Tag Archives: yoga

Philosophy, Religion, and Diet

In this era, anything goes.  But some people still adhere to dietary laws as entailed by their religious views.  Observant Jews don’t eat pork, shellfish, or meat and dairy together.  Muslims don’t eat pork or drink alcohol.  And most of the religious traditions of the Indian subcontinent advocate a lactovegetarian diet.

Veganism is growing in the USA.  The biggest reason people do it is because of sympathy for the animals and also environmental concerns.  Veganism is not a religion.   But if one examines history, it is the Ancient Hebrews who first considered vegetarianism a lifestyle choice.

Kosher vegetarianism is a very sane, moderate view of diet.  Meat symbolizes death and decay, while milk and dairy products symbolizes life and growth.  Fish and Eggs are considered Parve, or spiritually neutral.  A kosher vegetarian eats plant foods, dairy products, and is not against eating fish or egg.

In the east, amongst people like the Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Jains, lactovegetarian is reccomended.  Some Bengali vegetarians consider fish and seafood to be ‘fruit of the sea’ and therefore still eat it.

And amongst the Taoists, no food is taboo.  It’s about eating the right portions and proportions of food relative to each other.  Christians too say any food is clean to eat.

My view is to do what is best for yourself.  Don’t tell people about your eating habits and don’t bore them with your list of abstentions.  I like dairy products, so I’m not giving them up.  I do what is best for myself.

I believe meat, fish, and eggs was originally natural and good, but capitalism, consumerism, and overpopulation ruined everything.  Applying the factory line production method to agriculture was a grave mistake by humanity.  Animals are not machines, every animal, from insect, to cow, to dog, to monkey, to man has sentience.

In this era, it’s not hard to go to a supermarket and get anything you need, all year round.  I live in a part of the USA where there are few natural disasters.   Veganism and Vegetarianism is a vote for the environment, for animal rights, and reverses many diseases.  Only in this country is it easier to get restaurant food with animal foods in it than without.  I’ve decided to stop going to restaurants, unless its for a slice of pizza or vegetarian sushi.

I think kosher vegetarianism is the most sane way to go as far as diet.  Dairy is very nourishing, in some cases too nourishing, and fish and eggs should be an option for people who don’t have the time or inclination to prepare their own food.  The main thing is to eat what’s available and not obsess about diet.  But in this crazy society, even the nutrition textbooks are wrong, let alone the media and public perception.

At the end of the day, gaining or losing weight is about calories in and calories out.  But also at the end of the day, looks and weight don’t matter so much.  You don’t need the body of a bodybuilder to be healthy.  And a six pack of abs means nothing.  Judge your health by how you feel, how long you live, and the state of health you’re in.

As an aside, remember that years upon years of weight fluctuation on the atkins/paleo/ketogenic diet causes insulin resistance and liver derangement.  A doctor can’t invent a crash diet that violates everything we know about nutrition and get away with it.  Bodybuilders and boxers use the low carb approach before contest because it causes a rapid decrease in water weight.  Don’t think the atkins diet is a lifelong diet.  No one in Asia, Africa, or South America is adhering to this philosophy, because they have no obesity problem.  They eat a lot of fiber and walk a lot.

 

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The Controversy of Gender

It says in the bible in two parts in the early part of Genesis, ‘male and female he created them, in God’s image.’  It also says, ‘that is why a man must leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, so they become one flesh.’

So there you have it.  The meaning of life in a nutshell.

What is the meaning of truth, God, and life?  Lovingkindness.  Every Christian knows, God is Love.  Love should not be confused with sex or sexual activity, you can love baseball but not make love to it.  Desire drives the cosmos.  God is the desire to be.

God is both your mother and father in heaven, and the crux of life is for a man to find a woman and procreate.  In this era, sex, gender, identity, and the moral order are all in a flux.  The ordinary people seem confused and angry.

Homosexuality and transgenderism is on the rise in the West.  Gender roles are being blurred.  These are evil omens.

One should know that sex is merely the transfer of genetic information, from giver to receiver, and the only two genders are male and female.  Gender is determined by genetics, and every human egg begins with the X chromosome.  If at some point you acquire a Y chromosome, then you are born male.

Homosexuality and transgenderism isn’t inherently bad.  According to most spiritual traditions of the East, adultery and group sex is the only fornication.  And in this day and age, there is no concept of fornication.  Anything goes.

But spiritual people know that the conservation of essence, sperm, or jing preserves youth and vital power, and the reckless expenditure of it leads to early old age and death.  There is no moral reasoning in Tao, it’s not a religion.  You can worship the Gods but you cannot worship the Tao.

