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February 08, 2020


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The ironic effects of conscious, intentional effort is a subject that’s somewhat baffling to me. This is a lot to digest. I can see why you’ve read this book several times!

Here is a link to a study on the same subject. It’s from the Wiley Online Library so you do have to pay to read it ($7 unless you have a subscription). But if you’re really interested in how it exacerbates depression, might be worth it.


‘Depression and the ironic effects of thought suppression: Therapeutic strategies for improving mental control’

Christopher G Beevers, Richard M Wenzlaff, Adele M Hayes, Walter D Scott
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 6 (2), 133-148, 1999

“Research indicates that depressed individuals are especially likely to engage in thought suppression in an attempt to achieve mental control over the thoughts that threaten their emotional well‐being. In this report, we examine the process and problems of thought suppression and offer several strategies designed to enhance mental control.”

It’s fairly simple in one since—it’s like you’re telling yourself not to think of a person and just the very act of telling yourself is literally your brain thinking that person. Or if you tell yourself not to eat that marshmallow, all you can think about is that marshmallow (I like the study “they” did on impulse control with kids and marshmallows).

Is the key perhaps replacing those thoughts with other thoughts?

I can’t sleep and I’m gonna feel really egotistical that my name dominates the recent comments section tomorrow morning but I’ll still comment on this anyway... 😁

Do you think this phenomenon is similar to how one reacts to something like a movie or book or restaurant based on what a friend tells them? If someone hypes up a movie it usually falls a little flat. But if they say it was terrible it almost always doesn’t seem that bad. Same with books and restaurants.

The only exception to this rule is the Avatar ride in Animal Kingdom at Disney World. All of our friends and colleagues said we had to do the Avatar ride if it was the only thing we did while we were at Disney. So we stood in line for two hours (TWO HOURS) with two kids and the ride was less than 10 minutes long. By the time we were about to board the ride we had all decided that there was absolutely no way in hell it could be worth that wait but we were trapped in the line.

Long story short, it was (in my mind) the closest thing you could get to experiencing astral travel or flying through some other worldly realm. It was insanely amazing and totally worth the 2 hour wait even though it lasted such a short period of time. That has been the only exception to the too-much-hype rule.

@ Is the key perhaps replacing those thoughts with other thoughts?

I think the the cure may be as nasty as the problem...
kinda like aversion therapy. (Pliny the Elder tried to
heal alcoholism by putting putrid spiders in alcohol
abusers' drinking glasses)

I think mindfulness is the safer approach. Observe and
let go. Thought itself is the unstoppable addiction.

The interaction with 1 person on this combative plattform changing to 2-3 and into multifight into moving in multilevel made one go beyond the physical, you just get into a flow where you stoop seeing individuals, you don't seek or look for incoming attacks like kicks or strikes, instead you seek emptiness, it's where emptiness are presented you are most safe - wu wei no mind to just be and respond spontaneously seeks emptiness is the perfect place to BE. This can be directly transformed into ordinary life interacting with life. This has to be experienced, not intellectualised - it is behind the thought machine, not a part of it, free from thoughts - it's an interesting and wounderfull phenomena. Entering the space between the ticking of a clock.

The physical body can be a stepingstone to experiencing wu we.


Posted by: Tore | February 09, 2020 at 07:29 AM

That makes perfect sense—all the dopamine rushing through the brain along with several other feel good neurotransmitters through the combination of intense focus and physical effort. In the zone. ‘Finding Flow’.

You’re so polite it’s almost creepy. 😂 😬

Very cool that you reached that level of experience. Physical training seems to have an almost transcendent affect on certain people.

@Dungeness (alternative to alcohol 👍)

I’m not a sports person so can’t relate to the martial arts side really. I loved figure skating but not competitively and now mostly just hiking and gym—but I’m very moderate. Never been competitive.

However, the closest I’ve ever felt to Wu Wei is when I’m painting (abstract) and listening to music at the same time. For some reason I have to be doing both—music and painting at the same time or it doesn’t work. Then hours and hours just pass by.

