Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Christmas Tale...

If I knew who originated the following tale, I'd certainly give them credit!  It's a bit like "Christmas Meets 'Thick Face, Black Heart'".  Enjoy, and send it around to every teacher you know ;-)

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Merry Christmas.......

The moral of the story?  Some people just don't understand anything but force.  Sad but true.  Gandhi could use non-violence on the British.  Good thing he didn't have to try it out on the Nazis or the Soviets ;-)

And you can't avoid the simple fact that every once in a while, you'll find yourself in an absurd situation where you have to make an example out of someone, like the turkey in the story.  You can think about that one over Christmas dinner ;-)

Blessings to all,

Dr. Symeon Rodger

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

You Can Only Love People if You Have a "Black Heart"

Welcome to the fourth and final installment on "thick face" and "black heart". If you've stumbled on this post and don't have a clue what I'm talking about, be sure to read the previous three posts FIRST.

What an abhorrent concept! What can possibly be good about having a "Black Heart" (BH)? Doesn't that describe a psychopath like Hitler, Stalin or Chairman Mao?

Nope. Not the way we're using the term here. Yes, they did use the same power of BH that you're going to. However, you're going to use it for transformative purposes, not destructive ones.

There are three aspects to BH. They all have one thing in common - they involve distinguishing between real compassion and false compassion. Let's have a look at them:


Have you ever seen a parent whose child developed serious behavioral problems all because that parent was too spineless to say "no!" when it was necessary? Did the child then start to push the limits, disrespect the parents and shamelessly manipulate them? And did the parents let the kid get away with it?

If you're nodding your head right now, you and I probably know some of the same parents! And the parents' excuse for this is always couched in terms of "compassion", of not wanting to scar their child for life by denying him a candy bar, or not wanting to "impose their views" on their child, of wanting to let him "find his own way".

This compassion is a mental fiction. It causes great harm to the child and to anyone that child will deal with over his or her lifetime. It has devastating consequences, perhaps for generations.

As a parent, it's your job to train your child to be a polite, respectful and self-actualized person. And that means saying "no" sometimes. It also means challenging your kids, allowing them to make mistakes and get hurt, not shielding them from the nitty-gritty of daily life in the "real world". A false compassion would shield them. Real compassion requires a "black heart". A BH means "tough love", it means knowing when it's more important to slap a hand than hold it.

In ancient Sparta, as in some native American societies, the tougher parts of the education were undertaken out of reach of the parents and especially the mothers, who wouldn't have wanted to watch their offspring be put through hardship, even if that hardship was extremely beneficial in the long run.

It's said that the 20th century Orthodox Christian holy man, Joseph the Hesychast, didn't have a kind word for his disciples. In reality, his disciples knew he love them deeply, but the feigned harshness of the old man was a vital element to help them discover the inner resources they would need to overcome their spiritual challenges later on.

Likewise, the great Taoist master, Wang Liping, always says he is deeply thankful for the unsparing, ruthless severity of his masters, because that's what allowed him to achieve his extraordinary life.

Joseph the Hesychast and Wang Liping's old masters are perfect examples of BH. They know what needs to be done and they do it, regardless of the immediate discomfort of their disciples or of those who were "offended" by their way of life.

In essence, they were putting the power of BH at the service of those who were seeking to do the right thing. Another scenario along the same lines is defending people who are unjustly attacked for doing the right thing. In the recent series of crises in my own Church, those of us who spoke up did so partly to protect others who had already stuck their necks out.


Black Heart also refuses the false compassion that would allow people doing evil to continue to harm others and wreak havoc.

There are many wonderful features of life up here in Canada. The criminal justice system is NOT one of them. Enslaved for decades to absurd ideas that the criminal is the "victim" of society, our system has a nasty habit of letting violent criminals go free. The penalties for real wrong-doing are a bit of a joke.

In her book, "Thick Face, Black Heart," Chin-Ning Chu illustrates this with the true story of two ancient Chinese warlords. One was the emperor of the time and the other a peasant and rebel leader trying to overthrow him. The emperor captured the rebel leader at one point, but refused to deal with him harshly, considering him a worthy opponent of sorts. This allowed the rebel leader to escape, muster his army again, and overthrow the emperor.

Chu points out that this act of "mercy" simply prolonged the civil war and the slaughter of innocents. So the emperor's "mercy" was self-indulgent and counter-productive. Likewise, nearly every great tyrant of the 20th century was in jail at some point, and some damn fool decided to release him. Hitler even wrote "Mein Kampf" in prison, explaining in detail his insane plans, and they still let him go.

One of my favorite examples comes from Star Trek: The Next Generation, where Captain Picard has a golden opportunity to destroy the Borg (the single most dangerous and sinister threat to civilization any sci-fi author could ever invent).  Yet, he hesitates and finally doesn't do it, rationalizing his stupidity by comparing the act to "genocide".  Excuse me.  Time out!  What about the hundreds of billions of people whose lives will be destroyed in the near future when the Borg overrun their planets, and all because of your bogus compassion, Captain Picard?  I guess your "compassion" didn't extend to them.

If you look carefully, you'll see bogus compassion is all around you. In our Church, we were too soft-hearted to sack ALL the bishops who tried to cover up the financial scandal. Instead we only sacked the top guy. That has already come back to bite us. Real compassion involves cutting off evil - suddenly and definitely. That's the essence of BH. BH accords well with the old saying, "All that's needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."


The "killer instinct" is muted in our society. It's sublimated into other outlets like watching professional sports and playing video games. People who like to talk about inner peace may be horrified by the mere mention of killer instinct, considering it something to be programmed out of human beings.

Great spiritual traditions thought otherwise. They knew that the same power that you could use egotistically to kill someone who merely disagrees with you is the very power that you need to harness to overcome your inner obstacles. There is a war to be waged for inner peace.

Obviously, that same killer instinct is instrumental in "thick face" - it's the inner power that allows you to develop a powerful self-image, stick to your guns and resist the criticism and opinions of others.

It's also the power that allows you to become DEFINITE about your lifestyle, about who you are and what you stand for. It's the very power that brings clarity.

If you're a man, a male human being, you are a hunter and a killer by nature. Yes, society's gone to great lengths to program that out of you, to tell you you shouldn't have those feelings or act that way or think that way. Ancient Traditions took a different approach - they taught you how to harness and redirect that power, not repress it. Repressing it leads to neurosis and boredom.

And women need this too. It simply expresses itself differently. But find a mother protecting her child from physical danger and you'll see true killer instinct.


"Thick Face" and "Black Heart" express the reality of your mind-body organism. In your natural state, you're impervious to the opinions and agendas of others, you're definite with your life and clear on your purpose, you are "brutal" in defense of the good and "ruthless" in crushing evil. These are divine traits within the human being.

Yes, they can be perverted, as they have been by tyrants, corporate executives and jihadists throughout history, as well as by fascists and religious fascists of all kinds. That, however, is irrelevant. You already possess the energies of Thick Face and Black Heart within you. They will come out somehow. It's up to you to channel them in ways that transform your life and the lives of those around you.

And when you do that, you'll be a true WARRIOR.

