I’ve been reading a great book about Buddhism and neuroscience called the Buddha’s brain. It illustrates how through the power of your intention and thoughts, you actually change the chemistry of your brain. By training the mind you change your brain and create future opportunities.
One of the exercises in the book is called the “ten thousand reasons”. It’s really simple but so powerful. I had the opportunity to put it into practice yesterday at Waterloo station. On the busy concourse a woman shoulder charged me as she hurled towards the trains with her young child in tow. My first reaction was slight hurt, my second low level anger. I was about to begin my third reaction; thoughts about how people were increasingly rude etc etc. I then recalled the wisdom of the 10,000 reasons exercise. Over the next few minutes I imagined the reasons why she may have been in such a hurry. For example, visiting a relative rushed into hospital or the child needing the bathroom etc. As I continued to think of the countless possible reasons I felt a wave of compassion rising and positive feelings. A few minutes later I saw the woman and child again and I felt really positive about the whole experience.
With a simple exercise I had reframed the situation, developed positive emotions and thoughts and actually re-wired the chemistry of my brain so that in the future I recall a good experience.
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