Archive for Self Management (psychology)

May
29

LIKE A TREE

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LIKE A TREE 5-29-2014

I stay aware of the moment and be like the tree is “being.”

The tree and I are both beings in this amazing circus of life.

The tree I see outside my window has nothing to do except be—nothing to prove, no judgments to make and in the breeze its leaves tremble.

The tree gets shot at and it never gets excited,

Birds build their nest in the tree and it never complains that the birds are noisy, dirty and they crap on it;

In the park dogs raise their hind leg and pee on it.

The tree never complains and always just retains its beingingness and observes the circus of life.

When I go on my walk my mind is still like a tree.

I observe a squadron of pelicans fly by and I realize they are part of the circus, and I’m in the circus with them.

I see cars roll by with the windows down and music blaring and people bebopping to the music and I feel one with them—we are all part of the exciting marvelous circus.

When I’m chopped down I’ll quietly go unperturbed like the tree as my “beingness” expands into the infinite Circus.

This is my final post. Many thanks to the few who have viewed and commented on my posts.

Aug
15

WILL I CRY WHEN I DIE

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WILL I CRY WHEN I DIE

You know the day destroys the night; the night destroys the day; so break on through, break on through, break on through to the other side.

Jim Morrison (1943—1971)

          I know I’ll die, but I’m less certain about what lies beyond the divide. In the grave is there only blackness? Or is there Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity? When asked what happens to us after we die, the Zen monk replied: “I don’t know, I haven’t died yet.” But like munching on a cardboard cracker, yearning hearts find that response unfulfilling. We begin looking around, making deductions, learning, thinking, observing and arriving at conclusions. Beliefs in what lies on the other side range from nihilistic darkness to theistic brilliancy.

One’s view of consciousness shapes and colors beliefs about the afterlife.

Those who view consciousness as nothing more than a computer-like brain process are likely to view death as the black-screen of death. We are born, we copulate, we die and we are no more.

Those who view consciousness as personal to one’s “self”—the soul, are likely to believe in heaven and hell and a judgment day.

In The Phenomenon of Man, Teilhard de Chardin explored the nature of consciousness and concluded consciousness (primordial energy or God) supports everything. Those who view consciousness as the ground of everything are likely to believe that our bodies are a manifestation of consciousness—not separate and apart but part of the whole.

Platonists believed that biological death liberates consciousness from the body’s impediments and then everything is known, seen and understood with infinite clarity, an infinity of “aha moments.”

I think that almost all who believe in an afterlife recognize that to avoid the “black-screen of death” consciousness somehow needs to survive and break on through to the other side. Regarding this, David, posted this comment:  “As I was reading this [the blog on death] it occurred to me that death is like sending an email. The email never actually physically exists. It is only an idea in the form of electrical energy. When I send an email to you nothing actually physical goes from my computer to yours. Only the idea in the form of energy goes across the divide. Perhaps death is the same way. Our energy is sent like an email to an alternate universe outside of space and time. Does it reform as consciousness on the other side? We will have to wait and see.”

David’s comment provides a fascinating analogy for how consciousness-energy might make it through to the other side. It coincides with my belief that consciousness does indeed survive death. My belief on what will happen to my consciousness after death is not based on any ideology or dogmatism. It’s based on my looking around, making deductions, learning, and thinking, observing and arriving at conclusions that sound about right for me. Homo sapiens have been around for only about 40,000 years. I imagine that after we’ve been around for one billion years our consciousness will be so expanded that we will be aware of both sides of the divide.

Some of the commonly held beliefs about the afterlife are below, and afterwards I will add my own view.

Atheists naturally have no belief in an afterlife. Their advantage is they see no need pondering on an afterlife they don’t believe exists.

Agnostics have no belief about an afterlife either way. To an agnostic “There is no God” is as meaningless as the statement “God exists”—neither being susceptible to philosophical proof.

Organized religions have many different views of an afterlife life including one of God sitting on a throne attended by a squadron of angels with all the deceased blissfully basking in God’s brilliancy.

The humanistic view is based on the notion that since the beginning of time the vast majority of people, including the greatest and wisest of them, from vastly divergent cultures have all entertained some kind of belief in an afterlife. How could such a widespread instinct exist without the possibility of it being satisfied?

I imagine that when it’s my time to die the following scenario will play out.

I foresee no cure for death—at some point Soul will escape my bag of bones; it will take flight and speed into the light. Soul, which never really was “my” soul, will expand into an infinity beyond imagining. But before my soul takes flight I must go through the process of dying. The process can be as abrupt as a lightening strike or as prolonged as a lover’s absence. It can be as fearful as an assassin’s knife or as tranquil as a mother’s smile. My ideal death would be to lie down when the end is near and surrender to death’s sweet embrace. Regardless of how I die death will be welcome. If it’s painful then it will be a welcome release. If it’s the end of an illness without pain then I will cast off on a chorus of bon-voyages and with full awareness expand into the universe.

