Category Archives: The Mind

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

Life & Mind


The Buddha says;

“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.”

This is the essence of the Buddha Dharma, and the theme of the Dhammapada. If we can gain control of our thinking process, we have the ability to re-shape our whole character and personality. We can re-make ourselves. 

Destructive and negative ways of thinking can be rechanneled, constructive channels can be deepened, all through right effort, introspection and meditation. “As irrigators lead water to their fields, as archers make their arrows straight, as carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their lives.” 

Our personality can be divided into 5 distinct parts or skandhas according to Buddhist philosophy. These parts are; form (rupa), sensation or feeling (vedana), perception (samjna), the forces, habits and impulses of the mind (samskara), and consciousness (vijnana). The Buddha tells us that birth is the coming together of these skandhas, and death is their breaking apart. 

If this idea was better understood, the truth that what we think will shape our reality, our experience of life on the planet would be very different. There is an Indian folk story about two princes, one high-minded and generous, the other very selfish. They were both sent to foreign lands and asked to tell what kind of people they found there. The first reported that he found people basically good at heart, not very different from those at home. The second man felt envious hearing this, for in the place he visited everyone was selfish, scheming and cruel. Both, of course were describing the same land.

This story only goes to prove and strengthen the truth behind the initial quote; “our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.”  To follow on from this it is clear that If we begin to make changes within ourselves, we will by doing so, change the world and how we experience it. 

Little by little we must begin to make changes in our lives. The image we should have is of a bucket filling with water, it does so drop by drop, slowly and consistently until the bucket is full. Many of us want the bucket to fill much quicker than is possible. When the bucket doesn’t fill and we don’t see any changes after a week or two, we give up. If only we could be aware of all of the drops that we have accumulated during those two weeks, would we be so quick to lose hope? 

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Filed under Buddhism, Harmonious Development, The Mind

Zen

The word Zen comes from the Chinese word ch’an-na, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit word dhyana. Dhyana refers to collectiveness of mind or meditative absorption in which all dualistic distinctions like I/you, subject/object, true/false are eliminated. Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in China in the 6th and 7th centuries from the meeting of Dhyana Buddhism (which was brought to China by Bodhidharma) and Taoism. 

In this sense, Zen was a religion and its teachings and practices were directed towards self-realisation (kensho, satori) and lead finally to complete awakening (enlightenment). Zen teaches the practice of zazen, sitting in meditative absorption as the shortest, but also steepest way to awakeneing. 

Zen stresses the prime importance of reaching enlightenment through the means of zazen and raising awareness. It sees as useless the acts of ritual religious practices and intellectual analysis of doctrines for the attainment of liberation.  

I am sharing this information as Zen is a very popular spiritual practice which can be used alongside any religion or belief system. If you click on the ‘Zen’ tab at the bottom of the screen you will see many other posts related to Zen. 

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Filed under The Mind, Zen

Free-Will & Imagination

Free-will and imagination are two very powerful tools that very few people train and utilise in their lives. These are the keys, (as well as hard work) that will bring everything that you have dreamed into your life. 

One of the most popular spiritual maxims in recent years is free-will. The concept that we have the right to choose what we will think. You can, and MUST choose how you will think! What’s the alternative? Let your mind run here and there wherever it likes, most often to dwell in some negative corner imagining over and over how bad things will likely work out. 

So, from the above example it is clear that we will be far better off if we can gain more control over our mind and thoughts. Pay attention to any recurring negative thoughts. Be wary of who you spend time with and if they complain endlessly. These things will develop thought patterns that are difficult to remedy. 

Similar to free-will but very different at the same time is imagination. Together, as I said above, you can change your life with these tools. Free-will gives you the freedom and choice to choose what you will imagine, and your imagination is the process of thinking about, or visualising if you have a visually active mind, what it is you would like to experience. 

An example of the power that imagination holds; An athlete was hooked up to a machine that measures physical, mental and emotional activity. The athlete, a sprinter, was instructed to imagine in vivid detail their speacalist race, the 200m. What was interesting to behold during the experiment was that by simply vividly imagining the activity of running a race, the same nerves and muscles we firing which would have if they had actually be running! This brings us to a sub-point regarding imagination. The more vivid and real you can imagine, the easier it will be for this process to work for you. 

To conclude what has been said. By bringing these thought processes together and combining their power, you can affirm again and again what you would like to bring into your life. Just think of what you would like in your life, then imagine yourself; doing, having, meeting, experiencing, enjoying, gaining, losing, whatever it is you want. If you use these tools, as well as actively seeking out and working towards them in physical reality, I am confident that it will not be long before you experience what it is that you initially imagined. 

