Tag Archive: Martial arts


 immortal
Revered for its ability to jolt the practitioner into ever deepening states of awareness, this specialised breathing technique has been passed from teacher to student for hundreds of years across many ancient traditions, including hatha yoga, tantra, taoist chi gong, the six yogas of Naropa (Tibetan yoga), and many of the martial arts. So what is the this technique, and how does it have such a profound effect on the practitioner? First let’s take a look at the basic technique and how it is described by the traditions that utilise it, then we’ll take a look at what’s going on at the physiological level.
The technique goes by many names: Vase breathing, Reverse crane breathing, Shakti chalana, Ibuki, etc. The list goes on. While each tradition describes this technique in its own unique way, essentially they are all teaching the same physical sequence. Here’s the exercise in it’s basic form: Breathe in, push the air down into your abdomen (lower lungs). While holding your breath bare down as if you’re going to the toilet. At the same time, pull up your sphincter, perineum, and, if you’re female, contract the muscles inside your cervix. Hold for as long as you are comfortable then slowly exhale. Inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose.
In the Taoist traditions this is said to build chi and light the fire in your lower tan tien to initiate the gestation cycle of the immortal fetus (a type of inner spiritual alchemy that is said to eventually transform the practitioner into an immortal).  In Yoga talk the practice is said to fuse prana and apana (downward and upward moving energy) in the navel chakra, which causes kundalini (a dormant spiritual force) to awaken and begin her ascent to the crown chakra where she blesses the yogi with self realisation and a host of siddhis (powers of the mind). The tantra texts describe this as a type of divine marriage of energies within the body, a marriage that lifts the practitioner into states of pure blissful awareness. Starting to realise why this was and still is seen as such an important practice?
From a western, physiological, perspective by drawing up and contracting the muscles of the perineum, anus, and cervix you have stimulated/activated the pelvic splachnic nerves. These are the nerves that cause genital arousal and subsequently turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates a relaxation and healing effect on the body. Secondly by pushing down the breath, you activate the vagus nerve. This activation can actually generate orgasm in a woman, but more importantly it deactivates areas of the brain that cause fear and emotional distress, such as the amygdala. So effectively, it makes you emotionally centred (to a degree). It also releases a host of hormones and neuro chemicals into your body that positively change your mental, emotional, and physical state of being. Plus, like the splachnic nerves, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
With all this nervous system activity happening from a simple breath holding technique lots of brain changes also take place, as you can imagine, changes that are conducive to meditation and deep states of awareness. Those changes are usually visible on brain scans after only four weeks of practice.

So, there you have it. If you want to accelerate your practice, or just add a powerful anti-stress technique to your repertoire, introduce this to your daily routine. You’ll see the benefits in a few weeks 🙂

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More concept art. This illustrates how changing our breath rhythm influences the nervous system, and subsequently the mind. In essence, fast breathing creates stress and agitation of the mind, whereas slow breathing creates a calm and content mind.

Useful to know in a modern world filled with manufactured stress and fear.

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Joy and combat. Trust a martial art enthusiast to make a connection between those two words. But interestingly, they go together, hand in hand. You see, when someone is engaged in combat, their attention is fully focused on their opponent’s every movement, as it happens in the moment. When in the heat of combat, there simply isn’t any time to reminisce on the past or worry about the future. There is only what’s happening now. Learning to fight, counter-intuitively, taught me how to relax and be present. Combat, for me, has become a type of meditation.

There’s an unexpected serenity to be found in the heat of battle.

Because the warrior’s mind is focused in the present, combat induces an unexpected calm, a type of joyful serenity in the mind of the warrior. This is probably why most people are pleasantly surprised when they meet someone training in the warrior arts. Instead of the aggressive, testosterone fueled monster they expect to meet, they’re greeted by a calm, and unusually present individual.

Of course, you don’t have to go out and start a fight just to experience a serene, and joyful mind. You just have to focus on what you’re doing right now. Mindfulness. That’s the key to a happy life.

