January 13th; Seeing the Good in the Worst

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TRANSFORMATION

You use the power of love to move through illusions into awareness

This life time is a part of the progression of your soul. The conscious thought that you are aware of right at this moment is forever a part of the evolution of your Divine self. Just as a caterpillar eventually becomes a butterfly, you too are slowly awakening to your true birth right as a spiritual being. As you go through this awakening, others will see your light and feel your love. This soul-to-soul connection raises your vibration, allowing transformation to occur at an even quicker pace. Like attracts like, so be sure that the energy you are sending out is positive. Negative energy coming back to you will slow your growth. As you advance into this new awareness of yourself, it is very normal to have a sense of confusion and dislocation in your career, with your family, and even within yourself. The material things in your life won’t carry the same emotional attachment they used to. your relationship to yourself and others and your understanding of your place in the Universe will change. You will come to realize just how important you are in the grand scheme of things. There are a finite number of souls experiencing this Earth dimension at this time, and you are one of them. Your contributions matter more than you’ll ever know.


 

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11:06 AM

It’s been 16 days in Cancun, Mexico and I miss home. After the fantastic first few days of our vacation, everything seemed to crumble apart.

Doctors told me that I can’t walk around outside and need to stay in ER for at least 24 hours. It had been three or four days since breathing became hard and that I had to stop walking out of breath and there would be funny whistling sounds when I breathe. They thought I had Pneumonia.

New year has been treating me too well, I thought waking up in the heaven every day. I just had checked into a more expensive resort that I couldn’t stay in and had to pay for the steep medical bills all in cash before my insurance could reimburse me, if they would reimburse me. My phone broke. My immigration paper is weeks behind we have been extending our stay here.

2 a.m. I felt sore in my entire body and restless from tossing and turning on the hard hospital mattress. Listening to Wayne Dyer trying to go to sleep, strangely gratefulness permeated from deep within me. I am alive and lucky enough to get medical help immediately before it was too late from some excellent doctors who speak English in Mexico. It might have been all the medicines and IV in my vein making me feel better, but I felt incredible gratefulness and happiness regardless of where I am.

I probably will have to stay longer in Mexico as the doctors recommended not to travel for a few days but I am in a hospital room looking out palm trees! Much better than the brown wall in The Last Leaf. This experience made me think about gratitude and poor Johnsy who was dying from Pneumonia in The Last Leaf.

As long as we are alive and have health, we should live in joy and everything should be rosy. Life might not be able to satisfy us 100% but if only 100% is real, 99% gold becomes fake. Should we throw away 21K gold because it’s not perfect and not consisted of 100% gold?

It’s much less stressful to thank for what we have than thinking about what we don’t have or the things that trouble us. We will never be answered if we pray for perfection. Every blessing is a mixed blessing. Take the bad with the good. Nothing is perfect. But we need to have the faith that everything will work out in the end.

Practice for self-enlightenment is like getting through the winter solstice. The days are definitely getting longer, and the nights are definitely getting shorter but some days are way colder than ever before and it doesn’t seem like we are getting closer to Spring at all.

More you practice meditation, more agony, frustration, annoyance, tension you find, in Buddhism, you discover Dukkah, suffering. Dukkah refers to the fundamental unsatisfactoriness and painfulness of mundane life. It presents in an array of emotions.

Dukkah has always been there, we just learned to acknowledge what’s present in us by meditating, by going within. Our perceptivity to it improved by calming down the noises in our mind.

Yoga and meditation practice is a self-discovery journey acknowledging one’s karma. With persistent practice, we can overcome our karma and be free.

Buddha’s last words were:

不放逸精進
I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness.

At the very last moment, he encouraged us to practice like raindrops dig holes in a big rock. Seeing every day and every second as a new chance to strive was the one truth Buddha wanted to remind us.

Men, women, old, young, disabled, anyone on Earth can be happy and deserves to be happy. Even if you made terrible mistakes in the past, you deserve to be happy because everyone has the potential to be Buddha by practice.

一切衆生悉有佛性
Buddha-nature is fundamentally in all sentient beings, and the functioning Buddha-nature is active and effective in some, but not in others.

Life’s difficulties are illusions and we will be free by consistently focusing on the thoughts that benefit us and not losing faith and belief.

 

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January 2; Let go to receive new

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CARD OF THE DAY

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TRANSFORMATION

You use the power of love to move through illusions and shift into awareness

This lifetime is a part of the progression of your soul. The conscious thought that you are aware of right at this moment is forever a part of the evolution of your Divine self. Just as a caterpillar eventually becomes a butterfly, you too are slowly awakening to your true birthright as a spiritual being. As you go through this awakening, other will see your light and feel your love. This soul-to-soul connection raises your vibration, allowing transformation to occur at an even quicker pace. Like attracts like, so be sure that the energy you are sending out is positive. Negative energy coming back to you will slow your growth. As you advance into this new awareness of yourself, it is very normal to have a sense of confusion and dislocation in your career, with your family, and even within yourself. The material things in your life won’t carry the same emotional attachment they used to. Your relationship to yourself and others and your understanding of your place in the Universe will change. You will come to realize just how important you are in the grand scheme of things. There are a finite number of souls experiencing this Earth dimension at this time, and you are one of them. Your contributions matter more than you’ll ever know.

 

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LETTING GO

I don’t dwell on bad things that happened. I let things go because I have enough heavy things to carry around… and also, grudges aren’t a great look.


 

9:36 AM

Much to my surprise, I dreamed about giving things away last night. I had something in my hand that I cherish and thought ‘If I can’t give one little thing to someone, how will I be able to grow spiritually without surrender and detachment?’ I finally gave away what I cherished with a relief. 

Would I still be happy without all my earthly attachments? Am I complete as a person the way I came to this world with nothing? Can I still enjoy myself without my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, Kindle, and most importantly my phone?

It’s hard to imagine my life without all the necessities in modern life. But once we get attached to things, things own us. Our happiness became dependent on them, without them it is not perfect. They control the status of our happiness. 

I think that’s why meditation is so important for us. With solely yourself, you go deeper within yourself to explore. You are free. You don’t depend on anything and you can find everything within. 

I should practice giving away the things I love. Once the things start owning me, it is a sign that I should take my power back. I won’t be able to donate all my books like Wayne Dyer did for the reason that I haven’t read half of them but I can definitely share and give more. Give more, take less. When we share, the positive energy created by it doubles. 

As I clear my physical space by giving away and taking less, I should do the same for my mind, if not more diligently. Ironically to be able to receive more of what we want, we need to make space by letting go. Everything that has been is not what is coming. By making new space by letting go of old and challenging the old system and beliefs, we find ourselves in the places beyond our imagination.

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‘Have a mind that is open to everything, and attached to nothing’. _Tilopa

January 1st; Life with Ultimate Potential

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CARD OF THE DAY

ULTIMATE POTENTIAL

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I choose to live a life of my fullest potential. I trust that this will draw me towards experiences and people that support my growth and accomplishment. Tuning into this frequency, I now reach higher heights than I ever though possible. Knowing that’s an option, why would I have ever tuned into anything else? (I’m looking at you, smooth jazz and talk radio.)

 

VIRTUE

You acknowledge your loving, spiritual attributes that encourage others to grow

You are making great strides in your spiritual evolution, and others are beginning to look to you as a role model. You employ the virtues of kindness, service, and compassion in all your interactions. You have learned to send only those thoughts that support and encourage. Leading by example—as opposed to preaching—is important to you. When you live this physical dimension with an awareness of the bigger picture, a steady calm permeates your life. Others are able to recognize this aspect of you and are drawn to you for counsel. Your work on this planet is also admired by those not currently incarnated, and you are receptive to their guidance. Being a conduit for Spirit and manifesting love in all you do is the greatest accomplishment of your Earth journey. When this card appears in any spread, it is the most powerful message that Spirit imparts. This is the card of the lightworker. 

 


 

9:16 am

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Virtue card showed up many times during my morning meditation but I never thought to look up what lightworker actually means. I guess I could tell what it means in a vague sense so I didn’t bother to look up. While reading 20 Signs You’re What’s Known As A ‘Lightworker’, I found myself.

1. You intuitively know that you are alive for a higher purpose, one that is directly related to awakening and transforming your own life and the lives of others by helping to raise the collective consciousness of human beings.

2. You are highly intuitive, and have had an innate wisdom about life since the time you were young. You are naturally philosophical and spiritual, and often perplex people with how you seem to know so much for your age.

3. Though you connect with people easily and it is part of your purpose to help them, you are somewhat of a loner. You are sensitive to other people’s energy, and can only take it in doses.

4. Your young life set you up for a series of traumas, challenges and other difficulties. You understand that these were not intended to hurt you, rather to awaken you to the healer you are now.

5. You are constantly on a mission to improve your own life and the lives of those around you. Your core drive in life is to identify what needs to be fixed, and how you can possibly make it better. Though this sometimes becomes a shadow of perfectionism, when used the right way, is an incredible gift.

