Thursday, December 10, 2009

A guide to Rational Meditation

One of the first challenges in meditation is to make sense of yourself. Oh, I know, you make total sense, but this blog is about how we navigate through our mind when we close our eyes and meditate. Most forms of meditation divides the practise in to these parts:

Feelings or emotions

Athletes mainly meditate on the body, trying to tie feelings and mind into their sport. Most buddhists try to go through the body, then to feelings and emotions, then to the mind and then they try to let go of the mind. What most westernes leading a rational life tries to do, is to meditate on the emotions or the mind, both of which can come in the way of a good performance in client meetings, presentations or jobinterviews.

If you want to meditate with no particular goal in mind, the buddhist way may be the way to go. The phases of the meditations mentioned below, migh last years or they might last a few days. You don't have to go through all the phases every time you meditate. In fact, its better not to, since it'll be more effective to go thorugh one phase at a time.

Start meditating on the body. For instance, you could meditate on different body parts one at a time. Just focus on a body part trying to experience the entire part at once. Feel it. Sense it. Often you'll experience a tingling sensation after a little while, that means it's time to continue to the next part.

Meditating on the body is also very useful if you find it hard to sit still and if there's a lot of unrest in your body. On the other hand, if you find your body comfortable and quiet, you can skip this part.

Then meditate on emotions. Try to find out what you feel right now, and if you have strong feelings about anything, try to quiet them down. Try to acknowledge that the emotion is there, and then distance yourself from it. The aim is to feel at peace with your self. You can also meditate on situations where you had strong emotions or had a disconcerting lack of emotion. The aim is to find peace and quiet, in a steady and strong emotion or lack there of. When you get to the point where emotional rest comes easy, your ready to move on.

Step it up a notch and meditate on the mind. For most people this is a very tricky part, since most people believe that they ARE the mind. So, how do you do it? You do it just the way you did with emotions. You observe it and the thoughts that enter the mind. But, unlike what your probably used to, meditation on the mind is about getting free of thoughts. At first this will probably be extremely difficult, since most rational people identify with our thoughts and so have a natural tendency to let the mind roam wild. The aim is to get to a point where it's easy to empty the mind and think of nothing.

This is rational meditation, so there really is no 'right' way to go. But, most people need some kind of guide to get started. But, if you feel that the mind is the right place to start, go right ahead. If you want to evolve your meditation fast, you should start with whats  most obviously disturbing your peace and quiet, be it body, emotions or mind. It cal also be specifik emotions, specifik body parts or even specific thoughts. Just start meditating on the thing that is bugging you the most or the thing that is most disturbing for you when you try to be calm and at peace.

Remember: Rational Meditation is about getting OUT, not about getting in. Rational Meditation is a way to get out of things that holds you. Religious, spiritual and philosophical meditation is about getting IN to some kind of inner truth or higher existence. Rational Meditation acknoledge that no one but you knows what you'll find inside, if anything. Therefore we can't teach you about getting IN to anything. We just don't know what you'll find. But we can teach you about getting out of the things that bother you and take control of them.

On emptiness

Feeling empty is weird. In the west psychologist use the feeling of emptiness as a part of a diagnosis for depression. In the east many philosophies make it their purpose to get to that same feeling of emptiness. One is bad for you, the other is good for you. But they're the same thing.

The good thing about emptiness is that it's the perfect starting point for self discovery. When you feel empty, sit back and relax and wait for that next thought that will, at least for a while, make you not empty. What happened? How come this thought could kidnap your existence and fill up the emptiness? And how come it didn't last and at some point you came back to feeling empty?

Our minds are what we make them. Problem is, most people take their mind for granted, and a lot of those people suffer for it. And when that humbling feeling of emptiness strikes, it may seem that your entire existence is empty.

Not so. What is empty is your mind. That can be either a good thing or a bad thing. If you define your self by the mind and define success as having something on your mind, then emptiness is a bad thing. On the other hand, if you look at life as a marathon, then you can use your mind for the running. But once in a while its just great to take a break, stop and drink some water and rest the muscles before your continue. Emptiness is like that: It's a break from the marathon. The only reason you're not enjoying it is that you identify with the marathon, and not with your existence.

A mode of mind

Whats your mindmode? after speaking with a kazillion people it finally dawned on me that we don't think alike. Should have been obvious I guess, but I'm not talking about the things we believe and the things we think about. I'm talking about the way we think about the things we think about.

