|EDUCATING THE WILL|
Will is the impelling factor, the directive intention, by which we get things done in life. It is the primary expression of our state of being, the source of our initiatives. The quality of the manifestation of our will is determined by our understanding - the "why?" and the "how?" - of the world around us.
Our will is manifested through the choices we make. Choice, therefore, is the pivotal factor in a self-controlled destiny. Choice begins from the moment we separate from the consciousness of our parents - choice of what we will do, wear, eat and feel begins from the moment we awaken each day. It is only through choice that we discover what works and what does not, and in this way we learn by experience.
When choice is consciously made, experience becomes Self-created. When we live without consciousness, our actions simply reflect our conditioned patterns of thought (habits, fixed ideas and accepted beliefs) or other people's instructions, and we are no longer in charge of our own life experience.
Decisiveness is a great help to practical success as well as to strength and clarity of mind. For example, a distinguished man was asked to what he attributed his phenomenal success in life. His top recommendation was to make a list early each morning of the things which he wanted to do during the day. He said that with the aid of this practice he was able to do much more; not because he worked harder but because he had ceased to waste time in idle speculation as to what he should do next, and whether he should do it now or leave it to later or the next day. He discovered that these troublesome questions had the power to sap his strength and resolution, such that he got much less done before.
Wishing and willing are quite different things. Suppose I consider whether I will or will not pick up my pen. I cannot wish in this matter - I must decide either to pick it up or leave it where it is. Wishing is an acknowledgement of inability, a dependence upon external events. Willing is the use of your own power. The person who has educated his will does not grumble about the things fortune brings to him through no apparent action of his own, but is content to make the fullest possible use of the opportunities that do prevail. He or she does not dwell again and again on the same thought or argument. If something does require to be thought over, it is brought forward and all the facts bearing upon it are considered, so that a clear conclusion is derived; and then the matter is dismissed from the mind.
The great Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi stated: "An average man's mind is filled with countless thoughts, and therefore each individual one is extremely weak. When, instead of these many useless thoughts, there appears only one, it is a power in itself and has a wide influence."
We know that many great scientists and inventors ascribed their unique discoveries to their ability for strong, focused, thinking. This was the case with Isaac newton, Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur and many others, who were conscious of and able to apply their extraordinary powers of concentration to exclude all else but the object of their investigations.
|MIND DEVELOPMENT COURSES 1-8|
Many people have bad experiences at school and perhaps later in life, when attempting to study a new subject. It is easy to quickly get bogged down with new terminology, and often, new concepts and procedures seem unclear. This situation can quickly get out of hand as the student gets left behind and the subject either becomes an ongoing struggle or it is abandoned. But none of that is necessary; it is possible to succeed with the study of any subject.
With this course you will learn how to study a subject with maximum comprehension, with excellent recall, and with the ability to apply what you have learned effectively.
You will also learn how to take notes at rapid pace from books or live lectures, and how best to represent that information with key words, mind maps and flow charts that aid memory and understanding.
These abilities will be useful for your home studies, at college or work, and for your study of further Mind Development courses. You will indeed be able to succeed at studying effectively those subjects you are interested in, even those that were difficult before.
The practical exercises offered in this course help to develop visual perception, which is one branch of non-verbal communication, and address the subject of breathing and relaxation. Adequate oxygenation of the brain and a relaxed state of being is necessary for further developing the mind.
The eyes and the ears are the main channels through which one gains information about the world. As with listening skills, training in visualization and looking makes you more aware. When you are more aware, the subconscious mind has less influence. This means you are more relaxed, less anxious, less easily upset, a better memorizer - and your vision is improved.
The Effective Communication course offers a series of practical exercises which develop the skills of communication and help the student to apply the fruits of his or her learning here and now - both to his or her personal growth and to the practical issues of personal relationships and business.
