How beautiful can the ‘wilderness of our existence’ be?

What are some of the things which can only be known through unblemished witnessing – whether it be of this Earth and the living story thereof, or in a ‘glimpse of heaven?’

Both levels of existence have commonalities, and there are many means by which to make THIS world a better place. Albeit, all meaningful ways as such are inclusive of these things: ‘true freedom,’ aka the accumulation of light and lightness, and its almost-unblemished and/or genuinely unblemished true love and true responsibility of universal compassion and harmoniously-balanced empathy. There are many means by which to make the world a better place – but all meaningful ways, to be exact, are inclusive of this level of grace and the freedom to artfully appreciate what we have.

How can we make this happen? This living awareness is among the pinnacles of true health, as described in the following saying – which is symbolic of life and all of its potential in connecting-the-healthful-dots, as reflected in the following:

The Lotus Flower Blossoms Analogy:

“There is a place where, wherever you are there, whatever you are doing…no matter what, in any given moment, there should be nowhere you would rather be.

It is where you are right now – and you have the ability to so deeply and artfully appreciate your life and its living…to connect one healthful insight to the next, and make them all one…learning to witness this already-existing truth.

In the wilderness of our existence…a place of budding flowers about, about to unwrap in a showing of perfect appreciation for all to thrive upon, we are the flowers which can blossom again and again in each season of our deeper and deeper insights…all connected…each better and more healthful than before.

It is not unlike Heaven…and it can become Heaven, with enough insight and appreciation. It takes quite a few sparks, glimpses – spine-tingling moments…as a way-of-life which becomes more and more purposeful…more and more without time or space or distance. More and more there is less and less to hide behind.” — Dr Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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What is the importance of doing the right thing for the right unselfish sake?

“Glen, could you please explicitly explain the concept of Acting Without Acting?” (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blog.)

Response: Thanks so very much for your question. Humbly and respectfully, Acting Without Acting (Wu Wei) is the most central feature of the ages-old Bright Beautiful School of Thought (Ming Chia). It is a deeply loving, altruistic, and empathetic health/wellness philosophy that (genuinely) so-humbly sets forth that, through true effort one can learn to better and better realize true happiness through learning the genuine skill of doing the right thing for the right unselfish sake. So quite so, this is ‘tough stuff,’ to say the very least! Accordingly, it is learning to (more and more) selflessly treat life as a living loving art form…more and more each moment. It is in the benevolent spirit of true appreciation for the miracle of the moment, more and more each moment. Congruently, IF there is a Heaven, a ‘key to the universe,’ or even a ‘sixth sense,’ they are rooted in true honesty and true appreciation, promoting of true happiness and true freedom – but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind.

Put most simply, the world can obviously be a perniciously difficult place, and consistent with this philosophy, this difficulty is rooted in craving, desire, and fear of healthful change. That said, one can learn to better and better witness ‘glimpses’ of a so-to-speak existence where there is no time, no space, no distance…no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow…and once again nothing to hide behind, all is known. This ‘skill,’ which may take decades if not a lifetime to even begin to become good at (very strange to consider from the perspective of our culture), can manifest as the difference between living the living loving story of our lives, vs. just being a pawn to the story of our lives. One can learn to develop a way of life in which so-coined craving, desire, and fear of healthful change are not present, at least slightly more than not. It is requisite of insight that, one of the greatest gifts of all is that there is always room for improvement on this Earth, vs. ongoing stagnant plateaus which are like a living death.

Likely all or most all good work and intentions are of significant intrinsic value (and accordingly, it is QUITE easy to fool oneself with regard to one’s actual level of selflessness, i.e., the ‘sake’ with which we do good things). What this philosophy sets forth is, that the spirit by which one goes about doing what one does, is among the most important of things: There are magical things (not speaking of parlor tricks) going on inside of us, and all around us, ALL of the time (for which most people are untrained to witness and appreciate, or simply don’t care – lost in the spirit of survival – just getting by, by the ‘skin of their teeth’ – vs. a more healthful spirit of thriving). The splendidly healthful spirit of Acting Without Acting can allow one to, through the CLEAR lens of unblemished witnessing (i.e., a refined mindful/meditative spirit – ‘true meditation’), behold these beyond-words magical blessings/gifts. This is, once again, in the deeply loving and altruistic spirit of true honesty, i.e., there is a true love, inclusive, but much more than, familial, friendship, and romantic love.

