1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The global changes we have not noticed… October 17, 2011

Filed under: thoughts — axinia @ 10:23 pm
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Over the last 50 years the life on this planet has changed dramatically. I wonder if we can fully realize what has happened to us? Here are some observations on this topic, compared to what we know about the previous history.

  • People got used to the idea of change, so used to change, that they are  expecting permanent change.
  • Population control: sex has been separated from reproduction, contraception is universally available, Contraceptives are displayed prominently in drug stores, right up with the cigarettes and chewing gum.
  • Abortion is no longer a crime.
  • Homosexuality is “allowed”.
  • Clothing styles became more stimulating and provocative. It is not just the amount of skin that is exposed that makes clothing sexually seductive, but other, more subtle things are often suggestive.
  • Families are limited in size, divorce has become more easier and prevalent, the marriage relationship are less stable and, therefore, people are less willing to have babies.
  • The old are no longer useful. They become a burden. After you have had enough of it and you’re no longer productive, working, and contributing, then you should be ready to step aside for the next generation.
  • Medical care is closely connected to work. If you don’t work or can’t work, you hardly have access to medical care. Everybody is made dependent on insurance and if you don’t have insurance then you pay directly; the cost of your care is enormous.
  • Children spend more time in schools, but in many schools they can’t learn much. They learn some things, but not as much as formerly. Better schools in better areas with better people, their kids can learn more.
  • Students have to decide at a younger age what they would want to study and get onto their track early. It is harder to change to another field of study once you get started. Studies are concentrated in much greater depth, but narrowed.  People become very specialised in their own area of expertise. But they are not able to get a broad education and not be able to understand what is going on overall.
  • Gambling changed from illegal to state monopoly: state lotteries are very popular. (more…)
 

How to meditate: a greate piece of advice and a terrific experience August 15, 2011

image by axinia

This is an amazing story I have got from a friend who is practising Sahaja meditation. However the coolest thing about it is that this meditation technique can be applied apart from any spiritual practice, for it works perfectly FOR EVERYONE, especially for those who find it difficult to meditate. There is no strain about it, no concentration is needed and yet it gives you the perfect effect of thoughtless awareness/mental silence, the true goal of any meditation…

Here is the story: Please read, try it out and share your experiences!

“I had a pretty interesting experience last year I’d like to share. Back in 1996 I was lucky enough to travel to Hong Kong with Shri Mataji and one morning when all the yogis were out, she called me in and said, ‘I’ll teach you how to meditate.’ I was quite excited by this…face to face with my Guru, learning the art of silence directly from her.

‘Just watch your thoughts’, she said. To watch them, she added, your attention peels away from the thought process and the two waves (the thought wave and the attention wave) hit each other and cancel out (reverse oscillation she called it).

Then the vilambha state begins. She said that you can do this anytime…driving your car, washing the dishes and you can be in total detached silence.

… It worked amazingly well. I was able to hold the thoughtless state for as long as I liked.

Now, cut to last year and I was going through a tough time at work. I really lost my cool a lot and was as undetached as you can get (sorry to say). The crunch came when my boss, a hard living, heavy drinking, chain smoking English guy told me to be detached! (more…)

 

A way out of depression February 4, 2011

image by axinia

Depression, the greatest soul plague of modern humans… I wonder is it really a modern phenomenon or it is just better documented nowadays that in earlier centuries?

What defines depression? It is the act of depressing and the condition of being depressed. Depression is characterized by lack of activity, self-worth, dejection, sad feelings, gloom and inadequacy. When the people are in depression, then their life becomes negative. People in depression often face hopelessness, passivity, indecisiveness, suicidal intentions, loss of appetite, weight loss, sleeping disorders.

Here are some statistics on depression:

  • Main reasons of depression in men are separation after marriage, widowed, divorce
  • In US nearly 7 million women are clinically depressed
  • One in seven men will develop depression within 6 months of becoming unemployed
  • Mostly 15 percent of women suffering from severe depression will commit suicide
  • Nearly 10 percent of women experience postpartum depression after birth of a child
  • 2003 National Comorbidity Study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health 16% of the population that is nearly 35 million Americans suffer from severe depression
  • in Austria: every 5th person is clinically depressed and under medication

I guess the statistics on other countries will be not much different. By simply observing that one can get depressed!

Although I am not an expert on this subject,  I would like to share one unique experience I had about being depressed. May be it will help someone out. (more…)

 

Determination as a key to success – a new shade of the old rule January 10, 2011

Filed under: thoughts — axinia @ 10:02 am
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image by axinia

Observing myself and others over the years I came to an interesting conclusion that the main thing that makes a difference in our lives’ achievements – both worldly and spiritual is nothing but determination.

Well, nothing much new about this statement, right? The only thing I want to contribute to the topic is that there is no need to be determined with strain and pain. Determination/perseverance  – the term has a hard image and you can picture yourself a hard work behind. Not necessary!

The term determination stays for ability to be disciplined, consistent and see things through till the end.

My experience shows that mostly it is the matter of ATTENTION, not really efforts. The attention has to be persistent, not the actual actions – they will follow naturally and without any strain. I am always amused how it works!

