How light and bright can our spirits be?

Glen, could you share your thoughts on the Buddha’s spiritual teachings? I am just learning about Buddhism and would really like to learn more. (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blogs.)

QUITE humbly and respectfully, I personally believe the Buddha’s teachings were so much about taking loving and selfless ownership of a genuinely healthful way of life…learning to better and better gather a deep, benevolent, and altruistic true appreciation of the miracle of the moment. This is quite consistent with learning to better and better play the part of the unblemished Witness to one’s internal and external environments. It is congruent with endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake, without the need for (and weight of) selfish recognition or hidden agendas…once again True Appreciation. It is much about displaying oneself with dignity, decency, goodness, and grace – and figuring out how to TRULY mean it, no matter what. It is realization that we are all much more in the same common boat than we often think and act…AND recognition of the import of lovingly supporting others in their healthful goals. If there is a Heaven, a ‘key to the universe,’ even a ‘sixth sense,’ they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom – but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. It is learning to lovingly embrace a ‘being’ (a mien/spirit) in which fear becomes less and less an issue (whether from within or from without – accordingly, the wars and famines of our spirits and the greater world reflect back and forth like powerful mirrors). As we gain stronger and stronger footholds into this SO-healthful spirit, we can finally know what it means to say…”there is a True Love, inclusive, but so much more than, familial, friendship, and romantic love.

Additionally, in the ages-old chi kung traditions that I teach and practice, the Theory of Lightness sets forth the notion of lightness of being (inclusive of in stillness AND movement), and the so-beautiful notion of the ‘accumulation of light.’ This practice promotes a more and more impeccable lightness of being, a loving self-awareness/mindfulness, an accumulation of light/energy vs. reflecting it as much or (at times), if at all. Granted, off-the-cuff it sounds a bit or quite a lot from ‘left field,’ but one can’t know until one is willing (i.e., exercising of the true faith) to work for decades or a lifetime to even begin to be good at it.

With less and less weight of desire, craving, and fear of healthful change, it could be more and more common to realize resplendent quintessential ‘glimpses’ of a so-to-speak existence, where there is no time, no space, no distance…again, nothing to hide behind…all is known…lighter and lighter and lighter…and being more and more of light itself. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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What (in an IDEAL sense) do love and ambition have to do with one another?

Glen, does your sense of achievement give you confidence to want to accomplish more by way of the power of love? (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blog.)

Response: Quite humbly and respectfully, a big YES! As such, I believe it is so very much about mindfulness and gratitude, e.g., ‘true appreciation of the miracle of the moment’: There is a love, a ‘true love,’ inclusive of, yet well beyond familial, friendship, and romantic love…a light and bright living love of being…SO very much about living life as a living loving art form. It is a living spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace, AND Acting Without Acting – endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake, without the need for selfish recognition of hidden agendas. It is embracing the notion that we are all much more in the same common boat than we often think and act. It is embracing a deep and abiding sense of true responsibility in supporting others in their healthful goals. If there is a Heaven, if there is a key to the universe, if there is a sixth sense, they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. It is in the wonderfully healthful spirit of true heath through true responsibility.

Consistently (and most importantly), as our love more and more becomes the sparkling spine-tingling/shivering fuel for our thoughts and actions, it quintessentially beyond-words manifests as a ‘glimpse’ of an existence, so-to-speak, where there is no time, no space, no distance – no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow…all is known, and once again SO impeccably, ‘nothing to hide behind.’ All the ‘walls of lies’ have thus tumbled down.

The more and more we can realize such healthful glimpses of Heaven, the more and more ‘prepared’ we might be – AND consistently, the more and more healthful conduits (between Heaven and Earth) we can be. In this tradition, it has a LOT to do with learning to (honestly) play the part of  the less and less blemished Witness to our internal and external environments…inclusive of learning to witness/appreciate the resplendently magical gifts and blessings which we so often are unaware of or choose to ignore. It has a lot to with forgiveness, and it has a lot to do with alleviating ourselves of the terrible weight of (our addiction to) preset patterns of thinking, expectations, and a sense of entitlement.

Can this all be true? What might be a more important question to ask ourselves is, “Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if more and more of us acted as if it is true?” Might it be coined as ‘true faith’ – might it be congruent with learning to gauge our thoughts and actions by seeing if they are for the greater good? The true love I speak of herein has a LOT to do with what we can coin as the ‘true responsibility of making the world a better place.’ It might just be a way back to the Garden, of true health. – Dr. Glen Hepker

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How healthy do I want to be?

