Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Ego Can Blind Us

Posted on: April 15th, 2018 by Paul
Douala The Ego Can Blind Us, it’s more obvious in some than others…

In a recent interview, Larry King likes Donald Trump. “I’ve always liked him personally,” the legendary television host told Fortune in a recent interview. “I’ve read some terrible things that I’m sad about, but he’s never done anything bad to me.”

Still, King has mixed feelings about the billionaire’s ascent to the White House. “Donald is a complicated character,” King says. “His ego is beyond egoism. I’ve never met anyone with a higher ego.”

The Voters for Trump SNL skit was hilarious and scary…Facing the harsh reality of who we are as human beings and often times makes people uncomfortable. Most people do not want to deal with who they really are as they are not ready to accept it or they are not ready to acknowledge it. And I’m not talking about what we think we are or what other people think we are. I am talking about what we really are! And unless you specifically tune your mindfulness practice to seeking out what you really are, then you are simply aware of what you think you are or what other people think you are. Make sense?

Taking aim at the mind’s confusion with this reality can solve a lifetime of distress and suffering. Why do we not want to face this other reality? We are too busy living a life between what we think we are and what other people think we are. We can spend an entire lifetime in between and never know there is another reality. Frankly, most people just don’t care. They have enough on their plate. And no one can blame them. So for those whose cup is not full and can still get some more in it, then here is another way to look at life.

Jebba Sugar-Coated or Right Between the Eyes…

And who really wants it “right between the eyes?” Can you just tell someone they are not who they think they are? Would you expect them to just say, “Yes, of course. Thanks for straightening that out for me!” No, I don’t think so! Ha. World wars to religious prejudice to family feuds are predicated on the complex ego; on trying to defend an identity that in itself is an absolute illusion.

But people balk at the fact that they may be an illusion; a very hard fact to come to grips with. But that’s what mindfulness can begin to rattle a little. It’s the peeling away of the layers of identity to discover the real source of your nature. It’s unknowingness! But are you ready for that? Is that really what you want to hear?

You’re in a tunnel not knowing if you’re moving forward or backward. You want to be released from this grip of unknowingness and be free once and for all. You can’t stand it anymore. You’ve tried everything that your calculating, cunning, analytical mind could think of to solve this dilemma and still you come up short. Your stomach turns. You can be feverish in despair—I’m not kidding, literally feverish. And you feel like there is no end to this unsolvable thing called: What is my real nature? It’s torture, really mental torture.

Then it culminates in a switch of the interface (the way you see yourself and the world) from egocentric to allocentric—from seeing everything revolving around you to everything revolving around everything else. You see you are a drop in the ocean, but now suddenly in order to see into your real nature you must lose your “dropness.” Simple. Or maybe not. But everything changes like being kissed for the first time. When you are in the mindful practice of awareness, just extend that awareness past yourself and others for a moment. And in that moment, if you hold it long enough…there is a universe.

Host a Screening. Screened in 20 countries!

Schools, corporations, organizations, prisons, private groups, sport teams, medical facilities, and everyday people are using mindfulness today. CLICK HER FOR MORE INFO.

 

Rare Interview with Filmmaker

We’re seeing an exploration of mindfulness in some places it’s not been discussed before. No longer relegated to the confines of a meditation hall or traditional books, we’re seeing scientific studies, popular books, Time Magazine cover stories (again!). HEAR INTERVIEW

 

Join the Mindfulness Movie Facebook Group

How you see can change your life!   CLICK HERE.

Streaming Now—Over 20,000 sold!

The Mindfulness Movie is now on 11 networks and has been screened in 20 countires worldwide and seen by tens of thousands of people. Click photo below to see all links.

 

Reviews

“…we get a good look at what contemplative neuroscience is revealing about the brain, and where mindful techniques are being used in education…”

MINDFUL Magazine

The Mindfulness Movie (2014, 69 mins) is produced and directed by Paul Harrison AIA. Executive Producer: Lori Lynn Schmidt. Editor: Ken Duke. Cinematography: Steve Scarantino. U.S. English. A Paul Harrison AIA film. A Where’s My Mind? Media release.

 

My Wife Hardly Mucks Up

Posted on: November 3rd, 2017 by Paul
November 2017 Blog
Tired of Feeling All Mucked Up All the Time

True Story

My wife is really good at getting “up from the muck.” It’s a lesson I learn from her over and over. She’s a Mennonite from Kansas, and now a free-spirited L.A. gal who somehow can live just above the big city muck! Her upbringing has trained her to always see the good and not dwell in the bad. Simple, right? Maybe. We’ve known each other 7 years, and I can—at this point—tell the positive from the negative of her “up from the muck” approach.

