The Toronto Hypnotherapist

Hypnosis and Toronto Hypnotherapy with Allan Clews.

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Mindfulness and Self-Remembering - Thursday October 4, 2012

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (6)

When I was a young university student I discovered an important secret to improving my grades. And it was to never enroll in a class that started before noon. Now this wasn’t just because I wasn’t a morning person, but rather it was a direct result of the fact that last-call at the pub on campus was at 1 am. Fortunately, this flippancy ended up having a profound effect on my life because when I finally settled on a major, it limited the courses I could take.

To major in psychology I was required to take a course called “Theories of Personality” which was one of those survey courses that covered Freud, Jung, Adler, Fromm and all of the major theorists in the field. Most of the “Theories of Personality” courses for the January term in 1981 started before noon. However, when I looked at the course calendar, one stood out because it ran from 2 to 5 pm on Mondays.

It was taught by a young professor named Christopher Holmes and I trudged across the snowy field from my apartment next to campus on that fateful Monday and just made it to class in time. As usual, I positioned myself in the back right-hand corner of the room and prepared to be bored silly.

Dr. Holmes spent the first two and a half hours teaching the required material as I dutifully scribbled in my notebook. However, half an hour before the end of class he stopped and told us he was going to spend the last half hour each Monday teaching us a psychological system that was not part of the required syllabus. My ears perked up because this made him seem like a bit of a rebel. Little did I know...

Now before he told us anything about this rogue system, he said he wanted to teach us a profound exercise. And while I don’t remember the exact way he phrased it, he told us to notice what we could see and hear in the room; to pay careful attention to sights and sounds, to the colour of the walls and the sound of his voice, to the shape and distance of objects and sounds coming from outside. Then he told us to remain aware of what we could see and hear and also become aware of our body; to sense our head, neck and torso, to sense our arms and legs. And then while remaining aware of what we could see and hear, and while remaining aware of our body, he told us to also become aware of our breath and try to breathe in a feeling of joy or delight.

Unlike most others in that class, I was fortunate because I was able to do all three. And the moment I did so, I had the most profound experience of my life. It was like being in darkness and then turning on a light.

Dr. Holmes then began to tell us about a man named George Gurdjieff and he said he was going to spend the last half hour of each class teaching us about the most important psychological system he had discovered. I don’t remember much of the talk except that Chris said that Freud, Jung and the other people he had to teach really only dealt with how to make broken people normal, whereas George Gurdjieff was interested in teaching normal people how to be extraordinary.

Now this wasn’t one of those experiences I later looked back on and determined that it was where my life changed forever. This was because I knew, at the time, my life had turned a corner and I would never be the same again.

Now Chris told us that we were practicing something called Self-Remembering. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was very fortunate I wasn’t introduced to these teachings through the Gurdjieff Foundation or through a Bennett/Nyland/Stavely group, because they never would have taught me such exercise on the first day - but would have dragged it out over years.

Furthermore, if I had learned it through one of the formal Gurdjieffian groups I would have never have been so naive to have gone home and immediately taught this exercise to my girlfriend who also had no problem mastering it in a couple of minutes.

I was also brash enough, in the way that only young people can be, to tell her that if she wanted to continue to see me, she had to accept that I could never be that normal person I had been the day before or expect me to lead a normal life after this; because something had awakened in me that afternoon I had no intention of putting back to sleep.

I joined Chris’s non-affiliated group, took every other course he gave and asked him to not only be my thesis adviser, but to be a groom in my wedding party. He gave me a wonderful introduction to the Gurdjieff Teachings (even though he called it the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky system).

Twenty-one years later in 2002 after communicating with someone online, I took out a piece of paper and calculated that between 1981 and 1995, I had Self-Remembered (with the infusion of emotion) a minimum of ten times a day. Then when I moved to England this skyrocketed to a minimum of 50 times a day for the next 6 years (because I was forever going ‘me-here-now-wow incredible’ while Self-Remembering).

However, the final year I lived in York, knowing it was my final year (my ex-wife who was that girlfriend I mentioned earlier - in what seemed like the blink of an eye because someone got really ill and needed to be quickly replaced - was offered her dream job as a professor of Linguistics at Canada’s top university and took my kids back with her while I stayed and struggled to pay off some debts) this went up to a minimum of a hundred times a day as I tried to soak up as many impressions as I could in that enchanted medieval city (fortunately, at the time I was earning a living driving a taxi - a task that perfectly suited to Self-Remembering).

So I calculated thus:

10 times a day for the first 14 years = 51,100

50 times a day for the next 6 years = 109,500

100 times a day for the next year = 36,500

This meant that up until 2002 I had Self-Remembered a minimum of 197,100 times. And please keep in mind that this wasn’t just basic Self-Remembering, but Self-Remembering with an infusion of emotion. Shortly after this I discovered the secret to dramatically increasing the number of 5 to 10-second moments of Self-Remembering I engaged in each day. This means that the number of times I have Self-Remembered is now well over the three quarter of a million mark.

Now I am not saying all of this to brag, so much as I am using it to claim that I am an expert and master-practitioner of all forms of Mindfulness. This means that whatever I write about Mindfulness is not the result of me going to this website and that website and the other website and then mashing everything together so that I ‘appear’ to be an expert. Something Mr. Gurdjieff called wiseacring and lampooned in his major book.


Mindfulness, Self-Remembering, the Spacetime Continuum and the Observer

Mindfulness is usually defined as engaging in some practice that requires you to focus your awareness in this present moment. As such you are drawn into the 'now' whenever you become Mindful of your breathing and body, or a sunset, or the sound of the wind, or the smell of the earth, or the taste of salt.

And while there is no disputing that Mindfulness involves a present-centred act of awareness; this is only half the picture because you are a multidimensional being. And while each act of Mindfulness - for instance the act of focusing your attention on your left toe - not only grounds you temporally, it also grounds you spatially in this specific physical location.

You are not just embodied in time, but also in space, or in the spacetime continuum. So if you become aware of your right thumb, not only does this bring you into the now, into this moment, it also grounds you right here, in this location, at these unique spatial coordinates.

So to be Mindful is to be grounded in both the here and the now, in both space and time. Here, at this point in the spacetime continuum.

Simple Mindfulness

Simple Mindfulness involves a one-pointed here-and-now moment of awareness. It covers such activities as the focusing of your attention on your body, or your breathing, or on what you can see, or hear, or smell.

However, according to the Gurdjieff Teachings you are a three-brained being because you have an intellectual brain, a physical brain and an emotional brain.

Your physical brain monitors your sensations, so when you become ‘aware’ of something as small as your left toe or right thumb, you are practicing a simple form of sensory Mindfulness. However, there are more complex forms of sensory Mindfulness. The Gurdjieff Tradition teaches one called Self-Sensing.

And Self-Sensing involves becoming aware, here and now, in this time and place of the ‘sensation’ of your entire body as one organic whole. This is more than just becoming aware of your head, neck and torso, your arms and hands, legs and fingers because it involves sensing your entire body at once as one living organism.

