Posts Tagged ‘mind’

The greatest two lessons that I’ve learned

March 7, 2017
  1. Nothing that I do is important.
  2. My thoughts are not important.

Washing dishes is no less (and no more) important than anything else. So, I may as well treat everything with equal presence – give the same presence to washing dishes as to driving a car on an icy road.

Since my thoughts are not important, I no longer need to be consumed in my thoughts and emotions. I am free to simply observe (witness) my thoughts and emotions without condemnation.

These “lessons” at first seemed shocking to me, but on further reflection they are liberating.

The ego is the unobserved mind

January 11, 2017

The ego is the unobserved mind. [Eckhart Tolle]

Thoughts are just things. They should be looked at and examined.

You are not your thoughts. Thoughts are merely things generated by the mind.

The plank exercise as meditation

April 19, 2016

Over the years I’ve tried to meditate: sit still, note any tension in my body and let go of the tension, observe my breath and adopt a steady, slow breathing pattern. But I quickly get bored with that and soon stop meditating.

Recently I’ve been doing the plank exercise. For the first couple weeks, all I could think about while doing the plank was how unpleasant and hard it is. But then I decided to shift my focus to my breathing and on mentally observing the pull of gravity on my body. Wow! What a fantastic change in perspective. Now I love doing the plank. I love watching my breath and mentally observing the pull of gravity on my body as I perform the exercise. The plank has become meditation for me!

How to put ourselves in situations where we are confronted with sights, smells, feelings, sounds, tastes that we have never experienced before

October 16, 2015

I have a theory that dementia, perhaps even Alzheimers, is caused by a lack of mental growth.

So what can be done to avoid getting dementia and Alzheimers? To answer that question we need look to those individuals with tremendous mental growth … we need to look to children.

Think about, say, a 3 year old child. Every day hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new information enters through all five senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Every day he experiences things that he has never experienced in his life.

Contrast with adults. There is probably not a single thing that we see, smell, touch, hear, or taste that we haven’t already experienced before, hundreds or thousands of times.

No new input = no mental growth.

No mental growth = stagnation (a.k.a. dementia, Alzheimers).

Can we be like a child again? That is, can we put ourselves in situations where we are confronted with sights, smells, feelings, sounds, tastes that we have never experienced before? And can we do that every day? (And still have a job)

A friend, somewhat jokingly suggested:

I don’t know anything about boating. If someone were to drop me into a boat in the middle of the ocean, then I would be forced to quickly learn about navigation, ocean currents, weather, and a bunch of other things very quickly. I’d probably die.

I’d prefer not to be in situations where I might die.

I want to hear your thoughts on this: how do you put yourself in absolutely new situations?

A programming language that makes you smarter

July 12, 2015

A programming language is, well, a language.

It is a formal, structured language.

It has been my experience that if one immerses oneself in a language — any formal, structured language — it influences the mind.

Hypothesis: some languages influence the mind more positively, beneficially than others.

What programming language do you feel has the most positive, beneficial influence on one’s mind and thought process?

The key to bodybuilding is to use moderate weights and develop a strong mind/body connection

December 29, 2012

Ever since I was a child I wanted to be a bodybuilder. When I was old enough I started lifting weights. I worked hard and ate right. But I got little results. It was particularly disheartening as those around me got bigger and bigger. Clearly they had the genetics and I did not.

Nonetheless I have persisted in my training over the years. Recently two events have given me insight into why I have never achieved all that I believe I am capable of:

1. I was watching a YouTube video on Kai Greene. He took 2nd place in the most recent Mr. Olympia contest. In the video he said, “I am not a weightlifter.” He distinguishes between a weightlifter and a bodybuilder: a weightlifter is focused on lifting as much weight as possible whereas a bodybuilder is focused on hypertrophy (increasing muscle size).

2. I read this statement by Ron Harris in an exercise magazine: It is the stubborn refusal to train with moderate weights and have a better mind/body connection that prevents many would-be bodybuilders from ever looking quite like a bodybuilder.

Those two events have rocked my world. I will now approach my training in a completely different manner.