Friday, July 31, 2009

Facts About Friends(Quakers) #1

Our Christian Background

The origins of the Society are found in the seventeenth century in England, a time when many were questioning the established beliefs of the age.

George Fox (1625-1691) did not find answers to his questions in any of the churches of his day. Out of his searching came the spiritual message which swept a large part of the country and which resulted in the formation of the Religious Society of Friends.
Friends witnessed to an Alternative Christianity quite distinct from the churches of the time. As a result they were persecuted both by Cromwell's Puritan government and by the restored government of Charles II. Fox did not intend to start a new sect. He wanted to persuade the church to return to what it had been in the days of the Apostles. He proclaimed the early preaching of Peter (Acts, chapter 2 and 3) that Jesus, who had been present in the flesh, had risen from the dead and was now come in the Spirit. That Jesus acted in the hearts of his followers purifying and empowering them.

Pursuing Peter's teaching, Fox called for a radical, egalitarian, spirit-filled Christianity that would not be oppressive of people on account of race, sex, or class. He maintained that the message of the early church had been lost when the church became institutionalized and believed that he, and others with him, could stand in exactly the same state as Apostles, with the same power to teach, to heal, and to prophesy that the Apostles had.

What Do Quakers Believe?-- New Series

Over the years, I have been asked so many times what I as a Quaker believe. I thought it would be helpful for me to begin a new series on Quaker history and doctrine.

The lack of a creed or clear description of Quaker beliefs has sometimes led to the misconception that Friends do not have beliefs or that one can believe anything and be a Friend. Most Quakers take the absence of a creed as an invitation and encouragement to exercise an extra measure of personal responsibility for the understanding and articulation of Quaker faith.

Rather than rely on priests or professional theologians, each believer is encouraged to take seriously the personal disciplines associated with spiritual growth. Out of lives of reflection, prayer, faithfulness, and service flow the statements of belief, both in word and in deed.

Beginning today, I will hopefully shed some LIGHT(!) on my being a Quaker and how my beliefs intersect so well with my Buddhist philosophical bend.

Wisdom and Determination

With the light of wisdom
we leave behind
the forest of confusion.

With determination,
we learn,
and practice.

Jesus and the Buddha #32

"Out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile."

Matthew 13: 19-20

"One does not become pure by washing, as do the multitude of mortals in this world; he who casts away every sin, great and small, he is a Brahman who has cast off sin."

Udanavarga 33:13

Nirvana and Enlightenment #72

To the worldly masses, NIRVANA is a joke.
To the enlightened, NIRVANA is also a joke.

Same concept--different points of view.
Think about it...

The Art of Peace #18

Study the teachings of the pine tree, the bamboo, and the plum blossom.

The pine tree is evergreen, firmly rooted, and venerable. The bamboo is strong, resilient, unbreakable. The plum blossom is hardy, fragrant, and elegant.

30 Foods You Cannot Miss Out On Eating

With all the “best” and “worst” lists out there, here is another list that is bound to get you to sit up and take notice. And the best part is that this time, the list really matters. It’s the list of 30 fruits, vegetables and more you cannot miss out on. It is literally a guide to put good health in your hands (or garden).

Make sure you’re incorporating these fruits and vegetables in your diet for the best health:

Tomatoes: Tomatoes in any form (fresh, canned, in soup, etc.) are a rich source of Lycopene. Lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants, and is thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer in men.

Carrots, Papaya, Mangoes, and Cantaloupes: In fact many orange and yellow colored vegetables are quite important since they contain beta carotene (the pigment that gives them the yellow color) which the body uses to convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential cancer-fighting vitamin.

Apples: That phrase (you know, the one about the doctor) came about for very good reason. Apples contain a very powerful antioxidant called Quercetin, which is known to reduce degeneration of brain cells in rats and may be effective in preventing a wide variety of diseases, including cancer. Apples are high in fiber, specifically a particular kind of fiber that remains in the colon and produces chemicals that prevent formation of cancer cells.

Mushrooms: Though mushrooms are commonly thought to have little nutritional value, many species are high in fiber and provide vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Mushrooms are also extremely important since they’re one of the only vegetarian food stuffs that provide the body with vitamin D. Vegetarians are often found lacking vitamin D since it is typically found in meat and dairy products. Vitamin D plays an important role in absorption of calcium and magnesium and may have skin cancer-fighting properties.

Almonds, Pine nuts, Peanuts, Brazil nuts, Sunflower seeds: All five are rich sources of Vitamin E, especially almonds and sunflower seeds. Vitamin E is a very important antioxidant and essential for fighting off tissue damage resulting from the ravages of free radicals. It is also essential for maintaining young-looking skin and healthy hair.

Spinach, Broccoli, Cabbage, Lettuce, Green turnips: In fact, all green leafy vegetables are storehouses of nutrition and rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, fiber and phytochemicals – all essential for proper development of the body in growing years and building immunity while acting as antioxidants. The darker the green, the better.

Oranges, Lemons, Kiwis, Strawberries, Grapefruit, and Tangerines: All rich sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to boost the immune system significantly. It is an antioxidant, which means it reduces the cell damage caused by free radicals.