Now your eyes, ears, nose and mouth are all directly connected to your intellectual or head-brain. So another simple form of Mindfulness, this one involving the head-brain, is to become aware of something you can see, or hear, or smell [or possibly taste].

A more complex form of head-brain Mindfulness involves becoming aware of what you can see, hear and smell, all together, here, in this location, and now, in this present moment. We call this Consciously Perceiving -or- Consciously Looking, Listening and Smelling [and sometimes Tasting].


When we put all of this together it becomes one of the basic forms of Self-Remembering. And this type of Self-Remembering can be summed up with the verbal formula of ‘consciously looking, listening AND smelling, WHILE sensing your body as one organic whole’. That is, rather than being a one-pointed form of awareness, it involves becoming aware of what you can perceive while simultaneously sensing your entire body.

There are three other forms of Self-Remembering. One involves becoming Mindful of the thoughts and the words that are flowing through your head-brain (or when you are speaking or reading words), while also sensing your entire body at once (something far more difficult than it sounds). Another involves the feeling and the sensory brains, where you become Mindful of your feelings, while also sensing your entire body as one living whole.

Advanced Three-Brained Self-Remembering

The final form of Self-Remembering involves a three-brained or three-centred awareness where you become Mindful of what you can see, hear and smell, while sensing your body and simultaneously breathing in feeling.

The Observer

The final thing necessary for a proper understanding of this process is that any act of Mindfulness, whether it is one, two, or three-brained, is that it involves an inner detachment, an inner separation. You must be able to inwardly step back from your body in order to sense it as one organic whole.

Different traditions call this inner part different names, but this inward step back involves a stepping back into pure consciousness, or the Real ‘I’ (the name in the Gurdjieff Teachings), the Witness, or the Observer.

The Real ‘I’, our Observer, is normally hidden behind our thoughts, sensations and feeling. And when we become Mindful we awaken this timid part and force it to become the Observer observing our perceptions, sensations and feelings.

So imagine you are a wild horse and you have managed to stay hidden away. But one day you look up and become aware of a cowboy and allow him to throw a lasso around your neck. And even though you have been snagged, you can still flail and jump and move wildly around. Then suppose you look at a second cowboy who manages to simultaneously throw another lasso around your neck. This tames you a little more tame, and makes you a little more controllable. However, if you become aware of a third cowboy at the same time, who also snags you with a lasso, the three cowboys can triangulate their efforts to pull you out into the open.

The Right/Left Brain Dancer - Thursday September 20, 2012

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

There was once a noble magician from a distant land who was also a great shepherd. And just as some see this dancer dancing counterclockwise, some saw this shepherd as a lord of darkness. And as others see this dancer dancing clockwise, some saw him as a lord of light.


If you saw the darkness, then you believed any hints of light must be in service of the darkness. And if you saw lightness you believed any hints of dark must be in service of the light.


Now the shepherd knew he was neither the lord of darkness or the lord of light, but the lord from the land beyond light and dark.


And light and dark were just tools to him.


Because it was always about results.


And sometimes he got better results with a carrot and sometimes with a stick, because some sheep matured by being repelled from his anger and others matured by being drawn towards his love. Some even did both. They were his favourites because they got the best results. Because the best results come from the friction, the struggle between ‘yes’ and ‘no.’


And it was always about results. About the transformation of energies.


There were times he had to make them move away from bad, from pain and distress, from a dangerous hole or slippery cliff; and times he had to make them move towards good, towards comfort and reward, towards fresh water and green pastures.


Some saw him as the lord of darkness and some saw him as the lord of light. Just as some see this dancer dancing one way and others see her dancing the other. Both are right and both are wrong.




The dancer in this video really moves both ways depending on how your brain filters her movements.


Your left-brain controls your right-side and your right-brain controls your left-side. There are exceptions and one of them is your eyes.


If you were asked to stare at the ‘centre’ of your vision, you might even think you were doing this. However, you wouldn’t really be staring at the centre of your whole vision, but only the centre as seen from one eye. And just as you have two eyes you have two different focal points, two different centres..


Close your left-eye and read these words with your right-eye. Then close your right-eye and read these words with your left-eye and notice how the angle of focus changes. You might even have to adjust your head as you focus with one eye and then the other. Then do this while you keep your head still; and notice how your right-eye focuses slightly to the left, and your left-eye focuses slightly to the right, of each other.


So always remember that no matter where you look, you can see anything from at least two points of view.






Now in terms of how the eyes are connected to the brain. What you see when you focus on these words with your right-eye, stays in your right-brain; and what you see when you focus with your left-eye, stays in the left-brain. They do not cross over.  And what you see on the outer periphery of each eye follows the usual pattern of crossing over into the opposite brain.


When your left-brain is dominant you see the dancer moving clockwise, and when you right-brain is dominant you see her moving counterclockwise. However, just because one cerebral hemisphere is dominant and you see the figure moving one way, that does not mean this brain is ‘on’ and the other ‘off’.


Instead one becomes active and the other passive. They are still both working, it is just that one comes to the forefront and the other recedes into the background.


And this dominance constantly shifts back and forth throughout the day. You can even experience this with your hearing. You can zoom in with your left-brain and focus on single word or sound, or you can zoom out with your right-brain and focus on all sounds everywhere all around you. Your brain hears both.


You can even place one of your toes in the land beyond your right and left brain, by focusing in on a single sound and out on all sounds together: at the same time. Integrating these functions.




I see her as moving counter-clockwise and thought this was a hoax until I asked my daughter how she saw it. It was only once I knew it could be done that I began to see her moving clockwise.


There are many ways to get this dancer to dance the other way. I discovered that at least for me, it is related to my focus and peripheral vision. So try focusing to the left of the dancer and then to her right (so you see her on your periphery). Perhaps even try focusing on her with one eye and then the other. Play with it. Play with your mind. Study yourself and learn how you work.

An Exploration of Some of Our Internal Filters - Wednesday September 12, 2012

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)



Awaken to this moment by sensing the tip of your right index finger. Sense the tip of the bone and skin. Focus all of your Presence at the very edge where your skin meets the air.


Then reach up and touch the centre of your forehead with the tip of your right index finger and become aware of the sensation of your skin touching your skin. Really experience this sensation. Allow it to pull you into this moment. Here and now.


Then begin to lightly tap your forehead with the tip of your finger. Pretend this is the sensory version of a Mindfulness Bell and allow each gentle tap to summon you into this present moment. Here and now.


Finish by allowing your arm to return to a more comfortable position.






Begin by staring at a point close to the centre of this screen.


Fix your gaze on this spot and then notice what you can observe on the periphery while staring at that spot.


Now stare at the centre and observe what you can see up towards the roof of your vision by your eyebrows. And then allow your peripheral awareness to sweep around, down and back up in a clockwise fashion. Become aware of what you can see out and around on the periphery.


