Saturday, May 31, 2008

Food to avoid

Don't walk, run away from the following foods:
  • Chips
  • Non-Diary topping
  • Doughnuts
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Sausages (grr!)
  • Fried Chicken
  • Imitation Cheese in a Can (who eats that?)
  • French Fries
  • Spongy White Bread
  • Fried Wantons
There is no reason to go into the details for each one; trust me, it is better not to know. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Movies that make you think

Here is a good post with a list of 10 movies, many of which are my own favorites -

Take a look at the comments - good suggestions there too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Zen Miracle

"What is the most miraculous of all miracles?"

"That I sit quietly by myself."

Simply to see things as they are, as they truly are in themselves, is life enough.

Zen often wears the air of divine ordinariness: "Have you eaten? Then wash your bowls." If you cannot find the meaning of life in an act as simple as doing the dishes, you will not find it anywhere.

Asked what Zen training leads to, a Western student who had been practicing for seven years in Kyoto answered, "No paranormal experiences that I can detect. But you wake up in the morning and the world seems so beautiful and you can hardly stand it. "

//Side note, that reminds me of "American Beauty".

Monday, May 19, 2008

Brevity is Vigor

William Strunk JR. and E.B. White's brilliant book "The Elements of Style" has many great writing advices that everyone should follow. For me, the one gem on top of the list, most likely because I am so bad at it, is "brevity is vigor." "Omit needless words!", "Omit needless words!", "Omit needless words!" - cries the author throughout the book.

But his wisdom is timeless. Today's media, Internet, the Information Highway, and even the Academia is filled with "dumbed-down" and "bloated-up" trash that is frequently wordy and vacuous. What can be said in two sentences are expanded into five. "Words are cheap", the authors seem to say. Unfortunately, so are their ideas - they are like the prevalent fast foods: cheap, fast, in large quantities, but ultimately bad for you.

Here is what some other people said about brevity:

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what other men say in whole books - what other men do not say in whole books. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought. ~Dennis Roth

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Breathe! You Are Alive

Breathe and you know that you are alive.
Breathe and you know that all is helping you.
Breathe and you know that you are the world.
Breathe and you know that the flower is breathing too.
Breathe for yourself and you breathe for the world.
Breathe in compassion and breathe out joy.

Breathe and be one with the air that you breathe.
Breathe and be one with the river that flows.
Breathe and be one with the earth that you tread.
Breathe and be one with the fire that glows.
Breathe and you break the thought of birth and death.
Breathe and you see that impermanence is life.

Breathe for your joy to be steady and calm.
Breathe for your sorrow to flow away.
Breathe to renew every cell in your blood.
Breathe to renew the depths of consciousness.
Breathe and you dwell in the here and now.
Breathe and all you touch is new and real.

- Annabel Laity

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Go to Jail!

I never heard about this one before but I immediately liked it.

You know sometimes you are stuck with doing something you don't like to do? You can't wait to get it over with so you can go do something else that is more exciting and fun? Heck yea, we all know how that feels. In fact, isn't life filled with things like that?

Try this - put yourself in jail!

Imagine you are in a jail. You have nowhere to go, no one to talk to, there is nothing more exciting coming up later that day than this thing you are doing. How do you feel now?

Next time when you clean your house, practice guitar, or wash your dishes, give it a try. It might put you in a calmer, focused state, and bring more quality into the mundanes.

Traffic Light

Sometimes when I stretch or exercise I don't know how far I should push myself. Here is an useful visualization I recently learned: picture a traffic light with red yellow and green signals. Green means "no problem", Yellow is "pushing it a little with effort", red is, of course, too dangerous o try.

In training, or in any other goal-oriented activities in life, it is essential that you reach into the yellow light zone frequently. When you do this, it should be voluntary and intentional. You should also always know when your "signal" turns red, and stop when it does.