2 Simple Meditation Techniques to Practice Daily

This is an article I copied from someone’s blog. This article is a great example of how meditation is taught.

Meditation is an ancient technique, and its main purpose was to gain insight into life, into nature, into how the world works through going withing and upwards.

It wasn’t practiced to get healthy, to get exercise, to calm down, to deal with stress. The mindset that you want something and use meditation to get it firmly anchors you in the horizontal plane, where your wants and your likes and dislikes live.

Real meditation is to get you to the vertical plane, where your wants, likes and dislikes are just noise. Where you don’t need anything, because you live in the domain of being, the domain of Human Being.

That doesn’t mean you don’t do, and that doesn’t mean you don’t like or dislike. It only means: you don’t live through those likes and dislikes: you live through being, experiencing the likes and dislikes. No emotional attachment.

This is what I teach, and this is what is possible: a glorious way to live. Now, here is the “borrowed article” you wanted to read. Enjoy.

While it may be next to impossible to find a quiet place for meditation, a constant sense of tranquility is essential to recharge and relax our minds. What follows are simple meditation techniques that you can perform at your own convenience.

Try these two simple meditation techniques that you can do on your own, without the help of a professional or expert.

1. Vipassana: The Art of Conscious Breathing.

Considered the easiest meditation technique, Vipassana simply requires you to be ‘aware of your breathing’. This meditation technique traces its root to Gautama Buddha who follows the philosophy referred to as the “Golden Mean”. He believes that going extreme is not necessary, be it in terms of fasting or in prayer. Vipassana is the perfect type of meditation for the modern man because it can be done anywhere, at any time.

Breathing is among the most natural process in our body that we can easily be aware of. It is also considered to be the sacred link between our body and our soul.

In Vipassana, the rule is simple: just be aware of your breathing process. Do not control it, but feel your breath as the air enters your body and exits. (Vipassana should not be confused with ‘Pranayam’, a breathing exercise taught in yoga which controls breath movements.)

In meditating using the technique of Vipassana, you should simply ‘watch your breath’. Although you can do this anywhere, it is highly advised that you set a specific time and place to undergo this meditation daily.

2. Mantra Meditation: A Process of Positive Reinforcement.

Feeding our minds with optimistic thoughts does eventually lead to positive results. Mantras are words or phrases that you chant, act as the focal point for the meditation. It has been used as early as the time before the popularity and rise of Buddhism. It is considered to be an ancient meditation technique and is also among the most popular because it transcends time, culture and race.

The practice of mantra meditation requires you to repeat a sentence or a set of words. It should have a phonetic significance, something that’s easy to remember.

Similar to Vipassana Meditation, meditating using a mantra can be done anywhere, but it is best done as soon as you wake up. Prepare a set of words that you’ll recite, (out loud or to yourself), the moment you open your eyes. Listen to the sound of each word and internalize.

A good and steady practice of meditation will help you to improve your sense of being. By simply allotting a couple of minutes in your day to meditate, you will experience greater peace and connection to your life’s purpose, and gradually uncover your full human potential.

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Are You “Doing” Compassion Wrong? 5 Ways to Practice Advanced Compassion

This is an old article. On compassion.

I dare to disagree: compassion is not a feeling, compassion is not an emotion. It is a capacity.

It is a human capacity to recognize the other person as a person like you, recognize their state as a state you have seen or experienced, and, surprise, compassion is a willingness to help the person through the situation, inner or outer, to the other side, where they can be well.

The way most people relate to compassion, is more like pity. A superiority. A leaning down to another.

No recognition of the sameness, only the difference: I am better off, I am better, I am lucky.

Compassion is rather a partnership, albeit temporary. But that is, probably, too much to ask of today’s humans… you?

When you feel compassion for someone, how does it feel to you? Does it feel sad, scary, loving, or a mixture? Think about it before you read on. When was the last time you felt compassion? Who were you with? Who was it for? What was happening to them? What did you feel toward them?

Compassion has a different definition in Asia than it does in the U.S., and frankly, I like Asia’s take on it much better. The primary difference is that in the U.S., we can have compassion for others, but not normally toward ourselves. In Asia, the term compassion includes self-love and love for others. I think this is a critical distinction.

I like to define compassion differently than everyone else. Compassion is one of the highest emotions we can experience. It is 100% pure unselfish love. In my definition of compassion, there is no fear. There is no pity. There is no sadness. There is only positive love in the highest vibration. It helps others far more to project our highest positive emotion rather than to spread our negative emotions of fear, sadness, and pity.

