Monday, June 17, 2019

HOW TO LIVE A TRANQUIL LIFE




Memento Mori - Remember thou art mortal.

Pondering one's own death can be quite beneficial, it enables us to treasure our lives.  Death is as natural as birth, but we don't want to think about our mortality. Accepting that we only have a certain amount of days left to live reminds us that we must make the most out of each day and we become more likely to make better decisions.  How many more full moons will you get to see?  Be courageous when you confront the face of death.  Your life perspective shapes your reality.  Happiness is a choice.  "Every man has two lives, and the second one starts when he realizes he only has one." (Confucius) 


DESPAIR

In life we often experience despair, hopelessness, depression and anxiety. These emotions  prevents us from being the best version of ourselves.  Always remember, that although life is full of catastrophes, tragedies, and malevolence, there is something about the human spirit that allows us to survive and transcend ourselves so that we may lead a noble life.  These experiences are only temporary and a challenge to test your mettle. We must think of despair as a learning experience and  thereby triumph over hopelessness. Gambatte (keep going).





HOPE

Hope conquers despair.  Picture yourself driving on a treacherous mountain road in foul stormy weather.
The road is winding and slippery.  You have a choice regarding what perspective you will take.  You could concentrate on the thought that you are going to skid off the road and drop to your painful death.  On the other hand, you can hope that everything will be ok, and have faith in the fact that if you slow down and drive carefully you will get home in safely.
Amor Fati (Embrace your fate)

MEDITATION

The practice of meditation can create remarkable changes in your life.  It can improve your level of awareness, increase your level of attention, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, and lessen cognitive decline. There are many methods of meditation just as there are many different styles of music, dance and art.

Here are three that I practice:


ZEN:

This meditation technique is based upon trying to quiet what Buddhists call your "monkey mind" or "wandering mind"  It's usually done sitting in a comfortable position while concentrating on your breathing.  You observe your thoughts bu you don't linger on them.  You are seeking to understand your true nature.  Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself leads to the path to enlightenment.

TAOIST MEDITATION:
 Taoist meditation is a type of moving meditation such as Tai Chi or Chi Kung.  It's purpose is to become one with nature and the flow of the universe.  The Taoist practitioner attempts to obtain a state of Wu Wei, a spontaneous effortless action in which the practitioner flows through life like an athlete always in the zone.









WESTERN STOIC MEDITATION:
  This type of meditation is advocated by the Stoic Philosophers, such as Marcus Aurelius.  Marcus Aurelius was an emperor of Rome who could have had  anything in life, but instead chose a virtuous manner of living.  The Stoic practitioner reflects upon his actions at the end of each and every day.    He asks himself  "Did I accomplish everything I set out to do that day?"  If something went wrong, what can I do to mend it and how can I learn from the mistakes I might have made that day?".  He asks himself "What can I do to improve tomorrow in order to move onward and upward?"  If he has accomplished all he could that day, then it is time to go home, relax, rest and have a peaceful night's sleep.  He does not ponder on things that are not in his control..

FRIENDSHIP

Nothing gives a person more pleasure than the bonds forged between good true friends.  Their presence soothes our minds, reduces our anxiety and their opinions help shape our decisions adding joy and comfort to our lives.  Their encouragement keeps us going even through our darkest times.
CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY.


About the Author:

Judd Bank
CEO of CPI Investigations, NY and a life long Martial Artist.
Website: http://www.privatedetectiveny.com

Saturday, May 4, 2019

BEWARE OF THE SOCIOPATHS AMONG US




One out of every 25 people is a sociopath or exhibits extreme narcissistic behavior according to researchers today.

While mapping out the brain, a group of neuroscientists in stamford, discovered that the area in which we feel pain, overlaps the area in which we feel empathy.  Sociopaths do not make this connection.  They are self absorbed and don't feel the pain of others.

The problem is that sociopaths are all around us, but don't stand out in obvious ways and may be difficult to detect.

In this article, I will concentrate on Sociopathic behavior in the workplace and in our personal relationships.  The trouble is that sociopathic behavior is often rewarded in the workplace.  Sociopaths can be quite charismatic.  In our relationships, the people we care about are the ones we give the power to manipulate us the most.

If the sociopath has a position of power over you, he or she would act a bully.  If your co-worker or loved one's friend is a sociopath, he or she would act as a snake sabotaging you at any opportunity they get.

