Archive for April, 2009

The Things We Take for Granted

April 30, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Most of us begin our days with a continuous list of things we need to do to keep our lives running smoothly, but we rarely take time to note all the things we don’t need to do. For example, we don’t need to figure out how to breathe. We don’t need to find a way to make sure the earth continues to revolve around the sun. We don’t need to concentrate to ensure that our heart beats and our cells regenerate. All of these things, and many more, take care of themselves without our having to think or do anything at all. This is the miracle of life on earth.

Beyond the wonder of the natural world, we have the wonder of human-created conditions such as indoor plumbing, electricity, automobiles, airplanes, telephones, and the Internet to name a few. Someone living just a hundred years ago would be overwhelmed by the ease with which we can communicate with people all over the world. Every day, millions of us jump on airplanes and fly to distant locations in a matter of hours. If we have access to a computer, we can read obscure information about any subject, free of charge, at any time of the day or night. And yet, it’s only when one of these miraculous inventions fails that we notice it at all.

When you wake up tomorrow, take time to notice how many things are running smoothly, how many small miracles compose your day. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, as you put them on, take a moment to appreciate the fact that without them, you would be unable to see. Your life would be entirely different if someone hadn’t invented corrective lenses. As you take in your world, you might feel a moment of gratitude for the basic fact that, once again, the sun has risen to illuminate the abundant earth, and the earth’s gravitational field holds you and all that you hold dear in a tight, life-affirming embrace.

The Nature of Interbeing

April 29, 2009

[ By Thich Nhat Hanh ]

If you know how to look deeply

into Shakyamuni Buddha

you will see the Buddha of the cosmos

everywhere at anytime.

He is not limited to time and space

because there are many manifested bodies

of  Shakyamuni in the world

for you to see, to teach, to touch

and to learn from.

If you know how to listen,

the sound of the wind

can be the teaching

about the Four Noble Truths.

If you know how to listen to the birds,

The sounds of the birds can be

The teaching of the Noble Eightfold path.

If you know how to contemplate

the sunflowers

The sunflowers can reveal the

Buddha – land to you.

If you know how to look,

how to touch deeply,

you will become birthless and deathless.

Because that is the nature of everything.

You are in everything else,

everything else is in you.

Birth and death are just notions

That scare us,

And if you are able to remove the notions,

You get the gift of non-fear

And only with non – fear can true happiness be possible.

 

 

 

A Question of Balance

April 29, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

One of the most beautiful qualities of an intimate relationship is the give and take of energy that occurs between two people. In the best-case scenario, both people share the talking and listening, and the giving and receiving of support, equally. Occasionally, within any relationship, the balance shifts and one person needs to listen more, or give more. Generally, over a long period of time, even this exception will take on a balanced rhythm; we all go through times when we take more and times when we give more.

However, there are also relationships in which the balance has always felt one-sided. You may have a friend whom you like, but you have begun to notice that the conversation is always about their life and their problems and never about yours. You may also have a friend who seems to require an inordinate amount of support from you but who is unable or unwilling to give much in return. Over time, these relationships can be draining and unsatisfying. One option is simply to end the relationship, or let it fade out naturally. Another option is to communicate to your friend that you would like to create a more equal balance in which your concerns also get some airtime. They may be taken aback at first, but if they are able to hear you, your friendship will become that much more sincere. They may even thank you for revealing a pattern that is probably sabotaging more than one relationship in their life.

A third option is to simply accept the relationship as it is. There are many one-sided relationships that actually work. One example of this is a mentor relationship in which you are learning from someone. Another example is a relationship in which you are helping someone who is sick, disabled, or otherwise needy. In these instances, you can simply be grateful that you are able to help and be helped, trusting that the balance of give and take will even out in the big picture of your life.

The Sun Is Always Shining

April 27, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

There are times when gloom or darkness causes us to momentarily lose sight of the light. Although it is at these times when the thought of the sun can help us. Its warm, glowing rays brighten even our thoughts, and it’s good to remember that despite appearances the sun is shining right now. We may not be able to see it at this very moment, but if clouds block our view, they are only filtering the sun’s light temporarily. If darkness has fallen, we know that the sun is still shining at this very moment somewhere not too far away, and it’s only a matter of time before it will shine on us again.

When we remember that the sun is still shining, we know that things are still in motion in the universe. Even if life feels like it is at a standstill, sometimes all we need to do is have faith and wait for the time when everything is in its perfect place. Or we can we can choose to follow the cues of the sun and continue doing our work and shining our light, even when we can’t yet see results. In doing so we exercise our patience, making sure we are prepared when opportunity knocks and all other elements are in their right and perfect places.

