STOP the inner Critic from controlling your life!

“I’d like to (fill in what you’d like to do), BUT (fill in the reasons why you don’t do it).
When this is NOT a sham (we really don’t want to do what we say we’d like to do), this sentence structure reveals a split in the mind: The LEFT is the part that wants to do it. The RIGHT has all kinds of logic, “shoulds” and “have tos” on its side to stop the LEFT side.
So what does this produce in us? Sadness? Resignation? A strong feeling of obligation or guilt? Depression? A feeling of hopelessness? And how much of our lives do we LIVE in this place because the right side (the Inner Critic) wins and we feel compelled to do what it says?
THIS is how the Inner Critic operates! This is what keeps us confined, infantile, contracted! There are ways out of this place – ways to effectively deal with and understand this controlling part of the mind.
Join us September 5 – 7 for “Freedom to Be Yourself: Transforming the Inner Critic into Inner Peace!” It is a weekend workshop at the World of Meditation Center in Seattle. For all the details, go to and STOP the inner Critic from controlling your life! (And save $100 with the amazing early bird offer!)

What Matters?

Inquiring into “what matters” has been a fascinating and expansive process for me!
What matters? How many times have I experienced that something matters very much, only to discover later on that it really doesn’t matter?! Or that at first it appears not to matter, but it morphs into something that DOES matter!!
I’ve experienced times when there were also at least two extreme gauges – where it seemed that either EVERYTHING matters, or that NOTHING matters. (This could be the subject of a book!).
And perhaps the most significant understanding has come when the mind slows down and even disappears for a short time. In that space, “what matters” is irrelevant. Instead, everything just IS. And it is pure JOY!
So the mind and “what matters” seem to be deeply related!!
If you’re interested in exploring, take a look at what matters – or doesn’t matter – for you!

How to experience GENUINE ACCEPTANCE!

Genuine Acceptance

The easiest – and perhaps ONLY – way to experience acceptance, is to discover and allow ALL aspects of the mind to have a seat at the “board table!” By that, I mean experience the situation and let ALL the parts of the mind have space to express how they feel about a particular situation.

For example:

I dropped my favorite bowl and it broke. If I ask, “Can I accept this?” I may find myself uncomfortable, sad, maybe even angry. And, if I am truthful, I would have to say, “No.”

But here’s where the trickiness of the mind comes in. It says, “There is no use in being sad about it. Don’t ‘cry over spilled milk.’ You can get another one.” What this internal voice is doing is suppressing the other part of the mind that feels sad or angry. It doesn’t give that part space to be real and feel the emotions that are there.

Once I experience this, I can ask, “So, I’ve broken my favorite bowl. And a part of the mind is upset by this, and another part wants to move on. Can I accept this?”

Now the answer might be “Yes.” And then there is a feeling of acceptance that comes. It permeates the body…there’s a feeling of relaxing into the situation.

However, if I look a little deeper, I may still have ANOTHER part of the mind that is angry at the second part for trying to suppress the first part! In that event, I can ask, “OK, I’ve broken my bowl. A part of the mind is upset by this, another part wants to move on, AND a third part is angry at the part that wants to move on!”

At SOME point, I will find the bigger picture of what is going on. And when I do, I find a genuine acceptance of it! It is allowing ALL the parts of the mind to be present and accounted for that gives me this feeling of acceptance…because                                  IT IS THE TRUTH OF WHAT IS HAPPENING!

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you are in the process of “acceptance,” give this understanding a try and experience what happens!



Catch up with me - and my writing and insights - on facebook, at:

Velcro and Teflon – Is this how the mind works?

Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson’s research indicates that the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones! That means that our thoughts, beliefs and strategies have an increasingly negative direction!

PROCESS: Hanson suggests that we pay strong attention to the positive ones, to be more aware of good experiences that happen throughout the day. He says it is helpful to savor these experiences for at least 30 seconds, and then to continue to be aware of them for as long as possible!
This causes more neurons to fire and wire together, creating a strong memory trace. It is good to connect with the experience in the body, as well as visually. And the more this is done, the more positive experiences are woven into the fabric of the brain.

The Indian Mystic, Osho, made mention of this approach quite a few years ago!

He has said:

“Dissatisfactions are felt, miseries are felt, pains are felt. Whenever you suffer, you become the suffering. That is why the whole life becomes a hell. You have never felt the positive; you have always felt the negative. Life is not such a misery as we have made it; misery is just our interpretation. A Buddha is happy here and now, in this very life. A Krishna is dancing and playing on a flute. In this very life here and now, where we are in misery, Krishna is dancing. Life is neither misery, nor is life bliss. Bliss and misery are our interpretations, our attitudes, our approaches, how we look at it. It is your mind — how it takes it.***************

“Remember, and analyze your own life. Have you ever taken account of happy moments, of contents, of satisfactions, of blissful glimpses? You have not taken any account, but you have taken every account of your pain, suffering, misery, and you go on accumulating. You are an accumulated hell, and this is your own choice. No one else is forcing you into this hell; this is your own choice. The mind takes the negative, accumulates it and becomes negative itself. And then this is a self-perpetuating misery. The more negatives you have within the mind, the more negative you become, the more negatives are accumulated. The similar attracts the similar, and this has been for lives and lives. You miss everything because of your negative approach.

