Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rainbow After the Storm

There are many types of storms.  Physical, mental and other such difficult weather systems.  However there are rainbows after my soul endures emotional hurricanes and other such violent events.  Exploring my very being I find  pure awareness- and the radiance of that awareness is love.  Loving awareness is a profound rainbow after clouds have gone.

Buddhist teachings provides me some shelter from my storms. There a various rainbows called the divine abodes- or expressions of heart- loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.  These are also referred to as the four brahmavihara helping me find greater freedom, harmony and openness.  When I am mindfully present-- without judging, resisting or grasping then I can see clearly what has heart and meaning. 

My personal storm happens when I  become too self-absorbed, afraid, and attached.  I become identified by my smaller self since my love becomes conditional, covered over- I am no longer free to love in an openhearted way.  My storm strengthens with my fear based solidity of self. This is caused by my self-judgment, anger, despair and other behavior when I numb my heart.

When I can remember that my storm will pass proliferation of reactivity disappears   Instead of being driven by wanting, anxiety, restlessness, I find a rainbow. These four beautiful rays of light are loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.  Yes there are many weather systems I can experience whether I observe or judge them. However, when I  remember the divine abodes, these rainbows, get me through any emotional storm I encounter.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mind/Heart Exercise

Advancements in brain science documents amazing discoveries.  Our brains are plastic; meaning they can be reformed both with positive and negative results.  For example while walking looking at the ground results in negative neural plasticity since this unskillful act increases our senses of imbalance and increase our chances to fall.  Our mind is like is like a dirt path where we create grooves into it and deepen them as we use it more.  

For example physical exercise and other activities can strengthen our neuro networks.   Specific forms of exercises can improve the neuron gain and synaptic connection thus strengthening cognitive function where the brain was once damaged or unused.   Challenging activities creating positive plasticity increases our brain fitness.   Intensive therapy has proven to correct traumatic neural damage.   Key is being motivated to more fully use our mind instead of lose mental ability due to lack of use.  Having courage to expand our heart-fullness becomes essential for our growth. 

Neural plasticity provides us the possibility to teach ourselves to change certain mental activities. Thinking about our thoughts differently can shed our burdens and problems.  

Mindful attention can refine our thinking and behavior.  Working on our attention thus changing what we are regulating and what we are paying exact attention on.   A conscious perception can make or heighten our attention to what thing we are focused on.   Intensive training or intentional control can help our brains to prosper.  

Just as we re-refine our golf or tennis swing so can we modify our mind.  As we greater explore our neuro-modulators refine increasing our sense of well being.  Also brain fitness stimulates our natural chemistry improving our well being.    Keeping our minds to function better has been show to enhance a brighter more cheerful life.

Our ability to affect change is our belief to leave our comfort zones.  We become users instead acquiring ability or new skills.  As we venture into new fields or new task or challenging ourselves in focus into new ways of expanding our heart.

The Brain Fitness Program ( cites there are seven keys for us to mentally advance;

Tenet 1- Change can only occur when we are in the mood.  If I am alert on the ball and the chemicals of the brain become released become on. 
Tenet 2- Change happens when I can increase my brain activity. 
Tenet 3-  When my brain fires together the mental activity becomes wired or stays together.  We become more integrated when we use it.  We become more integrated.  Simply either you use it or lose it. 
Tenet 4- Initial changes are just temporary.  If it really engages us or has significant meaning then we never forget it.
Tenet 5- Brain plasticity is a two way street with both positive and negative results.   Chronic pain syndrome or developing bad habits we have the ability to rewire our brain.
Tenet 6- Memory is crucial for models.   Brain has a magical way of self-correcting.
Tenet 7- Motivation is a key factor in brain plasticity.   What do we fear or hate to motivate us or what we love and cherish?  Finding heart-fullness is critical to inspire us to higher levels of being.

New skill acquisition and refined learning activity creates this new plasticity. When the brain becomes newly engaged and awakens by new, refreshed, changed activity.  Also heart and cardio exercise stimulates new brain cells and increased well being.  Mental training needs to be taxing and difficult to do.  Also it must be interesting. 

