Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Practice Approach

A comment I wrote on this post:


Thanks for writing this post, it is very interesting subject to me and I am sure there are many aspects we can discuss at the intellectual level.

Yet, I am thinking about an alternative approach to such questions, a practice approach. Start by refraining from judging your self when you make errors or mistake, for example, when playing a game or doing some regular tasks. Be conscious about your feelings, how difficult (or maybe easy :) it is for you, and what you feel afterward. This is even before you try to apply the idea to other people. See if the practice of "being non-judgmental about your self" works for you. We are all different, something that works for me may not work for you. Once you have enough experience, you may feel curious about applying the practice to other people around you, especially those close to you.

The advantage of this approach is that your body learns things in an intuitive and amazing ways, without much interference and confusion caused by intellectual thinking. The disadvantage, of course, is that it is a practice and takes time, there is no easy fast solution to read off a book.

Thanks again for initiating this line of thoughts, I should make this into a post on my weblog :))))

Aging, religion, and health

Aging, religion, and health

by: Angus S. Deaton

NBER Working Paper No. 15271
Issued in August 2009
NBER Program(s): AG HC


Durkheim’s famous study of suicide is a precursor of a large contemporary literature that investigates the links between religion and health. The topic is particularly germane for the health of women and of the elderly, who are much more likely to be religious. In this paper, I use data from the Gallup World Poll to study the within and between country relationships between religiosity, age, and gender, as well as the effects of religiosity on a range of health measures and health-related behaviors. The main contribution of the current study comes from the coverage and richness of the data, which allow me to use nationally representative samples to study the correlates of religion within and between more than 140 countries using more than 300,000 observations. It is almost universally true that the elderly and women are more religious, and I find evidence in favor of a genuine aging effect, not simply a cohort effect associated with secularization. As in previous studies, it is not clear why women are so much more religious than men. In most countries, religious people report better health; they say they have more energy, that their health is better, and that they experience less pain. Their social lives and personal behaviors are also healthier; they are more likely to be married, to have supportive friends, they are more likely to report being treated with respect, they have greater confidence in the healthcare and medical system and they are less likely to smoke. But these effects do not all hold in all countries, and they tend to be stronger for men than for women.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Love and Mentalist

The last Thursday (9/24/09) episode of "Mentalist" featured a sleek yoga teacher, self-centered and self-indulging, and in one dialogue the guy said things very similar to what I write here: love yourself, care for your body, you come first :))))

Another Insightful Quote

From "The New Rules of Posture" by Mary Bond:

"During breathing practice, be sure that you do not take in more air than you need as you attempt to slow your exhalation. The whole point is lost if you overbreathe. Dysfunctional breathing patterns are often linked to perfectionism, so, if you approach breathing practice with the wish to get it right immediately, you'll narrow your chance of success. Changing your breathing requires patience, persistence, and respect for your body's capacity to change at itw own pace." (p. 88)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crystal Ball

We have grown over years
into a huge crystal ball

An unexpected blow
a small crack
reveals the emptiness inside

Coincidentally, the sad news ....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flooded Atlanta :)

Monday, 2009-09-21, 5:30:
It has been raining on and off, intermittent with showers and thunderstorms, for six-seven days now. Different part of metro Atlanta are facing flood. Our backyard is a scene. Small streams are running everywhere and the pool is full of brown water, because of the mud entering pool!
There is a sewer opening right beside our house, and fortunately, it is still working, that is, not clogged by debris, etc. Some water entered house from around chimney, but so far inside house is pretty dry.
I am not sure if this situation can continue for another 5-6 days, as forecasts indicate!
It is going to be an unforgettable experience, something tells me :))

Monday, 2009-09-21, 9:30:
Things have been quiet for a couple of hours. We checked our neighborhood and there are not much damages, except for a few fallen trees. But the news we hear from other parts are not good.

Monday, 2009-09-21, 11:30:
Nothing new around here. Lots of power and water outages throughout metro area. We have to see about tomorrow!