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In short: Practice mula bandha to generate bliss, inner power and an expanded state of mind.
And here’s the explanation:
The maps we’re given, in the form of various disciplines, spiritual paths, religions, etc, are the result of a reverse engineering, or a retracing of the steps of those who have made the journey to self realisation before us. I know this seems obvious, but when you think about it, it’s really quite ingenius.
When the mind begins to expand, and the inner and outer realities of the yogin begin to merge, many changes take place in the brain, changes that initiate a new level of functioning in the nervouse system. This has the knock on effect of making the body operate in a way that promotes awakening and self realisation, a type of evolution.
When yogins of the past went through their awakening process they became aware of physical changes happening in their body as their mind began to expand. Understanding that the body and mind are locked into a two way process, in which changes in the mind effect the body and changes in the body effect the mind, many of these yogins categorised the physical manifestations of the enlightenment process which later became a road map of their journey for others to follow. We can see many of these road maps to enlightenment as we read through the ancient texts of the east and west, with a large concentration of them found within the texts of the yogic traditions.
Over the next while I’ll try to dilineate the techniques I’ve found particularly useful while walking my path, which is a synergy of martial and yogic disciplines. These techniques, in yogic terminology, consist of Bandhas (energy seals), Pranayama (breathing methods), and, to a lesser degree, asana (postures). So lets begin with mula bandha, a technique used in both yoga and the martial arts, a technique that acts as a key to unlock the door leading to bliss and inner power.
Mula Bandha – Seal of the base
Mula bandha, on a purely physical level, involves a contraction and drawing up of the perineal muscles (located between the anus and genitals). When first attempting to apply this muscle contraction it can be difficult to isolate the perineum from the other muscles in the area, but with regular practice it becomes a simple task. The idea is to practice it regularly throughout your day.
As with many yogic practices, over time, mula bandha becomes very subtle. In fact, there will come a time when you will be able to simply hold your concentration on the area of the perineum, and this alone will cause the muscles to contract and go into a light spasm. Once we have reached this level, a type of inner bliss begins to arise from within the body. I feel it as a mild orgasmic sensation that radiates outwards, flowing down the legs and up into the abdomen. It’s like a warm, tingling excitement spreading throughout the body.
A simple practice
Here’s a simple practice I like to use. Sitting in a comfortable position. Begin by establishing a slow and steady breathing pattern. Don’t try too hard. The idea is to relax, not get stressed. So just take a deep breath, let out a nice long sigh, and let your breathing settle on its own. Once you’ve done this, bring your attention to the inward and outward flow of the breath. As you breathe in, lightly apply mula bandha, and as you breathe out, release mula bandha. And that’s it. Practice in this way for as long as you like, it will bring you many physical and mental benefits.
Deepening the meditative state
As well as the sense of vitality and energy mula bandha is capable of bringing into our lives, it also has a deeper purpose. When related to the process of awakening and expanding consciousness, mula bandha has a special connection with the medulla, the hind brain. As we begin to use mula bandha on a more regular basis, something interesting begins to happen. We start to gain control over areas of the body science tells us we shouldn’t be able to control. One of the first manifestations of this that I noticed in my earlier years of practice was the calming effect mula bandha had upon the breathing* cycle and heart rate.
*Just as a point of interest, in the healing aspect of the martial arts, it is said that strong sudden pressure applied to the perineum is capable of restarting the lungs after they have gone into respiratory arrest.
Because the mind is so intimately connected with the breathing cycle (we’ll look at this in much more detail when discussing pranayama), the effect of a calm steady breathing cycle is a calm and undisturbed mind, which, in this state, begins to expand.
The martial connection
In the martial arts, we are taught an interesting technique that involves a stronger contraction of the perineum. Basically, as we are executing a physical technique, whether it’s a strike, throw, block, etc., we are taught to breathe out. And while breathing out we are taught to push down and expand the lower abdomen as we apply mula bandha. Although this feels counter intuitive at first, its effects are truly amazing. When we breathe and contract our muscles in this way, there is a kind of knitting together of the muscles in the lower and upper body. This knitting together allows the entire body to move as one unit, all in the same direction. The effects of this are a tremendous increase in physical power. So, as a result, you get these old, frail looking masters of the martial arts (who have perfected this technique) making what look like effortless flicks of the wrist, in defence to an attacker who ends up being flung through the air.
What’s even more interesting than the almost superhuman power these guys are capable of issuing is the remarkable sense of calm and serenity that they radiate. I often wonder if they’ve realised the connection to mula bandha.
Awakening
In terms of awakening the brain, and subsequently the mind, mula bandha awakens the hind brain. In the next post I’ll look at two closely related practices, those being agni sara (fire cleansing) and uddiyana bandha (flying upwards seal). Both of which deeply affect the emotional centres of the brain.

