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Zen

What I’ve Learned: Reflections back on 2015

By | Explorations, Life 101, Positive Thinking, Zen | 2 Comments

Ed Loh is an explorer of life’s greater questions. Of almost everyone he meets, Ed asks “What have you learned?” – So Ed, here’s what I’ve learned: We live in a universe of constant change. People come and go. So do jobs, finances, and all material goods. What matters most is not what we have, or even what we do with it – it’s how we are; our state of being. Are we happy? Are we uplifted? Do we uplift others by simply being ourselves? We’ve seen good friends pass in 2015. Locations change and careers transition. Amid life’s challenges, have been many moments of glory. I’ve met wonderful people, made new friends and reconnected with old. I’ve let go of much of what I owned and embarked on the essentialist’s path to “simplify my life” – which, as you know, is actually quite complicated. And in January 2016, I…






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On Living with Impermanence

By | Life 101, Positive Thinking, Zen | No Comments

Recent events in Paris have acted as further potent reminders of our fragility, uncertainty and impermanence on this earth. What do we do with our time here? How do we persist in the face of such chaos? This post simply summons wisdom from the following quotes I’ve collected over the years and found to be most profound in addressing feelings of uncertainty. If you have any quotes to add, please do so in the comments below… Quote #1 from – The Epic of Gilgamesh – A powerful reminder to make the absolute most of what little we have and to show up every day… “When the heavenly gods created human beings, they kept everlasting life for themselves and gave us death. So, Gilgamesh, accept your fate. Each day, wash your head, bathe your body, and wear clothes that are sparkling fresh. Fill your stomach with tasty food. Play, sing, dance, and be…






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The Power of the Pause: Why you must slow down in “critical situations”

By | Human Performance, Life 101, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Zen | No Comments

This is a topic I’ve been wanting to tackle for a long time. It’s so freaking simple that I debated whether or not it even warrants a post. But last night as I sat down to dinner with a friend, we began talking about this feeling of “inner urgency.” And that wasn’t the first time. Almost every friend I’ve spoken to recently has expressed this same feeling. Some are launching startups while others are working steady jobs. But what came up consistently was an insatiable feeling of rushing toward accomplishment or producing some result. I know I’ve felt this way many times before. And often we’re quick to attribute the feeling to external causes such as deadlines or demands. But is that really the case? The more we talked about it and the more I thought it through, the closer I came to the conclusion that this feeling is internal…






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One Windy Morning

By | Life 101, Uncategorized, Zen | 2 Comments

Wind howling out the window. Trees bending like straws in a breeze. Bushes growl and scratch at the walls. But inside all is calm. Cold air blasts thatchings, seeping seemingly through the inner walls. Summer has set. Calm turned to chaos. But inside all is calm. Chills overtake the surface of the skin. The ears hear howling; the eyes see white-caps. The mind thinks thoughts; fearful thoughts of nature and impermanence. But inside there is love. One windy morning is a short poem about impermanence inspired by friends who have recently departed. May it remind us that hurt and sorrow are part of life but always love abounds.  






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what matters most

What Matters Most

By | Health Insights, Life 101, Metaphysics, Positive Thinking, Recovery, Self Improvement, Zen | 2 Comments

It’s so simple yet so elusive. I thought I had it figured out; the thing of greatest value and what it is that matters most. Vitality, of course! Without vitality (aka, life force, energy or the capacity to do our work on this planet) what else really matters? Sure money is important and so is time. But we all know that money without time has no value. Just as we may now assume that money + time without vitality ultimately has no use. But is there something else? Something who’s value is even more fundamental such that in it’s absence, even worldly resources and the energy to make use of them would still fall short? I wondered. As if an answer to my pondering,  yesterday morning, as I rummaged through some old file folders of mine, out popped this loose-leaf cryptic “note to self” I’d written when I was ill for…






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Change Your Attitude – The Power of Choice

By | Life 101, Lifestyle, Mind-Body, Physical Performance, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement, Zen | One Comment

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’d never been so close to death, or so I felt. We’d been hiking for 3 days with no food and little water. Five hours ago the muscles up the back of my legs and base of my spine were cramping in spasm but now there was little energy for them to even attempt self-preservation, let alone power my staggering footsteps further up the mountain.   I veered off the rocky path and collapsed into a heap, panting, sweating and freezing at the same time as the early spring sun set off the trail leading up to the top of Thunder Mountain, Bryce Canyon. My knee was shot, my body ached, my lungs gasped for air, my leg muscles where gone – completely done. And worst of all, so was I.   The BOSS (Bolder Outdoor Survival School) instructor approached me out as…






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Don’t Chase Happiness, Chase “Hell Yes!”

