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AYRE SELF POTENTIAL
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Derek Ayre, Hypnotherapist

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EZINE No. 3

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REGARDING YOUR PRIVACY: I will only use your address when I am mailing to the entire subscriber list or, unless you require a personal answer. I will never divulge your e-mail address to anyone who is not involved in the production of this e-zine.

Derek

.....................................................................................

Hello and welcome to Ayre-Self-Potential e-zine. My name is Derek Ayre, and I am a registered hypnotherapist in Cardiff, South Wales, UK. I am registered with the National Council of psychotherapists and National Council of Hypnotherapists (UK). I have been in practice since 1976.

My main interests lie in self-development in all areas of life, and in my practice I have developed a unique combination of hypnosis and Zen-like interactive processes that produce powerful life skills that can be learned by anyone who is willing to make the commitment.

Hope you enjoy reading....

CONTENTS:

1. On Being Right by Derek Ayre.

2. Zen Speak. Pleasure Seeking by Derek Ayre

3. Quotes and Questions

4. Book Review - Life Strategies by Dr. Phillip McGraw

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1. On Being Right by Derek Ayre.

When we don't accept, we resist. We get stuck on all those things that we don't accept. How can we ever hope to master a situation if we have our eyes firmly shut in this form of denial? Many people do not like to admit they are wrong.

Let's take a man who is out with his family for a drive and takes a wrong turn, getting them completely lost. Earlier he had been assuring everyone in the car with him how he knew his way around. But, now he is arguing with them about how right he is. Someone must have changed a street sign, or the others in the car with him ad been talking too much and thwarted his concentration. He starts to feel annoyed and is looking for someone to blame for the situation. But by blaming others, he is electing them as cause in his predicament and himself as effect. Think of a young boy, out with his friends, who wants to prove himself. He may decide that stealing a car would be an ideal way of 'looking good'. He wants to really show how well he can drive a high powered sports car, and that he can drive it well - that he is as good, if not better than most experienced drivers. An hour later, there's an accident, some of those in the car are taken to the city morgue and the others to hospital. Being right, being the big 'I am', not willing to appear small in the eyes of his peers, has cost lives. OK, our 'righteousness' many not be life threatening, but it could well be 'quality of life' threatening. So, in order to make lasting transformation in our lives, we are going to have to confront those ghosts of fears, that silently scream inside our heads, that we must prove ourselves worthy of other's admiration at all costs. We must have the approval of those around us.

Acceptance and acknowledgement is not always comfortable. After all, we are contemplating a face to face meeting with the way we have become - with the way we've permitted ourselves to be trained. Yes, that right - permitted ourselves to be trained, by blaming others for the way things have turned out for us. And yes, you're right. It is not reasonable to say that we are each responsible for how we've been messed around. Well, it makes no difference how unreasonable it is, it's true. If someone messes up our room, for instance, and then disappears, we don't sit down and refuse to do anything about it - we clean it up. True? But it seems with our lives, that we are always searching for what caused the mess we find ourselves in, instead of just getting on with the job cleaning it all up.

Do you like to be right? To win arguments? To prove your point? Can you acknowledge that? Can you acknowledge that it's nice to win? This is the illusion. We get to feel righteous, perhaps even smug. And where is this getting us? It could be getting us to the point that we are driving people away from us, because they don't want to be wrong either. All just so we can bask in the glory of our righteousness. So are your ready to give up your righteousness? Are you ready to give up seeking approval?

© Copyright: Derek Ayre. 2000. All rights reserved

This article may be re-printed exactly how it appears here including the copyright notice. Just send me an email of where and when it will appear.

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2. Zen Speak

Pleasure Seeking by Derek Ayre

A Zen master was doing calligraphy. It contained two symbols one on top of the other. One of his students asked what they meant. "The top one is happiness," said the master. After waiting quite a while, the student had to ask what the bottom one meant. "I don't seek it," came the reply.