Perhaps not terribly productive unless I get lucky and create a masterpiece (highly unlikely) but it’s way better than drugs. Wu Wei sounds almost like an OBE. Or something close to it.


Elizabeth Watt writes:

We all have access to this state of being, more so as we age because it involves life experience, as British philosopher and writer Alan Watts states: “To know the principles, structures and trends of human natural affairs so well that one uses the last amount of energy in dealing with them.” Legendary photographer Edward Weston expresses it another way with regard to creative process:

“One does not think during creative work, any more than one thinks when driving a car. But one has a background: learning, unlearning, success, failure, dreaming, thinking, experiencing, all this—then the moment of creation, the focusing of all into the moment. So I can make ‘without thought’ ……but there is all the eyes have seen in my life to influence me.”


I like the fact that Elizabeth Watt points out we all have access to this stage even more so as we age because it involves experience.

Everything I do is spontaneous. Unfortunately, I’m incapable of sticking to any sort of schedule whatsoever. I’m like a spider on caffeine (hence the abstract artwork 😆). But this spontaneity that is so natural for me comes at a big price (like, it annoys the hell out of my husband who is extremely regimented) and I’m reminded every day. And when I decide to travel overseas, the idea just pops in my head and I book a ticket right then (not exaggerating at all). I usually wait till the next day to tell my husband and then he worries about it for a week and eventually accepts it, embraces it and usually ends up being the one making sure I have everything ready for the trip. We are two extremes. His flow comes from competitive sports and honking (score! We have one thing in common! lol). When people tell me they wish they could be more spontaneous I’m like, it’s really not all that... because it has the potential to annoy and/or upset those around you.

However, Wu Wei is very different from what I think I understand because it involves a certain level of training and experience. It’s like “controlled spontaneity” IMO. But I think it’s easier to achieve when you’re doing something you love. I love painting and music. You love Tai Chi and Martial Arts.

Do what you love. Caveat being, if you do what you love for work then it’s usually not quite as enjoyable as when you do it without any expectation of reward (like money or recognition, etc.).

Anyway, just my thoughts... not sure if you agree.

“hiking” not honking 🙄

I keep trying to proofread... Maybe I’ll just turn autocorrect off. It picks the worst words to change.

And, one more thing that’s really striking to me is you can do what you love for a living. But do what you really, really love for fun. Because a lot of the people I talk to, including myself (I talk to myself... jk) agree that what they really loved doing wasn’t quite as much fun when they became dependent on it to pay the bills.

But you may have different experiences with that... 🤷‍♀️

We don't control our thoughts. Thoughts generally control us. But it all arises from the same place. Thoughts we like and those we don't. Giving all of them to Master, gently, dispassionately, within is a great practice. Because they all have their own weight. And they evaporate. He is a centering activity. And when we are centered and move from that center, He is there and nothing can stop that action.

Yes, Mr. John Gent was also Ice-Scating and a coach. He drew many parallels between ice-scating and being present in the moment.

I think it's very interesting what you writhe about to love what you do, yes because it's easier to loos yourself, the individual ego and just be present in the now. And this to loose oneself is what it's all about. To experience something beyond ME has a price and it's ego death.

Love / TK

Posted by: Tore | February 10, 2020 at 05:41 AM

Not sure why, I absolutely loved ice skating. I don’t skate much anymore—the rinks are too crowded and they don’t clean the ice as often so it gets really chunky which is no fun.

But when I was younger I would go in the summertime with my friends who skate a little more competitively. Since it was summer we practically had the rink to ourselves. Those were the best days skating. Then it was like flying in ice. And the more experience you have, the more you can lose yourself in the moment.

I think that’s why people get so addicted to falling in love or being in love. It’s one thing that takes you out of yourself.

The next best thing is finding something you love doing. The feeling may not be as intense as being in love but comes with a lot less heartache. Most people don’t talk about loving God as being in love. It’s usually more of a moral/mental take on love. But I think it has to be a lot deeper than that in order to lose the ego.


