Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bob Imai and How The Laws of Success of Ryuho Okawa Bring Happiness

Bob Imai talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about Master Ryuho Okawa’s book, The Laws of Success: A Spiritual Guide to Turning Your Hopes Into Reality.



“If your success is not good for your soul, then achieving success doesn’t mean anything.” ~Bob Imai

Master Okawa is the spiritual leader who founded Happy Science in 1986, which is a movement which started in Japan, whose purpose is to enable people to find fulfilment and success through the principles of love, wisdom, self-reflection and progress. The movement now has some ten million members scattered throughout 160 countries, and Bob himself is a minister in Atlanta, Georgia. He came across Happy Science in 1990 while still an engineer researching on self-driving cars and experiencing some discontent in his life. He became a monk as a result of investigating into the teachings of Happy Science and has been connected with the movement since then.

The Laws of Success contains principles that both people and organizations need to achieve success. Bob notes that, in order to find true success, one has to know the meaning, purpose and mission of one’s life, as it is believed that we are spiritual beings who live several lives on this physical plane over and over again, in order to improve and nourish our souls, as this is the context in which the book exists. In this context, it is believed that we choose the kind of lives we will lead in the physical realm before we enter it, and that our mind enables us to access all the wisdom and knowledge we need to attain our success. That said, Bob notes that one does not necessarily have to believe in life after death in order to get something from The Laws of Success, as the book  also comes from the context of harnessing the power of the mind, which has been behind successes, historically.

The pillars of success that support success are originality (we have our own, individual measures for success), shared joy (success is accompanied by joy) and a sense of unique contribution (true success contributes to society), and Bob shared Thomas Edison as an example who showed examples of all of these pillars in his life. Bob notes that success isn’t an outcome or a result, but that it is a process designed to improve ourselves. Self-realization is the basis of success, with visualizing one’s goal being the first thing to do. A positive attitude is also necessary to achieving one’s goal, after which one should then act on it. Bob notes that the path isn’t easy, so making habits to support success, as well as breaking down the tasks into small, easily achievable parts.

The Laws of Success might be thirty years old, and Bob points out that the principles within enabled Happy Science to grow from the small numbers in its movement that long ago to its present size. He remarks that The Laws of Success is similar to such books related to the Law of Attraction, such as The Secret, but that there is nothing in the latter that talks about the basis of such concepts, which is a belief in the spiritual realm.

Bob also advises that people meditate - by which he means people should just take a little time each day to sit in total silence - to access the wisdom that comes from one’s mind.

Purchase from Amazon: The Laws of Success: A Spiritual Guide to Turning Your Hopes Into Reality by Master Ryuho Okawa

Friday, April 14, 2017

Siphiwe Baleka and His 4-Minute Fit Book to Enhance Metabolism

Siphiwe Baleka talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about his book, 4-Minute Fit: The Metabolism Accelerator for the Time Crunched, Deskbound, and Stressed Out.

 

“We can’t make America great again unless we make America fit again.” ~Siphiwe Baleka

Siphiwe was a world-class swimmer in college, and had been an athlete since he was young. He took a job as a trucker, and within two months of taking the job, he gained fifteen pounds, which was over ten percent of his body weight, which scared him. He realized then that he needed to take responsibility for his weight, and then went on to try out various fitness programs and diets. He realized that there was no such program specifically designed for long-haul truck drivers and their particular environment, and so went out and developed his own. Siphiwe then studied metabolic endocrinology and used digital sports equipment to help his progress, and it was through these that he discovered that his metabolism was so low when he was driving trucks that he needed to find a way to keep it up while driving.

Siphiwe noted that truck drivers actually have an unhealthy profession, as they have highest rates of obesity, the highest rates of metabolic syndrome, and has the lowest life expectancy, and this is due to the nature of their work and on the impact on their bodies. He notes that truck drivers don’t have access to kitchens, have no refrigerators in their trucks to store food in, and drive mostly on the main interstates and highways, which makes such things as getting to a local farmer’s market, or even the gym, impractical, and remarks that, for all intents and purposes, truck drivers “might as well be astronauts living in outer space.” Truck drivers are also subjected to changes in schedule, depending on what they haul, and this disrupts the body’s internal rhythms and hormonal releases, as truck drivers thus train themselves to override these internal rhythms and the hormones that regulate metabolism. This often results in such things as truck drivers not getting hungry, and as they don’t eat their metabolisms turn off. Siphiwe points out that the average truck driver eats only once or twice a day, and while they may overeat during those times, their bodies are, overall, starving, which makes their body store fat.

