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Monday, September 25, 2017

The Interruption

In time some things become habits, like my morning routine.
Wake up, take a shower, brush my teeth, get dressed and eat my breakfast.
Then the routine varies a bit each day but if there is nothing special scheduled for the day it usually involves starting up my laptop.

For me growing up before the computer revolution is still funny how much we have become tied to our electronic devices. My phone has become almost a part of my body. Wherever I go the phone is almost always with me. I love it and hate it at the same time.

A few minutes later the computer screen lights up and on my desktop among a couple dozen icons a bunch of colored sticky notes pop up.
The sticky notes are the first line of defense in my organizational strategy. They are easy to write, easy to read a very convenient way to remind me of the tasks at hand.

Of course, I have a more elaborate “to do list” that encompasses long-term goals but for the day to day business I find the little sticky notes to be most suitable.
It also gives me a good feeling of accomplishment whenever I complete a chore and trash the little sticky note.
Not the case with my “to do list” which is growing permanently and it looks it is here to stay forever.

First sticky notes informs me I have to write another blog article for tomorrow, fix the cabinet door in the kitchen and clean the garage. The cabinet door is an easy one since I fixed the door already and I just have to put it back in the kitchen. So I go to do that first.

Back to my computer. Time to write my article.
I want to be something inspirational, something profound or at least something useful.
Nothing comes to mind. I’ll go check my emails and social media instead.
Nothing there as usual. It is just a waste of time but you have to do it just in case there is an important email or vital piece of information you cannot afford to miss.  But I think I got an idea for my article.

I will write an article about Donald Trump, on how he is actually a product of our society, a symptom of our social moral decay just like Germany between the two world wars.
Time to check the Google for some historical references.

The phone rings. Some insurance guy wants to “save me money”. I told him if he is so concerned about my wellbeing just to write me a check. The discussion goes nowhere. He doesn’t listen to me and I’m not interested in buying his insurance. Back to my computer.

I’m in the middle of my creative storm when my dogs rush in the room and start making begging noises and wildly waving their tails. What the heck I fed them already!
I look at the clock is 10am already.  Time flies when you are on the net.
Reluctantly I get up and take the dogs for their morning walk.

Back to my computer.
I have done nothing all day, well, except that productive 5 min when I screwed the cabinet door back in its place,
I’m trying to write but I keep being interrupted.
Between my wife, kids, pets, friends and all sorts of people that want to help me with things I did not need help with I managed to pile up a bunch of cut and paste fragments of articles that don’t look anything like a blog.
On top of that is noon and my stomach is making “feed me now!” noises.
Alright I’ll stop and I’m going out for lunch, and I’m not going to take my phone with me!

Guess what. I did take the phone with me but at least I left it in my car during the lunch and just enjoyed other people having lunch with their phones.
Waiting for my food to come I realized a couple of things.

One: My life is been disrupted from its normal flow by a series of unwanted interruptions.
Two: The number of interruptions in my life has grown and continues to grow exponentially.
Three: Some of the interruptions, like Mr. Trump, are easy to avoid. You just turn off the TV.
Four: some interruptions are hard to avoid, like spending time on the X Box or binging for hours on Netflix.
Five: If I want my productivity to go up and have more control of my life I need to find an effective way to deal with my interruptions.

No problem! I’m really good at solving problems.
First step: Awareness, defining the problem.
I’ll start by making a list of all the incidents in my life when I get interrupted.


Friday, September 22, 2017

10 Steps to control your temper and overcome you anger

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
– Fred Rogers

Oh, the joy of modern civilization!
The ever dizzying speed increase of life. The overwhelming information bombardment. The ever-increasing complexity of our everyday existence. The stress. The madness. The rage against all this nonsense we are subjected to.

It is not surprising that we are failing on our relationships and careers.
It is no wonder that we are consuming industrial quantities of mood-altering drugs.
It’s not surprising that stress, anxiety, and depression are becoming a common occurrence in our society.

Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and so is our ability to focus.
We are more and more irritable and intolerant. Our tempers are flaring up and our inability to express our dissatisfaction, or should I say the social censorship we are subjecting our emotions and feelings, leave us no other alternative but not to give a shit anymore.

The problem is that we still have to function socially and the only option acceptable we have, is to learn how to control our temper and handle adverse situations.
Here are 10 steps will help you become better in dealing with temper tantrums.

