หมอสันต์พูดกับกลุ่มผู้เรียนชาวต่างชาติเรื่องการวางความคิด (in English)
เช้าวันนี้ผมพูดให้กลุ่มคนต่างชาติเรื่องการจัดการความเครียดด้วยการวางความคิด พูดเป็นภาษาอังกฤษและบันทึกเทปไว้ เทปสมัยนี้ถ่ายออกมาเป็นไฟล์ตัวหนังสือได้เลย เนื้อหาง่าย น่าจะมีประโยชน์สำหรับบางท่าน จึงเอามาลงไว้ให้อ่าน ต้องขอโทษที่ผมไม่มีเวลาแปลเป็นภาษาไทย ท่านใช้กูเกิ้ลแปลเอาเองก็แล้วกันนะครับ
We have one hour together this morning.
I will give you a briefing how we deal with stress here at Wellness We Care Center. My briefing will be a kind of.. I give you a tool, one tool at the time, then you test that tool here immediately. One tool after another. By the time I have given you all of tho tools, you will get the rough idea how to cope with stress.
Before testing the tool, let’s talk a bit about life. In my view, life consists of roughly three components,
the thought, and
I use the word “thought” as a synonym with the word “mind”
What is awareness? My definition is the moment that you are fully awake without thought, that is awareness. Repeat.. awareness is “awake without thought” .It possesses a peaceful and joyful nature because it is only the ability to aware things as it is. It has nothing to do with thought or ego.
My critical view of life is that
I am not the body,
I am not the thought,
I am the awareness.
Please note that I use the word “awareness” as a synonym to the word “consciousness”
Stress is created by the thought.
The objective of stress management is to drop the thought. That’s all. So all tools I will give to you today are just to help you dropping your thought successfully. Once the thought is dropped, the only thing left is awareness, which is yourself in a peaceful and joyful state.
Tool No.1: Attention
Back in school days, you were familiar with the teacher’s word “Attention, please”, which immediately brought you back from thought to pay attention to what the teacher was going to say.
Attention is the powerful arm of the awareness. Whichever your attention stays with, that thing will be important. Unfortunately, it usually stays with thought. And it makes a useless thought so powerful.
The way to use this tool is to withdraw your attention from thought. Pull it back to where it belongs, here and now with the awareness. Let’s try it.
Now close your eyes, straighten your back up, say to yourself quietly
then withdraw your attention from any thought to attend the space or emptiness in front of you here and now. Stay here just a few seconds will do. Because naturally withing one or two seconds the attention will goes back to stay with thought again.
Never mind, try it again “Attention Please”
and again and again.
Tool No.2: Breathing
You will find it hard to keep attention here and now for more than a few seconds because thought will always come quickly. It will be easier to find some more interesting tangible object for attention to attend. The easiest object is our own breathing.
This time we will try withdraw our attention from thought and attend the breathing. Let’s do it. Start with closing your eye, straighten your back, take deep breath, say quietly to yourself “Attention Please” then pay attention to the breathing. I mean observe breathing. Follow your breath. The breath goes in. The breath goes out. In and out, in and out.
You can do this breathing meditation with eye open anywhere anytime because the breath will be always here with you. By doing this you drop your thought to attend breathing instead. Of course staying with breathing is much less stressful than staying with thought.
Tool No.3: Relaxation
Whenever thought arise, the body will be tensed up. Whenever the body is relaxed, the thought will be subside. The thought has two components, the content of thought and the contraction of the muscle. So relaxation is another tool to drop the thought.
To relax the body you just intentionally order your muscles to be relaxed. Scan your attention toward that group of muscles and order them to be relaxed. Let’s learn how to do it. Please lift up one of your hand and make a fist like this. Then you squeeze the fist. You are contracting this arm muscles. Now you order this arm and fist to be relaxed. Put your arm down on your knee and order it to be more relaxed. Relaxed. Relaxed. Now you scan your attention over that area to make sure that it really is relaxed.
Now we will do relaxation for the whole body. Starting with your face. Order your face to be relaxed. Cheek, eyes, forehead be relaxed. You can test it whether it is really relaxed or not by try smiling. If you cannot smile, you are not relaxed yet. try more relaxation until you can comfortably smile.
Then expand relaxation to other parts of the body, the whole head, neck, chest, tummy, back, arms and hands, legs and feet. So the whole body is now relaxed. Try smile. Relaxed.
Tool No.4: Body Scan
When we move the torch light in darkness, we scan the darkness with light. To do body scan means we scan feeling over our body with our attention. What we are looking for is the subtle feeling such as tingling feeling all over the skin. Let make up some example to learn what feeling looks like.
Example1: You lift your left arm up like this. The move the palm of your right hand gently over the skin of your left arm. Do not touch the skin. Just lightly touch the hairs. Then you feel the skin of the left arm. Such feeling of hairs raising is one example of body feeling.