6. Though you once may have struggled with certain mental illnesses, you have come to understand that they were adaptations to your circumstances rather than innate problems. You understand that part of your purpose is to revolutionize the way people see their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

7. You are spiritual, but err away from religion. Your life work is to help people re-internalize their power. Even if you use teachings or principles from one enlightened master or another, you maintain focus on awakening the god within each individual and helping them to see their unlimited power, potential and healing capabilities.

The list explained everything that personality tests, horoscopes, fortune tellers or even myself could say about me. Learning and understanding myself made me feel a lot less lonely for the first time. Learning about ourselves is the most important journey we can take in life.  Society tells us to put ourselves into the little boxes named gender, nationality, age, profession and even our hobbies. Once you are in that box, comparison and ‘Spot the Difference’ begin.

But there is nothing we can compare ourselves to in this world. Everyone is one and only in this universe. There is no other you. We are all one of a kind and hence the same. We all desire love, understanding and encouragement and have potentials to change our destiny.

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As I practice yoga under the first sun and moon of 2019, I thanked all the struggles, accomplishments, memories of 2018 for making me who I am now. I was grateful for everything that happened up until this moment for me to be here soaked by the shineist golden sunlight and wrapped with the softest wind. At Shavasana, above my head in the blue sky, Frigatebirds with their beautiful, large wings surfed the morning sea wind, I felt the freedom and calm they might be feeling.

2019, I will choose to live a life with my fullest potential. When fear and doubt creep up into my head, I will remember to keep my thoughts and vibration highest. I won’t let anyone, most importantly myself, ruin my day. I will remember that everyday is a new chance to live my life fullest with joy. I will remember that every second I have a new chance to change my reality, my present, past and future. 

 

 

 

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December 27; Powerful magnetic forces in our body

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Photo by Xaotherion

 

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An atom is the smallest piece of an element that can exist and still be recognized as that element. Nearly all of these elements, such as the oxygen that you breathe and the carbon in your skin, were made in stars about 5 billion years ago, at around the time that the Earth was first forming. Hydrogen and helium are even older, most hydrogen having been made soon after the Big Bang, later to provide the fuel of the stars within which the other elements would be created. 

Think again of that breath of oxygen and its million billion billion atoms within your lungs. That gives some idea of how small each atom is. Another way is to look at the dot at the end of this sentence. Its ink contains some 100 billion atoms of carbon. To see one of these with the naked eye, you would need to magnify the dot to be 100 metres across. 

 

……

 

Look at the full stop once more. Earlier I said that toe see an atom with the naked eye would require enlargement of the dot to 100 metres. While huge, this is still imaginable. But to see the atomic nucleus you would need that dot to be enlarged to 10,000 kilometres: as big as the Earth from pole to pole. 

Between the compact central nucleus and the remote whirling electrons, atoms are mostly empty space. That is what many books assert, and it is true as concerns the particles that make up an atom, magnetic force fields, so powerful that they would stop you in an instant if you tried to enter the atom. It is these forces that give solidity to matter, even while its atoms are supposedly ’empty’. As you read this, you are suspended an atom’s breadth above the atoms in your chair due to these forces. 

Powerful though these electric and magnetic forces are, they are trifling compared to yet stronger forces at work within the atomic nucleus. Disrupt the effects of these strong forces and you can release nuclear power; disrupt the electric and magnetic forces and you get the more ambient effects of chemistry and the biochemistry of life. These day to day familiar effects are due to the electrons in the outer reaches of atoms, far from the nucleus. Such electrons in neighbouring atoms may swap places, thereby helping to link the atoms together, making a molecule. It is the wanderings of these electrons that lead to chemistry, biology, and life. This book is not about those subjects, which deal with the collective behaviour of many atoms. By contrast, we want to journey into the atom and understand what is there. 

 

……

 

It is that although intense electrical forces are at work deep within the atoms of our body, we are not much aware of them, nor are we ourselves electrically charged. The atom of the simplest element, hydrogen, consists of a single proton and a single electron. The number of protons in the nucleus is what differentiates one element from another. A cluster of 6 protons forms the nucleus of the carbon atom, iron has 26, and uranium 92. 

 

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However you cannot put too many protons in close quarters; eventually the electrical disruption is too much. This is one reason why there is a heaviest naturally occurring element, uranium, with 92 protons in each nucleus. Pack more protons than this together and the nucleus cannot survive. Beyond uranium are highly radioactive elements such as plutonium whose instability is infamous.

Atomic nuclei of all elements beyond hydrogen contain protons and also neutrons. The neutron is in effect an electrically neutral version of the proton. It has the same size and, to within a fraction of a percentage, the same mass as a proton. Neutrons grip one another with the same strength that protons do. Having no electrical charge, they feel no electrical disruption, unlike protons. As a result, neutrons add to the mass of a nucleus, and to the overall strong attractive force, and thereby help to stabilize the nucleus.

When neutrons are in this environment, such as when part of the nucleus of an iron atom, they may survive unchanged for billions of years. However, away from such a compact clustering, an isolated neutron is unstable. There is a feeble force at work, known as the weak force, one of whose effects is to destroy the neutron, converting it into a proton. This can even happen when too many neutrons are packed with protons in a nucleus. The effect of such a conversion here is to change the nucleus of one element into another. This transmutation of the elements is the seed of radioactivity and nuclear power. 

 

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Inside the atom. Atoms consist of electrons remotely encircling a massive central nucleus. A nucleus consists of protons and neutrons. Protons are positively charged; neutrons have no charge. Protons and neutrons in turn are made of yet smaller particles called quarks. To our best experiments, electrons and quarks appear to be basic particles with no deeper constituents.

 

Particle Physics by Frank Close

 

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Book Review: The Storyteller’s Secret: A Novel by Sejal Badani

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The Storyteller’s Secret: A Novel by Sejal Badani

“Permit me to be a vessel for the tales that are in your keeping. Entrust them to me, and I promise never again to dishonor them.”

Again I picked another book of a female character who writes unknowingly. I enjoyed the reading and was immersed in the story the whole time. It was an easy, enjoyable read. I finished this book in a week timeframe, reading it on Kindle on my phone anytime I had including the nights on the sofa, the moments waiting for Uber or my meal to arrive. The usage for Kindle app that week was quite high, I felt proud and productive!

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the not so good 

• I haven’t been to India and the knowledge about it except for Yoga, but some of the reviews I read after reading the book said it is far from the reality, that was a disappointment

• Love between Stephen and Amisha developed rather suddenly for me as a reader since the letters between them were not on the book but it seems that’s when they really developed deep love and connection for each other

• It is apparent how the story will reveal itself and once it really does it seems abrupt without detailed or friendly description of the reason why and how characters have developed the way they have

the good

• I think all women would somewhat agree to Amisha’s struggles against social/cultural prejudices about what women should do and not do at that time living in rural India. It was heartbreaking to imagine all those bright, intelligent women who might have changed the world had instead sacrificed their dreams because they had no other way or were told to think that there are other possibilities

• The tragic yet beautiful love story of Stephen and Amisha made me want to write romances. And how complicated human life and love are. We have no right to say or judge right or wrong, right people become wrong after periods of time and vice versa. It reminded me to always have my mind open

• I found many sentences and descriptions delicate and beautiful

• It was kindle unlimited so basically free and I could read it anytime I had a short moment, even in between playing ping pong matches, and it sucked me right into the story


My Highlights

p.108

“Whatever is in their young hearts, I will tell them to write about. If their stories transplant them to faraway lands, I will encourage them to take the journey.” Amisha offered the unyielding woman a smile. “I will also advise that when they travel in their stories, they respect the people they meet and the values they hold. Their way of life is not for us to judge but our opportunity to learn.” She ignored the widening of the teacher’s eyes and ended with, “And to never forget that when you offer a hand of respect, you will in turn be welcomed.”

p.110

“Where do stories come from?” “From our minds,” a student called out. “From other stories we hear,” said another. “From our dreams.” It was a girl’s voice.

“A dream may be the only window to the unknown.” She fiddled with her paper. “Maybe to a different life.”

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“To have the strength to accept all that life offers—good and bad.”

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The warmth his touch elicited warred against the expectations ingrained within her.

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When night fell, the girl sought out the shelter of the moon.

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If I deem something important, I put the words on paper. They are safer to me than speaking words aloud.

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Walking away was wisest, but for once she wanted to keep her own counsel.

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“Our memories will always be a part of you.”

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The part of me that wants to hold on to belief is overridden by the facts and logic.

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“It is believed that meditative energy flows from the feet upward,” he says. “Only with bare feet can you feel God within you.”

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“Ravi Dada says that if something is too perfect, God can’t let it go.”

