The Friday Dose #125: Mutual Benefits

I hear friends over 40 concerned about reasonable things, I hear friends under 40 espousing reasonable things, and yet in the middle is the wisdom of both. It’s true, when we’re young there’s much we still don’t understand, and yet it’s also true that it’s important that the older generations keep their minds open.

Those more experienced are seeing challenges that are invisible to those with less experience and yet those with less experience are seeing opportunities that are invisible to those who end up blinded by their experience. This is an easy problem to fix though, we all just have to listen to each other respectfully and then actually expect to hear wise things.

Let’s not dismiss ideas or people with broad terms for ages or names for generations. We’re all in this together, much like those who are more liberally minded can venture into the unknown to make discoveries while those who are more conservatively minded can stay with the known to protect what exists, those younger can offer innocence and openness while those older can offer experience and awareness. By cooperating and working together we can make a big difference. Start today by listening to wisdom from the people in your life. If you’re listening carefully enough you’ll hear brilliant things from basically everyone.

Here’s some Alan Watts on the same subject. Have a great weekend everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #111

 

There are two levels of response that I talk about when I work with people. One is psychological and it’s actually quite easy to understand because everyone has a psyche and what I do is uncover and expose someone’s personal logic so that they are no longer so mysterious to themselves. This is where peace of mind and the success that follows begins.

The second level is where the spiritual meets the psychological. This level is no less sensible (it’s more so), but it requires a more radical shift in understanding. Not a big shift; a surprisingly small one with a much deeper understanding of our place in the universe. This is the one where enlightenment begins, and at that point you no longer feel like a competent surfer atop a perfect board and an amazing wave–at that point you, the board and the wave are all seen as one thing.

919 FD2 Relax and Succeed - We are sacred artistsIf that seems weird, just remember a lot of remote tribespeople in the jungles of this world do not see themselves as having 5 or 6 senses, but rather one big sense. Watts hints at this in the video below when he makes the quote placed above. It is that second you–the separate you on the separate board riding the separate wave–that makes the board and the wave and the quality of the riding within itself. You create an ego and that is the story it tells you.

Watts and I are suggesting to you that if you were never encouraged to create that other idealized you then you would be One with your life and there would be no time in which a separate you felt you were making a distinct decision. You are simply in the flow. There is no time-travelling to pre or post-evaluation of a “choice.” 

That is the point of ultimate peace. When your internal narrative disappears it takes the notion of choices and mistakes along with it. The tension of those judgments is instead replaced with a relaxation and openness that permits the natural reintegration of our greater selves back into the fold of that famous moment called Now. 

Have a fantastic weekend everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #106

901 Relax and Succeed - Kensho he who lives in harmonyYou are bigger than you imagine. Your life lasts forever. Your emotional life plays like waves on top of the vast ocean of your being. This is not a fiction. This is the real you. You sense this  connection with reality when you feel love and great joy. It can turn a sunset into a spiritual experience.

See your life from a larger perspective. You have chosen it because you wanted to experience its dramas. Like you watching a beloved series on a network, the real you observes the ups and downs as your life not as successes and failures, but as an integral and valuable aspect of the whole of that existence.

Your life has as much genius as Shakespeare. Live it deeply and fully. It is only a role within the vastness that is you.

Have a wonderful weekend all of you wonderful people.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #79

Today we’ll focus on existence and our various ways of appreciating it. We’ll start with the physical, advance to the social/personal and we’ll end on the spiritual. Starting us off is former neuroscientist Greg Dunn who left medicine to paint the neurons he was seeing in the microscope every day. They demonstrate how truly beautiful you are inside.

Greg Dunn Paints Your Brain

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Next we’ll leap to a podcast from the CBC One radio program, Tapestry where subjects like meaning and spirituality are discussed. This interview with New York Times columnist and author David Brooks features ideas discussed in his new book, The Road to Character.

Tapestry with author David Brooks

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And finally we’ll close with the first Western guru of Eastern ideas, the inimitable Alan Watts as he discusses the notion of existence:

Next time you’re in a line up or otherwise “wasting time,” think about putting some energy into contemplating the very basis for your existence. As weird as it sounds it really does pay off. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, mindfulness instructor, coach and communications facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

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The Friday Dose #68

685 FD Relax and Succeed - Meryl Streep I no longer

There’s Meryl describing the boundaries that define her. Good for her. No apologies necessary. The world’s waiting for everyone to just be themselves like that.