To learn more about the Way of the Warrior as the ultimate life paradigm (and the one with the most historical evidence to support it), go to:

~Dr. Symeon Rodger

P.S. I hope you've enjoyed this series on the concepts of "Thick Face" and "Black Heart". Feel free to leave your comments below!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

How "Thick Face, Black Heart" Gives You Clarity and Conviction

Welcome to our next installment on the warrior philosophy of "Thick Face, Black Heart" (TFBH) and what it can do for YOU. If you've just stumbled on this post, please go back to the two previous posts and READ THEM FIRST. Otherwise, you'll get lost in a matter of seconds ;-)

Practicing TFBH clarifies everything in your life. TFBH means living in the world of the DEFINITE. Once you become very definite about your lifestyle - about your diet, your exercise, your responsibilities towards others at home, at work and in general, something miraculous happens...


One of the defining characteristics of the mentality of most people in our culture is its lack of definiteness and direction. We're a deeply conflicted people who create deeply conflicted lives.

Once you DECIDE to adopt a definite manner of life - meaning you stick to your lifestyle even when others attack you or, more importantly, when you yourself "feel like" caving in - then the next step is this:

Decide who you really are and what you stand for. Ask yourself these questions:

1. What are my highest values as a person?

2. What moral standards do I refuse to compromise on?

3. When have I been asked to go along passively with something unjust or to live with a lie? Have I become "politically correct" (in other words, a pathological liar)?

4. When have I actually gone along with a lie?

5. If I could contribute just ONE good thing to the world in my lifetime, what would it be? And what am I willing to do about it?

6. What infuriates me? What will I absolutely not tolerate?

Yes, contrary to what you might think, righteous anger is not an evil. The ancient Christian tradition considers it a protective force implanted within you by your Creator. If you see evil and injustice done to others and that doesn't infuriate you, then you've got a real problem. Not that you should lose control of yourself; simply that you should feel impelled to take action.

As many of you know, my jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church has suffered a debilitating financial scandal and a generalized leadership crisis over the past couple of years. At one point the lies became too much for me and I spoke out. And I took the criticism that comes from the spineless and unprincipled who fear nothing quite so much as rocking the boat. That's an example of "thick face". However, many who did speak out and continue to do so have suffered for it much more than I did, and they deserve great respect for doing so.

Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. are perfect examples of people who felt compelled to speak out. They saw injustice and got REALLY ANGRY about it. However, they were able to channel the force of their righteous anger into great moral principles and to achieve victories once thought completely impossible.


My family has a dear friend who's over 90 years old right now. He was a best friend to my father for over half a century. Lately he's become a bit obsessed with telling my children how off-track they are with respect to their educations and career choices. They need to become doctors, lawyers or dentists, he says, because those are the people who make the real money.

Well, that kind of career advice is understandable from a post-war immigrant, but it really lost its validity after the sixties.

Likewise, you'll find all kinds of well-meaning people trying to define your life for you. Some of them may be success "gurus" telling you success is measured in dollars. Some may be family members who think you should go to university because the previous three generations of your family did.

One thing you can be sure of: if you are definite about your lifestyle - adopting a "thick face" in that department - and if you're increasingly definite about who you are and what you stand for, you'll become more and more CLEAR about what you want to contribute. And when that's the case, you WILL find all kinds of people putting obstacles in your way.

The great thing about practicing TFBH is that once you become very clear and definite about the little things in life, you'll get CRYSTAL CLARITY surprisingly fast on the larger issues, including what some would call your "major definite purpose" in life.

Try it. Don't believe me; see for yourself! "Thick Face" and "Black Heart" are the essence of the world's ancient spiritual traditions and of the Warrior's way of life worldwide. And the best course on the Warrior's Way of Life I know is this:

Next time, I'll finally explain to you what "Black Heart" means - it doesn't mean what you're probably thinking it means... ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Getting a "Thick Face" - Regaining Your Personal Autonomy

MP3 File

As promised, here's the first installment of how you can understand and cultivate the profound philosophy of "Thick Face, Black Heart" in your own life. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you MUST read the previous post FIRST.


You probably know that Asians tend to be VERY concerned with matters of face (as in the expression, "saving face"). In other words, reputation means everything to them and what others think really matters. To us in our individualistic culture, this seems a trifle overdone at times and it has a couple of major disadvantages - it means you cede control over your behavior to other people's ideas and standards and it also makes you reactive and highly predictable.

Not surprisingly, "Thick Face" (hereafter "TF") is quite the opposite. It's more like our concept of "Thick Skin". It means you stop caring what other people think or say about you. You stop trying to live by other people's standards and start living by the principles you really believe in.

Yes, at its worst, this could mean you're a sociopath who thinks he's the center of the universe and the fount of all wisdom. Hitler, Stalin and Chairman Mao all had very thick faces. However, consider the following...

Back in the early 1920s, a very enthusiastic young spiritual seeker arrived on Mount Athos, the most important center of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. Despite immense pressure to "settle down" and join one of the large monasteries, to become "one of the crowd", he steadfastly refused. He knew exactly what kind of spiritual life model he wanted to follow and endured lots of abuse for it. And later on, when he was living the life he so ardently sought, he was verbally abused by other monks who condemned him as eccentric and unfriendly, all because he insisted on following a schedule and carefully managing his time and the time of those who had joined him (and that meant, "if you show up when we're praying, we won't stop to talk to you! Hence the reasons others felt slighted by him).

This young monk's name was Joseph... later known as Joseph the Hesychast, one of the great spiritual masters of the 20th century. Joseph's refusal to cave in to the pressures to conform or to surrender the integrity of his lifestyle to criticisms of others are the epitome of THICK FACE.

Politicians tend to have very thick faces. They have to. Of course, not a few of them are self-centered sociopaths who don't care who gets hurt. On the other hand, consider Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King - they were all the object of violent criticism and they all survived and succeeded by having a TF.


By now it may have dawned on you that you can't have a TF without trusting your own judgment. That may sound arrogant, but it isn't always. So let's clear up a common misunderstanding - being humble does NOT mean you cave in to other people's opinions. After all, Joseph the Hesychast's whole life was about cultivating humility, and he never caved in. Humble people do not surrender their principles for any reason. Opportunists do... at the drop of a hat.

Think back through your life. Can you think of times where someone in authority was pressuring you to do something or agree with something you thought was inadvisable or wrong? Looking back on the incident, were you right? Should you have trusted your gut?

When have you been right all along? On the other hand, you need to admit the truth when your judgment has been wrong.

I've been viciously criticized and even plotted against because some people found the "controversial" things I wrote in "The 5 Pillars of Life" totally unacceptable. They would happily have banned the book and had me tossed out of the priesthood of the Orthodox Church.

However, if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's to trust my gut on matters of spiritual life and personal development. I'm so convinced I'm right about certain things to do with the history and development of Christianity, for instance, that all the opposition in the universe won't even make a dent. Now, if someone comes to me with "new evidence" and can prove that I might be on the wrong track, I'll happily listen. This isn't an egotistical thing - it's about what's true and what's not.

And you can probably find a parallel in your own life.

The essence of TF is regaining your personal autonomy, no longer having your life controlled by the opinions of others, by what they think of you or say about you, by the standards of the prevailing culture - standards that always claim absolute truth is on their side, even though they differ from one culture to another and shift over time.

It is NOT POSSIBLE to do anything significant in life if you don't have a TF, simply because anything worth doing WILL bring criticism. People WILL try to drag you down to their level. They WILL be jealous of your accomplishments and rain on your parade. Get used to it now and determine from this moment on to adopt a TF.

Fortunately, everyday life gives you lots of opportunities to practice. Think about it and make a list of what you'll do this week to practice!