No time—no past—no future. I see from the beginning of time to the end of time. I see without fear, greed, lust and anger non-judgmentally. Unprismed eyes see the Light and I feel the ecstasy of a thousand roses offering themselves to me. I see universes forming and dying; my awareness expands into every universe and slips into every atom effortlessly. When I experience the rose with pure awareness, there is no separation of the rose from the universe. The observer, the rose, and the universe are one. I participate in the cosmic dance and I’m joyfully dancing, dancing, dancing. I partner with everything, including primordial consciousness. I view all the worlds, all the possibilities. In the eternal moment I see that in a billion years biological matter is incandescent with consciousness. The divide between life and death has been reduced to a filmy membrane which filters out matter as the soul passes on through to the other side. The universe is filled with the music of the spheres;

Before crossing over to the other side I wondered persistently about many things including the following: I wondered about Aldoux Huxley’s wondering about being born under one law, to another bound; vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity; created sick and commanded to be sound; he wondered “What meaneth Nature by these diverse laws, passion and reason, self-division’s cause?” I wondered why God was always “on our side” during wars, lynchings and massacres, ping-pong, football games and Monoply. Did God cast aside the other side? I wonder why there is so much violence—legal murders we call war, why galaxies gobble up their neighbors, why life feeds on life? Why ups AND downs. Why not just a steady improvement and movement towards perfection? I wondered if I would be reincarnated. I wondered why love can cause so much joy AND so much grief, pain and sorrow. I wondered why I wondered why; why couldn’t I just look away and let things be?

After crossing over to the other side I no longer wonder. With a glance I see with great clarity what lies behind the veil of wonderment. In a sidelong glance I’m aware of the past and future rolled up into the eternal now. Everything is known and seen and understood with infinite clarity—an infinity of “aha” moments—Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity. 

Awareness Exercise

Picture yourself on the planet Earth and visualize your atoms, particles, and underlying energy resonating and interacting with the energy of the Earth. Feel yourself at one with the Earth. Relax and just be aware without thinking or making judgments of any kind. Picture the Earth, a piece of dust floating in the black void, in the midst of billions of galaxies in black space. Let your awareness encompass the Earth, the solar system, the Milky Way, the universe, and finally, let your awareness be absorbed by the primordial energy. See it and feel it until it becomes as real for you as the rising sun

Picture yourself lying in the fetal position. Step outside your body and observe yourself lying there. Ask yourself, “What is me?”  Continue asking yourself, “What is me?” and get a feel for it so that you see, feel, and understand me.

          Imagine your left foot disappearing. Is your me diminished in any way? Next imagine your right foot disappearing. Is your me diminished? Imagine the rest of your body parts disappearing one by one. After each part disappears, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?” Finally, when all your body parts have disappeared, including your head and brain, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?”

Repeat the Awareness exercise, only this time imagine the disappearance, one by one, of your home, automobile, clothing, money, friends, relatives, job, the stars, sun and earth, and observe your me in the solitude of the cosmic sea. After each loss ask yourself, “Has my me been diminished?” Finally, when all your possessions and the universe have disappeared, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?” See your me. Feel it. Can anything hurt it?

When all prisms drop I clearly see bright

Broad sails above the frothy foam and my arms

Open wide to embrace the undistorted light.

 

#########

Aug
08

PRISM-EYES

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PRISM-EYES
 
All thrown from same clay
Except for the prism eyes
That perturb the Light.
My eyes twist and bend the light.
And I am sure yours do too.
 
Each day my eyes change,
And I’m unaware which are
Prisms for the day.
Are they the prism-eyes which
Colors and shade my meanings?
 
The anger prism
Rushes toxic adrenaline
Making brain angry.
I see loving family
Through hot downpours of red rain.
 
Jingoistic eyes
Tattooed on brain by others
Curtains my vision,
Projects shadows on others
Blinding me to light within.
 
Nations jingo eyes
Bring on war and destruction.
Poured into Mars’s cup
Nation’s sons and daughter’s blood
Is slurped by the black dogs of war.
 
Ethnocentric eyes
Look down from the haughty heights
And with heavy thumb
Weigh the relative merits
Me and mine are always best.
 
Emotions bluster
Through my interior realm
Forging Prism-eyes
That see red rage, gloom, despair,
Blackness, absent angels there.
 
Through prism-eyes of
Greed doubt and fear I’m besieged
And insecure even while
Kissed by angles all pure white
My heart’s never calm at rest.
 
Sadness prism-eyes
All things look gray to blackness
Refusing to see
Overspreading brilliant sky
Unfading cherry blossoms.
 
Jealous prism-eyes
Always infidelities
The green eyed monster
Everywhere I spy is there
Devouring heart and soul.
 
Censure prism-eyes
Light flames of irritation,
Annoyance, anger, hatred.
And harden my heart in stone.
My heart cannot rest serene.
 
Despair prism eyes
See all as dank and dark.
I withdraw from life.
Death opens wide its portal
Fear what’s on the other side.
 
Earth serenely sails
The cosmic sea midst the stars.
Prism eyes of Joy
Like serene clouds in the blue
I sail to my unknown fate.
 
Through prism eyes of
Love, beauty is everywhere.
Through the porous clay
See the radiance within
From nothing am I estranged.
 
When all prisms drop
I clearly see incoming
White sails hovering, 
Embrace the night!, the bright light!
Embrace the undistorted light.
 
