Navigating Your Mind: How to Let Go and Be Present

By Su

Neurologically speaking the brain can network in two ways: experimentally and narratively. It is as if we are different people in each of these networks. The networks are inversely correlated. When you are fully in one, you cannot be in the other.

To meditate or to be mindful is to navigate consciously between the two. A person who is mindful will be aware, as often as possible, as to which network they are currently in. They realize when it is not necessary to be in the narrative mode (memories/anxieties and perceptions) and are able to return to the experimental network. Mindfulness meditators are good at this. They recognise which network they are in and have the ability to switch from one to the other, as necessary, depending on the situation.

If you understand what is going on in your brain, then you will know that thoughts are like clouds, which come and go rapidly. With this realisation comes the ability to dispel negative thoughts as quickly as they are created.

Imagine this situation: You are prepared for this event, and you and your coach have done everything right to the best of your abilities. You know you’re ready, you’re fit, no injuries, you’re at your best. Suddenly though, your brain starts to play tricks on you. DOUBTS! You’re thinking about the past: “Maybe I could have done this or that a different way.” You’re thinking about the future: “What if I don’t get the results I want? What about my sponsors?” Name it, I’m sure you can come up with many more of these detrimental thoughts. What to do?

To realize that we can live life neurologically at two parallel levels gives us great knowledge. Knowledge is power to control our own biological mechanisms. When the moment is critical and tension reaches maximum, any elite level athlete cannot afford to ignore the functioning of their brain. At any time we are capable of shutting down detrimental thoughts that have the potential to destroy months of discipline and regular practice.

MIND SESSION — The Art of Letting Go
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About the Author

Navigating Your Mind: How to Let Go and Be PresentPierre Gagnon practised concentration and insight meditation intensively from 2010 to 2012, then went on to study meditation at Wat Suan Mokkh with the venerable Ajahn Po from 2013 to 2015. As well as his own practice, he has coordinated meditation retreats in the south of Thailand which were attended by more than 1,000 people.

Having a great passion in the field of neuroscience, he likes to integrate these concepts into meditation practice. He believes that much of our life is lived resisting and defending against internal and external experiences that people perceive as threats. Through the development of concentration and meditation, we can insightfully see that all experiences are harmless and there is no need to defend of contract around them.  Pierre has experience coordinating concentration and insight meditation retreats, teaching the relationship that exists between Buddhism and neuroscience.

About the Author

BochakornBOCHAKORN BOONSERM (MAAM) began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.

During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.

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