A Universal Religion


If only the entire world adopted a Universal Religion. One where we focus on the strengths of all the religions and aim to transcend the weaknesses that hold them back.

Investigating the religions of the world it is clear to see that everyone is worshipping the same principle.

If everyone were free to hold on to what they believe, what makes them happy and content. If everyone adopted this attitude there would be no hatred or religious fanaticism.

We could all coexist happily. Free from suffering.

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Filed under Buddhism, Harmonious Development, philosophy, Tao Te Ching, The Mind, Zen

Connection is Key

We are wired as human beings to connect with the world around us. To connect with nature, to connect with others, and to connect with ourselves. 

It is in our nature to feel empathy and compassion for the pain and suffering of others. Nothing could be clearer at this time of great suffering across the globe. We see people suffering and in need, and subconsciously a thought arises: ‘something must be done!’

In great times of need, our love and compassion for our friends and families extends and reaches out to all sentient beings. 

If we could increase the time that our love for humanity would extend to every living being, taking it beyond natural disasters and into every waking moment. Think how much more light there would be in the world. 

Every moment there is a choice. To include or to exclude. To open or to close. To be selfless or to be selfish. Let’s make the right choice. All the time. 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, philosophy, Random Acts of Kindness

The Power of The List

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy are powerful ways of ingraining suggestions into your subconscious. As with all things, this is not the only way to deliver suggestions to your subconscious. 

I will share with you another powerful way. Write a list of all of the important goals you would like to achieve. These can include fitness goals, business goals, relationship goals. Anything that you would like to achieve moving forward. Take some time and sit down and really think about these things. Where would you like to be in one months, six months, one years time? What habits would you like to have gotten rid of? What habits would you like to have incorporated into your daily routine? What would you like to have achieved?
The next step is to make this peice of paper with your list on sacred to you. Take it everywhere with you, carry it on your person at all times. Look at your list before you begin your meditation. Look at it before you go to sleep at night. Look at it first thing as you wake up in the morning!

By performing all of these steps, it will become very clear if your daily life is at variance with your goals. For example, if your goals is to quit smoking, and that is at the top of your list, but you continue to buy cigarettes and smoke them, then clearly this goal is not as important as you thought. If your goals is to lose weight and get in shape, but yet you continue to eat sweet, sugary things, or eat too much, then you would need to ask yourself, ‘How badly do I want to lose weight?’

The thing to remember is that inherent within every intention, goal or desire is the potential for its fulfilment. Nothing has come into being without first being a thought, intention or goal first. From the aeroplane to electricity, they all began as thoughts and intentions. Your goals are no different! 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is a perfectly natural state and can be used in many ways, including helping to improve your general functioning and to make you feel better mentally or physically. We have all at some stage in our life, some more often than others, experienced a light hypnotic trance state. This occurs most often when we are engaged in some kind of automatic activity.

A common example of this would be the highway trance, when, while driving on a long or regular car journey, one may have no recollection of a large part of the journey already covered even though they were engaged in the skilfull task of driving a car. Sometimes huge chunks of the journey can disappear from the memory upon arrival at a destination. Driving is one instance. People can find themselves in a similar state while doing any monotonous activity; walking, dining alone, taking a shower or watching television. This is to name only a handful of examples. In fact, hypnotic trances and everyday trances are very similar in their subjective quality.

There is nothing new or innovative in hypnosis, everything available to us today is very old and the way it works has not changed for thousands of years. It can also be considered as an inherent property in many people. Hypnotic techniques are used by many, sometimes quite unconsciously. Suggestion, distraction, relaxation, imagery and confusion are often employed by many different individuals in many different fields. Medical practitioners, psychologists, midwives, insurance and advertising agents, all of these on occasion will use hypnosis without themselves or their clients or victims being aware that these practices could be labelled so.

The main physical characteristic of hypnosis is relaxation. Many people in today’s society have become so accustomed to tension and stress in daily life that they come to accept it as the norm. An individual will find it very difficult to be tense and at the same time susceptible to hypnosis. This is why to begin with you will first experience a deep level of relaxation. This is the lightest state of hypnosis, simply becoming very relaxed from head to toe.

A popular misunderstanding regarding hypnosis is that it puts the subject into a state of unconsciousness which resembles sleep. This is actually not the case. It would be better described as a waking state of focused attention which in turn increases an individual’s suggestibility. Suggestion plays a very important part in hypnotherapy and is incredibly powerful.

