Author Archives: ehaun

Words of Wisdom (Part 5): Gibran

Words of Wisdom
concludes with Lebanese poet, artist, writer, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran. Best known for his sprawling work of romantic prose-poetry written in both Arabic and English, Gibran presents the essence of wise words. In the English-speaking  parts of the world he is most recognized as the author of the 1923 book The Prophet. This collection of prophetic poetry was big in the 1930s, then again in the 1960s counterculture movement, and has gained increasing popularity to the present. It seems his words speak a fundamental truth now seen timeless across decades, generations, and cultures. Perhaps the phrasing of words or the spaces that lie between words carry such messages of universalism, community, romanticism, and values. All in all for words of wisdom Kahlil Gibran is the real deal.

SJC Wellness Top Five Quotes by Kahlil Gibran:

#5: “In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.”
“If the teacher is indeed wise he does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”
“That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined.”
#2:  “Yesterday is but today’s memory, tomorrow is today’s dream.”
#1: “All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.”

**In ending I hope these words have brought to you all that they could in all that you are.**

Photo by: sirusputsch
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Words of Wisdom (Part 4): Aurelius


Deemed the “philosopher king,” 2nd century emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius is one of the most well recognized stoic philosophers to date. In his most famous work Meditations, Aurelius explored through verses written to himself the deeper levels of one’s individuality, purpose, and benevolence. When we think of Roman emperors we usually think of decadent megalomaniacs, dramatic assassinations, or Russell Crowe fighting off tigers and the corruption of Joaquin Phoenix. Marcus Aurelius however spent much of his time studying and writing. As one of the last “good emperors” of Rome before its inevitable collapse, he maintained stability, peace, and freedom of expression of the people. His words written millennium ago are still cited in commencement speeches, yearbooks, intro to philosophy courses, and right here on his page.

SJC Wellness Top Five Quotes by Marcus Aurelius:

#5: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
#4: “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
#3: “Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”
#2: “Humans have come into being for the sake of each other, so either teach them, or learn to bear them.”
#1: “Look within, for within is the wellspring of virtue, which will not cease from flowing, if you do not cease from digging.”

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Words of Wisdom (Part 3): Jung


Words of Wisdom rolls on with Swiss-born psychiatrist Carl Gustov Jung.

This turn of the century psychiatrist contributed immensely to what we know today of human psychology. A contemporary of Sigmund Freud, CG Jung helped develop and built upon the concepts of the unconscious and personality to form the field of analytical psychology. Many of his breakthroughs in understanding the psyche circulated deeply profound theories such as the collective unconscious, archetypes, personas, complexes, extroversion vs. introversion, and dream interpretation.
CG Jung’s roots grow far beyond just clinical psychology. Using sources from both Eastern and Western philosophies, mythology, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, Jung branched into deeper connections of the mental, the spiritual, and the emotional being.  Jung was not only a great theorist but also a prolific writer. In his explorations he knew the importance of words and the interpretations that can be drawn from them.  The lexicon of Jung contains some truly inspiring words of wisdom.

SJC Wellness Top Five Quotes by C. G. Jung:

#5: “Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling.”
#4: “We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.”
#3: “Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”
#2: “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
#1: “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

mandala by: CG Jung himself, from The Red Book.

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Words of Wisdom (Part 2): Einstein


When someone says the word “genius,” who is the first person you think of?
We continue onward with the Words of Wisdom series to the man who brought us some of the most profound understandings of the universe yet uncovered: Albert Einstein. Without this mastermind the world of scientific inquiry, its applications, and our general understanding on how reality works would be vastly different. His concepts of the photoelectric effect, special relativity, matter-energy equivalence (E=mc^2 for all y’all nerdy folk), general relativity, and more has built the foundation of modern physics and our framework of perceiving the universe.

