The strange way I rediscovered how to meditate

Some of you might wonder what qualifies me to talk about meditation. I’m a certified hypnotist, sure, but that only covers part of this blog. What about the rest?

I learned to meditate from the school of life.

Then from a hypnosis school.

Then…

Well. Let’s start with that. Continue reading “The strange way I rediscovered how to meditate”

A Short Parable About Wisdom

There’s a parable about a mysticism expo. On a dusty alley, just off the expo’s centre, were three booths.

“Come,” said the psychic in the first booth, “see into your past. I will read your soul and tell you its many earlier lives.” People queued and paid good money to be cold read and told what they wanted to hear.

“Come,” said the fortune-teller in the third booth, “witness your future. I will pierce the veil of time and gaze upon your destiny.” People queued and paid good money to be cold read and told what they wanted to hear.

“Come,” said the monk in the middle booth, “experience the present. I will teach you how to quiet your mind and focus.” People gathered and made voluntary donations to learn to strengthen their minds and bodies.

One month passed. A customer of the psychic was pleased to know their soul once lived as Cleopatra. They set their phone wallpaper to an Egyptian theme. A customer of the fortune-teller waited for their promised love to land into their lap. A student of the monk focused on their breathing, amazed by how much stronger their attention felt. They recognised this amazement as a distraction, let it fade and went back to the exercise.

The moral?

If I told you what the moral is, then I wouldn’t be living it. But I will say this: if you think you know what it is, you’re probably right… and you’ve probably overlooked something.

There are chances to grow in this world and there are traps. It’s hard to separate them. But if you are going to, a little extra wisdom helps.

And where does wisdom come from?

It comes from knowing yourself better than how authors know their books. The best way to do that is to open the cover, turn a page and let you surprise yourself.

Don’t stop until you stop surprising yourself.

That’s the destination.

You may start at any time.

Reconciling Australia Day and Invasion Day

Australia Day is complicated. It’s a day to celebrate everything from warm weather to freedom and prosperity. Or you see the chance to have a race riot on the beach. Then again, Invasion Day might mark the day when strangers displaced your people… and worse.

It’s a celebration mixed with shame. It’s multiculturalism and xenophobia. We celebrate democracy while our people drink and listen to ranked pop songs.

Yeah, it’s complicated.

But that’s only because Australia is populated by humans. A single human is riddled with contradictions. A nation of them? The contradictions scale accordingly.

Or so they seem. Continue reading “Reconciling Australia Day and Invasion Day”

The Hypnotic Secrets of ‘Like a Prayer’

The debate is as old as the song itself. This classic by Madonna is about religion. No, wait, it’s really about sex. Actually, it’s about a hypnotic induction.

Really…? Hypnosis?

Oh, yes. Listen to the verses – really listen to them – and you’ll hear someone describing a hypnotic trance.

Continue reading “The Hypnotic Secrets of ‘Like a Prayer’”

When you can’t rely on the government…

The government seems almost like a force of nature. Always fickle but always there. And then – suddenly – it’s not. Parts of the unstoppable machinery grind to a halt. The government lets you down.

These can be scary moments. When your livelihood depends on the government, it’s a shock to remember that you can’t rely on the land’s greatest authority. If you enjoy or need vital services, how can you feel safe when petty politics can wipe out your program or job?

It’s not good. The way that politics can consume all good intentions – it’s not good.

But there is one thing that is undeniably good. Continue reading “When you can’t rely on the government…”

Try or try not – there is no do

I defer to Yoda’s expertise when it comes to The Force. The little dude has centuries on me. But I have to disagree with him about ‘doing’ vs ‘trying’. Maybe meditation works differently for Jedi. Who knows. But his famous quotation is completely backwards:

Try or try not – there is no do.

Many people give meditation a go, then stop. It doesn’t seem to work for them. I get it. Other people talk about all these benefits – relaxation, focus, inner peace – that seem so out of reach.

Here’s the thing:

Meditation is WEIRD. You probably don’t understand it – even if you think you do. Continue reading “Try or try not – there is no do”

What a stoner taught me about feeling energetic

I like dancing when there’s a point to it. For example, I spent many years learning swing dancing. It’s great fun because there are moves, connection, and other great stuff. But the dancing you do in nightclubs – where everyone just sort of flails around – isn’t for me. It’s feels awkward and boring. Yet this awkward, boring dancing taught me something valuable about feeling more energetic.

This lesson came at a meditation workshop / concert / party. It priced out the dirty hippies, leaving only cool people who were eager to connect with something inside. The guy leading the chanting and instruments was super chill – liquid relaxation in a human-sized bottle. He drew everyone into this calm, focused and awesome state.

He could have left us there.

Oh, no. He had bigger plans. Continue reading “What a stoner taught me about feeling energetic”

I like my coffee how I like my meditation

I love coffee. Unlike many coffee drinkers, I like it enough to take it black, no sweetener.

(I confess to liking the occasional bit of spice – ginger and chilli, for example. But my default brew is straight from the plant).

Also, I drink it because I like it. I’m lucky enough to not rely on the caffeine hit. Coffee is a treat to be savoured, not a biological requirement.

It’s tasty and good for you. And, boy, do people love it. Continue reading “I like my coffee how I like my meditation”

Relaxation within 15 Seconds

Instant relaxation is not only possible; it’s the most natural thing. How fast can you move from relaxed to alert? If you see a car speeding towards you, it’s immediate. Moving from stress to calmness is almost as quick.

If it’s so natural, what stops us from doing it? How can we use this comforting influence?

The answer is over 2,000 years old. Continue reading “Relaxation within 15 Seconds”

The Hypnosis Brand

Hypnosis is polarising. Broadly speaking, there are three reactions when someone mentions hypnosis:

  1. It’s weird, evil mind control,
  2. It’s as useful as astrology – fake, mystical nonsense,
  3. It’s a fascinating piece of mental technology.

All are common. Only the last is accurate.

Imagine if antibiotics had the same reputation:

  1. “It’s all in the name: they are literally called ‘anti-life’. Of course it’s evil!”
  2. “Please. As if slime scraped from mould could cure anything.”
  3. “The rash was getting worse. Then a few pills made it go away.”

Oh, well. Continue reading “The Hypnosis Brand”