My mind is my temple: Mouli Ganguly by Lisa Antao

TV actress Mouli Ganguly doesn’t believe in branding God with different names

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Beyond Me by Frank Huguenard

Beyond Me takes the viewer on a trip through the cosmos and down to the scale of quantum physics, explores the instinctive migration patterns of animals, and draws a link between animal instincts and human personality disorders. It then goes on to suggest that all of human suffering and misery comes as a result of impressions made on our consciousness over hundreds and even thousands of lifetimes, and that the solution for removing these impressions, thereby lessening our suffering, is through the art of meditation.

  • “There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together …We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter” Max Planck
  • consciousness is a continuum
  • if a parent meditates their children receive a direct benefit benefit from the parent’s meditation
  • our egos stop at nothing to defend themselves
  • Bruce Lipton “molecularly and functionally, the cell membrane is the same as a computer chip and the nucleus with the genes is the hard disc with programs in it;  the data I type on the keyboard operates the mechanism, the cell membrane is a keyboard and that the environment is the typist and as the cell goes from one environment to another environment whatever the conditions are in that environment they type on the receptors (which are the keys) and then illicit programs form the genes. We’re not programmed from the genes we are a direct aspect of our environment”
  • it wasn’t random genetic mutations that caused evolutionary growth but rather consciousness, that pushed evolution to create new and advanced physical forms
  • you are a bio computer, it makes sense to maintain a healthy human consciousness requires the same level of attention on system maintenance that a computer does!
  • through meditation we can increase our vibrational frequency.

Learning from “Vital Lies, Simple Truths” by Daniel Goleman, Part 1

  • Ulric Neisser “There is always more to see than anyone sees, and more to know than anyone knows. Why don’t we see it, why don’t we bother to know it?”
  • We filter experience so we we see only what we need to see, know only what we need to know.
  • Do we really see what we look at? … we don’t, we see what we look for.

 

The Invisible Gorilla 

  • Schemas guide the mind’s eye in deciding what to perceive and what to ignore.
  • When emotions stir schemas, they lend a special potency. Emotions and thoughts are part and parcel of the same process.
  • Schemas determine which focus attention seeks, and hence what will enter awareness. When driven by emotions like anxiety, schemas impose themselves with special force.
  • Schemas are the lions at the gate of awareness – they determine not only what enters but what does not.
  • Information which never reaches awareness nevertheless has a strong influenceon how we perceive and act.
  • The mind is aware of the meaning of an event before the event and its significance enter awareness.
  • Schemas can guide awareness while remaining out of awareness. We observe only their effects, not their identity.
  • PERCEPTION NEED NOT BE CONSCIOUS
  • The most crucial act of perception is in making the decision as to what will and will not enter awareness. This filtering is carried out before anything reaches awareness; the decision itself is made outside awareness.
  • The later volitional decision of what to attend to has, as a consequence a limited range. Will is free only within limits: the array presented to awareness, from which we can choose to note one thing ot the other, is preselected. Attention can range freely, but within a delimited domain.
  • WE NEVER CAN KNOW WHAT INFORMATION OUR SCHEMAS HAVE FILTERED OUT, BECAUSE WE CANNOT ATTEND TO THE OPERATION OF THE FILTER THAT MAKES THE SELECTION
  • AN INTELLIGENCE scans, filters, and selects information; schemas embody that intelligence. The whole operation goes on out of awareness.

 

 

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Man oh man you must read this book! The usual list of learnings will follow but for now suffice to say … I just had an aah ha moment! Filling in the blanks…. Humour works wonders too….

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Realism, Idealism & Presentism

Realism: the belief that things are in reality as they appear to be in the mind.

Idealism: our perceptions are not the result of a physiological process by which our eyes somehow transmit an image of the world into our brains, but rather, they are the result of a psychological process that combines what our eyes are with what we already think, feel, know, want & believe, & then uses this combination of sensory information and preexisting knowledge to CONSTRUCT our perception of reality.