Chin-Ning Chu was quite right to call TFBH a "warrior philosophy" in her subtitle. In fact, I'm convinced that the warrior traditions of the world's "Authentic Ancient Traditions" (as I called them in "The 5 Pillars of Life") already contain the essence of TFBH, simply because TFBH describes your natural state once you're rid of all the cultural conditioning that's holding you back.

To learn about the most comprehensive Warrior training program I know, go here:

In the next post, we'll go on to discuss how TFBH can give you COMPLETE CLARITY about what you want to do, and very quickly!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Why YOU Need a "Thick Face" and a "Black Heart"

Hi all,

This week I have something REALLY special for you. So, for your own sake, you'll want to read all this VERY carefully and meditate on it.

You've no doubt read tons of stuff about self-help and personal development or you wouldn't be reading this. So you've seen and heard lots of experts trying to answer questions like:

- Why do some people succeed and others fail to reach their goals?
- Why do some have total clarity about what they want, while most people don't?
- Why do a very few find deep inner peace, while most remain tormented and conflicted?
- Why do 5% of the population make a difference while 95% don't?

One of the most profound answers to questions like these came in a book first published 99 years ago. The book, called "Thick Black Theory" was IMMEDIATELY BANNED by the government as far too dangerous for the population to read. Seriously!

That alone probably means it's worth reading!

The catch is that reading the original might not help you much. First of all, the book was written in China, and is full of allusions to Chinese culture and literature that would make it next to incomprehensible, even in translation. After all, an expression like "how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?" means nothing unless you're familiar with "Alice in Wonderland".

The author of "Thick Black Theory" was Lee Zhong Wu, a sociologist of sorts who was dispassionately cataloguing the behaviors of the successful. Fortunately, a Chinese-American business woman named Chin-Ning Chu turned Lee's somewhat obscure content into a superb book in the early 90's, under the title, "Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life".

The catch is that a "Thick Face" and a "Black Heart" (hereafter TFBH) can serve the saint and the sinner equally well. The theory really describes powers or energies of the human spirit that could be used for great good or great evil. And that tends to put off the "bliss-out" New Age types who can't get past that fact long enough to understand the incredibly profound content.

Over the next few days, here's what I'm going to do for you:

1. Unpack the concepts of "thick face" and "black heart"
2. Show you how they apply to YOUR life
3. Demonstrate how they accord totally with the teachings of the world's "Authentic Ancient Traditions" of spiritual life and self-refinement, forming the core of Warriorship, and...
4. Give you the basic principles of how to begin cultivating TFBH for yourself

CAUTION: The principles you're about to see in the following posts should not be shared with unscrupulous people. Moreover, some of them may shock you a little. If that happens, just take a deep breath and say, "I guess I haven't understood this just yet."

TF and BH are concepts indispensable for success in any endeavour. Without mastering and applying them, either consciously or unknowingly, you're always going to wonder what's missing and why you can't seem to make progress.

Moreover, when you look at where you've had successes in your life already, you'll start to notice traces of these practices.

Are you ready for the ride? Okay, we'll see you next time!

And if you know any other people of good character who need this knowledge, bring them along too.

Oh yes... don't forget to leave your comments below!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Friday, 20 November 2009

Making Your Life a "Work of Art"

You're walking through your neighborhood, enjoying the sunshine, the crisp, clean air and the birds. Everything is peaceful and you're very content...

...and then a diesel truck speeds by, spewing black smoke and leaving you coughing and sputtering for the next 60 seconds.

Sound familiar? We all seek harmony and beauty in our surrounding, but those surroundings are anything but harmonious and beautiful much of the time. All too often, we're engulfed by noise, air pollution and visual "pollution". Then it dawns on us that maybe harmony and beauty have never been high on our society's priority list.

That's changing, of course, as I outlined in my Special Report called "Gong-Fu" last year. (You can find a copy here:

In Monday's post we talked about health. In Wednesday's about spiritual life. In the end, we all realize that it's harmony and beauty that are the key to both. What does that mean?

It means that we need emotional harmony within ourselves, otherwise both physical health and spiritual life will elude us.

We need tranquility of thought - to bring our thinking processes under our control.

We need a lifestyle that cultivates and builds harmony deliberately on every level.

Now what if there were a way to access the fundamental harmony and beauty of the universe already build into us? What if it was a matter of simply accessing what we've buried inside rather than "inventing" anything? That would be much easier, wouldn't it?

The good news is... that's the case. Not only do we have a built-in way to access the harmony and beauty of the universe, but that harmony and beauty is already inside, just waiting to be rediscovered.

With the ancient Taoist art of HARA, that's what students most frequently report - that a whole new universe of profound peace, great beauty and wonderful harmony has just opened up to them.

There's a Calvin and Hobbs cartoon we loved so much we had it framed. Calvin asks his dad why old pictures are always in black and white. His dad mischievously replies that the world only turned color a few decades ago.

That experience of feeling your world turn from black and white to color describes the feeling of practicing HARA. It also explains why HARA is the very foundation of both Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Must have been pretty successful ;-)

You can learn more about HARA here:

For anyone who grabs a copy of this unique course before Sunday at midnight, I'll toss in a free copy of The 5 Pillars of Life as well.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Becoming a "Hollow Bone"

Hi all,

Just a couple of days ago I was teaching a University class on Native American Spirituality. We were talking about the famous Sioux medicine man, Frank Fools Crow, and how he approached his spiritual path and his healing of others.

Fools Crow said that since the power that healed himself and others wasn't his own power but just came through him, he first had to make himself like a "hollow bone" (i.e. a tube), so that the Power from on high wasn't obstructed or blocked.

To do this, Fools Crow used some Sioux rituals for expelling unwanted thoughts, energies and emotional content, and for refocusing himself on his relationship to this Power that comes from "Wakan Tanka" (the Sioux name for God).

This way, he noted, the medicine men and holy men of the Sioux typically lived longer and happier lives than most of the people around them. And, true to form, Fools Crow passed away in 1989 in his 100th year of life.

How to Become a "Hollow Bone":

Obviously, learning Sioux rituals is highly impractical for anyone outside that culture. Fortunately there are alternatives.

We all know that if we make our happiness dependent on our circumstances, life will always seem like a struggle. And we can pretty easily understand that if our minds are full of negative emotional states, we're the opposite of a "hollow bone". Instead we're a blocked pipe, and the energy of God can't penetrate.

That's the essence of the teachings of the "Authentic Ancient Traditions" I described in The 5 Pillars of Life. They all teach methods for becoming a "hollow bone" - that is, for emptying your self-concern and entering into inner silence - because human happiness depends on that.

So exactly HOW do you do it?? Yes, the intention to do so is vital, but how do you defeat your habits that create the opposite result?

Centuries ago, Taoist masters came up with their own method, one that's simple, direct and can be used by anyone. When they took it to Japan, the Japanese eventually named it "Hara-gei", the "art of the belly".

By doing a makeover of your breathing, posture and movement, and then combining them with your mental attention, the ancient masters came up with a fool-proof way to return your entire mind-body organism to its natural state - a state of positive emotion, where no thoughts arise to disturb you... unless you decide to think about something.

This method was so powerful that the famous Chinese physician Sun Simiao - who himself lived over a hundred years in good health, wrote: "Tranquility then attains to concentration, and the body continues to live for years eternal."

To learn more about this amazing method, you can go here:

This course is, so far as I know, the ONLY one in the entire English speaking world that actually shows you how to master HARA step-by-step.

