Simple, precise neuro-imaging studies of how meditation changes your brain.
Simple, precise neuro-imaging studies of how meditation changes your brain.
This is a video of Shinzen Young, just talking about his experience of daily life. Enlightenment isn’t about being “calm,” “one with the Universe,” or “on a higher level of consciousness” all the time. It’s about accepting reality — as it is — no matter what state of consciousness you might find yourself in.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a condition in which a person’s mind is stuck in some past traumatic event. This “disorder” is much more effectively treated with meditation than with any of the mainstream methods used by psychologists and psychiatrists in the western world today.
Look at this massive thing.
A glowing ball of blue and white.
Floating in space
Glowing with light,
Teeming with life.
“I” have grown
From the surface of this glowing ball.
Like the fish,
and the cloud.
But what makes me ME?
And what makes you YOU?
Are not we all “I?”
Then who, in fact, is “You?”
Which is the free and joyous spirit?
The spirit that is not tied down by emotional attachments.
Sit back, relax, and watch
The empty stage of your mind
As experiences arise, take over, and pass away,
Engulfing the theater,
In IMAX 3D and Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
But stay alert!
Use your breathing as an anchor,
Or you’ll be thrown from your seat,
Whisked by thought into a dream,
Losing sight of the stage,
Lost in your mind,
Believing the dream to be reality.
So hold on tight as you observe,
The waves of Mind as they roll through
Changing, swirling around you.
Hang on to your breath now, as you
CLOSE YOUR EYES.
Loneliness is cured not by connecting with other individuals, but by connecting with the Universe.
Alan Watts takes a break from talking about Consciousness and The Cosmos to discuss some important social issues. The result is one of the clearest, most insightful radio broadcasts about drugs, spirituality, law, power, and government since the invention of radio itself. Continue reading
In 2010, I spent some time in a Theravada Buddhist Monastery in Southern Thailand. While I was there, we had a 10-day silent meditation. The monks communicated with the laypeople only by posting things on a bulletin board in the dining hall.
One day, I woke up and walked to the dining hall. There was nothing on the bulletin board except for the above image. Sad -> Happy -> Neutral.
At first, I thought that the monks had gotten the order wrong. I thought it should be “Sad -> Neutral -> Happy.” Why would anyone want to go from Happy to Neutral? It didn’t make sense to me.
But, over the course of the 10-day meditation, as I began to let go of the ideas of “good” and “bad,” and my emotional state began to come into my own control, I began to understand. Continue reading
“Bipolar Disorder,” is a psychological disorder in which the sufferer swings rapidly between extreme mania and extreme depression. Bipolar is a terrible, debilitating disorder, which is becoming more and more prevalent in our society, and can only be treated with powerful psychoactive drugs.
Or, at least that’s what the drug companies want you to believe. o.0 Continue reading
This is an amazing series of three continuous talks by Alan Watts, regarding the nature of the self in relation to all that there is. It’s one of the most comprehensive videos I’ve ever seen in presenting the world-view of Alan Watts. Inspiring way to spend 42 minutes.
Often we think of love in relation to romance, attraction and desire. But is this really love? Or is it need?
“Wherever there is desire there is a threat [of not fulfilling that desire, or of losing the object of your desire]. And where there is a threat, there is fear. And where there is fear, there is no love, because we always hate what we fear. And perfect love casts out fear.”
— Anthony De Mello
You yourself are the eternal energy which appears as this Universe.
You didn’t come into this world; you came out of it.
Like a wave from the ocean.
— Alan Watts
For more along these lines, check out this awesome video (Alan Watts on The Universal Self).
This video has arisen from the very fabric of existence itself.
If you’ve ever wondered what those crazy hippies mean when they say vague, pseudoscientific stuff like “consciousness is energy man,” or “even inorganic matter is conscious in some way, man,” then you might enjoy watching this video. Alternatively, you can read the transcription by clicking “Read the rest of this entry.” Continue reading
It’s a funny thing. Hilarious really. As long as you are pursuing happiness, you will never be happy. As long as you are seeking enlightenment, you will never be enlightened.
Seeking and pursuing are, by definition, directed AWAY from here and now, toward another place and time. Happiness and enlightenment, on the other hand, can only be found in the dimension of aliveness that is HERE and NOW. Anything that you DO to attain happiness or enlightenment is actually a step in the wrong direction.
So what in the nine hells of Atlantis are you supposed to do??? Continue reading
The word “God” holds many different meanings for many different people.
The one definition of the word “God” that would satisfy (just about) everybody is simply this: “God = The Highest Level Being, which brings everything into existence, and upon which the existence of everything depends.”
