Imagination is more Important than Knowledge

Inspiring people, The mind

As someone who practices energy healing and meditation I am very drawn to Albert Einsten and all that he discovered in his lifetime.  I love how he believed that the imagination is by far more important in this life than knowledge.  In healing we use our imagination greatly and what we focus our attention on in our life is what shall show up.

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Albert Einstein was one of the most brilliant minds that ever lived. Not only was he an outstanding scientist who revolutionized physics in a fundamental way, but he was also an influential speaker on education, social justice, and religion. He was a scientist who believed in the power of imagination and creativity, and who considered that education is a personal quest that should never end.

 

Let’s take a glimpse into Albert Einstein’s mind through some of his most popular quotes. His words on success, love, and justice can inspire us to live happy and meaningful lives.

1. On the Power of Imagination

Imagination is more important than knowledge. ~ Albert Einstein
Knowledge is a map that guides us while imagination is the territory where we can roam freely and search for answers and opportunities. Imagination knows no restraint and it is the power that puts knowledge to use.

2. On Nature and Knowledge

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein

Everything around us is governed by logical, complex laws which we can discover once we pay enough attention. Deep into nature, we find beauty, order, and harmony, and we find that everything is connected.

3. On Success and Value

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. ~ Albert Einstein
Success is not always correlated with value. To be a man of success often means playing by certain rules of society, not necessarily bringing real value. A man of value does not seek praise or admiration, and it is not interested in being seen as successful because he knows his real value.

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4. On Education

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. ~ Albert Einstein
Most people think education stops at graduation. The truth is that real education has little to do with schooling. Once we get into the real world, we discover how little we know. Outside the school gates, we find thatwe have weaknesses which only experience and further learning can cover.

5. On Change

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein
People are victims of comforts and routine. We do the same things every day, yet expect great changes in our lives. A great change starts, however, with a small step in a new direction. When we gather the courage to act with greatness, we can expect great things to happen.

6. On Moving On

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein
Life is not always good to us. Every one of us experiences at some point feelings of sadness, distress, or disappointment. The real challenge is to move past these feelings and focus on the empty canvas that lies ahead.

7. On Logic and Imagination

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ~ Albert Einstein
Logic and imagination don’t have to compete with each other. They both have their own purpose. Imagination is all about possibilities and opportunities, while logic is about turning possibilities into actual plans and real projects.

8. On Experience

The only source of knowledge is experience. ~ Albert Einstein
Most of the today’s learning means sharing information and theoretical knowledge. This is rarely the type of knowledge that can be applied in our day to day circumstances. Experience is the actual powerful knowledge that can give us control over our future.

9. On Respect for Truth

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. ~ Albert Einstein
Acting with thoughtless obedience towards authority does not mean respecting authority. Even people with authority are prone to mistakes. It is our duty to question everything that does not follow the principles of justice, truth, and kindness.

10. On Living in the Moment

A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future. ~ Albert Einstein
Worrying about future is a symptom of a miserable present, in which we cannot find peace or fulfillment. A happy person lives in the moment, free from the ties of the past or those of the future.

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Why Hemp is a better source for paper.

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History Of Hemp to make Paper

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Using hemp as paper is not revolutionary. The use of hemp to make paper dates back well over 2,000 years, and was used by many ancient civilizations. It is considered by some to be the world’s oldest agricultural plant and was used to produce paper, among many other things, worldwide until fairly recently.

The Declaration of Independence and the Gutenberg Bible were both written on paper produced from hemp, as were almost all works written up until around the mid-1800s and the importance of hemp in rope manufacture – essential for any navy – gave the plant a similar status to that which oil currently has today. George Washington was a famous exponent of the plant and grew it himself. However, today hemp production is a fraction of what it once was. Many countries, like the United States and United Kingdom, regulate hemp growth or have banned it altogether because the plant is the same species as cannabis. Perhaps pushed by the emerging products and processes that could replace hemp and many of its uses.

