Showing posts from December, 2013

Smiling feels good

Smiling feels good. Laughing feels even better. We might wonder why and we can even analyse all the muscular movements and associated pleasantness that comes with a smile, but sometimes there is just stuff that feels good and this is what we can learn to recognise. Life has a degree of pleasantness built in and a smile takes us right there. Smile now and see what happens...

You are not a machine

It's easy in this world to treat ourselves badly - we work too hard, we exercise hard, we tear strips of ourselves for the tiniest mistake. There are complex reasons why we do these kind of things but let's not get tied up in knots trying to figure out why we are like this or that. We are not machines - we need to take care of ourselves in some way. Once we lose this connection with taking care of ourselves then we become lost in these other behaviours. 
Are you taking care of yourself right now? Do you even know what that is? 
Perhaps you think you don't deserve it. What kind of thought is that? Who doesn't deserve a little comfort and care in this world?

What the mind looks like

Obviously, I've taken some artistic interpretation here but you get the idea. The mind is a pulsing flux of activity. The constructs we put on that flux becomes us and we take this as something real. If you relax far enough you experience something called the default network - the mind just ticking over. Spend long enough here and you will see ideas emerge from the chaos like ghosts and suddenly you are you again. Where were you when you were not there? 
These are all mind bending ideas. The best thing about experiencing the mind as a flux is that it is very relaxing and refreshing. It can lead us deeper but that's for another time. It could mean something but that is for others to debate.

Maintain an infinite gaze

The mind and body are wound together like the wind and the ocean. You might like to spend a few moments exploring what happens to your body when you are lost in thought - my body constricts all over the place. Another thing that happens is that the visible field disappears  - we go into a thought world that hijacks the process of seeing. A fairly reliable measure of how stressed you are is to see how long you can maintain your vision on an object - if we are stressed then we lose focus fairly quickly.
So then, here's the trick. If we practice staring at an object and relaxing our gaze into infinity then we are inhibiting the wandering mind - perhaps this is why zen monks encourage this practice. Once we aware of the relaxing power of gazing into space, then we can apply the technique through out the day to calm ourselves down. Then, if we are especially practiced, we can couple gazing with our breathing and create an even more powerful relaxation experience for ourselves. If we the…