Sociopaths know the price of everything and the value of nothing. They will lie to your face with no hint of remorse.  They do not want you to succeed and won't support you for fear of who you may become.  They are completely self centered and absorbed. They sometimes act like hyper-aggressive two year olds.  They are master manipulators.

Being subject to the remorseless list and evil manipulations of someone who has decided to mess with your life would be both terrifying and demoralizing.

"if you hate a person you hate something in them that is a part of yourself.  What isn't a part of yourself does'nt disturb us." - Hermann Hesse 


WHY DO WE LET THEM TAKE ADVANTAGE OF US?

Sociopaths have a keen ability to sense our weaknesses.  They attack what Japanese Budo practitioners call Kosshi Points (vulnerable targets).  They attack our fears, insecurities and lack of confidence.


HOW DO WE DEAL WITH SOCIOPATHIC PEOPLE?

First, get your mind, spirit and body in the right place.  Begin by getting in touch with what Carl Gustave Jung called your shadow side, the darker regions of your subconscious.  This step is important, enables us to resist being exploited and gives us the strength to withstand tragedy and malevolence in order to fight back.  Learn to become a dangerous person.

Next study yourself, what make you unique?  Where do your values come from?  Why do you do things the way you do?  Develop your self confidence and self esteem in order to confront you fears.
Pay attention to your talents, achievements and advantages.
.

Set goals for yourself, start with small ones first, and then build upon your success.  Achieving your goals would be your ticket out of your undesirable situation.  Treat your conversations with a sociopath like a battlefield.  Your words and your ideas are your weapons.




Pick your battles. "You will never reach your destination, if you stop and throw rocks at every dog that barks". - Winston Churchill. 





If you have observed these traits in an individual and believe that person is a sociopath, beware of having an emotional response during your confrontation with them. A sociopath will take them as weaknesses and try to use them against you. Sometimes its best not to meet a hostile force head on, instead roll with the punches until you find the opportunity to strike.

When confronting a sociopath assume a relaxed posture, breath naturally, and be sure to take a moment before you answer them in order to compose yourself and contemplate your best response.  Stay alert and try not to be intimidated.





  As George Harrison once sang "beware of darkness" 










bout the Author:  
Judd Bank is the President of CPI Investigations and a life long Martial Artist.
http://www.privatedetectiveny.com










Saturday, March 23, 2019

ENDURING LIFE




I believe that all bad fortune can be conquered through endurance, courage and hope.

In life we can't control what's happening but we can strive to control the way we respond to what's happening.  Nothing, except our thoughts, is totally in our control.  We can create our misery or joy independent of our surroundings.

Certain aspects of the future are out of our control.  Concern yourself with what is in your control.


LEARNING FROM ZEN ARCHERY




A Zen Archer will practice proper breathing, good form and concentration.  He can buy the finest bows and the most exquisite arrows.  These things are in his control, Once he releases his arrow, he must let it fly.  At this point many outside variables can influence the outcome.   Wind, terrain, the weather; these things can effect the arrow's flight. Since the Archer cannot completely adjust for all these variables before he shoots his arrow, they are not in his control.  He should embrace and accept what is not in his control.

Of course validation comes from hitting the target, it is the successful conclusion to a task. The Archer should not find his self-worth  from hitting the bullseye.  I am not saying that there is not much to learn from failure (perhaps everything worth learning) only that his validation should not depend on his success, just his betterment.

INNER JOURNEY

If you should decide to heroically embark in a journey of self analysis you might find it painful.  Use the pain to take action, make the changes that are necessary to prevent yourself from living a sort of blissfully dissatisfied life, or what the group Pink Floyd referred to as being "comfortably numb."


Do not regard hardships or adversity as misfortunes, instead view them as learning experiences.
Excessive worry about the future causes anxiety.  Embrace you fate and enjoy life.

BETRAYAL

Sometimes in relationships or friendships, we project our feelings unto other people.  We think that if we care so much about someone that person should feel the same way about us.  We delude ourselves.  Some people's brains are wired differently.  They will lie to your face without any qualms.  They will cheat you, deceive you and attempt to destroy your wellbeing.  They are only motivated by their own desires. We get blindsided and are vulnerable because we have exposed our inner self to them.  What should we do when we experience betrayal?  It is best to let go. Don't fight for resolution, don't ask for explanations and don't pursue answers. There is a time to cross over bridges and there is a time to burn them down and build new ones.

