“The self-image is like a mirage; it promises us nourishment, but when a problem arises that demands the strength of a clear and self-confident mind, the self-image has nothing to offer; it fails to sustain us when we most need support. Because the self-image is based on how we wish we were, on what we fear we are, or how we would like the world to see us, it prevents us from seeing ourselves clearly. We fail to recognize both our true strengths and many of our faults.”
"There comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now."
Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who started out by paying women a few shillings to plant trees and went on to become the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, died late on Sunday after battling cancer. She was 71.
“If one has failed to develop curiosity and interest in the early years, it is a good idea to acquire them now, before it is too late to improve the quality of life.
To do so is fairly easy in principle, but more difficult in practice. Yet it is sure worth trying. The first step is to develop the habit of doing whatever needs to be done with concentrated attention, with skill rather than inertia. Even the most routine tasks, like washing dishes, dressing, or mowing the lawn become more rewarding if we approach them with the care it would take to make a work of art. The next step is to transfer some psychic energy each day from tasks that we don’t like doing, or from passive leisure, into something we never did before, or something we enjoy doing but don’t do often enough because it seems too much trouble. There are literally millions of potentially interesting things in the world to see, to do, to learn about. But they don’t become actually interesting until we devote attention to them.”—
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
Wall Street has long been the home of the biggest threat to American Democracy. Now it has become home to what may be our best hope for rescuing it.
For everyone who loves this country, for everyone whose heart is breaking for the growing ranks of the poor, for everyone who is seething at the unopposed demolition of America’s working and middle class: the time has come to get off the fence.
A new generation has gone to the scene of the crimes committed against our future. The time has come for all people of good will to give our full-throated backing to the young people of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The young heroes on Wall Street today baffle the world because they have issued no demands. The villains of Wall Street had their demands — insisting upon a massive bailout for themselves in 2008, while they pocketed million dollar bonuses. The Wall Street protesters are not seeking a bailout for themselves; they are working to bail out democracy.
Physiological benefits: 1- It lowers oxygen consumption. 2- It decreases respiratory rate. 3- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate. 4- Increases exercise tolerance. 5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation. 6- Good for people with high blood pressure. 7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate. 8- Decreases muscle tension 9- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc. 10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms. 11- Helps in post-operative healing. 12- Enhances the immune system. 13- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress 14- Enhances energy, strength and vigor. 15- Helps with weight loss 16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage 17- Higher skin resistance 18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease. 19- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. 20- Decreases the aging process. 21- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone) 22- Prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases 23- Makes you sweat less 24- Cure headaches & migraines 25- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning 26- Reduced Need for Medical Care 27- Less energy wasted 28- More inclined to sports, activities 29- Significant relief from asthma 30- Improved performance in athletic events 31- Normalizes to your ideal weight 32- Harmonizes our endocrine system 33- Relaxes our nervous system 34- Produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity 35- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).
Psychological benefits: 36- Builds self-confidence. 37- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour. 38- Resolve phobias & fears 39- Helps control own thoughts 40- Helps with focus & concentration 41- Increase creativity 42- Increased brain wave coherence. 43- Improved learning ability and memory. 44- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation. 45- Increased emotional stability. 46- improved relationships 47- Mind ages at slower rate 48- Easier to remove bad habits 49- Develops intuition 50- Increased Productivity 51- Improved relations at home & at work 52- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation 53- Helps ignore petty issues 54- Increased ability to solve complex problems 55- Purifies your character 56- Develop will power 57- Greater communication between the two brain hemispheres 58- React more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event. 59- Increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance 60- Higher intelligence growth rate 61- Increased job satisfaction 62- Increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones 63- decrease in potential mental illness 64- Better, more sociable behavior 65- Less aggressiveness 66- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction 67- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals 68- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation 69- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia 70- Increases sense of responsibility 71- Reduces road rage 72- Decrease in restless thinking 73- Decreased tendency to worry 74- Increases listening skills and empathy 75- Helps make more accurate judgments 76- Greater tolerance 77- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways 78- Grows a stable, more balanced personality 79- Develops emotional maturity
Spiritual benefits: 80- Helps keep things in perspective 81- Provides peace of mind, happiness 82- Helps you discover your purpose 83- Increased self-actualization. 84- Increased compassion 85- Growing wisdom 86- Deeper understanding of yourself and others 87- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony 88- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation 89- Increased acceptance of oneself 90- Helps you learn forgiveness 91- Changes attitude toward life 92- Creates a deeper relationship with God/Goddess/All-That-Is 93- Attain enlightenment 94- Greater inner-directedness 95- Helps living in the present moment 96- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love 97- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego 98- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness” 99- Experience a sense of “Oneness” 100- Increases the synchronicity in your life & raises your vibration
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking”—
“Everybody’s born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I’d really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person."