Black beans, string beans, Lima beans, French beans, peas, lentils, legumes: Beans of any kind and of any family are some of the best foods to eat. They are high in protein, fiber, all the B vitamins, iron, folic acid, magnesium and phytochemicals. Beans are thought to be helpful in managing diabetes, and may reduce prostrate and breast cancer risks, and lower cholesterol.

If you’re not getting enough of the above fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds in your diet, today is the day to start! Even by incorporating just a few of these into your daily regimen, you will be on your way to better health in no time.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Very Cute Cat Named " Maru"

Not only is Maru cute and chubby, but I can't stop laughing that he is trying to get into the DIET package wrapper! How ironic!

Soda Drinks Linked to Many Diseases

The soda market is huge in the United States despite the common health warnings against drinking soft drinks. For some reason, many individuals don't seem to think that the warnings are all that important, at least not enough to offset the sparkly taste and texture of these drinks.

The average American had about 789 carbonated beverages in 2007, and recently the soft drink business has been making a comeback in comparison to healthier drinks. Despite all the warnings and health risks, it looks like soft drinks are here to stay. However, it is important for you to know that there are other risks to sodas other than the "commonly known" ones of obesity, dehydration and the rotting of your teeth.

One of the harshest effects of drinking sodas on a regular basis is liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is a very similar liver problem to that found in most alcoholics. (Yes, I said alcoholics.) Drinking soda can also be painful for you in a way you'd never expect. Because sodas have a high level of phosphoric acid, your urine can be changed to such a degree that it encourages kidney stones to form. Drinking three sodas per week is all you need for this to happen. Sounds like a painful trade-off!

Other problems that can occur due to soda consumption include an increased rate of blood pressure and heart disease. This is more of a combination of several factors you already know about-obesity, hypertension, elevated blood sugar levels, elevated triglyceride levels, and decreased levels of HDL or "good cholesterol." If you have three or more of these conditions consistently, you definitely need to change your habits.

And if these warnings weren't enough for you, then consider that drinking too much soda simply makes you feel BAD. Soda consumption contributes to acid reflux and upset stomach as well as digestive tract problems. The increased levels of acid in your digestive tract can cause inflammation of the stomach and even some erosion of the lining of your stomach and intestinal tract. Ouch! All of these things combined say one thing about sodas. They are simply bad news.

With all of the alternative drinks available, it is hard to imagine you would want to stick to soda with all of its negative health effects. There are fruit juices, flavored waters, and many other options that are better for you and will make you feel healthier instantly. Before picking up that next can of soda, consider your choices. Think about how you feel after drinking a soda and then try to imagine drinking something that would make you feel ten times better. Your body will thank you for it, and you might find yourself becoming addicted to a much healthier habit!

Nirvana and Enlightenment #71

Many people believe that they have have something special and unique
to offer the world.

If they could only get away from the daily grind of their jobs
and family obligations they would be able to give it to the world.

Life is life.
It is a perfect interaction of energies and relationships.

You are offering to the world something very important and unique
right now--because you are doing what you are doing.

By doing what you are doing, the world is functioning in its perfection.

Embrace the perfection.
Let go of desires.
And offering the world something special--naturally occurs.

The Seven Superfoods You Need to be Eating

The 7 Superfoods You Should Be Eating

In order to stay healthy – now and well into your future years, it is important that you eat the right foods. The old adage “you are what you eat” is definitely true when it comes to good health. So much so, that science has identified certain foods as “superfoods” – those foods which are packed with powerful nutrients to help you live a longer, healthier life.

There are seven superfoods that you should not miss when it comes to good health. How many of these superfoods are you eating on a daily basis? If you’re not getting enough of these superfoods, you might want to reconfigure your diet:
1. Blueberries - Loaded with Antioxidants Antioxidants help keep your immune system healthy, and help fight off those nasty free radicals that lead to accelerated aging. Some foods are loaded with more antioxidants and vitamins than others. Blueberries are considered to be not only a superfood, but a “superfruit” as well. Not only are they packed with antioxidants, they are also high in the B vitamins, niacin as well as vitamin C. They are considered to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat and are among the healthiest domestic fruits. Fresh blueberries are your best bet, however. As is the case with most fruits and vegetables, the health content can be slightly compromised if eaten frozen or canned.
2. Broccoli - Loaded with B Vitamins Broccoli is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables and is loaded with essential B vitamins. You should try to eat this green veggie a couple of times a week for good overall health. Broccoli is also loaded with antioxidants and, like blueberries, is thought to ward off certain types of cancer.
3. Brazil Nuts - Great for the Heart Brazil nuts are great for your heart. Like most nuts, they are high in protein and fat (the “good” fat), but are very beneficial for boosting your heart strength. Nuts are an excellent form of protein and studies indicate that Brazil nuts are one of the best varieties to eat for heart health.
4. Apples - Keep the Doctor Away The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is true! Apples are also loaded with vitamins and will not only keep the doctor away, but the dentist, too. Again, it is essential to eat apples fresh in order to receive the true health benefits. So sorry, apple pie doesn’t apply!
5. Salmon - Keep Cholesterol in Check Fatty fish can help keep cholesterol in check and you can find this in salmon - a food that is high in Omega-3s. In fact, research has shown that fish oils can actually help lower your cholesterol. In addition to being great for the heart, salmon is also an excellent source of protein.
6. Whole Grains - Essential for Good Health Make sure that you get a daily source of fiber from whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, or pastas, cereals and breads made with whole grains. These foods are often a great source of niacin, the B vitamins and fiber, (necessary for a healthy digestive tract). When your digestive tract is healthy, it seems that your entire body is, too. Eat plenty of whole grains in order to have good digestive – and overall - health.
7. Dark Chocolate – Good for Blood Pressure And you thought all superfoods were of the traditional “health food” type! More and more research is pointing to the fact that dark chocolate is instrumental in regulating blood pressure. This yummy treat is also packed full of antioxidants. The trick is to get the right kind. Bypass milk chocolate (and white chocolate) for the dark variety with 60% or higher cocoa content. In fact, the darker, the better. In addition, the darker it is, the lower the fat and sugar content.

