Toni

How to strengthen the mind

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We know plenty of systems, methods and gymnastics for strengthening the body. There are many and often they can help to strengthen it, but what about strengthening the mind, being more mentally strong? What methods are there? Qi gong can help, it is true, but there must be more methods to work with this. Maybe meditation can help too? I have never been a big fan of traditional sitting meditations, but if it helps I could of course give it a try.

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Posted (edited)

There's a system of Gong.  Doing 100 days in a row of something challenging.  There's willpower needed, even if its physical, overriding the minds instinctive want of pleasure/laziness.  

 

The practice I've done that really pits mind against body is Wim Hof program.  The daily cold shower is a test of willpower, especially when they get longer or require a long breath hold under cold water, where the body's stressed.  

 

With any strenuous martial art, you have the mind overriding the body.  

Edited by thelerner
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What is this phobia of meditation? 

 

Most people really would be better off if they could just sit still

Without fidgeting for a while. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

To work on the mind indirectly the best way is to selflessly serve a cause. That will purify the mind. Every time a selfish idea or thought arises, turn the mind towards service. 
 

A pure mind is a precondition to a strong mind ‚ÄĒ we don‚Äôt want to stengthen a mind that has not been purified, or it will just reinforce and amplify bad habits.¬†

Edited by dwai
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51 minutes ago, thelerner said:

There's a system of Gong.  Doing 100 days in a row of something challenging.  There's will power needed, even if its physical, overriding the minds instinctive want of pleasure/laziness.  

 

The practice I've done that really pits mind against body is Wim Hof program.  The daily cold shower is a test of will power, especially they get longer, or require a long breath hold under cold water, where the body at stress.  The long breath holds that pit you against the primal need to breath also require strength of will.    

 

With any strenuous martial art, you have the mind overriding the body.  

well, i like this 100 days challenge. Actually I am doing a 6 months challenge of doing fragrant qi gong every day. It is not something very hard but I will need some power of will to do it for so long

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Toni said:

We know plenty of systems, methods and gymnastics for strengthening the body. There are many and often they can help to strengthen it, but what about strengthening the mind, being more mentally strong? 

 

Hello, Toni. 
I am sorry for asking questions to answer a question, but to me the whole concept of "strong mind" seems a bit abstract and subjective. So what do you mean by "strong mind"? 
I have a feeling that it must be some social or personal problem which you want to "overcome" by being "strong" minded. This "strong mind" may be not needed at all. 
What I would do(I think it could be termed "mind exercise") - I would ask myself and other people questions and "meditate" on the answers in a quiet place. 
The questions would be: 1) What is mind? 2) What is strength? 3) What is strong mind? 4) Is there such thing as "strong mind" at all? 5) Why do I want to be strong minded? 6) What will happen after I will be strong minded? 7) Ok, how to achieve that?

Edited by Indiken
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Well, a lot of mind strength is concentration, or shamatha in Buddhist language. This can be strengthened not only with meditation, but in regular day to day practice. For example, reading or listening. Most people have lost the focus to read even for 20-30 minutes before they need some other stimulation. Heck, I've seen people who lack the capacity to watch a TV show or movie without constantly checking their phones. Other times you can focus on whatever needs to be done, gently bringing the mind back to tasks when it wanders.  

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On 27/03/2021 at 5:20 PM, thelerner said:

(...)

The practice I've done that really pits mind against body is Wim Hof program.  The daily cold shower is a test of willpower, especially when they get longer or require a long breath hold under cold water, where the body's stressed.  

(...)

Not the same thing but I think it's been...what, a 2 or 3 years?That I started to take exclusively cold showers.Yeah it ain't the same as being submerged in the water but it's what I have at my disposal.

I still wish to be able to do Wim Hof's program one day though...

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This is odd.  As I age, my focus and ability to remember anything are shot; but the ability to triangulate metaphysically has really kicked up.  It almost seems like I had to give up one for the other.  I'm sure that's not really true, but it sure seems that way.

 

Actually, I think that focusing on 'Be Here Now' and try to stay there, is good training for the mind.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, manitou said:

This is odd.  As I age, my focus and ability to remember anything are shot; but the ability to triangulate metaphysically has really kicked up.  It almost seems like I had to give up one for the other.  I'm sure that's not really true, but it sure seems that way.

 

Actually, I think that focusing on 'Be Here Now' and try to stay there, is good training for the mind.

This "be here now" is a classic but I don't think it has been useful for me. Now I am reading a book called "You are the placebo", written by Joe Dispenza. This book focuses on the importance of positive thinking and positive emotions. This is important because the mind has tremendous power, so if we tend to think in negative terms we can have many problems. Life will be better if we think in positive. I remember reading this on the NLP guys too. It is something I want to work on

Edited by Toni

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3 hours ago, Toni said:

This "be here now" is a classic but I don't think it has been useful for me. Now I am reading a book called "You are the placebo", written by Joe Dispenza. This book focuses on the importance of positive thinking and positive emotions. This is important because the mind has tremendous power, so if we tend to think in negative terms we can have many problems. Life will be better if we think in positive. I remember reading this on the NLP guys too. It is something I want to work on

 

 

That's a wonderful way to be.  There may come a day when you want to go a little further.

