Google+ Badge

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Catholicism & Reincarnation

The next time someone who follows the Catholic religion tells you that the church does not believe in reincarnation, remind them to review the Apostles' Creed and to pay more attention to what it is saying; especially the last part of it:

 "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen."

The word "resurrection" has a Latin etymology meaning "a rising again from the dead"; Resurrection of the body, meaning the physical body, and life everlasting may be referring to the circular cycle of reincarnation, where the Soul transitions from one body to the next like an eternal flame goes from one candle to another, where it experiences what is to be experienced and learns what is to be learned.  Where there is death, there is birth and so it is with the duality of life until polar opposites remove their veils and awaken from the illusion of separation.

If you study different religions without attachment to the differences (nor the similarities), you can get a sense that each one is one aspect of a greater whole.  From this perspective, Catholicism is Hinduism is Judaism is Muslim is Buddhism is Christianity is every other religion is like your right arm is your left arm is your right foot is your left foot is your heart is your stomach is etc...The popular and more common perspective is that the right arm is separated from the left arm and what one part believes in is right and the others' beliefs are wrong.  This is just plain silly.  If the right arm got rid of the left arm, would it be a better world for the right arm? Of course not, but this is how crazy some religious fundamentalists live their lives. The more we separate ourselves from others because of religious beliefs, the more of Life we are missing out on.  In actuality, the more we separate ourselves from others, the further away we push ourselves from GOD (or Allah, or Jehovah, or Source, or whatever is IS, etc).

I challenge you reading this to learn from as many different religions and take a step back and focus on what are the interconnections that unite them rather than focusing on the obvious differences.

Monday, September 6, 2010


“I am dead because I lack desire,
I lack desire because I think I possess.
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;
Seeing that you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are nothing:
Seeing that you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live.”

— In a brief Postface to "Mount
Analogue" written by René Daumal

To live is to Be and for many what they think is living can actually be viewed as the "living dead" where to Be is Presence and in the Now and anything other than the Now is the past or future (or that which does not actually exist and is a mind construct that provides reference for the actual given moment).  We live in an outside reality where there are three dimensions of space and one dimension of time and it is this outer reality that enslaves our attention until we remember that we are an inner reality that is beyond the outer four dimensions.  This is when one truly contemplates the question " Who am I?"  
As long as we allow ourselves to be lost in the boundaries, or our reference points, the Now becomes dead to us.  We are dead and yet physically alive because the mind habitually attaches to what we know in the forms of our beliefs, opinions, and past experiences with little chance for the actual given moment to reveal itself to us.  How often and easy it is for our opinions to get in the way from a potentially enlightening experience only to assassinate the blossoming of Creativity in its tracks of newness.

Can we "get out of the way" and allow each moment to reveal itself to us?  Yes, we can and this is when the "living dead" become the "living alive"; And to Live is to turn off the high beams and trust that your headlights are good enough for you to see through the Darkness of Nothingness....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Inception & Knowledge of the Higher Worlds


I recently saw the movie Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio and I highly recommend it and I’d also suggest you go see it with a clear head since it can easily play mental kung fu with you.  It is movies like this and Avatar that are subtlety exposing the general public to the possibilities of other realities beside what we consider to be our reality right here on this big blue planet.  In the spiritual science of anthroposophy as taught by Rudolf Steiner, he lectures about “higher worlds” which are the Soul and Spirit worlds that are beyond what the physical senses can perceive.  What we are accustomed to in our everyday lives is what is visible and these higher worlds are considered the invisible.  In Inception, the story involves the concept of lucid dreaming where DiCaprio’s character, Cob, is an “extractor” who gets into people’s dreams and steals information from them.  Cob is then involved in a situation where rather than stealing info he gets to actually implant an idea, like a seed, into a person’s psyche which has such great implications that he is initially hesitant because of the possible dangers.
When we dream, our Soul goes off into these higher worlds and through dreaming our Soul has an opportunity to communicate to us anything important that we may be missing in our awakened, conscious state.  Some of the greatest minds in Human history came up with their greatest achievements while dreaming.  The dream state can be considered a parallel universe, or reality, that is invisible.  The higher worlds are invisible to us for good reason and that would be because it would most likely scare the living shit out of you if the veil was removed and you had no preparation or training to be aware of the expansiveness and power that’s hidden beneath.  Other cases, such as with psychedelic drug use, these higher worlds can be so alluring and blissful that a person can begin confusing realities and become lost.  There are countless stories where the dangers of a misguided journey to the higher worlds can lead to physical death or even demonic possession (yes, this does exist).  The good news is that our ignorance to these worlds is sort of like our protection until we earn our “wings” and break through the veil with our own will.  And it is also through our pain and suffering that we are protected until we grow and learn from these experiences that help us become more enlightened to the darkness of the invisible worlds.  So be grateful for any pain or suffering you experience because they are the leash that tethers us from flying away before we learn how to fly on our own and they help us make sense of our reality here in this lifetime.  If we don’t cope and grow from the pain and suffering, we typically end up over-medicated or sent to the “looney bin” mental institution for more “zombie” medication.
In ancient times, those who felt called to know more about the Soul/Spirit worlds were called “Initiates” and were trained in “Mystery” schools.  In modern times, the Mystery schools have disappeared (or at least placed under the radar only for those who have been called to seek them) and have been replaced by materialism.  Teachings such as Steiner’s and the works of anthroposophy shed some light for those called on the unmarked path for the Holy Grail.  In Inception, Cob’s wife, Ma, believes that the dream world is the real reality and the awakened, conscious state is the dream (or “fake” world) and she chooses the dream world by committing suicide in the awakened, conscious state only to lose her physical body in this lifetime.  This reminds me of those old news stories of mass suicides by cult members enticed by a guru to leave this world with promises of salvation into another.
Spoiler Alert – For those who haven’t seen Inception yet and want to, please do not read any further and then come back to this point after you’ve seen it.

There is a bit of controversy at the end of the movie where the audience is left with the question of whether or not Cob was still dreaming when he was reunited with his kids.  The scene is where he spins his top (a totem he uses to distinguish between the dreaming state and the conscious, awakened state where if the top continues spinning, he’s dreaming and if it stops spinning, he’s awake) and then is distracted by the greeting of his kids who he hasn’t seen in awhile and the audience is left with the top spinning but suddenly starts to falter as the screen fades to black as the final scene of the movie.  Was it real or was it a dream?  One can wrap their mind around this several ways or may even watch the movie several times to figure this out.  Did the director do this to indicate a possible sequel? We really can not know and only the director knows; but I offer another perspective:  maybe it doesn’t really matter whether or not it was real or a dream.  Maybe the important thing to understand is that Cob was reunited with his children and is no longer held captive by his feelings of guilt towards his wife’s death and it was his will through choice that this happened.  Whether it was real or a dream, it was his choice to be happy and free in that last scene.  Any debate of real or not real is an anchor to the world of duality, or opposites, where there is always a separation where one chooses sides and moves away from Unity and Understanding.  Maybe the director has planted a seed within the audience, an act of inception, an idea that other realities do exist beyond what we believe to be our current reality and that ultimately we have a choice whether or not to explore the many possibilities.  Maybe the seed is to help us understand that it is not about choosing one world over the other but to learn the best of all worlds and grow from there.  What’s going on at the surface of the Ocean is no indication of what’s going on at the Ocean floor unless one has the Courage to go deeper and find out for themselves.  That, my friend, is the take-Home message.....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Chickpea

Here's one of my favorite passages from RUMI where he describes the path of suffering and "bad luck" as an opportunity to explore the Soul ever so deeply:

Look at the chickpea floating in the pot, how it leaps when it's put under the fire.  As it's being boiled, it keeps rising to the top; it cries out in 100 ways, saying. "Why are you scalding me with fire? Since you thought I was good enough to buy, why are you turning me upside down now?"