And this takes practice to perfect.

In the U.S., we’re not even too used to “practicing” our emotions. They kind of just ooze out of us. Once we start practicing compassion, we can get really awesome at it. We might be lifting the 20 pounder at the beginning, but once we start exercising regularly, we can lift more and more. The benefit of practicing is that we feel more and more love each time. The feeling of love gets more intense, and that feels good.

Here are five steps to experience compassion more intensely than you ever have before.

  1. Focus on yourself. Center and ground yourself. If you feel afraid, deal with that first before projecting your emotions on others. Compassion is not a negative emotion. Sending compassion because you are having a self-pity party about “what if it happened to me” is not a good reason for sending compassion.
  2. Fill yourself with compassion first. Most of us need to work on this far more than we realize!

    If you need help being more intentional about your emotions, draw from the past: bring to mind a time when you felt tremendous strength, and re-live that emotion through savoring.

  3. Focus on the person you are sending compassion to. Make sure that in your mind, they are equal human beings to you in every way. This avoids bringing negativity into your compassion through pity or feeling sorry for the subject of your compassion.
  4. Send compassion to your recipient from a place of pure strength and love.
  5. Check to make sure your experience of compassion is purely positive, with no fear, no anger, no comparing, and no sadness.

    Revel in the fullness and strength of your compassion now compared to how you have sent it before.

Because emotions are contagious, practicing compassion grounded in pure positive emotional vibration will help your recipient far more than compassion generated out of fear. You will feel less drained as well. You may even feel rejuvenated.

Go through these steps a few times until you become used to this new way of practicing compassion. Not only will you feel amazing each time you practice, the world will benefit from your high vibration and positive energy.

When more of us come from a place of high positive emotions more often, the world will move from chaos to calm and from fear to love, one person at a time.

Yoga Teachers And The Yoga Alliance

Yoga is fashionable, it is an exercise for most. But yoga used to be a serious spiritual practice.

How and why? Yoga can give you superior control over your attention, over your body. Once you have control over what you can have control over, the next step is to recognize that you are neither your body, nor your thoughts, history, emotions, you are outside of all that: you are the Watcher. And you will recognize that the Watcher doesn’t participate in all the hubbub of the life… the Watcher observes it.

And that was the purpose of yoga, that has been completely dropped out.

But because context is decisive, without that context, none of the yoga practitioners can attain to that higher level of living, the living of a human being. Sad… but not irreversible.

Registering with the Yoga Alliance has many advantages for the yoga professional and offers more credibility to those who teach yoga. Their global registry acknowledges your training and knowledge and your ability as a yoga teacher. Being a member will also help when applying for a job, as being a member of the Yoga Alliance instills confidence and respect in your students. As a member of the Alliance, you will have achieved certain recognized standards, and those students who know of the Alliance respect its work and will seek out members as teachers. By using their designated registry marks – RYT or E-RYT after your name on business correspondence, business cards and advertising, your membership will be instantly recognizable.

The Alliance offers many networking opportunities, as the founders realize that in order to spread the word about the benefits of yoga, their members need to be able to communicate with others on a business level. The Yoga Alliance is very aware that those who run their own studios or those who are independent yoga teachers can become cut off from the main stream. Through their networking opportunities, yoga professionals can learn about opportunities for further education and interact with others on a professional level.

As many aspects of yoga are acknowledged by some in the medical community to help with weight loss, stress, high blood pressure and other medical conditions, having the designated registry mark RYT or E-RYT after your name, means you are more likely to be recommended by another health professional.

If you have a website you use for advertising purposes, those searching for a yoga teacher or studio in their area will also be more attracted to those with bona fide qualifications. By offering a link through to the Yoga Alliance website, the searcher will be given an in depth look at what the Alliance sets out to do, and be given salient information about the many benefits of practicing yoga themselves. It is a good selling point for those who have an established business and for those wishing to build clientele for a new yoga studio.

Registration fees with the Yoga Alliance are low, compared to the many benefits they offer. Schools that offer yoga teacher training can apply under a number of different programs within the Yoga Alliance, as long as a number of criteria are met by the school. The Alliance offers four basic programs: Children’s yoga, pre-natal yoga which is becoming a very popular choice for new mothers, plus either 200-hour or 500-hour certification and can take up to 90 days once the application is received.

