Eureka ! P i e r r e T e i l h a r d de C h a r d i n | spiritual beings having a human experience |

Having spoken to an acquaintance about the direction of my eBook, I was just re-acquainted with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man and Piltdown Man. His primary book, “The Phenomenon of Man” is a sweeping account of the unfolding of the cosmos. The book displeased Church superiors and some of his work was denied publication during his lifetime.

Here are some of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s quotes, which I find remarkable:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.

It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist.

Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.

Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world…Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.

In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Connecting with Oneself & Others | Healing with the Heart | IAM heart |

It appeared to be by chance that I became aware of this, yet I believe that ‘there are no accidents’.

Frankly, I’m typically such a high energy person that it’s difficult to sit down to meditate. ahh, yet this group meditation which I attended last evening with a guide who introduces the technique and facilitates learning about it, certainly reveals the benefit of getting out of one’s head and stepping into one’s conscious awareness of heart and body wholeness.

IAM stands for Institute of Applied Meditation IAM heart logo

They wish to assist in a global shift from mind to heart, by the most direct method there is: meditation on the physical heart so as to control its rhythm.

Whereas http://www.heartmath.org is a separate nonprofit educational organization which has conducted studies for two decades on heart intelligence and the health benefits of stress management, http://www.iamheart.org takes this beyond the physical, to the emotional, social and spiritual benefits of tuning one’s meditative breathing towards one’s heart.

IAM is training a cadre of meditators to develop the ability to send Waves of Peace as measurable, magnetic heart waves in entrainment: Global Interventions using Heart Rhythm Meditation

Our Mission
“IAM heart” develops and applies Heart Rhythm Meditation
to integrate physical, emotional and spiritual life
to create love, harmony and beauty
to awaken the consciousness of humanity 
to the divinity of each human being.

Healing_through_the_Heart

One of the related links corresponding to this philosophy is this one. http://www.energycentered.orgPeople_are_Energetic_Beings_four_types_energies/

| HaPPYness | Making the Best of What you Have |

Without doubt, a person may feel comfort, satisfaction and security through the material things they nestle around themselves; or delight in beholding beauty. But, these feelings aren’t happiness. And unequivocally, nothing is more precious than health. You may be able to drape yourself with jewels or own an array of the finest gadgets to play with, but if you are not at your best, mentally and physically, there’s no comparison. When you are healthy and fit, with an abundance of energy, strength and endurance, you more likely have the emotional strength to conquer just about anything. Once this is marred, a person may have to struggle to balance all other aspects of their existence. Yet, a person’s physical state of being doesn’t deliver happiness. There are those with excellent health who don’t realize the value of this treasure, until something goes wrong. A little discomfort or injury can quickly draw one’s attention to it, zapping energy and concentration. And there are others who have been afflicted with tremendous physical impairments, who yet move through their hurdles, to enjoy their lives. I think of my friend’s brother, who was paralyzed from the waste down in a ski accident. Less than 10 years later, he drives a van, chauffeuring people to the local ski area, goes skiing himself all day on specially made skis built to accommodate people who otherwise ride in wheel chairs, and then drives home, transporting other people, in a vehicle custom made in which the hands operate all of the controls. There are many other examples of people who survive and thrive. Certainly, none of these people are letting their disabilities devour their spirits. This is where the concept of ‘happiness’ comes in. Happiness has much more to do with our perception of a situation, than the situation itself.

In the Western world, we share in this culture of illusion. There’s a rift in the messages; coming from opposing worlds. One-upping your neighbor is a message delivered clearly from the perspective of advertisers in the commercial world. It’s all about what “I” can do, groomed through competition. And the old-world, pre-capitalistic point of view is coated with a spiritual identification with the “we” and ‘the brotherhood of man’. These religiously-dressed, pious messages are about ‘doing what is best for all’ and ‘giving back to society’. Yet, there’s a soaring gap between the ideal of ‘love thy neighbor’ and the road-rage resentment of what your neighbor ‘has’. These are confusing messages for anyone to decipher; ego driven vs. losing one’s ego. Is the ideal of joy to be derived through sharing and cooperation, or through the pride and gain in competition? It’s a bit schizophrenic.

Maybe happiness isn’t so complicated, as mentioned in one of my earlier blogs on the subject. According to the giggling guru and his ‘laughter yoga’, the process of smiling and laughing can in itself, actually affect the body; and fool a person into feeling better! https://digesthis.wordpress.com/category/happiness-2/ Through my process, I’ve learned that happiness, like many things, is not something a person is born with, but an attitude. It’s a point of view, which can be practiced and rehearsed. Like the option of, “looking at the glass as half full or half empty”. It’s a choice, you decide! We can all make the conscious commitment to think and act in ways that will boost our own feeling of well being. And since human beings as Homosapiens in the animal kingdom tend to be creatures of habit, we can learn new ways of perceiving things and reshape the ways that our brains process information, by rehearsing new ways of interpreting things.