And for anyone who grabs a copy this week, I'll throw in a free copy of The 5 Pillars of Life.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Monday, 16 November 2009

Want Health? Then You Can't Afford to Ignore This...

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Hi all,

Edison was right, all those years ago, and despite the power and political clout of the pharmaceutical industry, people will likely look back at the medical and health practices of the our time and shake their heads saying...

"What WERE they thinking??"

Ancient cultures made some miraculous medical discoveries, and none more far-reaching in its effectiveness than the science of BREATHING. Sounds ridiculously simple?

What if I told you that just by using certain breathing methods for minutes a day, you could detox your whole body? Here's the scoop...

Beyond "Deep Breathing"

Taoist longevity masters discovered that although ordinary "deep breathing" is really good for you, there's something even better. Yes, it's a great idea to go outside first thing in the morning, expel all the stale air from your lungs and take in some crisp, clean air to oxygenate your system (and wake you up ;-), but there's more...

They discovered that the human body is designed for "abdominal breathing", not the chest breathing adults are used to, and that when you change over to abdominal breathing, amazing things happen. For one thing, it will detox your whole body continually (a big plus in our toxin-filled society). Here's how:

Your body eliminates toxins in 3 main ways - through your lungs, your skin and your bowels.

Abdominal breathing uses the whole lung and eliminates toxins through the lungs more efficiently than chest breathing. Abdominal breathing continuously massages the lower digestive tract, allowing your intestines, kidneys and bladder to eliminate waste products far more effectively than they usually do.

And now the "piece de resistance"... they discovered that through breath control they could access the body's energy field. You can too. Focus your attention on the tip of one finger as you practice abdominal breathing and you'll notice something...

Your finger feels like it's breathing too! Eventually, you'll learn to feel this sensation everywhere. To make a long story very short, using this dynamic allows you to eliminate toxins directly through your skin.

The Taoist masters also noticed that normal abdominal breathing and the special exercises that use it radically improved the circulation of blood, lymph fluid and energy throughout the body and eased the burden on the heart muscle. And they enable you to gather energy all day long instead of just expending it.

There are further benefits on the emotional and spiritual levels too, but I've run out of space for today, so...

To learn more about these miracles, just hop on over to:

For anyone who grabs a copy this week, I'll toss in a free copy of my book, The 5 Pillars of Life in case you don't already have one ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Friday, 13 November 2009

In Remembrance of the Veterans, Past and Present...

Yes, I realize I'm a day or two late in getting this out. Fortunately, "Remembrance Day" here in Canada has been rebranded as "Remembrance WEEK", so I don't feel so bad!

Just yesterday I had the privilege of reading a very moving letter. It was written only days ago by a young widow, the wife of a Canadian Forces officer who had just lost his life in Afghanistan. Her life has been devastated. She has lost her husband, her lover and her best friend... and the father of her children. Life will never be the same for her or her children.

And yet the letter was a noble reminder of the principles that her husband stood for and of the principles that all of us who love our respective countries and value our freedoms embrace. There was no self-pity, but rather a call for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the things that really matter.

Her letter reminded me of the words I heard from my own relatives who had gone through the darkest days of the Second World War, when all seemed hopeless and civilization itself hung in the balance. "We did what we had to do," my aunt told me. Her husband was escorting convoys in the North Atlantic and she had no idea whether he would come home alive or end up in a watery grave.

As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I tends to be somewhat critical of Western civilization. I suppose we Orthodox feel that our historical knowledge of what really happened in the West - of which 99.9% of Westerners are ignorant - gives us the right to do so. Perhaps. However, whatever the faults of the West, I see its value in this world as irreplaceable.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."

Ponder that for a moment... Written nearly two and half centuries ago, these words from the US Declaration of Independence are ones that we have yet to live up to. They sum up the common foundation of Western civilization as a whole. And they are light years ahead of the sad reality in which most of the human race still lives. As President Obama rightly said, these ideas still light the world. And God help us if we ever allow them to be extinguished by any of the hate-filled religious or secular ideolologies we've had to face over the last century.

"Heaven Rescued Land"

I'm not an American, yet I can think of no better way to remember the veterans than by looking at the fourth stanza of Francis Scott Key's magnificent poem, "The Defense of Fort McHenry", better known as the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner.

Here they are:

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blessed with victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Or, if you'd prefer to listen to it, here it is on Youtube (where it's sung as the third and final verse by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir):

Although he wrote it 195 years ago while watching the British navy bombard Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, it describes perfectly what our forebears lived through only 7 decades ago.

In that epic struggle, all of Western civilization was indeed a "heaven rescued land" and "the land of the free and the home of the brave". Let's face it; there is no freedom without bravery. In the immortal words of the great historian, Will Durant, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

He also noted that "a nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry". And he wrote those words in the context of the massacre of millions of people in India in the middle ages at the hands of their Muslim conquerors, events he called "the bloodiest story in human history". The price of failing to keep your powder dry can be horror beyond imagination.

You may feel a sense of discomfort when you read the Key's words, "And conquer we must, when our cause it is just..." and that's understandable. We've all been conditioned by the disastrous consequences of some of our own foolish military misadventures since World War Two. That can make us pretty cynical. However...

...we must never let it blind us to the eternal values that our civilization is based on, no matter how often we manage to screw up the implementation of those values.

So let's all remember all those brave men and women who have stood up to be counted when it mattered, who have put their lives on the line and are still doing so on a daily basis. And let us all strive every day to be worthy of their sacrifices and of the civilization that we so often take for granted.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

People WANT to Drag You Down!

Hi Everyone,

There's a flip side to setting ambitious goals for your life. It's one that the goal-setting and success gurus don't spend nearly enough time on...

You know how they say that if you can imagine a goal, and it really excites you, and you go after that goal, then the whole universe starts lining up to make it possible?

It's true... but...

Everyone who knows you and can't identify with your goal or the new direction you're trying to take your life in will rise up AGAINST YOU. Yes, there are exceptions but, generally speaking, when human beings - and expecially human beings living in "victim syndrome" - see you trying to rise above the pack, they're going to do everything possible to drag you back down.

They will mock you. They will conspire against you, start intrigues and try to get you into trouble with your boss, your family, with anyone they can. And when you "fail" - and you will fail, because we usually fail before we succeed - they'll be the first to say, "I told you so!"

This is pretty much a UNIVERSAL LAW.

It even happens in the most "spiritual" of places. One great Orthodox Christian holy man of the 20th century - a monk on Mount Athos in Greece - wrote something like, "Our spiritual struggles were difficult enough in themselves, but were made a hundred times worse by the mockery of other monks who didn't understand our way of life. So the very people who should have supported us most were the very ones who turned against us."

Yes, if you try to fly above the herd in ANY WAY, you WILL be attacked. Just remember the old saying that "just because you're not paranoid, it doesn't mean everyone isn't out to get you" ;-)

When I went into business and wrote The 5 Pillars of Life, I was viciously attacked by people in the Church. Only a few, of course, but the TREACHERY was unreal - going behind my back to try to turn Church authorities against me, trying to isolate and marginalize me. And then there were all the comments about the evils of business and money.

You should read Michael Jordan's bio someday - he was determined to be a great professional basketball player yet nearly everyone he knew became an obstacle. They mocked him, they didn't believe in him, they told him he was wasting his time. I wonder if any of those losers woke up in the end.

So the bottom line is this...

Before you dedicate yourself to those ambitious goals of yours, no matter what those goals are, you need to develop a VERY THICK SKIN. You actually need to PRACTICE not caring what other people think or say. And that's especially true if you're a sensitive person and have been conditioned to seek peer approval.

