Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Mad Blogger's Science Experiment

Namaste to my readers! I know many of you just got here, what with the spike in traffic my blog has had recently (and I appreciate it, thank you :) ). But...well, an email encouraged me to try out the new Tumblr/Blogger hybrid (or whatever you want to call it) Web 2.0 thingy called Storylane. I figured, why not? I looked it up on Google and it seemed legit. Legitimately legit, as in it wasn't some scam or compromised website...I first had my doubts, but they have been put to rest.

I've yet to see if Storylane will carry my writing to even more people, or be of any benefit to my writing whatsoever, but it seemed to be worth a shot. So if any of you are interested, here's my Storylane page: http://www.storylane.com/phillipminer

Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Namaste to all my new readers! I noticed my readership has spiked since I posted a link to my blog in the Hindu Dharma Forums (at http://www.hindudharmaforums.com - nice bunch to discuss with!), so thank you all for checking me out!

You folks couldn't have come at a better time. Seeing as I'm in Rochester, NY, it's in the path of Hurricane Sandy, which doubtlessly you've heard about on the news. We're pretty far inland, so hopefully we'll avoid the worst of it. Still, though, what I'm hearing about it isn't doing my mental health any favors. Most extreme hurricane on the East Coast this century, parts of New York City flooded, massive power outages...I'm lucky I'm able to post this! And yes, I'm scared. Meditation and faith can only do so much here.

I don't know if I'll be able to hear from any of you if the power goes out for Rochester, but still, I can use all the mental support I can get. Prayers, well-wishes, whatever, just send your positive vibes my way. Trust me, it will all be appreciated.

Stay safe out there, Light Clubbers.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crazy About Lord Ganesha

A few days ago I was feeling a bit depressed, blue, etc. That seemed to turn around quickly when I started to think intensely about Lord Ganesha - I did more mantra chanting, kept him in my thoughts, prayed to him, that sort of thing. Obviously thinking of God - especially Lord Ganesha in my case - can do wonders to keep one happy.

But sometimes I wonder if it's possible to have an unhealthy obsession about God and/or Lord Ganesha. I wouldn't know what that would look like, outside of religious fanatics and fundamentalists. I'm asking this because I apparently have this deep longing to be with Lord Ganesha as of late, and I don't know what to make of it.

One indicator of this potential obsession was a dream I had recently. I couldn't remember many of the details when I first woke up from it, but I remembered more as time went on. It was indeed strange. In this dream, apparently I was in some temple in whatever my mind thought to be the Andhra Pradesh state in India (note that I've never actually been to Andhra Pradesh...or anywhere else in India for that matter). The only indicator of me being in Andhra Pradesh in this dream was the English signage around this temple. So it probably wasn't actually the state of Andhra Pradesh. But I digress - in this temple, there was a procession of an idol of Lord Ganesha. After the procession ended, I prostrated in front of the idol, touched its feet, and the next thing I could remember was that I personally was being worshipped as Lord Ganesha!

Yeah, this sounds crazy, possibly even blasphemous - I had no idea what circumstances made my subconscious mind come up with this dream. I first thought it was my ego getting overinflated, that maybe I was even going crazy. I then talked to one of my blogging friends about this dream, and the best he could come up with was that it was a sign I should start taking my meditation practice and diet more seriously, as it was an obvious indicator of a desire to be close to God.

I still have no idea what the ultimate message was - and Lord Ganesha has been on the forefront of my mind since then. I still have no idea what Lord Ganesha thinks of me or how He feels about me. I don't know if my seeking of Him has been in vain or if I've stumbled on something big.

It's times like this I wish I could personally talk to Lord Ganesha...I want to know if I can ever earn His approval, for lack of a better term...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Don't Wanna Go Back to the Future

Things have been going well in my personal life - opportunities abound for me to create and prosper. Things aren't perfect, but for once they're moving in a positive direction.

So why do I still feel this overwhelming sense of dread? Why am I still scared about what's going to happen next?

Well, there are plenty of reasons. They all have to do with the big picture. Environmental destruction and collapse, war, economic injustice, societal injustice, you name it. Then there are the people who point out my role in it all...and they usually say I'm guilty.

