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    #426 A Guide To Self-Mastery, How Restrictions Lead To Freedom & Discovering Happiness with Shaolin Master Shi Heng Yi

    Prioritizing our spiritual well-being and introspection in addition to physical health can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Be mindful of thoughts and their impact on our destiny.

    enFebruary 14, 2024

    About this Episode

    For today’s episode, I’m honoured to welcome Master Shi Heng Yi. He belongs to the 35th generation of Shaolin Masters and began practising Kung Fu at the age of four. In the 36 years since, he’s acquired a wealth of knowledge in Chinese martial arts and Zen Buddhism. He’s now headmaster of the Shaolin Temple Europe in Germany, responsible for the physical and mental development of all the students and disciples of the Buddhist Order in Otterberg.

     

    Along with the free videos he posts regularly to YouTube, Shi Heng Yi has several online training courses via his website, to help teach the basics of the ancient practices he lives by. He wants to bring the wisdom of ‘self-mastery’ to the world in a practical, tangible way – and he does just that in this episode.

     

    This is a wonderful, profound conversation that explores what self-mastery means. While mastering a skill can be taught by others, self-mastery is a personal matter. Our awareness is naturally drawn outwards in life, so we need to cultivate the ability to look inwards.

     

    We discuss some of the ways we can start to do this, from practices of mindfulness and gratitude, to following a structured day. Shi Heng Yi explains what we can learn from the restrictions of temple life, how to identify our attachments and find happiness and freedom within us. Self-mastery, he says, means choosing the middle path of harmony, balance and stability.

     

    We discuss the notion of ‘owning’ ideas and wisdom and discuss the fact that there is no truly original thought. Shi Heng Yi explains that he is not sharing his teachings with the world, only what he has learned and witnessed in life. Everything is infinite so already exists somewhere. Finally, Master Shi Heng Yi explains a beautiful concept – and caution – that our thoughts can shape our destiny.

     

    It really was a privilege for me to have an in-depth discussion with such a knowledgeable, wise and compassionate man. I hope you enjoy listening.


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/426


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Self-mastery is a personal journey that requires committing to improving oneself, seeking knowledge and guidance from others while finding similarities and truths that resonate with us.
    • By taking the time to look inward and cultivate self-awareness, we can make adjustments and improvements in our lives, leading to a more mindful and fulfilling existence.
    • Dedicate the first 15-20 minutes of your day to engage in activities that enhance your well-being, free from distractions. Overcome ingrained habits and prioritize self-care for personal development. Cultivate gratitude in the evening for a better tomorrow.
    • Practicing gratitude and committing to specific practices fosters inner freedom and allows us to appreciate the value of simply being alive.
    • True happiness and freedom come from within ourselves, not from external circumstances. By letting go of dependencies and cultivating self-awareness, we can find inner peace and contentment.
    • Embrace experiences and possessions while preparing for their eventual loss. Seek harmony and cultivate an internal mindset for stability and contentment, independent of external factors.
    • By exploring unfamiliar territories and experiencing different cultures, we can break free from our self-created bubbles and discover that there is more to life than what we have known.
    • It is important to prioritize depth over quantity in life, appreciating what we have and making the most of our time to create a pleasant life for ourselves and others.
    • Setting guidelines and limitations for ourselves can help us break free from addictions and experience personal development, with fasting being a valuable practice to reset our relationship with food and actions.
    • Fasting can help cleanse the body and provide insights into attachments, but it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with eating disorders.
    • Prioritizing our spiritual well-being and introspection in addition to physical health can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Be mindful of thoughts and their impact on our destiny.
    • Our mindset and reactions play a crucial role in shaping our reality; prioritizing self-mastery and positive thinking leads to greater well-being and a sense of freedom.
    • By implementing small changes and actively engaging in intentional actions, you can create space for transformation in your life and improve your overall well-being. Sharing your knowledge with others reinforces your understanding and helps them as well.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Nurturing personal growth through self-mastery.

