09/21/15 – Spiritual Practice

CURRENT EVENTS – Tour de Troit

What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday (9/19/15) and my compliments to the riders who braved Saturday’s weather to participate in this extraordinary event.

Tour de Troit

https://www.facebook.com/TourdeTroit

The mission of the Tour de Troit is to promote and encourage bicycling and bicycle safety through education, public events, collaboration with community and government organizations and support for non-motorized infrastructure. The Tour de Troit, the city’s largest cycling event, raises awareness of biking as a mode of transportation and publicizes the growing greenways network in the City of Detroit and all of Southeastern Michigan. Tour de Troit also produces and supports other events that promote a healthy lifestyle and city, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bike Ride, PaczKi Run, Run du Nain Rouge and Cycle Into Spring.

http://www.tour-de-troit.org/about

SELF-HELP BOOKS – The Tao of Elvis

I know I have suggested this book in the past; but if you give this easy to read book a chance, you will find it contains much spiritual guidance.

“The Tao is great, the king is also great.”–Lao Tzu

The Tao of Elvis

Elvis Presley was an intensely spiritual man. Gospel was his music of choice, and his life–from innocence to addiction, from obscurity to fame, from “Hound Dog” to “Love Me Tender”–was one long quest to balance opposites. The Tao of Elvis is the first attempt to illustrate Elvis’s Taoist nature and interpret his never-ending search for purpose and meaning. Highlighting Elvis’s journey from light into dark, Jungian expert and Elvis scholar David Rosen explores and examines his life through the structure of the Tao Te Ching. In reflections on forty-two Taoist concepts–one for each year of Elvis’s life–Rosen reveals how the Tao, a mysterious force, was and is operating through America’s king. Like the Tao, Elvis is everywhere. (Source:  Amazon)

MOVIE OF THE WEEK – When the Moors Ruled in Europe

If you are Amazon Prime, you can watch this film for free or if you have a Netflix DVD subscription and I was surprised that you can find it on Youtube, also for free.  In today’s troubled times, it is something that you owe to yourself to look at how things could be rather than how they are.  It is a well done documentary of how people thrive when they are tolerant of one another.  As I mentioned in my posts from Spain this year, I have been to many of the cities and buildings mentioned in the film (Alhambra, Cordova, Seville, Toledo, etc.).  I wish I have viewed this film before my trip. 

When the Moors Ruled in Europe

Bettany Hughes traces the story of the mysterious and misunderstood Moors, the Islamic society that ruled in Spain for 700 years, but whose legacy was virtually erased from Western history. In 711 AD, a tribe of newly converted Muslims from North Africa crossed the straits of Gibraltar and invaded Spain. Known as The Moors, they went on to build a rich and powerful society. Its capital, Cordoba, was the largest and most civilised city in Europe, with hospitals, libraries and a public infrastructure. Amongst the many things that were introduced to Europe by Muslims at this time were: a huge body of classical Greek texts that had been lost to the rest of Europe for centuries (kick-starting the Renaissance); mathematics and the numbers we use today; advanced astronomy and medical practices; fine dining; the concept of romantic love; and paper. (Source: http://www.infocobuild.com/books-and-films/social-science/when-the-moors-ruled-in-europe.html )

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – Chapter 19 of my book discusses “Change”, but the quote below will certainly do if you don’t have a chance to read that chapter in my book.

Serenty Prayer

LAST WEEK POLL – Your Health Habits in Regards to Others

Since I permitted multiple voting, I have no idea how many people participated in last week’s poll, but there were 68 votes.  The highest number of votes went to;

One or less alcohol drinks a day – 11 votes

I exercise more than most people – 9 votes

On average I get less than 7 hours sleep a night – 9 votes

My diet is better than most peoples – 8 votes

THIS WEEK’S POLL – Chapter 20 of my book discusses the importance of celebrating successes (yours and your friends & associates) as well as various holidays.  So this week’s poll is related to the various ways one might celebrate Halloween, if they care to do so.  Again, you can vote for more than one item.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – Folks, here is another dance video for your viewing pleasure.  I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmnSm_d2ll4

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – In chapter 30 of my book, I talk about how important it is to avoid arguments with people.  One sure way of avoiding arguments is to not talk about religion.

Walked into a bar

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE – Lao Tzu

273 Working Title/Artist: LaoziDepartment: Asian ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 8th–11th century photography by mma, Digital File DP164014.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 12_9_11

Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu [ ], who is a guiding figure in [ ] Taoism [ ]. He is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary of Confucius. This could be true, but he may also have been entirely mythical [  ].

Lao Tzu is said to have tired of life in the Zhou court as it grew increasingly morally corrupt. So he left and rode on a water buffalo to the western border of the Chinese empire. Although he was dressed as a farmer, the border official recognised him and asked him to write down his wisdom. According to this legend, what Lao Tzu wrote became the sacred text called the Tao Te Ching. After writing this piece, Lao Tzu is said to have crossed the border and disappeared from history, perhaps to become a hermit. In reality, the Tao Te Ching is likely the compilation of the works of many authors over time. But stories about Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching itself passed down through different Chinese philosophical schools for over two thousand years. (Source:  The Philosophers’ Mail)

BLOG

I hope more of you will start leaving comments to this post.  To leave a comment, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as important, if you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.

