Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Wisdom 2.0 Highlights Five

Category : Wisdom 2.0

In a study of 1,848 adults conducted by the American Psychological Association, during one month nearly half of all respondents (943 percent) overate or ate unhealthy foods, and more than one-third (36 percent) skipped a meal because of stress.

I don’t know the exact reasons, but in times of frustration and difficulty, we often think eating will help the situation. Can’t figure out a coding issue on a Web site glitch… report not coming together… manager angry at us for making a mistake… if we just eat, the issue will be solved. Of course, eating a healthy meal my be beneficial in such moments, but when our eating arises from frustration or compulsion, it rarely helps and ,often hinders, the situation. In fact, eating is probably one of the most difficult areas with which to bring consciousness.

Most of us know quite well how to eat unconsciously: eat as fast as you can, doing as many other things as you can, in as noisy and hectic an environment as you can find. That’s easy. In this daily practice, we do just the opposite: we eat slowly, don’t do other things at that time, and eat the most peaceful environment we can find.

If we pay attention, our relationship to eating is often less about nourishing our body or how the food tastes and more about satisfying our desire system. You may notice that even before you have chewed and swallowed one mouthful, you already crave the next bite: even though the desired next amount is exactly the same as the one in your mouth.. I notice this with my favorite snack, cashews. As soon as i put three of them in my mouth, I start craving the next three I see in the bowl, even though i have yet to enjoy the ones in my mouth. Oddly, i want what i already have!! In such times, what we crave is not the food, but the satisfaction of getting what we want, of having our desires filled. Ironically, however, our desire is rarely filled because the moment of satisfaction is so fleeting. It exists only at the time when our desire for food is satiated by putting it in our mouth. That’s it. Once it is there and before we have chewed and tasted it, the desire for more arises.

Here is my take on it. I am a very health conscious person. And i religiously swim and go to gym every weekday. Plus whenever i am about to eat, i choose the meal very consciously not only by ingredients but also the amount. For example, i won’t drink a large amount of water within 30 minutes of every meal. My counter force is quite clear, if you have spent more than one hour a day work out, there is no reason, you cannot control your meal consciously. Guess what, whenever i have that counter force, the only strong enemy to me is not the food i like but the desire to eat that food unconsciously.

People, says, you are not happy because you don’t eat the food you want to eat because of your one hour pain you sacrifice in your work out routine. So what’s the point of having double pain?

Here is the answer. If you follow my Wisdom 2.0 Highlights closely , there are 2 pains, the one which is familiar and used to us , in this case, not doing work out and not eating consciously , meaning , eating whatever you like, to me it is really a double pain. The other way is getting out of comfort zone, doing work out and eating consciously, less pain i presume , compared to the former one.

Again, the end of this duality is to bring consciousness to the act, in this case, eating consciously.
We pay attention not only before eating, but also while eating and after eating. Any kind of counter forces will arise but make sure to register them and do not force to deny them because they are bad or good, forget all your judgmental conflicts and enjoy the moment.

Here is to fuel your thought. Remember, Buddhist way is the middle way. Let me ask you how do you know it is middle. Quite obvious right? You need to know two extreme ends first , then you know the middle. Well here it is. You already have your two extremes in this story. All you have to do is find the middle way.

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Wisdom 2.0 Highlights Four

Category : Wisdom 2.0

Because the outer responds to the inner, sometimes the best way to address the external is to align the internal.

Consider the person in the following story:

A young woman once walked into an Internet cafe and saw a man with gray hair and a wrinkled face sitting hunched over at a table, actively engaged wit his computer. He was typing fast and moving his mouse around with great speed.

Wow, she thought, that old man seems quite skilled at computers sitting at a table behind him, she noticed he was playing World of War craft and doing very well. A few minutes later, the man took off his headset and went to pick up a cup of coffee. On his return, the woman said, “I was watching you, and i noticed you’re quite skilled with computers. What’s your secret?”

“Ah,” said the man, as he slowly lowered himself into his chair, his bones creaking as he did, “I play twelve hours a day, almost never go outside, survive on Doritos and Twinkies, and down a cup of coffee every hour”.

“Impressive,” said the woman. “And you have managed to live to a ripe old age while being so tech savvy. If you don’t mind my asking, just how old are you?”

“I’m twenty-eight,” the man replied.

Hilarious, right, at least that’s what I am thinking. It does have a point though: our actions have consequences. In telling it, my intention is not to lay judgment on the choices people make. The man in the story may be living a very conscious life or he may be living largely unconsciously. Either way, these are his choices. However, for those of us who seek to live consciously and with less stress, it helps to align the internal and external, to see if our external actions do justice to what internally matters to us.

For example, if someone says, “My health and well-being are important to me,” and she lives like the man in the story, there is little alignment. And if she says, “Eating sweets and playing online games are all that matter to me,” and lives that life, her actions have integrity. Other people may agree or disagree with her choices, but the actions are aligned with what matters to her.