If you have any previous experience with using your imagination and free-will for affirmation, please share your experience in the comments below. Alternatively, if you have decided that you would like to make a positive change in your life, and will do it with the help of affirmation, let us know. 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity, The Mind

A Fresh Start

Does your past hold a firm grip on your current situation? Does it influence your choices and actions day after day, never allowing you to make positive changes? There is a choice you can make right now, which will then take you down a diametrically opposite path to the one you have been travelling. Understand, confront and overcome the influence your past has on your mind, or continue living how you always have done! 

Often times we project ourselves back into the past when we remember things we have done, mistakes we made, options we chose. This is a falsehood. ‘You’ only exist in this present moment. You did not exist back then. Everything you have experienced, encountered, felt and seen has made you who you are today. You, as you know yourself, exist as a consequence of everything you have done up to this point. Now this may be good, or it may be bad, depending on the impressions you have received in your life. 

Luckily. None of this matters now! 

The past is history, the future is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it’s called the present. 

– Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You don’t get angry at a flower for needing to be a bud first, or a bud for needing to be a stem, or a stem a plant, or a plant a seed, prior to what it became. So you also need to forgive yourself for the perfectly reasonable need for time and transformation.

We all need to experience what we have done up to this point, and this has made us who we are today. But who we want to be tomorrow, or next month, or next year, will not manifest unless we do something different right now. Unless we get out of our comfort zone and push ourselves in the direction we want life to take us. It may be difficult, I am not disputing that, but it will be worth it! This I promise you. 

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Black Friday

Black Friday is a term which the media has created. It is ‘a day of bargains on the busiest shopping day of the year.’ Huge sales, massive discounts, hurry, deals, will end monday. All this language has a huge influence on those receiving it. Just check out the news story’s that were delivered yesterday and you will clearly see how people become effected and influenced by the media and consumerism.

George Gurdjieff says that; ‘Man is a machine and is completely controlled by external influences. All the people you see, all the people you know, all the people you may get to know, are machines, actual machines working solely under the power of external influences.’ Any of you who have seen any ‘Black Friday’ footage will be able to verify instantly that those individuals who partook of the retail madness were completely under some external influence, that being the media and the giant corporations who want their money.

The above paragraph may seem cynical and pessimistic but I assure you it’s not. Black Friday is an extreme example, a clear indication of what control the media has over those who allow it. I have spoken before about this and many are trying to help people see whats happening in the world today.

So where do we fit into all this? If you waited for a shop to open because of the huge sales, rushed in to grab something that you don’t really need and assaulted someone who tried to grab your stuff. Then you are under the influence of the media and Black Friday. If you have heard before that individuals are influenced by the world around them, by people, by planets and stars and many other variables then you are aware of the situation.

KNOW THYSELF is one of the simplest pieces of spiritual advice one can receive. If you don’t know that you are under the influence of the world around you then how can you do anything to remedy it. If you watch adverts on T.V and find yourself half dazed walking to the shop and buying something you don’t need, then you will struggle to do anything about it. But if after reading this you observe what happens if you watch a news programme with death and destruction on it. If you pay attention to how you feel after an advert inadvertently telling you that your not good enough because you don’t own their product, you will see what influence these impressions have on you.

One of Gurdjieff’s followers asks a very important questions in regards this subject, and one we can all learn from, especially someone who punched their fellow man for a cheap television:

‘Can a man stop being a machine?’ Gurdjieff’s response sheds a stunning light on our current situation.

‘It is possible to stop being a machine, but for that it is necessary first of all to know the machine. A machine, a real machine, does not know itself and cannot know itself. When a machine knows itself it is then no longer a machine, at least, not so much a machine as it was before. It already begins to be responsible for its actions.’

I would appreciate any comments you might have on this subject. Post them here on WordPress or alternatively on my Facebook page. Even if you disagree with the above or have some criticism I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Filed under Gurdjieff, Harmonious Development, Language, The Mind, Words

Your Brain

The brain is pretty awesome, you have to admit!

“There are approximately 100 billion nerve cells in the brain; and each of these communicates with the others through connections called synapses. The total number of possible connections is 25,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, Dr Herbert Benson estimates.

Put another way, if you made a stack of sheets of standard A4 paper, with one sheet for each neuron connection, the resulting pile of paper would be approximately 16 billion light years high- stretching beyond the limits of the known universe.

Therefore, the brains potential for forming new pathways- and thus new habits of thought and behaviour- seems to be practically unlimited.”

Use the inherent power of you mind wisely. Positive thinking cannot be ‘undermined’!

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