Hypnosis is a remarkable and very dynamic tool to be used in therapy and some of the results documented can only be described as miraculous! The main psychological and physical aspects experienced during the hypnotic state will be very similar to all who experience them. However, the level of experience will be subject to an individual’s willingness to conform, and to their hypnotic susceptibility. I believe the results of a hypnotherapy session have everything to do with a person’s mind-set and attitude towards hypnosis. If someone has been forced to seek therapy by a spouse or family member and is not really interested, the results that follow will show just that. Compare this to a subject who truly believes in hypnosis, hypnotherapy and their therapist, and the results can be amazing.

Hypnotherapy is simply the use of hypnosis for therapy. It is the application of certain well known principles in a systematic way to help an individual make positive changes in their life.

Many individuals assume that they know all about hypnosis from what they have read, seen on the television or heard from ‘reputable’ experts in the field. What they fail to realise is the fact that many of those behind this form of media may well have unknowingly been misinformed in regards hypnosis. This is not done in a malicious way, it is only due to a lack of understanding.

If you would like more information about how hypnotherapy might be able to help you directly then please visit Harmonious Development for many interesting articles on the subject.

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Where is the Love? 

Is this not a predominant question in these times we live in? More and more people in my social network and friends and family are coming round to the inescapable reality that materialism will not end our suffering. 

If it could end our suffering, the acquisition of more and more stuff, then those with the most stuff would be the happiest. But this is not the case. What are we trying to fill by consuming more and more? To what end is this modern consumerism aiming? 

It seems to me that it is a distraction from what is real. And we can ask ourselves here; ‘what is real?’ Is reality a universal perception or only subjective to the one experiencing it? 

This brings me to the title question, Where is the Love? Is there any love in the world? The media would have us believe that there is none. All there is is terror, fear, wealth inequality, governments only interested in their own agendas. But I disagree. We have a choice to unite or to separate, to be exclusive or inclusive. These are choices that we have to make all the time. 

Imagine a pristinely clean, neat and tidy house. I mean really clean, like a show house or a house that someone is trying to sell and has scrubbed up so that it shines. Everything is clean and orderly, except for one corner of one room. In this corner is mess, clutter, dust, grime and all sorts of untidiness. 

Now if we sat in the middle of the room with the messy corner and focussed on this part of the house only, never leaving the room or looking away from the corner we would consider the house a messy one. Alternatively, if the door to this room was closed and you only had access to the rest of the house, the clean and tidy parts, you would take the house to be pristine. This is how I view the world today. 

According to Google there are 7.5 billion people living on the earth. Less than a percent of the world population breed the hate and fear that the media love to focus their attention on. This is similar to the analogy above, that if you focus on the dirty corner you will consider the house to be dirty, whereas in reality it is clean.

In my analogy of the clean house, fear and terror can be seen as the dirt and mess occupying one corner of one room. And love can be seen as cleanliness that abounds in the rest of the house. 

Where do you choose to focus your attention? 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity

Islam & Terrorism

In light of the recent attack in London, and the swell of peoples opinions about this incident and all other related topics on social media, it has led me to dive into my books on Islam to find some clarity on the issue. This is a habit that we should all get into, particularly if we like to share our thoughts and opinions with the world through the internet. If we rely only on the mainstream media for our education, then we cannot consider ourselves at all educated.

I will be mainly focussing on the tenets and doctrine of Islam and the Muslim way of life, so as to help you understand a little better how far removed Islam is from terrorism. It is quite likely that you associate these two words together (Muslim = Terrorist) and this can be put down to the media propaganda and its hidden agenda.

To begin, I would say something about the way Muslims will greet one another; with the words: As-salāmu ʿalaykum which translates to ‘peace be upon you.’ The definition of the word peace is ‘1. the normal, non-warring condition of a nation, group of nations or the world. 2. a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations. 3. a sate of tranquillity or serenity.’ Now think for a second, do you associate any of these definitions with the word Muslim?

The word Muslim means ‘one who submits to God’, and in Arabic the word for God is Allah. Islam is a religion that was revealed to all Prophets according to their belief, and a Muslim is simply, one who follows the Islamic faith.

There are two main sources of Islam: First is the Qur’an which is a book that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and is considered by Muslims to be the spoken word of God which he communicated to mankind through the Prophet Muhammad. You may find it interesting, as I certainly did, to know some of the chapter headings in the Qur’an. There are chapters called; Joseph, Jonah, Abraham, Mary, The Romans, and Noah. Yes, these are also personages from the Christian Bible and Jewish Torah. The second source of Islam is The  Sunnah which is the Prophetic tradition or path. This refers to the Prophet’s speech, actions, silent approvals, outward appearance and character that was observed by his companions, written down and passed on generation after generation in written form and oral tradition. This body of literature is often referred to as Hadith. As I mentioned briefly above in sharing some of the chapter headings, the Prophets of Islam are the same as those of Judaism and Christianity and the story’s of their lives differ only in interpretation.

