Mister Rogers Meditation

“You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.”

~Mister Rogers

Consciousness, Quantum Physics, String Theory and Psychology?

I began studying yoga psychology completely unaware that it would throw me simultaneously into the study of neurophysiology and quantum physics. At times I find my brain feeling a bit scrambled. Most of the science thrills me and only makes me dig deeper for more information, but the topic of spacetime geometry makes my head hurt.

Some web sources to get you started:

  1. http://superstringtheory.com/
  2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0Kaf7xYMk
  3. http://physics.about.com/od/quantumphysics/p/quantumphysics.htm
  4. http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/penrose-hameroff/cajal.pdf

Does anyone have some suggestions for beginners resources on information about quantum physics and/or spacetime geometry?

Published in: on February 7, 2012 at 6:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ebb and Flow….Just the Begining

The ebb and flow of life is intrinsic in nature.  Somehow, though, the strength and turbulence of this flow always takes me by surprise.  Logically I know that no where within this flow can time stand still and therefore the only real constant is change.  But there are times when this impermanence is less than comforting, even when the present moment is distressful.

What I am trying to elude to is the internal experience of fear and anxiety.  Most, if not all, of us have experienced fear and anxiety at some point in our life.  I am particularly referring to that state of being where our current circumstances have us feeling distressed, but the fear of the unknown has us attached to the past.  This attachment ruts it’s way into our habitual cognitive patterns and can grow in strength.  At this point are our own thoughts in our best interest?  If not what can we do about it and how can we safe gaurd ourselves against negative cognitive patterns?

Share your ideas, thoughts or experiences.  In future posts I plan to discuss how yoga philosophy can help us avoid negative cognitive patterns and help us break them once we have already fallen into their trap.

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wondrous Observer

When we first become aware of our life through an observer’s eyes we may become surprised by what we see.  Maybe we discover love, a supportive community or a new child-like fascination. Often, though, when we take the time to slow down and look closer we discover things that are painful or fearful.  This may be why we haven’t looked before.

Be brave and have faith that once you have patiently polished your life with a little elbow grease it will shine. Have faith that you will grow, evolve, or simply be relieved of today’s pain.  This faith is not blind.  It is built upon a solid foundation of experience.  A foundation made of all the successes that brought you to become a wondrous observer.

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm  Comments (3)  
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Southern Baptist leader nixes yoga for Christians

Albert Mohler: The body is not a ‘vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine’

Christian yogis speak up I want to know what you think of this NBC story?


Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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In response to yesterday’s post I received a request for “affirmations to contradict the negative self-talk”.  I thought I would list some  affirmations from Ananda Yoga. They were designed to be thought or said out loud during asana practice, but I believe they work well at any time one needs inspiration. Here are a few of my favorites (there are many more):

Tree Pose – “I am calm, I am poised.”

Cobra Pose – “I rise joyfully to meet each new opportunity.”

Hero’s Pose – “In stillness I touch my inner strength.”

Eagle Pose – “At the center of life’s storms I stand serene.”

Standing Backbend – “I am free, I am free.”

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why did I give you all a list of cognitive distortions yesterday? I wanted to get you started thinking about how you talk with yourself. Our thoughts directly relate not only to our actions, but also to how we feel and experience life. Disciplining our thoughts is a great technique for creating more relaxation and less anxiety in our lives. This can be a very unpopular method because we tend to be very attached to the stories we tell ourselves. Unfortunately some of the stories we repeat to ourselves can be the very thoughts that are undercutting our self-esteem and creating a string of negative anxiety causing thoughts.  Changing some of our automatic thought processes is a difficult but worthwhile undertaking.

The first step is always the hardest. We must identify our automatic thoughts before we can begin to work with them. Try noticing what internal comments you repeat about yourself. When you do or do not accomplish a task what does your inner voice say? Do you call yourself stupid or lazy? Or maybe you blame others from keeping you from getting something done? Or if you succeed it is due to luck? Do you have to complete something 100% perfect to feel good about it?

The possible questions we can ask ourselves are endless, but the point is not to become overwhelmed and create more anxiety. The point is to become more intimately familiar with your own unique self talk. This brings us back to the importance of the cognitive distortions from yesterday’s post. Using that list can help us to understand some of our repeated stories and self talk. When we regularly have cognitive distortions it becomes difficult to have a clear picture of who we are and how we relate to ourselves and the world around us.

Next post we will tackle some ideas around how to address these cognitive distortions and the problems they create for us in our journey toward happiness.

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Comments (4)  
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Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are habitual thought processes that we all experience at least once in a while.  Many people are influenced daily by cognitive distortions. They can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and really hinder our ability to have healthy relationships. Read through the following  list. Do any jump out at you? You might even recognize ones that you weren’t previously aware of. What do you think would be some way to tackle the vicious cycle of cognitive distortions? Are there other cognitive distortions you believe should be on the list?

Classic Cognitive Distortions or Assumptions

All or Nothing Thinking: think of things in “black or white”, “right or wrong”, “all or nothing” categories.

Over Generalizing: think of a single negative event as a never-ending pattern.

Mental Filtering: dwell on a single negative detail, and ignore moderate or positive things that may occur. Reject positive experiences… “They don’t count”.

Mind Reading: arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, & don’t check this out with them.

Fortune Telling: anticipate that things will turn out badly, and feel convinced that your prediction is a fact.

Catastrophizing: believe the worst-case scenario will definitely happen.

Magnifying or Minimizing: exaggerate the importance of certain things (e.g. your mistakes or other’s successes) and minimize other things (e.g. your own desirable qualities or other’s imperfections).

Emotional Reasoning: assume that the way you feel reflects the way things are.  “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

Shoulds: believe you must live up to excessively high standards, & may also have excessively high expectations of others.  You believe you should have known/done better, even when that would have been impossible.

Labeling/Mislabeling: instead of describing an error, you put a negative label on yourself/others.  e.g. Instead acknowledging your small error, you label yourself a “Loser”.

Personalization: see yourself as responsible for events around you that had little/no responsibility for.
e.g. Your friend is sad b/c her boyfriend left her, and you criticize yourself for having a boyfriend.

Jumping To Conclusions: conclude that something is a fact without enough evidence.

Probability Overestimation: overestimate the likelihood that something negative or dangerous will occur.

Compensatory Misconceptions: believe that you must inflate your achievements to be socially successful.

Adapted from: Cognitive Distortions (1999). The Shyness Institute, Portola Valley, CA

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 1:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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