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I was frustrated with his response for days. Maybe I thought he didn’t care enough to work at it, or his inaction was a betrayal of my pain. No matter the reason, I put distance between us. Now, hearing about my grandmother’s sacrifice on the night of Karva Chauth, her willingness to show Stephen love with no guarantee of a future, I can’t help but think when we have nothing else, when there are no answers, faith is our greatest ally. Maybe for Patrick, it was the only answer he had to hold on to.

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She knew he would give her anything—all she had to do was ask.

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When I asked her the secret, she said to find peace in that moment, you have to cede control of life.

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December 8; Purpose

CARD OF THE DAY

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PURPOSE
You possess the determination and dedication to consciously demonstrate love

People with a purpose are leaders. People with a purpose, coupled with compassion are teachers. You have come to a point in your journey when you must demonstrate to yourself that you are a teacher. Now is the time to be the change that you want to see in the world. Being a person of integrity is your goal. You know your place in the world and how you may be an example to others for the betterment of humankind. You tend to have a very strong intuitive side and use it on a daily basis for clarity of purpose. You have a passion for everything you do, seeing each day as an opportunity to manifest love. you are blessed with a sense of inner peace, because you are satisfied with who you are and what you have. Life seems easy because you have learned that you don’t have to make the choice between love and fear—you already know that the negative energy of fear is not an option. Be a guiding light! Show the world how it is done!

 


 

1:13 pm

I often think about what my life purpose would be. Whenever I pick the Purpose card, maybe it means that my purpose to life is to do and say everything out of love. Just like Wayne Dyer’s orange metaphor. When you are an orange, you squeeze the orange out, the orange juice comes out. People are the same. What comes out of you is you. Love should come out of me when I’m squeezed, not hatred, anger. 

 

 

I may never reach the perfect state of love per se. Or being the loving person. But if I dedicate my life to live as a decent human with love, it would be a meaningful life even though I don’t do something great that would leave my footprint on Earth.

We all are created out of love. Maybe that’s why we feel happy and our souls vibrate when we help someone or give something out. You feel the love intensified and magnified. Love creates souls.

It wouldn’t be easy to demonstrate love in everything I do and speak. I am a human, not the most decent human. But we don’t just ditch life purpose. We work for it for the entirety of our lives.

My life purpose is to find what I love, things that my soul vibrates to. I feel deeply happy when I practice Yoga and meditation. Then I should just do it more with the intention of love. Having intention changes everything. If you set yourself out to have a good day, and you remind yourself that no one will ruin your day, you can laugh out at some minor difficulties in life, not the major ones obviously.

 

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I also keep picking this card recently. I am enjoying small talks and connections with people more than I normally do recently. Reminder to myself to have the intention to engage with the world more and consciously.

 

 

 

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December 5; Cause and Effect

CARD OF THE DAY

CAUSE/EFFECT
You are aware that the love you create in your thoughts is an agent of change and the foundation of your results

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That’s a law of physics in this physical dimension. There is also a Universal law of “cause and effect.” The circumstances you are living in at this exact moment are a direct result of all the thoughts that you have created. Thoughts are real; they are made up of energy, color and density, designed and propelled by your intention. The Universe, in turn, will perfectly respond to the thought energy you have created. If you desire a life full of love, happiness, and abundance, you must be mindful of your thoughts, because you are the director of your destiny. Think of yourself as a magnet—attracting to you what you send out. It is imperative that your thoughts be of a high vibration, because the energy of judgment and condemnation will find its way back to you. What you sow, you will reap. So make it a daily practice to monitor your thoughts. Let love be your guide!

 


 

7:47 am

I couldn’t sleep until 2 am last night. I couldn’t stop thinking about work. I put on a meditation audio in the background as I try to sleep and after 10 seconds focusing on the voice and my breath, my mind was back to roaming freely, well not freely, since my mind was a hostage to all my worries, thoughts, concerns about work.

Why is it so hard to control the mind? When would I be able to control my mind like it’s mine? The answer probably is never.

Of course it was harder to wake up at 5 am today and I lingered in the bed for extra 30 minutes. Finally I got myself up, lit the candles, burnt the sage and palo santo stick and started on my mat. It was extremely hard to focus on my breath and body today. I stayed in my head throughout many sequences, not even noticing that I’m moving.

People say that Yoga is meditation in motion. And that’s true. Four limbs out of eight limbs of Yoga focus on meditation. So it maybe is more important to control our mind than physical asana.

Even though I know that I won’t be able to control my mind, when my mind is roaming freely, I get nervous and anxious. Because I’m afraid negative thoughts that I’m having will alter my reality and attract more negative situations in my life.

Maybe my obsession to control my mind is the reason of my suffering. We have 60,000 thoughts a day on average. I have to acknowledge that we can’t control all the thoughts in our mind and that positive thoughts are much more powerful and influential than negative thoughts. 

Also it’s a habit, Karma, what happens in our mind. And we can get rid of bad habits and create new, good ones. I have become more grateful, positive, happy over time by practicing. I can’t be impatient, one step at a time. If I take care of my mind with love and care over time, positivity will bloom.

 

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December 3: Love Never Dies

CARD OF THE DAY

UNITY
You understand that the love shared with another is amplified and has a ripple effect across the Universe

When love is given and received reciprocally, it is the strongest force in the Universe. It is the energy in which your soul thrives and of which it is comprised. Loving yourself and others is important, but when love is also returned to you, the energy is magnified. You are aligned with another soul—human or animal—and that bond is eternal. Connections of love that you create while in this physical dimension are never broken, whether the other soul is currently incarnated or not. Never entertain doubts that the love you enjoyed on Earth survives death or believe that it is diminished just because you are separated physically from your loved one. It is a soul-to-soul connection, it is everlasting. You continue to receive love from the Spirit realms through bonds you created since time immemorial. You are loved more than you can imagine. 

 


 

7:50 am

I forgot about my father who passed away when I was 6 for a very long time. I grew up with my step-father since the age of 12 and didn’t feel the void of my biological father even though my connection with my step-father wasn’t strong, I at least had a father figure in my life. It was when my mother broke up with my step-father that I realized I don’t have a father and I was already 20, an adult at an age where it’s more normal to lose your parents.

Sorrow and sadness came over me, not because I lost my step-father, because I have forgotten about my real father. It was weird to feel sad all of sudden looking at a father and a daughter on a stroll holding their hands. I started missing my father. I looked for his pictures, asked my mom about the stories about him, tried to remember my memories with him. I looked at my father’s kind and warm face in the old picture for however long, his face looked familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. I couldn’t tell if he was sad or happy when we took the picture like Mona Lisa. He looked like he was smiling at me who’s missing her father she lost long time ago. Moments later he looked sad that he couldn’t be here and comfort me.

My mom told me how she used to find me and my dad lying down and crying together reading a sad comic book and how he always poured love and kisses onto me and took the young me on a drive. He loved coffee and maybe that’s why he had a stomach cancer. But I loved going on a drive and watching him get coffee, I liked the aroma of coffee lingering in my dad’s car and the fact he always kept a bear coin purse to keep his coins for buying coffee.

I always wondered why I get car sick if I enjoyed going on a drive with my dad so much. Maybe going on a car was just different after he was gone. A lot of things were different ever since he left us. I became shy and introvert after I found out kids at my school were calling me ‘a kid without father’. The warmth and laugh in our house were never the same after we sent his cold, hard body away from our home to the mountain where we spread his ashes.

My grief and longing for my long gone father was getting more intense as years passed and as I transitioned into my adulthood. Now I realized at my friends’ weddings that my father isn’t here to walk me down the aisle. I needed something to remember him. I visited my grandfather in South Korea and asked him to take me to the mountain where we released the small remaining part of his body back to the earth. I thought that was the end until I started missing him again. In fact I never had looked into my grief.

The mountain in the winter time was barren and dry. I started sobbing as soon as I saw where he is now. He’s been waiting for me and my sister in this cold, lonely place. As my grandpa insisted we follow the old Korean ritual of burning the stuff we want to give him and treating him food and alcohol, we prepared nice clothes for him and food and soju he used to like.

My grandpa poured some soju to the ground. His words were chocked with tears after saying sorry. My sister burned the long letter she wrote for him and looked at the ground. I frantically looked around with the blurred vision with tears as we were going through the ritual hoping he would show up. I didn’t care if it was a ghost, my hallucination, I just wanted to see him. And I wanted to know that he’s still with us.

I didn’t see any moving thing except for a black butterfly that was hovering around which is odd to see in the winter time I thought. And I remembered my grandma saying that dead people sometimes come back in a butterfly form when they miss the loved ones they left on Earth. I wasn’t sure that was my father or if he is really somewhere listening to his daughters grieving him long time after he passed away. But that day changed something in me. I decided to believe that he is somewhere looking over us, caring for us, loving us.

As my spirituality grew, my belief become stronger and stronger, I know our connection is not over. I know his love didn’t leave me. His love is still stored in my heart. The heart ultimately stores memories through combinatorial coding by nerve sells. The cell memory phenomenon, which still not considered 100 percent scientifically-validated, is still supported by several scientists and physicians. 

