Why Pretty Boys Avoid Taijiquan

Tell the truth, pretty boy. You don’t really care whether your martial art works on the streets. You just want to burn calories and build muscle, because that is what works on the beach.

So let me warn you: although Taijiquan can benefit your health, your physical appearance will pay the price. Continue reading Why Pretty Boys Avoid Taijiquan

Meditating on Death Increases Happiness, Study Shows

Philosophers and scientists have long been interested in how the mind processes the inevitability of death, both cognitively and emotionally. One would expect, for example, that reminders of our mortality—say the sudden death of a loved one—would throw us into a state of disabling fear of the unknown. But that doesn’t happen. If the prospect of death is so incomprehensible, why are we not trembling in a constant state of terror over this fact?

Psychologists have some ideas about how we cope with existential dread. One emerging idea—”terror management theory“—holds that the brain is hard-wired to keep us from being paralyzed by fear. According to this theory, the brain allows us to think about dying, even to change the way we live our lives, but not cower in the corner, paralyzed by fear. The automatic, unconscious part of our brain in effect protects the conscious mind.

But how does this work? Continue reading Meditating on Death Increases Happiness, Study Shows

Why Wise Men Abandon Their Goals

Jackie Chan in Drunken Master 2
Jackie Chan shows his calligraphy: 水能载舟,亦能覆舟

Water floats, but also sinks boats. This old Chinese proverb reminds us that our most beneficial tools can injure us when applied unskillfully. Goal setting, the ultimate weapon in the personal development arsenal, is no exception to this rule.

Smart men set goals. Wise men abandon them. Continue reading Why Wise Men Abandon Their Goals

Cultivating Happiness with the Secret Smile

This horse knows the secret

Happiness does not happen to us, it happens by us.  That is, by our specific intentions.

The Secret Smile is a simple and powerful meditative technique for cultivating happiness, to improve your health, your work, your relationships and your outlook on life. To practice the Secret Smile, follow these steps:

  1. Sit quietly and relax, until you have reached an emotionally neutral state. Continue reading Cultivating Happiness with the Secret Smile