the four noble truths of Landmark Education & NLP

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect ...

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect begging at Oigawa, Kyoto. Begging is part of the training of some Buddhist sects. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received a comment on the prior blog which led to the following exchange:

I have been studying Buddhism for around 20 years and recently I saw some Youtube content from Tony Parsons and Mooji (as well as Alan Watts) that demonstrated a practical clarity regarding these basic Buddhist teachings (of the four noble truths)- not just a familiarity with the words, but a direct experience of the principles.

I also credit Landmark Education and their distinction “upset,” which is similar to the Buddhist distinction (translated in to English) of “suffering.” Here are the “four noble truths” revised to use the term upset rather than the term suffering:

1) there is such a thing as the experience of an upset.

2) An upset is triggered not just by one thing, but by a sequence of misinterpretations or misconceptions or “undistinguished” reactions.

3) Upsets can be “de-constructed” or dissolved. (They are temporary.)

4) One way to interact with upsets is to be responsible for finding opportunities to create breakthroughs, which can involve “declaring a breakdown” (a functional challenge) and exploring for the commitment and value that has been active in the breakdown. More specifically, one can “declare an upset” and then use a 3-part model or distinction of “upset” to more or less “unravel the wad of tangled yarn.”

  • MindMindful says:
    June 7, 2012 at 9:50 amIs this what you mean by ‘upset’ — from anything that happens, you can analyze the causes of it, to thereby understand your experience of it……..?? close?? way off??I’d like to know more

    English: Richard Bandler in a NLP seminar in L...

    English: Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP, in a NLP seminar in London sept. 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    J.R. replies:

    The essential “technique” within the 4 four noble truths is what I would call dis-association (or withdrawing). In the field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), there is the method of (1) simply recognizing that some experience of upset is present (which shifts attention from the trigger of the upset to the experience of an upset) and then (2) stopping other activity (like through use of a mantra or prayer), which may be functional in returning someone at least to calmness- which MAY be desirable. In a way, the “mantra” of the four noble truths is ultimately about the impermanence of any particular experience, such as the experience of an upset. (One may even interrupt a panic or upset by just saying “thank you, God. I’m sorry. God, I love you. Also, blueberries are holy.”)

    An upset could be a label for any challenge which dramatically interrupts or interferes with “normal” functionality. Typically, we think of something sudden, but we could also use the label “upset” for a decade-old grudge or resentment. The idea of exploring “upsets” is not to dig in the past so much as develop discernment so that if there is a challenge in one area of life that seems to effect functionality in other areas. “Upset” is a structure to use for journaling or a conversation with someone who is able and willing to facilitate or even just listen to the self-analysis.

  • Here is how Landmark Education “de-constructs” an “upset:”

    An upset is composed of

    1) a thwarted intention,

    2) an unfulfilled expectation

    and/or (?)

    3) an undelivered communication.

    So, the self-analysis would be to take some issue and label it as the experience of an upset, then explore for the “value” behind it, as in cultivating clarity about what factors may have been active beyond the focus of conscious attention. To de-construct an upset does tend to create a new circuitry neurologically such that future similar “triggers” will send energy to the new “neuro-linguistic program” of the 3-component “upset” model, and rather than energy being “stuck” in the experience of upset (a short-circuiting neurologically), the energy can flow toward clarity and some new instance of communication (delivering the communication that has not been delivered yet).

    Typically, there may be an experience of fear (worry, dread) related to delivering that communication. The idea is that if the fear or hesitation is only moderate, then the communication can be delivered anyway with courage, rather than repressed in a paralysis of terror. Further, “de-constucting an upset” does not require anything beyond deconstructing it, but if life constructs new ones faster than old ones get resolved, then there is baseline of hysteria or distress in one’s experience of life- which is metaphorically like “purgatory” in which the sense of an impending hell is eternally present, along with a vague hopefulness about an alleged heaven.

    Buddhism, ‘a science of mind’

    Buddhism, ‘a science of mind’ (Photo credit: zensquared)

    Now, with all of that said, there is also the ‘technique” of Advaita or Zen or (anatma). Rather than focus on the experience of an upset for a personal identity and how for the person to process it and convert the energy through some “fix,” there is another possibility: let life be however it already is.

    If the labeling of something as an upset happens, let that happen. If the arising of the experience of a personal identity happens, let that happen. If the arising of the application of a coping process happens (for deconstructing a personal experience), let that happen.

    Allow for energy to be whatever it is. Allow for life to be however it is.

    If a personal identifying arises, only then can an upset person arise. In the absence of personal identifying, there is no personal identifying of anything happening to anyone. There may be identifying of some isolated feature of life that may be happening.

    1) Identifying through language is one possible natural development.

    2) Identifying through language arises naturally whenever it does.

    3) In the absence of linguistic identifying, life still arises naturally however it does. (Linguistic identifying is transitory or impermanent).

    4) There is a way to live without linguistic identifying of a person. More specifically, there is a way to use language without the identifying of a person. Then again, there is also a way to use language to identify a particular person who is the one having a particular experience and who is the one doing various things, such as isolating themselves from some aspect of life or rejecting some aspect of life or identifying some aspect of life as “not me” or “not right” or “not good” or “not okay.”

