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Art of Living with one’s own mind


Usually we think of scientists as people narrowly focused on their specialities. What would a scientist have to do with spirituality?

Richard Feynman

Well, one of the greatest physicists since Einstein, the famous Richard Feynman was fascinated by the workings of the mind and experimented with different meditation techniques. His experience with hypnosis and the power of belief is very insightful in to how our mind often fools us. Here is his story in his own words!

On Wednesdays at the Princeton Graduate College, various people would come in to give talks. The speakers were often interesting, and in the discussions after the talks we used to have a lot of fun. For instance, one guy in our school was very strongly anti-Catholic, so he passed out questions in advance for people to ask a religious speaker, and we gave the speaker a hard time.

In the great big dining hall with stained-glass windows, where we always ate, in our steadily deteriorating academic gowns, Dean Eisenhart would begin each dinner by saying grace in Latin. After dinner he would often get up and make some announcements. One night Dr. Eisenhart got up and said, “Two weeks from now, a professor of psychology is coming to give a talk about hypnosis. Now, this professor thought it would be much better if we had a real demonstration of hypnosis instead of just talking about it. Therefore he would like some people to volunteer to be hypnotized. I get all excited: There’s no question but that I’ve got to find out about hypnosis. This is going to be terrific!

Dean Eisenhart went on to say that it would be good if three or four people would volunteer so that the hypnotist could try them out first to see which ones would be able to be hypnotized, so he’d like to urge very much that we apply for this. (He’s wasting all this time, for God’s sake!)

Eisenhart was down at one end of the hall, and I was way down at the other end, in the back. There were hundreds of guys there. I knew that everybody was going to want to do this, and I was terrified that he wouldn’t see me because I was so far back. I just had to get in on this demonstration!

Finally Eisenhart said, “And so I would like to ask if there are going to be any volunteers . . .”

I raised my hand and shot out of my seat, screaming as loud as I could, to make sure that he would hear me: “MEEEEEEEEEEE!”

He heard me all right, because there wasn’t another soul. My voice reverberated throughout the hall–it was very embarrassing. Eisenhart’s immediate reaction was, “Yes, of course, I knew you would volunteer, Mr. Feynman, but I was wondering if there would be anybody else.”

Finally a few other guys volunteered, and a week before the demonstration the man came to practice on us, to see if any of us would be good for hypnosis. I knew about the phenomenon, but I didn’t know what it was like to be hypnotized.

He started to work on me and soon I got into a position where he said, “You can’t open your eyes.”

I said to myself, “I bet I could open my eyes, but I don’t want to disturb the situation: Let’s see how much further it goes.” It was an interesting situation: You’re only slightly fogged out, and although you’ve lost a little bit, you’re pretty sure you could open your eyes. But of course, you’re not opening your eyes, so in a sense you can’t do it.

He went through a lot of stuff and decided that I was pretty good.

When the real demonstration came he had us walk on stage, and he hypnotized us in front of the whole Princeton Graduate College. This time the effect was stronger; I guess I had learned how to become hypnotized. The hypnotist made various demonstrations, having me do things that I couldn’t normally do, and at the end he said that after I came out of hypnosis, instead of returning to my seat directly, which was the natural way to go, I would walk all the way around the room and go to my seat from the back.

All through the demonstration I was vaguely aware of what was going on, and cooperating with the things the hypnotist said, but this time I decided, “Damn it, enough is enough! I’m gonna go straight to my seat.

When it was time to get up and go off the stage, I started to walk straight to my seat. But then an annoying feeling came over me: I felt so uncomfortable that I couldn’t continue. I walked all the way around the hall.

I was hypnotized in another situation some time later by a woman. While I was hypnotized she said, “I’m going to light a match, blow it out, and immediately touch the back of your hand with it.

You will feel no pain.”

I thought, “Baloney!” She took a match, lit it, blew it out, and touched it to the back of my hand. It felt slightly warm. My eyes were closed throughout all of this, but I was thinking, “That’s easy. She lit one match, but touched a different match to my hand. There’s nothin’ to that; it’s a fake!”

