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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Complaints and the Mind

An aspiring monk was searching for a Guru. He went to a monastery and there his preceptor told him, "You can Study and Meditate here but we have one important rule that, all the students have to observe complete silence. You will be allowed to speak only once in 12 years time." The young monk agreed.

After meditating, studying and practicing in silence for 12 long years the day came when the student could say any one thing or ask his one question. So the monk said, "The bed is too hard."

Then he kept going for another 12 years with silent meditation and got the opportunity to speak once again. He said, "The food is not at all good."

Twelve more years of hard work and he got to speak again. Here are his words after 36 years of difficult spiritual practices, "I quit!!"

The Master of the monastery quickly answered, "Good, anyway all you have been doing was nothing but complaining!"

Moral of the Story ....J

Friends, although externally we seem to be silent, we remain busy with our internal dialogue of complaining and feeling sorry for ourselves. For most of us, this is the way of life ….complaining, judging, blaming, feeling unfairly treated, disrespected, etc. etc.…. all the usual rubbish that the mind loves to chew on.

The feeling of deep gratitude can arise only when we become aware of what existence is giving to us. In fact, we have nothing to give in return. We may not be worthy of it at all, we may not deserve it, still the flowers bloom, the sun rises, the moon shines, the stars twinkle and the clouds keep showering rains…. The existence goes on giving, whether we take any note of it or not….It just showers on us….

Friends, our attitude towards life is our own choice. Whether we choose gratitude or complaint, that is exactly what life will reflect back to us. A complaining mind is never at peace….!!

Have a Blissful Day Friends, without any Complaints!! J

Friday, July 22, 2011

Butter & Stones. Buddhist Story

In Buddha’s days, Priests of a certain religion used to charge money for a ritual prayer that promised to release a dead person’s soul from hell, so that he could go to heaven. At one point in the prayer they struck an urn full of stones with a ritual hammer. According to their teaching, if the urn broke and the stones were released, it was a sign that the soul was also released. (Of course, the brittle clay could not withstand the blow of the heavy metal hammer).

Once a young man, distraught over his father’s death, went to the Buddha, believing that the Buddha's teaching was a newer, greater form of religion, and asked him for a ritual which would release his father’s soul. The Buddha told him to obtain two of the ritual urns from the priests, and fill one with butter and the other with stones. The young man, believing he was about to get a more powerful ritual, was very happy and did as the Buddha asked him to do.

When the young man returned, the Buddha told him to place the urns carefully in the river, so that the rim of the urn was just below the surface. Then he instructed him to recite the usual prayer of the priests, and strike both urns under the water with the hammer, at the usual point in the prayer, then come back and describe what happened. The young man, very excited to be the first person to be given this wonderful new ritual, more effective than the old, did exactly as he was told.

On his return, the Buddha asked him to describe what he saw. The young man replied, "I saw nothing unusual. When I smashed the urns, the stones sank to the bottom of the river and the butter was washed away on the surface of the river."

The Buddha said, "Now please ask your priests to pray that the butter should sink and the stones should float to the surface!"

The young man, shocked by the obvious ridiculousness of the Buddha’s request said, "...But no matter how much the priests pray, the stones will never float and the butter will not sink."
The Buddha smiled and replied, "Exactly so. It is the same with your father. Whatever good, kind, caring actions he has done during his life time will make him rise towards the heaven, and whatever bad, cruel, selfish actions he has done will make him sink towards the hell. And remember, there is not a thing that all the prayers and rituals of the priests can do to alter even a tiny part of the results of his actions! ..."

Moral of the Story ...

Friends, a man wandering in immense darkness, groping his way, clings to anything that gives a little hope, a little light.

Certainly each action has its result, but not somewhere far away in a future life. The action and the result are continuous, they are part of one process. What begins in sowing the seed, grows, and one day the one seed has become thousands of seeds. That's what we call our crop. It is the same seed which has exploded into thousands of seeds.

Friends, nothing can be done about the past, but much can be done about the future. To change the future is to change everything. If we start changing our ways of life, our ways of awareness and when we start understanding the laws of life... the fundamental laws, the law of karma ...whatsoever we do, we will have to reap.

No death is intervening, no afterlife is needed, it is just a continuum....!!

Have a Great Day Friends !

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No Mind

There was a rich man in a town, who once decided to go on a long pilgrimage. He had a big palace and many servants. Before leaving on his journey, the rich man called all his servants and told them, “I am going on a long pilgrimage, so one by one, in a rotation you all will have to be on guard. I am not sure about how long my journey will take. The pilgrimage is hazardous, and I may come back or may not come back, but this palace, the beautiful garden and everything has to be as it is.”
The servants said, “Of course Sir. Whatsoever you say we will do.”

The man went away. Days and months and then years passed … and slowly the servants started forgetting that they were only the servants, the caretakers. The master was missing for so long…. Each servant slowly started pretending that he was the master of the palace. Many years passed and then the servants completely forgot about the master. They declared to the whole town, “We are the masters” and even the people started believing them.

And one fine day, the master suddenly returned and stood at the door. The servants looked at him, came back to their senses and fell at his feet, “Sir, you are back…!”

