Category Archives: Spirituality and Religion

#manmovement

If you looked at the title of this post, you probably thought,

“Man, this guy is totally a chauvinist.”

Or…

“This guy has some serious huevos to be writing on this!”

Well, I am here to tell you that none of that is true.  My goal in this life is to become self-realized and share the love of God with every person I meet. BUT, I happen to be a man and kind of enjoy it!  What I enjoy being about a man is probably the same for every other male, but there are some very stereotypical things particular to me, that I feel have helped me get ahead in this world. These characteristics, I feel, allowed people, patients, and clients to warm up to me easier than other aspects.

Here’s what’s typical (and funny):

  • you don’t have to remember everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries
  • you could wear the same thing every day and it is TOTALLY acceptable
  • you get a ton of of extra credit for being slightly thoughtful
  • you can whip off your shirt on a hot day and not be arrested for it
  • you could be losing your hair, have gone totally gray, or have a beer gut, and still be considered sexy

Those above aspects are truly funny and truly true!  Below are the aspects that I feel have gotten me ahead in the world.  Without them, I would have to work much harder to gain people’s admiration and trust. (I think.)

Besides being male…

  • I am white
  • I am bald
  • I am fully bearded with some graying
  • I love Jesus
  • I am a US citizen
  • I am married to a beautiful woman
  • I have no kids

Based on the aspects above, I have the greatest privilege in the world, I look experienced, but still have the vigor of someone in their prime.  I fit the religious mold that everyone accepts around me, I am heterosexual, and married to someone extremely good-looking (red-head, can’t beat it).  Finally, I have no kids, which allows me more free time to do what I want, when I want, without the frustration of worrying about finances, scarring my children emotionally with constant moving, or having to extend myself beyond the boundaries of my wife and I.

All in all, I feel like I fit the mold perfectly.  But, because of this, I have decided to break the mold of the average male and be involved with:

  • barbershop quartets (still pretty manly I think)
  • partner dancing including: West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, and Ballroom
  • attendance at musicals, ballets, and the orchestra
  • involving my time and attention with children’s movies, Disney movies, romance, drama, and whatever else the wife is watching
  • practicing yoga, meditation, and writing books on both!
  • and sometimes… when I was in medical school, stressed to the max, I learned to crochet, so I could occupy my ADHD brain, while still attempting to relax

OK, so there you have it.  I like being male, because it has gotten me ahead in the world, but it has also has given me an opportunity to go beyond the limits of a normal, middle-aged, white-male stereotype.  All in all, I am pretty blessed!

Can it get any better?  Hm.  Something to ponder for another day.

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Dreams of a Father

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The China Memoirs #10

[He] dreams of a father long since past.  This father not many have met, but many know by association.  This father was Dennis Simpson Jr.  He was my father and this is his story.

What can one say, when they wake up from a dream, that seems so real that they could just reach out and touch it with a bare finger.  Well… that is how I felt, when I awoke this morning, finding myself with tears in my eyes wondering, “How did I get here again?”  Well that answer is really a complicated one, but for the sake of time I will tell you shortly and sweetly.

This is a story of the birds and bees between my parents.  First came my eldest sister, then came me, and then came my younger sister.  We were and still are a pretty tight knit group of kids.  Our mother raised us well to love one another well… whether we were stealing toys or pulling each other’s hair out, our love was fierce.  Our father, Dennis Simpson Jr., was a hard-working man and from what I could remember as a child, he worked ALL the time.  So much so, that I don’t really remember him very much.  From what I understand he worked the 3rd shift, which meant he was gone during the night and slept during the day.  Now this created tension with other people in the household, so there was lots of chaos in the house.  This lead to an eventual break in our family unit.

Mom and Dad were just not getting along as well as they used to and alas had to come to an agreement.  A divorce was the only reasonable situation for them both.  I was only 9 years old at the time and really oblivious and removed. My older sister was either 10 or 11 years old.  My younger sister was at least 6 years old at the time.  We knew we couldn’t live in the house for much longer, because Mom couldn’t afford it by herself.  Somehow, as the fates would have it, Mom got remarried in a short time, and we were all off to a new adventure together.