Yes, PRACTICE it. It doesn't come naturally to most of us. You need to develop a special kind of RESILIENCE, and it only comes with practice.

The price of success is the willingness to persevere and to TOTALLY DISREGARD what everybody else thinks.

Now I know I'll get people responding to this saying that if you don't listen to other people's advice, how can you expect to be successful. Or that it's "arrogant" not to listen to others and think you know better. Of course, it should be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that's not what I'm talking about here.

Yes, you need to stay humble and listen to whatever qualified advice you can get. You also need to be SO SURE AND SO FOCUSED on your goal that you'll be able to persevere when everyone around you is trying to stop you.

In other words, you need to train yourself to become mentally and emotionally TOUGH. I know it sounds indelicate, insensitive and not politically correct. However, it's the plain truth for anyone willing to listen. And if you've tried to fly high in any area of your life before, you KNOW this to be true already.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Fitness and the Fallacy of Overtraining

Hi all,

I've spent a good deal of effort emphasizing the fact that you need to maintain a baseline level of physical fitness if you want to enjoy:

- Superior health (since health depends partly on fitness)
- Peak performance (since energy level and focus depend on it to)
- Self-confidence (since fitness goes a long way towards providing that)

As you know from experience, everybody's stiff and sore after starting a new exercise program or even a single new exercise. I know, for example, that if I go a week without doing any squats, I'll pay for it when I start up again.

Then there are the inevitable minor aches and pains of training. Yes, they're inevitable and no, they're not going to go away. On the other hand, they're a testimony to the fact you're actually doing something!

Unfortunately, though, the first thing that seems to pass through our minds when we feel a twinge here or an ache there is, "Oh, I must be over-training. I should take a few days off!"

Indeed, the myth of overtraining has been so drilled into us that it's become part of our mentality. Why's it a myth? Only because most of the people who think they're overtraining are NOWHERE NEAR overtraining and probably haven't overtrained a single day in the last twenty years.

Now don't get me wrong; real overtraining DOES exist. You'll find it among professional body builders, for example, who have actually damaged their muscles and created large amounts of scar tissue in the process. You'll find distance runners who have damaged knees and shins through repetitively pounding the pavement. But all this is much different from the minor aches and pains of ordinary training.

You see, the vast majority of people UNDER-TRAIN. They may only do 2 or 3 days a week, they don't push themselves or they're none too regular about what they do.

If you want your fitness program to give you the results I mentioned above - superior health, peak performance and enhanced self-confidence - then you absolutely need to train seriously at least 3 times a week and do a lighter workout at least twice a week. Anything less won't get you anywhere. In a future article I'll talk more about WHY this is. For now, though, I'll simply ask you to trust me on this one.

Remember that, if you're serious about becoming a more RESILIENT person, you need to train the BIG 3 - strength, flexibility and endurance - in a balanced way. This means thinking of overall health and fitness as you train, and not just focusing on your immediate goal of toning your derriere, building your biceps or running the 10K in X number of minutes.

Of course, if you have any kind of pre-existing injury or medical condition, you need to take that into account. But if not, your fears of "overtraining" are probably unfounded. And when you stop undertraining, you'll discover a whole new level of fitness (and therefore health, performance and confidence) that can be yours.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

U.S. Health Care Debate: This Irate Canadian Speaks Out!

Hi all,

This post is addressed largely to those of you living in the United States.

Debates about the cost and structuring of public health care in industialized nations are hardly a new thing. As most of you reading this probably know, the REAL problem with any of our existing healthcare systems is NEVER discussed in the public debates - that's the absurdity of the reigning medical paradigm (allopathic medicine) and the pharmaceutical giants who sponsor if not control it.

However, that's not what I want to talk about today. What has many of us here in Canada genuinely annoyed is the manipulation of the facts and the outright lies circulated in the United States about Canada's health care system.

A friend of mine in the US suffered a serious stroke back in March. He actually died on the table. He was successfully resuscitated and is doing quite well now, thank God. However, he told me that many of his acquaintances have said to him things like, "It's a good thing you didn't have that stroke in Canada. You'd have probably died before they got around to treating you because you have to wait so long for care in Canada."

Let's set the record straight: No one has to wait for critical health care in Canada. If my friend had suffered his stroke while visiting Ottawa, he would have found himself in a world-class hospital's intensive care unit within MINUTES. And nobody would have been demanding proof of medical insurance before treating him.

As a Canadian I have absolutely NO financial worries related to health care. Neither does anyone I know. I will never be refused treatment for lack of insurance, since we're all insured. I have never had any problems getting my family's medical procedures paid for or getting reimbursed for up to 80% for the costs of their prescription drugs, dental visits, eye glasses and a pile of other necessary services.

For decades now we've been stunned by the American reality of "catastrophic illness" - an illness that wipes you out financially. To us, this is complete madness.

We're stunned by the ideological mud-slinging of your current health care debate and especially by the lies circulating about our own health care system. When people tell you that our Canadian health care is poor, that people in Canada wait forever and still don't get the care they need, or that the system is "socialist" or (sillier still) "communist", YOU need to know this - you are being LIED TO.

Yes, it's always amused us up here in the far north that so many Americans are terrified of "communism" without having the foggiest idea what the word means. Rather than getting into that, though, let's do a little political science lesson I think you'll find MUCH more enlightening.


We've had our current health care system for nearly half a century. We actually PREFER to have our federal and provincial governments run major public utilities and infrastructure. We LIKE the fact that our national airline is publicly owned. We LIKE the fact that our banks are few, large and heavily regulated - it makes them pretty much invulnerable to all those depressions / recessions you're so good at sharing with us ;-)

Is this because we're "left-wing", "socialist" or "communist"? Hardly. We do have a social democratic party, but it has NEVER held power here on the federal level.

No, my American friends, it's our CONSERVATIVES, our "right-wing" that has historically been behind the public ownership of utilities and services that are so vital to everyone and to the national interest.

You see, we inherited the British "Tory" tradition, and conservatives of that ilk have no problem with the idea that certain things are best left in the hands of government, because government, however inefficient it sometimes may be, is not obsessed with making a profit to the detriment of the people as corporations so often are.

("Conservatism" in the USA, however, is just runaway free-market liberalism. For various historical reasons, it bears no resemblance to what Brits or Canadians think of as "conservative".)

So, strangely enough, our publicly funded healthcare system is something ALL major political parties in Canada have always favored. It keeps the people happy, which is one less headache for the politicians.

Does that mean the system is perfect? Far from it. We do have a shortage of doctors and nurses in some localities. You may have to wait a while to see certain specialists for conditions that aren't life threatening.

When I went to see my family doctor, he noticed a wart on my hand. I'd have to pay to have it removed, he told me, because the system considers a wart "cosmetic" unless it's on your private parts! But, you know, I can live with that. If having to pay for a minor cosmetic procedure like that means more resources can go to treating people who have really serious conditions or injuries, then I'm happy to live with my little wart. Besides, I can find something to remove the wart for about ten bucks at the local pharmacy.


You'd be VERY hard pressed to find ANY Canadian who would trade our healthcare system for yours. Personally, I've never met even one.

