Friday, August 18, 2017

The art of positive affirmations

 Spirituality without self-improvement is like sex without a woman; merely mental masturbation.
I know there are many “spiritual” people that cannot excel in any other endeavors and have embraced spirituality as a way of showing their superiority to the rest of us.
Pretty much like the “hype” people driving Ferraris on the 405 at 9 in the morning.

But not all people are in the spirituality just for the ego trip. Some of us are genuinely seeking the truth of human existence and the wisdom of overcoming our flaws and limitations.
I hope you are one of the seekers and we can share our knowledge and our journey experiences.

There are many school of thought on how to improve one self and way too many “sales” people trying to sell you the secret to personal enlightenment.
You can spend as much time and money as you want but before you do that let me give you a piece of advice: save your time and money, none of them works.
Trust me I already spend a lot of time and money on that path.

The reason none of the methods work is that unless you do it yourself nobody can do it for you.
Nobody can eat for you, sleep for you, learn for you or become enlightened for you.
So they may say “Yes that’s true but we can sell you the secret on how to do it”
That’s not true either. First there is no “secret” second each individual has a different let’s call it “operating system”

What works for some people doesn’t work for others and even for people that are very compatible psychological the individual life experiences sets us apart.
Let me give you an example: The old “carrots” and “sticks” approach.
Some people react better to “rewards” and some people react better to “threats”
But even if you take two people, let’s say that react well to rewards, they will not react the same depending on the type of reward used

Some people love money and will do anything to get it.
Some people don’t put that much value on money and will not do much to get it.
Some people like emotional reward, praises and acknowledgement while others couldn’t care less what other people think of them.

The point I am trying to make here is that nobody has the “technical manual” of you.
If you want to know how to improve yourself, you have to write your own manual.

I’ve been working for some times with “affirmations”
An affirmation is a short sentence stating an improved mental state you want to achieve.
The secret of positive affirmations is to state the “causal” mode of the “result” you want to achieve.
For example, you will not use an affirmation like “I am slim and in good physical shape” if you want to lose weight.
Instead you will use “I am eating healthy and exercise regularly”

The reason you do that is
1)      You cannot fix a symptom – being overweight is not a problem is the symptom
2)      You can only fix the problem – eating badly and not exercising
3)      By making the first affirmation you will only reinforce the bad habit because your affirmations don’t produce the desired results therefore you are telling yourself you cannot do it.

So you have to think of the area of your improvement in terms of “what can I do to get there”
Let’s do a little exercise. I don’t know what you want to accomplish so I chose an improvement task for you “You want to become mere successful with the ladies’
What is the programing you need to change, the affirmations you have to incorporate to your subconscious mind in order to be more successful in your romantic life?

Stop and write it down on a piece of paper.

If you wrote down things like
“Ladies find me irresistible / attractive”
“I am a chick magnet”
“I am always successful I picking up girls”
“I am good looking and desirable”
You can keep on watching the porn videos on the net.

If you wrote down things like
“I am confident”
“I am funny”
“I am relaxed in all circumstances”
“I am self-assured”
“I am always dressed impeccably”
“I am always clean and well groomed”
You know shit like that that women really like…  then you have got it, you have mastered the art of positive affirmations.

Now, to the fun part.
Sit down in front of your computer and write down your list of positive affirmations.
Print it and take the printed page to the bathroom. Fold the paper once and put it next to your tooth brush.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, every night after brushing your teeth you have to recite out loud the whole list looking into the mirror. It is OK to pick at the list but not OK to read it. You HAVE to look in the mirror.

Oh yes, just another minor thing I forgot to mention: You have to do this for at least 21 days. (For some reason the gurus have proclaimed that it takes 21 days for a habit to form)
And another thing: If you do it please let me know how it worked for you, will you?
Thank you and Namaste!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gender bender toilet offender

There are some essential differences between genders, some inherent pluses and minuses being a man or a woman.  I heard both sides complain and argue about the shortcomings of being one or another.
Personally, I like being a man. There are some nice perks coming with the gender.
One of the things I like having a penis is that allows me to use a urinal AKA man’s ability to pee standing.