Playing a piano, chess, bridge, and a variety of mental challenges including meditation stimulates this new growth.  As we are motivate to being a better person, both our life and mental become more full.  Mental fitness requires enthusiasm to venture out and find new interests and become more engaged with our environment.  This new spark creates more joy since as we infuse spirit stimulating increased body and mind activity.  Finding what has more heart and meaning help motivates us. Bottom-line, use it or lose it depending how we exercise and how we train to become more mindful and heart-full.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Freedom with New Possibility

In any given moment we can exercise a choice if we remember to do so. Awakening or being mindful of at any time of this decision point is the determiner. Otherwise we may react or default to our usual habit or pattern of what we do. If we can become aware of our past conditioning then we may become free of mindless behavior or acts. Freedom comes only when we are present to this choice point and see we can be either mindful or mindless.

As we contemplate our past experiences, such as how we were brought up or what we have been exposed to then we can see how we do things. For example, if every night we brush our teeth we can see that without thinking we perform this ritual before we go to sleep. We have both conditioned wholesome and unwholesome behaviors. Whether we rush as we eat or whether we wash behind our ears, our life is filed with many habits that can be helpful or hurtful.

Addictions are extreme forms of unskillful behaviors that do not serve us. We may use food, sex, drugs or many other things for entertainment or escape thus imprisoning us by these desires. If we are motivated and honest about changing our addictive habits there are many avenues to help us lessen and stop these addictions. Such behavior change may not happen until some event or emergency forces us to see how this compulsion is not in our best interest. Even then our wants may override a greater need not to be trapped by addiction.

Liberation is possible only if we are motivated to change. If we invest time to reflect and observe our unwholesome daily patterns then we can become less untangled by the unskillful acts we routinely perform. For example some of us text on our cell phones as we drive. Such juggling of tasks lessens our  focus and increases our chance for an accident.

We live in a very challenging and over stimulated environment. Constantly we may be bombarded by mindless media, and other distractions hampering on sound choices. Television is a wonderful example of where we can get into a deep mindless state of mind. Today we spend countless hours surrounded by electronic activity that has numbing affect.

As we practice and reinforce awakened decision making we can lessen much useless and stressful hindrances from our lives. Also we cultivate more fully showing up we reap the fruits of a richer life. Simply paying attention and having the intention of observing our actions liberate us to our greater potential. Such inquiry is invaluable to minimize suffering, complications and things that do not benefit us.

Exploring observing instead of judging is another skillful mental activity not to get so identified or lost by negative thoughts and reactions. When we point a finger at someone or something we also are pointing an accusing finger back at ourselves.

Mentally, we create our reality. If we can deconstruct our concepts then we can see better how we create our perceptions. Such profound investigation is the pathway to our liberation. Also we experience new possibilities and perspectives that were once not there. This inquiry allows us to deeper self-acceptance. Also with this understanding we lessen our identification or judgment what is happening finding wisdom. Freedom comes from this process. We are no longer so tied to our circumstances and have greater clarity to see “cause and effect” relationships. Also we acknowledge our mindlessness we can enjoy mindful discernment.

The only real change we can fully exercise in is within ourselves. Investigating new possibility allows us to reframe our perspective to see in a new light emerging in potential or prospects. Even in the worst situations the probability of new opportunity becomes greatest. Where we once felt stuck and had no other alternative new options emerge. Since we create our perspective then we can shift from any place of despair, hopelessness and no choice into the freedom of new possibility. In all likelihood there are unlimited odds that something else may happen.

When we see what is true in the here and now we awaken our awareness to bountiful possibilities. Remembering, re-adjusting and reframing we may arrive at deciding what is of greatest benefit. We have the opportunity to lessen our stress by clear choice. Also we can better learn learn what habits we can change or not. If we can see what has greater heart and meaning we can unchain ourselves from our destructive habits. Liberation is only possible when discern what is mindful from the mindless that surrounds us. Freedom happens when we see new possibility and engage in wise and awakened choice.