Unless you spent the last decade in a Tibetan monastery or under a rock, you probably know about Rhonda Byrne’s book/DVD The Secret.
This 2006 self-help volume, highly endorsed by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, erroneously educated readers on “The Law Of Attraction,” a hypothesis that suggests we have the power to influence events and circumstances of our live in three simple steps:
1. “Ask the Universe for what you want.” In essence, get your desires very clear in your mind. (Do not limit yourself to any possibility.)
2. Believe. “Act, speak, and think as though you have already received what you’ve asked for.” When you emit the frequency of having received it, the law of attraction moves people, events, and circumstances for you to receive.
3. Receive. “Feel the way you will feel once your desire has manifested.” Feeling good now puts you on the frequency of what you want.
The general public accepted this get-thin/rich/famous/talented-quick scheme and ate it up like a bowl of Cherry Garcia ice-cream.
One interesting characteristic about people who believe anything they’re told without the benefits of research is that they tend to have a very fickle belief system. So countless people believed The Secret, then slumped into devastated depressions when asking the Universe to make them skinny didn’t actually make those size two skinny jeans glide on and button up.
But instead of people blaming the gurus who presented this misinformation, they took it personally, given they’d also been told that if their wishes weren’t quickly granted, it was because the wisher just wasn’t wishing hard enough.
Call me crazy, but I’m the kind of gal that wants to be empowered by my gurus, not disempowered. Happiness is not only something you feel; you really have to work toward it.
I’m a healthy skeptic, someone who looks at things in a doubtful way and requires that you do an excellent job at proving your point. We healthy skeptics require that you take the time to research and present scientific evidence reported by experts in the field being discussed.
This, in my opinion, is where The Secret falls down. Would you ask an auto mechanic to operate on your gallbladder? Sounds crazy, right? Well, when it comes to the law of attraction, you’re not getting the whole story unless you look to someone holding a doctorate in quantum physics.
Frustratingly, the woo-woo quasi-spiritual world has watered the law down, all for a get-rich-quick scheme that didn’t pan out. In so doing, they created an army of non-believers against a completely plausible theory.
Life can be depressing and disappointing for those who put all their faith in this slapdash piece of mass media. It is time we empower our lives by doing our homework folks.
– So what’s the real secret? –
Instead of looking to quantum physics to solve our problems, let’s look to our own brains. As Carl Jung said, “It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.” Perspective is everything! Your mind is a powerful tool.
The Secret is correct in that we need to change the way we look at things, but it’s not as easy as those three overly simple steps.
The best way is to get into the habit of thinking consciously. How many times have you driven home from a place only to find an hour later that you are home, yet do not remember a single moment of the drive?
When you walk around in autopilot mode, it can cause “confirmation bias,” a facet of human intelligence that’s been evidenced by countless studies. The brain can only handle so much information, so it will take the path of least resistance whenever possible.
The easiest way for the brain to process something without expending extra energy would be to process information that confirms the info you have already stored, as opposed to interpreting new experiences based purely on their own merits.
For example, if you often have a negative outlook on the world, you’ll tend to pull that negativity—unhealthy skepticism—into any new information you encounter.
Once you start living consciously and avoiding confirmation bias, you can start using your brain as the powerful tool it is. Do I think I can use positive thoughts to become a super model? Well, no, but I can certainly use my thoughts to overcome injury and other adversity.
The “placebo effect” is evidence of this. In the medical field, placebos have worked in countless ways, including sugar pills used to cure depression or, in some cases (over 40 years ago), surgeons would perform placebo surgical procedures that produced positive results for the patient.
Personally, I try to live life aware of my self-fulfilling prophecies. If I wake up with an attitude that the world is unfair, I’ll inevitably meet a world full of selfish meanies. But if I wake up in the morning and draw my attention to all the times in my life that people helped me or just showed kindness, I walk into a world of lovely individuals.
Time and time again research shows us how powerful this tactic can be on a human being. For our purposes, this is confirmation that our minds are powerful tools that can take us places as sacred as healing the body.
Happiness and fulfillment are choices as close as your thoughts. I believe that living consciously can certainly affect your interpretation of life and even help you with choices that will make your life more fulfilling.
Choose your thoughts carefully and mindfully cultivate them. It will serve you well. There’s no secret in that.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.” ~Buddha
– The super powers of meditation –
Who hasn’t heard of the super powers displayed by great spiritual practitioners and meditation masters? And who wouldn’t secretly want to get them?
Our world has opened up to different techniques, and with it have come incredible stories of Tibetan yogis able to generate such body heat that they can survive sitting for days on ice, without any clothing needed. Even Hollywood has come on board, big time and long ago. After all, wouldn’t meditation, provided we do it in the right way, give us the supernatural abilities shown in the Matrix trilogy: dodging the bullets, mind-travelling, foreseeing the future.
– The most common super powers linked with meditation practice –
First of all, here’s a list of the most often mentioned powers and abilities that can be acquired when meditating. Just so that we’re on the same page: in a second, we’ll come to the truth content and precise way of acquiring these supernatural dimensions.
