Friday, October 23, 2009

Rosebud

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seven Characteristics of an Objective Trader

1. You feel no pressure to do anything.

2. You have no feeling of fear.

3. You feel no sense of rejection.

4. There is no right or wrong.

5. You recognize that this is what the market is telling me, this is what I do.

6. You can observe the market from the perspective as if you were not in a position, even if you are.

7. You are not focused on money, but on the structure of the market and how you trade.

If you can see any of the above qualities in yourself, you're on the right road. You need to release yourself from the need to be right. If you constantly need to be right, you are in the wrong business.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Putting Things in Perspective

I was a bit frustrated yesterday. Some unforeseen delay of transaction in one of my banks has caused an avalanche of problems in another. End result? My account is in total disarray! I spent most of the day talking to one person after another, apparently getting no where fast and more frustrated with each phone call. Finally, I gave up and went home.

After a rather unproductive evening I went to bed with a new book just arrived in mail: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I read for two hours before I fell asleep and then read another hour after I woke up at five. I like to quote you a small passage in the book:

This morning, when I was sitting in front of the window and taking a long, deep look outside at God and nature, I was happy, just plain happy. ... Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again. Whenever you're feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside. Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky. As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you'll know that you're pure within and will find happiness once more.
  • This was written on Wednesday, February 23, 1944 by Anne Frank, after been in hiding from the Nazis for two years.
  • She was 14.
  • She and seven other people lived in a secret hiding place for two years in constant fear, starvation, and isolation.
  • One year later she perished in the concentration camp, along with her sister and her mother.
And I was frustrated over a banking problem.

Note to self: Try to put a little more perspective in how you view life, learn some maturity and courage from this 14 year old Jewish girl who had no more than a year to live, and get out there make a difference.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Favorite Thing

video

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Random Thought

I miss Angela Chase.

Where are you Angela? I hope you are happy wherever you are, but I miss you. Terribly.

I wish you are here with me so I can hold you and whisper your name. I think of you often and my heart aches for you. I wonder if you know when I do.

There is so much I like to tell you, but I am afraid time is running out.

...

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Meditation

Meditation is giving a huge, luscious meadow to a restless cow. The cow might be restless for a while in this huge meadow, but at some stage, because there is so much space, the restlessness becomes irrelevant. So the cow eats and eats and eats and relaxes and falls asleep.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

If

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

If
you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

(One of my favorite poems; it is precisely in this manner how I want to live my life.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

To Live

"To live content with small means," observed William Henry Channing, an eighteenth-century inspirational and spiritual American leader, "to seek elegance rather than luxury and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently. Act frankly. To listen to stars and birds. To babes and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never."

"In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconsciousness grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

There is no ...

amount of money in the world can buy hunger and desire.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wimbledon

Today, a magnificent epic tennis battle took place at Wimbledon between the 14 Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer, and his American challenger Andy Roddick. It was a battle of roller coasters where both players tried to wrestle the control away from each other.

After four hours of hard fighting, the match reached its climatic end in the fifth set, where both players exhibited impossible nerves and will. 8 all, 9 all, 10 all ... audiences both in the arena and around the world could not believe what they were watching and how long the players could play at such a high level - they simply will not quit.

Unfortunately for Andy, after giving everything he had, a couple of mistakes finally crept in in the 30th game of the set (the set!), and went down 16-14.

This perhaps will be hailed as one of the greatest tennis matches of all times. As a tennis fan, I feel blessed to have the privilege of watching both of these men competing with everything they have; they are not just a testament for their sport, but for human spirit as well.

Congratulations to Roger Federer - you are the greatest tennis player that ever lived and probably ever will live. It is unlikely anyone will ever surpass your achievements in future generations. It is a gift to watch you play with such grace and elegance.

As for Andy Roddick, you are a hero with tremendous heart. You never gave up today and you inspired so many people around the world with what is possible when you have the will.

When Roddick was asked if he struggled to stay positive after losing the second set, he replied: “You know, at that point, like everything else, there's two options: you lay down or you keep going. The second option sounded better to me."

And what else can one add to that? That's as plain as it gets, both on and off the tennis court.

Keep going Andy. You da man!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can you ...

stop the murmuring of the brook?

When you can, you'll have true freedom.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Love to Take a Loss

A good trader loves to take a loss.

Successful traders confront the possibility of being wrong, and thus, when the time comes to take a loss, he does it without hesitation.

Your losing trades do not diminish you as a person. You are not you losing trades. You are also not your winning trades either.