The sun also reminds us that our own shining truth is never extinguished. Our light shines within us at all times, no matter what else occurs around us. Though the sun gives us daily proof of its existence, sometimes our belief in our own light requires more time. If we think back, however, we can find moments when it showed itself and trust that we will see it again. Like the sun, our light is the energy that connects us to the movements of the universe and the cycles of life and is present at all times, whether we feel its glow or not.

Life is like a seesaw

April 25, 2009

From http://mini528.pixnet.net/blog:

Kindness

April 24, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

In the quest to create a gentler, more loving world, kindness is the easiest tool we can use. Though it is easy to overlook opportunities to be kind, our lives are replete with situations in which we can be helpful, considerate, thoughtful, and friendly to loved ones and associates, as well as strangers. The touching, selfless acts of kindness that have the most profoundly uplifting effects are often the simplest: a word of praise, a gentle touch, a helping hand, a gesture of courtesy, or a smile. Such small kindnesses represent an unconditional, unrestricted form of love that we are free to give or withhold at will. When you give the gift of kindness, whether in the form of assistance, concern, or friendliness, your actions create a beacon of happiness and hope that warms people’s hearts.

The components of kindness are compassion, respect, and generosity. Put simply, kindness is the conscious act of engaging others in a positive way without asking whether those individuals deserve to be treated kindly. All living beings thrive on kindness. A single, sincere compliment can turn a person’s entire world around. Holding a door or thanking someone who has held a door for you can inspire others to practice politeness and make already kind individuals feel good about their efforts. Smiling at people you meet—even those who make you feel like frowning—can turn a dreary encounter into a delightful one, for both of you. Every kind act has a positive influence on the individual who has performed said act as well as on the recipient, regardless of whether the act is acknowledged. Kindness brings about more kindness and slowly but surely takes a positive toll on humanity.

Weaving the thread of kindness into your everyday life can be as easy as choosing to offer a hearty “Good morning” and “Good night” to your coworkers or neighbors, a stranger on the street, or the grocery store clerk. When you commit a kind act, you are momentarily disconnected from your ego and bonded with the individual who has benefited from your kindness. Being fully present in each moment of your life facilitates kindness as it increases your awareness of the people around you. You’ll discover that each act of kindness you engage in makes the world, in some small way, a better place.

The Teaching of the Butterfly

April 23, 2009

[By Tan Hwee –Meng, published in Lapis News]

A short extract :

“ One day, a small opening appeared in a cocoon. A man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then, it seemed to stop making any progress.

It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further. So the man decided to help the butterfly: he took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily.

But it had a withered body. It was tiny and had shriveled wings. The man continued to watch because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly’s body, and become firm.

Neither happened!

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and his goodwill, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. “

I have read many variations of the famous story and this particular version is currently circulating around the Internet. The butterfly offers a wise and important teaching on the value of our human struggles.

Our struggles and problems are not accidental freaks of the Universal. Nor are they haphazard occurrences. Nor are they are sent by someone out there to punish us. Consider them as gifts of love. They are designed by a deeper part of us – a wiser and more loving part of us that wants us to fly like a butterfly.

Consider that everything that has ever happened to us is happening as it should happen. So, every problem, every difficulty and every issue we have in our life now is there because they are somehow necessary to our growth.

I would like to share this wonderful exercise adapted from Jack Kornfield to help you find the treasures that lie in your obstacles.

Struggles are an essential part of life. How you choose to relate to them is up to you. You can see yourself as a victim of the universal and spend your whole life blaming. Or you can embrace struggle as a necessary process of life that transforms you into a spiritually human being.

No one can make this choice for you. Your parents cannot do this for you. Your friends cannot do this for you. Only out of your commitment to your own inner growth will you make this choice to bow down to your difficulties as great teachers.

I asked for Strength and Life sent me difficulties to bear

 I asked for Wisdom and Life sent me problems to solve.

I asked for Love and Life sent me troublesome people to forgive.

Reflecting on difficulty

[By Jack Kornfield]

Sit quietly, feeling the rhythm of your breathing, allowing yourself to become calm and receptive. Then think of a difficulty that you face in your life. As you sense this difficulty, notice how it affects your body, heart, and mind. Feeling it carefully, begin to ask yourself a few questions, listening inwardly for their answers.

How have I treated this difficulty so far?

How have my own responses and reactions to the difficulty caused me suffering?

What does this problem ask me to let go of?

What suffering is unavoidable?

What great lesson might it be able to teach me?

