By Leela Cyd

Principles and Philosophy of Photographs in practical bite size.

Example: Shake things up

1. What is unexpected.

Taking bamboo shots straight on. From the ground up. Shoot directly above. Try varying perspective.

2. Start with one thing

Get started. Eg a fruit, the light, the way the item moves or interact with background colors. Dont stress. Get started, then simplify and move on.

The Art of Happiness by His Holiness Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

This very well written book and easy to read, has so many parallels to another teacher, Saul-Paul.

Dalai Lama considers “the turning toward happiness as a valid goal and the conscious decision to seek in a systematic manner can profoundly change the rest of our lives”.

1. First step in seeking happiness is learning (p38). Learn how negative emotions and behaviour are harmful to us and how positive emotions are helpful.

Paul of Tarsus – Galations 5: 22

“The fruit of the Spirit is charity (love), joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self discipline (self-control)…”

Learn about the different mental states, classify them according to whether they lead to happiness or not. (p39)

Dalai Lama considers Constructive vs Destructive emotions such as hatred, fear sense of insecurity.

Personally I think its wise to learn about different emotions especially after I underwent coaching training, I begin to realise that Ps 128 talks about fear of the Lord, when I read the Hebrew word, it translates to “awe, reverence, wonder” and not the paralysing fear we talk about.

I agree with Cutler’s point that rather than classify mental states, emotions as “greed is sin” or “hatred is sin”, Dalai Lama classifies emotions as positive or negative to whether they lead to our ultimate happiness.

If happiness is simply a matter of cultivating more positive mental states like kindness, why are so many people unhappy?

Dalai Lama’s advice is that various techniques such as developing positive motivation:

“I will use this day in a positive way. I should not waste this very day.”

“Did I use this day as I planned”

Yes, rejoice.

No, regret and critique the day.

Although Dalai Lama claim these as buddhist practices, they are not solely, and are found in Catholic/Christian texts and Chinese philosophical texts. But what Dalai Lama is excellent in doing, is use scientific research, eg neuroplasticity of mind to underpin buddhism text.

Psalm 1 talks about how your social company can influence your ways. In Chinese proverbs, the saying goes that when you immerse silk in red ink, it becomes red. When you immerse it in black ink, it becomes black.

Through training, meditation practice, we can transform our mind, says Dalai Lama.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (Paul)

How do we renew our minds? Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world and with supernatural intervention. Although it is not fully explained in the Bible, as Christian Bible is limited to 66 books. Where Christian text differs is the belief that God has given the Holy Spirit.

Usefulness of Compassion

Dalai Lama: once you accept that compassion is worthwhile, realise its deeper value, then you immediately develop an attraction towards it, a willingness to cultivate it… Once you encourage thought of compassion in your mind, then your attitude towards others chsnges automatically….. But without the attitude of compassion, if you are feeling closed, irritated or indifferent, then you can be approached by your best friend and you just feel uncomfortable.

Paul: (Charity, Lovingkindness) Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. … And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13

Further reading on cultivating compassion, joy, read Theresa of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila “The Interior Castle”.

With covid 19 and the rise of loneliness and depression, Cutler’s question to Dalai Lama on whether he felt lonely seems useful to me. (p70). Unlike investigators suggestion that the strategy to overcome loneliness is to work on improving social skills such as self disclosure, picking up conversational skills, Dalai Lama’s strategy is to bypass social skills and work on cultivating compassion.

Practice: Meditation on “our dependence on others”.

Do you wonder how many people are involved in making your shirt? The salesperson who sold the farmer the tractor, the people who grew the cotton, who sewed the cloth. Virtually every aspect of my life is the result of others efforts. Before we use the word “supply chain” and logistics realise our interconnectedness.

Although I was raised in a Buddhist family, with my grandmother and aunts living in temples and monastery, Dalai Lama’s interpretation is so different from what they taught in buddhism. I can only say his text is closer to Paul of Tarsus and influenced by his personality and staying outside of Tibet.

