How do I stop my bad dreams?

Have you ever had a run of sleepless nights? Your anxiety or bad dreams ruining any chance of getting some rest, some peace? Or perhaps your mind is just running a thousand miles per hour, trying to help you by outlying everything that went wrong today, and everything that’ll go wrong tomorrow? Dude! Do you live in my head? At least, the head I had before I learnt to manage all the craziness that would sometimes appear in between my ears.

Someone else asked me that same question just yesterday: “How do I stop my bad dreams?”

The easy answer is that you can’t.

You can’t stop your dreams, or your thoughts, or your emotions. And honestly, you don’t want to.

You’ll get into such a battle that you’ll get less rest, not more, and the dreams, the thoughts will keep coming.

As bad as they may feel, as fearful as they might be, your dreams are actually a useful way, a natural way,of your mind/body processing and coming to terms with past events and overwhelm.

Suppressing, sedating, getting into a fight just means they’ll - at best - go away temporarily and then bounce back much much stronger next time.

What is easier, indeed what is possible, is to change how much attention you put on them.

However, this requires a touch of courage, a touch of faith on your behalf.

First thing that helped me no end was to assume that what was happening wascompletely natural AND would have an end.The less resistance I could bring to it, the less I could get into the story and the drama around it, the faster it would go.

Courage is required not to hide from these fears but to sit with them. Not entertaining them, but sitting alongside them while they spin themselves out.

Faith is needed that if you do this it WILL have an end, it will come to a conclusion at some time, when you allow it.

In the beginning I found an anchor by focusing on my breath when I woke, sweating and with that awful feeling in my belly. Not fighting what was left of the dream but bringing more attention to the sound and feeling of the air coming in and out, slowly and methodically.

The more I practiced during the day the easier this was to pull off, half asleep and panicked in the middle of the night.Just to breathe, to find security and the present moment, to find one thing I could hold onto while not struggling against the fear.

Learning the Ascension Attitudes was such a bonus. They helped this natural “pressure release” happen so much more gracefully and easily.

You’ll come to place where you might have the same dream but it has no emotional content anymore. It’ll be almost like an old photo that brings up a memory but has no hooks.

But the weirdest thing, perhaps the hardest thing to come to terms with is that the best way to come out the other side is not avoidance but going through.

The bonus you get is to realise that you CAN face your fears and your anxieties, your regrets and your guilts and they won’t kill you. They may make you shake, but you can sit with those things and remain ultimately untouched by them.

And that is such a huge thing, because fear then can never stop you doing anything.

I hope that helps any of you that suffer with fear, anxiety, panic. NOW - This takes practice!Practice now while the going is good and then you will find it easier in the tough times, ok?

Let me know if you have any questions at all too.

Go well! Arjuna

PS. I've got a free guide that talks about, amongst other things, a breathing meditation. Here's where to get a copy:

They said I laughed too much

Have you ever been criticised for laughing too much? I know, there are some times that just aren’t appropriate for sniggering like a school kid at the back of the class.

But I really thought it WAS ok to let go a little and, well, chuckle.

( Just like this young lady above, laughing it up with a big simian. I guess you had to be there to get the joke, huh?) You see, and I forgot about it until someone reminded me, a while back I was messing around with recording some talks and a guided meditation for a meditation timer app called Insight Timer.

Insight Timer is super cool - you get stars for when you regularly do a session. Everyone loves stars!

So I’m talking about meditation and awareness and mindfulness and how we get stressed and overwhelmed and negative and what you can do about it. And the whole thing really is a little humorous because we do some daft things in our own heads, believing weird stuff and getting involved in imaginary conversations with imaginary voices, and all the rest of it.

At least I do — and to me that is a cause for a little giggle. A chuckle. Some mirth.

Some of the reviews said it wasn’t a laughing matter, however. And I see it’s ruined my average review rating which, given the nature of this email, I shouldn’t really be grumpy about. Ha!