The cook goes on hitting it with her ladle and says, "Come on now! Boil nicely; don't try to escape the one who made the fire.  I'm not boiling you because I hate you, but rather so you can become tasty and flavorful, and gain good qualities and mingle with the spirit of the soup.  This pain that you're enduring now isn't because you're unloved.  When you were young and fresh in the garden you drank in water.  Your drinking of that water then was for the sake of burning in this fire now!"

God's mercy comes before His wrath, and part of His mercy is you being made to suffer from hardships.  Through His wrath, you learn to give up your foolish desires for this material world.  O Chickpea, keep on boiling in turmoil, so that neither your desire to exist nor your ego may remain a part of you.

Mathnawi III, 4159-4165, 4169, 4178

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reform the Self Above All Others

Here's some more RUMI to help those who may be experiencing some frustration in our current state of affairs:

O you who treat others badly simply because of your high status; know that you're digging a hole for yourself to fall into.  Don't weave a cocoon of false pretenses around yourself like a silkworm; you're digging a hole for yourself!  Don't dig so eagerly!

Many of the evils that you see in others are really just a reflection of your own evil in them.  In their reflection, all your hypocrisy, evil, and arrogance are made apparent.  You're the real wicked one!  You're aiming blows at yourself and laying curses upon your own head at every turn.

You don't recognize the evil within yourself at all, for if you did you would hate yourself to the very core.  You're assaulting yourself, you fool, like a deceived lion who rushed at himself upon seeing his reflection in a pool.

O you who see bad reflections in the face of your uncle, your uncle is not the bad one, it's you, so don't run away from facing your own self.

The Prophet said that the faithful are mirrors of each other.  If you hold a blue colored glass before your eyes, then the world appears blue to you.  Unless you're blind, you must recognize that this blueness comes from within your own self.  Speak of the evil within yourself before you ever speak of the evil in others.

Mathnawi I, 1311-1312, 1319-1324, 1327-1330

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Opening the Sacred Heart

A Little RUMI for you Lovers out there...

There is many a one whose eye is awake, yet whose heart is asleep.  In the end, what can creatures made of water and clay ever see?

The one who keeps his heart awake, though the eye of his head yet sleeps - such a heart will open 100 eyes!

If you're not in possession of an opened heart yet, then remain awake in study throughout the night.  Look for that heart that can open, and struggle against your earthly desires.

If your heart is always awake, then rest in peace, for your inner eye is never dimmed from seeing the world around it.

The description of an awakened heart, O spiritual being, could not be accomplished even in thousands of verses!

Mathnawi III, 1222-1225, 1228

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spontaneous Evolution Right Now...


Recently I was asked by my wife what was behind my need to read more books and learn more knowledge.  At the time, I could not answer her and simply answered, “I don’t know.”  After meditating and allowing this question to settle what initially came up on the surface was a revelation that my need to know more was linked to old behavioral patterns/issues regarding my ego’s need for recognition and approval.  But that was just dust on the surface.  I further realized that ultimately what was underneath the ego’s needs was a running away from what Is and what Is is who I am.  Reproducing or re-enacting the past in expectation of a specific result based upon one’s past experience is like running uphill towards some non-existent prize; it is fatiguing and without insight of Reality and goes against the flow of Life.  Nothing in Life is ever the same and everything is constantly changing.  Trying to maintain such “sameness” ultimately leads towards a vicious cycle of suffering.  “I do this because I felt happy the last time I did it”; but when one’s expectations are not met, suffering occurs.  Acceptance of what Is and understanding the newness of every moment allows us to step into our Being so that we can get some sense of who we truly are. 

I understand now that whatever comes my way is just what I need at every given moment.  In this sense, all of my needs are met.  But this does not imply that I should not have wants or desires.  The take-home lesson is that when we have our wants and desires as a foundation of our identity and existence, our attachments to them provide for an unstable surface to experience Life with.  But rather if our foundation is what Is and a deeper awareness of who we are, there is nothing that can stand in our way.  In other words, we pursue our wants and desires without attachments knowing that they are simply outward manifestations of aspects of who we already are.  It is like the carpenter who builds a chair and has no worries if the chair is broken because he can simply make another one if he desires.  Our wants and desires can help guide us to find meaning and purpose in Life. 

The past month or so I have been experiencing some physical pain that has no significant rhyme or reason or connection to any specific cause.  Rather than stress out and worry about these symptoms I chose to slow down my life even more and be openly receptive to whatever “popped up” and allow it to reveal itself to me.  Intuitively, I was gathering that in some quantum manner I was “spontaneously evolving” where deep down into my DNA and each one of my trillions of cells, change was occurring and this change was not only on a physical level but also on the level of consciousness as well.  The type of books I have been reading were all related in that they all were unifying matter and Spirit; they were scientifically proving the existence of God, or a quantum consciousness, where this Divine vacuum is a matrix in which we are all interconnected.  These books along with some other researching I’ve been pursuing have helped me greatly in helping others in understanding health and guiding them in finding meaning in Life.  In modern physics there is what’s called the “bootstrap” theory where you take a little bit from everything and tie it all together to give an understanding of the bigger picture of existence.  I basically am evolving into studying a little bit of everything and bringing them all together into unity with a greater understanding of our inter-relatedness with the All.

When the dust was cleared, the revelation was revealed:  the spontaneous evolution as coined by biologist/author Bruce Lipton, is in full effect and I am in transition of letting go of the old beliefs, stories, past experiences, knowledge, etc so as to make more room for new ones.  And whatever book or new knowledge I seek is really a reminder of what I have forgotten and I trust that whatever I am reminded of is just what I need at that moment in the journey of my Life experience.  I share this with you because I know many of you are experiencing similar revelations and it can be too easy to get trapped in our old stories, or patterns of behaviors that are no longer serving for us.  Let it be known that you are changing and you have a choice to welcome the change or to shut the door on it.  I recommend leaving the door wide open.....

For those interested, the last three books I’ve read this past month are (in the order I read them):
1)  The Spiritual Universe by Fred Alan Wolf, PhD
2)  God is not Dead by Amit Goswami, PhD
3)  The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Beauty of Illness & Pain


What happens when we get sick or when we have pain?  We tend to want to immediately feel better and reach or do the first thing that we can think of to accomplish that goal.  The illness and pain are considered foes and we commit to a war to “battle” and fight against the “evils” of ill-feeling and angst of pain.  Let us take another perspective, shall we?

