Knowledge means nothing without Wisdom
I Do Love Being Manipulated? – Barry Sant 14/06/19
Insights on manipulation, put into two parts. Part 1 family and relationships and part 2 corporations and governments etc.
I thought this was an interesting topic which keeps springing up with fairly regular occurrence, so I thought it would be nice to have a conversation about it.
I do love being manipulated – we are constantly being manipulated directly, indirectly or influenced by everyone and it’s everywhere all the time.
Now before I start I’ll like to highlight that some manipulation can be positive but I would prefer to call this encouragement however, I suppose it is still a form of manipulation. Like a doctor manipulating us to live a healthier lifestyle, stop smoking or you’ll get ill etc. For this article I’m looking at this topic from a more negative perspective as this is what effects the quality of most people’s lives.
Part 1 – family and relationships
If we take a second to look close enough at our own actions you will notice we are constantly manipulating situations within our families, close associates and friends to meet our own objectives and needs. Hopefully the majority of these actions are done for the greater good in mind or at least with positive intentions.
However, some families manipulate love ones in such a negative manner that it can have a grave and detrimental effect on them, their children and the people that are closest to them and sometimes we are not even aware that we are doing it.
Family members who do this generally use the emotions of guilt and shame, as they are very powerful human emotions, this can have a dramatic and destructive influence on us which can stay with us through our entire life.
Love ones can be the greatest master manipulators of all as they know exactly what emotional strings to tug at, especially when its a relationship which is based on conditional love.
I will do this if you do that – where you find yourselves exchanging physical or emotional conditions, using guilt to get your own way. This is more like a business contract than a loving caring relationship.
Have you ever thought or said something on the lines of ‘I do all this for you and what do I ever get back in return’. Who can honestly say they have never said something along those lines within a loving or close relationship.
True love is totally unconditional. It doesn’t matter what they do, all you want is the best for them and for them to be as happy as humanly possible regardless of how you may personally feel. Even if that means the ultimate sacrifice within a relationship, leaving them for their greater good, it maybe the hardest thing anyone can do in a loving relationship but if you love someone truly and unconditionally then sometimes this needs to happen.
When we were young can you remember what love felt like, free, liberating, they made you feel you could conquer the world together. Then we got older and we started to look for what that other person can give us, pleasure, safety, financial security, confidence, happiness etc. and if we do not have these things in our lives we will blame our partners for not providing it for us, without even a glimpse of understanding that it actually may be us which is lacking. Have you ever heard people say he or she is really lovely and I really like them but I couldn’t be with them because…… of a specific circumstance they are in.
What if you felt that you had all of these things in abundance already. If you felt that you were absolutely amazing and loved the person that you have become. You wouldn’t need any emotional support or encouragement because you are already living a blissful life, you already have everything you emotionally need, self-worth in abundance.
Wow what would your relationship look like then. Probably free, liberating, trustworthy, enriching and the feeling of conquering the world together. That’s why spending time on your own personal and spiritual development is so important. When we can feel like this, when we can release all our inner demons which confine us to this limited self made prison within our own minds, how absolutely amazing this would be.
Once our minds are free, we will develop the ability to recognise when people are trying to manipulate us and we would be strong enough to deal with it appropriately, whether that’s through compassion or standing strong, with out fear of the consequences.
Its also worth mentioning that don’t get confused with someone willingly compromising and someone manipulating they are two very different sides of the same coin, as we all know we have to compromise in all our different relationships.
Freedom and love working together – freedom to let the other person be who they are and also freedom for you to be exactly who you are.
Part 2 – Corporations and Governments
Governments, corporations, public relations companies and media have spent a lot of money and research on manipulation of ones mindset, which can influence our thoughts and actions. We can see this clearly with magicians and entertainers, just watch the link below with Derren Brown who talks about this very thing.
We are all connected emotional beings whom crave safety, validation, acceptance, happiness and love. These emotions come from a sense of self, they are feelings, very powerful feelings which are created by our previous experiences, thoughts and knowledge and they know it.
They are constantly creating heighten emotional responses through our senses, if we feel it, it must be true, so they can persuade us depending on their own desired outcomes.
We see it everywhere, especially with the Brexit debate. Both sides are trying to manipulate us, using either FEAR of economy, jobs security, free movement of people through to terrorism. Manipulating certain statistics and bringing in so call experts that agreed with their own views. How can there possibly be two independent experts with totally different points of view on the same subject and of course the word ‘expert’ is a very powerful and manipulating one.
The bank of England have been wrong in nearly all their predictions in recent times and yet we are still taking their advice seriously. Why because we have been manipulated in thinking they are a so called trusted professional corporation who are experts in the area of finance, the name itself has a massive influence to all English people a sense of greatness and belonging.
Nothing can be totally objective, to observe something it has to be perceive by someone who will interpret the information as they see it from their own perspective. This is also one of the problems with science and why science is constantly changing, what was once proven to be true is no longer strictly true. This is easily explained by the natural evolution of knowledge itself, the more knowledge we acquire the more we will see the exact same thing but from another more progressive perspective, Newton and Einstein are examples of this.
Yet some of these fears are not the actual realities that we live in. Some are not even close to the actual reality, creating a picture of extreme horror so that even if they have any partial truths to them it will still seem horrendous.