May
06

PAIN, PLEASURE, HAPPINESS & JOY

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We are born into pain; You probably don’t remember screaming when you poked your head into the world and got slapped for it; but you know that is the way it works from seeing it happen to others. Later in life we’ll stub our toe, (boy does that ever hurt), we might be rejected by our first love, (and that is way more painful than the pain of a stubbed toe). I imagine the worst pain would be the unimaginable pain resulting from Sophie’s Choice. Sophie while under the boot of her Nazi guard was given the choice of  keeping only one of her two children;  the child she chose, lived; the other child died. Healthy minds just naturally want to avoid pain. 

The healthy mind is drawn towards pleasure like honey bee is drawn towards a flower. We believe that pleasure will bring us happiness, and it usually does…for awhile. Scientific studies have shown that once we are satiated with anything the pleasure recedes like the outgoing tide and we are left with unpleasant feelings and we ask ourselves, “Is that all there is, why I am not happy?” And so we seek immoderately more—more luxurious houses, more sex, drugs, food, jewelry, adventure—anything to stimulate our senses in a pleasurable way.

But we ruefully discover multiple million dollar houses frustrate us because we can live in only one at a time; multiple sex partners exhaust us physically and emotionally; more drugs cause us to stumble over the edge into the abyss; more food bloats the body; more jewelry and we look like a Christmas tree; and more adventures in the outside world impoverishes our inner world. 

We seek pleasure because we believe that pleasure will bring us happiness. But when we explore our inner world we note that although self gratification might bring pleasure, it does not bring happiness by its side. 

 When I explore my inner world I discover which things bring me pleasure and which things bring me joy.

Self-gratification brings me pleasure.

Authenticity, awareness, acceptance, and compassion bring me joy.

I observe that—although I might incidentally amass wealth, build monuments or wield power—my destiny is to expand and deepen within myself authenticity, awareness, acceptance and compassion—in a word: goodness. 

Google has developed a culture of goodness.

Google has an ongoing program developed and presented by, an engineer, Chad-Meng Tan who, was hired by Google its infancy. After a few years of writing programs, Chade-Meng Tan was inspired to develop a program that would bring out the goodness in people. With the encouraging blessing of Google he developed a seminar that is given on an ongoing basis to roomfuls of Google engineers. The program has leaked out of the Google campus and has spread into the world wide businesses community.

The free seminar is avail on line at: 

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8fcqrNO7so

If you decide to watch the seminar I suggest you be sure to watch it clear through to the end because Chade-Meng Tan does a fantastic job of pulling it all together at the closing. 

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at neil@slk.us. I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.

 

Jan
09

HUMAN TRAITS

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Human Traits

 

Were my traits impressed on me at birth?
Not like my eyes or shape of head
More like a kaleidoscope that quickly changes
Until the moment I am dead.

 

I’ve heard that traits are never tiring  
Atoms, molecules, DNA, proteins,
flashing, Zapping, firing, misfiring
In a dazzling display of heavenly delight.
 
From the sunrise to sunset I observe
A kaleidoscope of dancers in my head
And the very same dancing in your head.
Are we not all made out of the same stuff?
 
Dancers, a shank of hair, a bag of bones
In rags, addicted to coffee, booze, smokes,
sex, power and pills, who never say no and say
Never enough have danced in my head.
 
The dance varies but never ends
It continues until the sun sets.
 
I have a pleasant disposition (more or less)
And you have a pleasant disposition (more or less)
 
I’m inclined to be mean and nasty (more or less)
And you’re inclined to be mean and nasty (more or less)
 
I love and feel compassion for
The afflicted and downtrodden
And you love and feel compassion for
The afflicted and downtrodden
And we both have a thirst for justice.
 
And what about anger, road rage, wife abuse,
Abuse of children, mayhem, murder and
Killing fields? Our dancers know these dances,
Or certainly know how to learn them.
 
And what about the lustful roving eye,
Febrile stolen sex, drunk or sober, and
When the dance is done the dancer’s
Feet stumbles and the feet move on.
 
Dancers in my brain have
Danced these dances and the dancers in
Your brain have danced these dances, or
Know how to learn them.
 
And what about the fearful heart, stranger
To serenity, heaped with fright and dread,  
Suffering from worry and trepidation? The
Dancers in our head dance until we’re dead.
 
The constellation of traits: irritation,
Displeasure, disgust, shame, and indifference
Hangs like a soot cloud over my white linen suit.
 
Relentless sadness, self-pity, boredom,
Depression, apathy and passivity, leach
Life’s joy from my bones.
 
The happy traits of easy to please, hopeful
Anticipation, happiness, gratitude, love and
Joy are welcome guests in my heart’s abode,
But they will not stay the night when no
Check is made on the roving eye or the
Door is cracked for rage.
 
Primordial energy, Einstein’s beguiling
God-atom, hiding, laughing and clapping
Hands behind creation’s door: the big bang
And singular event dazzling distant unborn
Eyes, shooting into the cosmos its
Trait-producing energy.
 
I shot luminous stardust into
space with you in mind,
You! With Your greed, your lust, your rage,
your killing fields,
You! So full of compassion and love,
You, listener of Beethoven, and Puccini arias
I fashioned you to dance, stumble and
Rise again and dance towards the light.
—-neil bezaire
 
Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at neil@slk.us. I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.

 

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May
01

CHANGE YOURSELF CHANGE THE WORLD

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We Change the World by Changing Ourselves

To change the world, we must begin by changing ourselves.

Changing ourselves changes the world; to the extent we change ourselves the universe is changed, because we are part of it all.

