Our World In Crisis… And A Path To A Collective Peace

Wow; What a week. The Boston Marathon is disrupted by bombings perpetrated by brothers, living in the US,

but who originated in Chechnya ( near Russia).  What could anyone accomplish by such a cowardly act of terror.

We may never know. One is dead, the other is on the run,now cornered. What motivates someone to take actions such as these.

At a very basic level, our world is a reflection of what we think. These men obviously had a manner of thinking and

a manner of behaving that caused maximal chaos and maximal disruption to day-to-day life. Families are disrupted,families lost loved ones,

3 deaths from the bombs and 180 or more injured . Then a Police officer shot and killed … one suspect dead, other police seriously injured, and an all day

lock down in Watertown near Boston. As I write this, there is more chaotic developments in Watertown, as more shots are fired…but one

bomber is still at large…..The scene remains chaotic……….Teams of officers are engaging the presumed second bomber …..

Have you had the sense that there is more chaos then  ever in the world….Explosions in Texas , Shootings in grade Schools, ricine laced letters to the

President and Congressmen. I also notice an increase in unusual chaotic weather, sink holes in Florida,and Chicago,and coastline falling into the sea in California.

The world is in chaos. This is not the way it is supposed to be !!!!  But it is the way it is ……Does this reflect the collective chaos in our minds ????

We should be co existing in a world of peace,serenity and beauty. Unfortunately it is not so.

What can we do as individuals….As individuals…We can choose  to live in peace , learn the personal techniques of quieting the mind ,and bringing our mind to a

individual sense of peace and calm and stillness.In the stillness, will come your personal peace and direction. I recommend yoga, meditation and mindfulness

exercises. If enough of us were able to have individual peace, then that would have the effect of creating movement toward a collective peace. Surely a collective peace is what

we all are trying to achieve. Let us all help and support each other…friends,family,coworkers,and the disenfranchised

Together it may make a difference. That would be a positive Revolution.  Let us hope and pray that the chaos in Boston soon comes to a resolution, so

a sense of normality can return there and healing can start .An emphasis on our spiritual core may help to bring us all to a better place.

Lets all hope and pray for that.

drV

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Are You Here or Are you There ?

BE Here Now…

Know Thyself

“Be”

We have all heard these types of comments,construed to be advice of one type or another in our lives …But what does it actually mean?

Where is “here” and if I am not “here” then where is the alternate place we  seem to inhabit….the proverbial “there”

I have been reading a fascinating book by Neil Turok , The Universe Within…From Quantum to Cosmos …It is a journey across

space and time a journey exploring ourself and the cosmos.

When I finished the book I had read about our human,scientific understanding of the cosmos,and the universe,and a beautiful description of

our evolution of ideas, from a flat planet, to an earth centric universe, to a sun centric universe, to our solar system as part of a bigger galaxy, to ultimately billions of galaxy’s

still expanding at a rate, arguably faster than the speed of light ( due to a phenomenon called the vacuum effect ! Then we explored, electricity,the atom, the control of

electrons ( current), cathode tubes, diodes, transistors, and ultimately microprocessors which have shrunk and have more power in an Intel chip than all the computer power available

on spacecraft that went to the moon and back! Now, we have increasing computer power based on Moore’s law, that we can double computing speed, every 18 to 14 months, by

increasing the number of microprocessors on a silicon wafer ….Ultimately, this is limited by the size of the atom ….which cannot be altered(So the ultimate limit in classical computing speed with current technology will come in about 10 to

years….BUT now, developers are moving forward to developing “quantum” computers.  Now I have limited understanding of ” quantum mechanics ” but a basic description, involves the idea of layering computations and statistical

probabilities in multiple dimensions and time….so multiple  computations can be done simultaneously within multiple dimensions and time, simultaneously…with many outcomes considered in complex computations,and the best being

considered the “answer”   I don’t really understand it !!!!

And SO WHAT anyways ……   The mind of man is ingenuous ……BUT what about his heart and his soul …..  Think of this…..we are all guilty of it.

