Showing posts from December, 2012

See what thoughts are made of

This is quite an interesting line of inquiry (if you are interested in such things). Once you glimpse the creation of thoughts then you begin to wonder about the nature of many things. Things that were once important seem somehow not so important, because, well, they are just thoughts.

One way to explore thoughts is to use that old favourite question: who am I? Just sit there, and ponder this question. Use your mind's eye to see what is going on in the mind. When something arises, look into it and ask: who am I? Keep going, many others have done before.

Spirulina smoothie

I've been given a few different health supplements for Christmas, one of which is spirulina powder. I'll be adding it to my breakfast smoothies for the next couple of weeks to see if it has any effect. Just had one now and it's certainly an acquired taste, but as with all these things it's just a question of getting used to it.

I'll be mainly using an orange, carrot, tomato and cucumber base. Perhaps with any left over grapes I can find.

Spinach, tomato, grape and beetroot smoothie

It's taken me a while to pluck up the courage to put spinach into smoothie machine, but I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Here's the ingredients I used:

Small handful of baby spinach leaves
5 cherry tomatoes
10 grapes
1 medium beetroot, precooked
enough orange juice to make it nice

I quite like it but my son seemed a bit more circumspect. Anyway, there's something special about eating spinach - seems to be quite energizing for me.

Another doodle without meaning

Following on from my last picture, here is another one. This one didn't take very long and perhaps you can tell the difference. Unlike the last one, there is some manipulation of space going on, albeit very basic. This may lead to an aesthetic perception that there is something happening - perhaps the mind is trying to categorise the image in some way, attribute some meaning. Perhaps nothing happens in your mind, a dismissal of the whole idea - a stripe is just a stripe after all. Perhaps you become aware that this picture is not as silent as the last one. Perhaps.

An empty doodle

This took longer than you would expect - in fact quite a long time indeed. There is something about emptiness in pictures and music - it is the gaps between objects that makes them special, the silence between notes. So with that in mind, enjoy this picture with nothing much in it to get in the way.

Enjoy silence

You could probably write a whole book about silence but I'll stick to one particular aspect in this post. Our minds are exrtemely flexible and malleable things. They are easily influenced and shaped by what they are exposed to. Give them chaos and they become chaotic, give them silence and they become tranquil. Think of it like a lake or river - on a still day it becomes placid, glass-like, on a breezy day it becomes rippled, and on a stormy day it turns into a frothing lather. The lake responds to the conditions of the weather. If you want to think about this more deeply, you could say that there is no separation between the lake and the conditions surrounding the lake - they are part of the same system.

In a similar way, our minds and the things we experience are intertwined. What we think is part of the wider system of what is going on. So, with that in mind, find a nice quiet place and focus your senses towards silence. Notice what happens, and then enjoy what happens. Feel th…

The science of body awareness

I've been getting into body awareness this month and it's quite an illuminating thing to do. Scientists also study the self awareness of body and it's called the proprioceptive self. Although we receive sense contact from the body continuously, we are habituated to it and we only tend to pay attention when things go wrong - trouble is, we are not really taught what to do when things are not functioning as they should. This leads us into the denial, anger, resignation, acceptance model of dealing with things. We might ask ourselves, how do I react when something goes wrong in my life? This will give us a clue into how we react when our bodies give us difficulties. Anyway, I digress.

The proprioceptive self is something that is used by our minds to make sense of our bodies. This can be tricked - there is a thing called the Pinocchio effect where our noses seem to grow, or we can be tricked into believing a plastic hand is our own hand, or we can eat a chilli and imagine our …

No body, no mind

Every month I like to have an overriding mantra to work with and this month it's "no body, no mind". Now this might sound like crazy talk, but it's a pointer on ways to go deep, even if I don't actually get there. It seems obvious that we have a body and a mind but the world is full of mirages and we might like to entertain the idea that this is one of them - think of a rainbow.

So then, how to see these things for ourselves. If we sit still for long enough, then the awareness of the body gradually disappears - the body vanishes. When this happens we have arrived somewhere interesting; namely that there is the physical body, and then there is the awareness of it - the mental impression of it. It's this mental impression that causes the body to vanish.

Now, we might go further and explore other mental impressions or perceptions that arise and pass away. If we sit with it long enough, then we might scare ourselves into the thought "that nothing is real&quo…