The whole fabric of humanity is changed, to the extent we change ourselves.

The law of radiation and attraction states that vibrations we send out affects others; and the vibrations of others affect us.

It is impossible to ignore these vibrations.

Think of it this way: If you pee in the ocean, the entire ocean is changed—one moment it is an ocean without your pee in it, the next moment it is an ocean with your pee in it.

If you must share it with others, I don’t think it’s a good idea to test this theory in a swimming pool.

But “Why?” you might ask, would I want to change myself if I’m comfortable with the way I am. This is a fair question.

A fulfilling life involves the process of taking many small steps on the path towards perfection. 

Perfection is a static state in which nothing more needs to be done.

 Maybe after death we will reach a static state of perfection, but for as long as we breathe, the journey towards perfection will never end.

 Like the journey of a musician whose lifetime is spent studying, listening, and practicing to improve the music within, when we travel along the path towards perfection, our efforts will reward us with a life filled with Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity.

The process itself is fulfilling. 

Changing Our Self

When toxic emotions bring us unhappiness, we can well modulate them to bring us a satisfying measure of peace and happiness.

Millions of years of evolutionary forces have programmed us to self-program ourselves; now we have means to somewhat determine our measure of happiness. 

We are able to modify the programs that make us red in tooth and claw.

 We can become instruments of peace instead of war, love instead of hate, comfort instead of injury, hope instead of despair, and joy instead of sorrow.

Temperament might nudge us, but what we will be is mainly for us to say.

We can cheat or we can be honest; we can be cruel or we can be kind; we can be greedy or we can be generous—we have some say in these matters of morality.

 Our thoughts and actions significantly change us; each choice we make etches itself, atom by atom, into our brain.

Changing our Brain

Changing ourselves involves modifying behavior by changing the wiring of our brain.

At one time the scientific community widely believed we are stuck for life with the brain we were born with. 

However recent discoveries reveal that our thoughts and actions, atom by atom, etch new pathways, new neural connections, new filaments into our brains. 

Almost incredibly, we become what we think and do.  

It is now known that our brain is highly programmable; and the programming starts in the mother’s womb. 

The music the mother hears, the things she thinks about, her emotions, what she eats—all have an effect on her child’s brain. 

After our birth, our thoughts, observations, activities, and experiences, atom by atom etch their reality into our brain. 

Learning means forming new lines of communications, new filaments, which connects the various parts of our brain. 

I become what I think and what I do. 

Thinking stimulates my neurons and causes them to create new filaments and connecting points associated with the thought. 

Thinking also causes neurons to fire faster. 

The thought deepens and broadens the communication channel associated with it. 

The deepened and broadened channel makes it easier to respond in a certain pattern. 

If we constantly think about guns and physical violence, our brains develop a channel, atom by atom, for thinking in violent terms, and we are priming our body to respond in violent ways. 

In other words, we become more violent because we think about violence. 

We also become more trustful because we think about trust, more authentic because we think about authenticity, and more compassionate because we think about compassion. 

The environment can alter the way our brain controls our behavior. 

Nonviolent rats became uber vicious after they watched a rat in an adjoining cage rip the head off a mouse and eat it. 

By extrapolation, researchers have concluded that broadcasting stomach churning violence on television inclines us towards violence. 

A continuous diet of vicious propaganda induced Serbs, Croats, and Muslims to run amuck and massacre every man, woman and child that got in the way of their horrific ethnic cleansing. 

Overcoming Genetic Defects 

A genetic defect can result in a propensity for certain behavior. 

A predisposition for certain behavior arises when enough genetic defects so weaken the brain’s ability to process chemicals properly that a sufficiently stressful situation will cause the brain to misfire. 

Beginning as electrical storms in the emotional brain, uncontrollable outbursts of temper flood the brain and the rest of the body with harmful chemicals and hormones. 

The brain has more potential pathways than there are stars in the sky so insight, discipline, and medication can usually enable the brain to work around defective genes. 

Brain’s Moral Component 

At some magical point, a line of primates developed a brain that had fundamentally changed in quality. 

When humans appeared out of the mist of time, they could invent things, create pictures, music, poems; they could sing and dance, and they had a spiritual component that could preserve its integrity, even at the expense of the organism. 

The human brain is more than a hard-wired computer that serves to keep the organism alive. 

For example, sometimes at the cost of their own lives, unsung Germans in Nazi Germany helped Jews hide and escape. 

The human brain can explore the nature of moral values. 

Before acting, I can ask myself, “can I?” and, more importantly, “should I?” 

I can make choices, and assume responsibility for their consequences. 

I can explore the universe and trace the arc of my emergence from primordial energy and my return to it. (God has many names which people fight over, so I’ll use the somewhat scientific sounding name “primordial energy” and let others use whatever name they prefer. It’s all the same unnamable “I am who am.”). 

I can reflect on the nature of primordial energy. 

In short, the brain is headed down a spiritual path. 

Joy

Ancient wisdom tells us that when we come to a fork in the road, and one road leads to pleasure and the other to joy, the wise man will take the road that leads to joy; but no one can teach us what things bring us joy.

The things that bring us joy are nestled deep within us.

When we survey our inner realm, we discover for ourselves the toxic emotions that bring us pain and sorrow; and we also find the glorious things that refresh our souls with joy and delight—Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity.