While visiting family and friends, or while at a social function or while out to dinner ……  we find ourselves texting,emailing,tweeting,facebooking, linked in ing ( is that a word), or checking some cute

video on U tube, or googling something , or spotifying a song, or instagraming…or checking out something on flip-board …..If we spent every moment of our life on-line, absorbing and reading all that is available, we would NEVER get through

a fraction of it. And why would we want to. It seems that the internet, and our brilliant human ingenuity has spawned an information revolution like no other. There is so much information available,that may of us are not “here” but “there”

So…has this made things better. Like all tools, it depend on how you have integrated this into your life. If it is a tool, where you ask certain questions, and use the tool to find good answers and solutions, then the tool is all-powerful ….

It is estimated that the entire library of books in the personal collection of Albert Einstein would number less than 100, and easily fit on a one gigabyte memory( which could hold 5000 entire books)…Few of us have

read that many books….So , with all that information available, are we smarter, more insightful, have better answers to life’s problems,and riddles….It depends who you talk to …..Let us jus say…It depends on our balance and our

relationship to the digital world.The methods and principles of scientific discourse were foundational to the development of our modern democracy. It has also leveled the playing field. In one generation, it will be possible to

bring countries ( formerly known as the Dark Continent) forward , and to an equal position of knowledge and awareness, as all others.  Here in Canada, we already have the political and social infrastructure to be in a unique and privileged

position in the twenty-first century. We have it all HERE…Strong public education,a universal health care system,a stable economy,a peaceful, tolerant and diverse society.We are peaceful,friendly and collaborative.We have phenomenal

natural resources.The people of Canada are practical and modest. Canada can be a place to promote GLOBAL ENLIGHTENMENT … Imagine the world as a hive of education,collaboration,and discussion.A vital source of energy and

creativity, will be the entry of new cultures into the scientific community.  There is a fundamental beauty and simplicity to the universe.More is to be discovered. So….Let us use the digital tools that have transformed our society ,

and use them to continue the transformation…of how we interact and relate to the very real humans we encounter every day….We are analogue creatures ( with a digital code…DNA) living in a digital world….and being processed by

the nuances available only to an analogue way of perceiving the world….It is really quite remarkable. So…It may be that you can be “here” and “there” at the same time….capische ????

 

drV

 

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Prescription For Life

Here are Some Basic Guidelines  Useful For Cancer Screening  and For Your Preventive Care Benefit

 

1. Ontario Breast Screening Program

Women Age 50 to 74 should have a mammogram every two years

Woman Age 30 to 69 at high risk for breast cancer should have a mammogram and MRI every year.

2.Ontario Cervical Screening Program

starting at 21 years old,woman who have ever been sexually active should

have a PAP test every three years

3.Colon Cancer Check

Men and Women 50 to 74 should complete a fecal occult blood test ( FOBT )

every two years

Men and woman with a parent,sibling or child diagnosed with colorectal cancer

should have a colonoscopy beginning at age 50,or 10 years earlier

than the age their family member was diagnosed ( whichever occurs first)

4.  The HPV Vaccine ( Human Papilloma Virus) Gardasil ( for women and men) and Cervarix ( women)

should have the vaccine in Grade 8 ( approx age 12 to 13) It can be given as early as age 9 and up to

age 46.It is shown to greatly decrease the incidence of pre cancerous cervical lesions. In Ontario,

if you miss getting the vaccine in grade 8, your doctor or local health unit can arrange to have you

immunized with the three dose series( at no cost)…Talk to The Local Health Unit or your physician.

5. In consultation with your personal health circumstances, a PSA exam ( Prostate Specific Antigen ) should

be considered if your life expectancy is considered > 10 years ( most every male)  which , in concert with

a DRE ( digital rectal exam), and monitoring the trend of PSA and velocity ( rate of change ) will guide to an early

diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. The mortality rate from prostate cancer has been reduced by 40 % since PSA technology

has been developed

6. Get an annual flu shot

7. If a senior,immunocompromised,have asthma.diabetes, cardiac disease,or any cancer…get a pneumonia shot.

 

PREVENTION IS EVERYTHING

 

drV

 

 

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Buddhism and The Investment World ……

I thought I would share a few quick thoughts on the state of the economy,interest rates, and

the financial markets. The reason I wish to share  this here is related to a paragraph I read today in an investment newsletter.

Those who know me, are aware that this is an area where I have considerable vicarious interest, and some “seat of the pants” experience

and some knowledge. I was struck by the statement that…One of the basic tenants of Buddhism is that, the root of  suffering is desire…

our craving for and clinging to transient phenomena …So what is my point.  At the current time The Federal Reserve ( The Equivalent

to The Bank of Canada here) has interest rates pegged to the official Fed Rate of zero to 0.25%)

My point is that  , desire leads to people feeling that their inner existential issues,and spiritual issues can be solved or made better by having more things.

