“We are perceivers. We are an awareness; we are not objects; we have no solidity. We are boundless. The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description that was created to help us. We, or rather our reason, forget that the description is only a description and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in our lifetime … So, in essence, the world that your reason wants to sustain is the world created by a description and its dogmatic and inviolable rules, which the reason learns to accept and defend … from now on you should let yourself perceive whether the description is upheld by your reason or by your will.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

My Client

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I’ve long wanted to write about and acknowledge the one client (software design) I’ve truly enjoyed working with over the years. Today they inspired me to do it. I have no idea why this video-clip was created nor what game/competition it has been submitted to – but it is a great way to introduce Cyber-Ark:

I first met Cyber-Ark when I was working in a design consulting firm. The first project’s scope was limited (it was, to the best of my knowledge, their first product design process – so they were carefully testing the waters) to a web-client of one of their core products. Like many software/technology products it’s user experience reflected mostly the product’s internal/technical capabilities rather then a captivating user experience. The design process unveiled a very different product – way beyond what they were expecting. They were very attentive and receptive (they really are great people to work with) – but what amazed me was their brave decision to drastically delay their release schedule to make the time to create an excellent product. It paid off greatly and it’s effects spread throught the company (and we continued to work together with other projects and products).

The design firm has since closed it’s doors yet I’ve had the pleasure of doing additional design projects with Cyber-Ark. I am grateful for the recurring trust they have demonstrated in choosing to work with me and accommodating my approach, circumstances and wishes (which are not very conventional).

Though I generally consider my career to have ended 4 years ago, the crown of my career was the last project I did with Cyber-Ark (some months ago). It was the purest design process I have performed. They came to me with a core idea they wanted to develop into a design concept. The objective was to develop the core idea into something that could be communicated with others inside and outside the company – to collect feedback and make an assessment if the idea warrants further development. There was a time-frame but no deadline and the software development team was not breathing down our neck to deliver something they could create by yesterday. It was a patient and intriguing movement from an abstract thought into a potential product.

Mostly I look back at my career with doubts and questions. Most of my career I encountered debilitating mediocrity that wore me down and eventually out. I don’t know if it’s just Israeli hi-tech or if it is a general quality of hi-tech companies – but I didn’t enjoy my work – especially during the design (and final) phase of my career – most projects ended up feeling like missed opportunities. Cyber-Ark’s team, management and ultimately (selling!) products are the one (and only) confirmation I have (and  need) that I was doing something right and that quality can prevail in business.

This is great opportunity for me to acknowledge and thank the people at Cyber-Ark that trusted me and confirmed that I was doing something right. Thank you friends.

Posted in Business, Expanding, inside, outside, Quality | You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-05

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How to be Alone

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Fantastic video by Tanya Davis brought to my attention by Grant who constantly decorates my RSS reader with inspiring bits of beauty.

Posted in Enjoy, Expanding, inside | You are welcome to add your comment

Franky Strikes a First Pose

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So after almost a month (I can’t believe it’s already been a month!) of tinkering around with anatomy, logic, trigonometry and javascript programming – the illustrated Yoga figure that just stood there can now be moved fairly well into postures using just the mouse (much more fun then lists of numbers).

Joints are used as interactive control points that can be set to allow/prevent rotation and/or movement and then the anatomically correct illustrated figire responds accordingly. There’s no floor consciousness or gravity and there’s still quite a bit of testing and refinement to do – but it’s coming around very nicely 🙂 Soon, I hope, online for you to move with your mouse 🙂 and then …

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What I Like About Intense Yoga Practices

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Once in a while life gifts me with a special on-the-mat Yoga practice session. In my memory they are the most intense rewarding practices I have experienced – they are an event apart from all others. Yesterday I gained some insight into what they are and why I have a fond relationship with them.

What Are Intense Yoga Practices?

This is a great opportunity to communicate and clarify what, for me, makes an intense practice:

  • A consistent and peaceful presence throughout the practice.
  • Full breathing – ujjayi seems to take on a different sound – as it if resonates in a large and hollow chamber. Breath is never short though constantly challenged.
  • A direct experience of correct and sustainable effort in which full and deep movement is achieved without any need for pushing (in body or mind) and with relatively short rests between postures.
  • Excellent range of movement and responsiveness in the body. A wonderful dance of flexibility supported by strength.
  • Tendency towards static stay in posture.
  • A clear sense of build-up throughout the practice.
  • A crown posture which lends itself to infinite refinment and exploration.
  • Intense heat most of which is contained within.
  • A pulsing throughout the body – very prominent in savasana.
  • An asana practice that practically demands Pranayama.
  • A Pranayama practice in which time stands still, in which the breath swings smoothly and feels like it can go on forever.
  • A Pranayama which ends in such stillness and presence so that meditation is already there without there being any sense of transition.
  • A quiet and still mind with an occassional tempting sensation of swinging or dizziness.
  • A clear ringing in the ears of the flute within.
  • Tears and a smile.

What I Like About Intense Yoga Practices

What’s not to like? 🙂 Well there are plenty of superficial things to like – things that have undesired effects on the ego: (1) immediate inflation in the short term which then transforms into (2) irrelevant expectations in the long term. But there is something that does go deeper – and again it is found off-the-mat.

Intense practices are not some sudden and unexplained explosion of untapped physical abilities. I have recently written about some preparations I make in my life off-the-mat to support my practices on-the-mat. The short term effects of these preparations are better practices.  Intense practices occur when I sustain a combination of good living off-the-mat and good practice on-the-mat over a period of time:

  • Intense practices indicate to me that I’ve been doing something right – that I’ve achieved a good existence over the past days or weeks.
  • Intense practices confirm my life habits and beliefs more then they do my physical qualities.
  • Intense practices remind me to appreciate the choices I have made.
  • Intense practices empower and direct me in facing doubts that may come at me in the future.
  • Intense practices demonstrate to me that Yoga is indeed an encompassing and whole experience.
  • Intense practices teach me to appreciate the common day-to-day practices where I perform uninteresting tasks of  maintenance that keep me running smoothly.
  • Intense practices are then an occasional visit to a race track where I can open-up my engine to full throttle and appreciate and enjoy the great ride that I am 🙂
Posted in Yoga, Yoga & I, Yoga & Life | You are welcome to add your comment