The way to stay healthy and young for a man is to moderate how many ejaculations he has and have more sex, and the way for a woman is to choose good partners.  This is not folk mythology, it turns out the Ancient Chinese were right!

In Egyptian myth, Osiris was a hermaphrodite male who was the descendent of the Sun God.  In India, Manu was the original Man who possessed the divine within.  And according to the bible, Adam was male and female, created in God’s image.  Eve was later formed out of his rib.  And according to native american lore, the androgyn male is the ideal shaman (medicine man).

You may ask, what does religion and mythology have to do with sex and gender?  Well, myth and religion is merely a perspective on reality, and everybody knows for themselves how strong the urge to procreate is.

The meaning of life is joy, and the only joy in life is to be loved.  End of story.

Who Wants to Live Forever?

Not many people are really interested in longevity and the possibility of immortality.  Benjamin Franklin said, ‘nine in ten men are suicides.’  That means, most people bring about their own destruction without even knowing it.

But there is that one in a hundred or so that really wants to live, and not just for hedonistic pleasure.  They want to live because strength and longevity is also virtue, and there is joy with strength and longevity.  We don’t simply live to eat and procreate.

There are few who like to constantly make progress and also learn about the world around them.  Getting to know Creation is the best way to know the Creator.  And you’ll never know it all.

The ancient Chinese said, ‘longevity is merit.’  The longer you survive under the sun, the more worthy you are.  To really be immortal, you have to put aside the mundane things of the world.  To live forever, you have to be worthy of living forever.

The secular, capitalistic, ordinary world is very depressing.  Even celebrities commit suicide because they feel life is empty.  The spirit is bigger than the body, and the higher life of a seeker is more fulfilling.  Of course, as a human being, one needs food and sex to live and be healthy.  A spiritual man aims to fulfill his gross biological needs in a loftier way than the crass worldly man.

In the Baghavad Gita it says, ‘each one becomes a slave to his own activity, if you want to be truly free, perform all acts as worship.’  This means we are all stuck in the same condition.  If you really want to live happily and for a long time, do your mundane earthly activities with spirit and zeal and selflessness.

 

Putting Myself Out There

Besides my training and education in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and study of nutrition, I’ve also practiced martial arts and yoga all my life.  I’ve been doing grappling of some kind since 1998, and yoga since 2000.

I started my grappling training in the japanese martial art Shootfighting, which is similar to professional wrestling but practiced as a real sport.  It is the original MMA.  It involves punching, kicking, throwing, and grappling.  In late 2004, I began practicing judo, which is also a japanese martial art.  I’ve been practicing ever since, all though in recent years, my attendance policy has been somewhat inconsistent I must say.

During the first six months of 2008, I trained freestyle, sport, and Combat SAMBO and that was the best experience I’ve had in the martial arts.  It was a lot of fun to learn new things and excel at something.

In all my martial arts experiences, I learned the importance of conditioning, flexibility, fighting spirit, the will to win, ethics, attitude, and sportsmanship.  By now, I am an exercise physiologist, I’m not a novice.

I feel I should be teaching martial art and yoga by now, although this by no means that I am all-knowing and invincible.  I feel belt rank is an erroneous concept and so is the concept of self defense without weapons.  All good martial arts are physical education, and I am qualified to teach sport education.

So what I am trying to say is, I am available to teach lessons in the long island/queens area, and I will share my email so anyone who has questions can contact me if they feel.

I have a lot to teach, including matwork, aikido, yoga and flexibility, and even nutrition counseling.  I’m only here to do a good job and to get paid doing it.  My rates are negotiable based on your economic situation, but please feel free to contact via email (I will add my phone number next post).

I prefer to work with the younger crowd, like young adults in their 20’s and 30’s, or those who already are grapplers who want some extra training to round out their game.  I hope someone out there sees my value and contacts me, even if it’s only for advice.  Thanks.

By the way, the photo above is for illustration purposes only, that is not me in the picture.  I’m male, 38 years old, and I live on long island, new york.  To contact me, my email address is lavni90@gmail.com…thanks again.

My View on The Martial Arts

To begin with, I am just analyzing the relative merit of martial arts as physical education.  I’m not talking style vs style.

Right off the bat, I think karate is great for the youth.  It not only teaches them how to punch and kick really hard, but teaches them how to stand up for themselves, believe in themselves, and never quit.  These are all valuable qualities in life.

There is a lot of good karate out there but there is also a lot of fake karate out there.  Remember what Mas Oyama once said, ‘without sparring, karate is essentially a kind of gymnastics.’