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When reading the ancient yogic texts, many references to khechari mudra can be found. All of which indicate that its practice leads to a state of immortality, in which the yogin no longer fears death, disease or suffering, and enters a state of Samadhi.

Disease, death, and sleep do not trouble him who knows khechari mudra, nor hunger and thirst, nor swoon.

-Yoga Chudamani Upanishad

Immortal liquor is the nectar exuding from the moon (pineal gland). It is produced by the fire, which is generated by inserting the tongue into the nasopharyngeal cavity.

-Hathayoga-Pradipika

Always practicing it (kechari) let him drink the ambrosia daily. By this he obtains Vigraha-siddhi (perfect body), and conquers death even as a lion overpowers an elephant.

-Shiva-Samhita

In my own experience of Kechari mudra I’ve yet to experience the absence of hunger, thirst or disease. However, as with many ancient texts, these words aren’t to be taken literally.

Personal experience

For me, in the first few weeks of experiencing kechari mudra, each time my tongue entered my nasopharyngeal cavity, to touch my nasal septum, it felt like an explosion in my brain. If you’ve ever had snuff, it’s a similar sensation, although, at the same time, very different. The thing is, with snuff, you sneeze once or twice and the explosive feeling passes. With Kechari it doesn’t pass, it intensifies until it reaches a point where your brain feels like it’s bubbling over with ecstatic energy. Over time I got used to this sensation and it became a new state of being.

In those early days of my Kechari experience, when my tongue entered the nasopharyngeal cavity, there was a salty taste (probably from post nasal drip). However, to my surprise, this soon changed. Over the following months, various tastes began to manifest. They went from salty to bitter, then mildly sour,  but eventually stabilised to become sweet. This new intense sweetness was accompanied by the sensation of a very light liquid, almost like liquid air, flowing onto my tongue. This is a sensation comes and goes to this day. And I believe it is what the texts refer to as soma, or the liquor of the gods, although I’m not sure if its effects should be taken literally. Such as invulnerability to poison, and conquering death within 15 days. Yet, again, there is some truth to be found in these claims.

Kechari induced realisation

To understand what the yogic texts mean when they refer to kechari as being a means for gaining immortality and overcoming all disease, we need to look at the effects it has, not on the body, but on the mind.

Referring back to my first experience of Kechari mudra, during my initial awakening, the expanded state of mind initiated by the kechari mudra led me to a sense of being beyond, or before, time. It made me realise, through direct experience, that I am not the body or mind; these things are simply manifestations of my LARGER SELF. In having these realisations, the fear of death completely died. The experience of kechari mudra expands the mind and wakes the yogin up to the realization that he/she in his/her pure state, is immortal and impervious to illness. One who’s mind is absorbed in such a state can never die.

Liquor of the gods

In relation to the sweet nectar like liquid that begins to trickle down the tongue we need to think about the process of meditation. With meditative practices, the idea is to train the mind to become one-pointed and focused to the point where it completely dissolves in its object of focus. At this stage we enter Samadhi.

Because of the intense sweetness, I can say from personal experience that absorbing the mind becomes an easy process when focusing on the taste of the body’s very own ‘nectar of immortality,’ the body’s own fountain of youth.

