Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to Reduce Your Stress at Work

How can I reduce my stress level at work? Wasn't my work believed to be made easier by facilities and inventions: cell phones and email, etc.? However, many of us find we are continuously under heavy workload. That exists in most work place really. Stress at work can affect every aspect of your life. So that, addressing the problem of stress atau work can mean all.

The signs of overburden include consistently working late, working through lunch, coming to work even when sick, taking work home, rushing to meet very tight deadlines, expressing frustration, not taking vacations, upset stomachs, insomnia and fatigue, etc. Those are just a few of the problems that can develop. Your work stress can also be hard on those around you because they'll have to deal with your anger or depression. If you are the one who is stressed, you can try some of these solutions to get your workload under control:

Spend your time working on important things. Many of us are tempted to work on painless tasks first. Time spent on those "easy" tasks can quickly add up, generating more stress when there’s no enough time left for the important things. Start keeping an "activity log". Every time you start and end a new activity, make note. You may need an adjustment, but after some days you would see your time-wasters.

Set daily goals. Imagine that something unexpected will come up in your schedule. If you must assign to a deadline, be conservative. Don't try to achieve perfection. Delegate tasks if possible. You can negotiate or renegotiate your job description. Don’t do something that doesn't fall within your job description.

Avoid letting other people's problems become yours. You don’t have to catch the ball that someone throws you. Try limiting your contribution to other’s problem by advice as an alternative of taking on the task yourself. Concentrate on doing your own job well and let others do theirs. Stop trying to pick up everyone else's slack.

When you have difficulty, say so. Take a stress management course or see if there’s facility to teach stress reduction. Rethink your attitude and performance, take meditation and yoga. More simply, take easy deep breathing exercise, just inhale and exhale deeply for some times, that will give you the same benefits. Listen to music that pumps you up. Choose your own favorite.

Change your feeling by refinding your self esteem. Self esteem is the opposite of fear and stress. So jog your memory about a time that makes you feel great. Put your great moment photos on the wall. Write down all the times you conquered the challenge.

Take aromatherapy too. Buy a lavender candle or a bottle of lavender oil for your workplace. Lavender is mood relaxer and energy re-balancer. Next time you feel stressed, light the candle or smell the oil.

Researchers say seeing the color blue tends to calm us. If it's a nice day, stare at the blue sky. Besides the color, the image of floating clouds will remind your subconscious about the importance of staying 'light.' And the image of the infinite skies will remind you of infinite possibilities.

Balance your work with your life. Don't live to work, but work to live. Don’t bring work home, but bring photos of your family to work. That reminds of what's most important. However, you may think about the possibility that you're in the wrong place. In this case, ask to be reassigned or quit and get a new job you more like and suited for you.

These methods probably will help you manage your work in better way. By practicing them you may cut down your stress and enjoy both your work and your life.


Learning to Write

To get a feel for good writing, the best thing is read as much of it. All writings have certain types and it is good to get every outlook. The desire to write need the passion to read writings. They say, reading is the foundation of good writing. From reading, you will grow yourself as a writer. It is also a great idea to talk to other would-be and experienced writers.

Then, the best way to write is to just do it. Via practicing it, you can explore ways to create your writing. Write realistically, to begin, write about your own life situations. Starting with a real place, person, problems, or situation will make writing sound genuine. However, writing takes time, practice, and some imagination too.

It would be useful to allocate a certain time of day to write. Getting up early in the morning and dedicates the first hours to writing as a routine whether we want to write or not. Just forces yourself and it works. Sometimes the outcome is awful, sometimes they're great, but at least you are getting words down. During this writing period, you may lose some drive if you take days off in between writing. So, it is crucial to keep writing and intensity high by doing it everyday.

After finish a writing, you can wait some days then take a view at it with a fresh look. Be merciless. If there's something read badly to you, it mean that read badly to your reader too. A few friends can give significant feedback. You may join a class or workshop with other writers; they can review and constructively criticize the writings.

