(3 minute read)
How did cavemen eat?
The paleo diet is a diet based on the idea that because our ancestors ate a certain way and had virtually no incidence of heart disease, cancer, Etc. it might be resourceful for US to eat the same way. Many opponents of this diet claim that just because these two facts are correlated does not mean that the diet implies causation…they are wrong… Studies recently have shown some very positive health effects of this diet including but not limited to:Less fat, better sleep, more energy, lower blood pressure. If you want to know the science behind the idea you can see it here. If you just want to get your hands dirty, check out this video
The purpose of koans and a far wider definition
Koans are riddles that are given to students of zen which are unsolvable using logic. The result of this is that students will give all of their effort to solving these puzzles on a logical level and after a while (for the hardcases this can be years) The student breaks and is enlightened. My favorite story along these lines goes:
On a rainy day, a student of zen asked his master ‘what is enlightenment?’The teacher pushed him face down in the mud. The student rose laughing and was enlightened.
A Hackneyed old koan
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A wide definition of koans
Looking at the attributes of koans it becomes clear that what matters is not the words, but the catharsis which happens when the student gives up solving the question on the level of logic. The result of this is that anything which can not be solved by using logic is worthy of being called some sort of koan. The point I want to put forward is that NOTHING can be understood logically because EVERYTHING is part of one system (the universe)
What do you think?
You HAVE to stay hungry to achieve anything. Put yourself in a place of lack. A place that challenges you to make for yourself what you won’t take from others anymore. Now don’t go and throw away your belongings and burn your home…. but throw away your emotional belongings and burn down your emotional home. Carry an emotional tent instead, It is more resilient. You pack your emotional home with things that allow you to stay who you are and be comfortable. Somewhere along the line we have mistaken comfort for happiness. Just because you have a tv to entertain you doesnt mean you are at ease. Just because you have a friend circle doesnt mean you are content. It is very easy to accept everyone you meet and allow them to take up your time and energy just because it feels nice to have them around. Sometimes you will notice their problems paining you like a broken spring in your ez boy poking you in the ass… but hell, Sitting in the chair is still easier than going out and paying for another one. When you take all the things you relied on in order to feel comfortable, you can either feel sad at the fact that you are now uncomfortable.. or you can make yourself change so that the surroundings become comfortable. (law of attraction?) When you become comfortable instead of having comfortableness put onto you, you have a real fortune. The man who has overcome himself is greater than the man who has overcome 1000 times 1000 men – Buddha
Consumerism is the leading form of comfort making and therefore the leading form of contentment deprivation. I have no way to play music. I have no Pictures. I have no Internet. I have limited books. I know few people. The result? I am forced to feel sorrow (ahahha HELL NO!) or play my own music, draw my own art, make my own entertainment, write my own books, and make new friends. I have noticed that I feel very good about all of these things despite a lack of them because I am cultivating the inner change that makes me able to appreciate them; you can’t appreciate that which you have to cling to for fear of losing it. I have been far more confident and at ease with myself as well. Talking to strangers (occasionally) Servers(frequently) and cuter girls (hopefully 😉 has all been going better than usual, I am able to make peoples days. The idea I am trying to express by writing this is that when you give up something that makes you comfortable in order to get something better, the intermediate period where you have nothing is what makes you worthy of being the person who gets better.
I recently stareted taking a BJJ class at a gym in the city next to mine. I was very impressed with the lead teacher there. The guy was a fairly quiet and placid man of 5’7″ The thing that struck me wasn’t muscles, Awards, or flashy moves, but the look on his face when he grapples. Midway though being pinned to the ground and having someone 20 pounds heavier try to choke him he looks like he is sitting down for some evening tea! This was very surprising at first but the more I thought about it the more it makes sense that being slow, calm, and in control is the way to become good at BJJ. I think what makes this attitude so effective is that BJJ is like a game of chess. Instead of pieces, you have limbs, Instead of tactics, you have submissions (locks and chokes) and instead of Strategy you have positioning (best to be on top and have more space.)
