Monthly Archive: December 2015

Your Subconscious Mind

Some researchers have stated that most of our thinking actually goes on in our subconscious, rather than our conscious, minds. Regardless of the percentage of thinking that is subconscious, we can with confidence state that much of our thinking is subconscious. Much as one who is an expert pianist plays the piano without conscious thought, other than on the sound of the music, we often conduct our actions and say things without thinking about them. Sometimes we say things we regret to other people, where consciously we never would have dreamed of saying such a thing. What we said conflicts with our conscious beliefs and desires, yet we blurt it out, regretting what we said, and wondering why we said it. Perhaps we find ourselves doing something we’ve solemnly promised ourselves we’d never do again, yet we do it again, mindlessly, not rationally thinking about it, indeed not consciously thinking about it at all. Computer scientists have a saying: garbage-in, garbage-out. That’s the way your subconscious mind works. If you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out. We may often put garbage into our subconscious minds that causes us trouble. Even if we get over that obstacle though, we are not safe. Trouble is, you don’t even have to put it in yourself, other people will do it for you if you let them! So you set your mind on what you want to do for the day when you first wake up (or before you go to bed at night). You wake up and start your day with the best of intentions. Then before long while going about your business, you feel this strong pull to do something not on your agenda and not what you are looking to do with your planned unplanned time (“planned unplanned time” is part of the joyful participation in abundance in this wonderful world). This is the pull of your subconscious. Because your subconscious desires may not be in congruence with your conscious plans, or because your subconscious pulls you into old, unhealthy habits, or because your subconscious is pulling you to regress to past activities you have grown beyond or out of, you are being pulled off track. Resist this pull. The fruit of the discipline of staying on track is sweet. The fruit of being pulled off track is bitter.

A Quote from Shantideva

Shantideva (685-763 AD) was a Buddhist monk. At the Nalanda monastery, he had the reputation of being lazy, other monks saying he just ate, slept, and went to the bathroom. One day he was summoned to give a talk to the monastery, where he was required to stand at an exaggeratedly high podium. The intent of his being summoned to give a talk was to ridicule him, then expel him from the monastery. Shantideva presented some works he had composed in secret, which stupefied the audience with their brilliance. One of those works was The Way of the Bodhisattva. Part of the work is still missing. The Way of the Bodhisattva is the most commented on work in the Tibetan Buddhist Mahayana tradition–a key text in Buddhism worldwide. (Commentaries on key works by spiritual masters is a Buddhist tradition.) There are many translations. The meaning of passages often varies slightly from one translation to another. The quote below is a sample of Shantideva’s wisdom: All whosoever who are happy in the world are so through the wish for the happiness of others; while all whosoever who are miserable in the world are so through the wish for the happiness of themselves.

Food poisoning at Chipotle

I’m at BWI airport waiting to take a flight from Baltimore to Orlando–going down to my Florida house for five days to check on things. Three weeks ago I flew out of BWI headed to Denver. I ate at Chipotle, ordering tofu, brown rice, both brown and black beans, lettuce, and mild salsa. By the time I got to Denver, I was experiencing serious stomach pain. I had about an hour’s drive to Littleton, CO. In the rental car on the Interstate, I was experiencing such severe stomach pain that it was almost necessary to pull over to the side of the road to deal with the pain. It was excruciating. I won’t describe all the horrible symptoms, but it was well into the next day before I was better. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life! I filled out an online form to tell Chipotle about it. This was actually a mistake. I should have told the local health authorities, who would take my complaint seriously. A woman from Chipotle called me the next day and told me that she had talked to the manager at the BWI airport location. She said, in a voice like she was telling me I’d won the lottery, “I’ve got great news! No one else who ate there got food poisoning. All the employees eat the food, and none of them got sick.” I told her that because it was an airport location, she would not hear of everyone who got sick–they were traveling to other locations. The conversation degenerated into an argument, with her telling me I got sick, but not from Chipotle food. Her unconcerned, hostile attitude was disconcerting. I’ll never eat at Chipotle again. Interesting that tonight is the first time I have not seen a line at Chipotle at the BWI location. I had a tuna sandwich on rye at Nature’s Kitchen, with mustard, lettuce, tomato, and black olive. It was great! I don’t expect my tummy will be in pain soon, either.

Why Don’t People Read Signs?

I’m sitting in the airport in Toronto waiting for a plane to Dulles. Gate 97, a sense of deja vu. I was last here a year ago, coming back from a pleasure trip in Montreal (although I was heading to BWI then). This gate is the end of the line of a long walk–a good thing, actually. Going through security, I noticed a sign telling people going through security to keep their shoes and belt on, and to keep things in their pockets (there were many signs saying the same thing). Most of the people in front of me were taking their shoes and belts off. I turned to the woman behind me and said, “Doesn’t the sign say to leave your shoes on?” “They’ll make you take them off anyway,” she said, knowingly. I then looked at a woman in a security uniform on the other side of the conveyor. “Leave your shoes on?” “Yes.” Behind me, people were taking their shoes off, as they were in front of me. Why don’t people read? Here all luggage goes into a plastic bin though.

Brampton, Ontario

I am in Brampton, Ontario, Canada on business for a few days. Someone asked me if I was staying in Mississauga or Brampton. I told him Brampton. He said that I should not take Brampton as being representative of Toronto. He was afraid that I would get a bad impression. From what little I’ve seen (being in  meetings most of the time), there are many warehouses and lots of trucks on the road in Brampton. This area, not far from the airport, has a heavy industrial look to it–not much artistic architecture in sight. Each of the three days I was here I went to a local mall (Bramalea City Center) to take a walk in the afternoon. Yesterday, I started taking a walk outside. Although it was not too cold, a strong, gusty wind made it seem icy outside, making walking unpleasant (I was not dressed well enough for the cold). Bramalea City Center is a large mall with two food courts and about 1.5 million square feet of retail space. Crowded, noisy, entertaining in a commercial way. Lots of nice stores.