Dr. Aymee Coget
"Living in the Moment"

Photos & Haikus: East-West Bookstore
324 Castro Street, Mountain View
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 7:30 pm

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: The Sunday June 12, 2011 issue of San Jose Mercury News (page D3) had this announcement
"Literary Events": Eckhart Tolle: Author of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
7:30 pm, June 14. East-West Bookstore, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View. 650-988-9800 www.eastwest.com/june_events.html#1. Since I bought Tolle's book at 20% discount when Tower Books was closing (2006), it would be nice to have Eckhart Tolle sign it. However, when clicking on the East-West Events web page, it turned out that Eckhart Tolle was not coming to talk, but Dr. Aymee Coget was the speaker. Special Added Event: Tuesday, June 14 "Living in the Moment" 7:30pm • Free, but call to reserve a seat. Have you read the Power of Now by Eckart Tolle? Have you heard of the value of living in the moment, yet the practice still eludes you? According to a recent Harvard study, 47% of the time people are thinking about something other than what they are doing in the moment! If you are ready to take charge of your mind, and really learn a practical Five-step approach to living in the moment, join Dr. Aymee Coget, Sustainable Happiness Expert and CEO of the American Happiness Association. You will experience this moment, you'll learn how to sustain it, and you may even feel a shift in your consciousness during the meeting! As you begin to live in the moment more and more, you will notice an improvement in your relationships, more effective time management and greater productivity, reduction of stress and anxiety and an increase of peace of mind and happiness. After reading this announcement, I reserved my ticket around noon on Tuesday. At Foothill Middlefield Computer Lab, I finished my web page on the Santa Teresa County Park Sunday hike. Then I printed out Aymee Coget's bio page with a link to the article "Even if You Can't Buy It, Happiness Is Big Business" (By Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, Nov. 26, 2008). I caught the 6:37 pm Bus #35 at Montrose & Middlefield in Palo Alto to Mountain View. During the 25-minutes bus ride, I read the article how happiness is big business. It occurred to me that a busy person is too stressful and can't be really happy. I'll find joy in small silent stillness & Sufi Spin while dancing. It was 7 pm when I got off at Castro & Villa. Walking three blocks led me to the East-West Bookstore and got my free ticket at the front desk. The talk was in the back room and I sat in the second row. A woman in blue dress comes by to shake my hand. I inquire whether she is the speaker. She says "Yes. I'm Aymee Coget. Nice to meet you." Aymee tells the 40 people that she'll be giving an interactive talk with audience participation. She asks the audience by raising their hand why did they come. Twelve said they were stressed out and nine had attention deficit disorder. Aymee says her journey began 15 years ago. Her mentor was Dr. Bob Nozik whose book Happy 4 Life: Here's How to Do It (2004) outlined 12 keys to happiness. She had them all except the 12th key "Present Moment Living". So she worked on "Be here now". Without savoring her past and planning for the future, she arrived in the Now and never left it— "This took my happiness to a new level. The universe is happening now! Being in this moment is so worth it." Before her talk, Aymee wrote the "5 Steps to Living in the Moment" on a white board, and referred to it during our interactive exercises. I didn't take much notes since half of the time we were told to close our eyes and imagine ourselves reeling in a fishing line or get on a raft and feel the sunshine (Step 2A or 2B). I chose relaxing on a raft basking in the sun (passive) instead of fishing (active). Then we open our eyes to check our five senses (Step 3). Next we close our eyes and feel our heartbeat with our right hand and left hand on our belly. See a child in our chest and experience bliss in our heart— Ask our heart "What is the gift in this moment?" (Step 4). Finally, we express our gratitude for gift(s) in this moment (Step 5). Aymee had the class repeat this exercise some six or seven times. She asks the class what they've experienced, and receives positive affirming images from all of us. I felt freedom and wisdom flowing through me, and thanked life for good parents, teachers, friends, and epiphanies that came my way. One of Aymee's exercises was to describe an object in our hand for 5 minutes to our neighbor. I spoke about the pen held in wisdom mudra pose as an image of creativity that flows through me when I write. The conductor with a baton (music), painter with a paint brush (art), writer with a pen (poetry) are mere mediums where the Great Spirit flows through these tiny rods of energy. My neighbor spoke of her Arrowhead bottle of water, saying how water nourishes her throughout the day. Several in the class felt five minutes was too long to describe a single object. I took 5 photos (without flash) during Aymee's talk and 6 photos afterwards. I didn't see these photos until the next day, and was surprised that Aymee had her hand gestures with fingers in Platonic Lambda shape and the wisdom mudra. Wrote haikus (present moment) and commentaries (savoring past moments) of photos while writing this web page at Foothill Krause Center for Innovation (Strawberry Moon, June 15). Those interested in Aymee Coget's work may check out her San Francisco Happiness Club.