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Paper manufacturing is one of the largest energy consumers around the globe, and although switching to hemp-based paper will not necessarily change the amount of energy needed to produce paper it will help alleviate the demand on the world’s trees and requires less chemicals. Deforestation releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and, whilst paper manufacturers do use tree farms and second-growth forests these sources can not supply nearly enough timber. Neither is wood-based paper making a clean process. According to http://www.ecology.com: “the U.S. Toxic Release Inventory report published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pulp and paper mills are among the worst polluters to air, water, and land of any industry in the country.

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The Worldwatch Institute offers similar statistics for the rest of the world. Each year millions of pounds of highly toxic chemicals such as toluene, methanol, chlorine dioxide, hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde are released into the air and water from papermaking plants around the world.”

There is clear evidence that wood-based paper manufacturing not only damages the environment sourcing its raw materials, but the by-product of the production process is highly toxic. Wood is also not necessarily the best resource for paper because it does not have a very high cellulose content.

Paper manufacture relies on breaking down the raw materials to cellulose. Wood has a cellulose content of around 40%, although this does differ between tree species, whereas hemp has a cellulose content nearer to 80%. A lot of the paper manufacturing process involves removing the useless – from the paper manufacturers point of view – 60% of the tree to leave the pulp. So when it comes to hemp pulp vs. wood pulp the hemp pulp is much more efficient because of the higher cellulose content. Not only this, but a hemp crop can mature in four to six months meaning that each acre can be much more productive than an acre, or even a few acres, of woodland. Trees need around 20 years and upward to mature enough to be pulped.

So, what are the benefits of using hemp paper? For one thing hemp makes very strong paper that does not require bleaching, and hemp produces an acid-free paper; this prevents the paper yellowing and cracking over time giving the paper a much longer life. There are surviving, readable pieces of hemp paper from 105AD. Hemp-based paper production alleviates pressure on forests, and has serious environmental benefits across the board. Not only does it reduce the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, but it will help reduce dangerous chemicals being released into the environment as a by-product of the manufacturing process. As Forbes magazine points out:

“Not only can hemp be used for an astonishing number of products, its net environmental benefit is impressive. Among the more salient features, hemp grows in a variety of climates and soil types, is naturally resistant to most pests, and grows very tightly spaced allowing it to outcompete most weeds. A natural substitute for cotton and wood fiber, hemp can also be pulped using fewer chemicals than wood because of its low lignin content. Its natural brightness can obviate the need to use chlorine bleach.”
Alongside the economic and product quality benefits to be had there is serious economic benefits if hemp paper production was taken up in a big way: through job creation and increased farm revenues for hemp farmers. So, why are we still using wood to produce paper?
There are various theories and reasons why hemp became vilified, going from one of the world’s main agricultural crops to only being produced in a handful of countries; from the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 in the US to chemical producers hoping to increase revenues. Regardless of how we got into this situation hemp paper production has some obstacles preventing its mass production: hemp paper requires paper mills to spend fortunes changing their machines so that they can deal with the more fibrous hemp pulp, the continuing confusion between hemp and cannabis plants, and perhaps the lingering influence of chemical companies such as DuPont. Of all the confusion appears to be the biggest obstacle, especially in the US where it is still against the law to own hemp seeds thus making it impossible to grow the plants commercially. Until these obstacles are tackled worldwide hemp paper production will be hamstrung despite its benefits.

Three Diamonds – Polish Daily

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The Three Diamonds.

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The three diamonds of Earth Ki, Heaven Ki and Heart Ki are at the foundation of the system of Reiki. They are also at the crux of many facets of Japanese culture, religion and philosophy.

A diamond is often used as an analogy of the self in Buddhism. Each and every day a practitioner polishes the diamond by performing his or her practice. This is a constant task for humans who, in this earthly realm, attract dirt: becoming muddy and tarnished. A diamond is so sharp that it can cut through almost anything humanity attaches itself to, bringing back the true essence of life as seen in the perfection of a sparkling diamond.

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The Earth Centre also known as the hara, is the most important of these centres. This is where energy is stored and drawn from to expand throughout the entire body.
A Reiki practitioner can train to link all three diamonds. This will create unity and balance. In order do this, you must first develop the Earth Centre because the Earth Centre is the body’s central axis point. It is considered the base of the pyramid of the body and where energetic strength is developed.

