Friday, October 28, 2011

As You Grow Older, You Can Grow Wiser and Healthier.

Modern Western medicine is beginning to accept the benefits of ancient Chinese experience. We, though the help of Eastern and Western science, can benefit from both.

I have taken the following suggestions from Kenneth S. Cohen’s excellent book, “The Way of Qigong and the Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing”. According to this concept, the goal of each human is to become a wise and healthy “Sage”.

1. The sage is true to his or her nature, neither compulsively following nor rebelling against rules of conduct. The sage is capable of expressing emotions, including anger, as necessary and appropriate to the situation. He or she practices self-acceptance and is thus more accepting and understanding of others. The first step in self-acceptance is giving oneself permission to feel what one is feeling, especially if it is anger; then inner resistance and friction is lessened and much of one’s anger is already gone.

2. The epidemic of heart disease in the West may be symptomatic of our society’s preoccupation with “enjoyment or excitement”. Excitement places sudden demands on the heart. The heart is over-stimulated by our quick pace of life: by listening to and watching frightening new reports, TV violence, and having an over-infatuation with sex and romance. The most extreme form of excitement and thus the most damaging emotion for the heart is emotional shock, whether from a negative event such as the death of a loved one or from a positive event, like winning the sweepstakes. The heart likes peace and quiet. It needs a feeling of security in order to keep an even pace as it pumps energy through the body. To enhance the feeling of security, calm down, take long walks, turn off the TV and cut down on the news.

3. The spleen is damaged by pensiveness. Your inner energy becomes knotted and stuck. Pensiveness means excess concentration, and obsessive preoccupation with a concept or subject. Excess empathy also harms the spleen. Empathy is similar to compassion. The American Heritage Dictionary defines compassion as “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.” Empathy means that we also identify with that person’s suffering. Empathy is considered excessive and damaging to the spleen when we lose a clear recognition of boundaries, when we feel distraught and upset by someone else’s problems. Pensiveness and excess empathy, the two qualities that harm the spleen and our health, are related. When we are pensive we are preoccupied with ourselves; we are overly empathic when we are preoccupied with others.

4. Each of the major internal organs can be damaged by emotional excess. However, there are also positive emotions that can help heal the organs. The lungs are healed by “righteousness”, the sense of living with integrity and dignity, which gives your self and others a kind of psychological “elbow room”, room to live and breathe. The kidneys are healed by wisdom, by a clear perception and self-understanding, a sure antidote for irrational fears. The anger of the liver is mended with kindness. The excitability of the heart is balanced by peace, calm, and orderliness. The spleen is healed by trust, faith, honesty, confidence, and a deep belief in oneself. Trust is openness and acceptance, a feeling that emerges when one finds a common ground with another.

5. And my final advice: Lose your mind and come to your senses! Spend more time in nature, seeing nature as a positive model of health and balance. The earth supports all kinds of life, impartially and without attachment. Let your mind become quiet and your senses open to the environment. Such a cure may seem too simple, non-technical, perhaps even naïve. However, it works!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Does It All Mean?

I have been trying to find the ultimate of the meaning in life as I grow older. Recently, reading William Saroyan’s play again, “The Time Of Your Life”, his opening lines in Act 1 seem to do as fine a job of expressing what life is about as I have found:

”In the time of your life, live – so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed. Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart. Be the inferior of no man (or woman), nor of any man be the superior. Remember that every man is a variation of your self. No man’s guilt is not yours, nor is any man’s innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness (selfrighteousness) , but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle. … In the time of your life, live –- so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Trust The Chaos

Whatever has happened in your life, the good and the bad, here is a message to put in your pocket and remember:

On what do we
Trust our own
in life?

Being right?
Being wronged?
Or attending the
And always insufficient
Knowledge that requires
Being okay with the
Self-doubt of faith?

Always be reminded how
eccentrically and suddenly a
human being can be so greatly
self-convinced of imagined
wrong and how, just as
eccentrically and suddenly,
it can also be true that in the
wink of an eye, some new
grace will be born.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Transform Yourself.

Just because we’re growing older, doesn’t mean we still can’t grow smarter, and yes, we can truly create a new life for ourselves in these later years. We can gain the knowledge and courage to transform ourselves.
The key to true transformation is that nature doesn’t move forward in step-by-step movements. It takes quantum leaps all the time, and when it does, old ingredients aren’t simply recombined. New qualities can appear in our lives for the first time, an emergent property; a transformation. You have the potential, right here and now, to make use of these emergent properties. Identify them in your life, then begin to slowly and carefully modify your actions to follow the suggestions below.

Emergent Spiritual Properties

Clarity –- Instead of being overshadowed by externals, my awareness is always open to itself. Clarity feels totally alert and carefree. I can, and I will, practice this.
Knowingness –-Being in touch with the level of the mind where every question is answered. My area of knowledge is life itself and the movement of consciousness on every level. I will learn to understand this and practice it.
Reverence for life –- This means being in touch with my life force. Life isn’t limited to plants and animals – everything possesses a glowing, animated vitality. Reverence for life feels warm, being connected, exhilarating. I will get in touch with this feeling and experience it more every day.
Nonviolence –- This means being in harmony with every action I take. I can and I will create a sense of peace in every action, which will be like a force field that subdues conflict in my surroundings.
Fearlessness –- This means creating within myself a sense of total security in everything I do. To be fearless feels, therefore, like myself, a normal part of my life. Yes, I can live this way.
Wholeness – This means including everything in my life, leaving nothing out. Wholeness is a state beyond my personality. It feels solid, eternal, without beginning or end. I will meditate on this; I will begin to feel it. I will begin to live it every day.

The emergent spiritual properties listed above are not just abstract concepts. They are the properties that create you, that make you who you are. As the old saying goes; Now, just Do It.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Open Yourself To Expanded Possibilities

As we age, we may find ourselves shrinking. We may find that our bodies are growing smaller, our interests contract, our walking slows, our energy and stamina falter. Many of our relationships and circle of activities grow smaller as old friends die or move away; and our interests in physical and social activities slowly fade or escape us. We begin to feel really old, isolated, ignored by the younger, noisier world around us.
But wait, take a deep breath. Don’t despair; don’t give up on this, your precious only life. For many older people, this time can become a moment of re-awakening, re-vitalization of truly becoming born anew. You can, at this moment, become part of a spiritual and physical transfiguration process that will open new avenues of possibilities and interests for you.
Now is the time you can let go of your past, your old problems and your growing sense of isolation. Now is the time you can finally let go of that shrinking feeling and find a new sense of freedom; you can experience a new kind of happiness and a new potential for self-worth and joy.
Meditate upon the following suggestions and practice these hints for transformation during the rest of your years in the same aging body you have always called “home”.

1. Make the most of every moment, every experience.
2. Don’t obsess over the right and wrong of every decision. Just do it!
3. Stop adhering to your old self-image. You will soon discover you will be changing that old self into someone new.
4. Go beyond risks. Discover new things to do, new ways to be.
5. Trust your intuition.
6. See the possibilities in whatever happens.
7. Find the stream of joy. It’s waiting for you.
--To be continued!!