Seeing Light in the Dark

Seeing Light in the Dark Project

In the real world, there exist lots of sufferings; however, actually we respond not to reality as it is but to reality as we construe it.

Even though we may not be able to change the real situation, we are still able to alter our perception and interpretation, and hence change our mood and feelings.

Both happiness and sufferings are perceptions of our experiences and the world, and therefore, I’d like to share with you how to obtain perceptual happiness and alleviate mental sufferings in trying times, and when you can’t change what’s happening around you.

How did it start?
We had an assignment “Day of Compassion" in a course on Coursera – Social Psychology. The idea was for each of us to conduct compassionate behavior and analyze what we was like when we were acting compassionately and what positive impact we made.

When I saw this assignment, my first thought was to combine compassion with its Chinese translation 慈悲, which means to bring happiness to others and to alleviate sufferings from them. I lived my “Day of Compassion" by 1) 慈 – spreading happiness and beaming at the world and 2) 悲 – alleviating sufferings and applying cognitive empathy to others’ situations by putting myself in another’s shoes.

Basically what I did can be illustrated in the following picture.

After this assignment, I feel I want to do more. Therefore, I want to help more people not just by being there for them, but teach them how their perception can change their state of sufferings into happiness.

You may see my essay for “Day of Compassion" here.

How does it work?
It will be run as a weekly mini-workshop.

In each week, I’d encourage each of you sharing stories in your life, for example what’s troubling you right now, or how you are facing it. And then I’ll teach you some techniques to change your thoughts or perceptions each week, and do some practice in the workshop.

In the following week, it will be your chance to experiment this technique and see how it works. And then you can share your experience in the following week.

Also, I’ve just built another blog, where I’ll be writing some thoughts about changing perception, interpretation, feelings, and mood. Basically what I’ll do when I’m down or in the deep valley of my life. Just some personal thought sharing, and hope that can help as well.

Seeing Light in the Dark

How can it help me?
There are indeed sufferings that we can’t deny, like poverty, diseases, war, etc. However, even in those difficult times, we could still see some people live happily as if nothing bad happened in their lives.

The truth is, something bad did happen to those people, but they chose to perceive it from positive perspective, and see it as a blessing instead of a curse.

It’s difficult to change your perspective when you are suffering, and those sufferings are real, how can you deny them? Yes, I know…but the mindset can be trained, and the skills can be practiced.

Once you’ve learned how to see negative incidents in your life with new eyes, guess what, you will find you life really does change as well.

You might still have doubt…but why not give it a try? Anyway, this workshop can teach you how to have a good mood, and who doesn’t like good mood?

TBD (the project will start once there are at least 3 members)

TBD (depends on members’ schedule)

Sign up here

The project is still a draft now; but if you are interested, you are welcome to join me and give me some advise 🙂