As close observation of oneself and others proceeds it soon becomes clear that a large percentage of our emotions, attitudes and actions are repetitive routines and programs – “knee-jerk reactions”. As a rule this process is not only useful but highly efficient. However it is rather less helpful where “bad” habits are concerned; those habits we would love to get rid of, but somehow seem unable to control.

The most powerful way to overcome this disability is, as usual, founded on mindfulness. Once you see what is going on, you then train yourself to follow a new program. Whenever you see the button for the current ground-in reaction>action you want to eradicate arise in your mind, instead of automatically pressing it you train yourself to press a new button which reads


You will have now created enough space and time to move forward with a fully conscious course of action in which you are both in control and in concord.

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on December 22, 2011, in Exercises, Guff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Ohhhh….that is good!…really good….you’re is a like a “disability”…I think of that sometimes when I’m teaching…the kids I teach have learning disabilities, and I often think learning to shift and let go of old patterns is a lot like that….like a “glitch” in the mind….
    Those 3 words are good….3 simple words that provide such helpful words for stopping ….even though I notice the reactions and know they aren’t “true,” I find it so difficult to shift out of that patterned reaction…I’ll try this…thanks…kathy


  2. I spent most of my working lifetime with people with “learning disabilities”.

    What I am trying to pass on here is a three-stage method.

    Stage 1 – calm abiding to dissolve distraction

    Stage 2 – insight to promote clear mindfulness of the current situation

    Stage 3 – positive transformation of activity in the world in line with the way of nature

    Do let me know, Kathy, how you get on with this. I am happy for you to e-mail.


  3. Thanks…. I assuming that by “calm abiding”…you’re talking about a “light” type of calm abiding…to shift into that…rather than the really deep kind?

    And cancel… positive transformation….looking at factors of impermanence/compounded/labeled/dependent origination etc?…. is that what you meant there?

    Thanks for the offer to email…. I’ll make it into a page, try to live it and will keep you posted.

    I had created a sequence for myself around a year ago… that I used/use a lot …when I find myself reacting….and it is helpful…I use it more “automatically” now.
    I also use this one.
    Another one from a few years ago, before I learned more helpful ideas etc.
    As you can see…I’ve needed to shift on some ways I was approaching living….


  4. Thank you for the links, Kathy.

    In an explication of abiding calm and insight mediation check out


  5. This is a great insight and how true it is…Our very cells actually retain memories, these “knee-jerk reactions” can be programmed right into them. But the mind is more powerful than most are initially aware of, and any chain of thought or action CAN be broken, altered, transformed…as you know. It just sometimes takes an amazing amount of will and discipline. I like the way you spell it out.


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