One mindmode that seems particular popular and just as troublesome to the people in this mindmode is believing that you are what you think. That the words you think about IS you. And at the same time knowing that things aren't working like they should. This mindmode is troublesome because it doesn't contain a way to correct your thinking. If you ARE your thoughts, then you can't change them, because that would mean changing your self. These people don't have any idea about the Third Space, although most seem to understand this example: Focus on something. Anything. Now if you have this thing in focus, ask yourself: From where do I focus? It seems logical to most people that if you're observing something, you must observe from somewhere. Like when you watch a game on tv, you probably observe it from couch. The same thing applies to your mind. If you observe a thought, then you observe it from somewhere. I call this place the Third Space. If you don't know about the observation point in your mind, your at one with your thoughts. And this is one of the times that being at one with something is not good.

In entertainment the aim itself is to make the spectator a part of the entertainment. In that way you empathize with the actors and, for a short while, believe what the actors believe. In sports, you identify with one of the teams and goes through an entertaining rollercoaster as your team struggles through the match.

This is all well and good. For enjoyment. But when it comes to your own life, it's really a good thing to be able to divide your self into two: The game and the spectator. And it's only when you can separate the two, that you can act as a coach and correct the mistakes you're doing in the game.

Does this make sense to you? Its a hard thing to explain to people face to face, and even harder to explain in the written word. So I need to know: Does this makes sense?

Meditate. Meditate rationally. Follow this blog for Rational Meditation

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Meditation on COP15 - day 2

A meditation for making COP15 a succes - day 2: Making peace with the world around you.

  1. Sit down, and when in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe slowly in, exhale slower.

  2. Make the mind dwell on peace.

  3. If you're a beginner, meditate on everything that seems peaceful to you.

  4. If you're an advanced meditator, send the peace out in to the world, and to Copenhagen.

Meditate. Mediate rationally. Meditate for a better world. Follow this blog.

Meditation on COP15 - day 1

Why not see if a few meditations can help make the climate summit in Copenhagen a succes? On this blog I'll suggest a meditation for every day that the summit lasts.

Here are the meditation for day one:

  1. Find a place of quiet. Close your eyes when in a comfortable position and visualize the color green.

  2. If you're a beginner, meditate on every green thing you can imagine.

  3. If you're an advanced meditator, visualise a green succes at Copenhagen.

Meditate, meditate rationally. Meditate for a better world.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The two worlds and the third space

There are so many different guides to meditation outthere. Are some better than others? No. They are just different, focusing on different things.To do rational meditation we need a different mental map. We need to find a way to work with meditation that doesn't refer to exotic goddesses or some mystical inner presence. We do this by dividing the mental experience.

First, there's the outside world. The shared reality in which we all live. That's the First World. We have access to this world through our senses. The Second World consists of your thoughts, your sense of things and your emotions. We constantly experience thoughts and emotions. Those thoughts and emotions are the Second world.

Now, if we go scientific, these two worlds are supposedly one and the same. In the First World we find all of reality, and our mental experience is, according to the best scientific guess, a product of our biological brain. However, there's a very clear difference between the two. While everyone shares reality, no one can share the Second World. We can talk about whats going on inside us, but words is not quite enough to describe how we feel and think.

The Third Space
So, while the two worlds are most probably a result of physics of the First World, we see it differently. We experience a distinct subjective reality that we can not share with anyone. Because we can't share our emotions and thoughts that Second World is uniquely ours.

And this leads us to the Third Space. What's in the Third Space? Your eye. No, not in a mystical sense, but in a very logical sense. How come you can think about your thoughts? Because you conceptually exists outside of them. Again, if we go scientific this Third Space must be based on the brain, somehow. But conceptually, in the way you grasp your existence, we have three parts: The first world, which we share, the Second World, which only we have access to, and the Third Room, where we observe both worlds.

Atheists, buddhists and christians
The reason why this division is neccesary, is that it is the only way to embrace most people. This world view is not contrary to scientific fact and it's not contrary to any belief-system, be it religious or atheistic. In Buddhism it's all about the Third space. It's about realising that part of your world view, and be empty of thoughts and feelings and mind. In Christianity, the important thing is how the Second World decides what you do in the First World and the Third space is where you judge what is right to do. For atheist, the Third Space is just a very cool place to explore ;)

Now, whichever type of meditation takes your fancy, you can navigate the issues with these three parts. Most forms of meditation is about separating or combining these three parts. In science we try to combine the Second World with the First World. In buddhism we try to separate the three and eventually try to exist only in the Third space. In christianity we try to align the word of Christ with the way we act in the First World and the way we think in the Second World.

