NOTES FROM THE BOOK:
[→] Introduction, page 3:
Formula for the Zone
Throughout the book I have put forth various methods and formulas for reaching the zone but, truly stated, the zone cannot be reached because you are already in the zone. Your inherent state of being is the zone. However, your own mental conditioning is blocking you. Animals do not have this capacity and, therefore, they cannot block themselves from being in the zone. Only human beings can do that. Thus, the primary formula for reaching the zone is not so much about reaching the zone but mostly about removing all the mental disruptions that take you out of the zone. Once the blocks are removed you will naturally be in, or move toward the zone, because the zone is your natural and inherent state of being.
Stated again, the two primary "zone" strategies discussed in this book, are a) removing, suspending, or getting beyond the zone-blocking mental conditioning (or what might also be called the mental noise, the mental static, or the mental interference), and b) expanding those human qualities---such as enthusiasm, euphoria, delight, aliveness, well-beingness, etc.---that are in natural resonance with your higher nature and the state of "on."
From the Introduction (page 3):
“The zone cannot be separated from life; and a key understanding about moving toward the zone is this: The more deeply you enter life and embody your inherent state of aliveness, joy, and well-being the more powerfully you move toward the zone. Stating this in more formulaic terms, we could say that the way to move toward the zone is a) to have a mind that is firm yet flexible, concentrated yet open to the influx of your higher self; and b) to align yourself with the positive flow of Life and the joyous calm and power of your own being.”
[→] Chapter One, page 12:
Choosing Your Thoughts
If you look at the nature of your thoughts, you’ll notice that some thoughts are created consciously, by your intelligence and intention, and some thoughts arise without you volition, from your subconscious mind. These subconscious thoughts arise in accordance with your past pattern of conscious thinking. You don’t have immediate control over your subconscious thoughts but you do have control over the way you respond to them in the present moment.
Using an analogy from golf, we could compare you and your subconscious mind to a golfer and his caddy. A good caddy will supply the club he believes the golfer wants without the golfer having to ask for it; and the club the caddy selects will be based on the clubs the golfer preferred in the past. After a while, the golfer will not question his caddy’s club selection; he will simply accept whatever club the caddy gives him. However, if the golfer wants to make a change in his game, he cannot just accept whatever club he is given; he must be in a position to say “yes” to a club he wants and “no” to a club he no longer wants. And the golfer must tell his caddy, over and over again, what club he wants, while rejecting the club he doesn't want, until the caddy picks up this new pattern and is able to supply the right club to the golfer. In all cases, to make this kind of change, the golfer must be in a position of choice, and he must repeatedly actuate that choice. If he unconsciously accepts every club his caddy supplies—without knowing that he can say “yes” or “no” to the club he receives—then nothing will change. He will get the same clubs now as he got in the past—and these will be the same clubs he gets in the future.
Our power of choice lies in the present moment. To exercise that power we must put ourselves in a position of choice; we must step back from our thoughts and consciously accept the thoughts we want and not accept the thoughts we don't want. We cannot unwittingly accept every thought that arises within the field of our awareness.
[→] Chapter Two, page 25:
The Complete Breath or Full Yogic Breath
The full yogic breath is the most basic and fundamental of all breathing methods. It is the one method that should be consciously practiced on a regular basis. The basic instructions are as follows:
1. Stand or sit upright. Inhale through the nose and expand the diaphragm by pushing the lower belly outward and filling the lower part of the lungs with air; then expand the central area (around the solar plexus) pushing out the lower portion of the ribs and chest (which naturally lifts the rib cage) while taking in air; then draw in the lower part of the abdomen (slightly) and fill the upper portion of the chest (and collar-bone area) with air. Although the movement is comprised of three parts it should be one continuous flow.
2. Hold the breath for a few seconds.
3. Exhale naturally (through the nose) by allowing all three areas to release at the same time or by reversing the movement of the inhale—exhaling first through the upper region, then the middle, then the lower. You may want to pull in the abdomen slightly, at the end of the breath, to expel all the air from the lungs (and to make your exhalation more complete).
Abdomen-Throat Breathing (ATB)
Another yogic breathing method is abdomen-throat breathing, technically known as ujjayi pranayama. This involves a slight contraction in the throat, along with a rhythmic style of breathing, which creates a definite noise as the air flows through a restricted throat passage—sounding a bit like the heavy breathing of Darth Vader. (That is why in the book, Body, Mind, and Sport, John Douillard calls this “Darth Vader breathing.”) The full yogic breath is used to bring in the fullest amount of air, while this method of breathing is used to help calm the body and the mind.
To do this kind of breathing, inhale as you normally would, through the nose. This does not have to be a deep breath but just a normal breath. Now constrict the throat passage, almost as if you are about to swallow something, and breath in slowly. The breath passing through the constricted throat passage should make a sound, perhaps like the sound of water passing through a pipe or the sound of Darth Vader’s breath. In normal breathing you feel the air coming in through the nose; in this type of breathing you feel the breath moving through the throat area. One virtue of this kind of breathing is that it cannot be accomplished without direct engagement of the abdomen muscles. Douillard writes: “If you are doing the Darth Vader breathing correctly, you will find it impossible to make that sound without slightly contracting your stomach muscles.”
Once you are able to do this type of breathing with a normal breath move to a full inhale and exhale, consciously expanding the lower abdominal region. Just like the full yogic breath, you can complete the exhalation with a slight abdominal contraction (to insure that all the air is fully expelled from the lungs).
[→] Chapter Two: page 26:
If you have not yet mastered these three you may want to add a fourth: d) create the perfect shot in your imagination and feel the positive effects of that imagined shot before taking your actual shot.