Example2: Bring both of your palms and put them together like this. Then separate them from each other a bit. Then repetitively move each palm toward and away from each other like this. Then close your eyes. Pay all your attention to the feeling on the palms of both hands. Relax the whole body. Feel the tingling sensation on the palms. This is another example of body feeling.
Example3: One way to create feeling on the body is to create vibration by talking, singing, or chanting. Let’s try AUM chanting this morning. When you chant AUM it is important to focus on vibration created all over the body.
There are three components in AUM. The first one Aa.a..a you can feel vibration of the lower part of the body. The second one Oo..o…o you can feel the vibration in the middle part of your body. The third one Um.m..m you can feel the vibration in the upper part of your body. So when you chant AUM you will feel the vibration of the whole body from bottom up to the top. The vibration gets finer and finer until it becomes tingling sensation all over the body.
What we really feel is the energy body. We have two bodies together in here. The physical body which we can see and touch, and the energy body which we can not see, can not touch, but we can feel it through body scan. As I said whichever target the attention stays with, that target will become important. Doing body scan regularly will boost or enhance our energy body. The energy body feed energy to our physical body.
Now, how to do body scan? Let’s do it together now. Close your eyes, straighten your back, take deep breath once then pay attention to your breath. We are sitting here watching our breath. The breath goes in. The breath goes out. In and out. In and out.
Now, turn attention from the breath to pay attention to the small area of skin underneath your nostrils. Imagine you are a small ant there watching what feelings occur on the skin of that area. At least you can feel air move in and out. If you fine tune your attention, you will feel the difference between when air move in and when air move out. Fine tune your attention further, you will feel other sensation such as tingling, numbness, itchy, pain etc.
Now we will do scanning. I mean expand the area of our attention or sweep our attention to cover more area of the body. From under the nose to cover nose and mouth, cheeks, eyes, forehead, your hair, the whole head, neck, chest, tummy, back, arms and hands, legs and feet. Until your attention cover every square inch of the body, one round after another.
You will feel aliveness of every cell of your body while doing body scan. As long as your attention stays with the body feeling, the thought is automatically dropped.
Tool No.5: Alertness
The less life energy you have, the more drowsy you are. Whenever you are drowsy or sleepy, you are not awake and not aware. You are not here and now. Alertness is a tool to wake yourself up. To do it, whenever you feel sluggish or sleepy, you take deep breath, straighten your body up, shock or poke yourself a bit the way a soldier stand up paying salute to his commander. Let try it now.
You can alert yourself whenever you feel sleepy. Keep your self in full awake at all time.
Tool No.6: Meditation
The objective of meditation is to focus your attention at only one thing. That thing can be your breath, your body feelings, or the space in front of you. Once the attention is really focus, all other stimuli will be faded away. Even the target of focus attention will be disappeared. Leaving there only the space of awareness. At this highly meditative stage the fine energy will emerged through this state of awareness. The energy appears in a form of wave which naturally consist of two component, the power and information. Imaging the electromagnetic wave of electricity. We can transform it in to various forms of powerful tools and help downloading various kinds of useful information. So the meditative state will bring in wisdom which help you see and accept things as they are.
They are many ways of doing meditation. Let’s try my way. Now close your eyes, straighten your back. Put your chin up a bit. This way you can feel space right in front of your forehead.
Now start with withdrawing your attention from thought to pay attention to your breathing. The breath goes in. The breath goes out. In and out. In and out.
Now start the body scan. Scan attention to feel the sensation on every square inch of the body.
Now let’s do the body relaxation. Start at the face. Relaxed. Smile. Expand relaxation toward the whole body. Relaxed. Smile.
If you feel sleepy, alert yourself up. Take deep breath. Poke yourself mentally to wake yourself up.
Now we will start focusing our attention.
We will focus our attention to the space or emptiness in front of our forehead. Once in a while we also acknowledge the breathing and the energy body. Breathing in, aware of the space in front. Breathing out, aware of the space in front.
Stay focus at the dark space in front of us. Let the attention sink deeper and deeper into the dark space in front of us until nothing left except the awareness. Meanwhile select any one of the six tools to use in appropriate time. Use alertness when you are sleepy. Use body scan when you feel pain or disturbed by your body. Use relaxation as much and as often as possible. Withdraw your attention from thought to pay attention to the space in front whenever though arises.
Do meditation 30-60 minutes once or twice everyday. Then move meditation into your ordinary life.
While you sit here, is it possible for you to see and hear things as it is without adding any comment on it. This moment is already perfect. Nothing further needed to be added. Stepping back and allowing things to be as it is. Then you will notice peace and joy in the background. That is awareness or state of presence. Let go of the need to understand anything. Just live with right now, the presence. Also, now, can you feel you body is alive. Stay with that feeling. It anchors you with this moment. You can watch you thought arising in your mind like watching the bird flying from here to there. No need to follow every thought. Just observing your thought, not thinking your thought.
In summary, we have discussed and tested 6 tools to help dropping your thought, attention, breathing, relaxation, body scan, alertness and meditation.
Now, since we have accomplished our one hour session. I will have to go to Bangkok this morning so let me say goodbye to you here.