How to get 92 years old

Is there a secret to get 92 years old? The ingredients of the secret recipe, which I have learned from a lovely lady in my family are: Eat what is good for your body, make some sports daily, train your mental fitness and, for the dark moments in life, pull out THE hook.
So what’s the hook? More than 50 years ago, she did a journey by train. Happily arrived at the railway station, she noticed a friendly but drunken guy repeating the same sentence over and over again. A short prayer went to heaven; Please Lord, don’t let this chap sit in my train!
Maybe you experienced already in your own life, prayers sometimes come back in a reversed way. So yes, the mantra man was in her train and in the same compartment. Hours later the refraining sentence was burned into her brain. Call it fate or coincidence, today she says; This man might not even know how much he helped me with what he said. Often in my life it kept me going on. And he only said: Somehow……… it will go on!

I am very lucky that I could record her recently(thanks iPhone!). She emphasizes that the break after the first word is very important. Thank you, Elisabeth!
(The recording is in German.)
Hook of life

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TMI relax with TweetDeck

TweetDeck. Now also on iPhone.TMI, you can drown into Too Much Information or relax with TweetDeck. Maybe you already have discovered social networks like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn. The nearly endless supply of information on the one hand and the limited 24 hours per day on the other hand call for a tool which helps you to get more signal and less noise.

TweetDeck is a real-time web browser which gives you a clear view over your social networks. I use it on the PC side of life, on the MacPro and on the go with my iPhone. It really helps me to keep in touch and at the same time chillax. One of my favorite features is Add Column. For Twitter I currently have two columns, one for my twitter friends I want to follow tightly and one for the BIG real-time twitter news stream. Very effective way to filter information like YOU want it!

TweetDeck’s cross-connection is also great. Easily post a picture on the go via iPhone to your twitpic account or shorten your URLs conveniently with your Bit.ly account. In addition you can manage multiple Twitter accounts, post directly to Facebook and much, much more! Happy socializing!

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the value of emptiness

Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching about the value of emptiness.

Thirty spokes connect to the nave,
The emptiness between creates the wheel.
The potter shapes clay into vessels,
The emptiness therein creates the utensil.
Windows and doors are cut out of walls,
The emptiness inside creates the housing.
The visible constructs the form of a work.
The in-visible makes up its value.

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let it sync

Let it sync. Recently I felt a bit stressed and bumped into a friend who asked me about my world. That day I had, once more, the illusion I might not have enough time. I told him about my worries and that I am aware I dropped into the time-trap again. He only said: Let it sync.

It made me ponder for a while – those mini happy moments when all is synced: my Google Calendar, Contacts and Mail via an exchange server to my iPhone, the iTunes music library, my bank account, my blog, my life. Perfect!
And then, in a fraction of a second, chaos is back. Like the Buddhists say, chaos and decay are the natural state of things. What about inner and outer pressure? Would it help to let it sync? How?

For me being blood type 0 positive, thats another story, I found a good mixture out of meditation, tea and sports. Add a good talk with a friend to it in any mixture and I can easily let it sync. How do you sync?

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Power-Naps by ZEN-MEN


Today it is Saturday here in Germany. Maybe you have had a stressful week, feel tired and now are trying to slow down over the weekend. This seems kinda unfair to me, using much of my free time to recover from the week. A while back I started to create Power-Naps by ZEN-MEN. The music and the woven-in brain tones are designed to bring you the relaxation level of a normal two hours sleep in 15 minutes. My friends have already asked me for a sleep-in only version of those Power-Naps, and I am working on that as well.

In Asia naps are widely accepted by society, it’s a sign that the person having a nap is looking consciously after his/her body and health. Latest developments even brought nap-shells to airports and official offices here in Germany. Use naps as an addition to a good normal sleep and actively transform a small amount of downtime to a 15 minute ritual for your body, mind and soul. Please share your experiences in the comments. Thank you!

FREE download via the ZEN-MEN video podcast at iTunes

Due to public requests more FREE download options:

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ZEN and martial arts

book cover of Zen Body-BeingWhat do ZEN and martial arts have in common? Do you need to be a professional in martial arts to build a ZEN garden? Maybe not but it might help. Peter Ralston started his studies in judo, aikido and tai-chi at the age of nine. In the year 1978 he won as first non-asian the full contact world championship in Taiwan. For him, this was the completion of one chapter, just to be able to start the next one: Zen Body-Being
His research in various techniques and his own profound life experience made him unveil his own method. In a nutshell, its about re-connecting your-self with your body, find the center and also physical/ geometrical middle of your body. Starting from that point a new body consciousness evolves and changes the way you move – yourself and things. He easily shows how to use the inner tension of your body to interact with objects and subjects. If you thought in the past, you push the not-working-car, with Peter Ralston method you rather just transfer the weight of the car into the ground and let the earth push the car using your natural body tension. Yes, it might sound weird at the start but try it. It might also improve your cooking, office work, home work, fitness, hockey and building your ZEN garden.

Amazon.com Peter Ralston – Zen Body-Being: An Enlightened Approach to Physical Skill, Grace, and Power

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

Chris,
Thanks for that. The picture on the book was done by German publisher and doesn’t represent me or my work at all. I wouldn’t use the word “tension” as you do, we are all about relaxing and so tension is contrary to that; it is the “intrinsic” strength or the inherent binding force of the relaxed body that I am referring to and so tension gives a wrong impression. My German students say the translation of ZBB isn’t very accurate, but the translation of the Principles of Effortless Power (a different book) is much closer. So perhaps you could look at that book to get a better idea of some of the concepts mentioned in ZBB.
Thanks,
Peter

I did change the book cover picture to the original of the English version, the German cover Peter is talking about can still be found here. Furthermore I just ordered the Principles of Effortless Power book and will write about it here in the future. Thanks for the tip, Peter!

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traveling without moving

perfect sunset (again) ... a ZEN moment

How’s the weather where you are? May I invite you and your brain to a refreshing 300 seconds journey? Let your eyes be the guide and take a 5 seconds rest on each of those 60 stations. From the bar to the beach back to the lounge, please wash your feet. Our view glides over to ocean and we hear the rolling waves. Nemo is more than a fish, Shiva knows this – make a wish. Holy lake,  nature, the painter, the architect of life, modeled monkeys, 007, turtles and temples. Shining colors, birds in the trees, hunt for the sunset or Horniman’s teas. Delicious perfumes, joy at the beach, a cosy place, everybody needs. Happy Divali! to all at the pool or under the Buddha tree, in nature’s lounge lights and stars twinkle for free. Sail with me at full speed, bananas and beer, what else do we need? A last look at the gentleman with the hat, we did land again, Roger that – check!

to the set of all 60 pictures I took at Mauritius/ Maurice

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postcards

How often did you print out an unexpected email or even a SMS you got from a friend? I recently stood in front of the fridge and looked upon all those pinned postcards. These ancient transmitters of feelings and information still have a high value for me. Time stands still and you travel with all your senses to Rapa Nui, a long voyage (if you don’t live there directly), even the card itself lets you know, it was en route quite some time with all its scratches and bumped corners and edges… Especially in our fast time with emails, waves, IMs, blips and tweets – a postcard can become a ZEN ticket. I got one with “ZEN center -here-” on it. Thanks Valerie!
Being a fan of the Golden Middle Way, I happily use all the new, sterile and superfast tools ‘but’ I also appreciate an oldskool postcard, which I easily can pin to the fridge.
Write more postcards – if you don’t know whom –  I still have some free space on the fridge! 😉

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