Category Archives: Transcendental Meditation®

4 reasons to come to the Thinking Skills Workshop

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The Thinking Skills Workshop runs over 3 days. But why take the time to master speed

Thinking Skills Johannesburg

reading and mindmapping?

Many written comments we have received over the years describe thinking skills as the best workshop I have ever attended. They wrote this alongside comments saying they appreciated the alternative format comment, the creativity, Richard‘s manner and entertainment, and the fact that the workshop was oriented to both a work and personal development point of view. It was engaging, challenging and they enjoyed the study technique and juggling.

Why then, would you NOT send colleagues who have a need to process massive amounts of information and deal with impossible workloads?


  1. Many attend thinking skills because it has a powerful personal development focus. I get e-mails 15 years later from people with graduate degrees telling me how their life was changed by mind mapping and study technique. Or how their career blossomed after they got the confidence to take control of their lives and change jobs. So don’t send your key people because they may outgrow your organisation.
  2. Or you could read Tony Buzan’s Mind Map Book or Use Both Sides of your Brain to save your attending the workshop. However, lots of people who attended have already read these and similar books, and they found that the practical hands-on experience of gutting a 400 page textbook in an hour irreplaceable. One delegate was moved to tears by the experience.
  3. I researched the stress levels of people attending a Thinking Skills workshop. Six months later they showed stress level scores reduced from around 80 to around 60 on a standardised stress questionnaire. (Interesting, but statistically ns.) Using the same questionnaire and Transcendental Meditation as the intervention they dropped from 64 to 30 after 5 1/2 months. This was a HIGHLY (P <0.0005) statistically significant result. So if your people are coming on the workshop to reduce stress levels, know there is a better way: TM.
  4. You can use WolframAlpha to to do the studying for you. This amazing search computation engine revolutionises the way we learn new stuff. Example, try entering “weather Johannesburg versus Cape Town”. It will return in about eight seconds with: “assuming Johannesburg in South Africa” (yes, there is another Johannesburg—in California with population 172 versus 3.888 million in Joburg according to WolframAlpha) … and it’ll  show you graphs of temperature, cloud cover etc for the past four days, and even the next three days forecast. Now try “movies with the word dog”. It gives you 32 titles in about 5 seconds. The possibilities are fascinating and endless.

So it’s up to you. Use these books and tools to guide you. Search for ways to read and learn faster or get it all in a practical, enjoyable three-day break from the mind-numbing routine of the office.

Next workshop details:

VENUE: Houghton

DATES:  tba

PRICE: See Pricing

Keep Learning!

Richard

PS I’m really not kidding about the 400 pages per hour stuff. Its not a miracle (at best) or scam (at worst). Its really all about strategy – and a smattering of speed reading skills. And Mind Mapping is really important.

Problems with concentration, anxiety, tiredness, confusion, depression, excitability?

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If your lifestyle includes this-it can trigger problems with concentration, anxiety, tiredness, confusion, depression dizziness and…

On a prescription? Answer YES to any of the following questions you could be in danger…

  • Do you take herbs, vitamins and all any over-the-counter products?
  • Do you have to take medicine more than once a day?
  • Do you suffer from arthritis?
  • Do you use different pharmacies to fulfil your prescription?
  • Do you have poor eyesight or hearing?
  • Do you live alone?
  • Do you sometimes forget to take your medication?

If you answered yes to ANY question—horrors—you are at risk of a thing called polypharmacy—and the nasty, dangerous side-effects of multiple drug combinations, which include lack of concentration, anxiety, tiredness, confusion, weakness, constipation, depression, tremors, excitability, rashes to name just a few.

During my Ph.D. research I was astonished at the amount of pharmaceuticals people were consuming. A few years later someone on the Thinking Skills seminar told me he had a friend in Pretoria who specialized in drug side-effects. When I heard that it was my second warning that people take too much stuff. Today I got my third warning and I’m passing it straight on to you.

I think you might do yourself a big favor and have a peek at this post, particularly if you are a woman. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/07/women-beware–there-are-nearly-1000-drugs-in-the-pipeline-targeted-for-you.aspx

The bottom line is that drugs really should be viewed as a last resort. Most health conditions can be fixed by lifestyle changes, unless the precursors have been in place for 30 years. Doctor Mercola tells us that some examples of health problems that don’t need drug interventions are: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and insomnia.

There is in fact an enormous scientific literature showing that these very things respond well to Transcendental Meditation.

So, as I said on the workshop,

  • Get enough rest
  • Take regular exercise
  • Eat “God made” foods i.e. high quality, delicious, unprocessed, organic (if possible) foods
  • Get plenty of joy in your lifestyle (another GREAT list of lifestyle ideas here seriously one of the best I’ve seen)
  • And of course,  pay attention to your inner life.

Now go and have a look at Dr Mercola’s  blog.

Keep learning!

Richard

From Stress to Mastery and Long Life

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Stress is opposed to health and longevity and we talk about stress management on the Thinking Skills workshop. So I read about it and try to do all the right things. Have you come across a website called mercola.com? Dr Mercola makes a lot of sense.