A master in life has realized that seeking happiness rarely finds it. Happiness is a state of being that just comes to visit us now and again. Yet, most human beings seem to spend their whole lives seeking it out. When we find it, we never resist the experience to the same degree that we resist the experience of unhappiness, therefore, it does not get to stay around for very long. Unhappiness gets to stay with us because we resist it, but in reality, all we manage to do is suppress it until a later time. To put it another way. When we resist something we are attempting to manifest its opposite, by wishful or positive thinking techniques. And the problem is, if we want

something to look whiter when we feel black, we are reinforcing the blackness by thinking and wishing for the white. We may get to see the white for a short period of time, but black always seems blacker next to white. Once, like the Zen master, we can stop seeking out happiness, we can fully acknowledge its opposite (sadness) and that way we get the opportunity to realize what is bringing the condition about. Then, with insight into to it, we are empowered to allow it to disappear. I am not saying that we are empowered to *get rid* of it, because accepting and acknowledging something in order to negate it, is just another form or resistance, and resistance causes persistence.

The human state is naturally content until we start pursuing what we already have - it is this that brings about the paradox. "If we are seeking happiness", states the subconscious mind, "then we must be unhappy!" And there you have it. Years and years of allowing ourselves to seek better, to seek more of this, that and that other, have repeatedly communicated to our subconscious mind that we are not alright the way we are... But short of severe illness or accident, if we are truthful about it, we are alright. And this is what the Buddha discovered two and a half thousand years ago. He discovered that, everything is just perfect, exactly the way it is.

Once we can acknowledge that seeking righteousness and pleasure is screwing things up in our lives, we can begin to take responsibility and transcend it. Be prepared though, making your life work properly is an ongoing process that feels risky and uncomfortable as you begin to move out of the comfort zones that have 'protected' you from the success you crave for so many years.

Exercise: What's Wrong?

Answer the following honestly.

1. Do I really keep my word, my promises, my commitments? (If you have not read it yet, visit the article on commitment at: www.ayrehypnotherapy.com

2. Do I have any reasons/justifications for breaking commitments and promises?

3. What's the real truth here? Am I too lazy? Too scared? To tired?

4. Am I avoiding these questions right now? Am I saying, "Yeh, yeh, I've done all this before. It doesn't work for me anyway"?

Positive thinking statements like.. "I am good. I am dynamic. I am confident. I can and will do this that and the other." Does it really work for you? No? This is because such thinking will very often lead you down a dead-end. Put simply you are training your mind to deny that you are scared, lazy or unwilling. You may well get to believe that you are all those positive things that you have positively thought out for yourself, but this will keep you firmly in your comfort zone with nothing in your life really changing at all. No, to make positive lasting transformations in your life, you need to 'see' where you're at right now, in order to find your way out of it.

So what is wanted and needed here?

---To be brutally honest with yourself. ---

Action. If you feel scared or lazy, admit it and act anyway! It's OK to feel scared or lazy. Sometimes a fear statement can manifest in your thoughts, "what if somebody finds out about me? I'm not what I appear to be." Are you willing to 'scream out your fears from the rooftops' so that all the world can hear? That would certainly reduce the 'fear of being found out'. And you have a wonderful tool for doing so now - your email program on your computer. You can really stick your neck out in discussion groups etc. sharing yourself, the barriers that seem to prevent you from making a success of your life. Because once you can share something with the world, you reduce its effect over your life.. Too much!? Too scary!? OK. But now are least you are aware of your barriers and are more empowered to do something about them.

3. Quotes and Questions

I don't like it when I feel I HAVE to do something. It gives me stress. BUT if I change all my perception and start CHOOSING to do all my duties I won't get stressed. I will do that!!!

--Julide

Sometimes you may find it difficult to CHOOSE something.

--Derek

 

© Copyright: Derek Ayre. 2000. All rights reserved

This article may be re-printed exactly how it appears here including the copyright notice. Just send me an email of where and when it will appear.

