The Still Mind

Our world observed from stillness


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The Mind and Health

buddhist monk in meditation pose over black background

Why is a clear and balanced mind so important? How do you achieve a clear and balanced mind?
Well, firstly, the importance lies in the mind’s command over the entire body. Before you do anything, you think about it first, then your mind (brain) allocates the bio-electrical resources to the appropriate muscles, thus they move, and move you in the direction you want to go.

This is what one’s life is all about. Your mind moving you to do what you want to do. The efficiency of this system is determined by the ability or inability of energy to move to where it needs to go. If the energy can flow freely, the system works fine. But if the energy is obstructed, the system can not operate efficiently. Thus inefficient energy movement births sickness, with symptoms that are treated with medicines. However, medications do not deal with the root cause which is an energy inefficiency, but rather deal with the elimination of the “complaint”.

What is energy inefficiency in the body? It is stuck and blocked emotional energy. So, how exactly Continue reading

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Bikes To The Rescue

How often do you ride a bike? Or walk instead of drive? When we were kids, riding our bikes and going outside were more than just something that we engaged in to keep fit. It was our way of life. It kept the vitality alive and biting at the bit. As we get older, it seems as though responsibility is a realm of human life laden with over burdening devices and trinkets that are not as needed to the extent that we may think (unless, in the case of a car, one needs to travel farther than their mere muscle-powered legs can take them, fast!).

If there’s a trip that can be forged without the aid of four wheels and an engine, why not opt for biking it up, or simply walking? Catching the sight of the scenery around you as you progress down the street, adds loads to the overall effects of the trip, mentally and physically. It can keep the mind and the body fresh. If you are stressed, a walk or ride can calm the stress reaction, and not to mention the benefits of the exercise that you get from it.

Let’s Challenge ourselves to use our legs more often, and see why we should, in this informative infographic:

Continue reading


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Indoor Gardening

A look at my indoor garden setup. Pretty simple. For the box, I just cut a hole in the top, lined the inside with foil and filled it with soil. And there’s a mini green house setup with a seltzer bottle that I cut the bottom off of, and placed it over a tin, and left the top off to allow for air flow.

Bok Choy and Green Onions 白菜和葱

I’m growing green onions, bok choy, carrots, blue berries, and a very sweet and delicious type of grape that I can’t remember the name of. I just ate some and immediately decided that I must save the seeds and plant my own.

Everything is growing fine, and after winter is officially over, I’m going to be moving everything outdoors and expand.


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Abdominal Breathing

What is Abdominal Breathing?
It is safe to say that the majority of people are all familiar with the respiratory activity known as breathing. However, most carry it out constantly at less than perfect efficiency, leaving those that don’t know about enhanced ways of breathing, inhaling and exhaling at a considerably diminished capacity. Abdominal Breathing is actually not a new thing for your body. You’ve done it before; while you were still in the womb and for the early part of your childhood. The stomach would pump in and out to facilitate the exchange of blood and nutrients through the umbilical cord, as the lungs were still in development and also could not respire for lack of air. After you were born, the abdomen was largely instrumental in the breathing process, but later the chest took over, and breathing became shallow. Thus, Abdominal Breathing is also referred to as “Return to Childhood Breathing” as well as “Deep Breathing.” (Deep breathing can be done with the chest as well, however, a key difference is in the unique effects of abdominal breathing on the body, which I will discuss in the following post). It may seem counter-intuitive to most, for we know that the ribs and the chest in general are made to expand and contract with each inhalation and exhalation. However, for deep, fulfilling breathing to take place, the diaphragm must be brought into the equation. Continue reading


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Still Mind Health – Standing Like A Tree

The year of the Dragon is upon us. For the new year, I will introduce a Chinese system of exercise that is sure to assist one’s body to transform into a picture of health and strength — to become like a dragon: strong when strength is needed, supple and soft when not. It is called Zhan Zhuang 站桩 (roughly pronounced Jan Jwong), also known as “Standing Like a Tree”; a form of stance training that demands of oneself total and complete union of both body and mind to carry out accurately. Adding even five minutes of Zhan Zhuang to your everyday routine will deliver a desirable result.

To begin with, first start with simple warm up exercises:

Light arm circles forwards and backwards. Loosen up the hips by circling the hips in both directions. Loosen up the legs as well. Standard repetition count  for these types of exercises usually fall within the 30 to 40 range, so shoot for roughly 30 to 40 repetitions in both directions. The object is simply to loosen the muscles and tendons and get the blood flowing. The best time to do the Zhan Zhuang exercise is in the morning as the sun comes up, but it is also fine to do it any time during the day. Five minutes at night before bed is also beneficial. There is an additional exercise called Ba Duan Jin 八段锦, or “Eight Section Brocade”, but I won’t discuss that in this post. I will reserve this exercise for a later posting, as it is an entire progression of postures and movements in itself. Continue reading