Finish by allowing your vision to return to normal.






Now lets set some common coordinates.


Close your eyes and imagine the centre of your mind's eye is the centre of a clock; the point where all of the hands rotate clockwise around. Then imagine you can see and sense all of the numbers circling around the edges.


Then imagine starting at the top where the 12 is, and then imagine sweeping down clockwise, in your mind's eye, around through 1 2 3 4 & 5 until you reach the 6 at bottom and then sweep back up around past 7 8 9 10 & 11 until your reach 12.


Now really see this clock, especially the numbers all around. Even play with some of the submodalities of your inner vision. Make the rim of the clock brighter or darker so the edge is more clearly defined, perhaps add of soft inner ring of colour so that the inside edge glows like a halo.


Then open your eyes and allow a faint visual hint of the circle and numbers to remain. See the faint image of the clock as you look out into the world. Notice how you can project this image outwards and almost super-impose it on the world.


Then finish by quietly or silently repeating: "May results from this exercise be transformed within me for my Being.








If you tap your forehead a message is sent to your brain. If you tap the tip of your right index finger a message is sent to the brain. One message travels a few inches and the other at least ten times farther. Something has to filter and sort these two pieces of information in order for us to perceive them as happening at the same time.




By staring at the spot in the centre and then allowing your awareness to circle around your periphery you did not notice any holes or gaps.


Yet you actually have two blind spots which are like holes torn in the fabric of your vision.


Each of your eyes has millions of receptors attached to nerves that run down through a tiny hole at the back of the eye and into the brain. There are no receptors where these holes are and this creates two gaps in your vision. However, you cannot see them (though you can test for them if you google 'blind spot') because your brain automatically fills these spaces in.




It is almost like we have this invisible screen that exists between our brain and the world. For instance, when you talk to someone on the phone you know fairly well, you will automatically call up an image of them (this is one of the reasons it is so dangerous to use your phone when driving). Even if you have never met the person, you will still conjure an image, albeit one that is more diffuse and generic; perhaps only seeing a shadow of a man if the person is speaking in a manly voice.


Sometimes our brain does this so expertly we don't even notice. For example, your brain is currently projecting these words over top of the lines and squiggles that exist on the screen.


These words really only exist in your mind and not on the screen. Your mind however, does such a good job of protecting them over these shapes that you think these words actually exist on the screen.




We don't just have perceptual filters. Our values, beliefs, attitudes, likes and dislikes, also serve as filters that help us to make sense of the world.


If you believe the bum panhandling on the corner is out to fleece you of your money so they can buy drugs or alcohol, this will shade your assumptions and lead to certain perceptions. However, if you believe they have mental health problems and are really broken inside, this will alter those assumptions and you will perceive a very different person.


Now within the NLP tradition they throw a whole bunch of stuff together without attempting, or even realizing it is possible, to sort them differently.


I am still trying to work this through. However, I cannot help but think that what they refer to as "beliefs" are a product of the head-brain. "Values" on the other hand seem much more emotional and connected to feelings. They also seem to be unaware of the filters in the physical brain such as our likes and dislikes.


But then they didn't have the map Mr. Gurdjieff left behind to illumine their way.

Looking at a Problem from All Three Sides - Tuesday September 4, 2012

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Mr. Gurdjieff said that ordinary man "has no WILL" and that he "cannot DO anything". That things just happen, ‘free will’ is an illusion and we are more like machines ruled by habits and patterns of thinking.


This was very contentious when Mr Gurdjieff first began teaching in the early part of the last century. Though neuroscience has recently begun to confirming it.


However, he also gave us hope because he said it is possible for us to develop WILL and learn to DO. This is where Inner, and in particular, Decision Exercises, come in.




Stepping Between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.


Abraham Lincoln used a triangulated exercise when he started out as a lawyer. He would draw a line down a piece of paper and summarize his case on one side and his opponent’s on the other; turning it into a ‘yes/no’ exercise.


And to do a ‘yes/no’ exercise correctly, you have to be able to ‘dissociate’ and step back from both the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ on an inward level, in order to be able to hold both possibilities in front of you. An act which could serve as the definition of the ‘reconciling position’ or the third element in this triangular process.


It also helped that Lincoln wrote it down on paper, representing it with visual language and placing it physically outside of himself on a piece of paper. This allowed him to look down at both sides equally; comparing and contrasting (Matching AND Mismatching in NLP) the two positions.


This created a ‘polarity’ because what he wrote on one side, he would invariably counter on the other. Something that is an essential aspect of this process.




Taking This One Step Further


If Lincoln had then read them out loud, he would have also encoded this material auditorily. Thereby using three of the main sensory pathways we use to process information in our brain: visually (the words written on paper), auditorily/linguistically (the words spoken out loud) and physically (the fact he could pick up this sheet of paper and hold these words in his hands) - or Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic in NLP terms.


Now if he had of linguistically represented each point pictorially as a sketch - even just using stick figures - he would have tapped into both the left (writing and mentation by language) and right (visual and mentation by form) hemispheres and turned it into a whole-brain exercise.




Lincoln then went a step (literally) further because when he was in court he would first present his opponent’s case, followed by his own.


Now I am not sure how he did it, but for maximum effect, I imagine him speaking and acting normally, that is, as Abraham Lincoln, as he stands on one side at a slight angle to the jury.


And then I imagine him “PUTTING IT IN QUOTES” when presenting his opponent’s case (and keep in mind this is one of the hypnotic patterns isolated by Dr. Milton Erickson) by saying: ‘my [opponent] will no doubt say’... followed by his reciting of opponent’s case...


Of course, to really enhance this process, I also then imagine him taking a few steps to the side and standing at the slight mirror angle to where he was - while looking back at where he was standing a moment ago, and physically adopting the speech patterns and mannerisms of his opponent; and pretending or make-believing he was his opponent. (making sure to close the quote at the end).


Literally stepping into his opponent’s position, entering into what NLP calls ‘second position’ by walking a mile in his opponent’s shoes, so-to-speak (or "Only-He-May-Enter-Here-Who-Puts-Himself-In-The-Position-Of-The–Other-Results-of-My-Labors." (Mr. Gurdjieff in “Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson”)


But then the best court-room lawyers aren’t really lawyers. They’re actors who went to law school. The best can step into any role. And judicial proceedings triangulate - the prosecution/plaintiff in the affirming position, defence in the negating and the judge/jury sitting in the reconciling position.


This is a great exercise if you have to make a major decision such as purchasing a car or house or deciding what to study or where to go to school. Something that can be divided into a ‘pro/con’ ‘for/against’ or ‘yes/no’ polarities.

What is the Most Important Ingredient to Successful Change and Transformation? - Sunday September 2, 2012

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Some say it is having the right teachings. Others say it is being connected to the right groups with the right lineages. Others say it is having the right teachers.