Abraham, widely considered “The Father of Monotheism” in the West, perceived this Being, and when he did, he told everybody about it.
Unfortunately, the Modern Christian, Jewish, and Muslim God is NOT the same one that Abraham saw. The Deity that billions of Westerners worship today is NOT The Highest Level Being, which brings everything into existence, and upon which the existence of everything depends… as will be simply and undeniably demonstrated below.
In essence, Western Religions are doing what the Bible warned them NOT to do: worshiping something that is a step below the level of the One True “God;” i.e. “an Angel.” For, by their definition of God as a Deity, they are inherently limiting it to something smaller than, created by, and dependent upon EXISTENCE ITSELF. Existence Itself is The Highest Level Being, which brings everything into existence, and upon which the existence of everything else depends.
“God” does not EXIST. “God” IS Existence. Continue reading
This video is long, but extremely deep and worth watching. Take some time to watch it, like you would watch a movie, or break it into parts. I recommend wearing headphones, listening, and closing your eyes instead of watching it visually.
This isn’t a video game. On this Planet, you only get ONE LIFE. So what are you gonna do with it? What kind of life do you want to live? Continue reading
Wow. Awesome video by Alan Watts. About the universe, man…
“Repression” and “Letting Go” are two — essentially opposite — ways of dealing with the things in life that make you go “oh crap.”
Repression is the path of judging, denying, ignoring, and running away.
Letting Go is the path of being aware, accepting, going with the flow, and moving on.
When people think about meditation, they tend to picture a person sitting cross-legged on the ground, practicing “formal, sitting meditation.” However, there are other forms of meditation that do not require you to separate yourself from your daily activities at all. In Mindfulness of Action Meditation, we meditate on our daily activities themselves. Continue reading
Sometimes a video is worth a thousand words.
The website is www.mindfulschools.org.
Last week, a friend of mine asked me to record a guided-meditation MP3, so he could sit in the grass and learn how to meditate. So, I sat in meditation at the base of a tree, and began to speak into a microphone (as a part of the meditation). I spoke for about forty minutes.
You can download the files here:
Simply put, meditation is an exercise for the brain. Just like lifting weights strengthens the muscles of the body, meditation strengthens the “muscles” of the brain. Continue reading
We are as happy as we decide to be.
– Abraham Lincoln
WARNING: This article will teach you how to generate happiness at will, and be completely happy all the time. This may seem like a good thing, but keep in mind that this power is very dangerous if you don’t know how to control it. Just like any drug, happiness can become an addiction. Addiction is characterized by using a drug in a way that is maladaptive. Many people who learn how to be happy all the time lose all desire to make money, get resources, and do all the things that we are evolutionarily programmed to do, because they’re just happy with the way things are. They often end up becoming happy homeless hippies, starving artists, or (if they’re smart) Buddhist Monks. Most of them don’t have children, contribute much to society, or live lives in line with their evolutionary destinies. This is the definition of “maladaptive.” Please read my article “Stop Trying To Be Happy” before you read this one. You have been warned. Read on at your own risk. Continue reading
Trying to be happy will ruin your life (not that that matters or anything). Let it go.
:-) Continue reading
Philosophers have been asking for centuries: “Who am I?”
Theologians have been asking: “What happens to ‘me’ after I die?”
Psychologists have been asking: “What is the nature of ‘self’?”
People have been pondering these existential conundra for millennia. For some reason, the concept of “self” really stumps most people. For thousands of years, people have been forced into the incomprehensible, irrational, unscientific conclusion that “the soul is supernatural, and is beyond the reach of human logic.”
The Buddha’s answer, on the other hand, is simple, rational, and powerful.
You don’t exist. Continue reading
Did you know that meditation actually changes the physical structure of your brain? In fact, so does playing the violin, smelling a flower, and brushing your teeth.
Up until the 1970s, there was a widespread belief in the scientific community that once the brain is finished growing (adulthood), it stops changing. The consensus was that the brain just is as it is, and that’s it.
We were wrong. Continue reading
Meditation is a brain-exercise that is good for a lot of things. Ultimately, it is designed to make you happy & successful in life, as well as making you completely impervious to suffering and unhappiness. It also happens to obliterate all kinds of “mental disorders” along the way. Lucky for Little Timmy and his Teachers, ADD / ADHD is the first to fall. Here’s how it works. Continue reading
I just got done watching a really deep episode of South Park. Among other things, this episode subtly touched on some of the fundamental flaws of Western Psychotherapy. Continue reading
Anapanasati is the word that the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) used to describe his personal meditation technique. This word, in and of itself, tells us everything we need to know in order to practice this technique for ourselves. Continue reading
Walking Meditation is one technique that we can use to strengthen our Attention Control Muscles, in order to develop our mind’s ability to concentrate. Continue reading
There are many, many forms of meditation. From tai chi, to raking sand, to sitting and watching the breath, to physical sports… the term “meditation” spans dozens, or even hundreds, of different types of activities. The one thing that all of these activities have in common is their profound effects on the human brain.
