For this upcoming assignment I am actually really curious to see how it will affect me. I never really believed in all that spiritual stuff so that’s probably why I never meditated in the first place but because I have to I am interested in seeing how it will actually affect me. If I’m being honest, after meditating I expect to open my eyes to a brighter and much happier seeming world. Of course it may seem brighter because my eyes were closed for so long but at the same time I expect a feeling of bright happiness to take place. For the first time ever I will continuously practice meditation and if it really does work and I do it properly, my mental state should change drastically.
I looked through the mobile apps, Headspace, , Mindfulness and Insight Timer and decided on Insight Timer. The reason I chose this app was because compared to the other apps it not only had a lot of options for guided meditations which is what I was supposed to be looking for, it was very fast and simple. The other apps didn’t seem to have that big a catalog and it didn’t feel all that simple. The insight app even lets you pick how much time you expect to meditate so you can look through meditations that range around the time of your choice. I already know what i’m going to use for my log and journaling.
The only thing I fear is I hope I don’t lose interest too fast which I tend to do. I can see myself letting 3 minutes pass and thinking to myself “MAN HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT IM BORED” or “If I stop now no one will be able to tell” or even doing the whole thing and feeling like it was so much of a waste of time I never want to do it again and I struggle to find the motivation to go again. But to avoid this I will not only turn off my phone but I will schedule a time to do it so I have no excuse to tell myself to just do it later.
Class began with meditation on “Acceptance” Daily Calm
The goal of the meditation was to stay focused and repeatedly bring ourselves back instead of zoning out.
After meditation we were to write a response regarding our experience and a response to the question “How can you soften resistance for what can’t be changed right now”.
To soften resistance the general answer was to learn to accept no matter how tough it may be and work on a strategy. Everything can be accepted.
Blog post due before next class Thursday, April 8th.
Explain what you expect to come out of the upcoming assignment on meditation due April 27th, the expectations may be worries, hopes or fears. Also pick a meditation program/app and explain why you chose that one along with an explanation to what you evaluated with links(make sure to evaluate at least 3 different apps/programs). It is preferred you do a guided meditation that is at least 10 minutes a day (Longer than that or multiple sessions is encouraged) Keep a log of the experience along with your reflective journaling before and after.
Good apps to explore:
Next class we will spend time towards the end of the class discussing the book (The Power of Now). Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the chapters as they will be discussed. Keep in mind while reviewing where the book relates to meditation.
Next class notes – Ajah
Have you ever aimed a camera at a screen that’s showing what that camera sees? If you have you know that it results in that screen showing different colors, pure whiteness or just pure blackness. The main point is the screen shows basically nothing and this reminds me of Eckhart Tolle’s idea of “Watching the thinker”. He says it should result in a gap of being completely thoughtless and I found it to be true. If you try to look inside your mind and identify your thoughts, it’s the same as pointing a camera at the projector screen, and monitoring the picture. Tolle says the point of this is to disidentify with the mind and come to the realization that our mind and who we actually are, aren’t one. With this mindset comes the gift of being “conscious” and seeking joy in even the darkest moments and maintaining a natural state of peace.
The title of the book comes from this idea that the past is irrelevant and so is the future, the only thing worth focusing on, is the now. When he explains it, it makes a lot of sense. He says the past is just “the now” that has already happened while the future is not only also “the now” just upcoming, but the future is also reliant on “the now” or the present. He says that we have multiple things we worry about, but if we were to truly appreciate the now, we would realize that all of those worries would go away because they aren’t an issue as of right now.
He is using conversation between him and someone else to get his point across the same way Socrates famously used conversation to get his points across. This helped me understand because the questions almost always made sense and made me wonder what miracle was he going to pull off by answering such a good question. I can’t say I was always following along with what he was saying but there were instances where I felt he had the perfect answer, almost as if he made the question himself just so he could answer it (i’m pretty sure he did do this).
