True appreciation of the miracle of the moment…oh boy!

“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.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

What are your thoughts on this dynamic? We often complain that the “year” or the “time” have “gone by SO quickly.” Albeit, when we genuinely think of all of the things we’ve done during that so-called ‘time (inclusive of the innumerable moments),’ then it doesn’t seem to be so fast. AND additionally, if we make genuinely significant effort in order to learn to be more and more mindful, present…BEING the moment that we are in, I can promise that the time will NOT fly by (and it will not be boring either!). Not at all. From this perspective, SO many moments each day will likely also not be so easily forgotten, e.g., they will be appreciated in a more and more healthful loving spirit. In a state of mindfulness, we can become less and less blemished witnesses to our internal and external environments…witnesses to so much of the magic that we often ignore.

If there is a ‘key to the universe,’ then this level of bright beautiful sparkling ‘true appreciation’ may be a substantive part of it. It is light of the pernicious weight of preset patterns of thinking and expectations. It is not living for the moment, it is living in the moment. This is truly a skill, AND there is always(!) room for improvement: Abiding awareness of this dynamic is a VERY important aspect of mindfulness and its congruent sense of splendid appreciation.

‘Being’ present and mindful is SO very much about true appreciation of the miracle of the moment. It is SO very much about true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind.

It is QUITE difficult to be upset, angry, depressed, sad, anxious, or frustrated, if one is not thinking such thoughts. If one is mindful, present, focusing on just what one is doing in the moment, and enjoying (‘being’) a deep sense of gratitude, then it is really difficult to be lost in the dark and heavy cyclical thinking that can make us ill or worse.

This is by no means easy stuff – it is a skill. Albeit, nothing can be more rewarding than embracing such true effort – except maybe the resulting ‘glimpse of Heaven.’ It IS true health through true responsibility. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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Appreciating my life RIGHT NOW.

We all can take a lot for granted. As you read this, this is YOUR life RIGHT NOW. In a REALLY significant way, we can become more and more aware that each moment…it is our life and its living. Each moment, we can become less and less concerned with past and future – NOT living for the moment, but IN the moment. Each moment we can better understand the saying, “No yesterday, no today, no tomorrow”: SO important is the notion that we can ALWAYS gain greater skill, deeper insight into this genuinely healthful outlook. We can learn to further and further relinquish ourselves of fear of healthful change.

How so? First, it is quite important to ask ourselves, “How happy can I handle being?” How much deeply loving appreciation and gratitude can I realize, enjoy, feel in any given moment? How ‘present’ can I be, how mindful, how light can I be of the terrible weight of unhealthful expectations – preset/habitual patterns of thinking. How long can we stand to remove the dark lenses tainted by addictive patterns? How long can we lift the weight off of our shoulders…the weight of unhealthful outlooks which become more and more ingrained each day. Yin to yang, how long can we stand being lost in our pernicious cyclical thinking…round and round and round, like a living purgatory?

Think of the time and place in which you were the happiest. Do you hope that you’ll again be that happy – in some future? Someplace? Somewhere? Does it really seem impossible right now? Please think of the blessings/gifts you have in your life. Life may be quite difficult, albeit you ARE a living, breathing, thinking miracle in this universe…NO one of us more than the other!

What if true health is intrinsically linked with true appreciation – deep loving gratitude? What if it is true that ALL things would be easier, more pleasurable, even a whole lot of fun, when we deeply embrace a loving spirit of genuine appreciation? What if true appreciation is SO very much about a light bright beautiful spirit? What if this is all consistent with the notion of ‘true health through true responsibility?

What if, what if, what if? You may say that some of us have it more difficult than others. Quite likely so! Albeit, human beings have SO quite often accomplished the greatest things (in human history) during the most difficult times – the darkest of times. Do you think maybe they experienced some VERY special moments, some epiphanies – even in the most difficult of conditions? What if it is possible to have such epiphanies…deep and wonderful insights each day? Do you think this has something to do with living your life RIGHT NOW – living it in a splendid spirit of true appreciation – living life as a living loving art form? How many living loving sparkling spine-tingling/shivering epiphanies can we handle in one day, one life? Once again, how happy can we allow ourselves to be – how much can we handle?

It is SO much about learning to better and better play the part of a less and less blemished Witness, being more and more aware and appreciative of the miracles going on inside of us and all around us, ALL OF THE TIME. Do you want a ‘glimpse of Heaven?’ How many? How many do you want to handle? How honest are you willing to be about it?

Blaming and complaining are a disease and may be a significant part of the problem – that which holds us back from genuinely living life: If there is a Heaven, if there is a ‘key to the universe,’ 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 SO very much about doing the right thing for the right selfless sake: In each thought, statement, and action, it is SO important to ask ourselves if what we do or think are serving the greater good. It is SO very much about a true love, inclusive but so(!) much more than, familial, friendship, and romantic love. It is SO very much about deep and abiding appreciation of the notion of true health through true responsibility.