1)      Awareness.
Knowing and understanding the cause of a problem is always the best first step in preventing and fixing the problem.
Take an inventory of all lost temper episodes you can recall. Keep it up to date every time a new one occurs. Start a list of the lost control episodes. When, where and how. What triggered your anger? How did you respond? How would you respond if a similar incident occurs?
2)      Prevention.
The best way to solve a problem is not to get in trouble in the first place.
Based on step No 1 write down all the things you have to avoid in order not to lose your temper. Update every time a new incident occurs.
3)      Stop, pause, breath.
We have a built-in defense mechanism fight or flight. It is written in our DNA and helped us for millennia dealing with the dangers of wildlife. The problem is that our adversaries today are not sabered tooth tigers but corporate dwellers. Our life doesn’t depend on how fast we get into the fight mode anymore, I would say it is exactly the opposite; the guy that stays calm and under control is always the winner in the corporate jungle.
So every time you feel under attack before reacting take a deep breath and slowly count from 10 to 1. That should give you a clearer perspective on how to properly respond.
4)      Get away
If # 3 doesn’t do the trick, get away from the explosive situation.
Excuse yourself like “Excuse me I forgot something in my office. Hold that thought I’ll be right back.” Or “Excuse me I have to use the restroom. Nature call. Hold that thought I’ll be right back. Or any appropriate excuse to get away from the discussion for a few minutes.
5)      Change your thought pattern.
Difficult situations have a negative effect on our thought patterns. Have a mantra, something like this: “I am better than my anger. I am in control. I am calm compose and in total control of my temper. I am better than this.”
Replace your thought pattern by repeating your mantra whenever you feel your thoughts are getting negative.
6)      Change your perspective
Nothing really matters and nothing is more important than your wellbeing.
Put the present situation in a time perspective: What would this mean a week a year or ten years from now? Like all the bad situations you’ve been through, this too shall pass.
7)      Do not react, act.
Life doesn’t always work the way you want to. Sometimes you can’t control people and situations but you always can control how you react.
Getting into a knee-jerk reaction response can only escalate the confrontation and make it worse. Do not react instead take control of the situation. Change the course of the conversation from confrontation to problem-solving.
8)      Invoke a higher authority.
People always react better to a higher authority. Whenever it looks like you are not in control of a situation you can always defer the problem to a higher authority.
“I think we should go to our manager, HR department, police officer, priest, rabbi, judge” or whatever higher authority is appropriate to the situation, and have them solve the conflict. Accept any resolution they may have
9)      Practice compassion.
It takes two to tango. There is no fight without punching back. Look at your opponent, look at his anger with compassion not critical. Try to understand him, how hopelessly out of control he must feel to be that angry. Put yourself in his shoes. A win-win solution is always better than crushing your opponent. You never know what the future will look like and a little compassion goes a long way.

10)   Be thankful to your adversary.
All experiences are good experiences if you learn a valuable lesson.
So be grateful for the fights and conflicts in your life. What doesn’t kill you make you stronger.
When criticized reply with “Thank you for pointing that out” and always end with; “Thank you for making me a better person”
Keep being grateful and in short time the unwanted bully will stop from wanting to confront you in the future.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Spiritual Resonance

Since I can remember I love music. All kind of music rock, pop, folk, jazz, blues, country or classical.
To me, the music is only of two kinds; good or bad.
When I arrived in the USA one my dreams was to buy a state of the art HiFi system and as soon I was able to afford it I did just that.
I don’t want to brag and get into technical details but it was a sweet system with large tower speakers and awesome subwoofer, the best I could afford.

I also bought mint, pristine LPs of all my favorite bands, artists, and composers.
Over the years my investment paid out handsomely, giving me hours and hours of musical bliss.
But none of my musical experiences can compare with the live concerts I’ve attended.
Well, maybe one, I had an almost religious experience listening to Mozart’s Requiem while I was really high.

In 1994 Pink Floyd came to Pasadena’s Rose Ball.
I immediately went online to buy tickets but the tickets sold out so fast the only thing I could get was a really shitty seat.
I was up in the bleachers. The only way to see the band was through a high-powered pair of binoculars and the sound quality was at best mediocre.
But the experience was unbelievable. What I felt was an equaled by any HiFi recording or music system.

There is something about a live performance that transcends sound and sight.
A concert will always be better than a recording. A theater play is always better than a movie.
There is a spiritual experience taking place anytime you are in direct contact with special people or places.
Actually, I believe the feeling is always there but the intensity varies from experience to experience.

Have you ever been in a church, a temple or a spiritual place and have this feeling of enhanced spiritual awareness. It feels like you are surrounded by a higher vibration like you are in contact with a higher realm of existence. It feels like you are in a divine presence.
I call this experience “Spiritual Resonance”

Being a born skeptic I always fought this notion. I always explain it as something that happened in my mind, that in fact, it wasn’t real, that I was the one creating it.
How cannot have overwhelming emotions when you step inside the Notre Dame in Paris? Right?
But after a lifetime of this kind of experiences, I realize that majesty of the site doesn’t always translate into a spiritual experience.

I don’t know if you are familiar with a place called Sedona in Arizona.
By all accounts, this is a native American holly place. A spiritual place where energy vortexes are supposed to manifest. I visited Sedona many times and I was always been blown away by the beauty of the place but I have never had any spiritual experience related to the place.

On the other side of spiritual resonance experience I had, I once joined a friend who was a member of the Agape Spiritual Group and although the gathering place was a warehouse that they rented for the night being there and listening to Michael the reverend, I believe was nothing short of amazing.
Too bad I don’t like organized religions.

So is spiritual resonance real or is it just an experience in your mind?
The answer is Yes and Yes, because reality itself as all the other experiences we have, is created by your mind.
If you don’t believe me go buy some concert or theater tickets and do some scientific experiments on your own.

If you get any other conclusion be sure to share it with the rest of us.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Practical Mind Programming

The regular human brain is in a constant chatter of unrelated and repetitive thoughts we call rumination.
This constant chatter is a reflection of our subconscious mind activity.
We cannot consciously analyze what the subconscious mind is doing but echoes of that activity will arise from the subconscious all the time automatically, without our control and feed the process of rumination.
It could be a problem we are trying to solve, a song we have heard recently or replaying some event of positive or negative significance.

Rumination is usually considered to be bad and people interested in achieving a higher mental state regularly employ a series of methods in order to reduce it or completely stop it.
Some people meditate, chant, pray, visualize, take drugs or any other method they think will help them stop the process of rumination.
.
This is totally wrong and needs to be corrected

You cannot simply live your life in a constant state of meditation, in a state of clear mind unless you join a monastery. For people living regular lives, this would be very impractical and disruptive,
So we have to understand what the process of rumination is and how to use it for bettering our thought process and ultimately for improving our lives.

