Archive for Spirit

Online, Offline and ‘Inline’

32140518Until the Internet we lived our lives offline, connecting in person and by phone. The Internet opened up a new platform for online connections through social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and microblogging platforms like Twitter and Jaiku.

There’s also another platform, the next platform for personal exploration. I call it ‘Inline.’ The Inline platform is accessed through meditation and contemplation and doing so regularly enables connectivity to consciousness itself.

Consciousness is the inner spark or inner link in us, the golden link within us that connects our highest and most illumined part with our lowest and most unillumined part. Consciousness is the connecting link between Heaven and earth,” says Indian Guru Sri Chinmoy.

For geeks like me who are already conversant in offline and online media, inline exploration is both an opportunity and a challenge to know Cosmic Consciousness. Some feel Twitter gets us to group consciousness in the online platform. I think meditation does that same on the inline platform.

I try to explore the inline platform early morning and late evening. Ultimately, it might be our destiny to know it and live there, too. Who knows, by going deeper within, we may get some great ideas for living more peacefully on Planet Earth.


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UNDP: Doing A World of Good

undp_logoThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) issued their 2008 Annual Report which highlights their progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and other development objectives agreed to by the United Nations.

For those in my Bay Area community consumed at the nexus of social networking, technology and business, the MDGs are worth considering if only to put our lives into perspective in the context of millions of folks struggling simply to survive:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development.

It’s worth a few moments to connect with the meaningful and important work of UNDP which is enabling democracy, healthcare and education in scores of developing countries.

I consider my six years serving as a UNICEF staff member, and ten years serving as consultant to UNDP and UNICEF, to be among the most important and productive years of my life.

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What’s More Exciting? Van Gogh, Twitter or Mars Lander?

vangogh-starry_night_ballance1All day and night on Twitter, Mashable, and Tech Crunch, San Francisco Bay Area technistas gabble and babble about the latest news of tech startups, social media websites, venture capital firms, and celebrity entrepreneurs that most people have never heard of. This week I had a break from that insanity while working on a client engagement in Amsterdam, Holland.

After 2.5 days of thoughtful and engaging branding and marketing strategy, I spent my last few hours at the Van Gogh Museum and sought to feel and absorb the brilliance of Van Gogh through some 200 paintings, along with works of his influencers, peers and contemporaries.

19th Century romantic artists like Van Gogh found God in Nature. They consciously made the connection and Van Gogh clearly sought to convey that higher awareness through his work. Decades of learning with my Guru Sri Chinmoy helped make me aware of the God-Nature connection for sure. What was cool for me what I could feel it in Van Gogh’s work. What a profound gift to close out my Amsterdam visit.

So I’m back in San Francisco (no sleep yet) plugging into the latest news about who’s leaving Yahoo, changes at Facebook, and the plethora of information available through Twitter which has just gone down yet again. And that Mars Lander is delivering some awesome images (ice on Mars???) so scientists managing that project must ecstatic.

What’s more exciting for you? Van Gogh and God in Nature, Twitter’s latest news, or the Mars Lander?

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Live Powerfully and Soulfully Every Moment

93apulakThe myriad and most profound lessons of my life I owe to decades of personal study with the multi-gifted and remarkable Guru Sri Chinmoy. Among those lessons I try to recall through daily meditation is one I reflected on today.

Live powerfully and soulfully every moment.

Living powerfully is engaging with all of yourself and staying laser focused on the (immediate, short, medium or long term) goal 1000%. When that occurs a “Higher Energy” can channel through you.

Living soulfully is consciously feeling and “knowing” that you’re merely an instrument for the activity occurring through you. And in that consciously soulful state, that higher energy “Voice” expresses itself through whatever you’re doing – inventing, creating, thinking, aspiring, speaking, dreaming.

“He who soulfully listens can powerfully speak.”
-Sri Chinmoy

San Francisco is such a hot tech town for innovation, invention and sheer brilliance, seeming to manifest in all its aspects. I was feeling today many of my friends who are drawn to and living here and how they are nurtured by this unique spot on the planet. They really thrive here and I’m understanding how I do, too. And I wondered how much of it is because unconsciously or consciously, so many are living powerfully and soulfully — often at the same time — and success simply comes to them.

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Bloggers Burning Out? Balance is Key

21062633I often preach to my staff and consultants the importance of quickly moving from idea to implementation. And I do see a spark of divine illumination in those who can see and feel ideas and immediately move them into manifestation. When that process is spiritually based, it’s often stress-free. When it is forced, it can be highly stressful.

That said, there is a core spiritual awareness that is fundamental to one’s peace of mind while working in a high stress world. In my case, I developed a deep inner connection to and I was blessed to spend some three decades meditating with and learning from Guru Sri Chinmoy. Among many illumining things, I discovered how and why Spirit can energize and replenish my physical, mental, intuitive and creativity being, and balance the 24/7 nature of my work these days.

