How To Think Effectively

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Can Mindfulness Reduce Implicit Bias?

Can meditation reduce implicit bias?

Studies have found that after meditating, people are less likely to have automatic negative associations — or stereotypes — based on race, age, and social status.

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The Miracle Of Mindfulness - Thich Nhat Hanh

Free PDF download of this classic book on mindfulness by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

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How To Think More Effectively In A Post Covid-19 Environment

As the world slowly emerges from post Covid-19 lockdown and starts to come to terms with the societal, economic and financial consequences, I want to re-introduce you to a useful and updated resource: https://www.zen-tools.net

The theme of this site is how to think effectively, and this also means learning how to stop thinking. The purpose of this site is to show you how to cope in tough times, and to provide you with the tools to do this successfully.

Everything I share on this site is all based on real-life practical experience from my own personal journey.

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You’ve Been Thinking All Wrong—Here’s How to Think Better

Thinking is not IQ. When people talk about thinking they make the mistake of thinking that people with high IQs think better. That’s not what I’m talking about. I hate to break it to you but unless you’re trying to get into Mensa, IQ tests don’t matter as much as we think they do.

Life-long learning and training yourself to think more effectively is way more important than IQ. Here are some proven tips:

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I Took The Red Pill

"This is your last chance," rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, holding a coloured pill in each hand. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

This is my story of what happened to me when I took the red pill.

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Body n Mind - Emotions Are Your Body's Reaction To Your Mind

There is a very powerful connection between "body n mind". Our minds are the repositories of all of our pre-programmed reactions and response patterns. Our bodies are the vehicles through which our emotional reactions arise and are expressed. Emotion is your body's reaction to your mind.

Here's how to manage your "body n mind" responses:

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VIDEO - How to Unlock Your Heart

Our hearts tend to get “locked” when we experience an overwhelming loss or hurt. In this locked state, we don’t let ourselves receive all the love that the world wants to give us, or allow all the love inside us to flow out into the world.

But love wants to flow, nonetheless. Sometimes life knocks so hard on the door that it becomes impossible to resist. Sometimes the love in us feels like it is bursting to be shared.

How then to unlock our hearts? This is the question I posed my inner storyteller recently. In this live stream I’ll be sharing the story that came to me.

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Don’t Let Labels Limit You

How many different assessments have you taken that classified you as having a certain personality type, strengths, and so on?

What labels do you often apply to yourself that might be limiting you? Why not deliberately violate one of those labels and see what happens? You could have some really interesting growth experiences just by taking a label and exploring its opposite for a while.

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How to Practice Zen Koans

John Tarrant demystifies Zen koan practice. Yes, it’s paradoxical, poetic, and totally personal. And so is life.

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Powers Of The Mind - Finding Their True Source

The world of "self help" often makes reference to the powers of the mind, and what that normally means is the power of the sub-conscious mind.

It is of course perfectly correct that the subconscious is powerful, but only as an operating system. But, just like Windows our subconscious operating system has flaws and causes failures and "system crashes".

Here's how to access the true source of the powers of the mind.

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Love Everyone: A Guide for Spiritual Activists

Real political change must be spiritual. Real spiritual practice has to be political. Buddhist teachers Sharon Salzberg and Rev. angel Kyodo williams on how we can bring the two worlds together to build a more just and compassionate society.

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How Can I Change My Mind And Change The Way I Think?

So how can I change my mind? A good start point is with mindfulness practise. With increased practise you will become more aware of what is going on inside of you most of the time.

You will soon discover that you are almost continuously in varying degrees of resistance to something and wanting things to be different to how they are.

Here's how to deal with that:

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5 Questions That Help Us Wake Up

Trying to push away our emotional distress can throw us into “cognitive shock” that turns our mind into a muddle. Ezra Bayda shares five simple questions to help us cut though confusion.

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Tools Of The Mind For Coping With Tough Times

I want to introduce you to several powerful tools of the mind. On this site we're not delving into the world of therapy or theory, our focus is practical and pragmatic.

We are sharing and exploring tools of the mind, tools that work on the mind that can help you deal with tough times.

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The Power Of Positive Thinking Is Knowing HOW To Think

Ever since the publication of "The Power Of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale, the practise of positive thinking is one of the first things that many people think of when it comes to most questions related to how to change your life.

So what are the basics of the power of positive thinking? Here is my list of some of the fundamentals that underpin the power of positive thinking and that form the basis of what is involved in consciously selecting what you choose to focus on:

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Only Genuine Compassion Will Do

It’s not sufficient, says the Dalai Lama, to simply think that compassion is important. We must transform our thoughts and behavior on a daily basis to cultivate compassion without attachment.

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus

How does a three-year-old make sense of viruses, social distancing, and talking pandas? Ira Sukrungruang on caring for his son while sheltering in place.

