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Cleo Abram

Student , Columbia University - Columbia College


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We can learn by exchanging and discussing our own lists of "10 Things I Know to be True."

After listening to Sarah Kay's beautiful speech and poetry, I tried to write my own list of "10 Things I know to be True." I learned one thing immediately: I don't know much. I learned a second thing more slowly: that's okay! I tried to distill my limited understanding of the world into this list, without being overly philosophical nor literal.

One thing I know to be true, but that is not on my list, was that Sarah Kay was right when she said that if you share your list with a group of people you will find that someone has one thing very similar, someone else has something totally contrary, another person has something you've never heard of, and still another has something that makes you think further about something you thought you knew.

So let's share ours, and find out! What do your lists have on them?

Here's mine:
1. Fiction can, at times, feel more real than fact.
2. One person, with a good idea, can change our world.
3. There are things about our universe that we will never understand.
4. #3 is not an excuse to stop trying.
5. Everyone has a story worth hearing.
6. There is always another side to the story they tell.
7. Questions can sometimes teach more than their answers.
8. Children can sometimes teach more than their parents.
9. Everyone should travel.
10. No one's truth is universal.


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  • Oct 24 2011: 1. Sit in stillness. Stop moving, stop doing, stop planning and living in the future. You can sit on a cushion or sit in a chair.

    2. Go outside and feel the wind on your face, smell the fresh air, and connect with nature. If it’s possible, lie in the grass, stare at the sky, and listen to the birds. Feel your heart open.

    3. Connect with another person, smile, and make eye contact. If you observe yourself becoming judgmental or critical, try to see that person as another human being struggling to be happy, just like you.

    4. If you have pets, connect with them through touch. Feel their affection. We can communicate with them and learn from them about how to stay in the moment.

    5. Tune in to your body, let it move, and feed it well. Practice awareness of your senses. Feel what you are touching, listen to the sounds around you, and smell what’s cooking.

    6. Breathe deeply. Count your breaths to 21 when you are driving in your car. Calm down and stay present. Repeat.

    7. Write, draw, paint, journal, or listen to music. Creating something beautiful or meaningful will help you focus and allow flow.

    8. Take pictures with your phone or camera. I have learned that if I see a shot and run for the camera that frequently the moment will have disappeared. Sometimes I am lucky enough to capture a magical moment in time.

    9. Give love to yourself and others. As you become aware of the negative self-talk in your mind, you can work towards becoming gentle with yourself. Practicing loving-kindness towards others will help you turn the love inward as well. Treat your family and friends with care and tenderness. Be considerate of their needs and listen closely to what they have to say.

    10. Accept things the way they are. It will give you a sense of freedom. Resistance causes suffering.

    Refrain from zombie behavior: Please stop to think, reflect. Don't let your phone decide who you should marry or worse... marry your phone? Love people and use things, not the other way around!
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      Oct 24 2011: I really appreciate the way your shared your truths. You come across as very conscious of experiencing and practicing in the present moment. I have been preoccupied with the thought that, yes, I have truths but my life is about how I practice these truths. To me this means how I express these truths in what I think, say and do. I believe that experience is crucial and there are practices/ways to enhance, calibrate and appreciate these experiences.PLAY is an important element of my practices.
      • Oct 24 2011: Thanks, I am trying to learn how to breath right by doing what Osho recommends. Starting with breath, if we only pay attention and introduce intent in every moment. I feel my main job here is to create my life intentionally. When I really focus in I find that things taste better, feelings more intense and enjoyable, things are more vibrant looking, we control our experience just by thinking about what we want instead of what we don't! Yes its all about PLAY.
        "Where are you? Here.
        What time is it? Now.
        What are you? This moment"
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          Oct 25 2011: I appreciate both of you.
          You are both already "practicing" your thoughts when you are writing it down !
          And to me ,
          you trigger me to think:
          Everyone has his/her set of language , to convey the "basic life belief"
          BELIEF ,is not a belief.
          that's why we cannot accept another people's belief in their language.
          (where i mean language , is not meaning languages among different countries)
        • Oct 27 2011: Choi Kwan,

          BELIEF is unsupported acceptance of something. One can have belief, but one should not communicate one's belief to strangers. Most of the time, such an action would be laughed at - and should be laughed at.

          If you like Osho, try Laozi (and read Tao De Ching,道德經) instead. At least the principles within 道德經 has been put in use for over 2000 years.
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      Oct 26 2011: these aren't truths, their commands
      • Oct 26 2011: I agree, I have shared the truths earlier... here they are for you:
        1. Listen to your body's wisdom.
        2. Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have.
        3. Take time to be silent, to meditate - It is the methodology of awareness. By living in the moment, you are already practicing active meditation thereby relinquishing the need for external approval, that we earthlings crave.
        4. Relinquish your need for external approval - happens automatically
        5. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. it is a defense mechanism and you are defending your ego and a response to old hurts. By not reacting with anger, you will start healing yourself and cooperating with the flow of energy.
        6. Know that the world "out there" reflects your reality "in here"
        7. Shed the burden of judgement.
        8. Don't contaminate your body with toxins, either food, drink, or toxic emotions.
        9. Replace 'fear'-motivated behavior with 'love'-motivated behavior.
        10. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence
        • Oct 27 2011: re:1

          One's body does not have wisdom. it is a collection of molecules interchanging with the environment. However as a collection, it is also a living organism. Life is about eating and be eaten. Once this fundamental basic need has been met, we can start learning and accumulating experience. If you are old enough, that accumulated experience may be called by some as "wisdom".