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Little Known Ways to Stop Procrastinating Homework

The most important thing to know about procrastination is that it’s an avoidance tactic.

We all have it, it is a matter of degrees. Successful people, successful students avoid what they have to do, in this case doing their homework, less of the time. But just know: every time the idea of doing comes up: the idea of avoidance comes up too.

What is the difference between a student that chooses doing their homework and a student that chooses to do avoidance?

The difference is not so much in the moment, but in the students approach to life and studying in general.

Context is decisive, goes the saying. Context is the why of an activity.
Context answers the why would you do that? Why do you want it? To what end would you do it? What’s in it for you?

A good student has answered that question differently from the avoiding student.
A good student could have picked an goal, like getting educated, getting good grades to get into a good college, getting good grades to please my mother, learning to work my mind, etc. etc. etc.

A bad student considers learning useless, a waste of time, something that was imposed on them. They, potentially, consider liberty: doing what they want to do when they want to do it, and not doing what they don’t want to do… when they don’t want to do it, more important than freedom, what they ultimately crave. The freedom to be themselves.

Nietzsche, a famous German philosopher, called that behavior “infantile will to power”… which means, that when you do avoidance tactic, you are acting like a belligerent young child, maybe even a baby, crying for the bottle.

One of the most valued capacities for a human is maturity. Behaving and using your adult capacities… choosing, saying no, the ability to be with, and be effective in spite of negative emotions, pain, or bad thoughts.

And another invaluable capacity of an adult is to choose the context carefully, choose it to help them through the difficulties of dealing with unpleasant feelings, memories, and emotions, successfully, so they move forward in life.

The biological age of a person can be 70, but their behavior can alternate between 5 years old and 15 years old: I know, I have a client like that, lol.

Band-aid type solutions like the ones this following article teach are just that: band-aids.

As procrastination is part of being human, it is common to put off the tasks we are not fond of in order to do more pleasurable tasks.

Homework is one of the most common tasks that gets deferred. Although it seems impossible, it is possible to stop procrastinating homework assignments and have more time to spend doing more pleasant activities.

These simple steps can assist you in using your time more effectively.

First, ensure that you have a quiet, comfortable place to sit down and think. Ensuring that you have everything you need at hand to finish the task will eliminate unnecessary diversions.

Focusing on the task at hand without any distractions will make it much easier to concentrate and may allow those creative juices to start flowing.

Secondly, break homework assignments up. For example, if you have been assigned 20 math problems, dissect them into four parts. Give yourself half an hour to complete those five questions. Then, take a break. Allow yourself a few minutes in between to do something pleasurable such as calling a friend. This will help clear your mind and sharpen your thought process. Then, tackle the next five. Before you know it, your math will be done and you will have all the time in the world to just hang out.

Next, prioritize your homework schedule. Keep a planner or list your homework on a sheet of paper by due dates. Once you have started an assignment, don’t jump around. Starting one task and not finishing it before starting another can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed. Tackling one thing at a time until it is complete can give you a small sense of accomplishment which will boost your confidence and can keep you going. You’ll get better results too.

Finally, a great way to stop procrastinating homework and break bad habits is to alleviate mental stressors that can effect your ability to take charge.

Emotional Freedom Techniques can help you discover what those stressors are and fight them.

Being able to locate the source of the problem will help in conquering inadequacies in your everyday life. Emotional Freedom Techniques give you ways to stop procrastinating homework and help set you on your own path to emotional freedom. It is a great way for habitual procrastinators if other measures fail.

Emotional Freedom Technique based exercises help struggling students take control to ensure they are on the path to leading successful, powerful lives.

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Trying To Connect? Not Sure If You Are Connecting? Some Answers For You…

trying to connect to Source

Trying To Connect? Not Sure If You Are Connecting? Some Answers For You…

Here are some questions and some answers to issues people are having:

In my conversations with some of the Pioneers, I muscle test if they connect and the muscle test often says “no.”

When I invite them to do it live with me and also with the video, I see the following:

  1. Those of you that the Principle of Power is too low: you won’t even try… You get the handouts, but you won’t do anything for yourself.
  2. Continue reading “Trying To Connect? Not Sure If You Are Connecting? Some Answers For You…”

Motivation and Fear: The Importance of Both

What is motivation? It is the desire that moves… People say they are not motivated, but the truth is that every time you do something to fill a desire: sit down, watch tv, order a pizza… there is a motivation.