Even, so, it’s a daily challenge balancing the insane pace of my own business and creative life with time for meditation and strengthening my own inner faith, spirit and awareness. There is a choice at every moment to sustain or burn out.

So I was not surprised to read Matt Richtel’s story in today’s NY Times about a burnout occurring among bloggers. The 24/7 nature of the always-on Internet and blogosphere combined with competition among leading technology sites for the ‘exclusive story,’ in particular, has affected the well-being of some leading writers like Om Malik and Michael Arrington, who report high stress, unhealthy lifestyles and heart attacks.

The issue here is one of balance: how do we balance the need to deliver to loyal readers and monetize our lives, with the need for peace of mind, health and wellness?

Spirit Fulfillment – from whatever your Source – is key. Maybe that’s the love of your family. Maybe it is a particular religious faith. Maybe it is atheism as a belief system. Perhaps it is studying meditation with a spiritual Guru. Maybe it’s Bikram Yoga. Or a nature hike. Or sky diving or surfing. However you get there, it’s important to try.

Exercise is instant wealth. Work out, walk, run, swim, cycle, and regularly. Exercise will energise and awaken you in every way.

Diet is key. Cut out the sugars, caffeine, processed foods, wheat, and meats and replace them with green foods. Drink wheat grass juice once a day. Go meatless and organic.

Discipline. Stay on whatever program you come up with and integrate it into your life, one day at a time.

Ultimately, by balancing through spirit, exercise, diet and discipline, your work-life will be enhanced, your stress will be balanced by all kinds of good stuff, and you’ll live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

For more ideas on health and wellness, visit Dr. Mark Laursen’s website.

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In the Shadow of the Moon

Caught this incredible documentary presented by Ron Howard about the Apollo astronauts who visited the Moon between 1968 and 1972 and the 400,000 scientists who came together to make this happen.

The movie opens with the bold vision of President John F. Kennedy in the early 60s to land a man on the moon and return him safely back to earth by the end of the decade. The profound feelings he evoked reminded me of the days when I was far more proud of our President and the choices of my government than I am today.

Kennedy’s Vision was transcendent and at the moment this mission was realized, the world came together as one. What an incredible moment. You contrast this with Bush’s vision of destruction that, in the course of only seven years, has plunged the world into increasing imbalance and turmoil.

These guys were drawing on pure ingenuity and God’s Grace to achieve the incredible things they did. In terms of the technology available at the time, my iPhone probably has more computer processing power in it than the lunar lander did. In 1999 I had a chance to work with Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell on a project for Sprint. That’s as close as I got to NASA outside a visit to Cape Kennedy in the early 70s.

If you want to see real heroes, the movie is full of them. If you want to relive history, watch a preview.

Click here for a detailed exploration of Apollo moon landing hoax theories and analysis.

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How Do We Know an Idea is a Good One

image001You get an idea and you’re inspired by it. So how do you know if it’s a good idea that will lead you forward?

That’s a great question. I approach ideas as gifts. When I play the guitar extemporaneously, the music comes through me as free flowing ideas; I rarely have my mind turned on…I just play.

Ideas can feel right on, but there are shades of grey, too. For me the key to knowing is in the stillness of a moment when I’m not thinking – I’m feeling an idea’s essence. If it inspires me, it’s good.

Ideas drive almost every aspect of my life and being. So how does one feel and access ideas?

STAY IN THE MOMENT – Give full attention to each moment. You will hopefully get into a quiet, profound space where in the quietude of your mind, ideas emerge as pure inspiration. Quite often I see an idea and its full implementation side by side, at the same time. I can then explore the idea virtually in my higher mind, and get a sense of how the idea might feel and play out. It is then fairly easy to reverse engineer the path to its full realization.

– Even if you feel an idea is awesome, others might not. Non-supportive friends can diminish ideas for any number of reasons and cause insecurity. I say hang with people you trust , who nurture and support you, and who believe in you. With that kind of support your ideas can blossom and one can achieve anything. Get to a point of Trust with yourself, too and the possibilities are unlimited.

SUCCESS BRINGS MORE IDEAS – Every time you succeed with an idea, you expand the idea pipeline and create the possibility for more ideas. So keep dreaming and doing and work very hard.

FINDING AN IDEA IN THE PIPELINE – The pipeline is a direct connection from your intuitive mind to a higher world of ideas. The best way to foster a personal idea pipeline is put yourself in environments that nurture the flow. Meditation helps alot. For me it is the best pathway to feeling, knowing and experiencing ideas. Nature hikes (see pic of me — small blue guy on left), swimming, blogging, writing music, playing guitar, piano and flute, and working up successful strategies and solutions for clients and friends: these all open up my idea pipeline. Stay active because ideas can be hard to find or get stale unless you’re constantly working at it.

GRATITUDE – Be thankful for the ideas that come to you and through you. They are true gifts and blessings.

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