( that is, more houses,bigger houses,more and fancier cars, luxury clothing and accessories,and fancy and expensive vacations ) Now, don’t get me wrong…

I enjoy these kinds of luxury items in life as much as the next person  BUT …what happens when the desire for this, leads to excessive borrowing to attain the lifestyle,

and then, with a life event such as job loss,or rising interest rates, the individual finds themselves unable to support the debt associated with the lifestyle. A rise of interest rates

is inevitable.A new inflationary trend will follow. ( likely sooner than later)  Then desire turns into suffering  …   It goes without saying that you can’t

have something for nothing.  I believe that we all lose sight of the value of inner peace,serenity,and spiritual connection in a world addicted to debt and consumption.

My view….the current credit bubble and borrowing binge at excessively low rates will not end well….It will actually end in tears….I can’t tell you when. I can’t

tell you the circumstances leading to that outcome. BUT….it will happen. The winners will be those with the foresight to pay off their debt,and give themselves

the peace of mind of having time to pursue and understand the nature of your spiritual self….and to have time to enjoy a daily spiritual practise.

Be cautious about succumbing to desire for ” things ” ….  focus on desire for soulful peace, and connection to the higher universe…And you may find that,

paradoxically,  you end up having more than you could ever desire in the first place ! The universe gives to you in unexpected ways ….  in ways that honours your honour for the universe !!!!

 

 

drV

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Ten Secrets to Success

Most successful people have these ten traits,when combined,

can turn dreams into reality…I highlight them here.

________________________________________________________________________________________

1.How you think is everything   Always be positive.Think success,not failure.Beware

of a negative environment

2.Decide on your true dreams and goals.Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to achieve them.

3.Take Action. Goals are nothing without action.Don’t be afraid to get started.Just do it.

4.Never Stop Learning. Go back to school or read books.Get training and acquire skills.

5.Be Persistent and Work Hard.Success is a marathon,not a sprint.Never give up.

6.Learn to Analyze Details.Get all the facts,all the inputs.Learn from your mistakes

7.Focus Your Time and Money. Don’t let other people or things distract you.

8.Don’t be afraid to Innovate;Be Different: Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

9.Deal and Communicate With People Effectively. No person is an Island.Learn to Understand and motivate others.

10.Be Honest and Dependable; Take Responsibility: Otherwise number 1-9 won’t matter

 

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Mindfulness..Nourishing Your Mind/Body Through The Five Senses…The Connection of Spirit and Our Senses

Depak Chopra is a very Insightful Endocrinologist and Insightful Spiritual Writer

He wrote a beautiful Piece, in his book, Grow Younger,Live Longer  I reproduce The Essence

of that Writing Here for your enjoyment and Consideration

 

A youthful mind is nourished through the exploration of new domains.See your environment

with fresh eyes. Do not take your world for granted.

1.Listen to beautiful,interesting,different music from around the world.Listen to the sounds

of nature-birds singing,the wind blowing through the leaves,rain beating on your roof,ocean

waves crashing against the shore.

2.Feel the texture of things.Dig your hands into the earth.Stroke your pet.Caress your loved

ones.Feel a sculpture.Rub your hands along the bark of a tree.

3.Look at your  world with fresh eyes.Notice things that you don’t usually pay attention to.Look

 at the many shades of green that nature paints.Watch the clouds manifest and dissolve.Go to your

local art museum and walk through the galleries.Really look at the faces of the people in your life.

4.Taste things as if for the first time.Bite into a tart apple.Savour the flavour of freshly

baked cherry pie.Pop a clove bud in your mouth.Taste your lover with a passionate kiss.Drink a

freshly squeezed glass of orange juice.Delight your taste buds.

5.Notice the aromas in your environment.Breathe in the fragrances of your garden.Sniff the smells of dinner.

Inhale the scents of your loved one.Go outside after a rain and smell the earth.Notice how closely

smells are liked with you memories and emotions.

 

This is all the essence of mindfulness of our sensory apparatus…our connection of our soul to this physical world…..

What else is there ?  Pay attention.

