The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Mind

Befriending the Monkey Mind

 

In private interviews, I hear about problems with family members, partners, and employers. When you listen, the problems sound so small. But if you think about that problem again and again, it gets bigger and bigger. Making a mountain out of a molehill is the monkey’s specialty. This is the nature of the restless monkey-mind. Generally we do not observe the mind itself, so this encounter with the monkey can be confusing. But actually we are beginning to recognize awareness and all the thoughts, feelings, and impulses that are constantly moving through it. If people come to meditation in order to get rid of thoughts, this encounter with the monkey-mind might be disheartening. But we do not have to get rid of the monkey-mind. Ignoring this thought-factory never works, and suppressing it is impossible. But we can befriend it. How do we do this? By hanging around. We’re not aggressive. We do not try to conquer or control our new friend, but if we want to get to know its qualities, we have to stay present for the encounter. When we begin to meditate, no matter what style or tradition we follow, we will surely meet the monkey. But with awareness meditation, we give the monkey a constructive job to do.

– Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book “Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism”
ISBN: 978-1611801217 – http://amzn.to/111sIFp

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Troubled Thoughts

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Meditation Masters


A Hindu Priest Explains How Your Subconscious Mind Can be Reprogrammed

Create positive changes in your life by reprogramming your unconscious mind.

Source: A Hindu Priest Explains How Your Subconscious Mind Can be Reprogrammed – Waking Times

Waking Times

Vic Bishop, Staff Writer

September 8, 2017
 

The subconscious mind is akin to that unseen portion of an iceberg which remains underwater. Some believe that up to 95% of our mental activity takes place in the subconscious, just below our conscious awareness. This ‘underwater’ portion of the mind is never inactive, though, as it continues to collect and process information even when we are asleep.

According to the Freudian model of the unconscious, the contents of the subregions of the mind are the primary guiding influence on a person’s behavior, habits and urges. And in his study of the psyche, revered psychoanalyst Carl Jung relates the importance of paying attention to what is going on in the lower parts of the mind, saying, “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

While this model may be debatable to some scientists, sages and those devoted to personal development have long known that these regions of the mind are programmable with conscious intention, a process which can be achieved with affirmation and mantra.

As a spiritual tool, monks of the eastern traditions have been using mantras since time immemorial, most recognizably along with prayer beads. The value of this type of meditation is well-understood by practitioners, although, difficult to quantify. It offers a simple but powerful means of creating the emergence of desired positive outcomes in personality, habits, beliefs and emotions.

“Mantra is really just a specialized grouping of sounds and vibrations which positively affect the mental and physiological planes. The effects of sound on the brain have been demonstrated in Electro Encephala Graph (EEG) charts as well as by documented physical changes (skin temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate among them). While we may consciously want to remove certain thought patterns, they can be difficult to dislodge because they are formed at subconscious levels. This is where mantra can be very effective.” ~Christina Sarich

Speaking on how this process works, Hindu priest and international speaker Dandapāni explains how mantras are similar to affirmations in how they work to reprogram the subconscious mind. In an interview with Brian Rose of London Real, Dandapāni answers the question of why the simple concentrated repetition of sound can so powerfully brings about positive changes in personal behavior.

“You can say they are prayer beads, but they’re actually more like affirmation or mantra beads. So, we use these to actually program our subconscious. So as we chant on each bead, we chant an affirmation. I am happy, or I’m confident. And we repeat the same chant over and over again, and there are 108 beads… one chant over and over again.”

There is more to it than just saying a phrase 108 times, however, and as he explains, three ingredients are necessary: “Concise choice of positive words, clear visualization, and a corresponding feeling.”

The process of visualization is extremely important in clarifying for the mind the precise object in focus. If you were to chant, ‘I love apples,’ the brain would become confused by the word apple, however, unless a very clear picture of the apple is presented along with the mantra.

Regarding a corresponding feeling, he explains how feeling is emotion and emotion is energy, quoting the late Nikola Tesla.

“He [Tesla] had this beautiful saying which kind of encapsulates Hindu philosophy really well. He said that, ‘to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’ Everything is made up of energy that’s vibrating at its own frequency. What we believe is that if your subconscious is filled with patterns that are vibrating at a certain frequency… and if you can go into your subconscious and create a pattern, infuse it with energy that’s vibrating at a certain frequency, you can attract things of a similar nature to it.”

The combined of effect of intentionally applying sound, visualization and emotion to create positive change can override the contents of the subconscious mind. He elaborates further in the video below:

Read more articles by Vic Bishop.

About the Author

Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.


How Mindfulness Quiets the Mind

Source: How Mindfulness Quiets the Mind | Creative by Nature

creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com

Sept 9, 2017

“Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free. You’ll transform everything. And you’ll be at peace wherever you are.” ~Bodhidharma

 
12208506_1129968890376812_3462032469467020697_n
 
“In making yourself quiet, you have to be quiet on all fronts — quiet in your deeds, quiet in your words, quiet in your mind. Only then will you be able to contemplate what’s going on inside yourself.
 
If you aren’t quiet, you’ll become involved in external affairs and end up having too much to do and too much to say. This will keep your awareness or mindfulness from holding steady and firm.
 