Presentism: the tendency for current experience to influence one’s views of the past and the future.

The Real Virtual Reality by Dan Pallotta

I usually go for a walk in the morning and listen to music or a dharma talk. 

 

John Lennon’s Famous Words Of Wisdom: Peace on Earth for Christmas!

“Our society is run by insane people………… run by maniacs”

“Give Peace a chance!”

“People not educated that they HAVE the POWER! – we ARE the Government”

“America is falling from within!

“As a Beatle … we had money, we had fame,  and there was no joy”

“Peace in your mind, peace on Earth, peace at work, peace at home, peace in the world”

“Eat for peace….”

“Peace on Earth for Christmas … that ‘s what it is about .. Happy Birthday Christ! Peace on Earth for Christmas! no violence, no starving children, no violent minds, no violent households… no frustration, no fear”

The future is made in your mind … the war is over if you want it”

John Lennnon  (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980)


Dharma teaching @ Bondi Junction : Inner Strength, week 1

This week’s Dharma teaching

There is only one way to achieve happiness and that is to start to control and purify our mind. We cannot control others, the weather, our employees, our employer etc.
We achieve inner strength by focussing on the quality of patience and thus develop a mind of inner strength.

Our basic human desire is to experience happiness. Consciously or unconsciously we have this thought: I want to be happy and free from suffering. Whatever we do is a manifestation of this wish/need. When we awake everyday we hope that today is the day we will experience only happiness; we have an expectation not a hope as when suffering arises we don’t accept it! When things go wrong in life we get disappointed! We are perpetualy overwhelmed, disappointed so we have unrealistic expectations. We expect people to cherish us, to never let us down, that everything goes according to our wishes and desires …. How do we react to what happens? By accepting that difficulties are a part of life it gives us freedom to take control of our happiness and well-being. Difficulties are a part of life it is useless suppressing them. for e.g. when someone is doing something we don’t like, we tell them to change (if we
feel it is socially acceptable for e.g if we know the person well) or resent them. Has it worked? Controlling our external world is exhausting… our homes,possessions, partner… manipulating externals is unproductive and unsatisfying and ends up by creating more problems. Suffering arises from our mind. Looking outside of ourselves is doomed to fail. It is easier to wear leather shoes than to cover whole ground with leather! By relying on a mind of patience, contentment, love….. we will always find a place where we  are comforted becasue we are controlling our inner environment – well-balanced and positive. We do not feel overwhelmed and stressed and we feel we want to run away from the situation.

Transform life’s difficulties to a practice.

Meditation works by familiarising and acquainting our mind with virtue which is a cause of happiness. Suffering arises from negative minds of anger, selfishness, jealousy etc. Meditation is a method to abandon these thought patterns, delusions and negative minds and replace with positive, virtuous minds.
If our own mind is acquainted with love and patience instead of anger, aversion etc we are able to find happiness even in difficult circumstances. Meditation is a potent medicine: 10-15 minutes/day of meditation on a positive quality is like a medicinal. The nature of meditation is concentration, single pointedly placed on a virtuous object e.g. contentment, patience… We transform our mind by holding a feeling. Mixing our mind with the virtuous object. You talk yourself into it and allow the feeling to arise e.g. thinking how much patience would benefit us, talking yourself into a mind of patience, when
an accepting mind arises, fully and happily – we stop thinking of reasons and we stay with that feeling of patience: this is meditation. In contrast to negative thoughts – the mind stream (the mind is a formless continuum) of thoughts – if the thoughts are dark and bad – like a stream bubbling away – if you pour in some dirt it gets murky without the dirt the stream is clean and pure, undefiled. The mind is like this when it is free from delusions. Negative minds are not our actual nature, just like the stream, it is not intrinsically weak, impure or disturbed but only when we allow ourselves to foucs on the negative does it become impure. Meditation re-trains the mind … quality of life depends on the quality of our mind. No better gift to give yourself and to others! You become a source of strength to others. We can deal with our own problems and others’ as we are strong inside ourselves.

