A One-way System: Inside-Out

The following excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter 2 (A One-way system: Inside-out) of my upcoming book, The Path of No Resistance: Why Overcoming is Simpler than You Think. I very much appreciate the questions and comments regarding the previous posted excerpts from the book. They’ve been quite helpful, so keep them coming!



A psychologist was interviewed on an early-morning news program about the problems facing children from acrimonious marriages. She vowed: “These kids tend to have sex at an earlier age, they tend to suffer depression, they tend to bully others, etc.”

Her point? Tough to tell.

But how about this instead? We need to stop encouraging each other to become passive victims of circumstance. If acrimonious marriages had the power to affect children negatively, all children of these circumstances would suffer, and children of these circumstances who do suffer, would suffer 24/7.


Experiencing life from the inside-out. What does that mean, exactly? Well, in Chapter 1 we talked about the fallacy of using outside circumstances, an outside-in paradigm, to explain why you feel a certain way. But we also examined the no-resistance path of gazing inward toward thought, an inside-out paradigm, as the explanation for your feelings and perceptions.

Which one I know to be true probably comes as no revelation. I often say that I’m more certain that inside-out is how we experience life than I am of my own name. If you don’t see it just yet, that’s okay. Perhaps this interpretation from Stillpower might work better for you:

Your experience does not create your state of mind; your state of mind creates your experience.

Now most people, once the above is indicated, do see it. Our states of mind, or moods, vary and our perceptions of life tag along for the ride. When your mood is high, for example, your old house is a time-honored classic. When your mood is low, it’s a godforsaken money pit. But most people also wonder: “So what? What am I supposed to do with the realization that my perceptions of the world are created from inside of me?”

The answer to that dilemma is the premise of this chapter.

Let’s start with the fact that you and I live in what many spiritual teachers call a world of form. The book you’re reading right now is part of that world of form. So are your spouse, partner, parents, children, friends, pet, house, car, and even your own physical body.

Let’s also start with the fact that I have a decent command of the “inside-outness” of the human experience (I suppose I better). Due to this “command,” I know that my perception of all things in my life is purely dependent on my own thinking and mindset, even though—since I live in a world of form—it seems that my wife, car, etc. have something to do with it.

Case in point: If I disagree with the behavior of one of my kids and get upset, I’m aware that my thinking is the cause of the upset, so I won’t look to fix my kids’ behavior in order to try to fix my own upset feelings. If I did, I’d be looking in the wrong place and, if I acted from that place, I’d surely make everyone, including myself, feel even worse. Not to say that I won’t have a chat with my kids about their behavior. I might. But not when my mind is racing and I’m taking things personally.

This is why understanding that we create our perceptions from in to out permits us to navigate smoothly, productively, and lovingly though the world of form in which we live. Seeing that it’s a one-way system will safeguard your relationships, career, and your ability to inspire, and not bully, others.

Do you know that many employers unconsciously force their belief systems on their employees thereby stifling their employees’ free will, instincts, and performance level? Reason being, many employers overlook the fact that their perception of their employees has nothing to do with their employees, and all to do with themselves.

It’s also common to misread the source of our attainments as coming from external circumstance and not from within, thus they’re often short-lived. Take the subject of weight loss. I’m sure you know someone who’s struggled with it, or you’ve experienced for yourself just how difficult it is to keep weight off for good. But how come? Millions of people go to weight-loss centers or follow weight-loss plans and start by losing a bunch of weight, so is it that difficult? The real question is why do only a handful of these people keep the pounds off long term?

The surprising truth is that weight loss is not initiated by external weight-loss strategies. It’s initiated by a realization from within the person losing the weight. Those who don’t know this (the majority of people) won’t have long-term success because they’ll keep relying on, or searching for, external techniques that had no bearing on their early success. Those who do know this—weight loss initiates, and sustains, from within—will keep looking in the direction of their own inner wisdom and insights: the path of no resistance that endures forever.

As I said, because we live in a world of form, “inside-out/outside-in” sometimes gets a little murky. So let’s dig deeper into this revolutionarily simple paradigm that has the clout to blow apart every circumstantial excuse you ever came up with. And put you, and not life around you, in the driver’s seat.

Applying the Inside-out Understanding, or Not

Beyond a doubt, here’s the most common question that I’m asked about my work: “How does one apply (to life) the fact that everyone’s thinking and mindset in the moment is the source of his or her experience?”