The rich man replied, “Why? I had told you that my pilgrimage may take a long time...!”

All the servants cried out, “Forgive us Sir! We had forgotten you completely and became the masters of this palace. We enjoyed being the master so much that, we declared in the town that we are the masters. Even the people started believing that we are the masters….!”

Moral of the Story ….

Friends, the same is the case with most of us. We are absent but our mind, which is supposed to be just a servant, a slave, is acting as the master. In fact, there is no question of the master going anywhere, because once he arrives, he never goes. In our case, perhaps the master has never been at home. Our thoughts which we call our mind, certainly and confidently believe that they are the masters.

Can a servant watch another servant? Similarly, a thought cannot watch another thought …. that is impossible. Therefore, even if a thought arises in the mind that, “I am watching,” one has missed. It was only a thought. If the watcher is present, one will never even have the thought that, “I am watching it”. This means, one was just on the verge of getting it and missed it completely. The mind has entered in….

It is always the mind that gets a thought, the real watcher simply watches with total silence, without any activity. In such a moment, the actual seeing, knowing and experiencing happens ….without indulging in a thought process.

Why are we not in a position to experience Life simply as a watcher, without any thought?

Friends, one needs to learn this knack. For past many lives, our mind has been trained, conditioned, to think every experience in words…not in silence….!

Wish you a Blissful Life with “No-Mind” Friends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Japanese Cups

A student asked the Zen Master, Suzuki Roshi, “Why do the Japanese make their teacups so thin and delicate that they break easily?”

"It's not that the cups are too delicate," the master answered, "but they break easily just because you don't know how to handle them. You must adjust yourself to the environment, and not vice versa! The delicate Japanese cups are the reminders for you to be aware of this fact!"

Moral of the story ....

Friends, most of our miseries arise because we are not ready to adjust ourselves according to our surroundings or we don't allow the change to happen. We cling to our ideas.

A man of awareness knows that life means constantly changing. To accept the nature of life, to accept this existence, with all its seasons and moods, this constant flow which never stops for a single moment, only leads to bliss! Most of us want to live without any change in our lives, which means we are asking for the impossible.

Friends, a man of awareness becomes courageous enough to accept the phenomenon of change and in this very acceptance is the bliss. Then everything becomes good, and one never gets frustrated ....because one has never asked for anything.

Live a Meaningful Day Friends !

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Prayer: Buddhist story

A woman called Nuyen used to recite Buddha’s name daily. Although she was reciting Buddha’s name for over 10 years, she was still quite mean, aggressive and used to often shout at people all the time. She usually used to starts her practice by lighting incense and hitting a little bell.

Once her friend wanted to teach her a lesson, so as she began her chanting and prayer, the friend came to her door and called out, "Miss Nuyen, Miss Nuyen!".

As this was the time for her prayers and chanting the woman got annoyed, but she said to herself, "I have to struggle against my anger, so I will just ignore it."

She continued reciting Buddha’s name. The man also continued to call her name, as she became more and more oppressive. But the woman kept struggling against her anger and wondered whether she should stop the recitation to give the man a piece of her mind, but she continued reciting.

The man outside also continued shouting her name, “Miss Nuyen, Miss Nuyen, Miss Nuyen...."

The woman could not stand it anymore, so she stopped her chanting of Buddha’s name, jumped to her feet, slammed the door and went to the gate and shouted at the man, "Why do you have to behave like this? I am doing my recitation and you are shouting my name over and over!"

The gentleman smiled at her and said, "I called your name just for five minutes and you are so angry. But you have been calling Buddha's name for more than ten years now. Can you imagine how angry he must be by now...!"

Moral of the Story ....

Friends, prayer means only listening to god. Even if one has to say something, one can only thank the God with tremendous feeling of gratitude. 

Prayer is not a technique, not a ritual or not a formality. It is only a spontaneous outpouring of the heart. Prayer is not in the expression or in the container, it is always in the content. Prayer is a silence.

Friends, God does not speak from the outside, he speaks from our innermost core, he is already there. And to remain connected with our innermost core is the true prayer.

Have a Nice Day Friends !

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Find Your Starfish!!

Ryokan was a Zen teacher of repute.

One day a fisherman saw him walking on the beach soon after a storm. 
The storm had washed up thousands of starfish on the shore, and they were beginning to dry up. Soon all of them would be dead.

Ryokan was picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the sea.
The fisherman caught up with Ryokan and said, “Surely, you cannot throw all these starfish back into the sea. They will die in their thousands here. I’ve seen it happening before. Your effort will make no difference.”

“It will to this one,” said Ryokan, throwing back another starfish into the sea.....and he continued doing so....!

Moral of the Story ....

Friends, there is something very special in each one of us.

We may not be able to please everybody, but we have all been gifted with the ability to bring in a difference in other’s life. If we can only become aware of this gift, we can gain the power to infuse life in others and can shape many futures through the strength of our visions.

Friends, each one of us should find our starfish. If we throw our starfish wisely and well in time, I am sure, the world will be blessed.

Have a Blissful Day !!

Mrs. Sangeeta Hegde