So, my American friends, stop allowing yourselves to be manipulated by your unscrupulous media and the special interest groups behind that media because there's one thing you can be very sure of - it's not YOUR interests that those special interest groups are fighting for.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Monday, 2 November 2009

Meditation: Why You Need to Change Your Paradigm

One of the greatest RESILIENCE-BUILDERS out there is the regular practice of meditation. More and more people are taking up meditation for a variety of reasons, ranging from stress-management to seeking inner peace to enhancing their spiritual life to controlling their inner energy (Qi).

Unfortunately, most people are not getting nearly the benefits their meditation practice has to offer simply because they're making a culturally ingrained mistake that every Westerner is pretty much bound to make...

...they meditate when they meditate; then they get up and switch their brain into the same old stressed-out "daytime" mode they're so used to.

Hear this: your meditation's effectiveness can be easily quadrupled by simply avoiding that habitual mental shift.

"Great," you say, "but just how am I supposed to do that? My kids need their lunches made and a ride to school. My boss is on my case about that report and I'm run off my feet!"


Fair enough. Let me explain... You're obviously familiar with the idea that whatever you focus on, especially with strong emotion, grows and eventually becomes your reality.

So if you insist on focusing on how insanely busy you are and how everyone is making demands on you, then that will become your reality. Let's call it the "fundamental background" of your life. Incidents will come and go throughout your day, but this "fundamental background" will always remain -ever-present and unchanged.

Suppose you decided to change that. What if the calm and centeredness of your meditation practice could be the NEW fundamental background of your life? What if your focus were constantly on that instead of on your problems and challenges?

For one thing, you'd have a lot less stress. Unpleasant incidents during the day would barely phase you. You'd be more effective and productive, since the meditative mind is always more effective than so-called "waking consciousness". And you'd be more deeply relaxed, so your health and resilience would naturally improve.


Mea culpa - guilty as charged! So let's get to that part now...

Here's a step-by-step method you can use to get started. Keep in mind this won't change your life overnight because your old habits of mind and body are SOOO deeply ingrained.

1. Meditate first thing in the morning

2. When you're ready to finish your meditation session, remind yourself that maintaining your meditative mind, the awareness of your inner being, is going to be the "fundamental background" of your day.

3. Become aware of the delightful PHYSICAL sensations of meditation as you go through your day - the rhythm of your breathing, the inner energy contracting and expanding, etc.

4. By focusing on these sensations, strive to keep your mind and emotions clear and calm.

"Can't be done," you say? Nonsense! Generations of experience show that people living in far more challenging circumstances than yours and mine trained themselves to do this and reaped the awesome benefits of health, immunity, longevity, inner peace and spiritual insight. That's why... can too!

To learn about the SILVER BULLET for mastering meditation, whether you're sitting, standing, moving or doing anything at all, go here:

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Your Insider's Look at a Warrior's Day...

Last time, I promised to share with you what I actually DO everyday to build resilience and achieve a great quality of life. So here it is...

Keep in mind that this is just one example of how to go about it. Other Warriors will do lots of things differently. Moreover, my own personal program is a work in progress, so none of this is carved in stone. This should just stimulate your thinking;-)

Why would I do this? Simple - by keeping up this simple, easy and quick baseline of training, I can keep myself in a state of superb health, physical fitness and inner
balance without losing any time for other things.

I can pretty much guarantee that if were to track your time for an average day, you'd see you're wasting more time on useless activities than I'm spending on training ;-)

After just ONE DAY of a regime like this, you'll feel:

- Stronger
- Healthier
- More confident
- More balanced
- More in control of your life

Sound good to you?

So here's a typical day's training:

0300-0330: SSDN (meditation, which can include any type of meditation or prayer discussed in The 5 Pillars of Life)

0600-0630: SSDN, followed by the Self-Massage Set Qi Gong (5 minutes) and Fitness Routine of 30 reverse push-ups, 20 forward push ups, abdominal exercises and 25 squats (5 minutes)

0800-0845: Walk, including deep breathing exercises, uphill sections with heavy pack - I use this time to practice noetic prayer and some visualization

0845-0900: Reading inspiring material, Fitness Routine for second time.

1000-1005: Muscle-Tendon Changing Qi Gong

1100-1105: Practice one martial arts technique

1200-1210: SSDN

1400-1405: Do a short Tai Chi form

1500-1505: Fitness routine for third time

1600-1605: Breathing portions of Iron Shirt Qi Gong

1630-1700: Walk without pack - deep breathing, uphill and downhill

1700-1710: Fitness Routine with addition of situps and bridging

1710-1720: Martial arts with the punching bag (whose name is Bob, after a particularly obnoxious person I used to work for ;-)

2100-2110: Qi Gong (whatever type comes to mind)

2110-2140: Readinge

2140-2200: SSDN

There you have it. This may look like a lot, but when you actually do it you'll realize you're getting enormous results from activities that take VERY little time. You don't lose much working time and what you do lose is more than made up for by working much more effectively because you've had the good sense to shut your brain down and engage your body for a few minutes.

So I encourage you to take some of these 5-minute chunks out of your day and fill them with any activity that increases your resilience, whether that's sit-ups, meditation or reading something that inspires and motivates you.

If you want to learn the world's top methods for doing all of this, you need to get over to this page:

- Dr. Symeon Rodger

*RESILIENCE* - Turn Your Life Around Through Training

Two of my favorite "warrior" movies are "300" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy because, if you look closely at each, you'll find some profound lessons on life. Yes, Hollywood occasionally gets it right ;-)

In "300" there's a scene where a large formation of Athenian soldiers come to the aid of Spartan King Leonidas and his smaller group of 300 men. The Athenian commander jokes that he has contributed more men to the battle than Sparta. Leonidas then asks a few of these Athenian soldiers what their profession is and gets answers like "merchant", "potter" and "blacksmith". Turning to his own men, Leonidas yells, "Spartans, what is your profession?" The Spartans' yell in response indicates that "warrior" IS their profession, so Leonidas turns back to the Athenian commander and says, "You see, I HAVE brought more soldiers than you!"

Of course, OUR Warriorship isn't necessarily about combat at all - it's about developing RESILIENCE on every level so that you can enjoy great health, immunity and longevity, cultivate deep inner peace, reconnect your mind and body, embark on a fulfilling spiritual life, become much more effective in our careers, and form loving and lasting relationships with everyone around you.

If that sounds good to you, you're still faced with the basic question - will you take the "Spartan" approach or the "Athenian"? Will you pursue this as an ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF WHO YOU ARE, or will you just do a bit here and there?


What most distinguishes a "Warrior" from the rest of humanity? Is is fitness or inner peace or having their act together? No. It's that the Warrior is as serious about personal development as the Olympic athlete is about his or her gold medal.

The "hobbyist" approach never lasts long or achieves much. If you're not SERIOUS about the quality of every area of your life, you'll just muddle through, practicing a few things in a haphazard way and having little to show for it.

Your conscience will convict you, telling you that you can do far better, yet you'll always feel as though you just "can't find the time" to meditate, to work out, to read inspiring material, etc.

I'm here today to tell you that's almost always B.S. There's always time. Did you know that you only need 5 minute blocks scattered throughout your day to:

1. Build and maintaing deep inner peace
2. Whip that wet noodle of a physique into the to 10% of fit people on the planet
3. Design and stick to a super nutritional regime
4. Increase your immunity and resistance to disease
5. Double your effectiveness through visualization
6. Nuke negative emotional states and replace them with positive ones

People who get results know this. They train themselves to do this ALL DAY LONG. They don't need a gym, a meditation class, a Yoga or Qi Gong class, because they've transformed their DAILY LIFE into their classroom.