What about marketing the work? Books and writings from whatever fields are published each year and there are numerous listings of markets. You can contact publishers about writings they are seeking, the fee, and submission guide. Then, send them your work and see what happens. Nobody knows who will be the next successful writer, surprising things have occured in writing fields. However, before quitting our daily job, we need remember that writing for a living can be tough too. For every one famous and wealthy writer, there are thousand unheard writers who were never capable to get published. Whatever happens, it will be a real step in building our writing skills, and it is useful for the next other steps.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Use Your Mind To Stop Addiction

It is just the strength of mind and strong will power which ultimately helps you reach the tough goals. Where there is a will, there is a way. Same is the motto that you need to follow if you wanna quit addiction. Whatever addiction. If addiction has become an integral part of your life, the more you try to quit it, the more you find yourself drawn towards it. You are trying to dismiss something with which you have been associated for so many times. Even the thought of departing from it needs a bulk of determination.

Does your mind keep wondering about your earlier failed attempts? Does the thought of quitting addiction make you fragile? You may also think that you are never going to succeed in stopping. But, wait don't give up, it is the very difficulty faced by all other addicts.

Though substance addiction is very powerful, still every year thousands of people quit their addiction fruitfully. But how are they able to do something which you always thought was unattainable? While there is no magic formula to make the process of quitting easier, there is definite thing which you can take to drive out the assurance you need to lash out this pattern.

The main thing is, you have to change your mind, if you want to change your life. Addiction is first of all about your psychology. You have to change your approach towards your habit to get rid of it. Until you don't begin to feel fine about quitting, you will get nowhere.

Quitting addiction requires a lot of efforts and will surely test your will power. You have to be positive and keep focused. Making yourself aware about the benefits of quitting addiction will surely help.

Negative thought about quitting addiction survive in every addict’s subconscious mind. You have to work on your mental condition to make a concrete commitment toward quitting. You should make it a habit to take note of your every mind and thought, feelings and comments that you make about your addiction and addiction cessation plan.

Take note of the physical consequences like tight stomach, headache, tight chest, etc. Think about the experience because of your habit. Just think about the happiness of life that you have to stay away from due of your bad habit. Of course, there are next steps you need to realize your plan to free yourself from addiction. However, it is your mind and determination which primarily will help you lead an addict-free life. So, make your mind and build it up.

Concentration Finds The Way (2)

The secret of success is to try always to improve yourself no matter where you are or what your position. Learn all you can. Don’t see how little you can do, but how much you can do. Such a man will always be in demand, for he establishes the reputation of being a hustler. There is always room for him because progressive firms never let a hustler leave their employment if they can help it.

The man that is chosen at the crucial time is not usually a genius; he does not possess any more talent than others, but he has learned that results can only be produced by untiring concentrated effort. That “miracles,” in business do not just “happen.” He knows that the only way they will happen is by sticking to a proposition and seeing it through. That is the only secret of why some succeed and others fail. The successful man gets used to seeing things accomplished and always feels sure of success. The man that is a failure gets used to seeing failure, expects it and attracts it to him.

It is my opinion that with the right kind of training every man could be a success. It is really a shame that so many men and women, rich in ability and talent, are allowed to go to waste, so to speak. Some day I hope to see a millionaire philanthropist start a school for the training of failures. I am sure he could not put his money to a better use. In a year’s time the science of practical psychology could do wonders for him. He could have agencies on the lookout for men that had lost their grip on themselves; that had through indisposition weakened their will; that through some sorrow or misfortune had become discouraged. At first all they need is a little help to get them back on their feet, but usually they get a knock downwards instead. The result is that their latent powers never develop and both they and the world are the losers. I trust that in the near future, someone will heed the opportunity of using some of his millions in arousing men that have begun to falter. All they need to be shown is that there is within them an omnipotent source that is ready to aid them, providing they will make use of it. Their minds only have to be turned from despair to hope to make them regain their hold.