Throughout the text he is explaining what it means to be “conscious” and how to get there despite how difficult it may sound. He gives different examples of things conscious people do and one example that caught my attention was when he says “When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible, leave the situation or accept”(Tolle 56). This reminded me of “The 7 habits of highly effective people” by Steven Covey. The first habit is to be proactive instead of reactive, to be in control so I found that to be cool. This is discussed shortly after the quote but I find the idea of simply “accepting” no matter what happens to be very intriguing. Are there really people who can do this? Another example he makes that I found interesting was when he compared us to a lake. He says “The outer situation of your life and whatever happens there, is the surface of the lake. Sometimes calm, sometimes windy and rough, according to the cycles and seasons. Deep down, however, the lake is always undisturbed”.(Tolle 123). By saying this he’s saying that no matter what happens to us, we are always in control with how we react and able to keep ourselves still and composed, like the deep part of the like.
Overall, I really like this book the only thing I was disappointed in is when I saw we were to read an entire book I expected a book with an interesting story or at least some type of story, so when I realized it was an entire book based on some guy explaining his ideology, I was sort of let down but nonetheless, it wasn’t bad at all.
The beginning of the coronavirus lockdown affected a lot of people so much that it’s scary. It’s easily one of the biggest events in history. I always remind myself how weird it is that for some kids, they literally never went inside of a school for their entire school year. Some people struggle to find work because their job isn’t necessary during this pandemic and others deal with mental problems due to the stress of all this. I on the other hand consider myself lucky because as crazy it may sound this pandemic hasn’t affected me all that much. I never left my home for anything in the first place and the things I did leave my house for, I can still leave my house for nowadays. The only major difference is zoom and while I will admit my life hasn’t been affected by this pandemic, there is one thing that came from all this that is really unfortunate. That thing is the fact that I still cannot pass Math1275Co.
I mentioned this in a previous blog post, I believe I’ve failed Math1275Co around 4 times. I have reasonable excuses by the way. The first time I failed, it was my very first time taking the class, with that being said I had no idea what to expect and when the hard part of the class kicked in I was completely caught off guard. The second time I took the class I made the mistake of not having a tutor like I did the first time I took the class and that resulted in me failing again. The third time was the time I was most prepared, I went into the class like I knew exactly what the professor’s words would be. On top of that, I made sure I had a tutor so I got the extra help I lacked the previous semester. I was doing so well, every test I passed, I breezed through all the homework, and every new topic I understood immediately. But with just my luck that was the beginning to the 2020 Spring semester. The semester where everything started.
When the lockdown was announced I wasn’t worried at first, in fact I was relieved, no more waking up early and getting dressed every day. However, about 3 weeks into the zoom courses and I realized that this course wasn’t as easy as it used to be. I found myself being more confused than the other 2 semesters. Eventually, I had to drop the class to avoid the F grade and it was disappointing. Imagine failing a class twice and making the decision to drop it for a third time. Sounds bad right, but not as bad as dropping it for a fourth time because zoom classes are still a thing the following semester. All my other classes went great, it’s just that math is different. You need a more personal approach when you don’t understand.
Aside from me failing math over and over, the pandemic hasn’t been that bad for me. As I said before, I never left my house in the first place so the idea of social distancing wasn’t as hard on me. I didn’t struggle to get my first security job, aside from big gatherings, I don’t really see things that I used to be able to do that I can’t do now. In a way, life never changed for me. If I had to say the worst things about the pandemic, I would say the risk of it affecting my family is always going to be scary and the idea that I could possibly be getting lazier is not comforting at all. But then again, compared to others, these are very minor concerns and that’s why I’m grateful and consider myself lucky.
Self-Care to me is being both physically and mentally healthy, nothing more and nothing less. Despite how much we as a class have read on it, I still see no other answer. While there may be answers which in some cases may not seem wrong, I just don’t think those answers are necessary unless they give mental and physical health.
To be more specific, when I say physical health, I mean staying away from things that harm your body and that risk causing illnesses and pain along with maintaining a healthy diet. Now when I say mental health I mean doing things that give happiness and satisfaction. With the combination of these two you get someone who always feels great.
I understand that this answer may seem very general but the reason for this is the amount of things that can lead a person to this physical and mental state. Some people may say self-help includes exercise, while others say it’s eating right and another might say it’s simply just not ever getting sick. These all fall under the category of being physically healthy so these are all correct and there is no wrong answer. Same goes for mental state. Meditating, reading, learning, or just relaxing are all things to help the mind, but then again, just because one works doesn’t mean it’s universal. What I mean by this is someone may not find exercising to be as easy or meditating to be as relaxing, so in a way, they are not necessarily correct answers. This is why I used a general response, because the more specific ones aren’t always right.
