Monthly Archives: March 2010

Zentraveler on the art of Happiness!

The next time you get bogged down in economics declaring the gross national product realize what a small country did by the declaration of the king and declared their country would be measured by its GNH Gross National Happiness and realized this asset can even be exported world-wide.

I attended a Bhutan festival in Washington DC and learned from a question and answer period that you are a part of your countries consciousness and its up to you to help bring your own consciousness up…. if you inherited a bad karma or country.

Bhutan does not even have a word for depression and even though they have had plenty of wars and strife it seems the king has found a way to implore its people to have their emphasis on contentment by practicing the arts and crafts and giving-up a lot of our worldly things that we pursue in an all out rat race!

Buddhists believe that happiness and suffering arise from the mind. In particular suffering comes from negative minds called delusions; minds such as hatred, ignorance and craving. Happiness comes from positive minds such as love, patience and wisdom. By purifying the mind of its negatives and increasing its positive states we can attain increasingly happy states of mind. When the mind is completely pure we attain the ultimate happiness of enlightenment and become a Buddha.

QUOTE:Instead of habitually identifying with negative thoughts and feelings, we realize these various mental and emotional states are visitors, not who we are. We see that while negative states are within us, they are not our true nature any more than super-heated deep-sea vents are the same as the waters they warm. And by our choice to remain aware of their presence within us — instead of identifying with the pain they bring — we are instantly “transported” to that higher ground within us: a higher state of our present self that dwells worlds above the waves that used to sink us.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:”We all know that money can’t buy happiness … but many times we act as if we’d be happier with a bit more money. We are conditioned to want to be rich (when we know the rich aren’t happy either); we are trained to want the latest gadget or style that television tells us to want; we want to earn more money because then we’ll have the good life.

But none of that will bring us happiness. No matter how much we earn, no matter how much we have in the bank, no matter how nice our clothing or cars or toys, none of it will make us happier. And the sad thing is that it could take us decades of pursuing wealth and luxury items before we realize this.

So what will bring us happiness? Luckily, it’s three things that don’t cost a thing. These three things have been proven by research — surveys of hundreds of thousands of people about what they have, what their lives are like, and how happy they are.

Here they are: The Three Secrets to Happiness!

1. Good relationships. We have a human need to be close, to be intimate, with other human beings. Having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy. Action steps: Take time, today, to spend time with your loved ones, to tell them what they mean to you, to listen to them, and develop your relationship with them.
2. Positive thinking. I’m obviously a big proponent of positive thinking as the best way to achieve your goals, but it turns out that it can lead to happiness too. Optimism and self-esteem are some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. Happy people feel empowered, in control of their lives, and have a positive outlook on life. Action steps: Make positive thinking a habit. In fact, this should be one of the first habits you develop. Get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Instead of “I can’t” think “I can”. It may sound corny, but it has worked for me, every time.
3. Flow. This is a popular concept on the Internet these days — the state we enter when we are completely focused on the work or task before us. We are so immersed in our task that we lose track of time. Having work and leisure that gets you in this state of flow will almost undoubtedly lead to happiness. People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. Action steps: Find work that you’re passionate about. Seriously — this is an extremely important step. Find hobbies that you’re passionate about. Turn off the TV — this is the opposite of flow — and get outside and do something that truly engages you.

You’ve been given the Three Secrets to Happiness. Don’t waste them!”

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Your daily mindset to keep on the positives! The world is ruled by government, the media, wars, and negatives. They instill fear so they can control you! Why not join the elite and become a part of the three percent in the world who only concentrate on the positive.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:It’s all in zee positives…if you have negatives running your life…. turn your life around by always concentrating on the positives!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler pumpboats to Malapasqua Island, Phillipines!

Malapasqua literally means Bad Christmas … which got its name by the Spanish explorers who discovered the island in the 1500’s. Local legend has it a typhoon hit on Christmas day causing them to name this idyllic island Malapasqua. Situated in the Visayan Sea, across a shallow strait approximately 8 km from the northernmost tip of Cebu Island. Malapasqua is a small island about 2.5 kilometers long and 1 km wide, and has eight hamlets…with less than 5k citizens, it has so far retained it’s charm and simplicity and is a must see for the diver or island explorer who wants a sample of paradise the way things used to be!

