Please imagine what a spirit it might be, to live life as a living loving art form. Oh boy!

An excerpt from Chapter XII/”True Happiness: A Glimpse of Heaven” – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“Within the traditions set forth herein, it is believed that our discomfort and/or fear of change and the ongoing challenges thereof, are at the root of why we find it so difficult to realize fitting healthful levels of thankfulness for life and all of its blessings. How different life does or would appear, when or if we feel an ongoing deep gratitude for the following: Life is made up of millions of moments – each moment is change, in and of itself.
Embracing change is often quite difficult, to say the least. Albeit, the happier and more fulfilled we are in our daily lives, the easier it is to embrace change, the state-of-flux which is always going on all around us, and in us. A gauge of true health is a measure of our ability to embrace change, and not run away from it and/or ignore it. Life seems to fly past us at a speed which is congruent with the level at which we detach ourselves from its potentially deepest and most loving and heartfelt aspects. ‘True appreciation of the miracle of the moment’ necessitates true effort toward embracing our discomfort as much as our comfort. In these health and wellness arts, we are privileged to have what are coined as the Three Marks of Being, as set forth in the following:

~ The world (this reality/state-of-being) is full of change. True health is inclusive of deep realization that there is no healthful means by which to circumvent/run away from the intrinsic state-of-fluidity/flux in the world. It is important to learn the skill of ‘giving up the self’ – lightening ourselves of the pernicious weight of ‘ego,’ and evolving beyond/outgrowing our addiction to our unhealthful discomfort with the seemingly inherent lack of permanency in this world. Deft employment of this ‘skill’ allows us to learn to lovingly embrace the ever-evolving state-of-change.

~ A significant portion of suffering is commonly rooted in resistance and/or purposeful or instinctive denial/ignorance of the constant state-of-flux in this ever-changing world. It is important that we learn to embrace the notion that the world cannot bring us the most substantive levels of happiness, e.g., we must first find it within ourselves, because most suffering is rooted in our fear of looking within ourselves. Utilizing true honesty in looking within ourselves enables us to gather a sense of true strength – strength which aids us in witnessing a truly healthful connection between ourselves and all else – a ‘glimpse of Heaven’ – a view of a so-to-speak-existence where there is no state-of-flux, nothing to hide behind. This level of healthful unblemished loving insight allows us to see this world much more clearly, much more like it really is – thus promoting greater and greater resilience in our wherewithal to meet and embrace, and even look forward to the miracle of life’s challenges – the moment to moment change which we can choose not to ignore. In this loving and mindful outlook, it is possible to gather a healthful appreciation of the reality that there is nothing perfect in this world – an appreciation in which we find a wonderful gift: that there is always room for improvement.

~ The primary fault of mankind is the notion that you are there and I am here. Much of our suffering is rooted in our addictive purposeful or instinctive denial or ignorance that ‘we are all in the same boat.’ We need not be so lonely and detached from each other as we ‘wallow in our muck’ – the muck being all the deeper and worse by our sense of being so alone, and/or that we are the only ones suffering from our difficulties. The world does not move so fast when we feel a sense of healthful loving closeness, a truly well-meaning spirit/affinity, a genuine sense of empathy toward others and they toward us. As we learn to realize a greater and greater sense of responsibility for our own health and wellbeing, it becomes easier and easier to enjoy true compassion and empathy for all of our peers.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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Some say that “greed is good.” How healthful of a spirit is it?

An excerpt from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health – from Chapter XI: “True Faith and the Three Portents”…

“A sense of entitlement – as mentioned earlier herein – a sense that I, or the group I am born into or attached to, is better and/or more deserving, has a palpable intrinsic connection to greed. In what is now coined the Great Recession, we find ourselves in a terrible state of circumstances. It is quite clear that a primary root of this grave and highly convoluted financial debacle is greed.

It is likely obvious to many, that as a philosophy, capitalism has both its positive and negative features. In its practical application, capitalism is generally a good thing when its practice is congruent with well-meaning/honest ethical standards – as is the case with most of those who work in the financial industry. Albeit, experts in sociology assert that at least five to ten percent of human beings display criminal tendencies and/or are conclusively corrupt. Thus, it certainly could be a logical assumption that at least a small portion of those who work in the financial industry actually do utilize their financial skills in a fashion which is not congruent with well-meaning/honest ethical standards. This is an unmistakably scary thing.