Okay, after giving a woman the first word, now we’ve got these three old men, from three different parts of the world, from three markedly different experiences, and all of them share the same wisdom. It’s no coincidence. That’s the Truth. You keep searching for meaning. You want to accomplish whatever it is, collect your spiritual-psychological understanding and then go do that important thing that everyone feels compelled to do but are rarely sure about what it actually looks like. Well, it looks like your life. Because you don’t need a promotion, you don’t need to become someone, you just need to see that the only reason you saw yourself as too small was because your vision was limited, not because you were. Let’s start with holocaust survivor, psychologist and teacher, Viktor Frankl:

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Next let’s spend some time with the very humorous Anthony De Mello. Raised around Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus, De Mello became a Catholic Jesuit Priest and psychologist. Known for his affable manner and his willingness to actually shake his students awake, this talk is taken from a series of lectures that De Mello gave to a conference of Priest-Psychologists. These talks were later compiled into the excellent book Awareness.

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And let’s finish on a favourite of mine, philosopher Alan Watts suggesting to you that you are much bigger and more powerful than you realize. And you are never not connected. I sometimes use the metaphor of a disco ball. If the ball is the point of singularity and the light turning on is the big bang, then the early universe is where the light and where we are is where the light is. So it’s the same light, from the same source. Just as atomic science teaches us, we are all made from the same atoms that formed the early universe. The light is still travelling outward and we are its current manifestation. And after we “die” the light that is us just continues on in a new form. We are an epoch in that infinite beam of light. We are as big and as powerful as our idea of ourselves. It’s time we started living that way:

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Have a fantastic Friday and a great long weekend everyone. Much love.

peace. s

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The Friday Dose #67

680 FD Relax and Succeed - Life is not about success

Let’s use today to move through the stages of life. We’ll finish with dying, and we’ll precede that with aging, a look at the middle of your life and we’ll start off here with kids. As I’ve written before, most of the world group-sleeps. Brothers and sisters and other family members cuddle up, using each other as pillows and they sleep to the sound of each other’s breathing. There’s an epidemic of people who have trouble falling asleep and that’s a huge reason why. Here’s a talk with James McKenna on how our society urges us to train children to be unnatural:

A Conversation with a Co-Sleeping Expert

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Next David Cain takes on the next stage of programming of your life. This is where you learn to work instead of live. He talks about the simple joys in life that are surrendered without us even realizing it. If this short article doesn’t get you to really think about your life carefully I’ll be surprised, and the comments are almost as interesting as the short article:

Working to Live

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Next we’ll hear Maurice Sendak, author of books like Where the Wild Things Are, as he discusses aging and dying and how life only becomes more precious and where our tears are generated more by great thanks and appreciation than over loss or sadness:

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And we’ll close with a talk by the great Alan Watts on what you’re supposed to do before and after your life:

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No matter what stage you are in life I hope you found this helpful in getting yourself to where you’d really like to be. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

peace. s

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The Friday Dose #64

665 FD Relax and Succeed - If only our eyes saw souls

It’s no irony to me that this young man can see the value of life far better than most. It is no surprise to me that he would learn Zen Master mind control. He had no choice. He needed it just to survive. And if you have the courage to watch this, keep in mind that if Jonathan Pitre can find this many ways to be grateful and positive, then the only thing that’s stopping you from doing likewise is you. This is one of the most courageous people I’ve ever encountered:

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That’s pretty powerful, huh? I know. I cried, and then I sat there afterwards, almost embarrassed at how bad I am at being grateful. I needed this just to get me centred again. Fortunately it worked perfectly. I’ve always loved Alan Watts:

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Have yourself a wonderful weekend.

peace. s

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The Friday Dose #62

655 FD Relax and Succeed - Challenges are what make life

If you’re having a great day then that’s awesome. If you’re struggling with thoughts that are sad or angry or worried or afraid or guilty or resentful or whatever—then today’s Dose is just the thing to get your mind off that track. Today I have a fascinating collection of unrelated stuff. We’ll start with these two guys who run a cool restaurant that was just trying to play with your mind and they might have accidentally found several major new food sources. Fascinating stuff:

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Next we’ll learn how amazing the world is from Paul Stamets, a guy who was studying mushrooms and he found out that they might just be superheros when it comes to saving the world:

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And let’s finish with a little Alan Watts talking about the purpose of life in a very inspirational way. The only question is, where will you dance this weekend?