Click on Photos for Enlarged Images

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 7:58 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
Aymee Coget's "5 Steps to Living in the Moment"

 1) Realize you are out of the moment
2) A) Reel in fishing line
    B) Get on raft
> Choose one
 3) Check in with your senses (Physical: Don't Feel)
     (Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, Sound)
 4) Ask your heart "What is the gift in this moment?"
 5) Gratitude for gift(s) in this moment
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 7:58 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
Aymee Coget's "Living in the Moment"

Her fingers are shaped
in the Platonic Lambda—
Soul of the Universe.

Afterwards, told Aymee about Thomas Taylor's
Plato translations inspiring the Romanitic poets,
and Marsilio Ficino's Plato translations inspiring
the Renaissance painters. Had I seen this photo
would have told her about the Platonic Lambda.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 8:20 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
Aymee Coget's "Living in the Moment"

Her fingers are in
the wisdom mudra pose—
no wonder she's so happy!

Didn't see this photo of Aymee in wisdom mudra
pose. Would have told her that this is Einstein's
favorite hand posture. Told woman sitting next
to me in our 5-minutes description exercise how
the pen is held in wisdom mudra pose. Through
this circle of energy the Great Spirit flows when
artists paint, poets write, & music is conducted.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 8:53 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
Aymee Coget's "Living in the Moment"
She rallies the class to have gratitude

Have gratitude for gifts
in this moment when we
are filled with blessings.

The lady next to me asked after our exercise
(step 5) "Do you feel gratitude?" I said "Yes.
All the time." However I didn't share with her
the "Gratitude" book composed on my web site.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:10 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
Aymee Coget's "Living in the Moment"
Adds "Choose Happiness" in her chart;
Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics"
(1095a15-22), eudaimonia:
"eu"=good; "daimon"=spirit

good indwelling spirit
that makes us happy.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:24 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
After Aymee Coget's talk, photographed
the Hindu God Ganesha in the corner.

Elephant God Ganesha
removes all obstacles
so our goals are reached.

While Aymee is center stage talking,
Ganesha stands silently in the corner
sending waves and waves of blessings.
  After marrying Ram in India (1976),
Sheila brought me a gift telling me
to close my eyes and placed a tiny
icon in my hand— it was Ganesha!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:25 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
After Aymee Coget's talk, photographed
book "Thank God I..." with her chapter:

"Thank God I Was Fat,
Ugly, Poor, Divorced,
and Live in Chronic Pain."

Hard to believe she went through that.
She's the happiest person I've seen since
meeting Matthieu Ricard at Stanford.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:25 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
After Aymee Coget's talk photographed
Native American banners in backroom

Bear and butterfly,
hawk and redwoods soar high,
daisy glows in sunshine.

Chief Seattle's 1854 Speech: "Every part of this soil is sacred... Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by days long vanished...
Even the rocks thrill with memories of my people..."
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:25 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
After Aymee Coget's talk photographed
Statues of Flora & Buddha in backroom
"Flower Sermon" & "Dhammapada 4.52"

Like a beautiful flower
full of color and scent
are words of the wise.

Flora is the Roman goddess of flowers shown
in Botticelli's Primavera (1478), but my mind
springs back to savor Buddha's wisdom words
on flowers in Dhammapada & his wordless
Flower Sermon in transmission of the lamp.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:26 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
After Aymee Coget's talk photographed
Banner showing Yogi with Seven Chakras

Yogi in meditation—
seven chakras are glowing
as he goes with the flow.

Joseph Campbell spoke of the heart chakra and
Egyptian papyrus (1400 BC) Book of the Dead:
heaven for hearts weighing lighter than feather.
Poem: "The Most Evil Man in the Universe"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 9:36 pm
East-West Bookstore, Mountain View
After Aymee Coget's talk, she signed for me
her web page "How to Always Be Happy"—
"To Peter, May you find gratitude in everything!!!

Dr. Aymee ☮ ♥ ☺"

Aymee poses by Buddha—
Both smiling serenely
joy in abundance.

One of the attendees, Ken Packer gives me his
business card. He wants to learn more about my biochemistry career change to poetry. Tells me his meeting with Yo-Yo Ma, whose mentor is
Ben Zander, author of The Art of Possibility.

— Peter Y. Chou, Mountain View, June 14, 2011

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (6-15-2011)