For those not in the knowledge of this little secret, this is a short rundown.
You get into a bathroom, unzip your fly, pull the penis out, pee in the urinal, lovingly shake the foreword mention penis, put back in pants, zip, wash hands and go out on your merry way.
Fast and efficient, the manly way of doing things. Wham bam thank you, mam! If you know what I mean.

It doesn’t sound too much unless you have to go really bad and there is a queue at the bathroom door, which I’ve seen many times in front of a women’s rest room. As a man, the only time I recall having to wait in line was at concerts and sporting events.

So, I don’t understand why a man would want to use a women’s bathroom.
It doesn’t make any sense. It has no rhyme or reason.
Why give up the wonderful thing that is peeing standing and put up with setting a paper cover on the toilet or God forbid having to build your own but protection out of little pieces of toilet paper?

I thought hard about this and the two only reasonable answers I could come up with are:
1)      The man wants to pee all over the toilet seat. (We do it even when we try really hard to aim)
2)      The man wants to see some women or young girls using the bathroom.
Both of the answers thou should be enough reason to ban men from using women’s bathrooms.

The same argument goes for a woman wanting to use a men’s bathroom.
Why would a woman want to use a men’s bathroom, with the exception that women’s bathrooms are sometimes crowded, as I mentioned?
I’ve seen women waiting in line and sometimes ask permission to use the men’s bathroom and  I can proudly say that in every occasion men behaved with utmost respect and courtesy, making everything possible to be helpful.

So the only other argument I could come up with is that some women love to see naked men.
So to that I want to let them know that you don’t have to roam around men’s bathrooms you can go to any bar, find some drunk guys and they will be more than happy to help.

Of course, there is the transgender argument.
But peeing is not a matter of gender identity, it is a matter of plumbing.
You have a penis you pee standing. You have a vagina you pee sitting.
It doesn’t matter if you identify as a man. You can’t use a urinal. You may try it but I can assure you it will be messy.

So, there is a simple rule we can all use, even if you are sexually confused.
Look into your underwear and see what kind of plumbing you have. 
The day you’ll see a vagina there you may use the women’s bathroom.
Until then stick with the dickheads' crowd.

But I suspect that nobody will take my advice because this is not about gender identity or human equality. This I suspect has nothing to do with what we’ve discussed here.
Let’s look at the problem a different way. Let’s ask a different set of questions.

Was the government eradicated poverty, drug abuse, and violence? Have they solved the healthcare, education or environmental problems we are facing? Just to mention a few pressing problems we are facing.
The answer is NO. The government has no clue or intention on how to fix these problems.
So it is easy to see why given the opportunity to focus the population attention from the important problems of our country to issues like bathroom use, the government is more than happy to oblige.

The sad thing is that as the population is losing the sense of common sense and the average human attention span shrinks to that of a cat facing a red dot laser, we’ll see more and more of those absurd debacles happening.
Every freak looking for his or her 15 minutes of fame will come out of the woods demanding something and the government will be more than happy to make it into a political debate.

If you wonder where that will take us you should watch this little movie gem called “IDIOCRACY”

Monday, August 14, 2017

Failure and Success

People often complain about their failures in life but actually, there are no failures, only success.
What we define as failure or success is not set in stone it is actually very subjective.
It all depends on how you look at any given outcome.

You may say “I have failed in gaining financial independence.”
Or you may say “I have successfully remained poor all my life.”
You may say “I have failed to lose weight”
Or you may say “I successfully gain weight”

We are programmed, brainwashed by society into believing that certain outcomes are good or better than other, and we strive to fulfill that programming.
Is being rich better than being poor?
Is losing weight better than gaining weight?