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

“According to the philosophy defined herein, a significant level of true health clearly reflects the healthful practice of employing true effort – and
real and substantive true effort cannot be realized unless such action is in distinct congruence with ‘doing the right thing for the right sake,’ e.g., the right sake being without the need for selfish recognition. Herein, so-to-speak, our ‘load is lightened,’ fostering less and less stress and anxiety – making true effort possible and actually enjoyable when we realize a lightness of being, not bogged-down by selfish and/or emotional baggage …a wonderful, abundant level of healthful true self-efficacy. In looking at the issue in full circle, doing the right thing for the right sake, unto itself, when contrasted with other healthful objectives which we might attempt, is among the most difficult – requiring an amazing amount of effort. Albeit, nothing will better enforce substantive realization of comprehensive and genuine health and wellness.

If we wish to take true responsibility for our own health and wellbeing, then it may be possible that we can learn to mindfully and objectively witness and make real the notion that life should be the highest of art forms: The more and more selfless one becomes in creating one’s art form, the more and more beautiful and healthful the art, the artist becomes. It is learning to ‘play the part of the perfect witness’ – to oneself and the world in which we are an integral part. It is an outlook which is unblemished and light. It is true honesty…learning to prefer to not be weighted-down by desire of recognition for one’s good work/effort. It is a significant key to unlocking the door to true health. When making healthful positive changes in one’s life, it is of great importance to be truly appreciative of the miracle of being able to do so. This is a gift made real by our own efforts and by the efforts of others. True health is being a loving witness to the process and knowing not to be afraid of the notion that there is always room for improvement.

It is amazing what we as human beings can accomplish when we do not give up. Notwithstanding, we often display little faith in the obvious potential benefits of making healthful changes in our lives. Realizing such benefits requires significant amounts of effort, time, and patience. We are so spoiled – the popular culture of our modern society is promoting of the unhealthful commonplace attitude of “I want it now.” If we cannot have it easily and ‘right now,’ then it is becoming more and more customary to have the outlook that it is ‘too hard’ – it takes too much effort. This unhealthy spirit is becoming terribly entrenched. We seem to display an intrinsic discomfort toward making healthful choices because it is not clear, it is not for certain, as to what problems or illnesses we will avoid by enforcing ongoing healthful choices. Denying ourselves unhealthful pleasure/preference seems so cruel. The healthful question we need to ask in considering goals is NOT, “How much immediate gratification will I enjoy?” Healthful questions are, “How healthy do I want to be?” “How good do I want to be at it?” “How skilled?” “Can I make and leave the world a better place by making healthful changes?” Enforcing healthful change and thus a more and more healthful way-of-life is not simply just good for oneself – it is less costly to society and less harmful to the world at large: It makes the world a better place on multiple levels. It is our true responsibility.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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In what way is it a ‘true responsibility’ to support others?

An excerpt of Chapter X – The True Responsibility of Supporting Others – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“It is likely that a great majority of us recognize the importance of displaying heartfelt support for others in their abilities and pursuits. The ‘true responsibility of supporting others’ goes a step further. Its basic principle sets forth that each one of us has no greater responsibility to ourselves, than that of being supportive toward others.

To be clear, this notion does not in any way infer that we should ever be blind or codependent to what may be the silly unhealthful whims, dalliances, and/or unsound aspirations or judgments of others. It does infer that there is no greater means by which to assist ourselves or others toward substantive realization of true health/true happiness, than our support of others in their healthful choices and objectives – and most importantly, their ability to succeed therein. Such mindful and deliberate acts, when displayed in a healthful selfless spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace, are in significant congruence with taking true responsibility for our own health and wellbeing.

It may be accurately said that “there is nothing perfect on this earth,” albeit employment of healthful loving compassion in our support of others may be among those things that are ‘as close as it gets.’ In these traditions, realistic and compassionate support of others is a common means by which to enjoy those wonderful ‘spine-tingling’ feelings, coined herein as one aspect of a glimpse of heaven. As opportunities arise in which we can allow ourselves the true freedom to support others in their ability to succeed, we may learn to objectively witness, grasp…a true appreciation of the miracle of the moment.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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What is the recipe for happy marriage?

Glen, what do you think might be a recipe for happy marital relationships? (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blogs.)

