How to Save the World

“When we understand the true nature of things, we will see that our world is like a dream, and that everything exists as a mere appearance to mind. We will realize that we can change our world simply by changing our mind, and that if we wish to be free from suffering, all we need to do is purify our mind. Having purified our own mind, we will then be in a position to fulfill our compassionate wish by showing others how to do the same.”

Transform Your Life pg 188
By Geshe Kelsang

Photo  CC0 Public Domain

 

 

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Program Your Mind

Program Your Mind

Here’s the bad news: As a human, you are a programmable computer. Here’s the good news: As a human, you are a programmable computer. Let me explain.

First a quick review of computers. Computers are basically machines with hardware and software. The hardware is everything physical, such as electric circuits, the electricity flowing through the circuits, microchips, etc. The software is the non-physical component, including the programs and software you use for work, games, etc. The hardware is pretty much fixed, but you can alter the software by changing the commands (code) which run the program.

Now for the humans, (minds and bodies specifically). We are basically the same, but our hardware is biological (brain and nerve cells), with the exception of electricity flowing in our nervous system. What is our software, or programming? The mind! In other words, our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, perceptions etc. And just like we can change the code in a software program and get a different experience when using the software, we can also change the programming of our mind and have a different experience in life.

This can be bad news because if you have bad programming (negative thoughts and beliefs), then you will be having bad experiences. Also, if your thoughts and beliefs have come from others who are trying to control you, then your experiences will be dictated by them.

However, this can also be great good news when you fully realize that simply by changing your programming for the better (positive thoughts and beliefs in your mind), your experience in life will be enjoyable.

So here’s the nitty-gritty. How do we actually go about reprogramming our mind? If we understand the process of how the mind creates experiences, then we can change a part of that process in order to alter our experiences.

Here’s how the process works:

1.) The mind creates a thought
2.) The thought is believed to be true
3.) The corresponding feeling is experienced

Pretty simple, right?

Here’s an example:
You’re going to a party, and when you walk in the door all of a sudden you feel nervous. What happened here? It seems as though the nervous feeling arose out of nowhere. But actually the three-step process mentioned above was happening, although very quickly. If you slowed down your mind at the moment you walked in the door, you would see something like this:

1.) A thought such as, “Oh no, look at all those people!” This is basically the same as thinking, “These people are scary, I might get hurt somehow if I talk with them.”
2.) You believe this thought to be true. These people REALLY ARE scary, and you REALLY might get hurt by talking to them.
3.) Your mind creates a fearful feeling based on this belief, and you have a fearful, nervous experience.

Once you understand this process and see it happening in your own experience, then you can change it by altering either step one or step two. You could alter step one by changing your thought (instead of, “Oh no, look at all of those people!” you can think, “Awesome, look at all of these cool friendly people I get to hang out with!”). Or you could alter step two by recognizing that your negative thought is simply a thought, and choose not to believe it.

For some people this reprogramming can work very well once they’ve clearly seen how the mind is literally creating their experiences by this three-step process. However, many people often have trouble with altering their negative thoughts and/or beliefs, often because they are very ingrained or they are believed very strongly. If this is the case with you, don’t worry. There is a method that is very powerful for uprooting even the most deeply entrenched negative thought patterns and beliefs. The method is called Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT for short. It is an aspect of the new developing field called Energy Psychology.

In a nutshell, EFT applies the technique of fully expressing your subconscious negative thoughts and feelings in conjunction with tapping various energy points on your body (mostly the head and torso area). This powerful combination of psychological and energetic methods allows you to quickly and easily release the negative programming from your subconscious mind. As a result, you are freed from negative thoughts and beliefs, which in turn frees you from negative feelings and experiences.

It’s really just that simple. Acknowledge your negative thought and belief pattern, allow it to be felt while at the same time tapping the energy points on your body, and experience the joy and freedom of having it released from your system. In other words, you become the programmer of your own mind! I’ve used EFT for many different aspects of my life, and I can tell you that it definitely works.

What I’ve explained is the basic process, but to really use EFT effectively you either need to get a good book on the subject or work with a practitioner who is trained in the technique. A quick Google search can help you with either one, but here are some recommendations:

The Promise of Energy Psychology: Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change, by David Feinstein, Donna Eden, and Gary Craig

Improve Your Eyesight with EFT by Carol Look

The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner

Tapping Into Wellness by Kathilyn Solomon

Happy programming!

©2016 by Awakening Wisdom Light

Photo CCO public domain

Is thinking Really Necessary?