3. Create your shot (in your imagination). If you’re not fully present or in the zone you can get some help from your creative imagination. (If, however, you’re in the zone, or in the now, you can skip this step.) In this process you don’t simply take your shot you actively create it; and you do this by creating a perfect shot in your imagination, one that has the feel and realness of a physical reality, before taking your actual shot. The extent to which you believe in the realness of your own imaginative creation, and respond to it with the same joy as you would the same shot in a real game, to that extent you impel your super-conscious mind to “step in” and take the shot through you, and to that extent you will come in contact with your innate feeling of euphoria.
This may sound a bit mystical but, on a more practical level, if you have a positive, joyous feeling while taking your shot—which you have engendered by imagining having just made a perfect shot—that joy will help harmonize your body and mind, and bring about a greater degree of precision to your shot-making.
[→] Chapter Three, page 33:
More on the Mind
The Conscious Mind / The Semi-Conscious Mind
Perhaps a more accurate term for the “conscious mind” would be the “semi-conscious” mind because, most of the time, the conscious mind is under the influence of the subconscious mind and operating in a subconscious, automatic way. Most of the time our actions are habitual, rote, and predictable. The conscious mind is under our conscious control only when we consciously control it; at all other times, when we are not consciously controlling it, which is about 99% of the time, it comes under the control of our default subconscious mind. It is very much like our breath: we can control it consciously but when we are not controlling it consciously our breathing is taken over by our subconscious mind.
Quotes on the Difference Between our Objective (Conscious) Mind
and Subjective (Subconscious) Mind
In general terms, the difference between man’s two minds may be stated as follows: The objective mind [or conscious mind] takes cognizance of the objective world. Its media of observation [and perception] are the five physical senses. It is the outgrowth of man’s physical necessities. It is his guide in his struggle with his material environment. Its highest function is that of reasoning.
The subjective mind [or super-conscious mind] takes cognizance of its environment by means independent of the physical senses. It perceives by intuition. It performs its highest functions when the objective senses are in abeyance. . . . it sees without the use of the natural organs of vision.
(Thomas Hudson, Psychic Phenomena, 1892)
A long series of careful experiments by highly-trained observers, some of them men of world-wide reputation, has fully established certain remarkable differences between the action of the subjective and that of the objective mind, which may be briefly stated as follows: The subjective mind is only able to reason deductively and not inductively, while the objective mind can do both. Deductive reasoning is the pure syllogism which shows why a third proposition must necessarily result if two others are assumed, but which does not help us to determine whether the two initial statements are true or not.*
* (An example of deductive reasoning):
Premise 1: All trees have leaves
Premise 2: A maple is a tree
Conclusion: A maple has leaves
Premise 1: People grow old and die
Premise 2: I am a person
Conclusion: I will grow old and die
To determine this [whether or not the premises are true] is the province of inductive reasoning which draws its conclusions from the observation of a series of facts [or the evidence it receives]. The relation of the two modes of reasoning is as follows: first, by observing a sufficient number of instances, we inductively reach the conclusion [we reach a conclusion, or premise, or some level of certainty, through inductive reasoning] that a certain principle is of general application [i.e., can be generally applied to all observed instances], and then we enter upon the deductive process by assuming the truth of this principle and by determining what result must follow in a particular case on the hypothesis of its truth. Thus deductive reasoning proceeds upon the assumption that certain hypotheses or suppositions are correct [because they have been deemed to be correct or ‘true’ by the objective mind]. It [the subjective mind] is not concerned with [i.e., able to consider] the truth or falsity of those [impressed] suppositions but only with the necessary action it must follow supposing them to be true. Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, is the process by which we compare [using the objective mind] a number of separate instances with one another until we see the common factor that gives rise to [or is shared among] them all. Induction proceeds by the comparison of [assumed] facts, and deduction by the application of universal principles. Now it is the deductive method alone which is followed [employed] by the subjective mind. . .
In accordance with this, it follows that the subjective mind is entirely under the control of the objective mind [with respect to determining the ‘truthfulness’ of the premises upon which it acts, but not with respect to its inherent laws or operations]. With the utmost fidelity it [the subjective mind] reproduces and works out to its final consequences [result] whatever [premises] the objective mind impresses upon it.
(Thomas Troward, Edinburgh Lecture on Mental Science, 1904)
[→] Chapter Three, page 33:
The Free Throw II
To perfect a free-throw method involves a certain amount of sensitivity. Most of the methods we have discussed so far involve displacing or side-tracking the cognitive mind to an action related to the main action but not integral to it. Another class of methods involve fully occupying the cognitive mind (in order to get it out of the way, or decentralize it, so that our higher mind can take the shot). A simple way to do this, during a free-throw, is to become aware of every bodily action involved with your vertical movement. When standing at the free-throw line, be aware of your legs, the exact amount of spring in your thighs, your abdomen (as it relates to the vertical movement of the body), your arms, etc. You should be focused on the front portion of your body, as if it were a spring, and consciously aware of every part of your body's vertical motion as it relates to the free-throw. In order to do this, to create a "spring-like" action, you have to drop your entire body—thighs, back, neck, etc.—ever so slightly, so that every part of your body can be involved in the spring motion.
With this method you are accomplishing two things: a) your cognitive mind is aware of so many different frontal muscles that it gets side-tracked or decentralized, which allows more room for your higher mind to enter, and b) by virtue of that singular awareness all the frontal vertical movements are brought into alignment and work more perfectly together. A thousand ever-so-slight adjustments can be made during the shot. By virtue of this singular field of awareness all your muscles work together as a cohesive whole to deliver the ball into the basket. If you are aware of some elements of the vertical motion, and unaware of others, you create a subtle split between the movements you are aware of and those you are not aware of—and this split creates a subtle misalignment in your overall movement. So, you want to be cognitively conscious of every element involved in frontal movement of the shot—every muscle, every exertion level, the spring-like motion that propels the ball forward—and then let go and let your higher mind take the shot.
