Showing posts from November, 2015

Keep a room at the back of the shop

In the olden days, if you were a certain type, you could take your leave of society and retire to the country. There, you would contemplate existence, smoke your pipe and write essays on solitude - like Montaigne, who came up with the title for this post. As an aside, I wonder where these people are now - these archetypal ageing philosophers. Anyway, perhaps there's a career option for me in there somewhere...

Back to the post. Montaigne is an interesting fellow and even more interesting is his essay "on solitude". I would recommend reading it all but the gist of this post is that you need not retire wholly from society in order to be free of its vicissitudes and small mindedness - all you need do is reserve a part of your mind that is free from such things - keep a room at the back of the shop. Now, interestingly this "room at the back of the shop" corresponds with the idea that if you rest in awareness then you need not be affected by what happens in the worl…

Update to postive mind training helper app

I've updated my early stage mind training app. There are lots of apps out there that do a similar kind of thing but mine is going to be awesome - mainly because it is underpinned with 10+ years of practical mind training - no textbook regurgitation, all direct from the source. Also, it contains original art work - none of that hackneyed stuff, although you'll notice that I've used a lens flare thingy in the logo... but with a splendid blue monkey.

Visit the app on google play

Anyway, in this update I've added some meditation instructions and some explanations of the harder to understand phrases. More updates to come ...

Micro judgements

The group mind is a curious thing - it's what you might call society. I once read an interesting zen book called "from the zen kitchen to enlightenment" by Dogen and Uchiyama - there's an interesting chapter in there which touches on this concept - that is to say, the way we communicate with each through speech and how this creates the illusion of group mentality. Have I lost you already....? I haven't even started yet...

Here's a simpler attempt:
- We talk to each other - Generally, it is easier to get along so we conform with each other rather than argue - This creates a group mentality - It's a helpful contrivance. We get along, we chat. - Here's what I noticed. I mix in wildly different groups of people and the norms in each group are subtly different - they have different beliefs. These beliefs creep out in the form of micro judgements - little comments or phrases or opinions. - These micro judgements effect the opinion I have of myself. - This o…

Chronic fatigue - my top 5 supplements

Well, I've tried a lot of things in my time. I think it's good to keep trying new things - it gives you a sense of empowerment. Here are the ones that had the most positive effect on me:

1) Fish oil - I use one with vitamin D. Not sure if it's the oil or the vitamin D, but there was a slight easing of symptoms. Nowadays I can take it or leave it, but the doctors seem to have a fixation with vitamin D and fatigue so I keep on popping them in.

2) Acidopholus - without doubt the supplement that had an instant effect. One of the things with my condition over the years has been problems with my gut - several million lactobacillus definitely help.

3) A vegetable smoothie every day. I've posted various recipes on this blog but beetroot, cucumber, celery, spinach and carrot seem to be the staple ingredients (topped up with some fruit juice and various berries (apparently blackcurrants are the best, followed by raspberries)). Many times I've woken up like a corpse and one o…

Become a super coper

We want life to be easy but it will throw up plenty of challenges. You might think there is a limit to what you can take but, in reality, you can take a hell of a lot more than you think you can. You probably don't know what I'm talking about if you've never been there but, when you do get there, you take take even more. Don't give up. We are super resilient!

Anyway, I don't want to go back there but if you are there then you are a hero - you are a super coper. It takes guts but we've got loads of those (apparently).

Interesting article about relaxation

Here's an interesting article that sheds some light on the history of relaxation techniques:

The man who invented relaxation
I'm a firm believer in both camps:
- relaxing the body relaxes the mind - training the mind (visualisation, mantra) leads to relaxation
They both lead to the same place, although you could have a hearty debate about the different mental factors present (if you knew anyone to debate such things with). Ah, it doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it. Go for the chilled out, super relaxed, happy, calm person who's hiding in your heart and enjoy it all.