I have about 2 hours most weekday evenings which I could use productively.
I am getting serious about working out my mind. Now that I believe that what I have outside is purely a reflection of what I have inside, why woudn't I systematically and regularly make my inside better?
It's all good to say 'every moment is your meditation', or 'just focus on the present moment', etc, but they are easier said than done. I much prefer to immerse myself in work. What better than to immerse myself in mind work?
So I am open to suggestion around how I can productively spend my 2 hours in the evening. I am currenty thinking:
Please only suggest highly efficient and powerful workouts.
With respect to writing about things I appreciate, is there a specific established method? Or should I just take a blank sheet of paper and start writing?
I don't like meditation much, mainly because it requires privacy which I may or may not have.
I'm going to suggest something that you may not have considered but, hopefully, after a bit of explanation, you'll see the importance of it. It is, after all, pretty much what I do in all my spare time...and I've been doing it for years...and it has worked wonders for me in giving myself good "mental workouts" and thereby growing stronger (mentally) everyday.
In fact, this strategy underpins my life so much that it makes me wonder why I've never mentioned it before in my answers over my last few years on this website. I guess sometimes it is easy to think that what is obvious to you is obvious to others...even though it may not be :) And I know this idea was not obvious to me until I first heard about it many years ago.
Anyway, enough rambling preamble...onto the suggestion... :)
Here is the ultimate mind-power-boosting strategy...
Learn Something About Everything
Yes, you really could learn everything about something as well, if you want...but that may take up a little more time than you currently have available :)
The question then is why will doing this contribute to "working out" your mind?
Consider that the Brain and the Mind are actually two separate components, even though most people use the words interchangeably.
Your Brain is actually the physical organ of the Mind. It is actually the transmitter and receiver of "Mind". And how well the "Mind" is transmitted/received depends on the quality of that transmitter/receiver i.e. the physical brain.
It's like a good quality TV being able to display a better picture than a poor quality TV even though they are both tuned into the same channel.
And how do you improve the quality of the Brain's transmitting/receiving apparatus?
Simple. Focus it on as many different subjects as possible.
Stimulating your brain by focusing it upon many varied subjects stimulates different parts of its sending/receiving apparatus. You can think of it as opening up different wavelengths that were not available before. It is like having more channels to tune into...you have more "Mind" transmissions available to watch on your mental TV set :)
As the Brain allows more "Mind" to flow easily through it, you effectively become "smarter" :)
Just pick subjects you know nothing about and learn something about them...the more different and diverse the subjects are, the better. I've specialized in everything (to name a few) from Quantum Mechanics to Ancient Greek History, from Composing Music to Mountain Biking, from Newspaper Journalism to 10-Pin Bowling. The list is ever-growing.
The more different parts of your brain that become active (through exposing it to different subjects and ideas), the more "Brain Power" you'll find manifesting for yourself.
So that's my suggestion for your two hours a night...study anything and everything that remotely catches your interest, and especially if it is something you know little or nothing about.
If nothing else, you'll become a more interesting person at parties :)
I have found a practice in Pranayama yoga called Buzzing Bee. This practice stimulates the Vagas nerve and helps to lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. I do 4 sets of 5 breaths at varing tones.
Brahmari (the Bee)
8.5-Second Breathing Practice (7 breaths per minute)
Like many yoga practices, this breathing practice is taken from nature, in this case by mimicking the sound of a buzzing bee.
The Bee is very useful preparation for meditation, and is a simple, straightforward tool that can be used to relax the autonomic nervous system. For teachers and health professionals, this is a powerful, extremely useful practice that can easily be taught to virtually anybody.
•Sit up erect in a chair, such that your abdomen and chest are "open" (rather than slouching). Allow your eyes to close. Relax your body.
•Close your lips throughout the practice, but leave your mouth cavity open in the back, in the area of the throat.
•Then, simply make a sound like a buzzing bee, as you exhale through the nostrils, pushing in at the upper abdomen, while allowing the chest to remain relatively still.
•Be aware of the feel of the vibration in the throat, the mouth, the cheeks, and the lips. You will hear the sound from within.
•After the buzzing exhalation, then silently inhale through the nostrils, leaving the lips closed, and allowing the lower ribs to flare out slightly as the diaphragm muscle contracts. Again, be aware of the feel and listen to the sound.
Do the practice aloud for about two minutes.
Then do the practice silently, only in your mind for about two minutes, making no external sound, and not allowing the vocal cords to vibrate. Just imagine internally that you are hearing the sound. (To continue the practice silently, for an even longer period of time can lead to a very pleasant meditation)
As an alternative to measuring an amount of time, you may want to internally count a certain number of breaths (such as 15-20) to do aloud, rather than watching a clock.
Then, internally count the same number of breaths, but doing it silently, making no audible sound nor moving your throat or vocal cords.
You will notice that this practice of "the bee" easily brings a calmness to the body, the breath, and the mind:
• Body is easily relaxed.
• Breath is automatically smooth, slow, and with no jerks or pauses.
• Mind is free from chatter.
While you do the practice, allow your mind to be wide awake, clear, and gently focused. This is a practice of being alert and calm, not of going to sleep or entering into a trance.
You can easily have the benefits of this practice at any time, in any public place. All you have to do is leave your eyes open and make no audible sound as you sit quietly. Internally, you are gently practicing "the bee."
Take the peacefulness, calmness and clarity with you into your daily life after completing the practice.
I like doing Superbrain Yoga. http://www.wikihow.com/Do-Superbrain-Yoga
Also, you can cleanse yourself by doing this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93J6e179US8
You might want to tell me what time are these two hours along with your timezone and if possible i can synchronize time with you and pour some more energy into you using distant healing. :)
answered 20 Aug '14, 17:10
Since I also highly value the mind workouts, that are moving energy, I can recommend to you as a colleague :)
About writing the things you appreciate - I do have an established process, that helps me to do wonders with my energy during the writing: to every listed thing I add: "I like it, thank you! Sending kisses, I appreciate it!!!"
It's a bit long to explain, how I came to this formula, the fact is that for me it's energy lifting in an especially efficient way. You're welcome to use it, if it feels good to you, too.
answered 20 Aug '14, 18:55
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