- Haruki Murakami”—whiskey river
“The rest of the population ought to be deprived of any form of organization, because organization just causes trouble. They ought to be sitting alone in front of the TV and having drilled into their heads the message, which says, the only value in life is to have more commodities or live like that rich middle class family you’re watching and to have nice values like harmony and Americanism.”—
Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2nd ed, 2002), p. 27.
“Life is the province of learning, and the wisdom we acquire throughout our lives is the reward of existence. As we traverse the winding roads that lead from birth to death, experience is our patient teacher. We exist, bound to human bodies as we are, to evolve, enrolled by the universe in earth school, an informal and individualized academy of living, being, and changing. Life’s lessons can take many forms and present us with many challenges. There are scores of mundane lessons that help us learn to navigate with grace, poise, and tolerance in this world. And there are those once-in-a-lifetime lessons that touch us so deeply that they change the course of our lives. The latter can be heartrending, and we may wander through life as unwilling students for a time. But the quality of our lives is based almost entirely on what we derive from our experiences.”—
“You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind , which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.”—
"The truth is you already know what it’s like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.
But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you think. The truth is you’ve already heard this. That this is what it’s like. That it’s what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you’re a fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know it’s only a part. Who wouldn’t? It’s called free will, Sherlock. But at the same time it’s why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali - it’s not English anymore, it’s not getting squeezed through any hole.
So cry all you want, I won’t tell anybody.”
- David Foster Wallace
“I hate dating. It’s the romantic equivalent of making small talk about the weather with the man who’s about to give you your lottery winnings. Everyone knows what’s going to happen, but you have to go through some useless ritual with someone who isn’t even your friend, who doesn’t even really care about being your friend, just to get there. It’s pointless and degrading.”—
Like the saying goes, the only constant is change. We may resist it all we want, but Time and its inevitable evolution of everything in its path is unaffected by our attempts to stop it. The resulting trajectory of humanity’s nascent ascent appears to be positioning itself to sweep us into progressive new times, especially where our food choices are concerned, as nearly 7 billion people are now standing on the little scraps of land that we share with some 55 billion rather large animals raised for food each year. (As another famous saying goes: This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.) But, beef (and all factory-farmed meat) may be going from rib-eye to relic as we transition to a greener world… literally—as in leafy, green vegetables.
Environmentalists cite meat production as one of the biggest contributors to global warming, and the USDA’s new food pyramid suggests making vegetables and fruit the biggest part of every meal by reducing our consumption of animal proteins. Kale is far more nutritious than other leafy green, but these seven reasons why it is such an important futurefood may just surprise you.
“Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”—
“By closing down monasteries, the West came to rely exclusively on the intellect in its quest for God. But the way to know God, Father Maximos would say repeatedly, is neither through philosophy nor through experimental science but through systematic methods of spiritual practice that could open us up to the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Only then can we have a taste of the Divine, a firsthand, experiential knowledge of the Creator. Otherwise, he continued, ‘we remain stuck on the level of mere beliefs and ideologies.’”—
“As we live and as we are, Simplicity - with a capital “S” - is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.”
“The Buddha was not Caucasian, as everybody knows. But Buddhism in the West has taken on the cultural trappings of the West, including racism. We all wish or hope that we’re not bigoted, but it’s culturally a part of us, so we need to look at it in all of its gross and subtle manifestations. In the absolute sense there is no separateness, no color, no race, but in the relative sense there are differences that are very real and very deep and sometimes determinative of our fate.
The differences do all fall away in those rare and precious moments when there is no separation between inside and outside, you or me. Awareness has no race or gender or IQ. It is only when we fall out of awareness that we grasp onto these characteristics. Still, these particularities are part of the vehicle through which we experience our lives, and we have to use the vehicle. Practice is facing the truth of suffering, seeing its cause, and abandoning that cause so the heart can be released. Racism is one type of suffering. In practice there is always the dance between feeling the truth of our suffering and letting go of it, not in a dismissive way but in a way that honors it.”—
“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”—
“My audience consists mainly of people who already recognize how bad this culture is and I want to push them to become more radical. It doesn’t really matter to me if they are left or right. I get asked quite often if I’m an anarchist. If they want to put a label on me, that’s fine. What is most important to me is to live in a world that is not being murdered. We can put whatever label we want on that. Honestly what this culture has done to the planet needs to be stopped. Working to stop this culture from destroying the Earth can certainly take many forms. Everything from working within the system to working at rape crisis hot lines at women’s shelters to knocking out the infrastructure that is killing us.”—