What is Truth?

No valid plan for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts


In yoga philosophy, there are four functions of the mind. Manas (senses) which is where the sensory, processing mind lives. Chitta (consciousness) which is the storage of impressions. Ahamkara (ego) where our “I-maker” or ego is. Buddhi (intellect) where we know, decide, judge and discriminate. You can think of these four functions as spokes of a wheel and at the center of the wheel is the hub that directs energy out to the spokes. That hub is known as atman or the self in which we observe from. As we observe our actions and speech it reveals the underlying thought process in the mind. It is this observing of actions and speech, that we observe the inner process of the mind at the same time.

Alan Watts in his “Veil of Thoughts” series discusses how and we mistake symbols for reality, and he argues that civilization may be a misguided experiment. He offers an observation about the way in which abstractions have become more powerful than the realities they are referencing. He further talks about how we can become “unbamboozled” from these ways of thinking.

Thought is a means of canceling truth….we are living in a state of total confusion between symbol and reality.” – Alan Watts

Alan Watts suggestions are:

1.) Thoughts are largely symbolic, and not necessarily true.

2.) Symbols create and contain abstractions.

3.) The separation of self from the environment is uncomfortable but ultimately the illusion.

4.) Reality is difficult to define because it is ever present, yet ever changing.

We can only experience reality by bringing our whole consciousness into the present moment.- by allowing our minds to unconsciously respond to the present as the trees respond to the wind- without hesitation or thought. This is meditation!

The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves.” – Marvin L. Minsky

Truth is inconvenient- How do we navigate the pain in the ass place that happens over and over again in everyone’s lives? What happens when we don’t listen and instead stick our head in the sand? How do we manage desires, ego, and thinking errors?  When you understand why you feel nervous, annoyed, hassled, driven, blue, or inadequate, those feelings have less power over you.

Yamas in yoga are moral disciplines and Satya means truthfulness. The Upanishads teach us that we are not three-dimensional beings but multi-dimensional beings that have five kosha body’s or sheaths. The Kosha sheaths are the Physical Body, Energy Body, Emotional Body, Wisdom Body and the Bliss Body. This is the healing model from which Yoga Therapy works from.

Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.” – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche



Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson, PhD. With Richard Mencius, M.D. https://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Brain-Practical-Neuroscience-Happiness/dp/1572246952/ref=sr_1_1/133-9015475-7796041?ie=UTF8&qid=1517346873&sr=8-1&keywords=buddha+brain+book


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Do we actually know what is in our our best interest let alone someone else’s?

This blog is inspired by my own life experience, and Harvard professor Michael Puerto who has written the book The Path and Heather Lanier Ted Talk -“good” or “bad” are incomplete stores we tell ourselves.


The phrase “getting what I want” or is it a broader interest of “doing what is best for all those I come in contact with.” I struggle with this question during this phase of my life. I am halfway through my life and as I reflect I had desired to have accomplished more and yet grateful for everything that I have created in my life. I struggle with this question in regards to advocating for my aging parents. Different things matter to each of us; we see things through a different lens of life (personally, history, values). This question weighs on my life as it takes a dramatic shift. As my parent’s age and I am looked upon to make decisions for them in the future. I mean I indeed live a different life than my family will I make the decisions about their life that they had envisioned for themselves.


This struggle comes from my western view of good and bad, as I learn through my yoga practice to stop fixating on solutions for whatever I deem as not reasonable and instead learn to take life as it comes. As I learn that things aren’t one or the other and get a higher perspective of a bigger picture I learn that it is about finding the middle ground between the opposites. As I practice this, I begin to notice more peace, joy, and love in my life. There is this ancient Taoist parable that is about 2,000 years old it is a story about a Farmer who lost his horse. One day his horse runs away. And his neighbor comes over and says, to commiserate, “I’m so sorry about your horse.” And the farmer says “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” The neighbor is confused because this is apparently terrible. The horse is the most valuable thing he owns. But the horse comes back the next day, and he brings with him 12 feral horses. The neighbor comes back over to celebrate, “Congratulations on your great fortune!” And the farmer replies again: “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” And the next day the farmer’s son is taming one of the wild horses, and he’s thrown and breaks his leg. The neighbor comes back over, “I’m so sorry about your son.” The farmer repeats: “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” Sure enough, the next day the army comes through their village and is conscripting non-disabled young men to go and fight in the war, but the son is spared because of his broken leg. And this story can go on and on like that. Good. Bad. Who knows? The point is the western paradigm of labeling things as good or bad is a false dichotomy because it isn’t clear. If I look at my life events thus far I can see this in my own life.