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Self Motivation Tips - How To Motivate Yourself In Tough Times

Ok I want to be very clear that the self motivation we are going to be talking about in this article is NOT about all the usual self motivation material.

Our focus here is going to be on the heavy duty / big picture level motivation that you need to get you through tough times often involving imposed change that have large and perhaps dramatic impacts on your life.

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Your Relationship With Failure

Your relationship with failure is critical to your success.

Some years ago I was being mentored by a man who had achieved considerable business and financial success in the oil business - he had closed 9 major fuel contracts and made millions.

I recall once having a conversation one day when I asked him what he thought was the key to his success. He told me something that has stayed with me through every failure I have experienced since then...

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Self Improvement And Motivation - "How To Change Your Life?"

There is an "elephant in the room"!

The internet is awash with "self-help" materials - articles, books and courses on "how to motivate yourself". Endless advice, tips, tricks and lists of "self motivation tips".

However in my view, and based on my own direct lived and observed experience, much of this completely misses the point.

If you can identify and deal with whatever it is that's stopping you then you will never again need help and tips on self motivation.

Here's the hard core way to change the way you think to achieve self improvement and motivation:

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The Buddhist Pureland and Living Under Curfew

With his city under curfew following protests for George Floyd, Sensei Alex Kakuyo takes a walk and is stopped by police.

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The Murder of George Floyd Must Be a Wake-Up Call for White Buddhists

In this commentary from Ray Buckner, he urges white Buddhists to see the call for the end of white supremacy as a Buddhist call to “make this life livable for all sentient beings.”

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Managing Personal Change

Managing personal change is inherently tricky. We usually make the flawed assumption that it is skills based, in other words that we can read about it, go to seminars, watch videos and be taught to change.

Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change.

Here's why and what you can do about it:

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Thich Nhat Hanh - Free PDF Book Downloads

Thich Nhat Hanh is the living embodiment of mindfulness. He is one of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, prolific author, poet, and peace and human rights activist.

He is totally inclusive in his outlook and his teachings and practises transcend religious traditions.

His mindfulness teachings and practices have very wide appeal to people from various religious, spiritual, and political backgrounds and are widely used in business and corporate life.

You can download PDF free versions of several of his key books here:

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"Re-Awaken" - A Free Online Event June 24-28, 2020

Cultivate mindfulness, loving-kindness, and positive change for yourself and our world with wise guidance from 15 renowned spiritual teachers and activists.

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Your Point Of Focus - Its Either Helping You Or Hindering You

We live in an energetic universe and it's not neutral, it is also a participative universe.

Every single thought that you have, and especially the underlying energetic state associated with that thought, is influencing your life. Your point of focus is either helping you or hindering you.

Here are 6 tips to help you focus on what you do want:

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Lost For Words - Actions Speaks Louder And Presence Speaks Deepest

We spend so much time devouring words and images like hungry beasts and spewing out our own torrents of words and images in our blogs, (on websites such as this !) and on social media, that we confuse our thoughts and our emotional associations with the experience of these things.

Our educated obsession with words ensures we confuse being informed about with having experience of

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Beyond Belief - How To Be Free From Views And Words

Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas.

It is true that every dogma crumbles sooner or later, because reality will eventually disclose its falseness; however, unless the basic delusion of it is seen for what it is, it will be replaced by others.

Here's how to move beyond belief:

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How To Stay Connected To Your True Source Of Power

We are energetic beings living in an energetic and participatory universe.

The ego's desire to be in control and to usurp the role of our spiritual selfdisconnects us from our true source of power.

Here is how to create reminders as multiple points of contact throughout the day to help us stay connected.

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Social Contagion - You Become The Company You Keep

During the Covid-19 lockdown we have all gone to great lengths to avoid this highly contagious virus and have experienced varying levels of state enforced social distancing.

With the phased lifting of the lockdown, and the resumption of social contact we are now increasingly exposed to another threat, another form of contagion...social contagion, and here's how to deal with it.

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The Attrition Factor - Hanging In There For The Long Haul

In the first part of this two part series, "Lost In Transition - How To Cope With Hard Times", we established that:

* Change is an external event or situation that happens to you, and often that is imposed upon you.

* Transition is the internal process that you have to go through as you make your readjustment and realignment to the new realities.

In this article I want to take a closer look at what happens in the neutral zone of the transition and how we can successfully emerge from it into the new beginning.

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Lost In Transition - How To Cope With Hard Times

At the time of writing, with the world slowly emerging from Covid-19 lockdown, and with our economies strangled, business failures rising, unemployment rising and our national governments flailing around like drowning men clutching at straws I think it is fair to say that many of us are currently experiencing hard times as a direct result of imposed change.

The purpose of this article:

(1) To set out a framework for how you can deal with these hard times.

(2) To offer a range of practical and proven resources to empower you to cope with these hard times.

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If You Want To Be Given Everything Give Everything Up

So what does all this stuff about dropping the ego really mean?