But what happened to Dennis… his story, unfortunately ends a little sooner than we all thought.  My father developed stomach cancer which turned into a freaky sort of lymphoma leukemia in a short period of time.  In two short years, my father had passed from cancer and us kids were left to pick up the pieces.  Sure there was suffering on the part of us kids, but nothing in comparison to what my father experienced.  Bless his heart because he surely got the worst of it.

From then on, the only sort of peace I had, was the kind experienced in my dreams.  Often, after his death, I would dream about him still being alive.  (This is of course a common occurrence for all loved ones that are firmly planted in our subconsciousness.)  And as often as I would forget about his existence in my life, another dream would pop up again reminding me of his long-lost presence.  So here is the kicker really… if a person passes on, are they really gone?  No.  Not in the least.  In fact, this is just a transition state for them.  This is an upgrade.  An upgrade into a higher way of life, especially if they had suffered a lot physically (like my father).  His soul is probably somewhere… in a field of astral light, enjoying the astral sunshine, wondering WHY he would ever leave a place like that for a tour on earth once again to battle out the seemingly unending battles of physical change.  That is life, death, and everything in between.

But when I awoke this morning, with tears in my eyes, I remembered that this life is really impermanent.  That soon enough, when the next 50 years has past, and my body is old, gray, and wrinkly, I too will see his face again amongst the many other faces of people that have passed on.  I hope, however, I don’t see it any sooner!  This life offers too much happiness, joy, and love for me to pass up!

I hope that for every dream I do have of him, they just become more and more real.  That every time I see his face, I remember, really, that he is me, just in an older body.  I am a half-clone of his body and that I am reflection of him.  So, when I dream of him, am I really dreaming of myself?  Or… am I dreaming of the man that was my father?

This leads me to think that, what makes a father?  Because I have a stepdad, that I could never really call “Father” or “Dad.”  But maybe that is all really an illusion as well.  He is a father to the two boys that he created with my mother, so couldn’t I also call him “Father” too? He has really been my father for so many years and many people think I actually look more like him, then I do my biological father.  So once again… am I dreaming of my father long since past, myself, or my stepfather?  Maybe I am dreaming of all three?  We are all made in the image of the Creator SPIRIT and thus have IT’s ultimate destiny within each one of us.  To live and play in SPIRIT’s dreamland until we come to realize our truest nature in SPIRIT.  That I believe is the best dream to have.

:Derek

Chinese New Year Meditation

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The China Memoirs #6

What is it like to try meditating during Chinese New Year?  It isn’t easy, if that was what you were thinking… 🙂

The Chinese have a long history celebrating Chinese New Year with big and loud sounds emanating from bright lights shooting up into the sky.  Yes, yes.. I am talking about fireworks.  They are a huge part of the North America’s celebration along with being a large part of many nations’ celebrations.  You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireworks if you are interested.

The Chinese especially have had fireworks as a part of their festivities since the 7th century when they were originally written about. Apparently the Chinese have ALWAYS known how to have a good time!  It is obvious when one is in China during these New Year celebrations, because for miles around in larger towns and cities (I am currently in a small town called Baoying, Jiangsu which is about 1 million people), fireworks can be heard for the whole day before Chinese New Year and the days following Chinese New Year.  Now… I know it is ONLY Chinese New Year’s Eve, but I have HEARD that the following days will be just as much as a ruckus.

As I was riding my bicycle to a supermarket today called, Lotte Mart, I saw stacks upon stacks of fireworks boxes along many roadside businesses and homes.  All I thought to myself was, “God, please protect me and my precious little ears!”  These fireworks are equivalent to the big boomers heard in the United States during 4th of July celebrations.  They are not just simple bottle rockets. They could easily equal that of a quarter stick of dynamite!  These Chinese don’t mess around!

As for my meditation in the mornings and evenings… one needs great concentration when attempting such as feat.  I am lucky that I have various techniques that my guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, has taught me as I would not have a chance in heaven of maintaining any sort of bodily peace without them.

Here is another picture I would like to share of Guangzhou, Guangdong out of a hostel’s window when we went on our own vacation during this Chinese New Year.  http://360.io/ZVCadm  It is an interactive panorama site, so enjoy!