The good far outweighs the bad—like giving in,when you really shouldn’t, to be the better person. Or being willing to be sometimes taken advantage of just to avoid a possible confrontation with a real jerk. I may be more mucked up than her, but I have more street sense. Probably because while she was playing in the wheat fields of Wichita, I was playing in the alleys of Hollywood.

The real problem with muck and what’s REALLY DETRIMENTAL to your psyche is dwelling in it, getting stuck in it, and making it one of your comfort zone.

So what do I mean by the muck? Well, the definition according to the online dictionary is:

noun

  1. moist farmyard dung, decaying vegetable matter, etc.; manure.
  2.  a highly organic, dark or black soil, less than 50 percent combustible, often used as a manure.
  3. mire; mud.

What I really mean is all the “crap” that’s in our head most of the time—the day-to-day struggles we have with comparing ourselves to everyone else both in small and big ways. And not just comparing ourselves, but dwelling in useless anger, jealousy, paranoia’s, condescending and snobby attitudes, thoughts of inadequacies, illusions of grandeur, and the host of other evolved human emotions and behavior that simply drive us batty most of the time.

OK, some of it may be inevitable. But do you really want to spend your time on the muck?

Or should I say knee deep in the muck of your mind. I think not! We would rather spend our time enjoying the moment of an event we are attending or the people in that moment. We feel better when we are free of the muck. Let’s get up from the muck, wipe off our faces, and take a clean breath of muck free air—not really possible in L.A.

How do we get out of the muck?

Simply by recognizing that it is indeed mind manure nothing more than that. Don’t let your ego place something of value on it, because then you’ll be right back face down in the muck. Frankly, with a face full of crap, it’s hard to smile!

 

Once we recognize muck for what it is and what isn’t, we can use Mindfulness to help us stay on top of the muck or just a little outside of it. But like pigs, if we are used to wallowing in it, it starts feeling comfortable and homey. There are a lot of people that are so at home in the muck, they never realize there’s a place without it.

I promise there is a place without it—and if you’re lucky like my wife, you can be out of it most of the time. She has moments. But if you’re a regular mucked up Joe like myself, we can only hope to get out of it for a period of muck-free time. It could last for an hour or a day.

And we can all use mindfulness as the tool to scrape the muck off our minds and enjoy a more balanced, peaceful and healthy life. Just remember when you do find time to practice mindfulness, don’t muck it all up! Ok, enough said.

 

Host a Screening. Screened in 20 countries!

Schools, corporations, organizations, prisons, private groups, sport teams, medical facilities, and everyday people are using mindfulness today. CLICK HER FOR MORE INFO.  November 18, 2017, If you’re anywhere around Aukland, go to a free screening of The Mindfulness Movie,

 

Join the Mindfulness Movie Facebook Group

How you see can change your life!   CLICK HERE.

The Mindfulness Movie (2014, 69 mins) is produced and directed by Paul Harrison AIA. Executive Producer: Lori Lynn Schmidt. Editor: Ken Duke. Cinematography: Steve Scarantino. U.S. English. A Paul Harrison AIA film. A Where’s My Mind? Media release.

Streaming Now—Over 20,000 sold!

The Mindfulness Movie is now on 11 networks and has been screened in 20 countires worldwide and seen by tens of thousands of people. Click photo below to see all links.

 

Reviews

“…we get a good look at what contemplative neuroscience is revealing about the brain, and where mindful techniques are being used in education…”

MINDFUL Magazine

Star from THE SECRET and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Coach

Posted on: June 17th, 2016 by Paul

Star of The Secret and Leonardo DiCaprio’s advisor share a word about mindfulness

My friend Jeffrey Schwartz M.D. who advised Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator (2004) and I worked on the emotional color wheel that was used in the following scene of The Mindfulness Movie. Fred Alan Wolf, physicist, who starred in the runaway hit The Secret and What The Bleep Do We Know!? describes the colors of I. (click the image below to watch).

Separating awareness from emotional attachment is very difficult, it can be done with practice. We do this by changing the autopilot loop of mindlessness to mindfulness.