CONCLUSION

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.  Pay attention to even the most  smallest details in life.  Be open minded to new ideas and remain flexible in your thoughts.  Treat all your endeavors with care, focus, intensiveness and passion.

In the words of Masaaki Hatsumi, founder of the bujinkan  "gambatte" (keep going)
















About the Author: 



Judd Bank is the President of CPI Investigations and a life long Martial Artist.
http://www.privatedetectiveny.com

Sunday, February 17, 2019

BIRTHDAY BLOG




As my birthday approaches, I find myself contemplating my life in our world of accelerated change and overwhelming complexity.  I've discovered that by writing down my reflections, it helps clarify my thoughts.

I have always believed that the combination of eastern and western thoughts, the esoteric and the practical is the best approach to understanding life.

As I grow older, I feel that the life ahead of me is more important than the life behind me. I tried to be the best version of myself that I tried be.  Everyday I try to be as nice to people as possible.  A meaningful life is the only life worth living.

If you have a family and a few good friends that love you, a roof over your head and food to eat, you are rich.

The most beautiful things in life cannot be touched, they must be felt.  You can't always be strong in life but you can always be brave.  Your failures are your most powerful tools.

When wise men say that "you should live for the moment," they don't mean not learning from your past, they mean not regretting a past you cannot change.  They don't mean not preparing for your future, they mean not being anxious about a future that may or may not be.    Make good use of all your potentials and possibilities.

Don't blame other people for the structure of your reality.  Shallow people believe in luck and circumstances, strong people believe in cause and effect.

Control your outside world by controlling your inside world.  You are not the product of your circumstances.   You are the product of your decisions.

All exceptional people were not versions of someone else, they were themselves.

Self discipline is paramount.  Do things that are difficult, push through the pain, show your character.

The most selfish thing that you can do for yourself is helping others.

The only antidote to tragedy is self transformation.

Perhaps life gives us problems in order for us to learn how to solve them.

You must keep on fighting for what you want, or what you don't want will take over. 





A young man is like a tiger, his body is strong and his mind is raging.  As time passes, the tiger goes chasing the dragon.  When he becomes older, his body is strong one day, not so strong the next.  His mind becomes calmer, more fluent and wiser.  He becomes the dragon.  





DEATH 

No one knows what happens when we die.  However, it seems evident that there is a heaven and hell on earth.  You can clearly see people that are in a living hell, and you can certainly see people who are living a heavenly life.

After careful contemplation I believe that people who believe in an afterlife are happier than people who don't.  Several years ago, I attended RGI, a conflict resolution seminar hosted Mr. Jack Hoban.  One of the speakers at the seminar was a decorated Marine knick named Joe Marine.  Joe said that when he speaks to his marines, he tells them that they should believe in something.  He states "I don't care if it is a rock, believe in something, it is the only way that combat can be tolerable."  I suspect the same is true in life.

You shouldn't be afraid of death, you should be afraid of dying without the world seeing the person you could have become, the best version of yourself.

Carl Jung believed that consciousness is not entirely confined by time and space.  Hopefully he is right.


One thing is for certain, as George Harrison once sang "All things must pass, all things must pass way.











About the Author:  
Judd Bank is the President of CPI Investigations and a life long Martial Artist.
http://www.privatedetectiveny.com




                                 








Monday, January 21, 2019

HOW MARTIAL ART TRAINING CAN FACILITATE SUCCESS IN BUSINESS






The treasured lessons learned from practicing the martial arts can be an invaluable asset for business men and women.

Many astute business people have come to appreciate the value in the martial philosophies of the east and west.  Quotes like "every battle is won, before it is fought" (Sun Tzu's art of war) or "never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" (Napoleon Bonapart) are commonly used by business coaches everywhere.

There are numerous parallels between a battlefield and today's business environment.  Effective communication, logistical complexities, problem solving and negotiating skills are paramount in both.

Knowing one's enemy, oneself, and the  conditions of the environment is crucial in maneuvering tactically through the challenges ahead.

TAKE ACTION


"Don't be an excuse maker, be an action taker"

Martial art training enables the practitioner to stand up against one's fear in order to become a stronger and more confident individual.  In your action, lies your potential.

In business, as well as in life, it is important to clarify your goals and visions, leave your comfort zone and fears, test your limits and heroically take action.  In taking actions, there will always be risks; however, if you feel you must make a change in life and don't, you will be troubled with regret.
As written by John Greenleaf Whittier: "for all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest of these," it might have been." 