When I came out of the hypnosis and looked at the back of my hand, I got the biggest surprise: There was a burn on the back of my hand. Soon a blister grew, and it never hurt at all, even when it broke.

So I found hypnosis to be a very interesting experience. All the time you’re saying to yourself, “I could do that, but I won’t”–which is just another way of saying that you can’t.

Posted by Art of Living Blogger Dr Birjoo Vaishnav 

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Art of Living Review, Art of Living Wisdom, Others

 

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Declutter your life


Life is simplified when there is one center; one reason, one motivation, one direction and purpose ~Jean Fleming

How many of us find ourselves overwhelmed by the hoards of things we have piled in our houses? Most of the things are of little use but still occupy a major space in our houses just because of the sentimental value we attach to these things. Not just our homes,we have cluttered our workplaces,our actions , our thoughts and our life with so much of junk. Yes, Junk- of little use or no use at all!

What is clutter? Clutter is a confused or disorderly state or collection that reduce effectiveness. According to Karen Kingston ,”Clutter is stuck energy. The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means to coagulate – and that’s about as stuck as you can get.”

The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life.

Decluttering might seem as an intimidating process to some. So I suggest to take small steps towards decluttering your life. Remember, small daily steps lead to big achievements overtime.Here I have listed five simple steps to declutter your life :

1. Declutter your home Do you waste time searching frantically for important documents, lost keys, misplaced things? Do you wonder where to keep the new clothes you just bought in the already stuffed closet? Do you feel at times that you need a bigger place because your things don’t seem to fit in? Do you keep piling on stuff that you don’t use at all ?

Unfortunately,for most of us the answer to these questions is ‘Yes!’ Keeping your home tidy and organised may sound like a lot of work but actually it’s one of the best ways to obtain peace of mind and a calmer outlook. And a little time devoted everyday towards organising your house will work wonders!

Don’t tackle the whole house at once.Start small.Focus on clearing one area,shelf or drawer before moving on to the next.

Most of the times, the clutter consists of things which are of little use but great emotional significance or things which we think would be useful sometime in future. It’s very difficult to let go of things on which you have spent your hard-earned money.But remember, if you do not use it or need it, it’s clutter, and it needs to go.In a nutshell,use it up,wear it out,make it do – or do without!

William Morris has stated it beautifully: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

2. Declutter your workplace Look around your workplace and you will most likely see items and papers that can be cleared away. It doesn’t help your image if someone walks in your cabin and sees clutter piled up at your desk. It’s easy to let stuff pile up and get out of hand.

Workplace clutter is irritating because it interferes with your work and also causes unwanted & unnecessary stress.Once a week,sort through your drawers,shelves and briefcase. Discard whatever is outdated and irrelevant.Store the documents with appropriate labels so that you can easily find them when needed.

Always remember the words of Albert Einstein: “Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

3. Declutter your speech Many times we speak things which we regret later. We waste precious time in unnecessary gossip , derive pleasure in criticising others or hurl abuses when angry. This only adds to mental stress and negativity. Identify such tendencies and let go of them.

4. Declutter your actions Often, we complicate our lives with unnecessary tasks & commitments.List and priortise your tasks. Priortise what is urgent and needs to be tackled immediately. Learn to say ‘No’ to unnecessary commitments.

5. Declutter your mind  Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter.Harbouring negative emotions of anger and frustration only add to the mental stress. Spend time in silent contemplation and observe your thoughts. Let go of the bad memories of the past & worries of the future and move on.

Meditate daily to stay focussed and for a calm, peaceful mind.It’s the simplest yet the most profound method for a blissful you!

Source – Life Positive

In the words of Jackie French Koller : “There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.” This is so true both in materialistic and spiritual aspects.

Eliminate and cut back on whatever doesn’t add meaning to your life.To sum up, I will quote a simple mantra by Art of Living’s Rishi Nityapragya ji, ” Observe, filter ,surrender…”

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Art of Living Wisdom, Yoga and Meditation

 

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