You Are Already Enlightened

Enlightenment has been described as simply as a deeper knowing, or more profoundly, as a transformation of consciousness. You are already on the path to enlightenment. There are simple, mindful ways to further progress and reap the benefits of enlightenment.

Psychotherapy and Meditation: Means To The Same End

Meditation and psychotherapy have much in common. Mindfulness, a focus on oneself, detachment from thoughts, and ultimately, enlightenment are all aspects and goals of both.

The Kanye West In All Of Us

Kanye West is a polarizing figure. But we possess many of the same qualities that lead to him being described as “a caricature of the egocentric modern celebrity” (Hawking, 2013). Projection, our own hypocrisy, and a fervent desire to holder own opinions as correct contribute to us being no better.

You Might Be Better Off Not Reading This

Many writers of enlightenment talk about how it lies within us; how our egos must be transcended, how the ego cannot transcend itself, and how all our knowledge works to inhibit enlightenment. Yet we continue to write about it, as the knowledge must be transmitted. The goal, however, remains to reach the inner peace that lies beneath all of the knowledge.

Essential Freedom Is Essentially Ignored

Essential freedom, defined as "freedom of being", is often neglected in our culture. Despite the writing of many scholars and existential theorists, the general populace continues to value existential freedom (to act on choices) over essential freedom. The recent gift-giving holiday and New Year's holiday mirror this unnecessary, but often fought, conflict.

Living With a Depressed Loved One

Depression is one the most common diagnosis in this country, and as such, many who love a person with depression suffer with them. It can be painfully difficult. But there are things that can be done to help yourself and perhaps your loved one. It starts with understanding the illness and its symptoms, leads to being loved, and can help with your own self-actualization.

Afraid of Ebola? Or Afraid of Living?

“Many refuse the loan of life to avoid the debt of death”. This quote of Otto Rank may be at the root of why many complain about life nearly incessantly, yet fear every threat to their life that comes along. In the existential view, many do not truly live out of their fear of dying. However, being aware of death can bring more pleasure and vibrance to life.

Technology, Conditioning, And The End Of Long Term Therapy

Technology has moved society, and therapy, forward. Yet there are drawbacks no one seems too concerned about. One is the conditioning for an immediate solution. Despite the empirical evidence short term therapy can be effective, there is still a need, and many benefits, for long term therapy. Yet it seems very few have the patience for it.

Your Diagnosis Can Be Like A Traffic Citation

There is a great deal of variance in giving a traffic citation. Some of this is dependent on what the officer feels like doing, or what he/she focuses on. We have come to accept this. Yet, we wouldn't want this to be true of a mental health diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is evidence this occurs in this area as well. Diagnosis isn't as scientific or as perfect as believed.

From Addicted, To Loving

Codependency can be a tough addiction to overcome. Often it isn't even noticed. When it is a problem someone wants to change, it is more difficult if one wants to maintain the relationship, but make it healthy. With focus and work it can be done.

You're Not In Love; You're Addicted.

What many people believe is normal and healthy love, is actually nothing more than an addiction. And like any addiction, people protect themselves from the truth with defense mechanisms. However, several prominent writers have purported the truth about "love", and many others have agreed on the determinants of healthy love.

Was a Zen Master a Sex Addict?

Sexual addiction is a controversial topic. In this essay the criteria are explored and compared to the behavior of a famous Buddhist monk, Master Ikkyu Sojun. Master Ikkyu was a Buddhist monk who sung the praises of sex in his poems, and with his behavior. Buddhist monks are expected to refrain from sex. But did he meet the criteria for sexual addiction?

Why Don't You Want To Feel Better?

Many people suffer psychologically, and seem to believe relief is out of reach. However, the answers to most psychological suffering are not secrets. They are, and have been, demonstrated and available for a long time. People may not be able to see solutions because secondary gains and defense mechanisms are robbing them of their motivation to change.

You're Unimportant; But It Doesn't Mean You Can't Be Happy

Your brain is lying to you. It wastes your energy, taking you on fear (anxiety) fueled drives. Part of the lie is how important you, and your thinking, is. In creating this perception it makes itself seem useful. But instead you can use your mind to overrun the brain, and create more happiness in your life.

The Big Lie

The reality you believe you live in is actually an elaborate lie created by your mind. Your defense mechanisms, malleable memory, and desire to have pleasure and avoid pain leads to lies being more palatable. Not only do many prefer to be lied to, they lie to themselves.