Some say that “greed is good.” Consistent with the philosophy set forth herein, we could say that well-meaning healthful ambition is good, but greed, when consistent with a spirit of entitlement and/or overt selfishness, is certainly not good – particularly when financial operatives widely abuse the financial instruments at their disposal. The financial world is an incredibly complicated one. Investing one’s hard-earned money into any of a wide array of entities (for instance – stocks, bonds, commodities,retirement funds, or even a mortgage) necessitates a truly important thing: Trust. When those who we trust on such a significant level ‘turn their backs’ on us, their customers, the result can obviously be truly devastating.

As we have seen in this Great Recession, greed has foreshadowed, been the significant cause, of this terrible financial debacle. The spirit of greed is not compatible with well-meaning healthful ambition – quite obviously not compatible with trying to do the right thing for the right sake. ‘Holding true’ to the faith and trust that others bestow in us requires a semblance of substantive healthful faith in our own ability to do our ‘best’ a significant majority of the time. There are periods in which our judgment is not ‘up-to-par,’ but these should not be inclusive of breaches of trust which significantly effect the financial wellbeing of even one individual…or the masses. Taking meaningful responsibility for ourselves is clearly possible if we employ a sincere effort. We have the ability to enforce healthful change – there is strong evidence that even a majority of criminals have the ability to make positive healthful changes in their lives.

There is very little in life that we can be clearly certain of – which makes faith so important. Albeit, most significant of all is faith which necessitates true effort – ahealthful bright beautiful true faith which is most often not dominated by the darker side of our natures. This way-of-being is consistent with the notion of True HealthThrough True Responsibility – taking true responsibility for our own health and wellbeing. Is there a fair-minded well-meaning valid argument against this concept? Would the world be a much better and different place if more and more people displayed such genuine effort? Each of us has the ability to find out. It is up to us as to whether we choose to look within ourselves – without debilitating levels of fear – learning to witness ourselves and our world in a more and more unblemished fashion. It is up to us to decide for ourselves what is right – without unhealthful selfishness. It is up to us as to whether we allow ourselves the true freedom to become more and more roundly educated, compassionate, loving – a healthful way-of-being, devoid, or mostly devoid of the suffocating heavy miserable weight of hate, greed, and ignorance. Such freedom can allow us an evolving wherewithal to enjoy the ability to be more and more rational/logical in ‘connecting-the-dots’ between healthful insights in our daily lives – a notion in the traditions of the health and wellness arts that I teach and coach, coined Pattern Literacy. Realization of this level of practical insight is the embodiment of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace – the ‘true responsibility of healthful interaction, with ourselves and others. It is a stunning example of true health.” — Dr. Glen Hepker  (Copyright 2011)

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What would life be like, if we lovingly learned to better and better recognize that there are truly splendid magical things going on inside of us…and all around us, ALL of the time?

An excerpt from Chapter XII (“True Happiness: A Glimpse of Heaven”) of my book – A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“It is likely that numerous times we have all heard people reflect that they “can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by.” Often it is blamed on age or unknown circumstances. In the tradition of True Health, a common response to such a statement is to kindly mention that, if one considers all of the things one has experienced and done during that period of time, the time does not seem to have moved by so quickly. In utilizing at least this level of objectivity, one can palpably see that life can look quite different when we attempt to impartially pay attention – even if only in hindsight. A primary point of this chapter is to discuss as to why we might choose to take ownership of the notion that there are good and healthful reasons to learn to embrace the miracle of the moment – each moment – as much as is rationally possible: In the tradition of true health, true happiness has an intrinsic association with a ‘true appreciation of the miracle of the moment’ – one cannot have one without the other.

