Saturday, December 16, 2017

Influences and Hypnotism

"We begin life with the world presenting itself to us as it is.  Someone - our parents, teachers, analysts - hypnotize us to "see" the world and construe it in the "right" way. These others label the world, attach names and give voices to the beings and events in it, so that thereafter, we cannot read the world in any other language or hear it saying other things to us. The task is to break the hypnotic spell, so that we become  undeaf, ublind and multilingual, thereby letting the world speak to us in new voices and write all its possible meanings in the new book of our existence. Be careful in your choice of hypnotists."  Sidney Jourard.

Recall influences and moments that molded your belief systems.

What did you do to break free and form your own notions and opinions?

How did you manage to respond to feedback once you launched on your own track?

Did you incorporate, deflect or create new visions?

In what ways did a form of art, music, poetry, or dance assist your self-esteem and development?

Explore Jourard's notion of hypnosis.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Self-Judgment and Truth

"Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon's location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?"
 - Zen parable

The Zen parable of truth, the finger pointing at the moon, informs us that although someone points to the moon to show us the truth of its luminosity, the finger pointing is not the moon itself.

The Face of Truth awakens us.
       The Eye of Truth feeds us.  
              The Heart of Truth builds us. 

As practitioners of yoga and mindfulness we rely on teachers to point us in the right direction to develop our potential. When we judge our performance in the studio, our self-critical evaluations get in the way of progress. If we set the judgment aside, stay in the moment regardless of posture, and don't compare with someone next to us, we begin to gain clarity in mind, body, and spirit. 

The body flows, yet the mind needs convincing,
to remain present and discover more about one's self.

We practice so that a greater awareness of self and existence can happen. The practice helps us connect more directly to our personal truth (the finger pointing) in any given moment and once we connect to that truth we begin to act in the spirit of our true nature (the moon).  

Words, teachers, and wisdom can only point. When we point and discuss the different pointers, we miss the experience.  

Discover what's true for you on the yoga mat, when practicing mindfulness, or while sitting on the meditation cushion. Consider what's true for you also when walking your life's path. 

Find truths in the moment. Are you peaceful? Are you present? Ask this question as many times as it takes. Feel brave enough to live it. Feel open enough to share it. 

At times the challenge to see the truth and to commit to living it can feel uncomfortable. The more we search within ourselves, the easier the discovery that living with absolute truth provides freedom and a less stressful life.  

Once we conquer our judgments, we can sharing our wisdom in the outside world.  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Creativity, Failure and the X Company

X is a moonshot factory at Alphabet, a parent company of Google.The people who work there develop wild answers to crucial problems. The group claims they arose like a think-tank panel combined with the instincts of an improv troupe.

Leader of X, Astro Teller, likes to relate a tale about a firm that has to get a monkey to stand on top of a 10-foot pedestal and recite passages from Shakespeare.

"Where would you begin?" he asks.

To show off early progress to bosses and investors, many people would start by building the pedestal.

"That's the worst possible choice," Teller says. "You can always build the pedestal. All of the risk and learning comes from the task of training the monkey."

Teller promotes the idea of ways to, "Do the hardest thing first."  Most people want to get the easy done and receive rewards. "Fail fast. Fail often," becomes the X motto. Each X idea must adhere to a three-part formula. First it must address the problem. Then propose a radical solution. Finally, it must employ a feasible technology. Any idea can be a moonshot.

At  Company X, they encourage and require investigation into the absurd. X has looked into space elevators and tried to design projects that involve hover boards with magnetic levitation. They work to make affordable fuel from sea water. X has succeeded in building self-driving cars, drones that deliver packages, and contact lenses that measure glucose levels in a diabetic person's tears.

Teller develops a unique emotional climate where people feel excited to risk despite the failure rate. They fail their way to success.

The company thrives on failure bonuses. Not a bad incentive, Teller explains. He has seen too many projects hang around for years in  no man's land, taking up time, staff, and resources.

It costs less to reward employees who can say, "We tried our best, and this did not work out."  X employees gather to hear testimonials, not only about failed experiments but also about failed relationships and personal tragedies. They find it a successful and emotional event.

Employees learn to love failing their way to success.