As a diving destination, Malapascua was “discovered” fairly recently, only in the early 90s. The island was first known for its wide white sand beach, known as Bounty Beach; it has also become known for its beautiful coral gardens and excellent local dive spots, as well as further-out sites including Gato Island, Monad Shoal, and Kemod Shoal. Monad Shoal is an underwater plateau where thresher sharks and manta rays can be sighted on a regular basis. You can arrange diving tours from its many dive shops or hire the locals to explore and snorkel in and around Malapasqua Island.

Most of the islanders derive their livelihood from tourism, while some still rely on subsistence fishing and farming. If you have traveled at all in the Philippines you will soon be familar with the term “pump boat” which looks like an outrigger, combination fishing boat relic, from the southseas. A group of us left Santa Fe, Bantayan Island from the beach in front of Yooneek Inn aboard a colorful native pumpboat! The trip took two and one half hours going over the bright blue seas! As we dipped into the waves the passengers in the front of the pump boat got seasprayed and received a pleasant automatic cooling effect under the hot sun!

Our overnight excursion ended in our group fending for themselves. A few brought tents, some rented small cottages for the night, for as low as 600 pesos with breakfast included, to a high of approximately 2700 pesos at the Exotic Dive Resort…. and some simply hung out on the beach!

For a quick impromtu overnight trip with approximately 20 people plus crew ….this is AS GOOD AS IT GETS! Folks took turns strumming on the guitar around the moonlight night as we swizzled cold drinks and ate shisch kabob. One person commented this place is so laid back: “Jimmy Buffet wouldn’t come here”… as we sang another verse of “Margaritaville!”

No trip would be complete to Malapaqqua Island without a walking tour around the island. I headed past the Exotic Dive Resort along the sandy beaches with the local fishing boats bobbing in the wind. Rows of fish drying and fisherman mending their nets were part of the vista.

The next time you have a restaurant fish dinner it may cause you to reflect and think how hard these fisherman actually work and what they go through to bring you their catch. I then cut across the island onto a dirt trail heading toward the lighthouse. As I neared the lighthouse their was an scenic restaurant bar, combination sleeping quarters… pitched directly overlooking the sea. I stopped for a cool drink and headed to the southern most tip where I passed a series of small nipa huts, fisherman working on their boats, and just incredible scenery with back bays for swimming and exploring!

Getting a repupation as the next Borocay it is never to late to visit this quaint island… complete with friendly staff, smiling natives, and a place to remember in the sun under the swayiing coconut trees. So if you are searching for an island off the beaten path that has white sandy beaches, diving and photo opportunities …. then why not book yourself into Malapasqua Island…. I know you will like this one which could end up being your own personal nirvana! For the record I have only visited approximately 9 Phillipino islands so far and have almost 7000 more to explore!

QUOTE: We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. Alan Watts

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Chasing a chicken through town naked used to be the punishment for Frenchwomen who had committed adultery.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Islands…they make good stopping off points for birds, travelers and such!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:If you can’t be an island onto yourself then travel to an island …..either virtually or for real!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler on the amazing cucumber!

The Amazing Cucumber

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their “Spotlight on the Home” series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8.. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Pass this along to everybody you know who is looking for better and safer ways to solve life’s everyday problems.

QUOTE:When you pass through, no one can pin you down, no one can call you back….Zen Quotes by Ying-An.

Cucumbers are a member of the gourd family
along with melons, squash and pumpkins. Cucumbers originated in India where theyhave been grown for 3,000 years.
Florida produces the most cucumbers in the United States. Cucumbers are available year-round. Cucumbers are long and cylindrical with a green skin and crisp white inside.Cucumbers grow on a vine. They prefer sandysoil because it warms up faster in the spring.There are two main types of cucumbers, slicers and picklers. Slicers are the cucumbers that you find on veggie trays or in salads. Picklers are used to make pickles. Cucumbers are 95% water!


ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Don’t even think about it grasshopper …eat your cucumbers for goodness sake!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?


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