Hi Tore
You asked
"Please explain : giving your thoughts to your teacher."

It is a method within Sant Mat meditation practice. Doing Simran, gazing upon Master, in the language of Simran we submit all our burdens, our hopes, our fears, our desires, our frustrations, to Him. It can be done stream of consciousness, as these things arise, it can be done organized, going down our own priority list. But all these, filled with emotion, happiness, or sadness and grief, give these all to Him, wrap them inside each word of Simran and hand them over with love to Master. And in a few moments the burden is lightened. In more moments, we gain peace. In further moments, ee understand our situation better, and the reasons for it. And then in gurney moments, the harmony behind it, and our next steps. And we gain insight into our daily challenges , and we hear the Shabd. Mostly, we are freed, in stages, one shakle at a time, from ourselves, and there is our lasting happiness in His company. Then His presence comes with its own power. Then He really is here within us.

It's a practice and a lifestyle.

But it is the power within you, so let nothing come between you and your practice.

>> Hi Tore
You asked
"Please explain : giving your thoughts to your teacher."

It is a method within Sant Mat meditation practice.<<

What you write, is nowhere to be found in the teachings … books, or tapes.
It is how YOU prefer to do the practice.
That is alright

What you describe has the suggestion that everybody or most people doing the practice, do experience and that too is not true.

Remember masters comparing simran with licking stones and the blood of the tongies after extended practice making it tasty.

Unfortunately these days the experiences plotted in gauss curves at the extreme ends have replaced the mean …. the happy few or the miserable few make their experiences seen as the middle road.

Hi Tore!
You write
"So, The mantra is to draw your attention to the third Eye and the samskaras in the total chitta is burnt ,trough longing and love for God/Guru and Linstening to The Inner Sound?

" Is this the RS consept?

Yes, as far as my own experience, these are the initial stages.

@ Tore and Spence

I reacted on the message of Spence.
Sorry I forgot to made that clear

Hi Um
If you read the old RSSB monthly publications by speakers you will find this. And so these themes, indeed experimenting with your meditation, is encouraged in Satsang. That's all within Sant Mat practice.

Hi Tore,

Just curious, which spiritual path do you follow?


>>If you read the old RSSB monthly publications by speakers you will find this. <<

That says it all.
You see Spence, those speakers are seekers, student, people on their way.

They are allowed to deliver the teachings as they are to be found in books and not their own interpretations thereof...as reminder.

And as I wrote before, what you wrote is nowhere to be found in the books or tapes.
It is a private opinion and not to be generalised as "THE" teachings of SanT Mat. … They are simple yours. ...and …. That is alright … it is up to you

Things are what they are,
seldom what they look like
let alone how they are presented.

So my problem is not with your vision, opinion or teaching but with presenting them as the same of SantMat

Hi Um
You write
"So my problem is not with your vision, opinion or teaching but with presenting them as the same of Sant Mat"

The practice of giving all our issues, happy, frustrating, sad, and all distractions, all to Master in meditation is in most all of the Sant Mat literature, including the RSSB approved publication mentioned earlier.

I'm surprised you would make a personal accusation about something so central to Sant Mat.

You don't have to go far to find it throughout Sant Mat writings.

"You should never think of anything as your own because everything belongs to Akal Purush Anami Radha Swami. The body, life, sons, daughters, wife, parents, wealth, house, property, all belong to Him. All this should be given back to Him. Do not keep your 'self' in anything. When you have rendered everything to God, then everything is His and you are also He. Render everything to Him. "
Jaimal Singh, Spiritual Letters.. Letter 5.

Do you think Jaimal Singh was wrong, or does not reflect the true Sant Mat teachings?

Um, can you site any Sant Mat literature to support your accusation?


What you wrote about Simran was no part of the instructions given at the time of Initiation, nor is there anything to be found in the literature or on the tapes that confirm your personal vision on this matter.

The news letters etc you refer too are visions of students, disciples etc. Like the books that are written on Sant Mat by others than the Teachers themselves.

