Nirvana On The Golf Course

Walking with awareness on green can be an enriching experience. Most golf courses provide beautiful sights with manicured grass, landscaped fairways and strategically placed water bodies. Birds, butterflies, flowers, and trees add to the visual delight. Audio pleasures include the wind whistling between the trees or the plop of the opponent’s ball in water!

Meditation and golf are interlinked. Just as golf is recognised as a form of meditation, several meditation techniques help the golfer tremendously, by slowing down thoughts and facilitating an easy, smooth swing. All this sometimes leading to what one call's a 'Golfer's Zone'.

Players like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are known to have played several rounds in the zone, rewriting history. When a golfer is in the zone, irrelevant thoughts just disappear. The desired result just “happens” rather than made to happen. The mind and body work harmoniously to create a swing free from tensions and distractions. Some golfers say they experience a sense of euphoria, others say they are totally calm and in control when zoned in. There is ease and effortlessness in swing. Moments like these make the game of golf attractive. The bad shots are forgotten and the memory of the zone moment brings you back to the course.
Excerpted from The Calm Sutra, the Art of Relaxation
Talking about Tiger Woods, I would like to quote few snippets of his televised aplogy. Indeed spiritual!
“I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have far — I didn’t have to go far to find them. "

“I was wrong, I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone, apply to me. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It’s now up to me to make amends. And that starts by never repeating the mistakes I’ve made.’’

Yes, we have the same sets of rules to play by in life.No exceptions to THIS rule!

C'est la vie

Come To Terms With Multiple Identities

An old man died disappointed in life. He was honest and could not tolerate dishonest people. When he met the Lord in heaven, he asked, ‘If human beings are your creation, then all of them are your children. Why are there so many differences amongst them?’

God replied kindly: “Each person who is born on this earth has a unique message to offer to the world. It is only through these lessons one understands life.”

When people tell lies, it implies that things are not as they seem. Learn to look behind the facade. When someone dies, it reminds us that nothing is permanent. Life is impermanent. So don’t take life for granted. When one criticises you, it teaches that no two people are alike. When someone breaks your heart, it teaches you that loving someone does not always mean that love will come back to you the way you want it to. When someone cheats you, it teaches you that the root cause of evil is greed. Even good deeds offer their own messages. Hence, the world is like a university teaching us in unique ways always. Let your life be one of learning.
Similarly, we might think we are individuals; actually we are a collection of many identities. The one in you who listens to me is different; the one that creates problems is different. I am a father, with reference to my son, a son with reference to my father, and a boss with reference to my employee. Therefore there are several identities in one individual. How to achieve a balance with so many identities? How to transform the negative ones into positive? Buddha advised his disciples to move around with five seekers, so that their presence would impact the other. One’s purity would empower the other.

Further, we can unify all the various identities we have at our disposal. That is the alchemy that spirituality invites us to experience. Every identity should be anchored on transformation. Transformation means growth. If all identities are transformed, then we become individuals. Or else, we would be like those seated in a chariot with each horse galloping in different directions. Let all horses run in the same direction.

Wearing a Cell Phone affect your bones!

An X-ray study of men wearing a cell phone on their belts for an average of 15 hours per day for 6 years,  revealed that their bone density had decreased in their pelvic bone on the side that they wore the cell phone.

Guess, its getting to where you're taking your life in your hands just getting out of bed in the morning!

To a cell free day.

A midday nap boosts the brain's learning capacity

If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in their cubicle, don’t roll your eyes. New research from the University of California, US, shows that an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter.

Conversely, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. The results support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 per cent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation.

“Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap,” said Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and lead investigator of the study.

For the study, 39 healthy young adults were divided into two groups – nap and no-nap. At noon, everyone was subjected to a rigorous learning task intended to tax the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps store fact-based memories. Both groups performed at comparable levels. At 2 pm, the nap group took a 90-minute siesta while the no-nap group stayed awake. Later that day, at 6 pm, participants performed a new round of exercises. Those who remained awake throughout the day became worse at learning. In contrast those who napped did better and actually improved in their capacity to learn.

“It’s as though the email inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact emails, you’re not going to receive any more mail. It’s just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder,” said Walker, who is presenting his preliminary findings at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego, USA

Kill migraines with happiness

Migraines are caused in part by changes in the level of a body chemical called serotonin-- also called the `feel-good' or `happy' hormone because high levels boost mood and a feeling of well-being -- which impacts blood vessels. Serotonin levels are impacted by lack of sleep, tension, too much sun, some foods such as spices, red wine and chocolates that become migraine triggers, or more commonly in women, by changes in estrogen level, such as during the menstruation cycle.

Prevention works best and is possible if a person is able to identify triggers and avoid them. But trigger control alone is not enough. Mild or even moderate headaches may be satisfactorily alleviated or even aborted at times using inexpensive non-prescription analgesics, such as aspirin.

Before beginning treatment, doctors recommend trying lifestyle changes such as getting regular sleep and exercise, identifying and avoiding migraine triggers, and fighting stress with relaxation techniques and yoga. Or better, a big dose of happiness!

For a healthy heart, even faking happiness helps

You’ve heard it before: to avoid a heart attack don’t smoke, eat right and exercise. But it also may help to be happy, a new study says.

Even if you’re grumpy by nature, just try to be cheerful. Researchers at Columbia University rated the happiness levels of more than 1,700 adults in Canada with no heart problems in 1995. After a decade, they examined the 145 people who developed a heart problem and found happier people were less likely to have had one.

The study was published online on Thursday in the European Heart Journal. “If you aren’t naturally a happy person, just try acting like one,” said Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center, the paper’s lead author. “It could help your heart.”

Researchers said their study was the first to show an independent relationship between positive emotions and coronary heart disease, but stressed that more work was needed before any treatment recommendations could be made.