The martial connection 

In Bushido the aim of the warrior is to become one with his/her opponent, blending with his/her thoughts and actions, dissolving any attack before the thought to attack even arises. Similarly, the aim of Yoga is to unite the body and mind and dissolve into the oneness of everything. One method of achieving this is through the practice of Kechari mudra, which generates a deep feeling of love and connectedness to all beings, with the barriers that seperate the yogin from the rest of the world (identifying him as an individual) dissolving in the advanced stages of the practice, resulting in a sense of oneness with all things.

Interestingly, a variation of Kechari mudra is used in many of the warrior traditions, where the tongue is placed in an alternate position, pressing on the point just behind the teeth, on the hard pallet. In Yoga this is called Nabo mudra, which has a much milder effect than Kechari, but is very beneficial all the same.

Have a look here to read about some other experiences I’ve had with Khechari mudra.

FREE Accidental Yogi’s manual/course will be available to read/print on February 3rd 2014. Here’s the link: FREE MANUAL/COURSE

Cycle of life and death

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Spending time in nature this weekend got me thinking about the cycle of life and death. It made me remember that Death’s greatest gift to us is Life.

In the warrior traditions of Japan, there’s an art called sakkappo no jutsu (the art of killing and resuscitation). This art teaches the warrior how to kill with a single strike, and how to revive someone from death, as if by magic. Although there are many dark aspects within this art, learning it didn’t turn me into some kind of crazed psychopath, instead, it developed within me a deep appreciation for life.

Seeing how delicate the human body is and how easily that delicate spark of life can be extinguished forced me to think about what was really important to me and gave me the strength to tear down the self imposed barriers and limitations that would have otherwise stopped me from truly living instead of simply existing.

As we think about death, our mind becomes incredibly clear. Coming to terms with our own mortality really does wake us up to life. 

When walking the path of the warrior, we must constantly think about death. The warrior, reminding him/her self that each breath taken may be their last, lives every moment in the present, without fear, ready to face and overcome every challenge placed in front of them. This is is Death’s greatest gift to us.

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One thing in life that has always fascinated me is how every one of us sees reality in a different way, from a unique perspective, and how those perspectives can give rise to infinite possibilities. If everyone on the planet witnessed the same event at the same time, no two people would see that event in the same way. So, although we all exist together in the here and now, in a sense, we’re all living in our own separate personal realities, with everyone’s version of reality intersecting to make up this intricate web of  a communal experience we call life.   

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Infinite Realities 

Every one of us receives about 400 billion bits of information every second of every day, yet we only consciously perceive about two thousand bits of that information. To put these numbers into perspective, this is the same as having 10,000 cinema screens in front of you, all playing different movies, but only being able to watch one. So how do we decide which of these movies we should watch? What pieces of information do we decide are important enough to enter our conscious awareness and become our reality? And why do I choose to watch one movie (my interpretation of reality) while you choose to watch a different one? Well, this isn’t something we do consciously, rather it’s an unconscious process in which our brain’s filter into our conscious awareness only what they deem to be important to us. The parameters our brains use to make these decisions are made up from both genetically, hard wired instincts, and conditioned reactions we’ve learned through life experience. 

 

Perceptual Hierarchy: A walk in the park 

We have an in-built perceptual filtering hierarchy. Using this hierarchy, the brain prioritises events in the outside world by categorising them into levels of importance. At the top of the hierarchy are things that pose an immediate threat to our life. This is followed by things that could potentially hurt or injure us. Next on the list is hunger, closely followed by things that sexually arouse us. Underneath this are the things we consciously focus on. And below this is everything else.