There’s an old parable of Jesus as he was walking with his disciples and passed a dead, decaying dog. His disciples were appalled by the sight and commented on the ugliness of the scene.  But Jesus commented otherwise and said, “Look at those pearly, white teeth!”.  The fruit of this story is that even what may appear as “ugly”, there is always Beauty to be found.  When we experience sickness or pain, where’s the “pearly, white teeth”?  The obvious symptoms of fatigue, body aches, discomfort, coughing, sneezing, congestion, decreased physical activity, and any other symptom appears to grab all of our attention.  What can we learn from this experience?

The Beauty Perspective

Being sick or in pain does have its merits.  We are forced to slow down.  We are forced to think less and thus slow down the workings of the mind.  We are forced to eat less.  And most importantly, we are forced to pay more attention to everything we do, think, or say and especially pay more attention to the body and mind.  Now let us imagine if we applied all of these things we are “forced” to do when we are sick or injured when we are not sick or injured.  Imagine how much healthier you can be by slowing down your present lifestyle; by giving the troubled mind a break every once in awhile; by eating less than you already do; and by being more aware and mindful of the body and mind so that you can open the door for the Soul to express.  Let us be grateful that being sick or injured allows us to remember these healthful actions.

It is not until the warrior stops and Listens that he/she can lay down their sword and stop the fighting in their life.  We always have a choice to make Life a battle or an awesome, enlightening experience...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Meat or No Meat: The Vegan vs. Carnivore Debate

The following is a post from a discussion regarding a link involving eating red meat and cancer from a good friend of mine, Antonio Valladares, on his Facebook page where he asked me to share another perspective so as not to fuel the relentless, ongoing debate between who's got the better evidence...which by the way is infantile and out-welcoming its stay in our culture.  How can we evolve as Humanity if we allow our ignorance to take the reigns and guide us in Life?  I have been working on a manuscript for the past two years that goes ever so deep into this topic and my response to the post is just a sampling.  Enjoy:

To compare what animals eat to what Humans eat will always result in conflict and misunderstanding and can only serve the ego's need for opinions and validation. What Humans have in common with animals are a physical, etheric, and astral bodies. What distinguishes Humans from animals is the existence of an Ego/I-organization - animals are instinctual and react out of instinct and not by free will. Humans can act from free will and always by conscious choice. Plants on the other hand have a physical and etheric body. Nutrition is a dynamic process in the Human where it takes what is "non-Human" and transforms it into what is "Human" - in other words it takes substance and destroys whatever part of it that it was and creates new subtle forces that only Humans have (ie. Ego/I-organization).
When Humans eat plants they have to destroy the plant's physical and etheric structures and then create astral and Ego/I forces from it. To requires much more inner work for the Human organism and thus explains why in certain religions and spiritual traditions that advocate fasting from animal flesh to be come somewhat more Enlightened. When humans eat meat, the animal has already done most of the work of destroying and transforming the physical and etheric structures and in this sense can make an individual "spiritually lazy" in developing their own "spiritual" forces. Also, by eating meat, one has to deal with and take in all of the animal's astralities (ie. feelings, emotions, etc) and if the person is not grounded enough, they will experience the animal's fears, aggression, horniness, etc.
Eating exclusively a plant diet can help one develop more inner/esoteric spiritual capacities but the major warning here is that if the person has ANY unresolved emotional/mental/spiritual/karmic issues can develop what's called "Luciferic" tendencies from the study of anthroposophy where one becomes like the fallen angel and blindly believes in their self-righteousness and pseudo-divinity, holier-than-thou mentality. This is evident in some "vegans" who swear that they are absolutely right and all meat-eaters are wrong (again more conflict and division). Eating exclusively animal flesh contributes to one being somewhat "spiritually lazy" where the person relies on the astralities of the animal to create their inner Human forces. In anthroposophy, this end of the spectrum leads people to be more "Ahrimanic", or attached to the world of matter. In other words, excessive flesh consumption leads to materialism and denial of what is all spiritual.
The debate between animal flesh and veganism is a distraction from the ego experiencing what Is. It attaches to reference points to validate its existence and to be conscious of experience. Dualism always creates separation with one side contrasting with the other. On the microscopic level, quantum science demonstrates the separation is a necessary illusion and the actuality is an interconnected matrix/field where both sides of the fence are in reality the same fence and debating between meat vs. no meat is like your left hand arguing with your right hand about which is better....totality ridiculous but enlightening at the same time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Mind and the Soul

The mind/ego thinks it knows the Soul because that's what the mind/ego does: it anchors itself to something that it can attach to and creates boundaries so that it can separate you (as the observer) from the object of your perception (the observed).  This allows you to be conscious of the experience.  But the Soul is not something that can be grasped and bounded because it is expansive, limitless, and boundless.  In fact, it is invisible and immaterial and because of this the mind/ego does its best to interpret what it is.  From the Rene Magritte painting to the left (The Human Condition) you can see that the painting of the ocean is a reflection of the actual ocean outside.  This is similar to what the mind/ego is as a limited and fragmented painting which is only a reflection of the greater, boundless Soul such as the actual ocean.  The mind/ego as a sense of self is only a reflection of the True Soul.

The Soul can become addicted to the body and fall into the illusion of the mind/ego's sense of self and forget its actual true, eternal Self.

How does one discriminate between what is from the Soul and what is from the mind/ego?

From the practice of vigilant observation.  The mind/ego operates in the realm of time and space.  The Soul realm is timelessness.  Commonly, if a thought requires some time, it's from the mind/ego and what's the first thing to pop up out from what appears to be nowhere is usually a message from the Soul.  The Soul communicates through images, vibrations, feelings, dreams, and an inner knowing and not so much through the use of words such as with the mind/ego.  The mind/ego uses thoughts based upon past experiences and knowledge (elements of time) and the Soul uses intuition which is a living, dynamic process of guiding the Individual.  With vigilant observation, one develops discriminative intelligence and there is no longer a painting separated from what is painted.  There simply is what Is.....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Observations of the Fitness Industry

Has anyone else noticed this in the fitness industry?: you get good at what you do; you start lecturing locally and then conferences; you write some e-books and articles; you crank out some DVDs; and when you really get popular, you start taking on interns and then start providing certifications; and then when your business is financially sound, you start "business" coaching. What's next after that?
Some sort of Soul/Spiritual connection. That's right. You heard it hear first.

If you're familiar with pioneers in the fitness world such as Paul Chek, you'll clearly understand that when one starts to pay attention to their physical health, this paves the way towards mental, and then soul/spiritual health.  Pretty soon, the popular names in the industry will start lecturing or acknowledging their practices of the spiritual aspects that have been purposely kept dormant due to the public's ignorance of this area.  For those "experts" who deny or refuse to transform and adapt to this wave of enlightenment, what you'll see is  a little bit of the same stuff they've been teaching over the years but with catchy/trendy marketing tags with the illusion of promoting something different. 

Overall, the fitness/wellness industry is being propelled towards a greater consciousness and once you pay attention to the trends of pioneers who are already there, you can get a sense of what's ahead.  Body - Mind - Soul....it's the Soul aspect that is about to shine.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Meditation may be much more effective than drugs in treating heart disease: A Recent Study

A recent study (and the first of its kind) presented at the annual American Heart Association’s conference last year (11/09) that revealed an almost 50% reduction in heart attack, stroke, and death in heart disease patients practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM). This study was sponsored by the NIH with a $3.8 million grant and conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin and was a randomized controlled trial lasting nine years following 201 test participants.