Thinking is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. It’s the one thing that is everywhere, yet nobody seems to truly notice or talk about it. In fact, it is so pervasive and all-consuming, we don’t even realize that it’s happening. We just feel like it’s part of our reality. We are usually thinking nonstop, even when we don’t need to be. But ask yourself:
Is thinking really necessary in order to take a drink of water? To walk across the room? To put away the groceries? Or can it happen completely naturally and spontaneously, without the need for any thoughts? Do you actually need to think, “OK arm, move to that class. Good. Now lift the glass to my mouth. Good. Now drink the water, swallow.” Of course not. But what’s usually happening while we do something simple like drink water is we’re thinking of something (usually a lot of somethings) that have absolutely nothing to do with drinking water!

Try doing an experiment: Do something simple like reaching for a glass of water and taking a drink. See whether or not it is possible to do it without needing to use thinking. Go ahead. Reach for the glass of water, take a sip, and put it down. What did you notice? You may have found that it’s entirely possible to do something like taking a drink of water without thinking a single thought! Your arm just moves to the water, puts the glass to your mouth, drinks it, and puts it back on the table. It just happens, you don’t need to think about it to do it.

And this is the same for many other actions as well. Putting away groceries, taking a shower, making dinner. Instead of thinking, you can simply perform the actions while noticing what you see, hear, feel, etc. In other words, you just focus on your senses, leaving your mind and thinking completely out of the picture.

If you do this, life changes into a miracle, because you suddenly become aware of all these things that you didn’t even know were happening! The sound of the bags wrestling as you put away the groceries, the sound of your footsteps as you walk to the living room, all of the thousands of colors and textures of the various objects you see in your room, various sensations in your body, etc. A deep sense of peace and quiet starts to become apparent, no matter what you’re doing.

It also becomes like watching a movie, where the self you thought that you were is just a character, and everything that is happening is just scenes from a movie. You’re just a present awareness witnessing it all happen.

If you encounter any fear when doing this practice, it’s only because you’ve been used to living in your thoughts, and now you’re starting to live somewhere else, in your senses. It’s the same as if you were moving to a new place you’ve never been to before, and you were apprehensive because you were so used to your old home and way of life. But soon enough, you get used to it and your new home becomes normal. It’s the same with letting go of your thoughts. Just give yourself some time, and let it be gradual.

So is thinking really necessary at all? Just for a few things. Math, talking, deciding what to eat for dinner, etc. But as soon as you’re done using your thoughts for the purpose that they are actually needed, you can simply put down your mind, just like putting down a tool when you’re done using it. Because that’s what the mind is – a tool to be used by you. But if you’re thinking the other 98% of the time when it’s not necessary, then you become the tool.

Don’t be a tool, be free.

©2016 by Awakening Wisdom Light

Photo©2014 by ChristoMichelpher

CC BY 2.0

Consciousness is Beautiful

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, which is true. People find beauty in music, nature, a person, fashion, an idea, and many other things. But there is always one commonality among people, even if they are experiencing different objects as beautiful. They are all having an enjoyable experience. One may find beauty in the sound of a waterfall and the clear blue waters of the sea, while another absolutely loves the designs of human made structures like houses and buildings. Someone may enjoy the simplicity of taking a walk in the woods, while another can’t get enough of the technical intricacies of a semiconductor. But either way, each person who perceives beauty is also experiencing enjoyment.

But what is it that actually makes the experience of beauty enjoyable? Why do we love gorgeous sunsets, tropical beaches, attractive people, beautiful music and poetry, and all the rest? Whenever you see something beautiful, there is something magical happening. Many people are likely to miss it, but if you pay attention you will see. Whenever you have an experience of beauty, you are actually getting a sneak peak at consciousness.

This is because beauty is not something tangible, something with form. Beauty is formless, just like consciousness. Beauty itself IS consciousness. When you recognize the beauty of something, you are actually recognizing consciousness-both in yourself and in the object. Usually we misperceive the beauty as belonging to the object (beautiful mountain, attractive person, lovely music, etc.), but actually the beauty belongs to the consciousness itself.

In fact it is one of the most wonderful aspects of consciousness. It’s one of the reasons why if you have the good fortune to meet a spiritually realized person, you notice that they are happy all of the time. Since they have had such a deep realization of consciousness, they experience beauty no matter where they are or what is happening. Imagine what it would be like to experience continuous joy, as if every moment were like listening to a beautiful piece of music or taking a walk in the most gorgeous places on earth. Imagine if every time you saw someone, no matter who they were, you perceived them as being incredibly beautiful and attractive. What an amazing life!

Try an experiment to get a taste of what this can be like. Throughout the day be on the look out for anything that appears beautiful to you. When you do, take the time to stop, be quiet, and notice the beauty. Try and be aware of the beauty itself. Not so much the form that seems beautiful, but the actual experience of beauty that is happening along with the form. If you do this, you’ll notice that your mind starts to become quiet, calm, and peaceful. Gradually the beautiful object will not seem as important as before, because you will experience the inner beauty of your own consciousness. In other words, you come to rest in the beauty itself.

This is the way consciousness is beckoning to you, trying to draw you in. It is using beauty to try and call you back to your true home. Will you answer the call?