To illustrate how this hierarchy works think of yourself walking down a forest path. As you wonder down the path, you consciously pay attention to the beauty of the brightly coloured flowers that give off such an intense aroma that they seem to transport you to some other place, leaving you in a type of waking trance. As you carry on down the path you suddenly stumble over a root that has risen above the ground. This quickly snaps your attention back into the present moment, allowing you to regain your balance. In this case, your conscious focus, which was on the scent and look of the flowers, is overridden by your body’s survival instinct. So as you trip, you completely forget about the flowers, as your awareness is drawn to something that could potentially do you harm. 

Now imagine, just as you recover from stumbling, you hear the sound of a wild animal growling behind you. Your awareness is refocused again, this time being taken away from the protruding root, and focused on the growling sound behind you. Because you think your life is in immediate danger, your brain overides all other perceptual awareness and brings this to the surface of your attention. As you slowly turn to face the wild animal, you realise it’s only a small dog on a leash. The dog’s owner pulling on the leash, looks up at you to apologise, and as he/she makes eye contact, you notice how beautiful he/she looks. Again, your awareness has shifted. Once you realised you were in no danger of being eaten alive, your brain re-evaluated your surroundings and brought your awareness to a lower level on the perceptual hierarchy. 

After saying hello to the dog owner and maybe exchanging numbers or arranging to meet for a tea or coffee, you carry on with your walk. Now that all the excitement is over, you drift back into that other world, noticing how vibrant the flowers are, until your mind is pulled back into the present for a second time, only this time there’s no danger to your life. This time it’s an empty feeling in your stomach, a feeling of hunger, that’s snapping your awareness back into the present moment. 

 

A fluctuating state of mind 

For most of us, our awareness is in a constant state of fluctuation, moving up and down the ladder of perceptual hierarchy, and because we’ve all learned to see everything a little differently, each of us will see the world from a different state of perceptual awareness. For example, you might have an exaggerated fear of bees because you were stung as a child, and learned that bees can really hurt you. Whereas my two year old daughter hasn’t been stung by a bee, nor does she even know that a bee could hurt her, and for that reason is content to happily chase them around the garden. Now imagine, you’re in a car and my daughter happens to be there too. The window is slightly open, and just as you drive onto a busy motorway, in flies a bee. Your state of awareness will be dramatically different from my daughter’s. And because your state of awareness is so different, you would both have completely different experiences of the same event. Yours being an experience of fear and terror, and my daughter’s being an experience of fun and adventure. 

 

Changing our perceptual filters 

So the question is, Can we change our perceptual filters? And the answer is yes, we can. Changing our perceptual filters requires us to look at a situation or event from a different perspective. To do this we need to first become aware of how we currently perceive the situation. Once we are aware of how we’re seeing things, we can concentrate on looking at the situation from a new angle, a fresh perspective. How do we do this? We use some simple visualisation techniques. My favourite is to imagine the event from another person’s point of view. So let’s take the example of a bee flying in through the window of your car. As you sit there, you know you can’t just jump out of a fast moving car. So, instead, you put yourself in my daughter’s shoes and you try to see things from her perspective. You think to yourself, “oh, hello mr. bee, I’m so happy you’ve joined us today. We’re going to the park, you’ll love it there.” Getting into that frame of mind, becoming playful and meeting the situation assuming the best outcome rather than the worst, has a powerful effect, not just on our own behaviour, but also on the behaviour of the bee. 

 

In the same way reality responds to our state of being, so do the things within our surroundings. this is a bit like walking into a room where there has just been a big argument. Walking into that room, you immediately feel uncomfortable and stressed. Whereas, if we walk into the same room just after an uplifting event has taken place, a child’s birthday party, for example, we respond by feeling happy and uplifted. 

 

So changing our perceptual filters not only changes how we see an event, it also changes how the event unfolds in response to our perception of it. In relation to the bee in your car; it flies in through the window, and instead of attacking you, as you try to swat and kill it, it flies around for a few seconds, you wind down all the windows, and it flies back out. 

 

One of the best and easiest ways of changing perspective, when dealing with another person, is to simply try see the situation from their point of view. So If you get into an argument with someone, pause for a moment and ask yourself why is that person reacting the way they are. Doing this, and really trying to think like the other person, develops empathy, and as empathy develops, it gives birth to compassion. Compassion is probably the most powerful perceptual filter, a perceptual filter we should all work on developing. 