The fascinating thing about this first-ever, government-sponsored study was that no drug, surgery, or combination of treatments for heart disease has ever been researched to reduce heart disease risks up to 50% and all it took for these patients was practice in TM.

Here are some interesting facts regarding heart disease:

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States


  • There are nearly 1.5 million heart attacks per year in the United States, according to the American Heart Association


  •  An American will suffer a heart attack every 34 seconds


  •  Coronary heart disease is also the leading cause of health care costs. More than $475 billion is spent annually on treating CHD, including: $100,000 for each coronary bypass surgery, $50,000 for each angioplasty, and $30,000 for each diagnostic cardiac catheterization.


  • There are nearly 500,000 coronary artery bypass grafts and 1.3 million angioplasties performed every year.


  • Stress is thought to contribute to the development of CHD.



Transcendental Meditation is but one approach to meditation and this study opens the doorway for the newer perspective that a meditative/contemplative practice may be a more effective alternative to the typical prescriptive treatments for heart disease.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:  Meditation practice is effective for the treatment of heart disease.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pediasure and the Illusion of Healthy Nutrition for Our Children


Recently I observed some kids having a snack drinking a bottle of Pediasure which brought back memories of when I used to work in the hospital and patients were given the adult version of Pediasure (Ensure) to assist in their recovery.  One would think that this stuff must be good for you if they exclusively serve it to hospital patients, right?  I call major stinking bullshit on this.  Anyone can read the ingredients of these products and quickly get an idea that 1) there’s a lot of sugar (which is listed as the second ingredient) and 2) what are all these big and fancy words?  These products contain synthetic isolates of nutrients made in a lab and nowhere in Nature.  This means that Man tried to be like God and make a new and improved version of food.  This might work if we were simply robots and a mechanical approach to our function was the answer but obviously we as Humans are much more than machines that require isolates of nutrition.  The food we eat, the whole foods as they come from Nature, are complexes of nutrients that work synergistically to sustain our life experience.  For example, Vitamin C is not one nutrient called ascorbic acid; it’s actually a complex called a fruit such as an orange.  It was thought that it was a single ingredient that was responsible for a particular effect; but it is now known that each ingredient works with the greater whole.  Our bodies will do what they can with synthetic isolates but over time there’s just so much it can withstand and when physical and mental symptoms manifest, it’s the body crying out for help.
With children, their bodies are growing and very resilient to consuming poor quality food.  Of course it won’t kill them right away and yes, their bodies will do its best with the poor quality nutrition but the point is if more parents were aware of how they can help their kids by simply making more conscious choices in their children’s diets, most would change.  But then again, this may force them to rethink about their own beliefs on what is healthy and many may not have the health reserves to do so.  In fact, most parents who feed Pediasure to their kids already think they are doing their kids a service by giving them this stuff because it’s “recommended by pediatricians”.  This is where conditioning from advertisements, marketing, and corporate alliances and sponsorships educate the public and influence their choices with regards to health.  From the evidence of the rise in childhood obesity, food allergies, autism, juvenile diabetes, and ADHD, there may be a link to the processed food that is marketed to our kids and these conditions.
Below is the actual ingredient list for their chocolate flavor drink:
ingredients:
WATER, SUGAR (SUCROSE), CORN MALTODEXTRIN, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, HIGH OLEIC SAFFLOWER OIL, SOY OIL, COCOA POWDER (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES; LESS THAN 0.5% OF: SHORT-CHAIN FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, CELLULOSE GEL, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, SALT (SODIUM CHLORIDE), CHOLINE CHLORIDE, SOY LECITHIN, MONOGLYCERIDES, C. COHNII OIL, ASCORBIC ACID, CELLULOSE GUM, CARRAGEENAN, m-INOSITOL, TURMERIC, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, TAURINE, FERROUS SULFATE, dl-ALPHA-TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, L-CARNITINE, ZINC SULFATE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, NIACINAMIDE, FD&C RED#3, MANGANESE SULFATE, THIAMINE CHLORIDE HYDROCHLORIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, CUPRIC SULFATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, BIOTIN, SODIUM SELENATE, SODIUM MOLYBDATE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, PHYLLOQUINONE, CYANOCOBALAMIN, AND VITAMIN D3.

CONTAINS SOY AND MILK INGREDIENTS.

Pediasure contains milk concentrates and soy protein isolates which are cheap forms of protein.  It also contains synthetic vitamins and minerals along with other preservatives and food colorings. And let us not forget the cheap fats such as soy oil and safflower oil which by the way tend to go rancid which would explain the preservatives.  What ever happened to giving our kids whole foods?  Most kids are already desensitized to the natural sweetness of ripe produce and the wholesomeness of a home-made, prepared meal because 1) growing up with processed food and 2) that’s what the mother ate while pregnant and that’s what the parents still eat, and 3) from the billions of dollars spent on advertising targeting children – the minds are held captive as slaves to society’s beliefs.  For most of us in these modern times we grew up eating processed food and fast food and we seem to be okay, right?  But the truth is that for many of us we didn’t start to change our diet and nutrition habits until we started to feel unhealthy, overweight, sick, or depressed.
So why should we have our kids repeat the cycle?  If we start being more aware and challenge rather than passively accept our beliefs on health, don’t you think our kids wouldn’t be too far behind following us?  Just because you grew up believing something to be true does not mean it is true for you as an adult.  And the same goes for your children.  We always have a choice when it comes to matters of our life experience and thus our health.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kipping Swings for Neuromuscular Re-education

This exercise can be used to improve thoracic spine mobility as well as scapulothoracic integration and neuromuscular re-education. Emphasis is on initiating the movement from the thorax rather than the legs. As you swing forward (using the chest as the reference point) the scapula retract and thorax extends and as you swing backward, the scapula protract and thoracic spine flexes.

Thanks to John Tsafos from New Jersey for the idea as he demonstrated the Kipping pull up to me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Workouts

On Wednesday and Thursday I did yoga and seated meditation for about 1 ½ hours total in the morning. On Wednesday, I managed to get some “mini” circuits while a client was out running quarter miles as part of his circuit.
What I did:

Various martial arts kicks – 10 each leg
Tire back flips – since I don’t have large tractor tires (yet) I use standard-size car tires; I throw these little guys up and over behind me for a total distance of about 40-50 ft
Hex bar Deadlifts – 20 reps

I did the above a few rounds and rested when my client did his circuits.

Later in the day I did some “training” with my 6 ½ year old son which consisted of gymnastics stuff on the big blue mat.

On Thursday I did some general conditioning along with some specific corrective exercise work. The conditioning work consisted of:
Jump roping – 10 sets of 100 jumps
Dumbbell Farmer’s Walks – walking in circles, switching directions until fatigue.

The corrective work:
Kettlebell one-arm clean & press alternating with snatches
Clubbell stuff
Thick-handle mid-cable pulls

The above was performed with the left arm only. I have a tendency to over-use/over-work the right arm; my right clavicle is a bit depressed creating greater tendency for glenohumeral impingement. This left-side only work further reinforces newer neural pathways.

