What Are You Optimistic About?

I have often posted here about  the negative oriented media and their interest in reporting more bad news than uplifting news. I do believe there are more good signs in horizon  than bad and here is a book to proof it. A newly published book called, "What are you optimistic about?"  by John Brokman, has recently asked more than 150 high-powered scientific thinkers to answer a vital question for our frequently pessimistic times: "What are you optimistic about?
mostly scientists from all disciplines.  Here are some of the answers:

Steven Pinker(Psychologist, Harvard): The decline of violence

Haim Harari (Physicist): The evolutionary ability of humankind to do the right things.

Juan Enriquiz (CEO, Bitotechonomy): A Knowledge driven economy allows individuals to lead millions out of poverty in single generation.

John Gottman (Psychologist): When men are involved in the care o their own infants the cultures do not make war.

Stephen Kosslyn (Psychologist): Human intelligence can be increased, and can be increased dramatically.

Brian Goodwin (Biologist): Our ability as a species to respond to the challenge presented by peak Oil.

Read more here if you can not buy the book.


Inspired Gifts

It's the Holiday season again and many of us will be thinking about gifts to buy. If you think about giving someone a gift with a charity component, here are some resources that will definitely Inspire, move and touch someone:

Inspiregifts.org: Inspired Gifts is an innovative program that allows you to purchase real, lifesaving products--like blankets, bednets and vaccines--to be shipped directly to one of over 150 countries where UNICEF is saving children's lives.

Audreybag.com: The Audey Hepburn Children's Fund has begun producing a limited collection of beautifully made handbags showing Hepburn's image. All profits, after production costs, will go to the fund.

Heifer.org: Heifer's mission is to work with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth, and they are currently have several giving opportunities that help achieve that mission.

World Vision: My favorite one for many years, you can give a gift in honor of someone you love and respect.


Thought of the day!

It's appears that there is no break in people killing people over their religious belief. People fight over doctrine and dogma, we don't see people being murdered over attaining divine Union!

A "religious war" and "religious suicides" is really large-scale egotism gone berserk.

Swarmi Prebhavandanda used to say, "if you put Jesus, Buddha, Moses, and Mohammed in the same soon together , they will embrace each other. If you put their followers together they may kill each other". Hmm....something to think about!


Play and donate rice!

My favorite American tradition is the Thanksgiving day, so what a great day to visit Free Rice website. You play, and they will donate Rice to the United Nation to end world hunger. I was introduced to this website by my dear blogger friend Maithri. Now, its been a fun game for my sons to play and what a fun way to be involved. Thanks Maithri!

Free Rice


My favorite animal is chimpanzee,  I wish I could have them as a pet...look how adorable this baby is in the picture! I love the fact they are capable of empathy, and altruism and they maybe the only animal that has these capabilities.
 My kids are off today, so we are going to visit our dear Chimpanzee at the nearby zoo.  will report later.

Update: oops! my son corrects me that Dolphins also are capable of empathy!


I love to read old legends to my sons and this is the one we read yesterday:

When man had become so evil and corrupt that the angles decided to hide all goodness and truth from him. Not knowing where to hide it,they discussed many ideas. One angel suggested that it be buried in the earth, but the other angels disagree saying that with everything that was known about man, he would min the earth for all its resources and find it there. No, the earth would not be a good place.

Another angel suggested the ocean as a good hiding place for goodness and truth. But again, that idea was ruled out. "Man has such an insatiable appetite," the angels said. " After he has mined the earth, he will go on the oceans and mine them for all their resources. Surely then he would find this treasure."

Another one suggested the sky. To put all goodness and truth in outer space might work. But alas, once man had conquered the earth and seas, he would move on to the sky.

Finally, after having been silent the entire time, a very wise angel said, "We shall put goodness and truth inside of man. For all the we know of him, he will never look for it there." And, they all nodded in agreement.

Time and time again we need to be reminded that "kingdom of Heaven, is indeed, within" (luke 17:21).  


Hail to Innovators!

I love this time of the year where awards are given to best innovators of the year.  I find the innovators' passion, hard work and genius so inspiring.  So here is the link, some of them will surely inspire, move and touch you also!

Innovations of the year 2007. Tell me which is your favorite?


Our Mother Earth!

How delicate our homeland looks from far, far away.... how peaceful it looks, and how full it is.

Click here to see other fascinating pictures of our Earth. The Japan Space Agency's (JAXA's) Kaguya spacecraft re-created one of the most memorable photos from space--an Earth-rise from lunar orbit.


Moon is always full!

One of many blessings of blogging is that you "meet" (well, virtually meet) many like minded people and it's a great joy to read their words and get inspired by them. I am so glad Irving left me a comment and when I visited his blog called Darvish  I read the post beautiful poem. The poem touch me so much, that I read it for my  sons (9 and 11 years old) . One of them suggested that we can use this as our nightly prayer and I just loved the idea. So here it is, enjoy!
The moon is always full
Our human eyes
See only its phases

Love is always here
Our human heart
Sees only its shadow

Joy is always present
Our human mind
Reasons it away

God is always near
Our human spirit
Knows this without words

.... Continue here


Come to terms with peace

"In order to come to terms with peace of mind concerning God and ourselves, the first consideration must be this: God does not punish us for our sins; we are punished by them. You are perfect, as God is perfect, at the spirit level, and our very reason for being is this incarnation is to bring the physical up to the spiritual level of being. With each thought, with each action, our every ideal should include the transformation from the human to the spiritual level.