This weekend I practiced self-help a little more than I always do beginning with physical health. I told myself I would practice physical health in two ways, exercise and eating. Now I’ve stopped exercising for a while and this self-help gave me the motivation to get to it. Every day except Saturday (because it was freezing) I went across the street to a park and ran for as long as I could. Sadly 4 minutes was the longest I could run for, but I started off at 2 so that’s improvement to me. And on Friday and Monday I did push ups before I went to sleep, it wasn’t much but I haven’t exercised in a while and it showed. All I did to eat right was not order takeout which I have a bad habit of doing and I just made the food I had at home.
To practice mental health I told myself I would remember to do all my “To/do list things” which I have a bad habit of forgetting. This includes things like house chores, homework etc. This way, I could relax knowing I’ve done everything I need to do. Believe it or not it felt nice to be able to tell myself I’m not forgetting to do something and it makes relaxing…well, more relaxing.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a very interesting self-help book. Of the books we read so far it was definitely the best one in my opinion. “The secret” was too unrealistic and while the Samuels Smiles text might’ve been factual and helpful, it was very hard to understand fully. That being said the Stephen Covey text had a mix of both, the text was interesting and it was reasonable. The title of the book says it all, it explains the 7 habits that highly effective people use and it explains how if anyone were to apply these things to themselves, then being a highly effective person is basically inevitable.
This text uses the word Paradigm a lot and it’s saying that the idea of being right or wrong is a negative character trait and to be effective we should try looking differently. This way, we can have a more open mindset to the world. The author uses many stories and in these stories it shows people assuming things that lead to them regretting the assumption. I believe this is mentioned to give the impression that if a person were constantly looking at things from another perspective, they would assume less and less and would be in that situation less. It would also result in a mindset that is much more healthy and knowledgeable.
The first habit that is mentioned is being proactive and refraining from being reactive. Reactive people are people who feel like everything happens to them and they aren’t in control of anything while proactive people feel the need to create and take responsibility. The second habit is living with a purpose or goal which I can’t agree with any more. I’ve said to many people multiple times how much I believe living with a purpose can benefit a person’s mindset and happiness a whole lot. The third one is about priorities which is very useful but everyone knows that already, it’s just easier said than done. The fourth one is to think win-win and no matter how bad things look to always look on the bright side. The fifth one relates to what is being said about paradigms and trying to understand things from another point of view even when at first you don’t agree. The sixth one, similar to the fifth one, says look at things from another point of view but instead of the opposing point of view, try to see things from a completely different point of view that still solves the issue. The last habit is about self renewal and becoming one’s best self, just like the one about priorities. I feel like a lot of people know this already but it’s just not that easy to do.
This text was definitely my favorite out of everything we’ve read so far, I agree with a lot of what was being said and I found it all very interesting. If I had to follow any self-help tips this will be the first place I look and I will expect it to work.
Before I begin pretending I know what I’m talking about, I want to let it be known that this was the most confusing thing I’ve read since I took Philosophy in the 2019 fall semester. I’m not sure what it was about this text, maybe it was the fact that it’s ancient, maybe it’s because the author is really intelligent, or maybe it’s just because I’m not smart enough. But whatever it was I will admit that I was lost way too many times while reading this. I’m still going to attempt to explain exactly what I read but I cannot emphasize enough how much I believe my analysis of what I read is probably far from what I actually read.
The first chapter of the text is called “Self-Help National And Individual”, and from what I got from the first part of the chapter is probably what the “national” part meant. I can’t go in depth because as I said before I was really confused reading this, but I believe it was stating how important it is for people to help themselves rather than getting help from others. I remember the nation being brought up multiple times and the idea of self-help relating to that so it could possibly be saying with the way society is, helping oneself will always be the best move. As I continued to read I began to notice a pattern, and it was how it kept bringing up stories of people who started at a really low rank with not alot of money and worked their way up to high success all through self-help. A Lot of these consisted of people who taught themselves to read, write and a lot of the skills you would normally get in school. After seeing this pattern over and over again I came across a quote from Sir Humphry Davy on page 26 of the pdf who said “What I am I have made myself: I say this without vanity, and in pure simplicity of heart.” This might seem ridiculous but this quote showed me that, in a way, I was right about what I thought I was reading and these men were in fact starting from the ground and using self-help to become successful.
