Sunday, September 23, 2012

Taming the Mind - Part II

On August 25th 2012, one of the greatest American heroes, the astronaut Neil Armstrong died. He left behind a legacy of pioneering space exploration that may one day lead to a manned mission to Mars. He is immortalized in the words he uttered on stepping onto the lunar surface, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." These simple words hold a great meaning. Having achieved what no human had done before, he dedicated this to all of mankind, not one individual or a group of people. Herein lies his greatness. When the thought of putting man on the moon was first conceived, it may have seemed far fetched. Similarly, all great discoveries or inventions started as a simple thought in the mind of man.

Several hundred years after we understood the force of gravity, we were finally able to come up with a rocket having sufficient thrust to overcome this fundamental force in nature. Just as the physical body is subjected to gravitational forces that keep us from flying off the surface of the Earth, the mind has strong instinctual thoughts that keep us from going deeper within. If life on Earth suddenly became very difficult and uncomfortable, mankind will have no choice but to make the most of it. Currently, we have only rudimentary capabilities of extraterrestrial survival.  On a mental plane, life alternates between periods when things seem very comfortable and other times when life is very uncomfortable. Although the mind does not have physical limitations, we create a finite world within our minds and remain rooted to the oscillating feelings of happiness and unhappiness. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Turning stress into positive energy: The inner alchemy

Based on a talk given in Bradenton, FL on Sept 20, 2012

Stress is an ubiquitous part of the fabric of life. It is a subjective phenomenon and it is difficult to quantify. The effects of stress on the body and mind can be perceived by everyone, the triggering factors leading to stress can also be identified. The fundamental source of this energy however, is difficult to pinpoint. It originates deep in the mind. Just as gravity is an inescapable fact of life as long as earth retains its mass, stress is inescapable as long as there is life in the mind and body. It is helpful to look at stress in the form of energy. Energy can be beneficial or destructive. Even destructive energy can be contained and channeled in the right direction. Everyday life offers plenty of avenues to channel this stress energy in a positive and beneficial direction.