Improvement in our ability to communicate externally is reflected by a similar gain in communication between parts of the brain. The practice exercises enable development of all areas of the brain, even those which have been long under-used. They affect, particularly, the integration of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Each hemisphere governs a different way of thinking and seeing the world. By doing the exercises thoroughly, the student can bring both halves of the brain into mutual communication, so that he or she is freer to think holistically and experience the world from an expanded point of view.
Communication is the vehicle for all further techniques, so communications skills are a vital aspect of Mind Development. The Effective Communication course includes practical exercises to enhance the person's capacity to listen attentively and comprehend. Following that, questioning skills are practiced, which have relevance to communication, memory and understanding. This will help the student to maintain control of communication in practical, social and business situations. You will also learn about practical problem solving and how to achieve your goals in life.
Unless we can wake ourselves up from this mechanicalness and sleep, we cannot begin work on ourselves and we cannot get things done in life. We must learn the mood of concentration - of actually BEING in the Here-and-Now, noticing and observing, and focused on our actions.
Concentration is a means to develop the will, so that life may be lived purposely and creatively, rather than as a reaction to the flow of sensations. Because you will not flit from one thing to another, like a butterfly, you will be able to choose to focus your mind on things, e.g., study or work, and will increase your skills and knowledge in these areas. Most importantly, you will be able to focus more clearly on your vision of what you want to achieve.
In short, your mental life is both intensified and broadened. The ability to concentrate is, therefore, a valuable skill which will enhance all other skills. Almost all the drills and exercises of Mind Development help develop your ability to concentrate. But are there are ways to improve your concentration directly? Yes, and this course teaches the best of them.
We all learn to read at school, after a fashion. But for most of us, this is not an optimal use of our brain power. In this course you will learn to better use the left brain's focused attention combined with the right brain's peripheral attention, in close harmony. Good communication between the brain hemispheres is a prerequisite for creative thinking and also a sense of well-being, where thoughts and feelings are integrated.
Reading may be defined as an individual's total inter-relationship with symbolic information. Reading is a communication process requiring a series of skills. As such reading is a thinking process rather than an exercise in eye movements. Effective reading requires a logical sequence of thought patterns, and these patterns require practice to set them into the mind. The methods currently used in schools do not touch on the issues of speed, comprehension and critical analysis and indeed all those skills which can be described as advanced reading techniques. In short, most of your reading problems have not been dealt with during your initial education. By using appropriate techniques, the limitations of early education can be overcome and reading ability improved by 500% or more.
The course teaches in-depth reading techniques that greatly improve literary intelligence, so that you can clearly perceive the ideas and values that the writer is expressing and relate them to those of other authors and so be better able to make objective conclusions.
Though a highly developed memory and intuitive skills are not essential for life in modern society, they were important survival skills for primitive man who had no reference books to look up when he forgot something, no maps to guide him on long journeys, and was often in perilous situations where intuitive insight made the difference between life and death. To further evolve, we need to reclaim this heritage, which depends on the restoration and integration of our right-brain processes.
Without memory there is no knowledge, without knowledge there is no certainty and without certainty there is no will. We need a good memory to be able to orient ourselves in a rich network of all that we know and understand, to make sense of it and to move forward to attain goals that are based in reality and true to our selves.
You will learn advanced memory techniques in the Creative Memory Course that utilize the amazing powers of the right brain, which enable you to "file away" any new piece of information so that it is readily accessible for future immediate access.
As you continue to use the methods of cumulative perception taught in this course, this kind of random access memory begins to become second nature. Many memory experts call this the "soft breakthrough" because it happens almost imperceptibly at first, instead of hitting you like a mental bolt of lightning. Everything you find important is given its own unique mental file. Just like the executive whose desk has been buried in paper for years, who suddenly discovers his computer can do a much better job of storing and arranging information, a filed, organized mind suddenly begins to perform impressive recall tasks on demand.
Using these techniques Gregory was able to run 100 meters in a time that nearly matched the then British champion, with relatively little physical fitness preparation (60% or less compared with a typical athlete). You may not personally want to increase your sprinting speed, but the principles described here have many applications both for physical and mental development.