Food-For-Thought Wednesday: Lessons from Tomb Sentinels, Buddhist Monks, and Jedi Knights

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This is Mind over Matter: Picture taken September 2012 at Tomb of Unknown Soldier during a cold, windy and rainy day.

Greetings, Friends! I am shaking things up for 2014 as my plan is to post 3x per week:

Weekend Wrap on Mondays in which I cover very timely health and wellness developments

Food-for-Thought Wednesdays in which I provide thoughts on life, the universe and everything

Deep-Dive Fridays in which I provide more in-depth analysis of holistic health and wellness topics

The topic for this Food-for-Thought Wednesday is *Mind Training*.

Some would consider walking, let alone working, outside on a cold and rainy day to be fodder for endless complaining and belly-aching. However the soldiers above (Tomb Sentinels from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment’s “The Old Guard” who have guarded the Tomb for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather, since 1948) consider working on such a day an honor because they must have immense respect for their job, a sacred sense of duty, and gratification from being part of something larger than themselves. I am going to speculate that these men feel happier after a rainy and cold day’s work that many of us after a day at a cozy desk. It’s all in how their mind perceives their circumstance, what they choose to do with that perception.

We are learning that our perception of our circumstances impacts not only our mood for the moment, our overall health in a profound way. Check out this blog from Dr. Hyman (one of my favorites!) about a conference he attended with Tibetan monks and doctors, Buddhist scholars, meditation researchers, and prize-winning biomedical scientists:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/25/how-the-dalai-lama-can-help-you-live-to-120/

The subject of this conference: Longevity and Tibetan medicine.

I have met a number of these old monks, who spent the better part of their lives imprisoned and tortured…that they emerged … happy, … and giving back to the world.

As Dr. Hyman explains: If that seems intriguing, it was! The goal of the conference might sound complex — but it was quite simple.  We were there to investigate the relationship between the science of longevity and wellness and the ancient Indo-Tibetan practices of meditation and training the mind.

Of course training the mind takes effort, and Dr. Hyman explains the value of meditation in this regard. I whole-heartedly agree as I have experienced huge benefits from meditation, yoga, and the mind-control lessons in the amazing A Course in Miracles. The same benefits could be obtained from prayer, other spiritual practices, or…Jedi Knight training. Who amongst us can forget this awesome conversation in The Empire Strikes Back where Master Yoda was teaching neophyte Luke about the awesome power of the mind:

Luke Skywalker: I can’t believe it.

Master Yoda: That is why you fail.

In summary, all of these modalities agree on one thing: our reality is what we let our mind perceive it to be, and we have the power to change that perception. I’d say an awesome resolution for all of us would be to work on controlling our perception of reality and removing toxic illusions.

Powerful stuff! I hope this was helpful and I’d love to hear about your experiences in changing your perception of your circumstances.

Namaste!

Photo credit: Karin Markert

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3 thoughts on “Food-For-Thought Wednesday: Lessons from Tomb Sentinels, Buddhist Monks, and Jedi Knights

  1. Out of all the times I’ve seen my photo posted, this is definitely one of the most interesting takes on it. Yes, they are wonderful soldiers, very well trained to do their job no matter what the weather has in store for them. Very focused, very dedicated.
    NOW I’m very interested in reading more on your blog, too. 🙂

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