So, what matters to us? here is the another story.

A techie guy was walking down the street in a rare break from his computer and noticed a frog on the ground.
“If you kiss me,” the frog called out to him, “I will turn into a princess and stay with you forever.”
The techie picked up the frog, smiled at it , and put it in his pocket.
A few minutes later, the frog spoke again. “Didn’t you hear me? I said that if you just kiss me, I will be yours. In fact, I will be completely devoted to you and be the best sexual partner you can ever imagine. I will satisfy your every desire.”
The techie looked down at the frog again and kept walking.
Finally, in desperation the frog asked, “What’s the matter? I am offering you so much devotion, so much love, and so much sex. All you have to do is kiss me.”
The techie responded, “Listen, I am a techie. I spend all my time on the computer. I don’t have time for sex or a girlfriend, but having a talking frog… that’s cool.”

So , What really does matter to us? If we live like the man in the cafe, aging faster and surviving on Twinkies and Doritos, the central question is, is this aligned with what matters to us? If it is, fine. If not, then some adjustment is needed. We can make such changes not because one way is bad and another way is good, but because one way is more aligned with what truly matters to us.

As this adjustment takes place, as we better understand, clarify and give attention to the internal, we often experience a shift in the external. How many times, for example, have you greatly desired something and not been able to get it, but the moment you let go of it, the moment you released the desire, it came to you? Through an internal shift, the external responded. Or after months looking for work and finding nothing, the day you became very clear on exactly what kind of job would be best for you, it appeared. Of course, even with such an alignment, struggle and challenges still arise, but we can handle them better since we have deeper integrity and stability to your life.

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Wisdom 2.0 Highlights Three

Category : Wisdom 2.0

Consider the following:

You wake up and before your foot touches the floor on the way to the bathroom, you are hit with the list of tasks you need to complete: the report to your manager that you must review and send off, the e-mail from a colleague that has been in your inbox for the last week and needs a reply, the call to the irate customer that you have been avoiding but know you can’t much longer, and the social network you have not checked for days and has numerous messages awaiting your reply.

The list weighs on you as you attend to your morning activities. As a result, you shower quickly, down a strong cup of coffee, gobble up a pastry, and head out the door, hoping to start work early so you can get a jump start on this every-increasing list.

I should have done these things last week, you think to yourself as you commute to work. How could i have fallen so behind? As such, you arrive at your destination agitated and scattered, beginning your short walk to your office.

If you are not aware, this pattern can stay with us throughout the day. How, we might ask, do we attend to our to-do list but not carry the weight and stress of it? To answer this, we need to know following teaching by the Zen master, the art of just doing.

A renowned martial artist once went to visit a Zen master. The martial artist had spent years mastering his skills such that he was the toughest samurai in the land. He was an amazing swordsman and legendary for his ability to fight numerous attackers.

When he met the Zen master, the samurai talked about all the powers he had developed in this life how he could defeat a hundred man in battle, jump on buildings, and perform other extraordinary feats. He then looked at the master and said, “I have told you all the powers I have gained. You are well-known as a great master, but what can you do? What powers do you possess?”

The Zen master took a deep breath, and then responded, “I only have one power: When i walk, i just walk. When I eat, I just eat. When I talk, I just talk.”

You may think, What kind of power is that? That doesn’t sound so hard to me.
Let’s pick up when we left it, you were about to go to work and what we have is before arriving to office, we are burdened with all our to-do lists. One way is to carry the weight of your to-do list; the second is to drop it like the Zen master and just do it.

Think about it and here is to fuel your thoughts.

“It’s no accident that things are more likely to go your way when you stop worrying about whether you’re going to win or lose and focus your full attention on what is happening right this moment.”

The power of just doing may not seem like much, but we can compare it to the headlights on a car at night. We could think, They only let you see fifteen yards in front of us. That is not a lot. How much help can they be? However, with only that amount of visibility, we can travel across the entire country. All we really need to see is what’s directly in front of us. This may also be true in our larger life: we can do more not by focusing on what is two hundred miles ahead, on what we need to accomplish later today or next week, but on what is in the next fifteen yards, on the task at hand.

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Wisdom 2.0 Highlights Two

Category : Wisdom 2.0

One evening Nasruddin was looking through the grass in his backyard. A neighbor came by and asked, “What are you looking for?”
“I am trying to find my keys,” Nasruddin responded.
“Oh, let me help,” offered the neighbor, and the two men spent the next hour combing every inch of the backyard. Finally, the neighbor concluded, “We have looked in every possible spot back here. Are you sure you lost your keys in the backyard?”

“Oh, no,” replied Nasruddin, “I am most certain that I dropped them while in my front yard.”
“Then why on earth did we just spend the last hour looking in your backyard?” replied the neighbor in exasperation.
“Well, that is easy. You see, the light is better in the backyard so it is easier to look back here.”