I read some stores of heart transplant surgeries and organ transplant recipients remembering the donor’s memories or habits. My heart still remembers my father. The love I received from him is still there. When I see the love and warmth in my husband’s eyes, it reminds me of the love in my heart I received from my father as a child. I am loved more than I imagine.

This transformed my life. I no longer blame God or my dad for making me a fatherless kid. I have an angel caring for me and protecting me. It’s my father. I’m not afraid anymore knowing that I am so loved and protected.

You are never alone and Love never dies.

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November 14: Blue Sky is always there

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9:10 AM

Sometimes it feels like I’m walking inside a dark, endlessly long tunnel. Suddenly, I find myself in the tunnel again and again. I forget about sunny, happy days I’ve had and go back to the tunnel where there is no light, hope, fun, future, and rest.

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Nothing is permanent. No tunnel is endless. We forget that this shall pass too. Happiness, Despair, Joy, Sadness, Excitement, Grief, just like floating clouds in the endless sky, they soon disappear. All we have to do is notice, acknowledge and move on without judgment.

And there is always blue sky. It’s always there. Good days will come back no matter how hopeless life seems to be sometimes. Life is always changing. Through hard times, I will remember that this shall too pass and my only goal is to learn through those times to make it worth. Through good times, I will remember that more will come my way. It’s on its way. 

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At the end, the biggest lesson we can learn through hardships and whatever things life throws at you is to detach ourselves from outside things and find happiness within. We live with impermanence every day, fruit go bad, flowers die, hair grows, rain stops, you start liking someone you didn’t before, your favorite restaurant closes, but a better one opens, accepting it will bring peace.

 

 

 


 

CARD OF THE DAY

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LETTING GO
I don’t dwell on bad things that happened. I let things go because I have enough heavy things to carry around… and also, grudges aren’t a great look.

 

4:59 PM
I WAS holding onto what I was supposed to just let go. I didn’t feel (or think?) the recent changes at work were neither efficient nor fair, and whenever my mind was on auto-pilot, it would dwell on these harmful thoughts and feelings until I was disrupted: frustration, hopeless, indifference, and definitely grudge!

My time and energy are precious enough to spend on things that I can control. I can make changes now if I can focus on the things in my control. Outside of my control, I let go. For myself and others around me.

When things seem hopeless, I will:

  • Show my gratitude
  • Write down how I feel and reasons why
  • Take deep breaths for a minute
  • Drink lots of water
  • Meditate for ten minutes

November 13; Everything comes from within

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CARD OF THE NIGHT

INDECISION
I use my intuition in all aspects of life

Your soul is Spirit manifest in this physical dimension. Even though you may feel limited by the constraints of your body, your connection to the infinite wisdom of the Universe is always available to you in the form of intuition. You are never alone when making any decision. Spirit only wants the best for you, and by listening to your inner voice, you will always be guided to the proper outcome. All you have to do is ask. The expectation of others is only an illusion. You were not born to listen to fear; you were taught to listen to it. 

Visualize any decision in your life as a fork in the road. How does your body react when you imagine your travels down each path? At first glance, one may look easier to traverse, but the destination will cause anxiety and a heavy heart; another path may be more difficult to walk, but the destination will feel light and calm. When you silence your mind and listen to your intuition, the signposts will always be obvious.

 


 

MORNING READ

p.112

The first stage is where we come to the conclusion that by running here and there, by looking to externals, we are not going to gain the knowledge we seek. Knowledge is a thing to be obtained from within by tuning in. “Tuning in” means to go in, to understand ourselves, to “know thyself” first. If we do not know ourselves, we will make mistakes in knowing others things. We should know with what glasses we are viewing the outside. Are they clean or colored? If they are colored, naturally we will see a colored world outside. We can’t blame the world for this color. A scale should be correct itself before trying to give the correct weight of objects placed on it. If the scale is wrong, the weight will certainly be wrong. We must see if the mind is in a neutral position so it can judge things properly.

The second understanding is that all experiences of pleasure and pain come not from the outside but are the interpretation of our own mind. The mind makes these experiences and creates these feelings. If this understanding comes, all miseries and pains are over; we will see we are not pained by any externals and that nothing can make us unhappy. When we know that our mind is the cause of these pains, we will try to correct it rather than blaming the outside world or other people. We will feel no need to seek after things, nor to avoid them.

The third position comes one you understand the mind fully and, with that neutral mind, attain cosmic understanding. You need not study anything for that. No books can give it. Many saints were illiterate. They never even knew what a school was. But we read their ideas even now. None of the Upanishadic seers went to colleges or universities. They merely sat under trees and watched nature. But their words are crest jewels now. Where did their learning come from? It came from within. There is a wealth of knowledge inside. The scriptures say, “Know the One by knowing which you will know everything.” This understanding without learning is the third level of consciousness.

The fourth step comes one we understand nature and its workings. We feel there is no longer anything to be done. If we understand the cosmic plan, we rise above all doership. There is no particular duty for us, no do’s or don’ts. At that time, we are prompted to do things only because our minds are linked to the cosmic mind; there is no personal action. As we are prompted, we just do. We do not know why we are doing things and will not bother about whether they are good or bad. The scriptures as, “Ko vindhi ko nisedah?” “What is a must and what is not?” There are no musts, nothing one must do, nothing one should or should not do. Whatever we do is part of the cosmic plan. That means, even though such a person appears to be doing something, really he or she is not doing anything and becomes akarta, the non-doer. A Tamil saint put that idea into a poem. “Oh Lord, I gave You my entire personality, body, mind and life—and You have accepted it. If there is anything happening through my body or mind, am I responsible? Good might happen. Bad might happen. But You are responsible. You make me do this. People may say, ‘He is a bad man. He is doing bad things.’ But You know that it is not I who do it; it is You working through me.”

These words will come only when we realize we are completely in the hands of a higher will. It is very easy to stand in front of the alter and say, “I am Thine. All is Thine. Thy will be done.” But de we really feel that way? Have we really completely given up? In such a state there are not duties for us. All our duties are God’s duties. We are not responsible. But this state cannot be merely an intellectual understanding. If that is the case, we can even slap someone on the face and say, “It is all God’s will. I gave God everything. Even my hand has been given to God who is using it to slap you.”

The fifth plane is actually an after-effect of that understanding. Once we come to know there is nothing to be done, the citta is completely free of impressions. It is liberated. Because it had the tinge of ego, it acted as it wanted. Once that is separated, it just becomes a humble, simple mind, completely free of impressions; and, although old impressions remain, they lose their capacity to disturb the mind.

In the sixth level, the citta loses itself. That is called mano-nasa or citta-nasa and means the mind is completely chucked off. When the mind gets totally dissolved, the seventh and last plane remains. This is when the Purusa alone remains, resting in its own svarupa. 

We should all know what these things are, because one day we will certainly all reach that state. As they happen, we will see the signs. Sometimes people are frightened by the unexpected. If they suddenly lose physical consciousness in meditation, they feel, “Something is happening to me. Am I going to die?” They disturb their meditation. Instead, if we know the signs we will welcome these things.

Saint Thirumular said, “A person was running and running in search of the Light. He spent his whole life doing that. Ultimately he collapsed and died because he couldn’t reach it.” Millions and millions of people collapse this way because they don’t know that the Light is within. 

Another saying of his is, “Even if you practice Yoga for eight thousand years, you are not going to reach the Light.” By this he means external Yoga: reading books, learning all the scriptures by heart, going on pilgrimages to all the temples, asrams and churches in the world. That is all bahya, or external practice. Some people waste thousands of years in such effort. If we only look within, we will see the Light as if we were seeing our own image in a mirror.

All the different religions say this: We are not going to get it from outside. Turn in. Look within. Know thyself. The teachings can help you slightly, but too much learning may just muddle your mind. We should learn a little and work with that. Turning inside means turning the senses within; trying to hear something within, see something within, smell something within. All the scents are within us. All the beautiful music is within us. All art is inside. Why should we search, running after museums and gardens when every museum and garden is inside us?

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda

 

 


 

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CARD OF THE DAY

INTEGRITY
You demonstrate the truth and honesty of your soul, and manifest love with your every action

There is a great chasm between believing in something and demonstrating it to the world. “Walk your talk” is the mantra of this card that bridges this gap. You can read every spiritual book available, but if you don’t practice what you’ve accepted in your heart, then it is all for naught. Holding love and compassion as the cornerstones of your belief system is very different from manifesting them in the real world. Integrity is a state of wholeness and completeness of being. When all the pieces of your psyche are unified as one, you don’t have to try to be compassionate; you just are. A person with integrity follows through on their commitments. If you tend to second-guess yourself or are filled with conflicting opinions, you might still be struggling to find your authentic self. And that’s okay—life is about learning to be a better you; and if you aren’t learning to be a better you; and if you aren’t learning something new every day, that’s a wasted opportunity. To know whether you are coming from an integrated space, notice your behavior during a time of chaos. If there is a gentle quiet of the mind, and a clear path is seen, then love is present. When you come from this center, you are in the moment, not swayed by the past or future. You shine a beacon of self-assurance that draws all good things to you.

