What is blocking happiness from your life today? A look at how our daily habits of mind shape our experience
As a relative of mine said about her activity level during this winter in New Jersey -- the worst in decades, "If I weren't jumping to conclusions, I wouldn't be getting any exercise at all." Aside from the fact that jumping to conclusions doesn't burn any calories, it actually may be the very habit that is blocking positive energy and happiness in our lives. Do we really shape our reality and our capacity for happiness with the thoughts that we choose to think or the way we fashion our daily questions and dialogue with ourselves and others? The power of mind over matter has been a source of fascination for more than 3000 years now. One of the oldest Biblical passages in the book of Proverbs, 23:7 asserts: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
In his book, ‘As a Man Thinketh’, James Allen said,
“Mind is the master power that molds and makes, and man is mind, and evermore he takes, the tool of thought, and, shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills. He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass: environment is but his looking-glass.”
Exploring the ages-old relationship between the mind and what we generally consider to be the material world, a group of seekers led by Sal Canzonieri, lecturer and Qi Gong instructor, examined the habits of mind that often lead us to shut down possibilities in our lives instead of remaining open to receiving happiness.
The lecture and discussion session titled, Transform Your Life Receive Greatness in Your Life is one of the programs offered at Art of the Heart in Chester, NJ, established by Sue Freeman in 2009.
“The goal is to learn to be present in our lives and enhance our ability to receive everything, reject nothing and create everything we desire in life – greater than what we currently have and more than what we can imagine,” said Canzonieri.
Drawing from a range of spiritual traditions, Canzonieri was raised Catholic, but now practices what he considers to be a blend of Taoism, Chan (Zen) Buddhism, Kaballah, and Tantra. In addition, Canzonieri has studied an approach to looking at one's thought patterns called Access Consciousness. He said his Christian roots still inform his sense of angels, saints and miracles.
He said one of the most important aspects of being open to allowing goodness and happiness into one’s life is the practice of remaining in the question – and not jumping to conclusions.
Framing up a new view of what’s possible
The perspective that Canzonieri has adopted through his spiritual journey involves staying open to the possibilities and being ever vigilant in the way we think and speak about what is possible.
“How often do we say to ourselves, this is never going to happen for me or my relationships never work out, I always meet people who are wrong for me?” Canzonieri said.
It is this limited thinking and way of talking about our lives that shuts down the energy and the possibilities, he said.
“Your view of life creates your reality and it creates what shows up in your life. The great thing is that you have the ability to change your point of view,” he said.
Canzonieri took the participants through a series of exercises that he said will help to banish a point of view that is limiting and replace it with a new way of framing up the world and what is possible.
He said his training has changed his perspective.
“When you destroy and ‘uncreate’ everything you have decided or concluded about something, the clearing statement goes to the place where you first locked it in as real and true, no matter if it was this lifetime or many lifetimes ago, and erases whatever has been holding that fixed belief, consideration, conclusion, in place,” Canzonieri said.
He said when one makes an effort to clear the old and worn out assumptions, all of the energy that was locked in place by a decision that was made long ago – changes.
“It changes throughout all of one’s lifetimes and suddenly your life right here, right now can show up differently. You are no longer bound and determined to have to function from that particular conclusion or decision,” he said.
Participants were furiously jotting down the phrases that Canzonieri offered that will help them delete conclusions that are no longer serving their lives.
One of the affirmations he shared was, “I destroy, delete, uncreate, de-story, and transmute across all of space, time, dimensions, and all reality, all that I and others are blocking from my success from receiving what I desire or something better.”
For Canzonieri, being uncomfortable or feeling unworthy with regard to receiving is the real problem and it all comes down to what we are willing to receive – it’s a choice. Trying to figure out or control the answer – seems to create a block.
“The Universe is endlessly abundant. The universe will give you answers, if you are willing to ask a question and listen to the reply. Receiving is being in the question, instead of the conclusion, judgment or attitude,” Canzonieri said.
Thinking our way to a new reality
While many believe that thoughts create reality, while others believe it is new-age nonsense. Interestingly, what is often called new-age is drawn from ancient texts that speak to intention, thought, and belief that are viewed as powerful tools that can create or destroy.
The Buddha said, “What we think we become.” And Laozi, author of the Tao Te Ching advised, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
For more information about Sal Canzoneri and the classes he offers, visit his Web site at: http://www.jindaolife.com/classes.html
For more information about classes and workshops offered at Art of the Heart, Perry Street, Chester, NJ, visit the Web site at: http://www.theartoftheheart-chester.com/
Your comments about this article or thoughts you may have about the power of the mind are welcome. Please visit our SUN Talk page. Watch the video on our SUN TV page.
Thought for the Day
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” - Tao Te Ching
Contemplation, prayer, meditation and solitude: the tonic for all that ails us? “Everyone of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self..We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves. Contemplation is not and cannot be a function of this external self. There is an irreducible opposition between the deep transcendent self that awakens only in contemplation, and the superficial, external self which we commonly identify with the first person singular. Our reality, our true self, is hidden in what appears to us to be nothingness....We can rise above this unreality and recover our hidden reality....God Himself begins to live in me not only as my Creator but as my other and true self. ”
― Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation _________________________________________________
While love and compassion are the foundational principles upon which all spiritual and religious traditions are built, perhaps solitude, contemplation, prayer, and meditation help us to access an understanding of our core self and our connection to the universal energy that runs through each and everyone of us. But why so we often forget that we are part of this universal fabric of love, creativity, compassion and wonder? Perhaps when much of our focus becomes bogged down in the material conditions of life, which of course are important, while we are in human form, but how important? How much of our time should we spend on our material life when there are sunsets to drink, blankets of stars to wrap our spirits in, the fragrance and apparel of nature to adorn ourselves with?
"The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! For this, for everything, we are our of tune..." -- William Wordsworth All of the world's religions and wisdom traditions invite us to reflect, contemplate, meditate and pray.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
"What is worth more: a crowd of thousands or your own genuine solitude? Power over an entire kingdom -- or freedom? A little while alone in you room will prove more valuable than anything else that could ever be given to you."
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Do you have patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?