When we identify with such emotional responses, and although each identification, like “I’m afraid of the dark” and “I’m afraid of rats,” is conceptualized separately, they are linked and can be triggered together or independently. Our personalities—our “I’s”—develop through millions of such events.

“Memorable experiences generally have a component of emotional implications. Cues that activate this component might activate its associative network. The relevant cues, in this case, will be ones within the brain and body that signal the same emotional state you experienced during the time of learning. Conscious emotions and thoughts are very similar in certain aspects. They both involve the symbolic representation in working memory of sub-symbolic, unconscious proc-esses. Emotions and thoughts are generated by differ-ent sub-symbolic systems, but emotions involve many more brain systems than thoughts do. (LeDoux, 1998)”

In a New York Times article last month, entitled Inner Peace? The Dalai Lama Made a Website for That:

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Dalai Lama, who tirelessly preaches inner peace while chiding people for their selfish, materialistic ways, has commissioned scientists for a lofty mission: to help turn secular audiences into more self-aware, compassionate humans.

That is, of course, no easy task. So the Dalai Lama ordered up something with a grand name to go with his grand ambitions: a comprehensive Atlas of Emotions to help the more than seven billion people on the planet navigate the morass of their feelings in order to attain peace and happiness.

“It is my duty to publish such work,” the Dalai Lama said.

To create this “map of the mind,” as he called it, the Dalai Lama reached out to a source Hollywood had used to plumb the inner workings of the human psyche. Specifically, he commissioned his good friend Paul Ekman — a psychologist who helped advise the creators of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” an animated film set inside a girl’s head — to map out the range of human sentiments. Dr. Ekman later distilled them into the five basic emotions depicted in the movie, from anger to enjoyment.

 

Anxious About Dying? Beyond Mindfulness

Posted on: September 15th, 2015 by Paul

Anxious About Dying?

There’s a very enlightening scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) between McCoy (the Doc) and Spock. In the previous film, Spock had died and then was mysteriously regenerated by a device called Genesis. It was detonated on the planet where Spock was buried. McCoy is curious and wants to share Spock’s experience of death, here’s the scene:

McCoy: Perhaps, we could cover a little philosophical ground. Life.

Death.

Life.

[Pause]

McCoy: Things of that nature.

Spock: I did not have time on Vulcan to review the philosophical disciplines.

McCoy: C’mon, Spock, it’s me, McCoy. You really have gone where no man’s gone before. Can’t you tell me what it felt like?

Spock: It would be impossible to discuss the subject without a common frame-of-reference.

McCoy: You’re joking!

Spock: A joke is a story with a humorous climax.

McCoy: You mean I have to die to discuss your insights on death?

Spock: Forgive me, Doctor. I am receiving a number of distress calls.

McCoy [Grinning]: I don’t doubt it.

I think McCoy was referring to distress calls happening inside of SpockFunny, those two never stop bantering!

While there are many people who have had NDE’s (near death experiences) and have come to terms with dying, there are also many people who have had similar experiences—without nearly dying—through spiritual or meditative practices. These groups of people have less anxiety about death and often time tell stories of being able to experience death while still alive.

How?

They have the same problem trying to explain their death experience as Spock had explaining his to McCoy: it is impossible to explain without a common frame-of-reference. If we are able to switch our perspective into one that is less ego driven and more “other” driven, the problem becomes easier to solve.

For instance, if your fear of death is driven by all the unresolved conditions you will leave behind that you’ve become deeply attached to—like a partner, children, business, financial planning for family, bucket list, and so on,—then the fear is ego driven, and roots are in attachments and expectations. We know deep down that we can overcome them with a change of our frame-of-reference.

We also know partners will either find other partners or happiness in living alone. Children will be loved by others and create a life of their own. A businesses can sustain itself if it’s a viable one. And financial planning for the family can be resolved with a life insurance policy. As for the proverbial bucket list, start now! Get some of those items ticked off the list. And if you don’t get to them all, then only you will know.

Perhaps you may want to add one more to the bucket list:

XX. Change perspective about death.

The change of perspective is written about in the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu, translated more frequently than any other book except the Bible:

“All things return to the One. What does the One return to?”

In that one sentence, the entirety of the circle of birth and death are defined. It is especially frightening for our egos to consider that it may end one day. Consider this metaphor: say that the universe is one big ocean of water. Within your ego frame-of-reference, you think of yourself as a drop in that ocean. But—in reality—we are not really a drop, if the universe is filled with water. There is nowhere for a drop to form. Right? It is only through our ego illusion that a drop can exist. Otherwise, it’s just an ocean of water—one body of water.