The Free Throw III
When taking a free-throw (and this applies to most other shots as well) there is a moment, right before the ball is released, when you know if the shot is going in or not. Sometimes, just as a player is about to release the ball, he will yell, “off” because he knows the shot is off target. Likewise, right before the ball is released, a player may know that the ball is going in and he’ll yell, “got it!”
In this method we want to combine the micro-second method (where we are attuned to the moment right before the ball is released) with the playing from the end method (where we bring the feeling of already having made the shot to the beginning of our shot). First you want to attune yourself to the moment right before you release the ball, when you “know” the exact status of the shot, whether it is going in or not. (To become more attuned to this moment, you can say out loud, “off,” the moment you know the shot is going to miss, or “got it” the moment you know the shot is going to make it.) Also attune to the feeling that accompanies the words, “got it.” Make that your template for the shot.
Bear in mind that your intuitive mind “knows” that the shot is “on” or “off” before you are cognitively aware of it. Instead of saying “got it”—and feeling the thrill of having got it—the moment you know you got it we want to say and feel, “got it” before that moment of cognitive knowing. We want the feel of having gotten it to come in before we actually know we got it; in that way, our feeling communicates that positive result to our super-conscious mind which ever-so-slightly adjusts our shot so that we make the shot. This method requires an increased stillness and attunement to the moment.
The Free-Throw IV: Single leg "spring"
This method is similar to the “frontal spring.” In the frontal spring the focus is on the entire frontal region of the body, which, by virtue of this singular focus, aligns and coordinates all the frontal muscles of the body. In this method, the single-leg spring, the focus is on the primary leg, which is the leg corresponding to one’s primary shooting arm. (If you are right-handed, than your right leg is your primary leg.) The “spring,” in this case is the primary leg; the focus is on the ankle, calf, knee, and thigh muscle. When these are held together in a singular field of awareness, and when they are correspondingly used together during the shot, they create a finely-calibrated spring. Here you want to sensitize yourself to all the muscles, bones, and movements of your primary leg and allow these different elements to work in perfect harmony, informing and coordinating each other and your shot as a whole.
When using this version you might find it helpful to place your primary foot exactly in the middle of the free-throw line, square with the free-throw line; this will make your primary leg the central point in the shot. Doing this will shift your overall position slightly to the right or the left. When you centralize the primary leg in this way it adds a little bit of extra “centering” to the leg and thereby brings all the components of your shot into further harmony and balance.
> Also see: More on the Free-Throw
[→] Chapter Five, p. 46
Create Your Shot
You can use the creative power of your awareness in sport by creating a shot (rather than taking it or making it)—and you can do this by becoming more and more aware of every element of your shot, especially the positive ones. For example, in tennis or golf instead of focusing wholly on the mechanics of the shot you can become more aware of other dimensions that are involved, such as the actual joy you feel when hitting the ball, or the sense of aliveness and power that you generate as you are taking your swing. Your awareness is a creative force; your awareness of joy (or any positive quality) is the very thing that expands that element and brings it more fully into your life (and your actions). When joy is expanded, your feeling of aliveness is expanded; when your feeling of aliveness is expanded you come into a natural flow with the all of Life; when you flow with the all of Life, you are in the state of “on.” Joy plus expansion plus aliveness plus Life is the one immutable formula for the state of “on.”
[→] Chapter Five, p. 49:
A Sound Approach
Q; Instead of imagining a sound that would indicate having made a perfect shot, what about imagining a sound we might make, such as “oh yeh,” in response to a perfect shot?
Yes, you can do that as well. That voiced sound, and the thrill that goes with those words, can become a positive template for your actual shot. For example, when taking a free-throw there is a moment, right before the ball is released, when you know if the shot is going in or not. Sometimes, just as a player is about to release the ball, he’ll yell, “off,” because he knows the shot is off target, or “got it!” when he knows the shot is going in. (Bear in mind that your intuitive mind “knows” that the shot is “on” or “off” before you are cognitively aware of it, and before you are able to say anything.) Now, instead of saying “got it”—and feeling the thrill of having got it, the moment you know you got it—try saying and feeling “got it” (or “I got it”) just before that moment of cognitive knowing. You don’t have to say it but just intuit it, feel as though you got it. You want the feeling of having gotten it to be registered with your subconscious mind, and become a centralizing force, right before you take your shot. This communicates a positive result to your subconscious mind which ever-so-slightly adjusts your shot so as to match that positive feeling with a corresponding reality. Thus, feeling that you “got it” right before you take your shot usually leads to reality of having gotten it.
The key here is that the feeling of having gotten it brings about a positive alignment of your body mind; the more powerful the feeling the more centralizing the alignment.
The other day I went to the court. And, as usual, I did some “on” work. I often hold an awareness of my own presence, and occupy my cognitive mind with that, and that usually frees up my higher mind to take the shot. But I had just eaten a good-sized lunch (and I usually don’t eat much for lunch) so my body was a little heavier than usual. So, my present was not so clear. I shifted to the “below the belt” method, where my cognitive mind was focused exclusively on my legs, calves, feet, etc. and this was working pretty good, but well below 80%. Then I shifted to the “got it” method. The key to this method, and every other method, is sensitivity, matching your feeling to your mind-body response. As I became focused on the feeling of having made the basket, and had that feeling locked in, my whole body-mind moved toward a sense of certainty (of having “gotten it”), and I could feel the way that certainty translated into the actions of my body. It was almost as if all the various muscles conspired to fulfill that feeling of having gotten it. I could sense that feeling as a “higher unifying principle” upon which all my movements were aligned. Then, as usually, I hit one shot after another. When I remained sensitized to the unifying power of the feeling of having gotten it, I kept hitting. I would say, “got it” just as the ball was released and I knew I got it. I had the certain feeling that I got it; this was followed by a shot and the verbalization of “got it”; and this was followed by the actuality, and the subtle thrill, of having gotten it in reality.
