Explore The Core – Find Your True Identity

by Tessa Buckman

We’ve lost our sense of self, but fortunately, we don’t have to look far to find it.

In fact, according to Dr Warren Stanton, an authentic sense of self can be rediscovered in a surprisingly short amount of time (which is handy). So cancel those trips to distant lands, the quest for self-discovery begins now.

Dr Stanton is a qualified teacher and psychologist with a PhD in human thought processes; he is also the creator of a process designed to assist personal development, namely The Well-Being Process.

The technique itself slips through the fingers of definition, blending a range of practices with intense self-exploration and a dash of individuality. Even the label “The Well-Being Process” is tentatively placed.

“It’s about people coming to know themselves, which ultimately means it’s a difficult thing to define,” explains Dr Stanton. “Whereas many schools of thought involve routine and discipline, this process is the antithesis of that because it’s based on our natural instincts. If I package it, the mechanism is an applied meditation, although I could call it deep meditation or advanced mediation. It is probably aligned with the mindfulness approach based on awareness of our existence.”

A session with Dr Stanton is also strangely inexplicable. Sitting opposite him, you are invited to maintain eye contact whilst attempting to zone into your inner sense of self. Perhaps a little disconcerting at first, the awkwardness that accompanies an unwavering gaze doesn’t last long. In its place, a calm sensation seems to creep into the room.

Fortunately, the basic concept behind the process is less evasive. Our true nature is goodwill; according to Dr Stanton, once you tune into that goodwill, you will be immersed in a sense of harmony while social constructs (beliefs) that trigger fear and negativity will dissolve.

“The core sense of self contains everything people want in life; peace of mind, a sense of belonging, satisfaction and the feeling completeness, it’s all there as our birthright.”

Regrettably, our core sense of self has become entrenched in the muddy layers of convention. Beliefs and opinions we are taught from infancy cloud our true nature. The most notorious of these is control.

“Particularly in Western culture, we’ve been taught to use the intellect to control our lives,” says Dr Stanton “Our instincts are one of the things we decided to control. But other instincts, including our sense of self, were also lost through this control and replaced with a set of beliefs. We’ve lost our sense of self, which then causes people to feel alienated or shallow.”

It is ironic that we are so easily willing to forgo our instincts. Naturally, we absorb the information and behavioural patterns offered to us by our caregivers. We then go on to live our lives according to these taught beliefs rather than those we develop through experience and intuition. In other words, our individual sense of identity is created.

Dr Stanton explains: “We are taught to detach ourselves from our core self fairly early in life. When you’re a child, you haven’t got the capacity to challenge what is presented to you. Instinctively, it might not feel good, but it’s being presented to you by significant caregivers who you love, trust and depend upon and so we just soak up.”

The problem is locked in when people are unwilling to challenge the beliefs that have negative affects. In our creative capacity, we develop ways to get what we want. We are prepared to use intimidation, aggression, and even temper tantrums when necessary. However, what we think we want is warped by our taught beliefs.

“We have become willing to upset ourselves and others to achieve what we think we want. But if we listen to our instincts, what we really want is to feel good, happy and harmonious. Our natural experience of life is just that. It’s an amazing, incredible experience,” Dr Stanton explains.

The Well-Being Process is designed to rekindle an instinctive sense of self by teaching people to let go of control and the beliefs that promote negative behaviour.  But before you abandon the rules and let the James Dean inside you run riot, Dr Stanton insists that our belief structures are not only indispensable, but absolutely essential.

“There is a difference between having beliefs and holding them. Everyone has beliefs; they are scripts that we use to interface with the world. Many of them are functional, for example, you believe if you turn a tap, water is going to come out.”

By denouncing your beliefs, you not only run the run the risk of dehydration, but you will also become alienated from a society that depends upon them. As an alternative, we need to begin looking at life as a duality.

It has long been acknowledged that we have two minds, namely the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind contains beliefs, the ego and for the majority of people, their identity. The other is based upon actual experience and is devoid of opinion.

“One is time-based, limited and fragmented, while the other is connected, unlimited and timeless. Your conscious mind is used to imagine things, interface with the world and is essentially there to serve us. So, if you identify the conscious mind as all there is, you have a very limited sense of who you are.”

The key is to find your true identity within the subconscious mind. Once learnt, The Well-Being Process will enable you to tune into the core sense of self and therefore your natural sense of goodwill to give you a little lift.

“If you are able to tune into the part of you that feels good, you will feel in charge. When you open your conscious mind to the sense of self, found in the subconscious, you feel the effect, be it uplifting, centring or that wave of peace of mind. It allows you to turn your life around, instead of thinking you’ve got to get happiness out of life, you begin with happiness, it is your birthright and so you take happiness into everything you do.”

Dr Warren Stanton is a principle life-guide, consultant and facilitator for positive change For more information, please contact him on 0412-049667 or warrenstanton@aapt.net.au

“There is a difference between having beliefs and holding them.”

