Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Geshe Michael Roach Reveals the Secrets Behind Wealth and Abundance

Geshe Michael Roach has helped to reach annual sales of US$200 million, as one of the founders of Andin International Diamond Corporation, which was recently purchased by Warren Buffett, America’s second wealthiest man.

Roach’s book, The Diamond Cutter (published in 2000), tells the story of how he has used the ancient wisdom of Buddhism (he was the first Western person to be awarded a doctorate from Sera Mey University of Tibet) to create wealth and growth within the diamond company. Over the years, the book has become an international best-seller and has been translated into 20 different languages. Today, over 3 million people around the world use the book as a guide to help them achieve success in the business world, as well as their personal lives. The Diamond Cutter highlights Roach’s corporate experience, as the primary negotiator for the company, in which he also hired, trained and motivated hundreds of employees.

He now travels around the globe to teach people how the secrets of The Diamond Cutter, such as “emptiness” and its hidden potential, can make any business or relationship reach the highest levels of success. He speaks to Vivienne Tang about the key principles of an entrepreneur and how the "Diamond Cutter" knowledge can transform every facet of your life.

What has been your biggest lesson?

Emptiness. Something happened to me in 1975. During meditation I got a direct insight into what emptiness is. You might understand something intellectually, but if you truly understand what emptiness is, you can do anything, you can change anything, you can learn any language, you can make a company successful… I had a very bad bone disease in my leg. I couldn’t walk, and now I do ballet.

What are your key tips for entrepreneurs?

Number one, help somebody else to start his company. Find a poor person and help them. I helped a Tibetan refugee to start his own company, and I spent all my money on that for 22 years. I support poor people to start their business. We believe in karma.

When you say help, do you mean time and money?

First you give them money, and then you give them your own time. If you help a smaller guy, your business will grow.

It’s noble to help other people, but that’s actually not why we do it. It’s actually the best business strategy. Even if you don’t care about religion or spirituality, if you want to be successful, then you still have to help other people. That’s the best strategy. I’m not teaching charity, I’m teaching how to be successful. So if you use this method you will be financially successful, and you will also be noble. [laughs]

Should one specifically invest in someone’s business or is it enough to be generous and give away money to beggars for example?

If I give $10 to someone because I feel sad for them, or they need help or my father told me to do this, we say that there won’t be much result. If you say, “I’m giving you $100. I want to help your business. You will be successful. And I will be successful too, it will come back to me”, then that’s a different approach. So you accept the principle that it’s ok for both people to benefit.

What do you recommend when people still have doubts and fears around their projects or businesses?

In Buddhism, we are not allowed to accept anything by faith. We have to examine, question and experiment. Buddha said, “Don’t believe me. If I make a suggestion to you, try it. If it works, great. But if it doesn’t work, scrap it.” Try… we say, “Give 10% of your profits every six months.” Whatever income you have, 10% out of that. You won’t lose anything by trying.

The only way to get rid of a doubt is to experiment. Or you learn more, education. There are two ways to perceive something. One is direct perception. You give, and money comes to you. Then you have faith, and you believe. The second one is deduction. You can say, “That guy, Geshe Michael, he didn’t go to business school. He didn’t know anything, yet he made a quarter billion dollar company… So maybe he knows. Maybe I’ll try it.” But we say the fastest way to fix doubt is to try. If you have a disaster, if you lose all your money… it’s very helpful. It pushes you to try new things. This economy is great, because people will try new things. When it gets better, people won’t be willing. [laughs]

What does success mean to you? Do you look at yourself as being very successful?

Inside I’m successful. We believe you have to start with “outside” success. You can’t lecture somebody, who doesn’t have food, about meditation. They have to eat, they have to have a house, they have to have clothing. So we start with money. Then they need a partner, they need a family. That’s quite a success. And then they need to be happy. You can have a family, a house, a car, and you can be unhappy. [laughs] We don’t say you should give up your car or family. We say you can have everything, a good job, a nice family and a nice house.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Top 10 Brain Foods that make you Smarter and Healthier

By Jillian McMullen / Source: Health Source Magazine

When it comes to food, you have a wealth of delicious choices. And each one not only tastes good but also supplies unique health benefits. From blueberries to dark chocolate, leading nutritionists and physicians are pointing to certain foods that enhance brain power and, they say, a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Although theres no conclusive research about the healthful brain benefits of particular supplements, food sources rich in vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids may provide benefit, says Jillian McMullen, R.D., LD/N, Outpatient Clinical Dietician with Mayo Clinic.

Vitamin E-rich foods include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Omega 3-rich foods include fish, walnuts and flax seeds.

We also know that adequate amounts of B vitamins are essential for brain function, says McMullen. Some studies suggest a protective role of vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B12, but more research is needed before we can recommend these supplements. It doesnt hurt to eat foods rich in folic acid such as green, leafy vegetables, fortified breads and cereals, and dried beans, as well as those chocked full of vitamin B12 like fish, meat, eggs, cheese and chicken.

It's All About Balance

Theres no denying that as we age, our body (and brain) ages right along with us. Getting older brings some risk of cognitive problems such as Alzheimers disease or dementia. Theres also increased brain function risk from certain diseases like hypertension, diabetes and obesity that can cause damage to the brain.

Theoretically, we can control these diseases and keep our brain healthy unlike old age or genetic factors that we cant control, says Floyd Willis, M.D., family medicine practitioner and creator of Mayo Clinics LiveWell. ThinkWell. program.

It all ties together, Willis says. People who have the most risk of strokes are those with hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Often, people dont associate the truism that as goes the heart, so goes the brain (and kidney). The impetus of the Mayo LiveWell. ThinkWell. healthy brain program is about maintaining a healthy balance and healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Willis created the community outreach program offered through Mayos Memory Disorder Clinic to educate African-Americans about healthy brain aging and memory disorders. African-Americans may have higher risk for Alzheimers disease because they have a higher incidence of some medical conditions associated with dementia, according to the Alzheimers Association. The program provides information to seniors and their families about memory disorders and brain aging, including tips on how to keep the mind healthy.

Research is showing that you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy brain well into old age if you add super foods to your daily diet. Blueberries have been found to help protect the brain and animal studies have shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.

But, we cant conclude that antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, strawberries and spinach will have the same age-related reversal of brain deficits in humans as those they found in rats. The American Dietetic Association is currently studying the effect of strawberries, blueberries, prunes, spinach and fatty fish, and may find positive benefits to short term memory, says McMullen.

Whether or not the foods are brain super foods, theyre heart healthy and a great part of a balanced diet, she says. A diet rich in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy is essential to overall health and energy.

Healthy Food for a Healthy Life

Carol Albanesi, Director of Food Services and a registered nurse for Flagler Hospital, agrees. The foods were talking about are foods that are necessary and appropriate for a healthy diet. Theres not any true super food. A healthy diet has to be part of a healthy lifestyle that includes getting enough sleep (six to eight hours a day) and eating right. By that I also mean eating breakfast, not skipping meals and adding several small snacks during the day.

Albanesi suggests that by eating healthy food, getting enough sleep and exercising three to five times a week youll increase your optimum health. All of these activities, including eating brain boosting super foods, bring oxygen to the brain by expanding blood vessels for increased blood flow to the brain.

Your circulatory system feeds your cells and pulls away toxins, she says. Thats why you need to increase blood flow with these activities. Exercise is particularly good because it increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and keeps your body healthy.

Beans, she says, are a great food source because theyre a good carbohydrate and protein source, theyre inexpensive and they stabilize your glucose during the day. Drinking water is also important. Albanesi also suggests six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

The Top Ten Brain Boosting Foods

Sally Clifton, MSH, RD, LD/N, at Shands Hospital, offers her top ten brain super food picks:

1. Coffee - The caffeine and the coffee bean itself have been shown to have some antioxidant properties, she says. Most of the benefits for boosting brain power come from the caffeine. Suggested serving: no more than two or three cups a day.

2. Tea - Freshly brewed green and black tea have antioxidant properties and some caffeine that dilates blood vessels and increases the blood flow to the brain, enhancing memory focus and mood. Its temporary so everyone should judge the amount, Clifton says. The tea contains catechines that are the antioxidant properties; flavored tea doesnt have caffeine. Suggested serving: no more than two or three cups a day.

3. Blueberries - Blueberries are one food that really stands out, she says, because they have a certain antioxidant that prevents oxidative stress to help reduce age-related diseases. Over time, because youre exposed to the environment, youre more exposed to free radicals. Thats why its so important that athletes take in fruits and vegetables.
She advises adding a variety of fruits to your diet. An easy way to add them is putting a cup in your smoothie, shake, yogurt or on cereal. Suggested serving: 1 cup a day.

4. Wild or farm-raised salmon - Wild salmon tends to be leaner and purer than farm-raised but both are good, she says. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and contains anti-inflammatory substances that ultimately aid in blood flow and brain activity, lowering dementia and stroke risk and enhancing memory. Salmon even keeps the blood flowing in the very small capillaries in the brain, she says. Suggested serving: 4-ounces two or three times a week grilled, baked or broiled.

5. Nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E that boosts brain function and corresponds with less cognitive decline. Nuts and seeds also offer a large dose of monounsaturated fat that is heart healthy and promotes blood flow. A caveat is that nuts and seeds are very high in good fat, so limit the amount. Choose unsalted if you have hypertension. Almonds, walnuts and peanuts are very good but choose a variety, she says. Suggested serving: about one-fourth cup or one ounce a day.

