Category Archives: The Mind

The Retreat – Part Two – Why Go?

A popular Zen saying tells us: “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless your too busy, then you should sit for an hour.”

In this episode I speak about the different levels of retreat. For the mind, body and soul.

By retreating from the world we can rest and recharge, gain clarity of mind, focus on whats important, develop a plan for the future and much else besides.

Please let me know if you intend to go on retreat this year, or if you have been on one recently.

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Filed under Buddhism, Harmonious Development, positivity, The Mind, Vlogs, Zen

The Retreat – Part One – Brook Meadow Farm

!!NEW VLOG!!

The Retreat – Part One – Brook Meadow Farm.

In this episode I speak about the location of my retreat, it’s setting and facilities, and the experience you are sure to have by going to stay there.

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The Retreat – Prologue

This episode is a prologue to a series of four episodes about a retreat I recently went on.

For some it would be considered a retreat, whereas for others it would be seen as a short prison sentence. How do you see it?

A retreat is the act of withdrawing. A time away from the world and the rat race. A time away from technology.

Stay tuned for the coming episodes in which I will cover; location, why you would go, what I got up to, and the return to life.

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Hafiz or Guardian

There is a term in Arabic: Hafiz, and it’s meaning is that of guardian or memoriser. It is a term used by Muslims for someone who has completely memorised the Qur’an.

The Qur’an is divided into 114 Surahs (chapters), containing 6,236 verses (comprising some 80,000 words or 330,000 individual characters). This process generally takes between 3 and 6 years part-time together with schooling.

There are many Hafiz all over the globe. Those noble among us who spend their time focussing on and memorising the Holy Scriptures.

We now have a specific list of the Worlds various lineages and their works. And we have all of the worlds Scripture to draw from.

Where would you begin? The Qur’an, The Gospels, Psalms, Phaedo, Bhagavad Gita? The list is endless. We can’t memorise them all, but it is clear that we can certainly memorise one. Where would you start?

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Filed under Buddhism, Gurdjieff, Language, Pythagoras, The Mind, Words

On Negativity

It isn’t easy to avoid being miserable and remain upbeat when the weather is cold and wet, and miserable! This is an impromptu episode on Negativity. If today is a miserable day for you, then you have to watch it. How to get warm and dry, and overcome the negativity!

Like and subscribe, and share how you like to keep warm and dry on wet and windy (miserable) days.

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Gaining Control

If you want something you will find a way, if you don’t, you will find an excuse. In overcoming any habit there is one important question for us to consider. This is the factor of how much we want to change our lives?

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Hello and welcome to Fragments of Fragments with me, Lewis Kirk.

This is a follow up to the last Vlog I did about Whos in Control? regarding our relationships to our smartphones. If you have not seen this, I would recommend that you go and watch that first, as it will give you better context when watching this episode.

Many of you have contacted me regarding habits that you would like to change. And specifically regarding the last Vlog some of you commented on how our relationships to our smart phones can be out of our control. This episode will be about re-gaining control over this relationship in particular, but will generally cover any habit that we wish to overcome.

In overcoming any habit there is one important question for us to consider. This is the factor of how much we want to change our lives? Do you desire a change in your behavior more than what you get in benefit from that behavior?  Why are you doing this?

We need to ask ourselves what is important to us. What do you we want in life? In the near and distant future. We might want to spend less time on our smartphones, to eat a more balanced and healthy diet, to overcome some unwanted habit. If this is really important to us, then we will overcome it with ease, but if not, then we are in for a struggle. By paying attention to our actions during the day, it will become very clear what is important for us. If we want to spend less time on our smart phones but still find ourselves regularly checking our social media feed, then it is clearly not that important to us. If we want to get into shape, but cant resist the offer of a cake or doughnut, then getting into shape cant be important to us.

If the desire for change is strong and powerful within us, nothing can get in our way. Compare this to a weak or unclear intention, and we will have a much harder time making progress. If you want something you will find a way, if you don’t, you will find an excuse.

We need to make conscious choices. What I mean by this is to know the reason behind the things we do. Regarding our phones. Wanting to research something on Wikipedia and making some notes is a very beneficial way of using this technology. Learning a language on the Duolingo app is a good use of a few spare minutes. But procrastinating over a project that we need to finish by scrolling through our Facebook news feed is not a good use of our time. We need to take control of our decisions and choices, and not just open our social media apps for the sake of it. Have control over how you spend your time. And if it is difficult, then work towards gaining control.