I don’t think MMA is good for people, young people in general.  It teaches them all of the bad qualities of man and none of the good.  I would go further, but I won’t, because I know people who train and teach MMA.

Aikido is a special martial art.  It is ideally suited to physical education, and it teaches defensive principles.  Aikido is essentially a stylized version of weapons grappling, wrestling with weapons.  It is useful for police and military, and for people who aren’t fast and aggressive enough for karate, kickboxing, and MMA.

Also, weapons martial arts like Kali and Escrima are very good.  These are the best for military training.

Whether you do karate, MMA, aikido, judo, or weapons training doesn’t matter, as long as you learn the principle of self control and self restraint.  In the end, karate and hatha yoga has the same end, more mastery over the self.

But in the west, hatha yoga is seen as being for girls, since they are more flexible and peaceful to begin with.  Martial arts training is the un-learning of violence, not the fostering of more violence and aggression and ego.

Once you can do the technique with skill and grace and effortlessness, then you are the expert.  Sports are about winning and losing, but in objective reality, there is only the living and the dead.  And it’s always preferable to be alive than to be dead.

Martial Exercise and Physical Culture

My blog is a blog about fitness and Taoist nutrition.  I’m getting to the point where I am tired of talking about protein and vegetables and I must resume exercising in order to really be in condition.

Tai Chi, it’s relative Qi Gong, Aikido and Yoga are all great physical arts for improving fitness, health, flexibility, and longevity.  There are harder martial arts out there for you to do, but they involve sparring and competition and getting knocked down.  Soft martial arts and yoga is the way to increase the circulation of blood and qi (breath/energy).

Dieting is not enough.  If you ate a perfect diet but didn’t exercise at all, you would be normal bodyweight but wouldn’t be fit.  And that’s not the way to be.  If you are physically active, not only do you get other health benefits from working out, but your metabolism gets faster and you burn off impurities in your diet with more efficiency.  Exercising a lot makes up for not eating perfect all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, dieting is the best way to lose weight, but there comes a point where you must start incorporating exercise into your routine.  I read in a book on conditioning for judo that the best exercise equipment you can use is a partner.  Working out in groups is a lot more fun than working out by yourself, and hence the fitness industry is doing well for itself.

That’s all I got to say for now about exercise, besides I need to exercise also.  And I’m at the point where student has become the master and I should be a teacher of martial art and sport culture, but this means an investment of every evening and weekend for a long, long time.  And that is a big commitment.

What Can You Do?

The world is completely fallen and depraved.  Nothing is right with it.  It’s just an illusion.  What can you do, you who consider yourself a good person?  Let me throw my two cents in and make a few suggestions for improvement.

Good people don’t take sides.  Good people are in the world but not of it.  Good people don’t care to watch TV news or read about what is going on in other parts of the world.  It’s all bad and it’s all depressing.  Good people have integrity, they have character, and scruples.

If you really are a good person, and not one of the 7 billion who just say they are but really are corrupt and fallen, here’s a few suggestions for you.  I’m only trying to help.

First of all, you vote with your dollar bill.  How you spend your money shapes how the economy and geopolitics moves.  If you continue buying cornfed beef and chicken from a factory farm than you are voting for more factory farms.  If you are too poor to afford quality beef and chicken, than that’s a different story.

Second of all, don’t believe in gurus.  That includes teachers, doctors, experts, and karate senseis.  They’re all fake.  They’re so fake, they fake it as they preach to you.  If you get a piece of knowledge from somewhere, test it out in the real world and see if it works for you.  Experience is the best teacher.  You learn by doing.

Next, find cheap entertainment.  That means, new movies in a theater, the latest hip hop album download, and the latest bestseller are all a monumental waste of time and money.  The Library is a treasure trove of accumulated knowledge.  The whole world is in the library, every subject of human endeavor imaginable.  And it’s all free to you.

Next, religion is a hoax.  We’ve been so brainwashed by our upbringing to believe in the mythology of mesopotamian semites that the real meaning of religion has been lost.  Judeochristian theology and sweet Jesus doesn’t have a lot to offer the modern man.  Of course, there are universal principles that every holy man of every tradition knows, the truth is universal.  The shortcut to wisdom, happiness, contentment, and peace is personal meditation, personal philosophy (obviously building on the established ancient masters), and a discipline called lovingkindness, which is even greater than the discipline of Brazilian Jiujitsu.  Everybody should meditate, and everybody should be acquainted with the wisdom of the masters, but above all, kindness and affection is the real cure.  Man cannot live without love.

