Tag Archives: Spiritual

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi

Summary
  1. Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi describe in Super Brain how to control your brain by learning how to the brain works and some inherent psychological fallacies.
 
Key Takeaways
  1. Your brain is creating reality every minute – make it the reality you want to live in
  2. Adaptability is key to super brain and our survival. It is what has made us the most dominant species ever.
  3. 3 major strengths – letting go, being flexible and hanging loose.
  4. 3 obstacles – habits, conditioning, stuckness
  5. How to expand consciousness – put higher premium on being awake/aware, resist conformity, value yourself, help others, expose yourself to creativity (art, poems, literature, etc), read holy texts, question own beliefs, get past your own ego, aim for highest meaning of own life, can always improve oneself.
  6. 3 strengths – evolving, expanding, being inspired.
  7. 3 obstacles – contraction, fixed boundaries, conformity.
  8. Meditation can physically alter brain and turn on good genes ad then off bad genes
  9. Super brain is detached from the thoughts or feelings the brain is having. I am feeling X, not I am X. And leads to why am I feeling X
  10. Feelings do not want to be pacified, they want to be fulfilled
  11. 4 functions and phases of the brain (must balance all 4 aspects to live a balanced and healthy life) – Instinctive, Emotional, Intelligent, Intuitive
  12. Only a handful of things brain cannot adapt to – chronic pain and anxiety
  13. Successful people almost always better at “feeling” their way through situations
  14. Purpose of universe – to foster life and create experiences for these living things
  15. Successful people internalize every success and this becomes a reinforcing behavior
  16. 7 Balances (True success comes from balancing these 7 areas) Sleep, Physical, Focus, Time in, Down time, Play, Connection time
  17. 3 things you should know for yourself – Your highest vision, Your deepest love, Your longest reach
  18. You are connected to everything in this world. All life is one. People who are animal whisperer understand this. They are empathetic and can relate to the animals’ consciousness. The animal feels this and is why they are so comfortable around each other
  19. 7 degrees of enlightenment (None of these need to be forced and come at different times for different people): Inner calm, Feeling connected, Empathy deepens, Clarity dawns, Awareness becomes more acute, Truth reveals itself, Bliss grows in your life.
 
What I got out of it
  1. Super Brain offers some amazing insights into how to lead a more balanced and happier life. One of the only things you can truly control is your mind and your reactions. Foster the right kinds of thoughts and make sure you’re creating a reality you want to live in. Balance is absolutely vital for a happy and successful life and Chopra and Tanzi show you how to get there. An excellent read.

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Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Summary

  1. Siddhartha is the story of the journey of a young man who experiences all the riches and desires any man can have but soon becomes bored with them. He strives for a life of simplicity, peace and wisdom and finds them in an unexpected place
Key Takeaways
  1. A goal stood before Siddhartha, a single goal: to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of wishing, empty of dreams, empty of joy and sorrow. Dead to himself, not to be a self any more, to find tranquility with an emptied heard, to be open to miracles in unselfish thoughts, that was his goal. Once all of my self was overcome and had died, once every desire and every urge was silent in the heart, then the ultimate part of me had to awake, the innermost of my being, which is no longer my self, the great secret.”
  2. Realizes he knows a lot, but nothing about himself
  3. “Nothing was, nothing will be; everything is, everything has existence and is present.”
  4. Siddhartha finally realized his goal was to be able, at all times, to feel and inhale the oneness. Knowledge of the eternal perfection of the world, smiling, oneness
  5. Wisdom which a wise man tries to pass on to someone always sounds like foolishness
  6. The opposite of every truth is just as true
  7. And this is now a teaching you will laugh about – “love, oh Govinda, seems to me to be the most important thing of all. To thoroughly understand the world, to explain it, to despise it, may be the thing great thinkers do. But I’m only interested in being able to love the world, not to despise it, not to hate it and me, to be able to look upon it and me and all beings with love and admiration and great respect.”
  8. He claims he has 3 skills – he can wait, fast and think. And while these do not seem like great skills, they preclude Siddhartha from becoming impatient and making irrational decisions, he can wait to eat longer than others and can think through difficult situations or problems
  9. “It is good,” he thought, “to get a taste of everything for oneself, which one needs to know. That lust for the world and riches do not belong to the good things, I have already learned as a child. I have known it for a long time, but I have experienced only now. And now I know it, don’t just know it in my memory, but in my eyes, in my heart, in my stomach. Good for me, to know this!”
  10. The perfected ones are always smiling
What I got out of it
  1. One of the few books that have had a profound influence on me. Siddhartha’s up and down journey and how he eventually reached peace and wisdom after suffering resonated a lot with me. One must first know lust and riches and the evils it brings before one sees the true beauty of giving it up