My answer is always the same: “You don’t.” The inside-out understanding is innate; there’s no way to deliberately apply it to a particular situation.

Instead, my role as I see it is to teach individuals, groups, teams, or organizations about the understanding—how the mind functions and how we shape our experience based only on the ebbs and flows of our thinking—and then together (or sometimes without me) we’ll find the answer to a specific issue that appears challenging.

Here’s an example: Last month I met with a client that was confronted with the challenge of slanderous publicity initiated by a competitor. The company called me in specifically to help it overcome this apparent problem. Once I arrived, it was clear that the company’s leadership team was extremely angry. Simply put, they wanted revenge. But to their initial surprise, during the first two days of our three-day retreat, I didn’t even bring up the slander, the competitor, or the appropriate response to this quandary. My only focus was teaching the team members that they, like all human beings, feel their thinking. They, like all human beings, don’t feel their circumstances. And knowing this is what prevents people from trying to fix external situations that have nothing to do with the way they feel in the first place.

Now once that was accomplished (and a whole bunch of insights shared), my final day with this group was designed to attack the slanderous competitor issue. Everyone in the room, including me, took his or her turn revealing what the situation now looked like to them. And while each person used different language to describe his or her perspective, the overwhelming consensus about what to do was—nothing. That is, in a matter of two days, this external situation went from looking like the worst problem in the world—one that must be avenged—to a mere bag of shells. In fact, the president of the company stood up and mentioned that the competitor had actually done them a service. “In highlighting our company,” he said, “they’re providing free PR and, at the same time, guiding us. Perhaps we do need to roll up our sleeves and get better in a few areas.”

Without exception, the starting place for everyone’s perception and experience is their thinking and the feeling state that ensues. The reason that this paradigm is so powerful is once a person sees that it’s not the outside world that determines how they think or feel—the individual’s mind clears and bona fide answers automatically fill the space. And bona fide answers, by the way, never feel angry or vengeful.

No, you can never calculatingly apply the inside-out understanding. Just know that it’s true. Simply look in that direction (in to your thinking, not out to your circumstances) and your issues—sans retaliation—will naturally solve themselves.

Awake! Can You Really Change Your Thinking? – Annika Schahn

Carla is a medical doctor who tends to be quite analytical, work long hours, and have a very busy mind.  After learning about the inside-out nature of life, Carla's mind settled down quite a bit- all sorts of unnecessary thinking dropped away.  Within that new mental space and mental quiet, she began to realize that she lived in different feeling states throughout the day. She sometimes experienced anxiety and depression in response to some adverse life events that had plagued her for many years. But the more Carla realized about the inside-out nature of life the more the repetitive thoughts that caused these feelings dropped away.  

But recently Carla had been feeling quite down about a difficult case she was handling. It wasn't going well, and she was worrying about it.  Then, she said, she realized she could change her thought, and then it changed! She said she felt much better after that.

'Did you really change your thought?' I asked her.  'How did you do that'?

There was a pause.

'When most people say that, they mean something like that they replaced a negative thought with a positive one, as in positive thinking, or what cognitive behavioral therapy calls re-framing.  Is that what you meant?' I asked her.

'No, Carla replied. ‘I realized I was feeling yucky and then I realized that that feeling was coming from my own thoughts. Then the thinking just seemed to go away- at least I noticed that my feelings changed for the better.'

I thought that that's what Carla meant, but it was actually quite different from what she said.  Can you see the difference in the language? So many people talk these days about changing their thoughts or thinking positively, that it's easy to slip into talking about 'changing your thoughts' when in fact it's not you doing the changing at all.  Thoughts change themselves.  It's a subtle distinction that makes all the difference in the world.

Thinking You Can Win

Are you convinced that in order to succeed at anything, you must think the right types of thoughts? As a result, do you often try to fix your thinking? If so, what you’re actually doing is thwarting the success you want so badly. Why? Because there’s no direct connection between what you think and winning.

You’re not alone in this misconception. Even most performance experts are missing this essential perspective. What, for example, do the majority of sports psychologists suggest to help their clients overcome their struggles? They give them techniques or things to do to fix their thinking—state affirmations, forgive, accept, remain calm, or visualize good outcomes—which will only makes them think and struggle more.

The truth is that every person (to varying degrees) already grasps the insignificant nature of what pops into his or her head. To illustrate, let’s say you’re food shopping and you think about stealing a candy bar from the supermarket. The reason you, like most people, don’t steal is because you know that doing so is just a random thought. And believing or following your thinking is not a requirement.

