The Creative Genius’ Guide to Mindfulness

The pop psychologists capitalizing on the mindfulness trend all talk about meditation for stress reduction. They make a valid point, considering how many Americans take anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication. However, now is the time for something more interesting than stress reduction. Intriguing meditation news is coming from the Netherlands. The Institute for Psychological Research and the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition at Leiden University are discovering that a meditative mind, free of distracting random thoughts and obsessions, actually has lots of room for an influx of creative problem solving ideas.   Some ideas may appear as flashes of inspiration or maybe the result of focused meditative attention to situational challenges. The implications for creative genius types like researchers, programmers and ... Read More
Michael HoffmanThe Creative Genius’ Guide to Mindfulness

Dig One Well Deeply – Part I

I’ll never forget Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s words at Humboldt State College in the summer of ’73. Hundreds of us had travelled from all over the world to practice Transcendental Meditation and learn from him. We sat in the college’s gymnasium just waiting for the question and answer segment of each of his talks. It was a scramble for the microphones. One Deep Well - A long-time TM teacher asked what he should tell initiates who wanted to know if Paramahansa Yogananda’s kriya yoga was a stronger spiritual practice than TM. Maharishi sat silent for a while reflecting, then said, “Everybody is always looking for a better way, the mind always searching, always wanting more. But this only scatters the mind, ... Read More
Michael HoffmanDig One Well Deeply – Part I

Buddha’s Homework

The Buddha demanded a lot from his students almost 3,000 years ago. It was all about a quality lifestyle, and vipassana mindfulness meditation was only a small part of his moral code. He was also a kind of existentialist and never sugarcoated how much work it would take to become enlightened. His Four Noble Truths and Eight-Fold Path are as psychologically profound and behaviorally helpful today as they were back in his day. Do Buddha’s homework and reflect on how you might have fit in with this great spiritual teacher. The Four Noble Truths – Buddha’s Existential Belief About the Realities of Human Life 1.  Human life includes experiences of great suffering. Buddha called this dukkha. How has suffering happened in ... Read More
Michael HoffmanBuddha’s Homework

What Happened to Mikey

We feed like mindless parasites on the irresistible pleasure addiction provides us.  We attach ourselves to obsessive behaviors and chemicals ripe with enjoyment and ask nothing in return.  At least, nothing is asked of us at first; the bad things happen later.  Our brains grow fat but remain unsatisfied even after feasting too long at a toxic but intoxicating meal.  No one can forget the first time their brain responded ecstatically to a potentially addictive chemical or behavior.  The flavors, smells, sounds, mental images and body sensations of a neurologically intense dopamine fugue are impossible to resist. Mikey’s Suffering – We usually become addicted when we are old enough to distinguish between a reasonable risk and a foolish one. The ... Read More
Michael HoffmanWhat Happened to Mikey

Emmett Fox Quote

"If you have no time for prayer and meditation, you will have lots of time for sickness and trouble."Emmett FoxEmmett Fox was a spiritual visionary of the early 20th century. He taught New Thought doctrines which stated that God is an omnipresent divine intelligence. Fox believed that everything in human life has this divine essence. His concepts of infinite intelligence included the belief that both enlightenment and sickness have their origins in the human mind, which has the power to heal itself by thinking spiritually. Fox taught at the famous Divine Science Church in New York and was especially popular during the Great Depression. He passed away in 1951. About Michael HoffmanMichael Hoffman Facebook Twitter Google+Professional counselor Michael Hoffman motivates ... Read More
Michael HoffmanEmmett Fox Quote

Buddha Goes to the Psychologist

Siddharta Gotama, the Buddha, became curious about how his vipassana mindfulness meditation technique was holding up after 2,500, so he made an appointment with clinical psychologist Ben K. Tilton, Psy.D. (PSY19609) in Huntington Beach, CA to ask a few questions. The Buddha wondered if modern therapists were using vipassana, and if they were, how it was working. He was delighted to find Tilton so knowledgeable and eager to answer his questions. They had a great conversation and afterwards Tilton took Buddha to Kean’s Coffee in Newport Beach for a triple espresso. Q.     What do meditation and psychotherapy have in common? A.     Both are self-exploration processes.  Cognitive insights learned from psychotherapy can guide meditative process and the ... Read More
Michael HoffmanBuddha Goes to the Psychologist

Buddha Gained Nothing by Meditating

He said so himself. His students loved him because his teaching was simple and refreshing to the mind. He debunked the chaos of Hinduism’s confusing polytheistic religion by claiming enlightenment came from mindfulness of moment-to-moment experience, not by worship of impractical and theoretical gods. Buddha’s Common Sense - Siddhartha Gotama continually resisted his students’ tendency to worship him. He kept reminding them that the word “Buddha” simply means an enlightened person, not some esoteric god. Hindu skeptics regularly asked him difficult questions in order to trip him up and put a dent in his reputation. They never succeeded, because his answers always talked directly about the simplicity of his use of vipassana mindfulness meditation to experience life on a moment-to-moment ... Read More
Michael HoffmanBuddha Gained Nothing by Meditating

Dear Tim Letter

Dear Tim, Thanks for telling me about your burned out feelings, bro. Been there; done that. Sounds like nighttime acting workshops and daytime barista work are more than you can handle. You have to be careful not to multitask yourself into a state of nervous exhaustion. When you stay busy all the time, your mind cannot rest. When you don't get enough rest, your physiology eventually shifts into emergency mode. Nobody can operate that way for too long. Have you paid attention to your breathing? Is it shallow, like you’re not taking deep breaths, like you’re half out of breath all the time? When you do that day after day, your brain experiences some oxygen deficit. Then you can’t concentrate ... Read More
Michael HoffmanDear Tim Letter

NAIKAN – How to Forgive Yourself in Japanese

Japanese therapists have their own version of the 12-Step program's rigorous moral inventory. It's a three-step process called "naikan", which means "inside looking" or "introspection." Naikan is done at seven-day retreats and is a very intense process. Quiet Exploration - Naikan requires you to use meditation to quiet your mind so you can explore your path in life. You answer three questions about your past so you can find peace with what has happened. The process clears your conscience, and frees you to live fully in the present. Naikan counselors act as non-judgmental guides for your process. They listen carefully, but do not push or give too much advice. They give you space to explore and find meaning to your ... Read More
Michael HoffmanNAIKAN – How to Forgive Yourself in Japanese

Sober Buddha and Your Conscious Life

Many Ways to Help You - Sober Buddha educates and inspires visitors seeking spiritual and psychological growth. Sober Buddha provides researched material for adults (in recovery or not) curious about mindfulness meditation, clinical hypnosis, Buddhist and Jungian psychotherapy and sober coaching as ways to live a more conscious life. Help for Many Readers - If you are actively addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, shopping, video games, the Internet, food, work, money, power and social status, resentment, codependent relationships, worrying, anger or road rage, cutting, vanity, exercising too much, ... or any of the dozens of other assictive behaviors Americans hurt themselves with ... you can find help at Sober Buddha. Blog and Cyber Library - Read this blog every ... Read More
Michael HoffmanSober Buddha and Your Conscious Life