Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Letter - AIG

I found this letter very interesting (sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Martial Arts

Three Quotes:

"When entering dojo (practice place in Kyudo) and while going through the shooting form, an archer should project confidence, purposefulness, and determination, as though owning the dojo." (Free interpretation of comments by Ed and Aaron Sensei's)

"Samurai during Japan's warring stage were in daily contact with questions of life and death, of intention and concentration. They saw in the meditative discipline of monks a kind of dynamic calm and courage that they needed as soldiers. Monks, also, saw in the warriors the same intense energy and single-minded commitment that was necessary for their own spiritual training. Through their interchange, the martial arts in time became viewed as potential tools for spiritual development; they became known as Budo, martial ways." (Fumio Toyoda)

"Zen claims to be Buddhism, but all the Buddhist teachings are pronounced in the sutras, and sutras are treated by Zen as mere waste paper, whose utility consists in wiping off the dirt of intellect and nothing more." (T. D. Suzuki)

Consentual Incest? Repugnance

I found this post quite interesting (and yes, I have a bias because I am sort of an economist!)

http://marketdesigner.blogspot.com/2009/03/not-everything-that-is-immoral-has-to.html

and this one:

http://marketdesigner.blogspot.com/2009/02/markets-for-adult-entertainments.html

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Discovery ?!?

1- I was not feeling well for the past couple of days, starting from Friday morning, TAHVILE SAAL!? Today, while playing tennis, a sudden fear captured me for a few seconds. A free fall kind of feeling. What if all I have done in the past few month in meaningless? What if all the improvements were just the exuberance from a new thing and I end up back to my old self, with all the disappointments, anger, self-hatred and such?

2- A friend introduced me to a good book a couple of weeks ago, "Mastery" by George Leonard. A basic theme is that learning a physical activity develops through stages, starting with a fast improvement, then a slight drop to a plateau (a period of stagnation) and the cycle repeats in the journey to mastery. The concept makes good sense to me in my learning of tennis and kyudo.

3- On my way back from tennis, I suddenly put the two together: What if not only physical learning, but mental and psychological development also involve such cycles? Then I should expect a slight drop to a plateau for a while, until the next phase of improvement! That was sort of a relief :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Norouz, etc.

Happy Norouz and New Persian Year!

Here is a small New Year gift for you, a simple CD cover that I was today and liked:



By the way, I discovered J.S. Bach's "Duo and Trio Sonatas" such as BWV 1023, 1027a, after quite a number of times of listening! I told you, it requires time but it pays off!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vortex

If you are in Atlanta, and love Burger, you have to check "Voretx".

Anyway, read the "Rules" section on their website, "http://www.thevortexbarandgrill.com/", It is really fun to read, ultimate libertarian (they had signs of Ron Paul on their walls, the only serious thing you could find there!).

Sima loved the place! When we went there last night there was a one hour wait, so we went to chech out a close by place, "Eno", which is a higher class, Mediterranean/European cuisine. Even though Eno's ambiance was very impressive, good jazz music, fancy wines, things that I typically love, but I could not bear it this time ... so I decided that we go back to Vortex, and we both felt much better there!

Decision Making - Part 0

I have been preoccupied with a couple of decisions that have been postponed for the past 2-3 weeks. The result had been frustration and sometimes depression. I am thinking about practical ways to improve decision making process, and tried looking up books and getting advice from friends, but without much success.

Today, while re-reading a chapter of Nihil-Nimus, I suddenly realized that the Nihil-Nimus approach (mindfulness) seems applicable to any task. The book has applied it to the three aspects of academic life, teaching, research/writing, and service. So, I can do the same and apply the basics to the decision making process, as a task. Here is a summary of basic rules. In the sequel I will try to expand on each one and write my interpretation!

Nihil-Nimus/Moderation/Minfulness Basics:
Rule 1: Wait Actively
Rule 2: Begin Early, Before Feeling Ready
Rule 3: Work in Brief, Regular Sessions
Rule 4: Stop Timely
Rule 5: Balance Prelimiaries with Formal Work
Rule 6: Moderate Overattachment and Overreaction
Rule 7: Moderate Negative Thoughts
Rule 8: Moderate Emotions
Rule 9: Let Others Do Some of the Work
Rule 10: Limit Wasted Efforts

Incredible Commercial!

Autumn Leaf :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Kyudo Presentation

Miyauchi Michihiro Sensei, Hanshi 8th Dan, was the instructor for the mudan class at 2008 American Kyudo Seminar at Irvine, California.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Red Shouldereds

Today, in the neighborhood on my way to work, I saw two red-shouldered hawks mating. The following picture is from http://www.dpughphoto.com/red-shouldered_hawks.htm


Monday, March 02, 2009

LAO TSU Quote:

[From Nihil Nimus]

"People usually fail when they are on the brink of success. So give as much care to the end as to the beginning.Then there will be no failure." -- LAO TSU

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Zone

Today it is snowing in Atlanta. I was watching the snow and realized this. If I focus on one snow flake as it falls, the whole scene gets slow and amazingly more beautiful. I can then see a number of snow flakes falling all together in slow motion.

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...