Enough

Man with hat, Mauritius, OceanEnough is a very relative concept. In Germany 18 degree celsius are warm enough to have a drink on the balcony, whereas it would be too cold for people on Mauritius to go to work.

Let’s have a closer look at that concept. The main elements are:

YouNeedCure

You are thirsty, your body needs water, the cure is to drink a glass of water or a cup of tea. Easy, right? Now get a lottery ticket, win 10 million $$$ – how many cars will you buy? Why?

Sangter Tulku Rinpoche recently said:

If you have 1$ you have one problem. If you have 10000$ you have 10000 problems.

In various topics of our lives, it seems there is never enough for us. Not enough time, love, money, happiness, freedom, peace, …

When a very good friend told me: “In 10 years we will have fully paid off our house, then we can have a real good life!” I asked him: “And what do you do now in the next 10 years?”

Most times the real trouble with the enough-concept starts when we drop into the compare-trap. The good news is, in most cases, the creator and savior resides in the same brain.

Two friends were at a party held at the mansion of a billionaire. One said, “Wow! Look at this place! This guy has everything!” The other said, “Yes, but I have something he’ll never have: enough.”

Anything in this world, has exactly the value you assign to it. Anything. Think about it, until you have enough…

Thanks Derek for the inspiration!

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Buddhism meets Star Wars

One of the key scenes of Star Wars is Luke Skywalker flying through the tunnel of the Death Star. Approaching his target, thoughts and fears cloud his vision, doubts expand in his mind like marshmallows in a microwave. Shortly before he collapses, he hears the voice of his master in his head: “Use the Force, Luke!”

Professor Dr. Gerhard Marcel Martin wrote a fine book about old sayings of the wandering monks of medieval Japan – the Hijiri. The collection is dated between 1287 and 1333. The inherent force of these sayings is enlightening even today:

#4 Disturbances don’t have priority.

Luke was surrounded by disturbances; fire towers, TIE fighters – Darth Vader. How did he reach his goal? Disturbances had no priority for him. Sure, there are as always exceptions to the rule. Next time you feel like Luke, use the Hijiri (or Jedi) force!

#22 Actions where you have to weigh up whether you should do it or not, you’d better leave undone.

A pair of proton torpedos fired by Mr Skywalker destroyed the Death Star – a pair of sonic words can exterminate a relationship. MYŌZEN (1184 – 1225) suggests us here to have a look at the tiny gap between our thoughts and actions. A word, once said, you cannot take back. Sure you can try to apologize, but out is out. Like the proton torpedos. Allow yourself this microsecond of time – it might make the difference between Death and Star.

Amazon.de (in German only so far) Buddhismus krass: Botschaften der japanischen Hijiri-Mönche

Feedback (in German) from Professor Dr. Gerhard Marcel Martin:

Lieber Herr Remspecher!
Endlich sage ich Dank für Ihre e-mail. Hat mich erfreut. Und ich fühle mich / mein Buch garnicht mißverstanden!
Ich war kurz in Nordkalifornien (darum die verspätete Antwort) und werde in Kürze nach Japan und Korea reisen.
Freundliche Grüße
Ihr
Gerhard Marcel Martin

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Words Of My Perfect Teacher

Sometimes you don’t need many words to describe something:

If he’s enlightened, why doesn’t he act like an enlightened being? … That’s a reasonable question, isn’t it?

Words of my perfect teacher is not only a movie, it’s also a journey inside your heart and soul. Much too often we try to fulfill somebody else’s expectations, we try to follow the rules. On our trail back to real happiness, we either will have to break some rules or  we might lose our-self. Choose wisely!

Amazon.com Words of My Perfect Teacher – DVD

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The movie of your life

Imagine you are at the cinema, you have a fine place in a relaxing armchair, the lights slowly go out. Luckily we are intelligent beings and even find the coke and our popcorn in the dark. The dark side is strong, we all know this since Star Wars, but especially in a movie theater it would be very boring to sit in the dark for two hours. With one push of a button, the projector lights up and the movie starts rolling…

Most times when we go to the movies we preselect what movie we like to see. Our decision might be based on recommendations by friends, current mood, passed workday or the media. Something moves us to choose. Let’s have a closer look to the involved elements of our movie experience:

  • Without a room – no movie
  • Without a projector – no movie
  • Without a movie – no illusion
  • Without you – no experience

The room and the projector are neutral so to say. It’s the movie and your relation to the movie which charge your emotions and thoughts. The movie wants to light up neuronal thunderstorms in your brain, that’s what it’s made for, but at the end – the trigger is in your hand or head.