Rumination is a form of mental filtering and feedback.
When the feedback is negative we reinforce a bad program of the subconscious mind and that is bad and undesirable, but when the feedback is positive and we reinforce positive programs in the subconscious, then the feedback is very useful and desirable.

What we want to do is to look at the thoughts that occupy our mind and analyze them.
Do we like the chatter, the thoughts in our mind?
If yes, there is nothing to do and worry about.
If the internal chatter, the train of thoughts in our mind is unpleasant or simply stupid we have to stop it and change it to a positive theme.

This is how we can reprogram our thoughts patterns.
Ask yourself what would you like your internal dialog to be about.
Write it down on a 3x4 card and keep it in your pocket.
Whenever you find your mind wondering in negative territories pull the card out and read it.
Read, repeat and focus on the new messages until they stick in your mind.

Two little notes here:
Your subconscious mind doesn’t work in a temporal based reality, in other words, past and future do not exist so everything you want to program in your subconscious mind has to be stated in the present tense. “I will” or “I should have” simply mean this will never happen because past and future do not exist.
Second. The universe doesn’t give you what you want it only gives you what you need, so make your choices wisely because you may get what you are asking for and you are not going to like it.



Friday, September 15, 2017

The Law of Attraction

What is the law of attraction?
According to Wiki the law of attraction is defined as:
“The belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life.”
Furthermore:
“The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from "pure energy", and that through the process of "like energy attracting like energy" a person can improve their own health, wealth and personal relationships.”

Pretty simple, right?
Not quite, because in order to apply the law you need to know what a “positive or negative thought” is.
So, I want to be healthy, I want to be wealthy or I want to be loved. Are these positive thoughts?
If I focus on them will I become healthy, wealthy and loved?
Or my meddling with things I don’t understand will get me into trouble?

See, as a Buddhist, I don’t believe that the I is separate from the universe and “asking” the universe for something doesn’t make any sense.
Is like having 1000$ in my pocket and asking for 100$ but never realizing and acknowledging that I have already much more than I need and continue living as a penniless person.

I think this “law of attraction” is totally misinterpreted as a method of controlling the universe, which trust me, is a recipe for disaster.
It is our “Ego” with all its insecurities that feels poor and wants to get more, not our higher self that is infinitely rich and wants to give more.

According to Buddhist teaching (See the Four Noble Truths) Desire is the cause our suffering.
How then, focusing on the things we want will better our lives?
So, it goes back to the first problem. What is positive thinking?

The answer to the question can be also found in the Buddhist teachings (see The Eight-Fold Path)
But “The Eight-Fold Path” it is a little bit more than wishful thinking.
Walking the path is hard and slow, two things that most Americans have a hard time handling.
We want everything to be fast and easy and that is a problem.

Nobody takes the time anymore to learn, to research, to perfect a skill.
We fall for the “get rich quick” scams instead of focusing on developing our potentials.
Our creativity is the only real source of wealth, our generosity the only source of happiness our love the only healing power.

Yes, we are bundles of energy and we do attract the like energies around us.
But what kind of energy are you? What kind of beliefs do you have? What kind of actions do you take?
Those should be the questions you should strive to answer and the thoughts you should focus on.
Not what you want to have from the universe.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Human De-Evolution

The universe is not a random explosion but a growing evolving organism.
The grand law of the universe is “Evolution” Not the evolution of one thing or another as we understand it but the evolution of the universe itself.

There are other fundamental laws of the universe like the law of harmony, the law of simplicity, the law of effortless action aka the path of least resistance, working in concordance to the evolution of the universe.
Once again, these universal laws apply to all aspects of existence, not to any particular instances.

As part of the universe, humans are subjects to the same laws. We are evolving as the universe evolves.
It is an ignorant belief that human evolution or any evolution for that matter has started at a certain moment in time.
Our evolution has started with the universe itself. We are the final result in this evolutionary chain but not the last.
We carry in our DNA all the experience and the lessons learned from the dawn of life, all life history, from the first living cell to what we are today.

Our “flight or fight” instinct is not a human invention.  All the instincts we have, have been developed and perfected long before the humans appear and passed down to us.
We are not a new invention of life but an extension of it.
We have to understand that in order to understand the predicament we are in today.

We have interrupted and disrupted the law of universal evolution and we are de-evolving.
We are on a path of self-destruction and on the brink of catastrophe.

It all started with the newest development “the reasoning mind” This quality we humans have has made us the dominant species on the planet but also created the danger of self-destruction.
For as long as life has evolved the laws of nature have been respected.

We have a wrong understanding of the natural life. We see it as a fight for survival.
We see predators and prey as enemies and our environment as a hostile habitat we have to conquer and beat into submission.

The natural world is perfect. There are no animosities or conflicts in the natural world.
The good of one is the good of all and all species and all life live in harmony, or I should say used to live in harmony until we the humans took over the world.

We used to be gatherers and hunters living off the land like all the other living organisms.
It all changed when we developed agriculture. The natural harmony of the environment has been altered to our benefit.
Crops no longer grew in accordance with the universal laws but grew at our command.
The balance of things has started to crumble and it would get even worse as we developed our civilization.

We have burned down forests, destroy habitats, level mountains, forced rivers in dams and levees use all resources for our sole benefit and disregard all the rest of life on this planet.
There was an obvious reason for all that, we wanted to make our lives easier, safer, better.
But we have lost track of that. We have accomplished all those goals but we didn’t stop there.