4-Minute Fit is based on the work Siphiwe has done since 2012, working with truck drivers to improve their physical wellness. It is a program that shows how to turn one’s metabolism on at the start of the day in four minutes’ time, and then how to keep it on throughout the day, with minimal effort. The idea for the book came from an editor for Sports Illustrated who had done an article for what he was doing, and Siphiwe figured, if truck drivers can do it, anyone can. According to him, one in three Americans is obese, and this costs 150 billion dollars a year, and he also points out that the main reason that seven out of ten applicants to the United States Armed Forces are rejected because they were obese or physically unfit.

Siphiwe notes that losing weight is easy; keeping it off is the true challenge, as this requires a change of behavior, which then requires one to get into one’s values and emotions, as the source of behavior is usually subconscious programming. Siphiwe thus wants to get to a person’s motivation behind their desire to change, and while he admits that this can be emotional, he notes that emotion is also energy which can be harnessed. Siphiwe then starts by knowing where a person is nutritionally at the present, identifying the food which the person presently eats which does the most damage and then eliminating that during one week, and then doing the same with another food the following week, which makes for a gradual change rather than a fast overhaul.

Siphiwe notes that he has cases of drivers who have lost weight and kept it off for years, as well as others whose health has greatly improved over a long period of time, and since his program is the least disruptive one around it can be used by anyone. He notes that the science behind his system has been around for three decades, and what he adds to that is turning on metabolism at the start of the day and then keeping it up by giving it what it needs when it needs it.

Siphiwe notes that there is a direct relationship between what one gets out of life and one’s health; and the more one can do what they want to do when they want to do it (which is his definition of fitness) the more one can do and experience, which enables one to learn, grow and receive from the Universe. He notes that all motivational speakers always ask: “What’s your ‘why’?” and the “why” needs to be so big that it gives one enough energy to do the necessary and inconvenient things needed to achieve one’s goals.

Siphiwe noted that he has partnered with Progressive Commercial Insurance to create free content which people could use to get started at truckerterritory.com.

Purchase from Amazon: 4-Minute Fit: The Metabolism Accelerator for the Time Crunched, Deskbound, and Stressed Out by Siphiwe Baleka and Jon Wertheim

Monday, April 3, 2017

Donna Orange on Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis and Radical Ethics

Donna M. Orange talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about her book, Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis and Radical Ethics.



“Telling people things doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere.” ~Donna M. Orange

Donna comes from the Pacific Northwest, and after becoming a philosophy professor she became a psychoanalyst on the East Coast for some thirty-five years. She recently retired to Claremont, California, where she focuses on the topics covered in her book, as she felt the climate crisis when she returned to California, heard nothing from psychoanalysts where climate crisis is concerned and had been influenced by her philosophical studies into radical ethics. She developed the book in reaction to her own realization about the nature of the present climate crisis and the suffering experienced by those who are affected by climate change, and also as a way to explain why people are turning away from the issue of climate crisis from her psychoanalytical experiences and perspective.

Donna explains that “radical ethics” comes from a Jewish and a Christian philosopher who argue that “The other comes before me,” which is an ethical attitude that is radically different from the present attitude in the West, which is about focus on what is good for oneself and one’s immediate family above all else. Radical ethics essentially describes how people would treat each other, and highlights the responsibilities we have to other human beings.

Donna points out that there are several aspects about the present mindset that feed into climate crisis, with political climate denial being based on political and financial advancement being one, and with another being disavowal, which is an inability to face the situation, and to thus avoid it as it occurs as being too big and too scary to be handled. Double-mindedness is a psychoanalytic concern and is when people know how bad the situation presently is, but still go on behaving as if the change isn’t taking place which, to Donna, stems from being overwhelmed and ashamed and trapped in egoistic individualism. Donna points out that the science is solid, and that facing up to this is a psychological matter.

Donna also noted that there are cultural elements that perpetuate the present attitude towards climate crisis, which includes colonialism and slavery. She points out that people in the United States aren’t present to that they live on stolen land, and compares Canada to the United States in this regard, pointing out the Canadian children hear a declaration that they live on the lands of the First People who have lived on it. Donna remarks that, because Americans are unconscious to the suffering they have historically inflicted, they are unconscious to the suffering of others caused by climate crisis, and that the United States will lead the world into the disaster of climate crisis.