In setting out to slay the dragon, you might be eaten, but if you stay safe at home, the dragon may 
come eat you anyway.



The consequences of inaction are always as fraught with danger as those of action.  The difference is, inaction leaves the individual with a sense of powerlessness and victimhood that does not plague those who choose to act.

As long as you work toward your dream, success in possible.  Watch out for the dream breakers, for your dreams are your gifts and should not be subject to the opinions of others. A dream is only a dream, until you have a plan and act upon that plan. Only action can turn your dream into a reality.

KUUKI  YOMO (Reading the atmosphere)

Kuuki Yomo or reading the atmosphere is a very important concept in Budo (The way of the warrior) it is a type of heightened awareness.  Many of Man's natural senses and instincts  have been eroded over time.  Reading others intentions or sensing the energy when another enters a room, would have been crucial survival skills in the past.  These skills are still valuable today. Properly judging your environment It's a mixture of observation and instinct.  An example of this would be, when a professional poker player sits at a gambling table, first he reads the tells. (certain behaviorisms that reveal his opponent's intentions.)  Think of how useful this would be in a business meeting.  A person's situational awareness heightens during combat or while training for combat. The more you practice the clearer things become. "Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you will be able to see further." (J.P.Morgan)

HITTING THE BULL'S EYE

The lessons learned from practicing archery, shirken jitsu (the art of throwing stars or darts) or firearms are applicable in the business world; these lessons are not only beneficial to the modern business person but may provide opportunities and insights that would otherwise go unseen.  The first step in target practice is knowing where the bull's eye is just as the first step in preparing for a business project is to identify your goals.  When you first shoot at the bull's eye, you waiver right, left, up and down.  When your shot misses you learn to reformulate your action.  When a beginner first stares at the bull's eye, it seems extremely hard to hit. The accuracy rate for a novice starts at 30 percent; with practice the novice achieves 40 percent, then 50 percent and continued improvement there after.  In order  to hit the bull's eye consistently, one must organize one's structure behind one's aim.   Aim high, my friend!.

CONCLUSION

In martial arts and business alike, learning new skills is imperative when confronting future challenges.  When I was in college, I studied under a psychology professor who taught a concept called integrating new functions.  She and her colleagues would constantly engage themselves in new activities like  playing an instrument, photography or painting.  They felt that by constantly participating in new events  would eventually expand their consciousness.

If you don't do something beyond which you have already mastered, you will never grow.  

Remember, the key to wisdom is having a flexible mind.


About the Author:






.
About the Author:  Judd Bank is the President of CPI Investigations and a life long Martial Artist.
http://www.privatedetectiveny.com


Friday, November 16, 2018

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF PRACTICING MARTIAL ARTS



Looking back at my life, it was probably my father that started me on the journey that led to my appreciation of the value of military science, strategy and tactics.  He was an Army Officer during WWII and fought in many epic battles including Anzio and the Battle of the Bulge.

After surviving the war, he became a successful business man.  The lessons he learned from his military experience served him well for all the rest of his days.


Here is my father's ring from 1941.
(The blood Stone ring)  I wear this everyday.












Martial Arts training serves as a foundation that enables a person to live a quality life.


The most obvious psychological benefit is the physical effect.  Martial Arts training enables one to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit, giving the practitioner a relaxed mind and the energy the practitioner needs to accomplish their life's goals.  The breathing exercises in the martial arts (sometimes referred to as Chi Kung) enable the practitioner to bring in and circulate additional oxygen to the body and brain which is vital to growth, healing and proper brain function.

Martial Arts training can tap into the shadow side of our subconscious through the recreation of the life and death struggle.  Understanding one's shadow side can be of great importance, making us aware of our deep fears and helping enable the practitioner to develop the courage to overcome these emotions.

Martial Arts teaches a person to endure and persevere. Welcoming self-discipline is one of the core values in the training.

Martial Art Training can improve your perception of your self so you can become the person you want to be.  It allows you to better organize yourself and how to deal with pain, emotions, and the vagaries of life.

You learn to think positively when dealing with any dire situations. Martial Arts is a moving meditation, providing the practitioner with the same benefits as a sitting meditation.  It enables you to center yourself. 

PHILOSOPHICAL CONCEPTS ASSOCIATED WITH MARTIAL ARTS 

The philosophies of Taoism and Zen can be quite beneficial to one's mental attitude and health.  The Zen principle of Kai Zen is the art of bettering yourself a little everyday in every aspect of your life.  This daily improvement gathers it's own momentum and will inevitably change your life for the better.