However, teachings, lineages, groups and teachers, while important, are not as important as Inner Exercises. The right Inner Exercises done for the wrong reasons will get you farther than the wrong Inner Exercises done for the right reasons.


You don’t have to read about Self-Remembering, you don’t have to analyse it or understand it to benefit from it. All you have to do is to DO it.


To self-sense and become Mindful of your entire body as one organic whole, while simultaneously being Mindful of what you can see, hear, smell and taste.

Where Is Your Narrator? - Wednesday August 29, 2012

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

"Man has no individuality. He has no single, big I. Man is divided into a multiplicity." George Gurdjieff (as quoted by PD Ouspensky in "In Search of the Miraculous").



Take a moment and really sound these words out silently in your mind. Subvocalize the words in this sentence and do whatever you need to do, in order to hear each of these words in your mind.


Then quieten these inner subvocalizations and begin to practice Mindful Self-Sensing.


Perhaps focus your attention on your fingers and hands, toes and feet. Then sense your whole body from top to bottom, front to back and side-to-side. Really try to quieten your mind and sense your entire body as one organic whole.


Then become Mindful of these words again. Slow down your reading and carefully sound these words out in your inner mind. And become aware of how this subvocalization is created by the same faculty that creates your 'inner dialogue', 'inner speech', and 'self-talk'.


Notice how it even has 'your voice' (though not the one you hear on recordings, but the one you hear 'in' your head when you speak).




Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, the pioneering split-brain researcher was conducting an experiment with a subject whose corpus-callosum (the part that connects the right and left brain) had been surgically severed due to violent and uncontrollable epileptic fits.


Dr. Gazzaniga showed an image of a chicken to the man's left-brain and a shovel to his right-brain and then asked this man to draw what he saw with his left-hand (which is operated by the right-brain). He drew a shovel.


When Gazzaniga asked the man why he had drawn a shovel, the man came up with a fanciful narrative of chickens and chicken-coops and the need to use a shovel to clean-up the bird droppings.


This led Gazzaniga to have an 'ah ha' moment. He knew that the left-brain is the linguistic brain. It contains both the Broca and Wernicke areas (which are responsible for generating language). So he reasoned that that voice inside our head, our internal dialogue, our self-talking comes from our left-brain (especially if we are right-handed - though this is also true for some lefty's). And since this man's left-brain only saw the chicken and not the shovel, it had to somehow come up with an excuse to explain the shovel.


Gazzaniga named this part 'The Interpreter' because it tries to derive meaning, or interpret our experiences. However, I think it doesn't so much as interpret our experiences, as it does to narrate them.


"I wonder why she looked at me like that?" "Hope it doesn't rain." "Oh good, there's the bus." "Perhaps I should have brought the umbrella." "Must remember to pick-up my dry-cleaning." "Why isn't the bus driver opening the door." "Ouch... my knee is a little sore today." "Good... there's a seat..."


If someone asked you to tell them about yourself, Your Narrator would respond and dominate and colour the reply with its choice of words.




Now allow the words, the inner-dialogue, the self-talk to flow in your mind again. Reflect, think, narrate, interpret and do whatever you have to do to start the word's rolling inside your head.


Notice where Your Narrator originates (if I drew a line over the top of my head from the back of my left ear to the back of my right ear – my own Narrator would seem to be centred somewhere along the left side of this line – that is, slightly back and more to the top of the left-side of my head).


And stop thinking of it as you: stop labelling it 'I' 'me' or 'myself'. Give it a new name. One that puts it in perspective and lets it know it is only one part, among many. Call it 'My Narrator' (or if you agree with Gazzaniga 'My Interpreter').


Make Your Narrator inwardly name itself and say: 'My Narrator.'


Then put it in its proper perspective by allowing Your Narrator to engage in some more inner-dialogue and self-talk, while at the same time sensing your entire body. Notice how small and limited it seems when compared to a more total perception of yourself.


Then let it run rampant. Do what you have done so many times and let it take over and become 'you'. Let it swallow all of your awareness until you think it is 'you'. This should be a very familiar state. One where you spend most of your waking life.


Then self-sense, step back and recognize that it is not you. It is just a part of you. One piece of a much greater whole. One part of the multiplicity that is you.

How To Feel Better - Thursday August 23, 2012

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Go for a walk and think of something really heavy and depressing such as violence or famine or economic collapse. Really allow this thought to take over your imagination and then observe your body.


Observe your face and jaw, your shoulders and arms. Observe if you are breathing from the top, middle or bottom of your lungs. Observe they way you move your arms and hands, legs and feet. Pay attention to as many things as can within your body and movements.


Then stop and break your state by doing something like counting backwards by 3's or figuring out what day of the week it will be ten days from now.


Then start walking again. However, this time think about something light and joyful and observe your body and the way you are moving.


Break your state again.


Finally, think about something really heavy and depressing while walking in such a light and joyful fashion and notice just how hard it is to think about something heavy and depressing while your body moves with such lightness and joy.

Mindfulness and Hypnosis - Tuesday August 21, 2012

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The understanding and practice of Mindfulness has seeped from the world of ancient mystical practices (primarily, though not exclusively, from Buddhism) into present-day psychology and psychiatry. And as with hypnosis, Mindfulness has been subject to numerous rigorous academic studies over the last 30 years that have scientifically proven it has the power to help people deal with a whole range of issues.


This research indicates that practicing Mindfulness can improve the immune system, lead to more balanced brain-wave states, and recover more easily from disturbing and challenging emotional experiences.

The growing body of research has also proven that training in Mindfulness can help people deal more effectively with pain, stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions and many other problems.


Things which hypnosis has also been clinically proven to help.

This is why I like to think that they are like two sides of the same coin, because they both involve the focusing of our awareness: one inwards and one outwards.

Buddhism and Transformation from a Gurdjieffian Perspective Wednesday May 16, 2012

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I was always enchanted by Einstein riding a beam of light in his imagination and figuring out the Theory of Relativity. A question was posed to me, a sort of thought-game, and I realized if you are going to play a game you might as well ‘include the postage’.


> If you have three men in a room, a man # 1; a man # 2 and a man # 3,

> have you even one real three centered man? Of course not.


Let’s stretch this a little further.


Let’s pretend there are three troubled youths with alcoholic fathers somewhere in South-East Asia; the son of a physically abusive farm-labourer, the son of an emotionally abusive designer, and the son of a intellectually abusive professor. They were all rounded up in the red-light district and have been brought together in a room by the local authorities where they are given the choice of going to jail for ten-days or going on a Vipassana retreat where they will spent ten-days in Mindful silence.


They all choose the monastery where they were ushered into the presence of the Abbot who reads the Buddha’s ‘Great Discourse on Mindfulness’. Then he tells them they will only focus on the first part of the first part and would spend the first three days practicing step one of this discourse and focus on self-sensing their breath. The next seven, following the Buddha’s second step, would then focus on broadening their ability to self-sense.


