Diet and You: How Diet Affects Your Physical and Mental Health

In the modern era, we don’t think about our daily diet. In a world where there is a McDonald’s on every corner and there is a rack of candy by every checkout, we have every excuse to eat poorly. But what happens when we have a consistently poor diet? Unfortunately, the saying “you are what you eat” rings true.

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ANSWERED: Why is Cleanliness Next to Godliness?

 

I’m not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. —Roseanne Barr

 

Cleaning is something that uplifts your spirits and gives your soul a sense of ease. Ironically, cleaning is also something that we seem to avoid at all costs. Why is this? Why do we seem to look to find ways to avoid cleaning. There are even entire industries build around doing the work for us. Are we lazy? I don’t think so. I think that cleaning is just like every large task. Unless we have a sense of directions and a strategy, it’s going to seem like a large task to undertake. When we don’t think we can do something before we have started it, we will tend to not start to avoid the pain of failing. However, this is cleaning out house folks. This is something that we should be happy to do. After all, this is the environment we inhabit for, at least, 8 hours every day while we sleep. The key is in how we see hour house. We if see our house as dirty, we wont want to do it might we fail. However, if we view our house as clean already we will strive to make it so when it’s not.

Not matter if your directly religious or not, we can all agree that Jesus was a great man and story-teller. He always talked about being pure; pure of spirit, character, thought, and action. The word pure here is used in the sense of inner purity. But there is a connection: It seems that when our inner environment is cleaned, our external environments seem to become clean as well. This is an interesting fact. It seems that the Buddha was right; “As inner is as outer”. So is it that simple? Do we just have to clean our insides and we will take action to clean our external world? Yes, it is that simple. But we need to take dedicated action either way. We need to take time for daily 30min meditations, and then 30mins cleaning sessions. If you have an excuse of any kind, look at it this way:

If you want 1 hour of negatively driven television per day, you can find time to clean your internal and external worlds.

This is not only for the benefit of yourself. This is for more powerful than just where you live. By taking these moments to do some housecleaning, you will install a mindset for purity. You will start to look for cleanliness rather than dirtiness. This simple shift in focus can completely change your life. When we look for clean vs. dirty our mind will look to “solve” the problem of dirtiness when there is some. For instance, you have now switched your thinking to see cleanliness and your house is dirty, your mind will say “Wait, this doesn’t match what I see. This must change.” You mind will start the thinking, you body will take action, your house will “magically” become clean. But this can only happen after first we shift our frame of mind from looking for dirt to looking for clean.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness because of mindset and attitude. Jesus talked about being pure in spirit and thought. His main focus was concerned with the internal world. Our focus should be concerned with both. We have the tools and resources to apply an internal focus that will influence our actions that will enable our environment to match how we are thinking.

“Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find.” Matt. 7:7

Organize your internal and the dishes will become clean.

How to Have an at Home Meditation Retreat

Was your week stressful? Let’s set up your own personal meditation retreat, right where you are.

Create your personal inner sanctum…

daily meditation retreat

Stillness.

We all know the benefits of taking time, but why not spoil yourself and take this resting time a step further to foster a retreat you deserve of. When we visit a retreat, we enter a place of calm and centeredness.

In order or us to take up the task of setting up our own personal meditation retreat, we need to know some things about a retreat frist. A retreat is a place where people go in order escape and find themselves in peaceful state of mind. Why we usually go somewhere else for a retreat because we don’t consider it possible in the current environment.

This means our inner state is directly controlled and influenced by the environment we are in. Therefore, in order to set up your personal meditation retreat, the first step is setting up your inner mental faculties to receiving your current environment as a retreat setting. This starts with, purpose. Understanding your own personal disposition with your environment will give you great insight as to quality of that relationship.

Setting Up the External:

Here are some tips, after you have your mind in check, to get your external environment ready for a at home meditation retreat:

1. Avoid morning caffeine.

Events will be a lot easier on your body if it doesn’t have to struggle with removing the toxins from caffeine.

2. Leave your phone.

Don’t just turn it off or on vibrate. Leave it behind completely. Once you get going, you wont miss it.

3. Do it alone and make it a legitimate ‘me’ event.

This gives your clarity as to what the focus is.

4. Flush out toxins by drinking water and using deep breathing.

This is important in order to keep your physiology in check.

5. Make your environment you own and personal.

If you like the smell of a particular incense or candle, use them.

6. Take this opportunity to improve your ability to concentrate and relax.

Use this time in self education. Learn how you can grow in the next week or month. You have the floor, take advantage of it.

Meditating everyday can be a tough commitment to stick to. With our busy modern lifestyle, we tend to find other things more important. However, what is more important than our own mental and spiritual development? If your schedule is crazy, use a “personal retreat” to hit the mental and spiritual reset button.