According to this philosophy, the (quite literally speaking) sparkling spine-tingling/shivering realizations which are congruent with such ‘glimpses of Heaven,’ are actual beyond-words enjoyment of true health (and most significantly, ‘true health through true responsibility’). — Dr. Glen Hepker

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Why is it a blessing that ‘there is nothing perfect on this earth?’

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

“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.

In our interactions with others, special moments, opportunities, manifest regularly…even if we have developed an unhealthful habit of ignoring them…these gifts. During difficult times in our lives, it is likely that we gravitate less and less toward being kind and compassionate. Even so, is it possible that we can raise ourselves back up to land-level (and beyond) by reaching out with selfless compassion and honest empathy? Change is difficult, but we can always succeed if we never give up trying. How much sincere critically thought-out and/or justified doubt is there in this?

We have a responsibility to ourselves to overcome or outgrow our demons. We allow them to haunt us and it is unlikely that there is a more effective means to deal with them…than to display compassionate empathy and healthful support toward others. When we selflessly support the ability of others to realize success in their healthful objectives, there is nothing more healing, more compassionate that we can do for ourselves. It is this selflessness that is the key that unlocks the door to true health…the living embodiment of the notion of Acting Without Acting, e.g., doing the right thing for the right sake – without the need for selfish recognition.

Displaying a genuine substantial level of selflessness is not an easy task, and it may be easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we are ‘not looking for recognition.’ Exercising selfless good is a skill which needs to be nurtured, and the more and more we succeed, the more and more (accordingly) we will recognize that there is no need for recognition and/or reward: Witnessing true health in an unblemished fashion, in ourselves and in others, is of and within itself, what life can be about, at its most wonderful best. It is a glimpse of heaven.

Would the world be a much different and better place if more and more people sincerely learned to selflessly support each others’ ability to succeed in healthful endeavors…more and more people being raised to do so…the model becoming the norm? Would this be one aspect of true happiness – on an ever-broadening scale? Who can ethically argue that such a level of emotional and spiritual well-being would not be a good thing? When we learn to better and better (healthfully) believe in ourselves and others, we may learn to better appreciate our ability to achieve greater levels of mastery in more and more areas of our lives: We can take more and more responsibility for ourselves – becoming more and more educated – more adept at objective/critical thinking – more stable emotionally, physically, and spiritually by taking better care of ourselves. This may be among the most healthful levels of selfless responsibility which could prompt humankind to evolve to higher levels of awareness: If a greater and greater number of people could realize true mastery in personal growth and responsibility, then it is likely that more and more could appreciate another exceedingly important gift…that here on earth, there is always room for improvement – greater and greater levels of mastery and responsibility. To be fair, such levels of determination and effort can be very scary premises to ponder.” — Dr. Glen Hepker

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What is requisite in realizing broad beneficial changes in our cultural outlook with regard to health and wellness, and our responsibility as such?

“Glen, in your opinion, what would it take to prompt radical society-wide changes toward truly substantial improvement in our overall health/wellness status (in our broad popular culture)?” (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blogs.)

Response: Humbly and respectfully, I believe that we need to institute mandatory nutritional classes in primary and secondary schools, as part of the ‘physical education’ curriculum. To complement this dynamic, there must be a movement therein to make an adjustment to the popular culture’s notion of physical education as primarily a setting for competitive sports (only a small minority of school children fit well within the competitive popular sport venue). Such sports can remain for those who fit well within that setting. In such a program, it would also be of significant importance to teach stress/anxiety-controlling practices and remedies, possibly inclusive of even refined meditation and all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing.