1. Earth Energy (Hara – approximately 3 inches (8cms) below the naval)

In this centre, Original Energy is stored. This is the energy you are born with, the energy that is the essence of your life and gives you your life’s purpose. The Original Energy is not only the energy you receive from your parents when you are conceived but most importantly it is the energetic connection between you and the universal life force. When the singular term hara is mentioned it is the lower hara that is being discussed. This is the symbolic energetic centre for Earth Ki.

2. Heavenly Energy

This is the energy connected with your spirit. When you are connected with this centre you may see colours or you might have psychic ability. It is important for you not to become unbalanced and keep yourself centred. If you can use this energy in a balanced way, you can see beyond the immediate. This is the symbolic energetic centre for Heaven Ki.

2. Heart Energy

The energy in this centre is connected with emotions. It is ‘human’ energy connected with human experience. Through this centre you learn your life’s process. From childhood through to adulthood and back to being a child. When you are a child you are without experience and as you grow older you become a child with experience. This is the symbolic energetic centre for Heart Ki.

How to Balance the Three Diamonds with Reiki

This meditation is a favourite of mine. It is very simple and will help you to feel the energy of The Three Diamonds in your body and balance them.

 

REIKI EXERCISE TO BALANCE THE THREE DIAMONDS

There are different ways to do this meditation but I found this one to be easier to remember.

Lie on your back.
Place one hand on your forehead (Third Eye Chakra/Heaven Centre) and the other on your heart (Heart Chakra/Oness of Heart Centre).
Maintain this position for 5 or more minutes.

Move the hand that was on your forehead to your lower abdomen (The Second Chakra/Belly Chakra/Hara/Earth Centre.Maintain this position for 5 or more minutes.

Move the hand that was on your heart to your forehead. Now you will have one hand on the forehead (Third Eye Chakra/Heaven Centre) and one on the lower abdomen (Root Chakra/Hara/Earth Centre). Hold this position for 5 or more minutes.

The first time I performed this exercise I was amazed at how much I was able to feel the energy moving and balancing within my body. It rebalances my energy very quickly without fail. I hope it works as well for you!

 

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Script for Mountain Meditation