While we share the First World and try to make legislation that will make it possible for all of us to live together in peace, the Second World is what makes humans unique. Animals may have a 'Second World' but it seems that only people can manipulate the Second World, only we can choose what to believe and what to think. We don't have to just react on instinct. We can reflect before we act. And because of that, we are able to shape our lives. With meditation, that gets much easier.

Meditate. Meditate Rationally. Use Rational Meditation. Follow this blog.

Doing it anywhere, anytime

When ever we change things we have to make an effort. But the problem isn't usually the meditation itself. The problem is to schedule it. For some reason it's incredibly difficult for most people to make time for stuff thats not already in the schedule. This is why most webpages and books about meditation tell you to stick to a regular and fixed schedule. They want you to take just a few minutes every day, and get used to the idea of sitting down and do nothing.

It seems that meditation is a hard sell. If it was an easy sell, you'd jump at the chance to harvest the benefits, wouldn't you? So, why is it so hard to convince non-meditators to meditate? Because it just doesn't make sense to a modern rational human being to sit down and do nothing. Forget about NOT taking the phone if it rings.

But in reality, we don't need to sell it. You've aldready bought the idea. That's why you're here, thats why you're reading this post. So, whats holding you back? The knowledge you think you need to do it right? Forget it - there's only one thing you need to know to get started. Or maybe you think you have to learn how to do it? No need, you already know how to do it. Maybe you can't find the time? Of course you can. You can do it right now. yes, right now, in front of the computer.

The sell
But what are the benefits for those of us who meditate? How will you benefit? I mean, you put in an effort, and you're supposed to get something out if it, right? You will benefit through a slight change in your mind, that you might not even notice at first. You'll get a mental antidote and slowly but surely you will be able to reflect before you act, you'll be able to change things in yourself that you're not comfortable with or not happy with.

Meditation will make you see the connections in your life that you don't see right now. And meditation will make it easier for you to succeed in anything you put your mind to. It's basically the same as what athletes have been doing with their body for many years. An athlete is working with his or her body to make it stronger, faster and more flexible. A meditator is working with his or her mind to make the mind stronger, faster and more flexible. A well trained body and a well trained mind is more resistable and can work harder and longer.

Everyone is working out these days. You want to meditate to work out with your mind. Meditate! Do it rationally. Use Rational Meditation. Follow this blog.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's about getting out, not getting in

Most forms of meditation is all about going in to the core of things, like finding 'your true self', aligning your self with 'your true purpose' or finding some inner god or goddes. It's about getting in to something true that supposedly is hidden from view. Rational Meditation is all about getting out. Getting out from all the traps of the mind. Getting out from the stress. Meditation is like taking a break from everything and it'll leave you invigorated and in mental shape for yet another day.

How does it work? It works by giving you an outside perspective on your self. When you run or jog, you're aware of your body. When you wake up you stretch yourself and you're aware of your body. Meditation works like that with the mind. Meditation makes it easy for you to be aware of your mind. And as soon as that happens, theres just no end to all the things you'll learn about how your mind work.

The tricky part is: No two minds work alike. That's why most meditation methods has so much focus on how you sit, what you think and what you visualise. They want to fill your mind with specific content, and they want you to focuse on that. Why? Because that way you will change your mind into something that the guru knows about: His or her own mind.

After 100 hours of doing yoga meditation your mind will be filled with all the stuff that is messing around in the teachers mind.

Untangle reality as you know it
Rational Meditation lets you be you, and teach you how to use meditation without changing anything. Well, except for the things that you will want to change when you find out that you can. Thats why it's all about getting out, not getting in. When ever someone wants you 'go in', they want you to believe what they believe. As soon as someone thinks they know what's inside you, they make you steer towards that thing. This is okay if you're a believer or want to be one. In that case go ahead and meditate on your 'inner christ', meditate on the 'universal energies' or meditate on what ever you already believe or what the guru convinces you must be true.

Rational meditation is for those of us who wants to empower our selves the way we are. Rational Meditation is not about finding the truth, but about finding the traps that are messing with our lives in our minds. If your believe there is a truth in there, somewhere, you will get closer to it, by not falling into mind traps. The thing is: We're not trying to tell you what you'll find in there. That's is entirely your task. We just help you untangle your reality, well the worldly parts at least. You'll love it, trust us: you'll see things clearer.

Meditate. Use Rational Meditation. Follow this blog.

