The BreakThrough Forum: An Invitation
By Ben Manalo
Being conscious requires a shift in perspective. And a shift in perspective requires breaking through mental conditioning. As an IBA Member, the BreakThrough Forum provides you with the opportunity to shift your perspective by engaging in the art of self-enquiry.
Conditioning is a very useful practice. If you're an athlete in training or someone studying for an exam, for example, you need to condition your body and mind; and it often requires combining repetition with some type of positive (reward) or negative (punishment). However, there comes a time when our conditioning can become more of a hindrance than a help.
In the case of mental conditioning, the practice of questioning is one of the best tools we have for counteracting rigid ways of thinking. When we question healthily from a place of curiosity, rather than from a place of needing to prove we're right, the mind opens itself up to possibilities of which it may never before have been aware.
It seems, then, that someone who expresses the child-like qualities of curiosity, adventure and imagination would be someone whose mind is functioning very healthily. For someone who is living from this place, living a life based on assumptions is not an option. But this, in fact, is what most of us do. We live our lives based on assumptions - living from a place that assumes everything.
We assume that we are right. We assume that we are wrong. We assume what other people think and believe. We assume what other people want and what is appropriate. We assume how our life should be, and we even assume how it is.
When we live from a place of assuming, we are closing doors and putting up walls. We are shutting out possibilities and acting from a place of defensiveness and unfounded fear. We are acting from a place of unconsciousness.
Through learning how to question our assumptions and beliefs in a healthy way, the thinking processes become more flexible. As the mind becomes more flexible, shifts in perspective happen. As shifts in perspective happen, our thinking sharpens and becomes clearer and increasingly flexible. With each shift in perspective, life is lived from a slightly different place; a place that is decreasingly defensive and increasingly conscious and aware.
The BreakThrough Forum is a community dedicated to raising consciousness through the process of self-enquiry. One of the great benefits of being an IBA Member is that you have access to a fascinating and informative array of IBA Forums. The BreakThrough Forum is particularly unique in this concern, because it offers you access to BreakThrough Instructors trained in the art of catalyzing lateral thinking. Their role on the BreakThrough forum is, by means of questions, to evoke out-of-the-box thinking in you. In this way, the BreakThrough Forum provides support while serving to catalyze thinking in you that is increasingly curious, imaginative, flexible and conscious.
If you haven't visited the forum in a while or if this is your first time venturing into the forum, a good place to start is at the top in the box just above the forum where you have two boxes 'Enter text' and 'Enter author.' If you type The Forum and You (3) into the text box, and Esther Veltheim into the author box, you will be led to a thread that introduces you to the focus of the forum and how to use the forum.
You do not need to have taken BreakThrough in order to read the threads or make a post. The only thing you need is a commitment and dedication to yourself and the courage to question everything you have assumed until now. If you begin from this place, the questions and your curiosity will do all the work.