    Self-mastery is a personal journey that requires individuals to look inward and develop their own unique skills and experiences. It is about committing to improving oneself, whether it be in character, health, or emotional state. While experts and teachers can provide valuable knowledge and guidance, it is important not to rely solely on others for our own expertise. Having multiple perspectives and approaches can be enriching, but we should strive to find the similarities and truths that resonate with us. Ultimately, self-mastery is about taking control of our own lives and finding happiness in our own individual journeys.

    Cultivating Self-Awareness for Personal Growth

    Self-awareness is crucial for personal growth and well-being. By cultivating self-awareness, we can observe ourselves and our lives, allowing us to make adjustments and improvements. It is important to recognize that our awareness tends to be drawn outwards, focusing on external stimuli and distractions. However, there is also an inner world to explore and observe. Taking the time to look inward, especially in the morning when there are fewer external distractions, can be beneficial. This practice of self-investigation helps us understand our own bodies, thoughts, and emotions. It allows us to identify areas that require attention and create a more mindful and fulfilling life.

    The Power of a Morning Routine for Focus and Mindset

    Establishing a dedicated morning routine can greatly benefit our focus and mindset throughout the day. By setting aside the first 15 to 20 minutes of our day for ourselves, free from distractions like phones and social media, we can engage in activities that enhance our awareness and well-being. Whether it's meditation, exercise, reading, or a combination of practices, the key is to have a mindset of dedication and self-care. However, many people struggle with this because of conditioning and ingrained habits that hinder their ability to prioritize themselves. Overcoming these habits and creating new, healthier ones is essential for personal development. Additionally, cultivating gratitude in the evening can boost positivity and prepare us for a better tomorrow.

    The Power of Gratitude and Inner Freedom at Shaolin Temple Europe

    Practicing gratitude is important because it helps us appreciate the gift of existence and reminds us not to take our lives for granted. Despite difficult times, gratitude allows us to see the value in simply being alive. At the Shaolin Temple Europe, people from all walks of life come searching for various reasons, whether it's healing, personal growth, or physical and mental improvement. The temple's strict structure and restrictions, such as limited mobile connectivity and controlled daily schedules, may initially seem challenging. However, these limitations actually foster inner freedom by providing a focused environment for individuals to commit to specific practices and rituals. The overwhelming abundance of choices in today's world can lead to procrastination and stagnation, making it crucial to choose and commit to a few practices that resonate with us.

    Finding True Freedom and Happiness

    True freedom and happiness come from within, not from external circumstances or dependencies. The structure and restrictions in a monastery are designed to help individuals confront and overcome their internal challenges, ultimately leading to a sense of inner freedom and self-reliance. Placing our wellbeing and happiness on external factors such as jobs, relationships, and material possessions is inherently unstable and can lead to disappointment and suffering when those externalities change. By developing self-awareness and letting go of external dependencies, we can cultivate a deep sense of inner peace and contentment. It is not about getting rid of things that bring us joy, but rather finding a balance and recognizing that true happiness comes from within ourselves.

    Finding Balance and Peace through Non-Attachment.

    It's not about completely giving up the things we enjoy or have worked hard for, but rather not attaching ourselves to them. We should embrace and appreciate the experiences and possessions in our lives, but also be prepared for the inevitable moment when they are no longer with us. This pattern of having and losing is a fundamental aspect of human life, and understanding this can help us find balance and peace. By not living in extremes and seeking harmony, we can overcome the constant fluctuations and uncertainties. Ultimately, the key to stability and contentment lies in discovering ourselves and cultivating a mindset that is not reliant on external factors.

    Bursting the Bubbles: Finding Truth in the Unknown

    We all live in bubbles, whether it's the martial arts bubble, the career bubble, or the celebrity status bubble. These bubbles are created by our own energy and desires, but they are not the truth. They can burst at any moment, leaving us questioning the substance of our lives. To change our relationship with these externalities, we can take a leap into unfamiliar territories. By traveling, meeting different people, and experiencing different cultures, we begin to realize that there are countless bubbles on this earth. None of these bubbles holds the ultimate truth. Instead, they are merely a part of something bigger. When our bubbles burst, we start to understand that there is more to life than what we have created.