Technology is no longer a tool no longer our servant but it has become our master.
We are developing and expanding not for our benefit but for the sake of developing and expanding.
Our growth has no target, no purpose, and no meaning.

We still like to believe that we do it for our own good but the reality is that our lives have not got any better.
Yes, we live longer because all the drugs we take, but is our longer life better?
Yes, we have more food than ever before in history but are we eating better today?
Yes, we have the internet and the miracles of modern communication but is our social life better today?

Yes, we have accomplished amazing things but in fact, we have created more problems than we have solved.
Actually, I cannot name one single problem we have ever solved.
We have not evolved we have de-evolved

Here is what we have accomplished so far: Wars, poverty, inequality, corruption, greed, sickness, pollution, ignorance, racism, prejudice, addiction, violence, intolerance and fear.
On the other hand, we have more money than ever in recorded history and our phones have become smarter than many of us.

What we need is not better technology, what we need are better people.

It is time to stop the technological revolution and start the human evolution.

Monday, September 11, 2017

YIN YANG

In the Chinese Philosophy and later in the Zen Buddhist metaphysical teachings Yin and Yang are the fundamental building blocks of the material or the dualistic world.
Yin and Yang are almost unanimously misunderstood and misinterpreted as opposite or contrary forces, mostly because that is the Western concept of the Universe as a battle field not as a cosmic dance floor.

Yin and Yang are complementary, not opposite, they do not cancel each other they define each other just like the woman and man do not cancel each other but complement each other.
Let’s look at this a little closer. Let’s look at two elementary states “HIGH” and “LOW”

Imagine a skyscraper. A person living on the 30 floor will be higher than a person living on the 10th floor but lower than a person living on the 50 floor.
If you imagine a building in space with just one floor you cannot say if that floor is high or low.
Low and High define each other.

Let’s get a little more technical. Let’s look at an AA battery. You have a plus and a minus on it and the battery has a voltage of 1.5 volts which means between the + and the minus there is a difference of 1.5 volts. Let’ now take another battery and connect them together like this + - + -  Now the difference between the first + and the last – is 3 volts. Question is the voltage at the - + connection point negative or positive?

That is a trick question like asking is a person living on the 30th floor high or low.
You cannot define plus or minus, high or low without a reference point.
Plus becomes plus when there is a minus to compare with but it will become a minus if compared with a higher plus just like the high and low are relative to each other.

Are you getting a sense of what I’m trying to say here?
OK then let’s have another little fun fact experiment.
Please add the value of all your possessions. Bank accounts, 401K, investments, houses, cars, jewelry anything you possess – It doesn’t have to be accurate, a rough approximation will do J

Now when you get a rough figure in your head can you tell me are you a rich person or not?
Of course, if you paid any attention to my previous mumbling you will know this is a trick question.
There is no such thing as rich or poor without a reference point.
Rich and poor define each other.

Now you understand or you should begin to understand why this metaphysical BS is so important.
The reality we perceive is a figment of our imagination. When we say I’m poor or rich, tall or short, slim or fat, young or old, happy or miserable it is all relative.

If you think you are something or another, the question following your statement should be “Compared with what?”
By choosing our reference points we choose our happiness or unhappiness.
Pretty damn important don’t you think?
Inconvenient too, since you realize that you are the master of your own perception.
You are the creator of your own reality.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Soft Addiction

Soft addiction is a human inherent characteristic much like creativity, intelligence, love, sleeping or breathing air. We all have it.
We are all programmed, genetically coded and chemically wired, to seek things that are essential to our survival and well-being.
Why do you think sex is so damn good?
Because that is one sure way for mother nature to ensure the survival of our species.

Sugar, fat, and salt are essential elements of our diet.
Yes, contrary to the popular belief, sugar, fat, and salt are very good for you.
For million years, we have been fighting to get them in our diet and it is only in our modern time that we have chastised them and label them as bad.
Sugar, fat, and salt are not bad for you, their excessive consumption is.

Yes, I know you’re convinced that you are not an addict, not even a soft addict.
You don’t stick needles into your arms, don’t sell your body for drugs and you are not losing your teeth.
But then again, no addict has ever admitted to having a problem even if the facts are very clear:
We are all soft addicts. We have no choice in the matter, we are programmed, genetically coded and chemically wired so.

OK, maybe there are some things that we “crave” more than others but what harm is to have a sweet tooth, to have a slice of cake or a glass of wine? What harm can that be?
There is no harm in having a propensity for certain things. As a matter of fact, soft addiction is good. It helps our species to survive and thrive.
Denial and ignorance are bad.

Modern life has given us the means to abuse a lot of things and here is where the problem lies.
Our disposition for seeking pleasurable things can easily get out of control.
We have to review what addiction is and what role it plays in our lives.
We must realize we are all soft addicts and keep our soft addictions under control before they become big time addictions.

Soft addiction becomes a problem when it interferes with our physical, mental, financial and social well-being.
Soft addiction becomes a problem when it slips under the radar unnoticed and uncontrolled.

Here is a concrete example to illustrate my point.
I found myself late one night in front of my computer.
Not only that I was tired and frustrated but I realized that I lost a lot of time on social media and I didn’t accomplish a lot of the tasks I was supposed to do that day.
Sounds familiar?

Being “social” is a soft addiction. We are wired to be social and the social media is taking advantage of our predisposition much the same way the fast food industry is taking advantage of our predisposition to sugar, fat, and salt or the porn industry is taking advantage of our sex soft addiction.