Reflection  

Evolution produced genetic programs that enable us to reflect. 

When we reflect, an aspect of ourselves steps apart from us, looks within our mind and heart, and observes ourselves thinking, judging, and acting. 

No outside agency can compel us to reflect; it must be done freely or not at all. 

The ability to reflect is what enables us to modify our behavior. 

We are free to live a superficial existence of acting and reacting, making deals, making love, buying things, dancing, and in the end asking, “Is that all there is?” 

Or we can choose to reflect and discover that we are not doomed to remain red in tooth and claw forever. 

We can discover how to live a fulfilling life by honestly facing our fears, anger, judgments, ethnocentrism, hate, greed, lust, shame, guilt, anxiety, and all the rest. 

When we observe our inner life, we learn two critically important things: one, that toxic thoughts and emotions affect us badly; and two, that we can modulate our thoughts and emotions so they can serve us better. 

Desire to Change 

The first step on our journey to a more fulfilling life is a desire to change. 

This desire prompts us to turn toward love and compassion like a morning glory turns its face toward the golden sun. 

Contemplation of our vices and the suffering they bring us and our loved ones can be enough to create the desire to change. 

Once we have the desire to change, we will incline towards compassion and abandon cruelty, we will incline towards love and abandon hate, we will strive to be authentic instead of deceitful, and we will embrace peace and reject violence. 

Without the desire to change we are stuck. We cannot even step on the path that leads to happiness.         

Once desire puts us on the path, four qualities will propel us along the path towards happiness. 

Authenticity 

The first is authenticity; it sets us free—free from lies, deceits, fears and anxieties. 

It gives us peace of mind and improves our relationship with others. 

Thinking about authenticity and being authentic develops neuron connections to support an authentic state of mind, which then makes it easier for us to be continually authentic. 

Pure Awareness 

The second is pure awareness; its radiance opens the window to our soul and sends our toxic thoughts and emotions scurrying away like cockroaches under a bright light. 

Under the influence of pure awareness nothing obscures our view or separates us from what we observe—we are one with the universe. 

When we attend to things with pure awareness, our face is relaxed, our jaw is slack, our mind is clear, peaceful, and calm, and observations flow in without our having to think or judge—we are in a state of flow. 

Awareness helps us sort out conflicting thoughts and emotions that battle for an opportunity to claim our brain; and it helps us make wise decisions. 

When we shine the light of pure awareness into the dark crevices of our mind, we observe ourselves—our emotions, desires and innermost thoughts—as we really are. 

Awareness helps us to avoid self-deception. 

If we are a habitual liar, awareness helps us recognize that we are a liar. 

Without recognition of the fact that we are a liar, we are stuck—stuck with being a liar and remaining unaware that we can change. 

But once we recognize that we are a liar, we can change and move on. (Sin and redemption in a biblical sense.) 

When we observe with pure awareness, a friend, a foe, ourselves, a piece of broken glass, a steamy dung heap, or a rose we experience these as they really are.

 But if we observe them as we expect them to be, or wish them to be, we are not observing them as they really are. 

Awareness means living in the present: it means observing what is before us here and now. 

When we are fully present to someone, we hear the tone of their voice, see the light in their eyes, and feel the texture of their skin, and share their pain, sorrow, joy, and happiness. 

But if our mind is stuck in the past—last night, last week, or last year, or stuck in the future—will this person go out with me, will this person like me, then we are not in the present. 

Instead our psyche is stressfully stretched between the past and the future and we miss the elusive joy of the moment. 

Even when we have fear for the future and regrets about the past, we can remain in the present by observing our regret and our fear (which is our present condition) without censuring ourselves for having such emotions. 

We are living in the present when we carefully observe our inner condition, whatever it is. 

Eventually fears and anxieties start to dissipate and soothing sunshine flows in through the window of our soul. 

If we are an angry person and easily explode into rage, we can decrease our inclination toward anger by observing our anger with pure awareness. 

Under the radiant light of pure awareness, we can see our anger with great clarity—we can feel the blood flood into our brain as the adrenaline surges; we can take note of our raging red brain, and feel the urge to strike out. 

If we quietly observe our anger and refuse to act on it, we can feel the anger begin to slip away. 

If we censure ourselves for becoming angry, we can observe the censorious judgment—just observe. 

If we censure ourselves for censuring ourselves, we can just observe that new censorious thought. 

Eventually we will feel the psychic energy that caused us to censure ourselves start to dissipate, and eventually we will return to the state of observing only the anger with pure awareness. 

This time we may note that our anger will have diminished even more. 

If we continue observing our anger with pure awareness, the anger will start to melt away like a snowflake in the warm morning sun; and a program for serenity begins to etch itself, atom by atom, into our brain. 

Completing Our Thoughts 

If our mind is cluttered with unwelcome thoughts which keep repeating like an endless loop, it’s probably because we have not completed them.

When left unattended, toxic thoughts remain in the brain, cluttering, growing, clouding, obscuring, ricocheting, and triggering more toxic thoughts and emotions like a runaway nuclear reaction.

Confusion sets in, we cannot hear ourselves think above the noise, and if the energy level is high enough and is not discharged, it can reach a critical state that cracks the mind.

Think of homicidal jealousy, road rage, or cruel child abuse.

