Happiness cannot be found

A rainbow in France at the beachAbout happiness, rainbows and elephants by Lama Gendun Rinpoche

Happiness cannot be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present, in open relaxation and letting go.

Don’t strain yourself,
there is nothing to do or undo.
Whatever momentarily arises in the body-mind
has no real importance at all, has little reality whatsoever.
Why identify with, and become attached to it,
passing judgment upon it and ourselves?

Far better to simply
let the entire game happen on its own,
springing up and falling back like waves,
without changing or manipulating anything,
and notice how everything vanishes and
reappears, magically, again and again,
time without end.

Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It’s like a vivid rainbow which you pursue without ever
or a dog chasing its own tail.

Although peace and happiness do not exist
as an actual thing or place,
it is always available
and accompanies you every instant.

Don’t believe in the reality
of good and bad experiences;
they are like today’s ephemeral weather,
like rainbows in the sky.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax this tight fist of grasping,
infinite space is there – open, inviting and comfortable.

Make use of the spaciousness, this freedom and natural ease.
Don’t search any further.
Don’t go into the tangled jungle
looking for the great awakened elephant,
who is already resting quietly at home
in front of your own hearth.

Nothing to do or undo,
nothing to force,
nothing to want,
and nothing missing…

Emaho! Marvelous!
Everything happens by itself.

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Energy for the good Life

Energy for the good LifePeanuts + Charlie Brown + iPhone
Energy for the good Life!

The gods of the peanut have sent a tasty tool to Earth: Peanuts now grow in the App Store! I imagine Charlie Brown installing the free app on his iPhone, while he nervously looks at the football and his brain is filled up with one single thought:

Can I kick it???

Lucy holds the ball, Charlie is ready to go – action! While sailing through the air once again, he realizes, something has to be changed. He needs more energy for the good life! But how?

Peanuts! With a loud thud he lands on his back – ouch. “Ground yourself!” was a headline on a glossy, spiritual magazine. Maybe they had a different approach…

That brings us back to the fresh way with which the National Peanut Board wants to help people to get more in balance. The free app for the iPhone/ iPad offers yummy recipes, healthful snacks and a reminder tool. Never ever again run out of peanut butter! And it grows even beyond: a Break button 🙂

Relax with a guided meditation by Stephan Bodian, author of Meditation for Dummies. The full meditation is about 12 minutes. Have a look at your iPhone’s auto-lock settings before you hit the play button. Happy chillaxing with this fine mix out of food, facts and a free-your-mind meditation app. And remember: “You are what you eat.”

iTunes: Peanuts – the free Energy for the good Life App

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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:

YouNeed – Cure

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. MYÅŒZEN (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
Gerhard Marcel Martin

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Forest bathing

A walk through a forest is a multimedia spectacle. Air to breathe, an ocean of colors, a concert of fragrances, surround sounds everywhere – from your steps on the trail to the tops of the trees. Forest bathing is healthy and even free!

Recently the NY Times wrote about the therapeutic effects of forest bathing. Stress reduction, benefits for your immune system, lower pulse rate, less cortisol, lower blood pressure and much more. Somehow it’s no surprise to me, that the popular practice is called “Shinrin-yoku” in Japan. When did you do your last forest bathing? Mine was today.

In case you should not be able to take a walk or a forest bathing in “real life”, perhaps you might like to try at least a virtual forest bathing in Chakryn forest, which is a wonderful place in the virtual world of Second Life. Sure, it will not have the same impact like a real life forest but it might reduce some stress. You will find me in Second Life under my user name ZEN7MEN Mannonen. Happy bathing!

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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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How to install iOS4 the relaxed way

Christmas comes early this year, the iPhone 4 is near! With the iPhone 4 comes the operating system update now called iOS 4, which will also bring new features for iPhone 3G(s) and the latest iPod touch generations.

Since I am waiting for a white iPhone 4, I thought in the meantime, let’s upgrade my iPhone 3G to iOS4. Let me take you on a trip! 🙂

First of all, relax – get some tea, beer, … whatever you like and free some time to do the upgrade. Depending on your iPhone (iPod touch) model, your connection speed and available download bandwidth from the Apple server, plus your data size, it will take about from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Go into airplane mode, take a manual backup via iTunes, save your settings, call your mum, sync all, export your sales from the iPhone into the library, have a tea, click slowly. Then hit the update button to install 4.0. Click through the windows, accept here and there and be happy when it starts. Now might come the tricky part, if the upgrade makes again a backup, and the progress bar hangs for over 30 minutes at two bars, hit cancel. Start again and in the 2nd round, it worked here. Be patient with the progress bar, if you have e.g. 12GB data installed, that will take some time… Time for another tea.

After a while your iPhone will reach its blackout point, wants to be activated again, enter your sim code, when it wants to be plugged into iTunes, unplug the cable, drink some tea, and plug it back in. When the backup starts to rebuild the data, simply wait, the iPhone might reboot and then start to rebuild also all your personal data…

One minute after I connected to the mobile network, I got a SMS from the German Telekom telling me it wants to upgrade the phone driver, hit upgrade. In the settings I read Carrier T-Mobile 7.1 (was 7.0 before).

The new folders are good Feng Shui, cutting down my home pages to only 3 (was 10+). Happy upgrading!

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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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Help your soccer friends to relax

Maybe you noticed it already, it’s 2010 and another soccer world cup is shaking our planet (besides other things…). Personally I would say I am a part-time soccer fan but in these days, whoever I meet, from 5 year old kid to 93 year old grandma, at some point it comes up: “Do you know when the next soccer game is? How did they play?”

If you have an iPhone – relax, there’s an app for that! The best I found so far is iLiga South Africa from motain. It’s a great tool with easy overviews, live ticker and fine summaries. Have fun and help your friends!

iTunes USA iLiga South Africa

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Breathe to relax

Chris Remspecher breathingWelcome to a short breathing exercise to relax.
The good news is, we have a great tool built in – so let’s use it!

Sit comfortably in (half) lotus position or simply in your chair. Put your left hand in your lap. Close your right nostril with your right index finger and breathe deep and long through your left nostril. Keep your eyes closed. Practice for 1 to 5 minutes, maybe setup a timer with your mobile phone or iPhone. Please ask your doctor if this exercise is suitable for you, if you are in doubt.

How do you feel now?

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