What kind of movies do you select for your life? Happy, depressing, action, drama, fear, horror, romantic, trashy or do you simply feel Lost? When you watch a movie, how often do you take your eyes off the canvas or the screen? If you suddenly feel like an actor in your own life, maybe it’s time to pause the movie for a while, step back mentally and remember that the movie of your life is your choice!

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Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic in his wheelchair Nick Vujicic – maybe his soul was traveling faster than light on his way to Earth, making sure he arrives in time. He reminds me of a bright comet, who had a hard landing but the waves of his impact still extend to these days…

Next time you feel stressed or grumpy, invest a thought or two and think about, how it would be for Nick. Being born without arms and legs, well, maybe you know the dilemma, when you cut yourself accidentally into your thumb. Nick Vujicic reminds me of the relativity of stress and what it means to be independent. At the end, we are all inter-dependent, I even can’t think of a way how you could be *really* isolated in your life.

And finally, I pondered for a long time about the importance of a hug. Hug more, hugs! 🙂

Watch a 4 minutes video of him on YouTube

Pre-order his book coming October 26, 2010
Amazon.com Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life

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Cheng Hsin and how to relax under fire

book cover of "Cheng Hsin: The Principles of Effortless Power" by Peter RalstonEffortless power – what would you do with it? Spice up your cooking skills, strengthen your conversation methods, boost your office work, enlighten your education or build a foundation for martial arts?

A while back I wrote about the book Zen Body-Being by Peter Ralston. By Peter’s suggestion, I red Cheng Hsin: The Principles of Effortless Power. So what is Cheng Hsin?

The Chinese characters cheng and hsin (pronounced “cheng shin”) offer us images which communicate the nature of “truth” and “being” — an appropriate title for a body of work that involves increasing consciousness on all levels of “being.”

Human beings tend to see and feel things separate of each other. Let’s do a short recall: where do we physically come from, who delivers our food, where does gravity pull us to – you might have guessed it, the Earth. It would be even logical to Mr. Spock to increase the focus on our connection between our body center and the Earth. If we allow our body position/ our spine to “fall” properly along gravity, we save energy and reduce stress.

A relaxed body and mind will give suitable answers to situations, while a uptight body and disturbed mind can only react.  The book will help you to find and keep your balance, to explore the core of your center and to encourage you to empty yourself. Imagine – an empty you, a relaxed mind, an open and free heart – suddenly, there’s nothing to protect… So if you are in danger or under fire, move! (… and get the book)

Amazon.com Cheng Hsin: Principles of Effortless Power

UPDATE: I wrote Peter Ralston an email about this blog post and asked him to optimize the content if needed. Here’s another friendly reply of him:

Chris,

Thanks for the mention. Looks fine. It occurs to me from what you say and looking at your blog that you might be interested in what I consider my real work (what allowed the body-being and effortless power to emerge as they did) and that’s to be found in The Book of Not Knowing. I didn’t know you were interested in Zen and such, but it figures. This book is a big undertaking, and represents my life-work, but you can get a lot from simply the first few chapters. I think you might find it beneficial.
Be well,
Peter

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Reduce stress and read faster

You know the situation: a day has 24 hours and there are those books and texts you want and have to read. Do you know, that you most probably have not (yet) improved your reading skills since you were 12 years young? Would you like to gain free time and reduce stress for you, just by simply reading faster?

I was recently starting to gather information about Speed Reading. Luckily Richard Darell (@minervity) wrote a blog post over at bit rebels just in time. Thanks again Richard!

In short:

  • most of us are still on the same reading skill level as of the age of 12
  • our reading speed is linked to our talking speed
  • biggest brain-break is our auditory reassurance system

Integrating a few hints and dropping some old patterns did improve my reading speed already. I will dig deeper into this topic and write about my findings here in the future. Oh – and use your gained free time to relax… 😉

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How to meditate in 2010

ZEN-MEN artwork of the track I am homeMeditation can be helpful in reducing stress, making clearer decisions, staying healthy and  improving life quantity and quality. Meditation is an old and proven tool of mankind all over the planet, throughout all religions. The form and importance might vary but the core is the same: an orientation to the inner center.

Maybe there is a deeper connection between the words orient and orientation… I’m personally a fan of meditations in Buddhism and ZEN style. So why meditate? Let’s use a geeky example to explain: (de-)fragmentation

If the hard disc of your computer is too much fragmented it will slow down seek time to data access and affect your whole system performance. Basically it’s the same with us human beings. Most times we are fragmented in time and space. A part of our brain-body-soul system works in automatic mode, breathing, entry-(eyes/ ears/ mouth/ nose) and surface(skin) surveillance, food mode – beer mode. Other parts are split(or lost) in past, present and future happenings, hopes and fears. Meditation practice improves your focus, concentration and offers a better “overview”.  In many life situations you can be more relaxed, stay calmer, find solutions faster and finally be happier. How do you defrag your system?