Of course Einstein stood on the shoulders of giants to develop his theories (Maxwell, Planck, Newton, etc.), but in doing so he himself became a giant. Perhaps it was his wacked hair style or dynamic facial expressions that rendered him such an icon in pop-culture, but it is irrefutable this man had a mighty mind. Einstein was not always correct and it is true some of his theories were tossed (ex: concept of a cosmological constant). However the essence of what makes Albert Einstein so great is that he did make mistakes, he was human, and thus attainable. His humility and ability to relate with words matched his intellect, and so we call him wise.

SJC Wellness Top Five Quotes by Albert Einstein:

#5: “Out of Clutter, find simplicity. From Discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”

#4: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

#3: “Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

#2: “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”

#1: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

Food for thought: If our consciousness is a part of the universe,  how do we draw conclusions on what the universe is without understanding our consciousness?

photo cred: Randy Halverson

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Words of Wisdom (Part 1): Rumi


We begin this five part series of powerful and inspiring Words of Wisdom with 13th century mystic-poet-scholar Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, a.k.a Rumi. The poetry of this widely known Persian has been translated into pretty much every language possible. What makes Rumi distinct is the timelessness of his work and influence across a massive array of ethnicities, cultures, and national borders for seven centuries and counting. Though noted as Sunni Muslim, Rumi’s expression of universiality and spiritual evolution resonates through both eastern and western cultures.

SJC Wellness Top Five Quotes by Rumi:

#5: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

#4: “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”

#3: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

#2: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

#1: “Water, stories, the body, all the things we do, are mediums that hide and show what’s hidden.”

What are your favorite Rumi quotes? Write them down. Share them. Read more about Rumi. Read some of Rumi’s poems.

picture credit: John White,

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The Power of Our Words

Where do your words come from when you speak? Could they be of a place inside yourself? “Today I feel funny. Funny all over.” Could they originate from an external source? “YOLO.” Perhaps both? “I can’t even begin to describe the literally insane feeling of the funny I feel.” The specific words, discourse, tone and so forth may be adopted from all sorts of places to form what you are saying; but, there is something else, something much more personal behind everything said.

The deeply personal aspect behind everything said may not be what is said specifically. For example, the question: “Do you want some of this macaroni salad?” is not too personal. Rather what is personal is found behind your choice to say something, anything. You made a choice to communicate from a unique process found within yourself. From the root developmental essence of our survival we have each individually utilized the shared capability to learn to communicate. We all do it a bit differently using our own experiences, references, biological structure, environment and on it goes. But we all do it. And we can connect to it. And we can connect through it. And with this individually developed personalized mechanism vesseled by our own construct of choices within the sea of a collective with shared responses and recourse we can communicate.  To have such a personal stake in such a universal space – well that is the power of our words.

2014 was full of tumult and change. Simply turn on the news channel or flip open a newspaper. There is a lot of “stuff” going on due to what I postulate as a series of unfortunate events (shout-out to Lemony Snicket fans) coupled by a series of a lack in understanding. Understanding is more than knowing what is right and wrong intellectually. It consists of a multifaceted combination of the mind, the body, the spirit, and the environment. Understanding others requires a frame of reference, something to base off of or to hold in contrast. Understanding others requires that we understand ourselves.

Let us then approach 2015 in a way to uncover greater understanding. Let us together explore, discover, rediscover, and dive deeper into those pools of understanding.

Below is a great example of an individual, by the name of Shane Koyczan, communicating through the power of our words.

Video source: Words Aloud

Post Script: I tend to go into and focus on a lot of challenging topics. Sometimes my descriptions and word choices get a bit funky in these abstract concepts. Feel free to comment in the comment section if you would like me to explain something further or to provide a more clear picture of what it is I am saying . I also encourage feedback, reflections, corrections, and requests for topics for future posts! So get commenting!

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5 Stellar Words that are Wonderfully Magnificent


Looking to spice up your verbiage paradigm? Try out these kick-ass words the next time you find yourself meandering the downpouring word expanse:

petrichor – the distinct scent that accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell.

halcyon – 1. calm and peaceful; tranquil. 2. prosperous; golden.

intertwingularity – the complexity of interrelations in human knowledge (see Ted Nelson).

sempiternal – 1. enduringforever; eternal. 2. having no known beginning and presumably no end.

sonder  the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own – populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness – an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground,  with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.




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Slow Down

   Yah hey, keep it moving. From sunrise to sunset we are quite the busy creatures. Very busy. And as we turn closer to December, the days will begin well before sunrise and finish long after sunset. Our days are full of productivity, incessant action, quick transactions, and movement, movement, movement. Yet it seems after some grueling days of hard work, when it is time to rest and recover, we cannot find satisfaction or relaxation. Sometimes all that busyness does not manifest as accomplishment. So where are we fudging up?

The concept of slow tends to have negative vibes (especially in life on Long Island). On the roads, in line at Starbucks, finishing an exam, responding to a question… it seems instantaneous is just not fast enough. With increased technology and greater demands for achievement, we push the limits of our physical space, energy and time. The 7 seconds it takes for a slow webpage to load feels like an eternity. Someone making a right-hand turn at 12mph instead of (face-warping from the G-force) 35mph might as well never drive again. Yet at our fast pace and constant productivity, we have not yet solved the great mysteries of the universe, established world peace, fix a tumultuous economy, and prevented the outbreak of killer viruses. More is required with stricter deadlines. It is exhausting.  There has been a collective agreement from the top universities in the world as followed: even though there are a great many individuals with high test scores and a behemoth-sized resumes, there is a deep lack of creative spark. Divergent thinking, fresh perspectives, and new concepts are few and far between amongst these individuals. They have moved too fast with too much. There is not enough room to have developed a keen expression of their creativity.

And so we must rediscover the ability to slow down. As y’all bust the spines of backed-binders and text books, or pick up that extra weekend shift, or decide to buy a 20,000 calorie cup of coffee to get through the afternoon,… consider allowing yourself the time and space to slowww dowwwn and take a few breaths. Perhaps take a 10 minute break every half-hour of studying; do not check the phone or watch television, but simply to sit, make yourself a cup of tea, and be free-minded. As you slow down and do less of the busyness, you may just find what you do is worth a whole lot more.

I think these two were trying to say something like that anyway:

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Finals are just around the corner, but that does not mean the extraneous stress and calamitous worrying has to be too.

As you find yourself encircled by page-flipping textbooks, scattered loose-leaf handouts, and computer tabs, remember to give yourself room to breath and relax. A strategy I found helpful was the off-on method.  Begin your studying with a solid 25 minute block of work. Then rest for 5 minutes. Repeat the 25 on, 5 off for another two cycles. After the forth 25 minute block, take 15- 20 minutes off. The breakdown is as follows: (25 on, 5 off, 25 on, 5 off, 25 on, 5 off, 25 on, 20 off, repeat). You can adjust/ tailor the time blocks best to your individual needs.

For some other great strategies, click on the link: 5 Great Study Skills.

Enjoy the super relaxing/ focusing YouTube video from utopian sounds

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Planet Earth

Suppose I asked
you “when is your birthday?” After
all, it is a day set aside for celebrating your life
here on Earth. I am sure you would answer rather
quickly.  But what if I asked you “what day is Earth Day?”
such a day is set aside celebrating peace,prosperity and
the planet as a whole… celebrating the Earth, which allows for your
birthday to be a thing. It allows for you to be a thing. The Earth – just
a mass of stuff. But a very particular arrangement  of stuff. So particular
and specific in fact, that on this mass of stuff,  moving at cataclysmic
speeds around a giant nuclear-fire-ball hurdling through the chasms
of oblivious space about a dark pit of  massiveness to which light
cannot even escape yet here this arrangeme
nt is where there
is such a thing as water, cells, organisms, plants, animals,
people, our minds… amongst this chaos, upon
this mass of particular stuff that we call
we can exist. We
can say Life is.

So let us celebrate why we have birthdays at all. Tomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day. 

Enjoy the Earthy video from Robert Revol:


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