People who know me personally know that I’m currently trying to lose weight. After losing about 40 pounds in a year’s time, I now find it hard to shed the rest of the weight that I need to lose, especially; my metabolism is sort of slow. The fight against the bulge is a constant battle, and one needs to come up with different ways of fight the bulge because our body get used to what we eat and do and sort of creates a certain ‘relax’ mode that makes the fight a little slower.
In my new quest to lose weight, I found out that there is such a thing as a negative calorie food; basically, these are foods that have a low calorie index and will take out more calories for us to digest them. Scientists are divided with regards to this belief, some say it’s impossible and say its true. However, if you look at the arguments of both sides, regardless whether ‘negative calorie’ theory is true or not, one thing is certain, these are foods that has low calorie index. Meaning, you may eat a lot and there’s a low chance that you’ll get fat from a ‘negative calorie’ food. Furthermore, most of these foods included in the list of ‘negative calorie foods’ are high in fiber and will tend to make us feel full longer. A lot of them are also high in nutrients.
Allow me to share the top fifteen ‘negative calorie’ foods.
Also add in the list are most green leafy vegetables, however, it should be noted that some say for them to be truly negative calorie they should be eaten raw. It’s not a problem with the fruits, but with some of the vegetables, eating them raw tends to make it bland, so be careful with the dressing if you’re making a salad out of it. Nevertheless, some say they’re negative calorie regardless whether they are raw or cooked, but you have to be careful with the other ingredients if you decided to cook them, because they will add calorie to the negative calorie food.
A lot of Filipinos believes that having a pet like a dog or cat is lucky because they tend to ‘block’ any negative things that may happen to you. I really don’t know whether this is true or not, but if you’re getting a pet simply to have ‘punching bag’ for all negative energies, I think you are consciously creating more karma for yourself.
Having said that, I do believe that having a dog or cat, especially if you really love them and treat them properly do create a lot of positive Feng Shui. One must always remember that a dog and a cat is a living thing, meaning they have life and that in a Buddhist perspective they have a consciousness, it can be equated to a soul in Christianity. More than that, for Buddhism, we must treat all living things with compassion and kindness, even rats, cockroach, ants, tigers, snakes, etc. If you are able to practice kindness to an animal, it really doesn’t go to waste because you create more positive karma for you and at the same time, it’s almost always impossible to be kind to animals and be bad to other people. Unless, of course, the kindness that you show an animal like our pets (dogs and cats) are more for a ‘public act’, since, especially here in the Philippines it now has become a fad to carry our pets around.
Aside from creating positive karma, like children, animals are sensitive to the chi of their surroundings, so we would always be ‘warned’ if the chi of a place were negative. They also provide a vibrant yang chi, like most children, dogs and cats, at any age may provide constant fresh yang energy in the place where they live in.
This post is for residents of the Philippines. My favorite writer who inspired me to put up this blog has a script writing workshop. I was once his student and while I was not successful in that aspect, this blog, although really different from what he writes, draws inspiration from him.
Do not let this opportunity pass, this is the best opportunity to be trained under Philippine’s best writer. I just hope he starts giving a workshop on writing a book.
I believe he is conducting this workshop under ABS-CBN. The workshop that i went through with Ricky Lee was held in his home. He was the one spend for it and the food was sponsored by pass Ricky Lee workshop students.
Please click read FridaysGoneGeek’s post about Ricky Lee’s workshop.
I’ve received some emails from some of you inquiring as to why I haven’t post anything the past few days, in fact, for 20 days. I’ve been quite busy with work and I have to personally attend to two readers who sent me an email about suicide. I’m writing this post with their permission but I won’t really discuss their situation.
It feels weird that I’d received two emails from two different people contemplating suicide. Having a received a number of hoax emails, my initial reaction was to ignore the email or simply write a standard response, however, the emails felt real and more than that it is as if fate has ‘commanded’ to read their emails that day. I received several emails a day, and I have a huge backlog in responding to the said emails, as some of you may have experienced. Nevertheless, for some weird reason my attention was caught by this two different emails sent on two different dates.
There is something about their emails that really bothered me and it seems like there was a force that push me to reply. To make the long story short, I soon found out that those were real email, and real situations. The first thing that I did was to recognize the gravity of the situation, and the second thing that I did was to recognize the fact that I’m not trained to handle these kinds of situations.
I called up a clinical counselor friend to inquire how to handle the situation, she recommended some ways on how should I respond and then I hooked the two readers with her.