When a man loses his grip today, he must win his redemption by his own will. He will get little encouragement or advice of an inspiring nature. He must usually regain the right road alone. He must stop dissipating his energies and turn his attention to building a useful career. Today we must conquer our weakening tendencies alone. Don’t expect anyone to help you. Just take one big brace, make firm resolutions, and resolve to conquer your weaknesses and vices. Really none can do this for you. They can encourage you; that is all.

I can think of nothing, but lack of health, that should interfere with one becoming successful. There is no other handicap that you should not be able to overcome. To overcome a handicap, all that it is necessary to do is to use more determination and grit and will. The man with grit and will, may be poor today and wealthy in a few years; will power is a better asset than money; Will will carry you over chasms of failure, if you but give it the chance.

The men that have risen to the highest positions have usually had to gain their victories against big odds. Think of the hardships many of our inventors have gone through before they became a success. Usually they have been very much misunderstood by relatives and friends. Very often they did not have the bare necessities of life, yet, by sheer determination and resolute courage, they managed to exist somehow until they perfected their inventions, which afterwards greatly helped in bettering the condition of others.

Everyone really wants to do something, but there are few that will put forward the needed effort to make the necessary sacrifice to secure it. There is only one way to accomplish anything and that is to go ahead and do it. A man may accomplish almost anything today, if he just sets his heart on doing it and lets nothing interfere with his progress. Obstacles are quickly overcome by the man that sets out to accomplish his heart’s desire. The “bigger” the man, the smaller the obstacle appears. The “smaller” the man the greater the obstacle appears. Always look at the advantage you gain by overcoming obstacles, and it will give you the needed courage for their conquest.

Do not expect that you will always have easy sailing. Parts of your journey are likely to be rough. Don’t let the rough places put you out of commission. Keep on with the journey. Just the way you weather the storm shows what material you are made of. Never sit down and complain of the rough places, but think how nice the pleasant stretches were. View with delight the smooth plains that are in front of you.

Do not let a setback stop you. Think of it as a mere incident that has to be overcome before you can reach your goal.


Excerpt from Theron Q. Dumont's The Power of Concentration (1918), a classic work on willpower and success. It is long out of print, but we can find the full text online at the World Spirituality site.

Brain Function: Amygdala and Our Survival

I read scientits said how brain is being one of responsible apparatus for making our reaction to phobias, panic attacks, and Post Traumatic Disorder. In the brain we can find the pivotal function of amygdala, small but powerful factor in our head.

Take a look at Out of Its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis by J. A. Hobson & J. A. Leonard Perseus Publishing (2001). There is a fascinating detail about the functions of the amygdala in survival there: "The amygdala is like the hub of a wheel. It receives low-level inputs from sensory-specific regions of the thalamus, higher level information from sensory-specific cortex, and still higher level (sensory independent) information about the general situation from the hippocampal formation. Through such connections, the amygdala is able to process the emotional significance of individual stimuli as well as complex situations...the amygdala is, in essence, involved in the appraisal of emotional meaning. It is where trigger stimuli do their triggering."

Those things are said plays significant role and closely connected to stressful situations which engrave a conditioned memory trace in the amygdala, involved in those stressing conditions above. At least, a new look into our body can give useful things for understanding our own emotion, and hopefully manage it in better way.

Concentration Finds The Way (1)

Everyone has two natures. One wants us to advance and the other wants to pull us back. The one that we cultivate and concentrate on decides what we are at the end. Both natures are trying to gain control. The will alone decides the issue. A man by one supreme effort of the will may change his whole career and almost accomplish miracles. You may be that man. You can be if you Will to be, for Will can find a way or make one.

I could easily fill a book, of cases where men plodding along in a matter-of-fact way, were all at once aroused and as if awakening from a slumber they developed the possibilities within them and from that time on were different persons. You alone can decide when the turning point will come. It is a matter of choice whether we allow our diviner self to control us or whether we will be controlled by the brute within us. No man has to do anything he does not want to do. He is therefore the director of his life if he wills to be. What we are to do, is the result of our training. We are like putty, and can be completely controlled by our will power.