 

Try experimenting with different perceptual filters and notice how you’re better able to deal with the more difficult things in life. For those of us training in the warrior traditions, it’s essential that we learn to alter our perception. Doing this gives us new ways of looking at situations that we would otherwise see as impassable mountains on our path, in both combat and in life. 

 

Learning to change our perceptual filters opens up infinite possibilities, possibilities we would never have considered had we not learned how to see things from different perspectives.

The awesome kid’s in my Jujutsu club, in Ireland, showing off some of their skills during training.

Awareness: life’s master key

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It just occurred to me that I’ve been writing all of these posts on things I think are important, but while doing this, I’ve managed to completely forget about the most important part of a warrior’s training and of life itself: Awareness.

“Without awareness, we can’t function in the world.”

The greater our level of awareness, the more we’re able to interact with our inner and outer environments. We can see this in the cycle of life and death; a new born baby will have very little awareness of the outside world, and for that reason her ability to interact with it is very limited. But as she grows and her senses begin to awaken, she gets better at interacting with her surroundings. So instead of only being able to cry, which can mean she’s hungry, tired, in pain, etc., she starts to point at food, or she holds her knee when she falls and hurts herself. As she grows into a young girl, she begins to talk and interact even more, enjoying her sensory experience of the world around her. But as she matures into adulthood, her senses gradually diminish in their capacity to recieve information from the world. This continues until, eventually, she grows into an elderly woman taking her last breath. As she leaves this world, her senses start shutting down. And as her awareness is drawn inward, her connection with the outer world fades. This cycle can be seen throughout nature, in every aspect of life.

Have your cake and eat it

You can think of awareness like this. Imagine, in front of you, a beautifully presented plate filled with the most delicious food you ever set your eyes upon. If you’re completely devoid of awareness, you won’t even know the plate exists, and you’ll miss the best food tasting experience of your life.

But let’s say you have some level of awareness, just enough to recognise that there’s a plate of food in front of you. Because your awareness is so low, you won’t appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the food, nor will you appreciate its taste. This is because we have two types of awareness, one being inner awareness and the other outer awareness. Inner awareness tells us about the inner environment of our body and mind, while outer awareness tells us about our surroundings.

So, looking at the example of the plate of food, as our awareness increases our experience of the food deepens. We start to see colours, which become more and more vibrant, various aromas are revealed to us, which keep increasing in their complexity, and bursts of flavour explode in our mouth with each bite we take.

“Increased awareness deepens our experience and appreciation of life. Deeper appreciation is expressed as gratitude. And as we experience Gratitude, we draw new, positive experiences into our life.”

Although the plate of food example is a good one, it doesn’t quite demonstrate the importance of increased awareness to its fullest. To do this, let me use an example from the warrior traditions.

Don’t just stand there!

If I have no awareness and someone decides to punch me in the face. I’m not going to move, I’m simply going to stand there and get punched. Worse still, because I don’t have any awareness, I’m not going to feel any pain. So, if that person decides to punch me again and again, I’m going to let him do it until my body can’t take any more punishment, at which point, it shuts down and I die.

The more awareness I have, the better are my chances of surviving a punch, or multiple punches to the face. In fact, if my awareness is deep enough, I’ll never even get into a situation where someone is going to punch me. This same idea applies to all situations in life. The deeper our awareness of our inner state of being and our outer environment, the better we become at navigating our way through the river of life.

Flex your awareness muscle

Developing better awareness is as simple as developing stronger muscles; you just have to exercise your mind. So how do we do that? We focus our attention on what we’re doing. Most of us aren’t very good at that, you know.