Here’s an example of this principle involving my daughter, Chelsea, a high school lacrosse player. A good scorer, in her last game Chelsea completely missed a perfect pass fed to her right in front of the other team’s goal. It was an unusual error. At dinner that night, she admitted that right before that play she was thinking, “Oh my God, I’m wide open; I hope I don’t mess this up.”

I asked Chelsea what she did about that silly thought, and she replied, “I told myself to chill, but it obviously didn’t work!”

And it never will. If a person has a lot of thinking going on in his or her head, sure, the person will feel uptight (like Chelsea at that moment). But trying to fix this overload of thought requires more thinking, which only increases the level of nervousness, eventually lowering awareness and reducing one’s field of vision. Even adding in positive thinking (like trying to chill) further jams the system; a system, by the way, that’s destined to clear and make sense of things, on its own.

So, what was my advice to Chelsea the other night at dinner? Simply this: “Remember kid, you can win (and score goals) no matter what you’re thinking. When you feel insecure about anything, never add more thought into a head that’s got too much thought in there to begin with.”

“I shouldn’t try to fix things when I feel that way?” Chelsea asked.

“No. Just go play; let your instincts take care of clearing the clutter.”

She then wondered, “Will that help me catch the ball?”

“Maybe,” I said, “but, for sure, it will help you see that whether you catch the ball or not, or whether you win or lose, you’ll be just fine.”

Chelsea concluded, “I’m feeling better already, thanks, Dad. Can we go outside and take some shots?  The state tournament starts next week—I just got an idea that might help us win!”

The clutter was clear.

Seeing From Within – Terry Rubenstein

I wanted to share an experience I went through a few weeks ago that was incredibly helpful and enlightening. Through a series of misdiagnosis following  (I have to admit) a bit of stupidity and neglect on my part, I landed up with a very serious eye problem. My eyes were bleeding ,bruised, watering and half closed - not a pretty sight!

As my eye sight continued to  deteriorate and I started to look like I was  auditioning for Robert Pattison's  role in  the Twilight movies, I had an unexpected shift  and developed" new eyes" as the week progressed. I had often  heard Syd Banks and others talk of "looking inside" and never quite resonated with those words. I suppose when I shared the principles with others, I used different words to say the same thing but would never have used those particular ones , as while I intellectually related to them , that was where it ended for me. 

What happened that week was truly humbling and enlightening.  As my vision deteriorated,  the world around me began to blur and lose its sharpness.  I couldn't rely on my sensory perception- my camera lens perception of reality. The normally intricate and vivid details of the world in front of my eyes were not reliable ( as if it ever is!) and so I was forced or led almost  by default, to be resourceful and  go within. I had to find an alternate way to "see"/interact with the world around me.  And boy did I have a profound experience of something that was new to me - "struggling with my health." Firstly I felt quieter. Not so bombarded by outside data and stimuli. Next, I felt  vulnerable and  it felt perfect. I felt a sense of peace  but yet I fought hard to follow my wisdom, which was quietly but clearly telling me to find yet another doctor as we were not on the right path yet. I cried more than I had cried in months, maybe years and it felt completely appropriate. I felt connected, hopeful and life unfolded beautifully for me  ( eg. Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt happened to appear before me on the crowded  platform of  a London underground station  just as I was composing a long winded  e mail about a 3 principles talk to him!) Gratitude seemed to pour from within me (rather embarrassingly for my family, as I wrote letters of  thanks and gave gifts of appreciation to a few high profile people I had long admired! ) I felt so much love and care and concern from both friends and strangers. Despite the pain and inconvenience of my medical situation, I truly felt and "touched" what it means to go inside. 
I was almost disappointed when the 5th specialist solved the mystery and realized I had a severe allergic reaction to the preservatives in the medications I was taking , so the "solution had been the problem all along". It was just perfect, as while the whole week looked like a medical blunder that never needed to happen , I knew it was life once again teaching me , offering me insight and wisdom as a beautiful gift, asking nothing in return. 

(And by the way I had another more superficial but nonetheless intriguing insight!) I realized - much to my surprise- that I was vain. I cared that I looked a little freaky with bloodshot eyes and out dated glasses. I was embarrassed. That was new to me and I played with it. I went out in spite of my embarrassment and held my head high and then I chose to  stay at  home and keep a low profile. What a blessing when a little more invisible thinking becomes visible!!! )

So for  now I feel totally at ease with sharing the idea of "going within" or "looking inside".  I am under no illusion (or at least less than I previously was) , as to how much data I still take in from my "outside picture " of life, but I feel truly blessed to know I have an alternative all knowing,all seeing eye - the "eye of the soul". 

