.”

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This week, we wrote about the importance of balancing being and doing within yourself and how it benefits all your relationships. These links discuss various aspects of that balance.

The Difference Between “Being” and “Doing” “Different mental activities, such as reading a book, painting a picture, or talking to a loved one, each involve different patterns of interaction between networks of nerve cells in the brain. If we looked long enough, we would see that a limited number of core patterns of brain activity and interaction seem to crop up as recurring features in a wide variety of different mental activities. These core patterns reflect some basic ‘modes of mind.'”

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist “McGilchrist, who is both an experienced psychiatrist and a shrewd philo–sopher, looks at the relation between our two brain-hemispheres in a new light, not just as an interesting neurological problem but as a crucial shaping factor in our culture. He questions the accepted doctrine that the left hemisphere (Left henceforward) is necessarily dominant, the practical partner, while the right more or less sits around writing poetry.”

4 Ways To Communicate Like A Buddhist “Have you ever run through a list of to-dos while a friend poured their heart out to you — or worse, noticed your pal neglect you in the same way? Or maybe you’ve cursed others under your breath because they were holding up the line for the subway ticket machine. Perhaps it could be that you wanted to say something, but didn’t know how. Constructive communication is hard, and sometimes it can feel like one roadblock after the next. However, I’ve found Buddhist teachings on mindful speech to be particularly helpful.”

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This week’s blog said that you honor your relationships when you listen with your heart. Here are some articles on listening and how a heart-felt approach improves the quality of your listening.

Listening – With Your Heart As Well As Your Ears “How often have you heard these statements? “You’re not listening to me!”… “Why don’t you let me finish what I’m saying?”… “If you only let me, I’ll tell you!”… “I may as well be talking to a brick wall!” … “You just don’t understand!” … “But that’s not what I said!” If you hear any of these comments coming from your partner, children, friends, or co-workers, perhaps it’s true that “you’re not listening” – really listening to the people who are important in your life. Listening is the art of connecting with another person so you fully understand what they are saying and feeling. It is a vital and necessary skill needed in creating and maintaining a marriage, in parenting children effectively, and in working together and making effective decisions on the job.”

Listen With Your Heart, Not Your Ears “if we aim to become better listeners, we must think about principles of the heart. People can sense how we feel about what they are saying. Do we respect what they are talking about? Do we care about them? They can tell a lot by the way we communicate, by the way we are looking at them, and our body language. While we can control what we say, and maybe to a small extent our body language, we cannot control what our heart is feeling. And those subtle sentiments seep through and are detected by others.”

How to Listen Without Getting Defensive “Understanding your partner requires the capacity to listen. Really listen. Couples are advised to hear each other’s complaints without feeling attacked, and as great as this sounds, it’s often unrealistic. When something you said (or didn’t say) hurts your partner’s feelings, there’s a strong impulse to interrupt with, “That wasn’t my intention. You’re misunderstanding me,” even before your partner is done talking. Unfortunately, when the listener reacts to what the speaker is saying before the speaker gets the chance to fully explain themselves, both partners are left feeling misunderstood.”

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This week, Phil wrote that total acceptance from the heart is how you create peace in your relationship. Here are some helpful articles on different aspects of this.

The Secret to Peaceful Relationships “The dictionary defines an expectation as “the act of regarding as likely to happen” and “anticipating the occurrence or the coming of.” An expectation is essentially an imagining about the future, a theoretical pseudo-reality that is created by thoughts in the mind. It is a thought that, when taken as real and true, leads us to assume that a given occurrence will happen. When seen for what it really is, it is merely a thought that has nothing to do with what may or may not happen. I may expect my friend to attend the concert, but this expectation is irrelevant to what she actually does. And believing that she “should” attend the concert when she decides not to only sets me up for an unpleasant emotional reaction.”

5 Rules for Relationship Peace “According to Scientific American magazine, all fights come down to two things: one person either feels neglected or controlled. It seems that Baylor University psychologists recently interviewed 3,539 married couples. They asked a lot of relationship questions related to the subject matter of their arguments. These researchers were trying to understand why couples fight. The assumption had been that the results would point to the usual culprits – money, sex, etc. But, after the data had been carefully analyzed, it turned out that the tension that actually led to the fight itself almost always related to the deeper issues of whether the partners felt understood or valued.”

How to find inner peace: 10 things you can start doing right now “Stress, depression, anxiety. None of us are strangers to these issues these days, which is why more people than ever before have turned towards the search for inner peace. But inner peace isn’t simply something you can turn on; it’s not something you can decide to do and then do it. Inner peace is a state to be achieved and to be improved upon, a lifelong journey that requires a lifetime commitment. So how do you find inner peace and what does it really mean?”

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