Archive for April, 2009

Rapping Flight Attendant On Southwest Airlines

April 25, 2009

Not all perks are getting cut from airlines. Southwest adds a little musical bonus to trips with its rapping flight attendant. Check out the video below that has already hit over a million views on YouTube:

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Try the Opposite

April 20, 2009

callahan21

Here is an excerpt from Aja Thomas’ Freedom Blog. He’s pictured above.

Essentially, any unhappiness is caused by not getting what we think we want. The sense of “I” wants what it deems as desireable and rejects what it sees as undesireable. Thus causing the unhappiness.

Nisargadatta said something to the effect of… “You are unhappy because you want what you don’t have and don’t want what you do have. Just turn that around – Want what you have, and don’t want what you don’t have.” The simplicity of it is overwhelming, however, the practice is often another thing.

So, another way of looking at Nisargadatta’s statement is switch ‘more’ for ‘less’……

The less you know, the more you know.

Want more money? Try wanting less money.

Think you are more special? Recognize you are less special.

Think you should do more? Try doing less? (Or try Be-ing more)

Want more people to like you? Try wanting less people to like you. (or want to like others more)

Think you deserve more. Consider that you deserve less. (or be grateful for the more you have).

Think you need more knowledge? Trying needing less knowledge.

I think you get the picture. Simply see when some sort of unhappiness or resistance or desire arises which says you want more (or less) of something, and try turning it around. What would it be like to have or want the opposite in some way?

Recognize who or what it is that is desiring that, and inquire into the very reality of that “I” which is desiring. Recognize that when there is no desiring, but rather a satisfaction with what is, then there is peace, and from peace comes happiness.

So, how to live happily, more or less? Try the opposite. It just might work.

Being Powerful

April 20, 2009

50048Gaining power is a desire at the core of all humans beings, whether that be power from money, muscles, beauty or knowledge. Everyone wants to be strong in their own way so they can choose their destiny.

Evolutionary biology demonstrates this natural growth in the direction of stronger and better. But there comes a point when the pursuit of power over something becomes a weakness. If we are still trying to dominate our environment, no matter how subtly it may be, then we are just fighting for survival, fighting against our fear of loss and fleeing from weakness.

True power is found in the balance of power and powerlessness, strength and weakness. Ironically, our distaste for being powerless and weak prevents us from being truly powerful and strong.

Allowing weakness, inviting fear, making friends with pain is half the path to real power. The more we can yield, the more fluid, efficient and authentically powerful we become.

From a more esoteric point of view, cosmic power is infinitely greater than any power that can be conceived of by a small human intellect. Cosmic power is beyond all dualities – it knows no opposition and no resistance. It is infinite in its potential and expresses itself as strength and weakness – yin and yang – in this divine drama that we call life.

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Quotes from Lao Tzu:

Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.

If the force of arms is considered the only means of authority, it is not an auspicious instrument.

Force begets force.

The harder one tries, the more resistance one creates for oneself.

Glorification of wealth, power and beauty beget crime, envy and shame.

The qualities of flexibility and suppleness, especially as exemplified by water, are superior to rigidity and strength.

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Word of the Day

April 20, 2009

Benignant

Definition: exerting a good influence; beneficial: the benignant authority of President Obama (pictured with his new dog Bo).

Synonyms: benevolent, benign, generous, charitable.

US-POLITICS-OBAMA-DOG

In Between Times

April 19, 2009

zen garden

Most of our time is spent in between things. This “in between” place is the area of life that has the most to offer us, but so often we run away from it to the next thing.

Our in between times occur when we are moving from one room to another, sitting in traffic, waiting for ads on TV to finish, or walking from the carpark to the shop.

If we stop and consider this ‘in between time’ we conclude that it is time wasted, down-time, useless time.

But we have it all wrong. These moments are fascinating, useful and there is always plenty going on. It’s just that we miss it because we’re distracted by some dream of the future or some memory of the past. The babbling mind keeps us out of the present.

Looking for fulfillment in some future experience is a dubious approach because our dream may or may not happen, it is usually fleeting and quickly replaced by the next dream. We are perpetually in a state of anticipation which breeds anxiety, discontent and impatience.

So what is the most profitable use of our time? The most rewarding approach is not waiting for some future event to complete us, but resting in the knowledge that everything is always already here.

If we were to stop and relax for a moment and pay attention to life as it happens around us, we will find that it is rich and full and without conflict. Nothing needs to be added or taken away to make life whole and full. In this moment we are complete.

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Confine yourself to the present – Marcus Aurelius.

Keep an eye on the future, but live in the present.

What is wrong with right now – unless you think about it?

Everything is not as it seems, but it is also not otherwise.

What is here is everywhere. What is not here is nowhere.

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Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

April 15, 2009

This is an absolutely awesome, must-watch clip.