They know that all they need to do is to constantly repeat these part truths through reputable media platforms and eventually people will start believing them as they are be bombarded from all angles. Now if you get someone famous or well known in a certain professional sector then this cements the part truths within our own minds. Taking terrorism as a prime illustration of this, we are statistically safer then we have ever been in history and yet terrorism propaganda is in the news every single day in some form, to heighten certain agendas.
All of this to persuade the public so they can manipulate the situation to enforce more control through laws and levy’s. Climate change is another obvious one. Has any of these so called green taxes/levy’s actually made any difference in climate change? The answer is certainly no, climate change and pollution is increasing at an enormous rates, but this fear is used to persuade public opinion so they can increase these so call green taxes and actually be thanked for doing so, even though it has no actual affect on climate change or pollution. Ultimately it’s about the money for the government, for their personal interests and their business associates.
Their greed along side capitalism and consumerism is ultimately the driving force behind climate change. We can send a rocket to Mars but can’t make a washing machine or other goods that last more than 3-5 years. Of course we can if we wish too, but if we built things that lasted like the good old days the corporations wouldn’t make as much money. This age of cheap disposable goods has been purposely designed specifically for commercial benefit and consumerism, with the corporations and governments getting richer and the planets resources getting poorer.
Eventually, if not actually quite soon, humans will be the ones who suffer if not already and yet its us humans who have brought it upon ourselves. A bit like stabbing ourselves in the eye with a ball point pen. I think most of us would recognise that this is not a sensible way to live, for ourselves and for future generations.
Now what if you could fight back, what if you could recognise all these manipulations, whether it’s from love ones, associates or governments for what they actual are. Having the ability to recognise emotions as they are arising within us and having the awareness to register where these thoughts that influences our emotions and life’s dissatisfactions come from.
Free-mind therapy and internal inquiry gained through releasing cognitive habitual mindsets, allows you to process your emotions and desires in a more balanced way. Free-mind enables you to understand where your thoughts are generated from and how they are controlling your emotional needs.
After a short period of time this awareness becomes embedded naturally into our psyche and you become more conscious of your thoughts and can recognise this manipulation almost instantly and giving you the ability to just witness the thought without giving it any emotional power, gaining what I like to call emotional intelligence.
Compassion Arising – Barry Sant 15/05/19
I believe you cannot directly train compassion, true compassion is something that is naturally within you, but this does not mean compassion cannot be increased.
The natural process of aging will gently increase the levels of compassion (although not guaranteed) as it generally works hand in hand with wisdom. However, through certain spiritual practices compassion can be accelerated even though we are not training it directly.
Trying to train compassion directly is an illusion even when it’s done with our best intentions. We only have what we have in this moment in time. When we talk about trying to increase our compassion by practice, we are consciously setting out a certain task to attain. If we intentionally decide to help a person across the road or put a few coins in a hat for a homeless individual, this is not a natural state, it is a forced state by our ego mind as we are trying to attain something for ourselves.
To recognise when true compassion is arising within us, is when we have an immediate and spontaneous reaction to give or help, without any gain for ourselves.
For true spiritual and compassionate growth we must relinquish the desire to obtain and accumulate things for ourselves, which are just all part of the ego mind. If we can have total surrender to these desires and let them go, then great things will arise and transformative growth will happen within us.
The thing is
ARE YOU READY FOR THAT?
Home practice – why do I find it so difficult? – Barry Sant 15/02/19
It’s all about the energy man…….
When you are among unsettled, crazy people the energy that they are projecting is easily picked up by your auric field, which then penetrates through into you being and psyche. This crazy, hyper unsettled energy can be a driving force for anxiety, anger and fear alike which if not brought to your awareness can manifest like wild fire.
However, when you surround yourself with people who are calm, stable and grounded this energy is also projected just as quickly within your being and psyche. This is why it’s always a good idea to practice within a sangha or group class where the majority of people are already at peace or at least have been working towards that for some time.
This goes some way in explaining why some of us find it so hard to practice at home. If by our own nature we are slightly internally unsettled it can be very difficult to settle down and practice. Even after only a few minutes your mind may be jumping around thinking of other things that we have convinced ourselves we should be doing that are ‘so called‘ more important. When this happens just be aware of your mind and take a few minutes to settle back down and reconnect to the earth, grounding ourselves before we try any of the Qigong sets or Tai Chi movements. By having the awareness and discipline to take a few extra minutes standing and reconnecting will have a dramatic positive effect on your home practice.
You can also be affected by the environment we live in. It is of no surprise to me that a lot of the great Daoist and Yogi Masters, who have earned their worth, have retreated into the mountains, this is also where you will find the location of some of the most famous Daoist Monasteries and even some ancient Christian churches.
There are a number of reasons for this. Isolation being an obviously one, but also the energy of the mountain which by it’s own true nature is unmovable and stable. This is the energy that will surround and penetrate the master, giving a more rapid development to practice the energetic stability of the mind and body. You only have to look at California which is at sea level. The energy here is constantly shifting and moving due to its own nature, this is where you can find some of the world’s craziest people. Fun and beautiful they may be but certainly not stable and balanced.
ARE YOUR THOUGHTS YOUR OWN? – Barry Sant 10/01/19
Have you ever asked yourself where your thoughts come from and are they actually your own? The majority of your thoughts have been through social conditioning, generated at first by your parents and family members, then influenced by friends, education, news, books and TV etc.
These are not actually your own thoughts but the thoughts and ideas of somebody or something else. Everything you have experienced is from these conditioned perceptions. You may argue that certain experiences have only happened to you, but your reaction to these experiences have also come from these learnt perceptions, it’s like our mental and emotional thoughts have been high jacked which can cause certain levels of suffering within us.
This has happened within different cultures and nations. Millions of people have been taught the same beliefs or ways of thinking, all having the same ideas like they were an army of robots. If an individual doesn’t comply with the majority they are rejected or cast away, therefore keeping everyone in order.
This is also partly about identity, if we only identify ourselves with a certain culture, nation, religion, belief this will only divide people and create separation from each other, which will eventually incite hatred and intolerance on a global scale. This can also happen on a much smaller scale within our own families and loved ones.
Not all of our conditioning is bad though, some of it is essential to survive, but if we can recognise what is not working for us, and indeed others, then it can be thrown away and discarded. This will create space for new energy, new thoughts that reflect actual reality and not perception.
Watch how this transforms your life into mental and emotional freedom.
HOW STRESS CAUSES DISEASE & LINKED TO ALZHEIMERS – Barry Sant 25/11/18
If you are experiencing acute stress, your body will react by releases stress hormones like cortisol, these hormones are there to protect us by preparing your body to fight or flight the stressful event.
Your heart rate will increase, your lungs take in much more oxygen increasing production of unwanted additional free radicals within the body which can be harmful causing pre-mature aging, cancers, cell destruction and changes in DNA, your blood flow increases and parts of your immune system become temporarily suppressed, which has an adverse effect regarding your inflammatory response to pathogens and other foreign invaders.
If your stress ever becomes long term and chronic, your immune system decreases in sensitive to cortisol, and while inflammation is somewhat regulated by this hormone, this minimises sensitivity which heightens the inflammatory response and allows inflammation to get totally out of control.
This is how stress predisposes you to getting ill in the first place, and in the event you do get sick, emotional stressors can make your symptoms worse, especially if the stress is severe or continual.
Canadian scientist reviewed studies that have already been published and found brain areas affected by chronic anxiety, fear and stress were linked to Alzheimer’s. This may explain the development of neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and Alzheimer’s
In the study they found that 72 percent of Alzheimer’s patients had experienced severe emotional stress during the two years preceding their diagnosis. In the control group, only 26 percent, had undergone major stress or grief. Most of the stresses encountered by the Alzheimer’s group involved:
- Bereavement; death of a spouse, partner, or child
- Violent experiences, such as assault or robbery
- Car accidents
- Financial problems
- Diagnosis of a family member’s severe illness
To me there is a clear and present link between stress and anxiety regarding the effects it has on our biological system and Alzheimer’s.
Stress can also play mayhem on your stomach health, which is vital to sustaining physical and mental wellbeing. A further study exploring the role of stress have also found that stress can also literally rewire your brain.
Scientists have also created a link between severe middle age stresses damaging the brain. They have found the neurons involved in chronic anxiety and fear ‘extensively overlap’ in areas also associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
In a modern consumerism society, like we have here in the west, serve stress has become part of our normal being and is constantly increasing as time continues on. We all know several people, if not more who are suffering from this stressful lifestyle that we have accepted. There has never been in all our history even through wars and other hardships been so many people suffering from this self-creating illness and it is becoming normalise. This is a dangerous game to play indeed, cancer, mental health, Alzheimer’s and hundreds of other diseases can be related back to stress, creating a toxic environmental for all of us losing prospective of our true reality.
The sad thing is that we have just accepted this way to live. No matter what the cause of this intolerable increase in stress, weather you blame the government or the big corporate businesses with their billon pound marketing strategies, ultimately it’s down to the individual, the choices we make.
Stress induced damage to the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex can be combated or even reversed with consistent moderate physical and mindful activity that have both been found to improve the hippocampus.
Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation, Yoga, moderate exercise and talk therapies are all scientifically proven to reduce stress and therefore reduce the risk of getting dementia and other mental health diseases.
Even if you’re not in a position or not willing to release stress from your daily life’s, then the above can certainly help manage it for us, without the need of medication and all its adverse side effects.
Looking at this from a basic and general overview of the energy body, as it has many complexities attached to it, but acute or chronic stress and anxiety pre-dominantly creates an overwhelming Yang body where forgetfulness, sleeping issues, excess body heat (especially at night) with maybe night sweats, trouble with digestion and swallowing food, female menstrual issues the list goes on and on may occur, Tai Chi & Qigong has an excellent track record and proven methods to re-balances the bodies energies creating harmony and peace within.
ZAZENKAI DAY – Barry Sant 04/11/18
Buddhist Retreat (come together for meditation)
I thought I’ll put down some thoughts on yesterday’s events, as some of you may wish to take something from it. For people that know me would probably call me an experienced meditator as I have been meditating for 20yrs + and have done a number of weekend/day retreats but today I thought was quite interesting, so I thought I’ll share it with you.
I woke up early feeling a little tired but generally ok, for these extended meditation sits I like to get my head in the right place well before the day starts as they can be quite mentally and physically challenging.
The sit started ok with a talk from Roshi (Zen Master) followed by dokusan (one to one meeting with Roshi) then we got really got stuck into the sitting (meditation). So normally my mind is generally ok and quite, while my body only starts to give up near the latter end of the sit, with the feeling of my knees and ankles ready to explode at any minute.
But today was a little different, about a ¼ of the way in, some residue anger started to creep into my thoughts, this was quite unsettling as I have work extensively on removing anger of my past and honesty thought that all has been dealt with years ago.
Now what the anger was about is of no real relevance, but what I will say is that I was around 16/17 years of age and a trainee mechanic. As my former colleagues appeared in my mind, I thought to myself, hate you and you, your just plain cruel and you’re a complete dick etc. Now if I saw any of them today, I wouldn’t hold any bad feeling towards them but remember this was the anger of nearly 30 years ago coming up, the same emotions I felt back then not now that had locked itself within my physical and energetic body for years, now revealing itself so it can be released.
So, I slowly forgave every single one of them in my 16/17 year old mind and let go of the relative emotion.
While this process was happening with my mind, I also noticed my body become extremely uncomfortable, especially with my back as it really started to ache, giving me incredible discomfort. My first thought was wow this never happen anymore its usually my knees and ankles, then realised that it wasn’t my posture that was the issue it was the emotional tension releasing from my body, so I just went with it, trying to relax and open up my spine knowing full well that as soon as I released the anger within my mind the pain would cease in my body, and this is exactly what happen. As soon as I managed to clear my mind from the anxiety, frustration and anger from all those years ago the pain just stopped like switching a light switch on and off.
Our mind & body relationship is completely interlinked, there is no separation between the two, even something that happened nearly 30 years ago was still held within me giving me emotional and physical discomfort whilst blocking the energy channels of my body. Also, what was interesting is that these people/events that occurred back in the day were what I thought, no big deal and I have certainly had a lot more serious things to deal with since then.
Just think, that if these relatively small occurrences that also happened such a long time ago, then what about the major lifetime traumas that affect us so deeply. I thought I knew my true nature well, but with experiences like today, I realise that there is still a little work to do.
You can only clear these stuck/stagnant emotions by going inside yourself, there is nothing outside of you that’s going to be of any use, the problem always lies within us, it’s just that sometimes we need to look a little deeper to find it.
Today you may well feel fine and tickertyboo but ask yourself what’s in your past that only you are aware of or in this case what my subconscious was aware of that might be creating emotional, mentally or physical discomfort. It also highlights that we don’t really know anyone, not really, we may think we know our partner, mother, father, siblings etc but what we really see is what they have decided to show us, part truths and some of the time like in my case above we are not even aware of it ourselves, so how can anybody else know, especially if we have buried that particular event or emotion.
This is partly due to the emotional protection of ourselves and you, this is especially relevant regarding our parents, as a parent myself we are always trying to protect our children from the harshness’s of life no matter how old they get. The same goes both ways, do your parents and love one’s know everything about you and all your inner demons, of course not, we all have certain secrets even in the most open of relationships.
But from my many years of healing experience I can honestly say with confidence that the body never lies. If there are any suppressed emotions it will be expressed within the physical and energetic body, the skill is knowing how and where to look.
WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN? – Barry Sant 30/09/2018
From my prospective and although through good intentions our educational systems maybe failing our children, we are educating them to be successful and not teaching them how to be and how to live.
We all want what’s best for our children this is just human nature, we want them to become successful human beings, I too want my children to become successful, but it’s in the clarification of what successful means which is where I see the problem lies. As parents we want them to have a good education, so they can go on the get good grades for college and then maybe university, so they can get a well-paid job, afford all the nice things in life go on holiday etc.
Now what is wrong with this you may well ask, this would be a good future for our children, and on one level I agreed, but what I see is my ten-year-old daughter feeling completely stress and crying herself to sleep over home work that even I a 45-year-old has no clue about. She feels pressure from the teachers and school to perform to a certain level, there are lots of tests and evaluations, which are not really for her benefit but for the schools benefit and the teachers to show progression of the school not really the child. She feels pressure from her peers, if she gets good grades she is picked on and called smarty pants, when she gets poor grades she’s called stupid, thick and laughed at.
Now i don’t claim to have the answer but part of the problem in my view is that we are totally goal orientated and only if we reach that goal we have become successful, if we don’t we are a failure. Again, what is the problem with achieving our goals you may ask, maybe that’s fine or we could ask the question what are actually the goals we are teaching them to attain.
With this pressure to always succeed, is it any wonder that children are suffering throughout the country. This will later follow us into adult life, if it looks like we are not going to achieve our goals then we can get extremely stressed, maybe throw a tantrum, generate anxiety within ourselves, which could lead to OCD, maybe depression and in extreme cases suicide.
For me it’s not really the goal that is important, because ultimately what does it matter, the sun will rise and fall whether we achieve it or not, it’s the journey of our inner and moral development as a human being is what matters.
If we take an Olympic athlete as an extreme example, they are the best in the world at what they do, no one can dispute this, they have dedicated they whole life to become better than you in a certain aspect, they are so determined to be better than you, they will sacrifice 10-20 years of their life to achieve it, missing out on the actual experience of life and relationships of all kinds. They may travel the world but actually never see any of it, now let’s say they actually achieve their goal of becoming Olympic champion of which very few do, they have achieved what they set out to do, so what then. They may try a different discipline, maybe become a coach, but what generally happens is that their realization that their time has pasted and there’s nothing else in their life which may create a lot of suffering and depression, hundreds of former sports people really struggle after their career is over and turn to drugs, alcohol, gambling etc. it can be a form of PTSD. Sometimes, if their lucky they get a glimpse of what it was like as they walk in the street and maybe get recognized, which makes them feel good about themselves once more but as soon as the walk up they walk away just as quick.
This is not a sensible or balanced way to live, always trying to outdo the next person, achieving our goals no matter what the cost to others, our relationships and life experiences. In my view we need to be teaching our children to live balanced lives, yes educate them this is very important, so they can discover certain possibilities or direction to work towards but making sure they understand it’s up to them how far they want to take it and highlight what the emotional cost might be, so they can make a sensible judgment.
The majority of great men and women have had to sacrifice so much, the great Albert Einstein had a nervous breakdown and had to have considerable amount of time off to recover in which some said he was never really the same. In more modern times Steve Jobs said on his death bed when asked if he would do anything different and he said he would have liked to of made more time for his family and have more experiences with his love ones. He was so driven by his company, he became his company, he’s sole identity was Apple, then he died. Was he not a successful person before Apple, I think he lost sight of this and lived a very unbalanced life, but most people would say he was extremely successful.
Our children need to learn how to experience the journey of everything that they do and to grow from that. The journey to self-discovery is so much more important than the end goal, life needs to be fully experienced from the moment we are born, this is not a goal because ultimately the goal ends in a box.
Just educating our children for intelligence alone is in my view insufficient, we have so much intelligence we can go to the moon and beyond, which is amazing but for what purpose, to understand how the universe works? what’s the point in that, it really has very little benefit to us. We don’t need to understand the universe and life, we just need to experience our life within this universe in the most joyful way possible.
Ask the question has our scientific and technical intelligence really helping us as human beings and the planet in which we live? Yes, some technology advance has made life easier for us, but it is always at a cost too something else. We can split atoms to help generating power but also with the same technology we can kill millions with one press of the button. Medical advances are amazing but maybe when it’s our time it’s should be our time, do we really what to live a few months longer in pain and with tubes sticking out of us, with someone wiping our arses, for me a dignified death would be more agreeable (I’m obviously only talking about the very end of life). There is always a cost, technologies have replaced people’s jobs and livelihoods, or they are depleting the planets resources.
Don’t jump to a quick conclusion, think about it, are the most dangerous people on this planet the most intelligent or un-intelligent? There is a cost to everything that our developing technologies create, a cause and effect, I’m not against new technical advances, I just think that the intelligent people of the world should have a little more wisdom with what they are developing. I hope they start asking the question do we really need it and if so what are the human and environmental costs of the project? What is intelligence without wisdom? and only get wisdom through a balanced life experience.
We can learn through books, internet and a whole load of other resources that are available to us, you can have the most magnificent teachers, through this we can acquire so much knowledge, gain so much intellect but have absolutely no experiential experiences at all, so what use is this knowledge without the personal, experiential interaction with the subject.
These multi-million pound companies are really only after one thing and that goal is not humanity it’s shareholders, profits, money and power. Politicians are some of the worst for this as they cut costs in every which way they can and at the same time continue to increase money for the few, but at the cost of the majority and the environment. In these recent times of austerity, the majority of public servants’ wages have dramatically gone down in real terms where our ‘elected’ Members of Parliament decided the give themselves over a £10,000 pay rise with the money that came available with all the cost cutting of public jobs. These are not successful people, if fact they are the complete opposite.
Even our higher education and universities have their own set goals, yes to educate their students in a way that makes sure they virtually guarantee them the very best grades (goals) to beat all the other schools and university so that they get a better rating by Ofsted, which means more students and more money and more power. These institutions are not really there to produce educated, high moral young human beings with a balanced outlook of life, no matter what their brochure might say. We may see it in some primary and secondary schools but from then on, it’s all about the goals.
To add to this, we have face-book and social media, where friends are trying to compete with each other making out that their lives are better than everyone else’s. They put on a 3 second pose with a fake smile until they hear the shutter sound and then suddenly drop their smile while they think of a good caption to explain, how great there life really isn’t.
This is of course is not everyone’s experience, but all of us can relate to these feeling at some point in our lives. Is it no wonder that anxiety levels are hitting the roof like no other time on earth, there are more people suffering from anxiety and depression now than during world wars. In a time when the world is safer than it’s ever been (fact), where scientific and technology has never been so advanced, where medical advances are just quite incredible and more food then we could ever consume. We should all be living a magnificent life, every single human on this planet should be enjoying every single second.
So why aren’t we? Money, greed, selfishness, modern living and people in suits, who’s only aim in life is to repress the rest of us, so they can continue to make money at the cost of the majority and where there is money there is power.
In reality, there are only a few of these people controlling the rest of us and are destroying the planet of its resources, all in the name of the dollar. We are also to blame for allowing this to happen, I wonder what would happen if we just stopped falling for this corporate marketing, if we just stopped wanting things that we actually don’t need or what doesn’t actually enrich our life’s or our families and friends for the better and I certainly don’t mean the latest i-phone. What if we became more satisfied with ourselves and our relationships no matter what influences or marketing are put before us. If we can sensible ask the question do I really need this, do I really need a gadget to turn on my lights just by asking a white box in the corner of the room, does this really enhance your life in anyway?
The older I get the simpler I want to live my life. If you live in a simple way what stresses do you occur, have I got shelter, food, security, love and friends. This is basically all we need, and when we become content with this, we start appreciating life for what it is and therefore becoming more joyful within ourselves. When we have an understanding of this, the ego will start to fall away and the simple things we take for granted becomes beautiful and without fear.
Is it really worth working 60-80 hours a week, working so hard that I actually never really get to experience life, I mean life moment by moment. I’m not saying be lazy, we all need to earn a living and whatever we decided to do we need to put in 100% effort and involvement into in, otherwise we are not living to our full potential. But ask the question why I am doing what I do, could I be living another way, am I doing what I love to do. The trouble is do you know what you love to do? When we choose a profession just for the money it brings, then your natural humanity starts to change and all we start to care about is the money and what that brings. Don’t delude yourselves in thinking money brings you happiness the only thing money can bring us is material things. Some of the unhappiness people in the world are what some might say the most successful or goal orientated people, some famous actors or musicians have more money than they know what to do with yet behind the camera a high percentage of them are alcoholics or drug abusers, if you chase the money the chances are you are going to live a miserable life. Now for some people they are so desperate they work all the hours they can just so they can put some food on the table, you could say they are also chasing the money but in this case understandable so, but they too will live an unhappy life, if you follow the money be prepared for the consequences that it will bring.
If you choose a profession that you love then everyday becomes satisfying, if it’s satisfying and you enjoy it, your become completely involved in that moment, experiencing life as it should be experienced and when this happens money will tend to follow, at least enough money to live a balanced life. When I’m on my death bed all I’ll be thinking about is the experiences I’ve shared with love ones and friends and hoping that I may of touched one or two hearts, not wishing that I’ve worked an extra 10/20hrs a week in a job I hated just so I can buy that performance car, that bigger house or that dreaded i-phone.
It is human nature to strive to want more, this is why we have arguably become the most successful animal on the planet, but we have let big business and money put so much pressure on us right from the beginning, which have made some of us into individuals who only look out for themselves, with our ego’s of judgment getting out of control. We need to look inside ourselves, and whatever we find become comfortable with it and if we are not comfortable then change it. When we are true to ourselves we can grow as human beings, actually realize that there is nothing more important in life, then life itself. So start living, get out of the past, stay away from thinking of what might happen in the future and start living this very next breath. When we come into the moment we fully experience the moment which is your life, this is what I believe we should be spending a little more time on regarding our children.
We have become a marketing society, where we have accepted this way of life of constant accumulation as a way of feeling validated or successful. You may be reading this thinking to yourself well that’s not me, but maybe we need to look a little deeper. The most important aspect of life is how you are within yourself. In my opinion this is the most important lesson we should be teaching our children. If we are joyful within our-self’s then anyone and everything we touch will become joyful. If you are only driven by needs you will live a very needed life which only suffering, and unhappiness will manifest – but if you learn to be without any need and only do what’s needed, then you will learn to live a very blissful life, this is my blessing my hope for all children.
WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH TAI CHI & ZEN – Barry Sant 19/07/18
To be able to explain this I must go way back to childhood. For those who may or may not know me, as a young child I was extremely soft, sensitive and fearful.
I was bullied or let me put it another way I felt that I was bullied, at pre-primary, primary and high school which followed me all the way through too my early years at work.
I hated school, hated being fearful and hated myself for feeling this way, generally speaking I only felt safe at home and if I was put in any new environment I would have different levels of anxiety depending on the situation I was in.
I was, and still am well loved by my family but when I was younger and taken out of the security of my family I had extreme difficulties and was embarrassed by it so never really told anyone, although to my family it was probably obvious.
This fear was mainly judgement, judgement by my peers, teachers and work colleagues. I never felt that I was good enough, good at anything, at school I really struggled with learning to read which had a knock-on effect with all my other school work and kids being kids would always take the mickey.
So due to my noticeable lack of confidence my parents enrolled me at a very early age into a Judo club. At first, I also hated this, my first instructor was one scary mother f****er who expected complete discipline from all of his students, he was a really tough, extremely large and powerful man who seemed to shout a lot.
However, later in life I came to realises that I owe this man so much as this discipline stayed with me throughout my life. Without this skill of discipline there’s no way I would have trained so hard and in training hard I got results and getting result gave me confidence. I was still fearful but at least being able to cope a little better on my own and also through this determination I taught myself to read.
This is why I can honestly say Martial Arts saved my life, it gave me the courage to start living, which meant enjoying my life and in later years as a security operative it has literally save my life on numerous occasions.
But I was still fairly fearful of judgement, fearful of what people might think about me, did they think I was stupid, did they like me etc this mentally really held me back for years. I might have come across confident as a young man in his twenties but underneath there was a fearful little boy which kept popping up time and time again.
I eventually excelled on the Judo mat and just loved the art, on the rugby pitch I managed to achieve county and regional north midlands teams and in all my martial arts, gaining a black belt/sash in four completely different martial disciplines. I have been a doorman and bodyguard which as you can imagine I have had hundreds of physical confrontations and pretty much reaching high levels of competence in most things that I did, but I was still not completely settled & felt i was always trying to prove myself to others & basically trying to be someone else, due to this fearful little boy and his fear of judgment.