6. Avocados - Although avocados got a bad rap for having a lot of fat several years ago, the green fruit is actually very healthy all around. Theyre packed with monounsaturated fat but its good fat. Avocados also have a lot of antioxidants and some amino acids (protein), help lower blood pressure and help reduce inflammation. I suggest putting them on a sandwich, in a salad or on your salmon for a double brain boost. Suggested serving: one-quarter to one-half of an avocado daily.

7. Whole grains - Whole grains like whole wheat bread, pasta, cereals, wheat germ and brown rice create good blood flow because they have more intact nutrients including vitamin E, antioxidants, fiber and some have Omega 3 fatty acids. Blood flow is crucial because it helps keep the integrity of cells in the brain, says Clifton.

8. Pomegranate juice - Although juice has been maligned because its packed with sugar, pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and a small amount of sugar helps with immediate energy. Stick to about 2 ounces of natural fruit juice per serving. A way to do that is to mix the juice with sparkling water or sprite for a flavor boost. You can add it to water several times a day and eat a piece of fruit, she says. Suggested serving: about 6 to 8 ounces a day.

9. Beans - All kinds of beans including black beans, kidney beans and lentils offer a lot of fiber and help stabilize your glucose levels throughout the day, allowing your brain to better use the food for fuel. Suggested serving: one-half cup a day.

10. Dark chocolate - This decadent food has powerful antioxidant properties and also has a small amount of caffeine, a natural stimulant that aids with focus and concentration. Dark chocolate also stimulates production of endorphins that help improve mood. For a double health surge, try chocolate covered blueberries. Suggested serving: one-half to one ounce a day.

Back to Basics

The key is a healthy diet and eating small meals throughout the day to boost brain power because the food is giving you small energy boosts, says Clifton. I most often work with people to establish balance. Some people will drink coffee all day long. The unhealthy aspect of drinking this much coffee is that the caffeine suppresses appetite. So they deprive their body during the day and then overeat at night. Thats not a balanced, healthy way of eating.

Almost all of the super foods can easily be incorporated into one meal such as a salad or wrap. You may be thinking diet, but by adding these foods youre also sharpening your thinking. Clifton agrees that getting back to basics with exercise, getting eight hours of sleep a night (eight is more beneficial than less) and using meditation and relaxation exercises like yoga all help increase your body awareness and health.

With meditation and relaxation, you're breathing better and relieving tension and stress. It all goes together, but eating right does take some planning. The bonus to taking time to plan your meals is that youll gain more health benefits. A good idea is to get your spouse and children involved. Its more fun and motivating if you and your family cook together. Online resources for healthy recipes include eatright.org, the official website of the American Dietetic Association, and cookinglight.com, she says.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Who knew?

Did you know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain
almost immediately-without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional
pain relievers?

Did you know that Colgate
Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 tablespoon horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil for instant relief for aching muscles.

Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly-even though the product was never advertised for this use.

Honey remedy for skin blemishes... cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.

Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine Mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

Easy eyeglass protection..to prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear Nail Polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer... if menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

Smart splinter remover:
Just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the
dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

Hunt's Tomato Paste boil
cure... cover the boil with Hunt's Tomato Paste as a compress. The acids from
the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

Balm for broken blisters... to disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops
of Listerine, a powerful antiseptic.

Vinegar to heal bruises... soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

Quaker Oats for fast pain relief... it's not for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly,and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

If you send this to one person who doesn't know about this, then it was worth

Monday, October 19, 2009

Inspirational quotes

“One of the redeeming things about being an athlete is redefining what is humanly possible.” - Lance Armstrong

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” - Nelson Mandela

“The mind is like a river; upon its waters thoughts float through in a constant procession every conscious moment. You stand on a bridge over it and can stop and turn back any thought that comes along. The art of contentment is to let no thought pass that is going to disturb you.” -Dr. Frank Crane

“Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other.” - Brian Tracy

“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” - Abraham Lincoln

“ The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, char.” Benjamin Franklin

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” - Albert Camus

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” - Oprah Winfrey

“You can do anything you think you can. This knowledge is literally the gift of the gods, for through it you can solve every human problem. It should make of you an incurable optimist. It is the open door.” - Robert Collier

“This is the best day the world has ever seen. Tomorrow will be better”. -R.A. Campbell

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston Churchill

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” Albert Einstein

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half heartedly because I know if I do, then I can expect half hearted results.” - Michael Jordan

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Route to Happiness… by Shveitta Sethi Sharma. Lesson 2 . Don’t wait till it’s broken

Don’t wait till it’s broken

How many times have you heard people say things like- “Don’t wait till it’s broken”, “A stitch in time saves nine” , reminding us to start fixing things before it gets too late.

Often when things are going great we don’t bother to think about “worst case scenarios” and it’s alright to do that, but what is not OK is to not have a contingency plan or the reserves for the not so OK times.

Would you take a chance with your most prized possession? Would you allow your child to stand in the middle of an expressway and try and dodge the oncoming traffic?

I don’t think so!

So, why do we choose to stand right in the middle of the expressway of unwanted thoughts and continue to stand there despite the oncoming danger?

It seems we do that NOT out of choice, but out of habit because we don’t know any better. We are afraid that if we move we might just get hit, so we choose the safer option and stand there with our eyes closed, hoping the unwanted/negative thoughts would just go away.

Eventually they do. But not before causing enough damage by leaving indelible marks on our psyche and rendering us paralyzed. It’s a bit like going through a bushy countryside. The first time we go through there is no path, second time we go through we create a semblance of a path and the third time we go on the same path we leave a definite trail behind. Our thoughts are the same. Every time we think a certain way we reinforce that particular thought pattern.

Why not then build within us the reserves needed to counter this onslaught of unwanted negative thoughts and pave a newer path.

Pathways are formed in our brain with any consistent action/thought. So the good news is that, if negative thoughts can form pathways, so can the positive. The only problem is that we tend to pay more attention to the negative than we do to the positive. For every positive thought we tend to have 4 negative thoughts.

I used to constantly complain about how tired I was. Tiredness led to laziness, laziness led to low productivity ( both in personal and professional life), low productivity led to disappointment, disappointment led to low self esteem and low self esteem led to depression and depression led to chronic fatigue syndrome. Don’t know how it all started, but an innocuous statement like “I am tired” led to a real ailment. No amount of physical therapy or, medication could help me. My pain was very real. I had constant headaches and shoulder pain. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and complain. It became a self fulfilling prophesy. I would have become yet another statistic and joined the hordes that are constantly popping pain killers and visiting doctors, physio’s, chiropractors, healers, etc. (They are all extremely helpful, but the most helpful is your own thought). Till you change your thought/belief nothing will change.

The first step for any kind of change or healing to take place is to change the thought pattern. But changing the thought may not be as easy as it sounds, so start with changing the speech pattern. Instead of saying “ I am so tired” , I started saying… “I have a lot to do”. Our subconscious takes everything we say or think rather literally. Saying, I am so tired would ensure that I be tired and blocked me from doing anything. Saying, I have a lot to do forced my subconscious to find ways of accomplishing the task.

Slowly with consistent and concerted effort to change my vocabulary, I changed the neural pathways in my brain and eventually trained myself to think positively most of the time.

So the one thing that I would recommend today, would be to try and really focus on your spoken word. Pay attention to the real meaning and see how it affects you. For one day try and change your vocabulary. Use words that have an uplifting vibration and see if it makes a difference.

Move away from the expressway of negative thoughts/words and take a stroll in the park of bliss.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Route to Happiness… by Shveitta Sethi Sharma.

Lesson 1

Sometimes, when we are feeling sad or depressed, it is hard for us to ever imagine that we were happy once. We all have issues in life that can unsettle us. Loss of a relationship, financial loss, loss of a loved one, loss of a job and so on. There is no one who is immune to loss, but we can surely immunize ourselves against long term pain. In fact we must. If we don’t pull ourselves out of the crevice, we will go in much deeper and sabotage any chance of happiness.

Often when any kind of loss takes place we start to grieve not for the loss, but for the effect it has on our being. We suddenly start to feel worthless. We start to see life as nothing but a chore and see no joy in living. We start to feel ugly on the inside and outside, we feel alone and insecure.

Although the feelings feel justified, we need to realize that they are not true. So what if we lost a relationship, a job, money. Does that make one a bad person? But that is what starts to happen in our heads, we lose perspective and start to blame ourselves and start to feel guilty about how we would have in some way or the other contributed to that loss. Often even when things are beyond our control, we end up apportioning blame towards ourselves.

The first step towards instant recovery is to realize that things happen and sometimes the outcome is not what we had hoped for or wanted. So instead of blaming others or yourselves, focus on raising your own vibration so that you can start to attract the good times . Staying in the negative field drags us further into negativity and pain and blocks the recovery.

Let’s get on board the train/bus/plane to destination “Happiness”.

So you are feeling lousy- Get up, go to a mirror and say all the bad things that come to your mind. Call yourself a failure, call yourself names, call yourself stupid for not being able to foresee the situation and blame yourself for all that went wrong. Now have a good cry. How does it feel? Does it feel good to berate yourself?