Starting meditation - the basic method

Remember: At this page its all about Rational Meditation. That means that it's easy to get started and you don't need to know you eastern deities or recite koans or visualize symbols. Hey, you don't even have to have groan 'ohm' again and again. All you have to do to get started is:

  • Sit down
  • Close your eyes
  • Breathe in, pause for a second, breath out, pause for a second. Repeat again and again.
It's that easy to get started. And if you never meditated in your whole life, this should give you and instant tool to fight stress. Do it when you need to cool down, when you need to get back in control or when everything just seems to overwhelm you.
You can sit anywhere, it doesn't matter. You can sit anyway you like (that's right: you don't have to sit like an Indian guru with the legs crossed).

This is meditation. Now, you might think that this is a bit simplistic, comparing with other guides you may have read about. And it is. If you want to take meditation to the next level, there are a number of things you might need to take into account, but to get started this is all that you need to do.

Meditate. Meditate Rational. Use Rational Meditation. Follow this blog.

Two minute power meditation for the Christmas rush

Its that time again. And you know you'll find yourself with immense stress, carrying a multiture of gifts and bags, maybe even with stressed out kids in tow. What do you do: Rush through it all and hope you survive? Or read a friendly blog with a quick trick to get yourself on top of things.

Here's a two minute meditation to take the edge of and get back in control:
  • Find somewhere to sit down, put your bags between your legs so they don't dissapear while you
  • Close you eyes. 
  • Take a deep breath in, wait a couple of seconds. Breathe out, slowly. Do it again. And again. Try to notice your eyemovements. Try to stop them and make the eyes stay put (yes, while keeping them closed).

Do this for two minutes. You can do it anywhere and it'll only take two minutes. When done, stand up and let your eyes take in the entire scenery. Now you're ready to to some serious xmas shopping the most rational way you know how. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Can people be read?

If you've seen the hit shows The Mentalist or Lie to me, you've seen that people can be read, that it's possible to see when people are lying and that it's possible to get information out of people even when they don't want you to find out. But is it possible? Can it be done?

The answer is yes, but not in the way that you might think. And it certainly doesn't work like they show you in the two shows. In both television series it works by reading subtle signs on peoples faces and in their movents. And based on that Patrick Jane or Dr. Lightman can conclude that someone is lying or trying to hide something. Of the two shows, Lie to me is the most 'scientific' while The Mentalist uses more basic entertainment tricks. In Lie to me they even flash pictures of the faces of famous people caught in a lie (remember Clintons 'I did not have sex with that woman, miss Lewinsky.')

The closest you'll get to the real truth about what Patrick Jane and Dr. Lightman is doing is when Patrick Jane uses test questions and when Dr. Lightman tries to establish a 'baseline.'

And it all seems so credible. Dr. Lightman is even based on a real person who actually did help the CIA and who actually did establish the science of microexpressions. That person is Paul Ekman and on his website, you can even test just how good you are at reading microexpressions. It's extremely credible and THAT is the First Trick: Getting you convinced. And that is exactly why the tricks of Patrick Jane and Dr. Lightman works.

If the First Trick doens't work, then none of the other tricks will work. And they never disclose the First Trick.

Here's a trick for you: Tell you girlfriend that you are extremely good at telling when people lie to you. Get them to believe it. When they do, it will be much easier for you to tell that they are lying. Not because you just got better at it, but because their belief that you are good at it, makes them into terrible liars.

That is the First Trick and it can be used for anything. Tell people that you are an expert at something, and they will believe you as long as what ever follows is reasonably reasonable. That's the trick that magicians and con artists have been using since the dawn of time.

The (in)famous lie detector
The First Trick works as an amplifier. From the moment you make someone believe the First Trick (for example that you can spot any liar) any emotion, any though and any reaction they have will be many times stronger. think about it: Isn't that exactly what happened last time you were failed at telling a lie or convince someone of something? You felt warm and the only thing thought is the lie?

So, the first trick in any criminal interview is letting the suspect believe that the police knows something or that they are experts at finding the truth. To be suspected of lying and to be told that the person opposite you is an expert at telling lies, is exactly the same as putting and amplifier into the head of the suspect.

A lie detector works exactly the same way: A man in a white coat and a machine that looks terrible complicated is simply very convincing. I mean: Why would any one use so many ressources to make such a machine if it didn't work? Doesn't seem reasonable does it? But that's exactly why it works: Because we believe it, and that amplifies everyhing and puts us on the spot.