Islam forbids all forms of terrorist activity. There are however some extreme factions of people who, in the name of Islam, terrorise both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The most well-known of these militant groups are Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria and Iraq. These terrorist groups are called Khawarij in Islamic terminology because the term refers to those who rebel against Islam and the Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad foretold their appearance and instructed the Muslims to stay away from them, and to defend themselves if they attack them. They first rebelled against the Prophet’s disciples in the time of the fourth Caliph, Ali, killing some of the finest companions of the Prophet Muhammad. Now, according to sources there are some 1.6 Billion Muslims around the world. We must not tarnish everyone with the same brush, as the great majority of the followers of the Muslim faith have the same attitude towards Al-Qaeda and Isis as those in the western world do.

There is another often used term in Islam which is Jihad, it means ‘the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.’ The main usage of this term would be to strive or struggle towards a virtuous and praiseworthy aim, such as the struggle against ones tendency towards vice and the betterment of society. This use of the word is an inner struggle, and is shared by all of the worlds religions, to better oneself and move closer to The Good. Jihad appears often in the Qur’an without military context.

Islam contains five main pillars. These are considered the five basic acts in Islam and are mandatory for anyone who would consider themselves a Muslim. They are:

  1. Shahada – Faith
  2. Salat – Prayer
  3. Zakat – Charity
  4. Sawm – Fasting
  5. Hajj – Pilgrimage to Mecca

I truly hope that this cursory knowledge about the religion of Islam will give you a better understanding of a Musims beliefs and ideas. And we must always remember to look in introspection and ask ourselves where our bias’ and prejudices came from. Did we suddenly form them when we turned 13? Did we learn and form them in high school? Or were they impressed upon us by the world that surrounds us, by our parents, grandparents and close friends?

To conclude I will share a quite that is worth keeping in mind in these trying times:

‘Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.’

 

 

 

 

 

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An Alternative

Ponder this series of events:

Tomorrow I begin to spread a message hope, of peace, of union and harmony (nothing that has not been said by giants who have walked before us). I continue this by speaking about my message at the local community centre, the church, park, shopping centre or anywhere there might be a group of people to listen. This message will require individuals to assess their current outlook on the world and their life, but nothing to intense, nothing that a slight shift of perspective and some personal observation wont bring. At first people think that I am crazy and dismiss my message, but as time passes I gather a group of followers. The group begins to grow until I have many hundreds of people who would turn up to hear about my message.

People respond to my message out of disillusion at the current state of affairs and how society is structured. They are fed up of what the corporate media feeds them about all and everything, and the propaganda it spouts so as to evoke an emotional response at every possible chance. They want change and my message makes it clear to them that nothing in the external world is required for this shift to occur. This change is an inner one, and one that will increase life for the better.

The above events could be about any number of heroes from times past;

Buddha, Socrates, Plato, Jesus, Ramakrishna, Ghandi, Yogananda, Gurdjieff.

There is no need for me to expound what these great individuals brought in their message and life long mission, there are many books on such things and websites also. My hope in sharing this post is to spark a catalyst in your mind that may make you aware of the position we are in, and the huge possibilities that are available to us.

The ability we have to overcome the common conditions prevalent in the world such as depression, anxiety, lack of energy and vitality, among many other similar psychology issues is contained within us. Getting a prescription from the doctor to medicate these conditions is like trying to save a sinking ship with a plaster, it will not have any effect on the outcome. What is required is a change of perspective, a shift of perception towards a new way of thinking.

If we concentrate only on materiality and its consumption, and place our loci of self in our possessions, things, and technology, there is little hope for lasting happiness through these means. If a new car or television or item of clothing makes us happy, this is fine. But what if your new car gets scratched, or the television breaks, or the item of clothing is torn or has something spilled on it which stains it? Will we be happy for long?

Aristotle speaks about the ultimate purpose of human existence in his epic work ‘The Nichomachean Ethics’. It is clear form the above that material possessions are unable to bring with them any sort of lasting happiness. Even relationships are prone to fluctuate between joy and suffering. All of these things are attempts at obtaining happiness, while true happiness is always an end in itself.

Happiness, peace, satisfaction, contentment can come about only from within, if they are to be of a lasting nature. I share this post only to make you aware that this is what I believe to be the case, and through my experience of ‘messages’ of this nature, can vouch for their validity. Its now over to you.

Do you ascribe to a spiritual path or discipline that has helped you?

Have you had any experiences connected with what I have said above?

Would you like to have lasting peace and happiness regardless of life circumstances you are experiencing?

Do you disagree with the above and feel that this state is impossible?

Please share any thoughts or feelings here in the comment section, and if you enjoyed the article and feel it might benefit another, please share and spread the word.

 

 

 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity