“Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
Daily Nugget of Gold 1511
The word “ritual” is a great substitute for the word “habit” in that it better describes what thinking- or lack thereof- goes into adopting a habit. Habits are easy enough to understand. We do things the same way over and over again because it conserves thinking energy, and because we’ve become familiar with the task we’re doing and enjoy the specific reward when we do it enough that we rather easily fall into the routine. Some habits are adopted almost effortlessly, but some take some doing to get into place. Isn’t it interesting that those two groups seem to also divide up into two completely separate categories- destructive and constructive. Bad and good. Undesirable and desirable. Yup, the easier a habit is to begin, it seems, the worse it seems to be for us! Who made THAT rule up?
So what brought our attention to the rituals associated with habits? We were watching a rather lengthy interview with Tom Campbell who was describing the rituals involved for meditation participants and he brought up the point that a great many of the rituals believed to be necessary for effective meditation are merely beliefs we’ve come to accept as true. While it’s true that many people enjoy the process of relaxation, posture, focused attention on the breath, and so on, it’s also true that many rituals can be a bit time consuming.
For the beginner learning how to meditate, much of the stuff- maybe all of it- is important. This is likely not the case for most experienced meditators. Tom was also talking about those people who turn some of their meditative states into out-of-body experiences. If this sounds strange or unbelievable to you, just go with the flow for now. You can do some checking on the scientific research on this later, as well as to try it for yourself if you like. This is where Tom came to the salient point of what he was trying to deliver, using our intent as the main tool in accomplishing either. Intent.
One caution he delivered is that we shouldn’t question the validity of the results we begin to see by using our intent as the main tool, (although verifying in a scientific manner isn’t bad, and in fact- he’s a major proponent of that.), nor should we have worry, doubt, or fear.
While all this talk about meditation and those so-called, “paranormal” experiences might not interest you, the idea of examining the daily rituals we subscribe to for whether they boost up or drag down efficiency and productivity would probably be a good undertaking, just the same. Some of the rituals might be quite worthy, others? Not so much.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
‘What can I do to better understand the components of my habits?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.