 

drV

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Maintaining a Youthful Mind

There are many many ways to maintain youth…It is supremely valued in society…..How do we

move in that direction….How is that attained….Let me count the ways

First I would believe that having a youthful mental attitude is healthy and to be encouraged. Be lighthearted,youthful,and play !

I personally devote myself to lifelong learning and personal growth ! Expand your experience every day, in every way.

I think you must understand that your thoughts originate as energy in cells…Cells are the biological stuff of ” us”

Think new thoughts and you have new cellular activity, generating new energy ….   That energy is NEW and YOUTHFUL.

The youthful mind is, as Depak  Chopra has pointed out, dynamic,vibrant and curious.

A youthful mind is  enthusiastic,spontaneous, adaptable, and , frankly, beyond human comprehension. Each of our cells is

an oscillating field of energy…interacting with other fields…  Every thought is new…and the energy produced is new ….and its day-to-day effects on you

is new. Since all experience takes place in the mind, nurturing a healthy mind is of paramount importance. So…HOW

 

1. Quiet your mind through a daily practice of meditation

2. Nuture your body with healthy food ,nutritional supplements, and balanced exercise

3.Make love the most important thing in your life

4.By doing this you are eliminating toxins from body,mind and soul

5 Keep your mind active and child like and expanding..integrating your life wisdom gained over time.

6. Observe a child at [lay  and at ease….you will   see a youthful mind at work.

7. Remember …play is about recreation ( re-creation)  You lose track of time, and your spirit regenerates, and is timeless.

8. Laughter is the best medicine for the body and mind.

 

so,   Invite more enthusiasm into your life.

Invite more playfulness

Invite more lightheartedness

Invite more laughter

 

Play,enjoy, and stay young in body,mind and spirit

 

Affirm that every day, in every way,I am getting better and better; stronger; more youthful;

with increased physical emotional, and mental capacity

Amen To That  !!!

 

 

drV

 

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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy ….A Primer

I had the chance to attend a short conference on the subject of cognitive behaviour therapy in the context of

mood and anxiety disorders….Some is shared here…It is worth a basic understanding. The key concept is that there

is a close contact between thought,feelings, and behaviour. Many people suffer from anxiety or depression because of the negative

weight given to our automatic thoughts.Sometimes by habit or parental/environmental modeling, we allow negative thought to

have more weight than positive thoughts.Cognitive therapy helps an individual recognize the negative thinking pattern,and negative repetitive thoughts,

and challenge their veracity/or whether the thoughts are realistic( or even true) The idea is to challenge the thought distortions. There are many thought distortions.

Some can be listed as “black/white thinking;overgeneralizing;discounting; exaggerating/catastrophizing;mind reading;fortune-telling;”shoulds”;personalizing…

 

An example of a thought distortion…” I am alone” leads to ” I feel lonely” leads to ” I won’t go out

alone on my own” leads to “withdrawal from friends and family” leads to ” No one wants to be with me” leads to ” People don’t go out with me because they don’t like me”

The distortion is that being alone has little to do with people not liking you. People who think like this have progressively worse self isolation and often develop agarophobia.

People like this often can enter into Supported Self Management.

The essence of the process is

1.Identify the thought distortion

2.Note the nature and content of the thought

3.challenge the( truth or logic of) the  thought

4.create a new and more reasonable thought ( or assessment) which permits for

5. A change of behaviour.

 

The KEY is that the individual NEEDS to DO the WORK

An individual can have a “coach” or “therapist” whose role is to ensure that you do the work ( the assignments are often

found in a work book which you go through) It is imperative to do the exercises…NOT just read about them

 

Here is a LIST of Recommended Resources for Depression and Anxiety

Websites

1.  www.carmha.ca     ( highly recommended)

2.  www.anxietybc.com

3. www.moodgym.com

4. www.LLTTF.com ( Living Life to the Fullest )

 

Workbooks

1. Ten Days to Self Esteem  ( Burns)  highly recommended

2. Mind Over Mood  ( Greenberger and Padesky)

3. CBT “for Dummies”

4. The Anxiety and Worry Workbook  ( Clark and Beck)

5. Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time  ( Clark and Beck)

6. Behavioural Activation For Depression ( Martel)

 

 

The Key to this methodology helping you is DOING THE WORK REQUIRED in the workbook.