For Christians, suicide is a grave sin, and we’re taught that committing suicide will surely make your soul burn in hell for all eternity. In Buddhism and Taoism, it’s much more complicated, there is no clear response whether it is a sin or not. It really depends on the situation and the intent of the deed. However, one thing is clear though, suicide is not a solution.
In a Buddhist perspective, we are here on earth to achieve Buddhahood. Each lifetime is a consequence of a previous one and hopefully, the last one is always a little better than the previous one, until, one reaches Buddhahood. Unless, in extreme cases like when one commits suicide to save somebody else, or a nation, etc., committing suicide is definitely a solution, and it pulls you back several karma back from attaining Buddhahood.
It is in this sense, that for Buddhism, it is quite clear that suicide is not a solution, committing suicide will definitely bring you back to the same solution in your next lifetime or maybe even put you to a situation that’s even worse than your current situation.
If one is depressed and/or is contemplating suicide, the first thing that one should recognize is that you need to talk to somebody. It can be a relative, friend, or try one of those counseling hotlines.
If you’re Buddhist, you can also constantly recite the Mantra of the Buddha of Compassion – OM MANI PADME HUM.
If you’re Taoist, you can simply take a bath in a tub of water with salt. If possible do include some flowers.
If you believe in Feng Shui, you can also do the first two, and you can put salt in your room and make sure your room or house is well lit.
But most important of all, seek help!
The grudge is scary and no, I’m not talking about the famous horror movie, but I’m taking about the grudge as an emotion. Holding a grudge is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. It destroys you, it makes you unhappy, and worst of all it creates a lot of bad Feng Shui.
I personally know of a Feng Shui believer, let’s call her AM, whose life was destroyed because of the grudge she carries in her heart. The truth is, and I say this without judgment, she grew up with a very selfish heart. She has a grudge against her parents and younger sister because she felt that her sister’s life was better than hers because her mom got to spend more time with her sister when the sister was growing up, than with her when she was growing up. She should have realized that this is only because her parents are more financially stable when her sister was born.
Furthermore, she holds a grudge against to all her employees who leaves the company. When her employees decides to leaves her company, she always takes it personally, and keeps a grudge against the employees. She’ll delete them on her Facebook friends list, but more than that she’ll go out of her way to spread malicious bad rumor about the said employee. She has done this to most if not all of her employees. One time she even said that an employee got cancer because the said employee resigned from the office.
One of the worst things she’s ever done was when an employee resigned, she begged the said employee to stay, the said employee stayed for another year. After that the said employee submitted another resignation. AM again requested the said employee to stay because AM felt that nobody can easily take over the employee’s duties. The employee agreed under the condition that AM will start getting involved with the accounts that the employee is handling and that AM will start hiring a replacement. Six months after, there was no single replacement hired, and AM has yet to fulfill her promise to get more involved with the employees account. The employee felt that AM didn’t put any effort into fulfilling her promises, so the employee to just submit an irrevocable resignation. When AM got the resignation, she called the employee to request again not to leave the company. This is the employee’s third resignation and so he didn’t give in to AM’s request. AM unable to convince the employee to stay, then requested the employee that the clients be not informed, AM said told the employee that she wants to personally inform them. The employee agreed.
Two days after, the employee started getting phone messages from clients sharing their sympathy with the employee. Apparently, AM told the client that the employee has a family emergency and is not sure when to return. She also told the clients that the employee left without delegating his duties, a lie that she concocted. She even told the clients that the employee run off with some money. Later on she told the clients that she decided to fire the employee because he was not doing his job well.
One day, some of the clients decided to call up the employee and they had lunch. During lunch AM called up the employee to talk about a project that the employee has started. AM wants to discontinue the project saying it’s not possible and that everything has been a hoax. The client said that it has to be continued. AM called up the employee to inquire about the project and to ask for the contacts. The employee told AM the ways to continue the project but declined to give the contacts, but he informed AM that ‘I can finish this project for you, absolutely free, you don’t have to pay, it’s my commitment. I hope you do understand that I cannot give you the contacts because they are my contacts and therefore a professional relationship that I need to take care of.’ AM got angry and hang up. She then called the client who at that time was with the employee or the former employee. She told the client that the employee was just in her office to turn over some things, and that she had a talk with the employee and that the employee admitted that it’s impossible to push through with the project because he’s been lying. Obviously, this was a lie because she just called the employee while he was having lunch with the clients and the clients heard the things that he said to AM. To further bait AM, the client asked AM whether he can to the employee, AM said, ‘Oh, he just stepped out of the office, just now.’ Needless to say, AM was fired by the client.
