Mahamudra for the Modern World

Written on May 11, 2018. Written by .

This is a 38 hour long course on Mahamudra, which is a type of Tibetan Buddhism. It mixes dharma-style explanations with guided practice. The explanatory parts tend to be quite long-winded and sounded like rambling to me. He also didn’t seem very concerned about making them sound scientific as there was a hint of mystical belief embedded in some parts. It’s hard for me to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach due to my personal difficulties with focus during meditation, but I found the guided meditations to be very relaxing due to his calm voice.

★★★★★

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High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way

Written on April 27, 2018. Written by .

Mike Mentzer was a world-class bodybuilder and this book explains his approach to bodybuilding. It appears that he had a very scientific approach, although the book doesn’t go into the science much, instead just stating the main points. Some of the big points are: go to failure on each set (excepting some cases like warmup sets), if you aren’t making progress there’s a good chance that you need to work out less to allow more time for recovery (some people should only workout once per week or less for a half hour). The theme was to do short very high intensity workouts and take long breaks between workouts to allow for recovery. He also prescribes a specific workout routine that covers all the major muscles. His approach made a lot of sense to me and seems to be consistent with other research that I’ve done.

★★★★

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Principles

Written on April 26, 2018. Written by .

Although a fairly dry read, I found this book valuable for providing a counterargument to some other management theories. Many people advise others to pick their battles and let people get away with being irrational if the decision is not obviously critical to the big picture. Furthermore, people often assume that this advice is objectively optimal/correct and not a cultural or personal bias. This book explicitly recommends not picking battles, fighting all of them, and not letting people get away with irrationality. It is interesting in how explicit and extreme it is; you can’t really reinterpret what he’s trying to say as you can with many other sources that have enough qualifications so that it can be reinterpreted to mean almost anything reasonable. Given that this management style underlies one of the most successful investment firms in the world, it provides strong evidence that there is more than one option with regards to these questions, and should instill doubt in those who think that it is objectively wrong or suboptimal. Some parts of the book made me a bit concerned about the psychological implications of working in an environment of always being judged and under threat of termination. I don’t think the book addressed these psychological concerns, so I have a suspicion that the culture described in the book might not work well for all types of people, but may work particularly well for some types.

★★★★★

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Canyonlands National Park

Written on January 21, 2018. Written by .

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Arches National Park

Written on January 21, 2018. Written by .

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Capitol Reef National Park

Written on January 21, 2018. Written by .

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Great Basin National Park

Written on January 21, 2018. Written by .

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Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State

Written on August 13, 2017. Written by .

This book had more mystical and religious content than other books on this topic that I’ve read. Aside from a few good points which can be found elsewhere, this book wasn’t very helpful.

★★★★

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Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen

Written on June 14, 2017. Written by .

I heard about Dzogchen from Sam Harris’ book Waking Up in which he said that it was the best form of Buddhism that he came across because it was the most direct and had the least religious distraction. Roaring Silence seems mostly consistent with that. The biggest thing I learned from this book was the four naljors. The four naljors describe the stages of progression of meditation. After gaining the ability to quiet thoughts, one then learns to re-integrate thoughts while retaining non-dual awareness and then learns to live in the non-dual state at all times. There were some other thought provoking lines, but as usual, much of it seems either repetitive or perhaps difficult to grasp the full significance.

★★★★★

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Point Reyes Photo Gallery

Written on May 3, 2017. Written by .

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