Here, for example is a list of his stress managent lifestyle ideas you may find interesting. Its from an article titled 4 Diet Mistakes that Age You. It complements our discussion on the Thinking Skills workshop.

The Anti-Aging Lifestyle

Of all the healthy lifestyle strategies I know of that can have a significant impact on your longevity, normalizing your insulin and leptin levels is probably the most important. There is no question that this is an absolute necessity if you want to slow down your aging process, and that means modifying your diet to avoid excessive amounts of fructose, grains, and other pro-inflammatory ingredients like trans fats.

That said, longevity is the result of an overall healthy lifestyle, so in addition to the four cornerstones just mentioned, these additional strategies can further help you stay young and vibrant, longer:

  • Learn how to effectively cope with stress – Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day, so developing effective coping mechanisms is a major longevity-promoting factor.Meditation, prayer, physical activity and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
  • Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels to between 60 and 80 ng/ml.
  • Animal based omega-3 fats – Correcting the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is a strong factor in helping people live longer. This typically means increasing your intake of animal based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, while decreasing your intake of damaged omega-6 fats (think trans fats).
  • Get most of your antioxidants from foods –Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans, and artichokes.
  • Get your resveratrol naturally – Because resveratrol appears to be so effective at warding off many diseases associated with aging, it is often referred to as a “fountain of youth” that can extend lifespan. Good sources of naturally-occurring resveratrol include whole grape skins and seeds, raspberries and mulberries.
  • Use coconut oil – Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut oil, known to reduce your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and lower your cholesterol, among other things.
  • Naturally increase your glutathione levels with high quality whey protein concentrate – Another exciting anti-aging discovery is related to the process of slowing down telomere shortening, as discussed in more detail in this previous article. There’s some evidence that this can be done nutritionally, by consuming high quality whey protein.
  • Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible – This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
  • Avoid prescription drugs – Pharmaceutical drugs kill thousands of people prematurely every year – as an expected side effect of the action of the drug. And, if you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need any of them in the first place.

So these ideas complement the stress management and lifestyle advice you will receive on the Thinking Skills workshop.

Keep thinking creatively!

Richard

Richard Broome PhD

Thinking Skills Training

+27 11 483 0685 (vm 24/7)

082 889 3160

click here for Next SA workshops

Creativity, abstract thinking and routine work.

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Creativity, abstract thinking and routine work. Are these things opposed to one another? My friend Brian just sent me a story about the Blackbird SR 71 jet.

SR 71 jet

I once sat next to a Blackbird pilot on the bus coming home from Oshkosh Airventure – the world’s greatest airshow. So when I opened my email I could relate to what Brian Shul, another Blackbird pilot, had to say. Here it is:

One moonless night, while flying a routine training mission over the Pacific, I wondered what the sky would look like from 84,000 feet if the cockpit lighting were dark. While heading home on a straight course, I slowly turned down all of the lighting, reducing the glare and revealing the night sky. Within seconds, I turned the lights back up, fearful that the jet would know and somehow punish me. But my desire to see the sky overruled my caution, I dimmed the lighting again.
To my amazement, I saw a bright light outside my window. As my eyes adjusted to the view, I realized that the brilliance was the broad expanse of the Milky Way, now a gleaming stripe across the sky. Where dark spaces in the sky had usually existed, there were now dense clusters of sparkling stars. stars flashed across the canvas every few seconds. It was like a fireworks display with no sound.
I knew I had to get my eyes back on the instruments, and reluctantly I brought my attention back inside. To my surprise, with the cockpit lighting still off, I could see every gauge, lit by starlight. In the plane’s mirrors, I could see the eerie shine of my gold spacesuit incandescently illuminated in a celestial glow. I stole one last glance out the window. Despite our speed, we seemed still before the heavens, humbled in the radiance of a much greater power. For those few moments, I felt a part of something far more significant than anything we were doing in the plane. The sharp sound of Walt’s voice on the radio brought me back to the tasks at hand as I prepared for our descent.

I had a very similar experience in the cockpit of a B707 many years ago over Africa in the middle of the night. I was in the First Officer’s seat and the captain was doing crossword puzzles. I looked outside and saw the glory of creation before me. There was St Elmo’s fire twinkling on the windscreen wipers and radiating out from the bulbous nose of the plane. Cumulus clouds of the inter-tropic convergence zone were towering above us – right up to about 45 00 feet, and they were illuminated like flickering fluorescent lamps with almost continuous lightning discharges. The sky was like black velvet with millions of laser pointed stars spiking through it. I was awestruck in that timeless moment. I beckoned to the Captain. He looked up but he didn’t see it at all. There was a kind of skin on his eyes – like the nictitating membrane that protects some birds’ eyes. And that was the moment I decided that airline flying was not for me. If that was where I was going – to be so dulled by routine that I would no longer see ..

A wise man once warned me about the dangers of routine work. Its efficient but it extracts a price. That price is the dulling of creativity. Fortunately we have ways of avoiding this fate. We need to take our awareness daily to the field of the transcendent – to stop time and experience pure abstraction. This blesses, refreshes and glorifies the boundaries of time and space we choose to live in.

And improves our health.

Would you like to find out more about how to improve your thinking skills?