Coming Out

Last week, basketball player Jason Collins became the first team sport pro athlete in the U.S. to reveal that he’s gay. Good for him. Collins followed his feelings (at least, I assume he did) and opened up to others about his sexuality. Anytime a person acts instinctively and freely the results will prove productive. However, what Collins’s actions shouldn’t do is encourage others to mindlessly follow suit. Coming out of the closet is neither right nor wrong in itself. Like all behaviors and decisions, the state of mind from which a person acts will always determine its effectiveness.

My message about Collins is indeed quite different than what we’ve heard over the past several days. For example, I watched tennis great Martina Navratilova claim that Collins’s actions are destined to prevent teen suicide because one-third of all teen suicides are related to gay teens who are afraid to open up. But that’s not how it works. Teens—gay or straight—who understand that their feelings come from their thinking, and not from anything else, will overcome their insecure thoughts (about anything) and thrive. Those who mistakenly believe that their feelings come from the world outside will fall prey to the attitudes of that world.

What’s even more important, I believe, is to point out that Collins is no different than you or me. His troubles, and yours and mine, are created for one reason—he thinks. In spite of our biological characteristics, upbringing, or personality, for everyone, thought is the missing link between happiness and despair. Those who understand that our reality is shaped by the ever-changing nature of our thinking will navigate smoothly through life no matter what thoughts occur to them—or what they choose to do in private. In fact, to me, the more we talk about what we have in common (every human being is blessed with, and challenged by, the power of thought) as opposed to talking about our conjured-up differences (gay, straight, black, white, foreign, domestic, tall, short, fat, skinny, rich, poor)—the more peaceful and giving the world will become.

Okay, Jason Collins is a gay pro athlete. And…? Being gay doesn’t define him or anyone else. Does Collins understand not to believe the thoughts that randomly pop into his head? Does he get that his feelings come from his thinking and not from his sexual orientation? Does he set a resilient example for others (as Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King did)? At first glance, that seems to be the case. If I’m right, then let’s look to him as an example of clarity and courage. That’s what defines Jason Collins.

Here’s what really hit me when I heard the news about Collins coming out: We’re all the same, people; it’s time to get our act together. Any differences between us are purely the byproduct of thought—all made up.

Spain Three Principles Extended Professional Training (3PEPT) Outcomes

Trainees                   Preliminary Findings of Pre/Post Test after 3PEPT 

conducted by Jack Pransky, Ph.D. , 10/12-4/13

This Three Principles Extended Professional Training (EPT) came about as a result of discussions between Sheela Masand, Katja Symons and Jack Pransky. The training was open to any participants from around the world who had been exposed to Three Principles understanding and who wanted to learn how to better teach it to others and/or counsel or coach others using 3P understanding.  The training was held in Albir, Spain.

Fifteen (15) participants attended the initial weekend. One dropped out midway through the training but another joined and began doing homework assignments with the rest of the participants. Two other participants could not attend the final weekend for personal reasons. Thus, the post-test was tabulated only for those who attended both weekends. Wherever there was a question or a “not applicable” answer noted for any question, that answer was not included in the tabulation for that question.

The 3PEPT met for two weekends, October 6-7, 2012 and April 27-28, 2013. On the Friday night before the first session participants were also given the opportunity to attend an introductory session for new people conducted by Jack Pransky. In between the face-to-face weekend sessions, the facilitator gave assignments, participants responded via email, the facilitator corrected the assignments and sent feedback to participants via email, and each month in between a one hour teleconference was held with the facilitator for all participants. A Friday night session was held for new participants in April conducted solely by the EPT participants as part of this EPT; it had been planned the previous month with instructions from the facilitator.

Data collection for this EPT focused on whether change occurred in well-being, stress, work relationships and work effectiveness among participants 1) before initial exposure to the three principles, 2) at entry into the EPT, and 3) at the end of the EPT (n=11). Because no pre-testing had occurred at their initial Three Principles trainings, the initial pre-test occurred retrospectively at EPT entry. All 12 participants in the final weekend session filled out the pre- and post–test forms, except that the person who entered the program late did not complete the pre-test; therefore her post-test scores were not included.  .