Habit is a matter of acquirement. You hear people say: “He comes by this or that naturally, a chip off the old block,” meaning that he is only doing what his parents did. This is quite often the case, but there is no reason for it, for a person can break a habit just the moment he masters the “I will.”

A man may have been a “good-for-nothing” all his life up to this very minute, but from this time on he begins to amount to something. Even old men have suddenly changed and accomplished wonders. “I lost my opportunity,” says one. That may be true, but by sheer force of will, we can find a way to bring us another opportunity. There is no truth in the saying that opportunity knocks at our door but once in a lifetime. The fact is, opportunity never seeks us; we must seek it. What usually turns out to be one man’s opportunity, was another man’s loss. In this day one man’s brain is matched against another’s. It is often the quickness of brain action that determines the result. One man thinks “I will do it,” but while he procrastinates the other goes ahead and does the work. They both have the same opportunity. The one will complain of his lost chance. But it should teach him a lesson, and it will, if he is seeking the path that leads to success.

Many persons read good books, but say they do not get much good out of them. They do not realize that all any book or any lesson course can do is to awaken them to their possibilities; to stimulate them to use their will power. You may teach a person from now until doom’s day, but that person will only know what he learns himself. “You can lead him to the fountain, but you can’t make him drink.”

One of the most beneficial practices I know of is that of looking for the good in everyone and everything, for there is good in all things. We encourage a person by seeing his good qualities and we also help ourselves by looking for them. We gain their good wishes, a most valuable asset sometimes. We get back what we give out. The time comes when most all of us need encouragement; need buoying up. So form the habit of encouraging others, and you will find it a wonderful tonic for both those encouraged and yourself, for you will get back encouraging and uplifting thoughts.

Life furnishes us the opportunity to improve. But whether we do it or not depends upon how near we live up to what is expected of us. The first of each month, a person should sit down and examine the progress he has made. If he has not come up to “expectations” he should discover the reason, and by extra exertion measure up to what is demanded next time. Every time that we fall behind what we planned to do, we lose just so much for that time is gone forever. We may find a reason for doing it, but most excuses are poor substitutes for action. Most things are possible. Ours may be a hard task, but the harder the task, the greater the reward. It is the difficult things that really develop us, anything that requires only a small effort, utilizes very few of our faculties, and yields a scanty harvest of achievement. So do not shrink from a hard task, for to accomplish one of these will often bring us more good than a dozen lesser triumphs.

I know that every man that is willing to pay the price can be a success. The price is not in money, but in effort. The first essential quality for success is the desire to do—to be something. The next thing is to learn how to do it; the next to carry it into execution. The man that is the best able to accomplish anything is the one with a broad mind; the man that has acquired knowledge, that may, it is true, be foreign to this particular case, but is, nevertheless, of some value in all cases. So the man that wants to be successful must be liberal; he must acquire all the knowledge that he can; he must be well posted not only in one branch of his business but in every part of it. Such a man achieves success.


Excerpt from Theron Q. Dumont's The Power of Concentration (1918), a classic work on willpower and success. It is long out of print, but we can find the full text online at the World Spirituality site.


How to Cope with Loneliness

Loneliness comes into our life many times all the way through our life. Sometimes we feel its occurrence in a brief and emotional way, and sometimes it takes up dwelling in our thoughts, feelings and manners for a long time.

Loneliness is often confused with alone-ness. However, it is different. We sometimes really need and want to be alone but we seldom choose loneliness. It seems to get there of its own agreement at times when we are alone because of conditions that divide us from our friends, family etc.

Loneliness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is very subjective -- wanting more or different social interactions, feeling isolated or disconnected, not fitting in. Loneliness doesn't automatically equate with living alone. Some people who live by themselves and see family and friends every now and then feel perfectly connected and supported. Some who are surrounded by family and friends feel lonely.

