Life in today’s world often poses significant challenges. We live in an era where there is a constant demand on our time and on our attention resources. At work and in our personal lives, we have to cope with an overload of information that requires us to engage and respond. We are often left reacting to situations and often overwhelmed with stress and strain. Other times, we want to just get better at what we are interested in and what we have to do in or personal, professional or spiritual lives. How can we get better at meeting the challenges we face in our lives?
One way to improve our engagement with life in the modern world is to become aware of the power of mind. It is with our minds that we think, organize ourselves, make decisions, observe, interact with and otherwise organize our reality.
But what is mind? Conventional scientific thinking equates mind to the conscious processes occurring in the physical brain. Although the brain is almost certainly the most complex organ in the physical body, is the mind really the brain? Or is the brain an instrument of mind? As a counterpoint to science, spiritually oriented thinking considers the brain as a “switch box” for the real mind, which is actually a field around and interpenetrating the physical body. Evidence for the existence of this field comes from a number of sources, such as from individuals who experience near death experiences. There is evidence to show that in some near-death experiences, individuals have accurately perceived situations around them, even when their physical bodies were non-responsive to physical senses.
Psychologists may further subdivide mind into conscious, subconscious and unconscious components all of which play different roles.
Suffice to say, the notion of mind is complex. In this article, I will not settle on any specific notion or definition. Rather, I will focus on some of the ways we can become more conscious of ourselves by training certain aspects of mind. One aspect of mind can be considered the conscious aspect, which we commonly access during our waking hours. Another aspect of mind can be considered the subconscious aspect, which records processes beyond the conscious mind. The subconscious mind is also said to be impressed by images and subliminal information. A third aspect can be considered the unconscious mind, which psychologists have explored and claim holds memories that include archetypical information beyond a single personality. Then, at least for some, there is also a spiritual aspect of mind, which comes to the fore during peak experiences of deep bliss or transcendence. In my experience, these various aspects of mind are interconnected, even as experience can be centered within one or another aspect at any given moment.
This course on training aspects of your mind will introduce you to 10 short and convenient practices which can help you gain greater awareness and consciousness during normal waking hours.
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