This retreat had a remarkable effect on all three and it changed each one of their lives. Though it had a particular resonance, focusing as it did on self-sensing, on the farm-labourer’s son. But then he was already more aware of his body having known cold and hunger; and the aches and pains that come from working sunrise to sunset when they have to harvest the crop before the weather changed.


At the end the Abbot came and talked to them about the monastic life. He talked about the peace and tranquility. He talked about the sacrifices and renunciation. He made it sound both highly appealing and like a nightmare. His words really affected the youthful Man # 1, they reflected on impressions that had been previously impressed on him and he asked if he could join the monastery and become a novice.




Now according to Mr. Gurdjieff it is possible to transform or recrystallize at higher level by following the monastic path (working along the food octave) He also warns it is riskier.


This is because in the monastic tradition: “work on the second 'shock' begins before work on the first 'shock,' but as mi 12' is created only as a result of the first 'shock,' work, in the absence of other material, has of necessity to be concentrated on si 12, and it very often gives quite, wrong results.” G. I. Gurdjieff as quoted in ISOTM


Fortunately, Buddhism, at least as outlined in the Buddha’s sermons and discourses, can lead to real results by working on ‘si 12’. If you study the Buddha’s teachings you can get a clearer understanding of what the misuse of sexual energy, ‘si 12’, entails; because his system is an antidote to the misuse of ‘si 12’


Unfortunately, to do this you need to become a monk; you need to be celibate; you need to live the life of a renunciate in a monastery. You have to say goodbye to your family and friends and severe all worldly connections. You have to avoid meat, intoxicants and contact with the opposite sex. You have to be prepared to spend much of your day engaged in Mindfulness and meditation.


Your impressions will be carefully controlled and orchestrated. There won’t be any Fridays or Mondays, no weekends, no weekdays. But an ever-present focus on this moment and this day.


Now it is important to comprehend the nature of 'impressions' to recognize how you can change the level of your Being.


Everything you see, hear, smell and taste; everything you sense; everything you feel; everything you think, dream and imagine; all leave traces or impressions behind within you. What you think now will become what you thought yesterday, then what you thought last week, then what you thought last year. However, this doesn’t mean it will disappear because we are more like lakes.


Every impression leaves behind a trace, an impression, on the surface. However, since each new moment creates a new layer, over time impressions naturally sink down as layer upon layer is added. Now mechanical impressions, those sights, sounds and smells that enter without our being aware of them, have a certain energy; ‘hydrogen 48’. While Mindful impressions are one step up or ‘hydrogen 24’ This means a Mindful impressions should, by definition, have twice the intelligence and vibration of mechanical impressions.


So everyday he wakes up in the monastery, he chants, he meditates, he engages in contemplation and all of the different forms of one-brained Mindfulness. Adding layer upon layer of these higher impressions whenever he has the presence of mind to do so. There are no distractions. None of the petty dramas of a householder with parents, siblings, spouses and children.


He does this day after day, week after week, year after year. Leaving behind layers of Mindful impressions that grow deeper and pervasive.


Eventually any fissures from his physically abusive childhood were buried so far below the surface that they no longer have any effect on him. Like repeatedly papering over fissures and cracks until the wallpaper becomes so formidable it ends up supporting the wall.


The inner wounds and wounded-memories were still there deep within him. The impressions he received as a child; the cold, hunger and abuse. But they been covered over for so long by layer after layer ,year after year of higher impressions, that they became like nothing.


Now let’s suppose this Man # 1 did transform and recrystalize at a higher level.


And he did it the Buddha’s way by working on ‘si 12’. So it lacked the harmony and balance required in the fourth way of Mr. Gurdjieff.


And thirty years later he winds up in a room with the other two who have now lived exemplary lives.


So let’s now go back to where we started.


If you had the ideal Man # 2 and the ideal Man # 3 and a transformed Man # 1, you still wouldn’t have a “three-centred” man in that room. Though you would have a luminous and radiant being. Someone extraordinary. But not quite three-centred. Because he didn’t develop harmoniously, because he papered over his fissures with a lifetime of monastic impressions, because he didn’t delve into these fissures and heal them.


He would have, so-to-speak, cheated. Because the proper way is to begin working on ‘mi 12.’ And the easiest way to do this is to self-remember by learning to ‘look, listen and smell, while sensing your body.’ Mr. Gurdjieff even said the transformation of ‘mi 12’ should lead the way for the transformation of ‘si 12’. Of course, he said as much on his chapter on ‘form and sequence’.


This simple yet complex inner exercise actually does that, because it requires an infusion of both ‘mi 12’ and ‘si 12’.


Every time you transform ‘do 48’ from the Octave of Impressions into ‘re 24’ you need a tiny amount of ‘mi 12’. A little higher energy must be present whenever you extract intermediate energy from a lower energy. So every time you Mindfully look, listen and smell, you require some ‘mi 12’.


So just become aware of what you can see, hear and smell.


Try to do this now.


Become conscious of this screen, become conscious of the white space between the paragraphs, lines, words and letters.


Become aware of what you can hear, perhaps even become aware of the background or ambient sounds around you. Then become aware of what you can smell.


And understand these acts all require a tiny amount of ‘mi 12’. If you did not already have access to any ‘mi 12’ you would not be able to Mindfully look, listen and smell.


Now Mindfully sense your arms, hands and fingers, legs, feet and toes, head, neck and torso. Even try to sense that place you first sense the air as you breath in and last sense the air as you breath out. Sense that area just on the outside edge of your breath. And recognize that any act of Mindful self-sensing, even if it is only sensing the tips of your fingers, requires a tiny amount of ‘si 12’ in order to take place.


In Honour of St. George's Day - Monday April 23, 2012

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

In Honour of St. George’s Day (and George Gurdjieff)




A Prelude to "I Am"


an free mp3 recording


I am making this mp3 Inner Exercise available to download for free. It is my prelude to one of Mr. Gurdjieff’s “I Am” exercises.


Unfortunately, some sites will not accept 4shared/dot/com links (people use it to illegally share music) so I have created a hidden page on own my website with a link to the recording.


Just click on the following link to download this recording.


Also note, as with most things I do, this is very much a work-in-progress because I am always tinkering and changing things.


