Sunday, January 20, 2008

Question of the Week - Happiness

Happiness and the Three-legged Dog

This week, there’s no question of the week, but just some thoughts. I usually walk every other day, it helps me stay in shape and keep ki energy flowing. The past three days, I’ve been walking at the beach. For two of those last three days, I came across a three-legged dog.

The first time, it was about sunset, and I wandered upon a woman with a three-legged Black Lab. The woman was about early-40s, wearing sunglasses and playing fetch with her friend. She would throw a scruffy tennis ball about twenty feet out into the crisp, cool water. And I could have sworn the Black Lab had the grandest smile! He would just go out into the water, find the fuzzy yellow grape, and happily come back. And whenever the woman threw the ball, the Black Lab was off and running. It could not have been a better day.

I asked the owner what happened to the Lab. She said her friend saved her life, taking the brunt of a Grizzly bear attack, while the pair were hiking in the mountains. The dog sustained injuries, losing its rear leg. The owner gained a deeper connection, to her own humanity, via her friend's sacrifice.

And when I saw the pair, the dog was so happy! It wasn’t depressed or sad. It wasn’t frustrated or angry. It was happy, just to be alive. To the dog, it didn’t matter that it was missing something important, it was just happy to BE . . .

Many times, we get frustrated with life. There are so many reasons to be down – work, friends, goals. But we have to remember the lesson of the three-legged dog . . . things may not always work out the way we plan. And there may be bumps along the way. But, we just have to PAUSE and be happy. Be happy to be, be happy to see, be happy to just be ALIVE.

Today, walking along the beach, I saw another three-legged dog. And its smile was just as big . . .


Monday, January 14, 2008

Question of the Week - Auras

The Question of the Week comes to us from Ignacio of Austin.

“What is an Aura?”

Good question Ignacio. An aura is the energy field that surrounds most living things. The color, shape, and type of the aura will vary according to the object being observed, as well as the health, and/or mood of that object. The aura is a projection of that object’s energy.

Aura phenomena also involves extra-sensory perception. An object will emit a particular type of energy field. The observer, whether it be a psychic, small child, or animal, will observe the aura and then make decisions about the object being observed. The ability to see an aura is atypical, since the auric field is usually outside of the visible spectrum of light. Hence observing the phenomena, requires extra-sensory perception.

The color and vibrancy of the aura can tell specific information, for example, a vibrant or strong aura will indicate that a person (or object) is healthy, centered, and calm. A weak aura, or a grey aura, will indicate someone that is ill or very energetically drained. An aura with holes will indicate someone who is imbalanced or under energetic attack. This type of aura may also indicate someone with a seriously compromised immune system. Its very unusual for a person to have holes in their aura, as the body’s natural energetic field will usually work to regenerate itself. The following is a partial list of auric colors and their meaning:

Red - Love
Green - Healthy
Yellow – Illness, disease
Brown - Fatigue, Tiredness
Blue – Energetic
Purple – Spiritual, Altruistic
Electric Blue – Highly Evolved, Spiritually Advanced
Bright White – Purity
Gold – Holy, Divinity

Examples of auras may be seen using Kirilan photography. There are a few sites on the internet that show how to see auras. I would recommend going outside, at about twilight or dusk. Go with a partner and have them stand about 5 feet away from you. Stand so that you’re not facing the sun, nor should your partner be illuminated by the sun. You should be sitting down, so you can concentrate. Now relax your mind, and look slightly past your partner. You should be able to see some sort of color field around them. Remember, you need to look past your partner and utilize your peripheral vision to see their aura. Now close your eyes for about 5 seconds. Relax your mind. Open your eyes and try again. The second time around, you should be better able to see your partner’s aura. And that’s how to see auras.

Personal experience: Most of the time animals and small children see auras easily. I personally try to make a difference in the world, each and everyday (even if its just one small act of kindness) and I always make a conscious effort to improve my karma. Its interesting, when I go to the grocery store and start shopping, there’s always a parent with a little kid in the child seat, and inevitably, the kid will turn towards me and smile. I always try to waive back. I want to believe this is a child’s ability to observe my aura and energy field.

Last note, you could also posit that the ability to perceive an aura is an evolutionary trait, particular to mammals, that helped mammals to survive in the Natural world. By being able to differentiate other mammals that were threats, from non-threats, the ability to detect energy fields was a beneficial genetic mutation, that eventually became a normal part of the gene pool.



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sad News

Sad News indeed.

Associated Press - 01/10/2007
"WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Sir Edmund Hillary, the unassuming beekeeper who conquered Mount Everest and was the first man to drive a tractor across Antarctica to win renown as one of the 20th century's greatest adventurers, has died, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced Friday. He was 88.