They are simply by-products of the business you are in.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Once

Well, this Memorial weekend turned out badly - I was not feeling well and consequently was rather unproductive. As a treat before going to bed, almost half-hearted I decided to watch the Netflix film I been ignoring called "Once", and it was irresistibly charming.

What a sparkling little gem! It is powerful in its simplicity; completely unpretentious, it captures your attention and never lets it go. Real characters, authentic emotions, and the music just captivates you.

Why can't we make more movies like this?! Almost with no budget and stars, "Once" is a much more enjoyable film than most of the Hollywood's today. Go see it, you'll be enchanted.

There was this one scene in the movie when the guy and the girl first met and played a song together in a local piano shop. This is possibly one of the most intimate and powerful scenes I have ever seen - it captures that magic moment when two human beings really connect with each other, those precious moments that make all other moments in your life seem dull and lifeless. Yea, those ones, the ones that you really lived and never seem to fade from your memory.

The song they were playing is called "Falling Slowly".


video


I adore Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for making this beautiful, beautiful film in a time when watching bad ones is the norm. Bad movies rob you of life, this one enriches yours.

Even though I feel terrible from my sickness, watching this made me smile.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The First Turn

The first turn toward success comes when you remind yourself to relax and find that center of calm within yourself that is always there, always present, always available.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Man and Buddha

Man fancies himself to be the most highly evolved organism in the universe, but in the view of Buddhism he stands midway between an amoeba and a Buddha. And because he falsely sees himself as no more than this puny body, just a speck in the universe, he is constantly endeavoring to enlarge himself through possessions and power. But when he awakens to the fact that he embraces the whole universe, he ceases his grasping, for he no longer feels a lack within himself.

In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha relates that with enlightenment he realized that he possessed the universe, that all the beings were his children, and that he needed nothing more than his begging bowl. He was, in truth, the richest man in the world.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Brain Is Wider Than The Sky

The Brain — is wider than the Sky —
For—put them side by side —
The one the other will contain
With ease — and You—beside —

The Brain is deeper than the sea —
For—hold them — Blue to Blue —
The one the other will absorb —
As Sponges — Buckets — do —

The Brain is just the weight of God —
For — Heft them — Pound for Pound —
And they will differ — if they do —
As Syllable from Sound


Poem by Emily Dickinson

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tomorrow

There is no tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a fantasy, an illusion, a figment of your imagination. Don't pin your hopes, dreams, aspirations on that.

Tomorrow does not exist. Anything can happen tomorrow. You could lose your job tomorrow, you could get sick tomorrow, and you could die tomorrow.

The universe could end tomorrow.

You are not defined by what happens tomorrow, you are defined by what happens today.

You are only defined by what you do today.

Are you ready to show the world who you are?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Music for Your Enjoyment

video

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Beautiful Woman

Physical beauty is an external expression of the spirit. It grows and is cultivated internally and without conscious effort it is manifested externally. Therefore, only a woman who has discovered her true nature, her "self", can be truly beautiful. Genuine beauty is all-encompassing and is present not only in physical appearance but in movement, voice, thought and feeling.

A beautiful woman radiates from within; her complexion glows and her eyes shine. Her movements and gestures are poised and graceful, they flow with a natural rhythm. The entire body of a self-realized woman will be beautiful because she is deeply aware of her inner beauty and this awareness is transferred to all who come in contact with her. The humility, compassion and love of a beautiful woman are genuine and a mystical quality is present in her aura.

The "look" of the beautiful woman is never out of style because, without effort and regardless of how she dresses or in what environment she functions, she is continually making the style - the style of her individual beauty. Since the sensitive woman has perceived that beauty takes the form of a continual inner unfoldment, endlessly changing in color and hue, becoming ever more intense and expressing itself as a unified whole, her quest for beauty becomes a process of discovering and revealing more and more of her inner being, of her true nature, of her real self.