I know that in all things, meditation is the fastest way to reach the highest plateaus of self-realization.  I say plateaus because once you are there, nothing can tear it away from you.  Although peaks will be achieved in meditation, one still needs to operate successfully in this material world.  The plateau is still enough to maintain a blissful perspective on God’s eternal love.  All this is possible even if loud sounds are piercing your delicate eardrums.

Chinese New Year fireworks is not only to celebrate with families, but also to show God that thunder isn’t the only thing that can make a loud noise!  I think that God has given us these gifts of fireworks, family, and fun to help us to continue to release the past yearly tensions that may have arisen.  Let us make a new tradition… every time a firework is lit, let us think of it as a release of our past transgressions towards ourselves and others.

Peace to the Asian East on this Fantastic Chinese New Year’s Eve!

:Derek

The China Memoirs #2

Today, was a day, that will go down in the history books in the life of Derek Simpson (me).  I was finally able to pay off one of my many school loans!  Whoopee!  Although it was very small… out of the 100’s of thousands of the dollars borrowed from the federal government of the U.S.A., it felt like a small victory.  I  mean, I do have TWO doctorates of medicine.  It does cost SOMETHING… .

Sitting here, watching another movie with the wife, looking at the final amount needing to be paid by my otherwise, less-than-adequate bank account, the numbers included in the final amount to be paid, $404.12 stood out in simple fashion.

There is something that I have always recognized, that not only there is purpose in major life events, but there is purpose in the things that seem small and coincidental in nature.  This was one of those moments.

There is a woman named Doreen Virtue.  She wrote a book called, “Angel Numbers,” along with many others. Here is a link…   It emphasizes that various 3-numbered patterns are given as divine messages by angels and/or angelic beings to provide a sense of direction for those undergoing some life change.  Those that are more attuned and aware of this process, may see these number patterns everywhere in the time (most common), book pages, license plates, and phone numbers.  If one does not look for the patterns directly, they will have more meaning, as the messages have a tendency to surprise the person when they do finally see the number patterns.

The “404” pattern essentially means that God and the angels want you to know that you are very loved.  Feel this love now, as it will help you to overcome any challenges you are feeling right now.  WELL… paying off over a very large loan debt can make a difference in a person’s perspective on what might be important… LOVE IS NECESSARY to overcome!

I did like that those numbers came into being.  They reminded me that I am not alone in this battle.  God and His angels are with me, leading the way, reminding that I have support.

Here is a photo of my Gurus and revered saints that are ever watching over me, during this time of change, renewal, and resurrection.

Om, Peace, Amen my friends,

Derek

The China Memoirs #1

I am back at it again!

This time, I promise, a new post each day!

Why do I say this… well…?  I was watching a movie with my wife last night called, “Julie and Julia.”  It was two different true stories about two different women linked by their love for cooking.  It was truly a splendid movie.  Instead of giving you all the gory details of the movie, I will share instead what it has convinced me of…

Jessie and I at the Great Wall
Jessie and I at the Great Wall
  1. WHO I AM (really) – Although I am a physician, I am also a writer and have dreamed of doing this since I was a young child. Which means I need to write!  Thus my decision to write something every day no matter how simple or mundane… just to try and get something out into the ether every day.  (I will warn you however, that my spelling and grammar may be terrible or “zao gao” as they say in Chinese Mandarin, but it is crucial that these posts are manifested.)
  2. Publishing – this is the one fear and setback that most writers experience.  We say to ourselves, “Can I really do this?”  “Can I really publish something that may take me years to write?”  “How can I really begin?”  The realization I came to after deep meditation, is that as soon as you have a blog (somewhere), write a post and then “publish” it to the site.  Voila!  You are now a writer!  You have now “published” something that you thought would takes years to do!  In reality… it only took about 30 minutes.  No editor required; only a little spellcheck and small revisions. Simple, right?  I realized that the simple act of publishing a post to the internet allows for the Laws of Attraction to hear your plea for, “I am ready to bring my ideas to the world.”
  3. Joy – Writing is where my joy lies and in that joy, true realization will spring forth.  Writing even now as these words pour out onto the page, I know they are not truly from this body I inhabit, but from a universal SPIRIT that is manifesting its pure nature within a tiny earthly vessel.  Joy is universally abundant and all of us need to find our joy, otherwise when we leave this earth, we will continue to come back again and again until we get it right.