His 1953 climb of Everest with Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay made him an international hero. Norgay died in 1986.

The gangling New Zealander devoted much of his life to aiding the mountain people of Nepal and took his fame in stride, preferring to be called "Ed" and considering himself just an ordinary beekeeper.

Hillary's life was marked by grand achievements, high adventure, discovery, excitement — and by his personal humility. Humble to the point that he only admitted being the first man atop Everest long after the death of climbing companion Norgay."

What made Hillary's ascent remarkable, is that even today's climbers face a 25% chance of not returning from Everest. More than fifty years later, it still requires a tremendous amount of preparation, inspiration, and sheer guts to summit Chomolungma (Tibetan for Mother Goddess of the Earth). More importantly, I think Sir Edmund taught us that us nothing is impossible and that we should Dare to Dream our hopes into reality.

In this new Century, where else will humankind step foot? What other distant shores reached by dreamlit wings, and plateaus met with halcyon skies, will we visit and perhaps someday, call home?


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Question of the Week

Comes to us from Andrew of Texas.

“What is the most important thing in a survival situation, if you are lost in the woods?”

Choose an Answer:

A. Food

B. Water

C. Map/Knowledge of Terrain

D. Good attitude

If you guessed “B”, you are INCORRECT! The correct answer is “C”. The most important thing in a survival situation, or if you are lost in the woods is a capable knowledge of the terrain. Its more important than water, food, or shelter. More important than a compass, sleeping bag, or positive mental attitude.

Terrain knowledge is the most important thing, because with knowledge of the terrain, you can navigate safely, obtain shelter and water, and also make your way to civilization. Again, remember, your purpose is not to live in the woods ála Grizzly Adams, but to find help. Now, lets look at the alternate answers and see why each is incorrect.

Food is incorrect, because generally, you can go without food for about two days. Two days should be more than enough time to hike out of wherever you’re stranded. In two days, you should be able to cover 20-30 miles. Go in a consistent direction, and you’ll eventually hit a road, major river, or mark of civilization.

Water is incorrect, because generally, you’re hydrated enough to go for 2-3 days and make it 20-30 miles. Again, you’re not trying to live in the woods for a month. If you need quick hydration, look for a stream and take a couple of sips. Make sure that there are live fish in the stream. This generally means the water is okay to drink. Make sure the water doesn’t taste bitter or musty/musky . If it does, just spit it out. Invariably, someone will ask, “Well what if you’re stranded in the desert. Isn’t water the most important thing?” Well, what are you doing that gets you stranded in the desert anyway? Duh! If you really are stranded in the desert, 100 miles from anywhere, then you try to find shelter during the day, and travel at night. That way, you expend less water than traveling at day. But again, don’t go to the desert to get stranded. Exactly . . .

A compass isn’t useful on its own. Moreover, you can improvise a directional heading using a stick (if you have sunlight) or even a bit of metal wire (if you have a leaf and water). With a stick - you merely place it upright in the ground, trace its shadow, and then wait 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, you trace the new shadow again. You now make a straight line that bisects the shadow “V” you’ve just created, and now you have a North-South directional line. Draw a line perpendicular to this one, and you now have an East-West directional line. Pretty simple. If you have a leaf, water, and metal wire - what you do is place the leaf upon the water so that it floats. You then take the metal and create static electricity by rubbing it on your hair (the metal must be ferrous/contain iron, this will not work with aluminum) and then place the metal lengthwise upon the leaf. The piece of metal wire should turn the leaf and point north. You can also use the sun to gain direction - sun rises in the East, sets in the West. Pretty easy. You can also use terrain. If you know that on a given grid square, the ridges run Northwest to Southeast, then if you follow the ridge down (using other terrain features as directional aids) then you are going Southeast. You can even use elevation. If you know that the elevation increases, as you head north across a mountain range, then the way up is North. Way down in South. Its not hard, we just like to make it hard.

Look, there are some survival shows on TV that are pure dramatization. The host goes out with a camera crew, but doesn’t tell you that he usually takes guides, has been briefed on the terrain, has looked at maps, and knows where to go. Its totally artificial. Don’t for a minute believe that the host hasn’t studied the terrain.

Moreover, after doing enough land navigation training, you can forgo the compass. You don’t need it anymore and it becomes a hindrance. You now find your location on a map using terrain features such as mountains, power lines, streams, valleys, and trails. At The Basic School (Marine TBS), generally considered the toughest land navigation course in any military, we progressed to the point where at the end of the course, we didn’t need compasses. This happens, because you get so familiar with terrain, the compass slows you down. So, the correct answer is “C”, Knowledge of the terrain . . .