Inch Time Foot Gem – A Zen Koan

Inch time foot gem Zen Koan

A lord asked Takuan, a Zen Teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

NLP Communication Model, Part I

Neuro Linguistic Programming is (among many other definitions) the study of the subjective experience. This means that instead of trying to put people into boxes of what should be happening (objective study), people are seen as unique and one takes a general interest in the other person’s map of the world. What reality is, or what it looks like, we cannot objectively say. We can only say what we perceive to be real or not. As such, how do we go about constructing our view of reality? What are the processes and steps our brain and mind go through to determine our picture of reality?

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Do we only you 10% of our brain?

Do we only use 10% of our brain?

I don’t know where I first heard this, yet I know that many times I have used this argument myself when asked why I do what I do. The basic notion is that we only use 10% of our brain, and that drugs as well as other measures can increase this percentage. Additionally, we tend to believe that geniuses such as Einstein or Da Vinci used more of their brain. Yet, is this really true? Do we really only use 10% of our brain?

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Achieving Happiness

James Oppenheimer once wrote that “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” In a similar fashion, Eleanor Roosevelt said that “Happiness is not a goal, it’s a byproduct”. Every major and minor philosopher and religious leader agrees that happiness has to come from within, yet millions of people still maintain that happiness is one of the goals in their lives. Maybe by winning the jackpot, being successful, or finding their one true love. Well, happiness as moved from the metaphysical to the scientific, and newest research suggests that happiness can be found much nearer than previously thought.

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The Law of Requisite Variety

While I lived in Spain, I commonly had the chance to view the following exchange between foreigners and locals:
Tourist: Do you know where X is?
Spaniard: ¿Que? No hablo ingles.
Spaniard: Disculpa, pero no entiendo usted.
Tourist (now aggravated): DOOO YOOUU KNOOOWWW WHERE X ISSSSS?
Spaniard: ¿?
And to a certain extent, we are guilty of doing something similar. We try something one way, and if that doesn’t work, we try it the again the same way, only more forcefully. Just like Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” What to do?

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All Behavior is learnt

Learning Behaviors

When you look at nature, different species are born in different stages of their readiness to tackle this planet. Mountain goats, once born, take a couple of minutes to get their balance, and the next thing you know, they are skipping around happily! Fish can swim immediately as well. So, depending on the species, the “apprenticeship” has a different time frame. Now, the longest of all these apprenticeships is served by the human being! When we are born, the only thing we are equipped to do is scream, eat and soil ourselves. What does this mean?

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