A lot of soft addiction manifests this symptom of time shortage.
Do you find yourself short on time, unable to finish the things you have planned to do?
Stop and look. What caused your time crisis?

So I spent a little too much time on social media. Is that a problem? Did I lose control of my soft addiction?
Here is how to find out.

The soft addiction denial test:
Whenever you suspect a soft addiction suspend it for one week.
In my case – one week without social media.

Well, it turns out that I really have a problem and the one week of the social media was much harder than I anticipated but like everything else, once you are aware of the problem and accept the responsibility for it, a solution is always in reach.

BTW. If you think you don’t have to do the denial test because you “know” you don’t have a problem it means that you have a bigger problem that you think you have,

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Passion Principle

How do we measure the quality of our daily endeavors?
To me creativity and love will be at the top, following would be intellectual and physical activities.
Reading and exercising will be a good way to spend my time any time.
At the very bottom of the scale would be the passive actions like watching TV or just being lazy.
This is a very broad categorization and I must add that to each level there are a lot of nuances to be added.

You don’t always have the energy or the disposition to be creative or super active.
Sometimes you need to relax, to unwind, to take a break and that is perfectly OK.
Of course, you can watch TV or YouTube but even then, you have a choice.
You can watch the news, which in my opinion is one of the most toxic things you can do, or you can watch let’s say a TED talk episode, which is a much better use of your time.

When I want to unwind and I don’t want too much intellectual stimulus I like to watch The Voice and XFACTOR auditions from around the world. If you never done it you should try it. Go to You Tube and search for the best Voice of France, Greece or Holland and see how you like it.

What I like about those YouTube clips is that the contestants are not that polished. They are more natural and much more original than the American contestants.

I try to figure out what makes a good contestant good, and it is not the voice but the passion that makes the performance stand out.
I found that to be true with everything we do.

When I write, like I am doing it right now for my blog, if I put passion into it I can see a difference in the end result.
Passions has a magical power to access untapped resource of your talent and creativity.
When I do something with passion I get transported into what I call “the zone”, where everything flows naturally and effortlessly.

So the “Passion” principle would be “If you want anything you do to be better put some passion into it”
Now, that may not sound like a such novel idea but admittedly it makes a lot of sense.
What I discovered related to that principle is that “Passion” is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets.

There are some things we naturally put passion into. Sex would be one classical example and sex without passion would be the perfect opposite example.
But there are a million things we do daily without any passion involved, like washing the dishes or cleaning the house.

I am challenging you to a week of passion – I know it sounds pretty sexy, doesn’t it.
I want you to put passion in everything you do no matter how mundane or unpleasant the task may be.
So, let’s say you are washing the dishes.  Pretend you are in a dishwashing competition, set yourself for doing the best cleaning job ever. Focus on every step, put yourself into it 110%. Do it with PASSION!

Now, this may sound silly but if you keep it up regardless of what you are thinking, doing things with passion will become automatically, it will become a habit.
If you keep on doing everything with passion your whole existence will become passionate, you will be in the “zone” all the time.
You will tap into unbound energies unavailable to you before without even trying.
A pretty good result not mentioning you’ll have the best-looking dishes on the block.

Let me know if you are going to try it. I would like to hear your experience and your feedback
Good luck and Namaste!



Friday, September 1, 2017

The Assumption Principle

Have you ever wonder how they can put a two-hour movie on a DVD?
The trick is to take a full-length movie and compress it until the data will fit on the DVD
And this is how it is done

A video is a sequence of 24 static frames/pictures per second.
Let’s assume we are watching a scene where two people are talking in a room for a minute.
That will be 24 frames per second times 60 seconds for a minute equals 1440 frames or pictures.
That is a lot of pictures to store for just one minute of the movie, so we have to somehow compress all that in a smaller data.

If we take all the frames/pictures and line them up on a table by looking at the sequence we’ll see that there is a lot of resemblance between the frames. The room always stays the same, the walls and the furniture doesn’t change from picture to picture, it is only the two people that are talking that are changing from one picture to the next. So what we can do is to take the first picture, called the “reference frame”  and record it entirely with all the details and for the following pictures record only the changes. And that in principle is the way we compress a video file.

To play back the video we take the reference frame and subsequently reconstruct the following frames by adding only the changes that happen between the frames. Once again this is the theory, in practice, there is a lot of math involved and things are a bit more complicated than that.

So besides being an interesting technical tidbit why are we talking about video compression?
We do it because a similar process happens in our brains; I call it the Assumption principle.
We think we are perceiving reality entirely but in fact, we are starting with an “assumption” and reconstruct the reality by adding to it as our experience unfolds.

This principle is the basis of all magic tricks.
All magic tricks happen in our mind they do not happen on the stage.
All magic tricks start with the magician building in our mind a false assumption; If he wants to cut his assistant in half he first has to convince us that the assistant is laying in the box – she is not, that is a false assumption, or if he wants a tiger to appear in a cage first he has to convince that the cage is empty – that is the false assumption that makes the trick look like magic.
Without creating the false assumptions in our mind magic tricks wouldn’t work.

The assumption principle works in real life the same way it works on the stage.
For example; the more bicycles are in a city the fewer bicycle accidents there are.
It sounds counterintuitive but is true. 
We have an assumption in our head that there are or that there are no bicycles on the street based on past experiences hence on that assumption we will see or not see the bicyclists on the street.
I know you are convinced that this doesn’t apply to you but it does, you are just not aware of it.