With every method, your keen awareness and sensitivity helps you, whereas your thinking mind hinders you.
Blocks to Our Creative Power
Earlier you mentioned that some things thwart our creative efforts. Could you talk a little more about some of these obstacles?
The most common reason for ineffectuality in the creative process is that one’s deep-seated, subconscious beliefs runs contrary to what a person wants to create. For example, you may want wealth and do all kinds of visualizations to bring you wealth but if, at heart, you feel poor, or are not comfortable with the feel of being wealthy, then none of your efforts will bear fruit; you will end up with what you believe (and what feels natural to you) not what you want. Another cause of failure is that people often don’t have a strong enough desire. They may not really want what they want; or maybe they’re not willing to do what it takes to get what they want.
[→] Chapter Six, page 59:
Power of the Subconscious Mind
In the processes you have been discussing our subconscious mind has the power to eradicate an entire complex of negative memories in an instant. How is it able to do this?
We are talking about a power that is virtually unlimited—so, it can do pretty much anything. Take, for example, when you wake up in the morning. The night before you may have had a nightmare, with all kinds of demons chasing you—and, at the time, this was more traumatic than anything that’s happened to you in years. But the moment you wake up, and realize that none of this happened to “me” your subconscious mind instantly erases it. During the dream the trauma was very real, but if you don’t believe that it happened to “me”—as if you had seen a movie of something happening to someone else—the trauma does not stick. The whole of its ill-effects are immediately eradicated by your subconscious mind. You remember having had a nightmare but your subconscious mind does not store it as traumatic event. Later that day, you can’t even remember the trauma. Such would never be the case with a real life trauma—one that happened to you.
This same kind of eradication takes place in other situations. Say, for instance, that your sister gets beaten up really badly by a guy named Monty. While he was attacking her she managed to kick him in the knee and now he walks with a limp. Every time you see this guy you are filled with anger and you want to kick him in the other knee. Every time you see someone in his family you get filled with rage. Every time you see someone limping, or hear the name “Monty”—or hear about the race in Monte Carlo—you get a knot in your stomach. All this anger is not good for you; it affects your health, it brings down your whole life. You don’t even like going to town anymore because you might see Monty or someone related to him. (So now your social life is in the crapper). After two years of this your sister finally tells you that Monty did not attack her. (It was Paco, her ex-boyfriend, the gang-member; she was afraid to say anything so she pinned the whole thing on Monty.) Monty actually came to her rescue, and probably saved her life, and in the struggle he was smashed in the knee and now walks with a limp. Well, in that instant, your entire psyche would shift. Suddenly you would feel light; all your anger toward Monty would be replaced with positive feelings. After that when you see Monty or anyone in his family you are filled with gratitude. When you see someone who limps you are lovingly reminded of Monty. And now your favorite movie is The Full Monty.
[→] Chapter Six, page 61:
Completing Your Day
"If you live some experience totally, you are finished with it—it leaves no trace in you. Nothing is left of it. It simply disappears, evaporates. If you live it only half then the unlived part goes on hankering to be lived." (Osho, Philosophia Perennis II, p. 201)
Another way to use the creative power of our imagination—besides reliving our day as it occurred or revising it in accordance with our wishes—is to complete it. The efficacy of this method is based on the tenet that any experience that is not completed—be it blocked, clouded over, or not fully lived—leaves a residual in one’s psyche and that undigested experience “goes on hankering to be lived.” This method (which could be called Imaginative Completion) is simply this: before going to sleep, imaginatively relive your entire day completing, rectifying, and fully experiencing everything you missed. (You may even discover “unfinished business” you were not aware was unfinished; now you will have a chance to finish it).
We can see how the notion that “incomplete or undigested experiences live on” also relates to traumatic events: our natural inclination, while we are in the midst of a traumatic event, is to try and block out everything—the pain, the perceptions, and the whole experience. As such, the experience remains incomplete, unlived—and this is one reason why its painful effects live on. Only when we go back, and imaginatively relive the event, and experience it completely—or fully embody a “replacement” event—do we finally become free of it.
"In the night before going to sleep, just look back. Slowly, slowly, live again from the morning; remember those moments—not only remember: relive! those first moments when you opened your eyes. ... Then, very meditatively, see what you have done in the whole day, and what you have not done. What has remained undone? What has remained incomplete? At least in your imagination, complete it! If you have done something wrong, at least in your imagination put it right. If you have missed and omitted something, at least in your imagination complete it. Every day you will be finished with the dust. Things will be put right." (Osho, Philosophia Perennis II, p. 204)
[→] Chapter Six, page 62:
To give you another example, in the first round of the 2011 Australian Open, Serena Williams was playing an unseeded French player, Aravane Rezai. Both players won a set and there was no indication as to who was going to win the match. Then, early in the third set, Rezai went away. I don’t know where she went but there was some untoward shift in her game. When reviewing the match she would re-enter that moment, that moment when she gave up, and become very conscious of the exact cause of that negative shift. Maybe her goal was to show people that she could “hold her own” against Williams. Everyone would then respect her and see that she was a good player. Maybe that was enough; and when she reached that goal, she stopped playing. I don’t know if that was the reason. Maybe it was something else. But it was something, some inner glitch. So she needs to figure out the exact mindset that doomed her. Then she needs to imaginatively revise the whole scenario, again and again, with a winning mindset, until the imagined scene takes on the tone and feel or reality and a new pattern of victory is conveyed to her subconscious mind; and this will, by default, replace the old pattern. After this kind of review something in Rezai would be different. Next time she faces Williams, or a top-seeded, she would not fall into the same pattern of defeat. She would, instead, become very familiar with the feel of stepping up her game at the key moment, and the feel of the resulting victory, and then carry that positive mindset into the next match.
