Earlier I claimed that you can accidentally hypnotise someone, to the point where overhearing someone hypnotise someone else can hypnotise you. One of the reasons is that everything is hypnotic. Our brains enter trance states all of the time, so a normal conversation has good odds of hypnotising you.
A hypnotist, then, is someone who uses phrases and gestures that are more hypnotic. They combine them into an experience that’s more likely to hypnotise a subject. They then use the trance state for a specific purpose, whereas laypeople let trance states end. Read More
I’ve talked about my take on the old Buddhist idea of suffering (or ‘dissatisfaction’). I view it through the lens of impermanence – if our intrinsic rewards disappear through our fingers, we can never be satisfied with reality. The third characteristic of existence – emptiness – follows a similar idea.
Emptiness, also known as no-self or egolessness, is a strange idea for any sentient being to hold. I mean, it sure feels as though my mind continuously exists. There are no clear jumps or gaps. Sure, I don’t remember everything and my attention wanders. But that’s more like a camera with poor focus and no memory card. This idea is like the camera disappearing at times.
Does the mind persist, even when attention wanders? It could, except that anything “continuous” is an illusion. Read More
Understatement time: meditation is good for you. I keep browsing the literature, trying to find something that meditation doesn’t do. It’s not easy, given that you can combine meditation with other skills. If there’s something that uses your brain – and what doesn’t? – then meditation is useful. But not everyone finds meditation easy. So, if you’ve struggled with meditation before, then here are some tips to consider.
Learning to completely clear your mind takes time. It’s a skill like any other. It takes practice.
Even when you’re able to do it, the process of emptying your thoughts is just that: a process. You can’t flip a switch to shut down your inner dialogue. It’s like slowly turning down the volume on all objections, criticisms and distractions. In other words, it takes time.
For a long time, your mind will “only” feel a little clearer after meditating than before. It might be a subtle change, but even a small step in the right direction has value. Stick with it and you’ll notice this improve over time.
Then again, who says you need to clear your mind at all? If that’s difficult for you, then here’s a thought: keep thinking.
You can meditate by fixating all awareness on a single sensation or concept. So why not fixate on your inner dialogue? Step back and observe your thoughts. Don’t judge, assess or manipulate them. Don’t let them influence you. Simply observe.
If your thoughts are turbulent and noisy, give this a go. You’ll find it easier than silencing them, but it has the same benefits.
If you think there’s only one type of meditation, that’s like thinking there’s only one type of sport. And if you struggle with that one sport, it doesn’t mean you’re not athletic.
I’ve mentioned two types of meditation already. Did you know you can meditate while going for a walk? Have you tried loving-kindness meditation? Does it change anything when your focus is on your breath, your thoughts or your right pinkie finger? Can you bring a scene or symbol to mind and fixate on that?
Have you tried self-hypnosis?
Well, maybe not 40. Or maybe, yeah, try 40. Because if you are going to meditate 40 times in one day, that’s only possible if you, say, meditate every 15 minutes over ten hours.
Of course, if you were to do this, you could only meditate for 20 seconds at a time. Any more than that and you’re not living your life. So, keep each session short.
You can be pretty easy on yourself in this case. You didn’t clear your mind? Of course not – you only had 20 seconds! But you do feel calmer and more focused, don’t you?
This takes all the pressure off. You can’t focus on results when you have to make your quota. Just shut up, meditate and get back to it.
Who knows. You might learn a lot more about meditation than you realise.
When starting off, it helps to have someone remind you to focus. Don’t underestimate the value of guided meditations. There are plenty of providers out there. I have a few free tracks if you’re interested.
Meditation is easier than you think. If you’re struggling, you might have the wrong idea about what to do or what to expect. That’s okay. There’s a lot of noise around meditation, so you can lose sight of the fundamentals. Practice and experiment with it. If you think something works for you, ignore the gurus and do it.
And if you want some more guidance, I suppose there’s always that free meditation guide I wrote…
Last post, we explored a question: if A hypnotises B and C overhears, will C be hypnotised too? In answering that, we learned a lot about the underlying principles of hypnosis. But there’s another principle that we haven’t explored – one that also transforms the original question beyond recognition.
This new principle?
Everything is hypnotic. Nothing is without hypnosis. Read More
I get this question a lot. Recently someone asked me: if A hypnotises B and C overhears, will C be hypnotised too? The short answer is ‘yes’. The long answer grapples with what, really, hypnosis is.
But before I get into that, you can accidentally hypnotise someone. In fact, you’ve probably done it recently. Yes, even if you’ve never studied hypnosis.
Yes, even if you’re “too strong-willed to be hypnotised”. (Which doesn’t make sense – but that’s a topic for another post).
Yes, even if you think hypnosis is the stuff of fairies and unicorns.
If you live a normal life, you are hypnotising people – and being hypnotised – constantly. And most of it is unintentional.
How can that be?
It makes sense when you think about what hypnosis really is.
Subscribers to my email list receive a free meditation guide, normally valued at US$39.
But maybe you want more than that. Maybe you’ve struggled with meditation or you’re hungry for something new.
If so, you’d probably be interested in my free hypnotic guided meditations.
What’s the catch?
No catch – i’m just here to spread the love. If you felt generous, you can always donate what you think they’re worth. But there’s no obligation.
So here’s the best way to receive as many mind training gifts as you can handle:
First, subscribe to my emails using the link above.
Second, head on over to my hypnotic guided meditation library here.
Evolution punishes complacency. The organism that is content with enough doesn’t have enough for long. A little bit of greed drives you to find that little extra food. That impulse that says you’ll be happy after one more purchase? It keeps you stocked for the leaner months.
But I don’t believe that this dissatisfaction is a feature added to our brains by natural selection. I think it’s a fundamental part of our neurological makeup. A useful one from a survival perspective. But it’s intrinsic to who – and what – we are.
And, if I’m right, this teaches us how to be happier with what we have. Read More
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.
Well. Let’s start with that. Read More
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.
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.
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. Read More