Tag Archive | Perception

On Balance 5

Nothing happens to the wise man against his expectations. (Seneca)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

I lost balance.

Why is that a problem?

I don’t want to lose balance.

There’s your problem right there. 

Losing balance is inevitable. What you want is an impossibility.

Losing balance is outside your control. Something external happens which triggers an unconscious internal response – oft-times unpleasant. You can’t control the internal response. What you can control is how you respond to and how fast you recover from it.

Expect losing balance, my dear. Greet it as an old friend. Thus you ensure it never takes you by surprise.

Losing balance is a beautiful opportunity to practice recovery. Every time you lose balance is another rep(etition) of this vital art.

Losing balance is a beautiful opportunity to learn something about yourself. Every time you lose balance ask yourself:

What is the lesson?

Find the lesson, then express gratitude for the beautiful gift. 

There’s always a gift.

Dehabituation

Our goal should be to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. (Abraham Heschel)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is dehabituation?”

“It’s one of the most important life practices. A form of pattern-breaking

You know how when you get used to something, it tends to disappear. It can be anything: a song, a place, even a person. This phenomenon has been called hedonic adaptation. I call it habituation. In one of his wonderful Shots of Awe, Jason Silva expressively called it

the been theres, done thats of the adult mind.

We’re surrounded by miracles. But habituation makes them invisible.

Dehabituation is the practice of breaking the habituation patterns and seeing the world anew through the eyes of the child that you were… and are.”

The Art of Perception 12

Any particular way of looking at things is only one among many other possible ways. (Edward de Bono)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“We have the tendency to stick with the first interpretation that comes to mind. We often forget – some can’t even envision – that things can be interpreted in multiple ways.

The interpretation triggers emotion, which leads to further interpretation, which maintains and often amplifies the emotion.

Interpretation => Emotion => Interpretation => Emotion

The initial interpretation acts as an anchor on which we base all subsequent interpretations.”

“What is the initial interpretation based upon?”

“Past experiences, sometimes from the very distant past.

Your past subtly influences your future. Unless you break out of such patterns, your past is your future.”

“What’s the practice?”

Remember always that objective reality is neutral. We project our subjective reality on it through our interpretations. 

Always question your first interpretation. 

Generate multiple alternative interpretations, and select the most beautiful one.

Obstacle Immunity

The outer obstacle is an illusion. The inner obstacle is all there is.


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

How can I achieve what Joe de Senna calls ‘obstacle immunity’?

Obstacle immunity is Antifragility. It is not a state, but a process, an endless practice.

Realize that the real obstacle is always within yourself. The real obstacle is your perceptions and emotions.

We view reality through a filter of meaning. Perception is interpretation. The interpretation produces the emotional response. The emotional response shapes your behavior, and with it, the trajectory of your life.

Obstacle immunity is perception mastery and emotional mastery.

Perception mastery is meaning mastery – the capacity to see the poetry in any and everything –, and attention mastery – the capacity to optimally direct attention.

Emotional mastery is recovery mastery – the capacity to return to tranquility/stillness from any point.

Non-Judgment

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What do you mean by judgment?”

“Judgment is a kind of evaluation.

Reality is neutral. We view reality through a filter of meaning. Whenever we evaluate something as positive or negative, we project meaning on it.

Evaluation is interpretation.

Viewed in pragmatic terms, some interpretations are empowering, others disempowering. I call disempowering interpretations, judgment.”

“What is non-judgment?”

“Non-judgment is a practice.

It’s a self-awareness practicenoticing when you judge yourself and others. I call the process of directing attention to notice judgment, the lens of judgment. For me, using this lens was a revelation. I hadn’t realized how often I did it.

It’s also a self-love practice – lovingly breaking the unresourceful thought pattern by gently letting it go.”

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?”

The Art of Perception 10

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Pay attention to the gifts around you.”

“Attention is one component of it. The other component is Meaning.

You see what you pay attention to.
You pay attention to what you consider meaningful. Everything else is invisible [<link; very short read].

We have a perceptual map of the world. This perceptual map is largely a map of meaning. In expanding the map, you’re expanding your reality.”

“How do you expand your perceptual map?”

“This is a game in itself.

All the things you usually notice form a perceptual pattern. This pattern traces the boundary of your reality. One way to expand your map is to regularly break this pattern. 

Make it a habit to look at things you don’t normally notice and ask yourself:

How is this a gift?

Parkour Vision

The world is your playground.


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is parkour vision?”

“One of the (many) things I love about Parkour is how it changes your perception of the environment. Among practitioners, this phenomenon is called parkour vision.

Parkour vision allows you to see possibility within the ordinary.

With parkour vision, the environment becomes magical: every rail is an opportunity to balance on, jump on, or vault over, lines on the ground are virtual rails, parking poles (bollards) are literal stepping stones, light poles and walls are vertical walkways… Children’s playgrounds are exquisite bundles of joy with beautiful echoes of childhood. The limit is your skill level (the more proficient you are, the more possibilities you see) and your creativity.

What’s beautiful about parkour vision is that it’s always on. It becomes a part of you, the default lens through which you see the world. It enriches your perception of reality, and, by extension, your life.”

On Writing and Editing

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I recently started studying editing and proofreading. Currently, this is my main area of focus.”

“Besides writing you mean?”

“I got started with editing because I want to get into freelancing. But I discovered that writing and editing go beautifully together, they’re complementary skills.

Editing helps me become a better writer.

“How?”

“Editing involves delving into the principles and mechanics of good writing. 

In acquiring the skill of editing, you’re developing what I call the editing eye. This is essentially pattern-recognition. You’re internalizing perceptual lenses [<link; short read] that allow you to see any piece of writing with new eyes.”

“Can you give an example?”

“One such lens is wordiness – using more words than necessary or unnecessarily complex or abstract words. 

Internalizing the lens means actually seeing the instances of wordiness in a text, in all its forms: 

Filler Words / Stretchers: Words that add quantity not quality.

eg
William persuades by means of logic.
William persuades by logic.

Redundancies: Words that say the same thing more than once.

eg
We share in common a love for reading.
We share a love for reading.

Phony Intensifiers: Words that attempt to exaggerate what you’re saying. Such words strain to appear confident but actually signal the opposite.

eg
I am absolutely confident in my abilities.
I am confident in my abilities.

Thickeners: Words that few people use in everyday speech.

eg
Sarah found the means whereby she could cheat on tomorrow’s test.
Sarah found a way to cheat on tomorrow’s test.

etc.”

Self-Love as Practice

If you loved yourself, truly and deeply, would you let yourself experience this? 

If you loved yourself, truly and deeply, what would you do? 

(Kamal Ravikant, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Inspired by Kamal Ravikant, I created a mantra for myself that I repeat often:

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

“So you’re expressing Self-Love as self-talk.”

“Yes.”

“Saying it is a useful practice. However, you can enrich the practice by showing it through your actions.

You show it through Self-Care, in how you take care of your Health and manage your Energy, in your Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery.

You show it through Self-Gratitude, in appreciating your beautiful BodyMind and never taking it for granted.

You show it through Self-Awareness, in how receptive you are to the signals of your BodyMind.

You show it through Self-Control, in not giving in to harmful impulses.

You show it through Self-Trust, by your degree of trust in the genius of your subconscious mind and in your BodyMind’s capacity to heal – by your ability to get out of your way and let your inner genius do its magic.”

“I often struggle in most of these aspects.”

Above all, you show it through Self-Kindness, Self-Compassion, and Unconditional Self-Acceptance in every struggle and in your most challenging moments.”