There is little difficulty in defending the following commonsensical assumption: It seems rather obvious that the more unhappiness which we realize, the less likely we can as easily feel gratitude for what we have. The ‘true health’ outlook is that habitual unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and/or frustration prompt an often-developing wherewithal to ignore miracles going on all around us, and in us. Most of the time we seem to be completely unaware of them, unaware of any suitable sense of true responsibility which we should feel with regard to appreciating such amazing blessings. Often we gather a need, a desire to ‘run away’ from ourselves. We are too busy, too quick in our movement through life, and/or too lost within life’s difficulties to slow down and take notice of the miracles in our external and internal environments. The initial point can be taken a step further in a slightly different way: Not only will the “‘year’” seem as if it went by much more slowly if we consider “all of the things” we have “experienced and done during that period of time,” it will seem even more so when we consider all of the moments which we have moved through. From this vantage point, does it seem like the time flew by then? Of course not.

True happiness has little or nothing to do with life being like a continuous ‘blur.’ Quite commonly, a significant aspect of our formulaic outlook on life depends on an irrational instinctive hope that we will eventually reach a point where we find a plateau which will allow us to ‘not have to try anymore.’ Rushing toward some indistinct or supposedly predetermined destination, without a true sense of peace and healthful wellbeing, is like a ‘living death.’ A common saying reflects such lack of insight, e.g., ‘not enjoying the journey’ while ‘having one (or both) eyes on the destination.’ In such a mindset, it seems quite plausible that it is a blessing that life does go by quickly – in fact it is obviously the instinctive or purposeful goal. How sad, when contrasted with the magnificent human potential which a great majority of people enjoy.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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How important is forgiveness in one’s realization of greater and greater levels of true health?

In Chapter IX – ”True Effort” of my book, it addresses what is coined as True Forgiveness. Humbly and respectfully, the following is an excerpt thereof…

“Probably the most painful and arduous aspect of ‘true effort’ is the notion of ‘true forgiveness.’ It is inclusive of forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of others: In actuality the two often reflect upon one another and/or are one-in-the-same. In learning to witness this issue in a clear and unblemished fashion, we may realize a sense of true compassion – gathering significant insight into the notion that we are all in the same boat: Hence, the Same Boat Theory, e.g., the primary fault of mankind is the notion that you are there and I am here.

Our entire outlook on life can quite commonly have a direct connection with the issue of forgiveness. In being faithful to the spirit of truth, we all can obviously look at our experiences and see that each of us has uncountable things for which we can choose to forgive or choose not to forgive in ourselves and others: It is likely we have all made the same mistakes that we see others make. Within each of us, wars and famines of our spirits are reflected back and forth between us and the greater world. For instance, when wronged by others, we have a choice as to how to respond: We can choose to make matters worse by acting in spite, or we can choose a healthful mien through which we can forgive – displaying true (unadulterated) compassion in a spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace – all-the-while making it clear to the wrongdoer that the behavior is wrong and unacceptable.

It is likely that for a majority of us, we have more often than not been unforgiving – in fact we have displayed varying levels of hostility and/or have acted to reflect the wrongdoer’s action back toward them. In the traditions herein, it is said: True self-defense is self-defense against ourselves and our own bad habits. This concept is similar to a common saying, e.g., “we are our own worst enemy.” In acting upon this knowledge, we can choose to exercise true effort toward healthful growth, or we can choose an unhealthful ongoing regression toward greater and greater misery which is filled with self-loathing and hatefulness. Having great role models will obviously be helpful toward making healthful decisions; it certainly ‘can’t hurt.’

I am not intentionally promoting religiosity in this writing – I am setting forth notions of a healthful philosophical way-of-life. Even so, I cannot think of a more profoundly powerful, impeccable, and immaculate example of a role model consistent with the notion true effort and true forgiveness: According to Christian teachings, as Christ was being put to death on the cross, he said, “Forgive them…for they know not what they do.” It seems quite clear that this level of true effort and forgiveness would truly be even more than just a glimpse…of Heaven.” — Dr. Glen Hepker

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What are those benevolent and sparkling spine-tingling/shivering feelings REALLY about?