- Thoughts for the day, 19th day, Richard Hittleman's Yoga 28 day exercise plan

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Poker and Trading

Although on the surface poker is nothing like trading, I find they are two very similar "games" and the experiences and patterns from one can be transferred to the other. Here are some examples:
  • Both are games of people; "zero-sum" games that the result is based on people's perceptions and actions.
  • Majority of the "players" are bad ones. 80 to 90 percent "players" have no idea what they are doing. That's how one can win, consistently.
  • Most "players" tend not to spend real time to seriously work on their games. They tend to mistaken things they overhear as real knowledge without internalizing most of them. This is good because it is enables someone the chance to win, provided that someone takes a different approach.
  • Sometimes the best thing to do is do nothing. In poker sometimes you have to fold 20 to 50 times, in trading you have to let many trades go. Not an easy thing to do in both cases.
  • "Being good" is not judged by how you play a certain hand or a trade; it is judged by how you fair in 100 hands or trades.
  • Bad players bemoan the "bad lucks" they have, good ones work on their discipline and system.
  • The only way to "win" is by playing without clinging, without attachment, without thinking about the past or the future. In other words, play the game with the presence of your mind, totally in the moment.
  • You system must be so internalized and rehearsed that you can act without thinking. You must simply react, not think. When you think, you are already dead.
  • To win you must minimize your losses, and maximize your gains. You lose more times than you win, but your winners make up for your losses.
  • Even when you "play" correctly, you can lose. That's OKAY. Be happy that you "played " correctly.
  • Different methodologies can be (and need be) applied to different "stages" of the game. Have the mental flexibility to adapt when necessary.
  • You can never predict the outcome; try to do so is fatal. You are just trying to get an "edge" so that it is more probably that the result, after a number of hands or trades, will be in your favor.
  • There is no game. It is a reflection of your mind and character.

A Great Sin

As I look back on my life, I realize that one of the worst sins that a person could make, is going through his/her life by taking "shortcuts". If you make a habit out of this, at best it will prevent you from reaching your potential, at worst it will destroy you.

There is NO shortcuts in life. Every single shortcut you take will eventually come back to hunt you.

Every single one of them.

All real success, real happiness in life can only be achieved through real, authentic, hard work. That is the ONLY way.

Forget about sexy slogans like "Work smarter, not harder"; it's CRAP.

Unless you have the discipline and character to work harder, working smarter has no value to you.

Innovation, creativity, ingenuity all are results of hard work and dedication; not substitutes.

It matters not how smart you, how experienced you are, or how lucky you are. Don't take the shortcuts; they will ruin your life.

This is one sin you do not want to commit.

Trust me on this one. I know.

The Market Inside You

All consistently successful traders get to a point where the market lives inside them. No longer are they looking at the market from an outside perspective; rather, they are "one" with the market. Most traders who stay in this business for more than a few years have realized that the market will never validate their beliefs or actions. They know that the market is nothing more than a reflection of their own internal beliefs and representations. In order to become consistently profitable traders, they had to change their beliefs to accommodate the market.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Self-discipline

Self-discipline often means the ability to do nothing until the time come to do something.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Be a Bricklayer

A bricklayer shows up for work every day of his working life and executes with the same methodology - brick by brick by brick.

Be a bricklayer.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Five Steps to becoming a Trader

This is a long one but it is too good to not read it in its entirety. It speaks the truth. Too bad I don't know who the author is because he certainly deserves the credit.

The 5 Steps to becoming a trader

Step One: Unconscious Incompetence.

This is the first step you take when starting to look into trading. you know that its a good way of making money because you've heard so many things about it and heard of so many millionaires. Unfortunately, just like when you first desire to drive a car you think it will be easy - after all, how hard can it be? Price either moves up or down - what's the big secret to that then - let's get cracking!

Unfortunately, just as when you first take your place in front of a steering wheel you find very quickly that you haven't got the first clue about what you're trying to do. You take lots of trades and lots of risks. When you enter a trade it turns against you so you reverse and it turns again… and again, and again.

You may have initial success, and that's even worse - because it tells your brain that this really is simple and you start to risk more money.

You try to turn around your losses by doubling up every time you trade. Sometimes you'll get away with it but more often than not you will come away scathed and bruised You are totally oblivious to your incompetence at trading.

This step can last for a week or two of trading but the market is usually swift and you move onto the next stage.

Step Two - Conscious Incompetence

Step two is where you realize that there is more work involved in trading and that you might actually have to work a few things out. You consciously realize that you are an incompetent trader - you don't have the skills or the insight to turn a regular profit.

You now set about buying systems and e-books galore, read websites based everywhere from USA to the Ukraine. and begin your search for the holy grail. During this time you will be a system nomad - you will flick from method to method day by day and week by week never sticking with one long enough to actually see if it does work. Every time you come upon a new indicator you'll be ecstatic that this is the one that will make all the difference.