Set a time during the day for checking social media, be strict with that choice, there is no need to check in every hour hoping for a dopamine high. If that’s what your looking for take up skydiving or some other extreme sport.

To elaborate on this, speaking specifically about overcoming the time wasted on our phones here is an exercise you can try. You can put your phone down and not check it for 10 minutes right? At least I hope you can! How about 30 minutes? How about an hour? Can’t do an hour, OK then, try and build up to an hour, all the time remembering the reason you are doing this. This is very important as I mentioned earlier. If the reason is not clear and strong, it will be easy to fall back in to the old habit. If you know why you are doing this, then it will be easier to control yourself around your smartphone.

If you have any further questions that I did not cover here, don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask. I might not do another Vlog to answer, but I can answer in the comments or via a message if that’s better for you.

Please like and subscribe to the channel, and if you found this helpful then please share it with others who might also benefit. Thanks for watching.

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Who’s in Control?

In this new episode I discuss how we can be more productive with our time in the midst of our smartphones and social media. I also talk about Nomophobia, which is the fear of being away from our smartphones, and the dopamine and serotonin hit we receive from our social media through our smart phones.

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Who is in control? You or your phone? Do you control your activity on your social media, or do your social media accounts control you?

A survey found that 3 out of 5 of us cant go more than an hour without checking our phones. Smart phone addiction is a real thing, Nomophobia, which literally means the fear of being away from your phone.

Who wears the trousers in your relationship? What I mean by this, is whether there is a space, a gap, between you receiving a notification on your smart phone, and the checking of that notification. Deeper than this. Do you control or limit your time spent on social media? Or have you, like most of us, been getting ready to go to bed when a WhatsApp group or Facebook thread gets really interesting and you keep telling yourself I should really go to sleep now, but it is several hours before that actually happens

We have all seen a scene like the featured image of the blog. Whether it be on a packed tube carriage where everyone is staring at their phones, or that table at a restaurant where there is no conversation as all present are engaged in whatever is happening on their smartphone screen.

Every minute spent unproductively on our phones is time spent missing out on real life experiences and interactions. When we are active in the world, we should be fully in the world. This is not possible if we have our device taking all of our attention away from what surrounds us.

What caused me to think about this in more depth is the grasp social media can have on a person. Since beginning this Vlog I have had more likes and comments to look at, as well as the YouTube and Blog analytics that show you how many views you have had, what has been viewed, where in the world the viewer was. etc etc. Now, it didn’t take me long to realise that this interest in all of this data could very well have a detrimental impact on my life, and so I needed to come up with a method of staying on top of the comments and analytics, without letting them get on top of me. Just like any drug, in the beginning it feels nice and can give you a little high, then before you know it, your addicted to that high and need it to feel balanced.

Feed-back that others like, admire and love us are central to our well being, and I know this all too clearly by starting this Vlog and needing the feedback and reassurance to indicate that I was doing OK. There have been several scientific studies that suggest our brains require the positive evaluation of others. The brain gets a hit of dopamine and serotonin everytime we recieve a like or comment on our social media. These are the chemicals linked to happiness. When our phones beep, this activates the same chemicals the give drug users their high.

Why do you think people are more comfortable on Facebook whilst on the tube, rather than looking around the carriage and trying to make friends? Because there is the element of rejection when trying to form relationships out in the real world. Someone could blank us, or give us that look, or tell us to go away. Its much safer on Facebook.

Evolution has built us to desire and work to secure positive social regard. Millions of people post to Facebook and Twitter every day, in the hopes that something of interest to them will be of interest to others as well. This is the very reason I am creating content for this Vlog, hoping that we might share a common interest and that it could be valuable for both of us.

Here are a few signs that your spending too much time on your smart phone:

  1. You look at your phone while your talking to someone.
  2. The first thing you do when you get somewhere is charge your phone.
  3. You fall asleep holding onto your phone.
  4. The first thing you do in the morning is check your phone.
  5. You feel anxious when your phone is not with you.

From everything said, I am doing my best to limit my time spent on my social media and checking the Vlogs analytical data. This is not to say I am succeeding, that hit of dopamine and serotonin can be very powerful. But the airplane mode on the phone is very helpful if you want to get productive, and I try and maintain the rule of not having my phone with me while I am with my children.

Please share on the various platforms anything that helps you to be in the world rather than lost in your iPhone screen, and if you think someone needs to hear this, pass it along to them, so they can benefit.

Like, subscribe and share. Thanks for watching. See you next time.

 

 

 

 

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