Probably not!

So let’s change the record. Go back to the mirror and now say to yourself the following.
_______________ ( your name) you are beautiful.
_______________ you are talented.
_______________ you are lovable.
_______________ you are lucky.
_______________ you are amazing.
_______________ you are brilliant.

Keep going . Find adjectives that uplift you and look yourself in the eyes and say that to yourself. You don’t need to believe what you say, but just say it.

Remember, “Fake it till you make it.” This may sound flakey and superficial and it probably is. The focus at this stage is not on truth or untruth….All we are trying to do is raise the vibrations of our being so that we are now ready to face the situation in a more positive way.

You may feel emotions welling up and you may feel like crying. Accept that it is OK to be upset and sad, but remind yourself that even though you can’t seem to find any reason to be happy, there is still something to look forward to. Dig deep within and find some happy memory and stay with it for a while. It may not want to stay long, and may want to be replaced by the sadness of the moment. Accept it. Allow it to stay , but treat it like an unwanted guest and then very quickly start thinking of another happy memory…. It might be difficult, but force yourself to think of at least one happy moment/blessing and dwell on it for a while.

Do this exercise and see if there is a shift in your emotions. You should start to feel better. Even though the feeling may be short lived, it’s a start.

Lesson 2 - next week.
Have a superlative week and choose happiness.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

100 Foods that Make You Smarter, Happier, and More Productive Posted by Site Administrator in Features on 09 9th, 2009 |

Taken from......http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2009/09/09/100-foods-that-make-you-smarter-happier-and-more-productive/

If you’re like most college students, chances are your diet isn’t optimized to give you the best nutrition. Although it’s easy to eat junk food, it’s not the best for your brain, body, and happiness. Here, we’ll take a look at 100 foods that can help you become smarter, happier, more productive…and maybe even a little bit sexier.

Essential Nutrients

In any food you eat, make sure you look for these essential nutrients for success.
Glucose: Your brain requires a constant supply of glucose, found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Dopamine: Eat dopamine-rich foods like meat, nuts, and soy to feel more alert.
Choline: Choline can provide you with memory enhancement and better reaction time.
Anthocyanin: Anthocyanins protect your brain from oxidation stress, and can be found in blackberries.
Acetylcholine: This neurotransmitter excited other neurons-it’s found in egg, peanuts, wheat germ, and more.
Low glycemics: Eat foods that offer a low glycemic ranking, as they will break down glucose molecules more slowly.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is one of the essential vitamins for good brain health.
Vitamin B12: With B12, you’ll be able to repair brain cell damage that can stop memory loss.
Fiber: High fiber can help boost your cognitive performance.
Vitamin K: Getting vitamin K will help improve your cognitive function.
Iron: Iron can help you maintain good levels of focus and concentration.
Serotonin: Serotonin can produce feelings of pleasure, and is found in pasta, potatoes, cereals, breads, and starchy vegetables.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is great for supporting your brain, so be sure to eat lots of citrus fruits.
Alphalinoleic: ALA offers an improvement of your central cortex, which processes sensory information.
B vitamins: B vitamins can improve your mood and mental performance.
Folic acid: Folic acid: Eating folic acid can help support your brain-healthy diet.
Zinc: Make sure you’re getting enough zinc to maintain your verbal memory.
Protein: Protein will help your body better absorb glucose.
Lycopene: This antioxidant found in tomatoes will help prevent free-radical damage to brain cells.
Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine works to support healthy neurological function.
Essential fatty acids: Omega-3s are great for brain development and maintenance.


Adopt these habits that can help you improve your nutrition.
Graze: Eat more frequent, but smaller, meals in order to keep your brain’s energy steady.
Eat a larger lunch: Avoid having a big dinner, opting for a larger lunch instead.
Eat breakfast: Breakfast can improve your cognition and reduce anxiety./li>

Brain Food

Eat these foods to feed your brain.
Raw carrots: Raw carrots will provide you with a steady level of blood sugar for your brain.
Cashews: Cashews are high in magnesium, which can give more oxygen-rich blood to your brain.
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are full of brain nutrients, like zinc and fatty acids.
Water: Get up to 2 liters of water a day to keep your brain hydrated.
Blackberries: Get your oxidation stress-preventing anthocyanins from blackberries.
Eggplant: Keep your brain sharp with eggplant, particularly the skin that keeps your brain sharp with the nutrient nasunin.
Meat: Meat will help your brain create neurotransmitters to send messages from neuron to neuron.
Seeds: By eating seeds, you can get your essential fatty acids.
Canola oil: Canola oil offers a good serving of Omega-3s.
Pecans: Eating pecans can provide you with choline, which is essential for optimal brain function.
Lean beef: Eating lean beef can help you get the iron you need for cognitive functioning.
Fish: Fish is high in protein, which offers a great source of amino acids.
Whole wheat bread: Whole wheat bread offers a less sharp spike in glucose levels.
Strawberries: Antioxidant-rich strawberries can boost your cognitive functioning.
Broccoli: In this superfood, you’ll find lots of vitamin K to enhance brainpower.
Scallops: Load up on scallops to get your essential fatty acids.
Tuna: With tuna fish, you’ll get Omega-3s that can help nerve signals move.
Nuts: Nuts are a great source of essential fatty acids like Omega-3s.
Yogurt: In yogurt, you’ll find improved neurotransmitters.
Cranberries: In cranberries, you’ll find a high concentration of antioxidants that can help prevent brain cell damage caused by free radicals.
Romaine lettuce: Romaine lettuce offers a good amount of Omega-3s and protein.
Hot cocoa: Pure cocoa powder packs an incredibly strong antioxidant punch.
Cheese: Eat cheese to provide your brain with the amino acids it needs.
Berries: Berries are high in complex carbohydrates which can offer you sustained brain energy.
Olive oil: Olive oil will give you a dose of potent antioxidant polyphenols.
Cold-water fish: Eating cold-water fish can provide you with the Omega-3s you need to keep your brain full of the right fats.
Walnut oil: Walnut oil can help you get the Omega-3s you need.


With these foods, you can put your productivity into overdrive.
Peppermint tea: The scent of peppermint can help you focus and boost performance.
Avocados: Avoid bloating after a big lunch with this tasty treat that’s full of good fats.
Dark chocolate: Eat a small bar of dark chocolate for a great load of antioxidants and a sweet tooth satisfaction.
Sunflower seeds: Eat a handful of sunflower seeds to beat fatigue.
Almonds: With almonds, you can boost brainpower, stabilize your mood, and more.
Figs: The natural sweetness of figs offers high energy while staving off your appetite.
Watermelon: Watermelon offers energy and nutrients with low calories.


Boost your alertness and focus using these foods.
Beans: With beans, you’ll get dopamine, which can help you feel more energized, alert, and assertive.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal can give you a steady stream of energy and better memory.
Raisins: Raisins offer high energy with antioxidants, without lots of fat and calories.
Walnuts: Load up on walnuts for Omega-3s that can help you think more clearly and stay focused.
Green tea: Drinking green tea can relax your brain and induce mental alertness.
Salad: Eating a high protein salad with vinaigrette will keep your energy levels high.
Fruit: Fruit offers an excellent source of carbohydrates that can break down gradually over time.
Flaxseed: Flax can help you keep up the levels of healthy fats that can improve your cerebral cortex.
Crunchy fruit: Low calorie, crunchy fruits can be eaten throughout the day for sustained brain energy.
Salmon: Get your Omega-3 fatty acids and niacin to stay on your toes.


With the help of these foods, you’ll be able to remember more.
Liver: In liver, you’ll find acetylcholine, which can help with memory and excite neurons.
Deeply colored produce: You’ll find lots of memory boosting antioxidants in fruits and vegetables with deep pigments.
Bell peppers: Bell peppers will help you stop a deteriorating memory.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that can help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Coffee: For short term memory improvement, a little caffeine can go a long way.
Red cabbage: Eat red cabbage to get the polyphenols you need to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Blueberries: In blueberries, you’ll find antioxidants that can help cut your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Eggs: Eggs are full of choline, which can improve your reaction time and memory.
Corn: Corn is a great source for improving your memory.
Bananas: Bananas are a good source of antioxidants.
Brown rice: Eating brown rice can help give your brain energy to improve memory.
Wheat germ: Wheat germ can help with memory and prevent Alzheimer’s memory loss.
Brussels sprouts: Eat brussels sprouts for a good dose of antioxidants.
Onions: The occasional onion can provide you with the nutrients you need to support your memory.


Boost your mood by eating one or some of these foods.
Pasta: With pasta, you’ll get serotonin, which can improve feelings of pleasure.
Alcohol: With moderate alcohol consumption, you can get more blood and oxygen to flow to the brain.
Leafy greens: Get your B-vitamins that produce feel-good hormones from arugula, chard, and spinach.
Garlic: Garlic isn’t just tasty, it’s a great mood booster.
Turkey: Everyone knows that the tryptophan in turkey can make you sleepy and mellow.
Carbohydrates: If you’re looking for mental soothing, look to carbohydrates.
Red wine: Get antioxidants, dopamine, and more to improve your mood from wine.
Concord grape juice: Just like red wine, grape juice can improve your mood.
Potatoes: Eating potatoes can give you a delivery of serotonin to boost your mood.