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Guided Mountain Meditation
Sit with a straight back, your head held erect on your neck and shoulders, allow the shoulders to fully relax. And place your hands on your knees.
Close your eyes and bring your attention to the flow of your breathing. Feeling each inbreath and each outbreath. Just observing your breathing without trying to change it or regulate it in any way. Allowing the body to be still. And sitting with a sense of dignity, a sense of resolve, a sense of being complete, whole, in this very moment, with your posture reflecting this sense of wholeness.
And as you sit here, picturing in your mind’s eye as best you can the most beautiful mountain that you know or have seen or can imagine. Just holding the image and feeling of this mountain in your mind’s eye, letting it gradually come into greater focus. Observing its overall shape, its lofty peak high in the sky, the large base rooted in the rock of the earth’s crust, its steep or gently sloping sides. Noticing how massive it is, how solid, how unmoving, how beautiful both from afar and up close.
Perhaps your mountain has snow at the top and trees on the lower slopes. Perhaps it has one prominent peak, perhaps a series of peaks or a high plateau. Whatever its shape or appearance, just sitting and breathing with the image of this mountain. Observing it, noticing its qualities and when you feel ready, seeing if you can bring the mountain into your own body so that the body sitting here and the mountain in your mind’s eye become one. So that as you sit here you share in the massiveness and the stillness and majesty of the mountain. You become the mountain rooted in the sitting posture, your head becomes the lofty peak, supported by the rest of the body. Your shoulders and arms the sides of the mountain. Your buttocks and legs the solid base rooted to your chair. Experiencing in your body a sense of uplift from deep within your pelvis and spine, with each breath as you continue sitting, becoming a little more a breathing mountain, unwavering in your stillness, completely what you are, beyond words and thought. A centred, rooted, unmoving presence.
Now as you sit here becoming aware of the fact that as the sun travels across the sky, the light and shadows and colours are changing virtually moment by moment. Night follows day and day follows night. A canopy of stars, the moon, then the sun. Through it all, the mountain just sits, experiencing change in each moment. Constantly changing, yet always just being itself. It remains still as the seasons flow into one another and as the weather changes, moment by moment, and day by day. Calmness abiding all change.
In summer, there’s no snow on the mountain except perhaps for the very peaks. In fall, the mountain may wear a coat of brilliant fire colours. In winter, a blanket of snow and ice. In any season, it may find itself at times enshrouded in clouds or fog or pelted by freezing rain. People may come to see the mountain and comment on how beautiful it is or on how it’s not a good day to see the mountain. None of this matters to the mountain which remains at all times its essential self. Clouds may come, and clouds may go. The mountain’s magnificence and beauty are not changed one bit by the way people see it or not or by the weather. Seen or unseen, in sun or clouds, broiling or frigid, day or night, it just sits, being itself. At times, visited by violent storms, buffeted by snow and rain and winds of unthinkable magnitude. Through it all, the mountain continues to sit unmoved by the weather, by what happens on the surface, by the world of appearances.
And in the same way, as we sit in meditation, we can learn to experience the mountain. We can embody the same unwavering stillness and rootedness in the face of everything that changes in our own lives over seconds, over hours, over years. In our lives and in our meditation practice, we constantly experience the changing nature of mind and body and of the outer world. We have our own periods of light and darkness, our moments of colour and our moments of drabness. Certainly, we experience storms of varying intensity and violence in the outer world and in our own minds and bodies. We endure periods of darkness and pain, as well as the moments of joy. Even our appearance changes constantly, experiencing a weather of its own.
By becoming the mountain in our meditation practice, we can link up with its strength and stability and adopt it for our own. We can use its energies to support our energy to encounter each moment with mindfulness and equanimity and clarity. It may help us to see that our thoughts and feelings, our preoccupations, our emotional storms and crises, even the things that happen to us, are very much like the weather on the mountain. We tend to take it all personally but its strongest characteristic is impersonal. The weather of our own lives is not to be ignored or denied. It is to be encountered, honoured, felt, known for what it is and held in awareness. And in holding it in this way, we come to know a deeper silence, and stillness, and wisdom. Mountains have this to teach us and much more if we can come to listen.
Reference: Mindfulness Meditation, CD Series 2, Jon Kabat-Zinn

Script for Loving Kindness Meditation

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Meditation on Lovingkindness

In this meditation on lovingkindness, allow yourself to switch from the usual mode of doing to a mode of non-doing. Of simply being. As your body becomes still, bring your attention to the fact that you are breathing. And become aware of the movement of your breath as it comes into your body and as it leaves your body. Not manipulating the breath in any way or trying to change it. Simply being aware of it and of the feelings associated with breathing. And observing the breath deep down in your belly. Feeling the abdomen as it expands gently on the inbreath, and as it falls back towards your spine on the outbreath. Being totally here in each moment with each breath. Not trying to do anything, not trying to get any place, simply being with your breath. Giving full care and attention to each inbreath and to each outbreath. As they follow one after the other in a never ending cycle and flow. If distracting thoughts arise, acknowledge them, then return to the practice.
And now bringing to mind someone for whom you have deep feelings of love. Seeing or sensing this person and noticing your feelings for them arise in your body. It may be simply a smile that spreads across your face, or your chest becomes warm. Whatever the effects, allow them to be felt.
Now letting go of this person in your imagination, and keeping in awareness the feelings that have arisen.
Bring yourself to mind now. And seeing if you can offer lovingkindness to yourself, by letting these words become your words…
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I ride the waves of my life
May I live in peace
No matter what I am given
And noticing the feelings that arise and letting them be, as you look within yourself with mindfulness and equanimity.
When you are comfortable, try offering lovingkindess to someone who supports you, who has always “been on your side.” Bringing this person to mind, imagining them perhaps across from you, and letting these words become your words…
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you ride the waves of your life
May you live in peace
No matter what you are given
Once your feelings flow easily to a loved one, turn your attention now to someone with whom you have difficulty – it’s best not to start with the most difficult person, but perhaps someone who brings up feelings or irritation or annoyance. And seeing if you can let these words become your words as you keep this person in awareness…
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you ride the waves of your life
May you live in peace
No matter what you are given
Notice the sensations and feelings that arise within you. And seeing if you can just allow them and let them be.
And now bringing to mind the broader community of which you are a part. You might imagine your family, your workmates, your neighbours, or fan out your attention until you include all persons and creatures on the planet. And including yourself in this offering of lovingkindness, as you let these words become your words…
May we be happy
May we be healthy
May we ride the waves of our lives
May we live in peace
No matter what we are given
Notice the sensations and feelings that arise within you. Sitting with them for a few moments until you are ready to end the practice.
Reference: Mindfulness Meditation, CD Series 3, Jon Kabat-Zinn