Put simply, loneliness may enter as a cue to get in touch again with people or to put energy into new actions which open up new chances to make friends and relationships. Loneliness may also be correlated with grief. Perhaps you have suffered the loss of an important person, relationship or a significant activity and you miss the security and comfort of familiar people and routines. It takes moment to move on; however, speaking with someone about your loss and setting aside some time each day to cherish the memories will help to advance the grief course.

Loneliness can hang out with other difficult characters, namely rejection, shame and perfectionism. Sometimes these factors can join loneliness and make your life a misery. These factors are experts in getting you to think that you are unlovable, a bore, stupid, socially inept, unattractive, have the family and friends from hell, or most likely to be rejected. They are experts in having you believe all this stuff about yourself.

If this state of affairs is occurring on a habitual basis then it's time to have a get-together with someone (maybe at the counselling service) to talk about how to liberate your life from the negative factors above.

Of course, as lonely people know all too well, making new connections isn't easy. A few can assemble their courage and push into a more sociable life by joining a club, taking a class, or getting involved at church. For many lonely people, though, doing these things can be as difficult as climbing high mountain. For them, the way out may start with accepting the roots of their loneliness. It could be a problem with energy or mood. Anxiety can make social situations seem overwhelming. Or for whatever reason they never developed a talent for making or carrying on relationships.

If loneliness has been a life-long problem, talking with a counselor, therapist, psychologist, or other mental health professional may help you understand what has gotten in the way of making relationships and teach you new skills for starting and developing friendships. If there is an underlying trouble with anxiety or depression, a medication may help ease that burden.

If you are determined to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, altruism is a good first step. Take something you know -- mathematics for instance -- and help someone else. Schools across the country welcome tutors to help children improve their math, reading, and other academic skills.

People with rich social associations generally live longer, get better faster from health setbacks, and have more pleasant lives. Making yours a relationship at a time is good for you, and, if one of those relationships is with a lonely person, it's good for him/her, too.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Money Problems and Your Life

By some proper ways, we can become the master of our finances. With the explosion of new technologies (and new stuffs) these years, we have found more ways to spend our money in ways that remove us from the direct impact of our actions. The problem is, despite the added ease these technologies, we still have to live with the effects of our spending. However, through the disciplined and efforts we all can use the principles of financial budgeting system, and how technology can improve, rather than grind down, our awareness of the money we’re earning, spending, and saving on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis.
We all know that we live in a society driven by finance. Regrettably, the compensation for this lifestyle is frequently poor health, debt, or even the termination of the family. While this age is arguably one of the most prosperous in history, together we are pursuing a course that could ultimately leave us financially penniless. Not surprisingly, we may see the number of those seeking defense from creditors through personal bankruptcy is growing at an disturbing rate.
Studies show that financial issues continue a significant cause of contention in individuals. While many of us may not directly experience personal bankruptcy or family divorces caused by financial problems, far too a lot of people are making choices daily that have the would-be of bankrupting their financial future and destroying their ultimate cheerfulness.
The good news is that despite the troublesome financial dynamics of our complex society, there are tools available here and there to help reverse—or altogether keep away from—the downward cycle of debt, daily financial stress, and dissatisfaction. The overall situation, including several issues and conflicts that could arise in any circumstances—at any age, in any part of the country, and at any income level. Therefore, if we are eager to learn from the widely available sources and put them into practice, then the solution will apply to anyone who is having trouble keeping expenditures under control. Just move it and seek solutions available around us.
You can put those vast informations in your context, and you will be better able to identify with, understand, and relate to the problems and issues you are facing. By combining an eagerness to learn about financial issues and guts to solve the problem, you can change the way you look at your money, how you prepare for your future, and, eventually, your own precious life.