Foods to Avoid

If you’re eating for nutrition and productivity, steer clear of these foods.
Soda: High glucose levels can damage cells in your brain.
Full fat ice cream: Eating full-fat ice cream can clog your brain with saturated fat.
White chocolate: White chocolate is useless chocolate-it doesn’t have the cocoa solids that stimulate euphoria, so go for dark chocolate instead.
White bread: White bread can cause you to cause a stressful spike in glucose levels.
Fast food: Fast food has been shown to make people less intelligent.
Sports drinks: Although rich in electrolytes for athletes, they aren’t necessary for most moderately active people, and they are full of sugar.
Energy drinks: Drinking energy drinks can mess with your sleep schedule and handicap your mind.
Candy: Avoid sugar highs and lows by staying away from candy.
Saturated fat: If you eat a diet high in saturated fat, you’ll be susceptible to cognitive deficits, and even stroke.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Feel good.....

Would love for all of you to participate in this exercise.Can you please say something nice to your spouse/partner, child, co-worker, helper today. Wait for their reaction and observe your reaction. (If possible spend a few minutes thinking about how you felt) .It has been proven that giving and recieving compliments raises ones endorphin and seratonin level( feel good hormones) and boosts the immune system.

A clear Vision ( I got this in my inbox-thought I would share)

As you climb the ladder of success, check occasionally to make sure it is
leaning against the right wall."

A Clear Vision - What Do You Want?

Most people have a vague idea of success. Perhaps it means having money to
you, or owning nice things. Some people measure success in terms of
relationships, or raising a healthy family. Some measure in terms of influence,
or contribution.

Any way that you measure success is valid, as long as it brings you

How do YOU measure success?

Take some time to answer this question. You may want to sit down with a
journal and a cup of tea and allow yourself to daydream. What would success
look like? What would it feel like? Don’t worry about what’s possible, or limit
yourself in any way. What would you like?



What would your ideal relationships look like?
How often would you get together with friends?
How would you spend time with your family?


What would success in the arena of health look like to you?
What’s your ideal weight and level of physical activity?

Physical Surroundings

When you’re successful, what does your home look like?
What type of vehicle do you drive?
Where do you spend your time, what environment?
Free time/Hobbies/Personal Development
What do you do with your free time?
What spiritual practices do you enjoy?
What are your hobbies?
How much income would you like to have?
What type of work would you LOVE to do?
What would an ideal day look like?

All of these are part of a definition of AUTHENTIC SUCCESS, success
that comes from the alignment of mind, heart, body, and soul.
If you don’t know what you want, you can’t get it!
Most people are far more familiar with what they DON’T want, rather than
what they do want.

This is a spiritual principle as well as a practical one. Spiritually speaking, if you don’t know what you want, you can’t ask the Universe for it. Practically
speaking, if you don’t know what you want, you can’t begin to structure your
life to create it.

Action Step: Keep this list of what you want – we’ll be using it in an upcoming lesson!

Business Owners: You will want to do the section below as well!

A Clear Business Vision

What’s your vision for your business? How much money do you want to make
this year? In 5 years? How will that money come to you? What objectives,
strategies, and goals do you have for creating a business that serves you, serves
your customers, and serves the world?

It’s astonishing how many service-minded professionals don’t have a vision for
their business or their success. If you’re fuzzy about your details, don’t despair
– you have lots of company! Just know that this is the place to start.
This is a spiritual principle as well as a business principle. If you don’t know
what you want, you can’t create it – you can’t ask the Universe, or anyone in it,
for support. From a business standpoint, if you don’t know what you want,
you can’t create the structure to bring it into existence.

Action Step: Create a clear business vision.

Imagine that a good friend is asking you questions, and just write your answers
as though you were talking to her. You can even have a friend actually ask you
the questions, you answer verbally, and record the answer. You can transfer it
into writing later.

Why did you start your business? What do you want to accomplish with
Who are the people that you help?
What problem do you solve for them?
What is special or unique about what you do?
What is true in the world that makes your business so important for
people? What makes it likely that you will succeed?
What does your ideal business day involve?
How much business would you like to have in 6 months? In one year?
What would that look like?
What do you need in order to achieve this?
Are there any key issues that need to be addressed for this to happen?
Surprise! You have just created everything that you need for your business

Creating a business plan is one good way to get your ideas down on paper.
Unless you’re in a business that seeks government funding, or loans from big
companies, a one-page business plan will be fine. There are lots of resources
on the web to help you create one, such as:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To turn good ideas into real change, use repetition.

ACCORDING TO THE INTERNATIONAL Listening Association, within twenty-four hours, we forget half of any information we’ve heard. Forty-eight hours later, we’ve forgotten 75 percent of it. And we don’t grasp everything we hear in the first place. But these numbers change when what we hear is repeated. And the more it’s repeated, the better the numbers look.

All this has a huge bearing on how you make changes in your life. You change your behavior by changing the way you think. But the way you think is as ingrained and habitual and as resistant to change as any physical habit.

So learning new ways of thinking and behaving — and learning them well enough to actually make a difference — requires repetition. If, for example, you find a book that really makes a difference to you, read it again and again. Make it an annual event. Every time you read it, you’ll come across things you’d forgotten about.

Audiotapes are ideal for repetition. Listen to tapes in your car and traffic jams will be transformed from an annoyance to an extended opportunity to improve the quality of your life.

Telling your friends about something you’ve learned helps cement the new information in your mind. The more you share it, the better you learn it. The effort and concentration it requires to explain something to someone makes it clearer in your own mind and more permanent.

There are always so many new books, new tapes, new shows, new ideas, new information — we know we’ll never get to it all, but our curiosity constantly pulls us toward it. But keep this in mind: Most of that new stuff isn’t very good. And even less applies to your situation. So when you come across something that is good and does apply to your situation, hold onto it. Reread it. When you come across a good chapter in this book that applies to you, read it again in a month. Write a letter to someone and explain the idea to them and how you used it and how it worked. Post it on your refrigerator. Read it onto a tape and listen to it in your car. Keep it in your life. Repetition makes a difference.

With repetition you can take a fleeting hope sparked by a good idea and turn it into an actual change in your life. Instead of that possibility fading with your memory, it can grow stronger and stronger until your life is changed for the better. The distance between hope and actuality is crossed by repetition.

To turn good ideas into real change, use repetition.

learn more about this principle

Author: Adam Khan
author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works
and creator of the blogs, Crush Pessimism, and Mood Raiser

How Positive Psychology Can Boost Your Business

BWSmallBiz -- Managing February 13, 2009, 5:00PM EST
How Positive Psychology Can Boost Your Business
In tough times, entrepreneurs try the so-called science of happiness to build thriving companies

By Jill Hamburg Coplan

To understand how positive psychology—the so-called science of happiness—is being used by entrepreneurs, it helps to look at a company under siege. After all, it's one thing to talk about the connections between a positive mental state and a healthy company when a business is running well, turning a profit, and grabbing new customers. But tougher times really test entrepreneurs, separating those who hunker down and hope the worst will pass from those who use their strengths to find opportunity amid rubble.

Robert Aliota is determined to be, when necessary, one of the latter. In 2004, Aliota, the owner of Carolina Seal, an 11-employee Charlotte (N.C.) company that makes custom-engineered parts for DuPont (DD) and John Deere (DE), among others, learned that a competitor had pounced on one of his key segments. Worse, the rival had hooked ExxonMobil (XOM), a customer that had eluded Aliota.

Rather than hole up in anger or fume, Aliota followed a central tenet of positive psychology: capitalize on your fundamental character strengths, especially when things get bleak. Aliota's strengths include extroversion, optimism, and generosity. He had in the past referred business to the rival and toured its plant. Now he concentrated on cementing the relationship. Not long after, he got a call from his competitor: ExxonMobil needed a special part. Could Aliota supply it? Four years later, he and the onetime rival "are as closely allied as you can get without a legal alliance," says Aliota.

Coaches specializing in positive psychology are selling entrepreneurs a twofold promise. One is that optimism and cheerfulness have a measurable effect on the bottom line. The other is that happiness is a muscle you can strengthen. Aliota is buying all of it. "We're capable of thinking in a more positive way, but you need help to learn how," he says. That Carolina Seal has posted three years of double-digit growth, Aliota says, "is a lot due to the awareness we've gained." He hires for strengths rather than résumés, and when necessary, he redeploys staff to create a better fit. His employees get more extensive training, and therefore, far more autonomy (Aliota took his first-ever two-week vacation this summer). Aliota begins and ends meetings with praise rather than criticism. And he has changed how he frames his mission. "We're a personal- and career-development company," he says. "It turns out the by-product is engineered rubber, metal, plastic, and foam."

These ideas will no doubt ring a bell with anyone familiar with the work of humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow or any of the truckloads of pseudo-scientific career-coaching books. What makes positive psychology different, its proponents say, is a decade of clinical trials, making sometimes-controversial use of brain-scanning technology, that have measured and refined what happiness can do. They've looked at how much an upbeat mood, for example, reduces the time it takes a team of doctors to make a tricky diagnosis. They've found that a social worker will make twice as many visits to clients if he or she feels appreciated.

