Whether we are happy or sad, loving or angry, or wise or foolish depends on what’s inside the brain. Bringing good things into your brain is the key to well-being and effectiveness, psychological healing, creativity, and spiritual practice.
So, how do you get good things—such as resilience, self-worth, or love—into your brain? These inner strengths are grown mainly from positive experiences. Unfortunately, to help our ancestors survive, the brain evolved a negativity bias that makes it less adept at learning from positive experiences but efficient at learning from negative ones. In effect, it’s like Velcro for the bad but Teflon for the good.
This built-in negativity bias makes us extra stressed, worried, irritated, and blue. Plus it creates a kind of bottleneck in the brain that makes it hard to gain any lasting value from our experiences, which is disheartening and the central weakness in personal development, mindfulness training, and psychotherapy.
To solve this problem, Hanson developed the four HEAL steps of taking in the good: Have a positive experience; Enrich it; Absorb it; and if you like, Link it to negative thoughts and feelings to soothe and eventually replace them.
I love this little book. It is a wonderful introduction to the Buddhist understanding of the development of the ego. Worth taking time to really relax into a felt understanding of what he is laying out. There is no one like ChÖgyam Trungpa Rimpoche to help our western mind grasp foundational Buddhist science.
Non-dual contemplative. Very clear and simple ways to access our divine nature.
“When we realize that who we are is formless awareness we begin to lose the fear of death. When, as this formless awareness we realize we are also physical form we begin to lose the fear of life.” ~Loch Kelly
Ho’oponopono, sometimes referred to as simply ho’opono, is a concept, a value and a related set of practices that have been used in Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures for centuries to support harmonious relationships between people, nature and Spirit. Specific ho’oponopono practices have developed over time and they continue to evolve to this day. Harmony in one’s external relationships begins by establishing harmony between one’s own body mind and spirit.
In her book Ho’opono, Pali Jae Lee writes, “If it is good, if it is in balance, if it is right, if it helps, if it is righteous, if it corrects, if it is responsible, if it is caring, if it is humble, if it is peaceful, if it honors, it is pono.”
Ho’o means to cause something to happen, so ho’opono means to cause something to be pono – to be right, good, just and/or in alignment with all people, places and things. By reduplicating pono in the wordho’oponopono, full achievement of goodness is accentuated.
When determining whether a thought, word, deed or action is truly pono – that is whether it serves the highest good — we consider how it affects not only our present generation of family and community, but also how it affects both our ancestors and our descendants. All of life forms are inter-connected. In land based indigenous cultures family includes not only our human relatives but also all of nature. To be pono on all levels, a thought, word, deed or action will serve the highest good of all of creation.
Steve Gilligan was, for many years a mentor of mine. This book is a lovely introduction to his work and to a model of therapy that is wise, simple, effective and timeless. My own work has roots in Steve’s ways of thinking and working.
I love David Deida. This is a wonderful book that teaches many basic and deep truths about the masculine and feminine dimensions of reality and relationships. David Deida clearly walks his talk and so his teachings feel very earthy and real. However, his teachings are a bit raw and may be initially confusing to someone who is just beginning to wrestle with or has very fixed ideas about masculinity and femininity. This book is not concerned with political correctness but with practical and spiritual realities. This book has been helpful to me within myself and my relationships.