Our assumptions determine the outcome of our actions.
If you believe that there are opportunities out there waiting for you, you will see and find them.
There are millions of dollars available, thousands of untapped opportunities, the job of your dreams, the perfect woman or man you are waiting for.
Everything you desire or dream about exists already; it is just not yours yet.

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is the set of assumptions and false assumptions we have.
Your assumptions are the reference frames in your life movie. You build your experiences starting with your assumptions.
If you don’t like the movie of your life you have to change your assumptions, better said, you have to get rid of your false assumptions.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Emotional Distortion of Reality

How do you view the today’s political landscape?

Well, if you are a Democrat your view is very bleak, very dark. 
You feel like the biblical end of the world has arrived, and the Antichrist is taking over.
You feel like the hope has died and a great sense of despair is covering the nation.
You feel like inevitably a great disaster is about to happen.

On the other hand, if you are a Republican, things are looking pretty rosy.
Finally, it looks like we are coming out of the darkness and the long promised changes are here.
Hope is on the rise and finally, commonsense and order is coming back to the nation.
You feel like inevitably great things are about to happen.

I may not be 100% percent in my perception but no matter how you phrase it one thing is for sure.
At this moment there is a great divide splitting the nation into two opposite fractions.
One question probably has popped in your head. I know it did to me.
How come these two different, antagonistic views of the political landscape can coexist?

The answer is very simple. The other guys have lost their minds.
People have lost their common sense, their moral compass and are acting like a herd of lemurs heading for the precipice under the spell of a corrupt political system and a corrupt media.
They are just a bunch of lunatics, ignorant mental retards that have completely lost touch with reality and are about to have a rude awakening.

Right?
Maybe not. The irony is just too thick.
Maybe we should stop and ask again, this time very impartial, objective without any bias.
How can two people look at the same picture and see two different things?

Here is one explanation: They are wearing colored glasses.  That’s right.
If you are wearing dark, smoky colored glasses, everything you look at will be dark and gloomy.
If you are wearing pink colored glasses, everything will look pink and perky.

Emotions are colored glasses for our brains.
Whatever we look at is colored by what we feel at the moment.

Have you ever been in love?

When you are in love you can wake up in a rain storm, have a flat tire on your way to work, be late and have your boss yell at you and when your love calls you feel like you had the best day of your life.
Take the same scenario and run it without the feeling of love. Not as rosy anymore, right?
Now take that a notch down. Play that scenario when you are depressed.
Feeling like committing suicide at the end of the day, right?
That is the power our emotions have on how we see our reality.

Reality is the only truth and in order to see the truth, we have to remove our emotional colored glasses.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but not impossible.

It all starts with being aware of our emotions at the time we are trying to define the reality of an actual state or event.
Are you emotionally charged? Then your reasoning and your conclusion are distorted.
If your charge is positive you are seeing the reality better than it actually is.
If your emotions are negative, you are seeing the reality worse than it is.

The only way to know what the reality is to look at the world non-judgmentally, to look at the world without emotions.
Steady practice of meditation and mindfulness is the only way to see the truth.

Liberated from the prison of reason we can witness reality as it unfolds.
When we drop off our Ego we can start realizing the truth.
What the world needs is not a better political system or better technology or more money.
What the world needs is better people and we can start by becoming better ourselves.



Monday, August 28, 2017

The Meaningful Principle

What is the meaning of life?
There is no definitive answer to that question.
If you are a Christian the meaning of life should be Love as the Christ teaching professes.
If you are a Buddhist the meaning of life should be enlightenment.
If you are not very spiritual the meaning of life would be success.

But all of these answers are not very practical they do not tell you what you should do, how should you live your life.
Let’s look at some real people and what the meaning their life had.

Mother Theresa. Her life meaning was helping the poor.
Gandhi, his name is synonymous with non-violence. He dedicated his life to freedom.
Einstein dedicated his life to finding the laws of time and space
Mozart, music, Michelangelo, art Hillary politics, Warren Buffet, money and so on and so forth.

We define the meaning our lives by the things we do, by the aspirations we have.
We may not have very high expectations, maybe we are just trying to give our kids a good education or planning to travel and explore the world. We may want to better ourselves through spiritual practice or by reading and learning constantly new things.
Whatever we do gives meaning to our life.

We do not spend much time thinking about the meaning of our lives.
We are almost on an automatic pilot. Going to work, paying the bills, doing what is necessary to survive.
But life should be more than that. We should strive to make a difference to live a mark in this world.
Besides surviving we should all have a dream.

Well. Some of us do and most of the time that dream becomes a frustrating thing in our life.
We would like to live the dream but the reality is forcing us to do otherwise.
We are constantly in a time or money crisis, not to mention the other problems life throws in our paths.
So how do we deal with that, how do we keep focused on the dream?

One method I found out it works for me is the “Meaning” principle.
The meaning principle states that if you do meaningful things, your life will automatically have meaning.
If you do things that have no meaning your existence is meaningless.

How does it work?
Whenever you are ready to start something, or whenever you are doing or not doing something you have to stop and ask a simple question: What is the meaning of my action?

Let’s say you are playing a game on your computer – I choose this example because I found myself quite often in the situation J
You have to stop and ask yourself: What is the meaning of my action? What is the purpose of playing this game?

Of course playing a game has no purpose and therefore no meaning, it is simply a waste of time.
You will hate doing this kind of enquiring into your actions but eventually, you will come to the realization that you can achieve your dreams only by doing meaningful actions.
And if you keep on looking for meaning in every moment of your life, your actions will focus on the path of accomplishing your dreams.


