Saturday, July 04, 2015

Only by knowing,
nothing awaits you but death,
does the heart truly expand
embracing the beautiful and ugly,
the desired and undesired,
as nothing more,
and nothing less,
than molecules in space.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Nice quote from Dan Ariely :
Technology gives us the ability to do noting, while feeling like we are actually doing something - a.k.a. structured procrastination
We are under the illusion that we don't have time,
while usually we don't have energy.
So we keep spending our time in low energy tasks
that sometimes are clearly useless,
and sometimes create the illusion of being useful
cause the relate on the surface level to our actual task,
e.g., browsing the internet for related papers,
browsing the internet for possible conferences to send a paper,
we are yet avoiding to finish writing.
Use the morning to `swallow some frogs'
and do the task you're avoiding that will make you feel awesome after it's done smile emoticon
.. while your energy levels are still relatively high.
Don't rely on willpower. Get into a `Ulysess contract' where
there will be consequences if you don't persist in what you've decided is important to you.
Commit to paying a 100$, for each week you watch too much TV (see stickk.com)
Dan Ariely tells a nice story about the `Denver Drug program'
where people would write a letter to their Mom saying
`Dear Mom, I've started using hard drugs'
The organization would keep the letter, give them surprise urine tests,
and send the letter if the tests were positive for drugs.
By the time you are in your 30s, even if you are not too rich,
you may have more dollars than healthy\free days..
don't trust that time supply in the hands of Mr. WillPower


https://vimeo.com/101559027

Friday, June 05, 2015

A man desired something - a person, a position.
He made an attempt to obtain it.
He had some level of success in obtaining it.
This process of trying to obtain what he desired brought a
mixture of pleasant feelings, disappointment, excitement, stress, sadness,
frustration, happy moments, euphoria.

He is left with the feeling that if he did a better job getting what he desired,
or if he was more lucky and things worked out perfectly,
he would have gotten only the subset of positive feelings from the list above,
and he would have kept feeling them, day after day, till he died.

He encounters Buddhist teachings.
They tell him - when the root of something
is desire - it is inevitable you will get the whole package,
the pleasant and the unpleasant.

He tries to believe this. He tries to go on with his life
without feeling he missed something perfect.

He listens to the news. He reads the interviews in the papers.
It seems like everybody feels they missed something perfect,
because of some bad luck, some injustice.
He rationalizes - well, so it's just everybody's illusion.
There is no perfection outside, only inside.
He tries to believe this. He tries to go on with his life
without feeling he missed something perfect.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Biography of the walking dead

There's no way around it,
to change you need to be cooked.

Pain is the heat, meditation is the water.

And during the cooking process you are the walking dead.
You can't move in the real world, or in the illusory world.
you are stuck in between.

The times you do nothing, your body and mind say,
this is the opportunity to do something important instead of urgent.

You are sick and with heat, and you are searching for a divine voice
to take you out of here.
And it tells you keep on cooking.

Your life flashed before your eyes,
and you wonder how could anyone stand so much pain and disappointment
and still survive.

You started this war. You don't remember why.
You vowed that this would be the last round.

You cut off all escape routes,
and now are regretting doing so.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

You feel it so strongly some days.
Your story has reached its final chapter,
and the end is bitter and disappointing.

But a moment later, the view of
the same experience changes completely.

All this `final chapter' was just a part
of a foot stepping on a thorn,
as part of one step,
in a journey that is 10,000
miles long.

Monday, April 06, 2015

We live in paradox, and isolation.
Alone at our computers, in front of our TVs
We browse, we listen, we see.
We get the message `dark emotions are a sign that something's wrong'
But we feel them. We think: what can I do to make them go away right now!?
And, in it's many forms, the answer is generally to consume something.
An experience, a coffee, a workshop, a trip, ..
And we play our part in the economy.

But the truth that we don't want to face is not that bad.
We are just at sea, not on land.
A sea of the mind, and the waves are emotions.
All they can do is pass through you like water.
The water passes, the peace underneath stays.
Face it, your home for the next million years is the sea..
Just be the ocean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Avoiding the will-power trap

Real-life example before the theory:
I want to use the stairs more often going to my office instead of the elevator.
Right now, I don't feel like walking up from floor 1 to 7.
I don't want to force myself,
and ask myself `what part of that do I feel like doing?'
I realize it's walking just up to floor 2.
I do that, and take the elevator from there.


