Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spirituality - 2: Kyudo Lab

My previous post on spirituality was so confusing to me that I had to spend some time trying to figure out what I was trying to say. I came up with an example that helped me better understand it: Kyudo lab. I try to explain it now.

One round of shooting two arrows in Kyudo takes 10-30 minutes, depending on the number of people in the group (between 2 and 5). It consists of a set of movements in preparation for the shooting and is a detailed ritual. I think of it as a small prototype of the life. It helps me understand some complicated aspects of life.

There are many elements to a round of shooting:

1- Target is the objective of shooting. We have many objectives in life. The first lesson in Kyudo is that target is necessary for focus and alignment, but it should not occupy the whole attention.

2- Form is the physical ways of going through the round. It is the discipline that you keep working on and polishing. Good shooting comes from good form.

3- Breathing coordinates movements and helps in relaxing tensions.

4- Energy comes from tanden (center of body) and a good arrow is shot with that energy.

5- Other archers and everything around must be part of the focus. Coordination with other archers and paying attention to the surroundings.

There are possibly other elements that I missed, but the point is that none of them should be the sole focus of the archer. Ultimately, one needs to keep a balance between all the elements.

Life seems very similar: No aspects of the life can be the sole focus. Reaching a balance in life, is probably the most we can expect.

Even though the main joy in Kyudo comes from the release of arrow with full energy, but this is only a second in the whole 10-30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From Iran ... to Iran

My sister, knowing that we may visit after 10-11 years, sent me this:


اگه مدت زياديه كه ايران نبودين و حالا قصد دارين بعد چندين سال بياين ايران بايد خدمتتون عرض كنم كه ما دچار تحولات بزرگي شديم و در طول اين مدت پيشرفتاي زيادي كرديم بطوريكه خيلي چيزا ديگه اون كاربري سابق رو ندارن، پس براي اينكه بعد از بازديد از وطن دچار اصحاب كهف زدگي نشين بهتر يه سري از تغييرات زير رو بخونين تا به نوآوري و شكوفايي ملي اين ملت هميشه در صحنه افتخار كنين

1-ايستگاه اتوبوس:مكاني كه مردم در آن مي ايستند و به شركت واحد فحش خواهر و مادر ميدهند هر از گاهي هم يك اتوبوس پر يا خالي بدون توقف رد ميشود تا ك... شما بيشتر بسوزد.


2-چراغ راهنمايي:يك نوع رقص نور سه رنگ كه براي زيبايي در چهار راه ها نصب ميشود


3-استاديوم فوتبال:جايي كه شما در آن به ارتباط منطقي بين "شيرسماور،اگزوز خاور وك... داور پي خواهيد برد" كه به دنبال آن زندگيتان متحول خواهد شد


4-خانه خالي يا مكان:خانه اي كه پدر و مادر و يا همسر و بطور كلي "سر خر" براي مدتي در آن تشريف ندارند و شما هر غلطي كه فكرش را بكنيد مي توانيد انجام دهيد
-پي نوشت:مواظب 110 و همسايه هاي فضول باشيد


5-كامپيوتر:وسيله اي مناسب براي گوش كردن mp3 وچت كردن


6-موبايل:ابزاري كه ميشود فيلمهاي س.ك.س.ي و خانوادگي ديگران را در آن نگهداري كرد و با ديگران نيز به اشتراك گذاشت، بعضي وقتها هم از آن براي صحبت كردن استفاده ميشود


7-رييس جمهور:فردي زيباروي و مسلط به علم تعبير خواب و پيشگويي امور جهاني(يه چيزي تو مايه هاي يوزارسيف) كه از وي براي ساختن جوك و اس.ام.اس استفادهاي فراوان ميشود


8-علي دايي:(با لهجه بخوانيد)خيلي بخشيد آقاي فلدوسي پول، تيم ملي مال بابام هركاريم دلم بخواد ميكنم


9-و اما تعارفات در پشت تلفن يا موبايل
كجايي پدرسگ: يعني تو اين مدت كه نديدمت دلم برات تنگ شده بود
كجايي خواهر فلان:يعني دلم برات خيلي خيلي تنگ شده
تو معلوم هست كجايي مادر فلان:يعني تو نفس من بيدي! زندگي بدون تو معني نداره
خداحافظ مادر... پدرسگ:بازهم به ما سر بزن
و.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Perspective:

One way of looking at our lives:


فقط تصور كنيد كه بتوانيم سن زمين را كه غير قابل تصور است ، فشرده كنيم و هر صد ميليون سال آن را يك سال در نظر بگيريم !