Friday
Yoga asanas and pranayama before outdoor yiquan (standing meditation qigong) – about 1 ½ hours

Back to the weights:

Bar flat bench press – 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5 (10 sets of 5 reps)
Handstand holds (until fatigue) – with minimal assistance from wall

Lat pull downs – 10x10x10x10x10
Singe-arm cable bent-over lateral raises – 15x15x15

Roman chair back extensions (horizontal) – up to 100 reps

Post-workout smoothie:
¼ fresh pineapple
Small handful of brazil nuts
1 tbs bee pollen
2 tbs irish sea moss
1tsp tumeric
1 orange
Water

Later tonight, depending on how the day goes, perhaps do more “training” with my son.

The Great Outdoors

Try this experiment: Right now in front of your computer or phone, close your eyes and get a sense of what you’re feeling right now at this moment. Imagine, if you can, a flow of energy moving through you and around you and see if you can discern any particular rhythm. If this is too difficult for you, simply pay attention to what thoughts are consistent and predominant in your mind at this moment. After you’ve tried this, now go outside (preferably out in Nature) and stand or sit in a comfortable space and again close your eyes. Do the same exercise you did before inside, observing what rhythm of energy flow you can sense; what appears to be capturing your attention? What do you feel now that wasn’t as apparent as when you were inside? What differences can you sense between being indoors and out?

Obviously there is a difference and to the degree one did not experience any noticeable difference with this exercise, you can imagine how disconnected one is from Nature. And because everything that is “outside” in Nature can also be found within the Human body, one can be considered disconnected from themselves. Isn’t that how disease processes start? When one does not pay attention to what the body is revealing because the mind is too distracted, these processes can suddenly “sneak” up on you and get you while you weren’t looking. We can start paying attention now rather than later when we start exhibiting symptoms (which is the typical scenario when one starts to “take care” of them self).

Nature is abundant and FREE and is every where around us. I recommend, whenever you get a chance, to try working out outdoors. Try some yoga, qigong, or any form of meditation outside. And if you can, practice somewhere like a park where there are lots of trees, grass, plants, soil, birds, squirrels, etc. You can also get a decent work out in the children’s playground area and perform various body weight exercises. Or you can bring some basic equipment like small dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, or a jump rope and add some more variety. You can always challenge your creativity by making up exercises with what ever is available in your chosen location. For example, in the video above, my family and I were visiting a biodynamic farm where across the street and behind a Waldorf School is a small forest with a stream running through it. In the forest, there were plenty of logs lying around to lift, trees to climb, rocks to lift and toss, and hills and inclines to be sprinted. By the farm, outside the farm store there was a little grassy area in which we decided to practice some yoga asanas. What I noticed immediately is that the expansive energies of the area were so “opening” and “freeing” and it was evident that what would normally take a bit more time for me to loosen up if I was practicing yoga indoors, was not even an issue on the lawn. It was as if the lawn/Nature was inviting us to “play” and like little children playing, we “played”. How often do we adults deny the call of Nature inviting us to experience the expansiveness and freedom and abundance because we trap ourselves in contraction, slavery, and scarcity?

Go now. Get outside. Breathe some fresh air. Appreciate Nature.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This Morning's Workout

As part of my full disclosure to all who are interested I will be from time to time sharing what kind of workouts or movement sessions I perform as part of my role as a health consultant. I find it essential and beneficial to all to share with those who express interest to ignite the creativity and motivation within on each individual's journey in health.

This morning I practiced some yoga in the form of various asanas and pranayama after about an hour of sitting meditation. From there I went for a run in my Vibram Five Fingers for about 1 1/2 miles.

Next was some metabolic conditioning, or "fat burning" (another way of saying high volume, low intensity, and very little rest periods) utilizing a Tabata protocol:

20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest for 8 sets of each of the following exercises followed by a one minute rest period in between each exercise:

1) Inverted Ring Rows
2) Prisoner Squats (deep)
3) Push Ups
4) Sit-Ups with lumbar support and feet anchored (I have a tendency towards a flat lumbar lordosis with lengthened hip flexors)
5) X-iser stepper

The above circuit took about 20 minutes and I ended the workout with 100 reps of Roman chair back extensions (not all at once; I rested as little as necessary).

Afterwards, I had a smoothie with whatever I had in the kitchen:
1 apple
1 carrot
handful of pea shoot sprouts
1 orange
a little bit of black radish, peeled
4 big strawberries
1 tbs bee pollen
1 raw egg
water

No sweeteners are necessary when the produce you use are ripe. Our society has been desensitized to sweetness from over-consuming processed and refined food loaded with simple sugars and few are able to taste what real sweetness from Nature tastes like. The difference is that the sweetness from a ripened fruit has much more life force than the sweetness of refined sugars. It's like the guy who finds out his new girlfriend has fake boobs when he thought they were natural; there's a difference experienced.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Forgetfulness as a Way Towards Enlightenment


Has this ever happen to you?:  You lost your keys and can’t for the life of you remember where was the last place you saw them.  How about forgetting where you placed them almost immediately?  It is common to look for something we have misplaced once we remember that it is missing and typically a significant amount of time has elapsed, along with a truck load of other distractions that have easily contributed to your forgetfulness in the first place.  Just the other day this happened with my perceived “lost” set of car keys.  The thing is that I remembered I misplaced the keys within a time span of less than five minutes.  At first this may appear as if I was extremely distracted to the point of forgetting immediately after the action took place, which some may call this  as being absent-minded.  From there I retraced my steps (literally) a few times trying out every scenario and possibility to where I could have placed my keys.  Finally I reached a point where I was reversing my thinking process from the present moment to the exact moment I last remembered the keys.  At this point I observed that I was feeling a little “light-headed” and decided to sit down.  While sitting, I was meditating and contemplating the very image of the keys and opened myself up to any revelation that appeared.  It was immediate that I experienced the sensation that I can describe as me asking myself the question “Is this Real?” where the moment lucidly felt like a dream or a movie taking place where I was able to take myself in and out of it.  Now I have experienced this sensation before during some very deep meditation sessions and also during some very deep shamanic journeying explorations.  Everything that we consider as real, at those moments, reveals otherwise.  This can be a difficult thing to describe because the mind wants to wrap itself around it and intellectualize it but unless one experiences it for themselves, they have no idea.  It is like trying to describe the act of sex with a virgin: you can describe it in as many ways as you can but unless they actually experience the act, they will not be able to truly understand you.  The mind requires reference points in which to attach to and create some sort of stability to satisfy the intellect.  For example, the mind uses our five physical senses as reference points to create what we believe as our everyday reality.  But what happens when the mind has no reference points to anchor?

Limb Telescopy

In neuroscience there is a known condition where the brain will make a limb disappear when its sensory inputs of the limb are conflicting.  This is evident in persons with amputated limbs where the previous phantom limb sensations become less and less over time to the point where the brain no longer perceives there is a limb anymore.  The person perceives that the limb is shrinking over time until it no longer exists (sensation wise).  So what this means is that if the brain receives conflicting information, or if the mind no longer has any stable reference points to create a perceived reality, that perceived reality starts to dissolve.  What appears is a more quantum presence of a more true reality.  In other words, the veil of deception of a world of duality and separation is uncovered and the light of unity and interconnectedness is revealed (aka: Enlightenment).  But then again, just like the virgin being told about sex rather than experiencing it, enlightenment is the same way.