I recently saw a video which reminded me of a Buddhist concept I had read about called non discrimination. Non discrimination applies not just to you my fellow man, but to everything in existence To embrace non discrimination means to not label as “good” or as “bad” but rather as “is.” When you view the world this way it is a bit of a shock initially. When I say view, I mean feel. To grasp this idea conceptually is easy. To feel this is hard. If you are interested, I challenge you to look at anything that makes you slightly excited or slightly angry and feel a sense of acceptance for it. Do not judge, just accept and enjoy. As you become accustomed to this move on to more and more controversial and compelling things. Tell me how it goes 🙂
Step 1 ramble
Here is my take on meditation: Meditation is just a time when you lose your mind, If you want to call it that. You don’t think, you don’t judge, you just be. It is interesting beccause it is so simple it is near impossible. You dont even think about not thinking, you just exist. Now the area that this is leading me into is that there is an incredible degree of spiritual narcissism. Most people when meditating are aiming at doing it to become better, to become more loving, to help others. Meditation begins when motivation ends. even philanthropic causes of meditation and divine thoughts are all unnecessary. I think that many of the people who call themselves gurus are actually just building an identity around the idea of guru-hood. Non-dualistically seeing yourself is what meditation is. That’s it. This reminds me of a speech delivered by Alan Watts. In it he describes the behavior of real gurus. The first thing a guru will say to a new student is…’ Stop pretending you are not god’ If the student stops pretending then its done! The student that insists that he can not understand what the teacher is saying on an experiential level is then given progressively harder tasks (like the koan in Zen) until he breaks and sees that the only answer is that he is ‘god’ Those are my only thoughts for now.
Minimalism is an idea that has always appealed to me. The less you have, the less you have to worry about. When learning, I try to apply this idea of minimalism by focusing on only a very small portion of the available information; by doing this I get to be lazy and Improve! Although this site began as a language learning blog, I believe that it will be heading more in the direction of a blog about how to learn the lazy way. I think that through learning you connect with people. Let me explain. If you are being taught in a class, that is a commonality between you and all the opther students, and therefore you are all a sort of tribe. If you teach yourself, eventually you will need mentorship and there your are in the first situation again! both of these styles of learning also enrich you as a person. Not only do you feel a sense of more self worth, but you also become more interesting to other people! I think that learning how to learn, and where to focus your efforts is the most human of endeavors, the journey to becoming your best self. when we look at the truth of the matter, every person on this planet is connected; therefore Uplifting and improving yourself uplifts and improves the whole of humanity. Learning how to learn is philanthropy. Learning how to learn in a minimalist way is learning to learn faster, Minimalism is philanthropy on steroids. That’s all, I think I will make a post on my approach to japanese learning again, this time detailing how exactly i will become fluent, sorry for the plethora of grammatical errors, I just needed to get the info out! You take care now 🙂
I started this blog with travel and language acquisition in mind. I think that what would be more interesting to me, and more helpful to you dear reader is a site that details a minimalist approach to learning. I have always had a passion for learning. More than that, I have always had a passion for learning how we learn! ahhahahaahha! By that I mean that for me the thing that is most interesting is the question “how can I become good with the least time and effort necessary ?” If this is something that interests you too, comment below 🙂
“The most fundamental flaw in language learning is thinking too much”
This is how I see language learning; what we ought to be focusing our attention on is not the structure of the language but the content. This goes against what most language systems will tell you, and also what teachers in most schools will tell you as well. I studied Spanish for one year and Japanese for four years. When I first began learning japanese, I did just as my teacher told me and I thought about the rules governing grammar…. My grammar test grades were C’s. So I focused a little harder…. Still C’s. So I studied my ass off thinking about grammar…. C’s prevailed. After this I cracked, I reasoned that if studying the structure got me nowhere then I may as well direct my efforts elsewhere and learn new vocab. Next grammar test? A. I was shocked “it must’ve been a fluke” I reasoned. Skeptical I continued neglecting my study of grammar… A again. “Damn! I’m really on to something! “ I thought. I was right. From that point on, every week I got an A on my grammar test ad hadn’t the least clue as to why the answers I chose were correct…. It was just intuition