MY BOOK

My Final Cover

http://www.amazon.com/Tired-Being-Ordinary-Are-You/dp/0990388697

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/im-tired-of-being-ordinary-are-you-wm-allen/1120528064?ean=9780990388692

 

09/14/15 – The First Time on the Internet: Perceptions

CURRENT EVENTS

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY DEBATE

Folks, regardless of your party affiliation, you should watch this to either be informed or just for the sake of entertainment.

Republican CNN Debate

CNN Republican Primary Debate

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

6pm ET / 3pm PT – First round debate
8pm ET / 5pm PT – Second round primetime debate
Aired On: CNN
Location: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA
Sponsors: Reagan Library Foundation, CNN, Salem Media Group
Moderator(s): Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt
Rules: Split field into Segment B (primetime) and Segment A (remaining candidates getting at least 1% in polls)
Candidates 6pm: Santorum, Jindal, Pataki, Graham
Candidates 8pm: Trump, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina

SKELETONS

I was reading the Thursday, September 10, 2015 issue of USA Today and came across an article on page 5A about the discovery of some skeleton remains that could be more than 2.5 million years old.  Although I found the article interesting, what interests me more are current skeletons.  When you look at the skeletons below, you will see that underneath the skin and superficial differences, we are all the same.

Skeltons

Well at least all of us, except for pirates.

FOOT RACES

runners-racing-18747099

I did another 5K race Sunday at the Detroit Zoo.  Although I was a little faster (34 minutes & 6 seconds) than last week, I came in 5th out of the ten guys in my 65 to 69 age bracket.  But the interesting thing is that the guy who came in first in my age bracket did the 5K in 24 minutes and 10 seconds.  However, 71 year-old Monte Piliawksy ran the 5K in 23 minutes and 42 seconds.  Actually, there was four guys in the over 70 bracket and they all ran the 5K in less than 30 minutes.  Although the over 70 ladies were not as fast, four of them did complete the race.  There were 13 women in my age bracket and the winning woman did the 5K in 23 minutes and 28 seconds.

You really need to ask yourself, what are you doing today that will help ensure your physical well being in the years to come.  And remember it is never too soon or too late to start doing something to be healthier–please.

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

I don’t agree with everything in this book and most likely neither will you; but still it is well worth reading for the many thought provoking ideas that it provides.  I’ve read and reviewed it many times over the years.

Living a Life That Matters 2

Most of us need to feel that we matter in some way; perhaps this explains the high value placed on titles, corner offices, and even fleeting celebrity. But most of us also need to feel that we are good people. In this luminous yet practical book of spiritual advice, Harold Kushner bridges the gap between these seemingly irreconcilable needs, showing us how even our smallest daily actions can become stepping stones toward integrity. (Source:  Amazon)

MOVIE OF THE WEEK 

Here is a short film (Five minutes) that I made back in 2010, called Perceptions.  It is a “tongue-in-cheek” view of how people perceive the world around them.  There are better films out there, but I made this one with my friends and so I love the film even with all it’s flaws.  

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – Chapter 40 of my book talks about seeing and hearing what is there, rather than what you want to be there.  As Abraham Lincoln advises below, you may want to fact check some of the things you see on the internet.

Lincoln Quote

LAST WEEK POLL – How well do you use your time.

This week only 19 people voted in the poll.  I can never understand why more people don’t vote.  I personally find the results interesting.

Anyway, here are the results of the 19 people who voted:

12 felt they used there time better than most people

4 felt they used their time the same as most people

3 felt they used their time worse than most people

THIS WEEK’S POLL – I devoted the first section of my book to good physical traits, since if you aren’t healthy, nothing else really matters, does it?  Below is a poll, where you may answer multiple times.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – Last week my good friend Carolyn expressed here dissatisfaction with one of the male dancers in last week’s Shania Twain video. I think you will find some extraordinary dancing in this week’s music video – Please check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMZwZiU0kKs

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – Batman can obviously see what is there, rather than what he wishes were there.  

Cat Woman

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE – Anwar Sadat (25 Dec 1918 – 6 Oct 1981)

220px-Anwar_Sadat_cropped

[  ] As President, he led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, making him a hero in Egypt and, for a time, the wider Arab World. Afterwards, he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate. Though reaction to the treaty—which resulted in the return of Sinai to Egypt—was generally favorable among Egyptians, it was rejected by the country’s Muslim Brotherhood and leftists in particular, who felt Sadat had abandoned efforts to ensure a Palestinian state. With the exception of Sudan, the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly opposed Sadat’s efforts to make a separate peace with Israel without prior consultations with the Arab states. His refusal to reconcile with them over the Palestinian issue resulted in Egypt being suspended from the Arab League from 1979 to 1989. The peace treaty was also one of the primary factors that led to his assassination. (Source:  Wikipedia)

BLOG

I hope more of you will start leaving comments to this post.  To leave a comment, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as important, if you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.

MY BOOK

My Final Cover

http://www.amazon.com/Tired-Being-Ordinary-Are-You/dp/0990388697

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/im-tired-of-being-ordinary-are-you-wm-allen/1120528064?ean=9780990388692