The point is, we can all flow forward to a healthier and more balanced place through making the right choices and listening to messages that can pop up everywhere to guide us, if you’re open and willing to move in the direction of understanding and growth. I’ll be mentioning this process, synchrodestiny in my other blog on http://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/synchronicity-experiences-within-delight-of-deepak-chopras-seven-principles-of-synchrodestiny/ coming shortly.

I therefore can say from experience, happiness will NOT arrive if you remain in a job or relationship – with a boss, among colleagues, a partner, spouse, friends – if the repeated message from the other is negative and clearly in no way resonates with your own sense of what you know is right, supportive, in line with your understanding of events, awareness and sensibility. Listen to your own voice; trust your intuition, understanding and perceptions of what you know is true. Leave any situation, in which another person is not able or willing to recognize how they participate in the situation or acknowledge what they do. Don’t hang out with people who are not willing to take responsibility for their own behavior and who are not accountable for their actions. Don’t play with them, don’t have them as friends, don’t work for them and don’t vote for them!! 😉 Easier said than done!

Ultimately, happiness may be pretty simple. One aspect of it is to really make a point of appreciating the many things around you that are quite simple joys. Really, many of the things that we all worry about or get annoyed with, are quite relative. Having a broader grasp of the world, and of the hardships that many people suffer, is another thing. But to realize that life is so precious, and the fact that we are living creatures hurling around in space on a spinning ball with all sorts of fantastic life forms and creatures and beauty surrounding us, is really quite miraculous. There are so many very simple things to be dazzled with; whether involving the joy of motion, learning about something, listening to sound or observing light or life forms. Many of our perceived notions of not having some material thing, are way out of proportion. I personally find that a great deal of satisfaction and joy comes from the delight of observing little things, and from accomplishing little things. Learning a new task, practicing it and developing it, can be very satisfying. You will be surprised at the amount of delight and pride you will feel as you begin to see your own headway.

In fact, that’s the other half of my prescription 😉 the fact that happiness is not passive; not derived through being passively entertained or distracting yourself with something, but actually through engaging your mind and body in something that you are doing. It is in the process of this motion, as opposed to static, that causes the neurons of engaged interaction to start firing. Delight through immersion in the process, instead of the outcome. It is also through interacting with another person; in which their smile in response to yours, makes the experience that much more special. It’s in the process of actively participating in something intellectually, physically, emotionally or spiritually challenging, which renders the result that much more sweet.

What spawned me to write about this topic in the first place, was an article about how much dogs can influence people with joy and incite happy feelings. Dogs effectively cause people to calm down, feel more content and in fact feel happier. http://www.usaweekend.com/article/20120120/HOME05/301200007/How-dogs-spread-happiness Hanging out with dogs can trigger oxytocins, a mammalian hormone which is a neuromodulator in the brain. Oxytocin in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin is referred to as the ‘love hormone’… “the inability to secrete oxytocin and feel empathy is linked to sociopathy, psychopathy, narcissism and general manipulativeness”. This chemical substance is released in our brains as we relate to dogs. Dogs raise peoples’ spirits. In the last years, there’s been a lot of talk and publicity about how the presence of dogs lower stress levels and induce faster rates of recovery for chronically ill patients of all ages. Basically, dogs lower blood pressure, are great companions, and because of the joy of their company, actually can induce healing and assuage discomfort. The wag of the tail is connected to a dog’s heart, and indirectly to peoples’ hearts – since it’s joy that is felt when people are engaging with dogs. Not to mention, people walking their dogs tend to interact more and engage with other people, thus eliciting more contact – a win-win!

Ironically, I found this little piece of paper on the desk in my mother’s hand writing, with a quote she’d copied long before I decided to write about this subject, “The happiest people do not have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.” A friend recently posted an article from the Guardian which inspired him, “the Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038
# 5 is: I wish that I had let myself be happier; in which they write: “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaňeda

With love and joy to you all and hope that I’ve inspired some happiness!

Guides to Living Longer, Happier Lives – Right Here, Right Now!

I am in the midst of trying to re-organize a lot of things in my life. I have to move, again. I am also in the process of looking for work, because right at the same time I was informed that I must find a new place to live, several of my income sources also simultaneously “dried up”, like a local well suddenly becoming contaminated. Thing is, I have been aware of my need to upgrade to a deeper, larger and more vibrant watering hole before this whole process started, and now have no choice. I’ve been from the start trying to remain calm, and not let these impediments get in the way of things that I’ve wanted to participate in. And then yesterday, in the process of contemplating what I’d like to do, and of thinking about happiness in general, I went on yet another google research whirlwind to inquire among other things, ” Where in the world, people might be happier?”

