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In this book series I have described a path to total self-awareness. For me, it all started with reading inspirational literature, contemplative walking, introspective reflecting and journaling. In the first book of the series, Peace: The Art of Mindfulness to Eliminate Stress, I wrote about mindfulness and how we can program the mind to change our default progressively from constant mind chatter, to less inner dialog, to mindful chatter, to mostly silent with intentionally directed internal dialog.
The idea presented in this quote is SO important to our fulfillment! And all we need do is continue to remind ourselves to keep our mind on what we want to experience. Our attention will give strength to the attitudes and intentions that we focus it on. If we think negative thoughts, we support negative outcomes in what psychology calls the self-fulfilling prophesy.
Insert the Antidote
One helpful technique that can be used to train the mind to send only positive thoughts is this: Whenever the mind sends something you don’t want to experience just insert the antidote, which is to say, insert the opposite thought, the one you want to have happen.
For example, imagine you are applying for a job that you want, and the mind sends you a thought like, “I can’t get that job; I don’t have enough experience!” Upon noticing the thought immediately insert the antidote, such as, “I can get that job; I have the right kind of experience,” or, “I can get that job; perhaps experience is not everything.”
Soon, the mind will be conditioned by you instead of the culture you grew up in. Take control of your life. It starts in the mind!
“Even after enlightenment, you still have to do the laundry.”
A zen master
I have been reading a lot about Zen lately, and it can be quite confusing until one gets used to the dialog, and the line of thinking, or more accurately, NOT thinking. This quote reminds me of one of the most famous Zen teachings, “when hungry, eat; when tired, sleep.”
When looking at this teaching on the surface, it seems quite trivial. However, when one looks deeper the wisdom can be felt, and that is key to all the teachings.
Beginning the Search for Fulfillment