There are numerous other superfoods that you can eat when it comes to following a “balanced” diet. Most of them consist of fruits and vegetables - all essential to good health. These seven are just a few to start with . . . so what are you waiting for?

The Art of Peace #17

Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. Just as a lotus flower springs from the mire to bloom splendidly, the interaction of the cosmic breath causes the flower of the spirit to bloom and bear fruit in this world.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Liberty/Tigris": A Heart-Warming Story

, ("Libby" staying warm on a cold Christmas Eve night in the bathtub.)

It was Christmas Eve early evening in 2006. Michael and I were wrapping up last minute gifts as the fireplace roared in our living room as Christmas music was playing. It was a very, very cold night. We were planning to go over to my parent's home for snacks and gift opening.

Our friends were downstairs in their apartment wrapping gifts as well. My dear friend Ken came upstairs and said, "I want to show you something, come downstairs." When I got down into his apartment, I saw a kitten trying to get inside away from the cold through his full glass french door/window. I had never seen this kitten before in the neighborhood. She was so friendly and was desperately searching for warmth and food. We were even able to open the door and pet her. She eventually went away and we heard someone from next door saying they wanted to put the hose on her. It made me very angry.

She later appeared at OUR door as we were getting ready to go to my parent's home. Despite Mike's complaints, I left a warm bed, some food and some water for her out on our front porch. We left around 8:30pm for my parent's home. She didn't seem to be too hungry as she ate just a small handful of cat food. We already had 4 cats in our home, and Mike was clear that he didn't want another one. Our oldest cat, Troy, had died just 7 months before this kitten had arrived on this Christmas Eve night.

We went to my parent's home and exchanged gifts and returned home at 1:45am Christmas day. When we arrived, I saw the kitten still on our doorstep braving the cold. She seemed to be waiting for our return. I knew Mike was not going to be happy with me, but I knew I had to take this cold kitty in for the night. I set her up in the bathtub as I couldn't have her interact with our other cats due to her unknown health status and territorial issues. I promised Michael I would look for her owner as soon as I could.

We woke up Christmas morning and she was glad to see us. I then realized how ill she was. She was sneezing and coughing and wasn't able to eat much probably due to nasal congestion as I knew cats will not eat if they cannot smell well. I told Mike I would bring her to the vet. as soon as the holiday was over. So, she remained in our bathroom safe and warm.

I brought her to our vet. and had her given antibiotics as she had a severe respiratory infection. I began to really like this kitten and wanted to keep her. She was so beautiful and sweet. Michael, however, was not feeling the same way and wanted me to let her go once she was feeling better. Now, before he appears to be the villain here, I must point out that we had agreed NOT to get any more cats, so, he was actually correct. My point was that this kitty chose us and found us so this situation was different.

I had agreed to let her go, so I did. She wandered around our next door neighbor's bed and breakfast for awhile, but then returned to me. We decided to keep her. (Isn't Mike wonderful?) We called her "Liberty' after our street address, Liberty Avenue.

OK. So fast forward to just several months ago. I was lying on our next door neighbor's acupuncture table when she started to tell me about her two cats and what had happened to them. (Yes, they also run the Golden Pineapple Bed and Breakfast next door.) Jennifer told me that her and her husband had adopted brother and sister kittens and had named the boy "Nile" and the girl "Tigris". She told me that "Nile" had been run over by a car which had killed him. "Tigris" had witnessed this traumatic event and had run away and had never returned. She told me she was still upset over this and wondered what ever had happened to her. I asked her what "Tigris" had looked like. She told me and it matched the description of the kitty we had adopted 2 years before.

Jennifer went over and saw the cat, now 2 years old, and immediately knew this was "Tigris"! She was so happy that she had been adopted and that she was well and happy with her parents and brothers and sisters.

We believe "Tigris", ("Liberty"), somehow knew that we would take loving care of her and arrived on our doorstep. Even though Mike jokes that she manipulated us into adopting her, we love her so much and her brothers and sisters do as well.

She is a valued and very loved member of our loving home.


The air vibrated
with the sound of cicadas
on those hot Missouri nights after sundown
when the grown-ups gathered on the wide
back lawn,
sank into their sling-back canvas chairs
tall glasses of iced tea beading in the heat

and we sisters chased fireflies
reaching for them in the dark
admiring their compact black bodies
their orange stripes and seeking antennas
as they crawled to our fingertips
and clicked open into the night air.

In all the days and years that have followed,
I don't know that I've ever experienced
that same utter certainty of the goodness of life
that was as palpable
as the sound of the cicadas on those nights:

my sisters running around with me in the dark,
the murmur of the grown-ups' voices,
the way reverence mixes with amazement
to see such a small body
emit so much light.