Positive psychology, in its current form, was born at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, when Martin E.P. Seligman, then a Penn professor and president of the American Psychological Assn., made the study of positive emotion the theme of his tenure and developed a master's program for its study. Positive psychology caught fire, with Penn remaining the locus. In 2002, the University of Michigan's business school began offering PhDs in Positive Organizational Scholarship. In 2004, Case Western Reserve University began granting MBAs in Positive Organizational Development. Since then, hundreds of happiness-and-business researchers have taken on assignments at companies as various as Toyota Motor (TM), Ann Taylor Stores (ANN), BP's (BP) Castrol Marine, and Standard Chartered Bank, as well as the Scottish city of Glasgow and the U.S. Navy. Most graduates of Penn's master's program have fanned out to academia or big corporations. But a few, mostly from business-owning families, are taking the discipline to entrepreneurs.

Their argument is simple. A decade of research suggests that happiness at work—defined as pleasure, engagement, and a sense of meaning—can improve revenue, profitability, staff retention, customer loyalty, and workplace safety. Many of the studies are preliminary. They aren't cross-cultural or long-term. But they strongly suggest that postive emotion increases creativity and problem-solving ability and aids in fighting stress.

Cheery thoughts aren't for everyone all the time. Plenty of jobs require anxiety, pessimism, and even fear, researchers say. Airline pilots facing ice shouldn't be optimistic. Nor should accountants spotting fishy numbers, or regulators probing corruption. No research, however, suggests that a dour outlook helps entrepreneurs succeed. Aliota's coach, David J. Pollay, grew up working in his family's business and now heads The Momentum Project, a consulting firm in Ocean Ridge, Fla. For most entrepreneurs, Pollay says, "negativity is just not necessary."

True enough, some say, but that doesn't necessarily mean a focus on happiness is the answer, either. Such noted psychologists as Harvard University's Jerome Kagan, who has studied temperament for 50 years, caution that the psychology and biology of happiness are little understood and vary dramatically across time, cultures, and individuals. "A suicide bomber who's really committed to the cause feels very happy the moment before he blows himself up," Kagan says.

Causality is also a problem: Does being cooperative, engaged, and generous make an entrepreneur happy, or are naturally happy people just more cooperative, engaged, and generous? Another criticism, buttressed by studies of identical twins, is that people's general baseline temperament, or set point, is between 50% and 80% inherited, making it very difficult to change.

But this much seems certain: People can take control of certain actions that will make them happier for a time, such as setting appropriate goals. They can add gratitude, hope, and a dose of self-control to each working day. And it's clear that happy bosses perform measurably better, building productive teams and inspiring loyalty.

Positive psychologists start by asking their clients to take a test that evaluates a person's strengths, on the premise that doing what we're best at naturally brings joy. Thirty years of Gallup surveys have found that the most successful companies are ones whose employees believe they get to do what they do best every day. (Only one-third of working people do.) Penn's test, which measures 24 attributes, is free online at viastrengths.org. Such an analysis can help entrepreneurs figure out the most productive uses of their time, but it can also be useful in hiring. Having a spectrum of strengths on staff is crucial for small and startup businesses, says Tom Rath, the head of Gallup's workplace research and consulting arm.

Once an entrepreneur knows his or her strengths, it's time to put them to use. That's what Melanie Morlan, owner of FirstBreathe.com, a wellness and athletic training company in Spokane, Wash., needed to do. She spent a decade working with the U.S. Olympic Committee and professional cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, before taking time out to raise her son. She wanted to reenter the workforce by building a larger consulting practice than she'd once had, offering nutrition counseling, coaching in weight loss and stress reduction, and building a Web site and blog. But she couldn't get started. "I'd get scared and set up roadblocks," she says, telling herself she'd never succeed and ignoring her to-do list. She eventually called on Senia Maymin, a coach and, like Pollay, a graduate of Seligman's program. Maymin also holds an MBA from Stanford University, and she knows family business and entrepreneurship firsthand, having worked alongside her father and brother at their hedge fund and co-founding three tech startups. Maymin helped Morlan exploit her strengths, of which creativity is first. So if Morlan lost a valuable client or made a bad decision, instead of spending the afternoon moping, she would turn to designing and building her Web site. "Creativity stimulates me," she says.

Even if emotional qualities do not show up among your top strengths, positive psychology coaches recommend trying to build stronger bonds with and among your staff. Barbara L. Fredrickson, a psychology professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is studying the flip side of the adrenaline-fueled fight-or-flight response. She says an equal and opposite phenomenon occurred when our ancestors were content: Their brains flooded with with a stay-and-create chemical, possibly dopamine. Her theory is that while the anger-and-fear response kept us from being eaten alive, civilization's creations came about thanks to "happy" chemicals and what she calls the "broaden-and-build" state of mind they trigger. At work, that same reaction should make staffers more resilient in crises and more likely to be receptive to new ideas, while deepening collegial relationships and mutual respect. Despite the heavy theory involved, building stronger ties with those you work with can be as simple as offering abundant praise and recognition when appropriate; giving staff tailor-made rewards for performance; and letting them be themselves—maybe in the way they mark special occassions, maybe in the way they decorate their workspace.

Next in the consultants' toolkit is fostering appreciation. Studies suggest businesses succeed when their cultures are imbued with a sense of purpose—for owner and staff. Much work in that area has come from David L. Cooperrider, who heads the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management. His workshop method, called Appreciative Inquiry, asks participants to reflect on, write about, and share aloud why their job and company matter. "There's a huge fusion of strengths, and every voice becomes part of designing the future of the company's business," says Cooperrider.

If all this sounds too fuzzy for you, well, just speak with Juan Humberto Young, the founder of seven-person consulting firm Positive Decision Analysis, in Zürich. A positive psychology consultant and another Penn graduate, Young hears one criticism most: Positive psychology is too soft for numbers-obsessed business owners.

With a background running an asset restructuring unit at UBS, Young recognizes the importance of statistics. So every one of his clients measures his or her progress against customized metrics. An eight-store retail chain tracked its revenues—up 10% after three months. A bank watched its deposits rise 20%. And a hospital, long plagued by interpersonal conflicts, slow response times, and a backlog in the emergency room, saw the number of operations completed rise 8%. Young ties some of his firm's compensation to these results.

Even so, says Young, who teaches at Switzerland's prestigious University of St. Gallen, many still balk. When he worked at UBS, he recalls, even the craziest trading idea would get a serious hearing. But the idea that "to create appreciation will make you more efficient and profitable—that's very difficult for [clients] to hear."

The last piece of the puzzle relates to exercising power over the self. The father of this field, called "self-regulation," is Stanford's Albert Bandura, a pioneer on overcoming phobias and in designing disease prevention campaigns. Few would argue with the notion that change is difficult, but research suggests that if you can master self-discipline in something as seemingly inconsequential as your posture, it will seep into your work life.

Coach Maymin delves into this with her clients, many of whom seek her out when they are between ventures. She says that to be able to get routinely into the mental state that Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (pronounced "cheeks sent me high"), another founder of positive psychology, calls "flow"—complete absorption in a task—entrepreneurs must craft a workload that's challenging but not too tough. Its demands should fully use an entrepreneur's abilities, the same way endurance athletes train just at their physical limit. "In the athletic domain, everyone can see it," she says. Psychologically, too, "self-regulation is a muscle you can train over time." She assigns her clients a small, daily exercise challenge each week, based on research that says if you accustom your body to pushing just past its comfort zone toward ever-retreating goals, "you can do the exact same thing in your company"—push past your comfort zone and achieve goals once thought to be out of reach.

Including, perhaps, smoothing out a messy merger. CargoWise EDI was, until 2006, a 50-person software company in Mount Prospect, Ill., serving the freight-forwarding industry. Founder and then-President Cris Arens called for a psychology coach after a combination with an Australian counterpart quadrupled its size, bruised egos, turned longtime policies and procedures upside down, and dashed morale. During Christmas 2006, Pollay ran a daylong seminar to get CargoWise's top U.S. employees to appreciate their individual strengths and find common purpose. They recalled when they were at their best. They thought about the company's wider purpose: creating jobs that support hundreds of families; cooperating while doing something they enjoy; producing useful products that facilitate commerce. None of it was groundbreaking, but employees didn't usually articulate these things. They talked about negative forces that were beyond their control and vowed not to be derailed by them.

"We're from the freight industry, so there was a lot of cynicism," says Arens, who calls himself "a blue-collar, down-to-earth person." But he also says the boost to morale was palpable. He brought Pollay back the next year to train the rest of the North American team. Now he's using the same techniques at HarneTech, his new green-building certification company.

Aliota at Carolina Seal says happiness science has led him to make lasting changes. For one, he regularly recalls and dissects his moments of entrepreneurial triumph, "times when I was truly in the zone, utilizing my natural strengths and having fun" as a sort of happiness fuel. One such moment came during a visit by respresentatives of a maker of giant water purification systems. Escorting the visitors on a tour of his newly renovated industrial facility, he introduced the whole staff by name. He shared the story of building the business up from two plastic shelves in his garage. He queried his prospects about their needs. During lunch, they connected over family and community matters. When Aliota and his prospects shook hands in the parking lot, the guests said they were ready to sign a deal—during a break, they'd canceled visits to two of Aliota's competitors.

