The Most Valuable Thing in the World

Normally, people think that value is defaulted in price frame only. But, zen master showed that his followers should escape “price frame” to find out the true value.

Sozan, a Chinese Zen master, was asked by a student: “What is the most valuable thing in the world?”

The master replied: “The head of a dead cat.”

“Why is the head of a dead cat the most valuable thing in the world?” inquired the student.

Sozan replied: “Because no one can name its price.”


Temper must not be your own true nature. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you…

A Zen student came to Bankei and complained: “Master, I have an ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?”

“You have something very strange,” replied Bankei. “Let me see what you have.”

“Just now I cannot show it to you,” replied the other.

“When can you show it to me?” asked Bankei.

“It arises unexpectedly,” replied the student.

“Then,” concluded Bankei, “it must not be your own true nature. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you. Think that over.”

Real Prosperity

If whole life prepared to meet death, the death were good !

A rich man asked Sengai to write something for the continued prosperity of his family so that it might be treasured from generation to generation.

Sengai obtained a large sheet of paper and wrote: “Father dies, son dies, grandson dies.”

The rich man became angry. “I asked you to write something for the happiness of my family. Why do you make such a joke as this?”

“No joke is intended,” explained Sengai. “If before you yourself die your son should die, this would grieve you greatly. If your grandson should pass away before your son, both of you would be broken-hearted. If your family, generation after generation, passes away in the order I have named, it will be the natural course of life. I call this real prosperity.”

Zen Dialogue

Life is available only in the present moment. You are still grounded in the present moment. The present is all you ever have.

Zen teachers train their young pupils to express themselves. Two Zen temples each had a child protégé. One child, going to obtain vegetables each morning, would meet the other on the way.

“Where are you going?” asked the one.

“I am going wherever my feet go,” the other responded.

This reply puzzled the first child who went to his teacher for help.

“Tomorrow morning,” the teacher told him, “when you meet that little fellow, ask him the same question. He will give you the same answer, and then you ask him: ‘Suppose you have no feet, then where are you going?’ That will fix him.”

The children met again the following morning.

“Where are you going?” asked the first child.

“I am going wherever the wind blows,” answered the other.

This again nonplussed the youngster, who took his defeat to his teacher.

“Ask him where he is going if there is no wind,” suggested the teacher.

The next day the children met a third time.

“Where are you going?” asked the first child.

“I am going to market to buy vegetables,” the other replied.

Can You Fall Asleep In Just One Minute?

Having a good night’s sleep helps to regulate your blood pressure, but sleeplessness affects many people.

One survey found that more than 50% suffer from insomnia and most blame stress. Stress switches on your body’s fight or flight response so your muscles tense, heart rate rises, blood pressure increases and your breathing quickens in anticipation of action.

While this may be useful at times during the day, it’s counter-productive when trying to get to sleep. A simple exercise known as the 4-7-8 breath technique can switch off the stress response and help you drift off more quickly. It works on the principle that breathing influences physiology and thought processes, including moods. Done at least twice a day, the results improve with practice.

Simply breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for seven seconds and exhale completely to a count of eight. Repeat up to four times. Some users have reported being able to get to sleep within a minute using the technique.

Are you getting a full body workout?

Deep squat – Start with your feet a shoulder width apart, put your hands on your shoulder to keep your back straight and keep your head up. Lower your bum ALL the way to the floor under control and then stand up. By going all the way down you will activate all the muscles in your legs and get that amazing all over look.

Lunges – Step forward, landing the heel first, and lower until the knee is at 90 degrees and directly above your toes. The back knee should continue until it nearly touches the ground. Drive up with the front leg to the starting position. This is great for tightening up the legs

Diamond push-ups – Place your palms on the ground and touch thumbs and forefingers together to create a diamond. Perform the pressups by slowly lowering the chest to your hands and push back up. Put your knees on the ground if you struggle to do 10-12 reps. This will get your triceps working hard and tighten them up in no time.

Bench dip – You’ll need a chair or a bench about knee height. Place hands on the bench directly under the shoulders. Legs are straight out away from the bench so they are behind you, lower your body slowly until your bum nearly touches the ground and push back up. Work hard through the burn and you’ll see the success at the other side.

To really achieve a shapely bum, you need to strip excess fat away:

The Tabata method – As an alternative to counting reps you can follow a timed method, which is one of the most effective methods for fat loss. You work at high intensity for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest. Repeat for 4 minutes (8 cycles). This is a great way to burn calories and it really works.

There’s no substitute for hard work and to get the amazing results of high intensity training, you need to work hard. The good news is these workouts are much shorter; a 20 – 30 minute high intensity workout will burn the same amount of calories as a 1-hour cardio session. With an increased metabolism for up to 36 hours, overall you will burn much more calories.

Spend 5 – 10 minutes, three times per week, working on your core muscles and feel the benefits.

Exercise 1 – The plank
Adopt a pose similar to a press up but keep your forearms on the ground and shoulder width apart beneath your chest. Keep your body straight and your feet together and balance on your toes. Pull the belly button up to your spine to feel the full effect. Just hold still in this position. Aim to hold for 20 to 60 seconds and lower slowly. Repeat three to five times.