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4. Book Review:

There are many good books written on personal development, so I thought I would include one in each e-zine edition.

Life Strategies by Dr. Phillip McGraw

Dr. McGraw does not mince words in this book and he strikes me as a man who is interested in getting people to acknowledge truth - my kind of person. He asserts that your life is your responsibility and to me, his book is a powerful wake up call for the reader to take responsibility for getting the success in life he dreams about. There are many 'assignments through the book that will assist in developing a higher state of awareness of where we are messing things up.

He explains that there are ten 'Life Laws' which if used properly can bring about the manifestation of your dreams.

Law #1 encourages the reader to 'get it'. A challenge to develop a new and more rewarding life strategy through the realization of how things work in life.

Law #2 Demonstrates how each of us creates our own experience, but how we often do not regard ourselves as accountable when things go wrong. He shows us how we can get to be accountable.

Law #3 demonstrates that people do what works. This law assists us to identify the 'pay-off' we get from destructive behaviour patterns that prevent us from realising our dreams. But then, explains in.

Law #4. If we don't acknowledge our shortcomings, we will never get to improve, so it's time to get honest with ourselves and not be afraid that we might 'have it wrong'.

Law # 5. In this law he demonstrates how life rewards action and encourages us by means of an 'assignment' to stop self-denial and to look 'self-sabotage' right in the face.

In Law #6, he shows us how we create our own reality - our own perception of the world. Knowing this insight can empower us in many ways.

In Law #7, he assists us in becoming the 'driver' of our life and not a 'passenger' - life isn't there to be cured, it is there to be managed.

In Law #8, he shows us how we teach people to treat us and if we want things to improve in this area, it is a matter of taking ownership of our relationships.

In Law #9, he asserts that if we are going to live with the destructive powers of anger and resentment, it is ourselves we are hurting more than the target for such powerful emotions.

Law #10: In this final law he is saying that you have to get clear on what you want in your life in order to get it.

Dr. McGraw is a key member of Oprah Winfrey's 'Change Your Life TV' team and assisted her to win the Amarillo beef trial.

 

© Copyright: Derek Ayre. 2000. All rights reserved

This article may be re-printed exactly how it appears here including the copyright notice. Just send me an email of where and when it will appear.

-------------------------------------------------------

Articles in this e-zine are not meant to be psychotherapeutic or medical in nature. All information is published in good faith, and neither the publisher nor editor accepts responsibility for the accuracy or the information presented. If you feel you have a Psychological or medical problem, the author strongly advises you to seek help of an appropriate qualified psychiatric or Medical practitioner.

 


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Derek Ayre, Hypnotherapist

AYRE SELF POTENTIAL

No 4.

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You are receiving this e-zine because you have subscribed or a friend has forwarded it to you. If you do not wish to receive any further editions of it, just send a blank e-mail with "Un-subscribe" marked in the subject line.

REGARDING YOUR PRIVACY: I will only use your address when I am mailing to the entire subscriber list or, unless you require a personal answer. I will never divulge your e-mail address to anyone who is not involved in the production of this e-zine.

Derek

.....................................................................................

Hello and welcome to Ayre-Self-Potential e-zine. My name is Derek Ayre, and I am a registered hypnotherapist in Cardiff, South Wales, UK. I am registered with the National Council of psychotherapists and National Council of hypnotherapists (UK). I have been in practice since 1976.

My main interests lie in self-development in all areas of life, and in my practice I have developed a unique combination of hypnosis and Zen-like interactive processes that produce powerful life skills that can be learned by anyone who is willing to make the commitment.

Hope you enjoy reading....

CONTENTS:

1. Zen and the Art of Health by Derek Ayre.

2. Zen Speak. The Hara by Derek Ayre

3.Quotes and Questions by Derek Ayre

4. Book Review - Mind of Clover by Robert Aitken

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1. Zen and the Art of Health by Derek Ayre

Many people regard good health as the absence of sickness. I tend to regard it as more than that. To me it is an aliveness and vitality, which is experienced in the here and now.