As set forth in my book, physical education in schools needs to promote a philosophical and practical curriculum for realization of true health: a genuinely healthful dietary, exercise/mobility, and stress/anxiety-controlling WAY OF LIFE is the key to taking true responsibility for our own health and well-being (and thus best avoiding chronic illness). ‘Lightning bolts’ may still strike…we all have genetic propensities toward realization of various maladies, but they will quite likely strike less and less as we ongoingly work to improve and take responsibility for our health and well-being. Again, humbly and respectfully, in most cases NOT taking true responsibility, as such, may be the REAL disease. Eventually, we would not have a so-called healthcare crisis if this outlook became the norm in school P.E. settings. In addition, the financial costs would fall dramatically, becoming less and less of a burden.

I realize this may all sound silly, on multiple levels, when considering our contemporary state-of-affairs. Albeit, this IS what is needed in order to provoke profound beneficial changes in the cultural dynamic. — Dr. Glen Hepker 

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Can the ‘real magic’ be in the effort?

“Glen, it seems like our society is often looking for answers to difficulties with a one-size-fits-all mentality. You have taught, coached, and practiced your traditional health and wellness arts for a long time. What is your outlook, and how do you think that people can embrace health and wellness, even if one-size-doesn’t-fit-all?” (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blog.)

Response: Thanks so very much. I believe it is significant to take into account that this is a holistic health and wellness philosophy. With regard to its practical application, it is QUITE important to embrace the notion that one-size-doesn’t-fit-all. PLEASE know I don’t say this in an unhealthful spirit of being evasive: I am simply setting forth that the magic (NOT parlor tricks) is in the ONGOING true effort in taking true responsibility for one’s own health and well-being. The primary thesis of the ages-old health/wellness philosophy that I teach, coach, and endeavor to follow, is that “the world would be a much different and better place if more and more people learn to take true responsibility for their own health and well-being.” Ideally, each person likely would have a slightly different take on what it all entails. But the ‘magic is in the effort.’

I wholeheartedly believe that our society is slowly shifting/improving with regard to being aware of what is healthful and what is not. That said, it is clear that a majority of people are NOT yet endeavoring to embrace these notions. It is the difference between thriving vs. just getting by…just surviving. This is NOT meant in a haughty spirit, I mean this lovingly and with deeply felt empathy – we all have our ‘thorns to bear,’ learn from, and grow out of, if we choose.

I believe that our immune systems are able to ward-off just about anything, if we aren’t living in a state of enervation. Pristine homeostasis can be realized through embracing the broad tenets of true health, e.g., a level of healthfulness which can make widely-perceived amazing things become matter of fact/normal (for those accepting responsibility for their own health and well-being).

A goal in this tradition is to learn to better and better embrace life as a most splendid of art forms…a living loving art, full of true appreciation and gratitude. It can be the difference between witnessing and taking part in the living loving story of one’s life, vs. just being a pawn to the crepuscular story of one’s life. It is avoiding being permanently stuck on stagnant plateaus which are like a living death. If there is a ‘key to the universe,’ it is rooted in true honesty and true appreciation, promoting of true happiness and true freedom, but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. We are all programmed a bit differently, but each of us can better and better learn to embrace true health in a fashion which works well for them. True gauges as such, for anyone, can be to gather insight in this regard by asking oneself, “does it make my world, THE world, a better place?” “Am I doing this for the right unselfish sake?”

It is ‘tough stuff,’ albeit that is not what it is about – its spirit is endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake, without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas. It is a loving, altruistic, and empathetic heartfelt mien – a spirit which is the key to unlock the door to sparkling spine-tingling/shivering communication, moments that are healthful beyond rational understanding: Such CAN be witnessed, appreciated as a WAY OF LIFE, vs. only in spontaneous sentimental moments, AND put into greater and greater levels of loving application. There is a True Love, inclusive, yet more than, familial, friendship, and romantic love. It can open ANY door.

These notions of ‘true health’ and ‘true responsibility’ do not necessitate anything resembling a one-size-fits-all mentality. Human beings certainly have individual differences which necessitate slightly different formulas/recipes for realization of impeccable or near-impeccable health and wellness. That said, deeply embracing/appreciating a pertinent and refined health and wellness philosophy may enable us to put all of our contemporary knowledge into splendid practical application.– Dr. Glen Hepker

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Words cannot do justice for all the gifts/blessings we are given.

