Thursday, July 26, 2012

Awareness, Relaxation, and Focus

Black Neck

What is relaxation ? Is it just always hanging out like a limp cat ? Does it make you feel fresh and energized?
Or wanting to take more rest?

People try to relax and enjoy by partying and indulging. Afterwards, they have to cope with hangovers, headaches, and feeling wasted.

Probably the reason why we do not enjoy our relaxation is that the mind is not resting. Only the body is resting. It is a bit strange that one needs to be aware of the mind's movements to really enjoy stillness and relaxation. It is called Awareness, and it does not require a physical effort.


One cannot do away with awareness, in any moment of one's life. Awareness of our thoughts, actions, and words is necessary for sane and successful living. Awareness helps us see our mistakes and correct them. It saves us from being corrected by others. I am not saying it is bad to be corrected by others, but isn't it painful when we could have avoided the situation? For instance, to receive traffic tickets for careless driving habits is unnecessary.


Focusing is collecting the habitually dissipated thoughts and bearing them all down on a specific object. The object of the focus can be anything. However, if one is focusing on sensations, one should take care not to be drawn off by the sensations aroused by focusing. Focus is essential for achieving success, whether spiritual or material.

The fun thing is that it is possible for anybody to fulfill his desires, using a focused mind. We can satisfy most, if not ALL of our desires if we have the concentration to focus all of our energies on them.


Generally relaxation is thought of as some kind of spacing out, letting go, whatever...being chilled out...hey what's the need to be so regimental and spartan...take it easy. But what actually happens when we space out, is that our thoughts and actions go awry, we do not know where we are going, and life goes by in a blur. We may not make the right choices. This is not real relaxation.

In relaxation, our body and mind are relaxed, but this does not mean a slackened state of incapability. In static relaxation, our body will be still, and muscle tension will be greatly reduced, making actions difficult. This happens in deep states of sitting meditation or special relaxation exercises like Shavasan or Corpse pose. However, to be relaxed in daily life means to be absent of unwanted tensions in the body and mind, while at the same time being poised to perform actions.

Relaxation is as important as Focus, because focusing without relaxing is dangerous. One can become strung out, obsessive, imbalanced, and out of touch with reality. Athletes and businessmen who pushed themselves to the extremes, have had to pay the price, often fatally. A state of relaxed focus is ideal. This is a matter of constant practice and contemplation. Observing the processes in Nature can help us to gain an understanding of this state. The Sun, the Moon, the Earth and other heavenly bodies are always working. The whole of Nature is in movement. But it is a graceful flow without hurry. Also, Nature has her own moments of repose, when everything is still.

For effective relaxation, one has to also maintain awareness along with it. In awareness, tension automatically dissolves.

Using a combination of Awareness, Relaxation, and Focus, we can objectively view each moment of our life,   take stock of our emotions, reflect on them, and choose not to react but to respond appropriately to life situations. Maintaining awareness can seem like a chore in the beginning. One need not cling to situations, but take them as they come by. That is, if you lose awareness of a moment, do not try to go back and catch it, just make use of the moments that keep coming. 

Step by step, taking appropriate actions, we can  reach our material goals and also enjoy the process.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

They Gave and Got Rich: Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi, the tennis great of the last part of the 20th century, has been described as the last of the great Americans.

Agassi ruled tennis courts like no other, however he had a greater calling: social welfare activities. His charitable and philanthropic efforts are not however, as well known as his tennis court exploits.

Here is a brief summary of his philanthropic contributions:

  • Founded the Andre Agassi Charitable Association for Las Vegas's youth.
  • Agassi has been the most charitable and socially committed tennis player.
  • Founded the Boys & Girls Club that trains more than 2,000 children every year in tennis, basketball and athletics.
  • Founded the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. It is a tuition-free charter school for at-risk children in the Las Vegas area.
  • Started Child Haven,  a  residence for abused and neglected children, the only one of its kind in Clark County. 
  • Donated $720,000 towards the construction of a Cottage for Medically Fragile Children. This center is for developmentally handicapped children and children quarantined for infectious diseases.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

How to Use Affirmations to Get Results

Affirmations are a sure-fire method of bringing about major changes in your life. The changes can be material-having more wealth, better living conditions, and fulfilling other desires. The change can also be personal-transformation of character, making or dropping habits, and other goals.

You can find voluminous material on how to use affirmations all over the net. Here we will focus on how to make them effective.

Your subconscious is an asset you are born with. It is somewhat like a personal servant who carries out your every beck and call. The only caution is that you need to keep an eye on it and give directions in the proper way. Isn't this similar to managing your domestic help or servant?

Affirmations are the directions that you give to your subconscious. If the subconscious must receive your directions and act upon them, you need to follow these points carefully:
  • Once you have finalized the affirmation, do not change it.
  • Write it everyday. If you are repeating it verbally, do it regularly.
  • While writing/repeating the affirmation, be calm, focused, and serious. Preferably, meditate for some time before affirming.
  • Trust the subconscious: do not keep checking for results. As mentioned above, calm, regular repetition is the key.
  • An indispensable affirmation to go with all programs of personal development: Day by day, in every respect, I am getting better and better. It lifts you up even during temporary setbacks.
  • The affirmation must be beneficial to you and not harmful to anybody else. Intentions to manipulate or harm will have repercussions. 
  • Lastly, no change is permanent. Affirmations need to be repeated everyday, even after achieving success in personal development.
Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
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Sunday, July 08, 2012

In Retrospect...Spend Time Wisely

Most bloggers would have nurtured dreams of making it big with Adsense. Google has provide a free platform, all you have to do is set up your blog, set up the ads and write away...and wait for the traffic to come clicking that the checks start flying in...

I too subscribed to this notion...that is until I had a look at the AdSense earnings of top sites and my own. Here are the figures:
The average income from Adsense is $1 per 1000 page views. This can go lower, till $.007. A site like having around 3,000,000 visitors also has the same average. Doing the math, the net adsense earnings for such a site comes to $3000 a month.

How much time would a blog take to come to the million page views a month range? Not overnight. And how would that be achieved? By good content. How can you generate content? By working on your craft. It will not happen if you spent your time experimenting with ads with speculations of striking it rich with them.

AdSense and other online advertising are at best side revenues. It cannot be a major source of income. Creative people would do better at developing their main skill (writing, building sites, painting, whatever...) rather than spend time tweaking ads.
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