One of the things that differentiate what I do from everyone else is the fact that my program is based on a combination of the laws of science and the best practices of elite performers. Also I am constantly doing research particularly in the fields of neural science, brain science.
Oddly enough, it was during that research that I came across some principles of the Buddha that have stuck with me. The Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in Nepal around 2,500 years ago. He did not claim to be a god or a prophet. He was a human being who became Enlightened, understanding life in the deepest way possible. It is on his philosophies that Buddhism was founded.
It’s amazing that the Buddha didn’t know that scientific principles were the foundations of his philosophies. They didn’t have fMRI back 2,500 years ago. It’s amazing that as I reach back into the history of the world’s great minds, science is right there supporting their philosophies.
I love these four noble truths;
- Life is full of suffering.
- The cause of suffering is selfish desire.
- Suffering can be eliminated.
- Suffering can be relieved by following the 8 Fold Paths of Buddhism.
Think about this. The cause of suffering is selfish desire. The good news about this is that this can be controlled and changed. The Buddha didn’t say the cause of our suffering is our genetic predispositions. He said selfish desire.
So, I’m making my salad in the kitchen and I take the outer layer of an onion and toss it into the closest garbage can to my right. My sister in law was over the house and she freaks out. “That’s for recyclables, not trash” she yells. Hold on. What is she responding to? This is an example of selfish desire. She is responding to the world as she judges it should be. She is upset because I’m not behaving the way she thinks is right, judgment, and it’s her selfish desire that things are the way they should be rather than the way they are. It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t say something about the proper garbage can, but to create her own suffering over this is a bit on the unenlightened side.
Another example is one of my coaching clients. I’m urging him to go on the food plan of the avoidance of flour and sugar. He tells me that he will not give up his buttered bread at dinner, selfish desire.
I say this without judgment, just observing. The alarm clock goes off at 3:30 am and I plan on being at the gym by 4:00 am. If I feel tired, I might rationalize that it would be better for me to sleep in today. That’s selfish desire. The desire to remain in comfort is selfish desire.
The Buddha would say to observe the Noble 8 Fold Path which is the following;
- Right View
- Right Intention
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
The Right View is a detached way of seeing. It is seeing with an empty mind, or as the Buddha would say, in the middle. It is seeing without expectations or judgments. It is being neutral to the emotions which are self imposed. A detached way of seeing is one of the strongest mind set traits that you can develop. It will break the “cortical-limbic” loops where your thinking at the outer analyzing cortex is directly linked to the emotional limbic area of the brain. When you have mastered detached seeing no one can ever upset you; now that’s peace of mind.
Right Intention is the exertion of your own will towards change. This also intercepts the cortical-limbic loops. I can just stop my thinking and decide to go to the gym and not pay attention to being tired, or my client can decide just for today not to have any buttered bread. Or my sister in law can decide to think loving thoughts and just take the onion skin out of one garbage can and place it into another. What power, exerting your own will towards change. I love it.
The rest of the paths lead to right memory, right awareness and right attention. Are you paying attention to the right kinds of neurological networks of joy and appreciation? Your thoughts reinforce and strengthen the neurological connections that you are using. This leads to a greater mylenation, the fatty insulation of the neurons which speeds up transmissions and uses less energy. These become your preferred circuits over time. You can control this.
One of the best ways to wire in detached seeing and the 8 Fold Paths is through mediation. Regardless of the type of meditation that you do, observational, intentional, transcendental, all of them will have a positive effect on your brain. Meditation will cause the orbital frontal cortex to generate new neurons, called neurogenisis or brain plasticity. There is a fold of cortex tissue called the insula that will grow in size due to meditation. This area is responsible for your “meta cognition” or your awareness of the sensations you are feeling.
So sit in a comfortable position “with dignity”. Close your eyes and effortlessly allow your mind to go thoughtless. You can count breaths, box breath, (inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds), or repeat a mantra effortlessly, as a thought, and this will quiet the brain “chatter” and generate the neurological response.
The science says you will get a response in as little as 5 minutes of meditation. Add it into your routine.
High Performance Training, Inc.
Bob Davies, M.Ed. Psychology, Springfield College, B.S. Health, Rutgers University, MCC Master Certified Coach
20992 Ashley Lane, Lake Forest, CA 92630-5865
On-Line coaching: www.bobdaviescoaching.com
Named in the Top 100 Minds of Personal and Professional Development, World-wide by Excellence Magazine.
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High Performance Training, Inc.
20992 Ashley Lane
Lake Forest, Ca 92630