Finally, to conclude this brief and incomplete list, don’t listen to the critics.  Get tough.  I’m sure you have criticized others based on distorted half truths, so don’t get angry when they use half-truths against you.  Nobody is 100% good or 100%evil.  Every human being is a mixture of good and bad, dark and light, male and female, etc…  People are very kind towards their blood relatives but shockingly cruel against people, animals, and other living beings that are not related to them.  If only we could see ourselves as one soul in a cosmic ocean of souls, how different the world would be!

As long as the world is fallen from grace, and suffering and evil the prevailing quality of life, the most you can do is find the cure to your own misery.  Help other people and you will help yourself.  A selfish person can’t be happy in this world.  This is the realm of the unhappy ones.  Like it says in the Gita, ‘nourishing one another, you will be nourished in turn…but he who takes from the Gods and gives nothing back, is a thief.’

Street-Corner Blues

I only know long island, because that is where I live and I don’t travel much.  But walk down any main road in new york, and you will see a 711, a dunkin donuts, and/or a starbucks.  Someone is selling cheap dairy, sugar, and grain, and someone is consuming it with glee and someone is profiting off of this exchange.

Don’t blame the Pakistani guy at the counter of the 711.  Don’t blame the truckdrivers for needing a cup of strong coffee to stay awake at the wheel.  And don’t blame the young men and women who work at Starbucks.  They’re not that rich, and they’re just facilitating you ruining your own health.  It’s a neutral act, not an evil act.

It’s really business, media, and politics to blame.  Some people are profiting off your ignorance and misery.  They want you to keep eating junk and keep getting sick and keep going to the medical doctor to get pharmaceuticals, which in turn makes you more hungry, tired, and obese.  This system is rigged.

In fact, all of this society is designed to defeat you, the good simple man.  It’s designed to drain you slow, to rob you, to beat you down.  And the only cure is to work hard every day, spend less than you earn, and not be so materialistic.  Less is more.  Money is the root of all evil.  If you are not content to be on a fixed income, get an education and find a line of work you enjoy.  Work isn’t work if you enjoy it.

Holy men and yogis leave the world of men because it is so evil and worthless.  But rather than being a monk on the mountain chanting ‘hare krishna’, it is better to be in the world but not of it.  I don’t want to be a celibate monk living off of alms.

I want to work and marry, because power and pleasure feels good.  And joy is the meaning of life.  It’s that simple.

Battlefield Earth

Violence is the worst part of life.  Any type of violence, be it warfare, self defense, or even killing animals for food.  But we can’t avoid some types of violence, like stepping on insects or killing pests.  Life is a battle, everything in life is a fight of some sort.

The essence of yoga and the spirit of the Gita is to be victorious in life.  To win.  There is nothing better than doing one’s duty with skill and enthusiasm.  If you are a soldier or a cop or a security guard, etc… then there is nothing better than the battle that duty entails.

The spirit of the Gita is to do one’s duty with power, skill, and mastery, and with no thought of results.  Indifferent to success or failure, act with passion and enthusiasm.  This is yoga.

Samadhi, or sartori, or kensho, or zen or whatever you call it is the ultimate attainment.  Once you’ve conquered the self, then you are the champ and no one is better than you.  To learn the folly of violence at a young age is called being precocious not being a coward.  But our society doesn’t understand motives, because they are primitive and ignorant.

So I say, live and let die.  You have a right to defend yourself, but violence is only justified in the preservation of human life.  That is my notion and I hope someone out there agrees with me.

 

Back in the Saddle

I changed my mind again and decided to renew the subscription to wordpress.  I can use this site as a portfolio to get volunteer and paid jobs, and I can still disseminate the knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine to the masses as I wish.

A lot has gone through my mind over the past few weeks, but really, everything is changing and yet remaining stable at the center at the same time.  That is the paradox.  The words of truth seem paradoxical.

I think sugar restriction is the only real diet and the only real way to lose weight.  There’s no way around it.  In the end, calories count, and to reduce calories, simply reduce carbohydrates such as sugar and starch.  Carbohydrates are the bulk of any sensible diet.  You can lose a lot of weight in very little time with low carb dieting, but the question is will you stick to this new way of eating.

A healthy weight maintenance is an ongoing battle, and discipline, moderation, and self control are the key virtues.  You will never be perfect, but it could always be a lot worse.

So it doesn’t matter if you call yourself an Atkins dieter or a Paleo enthusiast, or a Keto adapted athlete (which isn’t even healthy in the long run).  To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.  Or in other words, if you want to be healthy, eat less sugar and move more.