The antidote to the First Trick
The First Trick is extremely clever and it works on almost anything. Tell someone that you can see peoples true emotions, and their true emotions will show in their face like a poster. That's what makes all newage tricks work, that's what makes therapy work, thats what makes lie detectors work: Not the fancy tarot-cards, not the long education of your therapist and not the fancy machinery: What works is that you believe it works. Its a bit like magic, isn't?

There is of course an antidote to the First Trick: Get to know your mind. Learn that no matter what other people say, you are the only person in the world who decides what to say, what to hide and how to act. Don't let anyone else make you selfconsciuos. Be selfconscious when and if you want to. That is the antidote, and the way to take the antidote is to do Rational Meditation. Believe your truth above any other trut. Meditate but do it rationalle. Follow this blog :)

Rational meditation

I hate the fact that when ever I read about meditation I have to read about spiritual stuff. It's an offence to my rational mind. It seems that the entire business of meditation is about 'finding your inner christ' or 'finding the real you' or getting in 'tune with the universal karma'. It's plain annoying. Especially since meditation is such a cool thing to do.

You don't think so? Take a look at rational meditation. Rational meditation is a way to take control of your mind and be clear minded always. Rational meditation works, what ever you believe in. Wether an ateist, christian, hindu, muslim, agnostic, sceptic or even an alien, rational meditation is worthwhile.

And it's not even hard. It's easy. The object of rational meditation is to make the mind into a useful tool and make it work for you, not against you. Rational meditation is about removing obstacles and being able to master your reality.

It does take som effort though. But, unlike traditional forms of meditation, you will feel the benefits within days or weeks. Why? It's not because rational meditation is easier, which it is, and its not because rational meditation is a new form of meditation, which it isn't. It's because you don't have to learn an entire new way of looking at things. You don't have to learn a million yoga poses, you don't have to learn buddhism, you don't have to know about your inner god or goddes. You start with what you already know and you grow from that. That's why its quick, effecient and that's why you will feel the benefits right away.

This blog is about rational meditation. Rational in the sense that whatever you believe in and however your mind works, you can use this.

Before you master your mind, any improvement takes practice, practise and then more practise. It takes so much time to improve yourself.

With rational meditation you can do it faster. You'll still need practise, but not nearly as much. Consider athletes: They spend a lot of time doing mental traininng, visualising the task at hand, doing every movement in the mind without moving the body. And it helps. Most of the worlds topathletes are doing mental practice. They are using rational meditation.

Consider NLP, a method specifically used to improve peoples minds. While people visit NLP coaches to improve specifik areas of their lives, rational meditation will make it possible to improve any part of your life. The problem with using coaches, NLP, therapists or any other help, is that you'll have to come back to them again and again and again. Why? Because they never teach you WHY it works. They just do it to you and mostly it helps the specific problem.

Rational meditation will set you free to do and be whatever you want. Once and for all. It'll cost you nothing.

So, while the market is full of quick fixes for just about any ailment outthere, meditation is by far the most versatile, the most efficient and the cheapest. All you have to do is to sit down and close your eyes. And when you get better at it, you don't even have to do that. And you wont have to listen to some new-age guru (which is really a turn off for most rational people)

If all you really want is a quick fix, there are plenty of places to find that. If what you need is someone to force you through it because you're to unfortable with your self to work on yourself alone, feel free to go anywhere else but here.

This blog is about rational meditation for anyone, for free and for when ever you have the time and where ever you are.

:) The meditator

The first trick

The first obstacle to any project is always our selves. To be precise: its our minds that stops us in our tracks or just wont cooperate. No matter how good you are, you can always be better. To do that

you have to own your mind

and contraray to popular belief, few people do. Most of us are slaves to the mind, and the mind tricks us into believing that it's the other way around. Other people think that they ARE the mind. And in a scientific sense, they are. But with meditation you can learn to watch the mind in action. And if you can do that, what really happens? Does the mind split into two parts where one part is watching what the other part is doing?

It doesn't matte what really happens, scientifically. What matters is that you can do it. And how you can use that.
And if you don't know what I'm talking about here, consider this: Would you like to be able to watch you mind at work? Is there any possible benefit from being able to watch the mind working? There are plenty of benefits. One benefit is that if you can experience the mind from the outside, it will no longer be possible to con you. You will be in charge of all decisions and you will decide when to do what.

Does that sound like something that's already true about you? It might be, but odds are against it. Most people all over the world, is constantly falling for the First Trick. And there is only one way to get immunity: Meditate. But meditate in a rational way. Use rational meditation. Follow this blog to learn more.