The Spirit of Smiling: Perfecting the Art of Surrendering to The Way

My book, The Spirit of Smiling: Perfecting The Art of Surrendering to The Way, has just been published by The Institute of Asian Arts.™

Description: The Spirit of Smiling

Smiling: What could be simpler?

That is the premise of this thoroughly practical, eye-opening book.

Smiling is simple because we, as in “ourselves,” don’t get in the way of or interfere with the process of smiling.

If you:

  • wish more things could be as simple as smiling
  • are tired of experts making these important concepts so complex that they are difficult to understand
  • would like help to see what is hidden in plain sight

then Gary Giamboi has written this book just for you!

Of course, along the way to simplicity, Giamboi has to demystify several related subjects, such as Mindfulness, Free Will, “teaching” vs. “learning,” cultivating wisdom, non-duality, purifying one’s heart, etc. However, the unifying theme is always the same: things must be simple.  If they are not, it means someone (usually ourselves) has messed them up.

Drawing upon his over forty years of experience to keep this book simple and straightforward, the author avoids impenetrable words and concepts as much as possible. Instead, Giamboi has filled this book with illuminating stories and metaphors.

The experts hail this book as: “truly a treasure…to refer to again and again”; “…a practical book, a ‘get to the point’ opportunity”; “a beautiful, inspiring practical guidebook”; “lucid and clearly written.”

It has received great reviews from a world class Yogi, a Daoist priest, a Jewsih Spiritual Councilor and more.

The full reivews are available at www.TheSpiritofSmiling.com

It is avaiable for purchase at: www.createspace.com/3702106

 

Podcast of My Interview with Dr. Ken Grey

Pranams.

Here is the link to a Podcast of my Interview with Dr. Ken Grey on hos radio show, Maximum Health. Feel free to listen to my interview and all of his other great Podcasts which you can access there.

The link is: http://www.wjno.com/media/podcast-maximum-health-maximumhealth/maximum-health-august-23-2014-25202762/

 

Enjoy!

Giving Thanks

At this time of year, I would like to share some words I wrote a few years ago for our Thanksgiving Dinner. It is about the process of Giving Thanks

In order to feel as if we should give Thanks, we must first feel Grateful.

Without feeling Grateful, there is no need to give Thanks.

So today, let us try to be more Grateful for All That Is.

Let us remember, that in order to be Grateful, we have to believe what we have is not due solely to our own efforts. If we believe things our owed to us because we have earned them, paid for them or simply deserve them because we are special, then we will not feel Grateful for them because they are ours by right.

In order to not to believe we have something coming to us, we must first realize we are not as important as we would like to think we are.

So today, let us strive to feel a little less important to ourselves. 

However, let us not forget that feeling good is paramount to enjoying life. And we cannot feel good without some measure of Contentment. 

Without feeling some measure of Contentment, it would be hard to feel as if we have something to give Thanks for.

So today, let us try to be Content with what we have while still striving to improve our lives.

Lastly, let us remember that feeling Grateful for just one moment will not do us much good.

Let us resolve to be Grateful for at least one "something" All of the time.

WSJ Reports New Bad Guy in Red Meat

Here is a link to an article in the wll Street Journel which says that new data seems to link Carnitine to Heart Disease:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324050304578408702646200088.html?mod=djemalertNEWS

Once again, our "gut" seems to play an imporant role in determing our overall Health and Wellbeing. 

Another study cited in the article followed 120,000 health professionals for 30 years. It found that just 1 extra serving of red meat per day increased the risk of death by 13%.

Remember, a word to the wise......

 

New Year's Prayer

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah,
Sarve Santu Niramaya
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu,
Maa Kaschid Dukhbhag Bhavet

May Everybody Be Happy,
May Everybody Be Free From Disease,
May Everybody Have Good Luck and
May None Fall on Evil Days.

Samskaras, Vasnasas & Karma or How Our Past Makes Our Present and Controls Our Future

This subject has been explained in countless books and innumerable web pages. Therefore, I will only offer a short condensed version of this process.

Any action we perform to whose outcome we are attached to by a desire for pleasure or an avoidance of pain will produce a Samskara  (an impression) in our 'mind stuff" (I use this term because it is not just our mind because we will carry this impression with us through our future births until it is eradicated by being burned or used up).

These Samskaras or impressions will cause Vasanas or tendencies, urges or desires to be carried in Our Hearts.

These Vasanas or tendencies or desires in our Hearts will make us more likely to think certain thoughts to justify our Desires and to fulfill our Desires. These thoughts are called Vrittis in Sanskrit.

These Vrittis or thoughts will cause us to act to fulfill our desires.