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November 7th: Purpose of Life

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10:41 PM

Finally it was the end of the sage stick that I’ve been burning through the entire 2018. Countless times this sage stick burned itself to purify me and it made me wonder looking at the very last leaves of my sage stick, did it really purify me?

The real question is Did I have the intention to be purified? I can think of all those times that I have just sat there with my mind just flowing everywhere picking up everything on its way.

My teacher always told me to always have the intention before the Yoga practice. Actually all the teachers that I came across said that. The power of intention. I didn’t have the intention to be purified. I had my mind auto-pilot, out of the zone, somewhere over the rainbow.

Right now while I’m writing this, it’s happening again. My mind was projecting movies of classes, meetings, yoga practices, dates, conversations that I was totally not there and then. What if I was there and then? What if I was present with my mind and brain 100% engaged without sharing the space with the worries about the past and future of which I have absolutely no control?

We only have here and now. The only time we live in is not the past or the future, it is here and now. But we all can’t focus on here and now because our mind and brain are watching the horrendous movie of worries about the past and future. When our mind is on auto-pilot like that, we miss what’s happening right in front of us here and now.

The only thing we can control is here and now. If I decide to be happy right here and now, few seconds later, I made my past and present happy. And I know I can make my future happy by deciding to be happy right here and now.

 


 

 

 

CARD OF THE NIGHT

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SERVICE
I feel good when I can help others

One of the most evolved gifts that a soul possesses is giving of itself. There is a reason why it feels good to give—it is because your soul resonates with that vibration. Your soul should be aware that it might currently be in a situation in which it needs to be fulfilled on “higher levels,” and this can only happen through the attribute of humbly serving and supporting others.

Put yourself in a position in which you can benefit another soul in any way possible and demonstrate unconditional love to others. This might mean bringing yourself into your heart space and letting everything you involve yourself in come from an attitude of giving freely. You have to learn to direct your green heart-light energy through all your thoughts, actions and deeds.

Look around and see where and how you can serve another. Perhaps one way would be asking a friend if you can help clean up his or her office or run errands. Maybe volunteer to watch your neighbors’ kids so the parents can have a night out. Make a meal for someone who might be sick. Volunteer in a hospital or hospice. Perform an activity that enriches someone else’s life.

 


 

It makes sense that I keep picking up this card from a new card deck with 44 cards. Only if the questions that keep on circling around in my mind could be answered with this card. How can I serve? Why am I here? What is the purpose of my being?

I know it’s what I say and decide it to be. All my dots will be connected and all of them were meant to be there to draw this big picture. Trust. Let things unfold.

 

 

November 7th: Rituals of preparation

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Morning Read

Chapter 2
rituals of preparation

I begin each day of my life with a ritual: I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.

It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it—makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.

Some people might say that simply stumbling out of bed and getting into a taxicab hardly rates the honorific “ritual.” It glorifies a mundane act that anyone can perform.

I disagree. First steps are hard; it’s no one’s idea of fun to wake up in the dark every day and haul one’s tired body to the gym. Like everyone, I have days when I wake up, stare at the ceiling, and ask myself, Gee, do I feel like working out today? But the quasi-religious power I attach to this ritual keeps me from rolling over and going back to sleep.

It’s vital to establish some rituals—automatic but decisive patterns of behavior—at the beginning of the creative process, when you are most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up, or going the wrong way.

A ritual, the Oxford English Dictionary tells me, is “a prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional service.” All that applies to my morning ritual. Thinking of it as a ritual has a transforming effect on the activity.

Turning something into a ritual eliminates the question, Why am I doing this? By the time I give the taxi driver directions, it’s too late to wonder why I’m going to the gym and not snoozing under the warm covers of my bed. The cab is moving. I’m committed. Like it or not, I’m going to the gym.

The ritual erases the question of whether of not I like it. It’s also a friendly reminder that I’m doing the right thing. (I’ve done it before. It was good. I’ll do it again.)

We all have rituals in our day, whether we’re aware of them or not.

A friend, a hard-boiled pragmatist with not a spiritual bone in his body, practices yoga in the morning in his home to overcome back pain. He starts each session by lighting a candle. he doesn’t need the candle to do his poses (although the mild glow and the faint scent have a tonic effect, he says), but the ceremonial act of lighting this votive candle transforms yoga into a sanctifying ritual. It means he’s taking the session seriously, and that for the next ninety minutes he is committed to practicing yoga. Candle. Click. Yoga. An automatic three step call-and-response mechanism that anchors his morning. When he’s done, he blows out the candle and goes on with the rest of his day.

An executive I know begins each day with a twenty-minute meeting with her assistant. It’s a simple organizational tool, but turning it into a daily ceremony for two people intensifies the bond between them and gives their day a predictable, repeatable kick-start. They don’t have to think about what to do when they arrive at the office. They already know it’s their twenty-minute ritual.

Dancers are totally governed by ritual. It begins with class from 10:00 A.M. to noon every day, where they stretch and warm up their muscles and put their bodies through the classic positions. They do this daily, without fail, because all dancers working in class know that their efforts at strengthening the muscles will armor them against injury in rehearsal or performance. What makes it a ritual is that they do it without questioning the need.

……

Of such beliefs and traditions are rituals made. It’s like going to church. We rarely question why we go to church, and we don’t expect concrete answers when we do. We just know it feeds our spirit somehow, and so we do it.

A lot of habitually creative people have preparation rituals linked to the setting in which they choose to start their day. By putting themselves into that environment, they begin their creative day.

The composer Igor Stravinsky did the same thing every morning when he entered his studio to work: He sat at the piano and played a Bach fugue. Perhaps he needed the ritual to feel like a musician, or the playing somehow connected him to musical notes, his vocabulary. Perhaps he was honoring his hero, Bach, and seeking his blessing for the day. Perhaps it was nothing more than a simple method to get his fingers moving, his motor running, his mind thinking music. But repeating the routine each day in the studio induced some click that got him started.

I know a chef who begins each day in the meticulously tended urban garden that dominates the tiny terrace of his Brooklyn home. He is obsessed with fresh ingredients, particularly herbs, spices, and flowers. Spending the first minutes of the day among his plants is his ideal creative environment for thinking about new flavor combinations and dishes. He putters about, feeling connected to nature, and this gets him going. Once he picks a vegetable or herb, he can’t let it sit there. He has to head off to the restaurant and start cooking.

A painter I know can’t do anything in her studio without propulsive music pounding out of the speakers. Turning it on turns on a switch inside her. The beat gets her into a groove. It’s the metronome for her creative life.

……

In the end, there is no one ideal condition for creativity. What works for one person is useless for another. The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself. Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn’t scare you, doesn’t shut you down. It should make you want to be there, and once you find it, stick with it. To get the creative habit, you need a working environment that’s habit-forming.

All preferred working states, no matter how eccentric, have one thing in common: When you enter into them, they impel you to get started.

……

It’s Pavlovian: follow the routine, get a creative payoff.

……

It worked for Beethoven, too as these sketches, rendered between 1820 and 1825 by J.D. Bohm, show. Although he was not physically fit, Beethoven would start each day with the same ritual: a morning walk during which he would scribble into a pocket sketchbook the first rough notes of whatever musical idea inevitably entered his head. Having done that, having limbered up his mind and transported himself into his version of a trance zone during the walk, he would return to his room and get to work.

……

My morning workout ritual is the most basic form of self-reliance; it reminds me that, when all else fails, I can at least depend on myself. It’s my algebra of self-reliance: I depend on my body in order to work, and I am more productive if my body is strong. My daily workout is a part of my preparation for work.

This, more than anything else, is what rituals of preparation give us: They arm us with confidence and self-reliance.

 

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp


CARD OF THE DAY

COMMITMENT
You dedicate yourself to your beliefs wholeheartedly, knowing that love is the essence of your very being

By trusting, respecting, and loving all that you are, you broadcast your clear readiness to do the work necessary to manifest your intentions. When you can come from a place of strong commitment, and combine that with a strong sense of self, it sends a precise message to the Universe that you are engaged and ready for lessons. In this way, you are also developing faith in yourself as you move closer to manifestation. There will always be others questioning your priorities. Bless them, with the understanding that your commitment is to you only.  No one else is meant to understand it, for it is truly your personal journey of self-discovery and healing. Never concern yourself with what others might think of you… for your light is different, and perhaps you will now ignite someone else’s devotion to follow their soul’s calling. You stand out from a crowd with your ability to clearly commit to what you want, enabling your wishes and desires to manifest quickly.