I certainly feel guilt a lot of the time for the life I lead. I know my choices in this matter are under my control. Still, I'm not perfect...it's one thing to want to completely alter my lifestyle for the good of the planet. It's another to actually do it.

Especially with the positive things going on in my life right now, I wonder...do I deserve any of them? In light of all the negativity so many people face as a result of how I live, is it really justified for me to be happy? Would things really be better if I just...threw it all away?

I honestly don't know the answer to these questions. And that's why I'm so afraid of the future I guess...it's probably an answer I don't want to hear.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cobras and Buffalo

If you take a look at today's entry (well, the Oct. 11 entry to be precise) in the "What Sri Sri Said Today" blog, you'll find an interesting discussion on the meaning of the cobra in Hinduism: http://www.artofliving.org/what-sri-sri-said-today

Please read that entry, then come back here so you know what I'm talking about. I can wait...

Okay, now that you're back, I have to say, this discussion really resonated with me! The reason for this is because whenever I meditate, or a good portion of the time anyway, when I go deep enough into it, I tend to see (if that's the word; maybe it's more like get thoughts/images of) either snakes or cows. These images tend to be the clearest and most recognizable. I always wondered why it was either one or the other that becomes a clear image in my head...it seems this is the answer, that it's either because my mind is clear and alert (cobra), or muddled and confused (buffalo).

I try to meditate and do Sudarshan Kriya only after it's been at least two hours since I've eaten, but if one of these images comes up during meditation, it always seems to be random. Either it is random, or I don't know what would cause either one to appear. If it's not because of the amount of food in my stomach at the time, then what else could it be?

At least it's good to know that my meditation practice is getting somewhere, if I get these images and now know what they mean. It's certainly encouraging!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Where's My Strength?

Ugh. Day 1 of trying to go more vegetarian and I end up eating some very junky fast food at the end of the day. So much for this being easy...or perhaps it's a lack of willpower thing on my part, I don't know.

All I know is that my ability to handle stress seems to be weak. A day of heightened emotionality where I flip-flop between serenity and deep, dark despair more than a Presidential candidate flip-flops between issues, and I'm so stressed out I pig out on fried things.

What is with my inability to hold onto happiness? I have plenty to be happy about, yet that happiness can be robbed from me with one small event in a blink of an eye. And when that happens, I deal with it in the least constructive of ways, and that can vary, but mostly it's food.

When I have days like this, meditation sometimes doesn't help...it seems like a chore at these times. I guess I'm a fair weather meditator in that I only seem to meditate when my ability to deal with stress is better. Ironic, but true. Then again, it's not like I can meditate during my work day.

My thought process is bouncing all over the place right now. That's why I'm so incoherent. But the bottom line is I need a way to handle my stress as it comes. I need a way to stop my negative emotions from running away with themselves when they come up. I need a way to stay happy! I need it because when I fall into negative emotion, I seem to sink so low so fast it's like something's pulling me down.

Anyone have any ideas?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is a Vegetarian Diet Easier Than I Thought?

I've previously written on vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian lifestyles in this blog, and I've expressed my reservations about going vegetarian, since I'm a diabetic and all. However, a prompt from a fellow Rochester Hindu to write about this topic some more inspired me to do a little research. And, well, what do you know - turns out it might be possible for me after all!

The American Diabetes Association has a lot of good information on this topic, which I think I could find useful: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/meal-planning-for-vegetarians/?loc=key-nutrients

It does mention a few things that do inspire me. For instance, I completely forgot about how in the grocery store certain meatless versions of my favorite meals indeed exist, such as soy crumbles, black bean burgers, and the like. That will certainly be a good start for me. And I'm sure the ADA website has some more recipes I could learn that are simple, easy, and both diabetic- and vegetarian-friendly. (Yeah, I suck at cooking, so I need to stick with the easy stuff.)

I'm going to start a bit slow with this at first, ease into it. I'll still eat dairy and eggs for the time being. But armed with this info, I certainly can be inspired to start!