Thus, our Samskaras or past actions (Karma) lead us to perfrom new actions (Karma) and so the cycle will continue until we decide to break it.

It is really that simple.

Those of you who know how I think will already realize that most of the time when I say something is simple, it will also mean it is very hard to accomplish well.

We cannot control which Samskaras or tendencies we presently have because we cannot change the past. We also cannot change the Vasanasa or desires they will produce because we cannot change the prsent either. Any action we would attempt to perform to change the prersent would inherently have to take place in the future and thus would be too late.

The only place in this cycle we can affect a change to is what will happen in the future. That means we have to control the Actions which arise from our Desires.

By contolling our Actions, we will lessen or eliminate the Deisres by lessening the strengh of the Impressions or Samskaras in the future.

We can control our actions by using our Bodhi or Intellect to determine the Rightness or Wrongness of a desire. Therefore, a clear, sharp mind armed with Correct Knowledge leasd to a Pure Heart.  

A Pure Heart leads to Wisdom.

Wisdom leads to Enlightenment, which happens only when one has no more Karma. This means there are no more Samskaras leading to no more Vasanas producing no more Action to whose result we are attched to.

This is why Meditation and self-Reflection is considered so important. 

 

 

The Buddha's Heart

I want to share with you a comment I just heard while watching a Korean Historical TV drama about warrior monks.

The Abbott of the Buddhist monastery asked his favorite student a question concerning a famous Buddhist Sutra (a teaching from The Buddha). The student replied with the correct text book answer.

The Abbott proceeded to scold the student:

"Fool," he said. "You cannot reach Enlightenment by reading The Buddha's Words. You Must read His Heart"!! 

I really like The Truth contained in these words. I also want to point out another Truth:

True Gems of Wisdom are "hidden" all around us in plain sight.

Some Valuable Points About Good Taijiquan (Tai Chi) & Qigong

Here are some important points for Good Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qigong I have picked up during my studies. Apply them well and consistently and the level of your practice will rise considerably.

If they do not make sense to you now, you have some studying and some work to do.

  • Full back and empty chest
  • Pluck up the back and hang the chest
  • Head as if suspended (clasics) / back of the neck rubbing the collar (yang) / listen behind (chen)
  • Feet to weilu one chi (yang) / sit on the pelvis (verbal)
  • Rooted in the feet, managed by the yao, expressed through the fingers
  • The arm starts in the scapula (mine)
  • Sink the elbow, sink the shoulder, sink the tail bone (verbal)
  • Keep all joints open at all times (verbal)

 

Uppama (Quinoa with Vegetables)

The following receipe is one of my favorite Indian foods. It is a home style dish you will probably never see in an Indian restaurant.

I have updated this recipe by substituting Quinoa for the traditional Farina. Feel free to use whichever grain you chose. I recommend the Quinoa since it has more protein and, in any case, we eat more than enough wheat.

Feel free to add or subtract the spices as you wish.

Uppama (Quinoa with vegetables)

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

¼ cup Oil, vegetable

1 Tbs. Urad dal; if available

1 tsp. Mustard seeds, black

1 tsp.  Cumin seeds

½ cup Onion; finely chopped

2 Tbs. Chili, green, hot; seeded, chopped

1 cup Quinoa

1 cup Tomatoes; finely chopped

1 cup   Frozen mixed vegetables

3 cups Water

1 tsp. Salt

1 Tbs. Coriander; finely chopped

1 Tbs. Lemon juice

 

In 4 qt casserole, heat oil over moderate heat until light haze forms above it. Add dal and stir for a minute or so, then add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When oil sputters, add onions. Stir constantly, fry 7-8 minutes, until onions are soft and golden brown. 

Add hot chili and stirring constantly, pour in the Quinoa in a slow, thin stream. Still stirring, fry for about 5 minutes, or until Quinoa is slightly browned. Stirring well, add frozen vegetables, water and salt.

Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low, cover tightly, cook 15 minutes until Quinoa is tender, yet firm. Taste for seasoning. 

To serve, pour the uppama into heated bowl and sprinkle with coriander and lemon juice.

 

 

The Five Remembrances

I would like to share with you The Buddha's  The Five Rememberances. If you truly remember them always, you Will Live your life differently!

  1. I am of the Nature to grow Old; there is No Way to  Escape Growing Old.
  2. I am of the Nature to have Ill Health; there is No Way to Escape Having Ill Health.
  3. I am of the Nature to Die; there is No Way to Escape Death.
  4. All that is Dear to Me and Everyone I Love are of the Nature to Change; there is No Way to Escape Being Separated from Them.
  5. My Deeds are My Closest Copmpanions; I am the Beneficiary of My deeds. My Deeds are the Ground Upon Which I Stand.

 

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