If you need to use the mind for a specific purpose, use it in combination with the inner body. Only if you are able to stay conscious without thoughts, you can use the mind creatively.
Whenever you need an answer, a solution or a creative idea, stop thinking momentarily and concentrate your attention on your body or your breathing if it is easier for you at first. Become aware of the stillness.
In any activity related to thinking, practice the habit of alternating a few minutes of thought and others of internal listening, of inner stillness.
In other words, wee could summarize it this way: do not think only with your head, think with your whole body.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Here is a great quote from Charles Darwin that makes me think of the importance of emotional and social intelligence.
All emotional competencies are learned habits, if we are deficient in one or another we can learn to do better. But those competencies will never happen without the first step, which is by ‘self-awareness‘, that it to become aware of how these habits damage us and poison our relationships. With no glimmer of what these behaviours do to us and others, we have no motive to change them. Throughout the 8- week training course of Mindfulness we can develop self-awareness.
Now the question is ‘to which extent we human beings are willing to change our old habits’?
Test subjects taking part in an 8-week program of mindfulness meditation showed results that astonished even the most experienced neuroscientists at Harvard University. The study was led by a Harvard-affiliated team of researchers based at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the team’s MRI scans documented for the very first time in medical history how meditation produced massive changes inside the brain’s gray matter. “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”
Sue McGreevey of MGH writes: “Previous studies from Lazar’s group and others found structural differences between the brains of experienced meditation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. But those investigations could not document that those differences were actually produced by meditation.” Until now, that is. The participants spent an average of 27 minutes per day practicing mindfulness exercises, and this is all it took to stimulate a major increase in gray matter density in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. McGreevey adds: “Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.”
“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany. You can read more about the remarkable study by visiting Harvard.edu. If this is up your alley then you need to read this: “Listen As Sam Harris Explains How To Tame Your Mind (No Religion Required)”
Can you image to see your wife with whom you have been married for 20 years as your bride, your girlfriend, somebody you just fell in love?
Would you be able to change the image of your terrible boss? to see him with different eyes? that is without your conditioned mind from the past?
Have you ever tried to eat food as it was the first time you saw it and had it? Try it with all your senses, slowly, paying attention to the texture, the smell, the colour with the curious mind of a child, of a beginner’s mind..it is a whole experience!
When we begin to train our mind with ‘Full attention’ the brain can change according to science, we begin to develop a wider view of things, we feel more compassion towards ourselves and other people. If we go over our limited beliefs and conditionments we can even see people and things as if it was the VERY FIRST TIME, from scratch without no previous ideas.
It is the thought, the IDEA we have about that person or situation that conditions our mind. We have to come back to our early years, in childhood, exploring life again without any prejudice. How can you get that? It is quite simple: If your mind is fully present, not lost in thoughts about the past or future, then miracles can happen, keep practising, just try it!
Your thoughts create reality or in other words what you hold in mind it manifests. Through Mindfulness you can become aware when your thoughts arise.
Therefore you can choose to change where to focuss your attention. When you bring awareness, you will be able to observe your thoughts, acknowledge them and let them go until they dissolve.
You can choose to create your own hell or heaven, but you’d rather don’t believe what I say, you can only understand it through experience.