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Zen Buddhism – Gary Knapton – Manchester



Zen and Buddhism Gary Knapton Manchester from Eddy Jackson MBE on Vimeo.



[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi. I'm Gary Knapton, and I'm a Whole Life Design Consultant. And I'm from Manchester. 

I want to talk to you about three simple techniques that I use in order to get more out of life, and perform better, and be happier. And what I hope you'll take away from this is a way of dealing with difficult situations better, a way of being the best that you can be, even when no one's looking, and a way of extracting more meaning, and purpose, and value from life. 

Now, these techniques are based on an old Eastern philosophy of Zen Buddhism. And these are the three tenets. Number one is called an acceptance of responsibility. And number two is dedication to the truth. And number three is delaying gratification. 

Number one-- acceptance of responsibility. Everyone accepts that with power comes responsibility. So the prime minister has a responsibility to be a good leader. And your boss has power, and he's got a duty of care to his workers. If we flip that round, it means when I accept responsibility for things, I am empowered. 

Now, I'm going to apply this to negative, challenging feelings, because this is something we all struggle with-- feelings such as anxiety, and fear, and embarrassment, and stress, and worry. And we get these in everyday situations in life, such as job interviews, or going on dates, or resolving arguments with people, apologizing, or when we're in new situations, and we feel uncomfortable, and we feel like we don't belong. 

If I accept that I'm now responsible for my negative feelings, I'm now in charge. I'm in the driving seat. So I get to decide how these feelings affect me. And I'm going to lay down some new rules, such as all feelings are temporary and will die. Secondly, negative feelings are necessary for good things to follow. 

Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything away in your house so that new joy can find space to enter. These aren't my words. These are the words of an ancient Sufi mystic called Rumi, but this old truth is true today, right now. 

In life, we are flowing in water. We're in a river, and we're being carried by the current and the rapids. And what I am suggesting is by holding back on consuming quite as much, or delaying it and putting it off, we begin to swim upstream. And immediately, that gives me a sense of control, because I'm now in charge of the direction I'm going in. And I'm responsible for where I'm going to end up. 

I begin to understand where I begin and end and where the water begins and ends. And this infuses me with an immediate sense of value, and control, and liberty. And this gives me meaning in life. 

So these have been the three tenets of Buddhism that I apply. And they are number one, acceptance of responsibility; and number two, a dedication to the truth; and number three, delaying gratification. 

When I've done this, all the pressures that have been on me-- all those negative feelings suddenly don't matter anymore. They become less important to me. And I can deal with anything better. 

And what I innately do now is go head first more willingly, more eagerly into negative situations. I deal with them better, and I perform better in them, because I'm not distracted by all these anxieties. I can focus on the task at hand and get more out of it. 


Gary Knapton's, ex- Heckmondwike Grammar School and Oxford Brookes, career reflects the digital economy. This is about modern businesses trends and pressures.

Listen carefully to his lifestyle narrative. It is pragmatic, intellectual and reflective. It is your daily routine. Life as it is.

Compared to World's religious doctrines, the three tenets of Zen Buddhism are simple. The mantra is to work towards a better life.

It is much more than a romantic, utopian discourse. The tradition claims to be ‘outside words and letter.’  

Gary’s thoughtful language and blog captures daily social interactions:

Here is an interplay between natural emotions and linkage with deep thinking about religious insights expressed in clear English.

Listen to this short, four-minute Zen Buddhism video. Does the message sound familiar? Why? Is this your life?


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