[→] Chapter Six, page 64:
Affirmative Prayer or Creative Prayer
A major component of an effective prayer is a) to understand the nature of the ultimate creative power and your connection to that power, and b) to understanding that the spark or initial movement of the prayer is, and must be, produced by you (and that the prayer, and its power, is largely determined by your clarity, in regards to what you want, and the depth of your desire). Listed below are the major components or steps involved with Creative Prayer or Affirmative Prayer:
1) Having the understanding and conviction that Spirit has the power to manifest whatever you desire (and will do so if you are able to communicate your desire to Spirit and if your desire is in accord with the nature and primary movement of Spirit); and that Spirit wants nothing more than for you to create ever-increasing abundance and joy for yourself.
2) Having the understanding and conviction that you are a creative expression of Spirit; and that you, in your essence, share every quality of Spirit (including its creative power); and that you, by virtue of being one with Spirit, can (and are required to) lovingly direct Spirit as you will.
3) From this state of unity and fullness and power, affirm and appropriate the reality of your wish fulfilled.
4) Fully experience the joy and fulfillment of being in possession of what you want. Feel the joy and expansion of it. Feel a sense of appreciation for having received exactly what you have asked for.
5) Release the prayer. Have the feeling that the manifestation is inevitable and that there is nothing more for you to do. Continue to revel in the feeling of having what you want now (and do not let any feeling—such as doubt or your old feeling of lack—destroy or undermine your present feeling of joy and fulfillment).
To give you an example of how such a prayer might work, let’s say, in real life, you bought a lottery ticket and then when checking your ticket the next day discovered that you had the winning numbers. You would have an immediate feeling of euphoria, even though nothing had changed in your life and the money was not yet in your hand. Seeing the winning numbers, however, you would know for sure that the payment was inevitable and that the money would eventually be in your possession. Likewise, an affirmative prayer (related to winning the lottery) would be put forth by having the same feeling as you would have when seeing a winning lottery ticket in your hand. If you had that winning lottery ticket, you would not continue to pray for money or a winning ticket (as you had done a hundred times in the past). You would not feel impoverished or contracted, or continue to worry about money issues (as you had done so many times in the past). If you did these things, you would confirm, to your subconscious mind, that you had not won the lottery but where still in your old, impoverished state.
This certain feeling of having already won is the feeling we want to appropriate, and create for ourselves, through the intelligent use of our own creative power. In this type of prayer we want to appropriate and revel in the expansive feeling of having what we want, now; and we don’t want to continue creating counter-feelings by reverting back to our old way of thinking (the kind of thinking we had when we felt poor), nor do we want to produce counter-creations founded upon doubt. This will only nullify our initial creation.
I went to the plate with no thought other than this moment of hitting confronting me. It was everything. And in the midst of it, in the midst of chanting and cheering crowds, colors, noises, hot and cold weather, the glare of lights, or rain on my skin, there was only this noiseless, colorless, heatless void in which the pitcher and I together enacted our certain preordained ritual of the home run.
(Oh, A Zen Way of Baseball)
[→] Chapter Six, p. 66:
HUNA (Native Hawaiian Spirituality)
The most fundamental idea in Huna philosophy is that we each create our own personal experience of reality by our beliefs, interpretations, actions, and reactions. It is not that our reality is created for us as a result of these personal expressions, but that we are the creators, co-creators with the Universe itself. Huna is all about leaning to do that [create a beneficial world for ourselves] consciously.
(King, Mastering Your Hidden Self, p. 9)
Presented below are seven basic principles of Huna (based upon the codification of Serge King).
1. Ike: The world is as you see it (and believe it to be).
— The manifestation of your life conforms to your deeply-held beliefs, concepts, habitual thoughts, and the sum total of all that you hold to be true,
2. Kala: There are no limits to your creative power (other than the ones you impose upon it).
— Your creative power is always one with the Supreme Power, and conjunct with all its qualities and powers.
3. Makia: Your life-energy follows your attention.
— What you are aware of is where you are at (and eventually becomes who you are).
— You enliven and attract that which you concentrate on.
4. Manawa: All transformation (creativity, expression of power, and life) takes place in the present moment.
— “Now is the moment of power.”
5. Aloha: Love is the “great unifying principle.”
— Love (and all positive states) aligns you with with the positive flow of Life.
— An action has the power to bring success and fulfillment (and to reach full manifestation) only if it is rooted in love and carried out in accord with the higher principles of Life.
6. Mana: The power to transform your life and your world ultimately comes from within (by virtue of your one-with-Spirit unity).
—All the positive qualities of Spirit are inherent to your own nature.
7. Pono: The teachings of Truth have value to the extent that they can be used to benefit and uplift your life (and put you in accord with the all of Life).
>> For more information on Huna and Huna Practice see: King, Serge. Mastering Your Hidden Self. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988.
[→] Chapter Six, p. 85:
This sense of presence or pure awareness is experienced in the head space. It’s not located there, per se, because it has no physical location yet it can be experienced or sensed there. In this initial stage of practice, hold your general awareness in the area of the head, somewhere in the middle or toward the back of your head. The front portion of the head, around the area of the eyes, is the domain of your cognitive, thinking mind; if you sense that your awareness is stationed there, gently guide it back to the center of your head, to the domain of presence. Don’t focus your attention on the center of your head; just sense the conscious presence that is experienced in that area.