Taking yourself seriously however seems to be rampant in the world. I can understand when you’re tuning into a guided meditation (as opposed to a talk) and you’re trying real hard to relax and zone out (maybe the trying was the problem?) … but still, a little humour goes a long way.

Can you laugh at yourself?

Imagine all the times when you get stressed, if instead — and you might well have done this before — you just chuckled? Instead of taking offence and wanting to prove yourself right, you giggled, and let it be? It's really good revenge when someone says something that's off to you, and you just giggle. Tee hee ...

I know - easier to say and harder to do, but it IS something you can practice.

Taking things seriously just means you’re attached to a certain result. You're fixed on your plan, and your plan only. You want something to happen in a certain way. You have expectations that are unmovable. You want to be right, you’re insisting on this or that. You have no flexibility. You, grasshopper, are like the rigid oak that snaps in the storm, and unlike the bamboo that bends and bounces back.

And then life gets tough.

So as my Bright Path Ishayas’ Ascension meditation teacher suggests, why don’t you try taking things a touch less seriously today than you did yesterday? Try and prioritise your levels of calm and happiness first.

Just a touch more that yesterday … and see what happens.

Alrighty? Let me know.

Go well! Arjuna

PS. If you want to have a listen then go right ahead. Download the Insight Timer app and search for me. Just know that there is only one guided meditation — where I am super serious and I have my soft and silky guided mediation voice on. It's called “Noticing Now” I believe. The others are talks for your education and entertainment. And may involve me sniggering to myself.

I’m not sure of the quality so excuse that. I was messing around and now I’m reminded I’ll do more.

PPS. While you’re there, if you want, join the Bright Path Ishayas’ Ascension group. You DO NOT have needed to learn, but I post a weekly homework topic there which sometimes I write and sometimes other people write. It may well inspire you and/or give you something to play with during the week.

PPS. Guided meditations are wonderful. However, if you want to cut the cord and get really independent with this — and it can be soooooo simple — it’s worth while learning some techniques.

Here’s a free guide to what you need to know:

Don’t half-arse it

The thing about humans is that we are incredible time-travellers. We need no machines - we’re all over the place in our heads. We are SO good at time travelling, we rarely spend any time here. True! It’s the world’s greatest problem. Being able to be fully here for any significant length of time without being distracted by the next shiny thing ... Ooh shiney! So instead of just making a cup of tea you’re thinking about what you should have said to that woman this morning. You’re sitting with your partner and yet you’re back at work. You’re on the phone talking with someone yet trying to find that date when you’ll be free whilst making toast for your kids. You’re listening to someone yet you’re not listening - you’re already replying in your head.

We’re constantly half-arsing life. Trying to do at least two things at once, and all of them suffer for it.

Stress ends and life gets amazing when you show up for it. Showing up for it is completely related to your ability to:

1. do one thing at a time 2. give 100% attention to that one thing you are doing

It is that simple folks, I promise you!

Think about it - how good is that film when you’re also on Facebook, flicking through? Flick through Facebook or watch the film. Either / or - not everything at once. You can’t do it.

One thing at a time, give it your full attention.

Great stuff! Nice chatting with you, put that into practice, ok?

Go well! Arjuna

PS. A decent meditation technique, of course, gives you the ability to develop this one thing at a time approach to life. 100% attention means you can focus on what you want, and ignore what you don’t.

So very good. Here’s a free guide that I put together so you can master your mind and have more fun than ever before:

They know where you are, ALL the time

Listening to the radio the other afternoon - Sumati likes to have music on when she’s in the kitchen. And she is a great cook, so whatever she needs to get in the zone is fine with me, you know? Usually I don’t like listening to radio DJs, they tend to prattle. However this one time was very interesting to me.

You know there’s a feature on your mobile where your loved ones can tell where you are at all times? Like a locater rescue beacon but perhaps more sinister.

The story came that the DJ was in the gym and noticed the guy, the same guy every time, just sitting in the corner on his phone. He asked phone guy what he was up to.