Donna believes that people need to stand up and be counted to do work to deal with the issue of climate crisis, and notes that psychoanalysts seem to be waking up to that their work isn’t just about helping out individuals with their concerns, but that they are also citizens of a global community. She points out that the Climate Psychology Alliance, which is an organization of psychologists and psychoanalytics, is an established organization in Great Britain and she hopes that a similar organization can be set up in the United States. She points out that people need to be moved “for more than fifteen minutes” for true change to take place, particularly since climate change isn’t easily visible to the common person, and that radical ethics has a place through the respect for other spiritual traditions. Donna also notes that alliances need to be created with religious and spiritual leaders due to the influence these have.

To those who wonder about climate change, Donna would ask them about the kind of world they would want to live in two or three decades from now, after which they should imagine what the world will be like for themselves and the people around them if things continue the way they are. She noted that young people are willing to ask themselves such questions and would like to ask everyone to think that all humans are connected to each other and matter to each other.

Purchase from Amazon: Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis and Radical Ethics by Donna M. Orange

Monday, March 27, 2017

Miko Peled on Writing The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

Miko Peled talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about his book, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.




“Never give up the fight for justice. Never accept oppression. Never accept violence as a solution to problems. Always seek justice and not be afraid to speak up, speak through to power.” ~Miko Peled 


A young Miko Peled with his father, Matti.
Miko was born and raised in Jerusalem, the son of an Israeli army general, and thus had a very patriotic Israeli upbringing. One of the pivotal moments in his life was when his niece was killed, and while Miko points out that the murderer killed himself, he does believe that it is the Israeli government which is ultimately responsible for her death, given the way it treats the Palestinians.

Miko points out that Israel and Palestine are the same place, and the journey he mentioned in the book’s subtitle is that of one from the sphere he was raised in and that of the Palestinians, since Israelis and Palestinians live in segregated areas and are subject to different laws. Miko remarked that the Israelis live privileged lives while the Palestinians live under subjugation and cruelty, which breeds resistance and violence and revolt. Miko feels that the Israelis are responsible for the stark reality on the ground but choose not to address it.

Miko wrote the book because his friends encouraged him to, at a time when he was already speaking out publicly on the issue of Israel and Palestine. He found the writing process to be very interesting, as a lot of things came up, such as forgotten memories, as well as doing the research in the Israeli Army archives to learn more about things in his father’s career that he wasn’t previously aware of.

The general at work.
According to Miko, the reality is that Western colonialism has consistently encouraged a European-centric attitude which carries on today, and points out that the United States, over the next ten years, will provide 38 billion dollars in aid, despite the fact that Israel has a fully-developed economy and really doesn’t need that aid or the weapons they claim to need, as the Palestinians have no tanks or the like.

Miko points out that there are around 6.1 million Palestinians and 5.9 million Jews in Israel, and while Jews are subject to the same laws throughout the land, the Palestinians, who live in military-controlled areas are subject to military law and those who live in another part are specifically subject to 95 specific laws. He gave the example of water allocation, as Israel has control of the water supply and gives only 3% of the water to the Palestinians.

Miko’s vision for peaceful coexistence is a model similar to that of South Africa, and believes that democracy and equal rights should take root, after which the past injustices can be addressed, Palestinian refugees can return to their homes, equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis are upheld, and the military regime can end.

Miko would like to let people know that the call for equality in Palestine is the “call of the day,” and that people should get informed and support the cause for justice and equality. He believes that peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians is possible, and he summed up the universal quest for justice as follows: “Never give up the fight for justice. Never accept oppression. Never accept violence as a solution to problems. Always seek justice and not be afraid to speak up, speak through to power.”

Those who would like to get more details about Miko can go to mikopeled.com.

Purchase from Amazon: The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine by Miko Peled

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Carolyn Wilman on Getting Better Winning in Sweepstakes and More


Carolyn Wilman talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about her book, How to Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More!.




“The friends are better than the prizes.” ~Carolyn Wilman 

Carolyn started her hobby of entering sweepstakes as a teenager, and as an adult she pursued a career in marketing, which she still does up to this day. She only started seriously entering sweepstakes as a hobby in 2001, after reading an article about some people who did just that, and as she was unemployed at that time, due to the dot-com bubble bursting then, she decided to try it out. While she admits that attempting to live off sweepstakes earnings doesn’t work, doing so has enabled her to do things  that she wouldn’t have gone on and meet people she wouldn’t otherwise normally meet, such as the singer Sting. Carolyn also noted that she also liked meeting people in sweepstakes conventions, which are gatherings of people who like to enter sweepstakes and which, like any convention, have speakers who speak on different topics, and Carolyn remarks that she always learns something new at these conventions.