Why would I address this? Please check it out and share your thoughts (and just to be certain, I am NOT in any way referring to anything sexual). And PLEASE know that the spirit of this commentary is in NO WAY elitist or to purposely/blindly speak of things ‘out in left field,’ or ANY such thing. I am setting this forth in a benevolent spirit of humility and respect (AND another ‘please,’ i.e., know that it is quite clear that the concepts herein are not in any way a broad part of our Western culture).

In the Far East, what I am speaking to is coined chi/qi (in China), ki (in Nippon/Japan), and pranha (in Indian Sanskrit). ‘Chi’ is pronounced ‘chee,’ ‘ki’ is pronounced ‘Kee,’ and ‘pranha’ is pronounced just the way it looks – with soft ‘a’ sounds, similar as in a round ‘ball.’ In the ages-old arts that I teach, coach, and endeavor to follow, acupuncture theory, tai chi chuan, and chi kung are inclusive of teachings in which we teach/direct means by which to QUITE substantially strengthen our chi/bio-electric energy for health/wellness & in promoting pertinent skills (inclusive, but not limited to being a very important aspect of True Health).

What does it actually feel like, at such TRULY substantive/skilled levels? In many ages-old similar traditions, it is quite clear that this knowledge has all but been lost. There are three facets: (1) One must be truly skilled in all-of-the-time abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing (the benefits are profound); (2) One must realize True Skill in (as is coined in my specific tradition) Playing the Part of the (unblemished or next-to-unblemished) Witness with regard to one’s internal/external environments; (3) one must learn the True Skill of realizing enhanced levels of bio-electric energy AT WILL, i.e., benevolent, altruistic sparkling spine-tingling/shivering feelings/sensations; and learning the skill of associated guided imagery in moving this ‘golden elixir’ (as a meditative health practice, i.e., for preventive and treatment purposes).

Not meant in the spirit of being difficult, but what I’m speaking of (what enhanced bio-electric feelings feel like) is NOT different for each individual – it is VERY much the same. We likely have all had those loving ‘spine-tingling moments’ occasionally during our lifetimes: Congruent with Eastern traditions, this ‘feeling’ is (whether by happenstance or with purpose) enhanced bio-electric energy (chi).

Congruent with acupuncture theory, this skillfully enhanced/fanned bio-electric energy is foremost associated with the ‘kidney chi’/’original chi,’ the bio-electric energy which we are born with (for health/wellness purposes – the goal is to mindfully center it in the body’s associated ‘furnace,’ i.e., residing in acupuncture point CV#8/’real tan tien’ area (behind the navel) – aligned with the ming men, and also strongly associated with the circulatory ‘lower tan tien’ – CV#6 – 2.5 inches below the navel).

The ‘feeling’ has intrinsic relationships to what is coined as the ‘Accumulation of Light’ (or ‘Lightness’), and also “A Glimpse of Heaven,” (i.e., according to these teachings, as strange as it MAY sound to many, it is what it feels like in Heaven – at least according to the specific tradition within which I was taught). The philosophical/theoretical facet of this school of thought in my tradition of TCM/chi kung/tai chi chuan is coined Ming Chia (a type of Tao Chan/Zen), i.e., the Bright Beautiful School of Thought (as set forth in my book). As said earlier, it can only be best/skillfully/at will realized in congruence with diaphragmatic breathing and unblemished Witnessing (without precognition or expectations).

A primary goal is to learn to gather a deep abiding sense of true appreciation of the miracle of the moment. As stated earlier, most people during their lifetimes have likely experienced those special loving and/or sentimental-seeming moments, in which they have those feelings/realizations (usually emanating from the abdominal/lumbar area). In the arts that I teach, this is an unintentional realization of enhanced bio-electric energy. As said, a goal in this form of guided imagery/meditation is to learn to fan the furnace, stronger and stronger, until one can realize those feelings AT WILL: This (traditionally viewed) can only be done by way of emptying the mind of all pernicious cyclical thinking/expectations…and/or focusing ONLY just EXACTLY on what one is doing). Accordingly, this is a significant aspect of what we so quite altruistically/respectfully coin as True Health: Once one accomplishes this, the possibilities are quite broad, i.e., inclusive of learning to move the ‘cursor’ (enhanced bio-electric energy) on meridians/pathways.