Phone guy explains: “Well, you see my girlfriend knows where I am. A while back I promised to go to the gym because she wanted me to, and now she checks. So I come here and watch Netflix”.


Is it just me, or is there something a bit mad about that? I get doing things because Sumati wants me to, I get the “giving-ness” of doing that when you’re in a relationship with someone. However, I WANT to. I want to do the things that are really important to her. It’s really no biggie if I tidy away the toilet roll inners rather than following my natural tendency (which is to build a little cardboard pyramid with them) … And yet - if I’m doing things for her or anyone and in my heart of hearts I really don’t want to, then resentment builds … right?

Doing things you really really don’t want to just because you don’t want to communicate it out is a recipe for disaster. Sucking it up and keeping the peace is one thing, a great thing, and yet sometimes you have to be honest. Because if you’re not honest about the things that you really do and don’t want to do now, you’ll be forced to be honest about them later. And that is quite often significantly explosive and messier.

What kind of life is it not truly living your life?

Indeed. Go well! Arjuna

PS. Free guide to meditation and mindfulness? Why not ?… Be warned though, it has the tendency to change your life. If I would say one thing it has given me, it is the ability to be authentic while being able to give to others so much more. Finding that balance of “me” and “you”:

The lesson in stress, in pain, in life

Someone just asked me if meditation and mindfulness could help a bad back. She was saying that she thinks it’s caused by stress. And it could well do. I won't make any promises but the thing is that your mind is at the core of everything you do. Stress and overwhelm and negativity sometimes means your body hurts. It's your body's way of telling you to slow down, to stay calm, to rest, to stop fighting.

Sometimes when you change your mind you can change your body. A lot of aches and pains and illness can leave. It’s really amazing to see, miraculous even.

Sometimes however the body has it's own wisdom and the aches and pains and illness still remain. That can be so frustrating when you're chasing healing. There is always a lesson in there though - and when you stop and listen it becomes becomes obvious. And it’s not until you truly stop and listen can you hear.

Sometimes that lesson is that you're ultimately not in control of so much, so focus on the things you are in control of - like your attitude, like being grateful for what you do have, being content.

You can focus on what you think is wrong - or you can focus on what is right at the moment. Sometimes that is the extent of the lesson - what you focus on grows. Stop resisting what is wrong and start appreciating what is good.

Anyways - stopping and tuning in always gives more clarity. Pushing and resenting and resisting always makes things worse.

Stopping - and regularly so - is very valuable. It makes all of your life super simple and straight forward. Need help with that, or don’t get what I’m saying? Please just ask - I’d love to help.

Go well! Arjuna

PS. Learning and practicing these "108 things" is a really sweet way of stopping and ending stress, gaining clarity and perspective, getting rested and recharged, and helping all of your life in so many ways:

And they're free!


Feel like you’re out of control? Join the club

So I’m writing a book. You may have heard me say that before, perhaps years ago - and yes, it’s the same book. However, it’s finally on the final leg to completion. The editors will have it before Christmas, which is exciting.

However - the curious thing about writing a book is finding that it’s all been said before, by other people, and better.

Really what I’m doing is collating the right stuff from the right people - really I’m not writing, but doing a compendium of genius that I approve of. Perhaps you might approve of it too, or a least cause you to think differently, and approve of different things. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

But I came across a quote yesterday, and a beauty is is: ________

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can't control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible”. Epictetus ________

What ARE you in control of? Can you even control your own mind? The answer is (and here’s a big tip for you meditators) - no, no you can’t. You can learn to ignore it, be indifferent to it, but you cannot stop it.

You can shape your thoughts in many ways. You can strengthen certain brain pathways meaning you’re more likely to respond to life with appreciation, gratitude, love and compassion rather than judgement, anxiety, anger, negativity.

This is nice, indeed.

The real key to life begins in becoming aware of what is beyond your thoughts. Becoming aware of the ocean that your fishy thoughts swim in. And that the ocean and your awareness, your consciousness is the same thing.

You can focus on the fish, or you can focus on the ocean.