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The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

Summary
  1. By following your heart, you will find treasures along the way and do what you are meant to do on this earth. A beautiful book with a powerful message
 
Key Takeaways:
  1. World’s greatest lie – people believe at some point they lose control of their lives to fate. He ended up telling him things that Santi had never told anyone. He told Santi that he had discovered his personal legend – what he was meant to do.
  2. World’s truth – when you really want something it is right because it began in the soul in the universe. Old man tells of same treasure by pyramids and demands 1/10 of his flock.
  3. Truth to happiness – see all the marvels of the world but do not lose what your personal focus is
  4. Forget about the future. Each day in itself brings an eternity
  5. Fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself
  6. Your eyes show the strength of your soul
  7. Do not ever mess with another person or thing’s personal legend
  8. Fear of failure is the one thing that can keep you from achieving your dream
  9. As something improves itself, it improves everything around it as well. Love is the force that transforms and improves the world
  10. Life is generous to those who pursue their personal legend
 
What I got out of it:
  1. A beautiful book. Follow your heart and the world will reward you. So simple but often so difficult to implement (if you choose to make it that way…)

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Aleph by Paulo Coelho

Summary
  1. A very personal account where the main character is having a crisis of faith. His attempts are not getting him the results he desires and he starts to have doubts about the path he is following and about the things he is doing, until he meets Hilal
Key Takeaways
  1. The narrator’s master, J, says, he is trying to become the “King of His Kingdom”
  2. J tells him that what he is feeling is what he himself had felt some years back. That way, the writer is convinced that what he is in is a phase he cannot withdraw himself from
  3. The narrator decides to travel and persuades his agent to do a Russian tour where he will travel the country on the Trans Siberian Railroad. In Russia, he comes across a girl, Hilal, who he shares a history of lives past with. She talks about her dream about a friend with a light. Then the two of them see Aleph, which is defined as “a point where everything, the whole universe is contained”
  4. He becomes obsessed with how the bamboo grows. How, for the first several years the bamboo only grows underground with only a small shoot above the earth and then, seeemingly out of nowhere, it grows 25 meters in the next year. I think this is a powerful message that before success, there are years of hard work that go unseen
  5. “Karma is not what we did in our past, but what we do in the present to change our future”
  6. “Only mediocrity is sure of itself”
  7. “Love always triumphs over death. That is why there is no point in grieving for our loved ones. They will always be loved.”
What I got out of it
  1. A very intimate and touching story of a man who is battling a personal crisis and how he overcomes it through love and faith

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Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander

Summary:

  1. Dr. Eben Alexander, a neuroscientist, contracts acute graham negative bacterial meningitis which is extremely rare and often fatal. He enters a coma and this book is about his journey during that time, a time when he believes he is in Heaven. While the journey itself can be debated, I believe that the lessons that can be drawn from this book are extremely powerful, universal and the whether his trip to Heaven “really” happened or not is irrelevant.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Love is at the center of everything and is of the utmost importance
  2. Human experience does not stop with the death of the brain or body
  3. You are unconditionally loved and cherished – you have nothing to fear and can do no wrong
  4. Everybody is part of the divine – every particle in the universe is interconnected
  5. It is impossible to separate the observer from what is being observed
  6. Consciousness is the most “real” thing in the universe and probably the core/base of it all
  7. Gratitude incredibly important for all aspects of life

What I got out of it:

  1. This will definitely be a book that I re-read. I think the idea of being interconnected, having nothing to fear because you are unconditionally loved and the infinite power of love itself are so powerful. These are the types of principles that I want to live my life bye.