You have to stop doing, saying, or thinking anything that isn’t necessary. That way your mindfulness will be able to develop continuously. Don’t let yourself get involved in too many outside things.
 
In training your mindfulness to be continuous so that it will enable you to contemplate yourself, you have to be observant: When there’s sensory contact, can the mind stay continuously undisturbed and at normalcy? Or does it still run out into liking and disliking?
 
Being observant in this way will enable you to read yourself, to know yourself. If mindfulness is firmly established, the mind won’t waver. If it’s not yet firm, the mind will waver in the form of liking and disliking.
 
You have to be wary of even the slightest wavering. Don’t let yourself think that the slight waverings are unimportant, or else they’ll become habitual.
 
Being uncomplacent means that you have to watch out for the details, the little things, the tiny flaws that arise in the mind.
 
If you can do this, you’ll be able to keep your mind protected — better than giving all your attention to the worthless affairs of the outside world.
 
So really try to be careful. Don’t get entangled in sensory contact. This is something you have to work at mastering.
 
If you focus yourself exclusively in the area of the mind like this, you’ll be able to contemplate feelings in all their details. You’ll be able to see them clearly, to let them go.
 
So focus your practice right at feelings of pleasure, pain, and neither-pleasure-nor-pain. Contemplate how to leave them alone, simply as feelings, without relishing them — for if you relish feelings, that’s craving.
 
Desires for this and that will seep in and influence the mind so that it gets carried away with inner and outer feelings. This is why you have to be quiet — quiet in a way that doesn’t let the mind become attached to the flavors of feelings, quiet in a way that uproots their influence.
 
The desire for pleasure is like a virus deep in our character. What we’re doing here is to make the mind stop taking pleasant feelings into itself and stop pushing painful feelings away.
 
Our addiction to taking in pleasant feelings is what makes us dislike painful feelings and push them away, so don’t let the mind love pleasure and resist pain. Let it be undisturbed by both. Give it a try.
 
If the mind can let go of feelings so that it’s above pleasure, pain, and neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that means it’s not stuck on feeling.
 
And then try to observe: How can it stay unaffected by feelings? This is something you have to work at mastering in order to release your grasp on feelings once and for all, so that you won’t latch onto physical pain or mental distress as being you or yours.
 
If you don’t release your grasp on feeling, you’ll stay attached to it, both in its physical and in its mental forms. If there’s the pleasure of physical ease, you’ll be attracted to it.
 
As for the purely mental feeling of pleasure, that’s something you’ll really want, you’ll really love. And then you’ll be attracted to the mental perceptions and labels that accompany the pleasure, the thought-formations and even the consciousness that accompany the pleasure. You’ll latch onto all of these things as you or yours.
 
So analyze physical and mental pleasure. Take them apart to contemplate how to let them go. Don’t fool yourself into relishing them.
 
As for pain, don’t push it away. Let pain simply be pain, let pleasure simply be pleasure. Let them simply fall into the category of feelings.
 
Don’t go thinking that you feel pleasure, that you feel pain. If you can let go of feeling in this way, you’ll be able to gain release from suffering and stress because you’ll be above and beyond feeling.
 
This way, when aging, illness, and death come, you won’t latch onto them thinking that you are aging, that you are ill, that you are dying. You’ll be able to release these things from your grasp.
 
If you can contemplate purely in these terms — that the five aggregates are inconstant, stressful, and not-self — you won’t enter into them and latch onto them as “me” or “mine.”
 
If you don’t analyze them in this way, you’ll be trapped in dying. Even your bones, skin, flesh, and so forth will become “mine.”
 
This is why we’re taught to contemplate death — so that we can make ourselves aware that death doesn’t mean that we die. You have to contemplate until you really know this. Otherwise, you’ll stay trapped right there.
 
You must make yourself sensitive in a way that sees clearly how your bones, flesh, and skin are empty of any self. That way you won’t latch onto them.
 
The fact that you still latch onto them shows that you haven’t really seen into their inconstancy, stress, and not-selfness.”
excerpt ‘From Reading the Mind’

“Upasika Kee Nanayon (1901 – 1979) was arguably the foremost woman Dhamma teacher in twentieth-century Thailand.” ~Thanissaro Bhikkhu

ying yang

Small

Source: Small | Great Middle Way

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com 

Aug 22, 2017

16195343_10154847059656897_3622746292653899642_nDo not disregard small negative acts,

thinking they are harmless,

because even a small spark

can set fire to a mountain of hay.

Do not disregard small positive acts,

thinking they are without benefit,

because even tiny drops of water

will eventually fill a large container.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Sutra of the Wise and Foolish


Samsara and Nirvana

Samsara is mind turned outwardly, lost in its projections.
Nirvana is mind turned inwardly, recognizing its nature.
~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche ~

Mind

As the fletcher whittles
And makes straight his arrows,
So the master directs
His straying thoughts.

Seated in the cave of the heart,
He finds freedom.

How can a troubled mind
Understand the way?

An untroubled mind,
No longer seeking to consider
What is right and what is wrong,
A mind beyond judgments,
Watches and understands.

Your worst enemy cannot harm you
As much as your own thoughts, unguarded.
But once mastered,
No one can help you as much,
Not even your father or your mother.

~ Buddha ~
The Dhammapada