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Breakthrough
"Productive insight; clear (often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."  Free Dictionary

Pop the bubble of conditioned thinking and emerge into the creative realm of "no absolutes," continuous change, uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.

Then, there can be innovation, adaptation and optimal performance.
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded:questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  

Mindful: consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

Breakthrough
Newsletter
VOLUME VII ISSUE NO. 10 | OCTOBER 2015 
IPMDAY 2015: Ensuring A Sustainable Future

Peaceful Mind
By George Pitagorsky
Who doesn't want a peaceful mind? Most religions and wisdom philosophies seek peace. Christ is the Prince of peace. Peace is shalom and salaam, preferred greetings in Judaism and Islam. Shanti, peace, is a Hindu prayer. Buddhists equate peaceful mind with Nirvana.
 
Peaceful mind is mental and emotional calm, happiness and clarity, unconditioned by the events around us and our own feelings and thoughts. Peaceful mind is expansive, limitless, crystal clear, kind and compassionate. Perhaps you have experienced it for yourself. That sense of everything being alright just as it is.
 
It is said that peaceful mind is our natural state and that it is disturbed or obscured by our thoughts and tendencies to hold onto to things we like (attachments) and avoid or reject things we don't like (aversions).
 
Fully Active and at Peace
We may experience peaceful mind when fully engaged in an activity like sports, dance, listening to music or in a talk or conversation. Everything is occurring as if it were happening on its own. The mind is still, observant, and free of worry, planning, and all of the other mental activity that makes for stress and distracts from performing or behaving optimally; we are completely in-sync with the needs of our situation.
 
This quality of peace is not at odds with activity. Peaceful mind takes activity to a higher level. Peaceful mind is like the eye of a hurricane - wind and rain all around; calm in the center.
 
To Experience Peaceful Mind, Eliminate Disturbances
What disturbs the peace? Restless thoughts and worry which stem from our attachments and aversions are the culprits. The effort to eliminate these is thwarted by laziness and tiredness and by unskillful doubt that the methods and concepts used to cultivate peace of mind are effective.
 
Restless thoughts, including worrying about what will happen or won't happen in the future, are the disturbances that are most clearly in the way. Even thoughts about peace and trying to achieve peace disturb the peace. We are faced with a big challenge. Thoughts come up uninvited. They are the natural working of our mind. How do we manage them so that they no longer disturb the peace? How can we experience peaceful mind if there is this flow of thoughts? How can we experience peace while immersed in the world of action and relationships?
 
Step Back into Peace
The answer is simple, step back from it all to be aware of what is going on but not driven by it. Learn to step back and mindfully observe, cultivating the ability to come in touch with and relax in the natural state of peace. 
 
When we talk about stepping back and observing it is easy to mistake that for a recommendation to become passive and inactive or cold and uninvolved. That is not what we are talking about. It is relatively easy to have a peaceful mind when asleep or dulled out in some way. But that kind of peace lacks clarity as well as happiness. It is oblivious to everything. That is not the kind of peace we want.
 
It is said that there are three strategies for cultivating peaceful mind - Practicing while engaged in mundane actions, abandoning most mundane activities as a monk does or fully casting away all concerns for food and clothing like a renunciate yogi living in a cave or out in the jungle. 
 
In each case meditation practice is used to cultivate concentration and mindfulness. Concentration - one pointed focus on an object - blocks out distractions by returning attention to a chosen object. As thoughts arise they are rejected and attention is returned to the object, which might be a word, sound, the breath, an activity or a visual image. The result is a strong, focused mind and an experience of peaceful mind, as long as the concentrated focus is maintained.
 
Mindfulness observes what's happening in the present moment in the mind, body and external environment, with an attitude of curiosity and kindness.
 
Mindfulness does not reject the distractions it accepts and observes them; uses them as fuel for practice so that the recognition of, for example, worry brings you back to mindful awareness.
 
Practicing that coming back to awareness over and over again leads to the experience of peaceful mind - mental and emotional calm, happiness and clarity, unconditioned by external events and our own feelings and thoughts; expansive, limitless, crystal clear, kind and compassionate; the sense of everything being alright just as it is.
 
AHHH

2015 George Pitagorsky                                                 Top
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness

Open-minded: 

questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  
 
Mindful:
 consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

 Learn More
Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky
Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.

 

Read More
The Zen Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.

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