Now that really is a thing.

So I’m done - see what you can control, stop fighting what you can’t. Be at peace, be effective, be joyful.

Easy life.

Go well! Arjuna

PS. Interested in nicer thoughts and/or this ocean of presence?

Here’s a thing for you: 

When things don’t happen when you want

Another thing I’ve realised, as I still find myself convalescing from this flu … or super hero transformation, whatever it may be … is that destiny has it’s own timetable.

As much as I’d like to be up and running on full power, like, yesterday, that isn’t an option.

Doing as little as possible still is the way forward. The way backward involves doing too much and sliding back into the world of joints that don’t work and a battery that is so flat, watching dust and hair swirl around in the sun, cheek pressed flat to the floor is the only thing possible.

I know it feels like you have to do everything.

Maybe you do. But most of the time you don’t. You can ask for help. Actually you need to ask for help. That is the big thing. Stop feeling embarrassed that everyone is running around after you. Enjoy it! And along with that, the greatest thing you can do to recover quicker is stopping the fight against a timetable that is far bigger than you.

There are far bigger chefs than you at work, and it would appear they need you to marinate for a little longer.

You can fight and struggle and exhaust yourself, prolonging illness further and further down the track. Or you can surrender and give up to the reality. Give up your ideas of what should happen and when.

Ironically it’s then, when you fully and unconditionally surrender, healing can start to happen.

If it will at all, that is, and in it's own good time. Anything else just gets in the way.

It’s a super hero transformation after all! If you recover well, you’ll come out the other side with mutant super powers. And that will be awesome.

That’s me - hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

Go well!



A wonderful way of learning "letting go", can be found right here:

It's free too:

Loosening that death grip of control

When you’ve been out of the world for over a week, it teaches you a certain kind of humility. This humility comes when you realise everything is ticking along completely as normal - without you.

I was not required for reality to function.

Isn’t that disappointing? I’m irrelevant to the functioning of the world. And I thought I was such a big shot! Ha. Shows me.

It’s kinda cool though - like, if you just sit with me in this moment; just be here … this also requires nothing, does it? Needs nothing, requires nothing - this moment just ticks over.

You can let out a sigh, if you like.

My job - and your job - can be just to sit and watch and as it unfolds, applause - “Hurrah!”

Now I know that sounds dangerously like doing nothing. Like leaving the ship to steer itself, and if it steers itself, then surely it’ll end up on the rocks!

Or just turning circles.

The fascinating thing is that control of your destiny only needs a light touch - nothing heavy handed at all. But what I mean is sometimes it feels like if you stop steering, the world will crash. Nature itself will end.

“I MUST stay in control! I CANNOT take a break”

You live your life - and every body else’s - with your hands so tight on the steering wheel, white-knuckled, you can’t even pause to change the radio. It’s a grip - actually - of pure fear.

The amazing thing is you're also attempting to steer everyone’s ships in the direction you think they should be going too. Which is an incredible feat of skill - or something.

HOWEVER, maybe you’re right - but beyond a suggestion or two, if you do it for them, they’ll never learn to do it for themselves, will they?

Keeping your hands to yourself and getting rid of the grip, two very useful lessons in life.

That is, if you’re interested in living an easier life - one that is stress free, empty of overwhelm, enjoyable, free - where you skip off into the sunset … that kind of life.

It can be done.

The fascinating thing is as you let go of such overwhelming control, how bizarre, how tiring, how sometimes actually frightening, such control is when you see it in someone else.

Anyhoo, I’m done. This little virus is still being sweated out and I feel like a cup of tea and a lie down for a moment.

Let me have any questions!

Go well,



Almost forgot - everyone is learning this to some degree. Do not feel like you’re the only one, you are SO not. You can learn to “let go” - and you must, really, for a happy, healthy, balanced life.

Here’s where I would start if I wanted to learn to let go - just a little bit every day - 

It's a really cool, free challenge to becoming free of stress, complete with guide:

Take it easy!