Then Tai Chi and Zen came into my life & I found balance. I just love these arts, just by the way they are practice is the very nature of reality, the essence of life. I love the discipline that’s needed to be able to practice these arts well and that it doesn’t matter how good we are, it’s all about the practice and our own journey. When you practice Tai Chi or Zen to practice properly you need 100% focus and awareness on what’s going on inside your body and mind.
When in the ‘zone’ all other external issues just fall away, problems at work, at home, personal demons etc. When I practice these arts I’m not trying to be someone else or something else, I’m just being me, becoming one with the art and letting go of all my demons, judgements, expectations and fear, it allows me to be my true self.
In my later years & for the first time in my life I feel completely comfortable in my own skin, having confidence, strong enough to voice my opinion even when the majority disagree, being comfortable with the fact people have different view points to mine and that’s just fine. Even though i’m no longer frightened to express myself i also have no real desire to enforce my own opinions on others, even if they just don’t get it. Knowing that I am a good and capable person with high standard of morals, who wants to give back to all those who suffer in silence from their fears and demons, Tai Chi and Zen has allowed me to love life and to finally become FREE of most attachments.
JUST DO IT vs JUST BE – Barry Sant 10/06/18
It’s all about the tension
When our bodies start to breakdown and become ill – unless there is an external factor involved, poor diet, abuse of drugs/toxins, sporting injury etc then it will always be due to excess tension in the body caused by our state of mind and how we process stress and trauma, creating unbalance within our energy body.
So, let’s just take a minute and discuss our bodies. Our bodies are just unbelievably amazing, yet we take so little care of them, most of us are so out of touch with our bodies that we really have no clue to what’s goes on within, what your body is processing right now, this very second.
This is partly due to the fact that it is just so amazing and efficient. In it’s basic form your heart is beating right now, you’ve just taken another breath and you are metabolising food to energy at this very moment. We take for granted that these bodily processes happen automatically, and they do, it’s natures miracle, life.
The body is so amazing that when we get ill it just heals itself without any thought process to facilitate it. When we fall over and graze our knee, you don’t have to sit there staring at your knee willing it to heal or to give an instruction to the body to tell it to repair itself, it just does it automatically. In a simplistic form extra blood rushes to the damaged area providing enriched oxygenated blood full of nutrients needed to repair the damaged tissue/cells, providing the perfect environment for the healing process to take place, absolutely remarkable.
How the damaged tissue knows that they are damaged and how the body knows to send blood and qi (energy life force) to that area is for another time, but it is truly remarkable how this happens.
However, if we don’t provide the right environment for the body to heal i.e. we don’t clean the wound, leaving dirt and bacteria in the body then the body will find it extremely difficult to heal and possibly get infected etc.
Now generally the body will still cope if it’s in relative good working order but if the environment is hostile and we are in poor condition/health than drastic measures may need to be taken if gangrene sets in etc.
Now going off on a slight tangent, when we have pain in our bodies we are usually very resistant towards that pain as it brings different levels of discomfort to us, we understandingly have a very negative emotional response to that pain. At the slightest sign of pain, we rush straight for the pain relief tablets to make us feel better, so we can continue doing the very thing that is probably causing it in the first place.
For me I try and do my very best to look after my mind/body health, and when pain arises, I treat pain as a friend, I take notice and care over it and try not to have any resistance towards it, although sometimes this can be extremely hard to do. But this way of dealing with pain cause less tension in the body, while if we take a more negative approach it will create more tension therefore increasing the levels of pain.
I never want the sensation of pain within my body but when I am alerted to pain sensations I am grateful for it, as it’s the bodies way of telling me something is wrong, saying hay you, wake up, I need some extra help, provide me with a better environment so I can do my thing and depending on the type of sensation it is will give me a clue to what is actually wrong, what part of my body isn’t functioning to the best of its ability and why.
The right environment is an open and relaxed one free from stress/tension. If there is too much tension in the body it will hinder the healing process, the miracle of life. When the body has tension it closes down, becomes tight, arteries condense and harden, a build-up of pressure surrounding our vital organs making them work even harder to perform their duty, and having a butterfly effect on all the other organs and tissues, creating an impossible or at very least an extremely difficult environment for the blood/qi and nutrients to get to the damaged tissues and repair.
But if we can release tension there becomes more freedom, openness, the organs aren’t restricted so they can expand and have more accessibility to blood and qi which is needed to repair.
So, with this in mind it brings us to the article heading JUST DO IT vs JUST BE, if we say to ourselves just relax, unless you are someone with great sensitivity and skill who is in touch with their mind/body relationship like experience Tai Chi, Qigong practitioners, traditional Yogis and Meditators, the mindful action of telling yourself to be relaxed ‘JUST DO IT’ actually creates the opposite effect within our bodies and creates more stress and tension. It’s paradoxical, giving the body an instruction implies actually doing something and in doing something means an action and an action creates tension, so telling someone or yourself to relax is really not helpful. But if you ask someone to ‘JUST BE’ then they just experience life and its sensations right here and now, in which the body will naturally soften, relax and releases tension with no thought of action and therefore no increase in tension.