Suppressing or ignoring repetitive thoughts does not discharge their negative energy.

Neither does self-censure or self-flagellation or reliance on cultural or religious ideologies.

Their energy remains in the brain whirling about like an atomic cloud, sickening our body, mind, and soul.

Discharging the harmful energy of negative thoughts and emotions requires careful awareness of what is going on inside us.

We have to follow our thoughts and emotions and see how they arose, how they affect us, and where they will lead us if we act them out.

We need to stay with what is and not try to behave according to an ideology or dogma.

As an example: assume a high-school teacher is sexually aroused by an alluring 15–year–old girl and begins to think of the excitement and pleasure that could follow.

If the teacher observes the arousal process taking place and reflects on it carefully he can see it for what it is, a primeval sexual program designed to get genes passed on to the next generation.

If the teacher doesn’t censure himself for what is taking place, and even recognizes the cosmic humor in the situation, once that’s done, the sexual energy starting to build up starts to fade away.

Atom by atom, his strategy will etch itself into his brain so that as time passes his strategy will automatically operate before the arousal starts. 

Acceptance 

Acceptance does not mean that we abandon our goals and desires.

It simply means that we are not attached to them. It is the “I’ve got to, I’ve got to” impulse that clouds our vision.

Whenever we say “I’ve got to have a new car,” or “I need to keep my large, expensive house,” it is the attachment to the car and the house that brings us anxiety and fear.

When we do our best to attain our goals, and afterwards accept with a holy indifference whatever flows from our efforts without anger, fear, or attachment, we are programming ourselves for a detached attitude about life.

This leads to serenity; accepting what is programs ourselves for serenity.

When we are greedy, if we do not try to reject or suppress our greed, and we do not censure ourselves for being angry, we will observe the mind becoming progressively still, until finally it is illumined with pure awareness—observation without obscuring toxic emotions.

Compassion

Compassion etches itself deep into our brain whenever our point of view changes to that of a person in pain and sorrow. 

Compassion can help us reprogram ourselves in a peculiar context. 

Suppose we are happily married. Yet, we might wind up in a strange bed snuggled next to a person with a come-hither smile and finally arrive home at two in the morning. 

Of course our spouse is angry and we respond to the spouse’s anger by denying everything and by making acrimonious accusations of our own.

 If we can change our point of view to that of our spouse, we might feel empathy and compassion while becoming aware of our partner’s hurt and vulnerability. 

Compassion compels us to tell our suffering partner how deeply sorry we are for violating her trust and having caused her suffering, and to assure her that it will never happen again. 

Compassion leads to a better resolution than anger and recriminations. 

And as our anger is replaced by compassion, the program for compassion is etched ever more deeply into our brain. 

Expanded horizons 

Expanded horizons help us dissipate unwanted emotions. 

While happily married, we might meet someone with a come-hither smile and find them sexually exciting; we can imagine an afternoon of sexual delights. 

(You might ask why another happily married person meets a com-hither smile as a sad example. It’s simply because a come-hither smile of a third party is the starting point of a many lamentable journeys which lead to the destruction of intimate and loving relationships.) 

Now back to imagining a delightful sexual encounter. Our nerves tingle with sexual excitement as we feel the surge of passion. 

Without an expanded horizon and a developed sense of awareness, like being caught up in a tsunami we might be helplessly swept away by our passions. 

With a developed sense of awareness and expanded vision, before the opening lines of the first act, we can see the beginning, the middle, and the end of the sexual drama unfolding. 

We can observe what passion is doing to our mind and body—the molecules cascading through our system, the quickened heartbeat, the tingling sexual excitement, the inability to think clearly, and the anticipation of sexual delights. 

And we can also see the trip home to the spouse that’s been betrayed and hurt, the anxiety, the lies and evasions, the loss of authenticity, the strain on the relationship, the sorrow of our spouse. 

We can see where our emotions are pointing us and decide if that is where we want to go. 

Pondering 

We can learn from our own experiences how we work and how we fit into existence. 

And we can also learn from others by what we see, hear or read. 

But we must ponder on these lessons for them to become our own experience, and not just information we have been exposed to. 

We can read that the emotion of anger can be destructive if uncontrolled and that the way of controlling one’s anger is not to reject it, suppress it, deny it, or fight it but on the contrary to accept it, embrace it, acknowledge it, and study it. 

We can read these words and even memorize them. 

But the words will not significantly help us unless we experience them. 

We make them our own experience by focusing all our attention on our toxic emotions, anger for example, and pondering on them. 

We can observe for ourselves what anger does to our mind and body. 

We can become aware of how the blood surges to the brain, how it feels swollen and tight inside the skull, how the temples throb, how the adrenaline makes us feel, how we develop an urge to lash out and strike or hurl something, and how we can lose control of our thought processes and begin to run amuck. 

When we experience our anger with pure awareness, and study it as if our life depended on it, we etch new programs into our brain. 

By observing and studying our anger in light of what we have seen, heard or read we make what we have seen, heard or read our own experience. 

No longer will it be a case where “I heard,” or “I read,” but rather one where I know with absolute certainty what anger is, and how it affects me and what happens when I quietly observe it. 

When we ponder on these things, we have made the words of others our own . . . and we can throw away the book. 

Group Influence 

A moment’s reflection reveals how our individual brain affects the collective human brain. 