Cutler cites intimacy as being important in maintaining good emotional health from psychoanalyst Erich Fromm that humankind’s most basic fear is the threat of being seperated from others (p 79). Experience of seperateness and rejection is the source of all anxiety in human life.

Dalai Lama’s approach and that of St Paul, hands the locus of control back to the individual. Unlike American or French definition of intimacy as passionate, sexual relationship or attachment, it is a compassion of honor, respect, tenderness towards the other person.

Having heard the Dalai Lama over the internet, I can only guess that like Milton Friedman and the great saints, he possess an ability to cause trancelike state beyond human logic. Over the internet, I had difficulty understanding him and needed the help of translators like Ripoche. This has spurred me to learn more about NLP and how I can change my communication style to lessen others suffering, and if possible to bring joy.

Practice: Meditation on Compassion

1. Visualise a person who is acutely suffering, someone who is in pain or in an unfortunate situation. Reflect on the individual’s suffering (3 min).

2. Relate to yourself thinking “that individual has the same capacity for experiencing pain, joy, happiness and suffering that I do.

3. Allow your natural response to arise, natural feeling of compassion to that person.

4. Think how strongly you wish for that person to be free from suffering.

Comment:

I have difficulty releasing forgiveness. However, starting with thought of how the person is suffering releases me from having negative feelings to that person. In truth, we all have suffering. Difficult to believe that Bill Gates has suffering. That he causes others to suffer is easier to believe.

The difference is the starting point of what we believe and our thought pattern which sets us free.

Through lives of Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Marcel Proust, Mozart, Charles Darwin, Greene creates 48 laws of achieving Mastery.

My second time reading it after 10 years with fresh insights from self reflection. In my first reading, this book was too heavy. Now, with reflections, many of my challenges make so much more sense.

Seven deadly realities: Envy, Conformity, Rigidity, Self Obsessiveness, Rigidity, Laziness, Passive Agressiveness and Flightiness

Social Intelligence: Speak through your work. Craft your appropriate personna- if you are not careful others will attribute qualities of you that correspond to what they want to see, See yourself as others see you. Suffer fools gladly. It is part of human comedy, nothing to lose sleep over. Neutralise the harm they do by keeping steady eye on your goals.

Creative-Active: have the patience and discipline to endure an extended apprenticeship. Focus deeply on problems and ideas.

Although children are naturally creative, they never lead to inventions and substantial discoveries. Why so?

My 3 intentions:

1. Absorb as much as I can, from books and beings

2. Discipline and Diligence

3. Playfulness and experiment. Dont be defensive.

Beware of emotional pitfalls: complacency, boredom and arrogance

1. Connect to the Environment -primal powers

2. Play to your strengths – supreme focus

3. Transform yourself through practice – fingertip feel ( or 10,000 hrs of muscle memory)

4. Submit to the other – Inside/Out. Get inside the brain of the people we are trying to understand. Listen.

5. Synthesise all forms of knowledge – Jung’s Universal Man/Woman

Strictly Unauthorised. He didnt go to Washington to be feared; he did it so he could alchemise his experiences into the poems MAGA.

Here’s a sample:

(Sears, p 17)

I am the most fabulous whiner

I own the largest winery on the east coast

I do whine

We make the finest wine

Because I want to win

And Im not happy about not winning

And I am a whiner

Many different kind of wines

And Im a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win

And Im going to win.

#poem #satire #humor #aroundtheworld

I was at the library reading large photo books, Mutt but forgot to capture photo of the book.

Instead, I was mesmerised by sunset from the view of riverfront and managed to take a video. Today I decided to upload onto Youtube so you can enjoy. Did you know that previously this space was occupied by $2 Daiso and the view was sealed.

Coming to the library, well almost everyday and discovering pleasure of public space.

Why am I not coming everyday?

Rodial

Not another self help book.

For the entrepreneur in social media world with influencers like Kadarshians, MH is an entrepreneur and guides readers how to build a brand from product creation to personal branding.