It still may need some time to practice, to tweak this active mind but by making it habitual with short daily practices the body will respond fairy quickly as it needs no encouragement to heal itself.
JUST BE provides the perfect and natural environment within the body so it can heal in every moment.
WE BECOME WHAT WE PRACTICE – Barry Sant 23/04/18
Be very mindful of what we practice – if you practice hectic thoughts then you will become stressed & unwell, if you practice watching tv then your become lazy & disillusioned with reality – you get where I’m going with this.
If you practice Tai Chi & Qigong then you will have more vital life-force energy & discover the depths of your true inner self or inner world.
WOW what a great gift to yourself.
The mind & body are inseparable treat them with extra special care – if the mind has tension the body will follow & vice versa it’s extremely difficult to regain vital life energy when it becomes depleted or unbalance.
MASTER YOURSELF FIRST THEN YOUR FAMILY & THEN THE WORLD – Barry Sant 17/03/18
Without your own truth how can you help others find theirs. As we sit on the cushion we can slowly let go of all our agendas our ego & as we go deeper & deeper into ourselves we can finally get to the root of our true nature & live the life you were meant to live.
When we finally get to the root of ourselves & let it go we may find that there is actually nothing there. Just FREEDOM openness & release which allows love & compassion to all & everything.
WHY I MEDITATE & WHAT MEDITATION IS FOR ME! – Barry Sant 26/01/18
Do you suffer from stress or anxiety? Has this manifested in to a physical illness? then please take just 2 minutes to read below.
In this modern world we are all chasing external things, better jobs, more customers, more money, more excitement, better partners/lovers, newer cars, holidays & homes the list is endless, or we are trying so hard to keep hold of the stuff we already have acquired – you get the idea.
None of these things bring ‘real’ joy into our life there may be a short & brief feeling of success or excitement, but it is extremely short lived. That new car even after a few weeks is the same car you drove yesterday just with a higher finance plan, the new iphone after 6 months is the old iphone & we just throw it away as if its useless & we all feel a little bit depressed when we come back from our fantastic beach holiday. New partners/lovers come with different packages & different dissatisfaction’s etc etc.
This keeps us a long way from our true nature. Since the 1950’s marketing companies has made society think this is acceptable & the norm – IT IS NOT. We chase these things because of our own demons, insecurities thinking that a new partner will be able to provide the things we are lacking, money, security or protection, rather than appreciating them for just being them making our-life just that little bit richer. These feeling may have arise from childhood or the feeling of low self-esteem, self-worth.
Many people do not meditate with the right mindset from the beginning which is partly why they find it difficult, they think by meditating they will ‘gain’ some sort of benefit, they will ‘GET SOMETHING’ acquire some mystic knowledge of peace but this is wrong, you already have EVERYTHING you need, you don’t need to gain anything. We should mediate to do the exact opposite – to release ourselves from the need to acquire things external or internal.
The main aim is to let go of all the expectations, pressures we & others put on ourselves, this is how we become FREE, become really connected to our true nature & all things.
As I hopefully head towards a 3-day sesshin (Zen meditation retreat) it teaches me to let go of my ego, all the issues, judgments, negativity relating to myself that stops me from living life to the full, to be fully present in everything I do.
It also helps me to be fine with all our so called ‘inadequacies’ of our personalities (of which my wife would say there are many haha) we cannot be good at all things all of the time, but this doesn’t mean we are not still AMAZING people, we are all amazing – for me this has come to light just this week when trying to help out friends with a video shoot.
When we realize this & become comfortable knowing that there are some things better left to others, rather than trying so hard to be someone your not then life becomes so much easier & a greater sense of peace can emerge.
Meditation is not about giving away your power but giving away the need to be powerful.
YOU ARE PERFECT IN EVERYWAY RIGHT HERE & NOW – Barry Sant 05/12/17
There is nothing that you need outside of yourself – when this is genuinely realized your fear will start dropping away so you can start loving yourself & actually liking the person you always have been. This is when you will create a life you love & where your true light will shine.
When we sit regularly we are slowly re-programming / training our habitual monkey minds (just like when we train our bodies through exercise) to let go of all the useless thoughts, judgments & fears that crop up in every day life – leaving us in our own natural state of existence.
This is where we can heal, accept & shine.
SITTING FOR SOME PEOPLE CAN BE EXTREMELY DIFFERCULT – Barry Sant 15/09/17
Even sitting for just a couple of minutes can bring up lots of mental anguish & pain.
But with just a little persistence of daily meditation of any duration can help release our deepest emotions. Choosing to allow these thoughts to arise & not be suppressed while in a safe & comfortable environment (& remember they are just thoughts – electrical impulses) we become more comfortable with them, gently taking away their power & negativity enabling us to finally let them go & create peace within our life.
JUST WALKING THE DOG – Barry Sant 29/08/17
Just walking the dog down by the river & spot some rather big fish going about their day. Very awakening – watching fish just being fish, doing fish things. Then i looked at my dog just stood there also in the moment. Why do we, humans find it so hard just to be? Zazen is the key, while we just sit & nothing else, thoughts start to fall away so we become in the moment & really experience the right now. The more we practice siting the mind drops off quicker making it a habit. Then you can take that habit into all your other activities so we can really enjoy & experience life as it happens moment by moment.