mBraining Prayer Wheels
mBraining Prayer Wheels
"In the 700 year old Soka Gakkai Buddhism teachings there is a mystic truth known as the ‘Buddha state’ or ‘Buddha wisdom’ that acts as a reservoir through which anyone can take control of their lives and fulfill their greatest dreams. According to these ancient spiritual beliefs, this state of wisdom involves a melding of Compassion, Creativity and Courage."
mBraining, Grant Soosalu & Marvin Oka
In October 2014, I traveled with a small group of close friends to Nepal in order to undertake a spiritual adventure, trekking in the mountains of Mustang. Mustang is an ancient land, a high-altitude Himalayan plateau that was formerly the Kingdom of Lo and the home of Bonpo. Mustang is an isolated place, situated on the border of Nepal and Tibet and it preserves some of the last vestiges of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture. Predating Buddhism in Tibet and Nepal, the Bonpo spiritual tradition has an oral history of over 6000 years, and many of its ideas and practices have been deeply incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism.
Our guide for the trek was KB Barakoti, an amazing human soul who is both skillful as a guide and a wonderful person to spend time with.
KB works for his brother Ram Barakoti’s trekking and travel company, Nepal Social Treks and Expeditions (http://www.nepalsocialtreks.com). We selected Nepal Social because of the glowing 5-star reviews it continues to receive again and again from travelers all over the world who come to Nepal and Tibet and use their services.
While trekking with KB, during the long days of walking and climbing amongst the incredible and breathtaking scenery of this stunning land, I had the opportunity to enjoy long and philosophical conversations with him.
KB is well-versed in many different philosophies and has a passion for reading and learning. So he was keen to hear about my work in developing the new field of mBraining and mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques).
What is mBraining and mBIT?
One of the more fascinating findings coming out of the field of Neuroscience over the last decade or so is that we don’t just have a brain in our head. Recent Neuroscience findings have uncovered that we have complex, adaptive and functional neural networks – or what the scientists in the new fields of NeuroCardiology and NeuroGastroEnterology are calling ‘brains’- in our heart and gut. Called the cardiac and enteric nervous systems respectively, these adaptive neural networks display amazing levels of memory and ‘intelligence’ and there’s a growing array of evidence that these brains are deeply involved in the control and processing of numerous functions and core behavioral competencies. By combining these Neuroscience findings with behavioral modeling research, a number of key insights have emerged that have profound implications for the fields of leadership, coaching and personal evolution.
Behavioural Modelling Research
Over the last 3.5 years, informed by these Neuroscience findings, along with my colleague Marvin Oka, I have performed behavioral modeling action research on how the heart and gut brains function in the practical areas of decision-making, action-taking, intuition, relationships, leadership and personal development. Along with this action-research, analysis of evidence from a wide body of divergent sources has shown that the heart and gut brains are involved in representing and processing very specific forms of intelligence and intuitive functions. For instance, the heart is optimized for processing emotions such as love, joy and connection, while the gut handles protection, self-preservation, core identity and mobilization. What you can see from this is that each of the brains has a fundamentally different way of communicating and different concerns and domains of competence. And of course, this has direct connections with and implications for how we live and work in our lives.
These findings also support commonly held notions such as trusting one’s ‘gut instinct’ and being ‘true to your heart’, and they back up the assertions from many fields such as those of the Adaptive Leadership field, saying that whole leaders need to use not only their heads, but also the innate intelligence and wisdom of both their heart and gut.
Based on this work on the multiple brains and how to communicate with them, align them and tap into their innate intuitive wisdom, we developed a new coaching, leadership and personal development field known as mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques.) As detailed in our book ‘mBraining’, these techniques and processes involve getting a person into communication with their three brains, getting them aligned around the particular issue and then getting the brains functioning at what are known as their Highest Expression. When this is achieved, the person’s innate intuitive wisdom emerges and the quality of their decisions and actions becomes adaptively and generatively different.
Ultimately, mBIT is about helping and facilitating people to bring their human spirit alive and to operate in an emergent, adaptive, congruent and neurologically aligned way. Out in the field, coaches, leaders and clients are reporting to us that the experience of mBIT is profound and transformative.
The Highest Expressions: A powerful insight
Now years ago, whilst researching esoteric wisdom practices, I came across a powerful insight from the Tibetan Bonpo tradition. It suggested that a person could be considered to have truly lived a wise and beneficial life if they’d mastered three core competencies: Compassion, Creativity and Courage.
"The heart is a sensory organ and acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing center that enables it to learn, remember and make independent functional decisions."
Dr. Rollin McCraty
After deeply exploring the neuroscience behind the heart, gut and head brains, and completing a huge body of behavioural modelling research and then factor analyzing the core competencies of the three brains, I was fascinated to notice that the Bon insight highlighted a key and generative competency from each brain:
Heart brain – Compassion
Head brain – Creativity
Gut brain – Courage
As I continued the mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques) research I discovered very similar advice from other spiritual and philosophical disciplines. Although slightly different words were used (e.g. kindness instead of compassion, bravery instead of courage, etc.), they all conveyed core competencies that were similar in their qualitative nature.