So, What Happened?

At the moment of my perceived forgetfulness where I diligently retraced my foot steps as vividly as possible, my brain was unable to make any sense of it all.  I remember I even entertained the thought that maybe a “ghost” was playing tricks on me.  The lightheadedness and the surrealness of the moment was the “maya” or the “matrix” breaking down and I was awakened to another dimension that has always been underlying but well-hidden until one is ready to go forth on this path of higher knowledge.  As I “returned” to my senses (the physical senses) I immediately went to my desk where I usually place old receipts and I remembered that I had thrown them away which led me to the trash bin where I found the keys.  So as it turned out, my mind was so distracted that I was not aware at the time that when I threw away the receipts, I also threw away the keys which were also in my hand.  I had totally forgotten this little bit of information when retracing my steps.  The German “Shakespeare”, Goethe, in his work Faust mentions that forgetting is like the rudder and memory is the oars as we work our way through the ocean of consciousness.  Our forgetfulness can guide us on the Soul’s path back Home and our memory is the will to do so.

From Rudolf Steiner’s work, he teaches a practice for one who seeks knowledge of the higher worlds for those on the spiritual path.  One of the most basic practices is called reverse thinking where you retrace your day and try to remember with as much detail as possible everything you experienced.  This practice prepares one for coming into relationship with the soul.  To get an idea what this means, remember those people who report having near-death experiences and it is common for them to describe it as if “their whole life flashed before their eyes”.  Their soul revealed to them at that moment every experience they had from then down to when they were born.  By practicing reverse thinking, you can gain clarity to your present reality.  Remember, when exploring the world of the soul, the rules of the physical material world no longer apply and one does not have to die this lifetime to learn this.  The soul, which is invisible, can be made visible once we transcend what we are currently learning in our physical reality.  All we have to do is to remove the veil.   

Friday, March 12, 2010

Your Gut and Your Manhood


Recently, while playing rough with my 6 year old son, he accidentally kicked me in my testicles which created a instant dull pain in my gut enough for me to fall to the ground. Now I've been hit in the groin before but I've never made the connection between the resulting gut sensation and a guy's manhood until now.

What happened is called a viscerosomatic reflex where a stimulation of one organ can reflex to another, separate part of the body.  My testis, being the organ, were traumatized by a roundhouse kick from my son and reflexed pain to my gut wall.  This occurs because of neighboring structures being innervated by the same spinal level.

After the pain subsided a revelation occurred to me that what if this reflex was reversed, meaning, what if stress to the gut can reflex to the testis?  Stress to the gut may come in a variety of ways such as constipation, diarrhea, malabsorption, poor digestion, food intolerances, chronic gas, and inflammatory conditions of the gut.  If such cases were chronic for a significant amount of time, could this not affect the function of the testis?  The testis is where testosterone and semen are produced.  For all those guys diagnosed with low sperm counts/poor fertility and hormonal issues, they could possibly also have poor gut function.

Bottomline:  If your maleness (testosterone/sperm count) is an issue, address your gut issues by cleaning it up, eat better nutrition, improve digestion, and elimination and learn to block those low kicks. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For Love, Like for a Furnace

My soul's a furnace; it's happy with fire.
It's enough for a furnace to be the house of fire.
For love, like for a furnace,
There's always something to burn -
If you don't see this,
You're not a furnace.

RUMI

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Swiss Ball Windmills (aka: Jocson Twist 2)

Here's a fun swiss ball exercise that's a variation of the classic Jocson Twist.

Toe Touch Push-ups

Simple variation of the classic push up that involves more coordination and your focused attention.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting Out of the Box With Yin & Yang



The following is a “conversation” I had with a colleague on Facebook regarding a study she posted that revealed how one’s thoughts of the future or past influenced the movement of the body in a forward and backward direction. I share this as an example of how easily we allow ourselves to be trapped within the “box” of who we think we are with our roles and identities we attach ourselves to. When we are not willing to go outside of our box, the outside world will come to us and this can either turn out to be a “battle” where we fight to defend our boxed-in beliefs and thoughts or an opportunity to stick our heads out of the box and finally learn something new (and actually allow ourselves to grow from it). The colleague is termed Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists as the name of her group on Facebook and can also be seen as her “box”. The conversation is as follows:
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists "..thinking about past or future events can literally move us." Physical movements correspond to the metaphorical direction of time.
"Those who thought of the past swayed backward while those who thought
of the future moved forward
." Ideomotor movement, sensorimotor systems linked to ideas/perceptions of time and space. ...Implications for movement therapy in general, maybe. Have people think about a given idea and become conscious of which way their body moves to express that idea. Barrett, are you reading this?
Michael Jocson
In clinic, I've also noticed this sway laterally when thoughts of past or future are brought up. It depends on the client's overall emotional/mental/physical issues and whether there's a dominating reason (yang) or feeling (yin) tendency. This brings up the connection between the mind and body and the physical symptoms that PT's treat when there's a disconnect.
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists
Do you have a neuroscience link about that Michael? I don't speak or understand yin/yang lingo.
Michael Jocson
No specific links but you can interchange the eastern lingo of yin/yang with the western understanding of the right and left cerebral hemispheres and their corresponding relationships to the body and mind.
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists
So... what would yin and yang and hemispheres have to do with each other?
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists
There is an area here to have a discussion thread, if you would like to expand a bit.
Michael Jocson
No need to expand on a discussion board; yin/yang is the concept of duality, ie. black/white, right/wrong, left/right where polarities exist and when the two opposing (and equal) forces collide, tend to cancel each other out or integrate. The cerebral hemispheres work together and yet each have their own distinct characteristics. This is evident in CVA conditions and I believe there was a famous TED video of a neuroscientist who experienced a stroke and was able to describe it.
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists
Concept of duality? This page is about, among other things, placing a neuroscience base under manual therapy, not promoting a-scientific concepts. Just so we're clear.
Michael Jocson
Clear. I think there's a misunderstanding. How can we place a neuroscience base for manual therapy if we do not understand what science is? The origin of the word "science" means "Knowledge by study; to separate one thing from another, to distinguish". The whole foundation of science is based upon duality. To say the concept of duality is a-scientific exposes the ignorance. In science, or in this case, in neuroscience and manual therapy, we have the observer (ie. therapist) and the observed (ie. patient, physiological effect, etc). This is the duality. There's nothing mystical or "new-agey" or unscientific about it. What holds us back in the profession is the inability to see the forest for the tree.
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists
Third person and first person perspective is not what I'm commenting on. I'm commenting on yins and yangs being brought into a commentary on the neuroscience of something. Yins and yangs are either a-scientific, pre-scientific, anti-scientific, or pseudo-scientific, or else a combination of all 4.
Michael Jocson
Thank you and you revealed a lot with your last statement.
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists
As did you in this conversation. Have a nice day.