A mind of patience helps us develop inner strength. If we only can be happy when things are going well we will never be happy! A set of conditions – perfect home, partner, job, based on things will go well for us, it is not the nature of life things will still go wrong. How often does everything all come together? There’s always something going on. Inner strength is a  mind that is happy when things go well or badly! If we realise life is characterised by suffering – mental pain usually more than happiness arises – learn to accept difficulties in the same way as we accept wordly enjoyments. Our mind is impure due to
delusions, so we create an impure world. Mindset of creating our happiness not happiness for all! We need to learn to accept happy mind when difficulties arise. We think suffering arising for eg from difficult boss or happiness arises from new job but it is all a state of mind not in external things. Practice of patience decreases all our sufferings.Suffering is an internal phenomenon, part of our mind, a feeling, an internal experience for eg when you are sick, when you have a nightmare boss but these are external; our own suffering is a feeling, an internal problem so they are different. If you don’t allow situations to trigger in your mind negative feelings you have an outer problem not an inner problem and only an inner problem is our problem. Two people in same situation react differently depending on their mind people respond differently depending on the quality of their mind: is it experiencing pain or calm? An accepting mind is inner strength. We cannot avoid challenging situations but we can avoid unpleasant feelings! Through meditation we create a force field to protect us like a suit of armour to deflect negativity; a mind of patience protects us with armour of patience. Your heart is open but you don’t allow negativity to affect your mind, we protect ourselves from difficulties. Protect mind through patience, mind happily accepts. Change your expectations get more realistic e.g. how we expect a date to turn out, how our life turns out etc based on a wish of happiness. True freedom: cast out unreaslistic expectations, accept and change your mind. Accept difficulties readily to avoid mind of aversion , mind of anger etc.

“The heart of Dharma practice is meditation. The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and
peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will
experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy,
even if we are living in the very best conditions. If we train in meditation, our mind will gradually
become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually,
we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.”
~ How to Solve Our Human Problems, p. 121

‎”Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” -Dalai Lama

Priceless advice for meditators on Concentration followed by a guided breathing meditation

We usually consider distractions to be harmless sideshows, interesting entertainments going on in the periphery of our meditation practice designed specifically to alleviate the boredom of meditating on a virtuous object !! Actually they are far from harmless; they are lethal enemies of concentration, they rob us of the special feelings, special insights, special experience and realisations that we are trying so hard to attain in our spiritual path, in our spiritual life. They are thieves that rob the Dharma jewels we are trying so hard to accomplish, so hard to acquire.

 

In “Understanding the Mind”, Geshe-La gives us scathing indictment of distraction when he says that distraction is the worst enemy to spiritual development.  And why? Because it causes our mind to wander to the objects of delusion which are the principle objects of abandonment in our spiritual life. distractions are also the first step in the process of forgetting our object and distractions destroy the 4 qualities of pure concentration, they destroy the lucidity of our mind by creating turbulence and agitation in our mind by making our mind negative and confused as a result the clarity of our mind decreases and the intensity of mindfulness becomes split  between our object of meditation and the distraction itself and our mind becomes multi-pointed instead of single pointed. so in these ways distractions completely destroy the 4 qualities of pure concentration

Bodyguard and Mindguard: “I have caught the culprit.”

http://m.timesofindia.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Bodyguard-and-mindguard/articleshow/9970757.cms

  • the nature of the mind is peaceful and calm
  • looking inward is the essence of spirituality
  • mindfulness and awareness are the guards employed at the door of the senses

Shantideva  “Except the conduct of guarding the mind, where is the need of many conducts?”

From the school of hard knocks, I personally know this to be sooooooooooo true!! :

It is a good thing to apportion a fixed time for spiritual pursuits such as prayer, chanting and meditation. But if the doors of the senses are not guarded for the rest of the time, you could become vulnerable to klesha. It will hunt you down and churn your mind. Then the few hours of prayer or meditation are less likely to have the desired effect. That is why sages and seers recommend continuous practice and mindfulness.