You will test out automated systems on Metatrader, you'll play with moving averages, Fibonacci lines, support & resistance, Pivots, Fractals, Divergence, DMI, ADX, and a hundred other things all in the vein hope that your 'magic system' starts today. You'll be a top and bottom picker, trying to find the exact point of reversal with your indicators and you'll find yourself chasing losing trades and even adding to them because you are so sure you are right.

You'll go into the live chat room and see other traders making pips and you want to know why it's not you - you'll ask a million questions, some of which are so dumb that looking back you feel a bit silly. You'll then reach the point where you think all the ones who are calling pips after pips are liars - they can't be making that amount because you've studied and you don't make that, you know as much as they do and they must be lying. But they're in there day after day and their account just grows whilst yours falls.

You will be like a teenager - the traders that make money will freely give you advice but you're stubborn and think that you know best - you take no notice and overtrade your account even though everyone says you are mad to - but you know better. You'll consider following the calls that others make but even then it won't work so you try paying for signals from someone else - they don't work for you either.

You might even approach a 'guru' like Rob Booker or someone on a chat board who promises to make you into a trader(usually for a fee of course). Whether the guru is good or not you won't win because there is no replacement for screen time and you still think you know best.

This step can last ages and ages - in fact in reality talking with other traders as well as personal experience confirms that it can easily last well over a year and more nearer 3 years. This is also the step when you are most likely to give up through sheer frustration.

Around 60% of new traders die out in the first 3 months - they give up and this is good - think about it - if trading was easy we would all be millionaires. another 20% keep going for a year and then in desperation take risks guaranteed to blow their account which of course it does.

What may surprise you is that of the remaining 20% all of them will last around 3 years - and they will think they are safe in the water - but even at 3 years only a further 5-10% will continue and go on to actually make money consistently.

By the way - they are real figures, not just some I've picked out of my head - so when you get to 3 years in the game don't think its plain sailing from there.

Iv had many people argue with me about these timescales - funny enough none of them have been trading for more than 3 years - if you think you know better then ask on a board for someone who's been trading 5 years and ask them how long it takes to become fully 100% proficient. Sure i guess there will be exceptions to the rule - but i haven't met any yet.

Eventually you do begin to come out of this phase. You've probably committed more time and money than you ever thought you would, lost 2 or 3 loaded accounts and all but given up maybe 3 or 4 times but now its in your blood

One day - in a split second moment you will enter stage 3.

Step 3 - The Eureka Moment

Towards the end of stage two you begin to realize that it's not the system that is making the difference. You realize that its actually possible to make money with a simple moving average and nothing else IF you can get your head and money management right You start to read books on the psychology of trading and identify with the characters portrayed in those books and finally comes the eureka moment.

The eureka moment causes a new connection to be made in your brain. You suddenly realize that neither you, nor anyone else can accurately predict what the market will do in the next ten seconds, never mind the next 20 minutes.

Because of this revelation you stop taking any notice of what anyone thinks - what this news item will do, and what that event will do to the markets. You become an individual with your own method of trading

You start to work just one system that you mold to your own way of trading, you're starting to get happy and you define your risk threshold.

You start to take every trade that your 'edge' shows has a good probability of winning with. When the trade turns bad you don't get angry or even because you know in your head that as you couldn't possibly predict it isn't your fault - as soon as you realize that the trade is bad you close it . The next trade or the one after it or the one after that will have higher odds of success because you know your system works.

You stop looking at trading results from a trade-to-trade perspective and start to look at weekly figures knowing that one bad trade does not a poor system make.

You have realized in an instant that the trading game is about one thing - consistency of your 'edge' and your discipline to take all the trades no matter what as you know the probabilities stack in your favor.

You learn about proper money management and leverage - risk of account etc etc - and this time it actually soaks in and you think back to those who advised the same thing a year ago with a smile. You weren't ready then, but you are now. The eureka moment came the moment that you truly accepted that you cannot predict the market.

Step 4 - Conscious Competence

You are making trades whenever your system tells you to. You take losses just as easily as you take wins You now let your winners run to their conclusion fully accepting the risk and knowing that your system makes more money than it loses and when you're on a loser you close it swiftly with little pain to your account

You are now at a point where you break even most of the time - day in day out, you will have weeks where you make 100 pips and weeks where you lose 100 pips - generally you are breaking even and not losing money. You are now conscious of the fact that you are making calls that are generally good and you are getting respect from other traders as you chat the day away. You still have to work at it and think about your trades but as this continues you begin to make more money than you lose consistently.