- KNOWLEDGE OF PAST LIVES: Witnessing forms, personalities and events that you have lived through in your past existences. (1)
- POWERS OF HEALING: Bringing about miraculous, supernatural recoveries from serious chronic illnesses or ailments. (2)
- TELEPATHY: The ability to “read” the minds of other people and know, even across great distance, what they are thinking and feeling. (3)
- VISIONS OF OTHER LANDS: Hearing conversations in different languages, seeing certain events from this and other worlds. (4)
- SEEING THE FUTURE: The ability to move in a timeless dimension where one can perceive things which, in the world of linear time, have not yet taken place. (5)
- SUSPENSION OF GRAVITY: Levitation, walking on water, even flying is sometimes mentioned under this category of powers. (6)
- IMMUNITY TO PAIN: Single-pointedness of mind such that no pain, whether it is physical or mental, cannot reach you. The same is true about hunger and thirst. (7)
- INVINCIBILITY: No external force, whether natural or artificial, can displace even a single hair of you. (8)
- WISH-FULFILLMENT: As an advanced meditator wishes anything, it will be provided by the so-called unified field and without recourse to ordinary, natural principles. (9)
A wonderful list, at least in terms of showing what we as human-beings are secretly desiring. And this is not to say that the above-enlisted super powers are a lie and a ‘fool’s dream’. In the first instance, it only proves our tendency to miss the real magic and the miracles performed in a quiet, non-flashy manner. Kind of like the stuff the best witches are dealing with, as in Terry Pratchett’s wonderfully illumined and enlightened last Discworld sub-series.
– Nothing whatsoever can stop you: The powers that are super –
Because when talking about meditation, one thing is for sure. If you meditate regularly and wholeheartedly (as if your hair were burning), you will be guaranteed to:
- Feel love and compassion for complete strangers.
- Understand what your cat is telling you.
- Lose any appetite for personal ambitions.
- Lose your ability to differentiate between waking state and dreams.
- Pray for the life of a mosquito.
- Taste an orange as if for the very first time.
- Still argue with your significant other – yet find it increasingly more like a game, not a war.
- Stop dead in a beam of sunlight, with a blessed smile on your face.
- See through death.
- Laugh out loud at the concept of superpowers.
But being a human being, you are probably feeling frustrated when told about super powers of this kind. Being a human being, you’re probably a bit irritated at the moment, feeling kind of cheated on and muttering to yourself, ‘But hey, what about all the REAL magical abilities and feats listed at the beginning — the flying above mountain tops, the reading of other people’s minds? Are you just pulling my leg or is it your way of saying that these do not exist?’
– Are the supernatural powers for real? –
No one is trying to pull your leg. The short and simple answer to your question would be: ‘Yes, they are for real.’ All these mind-boggling super powers do indeed exist. Perhaps not in all those crazy shapes and varieties described in urban myth and popular culture, but nevertheless. And meditating earnestly will, quite probably, get you acquainted with a few of those powers.
Yet there’s a reason why we’ve dragged you right and left before coming to this. As with any other short and simple answer, it hides treacherous traps and could be easily misinterpreted. It is, in other words, quite a dangerous answer.
To proceed with any chance of solving the riddle of your life, you have to keep this “Yes, the super powers do exist” tightly wrapped into the following. At all times, and no matter what happens or does not happen.
1. Going into meditation in search of any supernatural abilities is the clearest of indications that you are heavily caught in the cobwebs of your ego.
You are trying to boost yourself, either to get direct power over others (“I can do things you people cannot even dream of!”), or to unravel some of your personal knots (anguish, boredom, depression, insomnia, impotence of mind and body, you name it). And please be careful: even when you think that you want the super powers for the sake of others only, and not for your own glory — this is actually NEVER the case. How can your mind, without yet having entered the realm of the Eternal True Nature, have even the faintest idea about what might help others?! It simply doesn’t. But being a thinking, reasoning and calculating machine, it is very good at slipping in suggestions which go towards augmenting your Name and Fame.
2. Super powers follow naturally from patient, non-desiring effort.
They are a by-product, a tool like anything else: you can use them for good or for bad, there is nothing really special or revolutionary or world-changing in them. Some great saints and masters who have graced this earth have made ample use of those powers and abilities; others have walked right through them as if they did not exist at all. If you consider this fact very carefully, then you will realize that there’s nothing “must-have” about the acquiring or displaying of these supernatural powers.
What is absolutely inevitable and necessary on the path to awakening, however, is this attitude: “Whether I seem to go backwards like a crab or soar across the plains of many a mystical world, may I continue sitting humbly and earnestly as a solid unmoving mountain.”
Five simple rules for happiness:
– Free your heart from hatred.
– Free your mind from worries.
– Live simply.
– Give more.
– Expect less.
— Voice Of People (@VOP_Today) December 13, 2016
A negative mind will never give you a positive life.
— Voice Of People (@VOP_Today) November 29, 2016
— Voice Of People (@VOP_Today) November 11, 2016