Monthly Archives: August 2010

Hypnosis Misconceptions 6

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Ten Mis-conceptions About Hypnosis:

6. Whilst under hypnosis people’s memories are improved and they can recall everything that has happened to them in the past. Similarly, hypnosis can be used to permanently erase the memory of anything that has happened to someone.

Hypnosis can help us to have a better recall, and to re-frame our past experiences. To “Recall Everything” or “Permanently Erase” – No.

© David R. Durham

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Hypnosis Misconception 5

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Ten Mis-conceptions About Hypnosis:

5. Hypnosis and meditation are the same thing or hypnosis is a form of meditation and vice versa, and all forms of mind-altering practices are one and the same thing.

Definitely not the case. They are very different experiences.

© David R. Durham

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Hypnosis Misconception 4

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Ten Mis-conceptions About Hypnosis:

4. The mind is so powerful that hypnosis can effect a cure for just about anything in only one or two sessions.

Whilst hypnotherapy has great therapeutic value, unfortunately this is not true.

© David R. Durham

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Hypnosis Misconceptions 3

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Ten Mis-conceptions About Hypnosis:

3. People in an hypnotic trance may not wake up easily and they may remain in an hypnotic state for a long time. Some people may never wake up!

Oh! Please. You wish.

© David R. Durham

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Hypnosis Misconceptions 2

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Ten Mis-conceptions About Hypnosis:

2. A hypnotist is someone with unusual mental powers and magical abilities, which he can use to control people and make them do as he wishes, even against their will.

A complete cock & bull story.

© David R. Durham

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Hypnosis Misconceptions 1

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Ten Mis-conceptions About Hypnosis:

1. When you are hypnotized you are asleep, unconscious and are totally unaware of your surroundings.

No you’re not.

© David R. Durham

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The Word

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Words flow effortlessly through our mind, creating a series of resonances when understood and discords when not comprehended.

We have evolved as a species, and through several cultural inventions to be particularly sensitive to the sung, spoken and written word.

And man’s spiritual traditions have generated some of the most prolific writings, with the hindu vedas, buddhist pali cannon, christian scriptures and their commentaries constituting enough material to fill a small library.

What can be forgotten in this deluge of information is the simplicity of many spiritual insights, and the fact that words are only sounds. In this context, they are intended to guide us, to remind us and to resonant with the truth already within us.

Words are not ends in themselves, and spiritual understanding and awakenings are not the result of passing an exam, and are not ‘learned’ or mentally ‘worked-out’ phenomena.

Whilst at the beginning of a spiritual teaching there is normally a requirement for a lot of instruction, as time passes, the words become fewer and fewer. And, in time, the teacher becomes a commentator guiding the student in the right direction. Further down the line, even the guide role becomes redundant, and the best a teacher can hope to be is a mirror for the students own inner truth.

If you’re lucky, you will run into a teacher who is all three of these roles for you all of the time: Instructor, guide and mirror. And all that changes in your encounters with them are the mix and balance between these three roles.

© David R. Durham

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Wisdom & Compassion

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Wisdom and Compassion are the twin halves of our enlightened being.

They are the two doorways to experiencing the full potential of who we are: Wisdom facilitates transcendence through our mind and Compassion allows our awaking through the heart.

In the elegance of the flowing ying-yang symbol, we can see a visual expression of the twin principles of wisdom and compassion. Each lies at the heart of the other. And each would be incomplete and limited without the other.

We often find one much easier to relate to one rather than the other. So we find some people who are very mind focused in their concentration and meditation exercises, whilst others are very heart oriented, and dedicate their energies to helping others.

Neither compassion nor wisdom are better than the other, and we need both qualities to be balanced as beings. This is partly why the spiritual life is a life-long activity, and there are many opportunities being offered to us by the endless dharma (life teaching) around us. A life-time allows us to weave these twin stands of wisdom and compassion into the rich fabric of our complex being and our ordinary daily living.

We are highly malleable beings, and in time, we grow into what we focus on and practice. As the inspirational writer M. Bennett pointed out: “We first form habits, then habits form us.” So if, for example, we repeatedly chose to be angry about the circumstances of our life, we gradually become angrier and angrier over time. And this is how we can end up exploding with anger at the slightest provocation.

This philosophy is at the heart of the eight fold path of buddhism and other similar spiritual practices. What we habitually practice, we become. In a way, it is a kind of faking it before you make it approach, a method of establishing enlightened behaviour, which over time works on us more than we work on it, whether we realise it or not.

So the invitation of the spiritual life lies not what we have to give up, which is mercilessly transient anyway, rather it lies in what riches of wisdom and compassion lie before us to cultivate, to share and to enjoy. And through that patient cultivation, compassion and wisdom will reveal to us life’s most intimate secrets.

© David R. Durham

Happy 100th. blog!

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Journeys

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“You’ll never forget this journey.”

This intriguing sentence came my way the other day.

It’s one of those throw away lines which can be easily dismissed, or one which can blossom into a range of thoughts and considerations.

In a way it is a classic example of how we are not simply passive observers of our world, but are very much interpreters and creators of our experiences.

© David R. Durham

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Curious Dreamer

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Dreams are curious mind-states.

In a recent dream of mine, I was talking to three different scientists at a conference, and each of them spontaneously produced drawings of what seemed to be their insights into the underlying nature of our physical reality.

Needless to say each drawing was different. One drew elegant elliptical spirals, another drew discrete ripples like the waves produced in sand on a beach and the third had a blank piece of paper which he proceeded to simply dance with.

And when it comes to lucid dreaming, I wonder if it is a two way process. I.e. does opening a window into a dream allow the dream’s characters a glimpse into our world?

Ciao for now.

© David R. Durham

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