Glen, what is your experience of, or insight into, what people refer to as ‘God?’ It can be good to express opinions and come up with theological outlooks, but what do we actually experience? Can we put it into words? Should we even try to? (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blog.)

Response: Thanks so much for your inquiry. Humbly and respectfully, I believe it is much about learning to (lovingly and selflessly) better and better play the part of an unblemished witness to one’s internal and external environments: I believe it is of utter importance not to limit ourselves to (only recognition of) typically-perceived grand miracles as the only legitimate miraculous phenomenon (i.e., ‘grand miracles’ which are outside what we perceive as our common every-day lives). I believe that we have been given the countless gifts/blessings which make it possible to experience miracles each day, even each moment. It is the difference between true objective insight and subjectivity: It is the difference between learning to better and better witness and take part in the LIVING LOVING story of our lives…vs. just a pawn to the story of our lives.

What I am speaking to, is in the loving and selfless spirit of true appreciation of the miracle of the moment…more and more each moment. This truly healthful spirit is without, or nearly without craving, desire, fear of healthful change, expectations, or preset patterns of thinking. If there is a Heaven, a ‘key to the universe,’ 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 treating life and its living as a wonderful art…with a knowledge that among the greatest of gifts, is in lovingly embracing the notion that there is ALWAYS room for improvement, vs. the living death of ongoing stagnant plateaus.

Words cannot do justice for what God allows us or gives us – it is best witnessed in a loving and selfless spirit – a spirit which is in harmony with the notion of doing the right thing for the right unselfish sake. It is being an impeccable conduit between Heaven and Earth. It is a loving recognition that we all have a responsibility in making THIS world a better place.

To be more specific as you asked – the best way I know to put it is: learning to witness…catch a ‘glimpse’ of an existence, so-to-speak, where there is no time, no space, no distance – no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow, but once again most importantly…nothing to hide behind…all is known. It is spine-tingling/shivering-sparkling-beautiful-beyond words: “The Way that can be told is not the eternal Way…the Way that can be told is the Mother of all things.” “The Way can be witnessed in the madman screaming, ‘if the stars are not words then stop callings them stars.’”

Chapter XV (“True Freedom”) of my book sets forth the following saying which speaks to this issue in a succinct fashion:

The Lotus Flower Blossoms

“There is a place where, wherever you are there, whatever you are doing…no matter what, in any given moment, there should be nowhere you would rather be. It is where you are right now – and you have the ability to so deeply and artfully appreciate your life and its living…to connect one healthful insight to the next, and make them all one…learning to witness this already-existing truth.

In the wilderness of our existence…a place of budding flowers about, about to unwrap in a showing of perfect appreciation for all to thrive upon, we are the flowers which can blossom again and again in each season of our deeper and deeper insights…all connected…each better and more healthful than before.

It is not unlike Heaven…and it can become Heaven, with enough insight and appreciation. It takes quite a few sparks, glimpses – spine-tingling moments…as a way-of-life which becomes more and more purposeful…more and more without time or space or distance. More and more there is less and less to hide behind.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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How forgiving should I be?

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

“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.

*Of special note: In this writing, I could certainly present a large number of practical examples of true effort in order to assist the reader in formulating clearer examples as to how to apply this philosophy. Albeit, that issue pertains directly to the whole point of the matter: Congruent with the philosophy herein, I do not presume to be able to ‘teach’ you anything – how dare I if I did. If allowed, I can only serve to assist and direct, and at risk of stating the obvious, I can only assist the willing: Only you can decide how to best learn and utilize knowledge in its practical application – when you are ready. Without pressure or coercion, it is up to each individual to decide as to if and how the philosophy herein applies to them, and most importantly, how to go about applying it in their daily lives. That is succinctly what the notion of true effort is all about. At its best, it is the healthful exercise of free will: It is taking true responsibility for one’s own health and well-being.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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