There are studies done around the world measuring peoples “happiness” in relation to their “wealth”
It is funny but America the richest, most powerful country in the world, is not the number one.
Norway is considered the happiest country in the world.
Canada is on at number 7 while the United States is on the 14th place

So, what good is to be the richest most powerful country in the world?
Besides being the richest most powerful in the world.
Your standard of living is not the highest. Your health care system sucks.  Your school system is laughable.
You have the highest rates of divorce and obesity in the world.
And you are not doing very hot in any of other categories measuring the quality of life.

Success is not the answer to everything in life.
Sometimes failing is not only better but even required.
Like failing to win the rat race. Failing to stay 10 hours at work every day.
Failing to spend more than you actually earn and instead living a modest life within your limits.

So why are we so obsessed with success when it is pretty clear that success is not the best measure of our happiness?
It is because we have been conditioned to think and act so.
Our life is the result of our actions but our decisions are determined by what we believe, by what we’ve been told all our lives.

So. if you are not happy with your life so far, it is time to rethink your life “success” plan and maybe add a failure or two to the to do list, if that will make your life happier.
I know it is scary to think “Do I really want to have failure in my life?”
Why not?

Lose some battles from time to time. See how it feels.
You will be surprised on how it will make you feel but more surprising it will be the way the other people around you react. Especially when they figure out you have done it purposely.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A New Life Perspective

Perception is an illusion. It exists only in your mind.

What would you answer If I asked you if the object was big or small?
Of course, you will reply “What object? I have to see it first.”
No problem, here it is: Is the sphere in the picture big or small?

You don’t know. You don’t know because you believe that without any reference, without anything to compare it with you can’t make that determination.
Let me give you a hint: The sphere in the picture is 5 feet in diameter. So, is the sphere big or small?

You still cannot answer the question because perception is an illusion existing only in your mind.
Compared with the whole universe any object around us is smaller. 
Conversely all objects compared with the smallest existing thing a quantum, will be obviously bigger.
 So, size is a subjective thing that exists only in your mind.

The moral of the story: We live in an illusion created by the distortions of our perception.
Does that matter? Of course, it does. 
It matters as much as some people have dedicated their whole lives to the he awakening from the illusion of perception.

Life is a hill we climb

Imagine life as a hill, a beautiful grass covered, green hill.
When we are born, we are at the very bottom of the hill.
Then we start crawling. The land is still flat and going through life is easy almost effortless.
We look ahead at the hill. It looks immense almost endless.
From a distance. it looks beautiful and we are eager to go explore it.

As time goes by we get faster and faster. The journey is wondrous, we learn so much, we grow and most of all we enjoy every day at play. Occasionally we may hear something about the other side of the hill, the downhill side, but who cares about that? We are young and we feel immortal.

When we enter the school years the hill becomes a little steeper.
The school system we have devised for our children must crush all the creativity, curiosity and born enthusiasm in the name of social uniformity.
It is painfully tragic but we are too small to complain, or to better said to be listen to.

So, we keep on marching year after year till we get into our 20s.
It is college time and these are the happiest years of our life.
This is not a personal opinion. The scientists have actually made a study and find out that the happiest years of a person’s life re the 20s and the 60s.

It makes sense. You are at the very beginning of your adult life, everything is in front of you ready to be explored and conquered.
It is the time of your dreams to become true. It is the time of infinite possibilities, the times when all your roads are open in front of you.
So you continue climbing with renewed enthusiasm and energy.
You don’t know why you have to climb but everybody is telling you: “You must do it!”
They give you a vague explanation about being successful, which basically translates in having to make a lot of money in order to buy better, bigger and faster things than your peers.

But the slope is getting steeper, the pace is relentless and you cannot stop. You must keep up with the Johnsie’s.
You start to get tired, frustrated, depressed and you are starting to get a funny feeling that something is not quite right but you keep on climbing

You get married, you have some kids you buy a house, you buy a bigger house.
You start get promoted or maybe you start your own business.
You fight every day and eventually you get at the top of the hill.

Now you are in your 40s and from that vantage you can see both sides of the hill.
The journey downhill is not the easy reward they promised you.
The hill is steep and rocky and everybody is holding to the jagged rock for dear life.
You are getting old and you don’t have the stamina you once had. The journey doesn’t look that fun anymore.

