Archive for May, 2012

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Quotes

It is not so important whether you walk on water or walk in space. The true miracle is to walk on earth.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

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Buddhist Mealtime Prayer

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Multimedia
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This food is the gift of the whole universe,
Each morsel is a sacrifice of life,
May I be worthy to receive it.
May the energy in this food,
Give me the strength,
To transform my unwholesome qualities
into wholesome ones.

I am grateful for this food,
May I realize the Path of Awakening,
For the sake of all beings.
Namo Amida Buddha.

Poem by Thich Nhat Hanh

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Poetry

Waking up this morning, I smile
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me
I vow to go through them in mindfulness
And look on all beings with eyes of compassion.

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Quotes
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Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

When a woman of a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, goes to the jungle with other women, and together they pray and meditate until you get to “The song of the child.”

When a child is born, the community gets together and they sing their song. Thus, when the child begins his education, people get together and he sings his song. When you become an adult, they get together again and sing. When it comes to your wedding, the person hears his song. Finally, when your soul is going from this world, family and friends are approaching and, like his birth, sing their song to accompany it in the “journey”.

In this African tribe, there is another occasion when men sing the song. If at some point the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, take you to the center of town and the people of the community form a circle around her. Then they sing “your song.” The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, is the love and memory of his true identity. When we recognize our own song, since we have no desire or need to hurt anyone.

Your friends know “your song”. And sing when you forget it. Those who love you can not be fooled by mistakes you have committed, or dark images you show to others. They remember your beauty as you feel ugly, your total when you’re broke, your innocence when you feel guilty and your purpose when you’re confused. 

Stripped by Jacky

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Poetry
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An egg hatches to present the chick,
A bud blossoms to exhibit the flower,
A cocoon cracks to give forth the butterfly,
A seed sprouts to mature into the tree,
A diamond is polished to display its brilliance.

A man is to be stripped to his very core:
Stripped of his material possessions,
Stripped of his worldly engagements,
Stripped of his emotional attachments,
Stripped of his acquired ideologies,
Stripped of his false identities…
So that he could face God in all honesty,
In nothing but the utter essence of his existence.

Posted: May 23, 2012 in Quotes

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.

– Rabindranath Tagore

Aleph by Paolo Coelho

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Book Notes
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Thou knowest all – I cannot see.
I trust I shall not live in vain,
I know that we shall meet again
In some divine eternity.
– Oscar Wilde, “The True Knowledge”

  • I’ve been trying all my life to find out what my limits are and have never reached them yet. But then my universe doesn’t really help, it keeps expanding and won’t allow me to know it entirely.
  • That’s because, like everyone else on the planet, you believe that time would teach you to grow closer to God. But time doesn’t teach; it merely brings us a sense of weariness and of growing older.
  • It isn’t what you did in the past that will affect the present. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.
  • Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.
  • After weeks on the road, listening to a language you don’t understand, using a currency whose value you don’t comprehend, walking down streets you’ve never walked down before, you discover that your old “I”, along with everything you ever learned, is absolutely no use at all in the face of those new challenges, and you begin to realize that, buried deep in your unconscious mind, there is someone much more interesting and adventurous and more open to the world and to new experiences.
  • God will guide you, because everything you ever experienced or will experience is in the here and now. The world is being created and destroyed in this very moment. Whoever you met will reappear, whoever you lost will return. Don’t betrayed the grace that was bestowed on you. Understand what is going on inside you and you will understand what is going on inside everyone else.
  • … with familiarity came habit.
  • Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been, it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.
    • In theory, every loss is for our good; in practice, though, that is when we question the existence of God and ask ourselves, “What did I do to deserve this?”
  • Anyone truly committed to life never stops walking.
  • we always try to interpret things in accordance with what we want and not as they are.
  • Courage can attract fear and adulation, but willpower requires patience and commitment. Men and women with immense willpower are generally solitary types and give off a kind of coolness.
  • No life is complete without a touch of madness.
  • A life without cause is a life without effect.
  • Words are tears that have been written down. Tears are words that need to be shed. Without them, joy loses all its brilliance and sadness has no end. Thank you, then, for your tears.

No one is a prophet in his own land. – Brazilian saying

  • We always tend to value what comes from afar, never recognizing the beauty around us.
  • A forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same Path are alike. If we continue to travel together, trying to make things fit our world-view, neither of us will benefit.
  • If we seek something, that same thing is seeking us.

What can’t be cured must be endured. – Portuguese Proverb

  • To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life.
  • Don’t think about what you’ll tell people afterwards. The time is here and now. Make the most of it.

Place all your feelings outside of yourself and you will be renewed. – Laozi

  • … but I knew then that we were like the clouds that fill the sky so that you can no longer tell where one ends and another begins… We had children, we honored God and family, then, one day, a wind came and parted the clouds.
  • Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.
  • Anyone who knows God cannot describe him. Anyone who can describe God does not know him.
  • Why have I been complaining all these months about not being in touch with the Divine Energy? What nonsense! We are always in touch with it, it’s only routine that prevents us from feeling it.
  • Times neither moves nor is it stationary. Time changes.
    • We occupy one point in that constantly mutating time – our Aleph.
  • Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us, they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms. For example, I can’t see who is in the next carriage, but it contains people traveling in the same time as me, as you, as everyone. The fact that we can’t speak to them or know what’s going on in that other carriage is completely irrelevant. They are there. So what we call “life” is a train with many carriages. Sometimes we are in one, sometimes we are in another, and sometimes we cross between them, when we dream or allow ourselves to be swept away by the extraordinary.
  • “Why are there so many conflicts then?” “So that the world can evolve, so that the body can change. It’s nothing personal.”
  • If you don’t get up early, you’ll never see the sun rise. If you don’t pray, God may be near, but you won’t feel His presence.