AM is a very intelligent woman, she rose from rags to riches, and singlehandedly put up her company. She has gotten several awards for the things she does, and she is a staunch believer in Feng Shui. However, she loves keeping a grudge even if she was not wrong. If things don’t go her way she keeps a grudge.
Sad to say, no amount of Feng Shui or prayers or intelligence is able to counter the negative effects of the grudge she keeps in her heart. Despite being one of the most intelligent people, she has loss a lot of her clients, furthermore, her marriage deteriorated and she just recently separated from her husband. Most of her trusted employees have left her, and her projects are ‘epic’ failure, the latest of which was criticized by the public as a racist campaign, and because of this she lost another client.
Remember, it’s useless to use Feng Shui if you are unable to Feng Shui your inner self.
I’m not here to write whether the expert and crowd favorite Manny Pacquiao really won over the relatively unknown to Filipino, Timothy Bradley Jr., neither will I jump in and join the cry of rigging, and/or who really had the most number of hits, but I can honestly say, that Bradley’s winning over Pacquiao, albeit controversial, is really a lesson in humility.
Before anything else, I’m not anti-Pacquiao, but neither am I fan. As a Taoist – Buddhist, I don’t believe and follow any violent sport like boxing, which intentionally and literally hurts a person for the other to win. I hope that me fellow Filipinos won’t think that I’m being anti-Filipino by posting this post, but I believe that there is something that we all have to learn from the fight and the eventual loss of Pacquiao.
Before anything else, I would like to admit that this is something that didn’t follow the whole Pacquiao – Bradley craze right when it started, but what I have seen so far is that Bradley has always maintained a humble stance and Pacquiao or his camp has always maintained a slightly confident, if not over-confident, stance. This may be because Bradley is the underdog, and Pacquiao is the ‘people’s champ’ and international favorite, but is this enough for one to be somewhat boastful and over confident.
In interviews, you’ll always see that Pacquiao and or his camp has downplayed Timothy Bradley’s capability, while Bradley always focuses on his own training rather than criticizing the other camp.
A few days before the fight, Bradley, to indicate how hard he was working for this fight, said that his training has been like hell. Pacquiao, on the other hand, said that his training has been like heaven. It was said in such a manner that would lead one to believe that it’s just a routine training for him and that he is quite enjoying and at ‘home’ with that kind of training.
On the day of the actual fight, those who have pay – per – view will be able to attest that Pacquiao made everybody wait until he was ready to come out for the fight. When I say everybody, I’m not just referring to his staff but also Bradley, Bradley’s camp, the judges, the people who in the arena, the people who paid pay-per-view to watch the fight. He made them wait for thirty minutes…the reason? He was still watching the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics Eastern Playoff!
When interviewed about waiting for Pacquiao, Bradley humbly said that it’s okay and that they’ll wait and just be ready once Pacquiao comes out. They even added that they don’t mind waiting for Pacquiao even if it takes him 2 hours before he comes out.
I will not attempt to judge both of their characters base on this one incident, but, at that very moment, one can see the difference in attitude. One is humble, the other proud. At the end of the game, the other remained humble, the other though humbled, continued to make ‘proud’ remarks.
We may be a winner, but that doesn’t give us the right to have a bad attitude.
The title of my blog today is written on a personal note because this is a personal story.
I’ve written this blog for quite some time now and I’m not really sure why I haven’t posted this, and why I have decided to post it today, I also don’t know. This post is quite personal, because it is a story about what I went through and about my father. As some of you may have notice, I do avoid being too personal on this blog, especially if I write about Feng Shui or Taoism or Buddhism, but today, I do go deeply personal. As I said, I’ve written this blog for quite some time now, in fact, I wrote this when we celebrated by Father’s death anniversary, which was early April. So it has been about 2 months now. At that time, I decided against posting it because I wanted the story for myself, I felt that it’s something that’s between me and my Dad who has passed away. The truth is it took me several years before I decided to share what happened with my mother, siblings, and my best friend. I really haven’t shared this with anybody outside my family and my best friend, but today I’m sharing it for reasons that I still can’t fathom. I just hope that it reassures some people who might be going through the pain of losing a love one that there is life after death.
As a Taoist – Buddhist, I believe that there is life after death, literally, because of reincarnation. However, is there life between this life and our next life? Again, in Buddhism, it is said that our consciousness never dies and we bring this when we are in between lives. However, the next question is there any proof that there is life in between our lives? You ask me now and my answer would be a definite yes. But there was a time in my life when I wasn’t so sure about it.