What is the gold, the treasure, and the value, hidden in this situation?

In using this reflection to consider your difficulties, the understanding and openings may come slowly. Take your time. As with all meditations, it can be helpful to repeat this reflection a number of times, listening each time for deeper answers from your body, heart and spirit.

Withholding

April 23, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

The most common form of withholding is what we commonly call “the silent treatment,” but withholding encompasses any unwillingness to express your true feelings. It also includes an unwillingness to give support, praise, or positive attention to the people you love. We have all known someone who is impossible to please, and many of us have suddenly found ourselves at the other end of a chilly silence with no explanation. At the same time, many of us will recognize our own tendency to withhold our emotions rather than express them. Most of us have seen both sides of the withholding dilemma. Emotional pain is at the root of our tendency to withhold, and withholding causes pain to the people subjected to it. It is a dysfunctional pattern that creates a breakdown in communication and understanding.

No one deserves to be subjected to withholding. Feeling ignored, disrespected, or shut out, and to not know why, is a terrible feeling. The first thing to remember if this is happening to you is that you are not to blame. You are caught in someone else’s pain pattern. This person does not know how to express feelings in a healthy way probably because this is what they learned when she or he was a child. The second helpful thing to remember is that the withholder is acting out of pain. They are stuck in a habitual mode of response that is self-defeating and alienating to the people they love. Remembering this will help you feel compassion for the person hurting you. However, if you have suffered too long with this pattern, you may need to get some space. Take some time to look at your own patterns and understand why you have taken part in this drama. If you are dealing with people in a family situation, you can step up to the plate to help break the chain of this behavior pattern.

If, on the other hand, it is you that tends to withhold, understand that this is a learned response and it can be unlearned. Find safe places to begin to express all that you’ve been holding back. Begin to make an effort to say what you’re feeling and thinking. Give praise to someone you love. The more you do this, the healthier you and your relationships will become. What was learned over a course of a life cannot be changed overnight—remember, one day at a time.

Mahatma Gandhi Qutoes

April 22, 2009

 

The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children.

 
They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.

 
Faith must be enforced by reason. When faith becomes blind it dies.

 
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.

 
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

 
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

 
Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message will be rejected.

 
We must become the change we want to see.

 
Nonviolence is the weapon of the strong.

 
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

 
No body can hurt me without my permission.

 

Acting Together for Good

April 22, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Cooperation seems simple: working together toward a common goal for the benefit of all involved. But amazingly it can be quite challenging, even when we have so many successful examples all around us. Human society is based upon the concept of cooperation, but finding a balance to ensure the good of all members of society is difficult. In nature, symbiotic relationships form between unlikely allies: a bee and a flower, a bird and a rhinoceros, small fish and sharks. Yet nature also shows us instances of constant competition in which only the strongest survive. Given the choice, it seems most people would choose the more peaceful path of cooperation. Intellectually, we know that together we can create something greater than what one could do alone, but cooperation still seems to be one of the greatest challenges people face. We don’t always agree on how goals can be reached. Our priorities may be different, or our methods, but in the end, cooperation offers the best chance for success.

So how can we learn to cooperate with each other? We can gain greater perspective by trying to understand one another’s point of view, perhaps even putting ourselves in their place. We can search for commonalities as well as differences, and look for the good in different approaches. There is always more than one way of doing things, and some approaches are better suited for certain situations than others. All this is easier when we let go of the necessity to be right and to call others wrong. More important, we must believe that there is a solution that benefits all involved, not just one side.

The results of cooperation can be as simple as effortlessly getting everyone in your household to their appointments to large-scale social shifts to changing minds and hearts or policies that affect the future.

Appreciating What Is

April 21, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

In each stage of life, there are wonderful experiences one can savor and valuable insights one can absorb. Every new decade and, in fact, every new year brings with it wisdom, transformation, and growth, as well as ends and beginnings. Many people, however, believe that there is one age that eclipses the others. They expend energy trying to reach it and, once it has passed, trying to retain it. But wishing to be younger or older is a denial of the joys that have been and the joys yet to be, as well as the beauty of your life in the present. Holding on to one age can make it difficult to appreciate each new milestone you reach. Taking pleasure in the delights of your age, whether you are in your 20s, 40s, 60s, or 80s, can help you see the magnificence and usefulness of the complex seasons of your life.