Chapter 4 is called “Application and Perseverance” and it begins speaking about how these great people who gained success using self-help didn’t gain it just by teaching themselves or starting from the ground, they had qualities that a lot of people don’t have. The application and perseverance it’s referring to makes sense but seems a little extreme. That just goes to show how long ago these stories took place. On page 94, a violinist named Giardini was asked, how long would it take to learn the violin and he replied “Twelve hours a day for twenty years together.” Clearly this is to become a professional at a very high level but this is just one example of a few on how extreme at work some of these stories show. So when application and perseverance is said to be the key to success, it is meant to a very extreme level.
The chapter I chose to read was chapter 3, and it was very similar to chapter 1 and 4 except it included the stories of “Great Potters” specifically. There were 3 stories for 3 different men, Benard Palissy, Johann Friedrich Bottgher, and Josiah Wedgwood. Palissy, Bottgher and Wedgwood in their own ways rose to the top with each having ridiculous stories of self-help. Each of these men required the help of no one and got where they needed to be all on their own through intelligence.
Samuel Smiles is most definetely a very intelligent person and a great author, but the date in which this was written took a big toll on me and I let it confuse me to the point where I’m not sure how correct I am at all. As far as I know, this book is about the successsful people of the past that didn’t have anything handed to them and ever since their youth was working hard at becoming the most successful people they can be.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
Self fulfillment needs-
- Self Actualization (Fits into the realm of self-help. Become the best version of yourself)
- Esteem needs
- Belongingness & Love needs
- Safety Needs
- Psychological Needs
Website for Rhonda Byrne’s “The secret” information
- Books for self-help
- The Secret super app for mobiles devices
- The greatest secret (New book by Rhonda Byrne)
In Class Videos
SNL-Oprah the secret
Parody of an Oprah episode where Rhonda Byrnes explains what “The secret” is
Dave Chappelle | The Secret | Stand-Up Comedy
Dave Chappelle mentions his thoughts on the secret in a stand-up segment
Video 3 (Didn’t get to watch, watch on your own before the next class)
The Blatantly Obvious (“The Secret” Parody)
Parody of “The Secret” by 24Calamity
Repurpose – To make something over with a change of purpose
Gaslighting – To change the point of view of someone else to the point of them questioning things
Elided – To suppress or alter
Upcoming in class
- Life logging
- Happiness Apps
- Going to try self-help tips and record experiences
Read chapter 1, 4, and a chapter of your choice of
Self-Help; with Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance (Samuel Smiles), 1859
Annotate the document of what you read and be sure to have the annotation ready in a PDF document in case it is collected.
Reading Response #2 (Samuel Smiles) for what you have read and thoughts on the text
*Class Notes will be done by Maria
“The secret” by Rhonda Byrne is a text describing how much easier life can be if we understood and took advantage of something that she referred to as “The secret”. It begins explaining what the secret can do for people and from the sound of it, I believed it was revolutionary because it appeared to make everything in your life go your way, even things you would think we have no control over. Eventually it is revealed that the secret is what is known as “The law of attraction”, the idea that everything that happens to us happened to us because we attracted it. At first I thought it made sense, If I envision myself passing a test, chances are that would raise my motivation to study for the test which leads to me passing. However, that wasn’t exactly what was being explained. I misunderstood and believed that the positive/negative thoughts that were being discussed worked as a chain reaction that changed our actions and the way we do things which would obviously effect us. I was wrong, the idea was that our thoughts are so powerful that they alone are creating these things that happen to us. That sounds crazy and impossible. I’m not going to pretend I know alot about this topic when I don’t, I’m just going to express how much I don’t believe it.
According to the text, thoughts give out frequencies the same way television towers do. These frequencies are transmitted to the universe which gives the universe the power to make that thought a reality. The text makes it seem as though the universe is some sort of magic machine that takes thought and turns it into real life scenarios. If you tell yourself “I really hope a stranger doesn’t try to rob me while i’m walking home alone at midnight” according to this text you are sending out an invititation to the universe to work it’s magic and make a random stranger decide to cross paths with you and rob you. My idea of the universe isn’t some almighty thing that can make literally anything happen, I thought the universe was simply something where the planets, stars and galaxies around us were inside. Secondly, my idea of thoughts isn’t the same idea as its represented in this text. You can not think of something and just like that, it gets sent somewhere with all that information as if its some sort of email. Thoughts stay where they take place, in our minds.