I therefore became even more curious and intrigued by these three Tibetan Bonpo core competencies and began to look for structures that could explain the consistency of these prescribed core competencies across so many different philosophies, practices and cultures. The question became: “From an mBIT perspective, what is so special about these competencies?”
I discovered three key qualities that make these competencies particularly generative. First, if you look them up in the Core Competencies Framework from Chapter 3 of our book 'mBraining - Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff', you’ll notice they’re all highly Autonomically coherent states that are deeply physiologically balanced. Second, in actual practice, these ‘virtues’ are neurologically integrative by their very nature. Each of these competencies requires the engagement of the other two neural networks in order for them to fully manifest in behavior. This is explained in more detail in the book. And third, the behavioural modelling research found that the interdependent and integrative nature of these three competencies enables the emergence of a higher order level of consciousness and way of being. In other words, they collectively enable and facilitate the Highest Expression of a deeper more integrated 'self'.
Subsequently, these three competencies became what we respectfully called the multiple brains’ ‘Highest Expressions’, and I’d like to suggest that of all the competencies each brain evinces, these ‘three C’s’ (Compassion, Creativity and Courage) are the most generative and defining of them all. They’re certainly the most integrative to work with for attaining greater levels of wisdom and personal evolution. Indeed, from our behavioural modelling and action research work, we’ve found these three competencies, when aligned together are able to produce a synergistic magic that is incredible to experience.
"Courage and compassion are two sides of the same coin. Compassion without courage is not genuine. You may have a compassionate thought or impulse, but if you don’t do or say anything, it’s not real compassion."
So the question becomes… How can you align more wisdom in your life through Compassion, Creativity and Courage? How can you amplify Compassion in your heart, your thoughts, your life and your actions? How can you creatively Create a life that is more brilliant, more enhanced and more generatively wise? And how can you motivate more gutsy Courage and action into your world? And this is where the mBraining Prayer Wheels come into play…
The mBraining Prayer Wheels
While walking and talking with KB during our trek, I shared with him that I had always wanted to create a set of Prayer Wheels, much like those we were walking past and turning every day during our trekking. A prayer wheel is a cylindrical wheel (Tibetan: འཁོར་, Wylie: 'khor) on a spindle made from metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel and the wheels have prayers written on paper inside them. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on the lineage texts, spinning such wheels has the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers. In essence, the physical act of spinning the wheels acts as a form of prayer.
Now from a modern neuro-linguistics and psychological perspective, prayers act as a form of ‘embedded command’ to the unconscious mind. They are a powerful form of self-hypnosis. And so spinning a physical prayer wheel acts like an embodied form of positive messaging to your unconscious mind, reinforcing and encouraging you in the essence of the messages of the prayers.
And what I had wanted, since creating mBIT, and learning about the power and importance of the Highest Expressions of the three brains, was to have a set of 3 prayer wheels, with a wheel for each of these Highest Expressions: Compassion, Creativity and Courage.
On telling KB about this, he exclaimed, “Yes, we can do!” And that’s how our wonderful mBraining Prayer Wheels came into being.
I explained to KB what I wanted, and he organized to have them made by skilled Nepali artisans. Members of the mBIT Community from around the world got involved and purchased them, and we now have them spread across the planet. People love them!
And I can say, from my own personal experience, having mounted a set outside the door of my house, that every time I turn them when entering or leaving home, I feel an amazing sense of embodied cognition and evocation of the Highest Expressions of me! They look and feel fantastic! And are a brilliant reminder for me to think, feel and live from Compassion, Creativity and Courage and to focus on emerging more Wisdom in my life. And isn’t that something we could all use more of in our busy lives?
So the wonderful mBraining Prayer Wheels provide a physical mechanism to focus on the Highest Expressions in your life. The Highest Expression words are carved in sanskrit on each of the wheels. The first wheel is made from Wood and is Compassion (wood is for organic, living, growing, from the heart of the living tree of life), Metal is for Creativity (metal is for the creativity that humans imbue into the ore to smelt and transform it into metal) and Stone is for Courage (stone is for the strength of stone and rock and the core of our wonderful planet earth). Inside the metal wheel are prayers. When you spin the wheels in what is known in mBIT as the ‘foundational sequence’ i.e. Heart, then Head, then Gut you are doing an embodied physical embedded command to embrace and live from the Wisdom of your Highest Expressions.
So why not get a set of mBraining Prayer Wheels to enhance your own life? To help you live from Compassion, Creativity and Couarge? If you are interested, please contact Ram Barakoti via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or purchase one at: http://www.travelmadeasier.com/mbraining-prayer-wheels/
And if you’d like to learn how to become an mBIT Coach or to utilize mBraining in your business or life: