Witness the Present

1097-relax-and-succeed-itis-our-spirit-that-seesYour eyes have so many things they could focus on that it’s actually funny that we think we see at all. I could put a video camera on your head and film every direction your eyes looked, then I could look at the video and discuss literally thousands of things that you couldn’t–because you never saw them. And remember, this is things you looked right at. So maybe you shouldn’t get so angry at referees….

Why can I see so much more than you? Because you have selective senses. You tend to tune down your sense of taste, smell or touch, but while your eyes are fully on, unlike the camera, your mind filters all you see into what you see.

Imagine a large gathering of people. You’re meeting a friend there and they are somewhere random, inside that big group. You would walk up and start looking for their jacket, or maybe their hair. So every person before you suddenly just becomes their hair or their jacket.

1097-relax-and-succeed-give-your-attention-to-the-experienceUnlike me looking at the video later, you can’t tell me what every single person’s eyeglasses looked like or even if they had any. Nor can you tell me if they had a date. Or how old they roughly are. That’s because you were busy looking for hair or a particular jacket. You weren’t seeing; you were looking.

Later, with the ability to freeze time, I can become like a unidirectional God who can see everything–but only from the extremely limited perspective of one point of among billions in the spherical 360 degrees that surround the subject.

My having to freeze time to see all that means that while I was using my now to look at that part of the past, you’d be seeing something happening in the actual present. So you can have now or you can have more, but you can’t have both. Your mind very necessarily needs to filter most of those details so that you can even be a person. The opposite is something like Autism, where filtering is a challenge.

1097-relax-and-succeed-the-present-moment-is-the-only-momentWhat do you see? Amazingly, if you’re in a thinking state of ego you’ll see what your mind is talking about, not what’s there. Remember, you have billions of choices and yet if you’re grumpy all you’ll notice is more things you don’t like. Likewise with things you do like. Your mind sees, not your eyes. Keep your mind clean. Keep it quiet. Let it be present.

In an enlightened state, you can still only have an essentially human perspective. But without the filters of thought you move through the world not through expectation, but rather through noticing. Things occur to you. This is seeing with wisdom. In that state of mind you notice very valuable and pertinent things. Half the time you won’t even know why, but if there were no mysteries for you still to solve what would be the point of living?

In today’s meditation your job is to see, rather than look. Rather than talking to your classmate or coworker or family member as those labels, see them in the present moment. Notice something about them that you have never ever noticed before. If you’re into fashion don’t choose fashion, and likewise for anything else; no optometrists looking at glasses or dentists looking at teeth etc,.

1097-relax-and-succeed-realize-deeply-that-the-presentNotice they have no earlobes, or that their haircut is like another friend’s, or that their eyes are two different colours, or that they’re standing with their weight all on one leg. If you’re in a room, look at the logos for each company carefully for the trademark symbol. See what the pattern is on the actual stitching for the carpet. Take a look at every single icon on your computer desktop.

You’ll likely be terrible at this. You’ll nail it a few times and then forget to truly be present for long chunks of time, and then you’ll realise it and shift back–but that’s okay. During the day, if you’re earnest, you should get better and better. End the day by going into your own bathroom and stare at yourself in the mirror and literally don’t look away until you see something that surprises you. That might take 20 minutes. You’re worth it.

Your mind filters your world. The definition of you is created by the persectives created by those filters. You can’t get past the filters and have a human experience, but you can remember that they’re not reality. And that’s what creates the peace within you. Because you can’t know if anything’s truly good or bad if you’re the only person filtering that particular sliver of reality. Everyone else’s slivers count too. So you can relax your judgments and just be. And that’s perfect, because that state is called peace of mind. Congratulations.

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 #130: The Time Machine

You’re wiser now than you were then. Stop talking yourself into hell for how far you have to go and instead live in heavenly gratitude for how far you’ve come. Think back five years. Just think how different your life would have been had you known what you know now. Own that. That is wisdom and you got it the only way it comes–by living your way through it. You are bigger today than you were yesterday. Congratulations.

You’ve got one minute: what do you say from the wisdom of your experiences?

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 Ultimate Observer

999-relax-and-succeed-the-no-mind-not-thinksWho do you want to be? No one. Why? Because then you’re everyone. If you understood everyone’s perspective then there would be no issue or behaviour that would confuse you. The world would make sense, but you want to do that as an ego by learning lots of the words and ideas. What would really take you where you want to go is if you stopped trying to learn the contents of other people’s thoughts and you focused instead on the act of thinking itself.