Money Problems and Your Life

By some proper ways, we can become the master of our finances. With the explosion of new technologies (and new stuffs) these years, we have found more ways to spend our money in ways that remove us from the direct impact of our actions. The problem is, despite the added ease these technologies, we still have to live with the effects of our spending. However, through the disciplined and efforts we all can use the principles of financial budgeting system, and how technology can improve, rather than grind down, our awareness of the money we’re earning, spending, and saving on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis.
We all know that we live in a society driven by finance. Regrettably, the compensation for this lifestyle is frequently poor health, debt, or even the termination of the family. While this age is arguably one of the most prosperous in history, together we are pursuing a course that could ultimately leave us financially penniless. Not surprisingly, we may see the number of those seeking defense from creditors through personal bankruptcy is growing at an disturbing rate.
Studies show that financial issues continue a significant cause of contention in individuals. While many of us may not directly experience personal bankruptcy or family divorces caused by financial problems, far too a lot of people are making choices daily that have the would-be of bankrupting their financial future and destroying their ultimate cheerfulness.
The good news is that despite the troublesome financial dynamics of our complex society, there are tools available here and there to help reverse—or altogether keep away from—the downward cycle of debt, daily financial stress, and dissatisfaction. The overall situation, including several issues and conflicts that could arise in any circumstances—at any age, in any part of the country, and at any income level. Therefore, if we are eager to learn from the widely available sources and put them into practice, then the solution will apply to anyone who is having trouble keeping expenditures under control. Just move it and seek solutions available around us.
You can put those vast informations in your context, and you will be better able to identify with, understand, and relate to the problems and issues you are facing. By combining an eagerness to learn about financial issues and guts to solve the problem, you can change the way you look at your money, how you prepare for your future, and, eventually, your own precious life.

Excerpts from Yoga Sutras (by Patanjali)

This is excerpt passages from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Book I, An Interpretation By Charles Johnston. For me, these are so deep passages that I feel I won’t be able to discern or even practice them in true meaning. Anyway, there are twinkling of ideas I like here and there. Absolutely great opus, and they are look beautiful too …
“By sympathy with the happy, compassion for the sorrowful, delight in the holy, disregard of the unholy, the psychic nature moves to gracious peace.”
When we are wrapped up in ourselves, shrouded with the cloak of our egotism, absorbed in our pains and bitter thoughts, we are not willing to disturb or strain our own sickly mood by giving kindly sympathy to the happy, thus doubling their joy, or by showing compassion for the sad, thus halving their sorrow. We refuse to find delight in holy things, and let the mind brood in sad pessimism on unholy things. All these evil psychic moods must be conquered by strong effort of will. This rending of the veils will reveal to us something of the grace and peace which are of the interior consciousness of the spiritual man.
“Or peace may be reached by the even sending forth and control of the life-breath.”
Here again we may look for a double meaning: first, that even and quiet breathing which is a part of the victory over bodily restlessness; then the even and quiet tenor of life, without harsh or dissonant impulses, which brings stillness to the heart.
“Faithful, persistent application to any object, if completely attained, will bind the mind to steadiness.”
We are still considering how to overcome the wavering and perturbation of the psychic nature, which make it quite unfit to transmit the inward consciousness and stillness. We are once more told to use the will, and to train it by steady and persistent work: by "sitting close" to our work, in the phrase of the original.