(Published with permission of the publisher of the “Living Now” Magazine.)

Altered states of perception through psyche meditation

by Professor Warren Stanton

So you think you can meditate? Try this quick quiz.

Question 1: What is meditation? If you examine the definitions of meditation you will find they vary quite a lot. So if there are different definitions, then what is meditation? Question 2: When you meditate are you using your mind? There is a lot of disagreement about what is being done in meditation. People would probably agree they are using awareness, but can that be outside your mind? Question 3: Is it a purely learnt technique, or learning to use a natural process differently, or something you are already doing but interfering with?

At this point the temptation is to group the definitions by their outcome. In general a desired outcome of meditation is to access a pleasant experience in life without using the thought processes. However, using an outcome or goal does not make a good definition because other things could achieve the goal that are not meditation, for example drugs, music, trance, sex etc. It is hard to adjust the definition to try and exclude these sources, for example adding ‘natural’ to the definition only excludes drugs (and that depends on your definition of natural). Even if you manage to exclude this list there will always be others to replace them.

I would venture to say that most people don’t actually understand what is meant by meditation. When I ‘learned to meditate’ I was taught to follow someone’s instructions, and most people do follow some instructed process to produce the desired outcome. Learnt techniques and processes can be helpful, including sounds, symbols and imagery for example with guided meditation, but can we go further? If you are using only a purely learnt technique you are limiting your meditation, because meditation is a natural process. Meditation fits the saying that ‘simpler’ is ‘better’, so what advance can be made on forms of meditation without loosing the benefits of your current practice?

Before giving you an alternative way to change your perceptions, let me propose a broad definition. Meditation could be considered as any use of our existing faculties other than the intellect or thought processes. In particular, this includes awareness and mindfulness. With regards the question about how it is done, these faculties must have some link with the mind, because to be mind dead is effectively to be dead! With regards to the third question of how it is done, make it simpler by deferring to what you do naturally – you already know how to meditate!

You can experience altered states of perception without drugs. But the key is to understand that such experiences are not produced, they are induced. Trying to produce an altered state limits most peoples’ meditation by making it more complex. So how do you induce an altered state? Quite simply, the entry point to meditation is to be subjective. You might notice I did not say ‘allow yourself to become subjective’ because this contains components of objectivity, namely ‘allowing’ and ‘yourself’. Nor is it ‘handing over’ to a subjective experience because some part of you would have to do the handing over and how would you let go of that part! You are meditating when you are processing life subjectively, and you are instinctively capable of doing just that. The more subjective you become the more you will notice a change in your perceptions. Initially it could be something as simple as your life event becoming more evident to your senses, or it could be a sense of centering, or uplifting or grounding or expanding or a warming in your body, or any other sensation. Notably, it is the detection of change itself that is the signal of a shift in perception, not the content of what has changed. This is where most people get mislead by their thought processes. Subtle as it may be, when you permit change to occur, you are on your way.

So how can you experience more intense states of altered perception? Quite simply, when you become totally subjective you are engaging your psyche, and it is this faculty which ‘does the job’. There are several ways to think of this. My preferred approach is to relate it to the idea that you have two minds. By thinking of the physical body as the body of the conscious mind, and the psyche as the body of the subconscious mind, you can keep it ‘real’ when thinking about the use of the psyche. Both these minds are operating simultaneously – which by way of a bit of humour, gives a whole new view to the saying of ‘being in two minds” about something! The psyche seemingly has a parallel set of senses to the physical body. Using meditation to experience life through these senses can result in perceptions which would otherwise be out of reach in daily life. Examples of this are an authentic sense of self and a sense of completeness in which there is nothing wrong with you and nothing missing from you. It is this form of life experience that is referred to as ‘seeing’ or ‘knowing’.

There is a final comment I would like to highlight. Such experiences should always be pleasant ones. Unpleasant experiences are based on misuse of the mind, resulting in misconceptions and superstitions. Nevertheless, if you are not familiar with this application of meditation I recommend you find a guide who has explored this field. First it is easier to have this experience when someone else is keeping track of you. Second, we are capable of creating unpleasant experiences with the conscious mind, including past events stored in memory. Opening yourself to such events is great for healing, and you are capable of this by yourself. But if you do not do it well you can find the process unnecessarily traumatic, or possibly have a healing crisis. Self-healing is an excellent application for this process, but at times it is preferable to be with someone who has a good idea about what they are doing. Nevertheless, it is enjoyable and safe to explore your mind. Do not loose sight of this and you will find delight in the journey.

Dr Warren Stanton conducts individual and group sessions in Brisbane on a weekly basis. Availability at other locations can be arranged by negotiation. For more information contact Warren on 0412-049667 or warren@stantonprocess.com

(Published with permission of the publisher of the “Insight” Magazine.)