Nov 30 2012

Fun Ways to Increase Your Mind Power

You have likely heard the saying “use it or lose it.” When it comes to your mind power, this phrase is definitely true. The longer you go without exercising your mind, the more likely you are to lose some of that power. However, some people just don’t want to sit around doing word puzzles and other common ways of exercising their minds. Instead, you can use these fun ways to increase the power of your mind and keep yourself thinking sharply.

Work the Senses

Most people take the use of their senses for granted. You most likely rely heavily on your senses of hearing and sight to get through life. This can leave the other areas of your mind neglected. To help strengthen those areas of your brain, try shutting out one or two of your other senses and complete a normal activity. For instance, you can blindfold yourself and have someone present you with objects for you to touch and smell to figure out what they are.

Create Inventions with Normal Objects

Creativity is food for the brain. You can improve your mind power and keep your mind sharp by thinking about two ordinary, unrelated items in your life and think of a crazy new invention you can make with them. It doesn’t matter if the invention doesn’t really make sense or isn’t something people would actually use. The goal is to think of new uses for things to make your mind think.

Blind Taste Testing

Similar to exercising your senses, you can conduct a blind taste test to make your mind really think. For instance, you can choose a selection of wines in a variety of qualities. Without revealing which one is which, you can use it as a party game to sharpen the minds of all your guests, challenging them to choose the highest quality wine from the group. You can also ask them to describe each wine, making their minds work harder.

Making sure you use your mind power will ensure your thinking skills remain sharper as you get older. However, this doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to games you find boring. You can make use of fun games and activities to help you sharpen your skills and keep your mind working harder. It will also help keep all your senses sharper so your body doesn’t learn to rely too heavily on one or two senses.

Aug 4 2011

Controlling Your Destiny Through Mind Power

One of the primary problems we face as people who live in a highly technological, consumer society is that we tend towards automation. We fall into daily rituals that become weekly cycles that gradually turn into annual sequences, and as we submit to the routine, our mind power switches into the “off” position. We become less aware of who we are, shut down and stop seeking both purpose and meaning, and go through the motions of existence, no longer in control of our own individual destinies. Ironically, the impulse to merely exist, like a robot or zombie, is motivated by the desire to be in control, but it isn’t until we relinquish control and become mindful that we are able to truly have the mind power to shape the way our lives are going.

What is does it mean to be mindful? Being mindful has to do with cutting through all the static, all the idle or negative thoughts that constantly assault our inner life as we go through the motions and begin to become aware not only of the world around us from moment to moment, but who we are as individual persons within it. It isn’t merely employing the tactics of mind control in order to think more clearly in a rationalistic way or coming up with a perfect theory or working philosophy of life. That kind of mind control (as opposed to mind power) loses itself in abstraction, and is distant from the reality of our daily lives. Being truly mindful pushes past abstract ideas, but once it is reached through effort and training, imbues us with power.

What kind of techniques can help us to train our minds? Training your mind is just like training for the Olympics, or training to play the piano.  There are a variety of methods to work towards developing mind power through mindfulness. The most traditional and popular are certain types of meditation practices, clearing the mind, breathing in a slow and measured way, and gradually becoming more aware not only of your own physicality, but of the real nature of everything that is around you, and treating all things with respect. Opening up your mind to the world around you and to your real personhood is a life-transforming practice that offers many health benefits, including physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. It can also imbue you with the power to shape your path through life.

Jul 13 2011

The Mind Body Connection

Since the time of the philosopher Descartes, Western culture has suffered an unfortunate separation in its understanding of how the body relates to the mind. The two are seen as being at odds with each other. In some of the worse scenarios, mind itself is what is of value, or is representative of the true self, and the body is denigrated into the vessel through which your mind operates. Mind and body thus divided results in the idea that what one does with one’s body is of no significant consequence or value. The body, and therefore nature itself, is therefore open to exploitation and possible misuse.