We use meditative techniques to develop, and strengthen, our brain’s ability to concentrate. (Before you say “I don’t care about that,” read on to see how increased concentration makes every moment of your life infinitely more powerful). Continue reading
The difference between “niceness” and “kindness” is night and day, yet people often use these two words interchangeably, assuming that they’re “basically the same thing.” Well, I hope that I can help clear up that misconception with this article.
A little preview: Kindness is rooted in GOOD, niceness is rooted in EVIL. But more on that later! Continue reading
Modern Western Psychology (our entire paradigm of analyzing the “unconscious mind”) is based on the idea that through thinking, analyzing, and understanding, we can treat and cure the disorders of the mind.
The problem is that most of the disorders that we attempt to treat through thinking and analyzing are arising from that very thing: thinking, and analyzing! Continue reading
My friend just sent me an amazing video; an extremely powerful presentation by Jill Bolte Taylor. Ms. Taylor was working as a neuro-anatomist at Harvard University when she experienced a stroke in her brain’s left hemisphere. She experienced first-hand what it was like to step back and forth between right-brain and left-brain functioning.
I would highly recommend watching this clip all the way through; Jill is a very moving speaker. I actually had tears in my eyes by the end of her presentation. I rarely recommend videos, but this one is well worth your time.
The “right-brained” experience that Jill describes is very similar to the way I experience the world through meditation, and “being in the Now” (Eckhart Tolle style). Continue reading
Why do some people like to ponder, while others love to socialize? Why is the introvert so good at math, while the extravert is so good with people?
Is there a way that we can combine the good parts of both the Introvert and the Extravert, to become — something never seen before on the face of the Earth — a Supervert?!? Continue reading
Last night, I decided to do an experiment. I wanted to see if I could channel directly from my unconscious. I asked myself:
What’s the most important benefit of meditation?
Here’s what came out (with minor editing for readability and flow): Continue reading
Our “western” society is extremely thought-oriented. We pride ourselves on logic and reason. I grew up in this society, so I know how it is.
As a teenager and young adult, I suffered greatly from the effects of an over-active and out-of-control mind. I spent (literally) thousands of hours thinking about psychology, analyzing others and exploring the depths of my own mind, in order to “be my own therapist.” I was constantly analyzing my mind, how it worked, and how to make myself “happier.” It didn’t really help. In fact, it kind of made me crazy for a while.
If some long-haired tie-dyed Tommy-Chong-sounding hippie came to me at that time, and told me, “Hey man, all you’ve got to do is meditate man,” I probably wouldn’t have given it much thought. If some no-haired sober-faced orange-robed Buddhist monk came to me and said “You must meditate in order to conquer Dukkha!” I would probably have thought he was just some crazy religious person expressing some crazy dogma from his belief system.
There are dozens of these people on the Internet, yet none of them were able to reach me in my time of need.
What I really needed was for someone to put meditation in terms that I could understand through my thought-oriented “Western” paradigm. I needed someone to explain why I should meditate, and how it would benefit me. Meditators always talk about the “benefits” of meditation, but they tend to put them in such vague terms as “finding your center” and “living in the now” that most western people don’t even know they’re talking about!
The funny thing is, now that I have experienced the benefits of meditation for myself, I can see that it is actually the solution to all of the problems I was having as a young adult. It is the solution to the problems of tens of millions of people across the USA and European Union, who are currently wasting billions of dollars every year on psychiatric treatment and drugs that are only making things worse. Meditation is the cure for the “disorders,” but it won’t just take you back to “neutral;” it will take you all the way up, into the realms of boundless joy and happiness. And it will awaken you to the spiritual reality of consciousness itself.
So, without further ado, here is a short list of the benefits of meditation, in western terms. Continue reading
No time to meditate?
Here’s an easy five-minute meditation for people who don’t have time to meditate more extensively. Continue reading
I believe that one of the most common misconceptions holding back the widespread adoption of meditation into the western healthcare system is that meditation is seen, in some way, as a “religious” activity, or as a “Buddhist ritual” of some kind. In truth, meditation (as it’s used today) is simply an exercise to strengthen the brain. Continue reading