    Prioritizing Depth and Appreciating What We Have

    Our lifetime is limited, and it is essential to appreciate what we have and make the best of it. We should prioritize depth over quantity, going deeper into one thing rather than seeking superficial experiences. This understanding came to Shi Heng Yi through his practice of martial arts and the teachings of pan Buddhism. He emphasizes the importance of discovering oneself and making the most of our time on earth. It is not about complicated concepts or picking and choosing; it is about appreciating what is in our hands and creating a pleasant life for ourselves and those around us. Shi Heng Yi also highlights the need to differentiate between different interpretations of being a monk and clarifies his own spiritual and engaged life. It is important to understand that wisdom and teachings are not owned by individuals, but rather received from the collective knowledge and spread for the benefit of all.

    Embracing Restrictions for Personal Growth

    We are living in a time where there is a lack of restriction and structure in our lives. This lack of restriction has led to many people developing addictions, even to low-grade ones like sugar or social media. However, it is important to realize that we don't have to act on every craving or urge we feel. By setting guidelines and limitations for ourselves, we can break free from our limitations and experience growth. This may seem harsh or uncompassionate, but it is a necessary step towards personal development. Fasting, a practice embraced by many religions, can help reset our relationship with food and our actions. Despite its divisive response, fasting can offer valuable benefits. Overall, we need to reintroduce restrictions and structure into our lives in order to find freedom and personal growth.

    The transformative practice of fasting: cleansing the body and gaining insights into attachments.

    Fasting can be a transformative practice for some individuals, but it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with eating disorders. The practice of fasting allows the body to cleanse itself and gives the mind an opportunity to examine its attachment to food and other aspects of life. By taking control of their diet and practicing fasting, individuals can not only physically cleanse themselves but also gain insights into their own attachments and be able to let go. This realization is crucial because attachments can make us heavy and prevent us from moving forward in life. While the mind is essential for personal development, it is equally important to pay attention to the body and maintain overall health and well-being.

    Balancing the Physical and the Inner Self

    Our focus on the external, physical world is only part of the equation. While taking care of our bodies and physical health is important, it is equally important to go beyond the body and explore our inner selves. The teachings of spiritual leaders like Shi Heng Yi and Buddha emphasize the discovery of who we really are and the end of suffering. Physical activities like running or practicing kungfu can serve as a bridge to connecting with our minds and realizing our true selves. In a world that often prioritizes outward appearances and materialism, it is vital to bring spirituality and deeper thoughts into our lives. Additionally, we should be mindful of our thoughts, as they shape our words, actions, habits, character, and ultimately our destiny. By understanding this chain of cause and effect, we can make conscious choices to create a more positive and fulfilling future.

    Harnessing the Power of Thoughts for Personal Growth

    Our thoughts have a powerful impact on our lives and well-being. The mind has the ability to create and perceive things that don't even exist yet. It is essential to understand that we cannot control or change other people or external circumstances. Instead, we must focus on self-mastery and internal growth. If we allow negative thoughts and conflicts to consume us, it will have long-term consequences on our health and overall satisfaction. We have a choice to make: accept the situation and find a way to maintain a positive mindset or prioritize our own well-being by making changes in our environment. Ultimately, the key lies in recognizing that our reactions and interpretations shape our reality and embracing the power of internal transformation for a greater sense of freedom.

    Taking Action for Transformation

    Taking action is key to transformation. Instead of getting caught in a cycle of overthinking and searching for the perfect way to start changing your life, it's important to put new structures in place and commit to taking action. This can be as simple as waking up a few minutes earlier and engaging in a practice or exercise that resonates with you. By filling your day with intentional actions, you create the space for transformation to occur. Additionally, teaching others what you learn not only helps them but also reinforces your own understanding and retention of the information. Remember, you have the power to shape your own health and well-being, and making lifestyle changes is always worthwhile because it allows you to feel better and live more.