Control Is the Psychological Goal

Control is an ultimate goal in psychology. The belief one has control in a situation, as well as the perception of control, lead to better outcomes on biological and psychological testing and are associated with happiness. Yet the idea one needs to control is inappropriately applied to situations and then brings unnecessary suffering.

Life Lessons From The Male Member

The male member teaches valuable lessons about oneself, relationships, and life. However, these lessons can be easily overlooked or discarded if one is not attentive. This article attempts to point out how the penis might be trying to teach a valuable lesson in acceptance, unpredictability, animal nature, or even enlightenment.

Consciously Creating Your Relationships

Our ideas of relationships have been conditioned through our experiences, including everything from Disney movies to our actual romantic encounters. As with any other aspect of our lives, we can consciously question where are beliefs originated, and decide what to keep and what to discard. This may lead to more fulfilling relationships.

You, And The Manifesting Of Reality

The idea of manifesting one's reality has been around a long time, and has a prominent place in mysticism. Psychology explains it in more scientific terms, including focus and perception, and self-fulfilling prophecy. You can use this idea to create a better, more ideal, version of yourself.

Sex Affects Your Thinking, And You Don't Seem To Care

Sex affects thinking. Major psychological theories, research, and pop-culture support this. Yet many ignore this, either unconvinced or feeling powerless over it. Adding questions as to whether, or how, sex is affecting your thinking can bring about a more mindful approach to your life.

Overcoming Unnecessary Suffering

Existence is suffering. This is the first Noble Truth in Buddhism. But, as comedian Louis CK (and many other prominent scholars) points out, in developed countries we tend to create our suffering. Perhaps this is due to a natural psychological mechanism, but it can be overcome with mindfulness and a focus on creating and becoming your ideal self.

Other Life

The "Other Life" exists in several ways. One detrimental way is when one compares herself to a perfectionistic ideal, regretting her place in life for the path not taken. Another detrimental example is when someone chooses fantasy life to the detriment of his actual life. A more fulfilling life begins with embracing the present and the choices that have been made.

Your Fear of Love

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.” A.A. Milne said this as Winnie the Pooh. Caring too much is painful. to protect themselves many withdraw, or deflect issues to the outside world so as to not feel their pain. But love is also essential to changing the world and to bringing one to self actualization. Overcoming the fear starts with self love.

Unconsciously Rushing To Be Unconscious

Adaptive unconscious is estimated to direct 95% of behavior. Although this has tremendous advantage and is a marvel of evolution, it has several drawbacks that may detract from happiness.

I'm Full Of It, And So Are You

Between defense mechanisms (especially projection), cognitive distortions, and the fact memory is malleable, people deceive themselves consistently and trust themselves implicitly. Although this is impossible to completely overcome, there is a way to lead a more conscious and authentic life. It begins with questioning thinking and mindfulness.

Insecure? It Has Its Benefits

Insecurity implies self-doubt. It is associated with negatives; has been reported as unattractive; and there are articles and books aplenty to help one overcome it. No one tries to be viewed as insecure. Yet in the right quantity it is actually beneficial, and can be viewed in a more positive light.

Your Purpose In Life

Many accept, whether consciously or unconsciously, a meaning in life that is fed to them. Instead, each individual has the power, and the responsibility, to determine or decide what the meaning of life is. To do otherwise, to not consciously determine what you want your life to mean, would be against all existential thought teaches.

Will Your Choice Bring Happiness Or Heartache?

It may be all of the opportunity of choice that is detracting from happiness. Too many choices may lead to disappointment. When this is combined with the hedonistic treadmill, unhappiness ensues. But by understanding the aspects of choice that include opportunity cost, and then creating the meaning of your choice and mastering your thinking, you can create happiness.

Dancing Monkeys, Every One Of Us

As the viral video of a few years ago suggests, our self awareness hinders us from fully experiencing our existence, and possibly interferes with experiencing happiness. If we can, as Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests, stop "selfing", perhaps we can transcend the self and become happier.

The Joke's On Who?

Many believe there is a grain or more of truth in every joke. There is some truth to this if you accept Freud's theory. However, humor comes from thought, and all thought is not truth. Some thoughts, in fact, are illogical and don't indicate anything at all. So although humor, and the thoughts that lead to it, can be evaluated, it isn't necessarily true.

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