So as you can see, what started as me sharing my experience to reinforce a study, ended up being an exposing of an imprint this therapist had with the words “yinand yang”. Irregardless if I tried to explain these terms are the same as the concept of duality which is the foundational basis for science and all “scientific” inquiry, she was unable at that moment to get past the words “yin” and “yang”. Isn’t this so true in how our tightly-held beliefs prevent us from understanding others?

I noticed in my former profession of orthopedic manual physical therapy (OMPT) there is a conflict between the old ways of thinking and the newer ways where people are starting to realize that the latest evidence through “scientific investigation” are revealing the old beliefs that were once held to be true are now being proven “not so true” and this appears to be the case with the orthopedic manual therapy evaluation and with spinal manipulation as two examples. The OMPT box is starting to breakdown and it is the choice of the “OMPT” therapists to find the courage to live outside of that box and learn from new terms such as “yin” and “yang” and not eliminate what they already know, but more so to build upon it and create something totally new. Or they can choose to defend an already sinking ship.

The thing about duality is that both sides are of the same coin. Whether you’re in the box or out, you can learn from both perspectives. It is when we attach ourselves to one or the other in separation that conflict, struggle, and suffering occur. So the question I leave you with is this: Do you want to learn and grow or do you enjoy suffering?

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dark Side of Peace



A mentor and friend of mine, Paul Chek, used to say in his lectures, “How do you know who’s a pioneer?”, and his answer would be “By the arrows sticking out of his back.” At this point in my life I have a similar question, “How do you know if someone has found Peace?”, and my answer is “By the arrows all over his body.”

One does not find Peace but rather unveils it from deep within. Many talk about wanting “peace of mind” or more peace in their lives but yet are unwilling to take an actual step towards it. To unveil true Peace is to expose all that you thought you were and the lifetime of accumulating “junk” consisting of material attachments and enslavement to the physical senses. Quite simply, it is exposing your relentless bullshit that distracts you from the Peace that you are. With the practice of deep meditation, one can experience Peace and this is a step in experiencing the Soul. As one goes deeper into meditation, that Peace becomes more expansive and one feels connected with all of existence. This is an experience of God (or whatever other word resonates with you such as Spirit, Creator, Tao, Source, etc). This is True Peace that allows one to be calm within despite one’s outer circumstances. It is like a wave that experiences the oneness and expansiveness of the ocean. It is always there.

Since every step of our evolution is to be transcended, unveiling the Peace within is just a taste and being the Peace is total embodiment. When one unveils the Peace within them, they will be challenged by others who are also seeking it but are unable to detach themselves from their unserving patterns (ie. bullshit, belief systems, etc.). This is evident in the long history of saintly martyrdom in Christianity. What people do not understand they fear and what they fear they resist and fight against. January 20 is the feast day for the Christian saint, St. Sebastian, who is the Catholic patron saint for athletes. St. Sebastian was a Roman warrior who was a Christian and denounced the Roman gods. He was initially martyred by the Roman emperor by being tied to a tree and had arrows shot all over his body. Paintings of St. Sebastian typically depict a young, muscular man with arrows piercing through him (pictured above). Even with all the arrows, St. Sebastian did not die. The emperor ended up having him clubbed to death and he was also famous for being the twice-martyred saint. Because of these miraculous feats, many people converted to Christianity at the time. This story displays how when one unveils the True Peace from within, it not only can repel the “arrows”, or external attacks from other’s ignorance, but can also transmute them into transcendence. Where although what began as an attack, transformed into a planting of a seed that triggers the fruit of Peace within the “attacker”.

The first step is allowing Peace to reveal itself to you. This can be achieved through the stillness and silence of deep meditation. It is a practice and can take some time. Please understand that once you experience it, it does not end there. You will be challenged by others, or rather, blatantly attacked, as a test to see how stable your foundation of Peace is. Remember, it is not a battle but more of an evolutionary opportunity. Ask yourself this, “Can you handle True Peace in your life right now?” And if the answer is “no”, what steps can you take to remove the veil? And what benefit are you getting from your addiction to non-Peace?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Live a Long Life

This is from the January 2010 Jocson Health Newsletter. I thought it appropriate to post it here on the blog. Enjoy!

Recently I watched a video about what is called the Blue Zone project where investigators studied the lives of specific geographical areas in the world where there existed significant amount of individuals who lived well into their nineties and hundreds. It was a project to find out what we can learn from some of the oldest living people on Earth regarding health and longevity. What I found fascinating was that out of all the distinguishing characteristics that all of these communities had in common, diet/nutrition and exercise were not the biggest contributors (although still very important in their lives). What was the most significant is the community that all of the Blue Zones pro-actively created to be a part of. It was the interconnection with others that was the most common trait. Right relationship with others and their selves contributes greatly to health and longevity. Where the average adult only has, at best, maybe three “best friends” throughout their lives, in these communities it was more like nine or so.

We, as Humans, were never meant to be alone. Even physically, on a cellular level, science is discovering we are not alone with the billions & trillions of microbes that have a symbiotic relationship within us. Each and every one us contains a right relationship with a bunch of bacteria within us and when that relationship is trying to find a balance, we experience physical symptoms. From the old thinking we were conditioned to believe that microbes are bad and the whole “anti-bacterial” mind-set took off where the spread of antibiotic use were used to “kill off the enemies”. The interesting thing is that now microbiologists are beginning to realize that cases such as “bacterial infections” can be viewed more as the difference between an argument and having a civil conversation amongst our cells. Isn’t this true the way it is in society when we are presented with so-called “national security threats” we opt more to kill first and ask questions later? Our biology is revealing otherwise. In fact, one can argue that there really in no such thing as “good” bacteria or “bad” bacteria but just an innate desire for the microbes and our cells to find right relationship and live in symbiosis. If you study the evolution of the Human cell, you’ll find that we began as microbes that basically had a desire to expand our consciousness and created our own technologies to do so. From single-cells to multiple colonies to tissues to organs to a whole body, we evolved to what we call our physical self and it all consisted of a lot of “teamwork”. There is no real isolation anywhere in our biology. We are made to “come-in-unity”. From one cell to fifty trillion cells, it is part of our nature to create right relationships.

Think of moments in your life where you isolated or separated your self from others for whatever reasons or for whatever fears you may have had at the time rather than trying to find unity through understanding and meaning on superficial and deep levels of the experience. An image for me comes to mind of the “gated communities” that exist to deter the unwanted elements of society; or how some parents teach their children they don’t want them to associate with certain kids because they may be “bad” influences. We tend to separate ourselves from what we fear and do not understand as a way to protect ourselves and this commonly results in a never-ending battle throughout life. We make life a battle. If we didn’t, the warrior archetype would not exist. The mythology of the warrior is that one does not become a true warrior until one knows when to lay down their sword and offer themselves completely to their Higher Self. In other words, we struggle with our lower animal selves so as to find our Higher Divine Selves and learn to live in right relationship with each other.