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How To Create "Stones Of Help" To Renew Your Mind

The importance of creating "Stones Of Help" as a constant reminder to stay connected to your true source of power.

Here is why it matters and how to do it:

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Living With Your Thoughts

Continuing on the theme of how we deal with our negative thoughts, here are further insights and a range of practical tools and resources that work with all levels of your mind:

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You Are Not Your Thoughts

We all experience them, so how do we deal with our negative thoughts: thoughts of anger, accusation and despair?

Here are some insights and practical suggestions:

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Identify Your Core Desire - The Source of All Success

"If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of your life?"

Here are the 3 key steps to identify and unleash your core desire and lead a truly meaningful life:

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Dropping The “How?”

Letting go and dropping the “How?” is hard for the ego because letting go is an act of surrender – of giving up control.

Also it is a matter of temperament. Those of who see ourselves as the leader and in charge can find it particularly difficult. Often we can only really let go when we reach a stage of desperation.

Alternatively, we can use the following less dramatic and less stressful two-step approach:

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“Lucky” People Have Higher Expectations

We invariably rise to the limits of our own expectations in life.

Why, despite our best endeavours, do we resist and procrastinate?

4 science backed, proven tips on how to raise your expectations and generate your own good fortune:

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The Guaranteed Secret Of How To Be Successful In Life

Approximately 25 years ago I found myself caught up in a set of circumstances over which I had no control, an economic recession which cost me my business, took all my money and plunged me deeply into debt.

I also had been involved in personal development for many years and had benefited from many of the insights and practices that I had learned. From all of this material I created a template on 1 sheet of A4 that captured all of the key practices that are required to guarantee a successful life.

My focus was on business success, but I believe these principles apply to any definition of success.

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3 Ways to Work with Your Financial Fears

COVID-19 is more than a global health risk. It’s shaken the world’s economy and has many of us worrying about our financial future.

Investment advisor and meditator Spencer Sherman shares ways to work with your financial fears, and even use them as an opportunity for personal growth.

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Happiness Is A State Of Mind - Choose Joy

"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."(Henri Nouwen)

Here are some suggestions as to how to keep making that choice:

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VIDEO: Buddhist teachers offer coronavirus-age advice in new Dharma Relief video

A video from Dharma Relief features Buddhist teachers offering advice and leading us in practices to help us in the face of Covid-19.

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The Power Of Framing - Change Your Language To Change How You Feel

How we mentally characterize a situation has a profound impact on how we respond to it emotionally.

Changing our dominant emotional or energetic state has a profound effect on the positive creations and results that we experience.

The words we use are the "Shortcut Keys" to our energetic states - so how we frame our experiences matters...

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Taking Advantage Of Coronavirus Lockdown - Reflections & Experiences

During these difficult times, and whilst in lockdown, I have decided to try and do something productive with my free time and I am attempting to write one piece, based on personal experience, each working day and share it here.

Subjects covered are consistent with the themes of this site:

- How to change your life.
- Learn how to think and how to not think.
- How to relieve stress and anxiety and help you regain your balance.
- How to achieve your goals and manifest your intentions.

The articles are sequenced new to old. Many of the subjects are interlinked and the articles are extensively cross referenced. Please do comment and add thoughts of your own. This is a wonderful time for sharing.

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WEEKEND READING: Buddhist Teachings, Wisdom, and Practices for the Coronavirus Era

The coronavirus crisis changed our world in just a matter of weeks, thrusting us into danger, uncertainty, fear, and of course social isolation. Adjusting to all this is a challenge for us all. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of Buddhist wisdom to help us.

Here you’ll find a collection of deeply helpful teachings, practices, and advice for these uncertain times. May they soothe your anxieties and help you cultivate compassion for yourself and others along the way.

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Dance Into The Light - How To Stop Chasing Your Tail

I can say from personal experience that the mindful approach to life is an effective way of becoming aware of our habitual thought patterns and emotional states and weakening their hold on us to the point that we no longer self identify with these thoughts and states.

A mindfulness based approach will, over time, enable us to break this cycle of chasing our tails.

However, I have found that it is possible to accelerate, or supercharge, this process via a direct spiritual approach to our higher self - the spiritual part of our psyche. In my experience this cuts straight through to the energetic aspect of the problem.

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What Are the Five Recollections?

Frank and pithy, these five reminders about the reality of impermanence and karma are attributed to the Buddha himself, as taught in the Upajjhatthana Sutta.

Though they start with what is plainly “bad news,” contemplating the Five Recollections helps us accept life’s difficulties, motivating us to practice and be kind to ourselves and others.

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The Truth About Action - “Doing Without Doing”

We are brought up to believe that we get what we want in life as a result of what we do, by the actions that we take. However ...

This belief causes us to create in reverse.

The underlying reason for this is we do not understand the power of our energy. As a result of this we so often end up "chasing our tails" to make up for the impacts of our unintentional negative energy.

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