Friday, March 14, 2014

What is Centering?

When I was in college I went through a stage where I wanted to very much stay true to my beliefs… well, at least what I thought my beliefs were at the time. I remember going to parties and getting into drunken conversations. During these conversations, I vehemently and unrelentingly defended my views against the drunken melee, convinced if their value.
I wanted to be real, you know.
In retrospect, the scene is rather comical; and no doubt must have provided endless hours of entertainment to the more enlightened. But I had the strong conviction of (headstrong) youth.
I persisted night after night, trying to hold true to my beliefs. But every night, I would eventually find myself giving in to the influences of my environment for one reason or another.  
I remember being angry with myself for a long time. I grew ever more frustrated as I renewed my commitment before every new party; and suffered the same disappointment at the end of each night.
Finally one night, I realized there was no way I could stay true to my beliefs. My interaction with the people around me inevitably changed me, and I would lose my center. 
So what is Centering?

Many of you may know Centering as: being present, being in the moment, being at one, being mindful, or being in the zone.  If this definition is still a little ambiguous, do not be concerned.  In my experience, most people who throw around such terms do not necessarily have a clear understanding of what they are attempting to describe.

Let's do an easy exercise to explain my point.

Imagine for a moment that you need to find your way to New York or to San Francisco.  Most of you have a clear idea of where theses cities are. And if you don't, you can easily pick up a map and locate them.  Therefore, finding their locations should not cause you any appreciable difficulties.
However: Could you find your way there if I dropped you in the middle of a forest 20 miles outside of Teresina, with nothing to help you reference your location? Without a trusty GPS, it may be a little more difficult for most of us to find our way. 
So what is missing? What information do we need? 

Yes, that is correct. First you need to find out where Teresina is, and where you are. This simple example illustrates quite nicely the concept of Centering. 
Remember the story of my college days at the beginning of this blog? Every interaction we have in our lives takes us away from our Center. In retrospect, I really was struggling with figuring out how to find my Center and hold onto it. At that time, I had just begun my mind body pursuits and was opening up to the larger functions of my mind.  
Centering is:  "Knowing who you are, in relation to the forces and influences of the environment that surround you." 

You may say, of course I know who am. I've known that since I was a child. 

But, do you really know who you are? 

To illustrate my point, ask yourself the question: "Who am I?"  Take a few minutes to write down a description of who you think you are. 

[Please, bear with me, and do the exercise now. I guarantee that if you do the exercises as soon as they come up in this blog (and in my book), you will get the most out of the exercises.]

Now look at your description.

Your self-description may have described aspects of your physical appearance and perhaps your occupation. It may have even highlighted some of your mental abilities, preferences, and emotional tendencies. But once again, I ask you:

Who are you? Is this who you really are? 

Consider the following:

Are you the same person you were a year ago?  Are you the same person that you were an hour ago? Do you act the same way with your boss as you do with your loved ones?

Let’s be overly simplistic for a moment. The mind operates in two basic ways: either we change the world around us, or we are changed by the world around us. I define these two ways as Active Action and Passive Action. In every exchange or conversation we have, our minds are shaped and changed in some way.

Some of these mind changes are temporary, while some aspects are more permanent. Yet, underneath it all, we still have an overall notion of who we are. This sense of self is not only cognitive (what we think), but also encompasses emotional (how we feel) and physiological (physical body) aspects. These three aspects of our Selves — cognitive emotional, physiological -- are interwoven so tightly together that it is difficult for us to separate them.

Take a moment and think about the last time you had an argument or a difficult conversation. What was the impact on your mental state, and what was the impact on your emotional state? How did it make you feel physically? Strong emotional changes tend to have great impact upon us. They can be strong forces of inspiration, or they can be forces that unbalance us.

Some of these changes are desirable and some are not. In either case, we are affected. Generally, it takes some time to process and let go of the effects before we regain our balance. Sometimes after processing, we can gain greater insight and grow stronger. But there is, inevitably, a period of imbalance where we may lack clarity, drive or direction.

As with the San Francisco analogy where we were dropped into unfamiliar ground, we need to find our way back to something that we recognize. Although our sense of self is continuously evolving, we do carry with us at all times a general sense of who we are.

Centering in its simplest form is being closer to this core sense of self. Centering is what the word suggests. Centering is finding your self within the confusion of your surroundings. Centering is finding your point of reference on the map of your life. Centering is separating your self from the influences in your environment and getting in touch with your true essence. This may all sound a little esoteric, but both its implications and applications are extremely practical.

Please take a moment to share your views on Centering.

If you would like to explore more about Centering, check out the Finding Your Center workshop.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Underneath everything is energy.

Underneath everything is energy. What is energy?  It is the potential for what will come into being.


Before anything becomes reality, it begins as potential energy. This is as true for your thoughts, as it is for the budding of a flower.

It is difficult to predict specific events, because the potential energy involved can manifest itself in so many different ways.  Equally, all predictions can only be based on the energy of the moment. Much can change as the surrounding forces execute their influence.

The good news: if you are using the correct tools, it is much easier to predict what the energy will be in the future.  This cannot be done using the cognitive tools we are so familiar with, because energy is not cognitive in nature.

In focusing on the current energy, it is often possible for me to extrapolate how things will be in the future.   This can be criticized as not being an “exact science”. This is indeed true, because it does not use the same tools.

On closer inspection, we can see that even science is not always accurate. The unexpected often comes up to confound the “going theory”.