Julie Cadwallader-Staub

Jesus and the Buddha #31

"Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."

John 14:27

"May fear and dread not conquer me."

Majjhima Nikaya 6:8

Omega-3 Deficiency Causes Death

Omega-3 Deficiency Responsible for More Than 96,000 Deaths Each Year

A new study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that Omega-3 deficiencies account for about 96,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States. Even more shocking, the Omega 3 deficiency is responsible for more deaths than trans fats which runs close behind.

According to the study, there are 12 causes of preventable deaths linked to lifestyle and metabolic factors that can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle change. Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth highest killer of Americans, according to US health surveys, when it comes to preventable deaths.

The leading cause of preventable death due to diet and lifestyle choices is tobacco smoking, which accounts for up to 500,000 deaths per year. Second is high blood pressure, accounting for some 400,000 deaths per year, followed by obesity, physical inactivity and high sodium intake. Omega-3 deficiency ranks a close second to deaths from high sodium intake.

As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, many in the medical community as well as in the public health community are looking for ways to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths due to lifestyle choices. Omega-3 fatty acids are available in supplement form and are an easy way for people to get this necessary nutrient that not only promotes heart health, but can also promote digestive health and even mental health.

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease when taken in supplement form. These acids come from fish oil and have proven to be beneficial when it comes to lowering LDL cholesterol and balancing it with HDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for the digestive system as they can reduce the amount of fat in the liver. In addition, new studies indicate that not only are Omega-3 fatty acids beneficial when it comes to improving cognitive abilities, but are also helpful for those who are suffering from depression, a serious and sometimes fatal condition.

More studies on lifestyle choices and diet changes are needed to expose the risks that people take when it comes to their diet and health. While many people are well aware that smoking and obesity can significantly shorten the lifespan and cause premature death, many are not aware of the fact that a deficiency in Omega-3 fatty fish oil can also be a cause of death. Those who take Omega-3 fatty fish oil reduce the risk of heart disease, according to studies. In addition to helping reduce the risk of heart disease, supplementing your diet with Omega-3s can also protect against prostate cancer.

There are clearly many benefits to getting more Omega-3s in your diet. Omega 3s can be found in fish oil supplements or krill oil. There is some evidence that krill oil is even more beneficial when it comes to heart and liver health than fish oil, although the effects on other parts of the body are not yet known.

It's simply a fact: Omega-3s are an essential part of a good diet. Making some lifestyle changes, diet changes and adding Omega-3 supplements can end up saving thousands of lives each year.

Nirvana and Enlightenment #70

Right now, right where you are.
Don't think about stopping--just STOP!

Look around yourself.

See everything as if you are encountering it for the very first time.

Take this moment and truly study the physical objects around you,
even if you know you have seen them a thousand times before.

Let go of your knowing and realize the profound beauty of even
the most mundane article of this profound existence.

From this simple exercise you will begin to reeducate yourself
to the amazing beauty of the Here and Now.

You will be amazed at your realizations.

The Art of Peace #17

Peace originates within the flow of things--its heart is like the movement of the wind and waves.

The Way is like the veins that circulate blood through our bodies, following the natural flow of the life force. If you are separated in the slightest from that Divine essence, you are far off the path.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dr. Crew's NLP Lessons #22


According to Neuro-Linguistic Programming theory we have to become aware of our own distortions in our thinking process. We have, unfortunately, programmed many cause and effect relationships in our conscious and subconscious minds that need to be altered.

One of these may be that we believe that the reason we decided to act in a certain way has to do with how others treat us. This is a prime example of distortional thinking. If we decide to act in a certain fashion it has ONLY to do with what we decided to do. We can never blame others for how we act or what we say or even what we think about. It may certainly be easier to choose to respond a particular way when someone for example is unkind to us, but, this is OUR choice and because it is indeed a choice, we can choose an alternative way to respond. The absolute truth is that even if another person intends and attempts to cause us to act or respond in a particular way we cannot allow ourselves to distort the reality that we alone made this choice.

Distortions permeate our thinking due to our socialization and domestication and if we are not mindful and observant of them we may see them as realities. We can always ask ourselves, "Who says this is so?" or "Is this really a cause and effect relationship?"

If You Love Me

If You Love me
My commandments
will not be My commandments
but OUR dance

Peter Meister

The Art of Peace #16

Do not fail
To learn from
The pure voice of an
Ever-flowing mountain stream
SpLaShInG over the rocks


Movement Is Life

The inherent connection between movement and life is understandable if you reflect for a moment on what happens when you engage in healthy behaviors, such as consistent physical activity and nutritious eating compared to the alternative: staying sedentary and eating not-so-healthy foods.

Ample research suggests regular exercise improves circulation, enhances flexibility, and gives you a greater ability to accomplish physical tasks without risking injury; all benefits involving movement. Your blood moves throughout the body, providing vital nourishment to tissues and organs; your joints and muscles move more easily, rather than being stiff and immobile; and you move quicker and with less effort.

It's the same way with diet, believe it or not. Eating foods high in nutrients means they can be absorbed well by the body and delivered (moved) to cells. Eating high-fiber foods ensures timely digestion and elimination of wastes (whereas overconsumption of animal fats and low-fiber foods leads to colonic inactivity and constipation). Foods that are high in saturated fat also can contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries, reducing the ability of blood to move through the body and potentially causing a catastrophic blockage - lack of movement leading to a heart attack or stroke. Again, movement is life.