    Notice that from any neuro-linguistic program of personal identifying, every “me” habitually presents itself as “right” (such as in order to “look good”). Various programs of me can then insist on each one alone as being “right,” thus producing interpersonal conflict. Interpersonal conflict requires the linguistic constructing of persons and personalities, which is entirely natural, but also entirely transitory.

    Also, in the absence of personal identifying, there is no one to allow for anything to be. Life is simply happening however it may be happening…. unless nothing at all is happening, like when there is no linguistic activity at all, for until language labels something as happening, then there is no language happening.

    Mooji & Brahma

    Mooji & Brahma (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

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10 Responses to “the four noble truths of Landmark Education & NLP”

  1. lantanagurl Says:

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  4. The 4 Noble Truths (not part of the 7 sets series!) « TiltedCandle Says:

    [...] the four noble truths of Landmark Education & NLP ( [...]

  5. livvy1234 Says:

    One cannot simply dismiss self examination, psychotherapy models. I understand the bare bones concept here of NLP ( my first time reading about it) and I am comparing it somewhat to zen, which includes not only facing the wall doing zazen, but the study of languages.

    I found the following information on Bandler that was upsetting:

    I do not know if this is true or false, as many things must be checked and re-checked when reading the internet.

    When one is in deep emotional anguish, even for a moment, there are many zen tools to bring oneself back to the present moment but neither zen, nor NLP is a cure all for humanity. We feel pain, sorrow, joy. And what do we do when we are feeling joy? Do we abandon the feeling using the NLP technique. Very interesting!

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      First, I will comment on NLP. NLP is basically a study of consciousness and communication, and one that is informed not only by ancient philosophy, but by modern neuroscience and, oddly enough, by computer programming and cybernetics. While the term NLP was promoted by John Grinder and Richard Bandler, NLP is a bit like biology. Biology was not invented by a scientist. the principles were already in operation. “Biology” as a science was merely a codification of existing relationships. NLP is similar. It is like having a microscope available where before there was only a magnifying glass. The results produced through the TECHNOLOGY of NLP are similar to the results of modern biochemistry and computing: vastly distinct in efficiency from the results produced by traditional psychotherapy. NLP, it can be claimed, explains all the functions of traditional psychotherapy, as well as all of the limitations, similar to how a modern computer engineer can explain all of the functions pertaining to an adding machine or calculator. NLP can not only resolve issues that psychiatry and psychotherapy label as incurable, but NLP also bridges on territory that may be “heavily defended.” NLP can be used to reproduce the techniques of “faith healers” and exceed them. NLP reveals the machinery of the systematic “witchcraft” (influence of thought and behavior) of political institutions like the Holy Roman Catholic Church as well as mainstream media. While it is obvious that the intention and design of religions, governments, and mainstream commercial media is specifically to influence perception and behavior, it may be politically incorrect to expose the exact mechanisms or even just to “undo” them (deprogramming the “targets” of mind control).

      • livvy1234 Says:

        Well, I have lots of reading to do on your blog. I find it fascinating. What you just wrote “sounds” (LOL) logical to me! I look forward to investigating further.

  6. jrfibonacci Says:

    So, whether Mr. Bandler has killed one person or many, I do not know. Whether he was “framed” or “allowed to slide,” I do not know. One of the 4 main inspirations for Bandler and Grinder was Milton Erickson, an elderly and disabled MD. When Milton Erickson, MD, was politically threatened with a loss of his medical license because of the extremely favorable results he was obtaining, the legend is that he used hypnosis to influence the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding against him, with the mysterious conclusion reached that he would not have his license revoked because the medical board concluded something enigmatic, like that there was no such thing as hypnosis, so Erickson could not be penalized for practicing it.

    As for the accusation that Bandler abused alcohol and cocaine, we could list many musicians, authors, politicians, and of course Sigmund Freud that also used those same substances heavily. Clearly, John Grinder is the less controversial of the two founders of NLP, but also less famous.

    Of all of the people who have used NLP well (which of course is not everyone), Tony Robbins is likely the most famous. However, 3 of the 3 ancestral sources of NLP are Dr. Milton Erickson (the founder of the field of medical hypnosis), Virginia Satir (who was also jailed for practicing psychiatry without a license, eventually leading to the formation of a new profession, that of Licensed Social Workers), and Fritz Perls, who is the founder of the Gestalt Psychotherapeutic methodology. Roughly speaking, NLP simply blends these systems, refining their common efficiencies and developing further advances on those foundations.

    • livvy1234 Says:

      Thank you for providing some history here. I will have to look up some of the “ancestors.” Where does Freud, and Jung come into all this? I am not fond of Freud, but do resonate with Jung. No, we cannot believe everything we read, that’s for sure.

      • jrfibonacci Says:

        Freud prescribed cocaine to a big portion of the upper class of New England in the early 20th century. Without him, the CIA might have never made their huge sums of profits from making cocaine illegal so the CIA could monopolize their trafficking in that substance. If you do not “like” these references, feel free to focus elsewhere, they are not important.

        As for Carl Jung, I also favor him strongly over Freud. However, I also respect Freud as well as his nephew Edward Bernays, who was hired by US interests to convince the US public to support WW1. Bernays wrote the book “propaganda.” He also is largely responsible for the success of the DeBeers diamond cartel. I will find a link on that:

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