An assumption that is made often in the West is that the mind somehow subsides in or animates the body. Mind is viewed as the core force, that aspect of the human person that really matters. Your number one enemy according to this idea is your body, which seems to contain its own set of desires that work contrary to the purer intents and purposes of your mind. Severe asceticism and the denial of help to those who suffer bodily is one of the end results at the rational far end of this philosophical dichotomy. If someone’s body doesn’t really matter, is it really evil if he starves?

In order to stave off bad attitudes and practices, there are those through history who have proposed that the mind is not all that matters, being carried about by an otherwise corrupt and worthless body, but mind and body both matter and are of value. How? At this point, all logic becomes as choppy as the rapids on a dangerous river. A few have offered that the two aspects are indeed separate, but that body and mind somehow interpenetrate each other. How this is so is a bit harder to explain, however. Your mind may be literally in your heart, but if your heart fails and is replaced with a new heart, has thing somehow changed the reality of your mind and who you are? Some would say yes, but most scientists would say hogwash.

The rationalistic approach assumes that the mind and the experience of consciousness is just a fluke of evolution, a subjective interpretation of natural chemical processes in the body. Mind in this view isn’t elevated above the body, but both mind and body are brought down to the same level – the former viewed as the biological manifestation of experiences that are conducted in the processes of the latter. If both mind and body are viewed as being basically the same thing – physical organs working together in the comprised living organism of the human animal – then both lose value beyond immediate experience and usefulness.

Another ancient view from the east proposes that both mind and body compose the reality that is the human soul. The notion that mind and body both exist in a paradoxical and mysterious unity was once the accepted assumption in many parts of the world. Both your mind and your body have significant value because both comprise the unity of the self.

Jun 29 2011

Superman Vs. Batman in the Theater of the Mind

It’s the perennial question: Superman or Batman? Who’s better? More importantly, which one is most like you? We’re not just talking about comics here, but about the theater of the mind, the interaction between mind and body, and the synthesis of all that comprises your mind, the engine that runs your consciousness and fuels your psychic energy, your ambition to live by the truth, be authentic, and grow in mindfulness.

Do you run on an endless supply of natural power, a genius of immense proportion to whom all things come easily? Do you always get what you want without even trying? Are you, like Leonardo, apparently seamless in your ability to bring the figure out from the stone as though it costs you nothing? Or, rather, are you like Durer, slaving away to produce praying hands, symbols of your hope that you will be granted the grace to subsidize your hard work and effort? Are you all-powerful like Superman, or hard-working and sweating hard like Batman?
Another question you might ask when you consider the powers of your mind and your goals, is how aware you are of the unity between your mind and body, and other factors that contribute to true and authentic, mindful personhood, is the difference between nature and technology. Are you, like Superman, naturally endowed with supernatural insight? Or have you gained wisdom through rough experience, and adjusted your sights accordingly? Do brilliant thoughts come to you as if from heaven? Do great problem-solving ideas rain down into your brain in plentitude? Are you the guy with all the answers? Or, do you have to think hard, consider, rethink, test, practice, read, study, and then think again? Do things come to you easily, or despite the rich resources you have in your possession, do you have to work like a dog to get anywhere?

Do you just seem to know everything? Do people turn to you as the perennial answer man, or the Martha Stewart of metaphysical mind conundrums? Are you never or rarely wrong? Or, do you admit to not knowing the answers all the time, but are committed to finding them out, mind and body poised, teeth gritting as you doggedly pursue the beast, whatever answer or experience that may be?

Is your public persona the real you, like Superman, but perfect and untouchable? Or does your public persona wear a mask, and sometimes bleed? Can only kryptonite hurt you, or stain your mind? Is there only one enemy, some external force that can bring you down? Or, are you only all too aware of your own human weakness, both in mind and body, so that you shield your mind with psychic armor, employ all your resources to protect yourself as you venture like a courageous, frail soldier into the dark dredges of awareness?
If you are Superman, you have the gift of the gods, and truly are an alien visitor, or on an intense ego trip! If, like the rest of us, you are Batman, claim your own power as a vigilante ambassador for truth and justice in the theater of the cosmic, collective mind. We need more people like you.