در اينصورت كره زمين مانند فردي 46 ساله خواهد بود!
هيچ اطلاعي در مورد هفت سال اول اين فرد وجود ندارد و در باره ي سالهاي مياني زندگي او نيز اطلاعات كم و بيش پراكنده اي داريم !
اما اين را ميدانيم كه در سن 42 سالگي ، گياهان و جنگلها پديدار شده و شروع به رشد و نمو كرده اند.

اثري از دايناسورها و خزندگان عظيم الجثه تا همين يكسال پيش نبود ! يعني زمين آنها را در سن 45 سالگي به چشم خود ديد و تقريبا 8 ماه پيش پستانداران را به دنيا آورد .
در اوايل هفته ي پيش ميمون هاي آدم نما به آدمهاي ميمون نما تبديل شدند! و آخر هفته گذشته دوران يخ سراسر زمين را فرا گرفت .
انسان جديد فقط حدود 4 ساعت روي زمين بوده و طي همين يك ساعت گذشته كشاورزي را كشف كرده است !!!
بيش از يك دقيقه از عمر انقلاب صنعتي نمي گذرد و...
حال ببينيد انسان در اين يك دقيقه چه بلائي بر سر اين بيچاره ي 46 ساله آورده است !!!
او طي 40 دقيقه ي بيولوژيكي از اين بهشت يك آشغالداني كامل ساخته است .
او خودش را به نسبتهاي سرسام آوري زياد كرده ، و نسل 500 خانواده از جانداران را منقرض كرده است!سوختهاي اين سياره را مال خود كرده و همه را به يغما برده است!
و الان مثل كودكي معصوم و بي تقصير! ايستاده و به اين حمله ي برق آسا نگاه ميكند !!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Breathing

Since I started playing tennis about 2 years ago, I noticed the importance of breathing and relaxing in playing good tennis. Many times, I got into a frustrating situation that I missed many shots in a row. Typically, it happened because in trying to concentrate under pressure, I stopped breathing regularly and started contracting different muscle groups. I have also seen the same situation happening to many novice players.

The interesting point here is that "bad breathing and tension induces a pattern of repeated errors." I believe this is generalizable to other physical activities, but I am curious if it applies more generally to our decision making in life.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Spirituality

Spirituality, as an objective and on its own, is pointless and harmful. To quiet my mind I first need to forget about doing it completely. I need to observe myself directly, to overcome the fear of dealing with who I am, which is extremely difficult. So as the first step, I have to feel outside directly.

Went to South Carolina for a Kyudo seminar for a couple of days. I have to write about it but I am very busy. I had very interesting, and typically saddening, observations. I am not sure I can write all of them because of some confidentiality issues I personally feel. I was very depressed when I came back to Atlanta.

Anyway, maybe sometime I write about them, if I remember ...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Links - Academia

I know this guy and once left in the middle of his seminar because he was a total asshole, but his web page has some interesting stuff:

http://welch.econ.brown.edu/

Here is a VERY funny letter for those who are involved in publishing in Economics/Finance journals:

http://welch.econ.brown.edu/academics/humor-letter.txt

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Forces

When I confront powerful forces, like J.S.Bach's Orchestral Suite No.1, it is not a good idea to give in and immerse myself in its power, something that I have been doing since I remember. In such a confrontation, I must keep a balance, a reasonable distance for a good battle. The fantasy of being "absorbed" by/in anything, is just a fantasy that comes from my ignorance about life and at the best results in a short period of ecstasy. A good battle, on the other hand, polishes and improves toward a long lasting state of wonder.

Glen Gould:

"The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual, lifelong construction pf a state of wonder and serenity."

Freedom, Religion

A couple of days ago I read a discussion between some friends regarding religion, worship, freedom, and slavery. In Farsi and Arabic, the t...