Go ahead give it a try and let me know how it works for you.


Friday, August 25, 2017

The Tao of Humor

“Don’t take life too seriously.
You’ll never get out of it alive”
-          Elbert Hubbard

I was born with a funny bone.
Since I can remember I was the clown, the joker and the troublemaker of the group.
In my youth that special talent landed me in trouble many times and I spent countless hours in the principal’s office because of it.

Being a funny guy made me very popular among my peers but not very popular with the authorities.
They tried in vain to make me renounce my funny ways and in the end, they all gave up.
It was in my genes… Or was it?

My mother was probably one of the most intelligent human beings I have ever encountered.
Her mind was closer to a Vulcan mind than a human, just to give you a reference point.
She had the reasoning power and speed I imagine super-computers have.
A truly analytical mind, but Z-E-R-O sense of humor.

I would come from school, run into the kitchen, and shout;
-          Mom, I got a joke for you!
-          Well, what is it?
-          Why do blind people hate to skydive?
She would pause and think about it. Really think about it.
-          I don’t know. Why do blind people hate to skydive?
-          It scares the hell of the dogs! HA!
She will ponder for another minute. I could hear her brain buzzing.
-          I don’t get it. Why is that funny?
-          Well you know blind people have service dogs and they have to drag them out of the planes… get it?
-          No, I don’t… That is not funny, that is just plain mean... Please don’t tell that joke anymore. We love animals…
DISCLAIMER: No dogs or blind people were harmed during this joke.

Why do we laugh when a person falls down on a flat of stairs?
Why is that even funnier if the person is a little old lady?
Why are pain, violence, disaster, prejudice, racism, chauvinism, stupidity, absurdity and ignorance funny?
Is God trying to tell us something and we don’t get it?

Let’s summarize human life in two opposite and extreme examples:
1)      You are born in most favorable circumstances, you are well raised and educate, you accomplish success, power, fame, and fortune, you have everything you have dreamed of including perfect health and then YOU DIE!
2)      You are born in most unfavorable circumstances, you are badly raised and educate, you are a total failure in everything you try, never acquiring any power, fame or fortune, you have nothing you have dreamed of, you have rotten health and then YOU DIE!

So now let’s contemplate the two scenarios:
Do you think life is funny or do you think life is serious business?

If you think life is funny then you got the TAO of humor and no explanation is needed.
If you think life is serious business, then you don’t get the TAO of humor and no explanation is possible.

Life is hilarious. Why? Because it is and you can’t explain a joke.
Actually, you can but it will not make the joke any funnier. AU contraire!
OK, I’ll leave you with another story. Maybe this will help you understand the TAO of humor.

I love camping and one Memorial Day I took my family camping in the Yosemite Mountains.
We found a perfect spot to set our tent. A sandy wash that had no rocks and it was perfectly flat.
Outdoor people will understand why a flat spot is so important when you setup a tent.
As for the rest, just trust me; it was a perfect spot.

We did all the fun stuff you do when camping; hiking, lighting a camp fire, cooking some camp classic food, roasting marshmallows, telling jokes and stories, playing games around the camp fire late into the night and finally going to bed under a spectacular starry sky.

It was towards the first hour of the dawn when the sound of raindrops on the canopy of the tent woke us up. I look out at the sky and it didn’t look that bad. The forecast for that day was sunny weather but in the mountain, weather can be unpredictable. I decided we can make it and went back to sleep.

When I woke up our tent was flooded. The perfect spot we choose for our tent was a water wash path (that explained the flat sandy spot on the top of the mountain)
The rain had subsided to a drizzle but the water coming down the slope was filling up our tent.
We grabbed some pots and pans and frantically started scooping up the water, needless to say, very unsuccessfully.

A park ranger stopped his Jeep in front of our camp site. He approached us with a big green on his face. Obviously, for him the situation was funny.
-          Good morning folks, how’s it going?
I was a bit irritated by his attitude and said to him:
-          Why don’t you stop laughing and give us a hand instead?
-          Sure thing. I will as soon you move the tent out of the water wash to a higher ground.

You know that Homer Simpson face “Oh duh?” That was me after realizing how stupid I was.
We picked up the tent and moved it out of the wash to higher ground and voila, the water just naturally drained out of the tent. Reluctantly I thanked the ranger and he drove in his merry way.

So do you think that was funny or do you think that was unfortunate?
This is the Tao of humor: At the time I thought it was a disaster but now I think it was damn funny.

So do you think your life is pretty serious stuff, hard, stressful or even depressing?
Well, you know what I think? I think life is hilarious!

And then you die 😊

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Amnesia Conspiracy

What is your earliest memory?
I cannot remember any of my early years of life and neither can you.
All I can recall of that time are random images or incidents, fragments of memories that seem lost forever.
If it was just me I would say I am just one of the people with bad memory, but this strange occurrence is common to all human beings.
It is a grand conspiracy against our memories.
Why is that?

It doesn’t make any sense.
Like a brand-new computer, a child mind doesn’t contain much information.
The memory space is wide open and like a sponge ready to learn and absorb all new information.
But all the new experiences of my childhood are lost.

My first Spring. The smell of a flower for the first time. My first rain, my first rainbow. My first summer my first snow. My first walk or the test of my first strawberry.
All of this amazing new experiences I once had, all of these mind-blowing firsts, are gone.
Why and how?

I have these vivid memories from when I was about 5 or 6 of me playing scenarios of naval battles.
Not just any battles but War World II Pacific Air Carrier battles.