How about the weekend? The weekends always have some free time that you can use for meditation. Take a Friday after work to all day Saturday. Don’t leave the house. Plan ahead and acquire what you need in the house for that 24 hour personal retreat.

Things to Acquire:

  1. Juices 
  2. Fresh Vegetables
  3. A Spiritual Book
  4. Clean Water
  5. Incense / Candles
  6. Meditation CD / Music

If you have set aside a 24 hour block of time, acquired the needed things, and have your mental clarity ready, you are ready to embark on your first personal meditational retreat. The key thing to remember is that you are in control of what you do with your time. If you are being studious, you will apply introspection within this 24 hour period in order to understand yourself more fully and completely. The things you may discover during this time may be scary, but I assure you, they are extremely valuable.

Your Magic Magnet for Success

When it comes to habits, we all seem to resist. Even when the word is approach in language, we view it as a negative aspect of our existence  This, is a misconception. Habits can aid you in achieving the most amazing things. Things that may be seen as, after looking back on them, as miracles. Are they miracles? Maybe to some. Is there magic involved? More psychology and physiology,  but yes. Can you change your life right now by changing one thing you are doing? Yes! Read more of this post

Are You a Psychopath?

What a question!

“Of course I’m not a psychopath!”, you may be thinking. However, learning what it means to be a psychopath can generate knowledge into what to look for as our society becomes more and more involved in violence and negativity. Think of this as a source to bring your more socially aware. Read more of this post

What Are You Thinking?

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

Norman Vincent Peale published the book in 1952 called ‘The Power Of Positive Thinking’. And then as time went on, this idea was turned into a whole entire industry. Each aspect of the “positive thinking” process picked apart and made into books, DVD’s, and seminars. Read more of this post

The Art of Lifestyle Design

Inaction is the greatest risk of all. -Tim Ferriss 

What if you could design your life to exactly the specifications you wanted? What if you could create every moment of every day to what you imagined in your head? What would you do if I told you that this was possible under one condition, would you do it? Well, if you continue to I will talk extensively about lifestyle design and how to do it. Read more of this post

A Child-Like Point of View

Children are a wonderful addition to our lives. Whether  cousins, nephews, or we are parents child light up our lives with little sparks of joy. Children enable us the opportunity to feel lighter about our lives. Have you ever watched a child at play? They are creative, innovative, and focused. The way in which a child goes about a task is like no other. We can learn from this way of thinking, applying it to our own lives. Read more of this post

Improve Your Life With a Day of Rest

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.  -Richard Carlsonrest

Do you live a busy life? This might be a silly question, but if you live what you consider a busy life, you and your body needs rest and regeneration. We all need it rest, whether we like to admit to it or not.  I’m one of those people who doesn’t want to admit it, but I have come to understand that I can be twice as productive if I give my mind and body a break. I used to think that rest was  for those who don’t have anything better to do, and for those who don’t want to get ahead. Until crashing happened. Then, I took steps to adjust how I approached my life to still feel fulfilled and rested simultaneously. This is a product of a balanced life with excellent time management skills.

Cultures and traditions throughout the world have written about the power of practicing a day of rest or even a moment of rest. But is there a possibility that some of these traditions might have been based in natural principles that they were given for the sake of preserving the health of the people? We already know that many of the ancient traditions regarding eating habits have been found to be based on factual evidence of the forbidden foods were dangerous to the people’s physical well-being. However, when it comes to mastering your personal health, taking a day of rest also has a very practical application to our well-being.

A recent article published by the DailyMail stated that  domestic chores, work worries and arguments at family get-togethers are all factors which have combined to make the second half of the weekend just as frenetic as a working day for most. Nearly two-thirds of those polled (65 per cent) said they had busier schedules on a Sunday than a weekday – losing out on time to recover from a tiring week at work. One-in-ten admitted to spending most of the Sabbath worrying about the working week ahead, while 67 per cent said the ‘Sunday blues’ kicked in at some point in the day. Over half of those polled (51%) believe that Sunday is a day ‘for getting things done’. The study for TV channel Really found that an average of three hours and 36 minutes is spent completing household tasks such as ironing, washing, grocery shopping and cleaning. A third of adults (35%), admitted nagging or being nagged by their partners to carry out such chores.

Even though we may not actually feel stress in the conventional sense, i.e. work, bosses, products due, the stresses of arguing with family members and conflicting ideas can cause the same rise in blood pressure, contributing to hypertension and heart attack.

So, let’s not argue and get to relaxing…

If we take the time to relax, which is the ying to the yang of our stresses, we find a deep sense of ourselves. By taking time to be quiet, our internal monologue and personalization with the outside world lessens. As we ease in to our day of rest, we are privy to several benefits that will aid in our stress managing ability for the work week. Those might include:

  • It fosters a sense of gratitude.
  • Disables flight/flight.
  • It helps maintain balance in my life by drawing focus to the things that are most important.
  • Quiets the rambling of the inner monologue.
  • It helps with mentally catching up and the recharge of physical energy.
  • Inspirational. Time to spend connecting with your own spirit force.