One of the ultimate goals in this art is to learn to do this in ANY setting in one’s daily life – not just with regard to sitting meditation. It is said that 90% is breathing correctly and/or breathing correctly in time WITH relaxed/mindful movement…but the other 10% is the added benefit of more and more skilled guided imagery added into the mix (inclusive of fanning the furnace and emptying one’s mind or focusing on JUST one thing/what one is doing). Resonant/healing single syllabic or multi-syllabic sounds can also be added into it.

Most importantly and traditionally viewed, this type of meditation is defined, in practical application, as necessitating/enjoying quite healthful true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, not needing anything to hide behind. Thus consistent with those loving sparkling spine-tingling/shivering sensations, this may be what a Glimpse of Heaven actually is…feels like…what Heaven would feel like. A place, so-to-speak, where all is known…and once again, NOTHING TO HIDE BEHIND. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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What can I do to make this day forever splendidly and lovingly unforgettable? Is it my responsibility?

How about each day, even each and every moment…NO MATTER the quality of the day, the moment – choosing to find a means by which to make even the most difficult of days/moments into splendid blessings that we will never forget? Do we have such wherewithal?

What would the world be like if more and more of us learned to succinctly see this as a true responsibility? Would it require that we learn to better and better embrace healthful change and avoid getting lost in a mien of blind craving and desire? Would it require that we learn to better and better embrace the notion that we are all so much more in the same common ‘boat’ than we often think and act? Would it require that we endeavor to do the right thing for the right selfless sake…more and more and more? Would it require that we endeavor to be resplendently benevolent, compassionate, and empathetic (albeit NOT co-dependent) in our interaction with others…displaying dignity, decency, goodness, and grace…and figuring out how to truly mean it, NO MATTER WHAT? Would it require that we be supportive of others in their healthful goals?

Certainly this is ‘tough stuff,’ to say the least…but quite likely there may be very little that could be more rewarding, inclusive of realization of true health. Such appreciation of life and its living is absolutely requisite of quintessential levels of love and deeply genuine gratitude – sparkling spine-tingling/shivering impeccable true appreciation of the miracle of the moment. So humbly and respectfully, it is requisite of true effort – realization/enjoyment of levels of true mastery whose ‘secret’ may be in enjoying deep appreciation of one of the most significant blessings of all on this Earth, e.g., that there is ALWAYS room for improvement, greater and greater levels of objective insight and mastery. Is this a ‘key’ to true health? Each of us can only answer this for ourselves.

Congruent with this outlook is the notion that enjoying free will is among the most wonderful of blessings. Albeit, LOTS of responsibility comes with it, most particularly IF we CHOOSE to RESPECTFULLY answer to it. Ideally, it must be harmoniously consistent with the wonderful spirit thereof, e.g., creating a truly healthful and appreciative WAY OF LIFE.

Getting ongoingly lost on crepuscular/stagnant plateaus can be like a living death: Embracing healthful change CAN make it possible to more and more realize the ability to play the part of the less and less blemished Witness…taking part in the living loving story of our lives, vs. just being a pawn in the story of our lives. It is so much about true appreciation and true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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Being a student of life, i.e., as a living loving art form…what is your outlook?

So quite humbly speaking, students of life, i.e., as a living loving art form (*who realize their genuine responsibility in making the world a better place), might gather objective selfless insight into the Noble Paths of ‘healthful thinking’ and ‘healthful action,’ displaying themselves with dignity, decency, goodness, grace, and honor/integrity…doing right for the sake of doing right…leading by example. They might take true personal responsibility for their own health and well-being, while learning to better and better take ownership of the notion that blindly living with craving, desire, and fear of healthful change is not a medium by which to undergo the Healthful Noble Path(s).

Consistent with this healthful spirit, it is quite significant to be benevolently aware that the common concept that we are all separate beings is a faulty notion which is humankind’s greatest encumbrance/handicap. It is so very much about true forgiveness, and true honesty which is promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. It is SO very much about learning to realize the genuine skill of embracing living loving sparkling spine-tingling/shivering moments/feelings/’glimpses of heaven’ – AT WILL.

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