"Big Mind" - A Process For Dealing With Our Selves
Former American Zen Master Dennis Merzel aka Genpo Roshi developed the "Big Mind" process which builds on the insights of traditional Zen practise and the Voice Dialogue therapy developed over many years by Drs Hal & Sidra Stone.
It doesn't take too much self awareness to recognise that we are quite complex and that the totality of what we conventionally refer to as "my self" is an amalgam of many different aspects of our "self" which are also know as "sub-personalities" or "selves".
"Until we understand the workings of our mind in unwanted moments, the only thing that can change for us is who or what will be blamed the next time we run into a similar event." [Guy Finley]
The Stones have developed Voice Dialogue over the past 40 years and one of the main insights of this approach is that not only are we made up of many "sub-personalities" but more critically we identify and acknowledge some of these and reject or deny others.
From a therapeutic context the Stones came to see that an over-identification with some selves and rejection of other selves creates imbalances within us which are often reflected in our resistance to certain situations and certain people and especially to change.
Having worked with the Stones over a number of years, Genpo Roshi came to realise that their process of accessing and giving voice to the selves (especially the denied or disowned selves) could be adapted to allow non Zen practitioners access to trancendent states and to do so more on less on demand.
Those who choose to follow the traditional Zen path will spend extensive periods of time in "zazen" - sitting meditation - to train their minds to stop thinking and quieten down.
They will also engage in the study and contemplation of "koans" or riddles [normally in the form of a sentence or short story] designed to challenge the practitioner.
Koans cannot be resolved via logic or "left brain" thought processes and their sole purpose is to drive the practitioner- in a sense quite literally - "out of their mind" and into a place of realisation of transcendent states of consciousness.
The following video clip features Genpo Roshi discussing this very point.
As noted and discussed in my article "Hardware reasons why we think the way we do", the neurological impact of traditional meditation techniques take a very long time as all of these practises involve literally a reprogramming of the brain to achieve a balanced brain state.
Here is a slightly longer clip of Genpo Roshi explaining the "Big Mind" process in more detail.
As with everything I am recommending to you on this site, I use Genpo Roshi's process regularly and find it very simple and very powerful and you can read about this in my article "Big Mind experiences"
I recommend that you purchase the book, read and apply this process. The book comes with a short CD that gives a live example of a radio journalist being taken through the process by Genpo Roshi.