          I disagree. We should live for the future. Humanity is facing a huge ecological problem because TOO MANY of us were just concerned with living at the present and over utilized the capacity of mother Earth.

          re: 3

          Meditation can relax and that's all it can do. The Deepak likes to apply Quantum theory into his voodoo theory of cosmic conscienceness - which is just as evidenceless as the existence of god.


          We are social animal. Our deeds are judged by our peers and we cannot escape being judged. It is important to live in a way that you will not feel sorry in the future - live fair and square and as morally as the circumstance allows.

          re: 5

          I was a teacher. I can't help explaining my viewpoint. Reacting with anger is related one's own understanding and control. Learn to react calmly to *everything*. If someone has made a statement which you don't agree, if circumstance permits, say your objection with calm and reason. If both cannot agree, agree to disagree.

          re; 6 - another Deepak rubbish

          re: 7 - See my comment on 4 above.

          re: 8 and 9 - I agree.

          re: 10 - another Deepak crap.
    • Oct 27 2011: I feel you, especially #9. Never enough Love.
      • Oct 28 2011: Dear Michael E. Russell,
        Thank you for taking the time to read and reflect on the truths.

        1. What is meant by wisdom of the body?
        Our minds don't like to acknowledge that our bodies have a wisdom of their own. Whether we shudder at the idea of telepathy or praise the idea of transparency, we call it by various names like intuition, others call it ESP. It doesn't matter what we call it.

        Thats why we should trust a gut feeling, because it is actually a physical response to your subconscious mind weighing up all known factors and then making a decision. “Malcolm Gladwell”:http://gladwell.typepad.com/gladwellcom/ in his book “Blink”:http://www.malcolmgladwell.com/blink/index.html discusses how using thin slicing and gut feeling you can make just as good a decision, if not better than consciously seeking all relevant information.
        Each and every cell of our body has a consciousness, and that explains why we get addicted. Unlike your screen, we're not just a bunch of molecules :)

        2. Living in the moment does not mean taking more than you need, the universe has enough to fulfill all we need not all our greed. By living in the moment, I meant, centering your awareness on on the here and now (savoring). You are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. The past and future are illusions, they don’t exist so if are to truly experience life, we need to be present intentionally to actually live.

        The worst part about living in the past or the future is that you’re giving up your personal power. If you’re not living now, you’re giving up your life. You’re surrendering your power to create. If there are changes you’d like to make in life, it’s best to do it now. If you’re living in the past, you can’t do anything about it, it’s gone. If you’re worrying about the future, you’re living somewhere that doesn’t exist. It hasn’t happened yet. If you want to change your life, the only place you can do it is in the present. But first you need to accept life as it is
        • Oct 28 2011: Vivek,

          "Wisdom of the body" - I think we are into semantics here. At what level do we call something "responsive", "thinking", then "wisdom"? I acknowledge that some of our organs, say the heart, can beat by itself without guidance from our brain. Is that wisdom? Can we call our body having wisdom, or should we call our collective (body and brain together) as capable of having wisdom? Can our body think? Is the thinking done at the brain or at parts-level?

          If you have said we should listen to our intuition, instead using "wisdom of the body", I would have understood a little better, don't you think? Is there any difference between intuition and "wisdom of the body"?

          Should we listen solely on our intuition? Yes, our intuition - built via all the past life experience - can be a good guide for making most daily decisions. At certain level, it is totally inadequate because there is just no equivalent previous experience for the task at hand. The huge progress afforded by science in the past 200 to 300 years is the result of painstakingly removing personal bias, observational bias and application of strict logic deduction. Intuitively, we know that to put out a fire, we can put water onto the fire. However, if this intuition is applied to fire caused by burning oil, pouring water over the boiling oil will result in explosion and making the situation much worse. Intuition is useful only up to a certain point and we should not take it as all time truth.

          I agree, living in the moment does not imply living beyond our means. What has happened in the last 150 years is that a small fraction of the world's population is consuming disproportionate amount of world's resources and dumping a large amount of green house gas into the atmosphere which every human being share. It would be a hard thing to link the mentality of living at the moment with such irresponsible deeds. ...

          - to be cont'd
        • Oct 28 2011: Living in the moment once a while is good, but a mentality of ignoring the future, over-indulge of the moment's satisfaction, never learn from the past and never consider the future consequences are not good guidelines for proper living. Don't we want to leave a better place for our children and grand children?

          I cannot agree that living with an eye into future is giving up one's power. There are choices to make and there are consequences with the choices. Ignoring any consequences and blindly pick choices which satisfy a moment's sense of power is hardly a good recommendation. Yes, there is a lot of chances and unexpected events in the future, because of these, we do not plan for future? Is that a guideline for living?

          Can we live in the past? No, we cannot. We have already lived the past and there were past actions which affect current choices and there are past burdens which we need to carry onwards until the day we die. Past is the foundation of intuition which you treasure so much. Without the past experience, you would not have the intuition. Time is a one way street, you can look back, but you cannot go back. You can only move forward, at the pace determined by time, you cannot jump forward too.

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