The best news of all is that it really doesn't take much to get moving and stay moving. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, preferably in episodes of at least 10 minutes at a time and spread throughout the week. Now think about it: that's only an average of 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and what's more, it doesn't relegate you to a treadmill or exercise bike for the same old routine day after day. Basically, anything that gets your heart pumping and keeps it pumping for a sustained period counts.

Speak with your doctor and/or fitness professional for more information.

Subconscious Mind Power #10

Subconscious Mind Power Secret #10: Your
subconscious mind is impartial and accepts
suggestions and commands literally.

Did you ever hear the expression, “Be careful what you ask for,
you just might get it?” Well, whatever you ask for, if it’s accepted
subconsciously, you will get it whether you want it or not.

Why would you ask for something you don’t want? Obviously you
don’t do it intentionally, but you do it just the same. Consciously
we say we want to change, but unconsciously, there can be some
kind of reward or gain you get from staying the same. Therapists
and hypnotherapists call it secondary gain, and the result is self-sabotaging
behavior. If you have a tendency to sabotage yourself,
you should ask yourself, “What might I be gaining by staying the
same?” or “What might I lose if I change?”

Another way your brain takes you literally is when you set a goal
for what you want to avoid or what you want to get rid of instead
of for what you want to get. That’s one of the biggest and most
common mistakes you can make when setting your goals.

Only your conscious mind can form opinions and judge whether
something is good or bad; your non-conscious simply accepts
everything. So if you say, “I can’t stop eating sugar, I can’t stop
eating sugar,” your subconscious says, “No problem, we can
arrange that.” It doesn’t evaluate whether eating sugar is good or
bad for you. It merely follows instructions. You know on a
conscious level that eating a lot of sugar is unhealthy, but because
of the way you talk to yourself, you could be programming
yourself to eat sugar anyway.

Your brain will help you develop a bad habit or negative behavior
just as easily as a good one because your brain is impartial. It’s just
like a computer: It doesn’t care what kind of data you put in there;
it will carry out whatever program is installed. If you install a virus
on your computer, your computer doesn’t care—it will erase your
hard drive. It’s just following the instructions of the program you downloaded!

Nirvana and Enlightenment #69

All of this universe,
from the smallest subatomic particle
to the largest planet is vibrating with an energy
You too are pulsating with this energy.

The ancient Yogis give this energy the name, "Prana"
The ancient Chinese call it, "Chi."

Look around yourself,
experience the energy pulsation in everything which makes up
your field of vision.

look to the movement of the clouds,
the touch of the unseen wind,
the embrace of the raindrop,
the glow of the sun,
the illumination of a lightbulb,
the movement of the passing car.

Everything man-made or otherwise,
pulses with this unseen energy.

Lose your individual pulsation,
Join the universal pulsation,

The Art of Peace #15

Create each day anew by clothing yourself with heaven and earth, bathing yourself with wisdom and love, and placing yourself in the heart of Mother Nature.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Simple Kindness: #17


We often agree to do favors without expecting an equal effort in return. If we like the people who are asking, if they need us, and if we can do the job, we'll go ahead. Our sense of accomplishment may be reward enough, or our satisfaction may come from the company of the people we've helped or the belief that they will lend us a hand in the future.

To feel good about doing and asking for favors, all we need is a sense of balance and fairness in the relationship as a whole. Without this, we may feel put-upon by unreasonable requests, and feel guilty and reluctant about asking for assistance. With a basic trust in an overall relationship--whether at work, at home, in the neighborhood, or among friends--we simply ask for and offer help as needed.


* When you've agreed to do a favor, be friendly and generous about it. If you act begrudgingly, your effort won't be appreciated.

* Follow through once you have committed yourself. If you've said "yes" too much--either out of a desire to help or in response to pressure--do your best, since others are now counting on you; try to be more cautious about future favors.

* Don't let yourself be repeatedly imposed upon. You can turn down a request without an explanation.

* Don't ask for favors too casually or too often--recognize the amount of effort you're requesting; if possible, accomplish the task in some other way.

* Ask only for favors that are aboveboard, honest, and ethical.

* Be clearly grateful for a favor done. Even if the task appeared easy for the person, give full credit--the person may be keeping the difficulties or unpleasantness of the effort from you.


Ten Principals

This is something that someone very special has written for me and has given permission to share with my blog readers to enjoy and truly appreciate. (Thank you, C. You're a very beautiful and special being.)

10 Principals of Relationships

1) Adapt the following rule to personal relationships: Before putting clay on a potter's wheel, pound it first to remove air bubbles, or what you create will crack in the firing process.

2) Aim for the I/Thou relationship where two beings meet one another authentically, without any qualification or objectification of one another. Rank this type of encounter infinitely higher than the I/It relationship practiced so often in our world (Martin Buber).

3) Apply this observation to people: Roses must open in their own time. Trying to force one open is an act of violence that destroys the rose and results in a well-deserved handful of thorns.

4) Apply this rule to those distant, but even more to those close: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud" (First Corinthians, 13:4).

5) Ask yourself in every relationship: "If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" (Hillel).