This one teaches you to be a bit more grateful and patient with your life and the people in it, whether they are passing strangers or close friends.

 

Script for Guided Sitting Meditation

meditation

During my experience in a MBSR Group I was advised to read the books by Jon Kabat Zinn and I was so glad that I did.  Below is a guided sitting Meditation by the man himself.  You can also find him on youtube for free.

 

Guided Sitting Meditation
This guided sitting meditation will help you learn to simply be and to look within yourself with mindfulness and equanimity. Allow yourself to switch from the usual mode of doing to a mode of non-doing. Of simply being. As you allow your body to become still, bring your attention to the fact that you are breathing. And become aware of the movement of your breath as it comes into your body and as it leaves your body. Not manipulating the breath in any way or trying to change it. Simply being aware of it and of the feelings associated with breathing. And observing the breath deep down in your belly. Feeling the abdomen as it expands gently on the inbreath, and as it falls back towards your spine on the outbreath. Being totally here in each moment with each breath. Not trying to do anything, not trying to get any place, simply being with your breath.
You will find that from time to time your mind will wander off into thoughts, fantasies, anticipations of the future or the past, worrying, memories, whatever. When you notice that your attention is no longer here and no longer with your breathing, and without judging yourself, bring your attention back to your breathing and ride the waves of your breathing, fully conscious of the duration of each breath from moment to moment. Every time you find your mind wandering off the breath, gently bringing it back to the present, back to the moment-to-moment observing of the flow of your breathing. Using your breath to help you tune into a state of relaxed awareness and stillness.
Now as you observe your breathing, you may find from time to time that you are becoming aware of sensations in your body. As you maintain awareness of your breathing, see if it is possible to expand the field of your awareness so that it includes a sense of your body as a whole as you sit here. Feeling your body, from head to toe, and becoming aware of all the sensations in your body.
Being here with whatever feelings and sensations come up in any moment without judging them, without reacting to them, just being fully here, fully aware of whatever you’re experiencing. And again whenever you notice that your mind wandered off, just bringing it back to your breathing and your body as you sit here not going anywhere, not doing anything just simply being, simply sitting. Moment to moment, being fully present, fully with yourself.
Now as you sit here once again allowing the field of your awareness to expand. This time, expanding your awareness to include thoughts as they move through your mind. So letting your breathing and sense of your body be in the background and allowing the thinking process itself to be the focus of your awareness. And rather than following individual thoughts and getting involved in the content and going from one thought to the next, simply seeing each thought as it comes up in your mind as a thought and letting the thoughts just come and go as you sit and dwell in stillness, witnessing them and observing them. Whatever they are…just observing them as events in the field of your consciousness…as they come into your awareness and they linger and as they dissolve.
If you find yourself at any point drawn into this stream of thinking and you notice that you are no longer observing them, just coming back to observing them as events and using your breathing and the sense of your body to anchor you and stabilize you in the present.
The thoughts can take any form, they can have any content and they can be either neutral or very highly charged. If thoughts come up that have fear in them, then just be aware of fear being here and letting these thoughts come and go. The same for worries, preoccupations, and so on. Regardless of the feeling that a thought might create for you, just observing it as simply a thought and letting it be here without pursuing it or without rejecting it. Noticing that from moment to moment, new thoughts will come and go.
As the meditation ends, you might give yourself credit for having spent this time nourishing yourself in a deep way by dwelling in this state of non-doing, in this state of being. For having intentionally made time for yourself to simply be who you are. And as you move back into the world, allow the benefits of this practice to expand into every aspect of your life.
Reference: Mindfulness Meditation, CD Series 1, Jon Kabat-Zinn