There is no isolated event,
and with every action we take,
we are reinforcing certain behaviors and habits.

How to reinforce a desired behavior?
Perform that behavior, or one similar to it,
while feeling a positive emotion.

What if you don't feel like doing it?
You have two options.
Not do it, or do it while using substantial will power..
well the second option is many times only hypothetical,
as you might not have the sufficient will power at that given moment for
that action.
The second option, in addition to not always (perhaps even usually) not existing,
 may not be good for reinforcement of a habit,
as performing an action using will power may evoke negative emotions
that will be associated with the behavior.

My suggestion:
Perform the largest part of the action that you are able
at that moment, without passing your `will power threshold'.
The threshold is the point beyond which negative emotions of stress are generated while doing the action.
Again, this threshold is not a constant, and changes from moment to moment.


This way you perform an action you wish to reinforce, while feeling positive emotions.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Stop checking your f***ing phone!!!

I hope I'm not the only one who checks his phone every 5 minutes and gets
disappointed every time there's not something extremely interesting on it.
I'm trying to treat this `tiny steps' style..
and taking into account `you can't improve what you don't measure'

Like when I sit with a piece of paper working on something, I'll write the times
when I checked my phone : 14:56, 15:01
If I see there was a 5 minute gap I say -let's try to make the next one at least 6 minutes.
say it came out
   14:56,15:01,15:10..
now again I say, let's make the next gap at least 10 minutes..
A simple way to bring awareness to what you are actually doing in your actual life.

Monday, February 23, 2015

They met briefly,
and a spark exploded.
He wished to share every moment with her.
But darkness fell, and he was alone.
He cried, laughed, learned new things,
had adventures, disappointments,
wasted time in front of his TV..
He said to himself .. `well this is life'
.. `this is as good as it gets'
One day the curtains were lifted,
and the sun shone in,
 he discovered her still there in the same room
he spent all his life in.
She cried when he cried, laughed when he laughed,
they in fact did share every moment.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wake up, your life has already started

Ohh.. you didn't hear the gun go off?
Well.. there's no option to restart, sorry.

Ohh.. you say you won't participate in the race
cause that's not fair and you don't have a chance to win?

Well.. that's your choice.. but just so you know, when
this life ends , another race starts and you will start at
at whatever position you finished this one.

If you start running now you could finish in place 1.5 billion out
of 7 billion.
If you keep sitting here or walking at the same pace you'll finish at place roughly
2.5 billion.

Ohh you're saying everybody should start at the same place each time?

Yeah.. well those are the rules. They call it Karma.

You don't like the rules? You demand to speak to whoever's in charge?

Well, you can only speak to him if you get first place in a race.



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Across the distance of a thousand miles,
she whispered through the wind:
Let me experience love as magnificent as I know it can be.
Don't expect it to be safe and reassuring every moment,
or even once a year.
Trust that when you float in the middle of an ocean,
you will not drown.
Trust that if you do drown,
death will only take you to a place
where this love is stronger.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Tiny habits

I was having a day where I was zoning out infront of my computer,
watching various shows and movies.
During these days I typically think, well it doesn't seem realistic
that I would stop watching videos for an hour and do something productive,
so no sense in trying.
Inspired by how BJ Fogg talks about tiny habits,
I thought.. well what can I do that would be positive and fun?

I tried to follow Fogg's formula of trigger->desired-action->reward.

I decided, each time I come back to the couch after getting something to eat (trigger),
I'll pause the video for 5 seconds and do a mini-breath awareness meditation(desired action), and then say to myself `I'm awesome!' (reward)

Then I thought , well maybe each time I have the thought that I should stop watching this stuff
I'll do this 5 seconds pause and say `I'm awesome'.

I think I ended up doing 9-10 of these 5 seconds pauses during that evening.
I still wasted most of it.

I do think though that my mood the morning after was better than average after these zoning out days,
and I think it had to do with these 5 second mindfulness breaks





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Hi! I am a computer science postdoc. For some reason google is not finding my new homepage so I added a link from this profile