A Prelude to "I Am"


- this inner exercise cultivates a special type of will involved in not-doing

- so please do not force this process but simply allow it to happen

- and just allow your breathing to follow its natural rhythm

- and step back and become the observer observing your body breathing

- now keep your mind quiet by awakening to the present

- and sense your body breathing, here and now in this moment

- now enter your head and facial muscles and do nothing but wish them to relax

- do nothing in both sides of the lower back of head muscle that pulls your scalp back

- do nothing in the wide forehead muscles on both sides that lift your eyebrows

- both eye-brow lowerer muscles above the inner corner of each eye

- the small circular muscle surrounding each eye that allows you to squint

- the eyeball looking up muscles attached to the bones in the back both eyes

- the eyeball looking down muscles attached to the bones in the back both eyes

- the eyeball looking to the right muscles attached to the bones in the back both eyes

- the eyeball looking to the left muscles attached to the bones in the back both eyes

- the eyelid lifter muscles that opens each eye attached to the bones at the back

- all of the muscles that connect each eye to the bones at the back

- the nose muscle down at the midpoint in the nose

- the nostril dilator muscles in both nostrils

- the above-the-lip below-the-nose deepener muscle that runs underneath to cheekbones

- the top, bottom and both sides of the circular lip muscle

- the thinker, pouting muscle from chin to jawbone

- now return your awareness to your lips and do nothing but wish them to relax

- the nose crinkler muscles that run up both sides of the nose

- both sharp-lip lifter muscles from the canine teeth to near inside of eyes

- the top-lip lifter muscles along the upper lip to the bone below the eyes

- both lip-corner-lifter muscles to bones near the outside edge of eyes

- the sideways lip stretcher muscles from the corners to the fascia in both cheeks

- the trumpeter muscles in both cheeks between the upper and lower bones

- the lip-corner lowerer muscles from the corners of the lips down to bone

- the bottom-lip lowerer muscles along the bottom lip to bone

- and enter all the muscles flowing from the lips out into the face

- then enter into all of the main muscles involved in chewing and do nothing but wish them to relax

- both temple muscles where they connect to the top front bump of jawbone

- both inner side-to-side chewing muscles from wing-bone-by-eye to top of jawbone

- both outer side-to-side chewing muscles from wing-bone-by-eye to angle in jawbone

- both up-and-down masseter chewing muscles from temporal bone to jawbone

- both wide-neck muscles from the lower-face to chest that lowers jaw

- now enter all of the muscles in the face and do nothing but wish them to relax

- then do nothing in the muscles deep in your throat

- in the back of your neck and all muscles leading into your shoulder-blades

- in the muscles from upper-chest, over-shoulders and from shoulder-blades to bone in upper-arms

- in the muscles in the upper-arms, elbows, lower-arms, wrists, hands and fingers

- in the muscles in the chest, midriff, and abdomen

- in the muscles in the neck, upper-back, lower-back, sacrum and tail-bone

- in all of the muscles on the pelvic basin connected to the hips and thighs

- in the muscles in the upper-legs, knees, lower-legs, ankles, feet and toes

- then return to the muscles in your throat and do nothing but wish them to relax

- do nothing in the smooth muscles that line your esophagus

- do nothing in the smooth muscles that line your stomach

- do nothing in all the smooth muscles that line your entire digestive tract

- now do nothing in the first pair of abdominal muscles half under the ribs

- do nothing in the second pair of abdominal muscles over top the stomach

- do nothing in the third pair of abdominal muscles above the naval

- do nothing in the fourth pair of abdominal muscles below the naval

- do nothing and wish for all of your abdominal muscles to relax

- now do nothing and let go of all tension in your entire abdominal cavity

- do nothing and wish for all of your whole abdominal cavity to relax

- do nothing in your entire abdominal cavity

- then enter your entire body and let go and wish it to relax

- while you circle around your limbs three times begin to harvest the power of not-doing

- so breath into your right arm.. and out your left leg

- breath into your right leg.. and out your left leg

- into your left leg.. and out your left arm

- into your left arm.. and out your right arm

- breath into your right arm.. and out your left leg

- into your right leg.. and out your left leg

- into your left leg.. and out your left arm

- into in your left arm.. and out your right arm

- breath into your right arm.. and out your left leg

- into your right leg.. and out your left leg

- into your left leg.. and out your left arm

- into your left arm.. and out your right arm

- now circle around your limbs three more times and breath-in feeling and breath-out sensation

- then feel feeling flowing like an underground stream and sense sensation within the earth in your body

- breath feeling into your right arm.. and sensation out your left leg

- breath feeling into your right leg.. and sensation out your left leg

- breath feeling into your left leg.. and sensation out your left arm

- breath feeling into your left arm.. and sensation out your right arm

- breath feeling into your right arm.. and sensation out your left leg

- breath feeling into your right leg.. and sensation out your left leg

- breath feeling into your left leg.. and sensation out your left arm

- breath feeling into your left arm.. and sensation out your right arm

- breath feeling into your right arm.. and sensation out your left leg

- breath feeling into your right leg.. and sensation out your left leg

- breath feeling into your left leg.. and sensation out your left arm

- breath feeling into your left arm.. and sensation out your right arm

- and finish by sensing your entire body as one organic whole

- and be the observer observing the sensation of your entire body

- and become aware of that inner separation that always takes place within you

- whenever you observe.. the sensations of your whole body

- the separation between you as the observer and your body as the observed

- before you finish by repeating out-loud or within:

- May results from this exercise

- be transubstantiated within me

- to feed the Universe and my Being


(c) 2012 Allan Clews


The Difference Between Sensation and Feeling - Friday April 20, 2012

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

To sense sensation in your arm it is not necessary to relax your arm.


To feel feeling in your arm it is necessary to relax your arm.

"I Am ..." Or "My Name is..." - Sunday April 16, 2012

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

To break free from the world ruled by personality and the lure of the associative mind, one must practice Inner Exercises on a consistent basis. Here's a very simple one that revolves around "I am".


We live in a world ruled by all sorts of collective hallucinations. So why not try to chip away at the hardest and most deeply rooted hallucination/delusion you have: the one that revolves around your name.


Assuming you are a native English speaker or you have picked this expression up and use it, the next time you are in any situation where you have to introduce yourself (and try to do this for the rest of your life) begin to make a slight change in one of your ‘habitual linguistic postures’.


So whenever you introduce yourself to someone, do not use the conventional English expression, but instead practice a form of Mindfulness by bringing a degree of attention and awareness to the process. So;


Do not say: "Hi I am ------------."


Instead use a more accurate form and say. "Hi, my name is ------------."


In other words, never use the verb “to be” when telling someone your name. Because you are not your name. Your name by definition must be a part of your personality, because it was given to you at birth by your parents. So reflect, ponder and mentate on this.


The verb “to be” [“am”] (when in the form of the copula) generally involves statements of identity. An since the ‘energy of identity’ (and identification) is hydrogen 24, this is one of the ways that this energy gets misused and misdirected.

A Decision Exercise - Sunday April 16, 2012

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)



We spend most of our waking lives in a slumbering state ruled by

habits and rountines. Therefore the purpose of this task is to help

you momentarily wake up and become more conscious by training yourself

to break free from one of your normal mechanical routines.




1) Choose something that will challenge you and force you to break you out of one of your normal mechanical routines;


2) Make sure that it involves something that you do everyday (and preferably a few times each day);


3) Make sure that part of this will-task involves becoming aware of and sensing part of your body such as your hands (and even sensing your entire body if you can readily do so).