I want to mention something this text reminded me of, and thats the time I experienced something similar to this. I remember when I was in 6th grade, on the first day of class, my teacher told us we are expected to come in next monday with a green folder. Over the course of the weekend I forgot about it and sunday night was when I remembered. I was worrying because it was too late to go and buy one and it would be too early to go and get one the next day before school. So I kept searching through old supplies I left lying around and didnt find anything. Lastly, I searched in a closet where leftover school supplies was and inside a white bag was nothing inside, nothing but one folder that happened to be green. It was satisfying but scary with how lucky I got, it genuinely felt like the work of a higher power. The point of saying this is to let it be known that coincidences happen and that’s most likely how this idea was formed. Crazy coincidences occured and eventually it was brought up that they weren’t coincidences but a “Law of attraction”.
“The secret” was very interesting but I wish I didn’t let myself be so intrigued by the fact that I disagreed so much. With every chapter I read I found myself seeing more and more things I just felt were impossible. One positive thing I can say however is that this gives people who believe in it hope, and I believe this about alot of other worldy things people tend to believe in. I feel that even if people are believing in things that are not true, atleast it gives them hope for a better future.
Hello, My name is Robby Deleon and I am a Sophomore at New York City College of Technology studying Liberal Arts. Before I start I want to just point out I’m a very boring person and not interesting at all. So starting with my background, it’s as you guessed, boring. I was born and raised in NYC and I dont know much about my ethnical background, all I know is I’m black. I didn’t choose a major specific to a future job because I already knew I only wanted 60 credits so I can be a police officer. So because of that I chose the major that I thought would be the easiest (I was wrong). As of now I have 3 classes left until I get those 60 credits but I’m only taking 2 classes this semester because the 3rd class is the class that has caused me so much pain, “Math 1275co”. Alot of people reading this would probably laugh at this considering how good at math some people are but I have taken Math 1275co 4 times which resulted in me dropping it 3 times and failing it once. For the first time ever I’m gonna dedicate an entire semester into one class hoping that will do the trick. I blame the virus though because in-person tutoring had me at a good passing grade and then everything shutdown and I fell off.
So that’s how school is going, outside of school I literally do nothing. I mentioned this in the 5 minute free write but I am very lazy, and I would probably have more going for me if I wasn’t. It’s not all bad though, this past winter break I got a job as security and learned alot of necessary life skills. I also learned I hate working so the rest of my life is looking pretty rough for me. As for my hobbies, I can’t say it’s anything interesting. I mostly just relax at home watching shows, movies and playing video games. Some of the shows I really like are Boy Meets World, Rick And Morty, and One Punch Man along with many other anime. As for movies I really liked Scarface, The Godfather, and The Wolf of Wallstreet. I used to play alot of basketball but the older I got the more work it seemed to get up and walk to the basketball court (Which by the way is across the street from me).
The thing I like about writing & reading is there aren’t many wrong answers opposed to math which only ever has one right answer which is why I’m so bad at it. But writing & reading allows alot of thought to go into whatever is being written which is satisfying in a way. What I dislike about writing & reading is what books have and thats the amount of detail that is sometimes required. I understand the author likes to give the reader a good idea of the what they’re reading but I doubt the reader cares what color shoes a certain character is wearing or what the painting looks like on a completely unrelated wall. I feel like my strengths in writing & reading is comprehension and creativity but my weaknesses come from grammar and disinterest in what I may be reading which leads to a lack of comprehension. My favorite genre of literature would probably be Sci-fi as that seems to be the most interesting. I don’t have a favorite text because in all honesty I do not read.
Self-Help sounds like what people do when they have no one to help them with something or when they do not want help from others. I know thats probably wrong because if thats true then I dont know what type of literature would be able to correspond with that idea to create “Self-Help Literature”. As boring as I make literature sound, I’ll admit the most interesting courses ive taken were all english classes. I don’t know if it’s because literature is actually interesting to me or if it’s because compared to classes like Biology anything is interesting. So for this semester I do expect a pretty interesting class. I do have one question, did I write too much because I feel like I overdid it.