“Or the purging of self-indulgence from the psychic nature.”
We must recognize that the fall of man is a reality, exemplified in our own persons. We have quite other sins than the animals, and far more deleterious; and they have all come through self-indulgence, with which our psychic natures are soaked through and through. As we climbed down hill for our pleasure, so must we climb up again for our purification and restoration to our former high estate. The process is painful, perhaps, yet indispensable.
“Or a pondering on the perceptions gained in dreams and dreamless sleep.”
For the Eastern sages, dreams are, it is true, made up of images of waking life, reflections of what the eyes have seen and the ears heard. But dreams are something more, for the images are in a sense real, objective on their own plane; and the knowledge that there is another world, even a dream-world, lightens the tyranny of material life. Much of poetry and art is such a solace from dreamland. But there is more in dream, for it may image what is above, as well as what is below; not only the children of men, but also the children by the shore of the immortal sea that brought us hither, may throw their images on this magic mirror: so, too, of the secrets of dreamless sleep with its pure vision, in even greater degree.
“Or meditative brooding on what is dearest to the heart.”
Here is a thought which our own day is beginning to grasp: that love is a form of knowledge; that we truly know any thing or any person, by becoming one therewith, in love. Thus love has a wisdom that the mind cannot claim, and by this hearty love, this becoming one with what is beyond our personal borders, we may take a long step toward freedom. Two directions for this may be suggested: the pure love of the artist for his work, and the earnest, compassionate search into the hearts of others.
“Thus he masters all, from the atom to the Infinite.”
Newton was asked how he made his discoveries. By intending my mind on them, he replied. This steady pressure, this becoming one with what we seek to understand, whether it be atom or soul, is the one means to know. When we become a thing, we really know it, not otherwise. Therefore live the life, to know the doctrine; do the will of the Father, if you would know the Father.
“When the perturbations of the psychic nature have all been stilled, then the consciousness, like a pure crystal, takes the colour of what it rests on, whether that be the perceiver, perceiving, or the thing perceived.”
This is a fuller expression of the last Sutra, and is so lucid that comment can hardly add to it. Everything is either perceiver, perceiving, or the thing perceived; or, as we might say, consciousness, force, or matter. The sage tells us that the one key will unlock the secrets of all three, the secrets of consciousness, force and matter alike. The thought is, that the cordial sympathy of a gentle heart, intuitively understanding the hearts of others, is really a manifestation of the same power as that penetrating perception whereby one divines the secrets of planetary motions or atomic structure.
“When the consciousness, poised in perceiving, blends together the name, the object dwelt on and the idea, this is perception with exterior consideration.”
In the first stage of the consideration of an external object, the perceiving mind comes to it, preoccupied by the name and idea conventionally associated with that object. For example, in coming to the study of a book, we think of the author, his period, the school to which he belongs. The second stage, set forth in the next Sutra, goes directly to the spiritual meaning of the book, setting its traditional trappings aside and finding its application to our own experience and problems.
The commentator takes a very simple illustration: a cow, where one considers, in the first stage, the name of the cow, the animal itself and the idea of a cow in the mind. In the second stage, one pushes these trappings aside and, entering into the inmost being of the cow, shares its consciousness, as do some of the artists who paint cows. They get at the very life of what they study and paint.