6) Consider this metaphor: A 16 year old will gulp a glass of wine. A 60 year old who has genuinely matured will wait, enjoying in his or her mind first the sun in the vineyard, the songs of those who gather the grapes, the feel of oak barrels, the aroma, the color, the blush of the wine as it swirls around the rim of the cup. In other words, a 60 year old who has worked hard to understand life should have also learned that tremendous enjoyment is possible before taste and even without taste.

7) Remember: Aim to lead an ethical life..

8) Remember: "An unexamined life is not worth living." (Socrates, Apology 38a ).

9) Remember: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing." (Helen Keller).

10) Remember while striving to live these ideals: Angels live in the realm of heaven; you are mortal and live on earth, so offer prayers of self-forgiveness every day for the innumerable times you will fall short.

Jesus and the Buddha #30

"Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

Matthew 8:20

"The thoughtful exert themselves; they do not delight in an abode. Like swans who have left their lake they leave their house and home."

Dhammapada 7:2

Stay Fit For Life

Exercise is of vital importance for older adults. It keeps you strong, helps burn calories and maintain weight, improves flexibility, and contributes to balance and bone strength.

What are the best types of exercise? A regimen that builds lean muscle and promotes endurance, flexibility and stability is the goal. Here are six of the most effective exercise options to accomplish this with minimal risk of injury. (It is highly recommended that you consult your doctor for a complete physical evaluation prior to starting any new exercise routine.)
1. Brisk Walking: Walking is a great low-impact form of cardiovascular activity. It improves endurance and lean muscle tone in your legs. The key is to avoid walking too slow; maintain a brisk pace with long strides and arm swings. Adding ankle or wrist weights to enhance aerobic calorie-burning helps send more oxygen to your heart, increasing endurance.
2. Resistance Training: It's important to maintain your existing muscle tone as you age; the most effective way is via strength training. However, instead of using your typical weights and gym equipment, try working out with rubber tubes and bands instead. These give you added resistance in two directions, making for a more effective workout and much less chance of injury to your joints, ligaments and tendons.
3. Yoga: Talk about a powerful exercise routine that can add relaxation and fun to your life! You can attend a class for beginners or seniors to ensure proper technique. Working with an instructor and a group of like-minded, health-conscious people is a wonderful way to get in shape and expand your social circle at the same time.
4. Swimming: Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Swimming tones your upper and lower body because you're using almost all of your major muscle groups. There is low risk for swimming injuries because there's no stress on your bones, joints or connective tissues due to buoyancy, and the fact that you weigh one-tenth less in water.
5. Bicycling: Exercise declines with age, yet cyclists show a smaller decline than those involved in gym activities. Cycling is an activity that you can safely adopt without the risks of more strenuous exercises. A non-sport exercise such as cycling allows year-round participation as part of a daily routine.
6. Active Stretching: Yes, stretching can be an effective workout if done correctly. A technique called active isolated stretching (AIS) employs a strap or rope hooked around your foot to assist with the stretches. This is different than static stretching, where you hold a stretch for 20 -30 seconds. AIS is performed actively: You move your muscles back and forth in a controlled manner instead of holding them in one position.

Call Dr. Crew at 880-2531 for more information.

Subconscious Mind Power #9

Subconscious Mind Power Secret #9: The
subconscious mind can’t tell the truth from a lie.

Remember how we said that the non-conscious can’t tell what’s
real from imagined? It also can’t tell the truth from a lie. When
you set a goal to do something you’ve never done before and you
visualize it and talk about it and think about it as if you already
achieved it, you’re lying to yourself.

And that’s an aspect of goal setting and positive thinking that gets
criticized a lot. But the critics are wrong. Neuroscientists have
now proven that the conscious mind can accept or reject an idea,
but everything that reaches the subconscious mind is accepted as

Every goal you ever reached started out as a falsehood when you
didn’t have it yet but said you would. Every invention was
nothing but a figment of someone’s imagination before it was

You begin with the end in mind, you hold that picture in your
mind, and then start acting as if it were already true. You visualize
yourself as if you were already there. If you weigh 350 pounds,
you see yourself as if you were already a 180-pound lean person
and then you start acting like that kind of person.

It’s just as if you were an actor playing a role. And that brings to
mind another popular success cliché: “Fake it till you make it.” A
similar, and probably even better-stated maxim is “Act as if.” Act
as if you had already succeeded. Act as if it were impossible to
fail. This was the advice of Dorothea Brande in her classic 1936
success book, Wake Up and Live. Brande talks about, of all
things—the unconscious mind. Long ridiculed as Pollyanna by
some, the classic success books like this one contain advice that
has turned out to be scientifically accurate, based on what we now
know about how the subconscious mind works.

This is how the creative process takes place. This is how the goal
achievement process takes place. You visualize, think about and
dwell on something that hasn’t happened yet, as if it already has
happened. In this sense, if you don’t “lie” to yourself, you can’t
change yourself.

There’s only one catch, and this is important. Your goal doesn’t
have to be true yet—that’s the whole idea—but it does at least
have to be believable. If you don’t even believe it’s possible, or if
you believe you don’t have the ability to achieve your goal, then
when you set the goal, your subconscious mind says, “No way,
impossible,” and shuts off all goal-directed behaviors or triggers
self-sabotaging behaviors. In this case, you either have to work on changing your entire belief
system, or you need to adjust your affirmations and goals so
they’re believable.