 


 

7:58 AM

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My morning ritual starts with burning Sage and Palo Santo. I sit in the smoke and start thinking all the blessings in my life which leads to a short meditation. And I come out to the living room and put Breath or Eucalyptus oil in the diffuser and light the candles on my Buddah statue. I practice Yoga for an hour. Then I go down to the sauna and steam room. While I’m there for 20 minutes, I listen to Headspace meditation. It’s 7am when I’m done. I come upstairs and start reading, journaling, writing before I have to get ready for work.

The hardest part is getting back on track after a week of laziness without following my morning rituals. Friend visiting, busy project at work, for whatever reasons, I skip my rituals for a few days and end up feeling terrible. It’s what gives me calmness and a sense of purpose for my life: that I’m doing my best to be better.

This week has been amazing with no snoozes, feeling accomplished and complete even before 8am each day. But to be able to follow my rituals every day, I had to make some sacrifices. I fall asleep around 10pm hence my evenings got a lot more simplified. Dinner, recreational activities like watching tv, playing piano, and shortly after I fall asleep.

I need to find the healthy balance between having consistent rituals and still having fun and empty space and time for the sake of that purpose.

 

 

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Happiness Animal

p.5
A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is _ Seneca

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think _ Einstein

 

p.13
What is more sinister, materialism correlates with serious psychological issues such as depression, narcissism and paranoia, a correlation exposed by researchers Kasser and ryan, who published their finding in A dark side of the American Dream.

 

p.16
If you think about problems where you are now, you’ll still think about problems wherever you are until you are able to find freedom from being a passenger on your trains of thoughts, and until you are able to start driving the trains.

Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.

 

p.23
Your beliefs stay alive when they go unquestioned and unchallenged.

 

p.29
There is no freedom of thought, but there is freedom from thoughts. It’s called awareness.

 

p.32
You are created to be you. The purpose of your existence is to be you well. The only way to be you well is to be honest. Truly you. 

 

p.35
A further cause of disconnection can be that we are not connecting with what we are saying or with the person we are saying it to.

 

p.40
Be kind. Tune up. In order to be kind, you have to learn to look after your own harmony first. Otherwise you will produce noise that’s unkind to you and to your neighbors

 

p.53
It is a fact that stress causes your body to produce the hormone cortisol which triggers inflammation. This inflammation causes a whole host of health problems.

 

p. 59
Keep an eye on your body language. Northeastern University, MIT and Cornell in a joint study identified four non-verbal cues that are often interpreted as untrustworthiness:

  • Leaning away from someone
  • Crossing arms in a blocking fashion
  • Touching, rubbing or grasping hands together
  • Touching oneself on the face, abdomen or elsewhere.

 

p.61
It’s only important that you are in the present moment right now, not drifting into thoughts of the future or the past. Thinking of the future can create anxiety; thinking of the past can create depression.

 

p.69
Friendly people make friends in a way that has nothing to do with the politeness and ‘how are you?’ of meet and greet small talk but in a way that has everything to do with authentic curiosity for the wellbeing and ideas of others. Friendliness, warmth and cheerfulness come as a package. Your voice is their sound. Your eyes and your smile are their light.

 

p.77
To love is to recognize yourself in another _ Eckhart Tolle

 

p.79
Appreciation benefits both the appreciator and the appreciated. As appreciator you feel freer, your blood pressure reduced and your parasympathetic activity increases. Parasympathetic activity is considered protective of the body as it helps the body rest and digest, and maintain a regular heartbeat. Studies by Rollin McCraty, Barrios-Choplin, Rozman, Atkinson, and Watkins show that when you appreciate, your parasympathetic activity imporves your hormonal balance and reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as increasing the production of DHEA, the ‘anti-aging hormone’.

 

p.85
It is healthy not to confuse your identity with your belongings and not to let your belongings have more power over you than you do over them.

 

p.89
In a recent study gratitude was shown to boost not just health but also efficiency. How could gratitude do this? Because it makes us feel more complete. It allows us to let go of the idea that we are complete as individuals and to acknowledge that we need the help of others to exist as human beings.

 

p.93
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion _ Dalai Lama

 

p.120
Two thousand years ago, Marcus Aurelius offered some wisdom to humanity that still helps me exercise tolerance in the heat of the moment: ‘Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us.’ That’s a good incentive to let things be.

 

p.122
There is generally much to learn before any judgement can be pronounced with certainty on another’s doings _ Marcus Aurelius

Instead of taking the shortcuts of your own learned evaluations, associations and abstractions of mind to dismiss others and their ideas, challenge what you sense with curiosity.

 

p.125
In a study of those who forgive quickly only 4% say they are unhappy. But not exercising forgiveness has disastrous happiness consequences. Professor of Sociology, Wes Perkins provides the stats: ‘the risk (of being really unhappy) more than doubles for those who can’t forgive.’

Forgiving frees you from your own bitterness. It frees you from demoralizing slavery to the thinking links of your mind.

 

p.142
Finish each day and be done with it. you have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenly and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays. _ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

p.146
We’re all so afraid to let our true selves be seen and known. Why are we so paralyzed by what other people think? The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute. Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites. Here’s what is truly at the heart of whole-heartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.

 

p.179
It’s the essence of noblesse oblige: sharing your authentic talents through a job that exploits them for the good of others. Noblesse oblige really means the responsibility to share who you are.

 

p.180
Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth sums up the importance of job titles and roles as nothing more than labels your ego collects like a kleptomaniac: ‘those who do not attempt to appear more than they are but are simply themselves stand out as remarkable and are the only ones who truly make a difference in this world. Their mere presence – simple, natural, unassuming – has a transformational effect on whoever they come into contact with.

 

p.191
Cultures are only habitual mind-sets with a lot of emotional attachment,’ said Brad Blanton. Social conformity makes you predictable, inauthentic, a slienced you. If you silence your truth, you can only lead a dishonest, unhappy existence. Exercise awareness in conformity to ensure you stay true to you.

 

p.197
There is nothing fearful except fear itself. It is not that we have fears in the daylight but that we have entirely created darkness for ourselves. If you can look directly at things they often cease to be frightening. It is not because things are hard that we lack confidence but things are hard because we lack confidence in the first place _ Seneca

Creating is the place where the human spirit shines its brightest light _ Robert Fritz

 

p.198
Courage is the acceptance of fear. Courage is to abandon social norms if your intuition says they are not your truth. Courage is consciously following your intuition. To be an individual while belonging to a family and wider social and societal group is the greatest courage of all.

You are taught to compare yourself against others, labels, roles, ranks in a society of competing egos.

 

p.216
The courage of vulnerability and humility is the courage to reveal your true nature to the world, exposing yourself with no protection of masks, roles or job titles. It is the courage of your innocence—your inner sense—without ego. Your ego is a creation of fear, created as part of your misguided attempt to protect your vulnerability from the world Exercising vulnerability is exercising the courage to connect with existence. You need to exist before you can create.

 

p.218
Ask what would the real you do if you stopped caring about what any other person thought of you? What other people think of you is none of your business. I remind myself of this essential truth by repeating the mantra of Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls:
‘I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.’
 

Happiness Animal by Will Jelbert

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Having a dog for a few days

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7:58 pm
I LOVE HAVING THIS PUP IN MY LIFE! Last few days that I’ve spent with Chewie have been amazing. Chewie is a smart, loving labradoodle that I’m dogsitting for a few days.
Once I read the article that dog owners are much healthier than those who don’t have dogs. I can understand why. She makes me go out, get fresh air and walk around at least two times a day. That alone is a good workout and healthy habit for the mind and body.
And the feeling that I have when I play catch with her or run along with her is so much worth any trouble that I have to go through to take care of her (ex. picking up dog poo, wiping doggy butt, etc..)
Animals are pure, simple souls. I feel like it’s healing me to spend time with animals just like I feel healed when I am a part of nature, in the nature.
I love you, Chewie. You are a perfectly beautiful soul.

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I and i

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Egoism is the identification, as it were, of the power of the Seer (Purusa) with that of the instrument of seeing [body-mind].

In this sutra Patanjali explains egoism. The ego is the reflection of the true Self on the mind. The two appear to be the same, but one is the original, the other a reflected duplicate. The Self will always be falsely represented by the ego until our ignorance is removed. I often refer to these two “I’s” as the little “i” and the capital “I.” What is the difference? Just a small dot, a little blemish of ego. The capital “I” is just one pure stroke, just as the highest truth is always simple and pure. What limits us and makes us little? Just the dot. Without the dot, we are always great, always the capital “I.”

All the practices of Yoga are just to remove that dot. How simple it is. All the difficulties and turmoils can be removed from our lives in no time just by taking away that dot. But preparation for that is what takes time. Many times we climb up only to slip down. Sometimes we get all the way up there only to find we have forgotten to take along an eraser to wipe off the dot. So we have to come down again.

 

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Attachment is that which follows identification with pleasurable experience. 

Aversion is that which follows identification with painful experiences.