So can you. To learn more about how to do that, you can go here:

NEXT TIME, I'll share with you exactly how I personally train all day long, and the wonderful effects that has on my life. This will be a unique INSIDE look at the life of a Warrior, at how anyone can achieve PERSONAL RESILIENCE no matter how busy they are.

See you then!

- Dr. Symeon Rodger :-)

Sunday, 18 October 2009


You can read this post or listen to it here:

MP3 File

There's probably no other quality as important to your overall enjoyment of life and to the progress you make in every area of life than resilience.

The dictionary defines RESILIENCE as:

1. the power or ability to return to your original form,position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched;
2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression,adversity, or the like;

Not surprisingly, the word comes from a Latin verb, "resilire", meaning to "spring back".
All of your life is on a continuum, and you can give different sets of names to it...





...and you could probably add a few.

In my special report on this a while back, I called resilience "Gong-Fu". Basically, resilience is your ability to "absorb incoming force" and to "emit force outward".

One of the examples I used in the special report wasa military one: in the 1991 Gulf War, Iraqi T-72 tanks (Russian built), were incapable of seriously damaging American M-1 Abrams tanks, whereas the Abrams could totally destroy the T-72 at any range.

So, in this example, the Abrams prevailed as the more resilient vehicle.

How does that affect you in YOUR daily life? Consider the following. Suppose you're going for a job interview for a job you really want...

Will you be able to absorb the stress of the interview and of any tests or other requirements of the hiring process?

And when it comes time to speak, will you have enough personal power to "knock 'em dead", to impress the interviewers enough to get hired?

When your office colleagues start getting sick this flu season, will you sail through unharmed or become another statistic?

Fact is, the answers to these questions will be predetermined... by YOU. You see, every thought you think, every decision you make either makesyou stronger or weaker, more resilient or less.
The sum total of those decisions has a NET EFFECTof building up your resilience or tearing it down.

Naturally, anything you do that accords with how your mind-body organism is designed to function will make you stronger.

Trouble is, most people go through every day tearing down their resilience through ignorance, laziness or plain stupidity.

The doesn't have to be you. You can CHOOSE to be a high performer in life and to take the steps to build yourself up to the top 10 percent of resilient people... if you WANT TO.


Good thing there's a way to know for sure if you're headed in the right direction, if you're building up your resilience or trashing it...

It's called the ONE-DAY RESILIENCE CHALLENGE, and here's how it works:

For each day this week take a separate piece of paper and divide it down the middle into two columns. At the top of the left hand column, write "Stronger" and at the top of the right hand column write "Weaker".

Then, as you go throughout your day, you put a check mark or "X" or whatever you want to signify whether your thoughts, actions and failures to act are putting you in one column or the other.

For example, empowering thoughts and emotions such as joy, optimism, love, kindness, affection, admiration, patience and the like all go under the "Stronger" column. So does food and drink that contributes to your health, along with exercise, meditation, prayer, deep breathing, reading inspirational material, etc.

Of course, under the "Weaker" column you would have all disempowering thoughts, including blame, anger, guilt, criticism, judgment, fear, self-loathing, and a bunch of others. Then there's indulging in a double fudge sundae, eating other junk food, smoking, drinking to excess, not getting enough exercise, not taking time for spiritual life, etc., etc.

Two caveats.... First, remember you aren't responsible for the thoughts that come to you; only for what you do with them. So if you REJECT a disempowering thought, put that in the "Stronger" column. Second, as you can see, this takes into account not only what you DO, but what you fail to do, such as getting proper exercise.

So try this for a day and see what results YOU get!

Just so you know, this method is found far and wide in the ancient world. You'll find it among the "desert fathers" (and mothers) of 4th century Egypt as well as in the highlands of Tibet. Of course, since they didn't necessarily have paper readily available, they would improvise and use white stones for "Stronger" and black ones for "Weaker".

Now get out there and have some fun with this ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger
Warrior Coaching International - transforming your mind, body and spirit into SOLID STEEL......wrapped in cotton ;-)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Does God Really Want You to Be Healthy and Wealthy?

Hi all,

This great question just came in from one of our members:

"The pentecostal 'health and wealth' gospel emphasizes the idea that God wants us to be healthy and wealthy. Does God actually want us to be healthy and wealthy, or is this based on some flawed presuppositions?" - Jason C.

When it comes to the Law of Attraction (LOA), you have some pretty sharp disagreements out there - I suspect most Christian groups would denounce it as a demonic fabrication, whereas at least some Protestants and lots of people with New Age inclinations claim it's true.

However, the truth here may be more complex than either of those groups believes:

In my book, The 5 Pillars of Life, I introduced you to "Authentic Ancient Traditions" (AATs), spiritual traditions that can prove they get the results they claim. The original Christian tradition, preserved in the East, and several other traditions worldwide fit the criteria of Authentic Ancient Traditions.

One thing AATs have in common is they see the whole purpose of human life as "self-transformation" - a total transformation of mind, body and spirit that goes beyond anything we can imagine in our current state, a transformation that is itself union with God, with the "Absolute Reality" behind our visible universe.

In fact, everything they teach has only one purpose - to bring about this transformation.

A logical corollary of this is the teaching that in our current, untransformed state, we're not "normal" at all. Quite the opposite; we're suffering from serious delusions about the nature of reality based on a chronic self-aborption and ego-centrism.

Since this is the case, it would be ludicrous to believe that God, the Absolute, wants us to get what we want all the time, since many of our wants are going to be self-destructive in the long run, no matter how good they would make us feel right now.

All these AATs teach from their own experience that love and compassion are fundamental to the very fabric of reality. It doesn't take a genius to realize that if the Absolute IS love, then giving us what we "want" all the time would not be a loving act. We don't do that for our own kids and parents who do this are actually harming their children.

So contrary to what certain Christian and New Age authors will tell you, "what God wants" is not necessarily identical to what you "want" at any given moment and certainly isn't restricted to a particular idea like wanting everyone all the time to be healthy and wealthy. If the real purpose of human life is self-transformation, then what people need at any given moment is what leads them in that direction.

Obviously, health or wealth could be spiritually helpful to some people at certain stages of their spiritual development and spiritually harmful to others. Like nearly everything in human life, health and wealth are neutral - the use we make of them determines whether they help us or harm us.

The GOOD news here, though, is that God doesn't have an agenda to keep you sick, miserable and impoverished either. And that's really important to know, since some Christians think a pious Christian life has to be sick, broke and miserable and that suffering is somehow the purpose of human life. There's a whole mistaken theology behind this I won't get into now.

Now, the Flip Side...

Does the LOA actually exist? Well, everyday experience suggests it does. So without getting into the latest discoveries of quantum physics and all that, we can definitely say this: anyone with any experience in counselling people will come to the ironclad conviction that how we think about ourself and our life determines what our reality looks like.

We are all the victims or beneficiaries of deeply ingrained belief systems from early in life. Some of these beliefs propel us to our greatest successes while others make us miserable. What examples can you come up with from your own life?

So, not surprisingly, AATs put a huge emphasis on faith, on believing in the reality of your spiritual work so that it has the intended effect. This is not "faith" as in an abstract belief in the invisible that you can only confirm when you die. No, this is faith as in trusting in the Absolute until you come to a genuine and irrefutable experience of It.