“This technique gives you a positive approach, a total reversal to the ordinary mind and its process. Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatever act, actualize this, feel it, become one with it. Don’t take it just as a passing phase. The satisfaction can become a glimpse of a greater positive existence.

“Everything is just a window. If you become identified with a pain, you are looking from a window, and the window of pain, of suffering, opens only towards hell. If you are one with a satisfactory moment, a blissful moment, an ecstatic moment, you are opening another window. The existence is the same, but your windows are different.

“Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatsoever act, actualize it — wherever! No conditions: wherever! You see a friend and you feel happy; you meet your lover or beloved and you feel happy: actualize this. Be happiness in that moment, and make that happiness a door. Then you are changing the mind, and you will start accumulating happiness. Your mind will turn positive, and the same world will look different.” Osho

Everyone worries about something. So, is there any benefit to worrying?

It seems that everyone worries about something.
When I became familiar with the worrying mind, I began asking, “What is the benefit of worrying?” That inquiry led me to some strange answers from a part of the mind that insists on worrying.
It said, “If I don’t worry, I won’t do anything about it.” Or: “Worrying about a loved one shows that I love them.”
Challenging those ideas helped them to crumble, especially in the light of the COST of worrying: anxiety, tension, fear….
It became clear that the cost FAR OUTWEIGHED any perceived benefit! I could certainly get things done WITHOUT worry bullying me to do it. And not worrying enhanced the feeling of love that I have…it didn’t REDUCE it!!
Still, the habit can remain in the mind. So, it is helpful to look at the benefit and cost each time I discover a worrying thought. And slowly, slowly the hold that these thoughts have has diminished. And that makes more room for enjoying life, not suffering through it!
Give it a try!

What does this mean? “Existence is One. All division is in the mind.”

The mystics have been saying it for ages:
“Existence is One. All division is in the mind.”
So the MIND gives us the ILLUSION that we are separate!
And if we are exploring this with the mind, we are certain to find objection to the idea that we are NOT separate!
It is those rare moments – gifts from existence – when the curtain parts and reveals for a fraction of a second the truth of the ONE, that can give us the support needed to keep the inquiry going!
That fleeting awareness can only be invited, and meditation is the key.

A Meditation for Letting Go…

A Meditation for Letting Go…

Just like your breath leaves, leave the thoughts, the stories, the judgments, the worries, the strategies. You don’t hold onto the breath that is leaving. You don’t cling to it. You simply allow it to do what it does…it leaves.
The same can be true with the mind’s activities. They come…they go. And you can simply watch as they come and watch as they leave.
It is the holding on and identifying with these thoughts that create the anxiety and worry and pain.
Let them go, just like your breath leaves….

About the Coming Chaos…

Q: I feel that we are really coming into very exciting times.
Just wondered what you thought?
I think teachers are just saying dead words, now. I feel no aliveness in what’s going on now. We are really ready for something new in consciousness to appear.
Subhan: I agree with you that these are exciting times! And, yes, I also feel that there is a corner that can be turned.
But now comes the real “work!” It is individual and it starts with meditation. Each of us has to move deeply into our interiority and explore what is inside. That is the only place where consciousness appears. The mind wants to go outside and change things. But until each of us moves beyond the mind, into the silence and stillness within, we will be reacting from the same mind that has created so much havoc already and the results will remain the same.
The chaos that we experience outside is only a reflection of the chaos in the mind! So, as many, many people move more into their chaotic minds, that will only ramp up the disturbances on the planet. This scenario, however, is an opportunity for each of us to realize that we have had enough of what we don’t want, and it will lead us within to the only place where intelligence lives.

The difficulty as I see it is that most people are unwilling to meditate, to cathart all the stuffed up emotions, and to celebrate the amazing gift of life! And, all three of these are essential for the shift to happen. But that doesn’t stop US from choosing to do these. And that is the ONLY place where real change happens. Inside each of us, one at a time!

Real “teachers” (I call them mystics) are saying words that can point us inward. They are like the Sherpa that guides people on Mount Everest. Sherpas can’t climb the mountain for us, but they CAN point the way because they have experienced the climb. Real mystics can do the same for us as we climb the inner mountain.
So if the teachers you have been listening to seem to have dead words, there are two possibilities:
Either they are not real mystics, and then their words are fabrications, not truths.
Or, if they are real and the mind is making their words dead!
In either case, meditation will support us in finding the way!

The Words We Choose Can Stop Us From Making a Decision!

Have you ever noticed how many times you use the words such as “probably,” “try,” “if,” “as soon as” and “when?” As in: “I’ll probably do it tomorrow…” “I’ll try to get it done by Wednesday…” I’ll do it if I can…” “I’ll do it as soon as I can.”
These are words of postponement that give the mind the wiggle room it needs NOT to do something! So, the next time you catch that rascal mind saying these words, STOP! Decide if you really want to do it. And then change the language to something definite. Make the decision something firm…and experience what happens!

The Judging Mind

If I am to live a joyous life, I need to know about, experience, understand, and drop the judging mind that I carry. It has seeped into every aspect of my life and is creating a living hell by constantly judging, coercing, berating and restricting me.

Although it was beneficial in my early youth – in that it helped me stay out of harm’s way with my parents, teachers and religious leaders – now, its job of coercing me to meet my parents’ and others’ expectations is killing the joy of life.

This is a big chunk of my life’s “work”. It is an issue with a HUGE impact that requires experiencing, understanding, and the luxury of time to explore!