In our minds thoughts and ideas flow in an uninterrupted stream. In both our waking and sleeping hours, we are constantly thinking - whether we want to or not. Many of the thoughts are negative and can have an adverse effect on our health and well-being. (It is now becoming a well-known fact that our moods have a strong effect on our immune systems).

All experience is received into our awareness. Awareness comes from being conscious, which comes from being a physical entity. A circle of mind and body interaction.

Try sitting in an upright chair, keeping your body statue-still. Notice that it may want to fidget and wriggle. Be aware of these impulses but concentrate on keeping the body absolutely still. What may happen next is that the physical impulses will disappear from your awareness and you may find yourself day-dreaming. Now concentrate on keeping your thoughts focused on just your breathing. Your mind may conjure up all sorts of images and fantasies. Allow these intrusive thoughts to come and go, and when you are able, draw your concentration back to your breathing. If you are prepared to continue sitting in mental and physical stillness long enough, the mind too will be held still with little effort. You will then begin to experience 'centredness'. What has happened is this...

First of all a stillness was willed over the body. The physical 'fidget impulses' werethen transferred to the mind and became day-dreaming (a kind of 'mental fidgeting). Finally, the physical stillness of the body was transferred back into the mind - a complete circle. The aim of such sitting meditation is to allow energies to flow unhindered through the system and improve the general quality of health and well-being.

This practice of stilling the mind and body is what is called Zazen in Japenese, which means, Za (sitting-Zen) or 'just sitting'. This mental focus can be extended to every day tasks in life. For instance, washing up Zen, walking Zen, office-work Zen, listening Zen, talking Zen and so on. The essence of Zen is mindfulness -mental focus on everything one does. Deliberately using the will to focus the attention on each moment of 'now', preventing the concentration from wandering the 'now', and then letting it go and moving to the next.

The purpose of Zen is to master the mind by turning our attention to the central core of our being and realizing how our character is reflected in every part of our environment.

The Body is the Foundation of Being

So, in Zen meditation our first task is to still the body. This is because the body isthe storehouse of the subconscious mind. Everything we experience is 'digested' into the subconscious, which is really the context of the nervous system which in turn, controls all our physical responses. What I am saying here is that the subconscious is the body and the body is the subconscious - body-mind. If you were to see a stinking dead rat, crawling with maggots, you may feel nausea. Why? There would be no intention to eat it!  - A simple example of body-mind and how we digest experience.

By focusing the mind and stilling the body, paradoxically we are inviting the body-mind to relinquish repressed experiences. Once repressed, experience becomes conscious - and it will not become so unless we are ready - it is subjected to our awareness. In other words our awareness becomes expanded. Awareness acts like a purifying flame on emerging repressed material. If we can just let it be and focus on it, we can destroy negative karma.

The Purpose of Life

Why are we here? The answer is.. To manifest our true selves. And we become whatever we focus our minds on.

The 'Law of Association' states - Whatever you (the mind) focuses on, you will associate with. Constantly think of negative or destructive forces and this will be what your life is about. In this way, each of us creates karma - it is activated by every thought and deed during every minute of our day to day lives. It is not, as some people think, only something you did bad in a 'past life' returning to make you 'pay' for it. From the following example karmic law can be demonstrated...

A man is dogged by bad luck. His parents were also. So he decides to blame them. His mind is constantly focused on the negative. He is constantly 'voting' to be the victim of some imaginary family curse, that his parents have passed on to him. From time to time he sinks from his usual negative state deeper into the depths of despair (anxiety attack). His mind has become plagued with worry and concern by constantly associating with his negative opinions.