What will you do on your day of rest?

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Poem of Love

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's Poem of Love

“Love.
What is love?
What is love.
Love is a fading memory.
Love is piercingly present.
Love is full of charm.
Love is hideously in the way.
Explosion of love makes you feel ecstatic.
Explosion of love makes you feel suicidal.
Love brings goodliness and godliness.
Love brings celestial vision.
Love creates the unity of heaven and earth.
Love tears apart heaven and earth.
Is love sympathy.
Is love gentleness.
Is love possessiveness.
Is love sexuality.
Is love friendship.
Who knows?
Maybe the rock knows,
Sitting diligently on earth,
Not flinching from cold snowstorms or baking heat.
O rock,
How much I love you:
You are the only loveable one.
Would you let me grow a little flower of love on you?
If you don’t mind,
Maybe I could grow a pine tree on you.
If you are so generous,
Maybe I could build a house on you.
If you are fantastically generous,
Maybe I could eat you up,
Or move you to my landscape garden.
It is nice to be friends with a rock!”

Love is an interesting part of our every day life. We say we “love” coffee, food, people, articles, photographs, animals and so forth. What is love? To answer this question you would have to consult the hundred plus years love has been debated about by theologians and philosophers. For scientists, “love” is a chemical reaction when parts of our brains release chemicals that make us feel good physically. To theologians, love is spiritual connection to something that matchs our connection to the world. To philosophers, love is a part of the ego that longs to fill a psychological void deep within our mind. So, love can obviously become complex very quickly.

In the above poem by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939 – 1987), Buddhist meditation teacher and founder of the Shambhala community, love becomes a an all encompassing aspect of memory to something that can give your celestial vision. At the conclusion, you are left with the lingering impression that love is a fixation with a rock. The point that Chögyam is hinting is that love is not only with things we like or have a deep effection for, but also to the childlike fixation with a rock. He also eludes to the idea that he might “move” the rock to different locations. What this says is that even though he has this fixation of “love” towards this rock, he can find different places for the rock. What this eludes to is that he is willing to release the object that he loves in order set benefit to other areas of his life.

We can learn a lot from Chögyam’s poem on love. But I’d like to present two main points that jump out right away: 1. All encompassing love. 2. Releasing that love into the world for the benefits of others. Is it possible to love coffee just as we love our home pet? If you’ve ever had some organic French press coffee, you’d be able to answer that. Is love more than a biochemical response in the brain? If you’ve ever been speechless due to seeing massive beauty, you’d be able to answer that question. Love, is beyond words and labels. Love is transferable, give-able, and palatable. Love can be between two people just as much as with a rock. The difference is in how open our hearts are.

Poem from: Timely Rain: Selected Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa. Written July 1975

What is Your Source of Happiness?

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. – Groucho Marx Read more of this post

86,400 Can Change Your Life

I am reminded of the epic image of the businessman rushing to get to his next appointment, only to be stuck in traffic and creating an ethos of stress in the scene. No matter how much he tries to get to where he is going, he is faced with obstacles that hold him back from his goal. Read more of this post

Beach Living for Ultimate Potential

We have all heard someone say, “Some day I’m going to live by the ocean!”, and maybe that someone was you. Nevertheless, we all have some association with living near a large body of water. The numbers are in and more people flock to beach site living every year chasing the idea of a calmer frame of mind on the beach. This way of thinking may not be as far fetch as it sounds. The research has shown that living by the beach has massive benefits for our health and well-being. Don’t be dismayed if you don’t live by the beach, you can benefit by visiting the beach on a regular vacational basis. Good news! Read more of this post

Contribution is Our Destiny

Welcome to the “me” society. This is the style of society that we are currently amongst. Thinking about ourselves is at an all time high, and there are only a few that seem to want to think otherwise. We are privileged people with just about everything right at our fingertips. Because of this table we have set, you can imagine how thinking of other people is made difficult, through the society we have constructed. We are even reminded of this through television and entertainment. It seem that everywhere you turn, these days, there are reminders of how we should take care of ourselves first. Read more of this post

The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

The death of author Edgar Allan Poe has been considered one of the world’s greatest unsolved celebrity mysteries. This well known eccentric author passed away on October 7th 1849. Many theories surrounding the death Poe have circulated by biographers and Poe enthusiasts. Just four days prior to his death, a man by the name of Joseph W. Walker found Poe roaming the streets in the area of Baltimore, Maryland. He reported that Poe was “in great distress” and seemed to be laking normal mental faculties. He was described as being in a delirious state, not speaking clearly and having trouble communicating ideas. He was placed in the Washington College Hospital and passed away at approximately 5:00am on the morning of October 7th. Read more of this post

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