People like to say that they are not motivated, but what they are saying is that the action that is required of them has less power, less motive power than the fear accompanying it.

The truth is that every action that is taking you to an unknown, unpredictable area of life, future, is going to be accompanies with fear. Our reptilian brain makes sure of it.

Fear is our constant companion. As humans that got off the trees, were at the mercy of their fear to keep them alive. Every sort of danger was waiting them out there, and fear was a useful tool to keep them alive.

But, as you can see, humans used fear, instead of being paralyzed by them: they got out there and hunted, and gathered, and built shelters… and the ones that survived formed your ancestors.

The art is to consider fear and consider the danger, and then choose to move.

As long as fear is to be obeyed, for you, you are never going to amount to much, and you will live your life in quiet desperation, like billions of others.

I teach the art of looking, observing, considering and choosing. Look up my classes, my products, my coaching… because living a life of quiet desperation is a horrible excuse for a life.

Robert Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” This profound statement may seem simple, but there is much more to it than meets the eye. This statement hints at the reality that motivation and fear can be closely linked.

It is common to fear failure. As humans, we do not like to lose. We do not like to be wrong. We do not like to be embarrassed. We do not like to be rejected.

And yet, the most successful people throughout history failed many times en route to their greatest achievements. Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team at first. Thomas Edison failed thousands of items in his attempts to make some of his greatest inventions. Christopher Columbus was rejected several times in his attempts to get approval for a voyage across seas.

Great success often requires failure, for failure teaches you how to do things better. Failure makes you wiser. Failure makes you better equipped to take on greater challenges.

But you must meet failure with respect. You must appreciate all that it holds within it. All the power within failure can be yours if you can see it beyond the surface.

Yet most people do not appreciate failure. In fact, failure repels most. Further, the fear of failure keeps many people from even attempting things at which they might not initially succeed.

If you want great things in life, you have to be willing to fail. And you have to be willing to fail many times over. Failure is a part of life. It is what makes us better. It is what makes us stronger. It is what makes us wiser.

We often seek motivation to get over the fear of failure. Instead, we should be motivated to seek out failure and learn from it. We should not hide from failure, for it is one of the most valuable teaching tools in life.

If you want motivation to face your fear of failure, try something that you most likely will fail at. Then take a closer look at your failure and try again. It is likely that you will do better the second time. Even if you fail again, you will be closer to success because of your efforts. Now you will know two ways that don’t work and can find another way that might.

By not trying, you will never succeed. By making yourself willing to fail, you will open up many great doors that were previously closed to you.

Dare to fail. Expect to succeed.

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What Is the Difference Between Alcoholism and Addiction?

This is an article that I copied over to my blog… so I can talk about some of the differences between how main stream handles alcoholism and how I handle it.

In my work, alcohol is an avoidance strategy: the person with the drinking would rather feel positive emotions, than deal with what there is to deal with: life, thoughts, emotions, relationships, problems.

Moving away and doing something that distracts one from an unwished for situation, thought, or feeling is called: obeying an urge.

Unless a person is taught different ways to relate to thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions, they will just continue to avoid them. Even if they become sober, they will just replace the alcohol with other behavior or substances: nothing changed inside.

Simple behavior modification doesn’t do it. A whole inner change is required, a superior skill to control one’s attention, that can be developed with practice.

Most humans living today are addicts and avoiders, one way or another. TV, internet, facebook, reading, sex, work, exercise, politics, sports… you can use any activity to avoid what you don’t like… and people do it, while they languish, and stop growing.

Check out my programs, courses, coaching, audios… they work.

The distinction between alcoholism and addiction is a dying one. For decades alcoholism has been classified separately from addiction even though both have identical symptoms and treatment options. These differences can be seen in the development of huge groups dedicated to one substance or another such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. However the fact of the matter is that alcohol is simply a substance like any other. Because addiction is not classified according to the drugs the person uses, it’s only logical that alcohol be treated in a similar manner.

Many addiction professionals are beginning to classify alcoholism simply as addiction. This is because no distinctions can be made between how addiction forms, progresses and is treated and how alcoholism is formed, progresses and is treated. This is described below:

How Addiction Forms Versus How Alcoholism Forms

When a substance such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin or alcohol causes the reward and pleasure center of the brain to be stimulated, the brain creates a “log” of associations concerning the events that led up to the “reward” of using the substance. When these associations are solidified with continued use, neurological pathways are constructed in the brain that facilitates the entire process. These pathways become permanent over time, and because they were developed in response to a substance, they can cause powerful urges that will compel the person to use the substance again and again. This physiological process doesn’t care what the substance is- the result is the same whether you’re talking about alcohol or drugs.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction versus Alcoholism

Whether your substance of choice is alcohol or any drug, the symptoms of addiction are the same. While the physical symptoms might vary according to the substance and severity of the problem, the behavioral symptoms are universal:

1.) Loss of control- this presents as an inability to remember how much or what type of substance was taken, when the last use was, what other substances are involved, where the substance is located, or by overdosing.