One way to make goals and affirmations believable is to go ahead
and set big goals that may have challenged your level of belief at
first, but set a highly achievable long term deadline and set lots of
short term goals on the way to the big goal. If you have a huge
goal, that’s great—keep it. But remember the two keys: 1) Make
believable goals and 2) Set realistic deadlines.

Nirvana and Enlightenment #68

What are you?
Are you your body which becomes old and eventually dies?

Are you your thinking mind which is driven by ever-changing emotions and desires?

Perhaps you are a soul, hidden deep beneath all of the external images and desires?

Or, a spark of pure spiritual energy which you have not yet encountered?

If you are, how do you know?

Simply because someone else has told you that an ethereal being exists within you, does not mean that it is true.

As long as you look to your "I",
understanding is always in question.

Look beyond "I" and know NIRVANA.

The Art of Peace #14

Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, and take all that is good as your own.

With this as a base, open your own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also, learn from holy books and wise people.

Everything--even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees--should be your teacher.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Combination Training

Find Your Fat-Burning, Muscle-Building Zone

When starting a training program, many people start with lower intensity exercise (aerobic exercise), although anaerobic exercise (short bursts) is unavoidable for some kinds of exercises or activities.

Lifting weights is anaerobic, for example, which is why muscles fatigue occurs so rapidly during weight training. Other activities such as walking up stairs can be anaerobic if you're unfit. A combination of anaerobic and aerobic exercise is needed to achieve lasting, full-body results.

Here are a few examples of combination training that will improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness:

Timed Sets: Instead of performing a certain number of sets and reps, you complete as many repetitions of a particular activity as possible during a set time. For example: Jumping jacks for 1 minute; push ups for 45 seconds and squats for 1:30 minutes. Challenge yourself to increase the amount of reps and shorten or lengthen the time as you improve.

Density Training: Perform as many sets of 2-3 exercises as possible within a time frame. For example: 10 push ups, 10 squats, 10 biceps curls, performed continuously for three minutes. You can adjust the length of time according to your fitness level, and choose any number/variety of continuous exercises for any number of reps.

Complexes: This are essentially a form of circuit training or super-setting using only one piece of equipment, one space and one load. For example: 15 stability ball squats, 15 stability ball crunches, 15 stability ball hamstring curls, 20 rubber-band biceps curls, 20 rubber-band shoulder presses, 20 rubber-band rows, done consecutively.

No matter which exercises you choose, the key is to add high-intensity, short-duration metabolic training to your workout, vary the intensities by changing methods of training, and every so often switch from high intensity, short duration to medium intensity, medium duration and low intensity, long duration. It's a great way to burn fat and build muscle, and it makes the journey we call fitness that much more challenging and rewarding.

Talk to your doctor or fitness professional to learn more about the fitness program that's right for you.

Nirvana and Enlightenment #67

"You" can never reach NIRVANA.
Because "You" is a concept of your Thinking Mind.

The Thinking Mind thinks.
The Thinking Mind is the illustrator of illusion.

Stop thinking about NIRVANA.
And NIRVANA is yours.

The Art of Peace #13

When life is victorious, there is birth;
when it is thwarted, there is death.

A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jesus and the Buddha #29

"With the relinquishing of all thought and egotism, the enlightened one is liberated through NOT clinging."

Majjhima Nikaya 72:15

"Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it."

Mark 8:35

Nirvana and Enlightenment #66

Can you think your way to NIRVANA?

Memory Retention and Calorie Restriction

Need a Memory Boost? Try This Secret Tactic, and Lose Weight at the Same Time!

According to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PSNAS), a study was performed on 50 people of the average age of 60. They were divided into three groups: one group reduced their calorie intake by 30 percent, another group on a diet filled with unsaturated fat (such as that which is found in fish and olive oil) and a third group that just continued with their everyday diet.

Before the study, all of the participants scored the same on a memory test. After three months into the study, those who were on the restricted diet scored 20 percent higher when it came to the memory test than those who were in the other groups (whose memory did not improve at all). It was discovered that the group on the restricted calorie diet had better scores that were in conjunction with decreases of insulin and C-reactive proteins.

Although the study was relatively low when it came to numbers, it concluded that cutting back 30 percent on calorie intake can have an improvement in memory, due to the metabolic changes that result from the decreased amount of calories. The medical community is working on a drug that will mimic the same effects of calorie reduction. Drugs have been tested on mice and have shown benefits when it comes to calorie restrictions but the memory impact on the mice have not yet been studied.

According to Anthony Komaroff, MD, the editor in chief of the Harvard Health Letter, severe calorie restrictions may not be possible for some people, although there are those who are sticking with this plan in order to improve their memories. Komaroff hopes that a medication can be created to help give the brain the signal of fewer calories that will help improve memory in older individuals.

As you get older, you need fewer calories because your metabolism naturally slows down. However, many people do not take in fewer calories because they are used to a certain diet. While it may be difficult to adjust your calorie consumption, it can have other positive health benefits in addition to improved memory.

Calorie reduction can limit obesity, decrease the risk for heart disease and also decrease the risk for diabetes, a common disease associated with obesity and often related to age.Of course, before cutting a drastic amount of calories from your diet, you should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider to weigh the risks and benefits of doing so.