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    Many of us discover alcohol as a teenager. We start to believe we can’t socialise, dance or talk to strangers without it – and we carry these myths with us long into adulthood. We think others will find us boring if we don’t drink. Hangovers become a celebrated end to a ‘great night out’. And we play down negative effects such as risky behaviour, poor sleep, low mood or junk food cravings.


    Andy is passionate about reversing all these beliefs and behaviours. He explains his ‘ambivalence seesaw’ – a framework you can use to work out your current relationship with alcohol and start to shift it. We discuss why moderation isn’t a good tactic, why Dry January often fails, and why slip-ups are part of the learning process. And he shares some valuable advice on coping with social pressure to drink, and cultivating a kinder self-talk.


    I’ve not drunk alcohol myself for four or five years now and I can honestly say there’s not a moment when I miss it. But like Andy, I’m not here to judge anyone else, simply to encourage you to try out the benefits we’ve both felt.


    Andy is motivated, passionate and full of positivity, and someone who describes a life without alcohol, as a gift to yourself. He has managed to transform his own health, happiness and relationships and wants to inspire you to do the same.


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Thanks to our sponsors:

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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/438


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #437 BITESIZE | 3 Steps to Unlock Your Full Potential and Become Limitless | Jim Kwik

    #437 BITESIZE | 3 Steps to Unlock Your Full Potential and Become Limitless | Jim Kwik

    Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in life, unable to break free from limiting beliefs and habits? 


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.

     

    Today’s clip is from episode 380 of the podcast with globally renowned brain coach Jim Kwik.


    In this clip Jim explains how the 3Ms of Mindset, Motivation and Method can keep you stuck in limiting beliefs but also liberate you from them.


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/380


    Follow me on instagram.com/drchatterjee


    Follow me on facebook.com/DrChatterjee


    Follow me on twitter.com/drchatterjeeuk

     

    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


    #436 How to Make New Habits Stick, Why You Can’t Break Old Habits and The Secret to Great Communication with Charles Duhigg

    #436 How to Make New Habits Stick, Why You Can’t Break Old Habits and The Secret to Great Communication with Charles Duhigg

    My philosophy as a doctor has always been connect first, educate second. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And this goes for all relationships, not just doctor-patient.


    Good communication is something we’d all like to master. And today’s guest, Charles Duhigg, author of Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection, is here to help us do it. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Yale College, Charles has won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting and he is also the author of international bestselling book, The Power of Habit, which has sold over 10 million copies to date.


    We start off our conversation, talking about habits, and why it is that so many of us struggle to make our new desired behaviours stick. The brain wants rewards and it needs cues. The trouble is we tend to let both of those things go, once we think a behaviour is becoming routine. But Charles shares that that’s exactly when we need to double down and take steps to make our new behaviours feel more enjoyable. We also discuss the science of small wins, momentum and the importance of keystone habits.

     

    We then move on to talking about the importance of good communication. Good communication is inherently rewarding. It’s how humans connect, form families,

    villages, and share information. Charles believes all of us are capable of being supercommunicators and having more meaningful conversations. And during this episode, he explains some of the skills involved, such as mirroring others and asking deeper questions – those that probe feelings not facts.


    Finally, we talk about how fear of saying the wrong thing can often stop us from being vulnerable and connecting, why supercommunicators ask 10 to 20 times more questions than the average person and how they often shine in group situations, not by being the ‘ideas person’, but by giving the right people a spotlight.


    This was a truly wonderful conversation - full of practical insights to help you build better habits and become a better communicator in all aspects of your life.


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


    Thanks to our sponsors:

    https://vivobarefoot.com/livemore

    https://drinkag1.com/livemore


    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/436


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.