Several years’ back, at a time when I still don’t really focus too much on Feng Shui and/or my religious belief. It is something that’s there but not something that I really focus on too much. But life has its own way of teaching us a lesson.
There was one point in my life when I was really down. It seems like I really don’t know what to do, and worst, the company I’m working for at that time was closing down and worst, since I held one of the unit top-level position at that time, I was responsible for some people. These people are not getting paid because the company declared bankruptcy, and given that I was their immediate boss and I was the one who hired them, I took a lot of self inflicted blame as well as blame from my staffs. They were unsure about their future, worst, they were unsure whether they’re going to get paid or not. Of course, I was unsure of my future, and unsure whether I was going to get paid or not. But needless to say, my personal feelings should take a back seat and try to pacify my staff. Furthermore, I just recently approved the purchase of several products that we have to use for our company, again, needless to say, the suppliers are not going to get paid and they were chasing after me. They know that technically speaking I don’t have the responsibility to pay them, but they seem to have taken the belief that if they pressure me I might pay them out of my own pocket, or that I may be able to pressure the company I’m working for to pay them.
It was one of the lowest points of my life, and I really don’t know what to do. I know that personally I can go back to our family business, but the prospect of doing that is simply not very appealing because our family business is something that doesn’t interest me. Furthermore, a lot of my staff is my friends and seeing them worry about their future affects me, because I somehow feel that I was the one who pulled them to work for the said company.
As mentioned, it was one of the lowest points of my life. My future is bleak and I really don’t know what to do next. Every night I will have a hard time going to sleep because of my problems, and I would always seem to sleep light only. All the problems and sleepless night was starting to affect me physically and I started getting sick.
Then one night, I dreamt that my father who passed away 4 years earlier visited me, sat on my bed, embraced me and assured me that everything will be fine. I woke up, but I continue to feel my father’s embrace and can totally feel his presence inside my room. The presence was so real that I didn’t even doubt that that he was there. I also felt a very comforting, calming energy surrounds me, and I knew then that things will be fine.
Slowly, his presence started to ‘leave’, that’s when I notice that I’ve been crying. I’m not sure whether I’ve been crying in my sleep or started to cry when I felt his presence, but my pillow was wet with tears. I also know that it’s my father and not some random spirit because I can totally feel him. Christians would normally say that this kind of phenomenon is works of the devil. I totally disagree with that because I was totally at peace and calm, there was not even an ounce of fear. It simply can’t be a work of the devil.
I think that was the closest I was to my father, and it happened 4 years after his death. My father and I were never really close, and I think in so many ways he’s disappointed me, especially I pursued something that he doesn’t understand. He can’t seem to understand also why I would rather start somewhere else than be in our business. When he was still alive we argue a lot, but that visit made me realize how much he loves me. Ironically, I was closer to him in ‘death’ that when he was alive. But more than anything else, whenever, I’m feeling sad or troubled, all I have to do is recall that evening of his visit and I know that everything will be fine.
I believe there’s life after death. I’m happy and lucky that I do.
A visit to Hong Kong is never complete without a visit to Wong Tai Sin Temple. Wong Tai Sin Temple, which is also called, as the Sik Sik Wong Tai Sin Temple is perhaps the most famous temple in Hong Kong. It is located in the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.
People go to Wong Tai Sin Temple to pray everything and anything under the sun, and the temple can get a little crowded especially on Sundays. Whenever I’m in HK I always make sure that I visit Wong Tai Sin Temple and pray for different things. Most of the things that I prayed for get answered.
Wong Tai Sin Temple is really more than just a temple; it’s a compound composing of different shrines and/or temples. There are also various walls with arts that have religious significance.
Wong Tai Sin is a popular Chinese Taoist deity who was born as Wong Cho Ping.
Wong Tai Sin directly translates as the ‘Great Immortal Wong’, and he is known for his healing abilities, thus he is largely considered as a god of healing, although, in truth, people go there to pray for anything and everything that bothers them.
Not much is known about Wong Tai Sin’s mortal being Wong Cho Ping. However, it is said that he was born poor and started working as a shepherd at a young age of eight years old. According to the few books that survived that talks about Wong Tai Sin, Wong Tai Sin became an immortal at about the age of 55, this was after he met an immortal 40 years earlier who supposedly saw the purity of Wong Tai Sin’s heart and decided to give him the secret to being an immortal. He supposedly attained his immortality at the Red Pine Mountain. Before he became an immortal it is said that he is able to transform stones into sheep. However, it is not clear why would there be a need for him to transform stones into sheeps.