What else might it be about? It might be about true forgiveness. I’m not here to push religion, but I can’t think of a more to-say-the-least shining example: As Christ was dying on the cross, he said, “Forgive them…for they know not what they do.” This REALLY is true appreciation of the miracle of the moment. This REALLY is living life RIGHT NOW. So quite humbly and respectfully, we could use a lot more role models and mentors like that.– Dr. Glen Hepker

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Is gratitude a key to health and wholeness?

“What would life be truly like if one could honestly say…’If in Heaven I have what I have now, I would be happy?’” (Copyright 2011)

What are the consequences of this outlook? This is NOT to say that it is up to any of us to decide what Heaven should or would be like – it certainly is not the point here. The spirit of the (initial) question is most particularly congruent with the following questions, e.g.: What level of ‘true health’ would we have to realize/enjoy, before we could honestly make such statement? What level of ‘true responsibility’ are we willing take and/or enforce? Is it our (even dire/true) responsibility to make the world a better place (as such)? Consistent with this outlook, most of us have the ability to do this…we already have the gifts/blessings we need to do so.

Humbly and respectfully in the ages-old health/wellness philosophy that I teach, coach, and endeavor to follow, it is so VERY much about a deep altruistic spirit of true appreciation – consistent with living one’s life as a LIVING LOVING ART FORM. This level of benevolent gratitude is a splendid healing mechanism unto itself…even a quintessential form of preventative medicine. It can allow us a level of true freedom which is almost impeccably light and almost impeccably free of the heavy crepuscular weight of addiction to unhealthful expectation, entitlement, desire, craving, AND fear of healthful change.

What level of honesty, objective insight does this necessitate? How healthful do we want to be? In these arts it is said that such a healthful way of life is requisite of “true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less (and less!) to hide behind.” Such a healthful way of life is congruent with the true effort to realize life as a genuine ‘work of art.’ It is Acting Without Acting – endeavoring to do the right thing for the right selfless sake. It is lovingly, selflessly, honestly, and appreciatively learning to play the part of a less and less blemished ‘witness.’ It is being more and more mindful, meditative, AND ‘light’ of addiction to our fear of healthful change (AND light of the potentially pernicious fear of what things can really look like in reflection…our reflection inwardly and outwardly).

What does all of this mean in practical application in our daily lives? It is up to you and I to decide for ourselves. But there is a traditional hint which is given, e.g.: “It is NOT about some far-flung time/goal/objective to accomplish/reach in some mysterious future…it is about right NOW.” It is about being ‘present’ and loving and deeply appreciative right now, this moment, nothing more and nothing less. IF we are willing to see it, BE it for real, it just might be a beyond splendid/beyond words oh boy(!) ‘glimpse of Heaven.’

Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In Christianity, there is an old saying we’ve likely all heard – “God helps them that help themselves.”

Just one more point to make – to complement these aforementioned points: What could make one feel more light than the ‘light’ – ‘lightness’ of ‘true forgiveness?’ I am not here to set forth religious tenets, albeit I can’t think of a more genuinely impeccable model of such forgiveness, e.g., as Christ was dying on the cross he said, “Forgive them…for they know not what they do.” It is requiring of another big “oh boy!” If this isn’t true health then what is?! Quite humbly and respectfully, this was/is some very special mentoring. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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If there is a Heaven…

If there is a Heaven, a ‘key to the universe,’ they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. What does this mean? It means that there is a so-to-speak place where there is no time, no space, no distance…where all is known…but most importantly once again, nothing “to hide behind.”

What does this have to do with this existence? It means that the more and more healthful we are in the here and now (spiritually, emotionally, and even often physically), the more we can catch sweet and innocent benevolent sparkling spine-tingling/shivering glimpses of Heaven. Why is this important? Because in this existence, we genuinely are much more in the same common boat than we so often think and act (whether we accept it or not, this is a significant aspect of true health and true responsibility). In so-to-speak Heaven, there is NO separation whatsoever, and accordingly, the more and more responsibility we here on Earth take for our own health and well-being, the more prepared and open we will be when it is our time to go and/or be there. Is it true that ‘God helps them that help themselves?’ Maybe it is up to each of us to do decide.

The more and more we can learn to do the right thing for the right selfless sake, the more and more we will be able to treat others with a loving spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace – realizing better and better that we genuinely are so very much in the same common boat, here AND everywhere. Accordingly so much so, that our taught/perceived differentiation is a grand or maybe not so grand illusion…a beyond-words terrible and sad joke. Maybe this is an important reason we are here on Earth, to rediscover the Truth.