Some examples of will-tasks are:


- sensing your body when you sit down at work or at home;

- sensing and using your non-dominant hand every time you turn a door handle;

- sensing and using your non-dominant hand every time you use keys to open or start something;

- sensing and using your non-dominant hand every time you reach for your wallet or purse;

- sensing and using your non-dominant foot whenever you start to climb

or descend stairs.




1) Decide ahead of time on a specific will-task;


2) Do a relaxation exercise in order to get into a relaxed state;


3) Take as much time as you need to 'visualize' this exercise in as sensorially-rich detail as possible (for example, use your imagination to see your non-dominant hand reaching for a door handle, hear the sound of the door opening as you sense your palm and fingers gripping and turning the door handle – and then finish by becoming really aware of all of the sensations in your hand, from the movement of the muscles and bones, to the awareness of your skin);


4) Repeat Step 3 until you feel confident you have firmly imprinted this will-task in your memory.




Each night before you go to sleep, review all of the times that you engaged in your will-task that day. Try to remember them in as great a detail as possible; see, sense and feel.


If you realize that you have forgotten to do it – then either get up and go and do it – or if that is not feasible, then hold your arms out at a 90 degree angle from your body for 5 minutes while you use your imagination to go back and mentally complete the tasks you missed.

Stepping Between Yes and No - Sunday April 16, 2012

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)




An Alternative Decision Exercise


We encounter hundreds of decision-points throughout the day. Moments when we choose between 'yes' and 'no’. This exercise involves consciously stepping between them into the ‘reconciling’ position and holding both possibilities together at the same time before we decide to choose one over the other.


Unfortunately, most of the time we are not even aware we are encountering these decision-points, because we are under the spell of the energy (hydrogen 48) that rules habits and automatic behaviour.


Even if you take the same route to work everyday, the fact that there are alternatives available makes it one of those decision points. It is the same if you have a choice between taking the elevator/lift and taking the stairs (and the fact you may never have taken the stairs does not mean this is not a real decision-point, rather it means you are far too mechanical because you should be attempting to disrupt your habitual routines any time you have the presence of mind to do so).


Now this exercise is best done when you are grocery shopping because you will encounter dozens of opportunities to choose between ‘yes’ and ‘no.’


Take a piece of paper with you to serve as a reminding factor and simply write the words YES/NO on it and then place it in the child’s seat on the shopping cart/trolley so you can see it and be reminded.


Now please keep it simple and just focus on one item at a time (rather than using it to choose between two items - though later on you can certainly do this).


So as you walk around the store (it will also help if you come armed with a grocery list), every time you see an item you might want to buy, self-remember (that is, consciously look, listen and smell while sensing your body as one organic whole) and then step between ‘yes’ and ‘no’.


If possible, hold the item in your dominant hand (for most of us this means our right hand) and think of the various reasons that could lead you to choose “yes”. Then move it to your non-dominant hand and think of the various reasons for choosing “no.”


Use the state of self-remembering to step in between these two possibilities. Attempt to ‘weigh’ and ‘measure’, ‘sense’ and ‘feel’, the difference between these two possibilities.


Then collapse these possibilities into a single choice of ‘yes’ or ‘no.’


And then decide.

Various Musings - Tuesday April 10, 2012

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Each moment is as unique and different as one snowflake is from another. Even our body is not the same as it was a second ago. Yet there is a part of our brain that is always trying to habituate us; a part that is responsible for tricking us into not only believing - but far worse - into acting and behaving as if we have seen and done it all before.


Recognize that this part is our enemy, because its sole purpose is to lull us back into that deceptively comfortable state where we live, or rather, where we slumber and spend most of our lives in a sleep-like state..



If someone tells you that spiritual growth and transformation involve walking down a blessed path filled with love, light and wonder, turn around and run away because they are either deliberately lying or else they are delusional. You can’t just ‘imagine’ or ‘visualize’ or ‘affirm’ or ‘manifest’ gold, because gold can only be refined in a crucible under conditions of great heat and pressure. The real battle between between the forces of light and dark, is the war we wage within ourselves and against ourselves and for ourselves. It is neither easy or comfortable to try to awaken.


We are far too fixated on “doing” in our society. We are encouraged to create to-do lists and five-year plans and to outline our mission-statement as clearly as we can.


However, in our unrelenting pursuit of progress we have lost sight of the tremendous value of not-doing. So the next time you want to do something you know you shouldn’t do, pay attention to your body, because this desire ‘to do’ will inevitably manifest itself somewhere in your physical body and in your muscles.


So resist doing that thing it would be better to not-do, and follow the trail of tension and strain this decision creates. Perhaps you might notice it in your face and stomach or maybe in your neck and shoulders. And then do your best to enter into those points with your awareness, your Presence, and deliberately and intentionally engage in an act of not-doing and deny that impulse.



One of the more interesting things I have learned about emotions is that they never stay the same and are always changing like the clouds in the sky. This means that no matter how good or bad we may feel, as day follows night, this feeling cannot stay as it is, but is destined to change. So if you feel good about yourself, don’t worry, this will change. And if you feel bad about yourself, don’t worry, because this too will change.


So do not seek happiness or sadness, light or dark, but rather try to find that magical point of stability between the two.



Some people talk about spiritual awakening as if it were as gentle and as easy as waking up from an afternoon nap and that we should just stop being so silly and simply wake-up and toss all delusions aside.


The reality is far different. Unless of course, you were forced to run a 500-mile obstacle course, fed cardboard, and prevented from stopping or even slowing down for five-days straight by the meanest drill-sergeant in the world. And then the moment you finally put your head down, the moment you fell into the deepest state of sleep you have ever experienced, you were told to try to awaken.


Those pseudo-spiritual guru’s become mere peddlers of pablum when they omit the most important step, the one that involves “conscious labours and intentional suffering.” But then they would have you believe that the payment required to awaken can be made with a Visa or Mastercard.

“If Your Body is Not in the Work...” - Friday March 23, 2012

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Begin with the body and the transformation of the physical. Start with self-sensing. Train yourself to become aware of your breathing, your flesh, your muscles, your bones and body.


Study your body. Really observe it through Mindful awareness. Observe the way your body bends and flexes. Pay attention to how your arms, hands, fingers, can reach-out and come back in.


Play and have fun sensing your earthly home. This should not be a chore, but a wonderful adventure. A meet-and-greet with as many sensory neurons in your body as you can manage.


Then once you have developed this ability to sense your body, try to sense it as “one organic whole” and then aim to ground every inner-exercise with Self-Sensing. Aim to maintain a constant awareness of your physical body. But keep this awareness in second place. In the passive position.


Anything else is just too dangerous, because if you are serious about doing anything and everything you can to transform yourself, if you really “wish” to throw yourself into that crucible, this is the only way you can safeguard the process from your ego and false personality.


It is also much easier to become aware of the skin, flesh and bones in your right hand, then it is for you to become aware of what your emotional and intellectual centres are doing.


I once came across a quote (and have unsuccessfully tried to find it again) by an elderly student of Mr. Gurdjieff who also played piano for Movements. She said: "If your body is not in the Work, you are not in the Work."