Understanding Taoist philosophy of Yin Yang, the balance and interplay of Order and Chaos can  help you maintain balance in your own life.  Self development is the opposite of self destruction. 

The warrior philosophy of being a protector of life, not a killer, can enable a person to resolve conflict in a positive way, resulting in less mental trauma after experiencing a harrowing event. 

Just like all arts, music, painting, poetry and dance; martial arts is an expression of oneself.

After many years of study a Martial Artist becomes extremely observant and acutely aware of even the smallest phenomenon of human nature.

Martial Art practice allows one to endure when all the world's wrath come upon you, you can stand tall like a mountain against the storm.


 About the Author: 


 Judd Bank is the President of CPI Investigations and a life long Martial Artist.
http://www.privatedetectiveny.com

  

  
  

Friday, September 28, 2018

THE BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND





BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND

The greatest opponent one will ever face is oneself.

How do we take command of our minds and do what is in our own best interest?

How do we fix the kinks in our armor?

How do we escape from being stuck in a B.F. Skinner box?  (a rat in a box whose behavior is determined by seeking pleasure or avoiding pain and who can easily be manipulated by others)
Can we retrain our mind in order to regain control?

The first step is awareness.  We must first be aware of what is happening in order for us to make a change.  Our brains are wired to help us not do anything that is uncomfortable or scarey.

Carl Jung talks about the underlying structure of consciousness.  He believed that much of our behavior is influenced by what he called the collective unconscious.  Jung claimed that you are not the master of your house.  Your unconscious is more sophisticated than your conscious.  Why should you believe that the more newly developed biological part of the brain, the cerebral cortex which enables us to communicate with language and abstract thinking is the more sophisticated one.  Why shouldn't the older systems of the brain be in charge?  They are far older and so deeply embedded in your brain that they can make you do their bidding.  Beware of what you don't understand about yourself.  These older systems of the brain were structured for survival and have an active influence on our personality and can induce destructive behavior.



Fear, anxiety, anger and jealousy may stop you from taking moderate risks that you should take in order to better your life.

These shadow emotions can make you afraid to grow, end bad habits, leave dead end jobs, cut off unhealthy relationships and toxic people and prevent you from being able to take purposeful action to better your life.

These thoughts start to influence the concept of who we are.  We make our decisions on who we believe ourselves to be.

The good news is these thoughts are not who you are.  We are not the passing traffic on the highway, we are the space in which the traffic flows.

Take time to observe your thoughts, then you will realize you are not your thoughts, you are the observer of your thoughts.

Each day we have a series of conflicts between the right way of operating and the easy way.  Don't seek a comfortable life, seek a rewarding one.

Positive change comes when we overcome negative behavior.  Self transformation is possible.

Do challenging things,  build better habits, clarify your goals and then pursue them.  Try not to avoid problems, try to resolve them.  Cultivate your personality.  Re-adjust your comfort zone.

Little victories add up, a few successes make up for hundreds of failures.  If you get knocked down and get up again, your not a failure.  HIT BACK!!

Don't be stuck in a victim mode, the road to success is taking responsibility for your actions.

Steer your emotions and thoughts in the direction you want them to go.  Fear is a reaction and courage is a decision.

Everytime you feel pain, remember that you felt pain before and overcame it.  Being grateful for what you have can get you through tough times.

If you always do what you always have done, you will always be what you have been.  Nothing will be different until we think differently.  Who you become is directly connected with the price you are willing to pay to get there.

ON POLITICS

I try not to speak with anyone these days about politics.  The problem is that people are treating politics like a football game rooting for their team.  The trouble with this is that we project our own weaknesses and faults on the other, rather than dealing with our own shadows.  Us or them?  If they are not us, everything they say and do must be a lie and is destructive to our society.  This type of thinking can stop us from clearly seeing the true state of affairs.

CONCLUSION

Everyday you wake up in the morning you wake into consciousness; be grateful and committed to improving yourself to the world.  Guide your feelings and actions along the course that you choose; become the person you want to be.  Invite things into your life.  The better your attitude, the better your ability to overcome the challenges and difficulties you will experience everyday.

Everyone that gets their act together has the ability to influence others and change the world in a positive direction and make the world a better place.




About the Author:  Judd Bank is the President of CPI Investigations and a life long Martial Artist.
http://www.privatedetectiveny.com