Each new year gifted to us by the universe is replete with exciting and unfamiliar experiences. In our 20s, we can embrace the energy of youth and the learning process, knowing it’s okay to not have all the answers. As we move through our third decade, we grow more self-assured as the confusion of our young adulthood melts away. We can honor these years by putting aside our fears of aging and concentrating instead on solidifying our values and enjoying our growing emotional maturity. In our 40s, we become conscious of the wisdom we have attained through life experience and are blessed with the ability to put it to good use. We are not afraid to explore unfamiliar territory or to change. In our 50s, we tend to have successfully navigated our midlife reevaluations and have prioritized our lives. In the decades beyond, we discover a greater sense of freedom than we have ever known and can truly enjoy the memory of all we’ve seen and done.

Try to enjoy the age you are at now, for each age presents its own unique wisdom to savor.

Kiss the Earth

April 18, 2009

 

[ By Thich Nhat Hanh]

Walk and touch peace every moment.

Walk and touch happiness every moment.

Each step brings a fresh breeze.

Each step makes a flower bloom.

Kiss the Earth with your feet.

Bring the Earth your love and happiness.

The Earth will be safe

when we feel safe in ourselves.

 

 

 

Power in Numbers

April 18, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Like tiny ripples that merge to form great waves, combined human intent is worth more than the sum of its parts. A single individual can initiate worldwide improvement by emitting conscious frequencies of love, beauty, goodness, and wisdom. A group of people focusing their energy on sending out light to the world can set the stage for positive global transformation. All of us possess the ability to channel love energy, to heal, to be a conduit for white light, and to positively influence our fellow humans from afar. Yet one person can only do so much. Imagine if each one of us took a few moments at the start of each day to send out light to the world from our hearts. Mother Earth would be quickly eased and the planet, as well as every organism and being on it, would be bathed in loving light. The world would be an infinitely beautiful place.

You can help bring about an earth where love triumphs over violence, air and water are nourishing in their purity, and people take pleasure in simply being alive. Alone, the light you emit is a wonderful healing tool, but when you join with others who share your intent to shine compassion and positive energy over the world, a powerful force is created. Your collective consciousness and collective light will wash over the planet, enveloping people, communities, cities, countries, and continents. Inviting others to send light with you can be a daunting task. People may question the benefits of sending light to an already broken world. You will likely need to explain that each person’s light joins with every other, and through the joining all are strengthened. Assure them that what matters is not technique or what religion or beliefs you hold but intent.

As more people come in mindfulness to send their collective light to the world, the power of their planetary gift will increase exponentially. You may already be affiliated with groups that would gladly participate in such a noble project. Children, who often feel incapable of influencing their world yet are reservoirs of innate power are usually enthusiastic about sharing their collective light. As you gather together willing people, your individual intent will become a great and powerful wave, and you will see results in your fellow humans, in the news, and in your daily life.

Mindfulness

April 17, 2009

[ By Joh Kabat Zinn ]

Have you ever had the experience of stopping so completely,
of being in your body so completely,
of being in your life so completely,
that what you knew and what you didn’t know,
that what had been and what was yet to come,
and the way things are right now,
no longer held even the slightest hint of anxiety or discord,
a moment of complete presence beyond striving,
beyond mere acceptance,
beyond the desire to escape or fix anything or plunge ahead,
a moment of pure being,
no longer in time,
a moment of pure seeing, pure feeling,
a moment in which life simply is,
and that is-ness grabs you by all your senses, all your memories,
by your very genes, by your loves, and welcomes you home,
that is a taste of mindfulness.

Smile Quotes

April 16, 2009

Smile to bring peace and happiness for you and me. Keep smiling  🙂

All people smile in the same language.
— Proverb

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
— Phyllis Diller

A smile is a powerful weapon; you can even break ice with it.
— Author Unknown

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.
— Author Unknown

A smile is the universal welcome.
— Max Eastman

Every day you spend without a smile, is a lost day.
— Author Unknown

If you don’t have a smile, I’ll give you one of mine.
— Author Unknown

If you don’t start out the day with a smile, it’s not too late to start practicing for tomorrow.
— Author Unknown

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.
— Andy Rooney

It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown.
— Author Unknown

I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.
— Author Unknown

The world always looks brighter from behind a smile.
— Author Unknown

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a
caring, sharing person inside.
—  Denis Waitley
 
If you sees friend without a smile, give him one of yours.
— Proverb
 
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness
— William Arthur Ward
 
Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.
— Anthony j. D’Angelo

Peace begins with a smile.
— Mother Teresa

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
–Mother Teresa

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
— Mother Teresa

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
— Steve Maraboli

Always wears a smile. The gift of life will then be yours to give.
— Rabbi Nachman

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

If in our daiy life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.
— Thich Nhat Hanh