Try to See As if for the First Time - Friday March 23, 2012

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Although you might not realise it, these words that you are reading right now, do not exist on this screen. Rather these words come from within you and are the result of projections from your brain onto these lines and squiggles.


It is the same with words that you hear. Your brain automatically projects meaning onto the different sounds and phonemes. This means that language really only exists in our brains and is based on the associative process.


As a result, when you see or hear a word, you don't really "see" or "hear" a word. The squiggles and sounds are merely tickling associations that are already within you. This is why it is so hard to Self-Remember while talking or reading, because part of the act of Self-Remembering requires us to see and hear things “as if” for the first time.






r... ...l...ze







How your brain automatically seeks to project meaning on the world around you.


Then imagine you are one of these know-it-alls who thinks they've seen and heard everything. Imagine you are one of these know-it-alls, and so every time you encounter something (and it doesn't matter what it is) it simply brings up memories and associations. So you never see things for the "first" time anymore.


I have encountered a few (though certainly not all) fundamentalists and a lot of what they see and hear is filtered through their rigid beliefs. Violence, murder and bloodshed are seen as acts of the devil. They fit people into their internal stereo-types and pigeon-holes. When they look out into the world they attempt to confirm their beliefs.


Now if you really ponder it, this inability to see anything as if you are seeing it for the first time must have an effect on the brain. So if you don't want your hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for consolidating long-term memories) to shrivel, then Self-Remember whenever and wherever you are.


Perhaps even try to look beyond the words on this screen and just see the lines, dots and squiggles, and let this take the “active position”, rather than allowing the active position to be filled by previously received impressions and representations.


Allow your perceptions to fall in their proper “form and sequence.”

The Transformation of Energies - Friday March 23, 2012

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The easiest form of Self-Remembering can be summed up with a simple formula: look, listen and smell, while sensing your body. Now let’s just focus on the first part. Look, listen and smell [...and sometimes taste].


Light-waves travel to the photo-receptive cells in your eyes. Sound waves travel through your eardrum to the hairs in your inner ear. Tiny invisible molecules floating in the air travel to the olfactory receptors in your nose.


At which point a transformation of energy occurs. Because the light, sound and molecular information, do not stay as they are, but are all “transformed” into neuro-electrical signals.


It is like our eyes, ears, nose and mouth are filling stations charging our brain.


They are certainly “transducers” because they are devices that “convert one form of energy into another.”

What is "Being"? - Tuesday March 6, 2012

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

There is a Hindu term called samskara. I like to think of samskaras as metaphorical karmic seed-particles.


Samskara has been defined by the Dictionary of Common Sanskrit Words as: "Whenever an action is performed with the desire... [a] sanskara is created... These accumulate and determine the situations with which we will be presented in the future and will influence the scope of future actions."


What this really means is that everything we see, hear, smell, taste, sense, feel, think, speak, imagine, hallucinate and even dream leaves some kind of an impression, some kind of a residue, somewhere inside of us. And I like to think that the sum total accumulation of these impressions is my Being.


And not that I am endorsing re-incarnation (and not that I'm not endorsing it), but I also like to think of Being as the 'linga-sharira' or the transmigratory-self which made up of all of our accumulated samskaras. This is the part of us that leaves the body at death. It is not permanent or immortal, though it may seem that way relative to the physical body.


So it can grow and evolve and change over time. And this is important to understand. Our Being is not a static 'thing' and is more like an inner garden that we can grow, cultivate and nourish (of course it can also devolve and be overrun with 'briar's and thorns').


Now it is important to understand is that there are three ways of raising the level of our Being.


One is to enhance it by refining the quality of our impressions: this is easiest done by harnessing the faculty or power of Mindfulness (sanskrit: smriti). If you were just asleep in these words - that is, reading them in a state of non-Mindfulness and were absorbed in the words and lost to the ‘self’- you were creating a certain level of impression (level 48), but if you now begin to at least sense your hands (and ultimately your whole body) you will be seeding your Being with higher impressions (level 24).


This is why everyone should be practicing at least an hour of inner exercises every day (and this can be as simple as sensing your body breathing while standing in a lineup; to deliberately working your way through the sensation of every muscle and bone in your head).


The second way is to negate, burn off, extinguish our darkest impressions. This is where hypnosis excels because as George Gurdjieff observed, hypnosis allows us to unfix a previously fixed impression. There are also other techniques for erasing things on the inner ‘hard drive’


And the third is to step into the Reconciling Position and stand between light and dark, good and bad, happiness and sadness.

Mindfulness and the Conservation of Energy - Thursday February 24, 2012

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Ever since the Oil Crisis of the 1970s we have grown increasingly aware of the role energy plays in our lives. The large gas guzzlers that used to roam our streets have now been overtaken by fuel efficient cars. We now design houses, buildings, electronic equipment and light bulbs to consume as little energy as possible. The need to conserve energy has entered into our society in a major way.


We adjust thermostats, turn lights off, buy fuel-efficient products and engage in various activities all designed to reduce our carbon footprint. Yet we never take this awareness and apply it to ourselves. We never examine the thousands of different ways we waste our own energy.


We can be likened to a factory with three floors, each of which is engaged in a specific type of work that requires a specific type of energy. The ground floor corresponds to our physical self, the middle floor to our emotion self, and the upper floor to our intellectual self. And each of these dimensions of our being is fuelled by a specific form of energy.


Now real human transformation, real inner growth can only be accomplished through the proper conservation and consumption of the various forms of energy within ourselves. Yet how many of us who are interested in our own evolution and development even know this.


And while we would never leave all of the lights on the ground floor in our house when we were upstairs on the top floor, we do this all of the time within ourselves. Bleeding energy in a thousand different ways without any kind of awareness or consciousness on our part.


For instance, just take a moment and try to become really Mindful of your body. Are you holding tension in any muscles? Perhaps you are unconsciously clenching your jaw, or holding tension in your neck and shoulders. Maybe your arms and legs are a little tight.


Then become Mindful of your feelings. Become aware of any feelings of worry or dread or anxiety. Become aware of how much time you spend day-dreaming and living in your imagination and engaging in unnecessary sentimentalization.


Finally become aware of your thoughts. Notice how little control you really have over the things that flitter through your mind. How you are captive to thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow. How you spend more time revving the engine rather than using your mind to work through specific problems. Try to notice how much of the time your mind is really engaged in unconscious, automatic and "mindless" thinking.


Fortunately there is a remedy (or at least a way to begin tackling this problem in a meaningful and substantial way) and it is summed up in the term Mindfulness. So try to experience more and more moments of Mindfulness throughout your day. Become Mindful of any unnecessary tension in your body; Mindful of any feelings of worry or undue day-dreaming and sentimentality; and Mindful of the mechanical nature of your thoughts. Become Mindful of the thousand and one ways you bleed energy throughout your day.