Helpful How tos at the end of each chapter. Her recent books are now available as eBooks. She is certainly using her covid downtimes very efficiently.

#Rodial #entreprenuer #start up #career

Where are you going?

Going nowhere during quarantine? How about travelling inward.

Mindful of each breath. Mindful of each step. Mindful of each thought.

Today we have so many technologies, the mobile phone, whatsapp, zoom. But do we really connect? We forget that our mind and body are connected. “Our body is here but our mind is somewhere else. We easily get caught up in our work, our plans, our anxieties. Our breadth is the bridge connecting our body and our mind.”

Meditation can be taken out of the retreat and into the kitchen and the office. Thich ask “How can we practice in a way that removes the barrier between practice and non-practice.”

A friend does walking meditation between business appointments, walking mindfully between buildings and as a result his meetings are often pleasant and successful.

Meditations do not need to be around a mandala or even in a maze. They can be part of our daily life.

May I

May You

May They

May All Beings

“How to See”, “How to Walk”, “How to Connect”, Series by Thich Nhat Hanh

Work cures everything.

Can I reinvent myself the way Matisse did and yet maintain a signature style?

From La Danse to the cut outs, there remains a fluidity of design and vibrant colors.

Matisse paintings are not … things but energies. Are incentives to us to effect action. They represent nothing but impel us to create in the direction of the force, which they exercise.

This book has intrigued me to spend time imitating his line drawings and cut outs. As well as inspired me to travel and take in different sights to reinvent myself as he did. Absorbing energy from his travels.

Are you surrounded by what “radiates a rhythm through which energy flows.”

Recommend: 🦋🦋

Category: Famous Person

As I was walking to the neighbourhood stores, a thought struck me. What if I do the boring stuff, ie visit the same place 30 days in a row.

I started thinking, what if I visit the library, 10 mins walk away and borrow a different book every day.

And so my adventure begins, without taking a flight. Of course I can borrow eCopies from the digital library. But physical store has the pleasure of flipping through aisle by aisle.

Road less travelled, expand my mind. Books I normally will not pick up. Easy to read.

The first book I found using “coach” as key word was “Vladimir Putin: Life Coach”.

Seeing with new eyes

Except for what I read from American newsfeed, I do not know much about Russia. Granted, I studied history in school, have visited Siberia twice and been on trans-Siberian railway.

Written tongue in cheek, eg “Show your gentle side”. To win respect, you must be ruthless. To win love, you need to show a soft side. Putin’s approach is to help his country’s cutest animals at every opportunity.

He’s been photographed feeding a baby elk outside Moscow … and shaking hands with a walrus in Vladivostok.

Be more Vlad. If you’re known as a workplace meanie, show your colleagues you’re actually quite nice by booking a day off and hiring a professional photographer to join you on a trip to the petting zoo. Then share the photos far and wide with plenty og squidgy emoticons. Be sure to wait at least twenty minutes before returning to your hardass persona. (Sears, p119)

Rob Sears, the author, writes comedy. I cant wait to read his book on “The beautiful poetry of Donald Trump”. I can see how this experiment of picking up books I normally would not read, will help “re-imagine me” as Humour is not on my resume. If I were to teach “leadership topics”, this book will help inject a bit of humor on the complexity of leadership behavior.

#coach #humour #Russia #80books #TIME #Treasures #NLB #leadership

Highly recommend: 🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋

Category: Humour, Leadership

Alchemist is a man’s hope to transform ordinary metal to gold.

In the California gold rush, number of gold miners who found gold were few. But those who made a living, selling ordinary items like food, jeans, coffee, turned ordinary into gold.

Today, the only precious item is energy and time. With energy we can transform two ideas such as curry and pastry into curry puff. Pies which are baked in ovens are deep fried for the South East Asian palate.

Golden Potatoes and curry transformed into curry puff

Ordinary egg transformed into volcano gold by controlling temp and time