How to Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More! is actually the second edition of her original books on entering sweepstakes as a hobby, which she approached from a marketing methodology and perspective. She decided to write first editions (there were North American and Canadian versions of that book) after spotting a message on a church that inspired her to do so, and the books came out in 2004. Since then, sweepstakes methodologies had changed, with one of these being mail-in volume being greatly reduced while social media volume has increased greatly. Carolyn points out that her book is the only comprehensive “how to” book which details, step by step, how to enter sweepstakes in the market, as well as points out the things to avoid so one’s time doesn’t get wasted.

Carolyn points out that there are three different legal definitions to prizewinning competitions:

  1. In lotteries, an entry fee needs to be paid, money is given as a prize, and the winner is determined by chance.
  2. Sweepstakes give prizes that aren’t necessarily money and are free to enter, and the winner is, likewise, determined by chance.
  3. Contests require an entry fee to be paid, and the winners are due to judging, rather than by chance.

For Carolyn, organizing is key, so that one can enter the most number of sweepstakes in the shortest amount of time, and she herself spends only one or two hours a day entering and checking on sweepstakes. Carolyn, however, points out that it is a numbers game, and that one will enter far more often than one will win. Carolyn presently works as a sweepstakes marketer and thus has a unique perspective on both sides of the sweepstakes coin, and she noted that, at present, around four billion US dollars are spent on sweepstakes in the United States alone. The prizes range from $25 gift cards to large ones worth $50,000, and Carolyn remarks that, for her, the experiences that come with the prizes are the true prizes. That said, she doesn’t mind winning smaller amounts, as these help her out financially.

Carolyn notes that people need to think they’re lucky to succeed. She also noted that a scientific study had been done on luck by a Dr. Richard Wiseman, which was printed out in a book, and that the study proved that people who had positive outlooks and believed in opportunity had brains that were wired to see more opportunity.

Carolyn remarked on the legal aspects of sweepstakes, pointing out that there are lawyers that specialize in sweepstakes laws and that the rules are legal and binding contracts that can stand up in courts. Carolyn thus advises people to read the rules and notes that sweepstakes are not on-the-fly. She also revealed that, as a marketer, she reads through the entries to see if these conform with the rules.

Carolyn noted that her wins come in waves, with long periods of time when she doesn’t win something, followed by times when she wins a lot of prizes within a short period of time. She also noted how “sweepers,” those who enter sweepstakes as a hobby, enter sweepstakes continuously and consistently for at least three months, daily, before they can see results. Based on statistical research, one can win at least 30% of the time, but that does not guarantee a big win. Then again, you’ll never know what you can win if you don’t enter.

Purchase from Amazon: How to Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More! by Carolyn Wilman



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mark Antonacci on Testing the Shroud of Turin Again

Mark Antonacci talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about his book, Test the Shroud.


“This evidence is relevant to everyone.” ~Mark Antonacci on proving the Shroud of Turin is the real deal.

Mark got interested in the Shroud of Turin some 35 years ago when, while still an agnostic, he read the summary of scientific articles written by scientists who had studied the shroud in 1978, and he had been interested in the topic since then. Test the Shroud covers the various pieces of relevant evidence regarding the Shroud, as well as the questions related to the relic.

Shrouds have been used as linen burial garments in the Middle East for centuries, and unlike other such shrouds there are two images and some 130 blood marks noticeable in these. The wounds are consistent with the descriptions of the injuries Jesus suffered during his crucifixion, and Mark noted that, while the Shroud has had a history in Europe since the 1300s, but a cloth reportedly with the same images on it have been mentioned up to the first century ACE. He also noted that the use of modern technology has enabled more evidence to be gathered, particularly where resolution of images are concerned. Mark also noted that there have been no other shrouds which have exhibited this kind of imagery. 

With regard to the scientific controversy about the cloth, Mark noted that, of the 26 areas in which the tests were comprehensively done, all were consistent except for the carbon-14 dating area, and it was this result that the media and public opinion jumped on. Mark explained how the dates from the carbon-14 dating, at one of the facilities which did the carbon-dating, covered a very wide spread of ages, and that what the facility did, rather than just release the data, was to average the ages, which Mark noted wasn’t a valid procedure. Mark then gave some technical details on how carbon-14 could have been impregnated into the cloth by particle radiation from the environment and from the body that the cloth was wrapped in.