By your thoughts and actions, you create the world in which you live. If you think wisdom, there is wisdom, if you think misunderstanding, there is misunderstanding. The world, the true world, is a wold built on thought.

You are God's temple, and God's spirit dwells in you! Be at peace."

Excerpts from my dear teacher, Rev. Thomas Witherspoon's book called "The Peace That Passes All Misunderstanding".


21st Century Commandments

It's the commandments time again! I have posted this before and I like to reminde myself of these new commendmants. My spiritual teacher, Rev. Tom, has proposed these Ten New Commandments (to augment the original Ten Moses gave the Judaic world) that he feels are especially appropriate for our modern times.
  1. Thou shalt not worry. (it is the most unproductive of all human activities.)
  2. Thou shalt not be fearful. (Most of the things we fear never come to pass anyway.)
  3. Thou Shalt not cross bridges before you come to them (No one has ever succeeded in doing this.)
  4. Thou shalt handle only one problem at a time. (Leave the others to God until their turn comes up.)
  5. Thou shalt not take your troubles to bed with you. (They make poor bedfellows.)
  6. Thou shalt not try to carry the problems of the world on your own shoulders (only God has a back that strong.)
  7. Thou shalt be a good listener (For God often speaks to us through the mouths of others.)
  8. Thou shalt not try to relive yesterday. (it is Gone; Rejoice in today.)
  9. Thou shalt dismiss Feelings of frustration (90% of them are rooted in self-pity and interfere with positive action.)
  10. Thou shalt count thy blessings daily (never overlooking the smallest one, for our biggest blessings are often composed of many small ones.)

Have a fullfilling weekend!


Eat, Pray, Love

All right, I finally finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book, "Eat, Pray, Love". Almost everywhere I turned, people were reading this book, and a good friend of mine, literally, ordered me to read. So, I did it! I must say I still don't get the reason for it's HUGE success. It is a well written book and in fact funny and thoughtful! But it amazes me the degree that it has resonated with so many people! Does this mean that many are searching for their spiritual path? or many are unhappy in their marriages and looking for a way out gracefully? hmmm

It's story of a woman's spiritual journey after her divorce, when she takes off a year to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia. I liked her story when she was in India the most, where she quoted many things from her Guru...and here is an excerpt:
" Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of your through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss. Swamji, my Guru's master, was a stickler about silence in the Ashram, heavily enforcing it as a devotional practice. He called silence the only true religion. It's ridiculous how much I've been talking at this Ashram, the one place in the world where silence should-and can-reign."
Here is another one I liked:
"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I am aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a clod fog and never lift."
Update: Just found out that Paramount Picture will be making the movie of "Eat, Pray, Love", starring Julia Roberts.


Some good links to read

- The worlds leading atheist has written a book and tells us that now he believes in God. Here is the book by Anthony Flew

- Will money solve Africa's Development Problem? Read these essays by leading experts.

- The new Nostradamus! How political scientist, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, is using Mathematics and game theory to predicts the future? And he has a great track record! He is a kind of Mathematical Fortune-Teller. Click here for another article about him.

-Watch a great video of Saturn. Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shows breathtaking images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, she focuses on Saturn's intriguing largest moon, Titan,with deserts, mudflats and puzzling lakes. Watch Here.



Transformational Seminar

I get many emails asking me about the meaning behind my blog address which is "racket-free"? Well, I learned the term "racket-free" from the Landmark Education Forum I attended last year. It means to live life fully and live without creating excuses. Landmark education was the best transformational seminar I have ever taken and if you are interested, here is a short online introductory course for you to learn and consider.

Click here and then click on each teacher to hear him/her talk about one aspect of this transformational seminar. The subjects are:

1- Our "blind spots" in life and how to recognize them
2- The Vicious cycle that we create in life, facts vs the stories we create
3- The fixed vs. malleable world
4- What are rackets? The payoffs and the cost of our excuses that we create in life
5- The filling error: how we live our lives by constantly bringing the past into the future and sabotaging our own success.

Please let me know if you are interested and if I can be any help. Landmark Education is worldwide and you can click here to find out if there is any free introductary class where you live.

Update: Jerry sent me this link about the founder of Landmark education. Click here to found out more.


Don't lose your compass!

Sail thy vessel on, -
Steady, friend, steadily sail along.
Water may be rough
Or water may be smooth;
But ever hold fast to thy compass.
The sky may smile
Or the sky may frown-
Hold fast to thy compass.
Wind may roar
Or wind may be still-
Hold fast, hold fast to thy compass and sail thy vessel on.
Steady, friend, steadily sail along.

~Swami Paramananda

I believe when you are open to receive, you will get what you are looking for. I needed help today and I received the above poem from a friend 10,000 miles away. Again, reminding me that regardless of situation, I have to remember about my own, internal moral compass.