2011 iPod Touch vs. 2001 iPod…Evolution on Display

To Be More Mindful, Try Emptying the Mind

Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind:

When you study Buddhism you should have a general house cleaning of your mind.

Despite a few classes in college on Buddhism, I am by no means an expert on Zen philosophy.  Inspired by the minimalist tradition, however, I occasionally have Zen-like moments and find myself thinking about meditation or cleaning off one of my many desks in hopes of discovering some sort of nirvanic bliss by the very act of hiding junk in drawers.  In a world crammed full of stuff and distracting gadgets, I imagine you, like me, understand the challenge of finding a little ‘space’ or emptiness in our minds or in our surroundings.

Perhaps you may find some inspiration from the following excerpt found in an article on Steve Jobs in which the author fuses the Japanese Zen concept of Ma with Steve Jobs’s minimalist design philosophy:

Apple products are as defined by what they’re missing as much as by what they contain.

Jobs’s immersion in Zen and passion for design almost certainly exposed him to the concept of ma, a central pillar of traditional Japanese aesthetics.

Like many idioms relating to the intimate aspects of how a culture sees the world, it’s nearly impossible to accurately explain — it’s variously translated as “void,” “space” or “interval” — but it essentially describes how emptiness interacts with form, and how absence shapes substance. If someone were to ask you what makes a ring a meaningful object — the circle of metal it consists of, or the emptiness that that metal encompasses? — and you were to respond “both,” you’ve gotten as close to ma as the clumsy instrument of English allows.

Much like the art of Zen Buddhist circles (ensō), sometimes it’s the missing elements that matter most.  Too many branches and we can’t see the forest.  Whether it’s your mind or your physical surroundings, each of us would do well to follow Shunryu Suzuki’s advice to undertake a general house cleaning and determine what should stay and what can go.

You must take everything out of your room and clean it thoroughly.  If it is necessary, you may bring everything back in again.  You may want many things, so one by one you can bring them back.  But if they are not necessary, there is no need to keep them.

My Favorite Steve Jobs Tribute Video

If I told you where I’d been the last few months I’d have to kill you…so enough about me…how about I just share this mesmerizing Apple fanboy tribute video to Steve Jobs…call it good…and then we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled yoga programming…or something like that…

[discovered via Elephant Journal]

If you’re a major Apple fanboy, or have 80 minutes to kick back and relax, or just want to bask in the glory of a 21st Century pioneer, you might also check out Apple’s “Celebrating Steve” event held at Cupertino, California on 19 October 2011.

The other good news today, Amazon.com shipped my copy of Steve Jobs.  Can’t wait to read it!

A Meditation on Steve Jobs and the Miracle of the French Toast

Hot off this week’s iPad 2 announcement, not to mention Glee’s recent “Grilled Cheesus” episode, an image of Steve Jobs miraculously appeared on a slice of French toast:

(via scoopertino.com…)

Pomaire, Chile — By mid-morning, the line was already snaking through the narrow streets of Pomaire, about 85 miles west of Santiago, Chile. Hundreds of people — young and old, locals and foreigners, rich and poor — waited patiently for their turn to see the miracle now known as “The Toast.”

It was just days before that Andrés Alvarez, a local potter, gazed at the French toast his wife Martina had prepared for his breakfast. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

“‘I say to Martina, I know this man,” Alvarez recalls, “this is the famous American computer man. I wonder why he is on my toast.”

The man, of course, is Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Seriously, you can’t make this up…

 

I’m not gonna lie, if Apple sold water…

…I would probably buy it…

…this post is totally not yoga-related, but definitely a commentary on the life and spending habits of this Apple fanboy…I’m sure some of you can relate… 😉

via Scoopertino.com

Expand Your Yoga Practice with iPhone Yoga Apps

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve accumulated a fair number of yoga apps on my iPod Touch. Though I haven’t played around with them enough to decide which ones I like best, here’s the current list of yoga apps on my iPod [links go to iTunes App Store]:

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I did most of the primary series yesterday using the iPhone YogaMat app to follow along with an Ashtanga podcast I downloaded on iTunes. The app thing worked much better than I expected, especially since the full version of the YogaMat app has the primary and intermediate series sequences already programmed in. However, the YogaMat app only has poses, no instruction. The little stick figure guys are great though.

That worked so well that I decided to practice today with Yoga Journal’s iPractice app. The iPractice app has voice instruction and background music to practice with. The full version of iPractice has 15 complete classes. It’s basically Yoga Journal’s “Home Practice” section on steroids. Having some good yoga instruction on my iPod made squeezing yoga practice into a busy day away from home a cinch.

FYI: This weekend only, if you’re looking for a nice yoga app, Authentic Yoga with Deepak

Chopra and Tara Stiles is on sale for 99 cents. I bought it for $2.99, so that’s a real good deal.  It’s one of the best looking yoga apps I’ve seen and it has tons of great video and audio instruction.  Highly recommended!

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Apple Does Yoga

Hi again.

This is a pretty good incorporation of yoga into an advertisement in my estimation, given the fact that my wife just traded in her not too old, but still a piece of junk PC laptop for a shiny new 24″ iMac. Of course, it’s all just “things” as my mom likes to tell me, so I try not to get too carried away with stuff like this, which is a funny thing to say since the last time I posted on here I talked about my apparent “obsession” with a GPS watch that I was sure I couldn’t live much longer without at the time, but have seemed to survive just fine without [Update: I got a  Garmin GPS watch and love it…].

Isn’t it interesting how we become so obsessed with “things” or, in most cases, the thought of things. That’s not to say that there’s really anything wrong with surrounding ourselves with nice objects, but it just shows how much power the object that we hold at the front of our minds has over our lives.

By the way, if all you can think about is how much you wish you didn’t have spring allergies, here are a few tips for keeping them under control so you can think about something else.

Bye again.

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