Return to the BW SmallBiz Feb/March 2009 Table of Contents

Jill Hamburg Coplan writes about topics including finance, family, and religion, and teaches journalism at New York University. She has been a regular freelance contributor to BusinessWeek since 2000.
McGraw-Hill Education Standard & Poor's BusinessWeek

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Practical freedom - "Who am I?" By Nithya shanti

The following process can calm the mind and free it from irrelevant thoughts. It can be applied in any situation and, with practice, becomes a habitual way of dealing effectively with disturbing or destructive thoughts.

Please be guided by your intuition in its appropriate use.


1) State your thought/feeling/pain (out loud or to yourself).


I feel angry with John for calling me names.

This work is hard to do.

My toe is hurting because I stubbed it.

I am sad because Mary is not talking to me.

I am worried about my son/daughter.

This person annoys me with his/her bragging.

I am so depressed I feel l want to die.

2) Separate yourself consciously from your thought/feeling/pain by using the third person.


Who feels angry because John is calling her/him names? (Not: Callingme names). Remember, you need to separate from that part of you who feels angry, sad, hurt, etc. However, this separation is not a “pushing away” of that painful part. You need to focus on it without fear.

Who finds it hard to do this work?

Who feels a pain in his/her toe? (Concentrate on the pain while you say this.)

Who is sad because Mary is not talking to her/him?

Who is worried about his/her son/daughter?

Who is annoyed by this person’s bragging?

Who feels so depressed he/she wants to die?

3) Now become consciously that part of you who has that thought/feeling/pain; make sure that you concentrate, that you become the feeling, if you are aware of one (which is not necessarily the case), that you `breathe’ into it, and then say:

I do, or I am (whichever is grammatically correct).

4)Then, as that part of you who has the thought/feeling, say:


If the thought/feeling/pain is still there, start again, concentrating well.

If another thought/feeling/pain appears, repeat the process.


Never try to answer the question WHO AM I? by saying, for instance: “I am me”, or “I am Mary”, etc. The question does not apply to you as a person, but to that part of you that appears to have a problem. More often than not, no thought will surface after the question. The mind will be blank, which is what we want to achieve. Should a thought appear that has a heavy emotional load, i.e. upsets you more than you can handle on your own, picture the event in your mind as though you were watching it on a movie or TV screen. In other words, make it something that happened but not something you are going through now. This rarely occurs, and it is not an adverse reaction; on the contrary. Just make note of it so that it can be worked on further if it feels appropriate. But with constant practice, you will find that you can deal with it yourself, whatever it is.

Familiarize yourself with this technique by using it anytime, anywhere. You may want to close your eyes so as to concentrate better, but this is not necessary, nor even advisable at times, to do so unless you are in a safe place. After a time, it becomes a natural reflex. The benefits that accrue can be remarkable.

The same technique can be used to anchor positive thoughts/feelings, like:

I feel peaceful

Who feels peaceful?

I do.

Who am I?

Make sure you focus/concentrate on, even become, the good feeling. See what happens!

At first, people appear confused by the way this technique works. I say to them: “Imagine that a tiger is entering this room. Would I ask you to say: `I am afraid of this tiger. Who is afraid? I am. Who am I?’ “

People invariably laugh and say: “Of course not! We would both escape through the window!”

I then pursue:

“Of course you would, because you would be facing a real danger and you would be experiencing a `Fear Fight Flight’ reaction caused by adrenaline pumping into your system (shallow and faster breathing, heart pumping faster, tightening diaphragm, etc.) The funny part is that you set off the same reaction with your thoughts, even when there is no real tiger threatening you. I call these thoughts `paper tigers’. In fact, you are literally scaring yourself to death… eventually.

With the Who Am I? technique, you challenge that part of your brain that causes these useless `Fear Fight Flight’ reactions. After a time, your subconscious learns not to react in such a wasteful manner to thoughts that are only the product of faulty coping mechanisms, of baseless belief systems, of conditioned reflexes, etc., etc.”

Practice makes perfect!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pay attention...

Meister Eckhart, the mystic, said, “To grasp God in all things – this is the sign of your new birth.”How often do we notice the presence of Spirit around us?

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin tells the 19th century Hasidic tale about the teacher who told his followers, “Everything that has been created in God’s world has a lesson to teach us.” Thinking that the teacher was engaging in hyperbole, one of his followers called out, “And what can we learn from the train?” “That because of being one minute late,” the teacher answered, “you can lose everything.”“And from the telegraph?” “that for every word you pay.” “And from the telephone?” “that what we say here, is heard there.”

Spiritual growth is concerned with paying attention to all the wonderful and magical things going on in our lives. We miss most of the wonders of life because we are not awake; we devote so much time wishing we were somewhere else, rushing to something else that might be more interesting. The English mystic, Evelyn Underhill, writes, “For lack of attention, a thousand forms of loveliness elude us every day. Moments that may never again be repeated in our lives are often lost because of our busyness, our being in too much of a rush to notice them.”

Be Here Now

The philosopher Henry David Thoreau said, “Now or never! You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, and find eternity in every moment.” We can only pay attention to the magic of life by being in the moment. Be here in the moment, as an artist is here with focused attention, whether you are cooking, cleaning, praying, playing, reading or being with another person.

Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield, said, “The quality of presence determines the quality of life.”

One of the most important aspects of our spiritual journey is to see the value and the beauty of life as it shows itself to us in all its wondrous ways. As we open our awareness to the radiant world around us, more and more of its beauty flows into our experience, and worlds that before we did not see unfold in front of our eyes.

Nothing is Forever

What if this week we all begin to pay attention more fully to the signs of God in our midst? What if we slow down to notice all we have failed to see before? Imagine what wonders your attention would bring to you today.

Poet, William Carlos Williams, carried a notepad around with him. On it was written: “Things I noticed today that I missed until today.” Why would you fail to notice anything today? – it might not be here tomorrow.

source: dynamiccentre.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

A chapter from the Silva Ultra Mind system. - creative Visualization

Creative Visualization
How You Can Use the Power of Visualization and Affirmations to Create “Lucky Coincidences”

We now come to the premier techniques for harnessing your mind’s power to shape your life and move you towards your dreams and aspirations.

This principles below will specifically teach you to .

We will teach you two techniques in this lesson.
Creative Visualization.

In our last lesson you learned how to use the alpha level of mind to gain creative ideas and inspiration. You are now ready for the next step. You will learn how to tap into your mind to shape your reality. Perhaps you’re looking to be more positive, to stick to your diet, to improve your golf swing or to end a bad habit. We’ll show you how you can use affirmations and creative visualization to reprogram your mind and reshape your attitudes and behavior.

It all starts with your imagination. Imagination is the ability to create an idea, a vision or an image of something new.

In creative visualization, we use the power of imagination to create a mental image of what we want to accomplish or obtain.

Your goal could be on any level

You might imagine yourself driving that BMW you always wanted, owning a home in the country, married to your ideal mate, succeeding at your job or having $100,000.00 in your bank account.

No matter what your goal, the technique is basically the same. You imagine the desired outcome in your mind. At the same time, you repeat a positive affirmation about the goal. The affirmation is in the present tense.
Imagination is the beginning of creation.You imagine what you desire,you will what you imagineand at last you create what you will.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
The Scientific Evidence

There is strong scientific evidence that visualization can be used to dramatically improve your results in sports, public speaking, performing arts and anything else which involves practice.

In one study, Australian psychologist Allen Richardson conducted an experiment with basketball players making hoop shots. He divided the players in three groups.
Group A – was asked to practice their shots on a basketball court for 20 minutes a day.
Group B – was asked not to practice at all.
Group C – was asked to mentally rehearse shooting a basketball through a hoop for 20 minutes each day.

At the end of the study Group A improved their hoop shot ability by 25%. Group B, as expected, showed no improvement at all.

What was truly surprising, was that Group C improved by 24%, almost as much as Group A, even though they had not physically set foot in a basketball court.

There is also overwhelming scientific evidence that visualization can be used to heal the body. Doctors such as O. Carl Simonton have been helping patients recover from serious illnesses such as cancer by combining visualization with modern medicine. The patients often made dramatic improvements simply by visualizing their bodies behaving in ideal, healthy ways.

We’ll look at more of this fascinating evidence in our next lesson which will be on mind-body healing.

What we’re going to suggest in this lesson is something even more incredible.

Your mind’s influence is not just limited to improving your emotions, skills and physical body. Your mind can influence theworld outside your apparent physical control.

In other words, your mind can spawn amazing coincidences to move you towards your goals. The coincidences could be things that were seemingly unconnected to you and beyond your control.

The techniques we will teach you do not just make you more focused on your goals. They directly influence your reality.

Laboratory evidence pouring out of universities such as Princeton and Stanford has shown that volunteers are able to influence matter by their thoughts. So far the evidence has been limited to effects on random number generators, dice and electronic equipment. We will look at some of this evidence in Lesson Seven.

What is still lacking is scientific evidence that visualization can create “coincidences” in the physical world, outside your immediate control. This of course, is hard to test in a lab.

But thousands of scientists and millions of other people in the world do believe in this because they have experienced it in their own lives.

In short, just because an effect cannot be tested in a lab, does not mean it does not exist.

Some of the greatest thinkers in the world—Einstein, Edison, Jung, Carnegie and Goethe (the man with the highest recorded IQ, 210)—all believed in the power of the mind to create coincidences.

I believe that the mind has the power to affect groups of atoms and even tamper with the odds of atomic behavior, and that even the course of the world is not predetermined by physical law, but may be altered bythe uncaused volition of human beings.

~ Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, English mathematician and AstroPhysicist

Let’s take a look at some of these personal experiences. Millions of people worldwide have reported such coincidences.

On our web site we maintain a library of letters from people who have used Silva Ultra Mind System techniques to accelerate healing, gain inspiration, start a business, find a dream job, achieve goals, walk again after a car accident, earn a six-figure income, and find peace of mind.

Letters are sorted in categories:
Personal Development
Spiritual Development

You can access this library anytime by clicking here

Below, we have included segments from letters that we have received from students of the Silva UltraNubd System. These letters will give you some ideas of what can be accomplished when the mind is properly harnessed.
Letters from Students

The following are extracts from letters we have received from students in the past 12 months. These letters and more, are catalogued on our website
“Investment Success”

[The] technique already solved one problem with my investments. Two days after doing it, the broker called to inform me [that] my value was up 40% and he wanted to get together with me over dinner to discuss better and safer ways of protecting and increasing my assets. This is exactly what I programmed for.”

~ Jim from Illinois
“Mental Rehearsal for Sports & Public Speaking”

“I have received many great complements on my oral presentations which can be attributed to my ability to visualize the presentation before it happens. I have also used this technique in golf and kung-fu. Ever since then, it has helped me to become better at my game and master my techniques.”

~ C.S. from Warwick Rhode Island

“I did [the technique] in which I saw myself making better choices about what I eat, and ended with the result of being my ideal size. Recently, I noticed that without struggle, I have made dramatic changes in the way I eat—much less fat and sugar and smaller helpings, yet I seem to be more satisfied and enjoying the taste of the food I eat more than ever.”

~ G.H. of New York
“Improving Your Career”

“I’m a sales-manager by profession, and I have to say the visualization is such a tremendous part of being successful in my field. Virtually every time I use it, I come close or hit the target on what I wanted to achieve.”

~ Jeff from Fort Wayne, Indiana
“Looking Better & Attracting People”

“I began to see improvement physically. My joint pain disappeared and my energy level was up. I also began to attract people—especially men, in a way that I had not before experienced. I also had people say to me I looked 10 years younger and wanted to know what I did. I lost weight.”

~ Mary from California

Let’s take a look at how you can start applying these techniques.
Basic Technique 1 – Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself while in a meditative or alpha level of mind. Affirmations are always done in the present tense, as if the action has already taken place.

The concept was made famous by a French physician called Emile Coue. Coue was responsible for thousands of remarkable documented healings at the beginning of the 20th century. His remedy was to combine western medicine with the power of affirmations. Patients were made to repeat positive healing affirmations to themselves while in a relaxed frame of mind.

Coue’s most famous affirmation was “everyday, in every way, I am getting better and better.”

When done at the alpha level, affirmations tend to be countless times more powerful than when done at the beta, or waking state.


Because when you reach the alpha level of mind, your subconscious is brought to a conscious level—this means it’s easier for you to convey commands directly to your subconscious.

Several affirmations that we use in the Silva UltraMind System seminar include:

“I will always maintain a perfectly healthy body and mind”

“Positive thoughts, positive emotions, bring me all the benefits and advantages I desire”

“I am learning to use more of my mind and to use it in a better way”

You can also create your own affirmations:

Looking for job satisfaction? Try saying…

“I have a perfect career that I truly love and enjoy. I have great opportunities for advancement and I am earning a wonderful salary of __________ a year.”

Looking to slim down? Try saying…

“I only enjoy eating the right types of healthy, nutritious foods that are good for my body.”

“I love the feeling of increased energy I get after exercising.”

“Every day, I am burning calories and getting closer to my ideal weight”

Looking to attract abundence? Try…

“I’m so happy and grateful now that money comes to me, in ever increasing quantities, through multiple sources, on a continuous basis.”

Other affirmations you can use include:

“My relationship with _______ is growing.”

“I enjoy my work and am richly rewarded.”

“I have enough time, energy, wisdom and funds to accomplish all my goals.”

Before you start creating your affirmation, note these important rules:
1. Affirmations must be in the present tense.

Your subconscious mind does not think in terms of past, present or future. If you say, I want to be an excellent golfer then your subconscious understands this as a statement of wanting. What you then get is the wanting or desire to be an excellent golfer but not the actual abilityitself.

What you should say is “I am an excellent golfer”. Your subconscious understands this as a statement of your present reality. It therefore works to make this reality true.

Remember, replace I want with I am
2. You must believe that the goal is within your reach.

If you repeat an affirmation, but at the same time you’re secretly thinking you cannot accomplish it, you hijack the process.

When you first start practicing this you should start with small believable goals. As you achieve these goals your confidence in yourself and in the power affirmations grows. This allows you to tackle greater and greater issues.
The best way to implant an affirmation is to release your mind from all desire and intention.

Merely state the suggestion to yourself without passion as a thing that is already so. Something that is true is obvious and undeniable — it does not need to be shouted or defended. It simply is. Use repetition to reinforce the effects of the affirmation.
3. Affirmations must always be done as a positive statement.

If you’re trying to drop weight don’t say, “I am not overweight”. Instead say, “I am slim and healthy”. When you see a phrase such as “I am no longer ill”, the dominant image in your mind is that of illness. When you turn that around to a phrase such as “I am healthy and well”, the dominant image in your mind is then one of health and wellness.

Remember, always turn the affirmation into a positive statement.

Positive affirmations are extremely useful in causing fundamental change, not only in behavior and beliefs, but in the external conditions of life.

When a suggestion is correctly injected into the subconscious mind, the effect is nothing short of miraculous. It does not show itself overnight, however, but is gradual and cumulative.
Basic Technique 2 – Creative Visualization

While affirmations are good—Silva pioneered a technique that is far more powerful that using simple affirmations. This technique is called creative visualization.

This involves visualizing the end result of your goal or desire while you are in the alpha level of mind.

The concept of creative visualization has been known for ages. It gained renewed popularity in the 1970s when a Silva graduate by the name of Shakti Gawain wrote a best-selling book about it.

Just like affirmations your visualization should be done in the “present tense”. Lets say you’re looking to own a brand new car. You want to visualize yourself in the car and feel the moment as if it is happening this instant and not at some time in the future.

In other words, feel the sense of joy in owning the car, rather than the sense of wanting or the sense of desire for the car.

To visualize effectively Jose Silva suggests creating a mental screen in front of your eyes. This should be like the screen you see in a cinema. It should be forward, in front of your eyes, and raised at an angle of around 20 degrees. The screen should be at least 6 feet in front of you. Make the screen as large as you can, almost like a movie screen in a cinema.
Try it now.

Close your eyes and visualize the mental screen, raised slightly 20 degrees above the horizon, and at least 6 feet in front of you.

When you perform creative visualization you will project images onto this screen.

If you are looking to improve your sports skills, visualize yourself playing the game perfectly. See yourself making perfect moves, shooting every basket, making the perfect swing. Feel the joy you feel when you play the game well.

If you are looking to shed some pounds, see yourself healthy and fit. Feel the joy of having a beautiful body. See people complimenting you.

If you’re in sales, you can see yourself making the perfect pitches. See your monthly commission statements showing ever increasing figures
Enhancing Your Creative Visualization

If you have difficulty visualizing use a technique called streaming.
In streaming you mentally describe what it is that you’re seeing. Make the description as detailed as possible. For example if you’re trying to visualize yourself driving a brand new car, mentally tell yourself, “I’m seein the dashboard, it has beautifully carved silver dials, the leather has tiny checkered patterns on it…”

As you describe the image in detail you will find that the image also takes on more detail. This, in turn, gives you more things to mentally describe. One feeds into the other and your imagined image becomes more and more vivid.

Don’t get stuck on the term “visualization”. Different people have different dominant senses. The most common dominant sense is the sense of sight. This is why for most people the process of visualization works well. Some people, however, may have a dominant sense of touch or hearing or smell. These people may have difficulty “visualizing” but may be able to accurately imagine sounds, smells or feelings.

For these people it’s important to incorporate these senses into their “mental experience”. Someone who was born blind for example, can still engage in creative visualization, but rather then see images, they would create the mental experience by using their mental sense of smell, hearing, taste and touch.
How to Increase the Impact of Creative Visualization:
Make the image as realistic as possible Incorporate movement, make the screen three-dimensional. See colors and shapes. Use the streaming technique if you have difficulty visualizing.
Feel emotions associated with the image Joy, happiness, a sense of fulfillment. How would you be feeling if you had what you wanted? Imagine and explore this feeling. A thought without emotions has no energy and no force behind it. It is like running a car on empty. Feel the emotions of having what you want.
Bring in your other senses Feel the wind blowing on your face; imagine the scents involved with the images. Feel texture and temperature. The more senses you involve, the more real the image is to your subconscious mind.

Here’s one example. Picture an orange. Imagine the color of it. Is it bright orange and ripe? Then picture yourself peeling the orange. Imagine the smell as you start to peel it. Feel the juice flowing over your fingers. Then squeeze the orange and feel the flesh of the fruit. Bring it to your nose and imagine the odor of an orange. Imagine tasting it and bring back a memory of how an orange tastes in your mouth. As you can see, the trick is to make the image as real as possible by using all of your senses and emotions.