So you have what we call “a midlife crisis”
You buy a sport car, date a younger woman get caught and go through a divorce.
You start seeing a shrink and get some chemical help.
Some that have amassed some money may sell out and move to a horse ranch in Montana.
Some not that rich may join a commune, grow organic food and sing Kumbaya around the camp fire.

But most of us pass that and go back to the rat race.
Those are the ones that are committed to do the right thing, to finish what we started.
We want to see our kids going through college, our mortgage paid and hopefully to see the finish line a well-deserved comfortable retirement.

We lick our wounds and fight our way every inch and eventually we enter our 60s.
The slope is not that steep anymore and the finish line is in the reach.
We have made it. The kids are on they own, we have paid all our debts, we are finally FREE!
And that would explain why so many voted for the 60s to be one of the happiest moments of their life.

And the rest is not that exciting. At the end of the hill there is a 6-foot-deep hole.


I am in that last leg of my journey and apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong.
I bought into the common perspective on life and ended up fighting rather than enjoying life.
Looking backwards now I relies that the two most important things in my life.  Two things that wave brought me happiness and fulfilment: Dreams and Freedom.

If I knew this 40 years ago, I wouldn’t have sold my dreams and my freedom for any price.
If I knew it, I would have fought for them cherish them and live my life with them.
But now at least I have something to leave to my children.

A new life perspective.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The algebra of spirituality

Looking back at my youth and all the years of education, I can safely say that I spent at last sixteen years studying mathematics.
I started with the simple arithmetic on the first grade and ended up with the calculus and spherical trigonometry in my college years.

After college, the most sophisticated mathematical problem I ever solved was something like: “If the house I want to buy is $633000.00 and I have $22000 saved in my banking account. How much more money do I have to save in order to have a 10% down payment?
Of course, I didn’t even have to calculate that myself. Any real-estate agent would have done it for me for free.

The point I am trying to make here is that after spending all this time and effort learning math I barely used any of that knowledge and I will probably never use it for the rest of my life.
At the same time after sixteen years of schooling I didn’t have the basic knowledge on how to handle the daily challenges of the adult life.

I started my adult life knowing calculus but not knowing the basics of managing my money or investing.
I could do trigonometry but I didn’t have the basic knowledge on how to have a healthy relationship or how to start a successful happy family.
All I needed to know in life I had to learn it the hard way, by trial and error.

The other day I pulled out of my library Master Dōgen Zenji, "Shobogenzo” and started reading through it because I wanted to write a short review of the book for my blog.
As I kept on reading I become more and more frustrated. The task was getting harder and harder every passing minute and in the end, I just gave up.
The only thing I could think of saying about the book was “You have to read it, you must read it if you are serious about practicing Zen”

I went back to my room and meditate for fifteen minutes. That cleared my mind and cheered me up.
I came back to my desk with one question in my mind.
“What is the most important thing, the wisdom that one can take out of this book and apply it to better himself and his life? And then the question exploded. “What part of my spiritual learning do I actually use in my daily life?”

I was astonished to figure out that like the math I learned in school my spiritual learning did not help very much in my daily life.
All my spiritual practice was the result of a trial and error process. In other words, everything I learn from books I had to change and adapt in order to make it work. But that was heresy and I fought that thought out of my mind but the thought just kept on coming back stronger and stronger.

How much of our spiritual learning do we actually use?

Looking at the state of our nation and our planet I think we are not using very much of it.
After all the planet is been in a continuous state of war in one part or another. Poverty and inequality, corruption and violence are the “normal” states of our nations. Bigotry, racism, chauvinism, prejudice and persecution are still alive and well even in this 21st century, not to mention the planet becoming every day more and more like a garbage dump.

US and US citizens pride themselves as Christian people and nation. Do we leave up to that name?
Are we practicing what we are preaching to the rest of the world?
And not only the Christians but all the rest of us.
How much of our spiritual learnings do we use in our daily life?
And most important Y?