Preliminary Findings/Outcomes

The Table below shows perceived mean ratings of answers given to questions on a pre- and post- test questionnaire comparing the following: retrospectively before exposure to three principles understanding (pre 3P), at entry into the EPT (pre EPT), and at the end of the final weekend (post EPT). Scores follow for each question:

Ratings on a 10-point Likert scale, 1-10 (10 highest)

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

(mean scores)

1. Rate your general feeling of well-being

a. at work

(pre 3P)                       ————-4.4

(pre EPT)                     ———————6.6

(post EPT)                    ——————————8.6

b. in the rest of your life

(pre 3P)                        ————–4.5

(pre EPT)                     ———————6.6

(post EPT)                    —————————–8.3

2. Rate your level of stress (10 = lowest stress)

a. at work

(pre 3P)                       ——–3.2

(pre EPT)                     ——————6.1

(post EPT)                    ——————————-8.8

b. in the rest of your life

(pre 3P)                        ————-4.4

(pre EPT)                     ———————6.9

(post EPT)                    —————————8.2

3. Rate your quality of relationships

a. at work with your clients

(pre 3P)                        ——————–6.7

(pre EPT)                     ————————-7.9

(post EPT)                    —————————–8.4

b. with coworkers and supervisors

(pre 3P)                        —————–5.6

(pre EPT)                     ———————–7.2

(post EPT)                    —————————-8.3

4. How effective you would say you are with clients/the people you work with?

(pre 3P)                        —————-5.2

(pre EPT)                     ———————–7.4

(post EPT)                    —————————8.1

- – - – - – - – -

The answer to the following question is not on a 10-point scale; it is actual numbers:

5. Approximately how many times*

b. per month do you have arguments or fights with your spouse/partner

(pre 3P)                       ————————7.9

(pre EPT)                     ———–4.7

(post EPT)                    -0.4

[*Note: Question 5a did not have enough respondents to count]

Overall Training Rating (n=12)

Excellent = 11; Very Good = 1; Good = 0; Fair = 0; Poor = 0


The post Spain Three Principles Extended Professional Training (3PEPT) Outcomes appeared first on Center for Inside-Out Understanding.

Being unafraid of my own experience – Shaul Rosenblatt

Recently I was walking in the street and found myself crying. I’d spontaneously started thinking about my late wife, Elana, and the pain of her loss had made me cry. It was a simple, pure and very meaningful experience. It seemed appropriate to me to embrace the thoughts and feelings that were coming my way, knowing that they were profound and purposeful; I simply waited to see where they would take me. I cried for a few moments, as I remembered the sense of love and respect I had for her in her lifetime and that remains with me even 12 years later. But as quickly as they had come, those painful thoughts were replaced by new thoughts of gratitude; gratitude for the 11 years I spent married to Elana; gratitude for having had such a special woman in my life; gratitude for all that she gave me. I dwelled on that gratitude for a few moments before new thoughts came along, my tears dried, and I was on my way again. The whole experience took less than a minute. But it was a rich and deeply meaningful minute for me.

One of things that I value so much in my life nowadays is my lack of fear of my own experience. I know that my experience is just fine; and even when it doesn’t immediately look that way, I know deep down that it is. That’s the beauty of Mind – it gives me what I need when I need it. Nothing seems out of place anymore. The world is as it should be – even when it seems as though it’s not. So what’s to be scared of in a world that is exactly as it should be?

Of course, like everyone, frightened thoughts sometimes come my way. And of course, sometimes my consciousness makes them so three dimensional, so 64 bit coloured, so tangible and real, that I feel afraid. But deep down my understanding of the Principles always sits behind the whole experience – and it can never look quite as bad as it sometimes did in the past. This understanding is my new best friend, my saviour. Being lost is only ever a temporary experience because the understanding is real and being lost is not. So of course my understanding is going to win out in the end. It’s like oil and vinegar. When you first pour in the oil, it may sink for a moment, but it will rise to the surface again every single time – without exception. It’s a truth of nature; and an understanding of the Principles is as much a truth of nature as is the fact that oil is less dense than vinegar.

In the past, I might have fought the memories of Elana when they came, judging them unhelpful. I might have been worried that I was in denial about how well I had done in the process of losing her. I might have even sought advice and help on it. But now I realise that I don’t need help; I don’t need advice. I get what I need when I need it and accepting and embracing the thoughts that come my way allows me to benefit from whatever they might be; in this case, memories of love that remain precious even 12 years after she has passed away. I’m deeply grateful for the understanding that allows this to happen for me and I look forward to that understanding deepening as I move through life.