Maybe you are familiar with the Yin Yang symbol in yoga. We see things as black, white, wrong, right, good, bad but they all flow and melt together on this symbol. It is not contradictory but complementary. Knowledge helps you to bring flowers to bloom again and again. In Chinese philosophy, they talk about four things. TAO “the path” no path leads in a certain direction; because we create the way as we go. MING “fate” things we can’t control happen all the time with the main question of how do we react to them? CHI “energy” when you smile, you offer someone else a little piece of happiness. Chinese philosophers say that refines our chi. YIN “head heart” train your head and heart to work together so you can think clearly and be in touch with your feelings at the same time. It is when we as humans show ourselves without reservation, our armor falls off, and it feels like glimpsing into each other’s souls. We gain wisdom through our experience – good, bad, storytelling and so on that speak to our human condition.


As I continue the second half of my life and I ponder the phrase “in our best interest” for myself and my loved ones, may I stay focused on the larger picture. May all beings be happy and free, and may all my thoughts words and deeds; contribute to the happiness and freedom of all living creatures.





The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/1476777845/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_1cpwAbQM9XQVT

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Leadership & Growth Matters-Honor Matters

You cannot grow a plant by dipping it into the dirt once a year. It takes an ongoing connection to build a root system.” – Dr. Henry Cloud


The best way that I have found over the years to enhance my empathy for others is to do my own work. What do I mean by this? I mean doing the difficult work of getting into understanding your own feelings, needs, and desires. I have hired professionals often to help me work through this. It is tough and uncomfortable and I find the more I am able to observe and evaluate myself I enhance my empathy with others which is the most basic human relational ability in which to create a connection.


When we do this type of work it grows our leadership skills improve from one of frustration and angst in our choice of language to one of calm and empathic. You might think that this has a minor impact, however, a simple elementary change of language choice can produce a positive and widespread change in how we connect with others.


What kind of emotional tone do you want to have in your relationships?

What creates the tone, either positive or negative, and what can you do to make it better?

How is your balance between creating a positive connection with others and having your needs met going?


Build a support system around yourself today that allows for: the removal of toxic relationships and behaviors, that builds a deep connection with others, support others in getting in control of what they can control and help others to think optimistically and root out pessimistic belief systems. When you grow and get better everybody around you benefits!

What word would you use to describe your mother and father? Maybe love, safety, comfort, home or hurt, pain, regret, missed an opportunity. Maybe even the response of “I can’t talk about it!” No matter where you are on that spectrum, it’s your family, and though every family is different, every person matters. Honoring our parents depends on where you are in the family structure. When we appreciate the influence of our parents and significance of our parents, and we share their legacy, we honor them.


Lately, I’ve been doing my own work on the cultural aspects of my family. Being the third generation of immigrant families (on both sides) I’ve been looking at how the country of origin and moving countries affected my parents parenting style.  Did the style work for me as a child? How is my inner child belief system working for me now as an adult? I’ve made lists of how I am like my parents and how I am not like my parents. Doing this exercise has been extremely helpful in healing my relationships.


As we move into the holiday season and family emotions are running high. Have you sat still for a moment and pondered how you’d like to show up to your family? What your part is in the family dynamic? As adults, it is our job to learn what our parents could not teach us as a child.


How are you honoring the family relationships in your life?


Life is full of betrayal, storms, upheavals things that are out of our control, every person is different, our perceptions of life are different. You Matter, We All Matter! We are all unique as our fingerprint is. We are whole and as we transform ourselves, we support others in transforming too. Transformed individuals transform communities. I believe this happens one person at a time!

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