Tag Archive | Mantras

Epitaph Mantra

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How do you want to be remembered?

If you were to write your epitaph, what would it look like?”

Dani the Ever-Playful

Loved to play with ideas.

Playfully sought to master Thinking and understand Understanding,
to make life a Work of Art and inspire others to do the same.

“What if you thought of it as a mantra – an epitaph mantra?”

“A mantra that’s also a Memento Mori reminder. Powerful.”

The Art of Perception 11

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I beautify any activity?”

“Look at it through a filter of Meaning. 

How is this a Gift?

One way to answer it is by saying to yourself two mantras:

I can/am able to do this.

What (visible and invisible) systems enable you to do it, and how are they interconnected?

I get to do this.

How is it an opportunity?
What values/virtues does it allow you to practice?
What does it teach you about yourself?”

Love Mantra

I love you Life. (Memento Mori)
I love you Day.
I love you Moment.

I love you Dani.
I love you Dani-who-I-was.
I love you Dani-who-I-willl-be.
I love you my beautiful BodyMind.

I love you my dear parents.
I love you my dear brother.

Viewed as a template [<link; medium read], the structure is “I love you x”. This is a modular mantra. You can add as many things as you wish and swap them around at will.

Funny Mantras

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I collect mantras:

Everything is figureoutable. (Marie Forleo)

I am an Endlessly Evolving Process,
I am Relentless Forward Motion.

No matter what, I will be okay. (Charlie Houpert)

OMMS (Obstacles Make Me Stronger) (Brian Johnson)

Screw it, let’s do it! (Richard Branson)

That’s like me! (Brian Johnson)

This too shall pass. (Tim Ferris)

And many more.”

“They’re all so serious.”

“Their purpose is to help you recover balance once lost.”

What if you used unserious mantras?

There’s one I know from the book The Improv Handbook by Tom Salinsky and Deborah Frances-White.

As a warm-up, to help their students get into the right headspace and silence their inner critic, they instructed them to repeat to themselves:

I suck and I love to fail.

It always makes me smile when I say it.

Humor is a beautiful tool for breaking emotional patterns and changing state.”

“Reminds me of a funny word from the adventure game The Curse of Monkey Island

Papapishu!

In the language of the natives of Plunder Island, the word means ‘Ouch!’

It’s a funny reminder not to take myself so seriously.”

Still your waters

Every breath you take, every step you make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Still your waters. (Josh Waitzkin)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I still my waters? How do you go from stormy waters to still waters?”

“When your waters are stormy, that’s the best time to practice. That’s the ultimate stress test for whatever technique you’re using.

The best technique I’ve found involves breathing and a mantra.

Stilling your waters = Deep Breathing + Mantra

The mantra is key to the process. Its purpose is to slow down and distract your mind.

“What mantra?”

“The mantra can be one meaningful word that you say with each breath. (eg Love)

Or it can be two meaningful words, one on the inhalation, the other other on the exhalation. (eg Peace, Joy)

Or it can be multiple meaningful words, one with each breath. (eg your central values)

Play around, experiment. Do it every time you need to still your mind. The measure of success is how quickly you manage to do it.

This is the core of the practice. However you can add a few more little things to make it more powerful.

You can add a smile with each exhalation. This relaxes the muscles of the face which helps you relax.

You can make it a practice of Self-Love and Active Love.
Express Love to yourself and your beautiful BodyMind.
Bring to mind a person that is dear to you, or someone you’ve learned something from, and send them Love.

You can associate the practice with one of your Heroes, and bring them to mind whenever you practice.”

“Who did you associate the practice with?”

“Thich Nhat Hanh.

His teachings and way of being deeply resonate with me. Whenever I think of him, I bring to mind the title of one of his books, and smile:

Peace is every step.

Only I’ve added another line to it:

Peace is every step.
Peace is every breath.

On Celebration and Stacking

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“A beautiful idea I got from BJ Fogg’s book Tiny Habits is that the most important factor in habit creation is Celebration. By celebrating immediately after the desired habitual behavior, you make it more likely to engage in it next time.

You may have heard the idea that it takes 40 days to install a new habit. Actually, the more intense the celebration, the less time it takes to install a habit.

“How can you increase the intensity of the celebration?”

“One way to do it is by stacking several practices on top of it, thus amplifying the emotional effect.”

“A kind of emotional flooding [<link; short length]?”

“Yes.

The way I do it is as follows:

That’s like me! (Practice: Celebration)

I love you Dani. (Practice: Self-Love, Connecting with my Inner Child)

I love you Dani-who-I-will-be. (Practice: Self-Love, Connecting with my Future-Self, Recommitment)

I love you [the name of one person whose life touched mine]. (Practice: Active Love)

Thank you [for one thing, or to one person]. (Practice: Gratitude)

I say it like a little mantra.

