Mind Matters

20 February 2013
Written by Vanessa Kenny
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Vanessa MacDonald discusses her experience of Vipassana meditation and the power of the mind, encouraging us to focus our attention on the here & now 

When Mahatma Gandhi said “a man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks he becomes” he knew the power of his mind; and that his thoughts created his reality. 

A few years ago I did a Vipassana meditation course, a 10-day silent retreat – yes that’s 10 days of total silence! Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation and was taught more than 2500 years ago as a remedy for universal ills.

Vipassana means to 'see things as they really are' and during my silent 10 days, my inner ‘crazy’ was mindfully transformed and stillness and peace of mind ensued……well for a good while anyway.

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves". Budda

Vipassana meditation brought to my attention my minds nonsensical wanderings and wonderings and highlighted my need for creating the habit of a more present and peace-filled mind.

'Attention' is the mind's most valuable resource. Where we put our 'attention' and what we focus on are what we should be most concerned with. Our inner dialogue or self talk must reflect where we want to go.

When we make a conscious decision to change and improve our self-talk, we have to maintain discipline and also remain persistent. Old habits have a way of holding us and new habits need constant programming until they become hard-wired. Common negative talk involves telling yourself 'I can’t'. When we say 'I can’t', we create resistance.

As the Budda said “first we create our habits, and then our habits will create us”. 

Our brain is a wonderful tool to help create our heart's desire. We are what we think and new brain research has discovered that:

  • Your brain is constantly renewing itself
  • Experience changes the brain every day
  • The input you give your brain causes it to form new neural pathways
  • The more positive the input, the better your brain will function

A Buddhist monk meditating on compassion develops the brain circuitry that brings compassion into reality. Depending on the input it receives, you can create a compassionate brain, an artistic, a wise brain, or any other kind. Deepak Chopra 

It can take up to two months to break a habit, the experts, say so persistence is key to our success. Some New Zealand First Light Essences  to help with mental focus are:

  • Mountain Parahebe - For balanced mental activity, knows one's mind, for study
  • Matata - For open-mindness, optimistic, receptive to ideas, and languages
  • Koru - Concentration, understanding, comprehension, constructive organised application of mental abilities

So to MyWellbeing for February; some Mountain Parahebe for balanced mental activity; making time for my daily meditation and of course some positive self talk. I am wise, loving, healthy and wealthy ... not to mention beautiful, happy and thankful.


For Individual Flower Essence Consultations in Clinic or via email please contact Vanessa MacDonald at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

For Reiki Healing / Therapuetic Massage with Vanessa MacDonald please phone 027-4930988

For Vipassana Meditation information and courses : www.dhamma.org

First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand® were co-created by Franchelle Ofsoske-Wyber and Tony Wyber. In 2008, Franchelle was awarded the New Zealand Health Industry Distinguished Services Award for Research and Development.

Ref: Super Brain - Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.



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