Peanut Butter

April 14, 2009

pure_peanut_butter1Every now and then I come across a story that just warms my cynical little heart. And Pic Picot with his homemade peanut butter is one of those. (it’s also a good business story and an example of how a bit of lateral thinking can translate into good PR).

I was down in Nelson recently at the farmer’s market when Pic the Peanut Man enticed me to try a lovely big glob of peanut butter on a stick. Well slap me sideways and call me David Walden, it was the best peanut butter I’ve ever had, hands down.

So I bought a wee jar for Dad, who’s a fellow peanut aficionado, and forgot all about it until last week when he pulled out the jar and we decided to have a taste comparison with a random supermarket peanut butter.

Naturally, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter had Random Supermarket Crap over a barrel, and when I went back to my own jar of nasty Woolworths ‘Why Don’t We Just Poo In A Jar And Call It Peanut Butter’, I found myself close to calling Ralph on the big white phone.

What’s the story? Well, Pic’s goodies are made with just peanuts and salt. Back in the day, he was conned into eating some American “Health Style” peanut butter only to discover it had a buttload of added sugar.

Seeing the writing on the wall, he thought to himself, the day will come when all peanut butter will be loaded with sugar. And so it came to pass. Not only is a lot of peanut butter made in China, but it contains sugar, emulsifiers, antioxidants, litres of unspecified oils, and ground up midgets. (Midget claim may not be grounded in truth.)

So he decided to make his own and sell it – and now Pic the Peanut Man is a Nelson institution.

But wait – there’s more.

Feeling sympathetic to punters who would taste his peanut butter and then still have to work their way through the “ghastly Chinese or Australian-made muck” that they had in their pantry, he ran a Peanut Butter Amnesty. Consumers could bring their nasty slime (half a jar or more) and swap it for a 200g jar of Pic’s peanut butter.

And in turn, he would donate the rejected peanut butter to the Brook Sanctuary for their rat traps. Ha!

Pic ran the “terrifyingly successful” amnesty for a month and scored himself a front-page story on the Nelson Leader for his trouble. (Check it out, including a photo of the good man himself, here.)

Great PR. And in a neat twist of packaging joy (which we all know I’m a great fan of), he puts poems by Bill the Peanut Butter Lover under the label. (Have a nosey parker at it here.)

So there you have it. From an idea that bucked the trend, to a successful business, to his first front-page newspaper story. Next: world peace via peanut butter.

In the meantime, I’m stuck with my almost-full jar of Woolworths Poo. So let’s see how good their online reputation management is. Woolworths, we’re timing you from the posting of this blog until someone emails adhoc@nbr.co.nz with the subject line “Peanut Butter Should Not Taste Like Poo”. (Record for prompt ORM response currently held by Tip Top.)

To see the embedded links see original article by H. Phillips.

Reading the Elements

April 6, 2009

the_four_elements

Profiling is an amazing tool for seeing more deeply into life and enriching our experience of the world.

According to Dictionary.com profiling is defined as:

“A set of characteristics or qualities that identify a type or category of person or thing”

Profiling gives definite parameters to make comparisons and distinctions, but rather than fragmenting our perception it shows us the unity and order that underlies everything.

Many traditions around the world have their own universal “building blocks,” which are different names for essentially the same thing. The Indian system of earth, ether, fire, water and air. Or the Chinese categories of water, fire, metal, wood and earth. The Greeks used sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic.

One of the many benefits of profiling is the ability to extrapolate information and understand how to balance and cultivate different qualities.

For example, if we see a picture of someone with red hair we know that the fire element is strong in them and we can expect to find further qualities such as determination, anger, impulsiveness, sensitive skin, digestive troubles, etc. The better we are at determining the amount of fire element, its quality and the presence of other elements, then the more accurate our extrapolation will be.

If a person has a lot of fire element they are susceptible to heat imbalances, so we know that hot curries will aggravate and iced tea will soothe.

If someone has a lot of the cold water element then hot curries are prescribed to dry them out and iced teas are contraindicated because they will exacerbate the cold.

Unfortunately, such simple wisdom is not so common. A person with a skin inflammation (fire element) may have heard that saunas (fire element) are “good for you” and will help them to “sweat it out.” Predictably, it will make the situation worse because there is too much heat.

The basic advice for bringing balance is to “apply the opposite.” Dry is balanced by oily, wet with dry, cold with heat, hard with soft, irritated with calm. An extreme example would be the uncontained scattered air element of a crazy person being balanced by the containment of a straightjacket.

So we can learn to read our environment. If we see that a business is exhibiting a low quality fire element in its management or activities (such as used car dealers and property developers), then we may expect criminal or bullying type of activity. Conversely, if we see high quality fire element in a business then we can assume efficiency, courage, power, organization, and clear purpose.

The elements don’t lie. In fact, the truth is advertised in broad daylight, we just have to know the language. And by knowing the language we see the cosmic order that is all around us and learn the secret to balance and harmony.