There are many occasions of me playing by myself.
I was in my living room, on the rug arranging random objects in complicated battle formations and playing out loud intense aerial attacks and maneuvers.
I didn’t have any boat toys so instead, I used everyday objects, ashtrays, boxes of crayons, plates and kitchen utensils.

It may seem strange to you that I didn’t have any toys but I wasn’t an American boy this happened in Eastern Europe in the late 50’s early 60’s. While America was experiencing the after the war boom Europe and Especially Eastern Europe – the Communist part – was still recovering from the ravages of war. For Christmas, I would get clothes and new shoes, maybe one toy and if lucky chocolate and oranges.

What was really odd is that the Pacific War was unknown in the Eastern Europe.
All the propaganda, all the newspapers, books, and films were about the heroic Red Army victory against the Nazi Germany. America was seldom mentioned and the Pacific war never happened.

I found out about that part of WW II history in 1983 after defecting to the US.
I remember buying a $40 small black and white TV. The one with the rabbit ears antenna on the top.
That TV was my first English teacher and my introduction to the American society, culture, and History.

It was on that small TV I first saw the Pacific War unfolding and it was at that time I first remembered my naval battles in my living room.
Until then all those memories were locked in my brain and my access to them was restricted.
This happens to every person in the world and if you ever had this strange feeling that somebody or something is censoring your brain, you were right.
The Amnesia Conspiracy is not a myth, a wacky conspiracy theory, it is a fact.
We are born without an Ego. We are all born with a primordial mind, a clear mind untainted by evil and vice.
It is our original self, the original and you, unaltered perfect consciousness.
As we start growing we are taught new skills like walking and talking and also Reasoning.

The Reasoning is supposed to be a tool in the service of our higher self.
Around  6-7 years old our Reasoning undergoes a transformation aself-realizationn.
The Reason proclaims “I think therefore I am” I am,  I the “Ego” not you, the “Primordial” mind.
It is a coup d’état. The Ego takes over, the servant becomes the master.

The original mind gets thrown in the prison of reason destined to be forgotten
You are now “John” or “Mary” or whatever your Ego calls itself, not what you were before that.
Everything that happened before the rise of the Ego gets censored, blocked from your consciousness.
You will live now forever as Ego, as “John” or “Mary”

But all those memories are not lost, your primordial self never dies. It is after all the immortal part of you.
All those memories are still in your mind and it just takes an incident, like the one that happened to me, to resurface into the consciousness.
And there is another proof. People under hypnosis can also access those “forgotten” memories.

So if you want to know who you really are or just to relieve the old good days before the Ego took over just start digging.
The truth is out there!


Monday, August 21, 2017

The Creation of Wealth

There is only one way to create wealth: CREATIVITY

There are only two ways to amass very large amounts of money:
One – Create Wealth
Two – Steal it

The rest of us who are not creators or thieves are just tools for the ones that are.
We’re the workers making it all possible, keeping the system running.
There are thousands of ways of making a living, too many to mention and too unimportant to analyze.
Working for a living will not make you rich.

The richest man in the world (at some point in time) was Bill Gates.
He and others like him, Steve Forbes, Henry Ford, Mark Zuckerberg, Ellan Musk and many more like them are CREATORS.
Creators create wealth by offering to society necessary products or services.

There are also other people with very large bank accounts, people like J P Morgan, Charles Schwab or Warren Buffet.
They make money by taking it from the wealth creators.
They have created a system that forces people in debt by making it almost impossible to function in the society, unless you are extremely rich, without using their system.

You have to know all this in order to understand the “Golden Rule”
He who has the Gold makes the rules”
This society was not been built for your benefit but for the benefit of the rich.

The notion of democracy and the myth of the American dream were fabricated to keep the people hoping and somehow believing in a future they will never have.
The best you can do is make a living, maybe save some money for retirement and hope not to die before your savings run out.
My advice to you. Stop making a living it will only have you killed.

The easiest way to make a lot of money is to steal it.
The problem with that is that if you were not born rich, you are not allowed to steal and if you do you will end up in jail. Not a very good way to spend your life.

The second-best way to become financially independent is to employ your creativity.
What people do not understand is that you can do that right here and now.
If you want to build personal computers in your garage and sell them to millions of people or if you can make a painting and sell thousands of copies online, the principle is the same.

The scope and size of your enterprise may be different but the principle is the same:
You have to offer other people a product or service they want.

Do you have a passion, a talent something unique to offer to the society?
Then you have it. You are in business.
Have you ever heard of “Famous Amos” who became a millionaire by selling chocolate chip cookies?
Well, that’s the way you do it.
People believe you must have the next greatest invention, a revolutionary new product nobody has ever made. WRONG
People believe you must have a large amount of money and time to invest. WRONG.
People believe that you must have the business knowledge to run a business. WRONG again.

I used to work with a fellow named Mike. He started selling homemade candles as a side business.
I watched him starting from nothing.
He started by selling candles to his coworkers on special occasions like Valentine’s Day or Christmas.
I helped him setup his first online website.

He had no business plans, no ambition no grand expectations.
He just loved what he was doing and he kept on doing it.
He started by making a few dollars profit here and there and then a couple of hundreds every month.
He developed relationships with people and his little side business grew and grew.

Eventually, he had to cut his regular working hours in half to tend to his online business and then to quit his employment entirely and become self-employed.
I’m not saying that he is making a fortune in his new business but he is making a living doing what he loves. And that should be what all of us and our children should strive for.