Meditation to Clear Clutter in your mind

I’m not an expert meditation and I’m not a regular practitioner of meditation.  But this meditation works for me because it is only 7 minutes long, it uses imagery of organizing a desk to declutter your mind (which works for me because I’m usually sitting AT MY DESK!), and guides you to organize or cut out clutter that you don’t need on your desk, I mean, your life!

Shout out to – Philosophize This!

Discovered podcasts by Stephen West on Philosophize This!  He has a 5 part series on Gilles Deleuze and it is excellent!  His explanation is clear, easy to understand, and he argues for the relevance and significance of Deleuze’s ideas. So so good!

Deleuze’s concepts – shift of focus from being to becoming, affirming existence in terms of difference, concept of machines instead of substance, and importance of the interconnectedness of events over identity –  are explained by Stephen West in clear way that captures nuances and complexity of ideas.  I am really impressed.

I recommend listening to all 5 podcasts in order, but if you only have time for one or have background knowledge of Deleuze, you could work your way backwards.

Thank you, Stephen West for your amazing podcasts on Deleuze!  And how about some future podcasts on affect theory???

Gilles Deleuze – Difference pt. 5 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – Flows pt. 4 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – Anti-Oedipus pt. 3 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – Immanence pt. 2 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – What is Philosophy? pt. 1 on Philosophize This!

This Instagram post!

I was inspired by this post: www.instagram.com/p/BybO-FwhbdJ/

by @heysarahcarter to write this comment… “Your commitment to show up to create space for the broken And bruised hearted – this speaks to my spirit. Because the broken and bruised hearts, where can we call home?”

Benediction by Nadia Bolz-Weber, at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

I preached today about how to live the life of Christians, here and now, even as we pray, Come, Lord Jesus. During the sermon, I read the benediction by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, which was read at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans.  I read the benediction during the sermon as an example of the kind of life we must live as Christians, the kind of prayer we must pray in today’s day and world. .

..So gifted, so loved, so loving, so sad, and yet the world is a better and happier place because of Rachel…

Video of the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

Benediction by The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

“Blessed are the agnostics. Blessed are they who doubt. Blessed are those who have nothing to offer. Blessed are the preschoolers who cut in line at communion. Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“Blessed are those whom no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at middle-school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers. The closeted. The teens who have to figure out ways to hide the new cuts on their arms. Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like. Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried. Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else. Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.” Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“I imagine Jesus standing here blessing us because I believe that is our Lord’s nature. This Jesus cried at his friend’s tomb, turned the other cheek, and forgave those who hung him on a cross because He was God’s Beatitude— He was God’s blessing to the weak in a world that only admires the strong.  

[And shall Rachel have this last word…]

“‘Jesus invites us into a story bigger than ourselves and our imaginations, yet we all get to tell that story with the scandalous particularity of this moment and this place. We are storytelling creatures because we are fashioned in the image of a storytelling God. May we never neglect that gift. May we never lose our love for telling the story. Amen.'”

No more binge eating! – thoughts on restricted diets

This article, Restrictive Dieting May Shorten Your Life, So That’s Bad News for Keto Dieters, talks about how restricted diets and how it’s not good for your health, including keto diet and other high-fat, low-carb diets like paleo, atkins, Dukan and Whole30.

So I wonder what they would say about vegetarians and vegans who choose to limit their diet, not to lose weight but for other principled reasons. Arguments still could apply the same way to vegetarians and vegans, but don’t think the life style of limiting diet affects vegetarians and vegans the same way, maybe? interesting to think about! I experience binge factor and feeling of deprivation, but vegetarians and vegans who choose their diet to be limited, probably feel good about their choices!! 

It seems like the article might apply to those giving up food to lose weight but not for people who want to give up those foods for reasons other than losing weight. restricted diet seems primarily unhealthy for the feeling associated with losing weight. vegetarians and vegans don’t have binges or cravings for meat or if they did they wouldn’t be vegetarians or vegans for the right reasons.  

After reading this article, and reflecting on how I feel about trying to follow Whole30 diet plan for past year and a half, I decided, no more dieting and no more binge eating! I crave carbs from grains, especially rice, noodles, pasta, bread, and also crave dairy products, like cheese, milk, yogurt!  And every once in a while I would binge on the food groups I wasn’t supposed to be eating.  And also I would feel guilty because in my mind I was “breaking” or “cheating” on my diet.  So no more binge eating!  No more restricting any food group!  Well, I still want to stay away from alcohol and added sugar in general.  And to all other food?  I will eat mindfully and in moderation.  Yay!  I feel free and liberated from diets at last and will continue to strive for healthy eating and improving my percentage body fat and BMI.  Onwards and Upwards, even if making baby step progress everyday and not always even moving forward, but moving is better than not moving!!

 

ideas to jump start one’s studies

For a rainy day, this is a note to myself, and in case others might need fresh ideas to jump start one’s studies… I have listed things that help me to build momentum in my academic work. This list also works for sermon preparations. 

Please share your study habits that work well for you!

This list is what works well FOR ME. But might be helpful to others…

Study tips for reading and writing
* exercise regularly
* eat healthy all the time!
* mood regulation – whatever you need, for me, this means no drinking 
* sleep regular hours
* meditation – to help you focus and “declutter” your mind
* journal
* study at same time, same place – build a habit of studying
* start study time with prayer!
* take notes and highlight along the way while reading – quotes are helpful, but summaries are better if planning on writing paper later. 
* make notecards of important chapters or book
* start writing paper with notes, summaries of readings (blank screen paralyzes me so I just put something down on the page!) 
* create and maintain support of friends who cheer you on and friends you can cheer on in some way
* close web browser, and keep closing it!
* Pomodoro app – 25 min study, 5 min break (sometimes this helps me to keep studying, sometimes I use it to make sure I take breaks!)
* take breaks!
* celebrate accomplishments!