Excerpts from Yoga Sutras (by Patanjali)

This is excerpt passages from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Book I, An Interpretation By Charles Johnston. For me, these are so deep passages that I feel I won’t be able to discern or even practice them in true meaning. Anyway, there are twinkling of ideas I like here and there. Absolutely great opus, and they are look beautiful too …
“By sympathy with the happy, compassion for the sorrowful, delight in the holy, disregard of the unholy, the psychic nature moves to gracious peace.”
When we are wrapped up in ourselves, shrouded with the cloak of our egotism, absorbed in our pains and bitter thoughts, we are not willing to disturb or strain our own sickly mood by giving kindly sympathy to the happy, thus doubling their joy, or by showing compassion for the sad, thus halving their sorrow. We refuse to find delight in holy things, and let the mind brood in sad pessimism on unholy things. All these evil psychic moods must be conquered by strong effort of will. This rending of the veils will reveal to us something of the grace and peace which are of the interior consciousness of the spiritual man.
“Or peace may be reached by the even sending forth and control of the life-breath.”
Here again we may look for a double meaning: first, that even and quiet breathing which is a part of the victory over bodily restlessness; then the even and quiet tenor of life, without harsh or dissonant impulses, which brings stillness to the heart.
“Faithful, persistent application to any object, if completely attained, will bind the mind to steadiness.”
We are still considering how to overcome the wavering and perturbation of the psychic nature, which make it quite unfit to transmit the inward consciousness and stillness. We are once more told to use the will, and to train it by steady and persistent work: by "sitting close" to our work, in the phrase of the original.
“Or the purging of self-indulgence from the psychic nature.”
We must recognize that the fall of man is a reality, exemplified in our own persons. We have quite other sins than the animals, and far more deleterious; and they have all come through self-indulgence, with which our psychic natures are soaked through and through. As we climbed down hill for our pleasure, so must we climb up again for our purification and restoration to our former high estate. The process is painful, perhaps, yet indispensable.
“Or a pondering on the perceptions gained in dreams and dreamless sleep.”
For the Eastern sages, dreams are, it is true, made up of images of waking life, reflections of what the eyes have seen and the ears heard. But dreams are something more, for the images are in a sense real, objective on their own plane; and the knowledge that there is another world, even a dream-world, lightens the tyranny of material life. Much of poetry and art is such a solace from dreamland. But there is more in dream, for it may image what is above, as well as what is below; not only the children of men, but also the children by the shore of the immortal sea that brought us hither, may throw their images on this magic mirror: so, too, of the secrets of dreamless sleep with its pure vision, in even greater degree.
“Or meditative brooding on what is dearest to the heart.”
Here is a thought which our own day is beginning to grasp: that love is a form of knowledge; that we truly know any thing or any person, by becoming one therewith, in love. Thus love has a wisdom that the mind cannot claim, and by this hearty love, this becoming one with what is beyond our personal borders, we may take a long step toward freedom. Two directions for this may be suggested: the pure love of the artist for his work, and the earnest, compassionate search into the hearts of others.
“Thus he masters all, from the atom to the Infinite.”
Newton was asked how he made his discoveries. By intending my mind on them, he replied. This steady pressure, this becoming one with what we seek to understand, whether it be atom or soul, is the one means to know. When we become a thing, we really know it, not otherwise. Therefore live the life, to know the doctrine; do the will of the Father, if you would know the Father.
“When the perturbations of the psychic nature have all been stilled, then the consciousness, like a pure crystal, takes the colour of what it rests on, whether that be the perceiver, perceiving, or the thing perceived.”
This is a fuller expression of the last Sutra, and is so lucid that comment can hardly add to it. Everything is either perceiver, perceiving, or the thing perceived; or, as we might say, consciousness, force, or matter. The sage tells us that the one key will unlock the secrets of all three, the secrets of consciousness, force and matter alike. The thought is, that the cordial sympathy of a gentle heart, intuitively understanding the hearts of others, is really a manifestation of the same power as that penetrating perception whereby one divines the secrets of planetary motions or atomic structure.
“When the consciousness, poised in perceiving, blends together the name, the object dwelt on and the idea, this is perception with exterior consideration.”
In the first stage of the consideration of an external object, the perceiving mind comes to it, preoccupied by the name and idea conventionally associated with that object. For example, in coming to the study of a book, we think of the author, his period, the school to which he belongs. The second stage, set forth in the next Sutra, goes directly to the spiritual meaning of the book, setting its traditional trappings aside and finding its application to our own experience and problems.
The commentator takes a very simple illustration: a cow, where one considers, in the first stage, the name of the cow, the animal itself and the idea of a cow in the mind. In the second stage, one pushes these trappings aside and, entering into the inmost being of the cow, shares its consciousness, as do some of the artists who paint cows. They get at the very life of what they study and paint.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Android around Us

Ever bump over an android down the street? Android is a robot designed to resemble a human, usually both in appearance and behavior. (The word android is a combination of Ancient Greek andros and the suffix -oid, which literally means "in the form of a man.") Some decades ago, androids have largely remained within the domain of science fiction, frequently seen in film and television. (In the manga and animes fiction, there is an entire population of androids who look after humans.) However, these robots now really exist. They closely resembles a human, they can dance, expressing sadness, smile, or even winking eyes on their faces.

Most renowned centres in researching for androids and robotics are run in Japan. Besides, there are several initiatives around the world involving android research and development at this time, the development of which make me think about how those scientific fictions come into reality. Then, they will be around us, walking to and fro, becoming new species accompanying us and other existing beings on this earth.