By | Explorations, Life 101, Positive Thinking, Uncategorized, Zen | One Comment

Let’s talk business for a sec. This business of “being happy”, aka the notion that our primary goal in life should be, to be supremely happy in all situations and at all times. (Just now, after I wrote that second sentence, I popped it into google out of curiosity and here is the first thing I found.) As a culture we hold this notion that business, wealth, success (and sometimes secrets) will guide us to happiness. We hold the precept that happiness is the goal. We’ve made a terrible mistake. Happiness is not the goal but the measure of success. It’s a metric. A feedback that let’s us know, as human beings, how in-line with our purpose and potential we are. Am I doing the work that suits me? Am I making use of my unique talents? Is my inner wisdom and creativity being freely expressed and fully appreciated? Am I supported…






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The Art of Equanimity: Finding Calm In Chaos

By | Habit Design, Life 101, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Zen | 5 Comments

 e·qua·nim·i·ty ˌēkwəˈnimitē,ˌekwə-/ noun mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. This word continues to take on new meaning for me. It first entered my lexicon in the fall of 2007 when I attended an intro to meditation class at the Tibet House on west 15th street. Everyone was going on about the virtue of equanimity and ways it could be practiced, and I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. Years later, I’d begin to understand…  Some time, but not long ago, I found myself in a frenzy of turmoil, as the compounding losses of a relationship, a friendships and the lives of two people close to me, all coincided within a matter of weeks. From one day to the next, it seemed, all joy was lost. Excitement, extinguished. For the months that followed, I remember feeling challenged to find my center, and how even the…






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The Eye of The I: A Book Review of Works That Started A Journey

By | Diet & Nutrtion, Explorations, Human Performance, Lifestyle, Zen | No Comments

One of the books that got me started several years ago down my path to personal evolution and the pursuit of absolute truth. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. David Hawkins describes and explains advanced states of consciousness and the way to spiritual Enlightenment. It includes dialogues with spiritual students worldwide. For the first time, a cogent and verifiable means of confirmation of spiritual reality is provided via an objective, replicable method of measurement, based on physiologically derived clinical evidence. I can recall reading the first time after a host of my own anomalous experiences and remember the profound sense of excitement I experience that I’d found a masterfully woven body of research and clinical experience to verify, support, and provide some rational explanation to the experiences I could only otherwise describe as extraordinary. In addition to introducing the now famous calibrated scale, or “map of consciousness,” Hawkins punctuates his work…






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Thoughts on Life and Why You Can’t Hack It

By | Lifestyle, Zen | One Comment

In our ever increasing fast-paced, twitter-feeding, blog-rolling, facebook-frenzying, instagramming, always-planning, content-cramming lifestyles, something invaluable perpetually eludes us. Presence. A life-hacking culture is rapidly emerging and taking mainstream and it’s no surprise as to why. Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003 according to Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. “Let me repeat that” says Schmidt, “we create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.” And each article, ebook, tweet, post, or status update all contains multiple embedded links directing you to more content which is sure to contain more links to even further “must-read-now-before-it-goes-extinct” information. For those who are able to overcome the paralysis by analysis complex (oops, just linked you to a further “must-read” wiki page), you are met with the entirely new challenge of now seeking ways to prioritize,…






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The Power of “NO”

By | Human Performance, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Zen | 3 Comments

  “NO” – Perhaps the most powerful scene in any movie I can think of to date is that ending of the first Matrix: Keanu Reeves’ iconic character, Neo, has been gradually coming to terms with his own power, performing, literally, otherworldly feats of strength throughout the film. Then finally, while a swarm of bullets is streamlining toward his head, in a single act of total Self-realization (Self with a capital S) he extends, his arm out in front of him and says: “NO” –  And there goes the neighborhood; bullets freeze in mid air, the walls begin to flex as he takes a deep breath, and Reality for Neo, will never be the same… Why is this so significant? Because we all have this ability. Yes, each and every person, through radical Self-realization, is granted the gift of discernment (e.g. the ability to choose how we see the world;…






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Don’t Miss the Boat!

By | Experiments, Productivity, Zen | One Comment

I first came across the following poem while visiting the very scenic Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, back in May. – It reminds me how important it is to remain “tuned in” – not distracted by external influence, during any time of great decision:   Missing the Boat by Naomi Shihab-Nye It is not so much that the boat passed and you failed to notice it. It is more like the boat stopping directly outside your bedroom window, the captain blowing the signal-horn, the band playing a rousing march. The boat shouted, waving bright flags, its silver hull blinding in the sunlight. But you had this idea you were going by train. You kept checking the time-table, digging for tracks. And the boat got tired of you, so tired it pulled up the anchor and raised the ramp. The boat bobbed into the distance, shrinking like a toy— at which…






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