 

drV

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is Resilience …. How can we Build it and Develop It

Stress, trauma, tragedy…overwhelm….These seem to be daily parts of

our current human experience. There is currently an epidemic of depression, stress related

illnesses….What makes one group of people to descend into a cycle of depression, and an inner swirl of

anxiety and emotional implosion, another to have the ability to continue productive lives, despite their

psychological distress, and to a smaller but resilient group, to adjust and often thrive ( sometimes stronger than ever)

For now, I will simply list the factors known to develop and produce resilience. I will expand on some in later posts….

The list is self explanatory…but again easy to read, but harder to do in practice.

1.Develop an attitude of positive optimism

2.Having a moral compass ( building character,having self-control,perseverance,endurance,and moral courage)

3.Developing a strong social support network.

4.Having good role models which we can mirror in difficult times.

5. Development and maintenance of physical fitness. ( Exercise is definitively been shown to reduce symptoms of depression,

stress, anxiety, and to elevate mood,and to improve brain function and cognition)

 

Everyone can become more resilient by following an emerging set of principles and guidelines based on

recent advances in biological,psychological, and social research.

 Developing resilience in a complex , and ever shifting world. That is worth looking in to.

drV

 

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Holistic Principles of Life ,Science,and The System … Can we collectively shift from self interested consumerism to a sustainable regenerative system ?

Previously  I talked about the law of intention ….  Lets look at a few ideas on societal intention …Not necessarily my own,

but a mix from many sources that I read….How does intention work . It starts as ego. I do something,

because I intend the result for myself or my family. Then , as we evolve, we intend that the intention(s)

go beyond good to the self…BUT to everyone. If everyone collectively have a similar intention, the

collective consciousness and energy created heightens the opportunity for manifestation ( of our

intention ) In truth,science has shown that  each thought,word,and emotion that humans constantly

stream forth  is a form of creative energy. When energy in a creative field accumulates to a critical

point,it manifests on a visible plane.

Think of all the potential for positive  creative fields :

Compassion,optimism,dignity,sincerity,courage, gratitude, peace and forgiveness

Then there are all the negative energy fields:

Anger,fear,pessimism,anxiety,servitude,suicide,discrimination,revenge

These are individual ideas, which collectively become a societal value and different societies

have different values ….   all of which affect earth differently ….

Think of this….How can we transform out consumer society to a regenerative one ….and why does that matter.

Many great thinkers, rightly believe that Planet Earth is at a Crossroad ….We simultaneously face many crises.

1. Climate change

2.Growing levels of extreme poverty

3.Emergence of new Diseases

4.Growing shortages of food and fresh water

5.Growing chasm between extreme wealth and extreme poverty

6.Unsustainable demand for energy

Our system today is to promote endless growth through mindless consumption This will ultimately collapse the

world economy( think shortages f water, food, and natural resources)

WE are only TRUSTEES  for future generations.  Our job is to Educate our children to be future TRUSTEES

by encouraging them to be God-loving,just,self-sacrificing…The OLD tapes playing in our  conscious and subconscious

can be changed…..and by change of each,one by one…we can change collective consciousness,and hence our future.

Humanity is currently driven by a materialistic consciousness….often driven by a fear of SCARCITY….  this leads to the

behaviour of  taking from others, and depleteing the earth’s resources ( think deforestation,pollution,depletion of energy

resources. )

So…what of all this ?  As creative fields grow in size,it can exert a stronger influence on people emanating similar thoughts.

This can affect people’s decisions, behaviour,relationships,and health

Words have a form of energy. Words affect people,motivate them,can be infectious, or have sharp edges….they can give life, or

take it away. We must be responsible for the words that we utter. Collectively we

should resolve to create the HABIT of using only positive words.

How do we educate our children or shift those already here in positions of power to SHIFT THINKING.

We have to come to fully understand that our life ( and all of us collectively ) are connected to the common source

of the universe. When rediscovered, that connection and the alignment of our intentions with that source, can create a collective influx

of higher dimensional universal energy. This will influence individual decision making, which influences the collective.

This path can lead to a peaceful and sustainable society and divert our collective outcome to a positive one ( as opposed to

the current course of non sustainability implied in a growth oriented,consumer  based societal system ) The change must happen on a person by person, individual basis.

That is the revolution that we need to have and see in society.   BUT how can we get from here to there ?????

 

drV

 

 

 

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