If you look at some of the ancient spiritual teachings on prayer and meditiation from various traditions, you'll be struck by how similar they look to the LOA. Take these words on prayer by St. John of Kronstadt from late 19th century Russia:


"The main thing in prayer is a lively and clear faith in the Lord. See him vividly before you and in you, and then ask Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit for whatever you desire and you will obtain it. Ask simply, without the slightest doubt, then God will be everything to you, instantly accomplishing great and marvelous things."

"When we pray, we must believe in the power of the words of the prayer, so as not to separate the words from the deeds they express. We must believe the deeds follow the words as surely as a shadow follows a body, for the word and the deed of the Lord are indivisible: 'He commanded and they were created.' And likewise, you must believe that what you ask for in prayer will be done."

"To God all things are possible and nothing is difficult. So when you pray, be firmly convinced the Lord can do everything you ask in a moment. Do not ascribe your own inability to God."


Bottom line? Reality is very complex and we simplify it at our peril. On the one hand, the universe is not a cosmic vending machine designed to fulfill your every whim. On the other, the universe will deliver what you think about most of the time, for good or for ill, and it IS set up to look after your long term welfare. And God is most definitely not out to keep you sick, broke and miserable.

So there is far more truth to the LOA than its detractors claim, but much more nuance involved than its proponents are often telling you.

Hope that helps!

- Dr. Symeon Rodger

Sunday, 4 October 2009

The "Shame-Blame-Guilt Game"

This may seem like a strange thing for a priest to say, but nothing turns people into emotional wrecks quite aseffectively as religion.

It's true. Of course, you have to keep in mind I've defined "religion" in a particular way (in my book, The 5 Pillars of Life) and that "religion" is not thesame as an "authentic ancient tradition of self-trans-formation".

This comes from Philip, one of our members, who sent in this excellent question, preceeded by a couple of paragraphs from an article he had just read. Be sure you read it through first, then go to the bottom and turn up your speakers to find out the answer:

This morning, I was leafing through a yoga magazine in anacupuncture waiting room when I came across an article that interested me. It was about guilt, and in it, the author distinguished 3 kinds of guilt: natural (feeling guilty about something immediate and specific, which can be repaired), toxic (festering of natural guilt, nagging, non-specific) and existential (not about anything we've done personally, or about the state we're in, but rather about the state of something external (the poor, the environment, etc.)).

I'll reproduce what the author had to say about the second category, "toxic guilt":

"Toxic guilt is what happens when natural guilt festers. It manifests as a nagging feeling of pervasive but nonspecific badness, as if your whole life has something wrong with it. This type of free-floating guilt is the hardest kind to deal with, because it arises from lingering patterns, of samskaras, lodged in your subconscious.

"How can you expiate your sin or forgive yourself for something when you don't know what it is you did - or when you believe that what you did is essentially irreparable? To some extent, this particular type of guilt seems to be an unintended by-product of Judeo-Christian culture, a residue of the doctrine of original sin.

"Tantric traditions especially are known for looking at the world through a lens that sees all life as fundamentally divine. Your attitude toward your guilt will undergo a huge change when you begin to follow a spiritual teaching that - instead of assuming human beings are intrinsically flawed - teaches you to look beyond your flaws and helps you to know your deeper perfection."

(Philip goes on to say) I'm now reading "The Way of a Pilgrim" (an Eastern Orthodox spiritual classic from 19th century Russia, currently published by Shambhala). In it the author frequently refers to himself as "a sinner" and as being "unworthy". According to the yoga author's viewpoint, it would be hard to see his spiritual state as a healthy, evolved one, but rather it would seem benighted. At the same time, this character experiences life as wonder and joy, shows resilience to hardship, and never seems to feel sorry for himself, or "spiral into a pattern of self-destructive action".

So what's the truth here??

Now turn up your speakers and I'll tell you the TRUTH about all this. And it's not likely what you're expecting to hear ;-)

MP3 File

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger
Warrior Coaching International - transforming your mind, body and spirit into SOLID STEEL......wrapped in cotton ;-)

Take Charge of Your Health-Immunity-Longevity NOW

My wife and I recently had dinner with an old friend from out of town, a middle aged guy who, on the outside, looks healthy enough. Turns out he wants to drop about 20 pounds, so we asked him what he's doing about it. He said, "I'm doing a lot of walking, but for some reason I'm not dropping any weight."

Well, that was my first clue, so I asked him what he eats... and that's when it all came out - junk food, too many carbs of the worst kind and absolutely no regard for food combining. Hardly a surprise, alas...

He was actually proud of his recent switch from regular Pepsi to diet Pepsi! It's enough to make a health coach drive his head into the nearest two-by-four ;-)

Anyway, given our short time together and where he was at, there wasn't a lot we could do. My wife taught him how to maximize the weight loss from his walking and gave him a diet that will almost certainly get him to his goal of losing those 20 pounds.

THE STUPIDEST THING YOU CAN DO IS THIS... focus narrowly on "losing weight", rather than on your overall health and immunity. And that's especially the case if you're looking to lose less than 50 pounds or so. The ironclad law here is this: Focus on your overall health and immunity first, and only then worry about the rest.

The most common stupidity I run into is that people haven't a clue about the exercise they need most. Our friend is typical - he thought that by going for a walk every day he had covered his bases. And then you get other people who only run or only lift some weights or only swim. Why's that a problem?

Well, the Taoist longevity masters, who figured outhow to RELIABLY GET YOU PAST YOUR 100TH BIRTHDAY IN GREAT HEALTH, knew the ONLY approach to exercise that really works. They knew about the "7 Deadly Spirals of Disease" and how to avoid them all. And they knew that just "staying active" and getting conventional exercise didn't cut it.

And here's the system they came up with:

It has worked for them for the last 15 centuries or so and it can work for you. This is the cornerstone of their health-immunity-longevity system.

And here's the GOOD NEWS: If you grab a copy this week, we'll send you a FIFTY DOLLAR rebate off the posted price. So don't wait. Learn the most important facts and take charge of your own health, immunity and longevity today.

Or you may want to give it as a gift to someone who,like our friend above, is on the wrong track at the moment. Just because our friend and millions like him are on the wrong track doesn't mean you have to be!

To your health!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger
Warrior Coaching International - transforming your mind, body and spirit into SOLID STEEL......wrapped in cotton ;-)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Life's Great Dilemma: Go with the Flow or Force It?

One of our members, Marie, brought up a GREAT question a few weeks ago and I promised her an answer.

As it happens, you need the answer to. But first, thequestion! Here it is...

Hi there. This e-mail came at a crucial time. Pursuant to what I've heard everywhere (not just from you) I am doing EFT with a very intuitive, great coach. However, whenever I want to go towards Peak Performance issues or talk about my vision of excellence I have for my career (much of which I've developed from reading your articles and book), she starts telling me to let go, stop being so focussed and just let things happen. She even says maybe I don't really want to be excellent at my chosen profession but would be happier married to a millionaire, pursuing this as a hobby.

It seems Law Of Attraction people, especially females, always preach a "let it just happen," "be joyous," "put a positive spin on everything" mentality that really is for a hobbyist or housewife. She may have a point that I am being too narrow in my approach, but how do you act as a "predator for your goals " (your language)and go about them methodically if you are setting aside your vision and just letting things happen? I love bringing up these dilemmas to you and maybe you can address them on the call September 10 [I didnt't]. If you can wed these two concepts I believe you will be a unique voice in the Self-Help field. Meanwhile I am looking for a new EFT practitioner ;-)
To listen to my answer, you need to turn up your speakers and click this link:

MP3 File

- Dr. Symeon Rodger :-)