The tests Mark proposes would enable confirmation of the increase of carbon-14 the closer one gets to the image of the body and that this would add greater weight to the supposition that the body wrapped in the shroud was that of Jesus Christ. The molecular tests would be nondestructive, and the atomic testing, while destructive, would require only an extremely small part of the Shroud; and Mark doesn’t propose that atomic testing be done until molecular tests have been done repetitively to ensure consistency.

Mark advises for people to inquire into the central tenet of their faith and see what scientific evidence for these premises, noting that humanity has not had any extensive scientific evidence for these, particularly when it comes to the matter of life after death.

Purchase from Amazon: Test the Shroud by Mark Antonacci

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Kiyoshi Shimada: The Essence of Buddha by Ryuho Okawa of Happy Science

Kiyoshi "Keith" Shimada talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about Master Ryuho Okawa’s book, The Essence of Buddha: The Path to Enlightenment.



“You are using only ten percent of your total energy.” ~Kiyoshi "Keith" Shimada 

Keith has been involved with the Happy Science movement since 2003, and is presently involved with its North American operations. Happy Science itself, which was founded in 1986, originated in Japan but now has a presence in over a hundred countries around the world, and Master Ryuho Okawa, its founder, has published over two thousand books and has given two thousand five hundred lectures to date, based on teachings from such figures as Jesus, Moses as well as other teachers.

The Essence of Buddha is essentially a guidebook on Buddhism, not only giving an introduction to Buddhism but also covers various topics related to Buddhism. The individual who is presently known as the Buddha was born Siddharta Gautama, originally from a place in what is present-day Nepal some 2,600 years ago. He traveled to present-day India where he made his teachings well-known after forty years of travel, and his teachings then spread throughout the world. Although there are presently two different forms of Buddhism - Mahayana Buddhism, which is practiced in Japan, China and Korea, and which has reincarnation as one of its tenets; and Theravada Buddhism, which is practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand and India, whose followers follow exactly what the Buddha taught, and which doesn’t have reincarnation as one of its tenets - there are also various sects within these two branches.

One of the concepts covered is the Eightfold Path, which consists of:


  • Right view - how one sees things
  • Right thoughts - what one thinks
  • Right speech - what one says
  • Right action - what one does
  • Right livelihood - what kind of work one does
  • Right effort - how much effort one makes
  • Right mindfulness - what one thinks inside, as well as how one lives one’s life
  • Right concentration - this is essentially about meditation.


Keith pointed out that the Eightfold Path is related more about focus on thoughts, and that meditation is a key aspect of enabling one to live one’s life. During meditation, one must reflect on what one did and thought on things done in the past to guide oneself back to that right path, and Keith points out that one doesn’t have to be a monk to do so, as five to fifteen minutes of reflection are sufficient for the average person.

Enlightenment, according to Keith, is based on one’s purpose in one’s life. The belief is that people reincarnate and, when they return to the earth, they choose where and when to be born and who their parents will be as well as what their gender and their occupation will be. A goal is set for that person, and overcoming the hardships experienced during one’s life gives one wisdom, which is what enlightenment is all about. Keith points out that the specifics of enlightenment differ from person to person, but that the effects are the same, giving the analogy of climbing a mountain: there are many paths to the summit, but the end objective, the summit, will be the same, regardless of path taken and the challenges encountered.

The Six Parameters are focused on the actions one takes during one’s life, and these are:


  • Perfection of offering - does one love people, through one’s actions? Did you do something to help another?
  • Perfection of observing the precepts - being strict / disciplined on oneself; did you do what you said you would do today?
  • Perfection of perseverance - be mindful of time; don’t rush
  • Perfection of effort - is the effort one makes everyday correct or not?
  • Perfection of meditation - did one meditate?
  • Perfection of wisdom - essentially enlightenment


Keith also mentioned some other tenets of Buddhism - causality and the void - which weren’t covered in the interview, but which are covered in The Essence of Buddha, along with others.

Keith remarked that people don’t use ninety percent of their energy, which is wasted, and that applying the tenets of Buddhism can enable one to access this unused ninety percent of energy, enabling one to improve oneself, expand one’s influence and empower others.

Purchase from Amazon: The Essence of Buddha: The Path to Enlightenment by Master Ryuho Okawa.