One study which incorporated economic stability into the picture, according to this necessary ‘bias’ of the Western World…came up with Denmark as being the place where people are the happiest in the World. A dreary, gloomy often cloud covered place, where people enjoy a high standard of living, and also where there are more balanced socialized perspectives in terms of employment. In other words, there appears to be less of a social pecking order pyramid in terms of some jobs having more prestige, and more of an overall appreciation of life over work, and the idea that sharing and communicating optimism on a daily basis to others in one’s community is valued over the type of job one has.

http://www.financialjesus.com/how-to-get-rich/top-10-happiest-countries/

My point is not that I’m considering moving to Denmark. My search continued, and somehow in my trajectory I came upon this link, labeled the Blue Zones, which are what researchers discovered and labeled as the areas in the World which correspond to where people have the highest longevity.

http://www.bluezones.com

And in all of the material that I was reading and listening to, it became clear, that happiness is not a place that I or anyone else can find necessarily in a particular geographical place. It has to do with healthy physical and emotional habits; a balanced diet, a regular amount of physical activity and motion. It has much more to do with attitude than anything else. Having a sense of purpose in one’s life, recognizing the awe of life itself, in whatever way one chooses to approach this grand mystery, surrounding oneself with friends and family and embracing the daily changes with optimism.

In my other searches on ‘where people laugh and smile the most on earth’, since they don’t appear to do so with any high frequency here in Germany where I currently reside, I started doing searches.

It comes down to the fact that humor and laughter is universal in its health benefits, and I recall from the years of Thanksgiving dinners among extended family members, that there was a great deal of humor and laughter around the table, and physical exercise afterwards.

This link gets into a more philosophical inquiry about ‘what laughter is, and why we laugh’. One of the most stunning facts is that babies start laughing in the first months and kids laugh at least twice as much as adults. So, laughter is innate, is contagious just like yawning….and is associated with playful and light-hearted attitudes.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077386/

We all just need to be more playful, and take ourselves less seriously…in order to transmit good vibes to other people that will also ripple to others; the calming, healthier signals of slowing down, enjoying life and appreciating all of the delicate morsels that it has to offer.

http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

Note, I had to research this stuff yesterday to be reminded, to not ‘stress’ and to be optimistic, about the task that I have before me. At least now I know, that I don’t have to make a mad dash to set up house in another city/country/continent to be happy or healthy, but merely seek out and incorporate healthy physical and emotional activities into my routine, with humor and delight – sharing with family and friends!

And don’t forget that we’re not alone on this planet ‘-)
http://www.avaaz.org/en/no_more_bloody_ivory/98.php?CLICK_TF_TRACK

Could be that we Really do have ! Too much Stuff !

Could be that we Really do have too much Stuff!

Sure, living in the ‘free world’ is great, we have so many opportunities and endless choices.  Just participating in America’s favorite pastime, shopping, can reveal how wonderful our life of excess really is.  Or is it?  Sometimes the simplest purchases can be a little overwhelming.  For example, when you just pop over to your local grocery store to say, pick up some tooth paste.  You find yourself becoming engrossed as you’re walking along an entire isle of merely different brands of toothpaste, trying to figure out which one to buy.  You scan the various colored packaging, slogans, highlights of which good-for-you natural ingredients are within, or additives which will whiten and brighten your smile to add more sex appeal to your life – ultimately most ads for every product from dish washing liquid to purchasing a new car will point to this latter detail.

You glance down at your watch, remembering that you need to get back home … and find yourself becoming a bit agitated that simply choosing a toothpaste has become a rather formidable time-consuming undertaking.

Well consider this.  With the number of things we buy to satisfy our desire to consume, beautify, display our fancy stuff; combined with the number of houses going into foreclosure, what happens if suddenly we’ve lost our home and no longer have a place to keep all of our stuff?  Suddenly all that we’ve accumulated has become a nuisance instead of a delight, a curse rather than a blessing.

George Carlin Talks About Stuff

Multiply all the stuff that we buy with the fact that in most cases, most items – particularly technical gadgets, have a built in obsolescence.  That means that they are meant to fall apart, in order for us to have to buy a new one.

What happens to all of the old carcasses of the electronic stuff that we’ve bought, well it has to be dumped somewhere.  And more and more it’s being dumped in our less wealthy neighbors’ countries.

this article talks about extoxics.

Not to mention, that at the beginning of this whole cycle of consumption, is the production of the materials, which in itself, puts a lot of strain on our environment.  In the case of computers, toxic sites are expanding right in the vicinity of where they’ve been produced in Silicon Valley, California.

It’s a whole cycle that has been brilliantly simplified for the purpose of educational clarity by Annie Leonard who researched the topic for 10 years and took it upon herself to bring to the publics’ awareness the topic of our environment, in order to update all the outdated textbooks that haven’t acknowledged our current crisis of ‘too much stuff’.

http://storyofstuff.com/

Maybe we better start adopting new ways of living, that recognize the simple fact, that the best things in life are free.  Health, beauty and happiness truly come from just living more simply, having a healthy diet and exercise routine and recognizing that education and awareness are what lead to dignity, self esteem and enjoyment of life.  A smile is much more potent than some material accessory propped by your side.

Creation, disregarding the complex interconnectedness of all life on this planetary organism on which we live, becomes destruction, which takes just seconds.

Though I originally wrote this blog in 2009, here’s an interesting article which reiterates the same theme. Written by Graham Hill and submitted to the New York Times in March 2013, “Living With Less, A Lot Less“.

Written by Carol Keiter, an American living in Berlin, Germany.