The Practice of Presence
The essence of the spiritual process is sustaining presence. Presence is our very self. And it is a space to be filled by the qualities of Spirit—qualities such as love,
generosity, patience, courage, humility, and wisdom.
(Helminski, Living Presence, p. 27)
If you have reached the state of meditation, and have a clear sense of your own presence, the next step is to stabilize and integrate this state with your daily activities. This is accomplished through continual remembrance or “the practice of presence.” (This is an advanced method that is not integral to mastery of the mental game; it is put forth here only for people who are interested.) This practice, like most spiritual practices, is very simple but not necessarily easy. For this, we must create a seamless division in our awareness where we are simultaneously aware of our regular activities and our conscious presence; where we are aware of what we’re doing, what is going on around us, but also of the one who is experiencing it, the one who is truly present, our true self. It’s a lot like sitting in a movie theater, watching a movie of your own life, and being aware of both the movie and the one watching the movie.
This dual-awareness is already operating in most people, so we don’t need to acquire it; what we need do is to make a shift in what we are aware of. For example, when someone wakes up in the morning her body starts moving and so does her thinking mind. She semi-consciously attends to her tasks—such as getting out of bed, brushing her teeth, taking a shower, etc.—yet all the while she’s thinking about something else. She may be thinking about what she’s going to do later in the day; going over a conversation she had; trying to solve a problem; or just going through her usual concerns. The center of her awareness is in her thoughts; and she is also semi-aware of what she is doing (yet completely unaware of her own presence). So this is a form of dual-awareness but it’s not the form we want. We want our presence to occupy the central position in our field of awareness; and, added unto that, we also want to be aware of our activities and our thoughts. We want to shift our thoughts and concerns (and all our “me” stuff) to the background and move of our presence to the foreground.
To gain a better understanding of presence, a good book to read on the subject is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Spiritual books (including the one you have in your hand) are not things you can read once and put away; they present a new way of thinking, a new vision of the world. They must be read over and over again before their teachings can understood and truly lived.
If our presence is always present why do we keep missing it?
We miss it, not because it’s not present but because we’ve been conditioned to miss it. Most people are so wrapped up in their thoughts and concerns that they completely overlook the very thing that is always there, the very thing that makes them who they are—and that is their own presence. In addition, the apperception of one’s presence requires that a person employ a subtle, intuitive, and non-cognitive awareness, which is a mode of awareness that few people ever bother to access. They’re totally engaged with their cognitive mind and its mode of awareness; they see everything “out there” but miss the most important thing, which is “in here,” your own, immovable presence. They’re like a poor woman who is so busy begging for pennies that she never bothers to notice that the box she’s sitting on is filled with gold. She’s rich, but her whole experience of life in one of struggle and poverty. That’s the state most people are in: they’re living but the most valuable thing in all of life is missing—the aliveness, power, joy, and sanctity of their own presence.
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 95
Jack Nicholas Quote
"I never hit a shot, even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie [run backwards]. First I “see” the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I “see” the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will run the previous images into reality. Only at the end of this short, private, Hollywood spectacular, do I select a club and set up the ball."
(Nicklaus, Golf My Way)
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 102
Douglas Harding Quote
"As time went by my parents persuaded me to stand aside from myself and take up their viewpoint, to leave home [i.e., my own immediate sense of myself] and make the momentous journey from Here where I’m perceived to be No-thing to There where I appear to be a very substantial Some-thing. They taught me that the character staring at me out of my mirror was not who I took him to be―namely, “that baby over there,” or “my little friend who lives in the other bathroom behind the glass”―but was someone called Douglas, and indeed was me. With the help of friends and relations they taught me―and the lessons took many years and many tears to learn thoroughly―to “see” [and feel and sense] myself no longer from where I am but from where they are, as if through their eyes and from their viewpoint.
I was a slow learner. For years I traveled back and forth along that original road of one meter plus [the distance between myself and my image in the mirror; the distance between where I truly reside and the place from where I look back and see myself through the imagined viewpoint of others], undecided about where finally to take up residence. At times, particularly when playing happily on my own, I was content to stay here at home. At other times, particularly when in company and subject to criticism and therefore much less at ease, I took up my position over there, looking back at myself and “seeing” what I reckoned others were seeing [and acting in a way consistent with their view of me]―a complete human being like the rest of the folk around. In fact, of course, this wasn’t seeing at all but imagination. Or rather hallucination, inasmuch as I superimposed upon myself at center what belonged at a distance. As the years went by I spent longer and longer out there looking back anxiously at Douglas Harding, and less and less here; [my time was spent] being Accommodation for others, till in the end, I came to live a truly eccentric life as an exile, held as if in a trap or prison so near yet so far from home. A miss was as good as a mile, of course, and in effect I was infinitely estranged from myself. [I forgot everything]. It was if I had never been at home, had never visited my native land [had never known what it truly meant to be myself]."
(Douglas Harding, Look for Yourself, p. 16)
[→] Questions & Answers, p, 103
Q: Can you give tell us something more about how and where it would be best to practice this?
It is good to practice this kind of awareness while walking in nature or around the block. It’s helpful to have a set route, which takes about twenty minutes, and to take this route regularly, a few times a week or everyday if you like. When your walk is over its good to take a few minutes to “check in” with yourself and see if there was any change in your consciousness. Was there a sense of well-being, an opening, an expansive feeling in the area of the head?