2.) Obsession- an addict’s life is centered on substance abuse. They think and talk about it constantly and always seem to be planning when to use next, how much to use, who to use with and so on.

3.) Continuation despite serious consequences- this is an important distinction and one that applies to all substances. Addiction is most noted as a disease of compulsion. People who are addicted do not stop using even when their lives are falling apart.

Treatment of Alcoholism versus Addiction

There is no difference whatsoever between treatment for alcoholism and treatment for addiction. Most rehab centers make no real distinction and patients are generally a mixed bag of alcoholics and drug addicts or both. Treatment includes detox (especially for dangerous substances such as benzodiazepines and alcohol) and residential inpatient or outpatient treatment. Therapies employed at most rehab centers apply to both alcoholism and addiction and include individual, group and family therapy.

Ultimately, alcohol is just another substance. If you’re suffering from addiction to any substance or know someone who is that needs help, you should know that you can pick up the phone right now and get the process started with a free, no-obligation professional consultation.

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Life Is Like a Bruce Lee Movie – Create Positive Outcomes and Adventure With Your Mind

The gist of this article is to go within. Within really means: go to the vertical, instead of staying and living on the horizontal plane with all the drama, all the conflicts, all the bumping into this and that.

Being fluid like water is only possible when you approach life from your vertical being… the one that is unattached to the outcome, unattached to looking good, being right, comparing, remembering, thinking.

Bruce Lee lived that life, and, unfortunately, he was unique. But it is your birth right to be like him, it is the birthright of every person: except that you try to be like him and stay on the horizontal plane: too bad for you. You may be strong, but you won’t be fluid.

I teach people how to tell their vertical apart from their horizontal plane… it is not easy given everything that is being taught… but it’s possible.

Take a look at my classes, videos, audios, and coaching calls. If you are willing, I can teach you.

Someone once said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna get. Well, though not a complete misnomer, it’s certainly not a very helpful philosophical view now is it? Unless you have a crystal ball, then the future is impossible to accurately predict.

You can certainly strongly influence your outcomes. In fact, the kind of company you keep and the conditioning you are exposed to will hugely determine everything in your life from success in relationships to success in your financial standing. Within your mind is the key to manifesting most of your outcomes.

There has never been more conclusive evidence to suggest, that as individuals we all have far more power to not only influence the outcomes in our own lives, but contribute to the greater picture. The amount of thought energy we emit is directly linked to what is called the collective consciousness. This ultimately determines the way in which the world manifests today.

If you are a young man, attempting to understand his place in the world, then do not ask society for your answers. Your answers are within. Shakespeare, known for the occasional bright view, once said,

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

This may be one of the most helpful philosophical views you can absorb. Add this to a gold nugget from the Future president of America (don’t rule it out folks!), The Trumpster himself, then you have a simple but effective way of approaching your re-invented lifestyle.

His motto simply is, “Think Big!” The identities you may find yourself trapped in now, are not who you really are. You can re-invent who you are and want to be anytime you want. Now add a gold nugget from Bruce Lee, and you can really begin cooking. You will have some great ingredients to spice up your life.

Bruce Lee says, “Be like water.” That doesn’t mean be wet. It means be fluid, and adaptable. If you only applied these 3 views to your life, you can already begin to see how to create more exciting possibilities. When you fully embrace this attitude, you can create the adventure that becomes your life.

If you simply buy into what society and the box provides, then you will fail to realize who you really are. As a free spirited virile young man, much of your adventure will be provided by the seduction arts. The art of seducing amazing women. This is only possible when you have enough ‘attraction networth’. That is the combination of authentic confidence and experience.

This is why it is preferable to pursue other diverse activities that will constantly challenge you. Explore ideas and experiences that will shape a man, that female seek to align with. In many cases they will have no choice in being attracted to such a guy. So remember, this movie is about you, and not the girl.