You will probably don’t understand this story with feeling , what an idiot .
But we are not much different with Nasruddin. We know what helps us to live with less stress but we always fail to act.

For example, “You know if you spend more than eight straight hours on the computer you get a headache, yet you still do it” Or “You know that trying to send a text message while driving your car is dangerous, so why are you doing it?” Our response is much like that of the man in the story. We are simply doing what is easy and familiar.

We are not letting ourselves feel that impact because “the light is better in the backyard”.

However, when we let awareness guide us, we are less motivated by the thought, This is not good, not familiar, I should not do this. Instead, we feel the “not goodness.” Who knows? It could be that in this deepening of awareness, we discover that a particular pattern is not so painful, or that that pain we receive is worth the pleasure it also provides. Or it could be that through this deeper knowledge we feel the pain more completely, and a desire to suffer less arises in us such that the old pattern is no longer desirable.

We simply do not want to hold the burning ember any longer. In this approach our entire system makes the shift, not just our mind.

We could say there are two kinds of pain. One is the pain of continuing an unskillful or stressful pattern; for example, of reacting by yelling back at the person who upset us. Another is the pain we experience when we no longer repeat a particular patter. We felt this pain, for example, in not yelling back in anger after we have done so the last hundred times. The former we could say is the pain that leads to more pain, while the latter is the pain that leads to less.

In this story, we look where the light is not good and feel the unpleasantness that can lead to more pleasant change in the end by changing through awareness.

Always bring awareness to every state. If you find yourself habitually snacking on potato chips while you work and do not want to do so as much due to weight problem, bring awareness to the act. Often we experience a duality at such times, with one force saying, “I want to snack all day long. It feels so good.” At the same time, a counterfoce says, “You should not be snacking all day long. It’s not good for your health.” We then snack, but feel guilty as we do, and by doing so not only do we enjoy the food less but we add more stress to our lives since we eat with guilt. One way to end the duality is to bring consciousness to the act, in this case snacking.

We pay attention to the process with curiosity instead of judgment noticing the desire for the snack , the reaching to get it, the putting it in our mouth, and the swallowing. We snack consciously.

As you bring consciousness to a pattern , see if another action wants to emerge, if it is time for it to change. It is fine if it does and fine it does not. Notice the tendency to label it as good or bad and instead focus on your direct experience.

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Wisdom 2.0 Highlights One

Category : Wisdom 2.0

Some year ago, a student was sitting with his teacher when the teacher received a much anticipated letter from an old friend. Knowing his teacher had been waiting a long time for the letter and must have been very eager to read its contents, the student started to excuse himself.

“Stop,” the teacher boomed. “Please stay. I will open the letter later.”
“Don’t you want to open the letter now?” the student inquired, surprised. “I know how long you’ve waited for this letter and news form your friend is right there in the envelope.”

“Yes,” said the teacher, “I have waited long, but I cannot open the letter until I have conquered the haste i felt. Once that has run its course, I will open it.”

Here is my take on it, in a busy world, multitasking is a must, and how you handle and prioritize things, projects does really matter a lot. But have you ever prioritize your consciousness? Driven by haste, we unconsciously switch channel , email, cell phone etc. and jump from doing one report to other. Do you think how much of our mind can juggle at one time consciously? The answer is only one. So do prioritize your consciousness skillfully as we shift from one action to anther.

One at a time my friend, one at a time.

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Wisdom 2.0 Highlights

Category : Wisdom 2.0

It has been very long long time, that I haven’t updated my Universe. Well, here I am.

During the past few years, I clung more into spiritual reading , learning and development of inner peace. Wonder why? Before I give you the answer, here is the fact, like it or not, in this era of technology, people emphasize more on externalization , for example, frequent upgrade of mobile phones, ipad, touchpad, various app and software version we use day to day, and not to mention, follow up of latest technology like Cloud Computing, Social Media Services Facebook, Twitter, User Generated Crowd Sourcing services Reddit, Digg, Youtube, the list is never ending.

However, We tend to put little effort on internalization, defined by as,”To take in and make an integral part of one’s attitudes or beliefs”. So, what have you done to improve your integral part of attitudes , beliefs , last but not least, awareness.

I am not going to discuss about religion here, and regardless, of any religion you are in, I bet you this book will suit you and play along with you as soon as you grab it especially if you are a busy IT bee , just like me. Yes right this is it, Wisdom 2.0, one of my life changing books. This book is truly a master piece of how to bridge your internal to external with relaxed and calm state of mind. Who else don’t want to be working on thousands of projects with relaxed and calm state of mind? The answer is will you choose to fail a project with calm and relaxed state of mind or stressed and depressed state of mind. The choice is all yours.

I will be sharing all the examples mentioned in this book One by One with my inference not only targeting for sharing, but also targeting to myself as a true reminder and daily dose of my mental state.

Enjoy and Be Cool!