You can also change the order of your awareness. If your mind tends to wander, you may want to start by becoming aware of your environment as a whole, especially in terms of visual perceptions; then become aware of the breath, then your body-sense. You can do this in whatever order feels right. In the end, what we are looking for is a deep sense of stillness and an expanded sense of stillness and well-being.
I have not tried this myself, but once you gain some mastery with this method, you may want to try using it on the golf course, when walking between holes.
In terms of your overall approach, don’t try too hard. We really want to get away from trying, and from the whole mindset of trying. All our “trying” lands us square in the domain of the cognitive mind and keeps our super-conscious mind at bay. Our super-conscious mind does not try. It simply accomplishes whatever it wills. So, we want to relax and let go and not try; we want to be focused, soft, and open. We want our cognitive mind engaged, yet we want to become more and more aware of a dimension of ourselves that is beyond the realm of the cognitive mind. In the state of “on” we don’t try. So, we don’t want to bring the contraction of “trying” into this practice. It’s also very important to be gentle with yourself. That’s an integral part of this practice. We want to be gentle, soft, diffused, and open. It is this gentleness and openness which invites in our higher mind. That is what we want.
Q: You talk about getting a felt sense of the body. What exactly is that?
Most people are not really aware of their body, but, rather, of the concept they have of their body, which is primarily based upon how they view their body or feel about their body. In this exercise we want to have a clear sense of our body and our physical presence. We don’t want to think about our body, and we don’t want to confuse our body-image, and the thoughts we have about our body, with the direct experience of our body or the sense being in this body. This direct, felt sense of one’s body is probably the way a cat or dog perceives its body.
We have been conditioned to not be present, to not be in our body, and to not really see what we are seeing. In this exercise we don’t want to be involved with our mind’s version of life or our mind’s concept of our body. We don’t want to “fill in the blanks” with mental commentary and chatter, or compare what we are seeing now with something we saw yesterday. Forget all that. Just be present. Be conscious of the breath, present in your body, and aware of what is around you. And then, in that dynamic stillness, allow something greater than your mind and the sense perceptions to emerge.
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 103
Peripheral Vision and Football
Our direct, frontal vision is linked to the visual cortex and the cognitive mind while our peripheral vision is linked to our higher, intuitive mind. Becoming more aware of our peripheral perceptions opens us to our intuitive mind; likewise, blocking our peripheral vision blocks our access to our intuitive mind. This is the major problem with the modern football helmet: it blocks a player’s peripheral vision (and access to his intuitive mind) and forces him to rely solely upon his direct cognitive vision. And this is not good. Ideally, helmets should be clear or partially open on the sides. This would not only afford a player more access to his higher mind (which is crucial for quarterbacks and wide-receivers) it would also cut down on injuries. A lot of football injuries come about when a player is hit from the side, unexpectedly, when the natural defenses of his higher mind (which cause the body to tighten just before impact) are cut off.
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 113
Removing "Me" from an Emotional Trauma
Many people deal with painful losses by trying to put them out of their mind and moving on. Is there anything wrong with?
It’s not possible or desirable to block out negative emotions or to try and cover over a traumatic, life-shaping event. When we take pains to shut down or repress a traumatic event we do not resolve anything, we merely transfer its ill-effects to the subconscious mind where it continues to affect us unawares. So, we don’t want that to take approach. Rather than trying to block or suppress the trauma, if a player were able to dissolve the fear and emotional charge keyed into the trauma he would effectively nullify its negative effects. One way to do this is to "go back" and imaginatively relive the trauma, over and over again, until its emotive charge is removed from your sense of "me." Another approach is to try and remove your sense of "me" from the trauma.
For example, I recall Coria’s devastating loss in the finals of the French Open (from which he was never able to recover), and I felt bad for him, but his loss had no impact on me or my life or my game. It had no emotional impact on me because it did not happen to me. My sense of “me,” my identity, was not directly related to the painful event. It happened, I experienced some pain, but, according to my subconscious mind, it did not happen to “me” and so the emotional pain of the event did not get encoded into my memory. For any trauma to "stick," and continue to affect us, it must be coded into our memory along with our sense of "me"---which means one must perceive the event as having happened to "me." When we are able to disidentify with the event, when we are able to remove ourselves, our sense of "me," from the memory of the event---and view it as if it happened to someone else, other than "me"---it loses all its binding power. The memory of the event loses its emotional charge. We retain a memory of the event (and even a memory that it was a painful event) but it no longer has any power over us. It is no longer able to elicit a negative physiological response. It no longer drains our energy or shapes the way we respond to life.
[→] Questions & Answers, page 115:
Chi Kung Video & Stick Routine Video
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[→] Questions and Answers, page 116:
So you’re not a big fan of the first-serve in tennis?
No. It’s a violent motion that contorts the back and often leads to long-term shoulder injury. If I had my way (which I’m not likely to have) tennis would be changed to a one-serve game, with no let serves. To “even things out” the service box could be extended by twelve to sixteen inches. I believe this would be better for the players and provide a better game for the fans. Certainly, in today’s game of mixed-doubles, to honor the spirit of the game, and instill it with some measure of gracefulness, when a man serves to a woman he should only get one serve. And players need not wait for some official decree to enact this rule, they can rely upon good old sportsmanship: any two teams could agree to enact this rule before their match. Accordingly, if a man missed his one serve (to a woman) he would simply dump the ball into the net on his “second” serve and move on to the next point.
As a side note, most people’s legs are of a different length, usually by about 2-6mm. This slight difference in leg length puts the vertical axis of the body slightly out of kilter and this must then be compensated for by the hips, back, and neck. One person I know who corrected this problem (by using a measured instep in the shoe of his shorter leg) said, “It changed my life.” Before that he always felt out-of-sorts and off-centered; his neck was kinked and no chiropractic adjustment ever held. After using an instep all those problems went away. One more thing to note: if you spend a lot of time at a computer, try sitting on an 85mm ball. This is a lot better for your back, neck, and shoulders than sitting on a regular chair.