If our brain becomes red and angry (or greedy, or lustful, and so on), our anger generates anger in others, which in turn increases our own anger and yet again increases the toxic emotion in others until violence and wars erupt. 

In a beneficial way an individual can positively influence a group. 

By reprogramming ourselves with inner serenity, we reduce the anxiety level of those around us. 

And when the anxiety level of those around us goes down, it becomes easier for us to deepen and broaden our own program for inner serenity. 

For example, if extensive and persistent misanthropic inclinations cause us psychic pain, they can be changed to benefit ourselves and the world.

Some morning after we wake up we might find ourselves in a bad mood: we do not love our mate as we once did, or a relative, friend, or associate.

In fact, we are downright hostile towards them.

Perhaps they didn’t properly respond to our kindness, and on a subconscious level we have tallied things up and discovered that they owe us.

If they owe us just a little, then the response might be mild irritation; if they owe us a great deal, and in addition they have committed an unpardonable offense towards us, the response might be homicidal rage.

Is their anything we can do about that?

After millions of years of marching with the unknowing herd down evolution’s highway, humans veered off onto a high road with scenic turnouts.

We can pull off, quietly reflect, sort through our stuff and discard unwanted baggage.

We can share information with our fellow travelers, lend a helping hand, serenely view our inner life, and discover where we are headed.

Slowly but unmistakably we are discovering that we can modulate our emotions.

With pure crystalline awareness (one free of toxic emotions) we can look beyond the skin, flesh, and bones, beyond the atoms and molecules, beyond the subatomic particles to the essential goodness of all things.

Pure awareness collapses our boundaries which enables us to experience the Primordial Energy in all things.

Empathy, compassion and love for all beings arise out of the state of pure awareness. 

Someday, maybe in ten thousand years, a phase change will take place in humanity and change it forever; and Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity will brim every heart with joy. 

MIND EXERCISE

Every moment awareness, every moment zen 

Relax in a comfortable position without any distractions. 

Select an emotion that causes you distress. 

Maybe it’s an emotion like rage that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is frighteningly overwhelming. 

Or maybe it’s an emotion like irritation over trivial matters that occur daily, and corrode your relationships. 

With your mind’s eye see yourself in that emotional state and observe it without censure or analysis. 

Observe how it affects you and those around you. 

Practice awareness when you wake up in the morning. 

Take the time to observe things in the soft glow of morning light. 

Just observe and let what you observe flow into you without thought or judgment. 

Stretch and feel the stretching. 

Don’t judge your condition to be good or bad, just be aware of the stretching. 

Step onto the floor with full awareness. Be aware of the sensation as you transfer your weight to your feet. 

Brush your teeth, comb your hair, and wash your face or shave, all with pure awareness. 

Be aware of your face; put a smile on your face. 

Do not judge it; just observe it with pure awareness. 

Observe your inner realm. 

Observe your authenticity or lack thereof, observe the movement of your mind; what thoughts and urges are flitting about—focus on the ones that give you problems and observe where they come from, how they affect you, and allow them to melt away. Easier said than done; but it can be done! Perhaps not in a day, or month, perhaps not even in years, but with whole hearted perseverance someday it will happen. 

Zen monks try to live their lives “every moment Zen” or “every moment mindfulness.” 

But they live in a monastery. 

If you live in a more hectic environment, tell yourself, “I can live the first five minutes of each day with pure awareness,” and etch a serenity mini-program into your brain. 

Notice how you become censorious during the day. 

Do you think you are too old, too fat, too tall or too short; was the coffee too hot or too cold; is the weather too gloomy? 

Some judgments are necessary in our daily lives, but not many: Are the eggs done? Does this top go with this skirt? Don’t be concerned with these. 

Just concern yourself with the gratuitous toxic judgments—that person sure looks like a geek; that person sure is dumb, and so on. 

Each time you catch yourself making a gratuitous toxic judgment, observe the judgment and how its toxicity affects you. 

Just observe the judgment until it dissipates, and continue observing with pure awareness the person or thing you previously judged. 

Let serenity etch a program into your brain. 

Another Mind Exercise 

Cascading Impulses 

With your mind’s eye look at your brain. 

 

See the outer surface, gray and convoluted, and enmeshed in a web of veins and arteries. 

Look deeper and observe the neurons, interconnected by a gauzy web of gossamer filaments. 

Go inside the neuron and observe the manufacturing, transportation, and utilization of chemicals, and the generation of electricity. 

See and feel the electrochemical impulses cascading through your body.

Observe the way your thoughts and emotions affect your brain. 

Continue observing your brain until you can see and feel its reality from the underlying subatomic level of pure energy to its convoluted gray surface.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at neil@slk.us. I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.

 

Mar
15

CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM

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 CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM

Conscious Capitalism sheds a shining light over the business community and reveals a deeper purpose for business—a much deeper and more noble purpose than just maximizing profits for the shareholders.

 Under the umbrella of Conscious Capitalism business is based on four principals.

 1. Social Purpose: The first principle is that businesses have a social purpose beyond merely maximizing profits for the shareholders. 

2. Stakeholder Principal: The second principle is that businesses  must consider the interests of the interconnected stakeholders—shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and the community.

3. Leadership Philosophy: The third principle is that business leaders are professionals who are ethically bound to put the interests of all stakeholders ahead of their own. 