Attachment to pleasure, or raga, is another pain-bearing obstacle. We attach ourselves to pleasure because we expect happiness from it, forgetting that happiness is always in us as the true Self. When we expect joy from outside things, we become attached to those things. If we find these things make us unhappy, we create an aversion toward them (dvesa). So raga and dvesa, likes and dislikes, are impediments on the spiritual path. One we like because it seems to bring happiness; the other we dislike because it seems to bring unhappiness.

Everyone wants to be happy. Is there anything we can think of that doesn’t? Even a small worm put in the sun immediately rolls toward the shade. If we put a plant indoors, it will slowly turn its face toward the light, because it too wants to be happy. Happiness seems to be the basic need of everything in this world; yet rarely does anybody find it. Why? Because happiness is like the musk deer. The ancient scriptures have a fable about this animal which has a scented spot above its forehead that gives off the musk fragrance. This deer runs here and there in search of the scent, not knowing the scent comes from its own forehead.

Just like that, happiness is already in us. Wherever we go we reflect our happiness onto people and things. When we see a smiling face and feel happy, it is because the smiling face reflects our happiness. Just as a pure, clean mirror reflects our face beautifully, certain pure, clean faces reflect our happiness. Then we say, “This person gives me happiness.” In other faces, our happiness reflects in a distorted way and we say, ” I don’t like the person.” It’s absolute nonsense. No one can ever give us happiness or unhappiness but can only reflect or distort our own inner happiness.

 

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Purpose

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CARD OF THE NIGHT

PURPOSE

I know what I am here to do

You have chosen to reincarnate on Earth for one major goal: to express love in all that you do. The obstacles of this physical dimension can distract you from that goal, and it’s easy to lose your way. Life on Earth is full of obligations that require your your conscious attention, but that doesn’t mean you can’t infuse all of your decisions with caring and compassion.

Your purpose in life is not your career; rather, your career is guided by your purpose. What activities speak to your soul? What brings you joy? That is the direction your soul is calling you toward to best convey your own unique expression of love and make a contribution to the world. If you are not happy with your current circumstances, then that is your soul telling you that there is a better way to manifest your own distinct gifts. Listen to your intuition. It is your connection to Spirit and the voice of your soul. 

The Soul’s Journey Card


 

12:21AM

How can I serve? What do I dedicate my life to? What is the purpose of my being?

One thing is clear. I need to keep asking these questions and be patient. Everything is already in me and I need to trust the voice of my soul. I just need time and heat like a pressure cooker. Or a diamond.

Day to day life can be more fun if I become more curious about myself and have the intention of self-discovery. I’m excited about what I’m going to discover about myself tomorrow!

 


 

POEM OF THE NIGHT

RAIN

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain.
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand—
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said—
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

Shel Silverstein

 


 

쉼표

책 속의 글자도 쉬어 가는 곳이 있고
자동차가 달리던 고속도로에도 쉬어 가는 곳이 있고
해님도 구름에 가려 쉬어 가는 곳이 있듯이
바람도 쉬어 가는 곳이 있다

마음이 아픈 사람도
지금은 쉬어 가고 있는 중이다.

 

정여민

 


 

Freedom Comes from Complete Surrender

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These stuck with me from what I read and heard today:

— Union with God is the real Yoga
— Freedom comes from once you completely surrender yourself to God
— The universe will conspires with you to create the right people and the right things and it all shows up

I don’t think it’s the coincidence that both Patanjali and Wayne Dyer are giving me the same message today. Completely surrender like when you connect your head to the earth in your child’s pose, but with the faith that everything you wish is on its way.

God looks different to everyone and as long as we have the faith that our own version of god, our senior partner, is walking beside us at all times, nothing is impossible. And we achieve our ideal life and the highest version of ourselves.

9:53pm
Oct 13, 2018

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Sri Swami Satchidananda – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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You should get into asamprajnata samadhi where even the ego feeling is not there and the seeds of past impressions are rendered harmless. Once that is achieved, the individual is completely liberated and there is no more coming into the world and getting tossed. Although you appear to be in the world then, you are not involved. Having achieved this, the world is just a shadow from which you are completely free. That is what is meant by a liberated person. It is not that a liberated person just goes away from the world or dies. He or she is called a jivamukta – one who lives but at the same time liberated.

 

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25 In Isvara is the complete manifestation of the seed of omniscience

In other words, Isvara is all-knowing itself. The cosmic knowledge is called the Supreme Soul, or Purusa. How can we imagine or visualize it? Imagine a circle. You see the space within it and the space outside it. The inner space is finite and the outer is infinite.If you accept the existence of a finite space, automatically you have to accept an infinite one. Without infinite there can be no finite. The moment you say, “I am a man,” there must be a woman. If you say “left,” there must be a right. The thought of one implies the thought of the other. We feel that our minds and knowledge are limited and finite. So, there must be a source of infinite knowledge beyond that.

So Isvara pranidhana, or devotion to the all-knowing Isvara, is another method for obtaining samadhi. It is the emotional path which is easier than the other methods mentioned before. Just surrender yourself, saying, “I am Thine; all is Thine; Thy will be done.” The moment you have resigned yourself completely, you have transcended your own ego.

We try to practice Yoga with our egos, “Oh, I can concentrate; I can penetrate this object; I can empty my mind.” All these ideas of “I can” should become “I can’ts.” We should become completely resigned. When we say, “I can,” we are speaking as a part of nature. Once we say, “I can’t do anything; it is You,” we have risen above nature. That is a simple and safe shortcut if you can do it.

Ultimately, nobody can achieve eternal peace by doing something with the mind, which is part of nature. That supreme joy can only be acquired when you rise above nature by complete surrender. Then you transcend nature and understand God in the transcendental state. Once you transcend, you know that you were never involved in nature. Big or small, you are completely pure and free. Then you become one with the transcendent God. In that state, as Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” You can never say that as Mr. So-and-so with 150 pounds of flesh and bone and 5’6” height and curly height. Which “I” can say, “I and my Father are One”? The pure “I” who is uninvolved and free from nature. That freedom comes once you surrender yourself completely to God.

 

Union with God is the real Yoga.

So now, you can see the connection between the devotional side of the religious teachings and Yoga. There is no difference between religion and Yoga. Yoga is the basis of all the religions. With the light of Yogic understanding you can walk into even the difficult corners of the scriptures and understand every religion well.

 

 


Wayne Dyer – How to attract abundance into your life

When you have receptivity, when you are practicing infinite patience, when you are being the kind of person you wish to attract, you have to want it more for others than you do for yourself. You have to see yourself already as connected to the other person. See yourself from the end see yourself as having all of the right people showing up. Act as if they are already here. Because that’s what the source is and they are already here! I’m telling you when I’m writing and I’m in the space that I’m defining here and now and speaking about right here, when I’m in this space, I want to tell you ladies and gentlemen that everybody shows up that I need and it almost gets to a point where I get befuddled by it, how beautiful and blissfully it works.

When you’re in this place of being receptive, kind, loving, beauty, abundance. When you’re in this space, the universe will conspires with you to create the right people and the right things and it all shows up. It’s not your ego. I don’t do it. It’s called surrender. It’s called in the recovery movement. We call this letting go and letting God. Just letting go. You have a senior partner. If you knew who walked beside your at all times on this path that you’ve chosen you could never have another doubt that this would work.

 

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Monkey mind and Ahaṃkāra

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 

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The rest of the sutras only explain this one:
If the restraint of the mental modifications is achieved, one has reached the goal of Yoga.

 

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Normally, the word Yoga is translated as “union,” but for a union there should be two things to unite. In this case, what is to unite with what? So here we take Yoga to mean the Yogic experience. The extraordinary experience gained by controlling the modifications of the mind is itself called Yoga.

The basic mind is called Ahaṃkāra, or the ego, the “I” feeling. This gives rise to the intellect or discriminative faculty which is called buddhi. Another stage is called manas, the desiring part of the mind, which gets attracted to outside things through the senses.
For example, say you are quietly sitting enjoying the solitude when a nice smell comes from the kitchen. The moment the manas records, “I’m getting a fine smell from somewhere,” the buddhi discriminates, “What is that smell? I think it’s cheese. How nice. What kind? Swiss? Yes, it’s Swiss cheese.” Then, once the buddhi decides, “Yes, it’s a nice piece of Swiss cheese like you enjoyed in Switzerland last year,” the Ahaṃkāra says, “Oh, is it so? Then I should have some now.” These three things happen one at a time, but so quickly that we seldom distinguish between them.
These modifications give rise to the effort to get the cheese. The want was created and, unless you fulfill it by peeping into the kitchen and eating the cheese, your mind won’t go back to its original peaceful condition. The want is created, then the effort to fulfill the want, and once you fulfill it, you are back to your original peaceful position. So, normally you are in the peaceful state. That is the natural condition of the mind. But these citta vrittis, or the modifications of the mind-stuff, disturb that peace.

