How To Avoid Being Dumbed Down And Stay Light

There’s a saying ‘where your attention goes it grows’. The question is, where is your attention lately?

Each moment of each day our attention goes somewhere, and where it goes, it leaves a residual effect on you for better or for worse. If you move you attention to a scary film, your body will resonate with fear; if you watch a sad news story, your body will resonate with sadness; if you listen to an aggressive song with violent lyrics it will leave aggression and a comedy film, then lightness. The question is, are we being dumbed down by society?

These feelings have a measurable vibration to them as you can see in this scale chart here. It’s easy to not notice how affected we are by the world around us and most of the time we are on autopilot reading tragic stories in the newspaper, engaging in negative gossip, or scrolling through other people’s posts on our news feed on Facebook. A lot of this mainstream content is in the lower end of the this chart.

Recently my family attended a chanting night at the Hare Krishna centre in Sydney. Ok, don’t freak out, we haven’t converted and become part of some weird cult. The Hare Krishna centre is a beautiful place open to everyone, and each week they put on a night of chanting and dinner for $10 which is a bargain night out! For an hour you chant some elevating chants about God Consciousness and then usually engage in some inspiring conversation with the community while eating healthy food. We left the event feeling high and blissed out. When got into the car to drive home, the radio immediately came on and the DJ’s were inviting callers the ring in if they have a name similar to genitalia. “Hi I’m Dick Wood.” “Hi my name is Mulva” and “Hi, I’m Eric Shun.” Yeh, enthralling mainstream radio. Immediately we could feel our attention being pulled, almost ‘dumbed down’ and it was changing how we felt. We turned the radio off, but it was interesting to note how quickly our minds attention shifted and also how we felt.
If we were to do an audit of our thoughts on a daily basis and then assess them we would most probably find they are not of a very high level. Think about what you thought about yesterday. Maybe pause and just right down some of the 50,000 thoughts that you had, remembering most of those thoughts were influenced by the place that your mind had been pulled into like the media, a Facebook post, or a conversation you were engaged in, ie. other people’s thoughts.
So the question is, how often did we think about God, the Divine, our Higher Self, Egolessness or Pure Love? Or…how often did we NOT think? Did we just sit in Being? Did we sit in Stillness? Did we spend time immersing in no thought and feeling lightness? There is a natural inclination for the mind to be drawn to the lowest common denominator. Joseph Conrad once wrote in his book Heart of Darkness that we have a ‘fascination with the abomination’. I’ve noticed that throughout my life my mind tends to go gravitate towards fear and worry. I have to practice moving it higher. It’s not a natural tendency for it to do this. It’s not like I wake up and voila, my mind is on The Higher Self or spirituality. This is our work and there are ways to avoid the mind being dumbed down.

  1. Avoid or reduce watching or reading the daily news
  2. Avoid gossip and negative talk about people
  3. Minimise social media
  4. Be selective about the songs that you listen to
  5. Be mindful of the podcasts or radio that you listen to
  6. Pause each day, re-adjust your thinking away from negativity
  7. Meditate on being light
  8. Read spiritual texts
  9. Attend satsang or spiritual talks
  10. Receive regular coaching or guidance

This is why I created the Zen Academy For Transformational Leadership, to support people to elevate their mind regularly from the menial daily thought tracks and come together as a community and engage in more uplifting discussions together. This takes place through fortnightly calls and a private Facebook group. We have people join us from all over the world come onto these live sessions.

A beautiful shift takes place when we move our awareness to the Divine, spirituality or the Higher Self…we feel lighter, joyful and love. The more we do this the more natural it becomes for the mind to go there. What a gorgeous way to spend more of our day in that space!


Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides group coaching through his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To find out more about joining this global community click here.

Without This, The Last 3 Days Would Have Been Very Tough!

Tom Cronin_59aThere I was, reclining back in gentle yin yoga on a Sunday night and my tummy starts to spasm and ache.

“Hmm, food poisoning from lunch? It will pass.”

That night at home, aches, pains, shivers and gut aches.

“ Hmm, must be some terrible bug thats going round. Bummer dude.”

Next day was intensified stomach cramps and aches. “Lets check Dr. Google out.”
Fever- tick
Aches- tick
Sore stomach lower right side- tick
Nausea- tick

Uh Oh…something wrong with the appendix. It’s midnight and I decide to head to emergency on my own on a rainy Monday night. After 19 hours of being pushed, prodded, poked, scanned and analysed it was time to cut open and find the source of the problem. Fatigue, hunger and an infected appendix were all taking its toll on the physical body. Add to the mix, x-ray scans, huge doses of antibiotics, and a general anaesthetic, the body was battered and bruised!

In the end the little critter was removed and I returned home less than one day later to recover. Sure, there was plenty worse in there than me, heaps worse! No doubt you have been through moments like this or worse as well.

One thing that I did noticed was that through each step of the process there was a detached simple calm Observer within me witnessing it. It was like, “Ok, this is what we do now, so lets do it”. This independent observer is not your reactive emotional state, your body, or your mind, its your field of consciousness. After 20 years of transcending the three vehicles of my body, mind and emotions and connecting to the field of Pure Consciousness you are able to move through random events like this with almost an equanimity of blissful calm.

Often in these situations we tend to drop into a deep emotional ‘woe is me’ experience. Sure it’s not your preferred option to be there in that place, and sure, your body may yelp in pain with the jabs of needles, but that deep emotional “woe is me” and self loathing can be avoided. It’s these deep lows we get in reaction to unpleasant random events that actually prolong the negative experience. When you sustain a calm blissful manner naturally through those challenging events, the events will unfold quite quickly, preventing the cascading effect of attracting more challenging events.

The key to this liberation from the binding effect of events is daily meditation. Going deep into the transcendence of meditation daily, stabilises the connection to your Higher Self. This is your independent Observer that is always there blissfully overseeing these fluctuations with mild fascination. If you’d like to find out more about how you can make that connection with your blissful observer within then click here

And for now, it’s back to walking around ever so slowly and eating hearty nourishing home cooked food!

And please, share with me some of your stories below of how you found meditation helped you through difficult moments. Looking forward to hearing from you!

And if you would like to find out more about how you can learn to meditate and get instant calm in your life then you might like to try my Gentle Breath Meditation. This is an easy guided meditation that will soothe your nervous system and calm your mind and body. I do this meditation each evening with my family before my children go to bed and it helps them sleep deeply. If you’ve never meditated before or need some assistance with your existing meditation practice then you’re going to love this! Click here to do the Gentle Breath Meditation.

Gentle Breath Meditation

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