What character or characters do you want to play, and how thick do you see the plot? Do you see yourself as the victim or the hero? What do you want to create or change? Who are you inspiring or destroying? Who are your angels or demons? Be creative. Be explorative. Be open minded. Think bigger, and live bigger still.

This is your journey, and no-one can judge you for being who you need to be. There are no rules, except the rules you choose to hold or let go off. It’s your call. The more you look within, the more you will hear the answers. Whether you want to live like a playboy, or build an empire, so you can change the world, or meditate on a mountainside, whatever you choose, will be right, if you are tuned into your soul.

Maybe you will choose all of them. What a great movie & film character that would be!

If you are fresh to this attitude, then at least try it, and you can make a better educated opinion on what you think life is about. If you are a young man, new to philosophy, here are 3 simple but powerful quotes to live your life by. They are pretty solid and will almost certainly serve you well.

1. The world is a stage

2. Think big

3. Be like water

Now get off the net and go forth & create your movie…now…go! It’s in your hands!

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Why Knowing Yourself Is The Foundation Of Personal Growth

Know thyself… said the Greeks, and I can’t agree more.

Unless you are clear about where you are, what are your limitations, what are your inner pulls (conation), your results in life will be puny, in every area of life.

Know Thyself If men would search diligently their own minds, and examine minutely their thoughts and actions, they would be more cautious in censuring the conduct of others, as they would find in themselves abundantly sufficient cause for reproof. “It is a good horse that never stumbles;” and lie is a good man indeed who cannot reproach himself with numerous slips and errors.” “Every bean has its black,” and every man his follies and vices.

The adage also teaches us to set a proper value upon ourselves, and to be careful not to do anything that may degrade us. It is not known to whom we are indebted for this golden rule; we only learn that it is of very long standing, and was held in such high estimation by the ancients, that it was placed over the doors of their temples, and it was also supposed by them, that ” E coelo descen- dit,” it came down from heaven. ” ‘Man know thyself!’ tins precept from on high Came down, imagined by the Deity; Oh! be the words indelibly imprest On the live tablet of each human breast.

But how do you Know Yourself? Know yourself as others know yourself? Know about yourself? Know what psychologist made up as a category for yourself? Do the test that was devised for testing privates sent to fight in the VietNam war?

People want to know themselves to make it easier to win… to make it easier to beat bad habits. To justify why they are the way they are.

My experience (as a coach, 30 years and thousands of people), has been that you do best when you know your machine. Your machine has a bent… an inclination, and if you know it you can be successful… with any machine.

Some 30 years ago I had a car I didn’t have to lock, because only I could drive it. It would stall for everyone else. I drove it another 100 thousand miles. I got it after the previous owner gave up on it. It had 160 thousand miles on it.

The knowledge: know yourself, here, with that car, applied to the car and myself, together. The car was seriously flawed… but no one could have guessed from the outside, when I drove it.

I have dyslexia, serious, but I read one or two books every week. I also write for a living.

I had two major episodes of brain damage: you wouldn’t know it. I know how to drive my machine.

My soul correction is arrogance and condescension. It’s taken me longer to drive my life with these horrible afflictions, but knowing it made it possible.

When you know all the quirks of your machine, when you know what is your unscratchable itch, when you know what the machine will do unless you compensate for it, you can take your machine anywhere, any heights, any distance, any achievement.

As you work to grow in different areas in you life, it is important to really know yourself. The concept of not knowing yourself may sound preposterous to some people, but hear me out. Because we live such hectic lives, it is important to take time to become reacquainted with ourselves. It is very easy to get so focused on living life that we lose ourselves in the hustle and the bustle. With every phase in life, we change and evolve, and if all goes as planned, we should not be the same person we were five years ago. This is not to say that everything about us has to change, but it is perfectly natural and healthy to mature and grow in different areas.

Knowing yourself can help you improve your work ethic because you can really understand your limitations and know when you are pushing yourself too hard. If you are a self starter like me, you would probably work for 24 hours a day if you could. In fact, you’ve probably had to make yourself step away from your work one more than one occasion. While this self starting attitude is a good thing, it can also be a problem. If you aren’t careful, your desire for success can drive others away from you and actually ruin relationships. You may be thinking, “I thought we were supposed to be able to accomplish everything.” That is true, but sometimes you can bite of much more than you can chew, and running yourself into the ground to accomplish goals in not healthy. The beauty of accomplishing goals and achieving personal growth is discovering the balance of work and play.

