From Dr Sandra Cabot

Let us hope that 2014 is a year where people can find more peace both within themselves and in the world. We have so much conflict which results in vast human suffering and peace seems to have become a forgotten state.

Peace must come from within individuals to allow peace in the world to develop.

Have you ever sat quietly, closed your eyes and tried not to think; in other words have you observed your mind thinking?

It is an interesting exercise, as most of us will find our mind wanders around quickly and can be compared to quick silver(mercury) that has escaped from a thermometer.

Older people often wander back to the past and reminisce. You may find yourself thinking about negative things or positive things, happy things or sad things, but most of us find it hard to stop thinking. For most people it is incredibly hard to stop thinking and still the mind.

The more complicated our life is, the more we have to think and the more we may have to worry. The more things you own the more things you have to take care of and the more you have to think.

When I try to still my mind and focus on the techniques I have been shown to concentrate within myself, I remember a passage from the bible in which Jesus remarked to his disciples, “Believe me, a rich man will find it very difficult to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Yes, I repeat, a camel could more easily squeeze through the eye of a needle than a rich man get into the kingdom of God!”

So when I manage to focus my mind on what I have been taught, I think to myself – wow I have passed through the eye of the needle! It takes a strong desire or need to achieve this, as well as effort and focus. But it is worth it! I stop thinking and experience existing in the present moment and it is peaceful and satisfying.

Human beings need to focus on their true self and experience peace of mind and then there can be peace in the world. It is a fundamental need but one that we are not taught on a practical level. When I was 21 years of age I was shown by a professional instructor some very specific techniques how to do this. It helped me enormously as medical school was quite stressful and there were many distractions for a young person. I consider myself very fortunate to have been shown these techniques at such a young age and I still need them today. It makes me a better doctor and healer as it gives me greater understanding of the complexities and fragilities of human beings.

The human mind is very powerful and demands constant attention and satisfaction – it really can be exhausting to satisfy its every whim and to listen to its every thought. The mind demands we listen to it even if it takes us down a path of negativity. So we read books and go to psychologists that tell us to think positively with positive affirmations – well this is good value – but we are still thinking! Oh wouldn’t it be nice to cease thinking completely and experience total peace and satisfaction.

Here is a little story which describes our mind.

One day a man is dreaming of having everything he wants in life all at once so he can just enjoy life and not have to work. Amazingly God comes down from the heavens and says to him “well I can provide you with a genie who can make anything happen for you in this world. But he comes with a warning” the man replies “what is that” God says “You have to keep the genie busy all the time or he gets bored and will eat you” The man says to God “ Well there is so much that I want that I will never run out of jobs to give this genie as I have so many desires and plans so I am confident he will not eat me” God says “Well ok but do not tell me I did not warn you!”

So the huge powerful genie arrives and the man puts him to work. He tells him to build him a mansion with 2 swimming pools, 20 bedrooms, 4 gyms, saunas, a huge dining room and a garden to match that of the castle of Versailles. Amazingly the genie builds all this within 10 minutes! The man then asks the genie to give him plastic surgery to make him look young again. This is done in 5 minutes. Over the next few days, he gets the genie to build him luxury yachts, jets, hotels and cars, farms that grow exotic fruits, gambling casinos and an international corporate empire. He then asks the genie for a harem full of gorgeous young women, a super education so he is super smart and a space ship so he can travel to Mars. Finally after 5 days he runs out of desires and the genie becomes agitated and threatening. The man then realizes he is in danger and screams out to God for help. God being a real nice and wise old man comes down and listens. The man says “This genie is going to eat me as I have run out of desires. What’s more I do not have time to relax and enjoy the things the genie has made me. I cannot satisfy the genie ! Please help me !!”

God says to the man “Well ok I will help you, see that 1,000 foot pole over there – tell the genie to climb up and down that pole all the time and to only come to you when you call him”

The man puts the genie to work climbing up and down the pole all day and night and he can finally relax and enjoy his life.

Our mind can be like the genie because it may never or rarely be still, or satisfied and/or indeed under our control.

This may cause us to eat too much sugar and become overweight but we are still not satisfied because our mind wants more sugar. We drink too much alcohol to feel peaceful and happy but when it wears off we need something else to ease the hangover and are full of regrets. We smoke too many cigarettes and take too many drugs but the mental high does not last and we need more stimulants. We gamble too much thinking we will get rich because the mind is not always logical. We do internet dating and keep choosing the wrong person as the mind has unreasonable expectations.

The pleasure may be so fleeting because our mind is eating us alive.

We go to meetings like overeaters anonymous, alcoholics anonymous, weight watchers etc and find good strategies to modify the behaviour of our mind. They are great value and help us to modify our behaviour and give us self understanding. But the thoughts are still there, negative or positive, and we still do not have the knowledge of how to still our thoughts.

To me the greatest healer is the self and we need a meeting with ourselves to still the mind. With the right techniques (and they must be powerful, as your mind is powerful), we can put the genie of the mind up and down the pole so we feel at peace and can truly relax. If you would like to know more about the techniques that I practise email my website.

During 2014 I aim to keep doing my seminars all over Australia and raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Red Cross and local charities. I will visit Emerald, Mount Isa and Middle Mount in Queensland and will see patients there. I also see patients in Pambula (near Merimbula) and in Adelaide. I have a radio show every Tuesday night on radio 5 AA in Adelaide and you can listen to it on my website.

So have a great 2014 and focus on your mental and physical health as it is the greatest asset you have!

Dr Sandra Cabot