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 117
How do you prepare your water?
If you are not getting your water from an artesian well, bubbling up from the ground, then you have to take steps to prepare it. I’m not sure if there is a perfect way to do this—and there are a lot of differing opinions among experts—but here’s how I do it:
First, I purify the water using distillation or reverse osmosis and catch the water in a glass container. This removes the toxic elements the water has picked up (including all the harmful chlorine and fluorine) but it also alters the structure of the water, reverting it back to its “juvenile” state. So, the water is not yet ready to drink; it has to be enlivened. (If you drink a lot of distilled water, the water will not pull minerals out of your body; what it will do is remove inorganic minerals and waste. However, many people find that drinking distilled water depletes them in some way—and what is depleted is one’s life energy. You body must use it’s energy to prepare and “lift up the vibration” of distilled water to make it viable. It is this energizing process of the water that depletes the body. That is why all highly-purified water must be energized and restructured. )
Next, I add a few drops of Himalayan sea salt sole. (This is a 28% liquid solution of the salt. It is made by adding a few heaping tablespoons of salt to a cup of water and letting it sit overnight. This super-saturates the water. In this state, the water cannot absorb any more salt, and there should be a small amount of salt remaining at the bottom of the cup. If there is no salt at the bottom, add some more salt to the solution.) Adding this kind of ancient sea salt provides the water with elemental patterns by which it can be structured. This structuring occurs naturally when water passes over many different kinds of rocks and through the earth. Next I place the glass container on a “tachyon” or “vortex” pad. These are pads that add “high vibration” energy to the water—or, rather, expose the water to high vibration energy upon which is can organize itself.) Next, I hold a very pure attitude, getting in touch with my own presence. (Remember, water in its pristine, virgin state picks up every kind of vibration, including one’s own consciousness, which gets imprinted into the water. So, prepare the water when you are in a good, relaxed state). Next I spin the water in a clockwise direction, with a wooden spoon. I do this for about 30 seconds. This movement allows the water to pick up the subtle “life energy” that is all around us. This same thing occurs naturally when water, in its movement through the earth or in rivers, moves in a vortex pattern. (You can use crystals, gems, or specialized “tachyon” pads to further energize the water but this is not necessary.) I make sure never to expose the water to direct sunlight, which enervates (or depletes it). Now the water is ready to drink.
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 118
The Fosube Shake is a masterful combination of ingredients which can be used to improve overall health, increase well-being, and help a person overcome most degenerative conditions.
The three main components of The Fosube Shake are:
Fo = Flaxseed Oil
Su = Sulfur-rich protein
Be = Beneficial Nutrients and Super-foods
Flaxseed Oil and Sulfur-Rich Proteins (Fo-su)
When linolenic acid (found in flaxseed oil) is combined with a sulfur-rich protein (found in whey protein or cottage cheese) it creates a new oxygen-rich, electron-rich substance which can only be described as “liquid sunshine.” The sulfur-rich protein emulsifies the essential fatty acid rendering it water-soluble; this enables it to quickly penetrate the body imparting its electron-energy to every cell of the body. Water soluble lipids play a “decisive role” in cellular respiration (the ability of the cells to uptake oxygen and produce energy); they also generate a field of electrons which is conducted off into the body and effectively “recharges” every cell. In terms of restoring overall health, oxygenating cells, and aligning a person with the life-giving resonance of the sun, no other food, or food combination, can replace the essential combination of flaxseed oil and a sulfur-rich protein.
Other Beneficial Ingredients (Be)
In addition to flaxseed oil and sulfur-rich protein, the Fosube Shake includes a number of “super foods” such as bee pollen, ellagic acid, primrose oil, ground flax seeds, and berries.
Raw goat milk or a) water, or b) juice, or c) coconut water
Whey protein concentrate
Fresh Berries and/or Fruit
Rice Bran Solubles (with tocotrienols)
For a complete explanation of ingredients, and instructions on how to make the Fosube Shake, go to: http://fosube.weebly.com
Lipids and Oxygenation
The oxygen utilization of every cell in our body depends on essential fatty acids. For instance, without natural, unaltered linolenic acid (omega-6), the body cannot produce hemoglobin. And without hemoglobin, the blood cannot carry oxygen to all the body’s cells. Another way that EFAs oxygenate cells is by attracting oxygen to the cell via the cell membrane. When a cell has a normal and healthy membrane, this membrane is full of highly unsaturated essential acids. The “unsaturated” aspect of the lipids means that they have lots of unbound electrons looking for something to bind to. One thing they love to bind to is oxygen. This then brings oxygen to the cell, which supports and stimulates the respiratory process of the cell itself, and promotes better transport of oxygen into the cell. . . .
The natural polyunsaturated fats greedily bind to oxygen and proteins. When absorbed into cell walls, they attract oxygen to the cell. When bound to sulfur-based proteins, they are water-soluble and free-flowing and their electron-rich characteristic is reserved as a form of energy that the body can use when it needs to.
(Tanya Harter Pierce, Outsmart Your Cancer, p, 211)
LA (linoleic acid) and LNA (linolenic acid) substantially shorten the time required for fatigued muscles to recover after exercising. They facilitate the conversion of lactic acid to water and carbon dioxide. (Udo Erasmus, Fats that Heal Fats that Kill, p. 50)
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 118
Preparation of Lemon Water
>> In Progress >>
[→] Questions & Answers, p. 121
More on Prayer
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