It is so very important here on Earth, that we learn to better and better support others in their HEALTHFUL goals and objectives. It is so very important that we learn to live our lives as living loving art forms, vs. getting permanently stuck on stagnant plateaus – all being so much about, once again, taking true responsibility for our own health and well-being. Again, it is so very much about endeavoring to do the right thing without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas.

What would it be like to be light and fluid, embracing healthful change, vs. running away from it and/or ignoring the possibility? The following Lotus Flower saying states it succinctly…

The Lotus Flower Blossoms (as set forth in Chapter XV – “True Freedom” of my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health):

“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.” (Copyright 2011)

*Consistent with this ages-old philosophy, is that here on Earth we enjoy the brightest of blessings, e.g., that there is ALWAYS room for improvement – greater and greater objective insight. Sadly, this so often does not seem to be a blessing at all, in fact quite the contrary. We often fool ourselves into thinking that embracing healthful change is a terrible, even ugly thing. It is SO important that we learn to see it in a more and more positive light. We truly can enjoy a beautiful faith that this light can glow so bright that it will become beautiful beyond words, in a fashion which there is no need for time or space or distance, and one more time…nothing to hide behind. The walls of lies CAN come tumbling Oh boy!

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Going with what’s comfortable?

The notion of ’embracing our comfort and discomfort equally’ will likely seem quite odd and eccentric to most, to say the least. In reading about it, I am only asking that you allow yourself an open and objective mind – as in these arts (Tao Chan/Ming Chia – the Bright Beautiful School of Thought), it is viewed as being a very important concept – which when utilized in practical application, is a significant key to realization of ‘true health.’

As individuals, we often develop a way-of-being, a way-of-life, without utilizing definitive levels of strategic thinking. We do make choices – commonly we do decide what we like and do not like, albeit it seems that we are often unaware that our choices are what make up our way-of-life – a way-of-being which will largely dictate the quality of our health and well-being throughout our lifetime. Many of our choices are rooted in an often unhealthful desire for immediate gratification (though to be fair, this is not unusual – in fact it is quite frequently the norm). Modern societies are quickly evolving, becoming more and more complex – as are the temptations: some of these things are (more) evidently unhealthful, and some not-so-evidently so. Notwithstanding, too much of (almost) anything can be a bad thing. New ‘toys,’ new tastes, new fun, can be very tempting and catering to our seemingly innate desires, though often such things can distract us from what is truly important. If our health and happiness are not rooted in strong foundations, then all we may have are our “new ‘toys,’ new tastes, and new fun.” (And such superficial stimuli can quickly become old and boring – prompting the desire for more and more – which may be, after all, the ‘grand plan.’)

Obviously, we are all born into a given culture, and each culture is made up of an intricate web of customs and values. Without culture, we as individuals would be unable to survive. Even so, it is equally obvious, that not all of the intricacies of culture are healthful. Some cultures seem to thrive more than others, and the least healthful ones sometimes disappear – not unlike that which occurs when we as individuals depart this life earlier than necessary.

Is it too much to ask, that we learn to routinely ask ourselves, how healthful do we want to be? Is it unreasonable to view such a practice as a ‘true responsibility?’ What would the world be like if this would become a cultural norm? And what does this have to do with ’embracing our comfort and discomfort equally?’ The answer is that we can, with our ‘eyes wide open,’ mindfully and strategically make difficult choices – choices which are healthful, yet initially at least, provoke discomfort and necessitate self-discipline. Using significant self-discipline as such, unto itself, can be quite uncomfortable.

Intrinsic, central to the ages-old traditions I speak of herein, is the notion that all emotional, physical, and spiritual illness is prompted or made worse by a way-of-life which is inclusive of unhealthful nutritional practices, a lack of necessary mobility/exercise, and the inability to inhibit unhealthful levels of stress and anxiety. For all of us, it is likely that evidence of this point is in some fashion displayed in our lives each day. The scientific research which supports this outlook on nutrition, exercise, and stress is undeniable, yet it is extremely difficult to enforce healthful change and sustain it. It seems too easy to go with what is comfortable, versus choosing to work really hard at what is uncomfortable. Our culture more and more seems to be promoting the notion that ‘if it isn’t easy, then forget it.’

What would life be like, how different would our world look, if we learned to better and better see that, it is our responsibility, each moment, each day, to make the world a better place. How different would things be if we better and better embraced what is likely the most difficult of things, e.g., ‘true heath through true responsibility.’ This is all about true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. We CAN learn to play the part of a less and less blemished witness, witness to our treating life, TRULY so, as a living loving art form, vs. getting permanently stuck on stagnant plateaus which can be like a living death.

Getting stuck in a spirit of craving, desire, and fear of healthful change is a frightening thing, but we CAN move on to a more healthful spirit of love, compassion, empathy, and maybe most important, true forgiveness. It CAN be a spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace. We CAN realize that we are ALL much more in the same common boat than we often think and act. It IS the right thing for the right selfless sake, SO quite inclusive of being humble unintentional role models.

