Archives for November, 2010

Lotus Effect: Identity Detox

Feels Like a Self But Is It?


"What is distinguishable is not necessarily separable."  (1)

Just because you see an eddy in a stream it doesn't mean that an eddy is separate from the stream.

"The imaginary line separating objectivity and subjectivity, reality and illusion, facts and theory, is literally imaginable." (2)

Just because you can imagine a (causal) line between any two points (or any two events) it doesn't necessarily mean that a line (of connection between these two points) actually exists.   First...
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Ordinary Perfection

Joy of Uncertainty

Uncertainty is difficult.  But there is also a potential for joy in it.  After all, the joy of surprise depends on not knowing.  Take a lead from my German shepherd, Sherpa.

When we go to the park she wants to play the Stick Game.  What’s the Stick Game?  First, I find a good stick to throw.  Then, I tease her: before I throw it, I spin around like a madman, trying to psych her out with a fake throw.  For a good 10-15 seconds I pull out all tricks: as I erratically move around, I try to hide the stick behind my back, I constantly startle-stop and fake-throw in all directions. Throughout the entire time, my dog is right on me, tracking my every move, starting off in this or that direction as she tries to extrapolate the direction of the eventual throw.  She likes this simple fun.  What’s not to like?

As she is testing her hypotheses about which direction I will eventually throw the stick, she stands to either confirm her hypothesis, which is fun, or, if her hypothesis is wrong, she stands to be surprised, which, of course, is also fun.
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Mindful Eating: Open Your Mind Before You Open Your Mouth

Harvest the Moment

The act of giving thanks is more than just a gesture of gratitude. It is a unique teaching moment.

Indeed, by expressing appreciation for this or that we teach the world about what matters to us, about what is existentially significant for us. With this in mind, let me ask you this: what contributions to your well-being that you will be reinforcing this year with your gratitude?

Will you be showing gratitude for financial, material, logistical help you have received this year or will you be emphasizing the importance of the contributions of support, friendship and companionship?
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360 of Compassion

Mind is Bias

Mind is in the business of bias: as long as there is a point of view, there is bias.  Objectivity is a myth.  Reality is twice filtered: first, sensorically, then, interpretationally.  Mind - in leaning "this" way or "that" way - is fundamentally dichotomous, dual,  preferential, subjective, discriminating, (positively or negatively) unfair.  Gravity is as close as we come to unbiased attraction.  Everything - once tossed up - comes down.  True love (like gravity)...
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Russian Zen

Russia likes to sit down.  There is a Russian saying: “v nogakh pravdy nyet” which literally translates “there is no truth in feet," meaning "there is no truth in standing," meaning "a body in a hurry is a mind in a hurry," meaning "a mind in a hurry is not to be trusted."

Similarly, there is a custom of starting every journey with a brief sit-down.  Whenever a group of people are about to embark on a trip of any significance, somene's bound to call out “Syadyem na dorozhku!” which means “Let’s sit down before we hit the road."

The "sit" is no more than a minute - a chance to gather your thoughts, to catch your breath, to clear your mind, to set an intention.  It's really cute when kids remind their parents to do so.  I remember feeling quite empowered when I called out for a sit-down before my Mom and I headed out for my first big summer vacation to the
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Lotus Effect: Identity Detox

Noosphere of Naiveté

“Both the French paleontologist-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the Russian atheist Vladimir Vernadsky agreed that Earth is developing a global mind.   The layer of thought in the shape of a sphere they called the noosphere, from Greek noos, mind.  The aggregate net of throbbing life, from flashing fireflies to human e-mail, is the developing planetary mind.  Perhaps, like the brain of a human babe with many synaptic connections that diminish over time, the noosphere is still in its infancy.  Polymorphous, paranoiac, confused, yet intensely imaginative, the thinking layer of Earth that is largely the unexpected product of animal consciousness, may now be in its most impressionable stage.”  (1)

Yes, the human biomass is, indeed, connecting at an ever increasing pace.  The day is likely coming when we begin to embed our respective individualities into one seamless hive-mind with the help of some kind of implantable “
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Lotus Effect: Identity Detox

Psychological Self-Maintenance

Over the last several years I have been reading a lot of Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan (the former, Lynn, is the ex of Carl Sagan and the mother of the latter).  This mother-son writing duo – to my estimation – is one of the key think-tanks on this planet at the present time.  Lynn is a fearless iconoclast brilliantly redefining our understanding of life.  But this post isn’t about “life,” in its biochemical or cosmic sense.  This post is about inner life and maintenance thereof.

As some of the readers of my blog know, I recently published a book called “Lotus Effect” which is a program of the identity detox designed to help you “shed suffering” and “rediscover your (so-called) essential self.”  What I want to show you in this post is the interplay between biology and psychology, namely, the interplay between the two fundamental questions: “What is life?” and “Who am I?”
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Mindful Eating: Open Your Mind Before You Open Your Mouth

Mindful Eating Tracker (Update 2)

We (mindful eating trackers) are 500 comments old!  Thank you, all.  It's been but a handful of us, but it looks like we've had half a thousand of mindful eating moments (give and take).  Not shabby, huh?  Congratulations to you, mindful eating trackers!  Mindful Eating Tracker project lives on for now.
Here's a recent sample of participants' thoughts and comments:

November 6, 2010 | Participant wrote: "Sweet, tart, warm with memories. Apple pie. The season expressed in a food that is tied to now and the past. Such an "Ahhh" moment."

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