Now, what if this man was to focus his mind on the here and now. Aim to completely fill his awareness with what is right here, right now, whether it be important or not. By practicing this Zen-like consciousness, he would be letting go of the past and living in the present. However, by nature, his mind would fight him. But paradoxically this is really a positive element. The more he focuses on the here and now, the more the mind would be forced to release the foundations of his negative thinking into consciousness. He would become 'enlightened' about his negative karma and this would provide an opportunity to release it. By just sitting and focusing on them he would realize how he himself had put them all together.

© Copyright: Derek Ayre. 2000. All rights reserved

 

This article may be re-printed exactly how it appears here including the copyright notice. Just send me an email of where and when it will appear.

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2. Zen Speak: The Hara by Derek Ayre

The hara is the region of the abdomen below the navel. It is a Japanese word means, 'vital culture'. In Zen, it is considered to be the root of man's fundamental being -life is conceived and grows in the hara, therefore, it can be considered to be the 'source' of life.

In the West, we have always had a tendency to develop the upper torso. Broad shoulders, chest out, flat stomach are seen to be attractive. In Japan, this is considered to be 'top-heaviness' and the main focus is the lower abdomen. This encourages 'centered-ness', which in turn, encourages an alert, but calm state of mind.

Many people got the idea, usually from their early training, that not to hold back their shoulders, push out their chests and hold the stomach in, was to slouch and be generally slovenly. But with the mind anchored in the hara, nothing can be further from the truth. If you were to look at a picture of a Zen monk or a Samurai warrior, you would notice that there's an alert and upright body posture, whether he is sitting or standing, yet the shoulders are hanging down and relaxed. As a result of this posture, the mind is very aware and the Samurai, in particular, would be ready for the unexpected to come at any moment.

In Japanese Zen, posture in always important. Keeping body upright, firm and balanced enhances mindfulness off all that we encounter in day to day life. Leaning on one leg whilst standing, or crossing legs whilst sitting, is to throw the body out of alignment and the mind can become un-centered. Where there is un-centeredness, there is instability.

Several years ago, I practiced a martial art called Ki-Aikido. I will never forget the tests I received there. The sensei (teacher) talked about "keeping the one point in the  lower abdomen. Regard it as the center of the universe," he said. The 'tests' of our concentration involved being pushed unexpectedly from any direction. If our minds were 'uppermost' we would easily be pushed over, but if we were totally mindful of our hara, our 'tester' would be unable to topple us. At first, it amazed me how I could be so totally relaxed and yet so stable. A true experience of the power of Zen consciousness.

Test hara consciousness for yourself.

This will need two people.

Establish Posture. Sit on a chair or stool. Do not lean on the back-rest Drop your knees lower than your hips - place to the sides of the seat or under it. Place one hand on each thigh. Concentrate your mind on a point anywhere in the lower abdomen (below the navel) and imagine that you breath into it. Have your partner push gently on your shoulders (backwards then forwards, then sideways) slowly increasing the pressure. The more pressure you feel from the push, the more you need to focus on the hara and relax even more. There will be some movement in your body. Let it occur - do not become resistant, but focus into the hara even stronger and feel how stable you have become.

Notice how successful you were in this test and see the difference in a re-test when you resist and breath only into the lungs and upper body.

Please write in and tell me how you got on and I will publish your comments in the next edition.

Thanks for reading.

Derek

 

© Copyright: Derek Ayre. 2000. All rights reserved

This article may be re-printed exactly how it appears here including the copyright notice. Just send me an email of where and when it will appear.

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3. Quotes and Questions.

How do you manage to be so much into Zen in this noisy world?"

Zazen is something I do. Zen is what I live. In order to live Zen, first of all I discount all makyo.. I do not pursue, visions, fantasies, revelations, ESP, divining the future or such the like. I aspire to live in the NOW, for the NOW and endow the present moment with quality. The future then takes care of itself. There is makyo that my mind throws up - only a fully enlightened Buddha is Makyo free. I aspire to assist others into such enlightenment and stay 'within' this world therefore I am subjected to makyo, but always discount it. I assist only those who ask. Those who choose to pursue and live in makyo will get no interference from me.

