Archive for the ‘mind’ Category

The Shadow

March 5, 2007

My friend talks about the Shadow.  It is the coming of depression.  The signs are often apparent, from a fair way out.  There is advance notice, a telegraphing of intentions, that things are up for a change.  There is the twilight, and the dimming, before the Shadow truly  arrives.

Me, I can spot the signs from a week out.  Things that don’t normally upset me, do, and things I normally don’t enjoy, or pass over quickly, suddenly offer new attractions.  Depression is a destablising force, something that whacks your character out of balance.  It can be the impetus for great change, but it’s also about losing who you are, your true identity.

Zen: the empty mind

February 28, 2007

too much clutter? empty the mind

too much stress? empty the mind

too many worries? empty the mind

take time to stand back, and see things for what they are. a little swirl on the planet earth. the long lens of time will show the trivialness of all things.

meditation and peace – empty the mind
eternal joy – empty the mind

the rain drips outside. there is no fight. the laws of nature are as they are. be pliable. bend a little. the struggle will only snap you. be at peace.

empty the mind. empty the mind. empty the mind.

peace and oneness. back to the eternal zen state. one. all. unity. there is nothing else. oneness.

empty the mind. the mantra calls. empty. the. mind.

EMPTY. peace. balance. oneness. THE. eternal. tranquility. bliss. MIND.

the universe has spoken.

Mashup of Life

February 16, 2007

there seems to be three bits of me at any one time

THE PAST – memories float and bob about, happy things once done, friends met and conversations spoken. Food for the mental mill to grind. Sometimes I can’t leave the past behind.

THE FUTURE – what’s to be done? I’m always thinking ahead, planning too much, It can breed an anxiety syndrome, and there’s nothing worse than a “Getting Things Done” too much philosophy. Aiming big, big personal goals.

the present – the ever daunting now. Shake off boredom, look for titillating stuff, The monkey mind with his too curious fingers. Slap it down, get things settled.

The tripartite existence … when did it dawn on you? There must be some point as a child (3, 5 years old?) when the functions of memory and a future time become lodged in inexorably as mental modules.

Always switching from one tense to another. So tense.

Words are Ideas

February 12, 2007

I like reading dictionaries.

What! Well, I said I was boring, and now you know how much. I like words, all sorts of words, new words and old words. Archaic words, foreign words, phrases, colloquialisms, turns of speech.

I may not know what adverbial conjunction is, but it’s nothing compared to the beauty of a well-spun palindrome. Or the plat-du-jour I happen to be enjoying now. My moniker rings true no?

Enough garbage! back to normal English speak, and communicating a message, not obfuscating. Words indeed are ideas, and give you tools for thinking.

More words –> More ideas

A diagram of plant innards or the sun will identify the different parts. Suddenly, the detail is presented. The different layers serve different functions.

The language of psychology helps you understand yourself. How you tick, how others tick. Giving a word to moods and fugues is a powerful step.

More ideas –> ??

Open Brain

February 3, 2007

Information goes in, and it goes out. That’s what the brain does. It acts a processor, a cruncher, an analysis machine, and it’s where we exist as human beings. In the mind, in the brain.

It is essentially a three step process –

Information goes in – we see, we hear, we read. Those who are bright don’t just exist in their own world – they take in information constantly. In a way, there is almost too much data out there, and we have to find what’s relevant to us. Take your pick – books, movies, blogs – it’s a glut.

Data gets crunched – we all have our own models of how things work. We process what our senses feed us, and add what we already know, and we generate meaning. Is it funny? useful? Analysing things is sometimes not in our control, so we have to watch what happens in our head ie prejudices, first impressions.

Out it goes – it’s fun being exposed to ideas, and making sense of it all, but the really great part is sharing what you know – sending the information back out into the world – talking, writing, engaging with others.

The Open Brain is probably not so much about the middle step (processing the info, which deserves it’s own post) but rather the flows in and the flows out. When things are going really well for us, we take things in so easily, and enrich it for others.

A lot of mental problems have to do with impaired information flows. Autism (info in), Old Age (info in), Depression (info out), Mania (info out).

When my Brain is Fully Open, I find I can read gazillions of pages, incorporate much of it, and then type to my heart’s content. That isn’t a boast, but just an example of what I think the Open Brain is all about.

Open your Brains!

A Little Buddhist Interlude

January 24, 2007

One thing that always gets me about Buddhism is how intensely psychological it is. It seemed to capture certain mental principles that weren’t fully understood until just recently, when medical science got into the brain.

Buddhism has flourished over the centuries because it works. Forget the spiritual aspects, think of Buddhism as yoga for the mind. You don’t have to be Hindu to do yoga, Buddhism is the same. It has lots of a-religious aspects, things that aren’t inside religion, but aren’t outside of it either; Buddhism is beyond it, it just works.

So hurry up, and give me some of it!

1. Right View – this is about removing the filters and emotional barriers. Seeing things for what they are, in an objective sense.

2. Right Intention – all things start in the mind. We set up our morals and ethics, and that sets up certain thoughts. Are we acting just for ourselves, or is there consideration for others?

3. Right Speech – words can kill. Seriously. If you’ve ever had sarcasm or bitterness directed at you, you feel the pain inside you. It hurts like a cut.

4. Right Action – how you go about doing somthing is important. In the west we say ‘the ends do not justify the means”.

5. Right Livelihood – if you’re Buddhist, I’m sorry, but you have to quit the mafia. Everyone has to earn an income, but it has to be done in the right way.

6. Right Effort – you shouldn’t waste your time. Time is the one thing you cannot get back. Don’t dally, use your time in the best possible way.

7. Right Mindfulness – this is where we start to get a little kooky. It ties into meditation, and knowing what’s going on in your head. Be aware!

8. Right Concentration – combining all these things will give you a united front. There will be a singular point of focus, which will shift automatically to what needs to be done. It will be directed, effective, purposeful, and beneficial to all. It is the zone.

That’s my take on the Noble Eightfold Path.