One of the easiest version is:

  • make yourself a gift of 5 minutes of free time
  • sit upright(if possible) in a for you comfortable position – relax
  • breathe in slowly
  • breathe out slowly – count to 1
  • breathe in slowly
  • breathe out slowly – count to 2
  • repeat until you counted up to 10 – restart breathing and counting from number 1

That’s all. Try to do this for only these 5 minutes and only do this. No other thoughts, no traveling through time and space. Sit and stay in the Now, breathe – count. Easy, right? 😉

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Une table a trois and the roulette of life

cafe dans le Rue Lepic!“I wanna dig more in the meaning” asked Omar over at the ZEN-MEN facebook page, thanks for asking!

I wrote the song and the lyrics of ZEN-MEN feat. Caroline – “une table à trois” in 1997. Caroline was pregnant in her 9th month and you can hear movements of her unborn daughter in the original recordings. It’s all about relativity, duality, about hopes and fears, obvious but hidden rules of life, the illusion of time and the One.
She comes into the cafe and sits down at a table with an old gentleman. Their conversation pauses from time to time for “meta-thoughts” like “Night and day at the same time, the sun shows the time but the sun itself has no time”. She takes two pieces of sugar for her coffee, one shaped like a heart, one like a cube. The old man explains her how he shares the sweetness of his heart, how he offers it in his open palms to the world.

Elle voulait être libre. Mais qui peut apercevoir les étoiles le jour, le soleil brille toujours pour celui qui sait le voir!

“She wanted to be free. But who can see the stars at day, the sun always shines for those, who know how to see it!

They talk about the game of life. She asks him, if he ever did win. “Since I know, who plays with whom and tomorrow, today will be yesterday, yes! In this game, there are only winners.”

Un jeu sans perdant, tout est emprunté, a qui? A celui qui laisse les fleurs s’épanouir.

“A game without losers, all is borrowed, from whom? From the one, who lets the flowers blossom.”

She does not understand why he is talking about three persons all the time. In the story, she did not know yet that she was pregnant already. (So obviously, the story plays at least 9 months before we did the recording 😉 )

Yin and Yang, black and white, what is bad, what is good. The duality changes with the viewpoint of the observer. Both can be “wrong” and “right” at the same time. If we are stuck in a 2D view, we might miss the 3rd dimension. Some say there is a 3rd eye which might open a kind of over-view over duality. Mankind uses the (fixed) binary approach since a long time, “the earth is flat, the earth is the center of the universe, man is the crown of creation. Is this normal?”

Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus, la roue se met à tourner.

“Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus, the wheel starts to turn.” You could name it Karma or fate, sometimes it seems, when you spin the wheel of life, make a decision, drop the ball – at the end, it will land on black or red and maybe even on your lucky number… or on the One. In green.

… to the lyrics of  ZEN-MEN feat. Caroline – “une table à trois” in french
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Your Blood Type drives your Stress Type

eat right 4 your typeDo you know your blood type? In times of iPads and worldwide networks it still amazes me, that most people don’t know something so fundamental as their own blood type. In 2010 we are approx. 7 billion(!) humans on this tiny planet, maybe 7000 different languages and dialects worldwide, so many different types of individuals, but, only four blood types(0, A, B, AB). Does this ring a bell?

I was strict vegetarian for about 20 years in my life until one day I had the feeling, something is missing. What do you do when your body starts to send (pain) signals? You ignore or investigate – your choice. As always when I start digging, soon the right people, friends, books etc show up. In this case, a book from Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo – “Eat right for your type”.

In short: you don’t fill gasoline into your diesel car and vice versa. I am blood type 0+ and while reading the book I had fireworks of enlightenments! A few things I already found out myself over the years, like when I eat normal wheat pasta, I get sleepy after the meal and soon after I am hungry again. Why didn’t I get that book right at my birth? It would have saved me a lot of stress and would have told me earlier how I can cope best with my stress type. Blood type 0 reduces stress very good with active sport, in my case trail running or mountain biking. Blood type A would rather go to a Yoga class.

“We are what we eat.” You will find a wide range of recommendations for suitable or not-so-suitable food in the book(and MUCH more…!). Yes, as always there are exceptions to the rule, but those lists made me re-start eating fish and since then my body system is more balanced. Discover your blood type, then manage your stress type!

Amazon.com Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight

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