Tuesday, 2009-09-22, 12:00:
Thins seem to be back to normal, and even sun has come out for a couple of hours now :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How We Change ...

I have read the following page from Nihil Nimus many times. Previously, I used to feel dizzy and detached by the abstractness of the ending. This time, after about 9 months of practicing the book, I felt something:

Most important, mindfulness meditation helps you make your writing your 'practice' of mindfulness ....

"Equanimity doesn't mean keeping things even; it is the capacity to return to balance in the midst of an alert, responsive life. ... Meditators in research show quicker return to calm, focused attention after a startle response." ---Sylvia Boorstein

How does mindfulness meditation begin to teach/implant this sort of balance? The most fundamental way starts with the awakeness and clear-seeing of imbalances, then of how they detach what we do from our true selves:

"Many of us are so alienated from our basic needs ... that we have to relearn the basic mechanics of how attention and intention actually work." --Deepak Chopra

This potential for relieving the self-estrangement that lies within is so important that it has been a constant theme of psychoterapy:

"If aspects of the person remain undigested ... they become the points around which the core forces of greed, hatred, and delusion attach themselves. .... the personality is built on these points of self-estrangement; the paradox is that what we take to be so real, our selves, is constructed out of a reaction against just what we do not wish to acknowledge. We tense up around that which we are denying, and we experience ourselves through our tensions. --Mark Epstein


When we integrate mindfulness with our work, a wonderful thing happens: Less interference between thinking and doing (and between intention and action) because mindfulness can put thinking out into the moment and to work in rational fashion---or else it lets the thought go for now.
Nihil Nimus, page 154

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Conjecture :)

If you focus your eyes on a moving object, you feel that it moves at a slower pace, compared to when you are just looking without focus. The more is your mental focus, and the more relaxed you are, the object "appears" to move slower. Many say that it may even "appear" larger. (I had mentioned this before in [this post] about watching snow!]) At high levels of concentration, this called entering the "zone" in sports jargon.

We have all experienced periods in our lives that everything seems hectic. Events attack us from left and right, and we feel stressed out and worried all the time.
My conjecture is that, in such cases, if we start focusing on what is happening in the moment then things start to slow down, and we can handle each one much easier.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Teen Age

[This post] was interesting to me at different levels. I found it via comments on [a Golabi's post]
and I first wanted to leave another comment there. But then I decided to be more straightforward with it and put it here. I do not want to talk much about what I found interesting in that post, but I thought you may also "feel" it :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Happy 9-9-9

At least, it is a day as good as any other day :))))

Thanks much to Kasra, here is my present for your happy 9-9-9:

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Smoking and more

After almost 30 years of struggling with smoking cigarettes, quitting and picking it up again, feeling a mix of hate and depression and anger, now I have reached peace with it :)

Past few days I got into a bad habit :) and this time, instead of fighting with it, or being judgmental, I am simply observing it and letting it develop as "it" wishes. Let's see what will happen.

2014-12-02: I am still struggling :) Some things never change. Although, it is much easier now to deal with it.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


As you start trusting in yourselves, accepting who you are without prejudice, dropping self-judgments and instead embracing your self unconditionally, something strange happens.
You cannot use the morals and rules about right and wrong that you have learned your whole life.
Then, you feel a drive to reach within for a guidance, and this is terrifying and amazing at the same time!


Today, I am having my breakfast in office after a while, and coincidentally, I have a company. The downtown hawk is having a pigeon on top of the building in front of my office.

P.S. 1: She was busy eating for a couple of hours and yet was not donet. She did not have to finish her breakfast and get back to work!

P.S. 2: Another coincidence. A friend posted this link on facebook:
and a discussion is following, in which I ask why human should be different from other animals (the hawk :) that kill their food with utmost definiteness and no respect for its (animal being killed) well-being.

IT'S NOT ...

.. ``It's not your spread, and it's not how strong you are, and it's not how fast you are, because you have all those thing...