 


 

Ahaṃkāra wikipedia
Ahaṃkāra is a Sanskrit term that is related to the ego and egoism – that is, the identification or attachment of one’s ego. The term “Ahaṃkāra” comes from an approximately 3,000-year-old Vedic philosophy.

Philosophical implications
To have an understanding of this term is to have a powerful tool for understanding the nature and behavior of ourselves and of others. Vedic philosophy teaches that when one’s mind is in a state of Ahaṃkāra, one is in a state of subjective illusion, where the mind has bound the concept of one’s self with an external thing. That thing can be a tangible, material object, or it can be a concept (such as the concept of the fight of peace). The ego is involved in constructing the illusion.


 

Citta Vrittis Yogapedia

Citta Vrittis is a term that refers to the thoughts that clutter the mind. The name comes from the Sanskrit, citta, meaning “consciousness” or “memory,” and vritti, meaning “waves.” It can be translated in English to mean “mind chatter,” and is sometimes called “monkey mind.”

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CREATIVITY

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ARTICLE OF THE DAY

Creativity.

The term carries a kind of mystical aura, its special power imbued with a touch of the divine. After all, creativity supplies the first verb of the Bible -“In the beginning, God created…”

Time, special edition

CARD OF THE DAY

CREATIVITY

You love to devise new ideas, innovations, and forms of illumination

The most natural characteristic of a soul is creation. As a spiritual being, you are continually being inspired by the higher self, Source Energy, and the Spirit World to express yourself in the physical dimension. You are constantly in a mode of creation even if you are not aware of it. Thoughts are creation, and thoughts are real. And even though not every single one manifests itself physically, it nevertheless creates your reality. That is why it is so important to keep your thoughts high-minded. Judgment of yourself and others lowers your vibration of love. Your thoughts don’t belong only to you – their energy is part of the collective consciousness. Your creative spark may ignite and inspire the soul or mind of another. When you are blocking your creativity, you are not fully expressing your soul. This blockage may manifest in a number of ways, such as physical pain, anger, depression, anxiety, and isolation. There may also be feelings of living an unfulfilled life. Always remember that you are of God, and God is creativity. As a loving, visionary person, you can see the potential for that which has yet to exist in physical reality. You are able to turn imagination into form. The more you attune yourself to the loving energy of your heart, the more receptive you are to inspired ideas that bring Earth closer to Heaven.

 


 

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If you’d wanted to meet Charles Darwin after he published On the Origin of Species in 1859, you would not have found him basking in satisfaction over a job well done. In fact, you probably would not have found him at all. Stressed by social life, he’d had a mirror installed so he could see people approaching in time to hide from them. Darwin just wasn’t a sunny man. On an ordinary day a couple of years after his book had appeared—and revolutionized humanity’s understanding of the world—he wrote a friend: “I am very poorly today & very stupid & hate everybody & everything. One lives only to make blunders.”

What’s a person to do with those sorts of troubling thoughts and sad moods? Almost all creative people have them—ugly little voices inside your head that tell you you’re very stupid and hate everybody, and you forgot to buy cat food, and your back hurts. Which, by the way, could be a slipped disc or worse—who knows? Remember your friend’s cousin who went into the hospital for supposedly routine surgery and never came out?

The most common answer, of course, is this: Find a way to turn those voices off, or at least tamp them down. If you’re the sort of person who tends to experience negative thoughts and feelings—in other words, if you’re the textbook definition of neurotic—you’ve almost certainly been told that creativity and neurosis are opposites.

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Their reasoning is rooted in a long-standing model for how personality works. For decades, psychologists have classified people according to five fundamental traits that appear to be consistent throughout life, which students memorize with the initialism OCEAN: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. People who score high on measures of Openness like to do new things and entertain unexpected thoughts, and they’re not big on routine and rote. People who score high on Conscientiousness will keenly feel their obligations to other people—they tend to meet deadlines and pay attention to detail. Extraverts are talkative and outgoing; people who score low on this measure are shy. Agreeableness scores reflect how empathetic and other-oriented a person is. (People who score low on this measure don’t care much about others’ feelings.)

Unsurprisingly, creativity—the ability to fashion something valuable that’s never been seen before—has been linked to openness to experience. But, Perkins says, openness alone is not enough. After all, you don’t need to invent new things to have new experiences. You can just walk down a street you’ve never been down before, or try something new on a menu. Appreciating a new thing is a lot less complicated than creating one. “Oh, wow” is not the same as “Eureka!”

“People with high openness to experience, they have imagination, but it’s this dreamy here-and-now experience, rather like a mini LSD trip,” Perkins says.

Creations, whatever their form (new rhyme, new theory of rice genetics, new way to sell fidget spinners, new microchip design, etc.), aren’t discovered until people are wrestling with a question (what rhymes with “orange”? how could we make the same chip for less?). In other words, to see a solution, you have to think about a problem. And when it comes to thinking about problems, neurotics are champions. Psychological tests for neuroticism pose questions like “Do you ever feel ‘just miserable’ for no reason.” “Do you worry about awful things that might happen?” and “Do you worry too long after an embarrassing experience?” Neurotics are the people who answer yes.

A common explanation for this in psychology is that neurotics are unusually sensitive to threats. You won’t find many fighter-jet pilots who score high on neuroticism tests, for instance, because neurotics tend to go for safer occupations. (They also take fewer risks of all sorts, from hobbies to finance.) But Perkins and his colleagues think this definition fails to capture the root of neuroticism. After all, he says, “it’s perfectly normal to be anxious when someone has a gun to your temple. A hallmark of highly neurotic people, though, is that they have a kind of virtual-reality world in which they’re worried about that gun to the temple but there is no gun.”

To understand how different parts of the brain interact to create our thoughts and states of mind, researchers often put research subjects into brain scanners and have them perform a particular task. By observing which areas of the brain are more active than usual while a person counts or remembers names or listens to Mahler, the scientists can ascertain what regions, and networks of regions, are involved in that kind of mental experience.

Some years ago, this technique accidentally discovered a network no one was looking for: one that is active when people don’t have anything to do in the scanner and are simply at rest, letting the mind go where it will. This “default network” is what’s active when we’re daydreaming or ruminating quietly. Everyone has such a network, but not everyone has one that is tuned to sad thoughts and troubling problems. Perkins and his colleagues believe neurotics are people whose default networks are pitched toward the negative. This, they say, is a better explanation of neurotic behavior than the prevalent neurotics-are-more-sensitive-to-threats explanation.

“I keep the subject constantly before me, and wait till the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light,” wrote Sir Isaac Newton, another geyser of scientific creativity who was famously nasty and more than a little weird. Perkins, who likes to quote that passage, says it’s a model for the way neurotic miseries feed innovative thought. It was because Newton, Darwin and other creative people imagined problems where others saw only sunny skies, he argues, that they achieved their breakthroughs.

NO ONE DISPUTES THAT NEUROTICS IMAGINE PROBLEMS THAT OTHERS DON’T SEE. But are they the right problems?

 

Time Special Edition, Are Neurotics More Creative?

We are made of atoms

MORNING READ

 

We are made of atoms. With each breath you inhale a million billion billion atoms of oxygen, which gives some idea of how small each one is. All of them, together with the carbon atoms in your skin, and indeed everything else on Earth, were cooked in a star some 5 billion years ago. So you are made of stuff that is as old as the planet, one-third as old as the universe, though this is the first time that those atoms have been gathered together such that they think that they are you. 

Particle physics is the subject that has shown how matter is built and which is beginning to explain where it all came from. In huge accelerators, often several miles in length, we can speed pieces of atoms, particles such as electrons and protons, or even exotic pieces of antimatter, and smash them into one another. In so doing we are creating for a brief moment in a small region of space an intense concentration of energy, which replicates the nature of the universe as it was within a split second of the original Big Bang. Thus we are learning about our origins. 

Discovering the nature of the atom 100 years ago was relatively simple atoms are ubiquitous in matter all around, and teasing out their secrets could be don with apparatus on a table top. Investigating how matter emerged from Creation is another challenge entirely. There is no Big Bang apparatus for purchase in the scientific catalogues. The basis pieces that create the beams of particles, speed them to within an idea of the speed of light, smash them together, and then record the results for analysis all have to be made by teams of specialists. That we can do so is the culmination of a century of discovery and technological progress. It is a big and expensive endeavour but it is the only way that we know to answer such profound questions. In the course of doing so, unexpected tools and inventions have been made. Antimatter and sophisticated particle detectors are now used in medical imaging; data acquisition systems designed at CERN led to the invention of the World Wide Web – these are but some the spin-off from high-energy particle physics.

The applications of the technology and discoveries made in high-energy physics are legion, but it is not with this technological aim that the subject is pursued. The drive is curiosity; the desire to know what we are made of, where it came from, and why the laws of the universe are so finely balanced that we have evolved.

In this Very Short Introduction I hope to give you a sense of what we have found and some of the major questions that confront us at the start of the 21st century.

 

Foreword by Frank Close, Particle Physics