I’m not only amplifying the celebration, but also practicing several things at once. This is what I call a high-density practice.”

“Do you do this every time you celebrate?”

“No. I say it strategically, when I need it most.”

Habit Optimization 3

Make your best performance your new baseline. (Josh Waitzkin)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I optimize habit-tracking?”

“Marking a habit as done feels good. You can amplify this effect by also celebrating your small win. 

I like to do it by saying to myself ‘That’s like me!‘ I know this little mantra from Brian Johnson. When I say it, I also express Gratitude to Brian, and send him and his family Love. This amplifies the effect even more.

If marking a habit as done feels good, marking ALL of them at the end of day feels even better. I like to call this AD (All Done). You can use this to your advantage.”

“How?”

“The main benefit of tracking a habit is that you can see its continuity. ‘I’ve been doing this for x days in a row.’ The longer the chain, the harder it becomes to break, and the more satisfying it feels. 

What’s even more powerful than seeing the continuity of a habit is seeing the continuity of your AD. 

AD is also a habit – a meta-habit. The habit of completing all your habits every day.”

“So the idea is:

Track your AD, not just your habits.

“Precisely.

I like to do it in writing.

AD tracking

I write the calendar in pencil, and whenever I have an AD day, I write on top with a pen.

Seeing the continuity of your AD feels really good. I’m now working on making it my new baseline.”

“That’s a useful feature for a habit-tracking app. I mean, the AD visible as a separate row, whose continuity you can see at a glance. Once you complete all habits for a day, the AD becomes marked automatically.”

“I guess it is.”

Daily Rituals 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Viewed through the 80/20 (Pareto) filter, what’s the most important part of the day, the 20%?”

“The beginning and the end. Those are the parts you have most control over. They give the day structure and momentum. I like to think of them as the AM and PM Rituals.”

“What’s your process for creating them?”

“I start with two questions:

What do you want to think?
What do you want to do?

As concerns the thinking, there’s two aspects to it:

How do you want to think about the process in the moment? [as a means to make it meaningful]

eg

The process as Ritual
The process as
Meditation

What’s the first thing you want to think when you wake up in the morning?
What’s the first thing you want to think when you close your eyes at night?

You can have a (slightly different) little mantra for each.

eg

I want to start and end the day with Love and Gratitude, so my mantra has the structure:

Good morning/night Dani
Love mantra
Gratitude mantra

As concerns the doing, this has to do with creating sequences of specific actions. You can think of them as checklists. You can start by having them written down, until you internalize them.

eg

AM Ritual:
Making bed
Drinking water
Meditation
Activation [
energizing yourself]
– Mental: Writing / Journaling
– Physical: Moving
Priming [
readying your Compass]
– Recommitment
[Purpose, Goals]

PM Ritual:
Reflection on the day
– Writing / Journaling
Preparation for the next day
Priming [
something for your mind to work on over night]
– MIQ (Most Important Question)
Meditation

“Does the order in which you do them matter?”

“It doesn’t.

Play with them, experiment.
Experiment with the content,
experiment with the sequencing,
experiment with the duration,
until you find the structure that works best for you.

One important aspect is to not just go through the motions. 

How you do them is as important as doing them. 

Strive to do them mindfully, to be totally present in the doing. That’s the purpose of thinking of the entire process as Meditation. You can even ask yourself at the end:

How present was I?

Aspirations

Seek perfection in your locomotion and training to achieve an exceptional quality and standard in your movements, regardless of what they are. (Chris Rowatt)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What’s your highest aspiration as a Mover?”

“I like to express it as mantra:

Move beautiful.
Every movement a meditation.
Every movement a dance.

On Love and Gratitude: Stacking

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What’s your most powerful practice?”

Loving Gratitude [<link; short length], or Grateful Love.

“Is this an instance of practice-stacking, so that whenever you practice one you also practice the other?”

“It is that, and more. It’s an instance of concept-stacking [<link; short]. I’ve fused the two concepts together, so that whenever I think of one I also think of the other.”

“Can you give a practical example?”

“Each practice has an associated mantra. 

For Love it’s ‘I love …‘ 

eg

I love x. (Template [<link; medium])

I love climbing.
I love learning.

I love you x.

I love you Dani.
I love you Dani-who-I-was. 
I love you Dani-who-I-will-be.

I love you my dear Body.
(Self-Love)

I love you Life.
I love you Day.
I love you Moment.

I love you x for y.

For Gratitude it’s ‘Thank you …

eg

Thank you.

Thank you for y.

Thank you x.

Thank you x for y.

Whenever I express Gratitude by saying ‘Thank you …‘, I also express Love for something related to it by saying ‘I love …

Whenever I express Love by saying ‘I love …‘, I also express Gratitude for something related to it by saying ‘Thank you …‘”