By focussing attention, I mean really focussing. That means getting out of autopilot mode, and actively engaging in what we’re doing. For instance, if you’re driving, pay more attention to the road, the other vehicles around you, your reactions to traffic, etc. Focussing in this way takes more practice than you might imagine. Just try sit for a few minutes while paying complete attention to your breathing, focussing on the air flowing in and out of your lungs. Notice how distracted you become, and how your awareness begins to drift, as you start thinking about what you’ll have for lunch, or how you forgot to feed the cat, etc.

If you focus in this way regularly enough, your awareness will grow and your experience of life will become deeper and richer. Enjoy.

For a nice look at the yogic understanding of awareness take a look at Jenni Burke’s Blog.

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Our brains are in a constant state of change, with their neural circuitry being rewired with every experience we have. In fact, neuroscience tells us that the simple act of turning on your laptop/Pc, typing on your keyboard, reading these words, and even scratching your nose,  has physically changed your brain’s structure and function, in a process called neuroplasticity.

While this process is entirely natural, using the right techniques, we’re able to guide it in a way that can positively influence our state of being and the way we live our lives.

The Basic Concept

  • Neurons that fire together, wire together.
  • Neurons that fire apart, wire apart.

What does this mean? In simple terms, every time we process an experience, an area of the brain associated with that experience becomes active. So neurons in that area light up with activity. When we have more than one experience at a time, separate parts of the brain become active at the same time. If, for example, I hear a bell ring just as I have an experience that excites me, the areas of my brain that process the ringing of a bell and the emotional reaction of excitement will both light up at the same time.

Normally this wouldn’t have any unusual effect on us. However, if we have those two experiences at the same time, over and over again, the two areas of the brain that activate together will begin to form a relationship. This relationship links these two experiences, writing them into our neural circuitry. This means if, after this relationship has been formed, I hear the ringing of a bell, not only will the area of my brain associated with that particular sound become active, but so will the area associated with excitement. So, simply hearing the bell ring will excite me.

The second part of this rule says we can break this neural relationship. This basically works in the opposite way. So, using the same example, if I ring a bell over and over again without stimulating an experience of excitement, the relationship between the two areas of my brain begins to deteriorate, until, finally, hearing the sound of the bell has no effect upon me.

These relationships are constantly forming and deteriorating, usually without our conscious awareness, as we move through life. But the key to using this biological process to our advantage is to, firstly, become aware of it, and, secondly, consciously begin forming new relationships, in our brain, that benefit us. Traditionally, this has been achieved through the use of mantra and mudra, in both Yoga and the esoteric schools of the martial arts, techniques I’ll explore in a later post.

Reality

In my interview with Joe Dispenza, he said the following about reality: “Your personality creates your personal reality. So if you want to create a new personal reality, then on a fundamental level, you would have to change some way you think, act or behave, otherwise you’re trying to create a new personal reality as the same personality.” This is why so many of us get stuck before getting off the starting blocks on our journey of personal transformation.

The process of conscious change recommended by Joe Dispenza is achieved in two stages.

  • Firstly, we need to become aware of what we want to change. This is where we take an honest look at the relationships we’ve spent a lifetime forming in our brain.
  • Secondly, we need to think about who we wish to become. In this essence, we need to think about the new relationships we would like to form in our brain.

The Key to Change

Joe explains the key to lasting change. “If you fully allow yourself to participate in this two-step process, to the exclusion of everything else, your frontal lobe begins to quieten down all the circuits in the rest of the brain, and your present thought becomes your experience. The moment this happens, the experience produces an emotion and you begin to feel like that new ideal of yourself. As you begin to feel differently, your body becomes conditioned to a new mind.” This is where the magic happens: where our thoughts become reality.

The Bottom Line

Your brain is physically changing and rewiring itself every time you have an experience. We can, if we choose to, guide this biological process in a positive direction by making small changes to our lifestyle and how we use our mind. “Decide who you want to be. If your personality creates your personal reality, and you are clear about who you want to be, you will move into a new state of being; a new state of being means a new personality, and a new personality creates a new reality,” says Joe Dispenza.

Have fun creating a new reality with every new experience you choose to have.

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