Wong Tai Sin temple is a shrine, which happens to be a major tourist spot, in HK that is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin. It was said that Wong Tai Sin himself chose the place of the shrine by revealing it to an enlightened Taoist priest. Before the shrine or temple was built in its current location, it used to be in a house near the current shrine. In the older shrine, it is said, is where Wong Tai Sin created a lot of his miracles and gained a big following and popularity.
The main temple or shrine, which is also the biggest in the whole compound, is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin.
However, the government has decided to keep it off limits because believers would always want to touch the image of Wong Tai Sin, thus damaging some parts of the image and of the interior of the temple.
Beside the main temple is the Three-Saint Hall that houses the image of Kuan Yin, Kuan Kong, and Lu Dong Bin. However, like the main hall, this is also off limits from the devotees. There is also a Nine-Dragon Wall, which is copied from the Forbidden City in Beijing.
I know that some people may think that this is a little extreme, but the truth is there is such a thing as Feng Shui of sleep. When we sleep that’s when we rejuvenate, that’s when our body gathers more energy. Also, sleep is maybe one of the longest, if not the longest time of day when we face a single direction, and as discussed in my previous posts, depending on your Kua Number, different directions may create either good or bad luck for you.
When we sleep, where our head is ‘pointed’ is actually the direction we are activating, thus it is important that we make sure that our head is directed towards one of our lucky directions. You can find out more about it by reading my posts – WHAT IS FENG SHUI KUA NUMBER AND HOW TO CALCULATE IT; FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF LUCK BASE ON YOUR KUA NUMBER; FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF BAD LUCK BASE ON YOUR KUA NUMBER.
Also in Feng Shui, between 11pm and 1am, which is the hour of the rat, the first animal zodiac, is the time when our body rejuvenates better. So it is best that we go to sleep before 11pm. More than that, the morning chi, especially between 5am to 9am is considered, as the ‘freshest’ chi. It’s important that we absorb the chi of these hours so that we ‘energize’ our own chi.
Maybe that is why it is not surprising that most successful people are early riser.
I received an email from a Filipina (a Filipino woman) who is about to leave for Dubai to work there. Seeing that a lot of Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) family who don’t survive the loneliness brought about by the physical distance, she is worried about her family. She explained that she loves her family and wants to stay here for them, however, she knows that given that she and her husband are both unemployed here they have to go abroad to look for work.
They agreed that one of them will stay here for their 4 kids, they both would have wanted that she be the one to stay, but given that they are not sure who will be lucky enough to get a job they both applied for work abroad and decided to have fate take its course. She was the one who ‘got lucky’ and got the job. So fate decided that her husband is the one who will stay here.
She emailed to ask for a Feng Shui cure to ensure that her family survives the physical separation. I told her that it’s quite simple. She can use their family portrait. I suggested some basic Feng Shui cure or protection, however, one of the most basic cure for this kind of situation and/or for families who are experiencing some kind of disagreement is to hang a large (as big as possible) family portrait in your living room. You should make sure that it’s big enough that that’s it’s a bit overwhelming. Make sure it’s a happy picture and that the parents should be in front and the children at the back. This is a very effective and relatively inexpensive cure.
Disneyland is considered by many people as the happiest place on earth, while this is debatable, no one can deny that Disneyland’s success can be attributed, not so much with good physical Feng Shui, but by it’s ultimate positive chi of happiness.
My family and me recently went on a vacation in Hong Kong, needless to say, for the sake of the kids who are traveling with us we went to Disneyland. I won’t be able to post my family’s pictures here because they value their privacy, but out pictures shows that the adults enjoyed Disneyland as much as the kids did.
Somebody once told me that Disneyland Hong Kong did consult a Feng Shui expert, and judging from its entrance, I think it really has good Feng Shui. However, even if they didn’t consult a Feng Shui expert, the amount of positive energy created by all the happy images of Mickey Mouse and the Disney gang, and the amount of positive energy created by the people who go there is more than enough to counter bad Feng Shui.
What I’m trying to say is while good physical Feng Shui is important, inner Feng Shui, which is all about being happy and positive is much more powerful.
Allow me to share some pictures that we took in HK Disneyland. Just by looking at these pictures, it’s enough to create some positive chi.
Seeing the different Disney characters is enough to lift one’s spirits. It’s just a surge of subtle positive chi. Both kids and adults seeing the different Disney characters.
And of course the fireworks at the end of the days is simply amazing. Pictures are unable to capture the beauty of the sound/music that goes with the fireworks. But Disneyland made sure that even though evening is largely a Yin energy they still end with a Yang energy activity.