The Path to Peace flows like a river and because it resists nothing, it has won even before it has begun. The art of peace is unbeatable because no one is fighting against anyone, only themselves. If you conquer yourself, then you will conquer the world. – Morihei Ueshiba

First develop a strategy that utilizes everything around you. The best way to prepare for a challenge is to cultivate the ability to call upon an infinite variety of responses.

  • “Where have you been?” is not an empty question. Anyone asking it is also saying “I missed you”, “I want to be with you”, “I need to know what you’ve been up to”.
  • There is always an element of ‘beginner’s luck’, conceived by God simply to show that it’s possible, but after that, the situation goes into reverse and returns to what it was before.
  • Non-resistance: Good fighters use their opponent’s energy and turn it back on them. So the more I waste my energy on words, the less convinced I will be of what I’m saying, and the easier it will be to get the better of me.
  • All I need at the moment is for you to embrace me, a gesture as old as humanity itself, and which means far more than the meeting of two bodies. An embrace means I don’t feel threatened by you, I’m not afraid to be this close, I can relax, feel at home, feel protected and in the presence of someone who understands me. It is said that each time we embrace someone warmly, we gain an extra day of life. So please, embrace me now.
  • The motto of the alchemists was Solve et coagula, which means “separate and bring together”.
  • The trouble with words is that they give us the illusory sense that we are making ourselves understood as well as understanding what others are saying. However, when we turn around and come face to face with our destiny, we discover that words are not enough.
    • A warrior in search of his dream must take his inspiration from what he actually does and not from what he imagines himself doing.
  • Knowing how to appreciate and honor our opponents is a far cry from what flatters, wimps or traitors do.
  • I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and are transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth.
  • I love you like a river which understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows. I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy.
    • I love you like a river that begins as a solitary trickle in the mountains and gradually grows and joins other rivers until, after a certain point, it can flow around any obstacles in order to get where it wants.
    • I receive your love and I give you mine. Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father for a child, not the love of God for his creatures, but a love with no name and no explanation, like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course, but simply onwards. A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return; it is simply there.
  • … for both sexes possess the gift that will allow them to enter into contact with the unknown, as long as they are open to their ‘feminine side.’
  • Is it possible to deviate from the path God has made? Yes, but it’s always a mistake. It is possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experienced it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.
  • Sometimes you have to travel a long way in order to find what is near. When the rain returns to earth, it brings with it the things of the air.
    • The magical and the extraordinary are with me and with everyone in the Universe all the time, but sometimes we forget that and need to be reminded…

To A.P. Kern by Alexander Pushkin

Posted: May 20, 2012 in Poetry
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I remember a wonderful moment
As before my eyes you appeared,
Like a vision, fleeting, momentary,
Like a spirit of the purest beauty.

In the torture of hopeless melancholy,
In the bustle of the world’s noisy hours,
That voice rang out so tenderly,
I dreamed of that lovely face of yours.

The years flew quickly. The storm’s blast
Scattered the dreams of former times,
And I forgot your tender voice,
And the features of your heavenly face.

In remoteness, in gloomy isolation,
My days dragged quietly, nothing was new,
No godlike face, no inspiration,
No tears, no life, no love, no you.

Then to my soul an awakening came,
And there again your face appeared,
Like a vision, fleeting, momentary,
Like a spirit of the purest beauty.

And my heart beat with a rapture new,
And for its sake arose again
A godlike face, an inspiration,
And life, and tears, and love, and you.

______________________________________________

Я помню чудное мгновенье:
Передо мной явилась ты,
Как мимолетное виденье,
Как гений чистой красоты.

В томленьях грусти безнадежной,
В тревогах шумной суеты,
Звучал мне долго голос нежный,
И снились милые черты.

Шли годы. Бурь порыв мятежный
Рассеял прежние мечты,
И я забыл твой голос нежный,
Твои небесные черты.

В глуши, во мраке заточенья
Тянулись тихо дни мои,
Без божества, без вдохновенья,
Без слез, без жизни, без любви.

Душе настало пробужденье,
И вот опять явилась ты,
Как мимолетное виденье,
Как гений чистой красоты.

И сердце бьётся в упоенье,
И для него воскресли вновь
И божество, и вдохновенье,
И жизнь, и слезы, и любовь.

Why Tell Stories

Posted: May 20, 2012 in Short Stories
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When the great Rabbi Israel Shem Tov saw that the Jews were being mistreated, he went into the forest, lit a sacred fire and said a special prayer, asking God to protect his people. And God sent him a miracle.

Later, his disciple Maggid of Mezritch, following in his master’s footsteps, went into the same part of the forest and said: “Master of the Universe, I do not know how to light the sacred fire, but I do know the special prayer; please, hear me!” And the miracle happened again.

A generation passed, and when Rabbi Moshe-leib of Sasov saw how his people were being persecuted, hewent into the forest and said: “I don’t know how to light the sacred fire, nor do I know the special prayer, but I still remember the place. Help us, O Lord!” And the Lord helped them.

Fifty years later, Rabbi Israel of Rizhin, in his wheelchair, spoke to God, saying: “I don’t know how to light the sacred fire nor do I know the special prayer, and I can’t even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell this story and hope that God will hear me.”

[Taken from Aleph by Paolo Coelho]