One thing that I love about being married to my wife is that she helped me to find my joy.  She is usually so joyful, all the time, but I could never discover why.  She knows that SPIRIT lies deep within and knows that the wellspring of joy is available to her needs as a human being.  Whether she knows this consciously, subconsciously, or superconsciously does not matter.  She manifests it wholly and purely without hesitation towards those who need it.  She is truly altruistic.  How lucky am I to have such a wonderful be-ing by my side, reminding me of what real joy is.

More posts to come!  I promise!  I will be on vacation (away from my vacation as an ESL teacher) in the deep south of mainland China, so I may not be able to publish every day, BUT I will surely try!  I have my iPhone with me and I will have the wordpress application, so even if it is simple and mundane, hopefully there will still be a picture attached expressing the nature of what we are doing.

Om, Peace, Amen.

Derek

How do we love?

This is a question that most think they know the answer to, but most fail to truly act upon.  For it is in the doing that love works best for its highest purpose.  Some thoughts have resonated deeply within my own being to help propel my own doing. This includes:

  • Know what you find JOY in or what you enJOY.  These words are synonymous in similar ways, but work in different tenses.
  • Use what you enJOY to serve the highest purpose, which is to give and serve others.
  • Now… how do we serve others?  We do only what God (Universe, Jehovah, Yahweh, Para Brahman, Allah) would do for its own creation.
  • But… then how do we know what God would have us do?  This is simple.  For God, only wants us to love God, not the gifts that God gives, but the giver itself.  When we love God for God itself, we become aware of how to perform God’s will which is to serve our brothers and sisters to the highest, whether these brothers and sisters love us or not.

There are a few ways that I have found work the best to discover what God’s will is for our lives.  (I want all to know that I don’t use the phrase “God’s will” generally as though it is something so simple that can be derived from a sacred text, although sacred texts throughout religions and time immemorial provide valuable information as to how other seekers have discovered it.)  In an age where ancient texts are so difficult to apply to modern times, so simple disciplines can be performed to determine God’s will for one’s life.

  1. MEDITATE (pray, chant, etc.) – essentially create a quiet time for yourself at least twice a day; once in the morning and once in the evening to quiet the mind and completely give oneself to God.  Use the phrase, “Wake up with God, and go to sleep with God,” to remind yourself of performing this simple quiet time.
  2. EXERCISE – another way to meditate just with activity.  In a world with extremely sedentary activities (including me writing this blog…), ALMOST EVERYONE needs some sort of body motion activity whether it is lifting weights, jogging, yoga, walking, swimming, cycling, rock climbing, you name it and if it creates full body motion, DO IT!  Activity helps to rewire the brain neurologically so that you can think more clearly and the increased circulation in blood vessels helps to grease those joints of yours.  Overall you feel healthier –> thus you are more joyful –> thus you love more easily!
  3. FOOD – what you put in, is what you get out.  Don’t think that eating that cheeseburger won’t eventually catch up to you… because it will!  Trust those that not only talk the talk, walk the walk, but also live to ripe old ages with their mind, body, and libido still intact.  You laugh 😛  but it is true!  You know those folks that I am speaking of… raw vegetables and fruits along with good protein sources and ample good fats will all the difference in how your emotions are played out.  Stable body = stable emotions = loving more easily!

These three basic things will help ANYONE to come to a level of joy that creates understanding in mind, body, and soul.  My suggestion is find a good Chiropractic/Naturopathic physician (such as myself…) to make sure that the body is tune-up, ready-to-go and receive the meditation, exercise and that with which you feed yourself more efficiently and effectively.  Any additional treatments that you decide to do on yourself… please, please consult your physician before doing so.

FINAL THOUGHT: If you feel joy, it is easy to feel love.  If you feel love then give it!  Do not be afraid.  For when your love is it given to others, it only grows exponentially. When you decide to give your love back to God, by only MEDITATING on how good God feels, then your joy will become infinitely present within yourself.

God’s will is simply this:  Love God with all your heart, mind, and body and love your neighbor as yourself.  If you don’t love yourself as well, try your best to love others, even if they don’t love you.  Reflect God’s love in every instant, for you do not know when it will mean the most in an individual’s life.

Remember friends, (great) food is medicine, and your health is truly your wealth.

Thanks for reading and be well in all things