You have to remember, you start off prepared to believe anything. It’s not like your brain is dark and you light it with education. You’re born with your whole brain lit up. You then have experiences that, if discussed with too many words, can become differences that evolve into the separateness you dislike so much. Those become the dark parts of your mind.

Any experience you call personal shut off parts of your brain just as soon as there’s an individual you to believe in something. That separates you from the unimpaired connection and understanding you displayed as a kid when you volunteered to take on the very complex and difficult tasks like learning to walk and talk and socialise. The ideas we come to learn only live within our consciousness as beliefs but they limit us nevertheless.

999-relax-and-succeed-to-know-and-to-actSome kids can go to a horror and love it. They can be scared as themselves and yet still remember they are simultaneously a movie-goer. So the experiences they’re having in the theatre are real, but they are also understood in a way where they are not damaging. The kid who forgets they’re in a movie and thinks Jaws might attack him in bed at night has lost that separation and therefore feels fear when it is clearly not needed–much like your ego does.

The Ultimate Observer would have no distortions in their view. No dark spots blocked out by experience. No raindrops on the side mirror of their car. No rose-colour on their glasses. Any impediment to an enlightened view will create a kind of blindness that influences our behaviour. We’ll start to worry, or be angry or disappointed or hurt. This is what it is to be an ego: you can be things like fearful or angry or heartbroken. The Ultimate Observer would be aware of those things but there would be no personal feelings. Things would simply be.

This is why empathy is so closely related to health. To be empathetic is to assume someone else’s perspective. You actually take that on yourself and in doing so you expand who and what you are. You become larger. You clean the observer’s lens. You remove an impediment to your world view. You remove a limitation. You see more.

999-relax-and-succeed-do-not-seek-the-truthEven if you’re an atheist, do a thought exercise and imagine that there is a God. Imagine this God is a single clear and reflective sphere. Light beams from within it, and yet at the same time it’s mirrored surface means it reflects the universe back to itself. Now imagine this sphere sprouting mirrored tentacles. Can you see that each of these tentacles is a consciousness? A perspective? That one of them is you?

What is reflected back to that tentacle isn’t the world, it’s just a small part of the world. The place you live, the languages you speak, the people you know, the ideas you’re aware of etc. etc. By losing our differences and fostering our connections we can merge these tentacles to the point where we can regain our sense of belonging to that central sphere. There is great peace in that knowing.

Clear your lens. Remove your opinions. See through your beliefs. You cannot see all, but you can know that all can be seen. Relax. Surrender. You cannot ever know the God-view in its entirety, but you can fully live your aspect of the God-life by keeping your lens as clear as possible and your mind as open as possible, and that’s important because in the end the light that travels through our lenses is love.

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 #78

They say seeing is believing but even that’s not true. Your vision is shockingly less reliable than you believe it to be. What if I told you that the ancient world pretty much saw the world in black and white? Or did you know there’s been a cure available for colour blindness for years but no one wants to pay to get it approved because it’s too easy and won’t make money? Prepare to have your foundations shaken, because some of this information blew away every single person I exposed it to. And since the colour blind people aren’t getting the solution they deserve, let’s start with them:

Colour Blind Awareness

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Did you know that there’s a special tone of yellow in the world that can only be achieved by making the paint from a sap that takes years to drain from the tree, and it’s a yellow that only very special people can even see? Did you know that every culture will gather colours in the same order? And did you know how new the colour blue actually was? Seriously. It’s a 90 minute 3-part documentary that’s perfect for a long drive or run because it will absolutely and repeatedly blow your mind. You will never look through your eyes the same way again after listening to this:

Radiolab: Colors

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And finally we’ll finish with this excellent BrainCraft video on vision. Just as the brilliant audio documentary above discusses, people can actually use effort to physically change their bodies to be able to see things they could not otherwise see. Think about how powerful that makes your thinking. You will literally build a brain to suit your thinking. Amazing. You. Are. Amazing.