While it is important to know your limits, knowing yourself helps you to know what you can’t accomplish as well as what you can accomplish. Many times, people don’t push themselves to accomplish real goals simply because thy think don’t think they’ll be successful. Once you really know yourself, you will know what you can accomplish. However, if you never try, you’ll never know how much you can truly accomplish.

When you know yourself, it is easier to keep yourself motivated. It you met someone for the first time, and they asked you to encourage them without giving you any details about their life, you would have a hard time encouraging them. By being aware of the types of things that keep you motivated, you will be less likely to reach that rock bottom point where you feel like your world is crumbling around you. It is best to constantly encourage and motivate yourself as your grow and mature.

How do you react to disappointment? What do you do when you’re sad? How often do you need to take time to truly relax? In order to maintain balance in your life, you have to constantly ask yourself these types of questions. Not only do you need to know yourself in order to have a strong foundation for personal growth, but you also have to be willing to motivate yourself when things are less than ideal.

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Spirituality and Personality: The Psycho-Spiritual Controversy

If you have been involved in either therapy or counselling, or spirituality and meditation, in recent years you have probably encountered two basic, polarized viewpoints concerning personality. Essentially it amounts to this: therapists are pro-personality (and its improvement through healing neurosis etc.) while spiritual teachers proclaim personality a big waste of time, since neurotic or not, you are more than your personality.

This is not particularly surprising, since therapy and counseling tend to be concerned with the individual, while spiritual practices are concerned with higher matters. But it does lead the novices and beginners into a quandary where they are faced with the decision of what to do about personality. On the one hand, therapy could be an expensive, futile effort to better the personality, whereas, on the other hand, spiritual practice may offer an excuse to leave personal problems behind, with the justification that you are moving on to more lofty concerns.

In the extensive time I have been engaged in therapy and spirituality I can say that I have discovered the answer to this controversy! And I don’t say it without reluctance and a certain caution, since my answer is liable to offend both camps — therapists and spiritual teachers. Perhaps my answer is less a rejection or abandonment of one viewpoint for another and more of a synthesis. This may be an answer of the best kind – the kind that doesn’t marginalize or dismiss anyone’s experience or viewpoint. For my answer, while radically new and innovative, does not fundamentally disagree with either point of view, but considers each appropriate to the complex, total unfolding process of our human nature and potential.

My answer to the dilemma is to propose a third band of human experience. I call this “the authentic self” and since I am not using any unusual words I need to define this term, because I do mean something specific. The authentic self, in the way I use the term, is the bridge between the personality and the spiritual self. It is arrived at usually, but not always, after a lengthy period of intensive, deep, applied and consistent inner work. This inner work consists of a journey of self-discovery in which one circumvents the self, becoming increasingly aware of the conscious and unconscious material that comprises one’s sense of self, or ego. This involves character, which is essentially defensive strategy or an intelligent, protective reaction to early conditioning, which becomes increasingly calcified and adapted throughout adolescence and adult life. Character is composed of the way in which we survive and protect ourselves from inner and outer stimuli and ultimately avoid really meeting life. It creates a self-imposed prison — limitations in which we feel falsely safe.

Self-discovery also involves cultivating our awareness of personality, or the way in which character (defenses and strategies) is experienced. Both inwardly and outwardly we erect a barrier to experience — life events and other people — which is a mask, façade or persona which eclipses the real person, or our true nature.

We also raise emotional and behavioural patterns out of the murky stratum of the unconscious, out of unawareness, and see just how much our life is lived automatically, as an automaton without real human response, emotional feeling, resonance, empathy or even awareness.

The process of self-discovery involves witnessing, reliving and remembering, practicing awareness and releasing pent-up emotions, returning the bodymind, through self-regulating, self-healing and self-referral, to a natural state of balance, ease and relaxation, and opening to insight and experience. In the short-term the experience is enriching, enlivening and full of dramatic changes. In the long-term through achieving personal wholeness, soul nourishment and insights we reach a threshold, a bridge, a chasm – all variously transitional metaphors that signify a quantum leap, a fourth dimensional change that I have termed “the threshold of transformation”.

The significance of this threshold, and what distinguishes it from all the changes that have gone before, is that is effects are irreversible — it is a step from which there is no going back. Once taken, this step across the threshold will lead you to the condition of authenticity and intimacy with your own true nature.

This insight renders the controversy about personality redundant. But it does depend on our ability to clearly distinguish the psychological from the spiritual.