Full lyrics to ‘Where is the Love’:

People killin' people dyin'
Children hurtin', I hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preachin'?
Would you turn the other cheek again?
Mama, mama, mama, tell us what the hell is goin' on
Can't we all just get along?
Father, father, father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me
(Where's the love)
Yo what's going on with the world, momma
(Where's the love)
Yo people living like they ain't got no mommas
(Where's the love)
I think they all distracted by the drama and
Attracted to the trauma, mamma
(Where's the love)
I think they don't understand the concept or
The meaning of karma
(Where's the love)
Overseas, yeah they trying to stop terrorism
(Where's the love)
Over here on the streets the police shoot
The people put the bullets in 'em
(Where's the love)
But if you only got love for your own race
(Where's the love)
Then you're gonna leave space for others to discriminate
(Where's the love)
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how hate works and operates
Man, we gotta set it straight
Take control of your mind and just meditate
And let your soul just gravitate
To the love, so the whole world celebrate it
People killin' people dyin'
Children hurtin', I hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preachin'?
Would you turn the other cheek again?
Mama, mama, mama, tell us what the hell is goin' on
Can't we all just get along?
Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questioning
(Where's the love)
It just ain't the same, always in change
(Where's the love)
New days are strange, is the world insane?
(Where's the love)
Nation droppin' bombs killing our little ones
(Where's the love)
Ongoing suffering as the youth die young
(Where's the love)
Where's the love when a child gets murdered
Or a cop gets knocked down
Black lives not now
Everybody matter to me
All races, y'all don't like what I'm sayin'? Haterade, tall cases
Everybody hate somebody
Guess we all racist
Black Eyed Peas do a song about love and y'all hate this
All these protests with different colored faces
We was all born with a heart
Why we gotta chase it?
And every time I look around
Every time I look up, every time I look down
No one's on a common ground
(Where's the love)
And if you never speak truth then you never know how love sounds
(Where's the love)
And if you never know love then you never know God, wow
(Where's the love)
Where's the love y'all? I don't, I don't know
Where's the truth y'all? I don't know
People killin' people dyin'
Children hurtin', I hear them cryin'
Could you practice what you preach?
Would you turn the other cheek?
Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questioning
(Where's the love)
(Where's the love)
Love is the key
(Where's the love)
Love is the answer
(Where's the love)
Love is the solution
(Where's the love)
(Where's the love)
They don't want us to love
(Where's the love)
Love is powerful
(Where's the love)
(Where's the love)
My mama asked me why I never vote never vote
'Cause police men want me dead and gone (Dead and gone)
That election looking like a joke (Such a joke)
And the weed man still sellin' dope
Somebody gotta give these niggas hope (Please hope)
All he ever wanted was a smoke (My gosh)
Said he can't breathe with his hands in the air
Layin' on the ground died from a choke
(Where's the love)
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders
As I'm gettin' older y'all people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' the wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinemas
What happened to the love and the values of humanity?
(Where's the love)
What happened to the love and the fairness and equality?
(Where's the love)
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
(Where's the love)
Lack of understanding leading us away from unity
(Where's the love)
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Allan Pineda / Giorgio Hesdey Tuinfort / Jaime Gomez / Jayceon Taylor / Justin Timberlake / Khaled Khaled / Rakim Mayers / Will Adams

Love arises naturally. We don't need to try. We just need up listen to our own heart. But in his world of conditioning and distraction, that may require some effort.

Hi, I am really enjoying reading your words. I am wondering if wu wei could be like a sort of universal homeostasis…encyclopedia Britannica says...
(Homeostasis, any self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival. If homeostasis is successful, life continues; if unsuccessful, disaster or death ensues. The stability attained is actually a dynamic equilibrium, in which continuous change occurs yet relatively uniform conditions prevail.)

its like the water calming down in a pool after a stone has been thrown in perhaps...or your body returning to a state where you don't even notice it after a stressful time.
just musing.....London UK

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