Subconscious Mind Power #8

Subconscious Mind Power Secret #8: Your
subconscious mind is programmed the most easily
when you’re physically relaxed, especially before you
fall asleep at night and right after you wake up in the

You might have heard this before because this advice has been
going around self-help circles for decades. For a long time,
research on this subject focused on brainwaves—beta, alpha, theta
and delta waves.
Some of the earliest formal personal
development courses ever published such as the Silva method, and
also different types of hypnosis, are based on deep breathing and
getting physically relaxed so that you go into an alpha brainwave
state. This is the state where your conscious mind gets out of the
way and your subconscious is more receptive to positive
suggestions and affirmations.
With new technology, we have more even more information about this
now, and what neuroscientists have discovered is that the memory
centers in your brain, such as the hippocampus, can organize, store
and retain information better at those two times, and that new
neuron connections are formed more easily in the 20-30 minutes
right before you pass into sleep and right after you come out of
Reviewing your goals or doing your mental rehearsal sessions at
these times is an effective and scientifically based method.

The Art of Peace #12

Those who practice the Art of Peace must protect the domain of Mother Nature, the divine reflection of Creation, and keep it lovely and fresh.

Warriorship gives birth to natural beauty. The subtle techniques of a warrior arise as naturally as the appearance of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Warriorship is none other than the vitality that sustains all life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Subconscious Mind Power #7

Subconscious Mind Power Secret #7: The
Subconscious mind responds to emotion.

Emotion seems like another unscientific subject, but according to
brain researchers like Dr. Pierce Howard from the Center for
Applied Cognitive Studies in North Carolina, there’s a strong
neurological and biological basis behind emotions.

In the 1990s, researchers were able to map emotions to specific
locations in the brain, especially part of the brain called the limbic
system. One part of the brain that’s especially important is called
the amygdala, which is located at the tip of the temporal lobes on
each side of the brain.

One of the amygdala’s functions is to evaluate your surrounding
environment for threats and danger. If your amygdala thinks
something is dangerous or unsafe, it stimulates the emotions of
fear and the release of hormones related to the fight or flight
response. This explains why there is a scientific basis for why we
feel so much physical fear and anxiety anytime we leave our
comfort zone. Your brain perceives a threat, and it stimulates fear
and physical discomfort, so you pull back into safety and comfort.

With new brain imaging technologies, we’ve been able to see that
when you’re in a highly emotional state, the neural connections
are stronger, longer lasting, and the firing threshold is lower. This
shows us that we can speed up the formation of new thought
patterns and help develop new habit patterns and achieve goals
sooner when we get involved with deep feelings and emotional
reasons why we absolutely MUST reach our goals.

Emotion is like a goal turbocharger, but it works both ways.
Negative emotion is like a self-fulfilling prophecy, which explains
why the things you fear the most have an uncanny way of
happening to you.

Vitamins: Myths and Truths

Vitamin Myths and Truths

Although countless research articles have been published and nearly everyone has consumed vitamin products at some point during their lives, there are still quite a few misconceptions regarding vitamins, particularly vitamins in supplemental form. Here are a few of the common myths and truths about vitamins so you can make more informed decisions when it comes to your health.

Myth: The more vitamins you take, the healthier you'll be. Truth: We've been convinced, primarily through media-fostered misinformation, that mega-doses of vitamins are necessary for health. However, research has shown just the opposite is true. Since most supplements are colloidal (large molecule), synthetic, and contain inorganic elements, binders and fillers, most of the health benefits are lost or cannot be utilized properly.

Myth: If you take a daily multivitamin, you don't need to worry about what you eat. Truth: Vitamins cannot function without the energy generated from complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. Therefore, it is important to consume a variety of foods that supply energy and vitamins naturally. If deficiencies exist, additional supplements in the right form and combination can compensate for these deficiencies.

Myth: If you take vitamins regularly, you don't need to exercise. Truth: There is no substitute for exercise. The body requires proper nutrition and consistent physical activity to optimize function. The benefits of circuit training, a 30-minute walk, or other physical activity cannot be replaced - especially for people who are overweight or have high-blood pressure or a heart condition.

Myth: All vitamins are absorbed by the body equally, regardless of when they're taken and in what combination.Truth: The type of vitamin and its source are crucial to how absorbable the vitamin really is. Many pill and capsule-form vitamins simply are not absorbed properly due to the processed and compressed nutrients. Additionally, some nutrients are more effective depending on when they are taken. As a general rule, vitamins are best taken with meals, since most vitamins and minerals are derived from our food, and typically would be digested and absorbed best in the company of real food. That being said, B vitamins are best consumed at mealtime, as they make some people queasy when taken on an empty stomach. On the other hand, particular calcium supplements, such as calcium carbonate, are best taken immediately after a meal, and iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach.

Remember to always consult with your doctor prior to taking any nutritional supplement, particularly if you are also taking prescription or over-the-counter medication for a pre-existing condition.

Nirvana and Enlightenment #65

NIRVANA is not an "I" subject.

This is why so many people throughout the centuries have sought after it but have not obtained its bliss.

You can not want NIRVANA.
That is desire.

You can not choose to pursue NIRVANA.
That is working towards the unobtainable.

You can not deserve NIRVANA.
That is egotism.

You can not demand NIRVANA.
That is lust.

NIRVANA is, when you are not.

Cease to be and become NIRVANA.