You'll start the day on a 20 pip win, take a 35 pip loss and have no feelings that you've given those pips back because you know that it will come back again. You will now begin to make consistent pips week in and week out 25 pips one week, 50 the next and so on.

This lasts about 6 months

Step Five - Unconscious Competence

Now we're cooking - just like driving a car, every day you get in your seat and trade - you do everything now on an unconscious level. You are running on autopilot. You start to pick the really big trades and getting 200 pips in a day doesn't make you any more excited that getting 1 pip.

You see the newbie's in the forum shouting 'go dollar go' as if they are urging on a horse to win in the grand national and you see yourself - but many years ago now.

This is trading utopia - you have mastered your emotions and you are now a trader with a rapidly growing account.

You're a star in the trading chat room and people listen to what you say. You recognize yourself in their questions from about two years ago. You pass on your advice but you know most of it is futile because they're teenagers - some of them will get to where you are - some will do it fast and others will be slower - literally dozens and dozens will never get past stage two, but a few will.

Trading is no longer exciting - in fact it's probably boring you to bits - like everything in life when you get good at it or do it for your job - it gets boring - you're doing your job and that's that.

Finally you grow out of the chat rooms and find a few choice people who you converse with about the markets without being influenced at all.

All the time you are honing your methods to extract the maximum profit from the market without increasing risk. Your method of trading doesn't change - it just gets better - you now have what women call 'intuition'

You can now say with your head held high "I'm a currency trader" but to be honest you don't even bother telling anyone - it's a job like any other.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this journey into a traders mind and that hopefully you've identified with some points in here.

Remember that only 5% will actually make it - but the reason for that isn't ability, its staying power and the ability to change your perceptions and paradigms as new information comes available.

The losers are those who wanted to 'get rich quick' but approached the market and within 6 months put on a pair of blinkers so they couldn't see the obvious - a kind of "this is the way i see it and that's that" scenario - refusing to assimilate new information that changes that perception.

I'm happy to tell you that the reason i started trading was because of the 'get rich quick' mindset. Just that now i see it as 'get rich slow'

If you're thinking about giving up i have one piece of advice for you.

Ask yourself the question "how many years would you go to college if you knew for a fact that there was a million dollars a year job at the end of it?

Take care and good trading to you all.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy People

Happy people, people who are truly happy, don't need to do anything to be happy. They don't need a good job to be happy, not a great family to be happy, not a lot of money to be happy. They don't have thoughts like "If I just have this happen to me ... then ... ".

They are happy people who do things.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Movies that I Recently Enjoyed

I have not liked any of the new movies they put out lately; maybe I should just checkout Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire but I'll save that for another day. What I did do, however, was using Netflix to locate a few movies from its vast collection that I think I might enjoy, and what you know ? - I came away with some really good ones!

A couple of oddballs - Miracle Mile & After Hours

How come I never seen these two before? Lovely lovely films. Great acting, incredible surrealism, high energy. Both films have this authentic frantic feeling (a real sense of urgency) which keeps me totally hooked.

A few oldies - The Best Years of Our Lives, The Picture of Dorian Gray, & The Lost Weekend

These three are why we should watch classic films made by Hollywood fifty years ago. Interesting plot? Check; Intelligent dialog? Check; Characters you can care about? Check. Why don't they make films like these anymore?!

Movies no one heard about - The Ninth Configuration & The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The first one is just out there. Watch it and you can thank me or hate me later. This is a movie that you will think about after - that I can pretty much guarantee. The acting is just phenomenal. On the other hand, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a fun, sexy, and emotional film. It is not nearly as as dark and wacky as the 9th, but it certainly could be just as thought-provoking.

I got quite some enjoyment out of watching all these movies. If you ever check them out drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ego's reflection

Ego is pervasive. If you are alert enough, you maybe be able to see it clearly within yourself and people around you. Here are some signs:
  • demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don't get it;
  • trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illnesses, or making a scene;
  • giving your opinion when nobody has asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation;
  • being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person, which is to say, using other people for egoistic reflection or as ego enhancers;
  • trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks, status, physical strength, and so on;
  • bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction against something or someone;
  • taking things personally, feeling offended, making yourself right and others wrong through futile mental or verbal complaining;
  • waiting to be seen, or to appear important.
Does this sound familiar? If so try an experiment: Let it go. Let it all go and see what it feels like. Just drop it and see what happens.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nietzsche's words

The philosopher Nietzsche, in a rare moment of deep stillness, wrote, "For happiness, how little suffices for happiness! ... the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a wisk, an eye glance - little maketh up the best happiness. Be still. "

Be still. Look. Listen. Be present.