 

You can’t really trust what you experience through the filter of your mind and that makes the world shockingly exciting and flexible. It’s time we stopped spinning our attention inward on our own personal existence and spend more time expanding what it is to be a human overall. Stop being so hard on yourself and look for ways to expand instead. It’ll work faster and be more fun. Have an awesome weekend under that big… blue…?…sky. 😉

peace. s

Other Perspectives #52

606R Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - Magic is all around you

Quotes like this can seem fanciful and silly to people who see themselves as realists. They would talk about science etc., but of course most of modern science involves a great deal of inference. And a huge amount of it—as has always been the case—will be proven wrong and replaced by more complete theories. But we will never come to the end of knowledge because our expansion breeds more expansion, so the more we know the larger the universe of things-to-know gets.

We must always keep our minds open to possibility. If we do, then the world can know “scientific miracles” that revolutionise science itself—and that will happen simply because someone believed they could do something outside of the bounds of current science, which is also sometimes known as magic.

Tribal cultures who still live their original ways are comfortable with the idea of a Shaman’s knowledge being born out of magic. There is a story about how the native north american’s couldn’t see Columbus’s ships because they didn’t know what ships were. It was said that, until the Shaman had seen them and told the tribe that ships exist, no one else in the tribe even tried to see a ship. They just saw a blob on the horizon and they settled for that.

606R Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - All men dream but not equallyBecause the Shaman believes he can know he keeps staring at those shapes until he slowly forms the brand new idea of what is vaguely a big canoe, and then eventually clipper ship. Once he has it in his mind he carries the necessary authority with the tribe to convince them something is true. Believing it, they they actually try to see it and, believing it’s possible, they sail into their consciousness.

That is no different than the story of Daniel Kish, except he’s a shaman for the entire world. If you haven’t listened to the detailed story of Daniel that was featured in the most recent Friday Dose, then please take a little less than an hour out of your life and spend some time really meditating on what this documentary is saying. Because this is a documentary about a blind boy with literally no eyes who neurologists agree can see.

Read that again. Science agrees that; because this mother believed that her son could make his way in the world—because she just blindly believed there was some way that he would be able to make his way safely and comfortably—Daniel was allowed to simply follow his nature and that alone lead him to the miracle. It wasn’t that she taught him something miraculous—it’s that her fears didn’t impede a miracle from naturally happening.

606-relax-and-succeed-any-meaningful-thingHis abusive estranged father was what lead Daniel’s mother to decide to never operate out of fear again. And so because of that mother—and even strangely because of that father too—Daniel became the first known blind person who could literally see. He’s even better than you. He has no colour or distance vision but he does have night vision.

So the real question is, what is your parenting saying to your child? Are you constantly steeling them against and preparing them for fears and worries in life? Or is your parenting just assuming your kids are capable and that success is virtually inevitable? Do you understand that there is no reason to parent toward success. There should only be an effort to not have the parent’s fears invade and shape the lives of their children.

Please listen to the documentary and please really do consider how your parenting is shaping your children. Because fear-based parenting only does one thing: it breeds fearful, incapable and very very small people who constantly feel overwhelmed by the world.

Don’t let your fears do that to your children, because a fear of heights or water or dogs doesn’t start at a young age, it gets taught at a young age by a person or an experience. One and a half of those is avoidable, so stop to look at each bit of parenting you’re doing and ask yourself what is it really teaching your child? Did you teach them to be safe, or did you just teach them to think of themselves in painfully limited ways? For your kid’s sake, please listen to the documentary. She had every reason to worry, but he became great precisely because he needed to be.  And that power lives in all of us, you and your children included.

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.

00 Relax and Succeed - Other Perspectives Footer

Who Can See Your Beauty?

Hello Everyone,
It’s a holiday here in Canada, so here’s a Reblog that discusses your awareness about your own sense of vision. Fortunately, the nature of my work means that you grow through small insights that seem fascinating or interesting at the time, but rarely do people fully realize how far they’ve gone using little steps. Those changes allow each of my posts to become yet another new post in the eyes of a changed reader. Enjoy.
peace. s

Relax and Succeed

Do you think you see with your eyes? Then how can one person love a painting and another person hates it? Or more importantly, why can someone look so gorgeous when you start dating them, and so ugly when they fall out of favour? Did they actually grow uglier? Or do you only see what you look for? If your thoughts about someone are uglier, will your vision be that way too? And if we can make the world uglier with our thoughts, can we also make it more beautiful?

28 Relax and Succeed - The eyes are uselessIn the docu-drama What The Bleep Do We Know?! many people assume the film is being figurative when it states that early Native Shaman had to teach tribesmen to be able to see Christopher Columbus’s ships. People assume if they can see something then everyone must be able to. After all, it’s not small—it’s a ship. And while…

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