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Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

peace. s

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy. And please let me know if you bump into any broken links. Thanks!

2014’s Blog of the Year #8

579 Relax and Succeed - It's easier than you think*

Of course in hindsight my accident is likely the most valuable thing that has ever happened to me. It still took me over 30 years to realize that not everyone had invested their life in thinking about thinking. Now that I know that it’s so much easier to be helpful. Simply put, people overcomplicate life. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” Whether you’re being your mother self or daughter self or sister self or employee self or boss self, or worried self or angry self, that’s all you. Those are your many masks and you like everyone else is doing nothing more than marching toward your inevitable death. Since that’s the case, you might as well live something profound in between. This blog was noted by numerous people for having successfully paired a lesson on how to quit worrying and start living deeply, with a very inspirational video by the wonderful philosopher, Alan Watts. So what are you waiting here for? Click the link and go get inspired 😉

CLICK BELOW TO READ:

2014’s Blog of the Year #8

peace. s

Alan Watts: The Dream of Life

Winner: 2014’s Blog of the Year #8

213 Relax and Succeed - Wisdom is knowing

I was five in grade one, and that’s when I experienced the first example of me realizing that I didn’t think the way most people did. During a conversation about a story or something our teacher casually referred to the fear of death that everyone shares.

Whoa—what? I’m supposed to share a fear of death? Why? I don’t know what sort of childish language I used, but I literally asked it out loud. The teacher brushed it off as a don’t-be-silly of-course-everyone’s-afraid-of-death, but I was genuinely and deeply perplexed. On the way home I asked the kid in the class I trusted the most if he was afraid of death. He asked why I wouldn’t be?

To me, being afraid of death is like being afraid of eating, or breathing. These are inevitables. There’s no way around them, whether there’s another one coming, like a meal, or you only get one or maybe two per lifetime, like death. Why think about stuff you’re sure will happen, but you can’t know when? That’s crippling. Those thoughts are expensive in terms of energy, and they don’t buy you anything. You’re better to not-think them and instead just go live. Death can happen whenever it happens. Deal with it then, but don’t waste your Nows worrying about something that could be decades away. Don’t do that with things even moments away.

My friend thought that was weird, so he asked me if I was afraid of God. I still find it strange that I didn’t think it was odd that I had an answer ready immediately. I don’t ever remember thinking about the subject at all. I’m surprised I used the word “consciousness” at five, but I told him that “God” was everyone’s consciousness mixed together—that the most fundamental forms of everyone is actually all one thing, and that thing is everything. He thought it sounded crazy and now that I’m older I understand why. But it didn’t change how sure I was. And it’s even easier to be that sure today.

213 Relax and Succeed - You don't hve to have it all figured outYou don’t have to worry about death if you’re not worried about paying some kind of supernatural price, so stop the worrying-about-death thoughts, and make sure you don’t trade those for worrying-about-life thoughts. Forget striving. Forget regrets, and guilt and shame. These are pointless. Yes, feel the sting of immediate regret. That will singe the idea into your mental framework. But there is no need to carry on with those thoughts after you have already deemed the matter regrettable. The fact that it’s regrettable literally means you don’t want to repeat it, so what’s the problem? You’re done. You know what you want to do, now you have to use your Nows for something else other than worry.

Remember, you don’t owe anyone anything. You were complete and whole and perfectly You right from the start. Even the questioning of All That Is, is an aspect of You. But you cannot be separate. There is no outside in a dream. All of the characters in a dream feel separate to themselves, but we understand they are all the dreamer. Relax into that idea. Stop trying to prove your worth and just be yourself and your worth will be realized naturally by your own passionate interests.

It’s easier than you think. Quiet your mind. Be yourself.

Alan Watts died in November of 1973. Born in Britain, Watts was actually best known for introducing Eastern Philosophies like Buddhism, to the West. A popular writer and speaker, Watts was a man who enjoyed a rich life, and he’s still today one of the clearest voices in the effort to expose and deconstruct the human ego. I’ve always liked this talk. I hope you enjoy it as well:

peace. s