Remember the more realistic the visualization process, the better and faster the results.
How You Can Practice

You can combine your affirmations with your creative visualization to create a more powerful effect. As you’re imagining your goal, simply repeat your affirmation mentally, as many times as you feel necessary.

Don’t be discouraged if you do not get immediate results. We are all at different levels of spiritual development and some of us have years of negative programming and negative belief systems to overcome. But overcome them you shall. Creative visualization can be such a powerful process when done at the Alpha level that just five minutes a day of practice can undo years of negative programming.

Furthermore, once you get your first success your belief system gets strengthened and this will allow you to manifest your next goal a little quicker. Masters who practiceregularly find that they do not even have to go to a meditative level of mind and spend time repeatedly visualizing their goals. A mere conscious thought of their desire can set the gears in motion and create coincidences to direct them towards their goal.

Before we end this lesson we will share some other letters received from students who have taken the Silva UltraMind System seminar or used the home study program.

Keep in mind that these students attended the seminar or used the home study course, both of which contain advanced techniques beyond the scope of this program.

One can still get excellent results from just the basic techniques outlined in this program but you will have to practice much harder and start with smaller goals while you build up your belief system.

More Personal Experiences
“Powerful Healing”

“I was soon able to walk again, and within 6 months, was able to return to practicing medicine. I have advanced even further and made a move and am happier than I have been in years. Also, no headaches or any other pain. My medical knowledge returned totally intact.”

~ A Medical Doctor in Mississippi who was in a coma after a car accident
“Creative Visualization in Business Negotiation”

“I was put in charge of buying a large amount advertising space for my company. The company selling the space offered us the spot for $500,000.00. This was way above our budget. My CEO who is an excellent negotiator had been trying to get them down to $100,000 for months but had no success. Finally he dumped the project on me. I had no experience with this sort of negotiation but I used the Silva technique while in my meditative level to communicate with the advertisement seller and to request a better deal. The seller had been ignoring me for 2 weeks but that very next day I got a call saying they had agreed to come down to $100,000. I was surprised—we had been trying for months to no avail. By then my confidence was at a peak so I refused the offer and went to my meditative level again and asked for an even better deal. I mentally visualized myself in the negotiation and getting the deal I wanted. Again the results came hard and fast. The very next day I managed to get them down to $60,000. We signed the contract! My CEO was impressed that I managed to do this. Well I got a huge bonus. This was 2 months after taking the Silva Ultramind System seminar. Lets just say the seminar paid for itself 20 times over in a mere 2 months.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conscious Innocence & Vulnerability

I have often heard from people that after a powerful opening glimpse of the unimaginable truth of their being, the demons of the past seem to arise more strongly than ever. Rather than the openness and innocence of "What is this now?" the response is often something like "Why is this bothering me again? Why don't these things just disappear? What is wrong with me that I don't experience permanent liberation?" On one hand, there is misery and suffering, and on the other hand, innocence and openness. These "hands" are the polarities of the mind. True innocence is the innate capacity of the heart to openly meet whatever is appearing when it appears, and to see it truthfully for what it is. I guarantee that most everything is not what it appears to be on the surface, but in order to discover a deeper truth, what appears must be met fully in innocence. Not the learned innocence of "but I'm innocent," but the natural openness of innocently not knowing.

True innocence is the capacity to directly experience what is here right now, without any demands that it look, act, or feel differently.

Innocence is openness, the willingness to see and to trust, even if what appears seems absolutely untrustworthy. True innocence is not naivete, nor is it delusion. However, it involves vulnerability. The willingness to be innocent is the willingness to be hurt. This willingness to be vulnerable is what the term "spiritual warrior" really means. Vulnerability takes more courage than being cynical, strong, or powerful. It takes courage to be open, innocent, and willing to be hurt.

Because of the nature of extremely close relationships, especially between parents, children, lovers, and partners, hurt is often experienced. So what? Hurt may feel like the end of the world, but it's not. Hurt hurts. The degree to which you are willing to be hurt, not wanting to be hurt but willing to be hurt, is the degree to which you are willing to love, be loved, and be taught by love. Love can be your teacher, though it never teaches withdrawal from experiencing hurt. Other people are not the source of your hurt, the source of hurt is the fact that you love. Trust the love. If love is to hurt you, then let it hurt you fully. Let it annihilate you. Let your heart break open so that an even deeper love can be revealed.

Most everything we do is to avoid vulnerability. We dress up in grown-up clothes, and play at doing grown-up work, in an attempt to escape the defenseless innocence associated with childhood. But innocence is not limited to children. It is possible for you as an adult to be consciously vulnerable and innocent. You can consciously hurt. You can consciously suffer. When you suffer consciously, suffering is revealed not to be what you thought. In conscious suffering, you are no longer fighting the suffering. You are consciously present in it. Then suffering itself reveals the Buddha, Christ's heart, God revealing itself to you on the mountain. If suffering is met as it appears, then suffering is discovered not to be suffering. But the intention is not to meet suffering to get rid of it. The innocent intention is to meet suffering as it is, even if it means feeling hurt.

Most people are more afraid of having their feelings hurt more than they are of having their bodies hurt. But the willingness to be hurt is crucial. Without the willingness to be hurt, there is no willingness to love, no willingness to die, no willingness to live, no willingness to be.

It is easy to see from your own life experience that no matter how much you try to run away from hurt, you still experience it. To stop the running, to turn and experience what is chasing you, open and unprotected, you have to be willing to be free. Are you willing to be free?

You can examine your life and see for yourself what you are running from, what you are trying to escape. It may be very subtle. But just in the seeing of it, there is the possibility of a deeper opening.

Everywhere I've spoken with people, I have heard this statement: "I want truth, God, and realization more than anything else-----why don't I have it?" When you honestly want truth, God, and realization more than anything else, you realize it is already here. People don't realize it is already here only because they still want it on their own terms.

Look into your life and see what stands in the way of fully and permanently realizing the truth of your being. See if perhaps you find the mindset of having it your way, on your terms, not wanting to feel this, or to see that, or to know the deeper truth. Then see if it is actually possible to feel it, to see it, to know it.

As a gateway to the experience of conscious suffering, and as a means of opening to vulnerability and true innocence, you can ask yourself this question: "What hurt am I unwilling to experience?" Do not look for the "right" spiritual answer, or lie to yourself, but simply open to what this kind of inquiry can reveal. The intention is not to fix or change the hurt, but just to see what is true.

Can you sense the energy it takes to avoid feelings of hurt? Review the ways you try to avoid hurt, what habits of mind you use to avoid it. Be willing to see the repeating patterns and to experience the price you pay for the avoidance, all of the time and energy you invest in avoidance. Just in this moment, what if you simply open to it all, avoiding nothing, welcoming all?

Are you willing to trust love rather than your mind's protection from hurt? If you are willing, then you will taste the possibility of living a life of love and conscious innocence. This is possible for everyone. Love is the teacher. If you are willing to surrender to love rather than trying to control it, love teaches you who you are.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

There is no sin, only mistakes. (excerpt by Swami Vivekananda)

Vedanta knows no sin. There are mistakes but no sin; and in the long run everything is going to be all right. No Satan -- none of this nonsense. Vedanta believes in only one sin, only one in the world, and it is this: the moment you think you are a sinner or anybody is a sinner, that is sin. From that follows every other mistake of what is usually called sin. There have been mistakes in our lives. But we are going on. Glory be unto us that we have made mistakes! Take a long look at your past life. If your present condition is good, it has been caused by all the past mistakes as well as success. Glory be unto success! Glory be unto mistakes! Do not look back upon what has been done. Go ahead!

Those who are always downhearted and dispirited in this life can do no work; from life to life they come and go wailing and moaning. "The earth is enjoyed by heroes" .... this is an unfailing truth. Be a hero. Always say, "I have no fear." Tell this to everybody: "Have no fear." Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, fear is unrighteousness, fear is wrong life. All the negative thoughts and ideas that are in this world have proceeded from this evil spirit of fear.

Wait, money does not pay nor does name; fame does not pay nor does learning. It is love that pays; it is character that cleaves its way through adamant walls of difficulties.

One who leans on somebody cannot serve the God of Truth.

Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time. Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles.

The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!

The Law of Life: All expansion is life, all contraction is death. All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives; he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love's sake, because it is the only law of life, just as you breathe to live.

Are you sincere? Are you unselfish even unto death? Are you loving? Then fear not, not even death.

It is unswerving love and perfect unselfishness that conquer everything. We Vedantists in every difficulty ought to ask the subjective question, "Why do I see that? Why can I not conquer this with love?"

I am not a Shopkeeper. All the teachers of the humanity are unselfish. Suppose Jesus of Nazareth was teaching, and a man came and told him, "What you teach is beautiful. I believe that is the way to perfection, and I am ready to follow it; but I do not care to worship you just as the only begotten Son of God." What would be the answer of Jesus of Nazareth?

"Very well, brother, follow the ideal and advance in your own way. I do not care whether you give me the credit for the teaching or not. I am not a shopkeeper. I do not trade the religion. I only teach truth, and the truth is nobody's property. Nobody can patent truth. Truth is God Himself."

Those that want to help mankind must take their own pleasure and pain, name and fame, all sorts of interest and fold them into a bundle and throw away into the sea, and then come to the Lord. This is what all the Masters said and did.