In other words, our ego creates an illusion of identity and simply separates us from everything else. If we realize that we are not separate drops of water and we are the ocean—in a universal sense—then we do not need to nearly die in order to stop fearing death. Thus, change our frame-of-reference.

BEYOND  MINDFULNESS

Again, let’s imagine—if you will—our awareness
is like the ocean. It is everywhere in the universe. Imagine it is everywhere so the universe can sustain itself and continually recreate itself, like a fabric of particles. If we were all separate beings, we would have a dualistic reality. Science, including the latest discovery of the god particle (Higgs Particle), is telling us that the universe is non-dualistic. Every physicist agrees that there are no separate things, only interdependence and codependence amoung sub-atomic particles wrapped in a Higgs fabric, if you will.

We are all the ocean, even when we die.

Back to awareness, The Pali Canon is one of the ancient collections on which Theravada Buddhism is based. It says that “even in dying the last in-breaths and out-breaths will pass consciously, not unconsciously,” which refers to mindfulness at the time of dying. Mindfulness allows us to experience a change of perspective through awareness. At some point, awareness of the ocean becomes the common frame-of-reference which Spock mentions..

When you are no longer the drop, you can understand the following from the perspective of the ocean:

He who knows how to live can walk abroad

Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.

He will not be wounded in battle.

For in him rhinoceros can find no place to thrust their horn,

Tigers no place to use their claws,

And weapons no place to pierce.

Why is this so?

Because he has no place for death to enter. [Tao Te Ching]

Change your frame-of-reference to indentify with your awareness, not your ego. And while your ego may die, there will be no place for death to enter!

Mindfulness and Attachment, Sex, and Love

Posted on: August 22nd, 2015 by Paul

Remember the Ten Paradoxes, well here’s another side to Paradox 8: With attachment, work. Without attachment, play.

The most common meaning is unhealthful stress and attachment makes everything hard work and sometimes really difficult! When attachments are healthy; it’s really no hard work at all, time flies, and we can learn to play again with those we love, work with, friends, and others in our lives.

… “the place where attachment and stress overlap: distressed relationships. In the previous chapter I mentioned John Gottman’s stories from women in abusive relationships, who said that some of the best sex followed immediately after acts of violence, and Isabel in What Do Women Want?, who craved sex with a commitment-phobic ex but lacked desire for her awesome current boyfriend.

Both of these puzzles make perfect sense when we understand attachment-driven sex when the attachment is threatened. Attachment is about survival; relationships are about survival. When they are threatened, we do whatever it takes to hold on to them, because there are no higher stakes than our connection with our attachment objects.

I’ll illustrate this idea with some of the darkest and most disturbing science I’ve ever read— it’s disturbing precisely because it shows us how powerfully attachment affects the emotional wellbeing of mammals like us. In Harry Harlow’s series of “monster mother” studies, conducted in the middle of the twentieth century, his research team invented mechanical “mothers,” to which infant rhesus monkeys attached.

Once the infants were emotionally attached to the monster mothers, the mechanical devices shook the infants, spiked them, or jetted cold air onto them, to force the babies away. And what did the infant monkeys do when their “mothers” treated them badly, shook them off, rejected them?

They ran back to their mothers.” **

What do you keep running back to? Be mindful of it and you can change it.

Mindfulness requires that you “become aware of the patterns, whether of thought or behavior, and then that you develop skills to replace those patterns with new ones. Allow yourself to feel those old feelings, but now, instead of engaging in the habitual self-defensive patterns, begin practicing new patterns.” **

** Nagoski, Emily (2015-03-03). Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life (Kindle Locations 2253-2265). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

10 mindfulness habits that will make you more productive at work

Posted on: August 22nd, 2015 by Paul

Beyond being an increasingly popular practice for top executives and celebrities, mindfulness meditation is scientifically proven to increase memory and awareness and reduce stress and negative thinking

Even if you’re not ready to make a commitment to a Transcendental Meditation group or your local yoga studio, there are some simple daily habits that can make you more productive and happier at work, say Learn Mindfulness founder Shamash Alidina and Mindfulnet.org founder Juliet Adams.

They’ve gathered 10 easy practices from their book “Mindfulness at Work For Dummies” into the following presentation.

READ FULL STORY…