In neuroscience, the hot topic is the discovery of mirror neurons. When we move, motor programs are triggered in the brain that allow for this action. When we observe others performing the same movement, a subset of the motor programs called mirror neurons are activated as if we were performing the movement as well. Have you ever wondered why is it that when someone else yawns, others in the room end up yawning as well, regardless if they are physically tired or not? The answer is mirror neurons. There have been studies where a person’s arm has been anesthetized and upon observing actions such as poking or pinching in someone else’s arm were able to feel the same or similar sensations despite the anesthesia’s effects on their arm. This is evidence that there is a non-physical subtle connection between people and that the physical separation we experience is more of a delusion. If you’re a male, have you ever observed another male getting hit in the groin and not be able to empathize with him? This is science’s discovery of a biological understanding of empathy and compassion.

In the science of genetics there is a new area called epigenetics that studies what are called epigenes. Epigenes are the switches on our genes that can either turn on or off the genes depending on our environmental influences. This means that we no longer have to attach to the old belief that we are prisoners of our biology and that Darwinian-thought is partially true (“survival of the fittest”) and that Lamarckian-thought (“environment affects genes”) needs to be embraced and explored with open arms. The environment we choose to live in affects our biology and thus our health and longevity. These findings also include our thoughts where what we think becomes our biology. If we live in an environment of fear, fear is what we become. The added stress of fear can trigger some of our genes that make us more prone for certain cancers or other health conditions. It’s so true what they say that “show me who you’re friends are and the people you surround yourself with and I’ll know what type of person you are”.

And if these sciences weren’t enough, even math is getting in on the action. Fractal geometry reveals something that is called “self similars” where a piece, or fractal, of a whole can be used to create newer and complex patterns that are a reflection of the original object. Everything in nature can be broken up into fractals. You can take a simple shape like an equilateral triangle and take a piece of it and place it into a more complex pattern and create a snowflake. This is a science of patterns where you can begin to recognize from complex patterns, the simpler similar components that make them up. And because humans are a part of Nature, we are no exceptions to the fractal nature of our existence. Each of us can be perceived as one piece of this complex pattern called life on a grander scale the same way one of our cells is a part of the greater body. Every individual in our lives are there by no coincidence and contribute to the complexity of our “pattern”. We ultimately have the choice to choose what kind of pattern we want to live in. We can live in drama or we can live in harmony. We can live running away and self-sabotaging or we can live with meaning and purpose. Every person we are in contact with is a reflection of aspects within us. How cool is this? If we ever want to know something about us, get to know the people in our lives.

And the last science, which is quantum physics, ties together everything, literally, into a matrix where we are all a part of the whole. Newtonian physics used to believe that the smallest particle of matter was the atom but it is now believed that even smaller “quanta” exists where there is an infinite amount of particles between two atoms and that there is no real “empty space”. Everything is connected. From this comes the chaos theory where the butterfly effect shows how the waving of a butterfly’s wings can effect a hurricane on the other side of the globe, or in other words, small, somewhat insignificant changes initially, can make influential big changes in the long term outcome. Quantum physics helps reveal how someone on the other side of the world can affect another on the other side with their thoughts and prayers through the concept of non-locality. Time and space is one reality which is linear and yet, non-linear realities do exist. These non-linear realities exist on a higher frequency of vibration that the physical sense organs can not detect. And when one is able to tap into these realms (such as with deep meditation), an infinite and expansive understanding of life is observed. This brings understanding of how primitive civilizations were able to study the movements of planets and stars and make predictions of the future. They saw the patterns. They studied nature and their surroundings. They saw themselves in the Garden of Eden rather than being cast out of it. Time and space allowed for an understanding of the concept of the past and future but the reality is that there really is only the present moment right now. It is through our connection with our surroundings and others that we are able to realize this. The duality, or separation of self from other, is necessary as a foundation to bring unity. In what is called the law of the triangle, when two opposing forces interact and without interference, a third, newer force is created. In other words, evolution. The simplicity of that third point of the triangle combines with other points and creates a greater complexity and goes on infinitely where layer upon layer of newer third points are created. We can tap into evolution when we tap into the present. It is like in the Matrix Trilogy movies where one can plug into the matrix and experience the true reality of existence and transcend the delusion of duality.

With the recent box-office success of the movie, Avatar, there is no coincidence that it was released now in this time in the history of the world. The movie uses all these great visual and special effects to spark the viewers’ imagination and to entice normally spiritually-inept individuals into seeing a very meaningful and relevant movie of our time. It is metaphorical of how in our society we tend to look for quick-fixes to help us feel good. All we want is to feel good and not feel bad. The pills we take and the procedures we endure are like the special effects we’ve been hearing others talk about in the movie or the buzz that “it was such a great flick” that get us into the theater in the first place. It’s the promise of a good movie that’s sparks our interest to move towards it like a pill promises pain relief. And once we watch the film, we are exposed to an opportunity to evolve and propel ourselves out of our mediocrity and to grow from our experiences. It’s okay if one did not understand the storyline because the essence of the message has been exposed to them and because of what we learned about mirror neurons, if others did get the message, it’s also within them. That’s the beauty of understanding interconnectedness: if you don’t get to experience something, someone else did, and because we are all one in unity, you actually did get the experience although on a metaphysical level. Imagine how freeing this wisdom is knowing that someone else is experiencing something you always wanted to do or didn’t want to do, so now you can freely invest your energies in a more concise manner into the deeper questions of life. In the movie, the planet Pandora was a dynamic, neuronal network where everything on the planet was interconnected and nothing of it was separated from it self. The habitants, the flora, the animals and creatures, the whole environment were able to communicate with each other and learn to live in right relationship. It wasn’t until outsiders (us Humans) arrived and threatened to destroy the planet, that the planet started to re-organize in order to re-establish balance again. All of the residents of Pandora united together in response to the Human threat and for the Humans who embraced the “kill or be killed” and “survival of the fittest” mentality, they were defeated. And in the end with the transformation of the movie’s hero was symbolizing the continual, infinite evolution of existence.

To live a long life in our modern age is to transcend all duality and evolve into unity. As we go against this, we suffer. We create our own suffering. This is how cancer, AIDS, heart disease, mental illness, wars, murder, natural disasters, and all of the calamities known to mankind originate. Chaos and the butterfly effect. You against me. Ignorance. A world can exist without suffering. A world can exist without money as we know it today. The butterfly effect demonstrates that what we think and do today, right now, greatly affects our tomorrow. And it is through community, through sharing of ideas and experiences, through learning and growing with each other, through connecting to our interconnectedness, that we can all live long lives. This is why the internet is such an incredible dynamic. No where in Human history have we ever been able to connect with so many people from all over the world in an instant. Applications such as Facebook Twitter, and Youtube are fantastic outlets to share your self with the world. From the Matrix Trilogy we can take the red pill and plug ourselves in and truly know that we are all Co-Operators and Co-Creators of this world and beyond.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Swinging Workout

I did three rounds with the Indian clubs, clubbells, and kettlebell, with a little bit of spontaneous capoeira all with the music of Victor Manuelle in the background - which by the way, I was told I infringed on some copyright laws with Sony Entertainment and as a result this video will not be seen in Germany! It's incredible how strict these copyright things. I was just working out and wanted to share it with everyone. I will make it up to the folks in Germany though with some non-copyrighted infringement videos this year. All I want to do is share. I'm not concerned with stealing any money form Sony.