margonaut blog archive (2004-2014)


attitude research

Here's a story about a study that found optimists to be less likely to become frail in old age.

I enjoyed this quote from the head researcher, "I believe that there is a connection between mind and body." I wish this idea (which is obvious yet somehow controversial) were accepted by more people in the scientific establishment.

Positive Attitude Delays Ageing
At the start of the seven year study all the volunteers were in relatively robust good health.

The researchers assessed the development of frailty during the study by measuring the participants' weight loss, exhaustion, walking speed and grip strength.

They found that those people who had a positive outlook on life were significantly less likely to become frail.

The researchers said more research is required to pin down why there should be a link.

Filed under: diet & health 4 Comments

life as a struggle vs. life as a garden

switching focus
from finding what's wrong & fixing it
finding what's right & nurturing it

Filed under: poetry 7 Comments

inspirational notes

Here's a new newsletter that distills wisdom from a wide variety of philosophers, spiritual teachers, and inspirational speakers of all historical eras. I'm impressed with what I've seen of it so far!

The Mystical and Spiritual Teachers
Ah, religion.

If the great spiritual teachers were alive today, I have no doubt they'd all love one another! Remember: the mystics agree; it’s the theologians who run the institutions who pick the fights.

There’s so much beautiful wisdom shared by the spiritual traditions of the world. From both an intellectual and a practical perspective, as citizens of the 21st century, we should be aware of the core truths of the world’s great spiritual traditions.


"feelings are happening"

Yesterday was a weird one emotionally. While my general philosophy & outlook on life is quite optimistic, certain ongoing dramas and physical pain symptoms were making it challenging to stay upbeat. It felt as if there were something actively putting energy into keeping me down.

For a bit of a philosophical cheer-up I pulled Rob Brezny's book Pronoia off of the shelf and randomly picked a passage. I turned to the passage below:

Describe your signature pain. What is the nature of the torment that chronically upsets you most?

This is the first step in graduating from the No Pain, No Gain School of Tortured Progress. You can't be healed unless you name the tweaked karma that needs to be healed.

Step #2 Figure out what it is about your problem that's so appealing. Consider the possibility that you have it at least in part because it perversely entertains you or keeps you from being bored.

Meditate on the theory that maybe you unconsciously don't want to give up your dilemma because it prevents you from reaching lofty goals you're too afraid or timid or lazy to strive for.

Contemplate the notion that you're secretly proud of your distress-- that it's so interwoven with your identity that you wouldn't feel like yourself if you had to live without it. Do you ever find yourself bragging to others about the difficulties you have to endure? Are they essential to your self-image?

Consider the possibility that you use your nagging agony as an attention-getting device, or as a way to gather love. Isn't it true that some people are more likely to shower you with sympathy when you're miserable than when you're blandly well-adjusted?

Muse on the seductiveness of your hurt, and on all the unacknowledged reasons that maybe you are attracted to it and hesitate to give it up.

While it has been obvious to me that an attitude shift is in order, the way to go about it has been hazy. This passage was food for thought.


send a good thought my way today

Sometimes knowing that we are ultimately responsible
for creating our own realities
doesn't make it any easier

so today
I ring with as much gratitude as I can muster
reminding the body I'm lucky despite how it feels
ignoring the voices of pain & separation
and pressing on

Filed under: poetry 7 Comments

seeing the light

I've written an article that appears in the newest issue of Re:connection Magazine on the health effects of different types of light.

My regular contribution there is now called "The Intuitive Investigator."

Getting the Right Light?
The idea that light affects human health is accepted to some extent and seems like common sense. Special full spectrum lighting is used for things like indoor gardening and creating habitats for pet lizards (who will not survive otherwise.) Why would humans be any different?

Filed under: diet & health 1 Comment

can I relax yet?

Learning that trying
to force present awareness
only postpones it


Critical Mass Vancouver June 2006

Click on the image to see a short video about what happens when over 1000 bicyclists go for a ride together during rush hour....

Filed under: video 5 Comments

street performance

On Friday I tried busking for the first time. I stood in front of the Art Gallery in Vancouver for about an hour and a half playing flute. I made about $13.

I noticed that the fast paced, cheerful music was more popular than the moody stuff. With some practice I'll be able to work up a better set and build my endurance so I can play for a longer time.

I'm also considering getting the $40 busking permit which allows one to stake out better spots.

I really enjoyed performing and watching how people reacted to it.

I'll be exploring busking further this summer and polishing up my act.