They must consider the impact their decisions will have on all the stakeholders. 

4. Business Culture: The business culture must nurture the leadership and stakeholders by encouraging all of them to recognize the principals of Conscious Capitalism. 

The CEO of Whole Foods Markets, John Mackey, practices Conscious Capitalism.

 CNN Money has posted Mackey’s inspiring presentation on Conscious Capitalism at the following site: 

http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2011/03/10/f_cc_whole_foods.cnnmoney

 Watch it and feel your heart trembling with excitement as you share John Mackey’s vision.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at neil@slk.us. I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.

 

 

Mar
12

Letter To Dear Readers

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What follows comes from a letter I recently wrote to dear friends, Kathy and Gene St. Pierre,  a married couple who thirty-five years ago inspired Momo and me to attend a Marriage Encounter weekend.

The experience helped us smooth out a turbulent patch in our marriage.

Without Gene and Kathy’s help, Momo and I, our marriage, would undoubtedly have crashed and burned, the turbulence was that bad.

I’ve had chest congestion for the past week and it’s fogging up my brain.

I’ve been working on a new essay, but my foggy brain keeps me from completing it.

Today my friend thanked me for the letter with such enthusiasm that I decided to read it.

I thought “Hmm, with some modification this letter can become a letter to the readers.

And so, with Gene and Kathy’s permission, here I am scavenging their letter.  

A writer, Knut Hamsun, whose books I enjoy reading, when in his eighties, cynically wrote: “The advice of the old is like the setting winter sun: it sheds light but does not warm us.”

Hamsun’s cynical comment notwithstanding, I will post this blog and hope it sheds some light and warmth. 

LETTER TO YOU, DEAR READER

Momo and I are healthy and happy and hope you are too.

There is no drama in our lives.

One day follows the next, time passes, no anxieties, no fears; we just serenely move along accepting whatever comes our way knowing that it does us more harm then good to rage and complain.

At our age we have seen so many ups and downs that we finally get it, and I’m sure you do too.

Ups invariably follow downs so why worry, just wait it out.

I guess that as death finally takes hold and pulls us down into the ground we will worry that that is an ultimate downer, without an upper following it.

But, who knows.

I know I’ll die, but I’m less certain about what lies beyond the grave.

Is there only blackness?

Or are there Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity.

I’m inclined to believe that after my death, my consciousness, my soul will expand into timeless infinity, into Primordial Energy, into God’s embrace.

I will experience infinite aha-moments as I become aware of all of existence–the path of every atom, molecule, every life form; every decision and every secret intention that was ever made and their causes.

And, Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity will brim my soul with joy.

Lately, I dwell on death; the process of dying, what to expect afterwards, and in that context what I should do with the few grains of sand left in my hour glass.

And I’ve finally reached a conclusion.

The most important thing for me is to use the final fumes left in my tank to make life a little better for Momo, the family, friends, and strangers I meet on the street.

It makes it easier for me to curb my temper, when I consider, that if I don’t, I’ll unleash bad vibes that make life miserable for those around me.

Sometimes, of course, I still fail to curb my temper, although it happens far less now.

Failing to curb my temper proves that that is not a good strategy for making life pleasant for those around me.

It’s worse then shooting myself in the foot.

Well, these are just some thoughts I’ve accumulated in my heart, like moss clinging to the north side of a tree.

I hold them out for you dear reader as I would a fragrant rose.

I find it peculiar that the atoms and molecules can carry my thoughts to you but cannot carry the rose to you.

Perhaps in ten thousand years.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at neil@slk.us. I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.

 

Dec
12

Changing Ourselves

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The ancients recognized that to change the world one must begin by changing oneself.

Changing ourselves does change the world, the cosmos even, because we are part of it all.

To the extent we change ourselves we change the whole fabric of humanity.

The law of radiation and attraction states that we all radiate vibrations which affect others, and their vibrations affect us.

It is almost impossible to disguise these vibrations.

But when our toxic emotions bring us and those around us unhappiness, we can modulate them so that they bring us a satisfying measure of peace and happiness.

For example, if extensive and persistent misanthropic inclinations cause us psychic pain they can be changed for ones own benefit and that of the world.

Some morning after we wake up we might find ourselves in a bad mood: we do not love our mate, or our relative, or our associate as we once did.

In fact, we are downright hostile towards them.

Perhaps they didn’t properly respond to our kindness and on a subconscious level we have tallied things up and discovered that they owe us.

If they owe us just a little, then the response might be mild irritation; if they owe us a great deal, and in addition they have committed an unpardonable offense towards us, the response might be homicidal rage.

But is their anything we can do about that?

After millions of years of marching with the unknowing herd down evolution’s highway, we humans veered off onto a high road with scenic turnouts where we can pull off, quietly reflect, sort through and discard unwanted baggage, share information with our fellow travelers, lend a helping hand, serenely view our inner life, and see where we are headed.

Slowly but unmistakably we are discovering that we can modulate our emotions.

With pure crystalline awareness (one free of toxic emotions) we can look beyond the skin, flesh, and bones, beyond the atoms and molecules, beyond the subatomic particles to the essential goodness of all things.

Pure awareness collapses our boundaries which enables us to experience the Primordial Energy in all things.

Empathy, compassion and love for all beings arise out of the state of pure awareness.