In essence, science relies on the study of interactions between forces and matter. Theories are created and become the basis of reality, based on past observations.
This gives us fairly accurate predictions as to how things are likely to turn out.

In practice, however, the past rarely equals the present. “Abnormalities” that do not support the theory are more prevalent than most take the time to notice.  Historically, the advancement of scientific theory often is stunted. Why? Because the abnormalities are disregarded, in order to keep true to the theory. What happens for those people who allow themselves to notice the “abnormalities” and think past the constraints of the theories? Often, they are able to open up new vistas of understanding. 

So then, is science actually really that objective? 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Quality of Thinking

Most of us tend to believe that the direction of our life is determined by the ideas have. We believe that our success results from how much information we have.

However, my life took me in a direction that called this belief into question at an early age. The journey has unequivocally proven to me, that the reality is more complex. The ideas and knowledge we value so highly in our lives are only the surface manifestation of more fundamental forces of the mind.

In fact, our ideas are, themselves, shaped by states of mind outside of our cognitive thinking. I call these states of mind How we think, or the Quality of our thinking. This concept is at once fundamental, and also infinitely complex. It manifests pragmatic results, which have far-reaching implications.

Changing the Quality of your thinking has immediate influence upon the results of your thinking. It affects any interaction you have in your life. Your conversations become clearer. You gain greater control over most situations. Your efforts and projects become easier, more fluid, and more effective.

Long term improvements to the Quality of your thinking will have lasting effects on the quality of your life. You make decisions that are more in line with your desired direction. You experience life more fully. You develop into a more balanced and happier person.

The direction that you take in your life will be largely due to the Quality of your thinking. By the Quality of thinking, I am not only referring to how effective your thinking is. What is the tone or texture of your thinking? How clear is your thinking: how dynamic, how flexible, how balanced? These elements not only define the Quality of your thinking, but also determine the nature your Actions.

Please share with us your comments and observations on this topic.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Learning Meditation is the easy part

It has been some time since I have blogged but I am back to stay. Keeping with my goal to get people to maintain a consistent meditative practice. I have developed MasterMeditation™. It is a develop at your own pace 21 level meditation system for people of all skill and commitment levels.

The challenge in meditation is not learning how to meditate. This only takes a short time. What most people struggle with is the following two things:

  • Maintaining a consistent meditative practice
  • Making spiritual progress in their meditation

My personal goal in practicing and teaching meditation is to help people integrate consistent meditation into their lives and to make continued progress through the many facets of the human spirit meditation opens up.

Feel free to comment on your experience in exploring the infinite realms of the human mind meditation has opened up for you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Most Trivial Part of Thinking is Thinking

I have been a business consultant and life coach for many years. It is through my experiences in helping countless people increase their professional and personal effectiveness that I have come to realize the key to real success comes down to not what we are doing but how we are doing it.

Most often, what hinders success and holds people back is not related to any specific action that they may or may not be doing, but rather to the general methods they use and the way they are doing things. I decided to write this blog to highlight the emphasis most people place on cognitive thinking while overlooking or giving little heed to other less known modes of thought.

Cognitive thought is our logical thinking mind. For most of us this is the basis of our conscious reality and defines our success as a species. For this reason it should not be underestimated. But if you consider cognitive thinking in evolutionary terms, it is a relative newcomer to our minds.

Because the other processes of the mind and modes of thinking are so much part of us,we tend to take them for granted and underestimate their impact on our daily lives.

The mental process becomes far more effective when mental patterns are blended together to support each other. Thinking does not operate in a vacuum, and for most of us there really is no way to focus on just one thing. Even now, as you read this blog, how many other thoughts and ideas are running through your head?

The more synergy you can develop in your thinking, the more effective it becomes. The more effective your thinking, the better chance you have to use it to make desired changes in your life. In order to develop control in this area you need to develop a basic understanding of the science of how the mind works. The study of the mind on both an empirical and experiential level has defined the character of my life.

Please share your thoughts and experience with me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Quality of Thinking?

What is it that really governs the decision you make? What is it that determines what direction your life takes? Most of us believe it is largely determined by our conscious mind.

In overcoming dyslexia and studying the mind for most of my life I have discovered the mental patterns that govern our thinking and our direction in life reside at a more fundamental level.

Success in life comes about from consistently doing the right things. Doing the right things comes from having the right ideas. The right ideas spring out of the Quality of Your Thinking. By quality I do not just mean how well you think but rather the nature of that thinking. This includes elements like the clarity of your thinking; your level of personal balance; your level of motivation; your ability to consistently make things happen;

Most of our lives are spent interacting with current the situations in our environment. Although this gets us by, quite often our development as people changes little. What I have discovered in helping people make changes in their life is that the same issues reoccur through different variations. Appreciable and lasting change only comes about when they begin to change their basic tendencies or the way that they think.

Think about it for a few minutes what are the elements that really determined your direction in life?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What is Centering?

Centering in it's simplest form, is being closer to your sense of self. Centering is what the word suggests; a way of finding yourself within the confusion of your surroundings. Here is another way to contemplate it:

Centering is finding your point of reference on the map of life. By separating yourself from the influences in your environment, you get in touch with your true essence. This may sound a little esoteric right now, but in time and with practice , it's implications and applications can become very pragmatic.

Now here is an interactive question: What is most real? The past, present or future? Give your comments and we will discuss them on the next posting.