Response: I’ve been a part-time individual/marital counselor and wellness coach for a long time. What I endeavor to assist people with, is to mindfully gather and embrace a deep and abiding sense of true appreciation, and to figure out how to healthfully avoid any sense of ‘one-upmanship’ in their relationships…avoiding an unhealthful ‘us-against-them’ type of mien. I believe it is all about learning to better and better display dignity, decency, goodness, and grace in our interactions…and figure out how to truly mean it, no matter what. This is complemented by the notion of Acting Without Acting, e.g., doing the right thing for the right sake…without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas; and further complemented by the Same Boat Theory, the notion that we are not so separate as we often think and act (the primary fault of humankind is the notion that you are there and I am here); lastly, it is about the true responsibility of supporting others in their healthful goals. These are among the central tenets of the tradition of ‘true health,’ set forth in my book.

It is SO important to lovingly embrace a spirit in which we view/witness each and every day…even each moment, as opportunities, miracles with which we can be inspired anew. It isn’t just about being honest in marital relationships, it is about learning to better and better be mindfully, appreciatively, and lovingly honest. Is there anything better on this earth than learning to share true happiness with our spouse? It is obviously NOT for me to say in the absolute sense…albeit what could be better than experiencing ‘glimpses of Heaven’ with our partners? What if such glimpses became common…a resplendently healthful way of life – how great would this be? AND what if no matter how good things get, we embrace the notion/gift that there is always room for improvement – even deeper loving closeness? — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How important is forgiveness with regard to our health and wellbeing?

An excerpt from my book – A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health – Chapter IX/”True Effort”…

“What healthful changes would you like to make in your life? What changes would you like to see in the broader world – changes which would make it a more healthful, safer, and better place overall? The problems which we have as individuals are often reflected to and from the broader world. The means by which each of us can make our world a better place is most often accomplished by promoting healthful change within ourselves; a more and more healthful way-of-life manifests a healthful model for others. Once again, this is our true responsibility, and obviously, it is not an easy thing: It requires true effort to make such changes and sustain them. Ghandi made a striking point which can be applied succinctly to the notion of making such healthful changes: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” His simple statement speaks profoundly .

Some problems can obviously seem overwhelming and may be inherently fixed to our level of maturity – individually and as a species. The great psychoanalyst Carl Jung, spoke eloquently to this point: “The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble…they can never be solved, but only outgrown.” Congruently, and according to the traditions of the health and wellness arts which I teach and coach, no serious illness can be cured – the problem of any bad habit, weakness, or tendency cannot be absolutely solved or eliminated. Such can ONLY be healed and/or made unattractive or unnecessary – though it will always be a part of our make-up, even if it is not outwardly viewable or manifested. This ‘outgrowing’ or ‘growing-up’ necessitates true effort toward educating ourselves about the nuances of health and wellness and ever-evolving critical thinking skills. Such ongoing development is what growing-up is all about.

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 (Copyright 2011)

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How different would the world be if we viewed complaining and blaming as diseases?

Does taking true responsibility for our own health and well-being necessitate giving up the habits of blaming and complaining, or is it possible to have one’s proverbial ‘cake and eat it too?’ What do you think? It seems quite obvious that in a great majority of instances, genuine health and well-being is not inclusive of complaining and blaming – yet they are among the most common dynamics in our interaction, and likely in our thinking. Through our upbringing, we are often ‘trained’ in that it is normal to complain, to blame others…or something in some way.

It may be possible that we can learn to mindfully and objectively witness and make real the notion that life should be the highest of art forms: The more and more selfless one becomes in creating one’s art form, the more and more beautiful and healthful the art, the artist becomes. It is difficult to believe that such a healthful outlook, way of life would be inclusive of the pernicious weight of complaint and blame: The more and more that we learn to mindfully Witness the quality by which we play our role here in this stage-setting, e.g., our life here on this earth, it is possible that we will be able to take more and more responsibility for our health and well-being. It is requisite of playing our parts more and more honestly and altruistically – in the loving spirit of doing the right thing for the right selfless sake. It can become more and more about acting in the ‘greatest good,’ and recognizing what may be our highest calling…our ‘true responsibility’ each and ever day(!) of making the world a better place – more and more and more as a way of life.

Such a way of being may require significant effort – significant levels of mindfulness and objective insight (and manifesting these as genuine skills). Albeit, the most splendid of blessings may be realized in the actual act of doing, most especially a deeply benevolent spirit of quintessential appreciation/gratitude. Such healthful action, such healthful true responsibility might provoke living loving sparkling spine-tingling/shivering ‘glimpses of Heaven’…which are most certainly NOT inclusive of blaming or complaining. How important is this level of true appreciation? Such a light, bright, and shining spirit of being may be WHOLLY consistent with true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing nothing to hide behind. It is ‘back to the garden,’ of true health.

“Bestow a string of faith, for faith we might have…unto the jester of light, in the comedy of reflections…as we stand upon this stage, in awe of, endless, encompassing, all.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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