Exercise 2 – Plank superman
From the normal plank, lift your left foot off the ground slowly. Then slowly extend your right arm in front of you. You should now be balancing on your left forearm and right foot. Again hold and squeeze in the abdominal area. Aim to hold for 10 – 30 seconds and repeat two to three times on each side.

Exercise 3 – Half sit
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at 90 degree. You then squeeze your abs and slowly raise your shoulders and body keeping your back straight. Come about half way up so you maintain tension in the abs and then slowly lower but don’t let your shoulders touch the ground. Aim to complete 10 – 20 repetitions and repeat three to five sets.

Exercise 4 – V-sits
Lie flat on the ground and raise your feet off the ground about 6 inches. Slowly raise your legs and sit up with your torso, bringing your hands to touch your toes. You then slowly lower to the start position, keeping your back and legs straight. Aim to complete 5 – 15 repetitions and repeat two to three sets.

Why good food choices are important

Your food therefore needs to provide all the energy, essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals you need for optimum health.

Every cell in your body is composed of different molecules than those present just one year ago. All these new building blocks are derived from your diet.

Your food therefore needs to provide all the energy, essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals you need for optimum health. Fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds also provide substances that contribute to colour and flavour as well as protecting plants against sun, viruses, bacteria and other predators.

Known as phytochemicals, these have beneficial effects on human health, too, providing some protection against high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, visual loss and even cancer. The average diet is believed to supply more than 1 gram of phytochemicals per day.

Aim for colour on your plate for a good mix of phytochemicals – mix dark green, orange, yellow, red and purple fruit and vegetables as much as possible.

Eating at the table is better for kids

Busy lives and changing habits mean that fewer families now eat their evening meal at the dining table, preferring to tuck into their meal in front of a television or computer instead.

Yet a recent study of children aged between two and five found that those who eat their main meal at the table are slimmer than those who are served in front of a screen. Researchers believe that children served at the dinner table eat less because they recognise when they are full, while those eating in front of the TV are too distracted to spot when they’ve eaten enough. Children allowed to serve their own portions also tend to put less food on their plate than if their food is simply handed to them.

Stop at One

The National Osteoporosis Society has launched a campaign called Stop at One to raise awareness of bone health. One in two women over 50 have suffered a bone fracture but many are only diagnosed with osteoporosis after they’ve broken three or more bones.

As a fracture relating to osteoporosis occurs once every two minutes across the UK, it’s vital to make your first break your last. GPs and hospital staff often fail to talk about bone health with those at risk, and an astonishing one in ten people experiencing more than three broken bones said they had never discussed bone health or osteoporosis with medical professionals treating their fractures. Stop at One encourages you to find out more about osteoporosis by taking an on-line bone health quiz.

Six Ways to Sabotage Your Work Out

If you’ve been working out for more than eight weeks and still haven’t seen the benefits, there’s a good chance you’re doing something wrong.

Here’s what to look out for:
• Warm Up – Not warming up before exercising means a decrease in the effectiveness of your workout and an increase in the chance of injury.

• Diet – If you want to build muscle, you need sufficient protein in your diet and the right type of fuel if you want to lose weight.

• Training too long – A common physiological response to training is the release of hormones, such as testosterone and dopamine, into the bloodstream. After 45 minutes the body can move into a negative hormonal state, meaning adrenal fatigue and reduced performance.

• Training too often – Similarly, adaptations happen during the recovery period, so give your body time to recuperate, then it can efficiently build muscle and burn fat during your next workout.

• Get regular sleep – Hormones such as growth hormone and IGF-1, which help your build muscle and burn fat, are active when you sleep, so try to form a healthy sleeping pattern.

• Distractions – While workout buddies are great for motivation, talking during a workout can decrease the metabolic effect of your workout. When rest intervals increase, the body cools and metabolism slows. And leave your phone in the locker!

Future Fitness Trends

The American College of Sports Medicine recently surveyed nearly 4000 fitness professionals from around the globe to determine which exercise trends were likely to become most popular over the coming months.

They predicted the Top Ten activities would be:
1.High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT)
2.Body weight training
3. Using certified fitness professionals
4. Strength training
5. Exercise for weight loss
6. Personal training
7. Fitness training for older adults
8. Functional fitness training
9. Group personal training
10. Yoga

The interest in HIIT has grown over the last two or three years as the idea of working hard, for shorter periods, for greater long-term gain, appeals to both fitness trainers and clients alike.

However, some professionals are concerned with the increased risk of injury for deconditioned individuals who jump straight into this type of training without the necessary fitness foundation. HIIT can be very effective for boosting fitness and supporting weight loss, but it is best to work through a two to four week preparatory fitness regime before embarking on a HIIT protocol.

Body weight training has a long history within the fitness industry. It’s popular as it uses minimal equipment (your own weight provides resistance) and can be used in many environments, in and out of the gym. There’s plenty of scope for fun and innovative bodyweight training for those who wish to explore this new trend. Most of the other top ten trends have proven, longterm staying power and are important elements of a strengthening and important industry for health and wellbeing.