• Prof. Dr. Justin James Kennedy

What a Thai Monk Taught My Brain



What a Thai monk taught my brain

Recently I have been meeting regularly with a Thai Buddhist monk and he has shown me something weird about my brain.

What my Thai monk friend taught me is that my brain needs A LOT MORE training! And even more weird is that this training only happens when I do … nothing.

Yes I was confused too. But learning to do nothing follows some pretty specific steps it would seem.

There is allot out there about mindfulness and well-being. Everyone is talking about how to improve empathy and my personal experiences with the monk made all the theory wash away.

Using a variety of neurological techniques I have learned to turn off ‘emotional noise’ to let me focus most effectively. This involves me follow 5 steps, to feel calm and more effective than ever before.

Most weird was the fact that empathy is having a negative effect on my brain.

Solutions step by step

The Thai monk’s 5 step plan:

1. Mindfully breathing

Start by sitting with your eyes closed. Inhale through your nostrils for 4 seconds. Exhale gently and slowly through your mouth. Hum quietly but loud enough to hear yourself. Count 1,2,3,4 as your fill your lungs up. Then count 5 - 10 as you exhale. Pause at the end of your exhale and repeat. Your belly expands as you inhale, not your chest. This should last for +/- 5 minutes.

2. Feel good

Begin by thinking of 1 thing you are grateful for. Think of something small, like letting someone go in front of a queue. Based on meditation techniques, many try feel empathy here. I was told to feel sympathy instead, by the monk. Slowly I was shown to breathe in, and feel sympathy for others less fortunate. Then I felt this light flowing into my body. Try this to feel positive energy.

Using your mental voice, say: “I feel good now” instead of 1-2-3-4.

As you inhale, say: “I’m a caring being, calm now” instead of 5-6-7-8-9-10.

Do this for +/- 5 minutes. (If the words aren’t right for you a skilled coach can help).

3. Affirmative Visualization

At the end of each breathe, visualize achieving a goal you would like to achieve. Getting a raise or passing an exam can work well. Don't think about achieving it. Rather experience it as achieved. Enjoy the feeling of success. It will ensure your mind is healthy with a towards a goal and not be away kinds of motivation. Do this for +/- 5 minutes.

4. Do NOTHING

OK, now this technique the monk taught me, is pretty difficult. It will leave you calm, in control and feeling pretty amazing. Simply train your brain to come back to your mantra if it wanders off while you keep it still. Trying too hard doesn’t help.

This whole process should last 15/20 minutes. 5 minutes of mindful breathing, then on your mantra, visualization and then into stillness. You will finish feeling you have more energy. This how self-neurosurgery works. Sculpt your neurology and leave your brain calm, focused. It will even increase your IQ score.

If you would like to know more or get a FREE ticket to join us for an interactive breakfast session at the "Dive In Dubai" Event on 27th of September please email office@kennedy.ae (first come first serve).

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