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, and once again, needing less and less to hide behind. If we embrace and nurture this notion, we may learn to better and better catch glimpses of a so-to-speak existence, where there is no time, no space, no distance…where all is known. Once again, nothing to hide behind. Oh boy! — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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Rethinking primary/secondary school physical education…

An excerpt from a chapter in my book, e.g., Chapter XIII – “Embracing Our Comfort and Discomfort Equally”…

“A great majority of us took part in physical education and sport activities in primary and secondary school. In this setting we were often required to perform athletically, with the goal of trying to do our best competitively, or at least take part and try to show improvement within the various activities of our ‘physical education.’ Some will recall a distaste for having to, for instance, try to run fast. Their experience as such, leaves an unhappy memory of running – in fact were quite ‘turned-off’ by it. It is sad that this is the case. Wouldn’t it be better, if physical education was really just that, being educated that exercise is once again, a way-of-life, not just an unhappy memory of having to take part in competitive sports (or simply be pushed toward accepting a competitive mindset)?

This is not to say that competitive sports are a bad thing – albeit they are clearly not for everyone. On the other hand, comprehensive health education in such school settings – the promotion of exercise as a way-of-life, could be for everyone. Healthful exercise as a way-of-life could be, more and more, enjoyed by most everyone: Exercise can be exercise, without having to actually be athletic. The world would look quite different if, for instance, slow jogging and walking were promoted as a way-of-life in our school systems. Humans were meant to walk and run – the speed is not very relevant to overall health…it is the doing which is clearly relevant. Even so, the most important thing to promote within the young minds of school children, is that if they learn to desire healthful success as such, they each need to realize that it is never completely easy. They will have to learn to better and better embrace their discomfort, each day, each year, throughout their lives, in order to realize genuine levels of comfort/wellness. Enjoyment of a truly healthful quality of life takes a lot of effort…it is not meant to be an easy thing – it does not need to be easy. ‘True health’ necessitates ‘true effort.’ It necessitates learning to deeply appreciate challenge…as that among the most significant of blessings.

Notwithstanding, for those of us beyond school age, it can be obviously said that we cannot change the past. For those of us who do not participate in healthful levels of exercise, it would require a lot of effort to do so – especially when we have almost innumerable types of distractions – “toys,” “tastes,” and “fun.” A healthful response might be that toys are best utilized in moderation, tastes (of whatever type) can be enjoyed in moderation, and fun can become something healthful. Albeit, at least until one develops a liking for healthful exercise, it does require one to embrace one’s comfort and discomfort equally. We can change the past in a sense, if we are willing to learn to embrace the discomfort of painful memories. By doing so, we can look at and witness the past, and use the resulting knowledge as impetus to further educate ourselves – discovering why we can justify turning uncomfortable effort into something positive, though initially hard and difficult, into a healthful way-of-life which sustains our health in ways many only dream of or think impossible. To further support this point: It is difficult to argue against the notion that we all have a true responsibility to be the best role models we can be – most particularly for those school children spoken of earlier. The better role models we are, the less difficult it will be for children to see that healthful effort and outcomes are normal – not simply just something that they are being told to do…not simply just ‘do as I say, not do as I do.’ Making healthfulness a norm is doing the right thing for the right sake, without the need for selfish recognition – and ‘it doesn’t get better than that.’” (Copyright 2011) 


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How important is true appreciation?

In the ages-old arts that I teach, coach, and endeavor to follow, it is said that craving, desire, and fear of change, especially healthful change, are the root of most suffering. When we learn to better and better abbreviate clinging to our fear, desire, and suffering we can catch more and more common glimpses of what it is like to take genuine ownership of deeply healthful views…outlooks which in their practical application QUITE succinctly make the world a better place. It is SO much about learning to witness what it is like to be without our ‘walls of lies’ – to not be lost in the stagnicity of overt concern about the past or future. In learning to witness and take part in the living loving story of our lives (vs. just being a pawn to the story of our lives), we can better and better alleviate ourselves of the three portents (harbingers of all bad tidings) – hate, greed, and ignorance. It is ALL about being mindful and present, in a loving, selfless, altruistic awareness of what is genuinely important, i.e., a quintessentially resplendent light bright spirit of true appreciation of the miracle of the moment.

It is NOT about living for the moment, but living in the moment: 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 a loving, selfless, and sparkling spine-tingling/shivering appreciation – a glimpse of a so-to-speak existence where there is no time, no space, no distance – no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow. It is a glimpse of an existence where all is known – once again, nothing to hide behind. It is a beautiful key to true health and true responsibility. It is a path of heart – a way of life without unhealthful fear, unhealthful pride, and blind greed. It is SO much about being healthful conduits/diplomats between Heaven and Earth, aka True Appreciation! — Dr. Glen Hepker

 

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