August 15, 2005
This past weekend I went to church for the first time in many years (not counting weddings, baptisms, and funerals). One of my best friends invited me, and I said yes. I was curious for two reasons. First, this friend is a person I respect, and he had only good things to say about his church. Second, recently I’ve come to recognize the power of faith–not specifically religious faith, but faith in general.
Church was much as I’d remembered. I participated in singing the hymns and receiving Communion, but I was not especially moved by the experience. However, I did notice that I was feeling some resistance at times. Later that day I realized what it is about religion (or to be fair, the way that many people practice religion) that bothers me: The way that the believers tend to judge those who believe differently as being wrong.
And for the first time I saw where this tendency comes from. It comes from the idea of Truth.
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August 2, 2005
For those who are interested in meditation, but don’t know where to start or just haven’t found a method that works for you, I recommend Getting in the Gap by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. The first few chapters discuss the benefits of meditation, but very quickly, he gets to the really good stuff—how to do it.
What Dr. Dyer refers to as “getting in the gap” is his technique for practicing Japa meditation, a centuries-old type of meditation that originated in India. The essence of this technique is to focus your attention on each word in a 10-word sentence, one word at a time. Beginning with the second word, you fall back into the empty space between it and the preceding word, repeating the sound of “ah” while you are in the gap. As you proceed through the sentence, you repeat this process of falling back into each gap.
And the book Getting in the Gap comes with a CD in which Dr. Dyer guides the listener through his Japa meditation technique. There is a 10-minute version for people with a busy schedule, and a 20-minute version for people who want to spend more time “in the gap.”
Although the technique itself is not religious, the choice of the sentence he uses is: “Our father who art in heaven hallowed by thy name.” This may turn off some people who could benefit from learning Japa meditation. If you haven’t found a meditation technique that works for you, I urge you to try this one whatever your feelings are about religion. In the words of Mother Meera (as quoted by Dr. Dyer), “All religions are rivers leading to the sea. Why not go to the sea directly?” Meditation can lead you to the sea directly.
August 1, 2005
These are six of the most effective techniques I’ve used to help myself and my clients find creative solutions to some of our most persistent challenges:
Walking has been a part of my daily routine for a few years now. Although a brisk walk is good exercise, I use it primarily to clear my head after a long day of work, to spark new ideas, and to overcome a variety of personal and professional challenges. Physical forward motion like walking or running (or even driving) creates a corresponding mental forward motion. It compels proactive thinking. I find it almost impossible not to make progress on a problem when I go for a walk.
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