I AM.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Amazing Act

video

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Like This Blog!

http://poorgirleatswell.blogspot.com/

Lots of yummy pictures and great food ideas, not to mention a kick-butt Blog name. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Non-being

When people see some things as beautiful
other things become ugly
When people see some things as good
other things become bad

Being and non-being create each other
Difficult and easy support each other
Long and short define each other
High and low depend on each other
Before and after follow each other

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything
Things arise and she lets them come
things disappear and she lets them go
She has but doesn't possess
acts but doesn't expect
When her work is done, she forgets it
That is why it lasts forever

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Seeker

What manner of people were these who, like the carp in the Chinese fable that leapt up the waterfall in a mighty thrust to tecome a dragon, could rise to a higher level of consciousness, to a wholly new awareness of the indivisibility of all life and the basic emptiness of all things? Certainly none was gifted with extraordinary intellect, nor were any endowed with supranormal powers. Suffering they had each known, but it was no more than what is experienced in the lifetime of an ordinary person. If they were exceptional in any way it was simply in their courage to "go they knew not where by a road they knew not of," prompted by a faith in their real Self.

The seeker who does not find is still entrapped by his illusion of two worlds: one of perfection that lies beyond, of peace without struggle, of unending joy; the other the everyday meaningless world of pain and evil which is scarcely worth relating himself to. Secretly he longs for the former even as he openly despises the latter. Yet he hesitates to plunge into the teeming Void, into the abyss of his own Primal-nature, because in his deepest unconscious he fears abandoning his familiar world of duality for the unknown world of Oneness, the reality of which he still doubts. The finders, on the other hand, are restrained by neither fears nor doubts. Casting both aside, they leap because they can't do otherwise - they simply must and no longer know why - and so they triumph.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

With a Still Mind

video

Friday, January 16, 2009

Robotic Zen



New Age Zen Master: Has a Robotic-Dog the Buddha-nature?

what?

ummm ... well ...

MU?!? ... But ....

Grrrr!

*sigh*

Monday, January 12, 2009

Looking Under the Lamp

"In an old Sufi story about the wise-fool Mullah Nasrudin, the Mulllah is seen searching for a key under a street lamp. Helpful passersby join in the search but to no avail. They ask the Mullah if he is sure about that he lost the key there. The Mullah replies that he lost it yards away under a tree but since its dark there he thought of looking under the street lamp."

The lesson? People don't want to do real work! Most of us just want to look like we are doing real inner work. Look busy so we feel better about where we are and going. We are trying to "Figure Out" the truth, read it in a book, or receive it from others!

Why? Because the light is brighter there! The work is, therefore, easier!

To find our way, towards enlightenment, we must do it alone, most of the time. It might seem dark initially, but as our eyes adjust, it becomes brighter. Eventually we will see everything. We learn to use our own light, our own language, and our own intelligence. What we find is a truth beyond what an individual can "figure out". We become greater than any self image, and wiser than any fixed dogma frozen in language. We discover a field of knowing, a bliss where all thinking ends, all separation ends, all suffering ends.

We can now see clearly that it has never been otherwise. The only difference is that now everything has its own meaning, and we don't have to carry anything again! Most of us pay a big price by looking under the street lamp! Most just read another book.

Be a lamp to yourself.
Be your own confidence.
Hold the truth within yourself, as to
the only truth. - Buddha

Bill Savoie - The Bridge to One

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Attention

The importance of single-mindedness, of bare attention, is illustrated in the following anecdote:

One day a man of the people said to Zen Mater Ikkyu: "Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?"

Ikkyu immediately took his brush and wrote the word "Attention."

"Is that all?" asked the man. "Will you not add something more?"

Ikkyu then wrote twice running: "Attention. Attention."

"Well," remarked the man rater irritably, "I really don't see much depth or subtlety in what you have just written."

Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times running: "Attention. Attention. Attention."

Half-angered, the man demanded: "What does that word 'Attention' mean anyway?"

And Ikkyu answered gently: "Attention means attention."

For the ordinary man, whose mind is a checkerboard of crisscrossing reflections, opinions, and prejudices, bare attention is virtually impossible; his life is thus centered not in reality itself but in his ideas of it. By focusing the mind wholly on each object and every action, zazen strips it of extraneous thoughts and allows us to enter into a full rapport with life.

- The Three Pillars of ZEN