---Derek

If you have a question or statement that you would like me to respond to in Quotes and Questions, please send in an e-mail with the subject line marked "Quotes and Questions"

© Copyright: Derek Ayre. 2000. All rights reserved

This article may be re-printed exactly how it appears here including the copyright notice. Just send me an email of where and when it will appear.

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4. Book Review:

Zen Book Review - The Mind of Clover by Robert Aitken

Robert Aitken, in this very inspiring book, illuminates the higher states of consciousness that are available to all who are willing to experience them through the practice of Zen. He demonstrates how our minds and lives can become like 'clover' in the way it nurtures and is being nurtured by the soil it lives in by sharing its goodness.

For to become compassionate, he gives us deep insight into the paradoxical nature of the Ten Grave Precepts of Zen, which are not written in stone to be obeyed, but more as encouragement and aspiration.

The first precept of "not killing", is about encouraging all life as well as in the obvious sense of the words.

The second precept of "not stealing", looks at it not only in the conventional way, but also in the way of sharing and giving. And in being content with what is.

The third of "not misusing sex", does not mean suppressing sex, but assists us torecognise that sex is an energy that can assist in our growth and development.

The fourth precept of "not lying", - about being true to our own essence and how sharing our truth with others can greatly enhance our ability to grow and develop.

The fifth precept "not taking or giving drugs", refers to all intoxicants, chemical and otherwise (like mind-wandering - makyo) that divert us from the path of pure concentration.

The sixth precept "not discussing the faults of others", helps us to keep our minds focused on our own growth and development and not be getting involved with the 'faults' of others.

The seventh precept "not praising oneself whilst abusing others", Assists us to live with a more 'defenceless' attitude and not dwell on the 'I-against-you' way of living.

The eighth precept "not sparing the Dharma assets", Inspires us to look at the world the way it is and see how each of us are responsible for the way it is.

The ninth precept "not indulging in anger", assists us to use anger as a whetstone to enhance our practice of Zen living. Anger is 'looked at' as a younger brother that is, after all part of our self. It is "awareness" that can lead us to enlightenment.

The tenth precept - "Not defaming the three treasures Buddha (enlightenment), Dharma (truth) and Sangha (harmony). This precept says to keep them clear in our minds and in our lives. To understand them is to experience them.

The rest of the book. After the Ten Precepts, Aitken goes on to talk about the "dance of Zen interaction", in which he states, "you have two options. One is to defend, the other is to dance." Defence is to protect one's ego - to dance is to welcome the unique, the bizarre - which is very Zen. Enlightenment is practice. Defence is blocking the practice. Dancing is getting on with it.

Later in the book Aitken talks of Samu - the extensions of zazen-like focus in everyday work. Mindfulness in the work-place, can produce some very profound states of consciousness. Indeed, I have found myself that those little tasks that usually irritate and niggle me, done with mindfulness can feel very nurturing.

Overall, there are many inspiring words in this little book that assisted me at those times when I felt Zen was hard going and I was almost overwhelmed by my ego telling me that the whole practice of Zen was pointless. It assisted me to welcome these inner resistances whilst keeping my commitment to the whole Zen way of life.

Thanks for reading

Derek

 

© Copyright: Derek Ayre. 2000. All rights reserved

This article may be re-printed exactly how it appears here including the copyright notice. Just send me an email of where and when it will appear. Well that's about it for this edition. Hope you enjoyed reading.

Derek

******************************************

Articles in this e-zine are not meant to be psychotherapeutic or medical in nature. All information is published in good faith, and neither the publisher nor editor accepts responsibility for the accuracy of the information presented. If you feel you have a Psychological or medical problem, the author strongly advises you to seek help of an appropriate qualified psychiatric or Medical practitioner.

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Derek Ayre is a registered hypnotherapist and practitioner of Zen. He has an ability to assist others on their path to greater self fulfilment and realization of their true potential. Questions?  I encourage you to email me at....

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