In my professional life: Say, as an Executive Search Consultant I am looking for a job candidate with a rare set of skills and experiences. I keep it  in my attention all the time and at some point, rather soon, I just come across such a person, often truly by chance! I may make some requests here and there, but the true gems come my way like attracted.

Same in the private life:  by keeping my attention on some task I have to accomplish, a simple or difficult one, I meet the right people who can assist, I find the right information or simply I find myself being lucky with circumstances. (more…)

 

Positive Psychology – studying what has gone right, rather than wrong in both individuals and societies October 5, 2010

I was pleased to learn about one interesting recent branch of Psychology, which does just he contrary to the common psychological studies and practices:  Positive psychologists seek “to find and nurture genius and talent”, and “to make normal life more fulfilling”, not simply to treat mental illness. By scientifically studying what has gone right, rather than wrong in both individuals and societies, Positive Psychology hopes to achieve a renaissance of sorts.

The purpose of Positive psychology was summed up in 2000 by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise that achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities.”. Yes, finally somebody got it!

As a born psychologist I of cause see the problems and illnesses of human beings and societies very well. But honestly, it’s getting so boring! Why can’t we all start learning how to enjoy the beauty of life and not to make our lives difficult for ourselves and for others?

According to positive psychologists, for most of its life mainstream psychology (sometimes also referred to as ‘psychology as usual’) has been concerned with the negative aspects of human life. There have been pockets of interest in topics such as creativity, optimism and wisdom, but these have not been united by any grand theory or a broad, overarching framework. This rather negative state of affairs was not the original intention of the first psychologists, but came about through a historical accident. Prior to the Second World War, psychology had three tasks, which were to: cure mental illness, improve normal lives and identify and nurture high talent. However, after the war the last two tasks somehow got lost, leaving the field to concentrate predominantly on the first one. How did that happen? Given that psychology as a science depends heavily on the funding of governmental bodies, it is not hard to guess what happened to the resources after World War II. Understandably, facing a human crisis on such an enormous scale, all available resources were poured into learning about and the treatment of psychological illness and psychopathology.

This is how psychology as a field learnt to operate within a disease model. This model has proven very useful. Martin Seligman highlights the victories of the disease model, which are, for example, that 14 previously incurable mental illnesses (such as depression, personality disorder, or anxiety attacks) can now be successfully treated. However, the costs of adopting this disease model included the negative view of psychologists as ‘victimologists’ and ‘pathologisers’, the failure to address the improvement of normal lives and the identification and nurturance of high talent. Just to illustrate, if you were to say to your friends that you were going to see a psychologist, what is the most likely response that you would get? ‘What’s wrong with you?’. How likely are you to hear something along the lines of: ‘Great! Are you planning to concentrate on self-improvement?’. (more…)

 

All we need is… a grandmother revolution! September 21, 2010

For those who have seen the film “Patch Adams”, starring Robin Williams, the interview below would be an added value to this amazing film. And the value of the film itself is high indeed, especially because it’s based on a real-life story.

Today I came across one interview with the film protagonist. The real person turned out to be even more fascinating than the film character (often it’s just vice versa).

Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams, M.D. (born May 28, 1945 in Washington, D.C.) is an American physician, social activist, citizen diplomat and author. He founded the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971. Each year he organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress as clowns in an effort to bring humor to orphans, patients, and other people. Adams is currently based in Arlington, Virginia. In collaboration with the institute, he promotes a different health care model (i.e. one not funded by insurance policies).

In his interview to one Italian financial newspaper Patch Adams gives a genius in its simplicity answer of how to change the world to a place, full of love and compassion:

and enjoy the second part, that’s brilliant!

(more…)

 

Highly insightful: why it’s so hard to become happy, what is dramatically wrong in our child-care and how to overcome it June 23, 2010

There are very few books that can deliver some truly fresh, insightful information. Most of the things have been repeated for ages. One of this rare, uniquely insightful books is “The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost” by Jean Liedloff. (1975)
 
Jean Liedloff, an American writer, spent two and a half years in the South American jungle living with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her Western preconceptions of how we should live and led her to a radically different view of what human nature really is.
And that is:
  • the aggressiveness is NOT in a human nature, and even children may never fight! “Not only did they not fight, they never even argued. This is not at all what we have been taught human nature is — boys will be boys. So I thought well maybe, boys won’t be boys.”
  • every human being is born as a happy, confident, stable personality. “Society is unpleasant, dangerous, unhappy, alienated, and unstable because in childhood our nature — being confident, joyous and loving — has been undermined and we simply live the way we are expected to. What we believe is what we make our experience into. And what we believe is what we have been taught to believe by our parents and our experiences.”
Jean Liedloff claims that it all our problems can be traced back to the general misconduct of child-care and upbringing. We’ve got disconnected to the natural/true method ages ago, no wonder the evolution has taken a somewhat weong track…
She discovers that the basic difference in what the indigenous people do and we don’t – is the so called “in-arms period”: from the birth till the baby starts crawling, a mother carries it 24 hours a day on her body (including sleeping in one bed). A child gets an enormous dose of security and happiness, since there is nothing more important and beautiful for it than the mother.
 
 Let’s have a look at the common practice in the modern Western childbirth and child-care. A baby experiences: (more…)
 

 
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