 

Along the path, at some point, there ceases to be judgment of good or bad, positive or negative.  Yes, Be Here Now is truly a classic, but the strange thing is that, as simple as that is, that's all it really amounts to.  It's just that the Be Here Now must be accompanied by a self realization of your true self in order to be effective.  When that is accomplished, all time and space are yours.  You will no longer have any impediments that manifest outward as a negative situation.  We do manifest from the inside to the outside - we project what we are.  Removal of our conditioning by going into self and becoming aware of the tendencies that we have, the situations we attract - these situations are all clues as to what's really going on inside us.

 

Once removal of the egoic self is achieved, then the world of wei wu wei will open.  It's a firm knowledge (gnowledge, actually) that the universe is a friendly place if we get ourselves out of the way.  We learn to trust that there are laws in place that will always be the rule.  We learn to trust the Is-ness of the way it is - even world conditions, as ugly as they appear sometimes - there is a time and purpose to all of it.  That is because linear time is a bit of an illusion; it's all actually happening Now, but it's been framed for our purposes in day by day compartments, in accordance with our particular brain configuration.

 

Strange knowledge will become available to you.  And it's the type of knowledge that is not retained in your brain.  Not head knowledge learned from a book.  It's a wisdom and a vision that isn't describible in words, yet all it takes to accessing it is to clear your mind of all thoughts, and it will descend on you - somehow pulling the information out that you had no idea you had inside you.

 

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On 3/27/2021 at 1:32 PM, dwai said:

To work on the mind indirectly the best way is to selflessly serve a cause. That will purify the mind. Every time a selfish idea or thought arises, turn the mind towards service. 
 

A pure mind is a precondition to a strong mind ‚ÄĒ we don‚Äôt want to stengthen a mind that has not been purified, or it will just reinforce and amplify bad habits.¬†

 

 

Dwai, this is the most beautiful effing thing I've ever seen on this forum.

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1 hour ago, Indiken said:

So, I think there is no such thing as "selfless". For example, if people give money to poor, it is said they are unselfish. If they are unselfish, why do they do this? What is the reason? How do they feel about it? I think there can be 2 answers:

 

1) They do this, because they want to influence the state of the world and they rationaly know the consequences of this action to the world. Yet this way they simply WANT to make the world more suited to their view. So they are selfish from my point of view.

 

2) They feel good doing this. So they are selfish.

 

To think that people can be "selfless" is a delusion. 

 

Anyway, enough of my delusions, have a nice day! :)

 

 

"Charity is really self-interest masquerading under the form of altruism."

~ Anthony Demello

 

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Posted (edited)

What does it mean, to be selfless? 

I look at it from the perspective of letting go of the limited identity (the body-mind and its domain) and considering a larger identity. This is often the case, though somehow, it gets subsumed into the individual identity. 

At a basic level, it could simply mean, to eschew petty self-interest for a larger collective (family, tribe, community, nation). At a higher level it would expand the collective all of humanity, and then the entire world and finally the entire universe. 
 

Most non-dual traditions aim at the final outcome ‚ÄĒ but teach and¬†speak of it in different ways. In order for that expansion to be possible, one has to let go of the notion of the limited self-identity.¬†

 

I‚Äôm reminded of this nice story a friend posted on FB¬†¬†‚ÄĒ

Spoiler

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. ‚ÄúHow can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?‚ÄĚ the reporter asked.

‚ÄúWhy sir,‚ÄĚ said the farmer, ‚ÄúDidn‚Äôt you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.‚ÄĚ

So is with our lives... Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all...

 

Edited by dwai
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7 hours ago, Indiken said:

To think that people can be "selfless" is a delusion.

 

 

Not sure about this.  Once impediments have been removed, there is a recognition that I am You.  When we realize that we are 'the other', then Oneness and selflessness becomes natural.  It is service to the other that makes us glow.  Truly, it can be done.  I just bought a house for a lady yesterday.  But why not?  She is Me.

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7 hours ago, Indiken said:

We have found it to be inappropriate in the extreme to encourage the overcoming of any desires

 

 

Who is We?

 

There is one perspective that you aren't thinking of.  Those of us who have had to overcome addiction, and through inner work (12 steps, for example) we have been able to do so.  I now have a productive life.  I didn't before.  Recovery from alcoholism (drug addiction, etc) involves overcoming desires.

 

We drank because our thinking was wrong, our imprints and conditionings led us down that path.  It is through the removal of imprints and conditionings that we recover.  We replace the need to drink with service to others.  We are able to truly give service to others (helping them through the steps, anything at all  that comes up during the day with neighbors).  Helping a friend get a place to live.  We turn into totally different creatures than we were before.

 

You are obviously well instructed in this field.  But it does read more educational than experiential.  Do keep an open mind?

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12 hours ago, Indiken said:

 

2) They feel good doing this. So they are selfish.

 

To think that people can be "selfless" is a delusion. 

Even if you get some advantage of self satisfaction out of giving to charity, imo, do it anyway.  Cause its still needed.  

 

Selflessness like most human qualities runs a gamut.  imo most of us could use a bit more.  I don't aim to be a saint, but I'm culturally conditioned to think me me me, more more more.  Can't help thinking it's not good for me or society.   Even what I consider middle ground is probably more egoic then it should be.   

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