Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Teachings Of Buddha


Within this fathom - long body with its sense impressions and its thoughts and ideas, I do declare to you, are the world and the origin of the world and the cessation of the world and likewise the way that leads to its cessation. 

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. 
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom. 

When we are thinking generously, we give allowance to the inconsiderate, the unkind, the selfish and mean people in the world. Thereupon, we become generous in our speech; to speak well of others behind their backs, to rejoice in their success, to understand their errors. Then our deeds become generous too. 

Do not think of the past; do not worry about the future. What is past is gone; the future has not come. Use your wisdom and pay attention to the present. Do your work today itself. 

If you see things with real insight, then there is no stickiness in your relationship to them. They come - pleasant and unpleasant - you see them and there is no attachment. They come and they pass. Even if the worst kinds of defilement come up, such as greed or anger, there's enough wisdom to see their impermanent nature and allow them to just fade away. If you react to them, however, by liking or disliking, that isn't wisdom. You're only creating more suffering for yourself. 

People are always looking outwards, at people and things. They are so busy looking around and having opinions about what they see that they have no time to look at themselves. 

A clever person watches others, but he watches with wisdom, not with ignorance. If one watches with wisdom, one can learn much. But if one watches with ignorance, one can only find faults. 

The one who has ceased to search for a permanent self among things that are transient is no longer a slave to his desires. He has found the means of controlling those clamouring selves. He has won deliverance from them. He has found the peace of Nirvana.

Monday, 29 November 2010

9 Things You Didn't Know About Sleep


              Eight hours of sleep every night was once considered the norm. However, society has become so fast-paced that many working adults are surviving on less sleep than before. Many feel that there is too much to do within a day, and hence make do with as little as four to five hours of sleep a day. Such voluntary sleep deprivation can have significant adverse effects on one's day-to-day performance and result in numerous health problems in the long run. 
              So before you dismiss those eight hours in bed as a waste of precious time, read on to learn why sleep is so crucial to one's health and well-being. 


The link between sleep and memory

              Have you been having problems remembering things lately?
              Before you panic and start to wonder if you are showing signs of dementia, ask yourself if you have been sleeping well. 
              Dr Ng Beng Yeong and Dr Victor Kwok from Singapore General Hospital note that people who sleep poorly tend to be more forgetful. This is because sleep is a time when memories get consolidated. Hence, when you don't sleep well, your brain is unable to properly process and store your memories.


Stave off Alzheimer's - in bed 

              If you are worried about developing Alzheimer's disease, one thing you can do to reduce your risks of developing this form of dementia is to get sufficient sleep. 
              Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a plaque-like substance - composed primarily of a protein fragment called amyloid beta - that builds up in the brain. 
              Sleep results in the clearance of amyloid beta, says Professor Michael Chee from the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory and Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders Program at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. Hence, if you want to minimise amyloid beta buildup, you should make sure that you get enough sleep.


"I'm making the right decision...am I?" 

              Chronic sleep loss can actually distort your perception of your own abilities.
              Prof Chee says that people who chronically lose sleep are not able to tell how badly their cognitive brain functions are affected.
              Moreover, sleep deprivation can dangerously affect decision making in risky situations such as driving, he adds.
              Sleep-deprived people are also more likely to make poor decisions because they struggle to remember and interpret important information. Their decisions are based on faulty or incomplete information collected and logged by a sleepy brain, say researchers from Washington State University.


Sleep more, lose weight 

              Lack of sleep actually affects the body's metabolism, notes Prof Chee. This increases one's chances of gaining weight or even becoming obese.
              Sleep loss also affects one's overall health. "People who sleep less than they need are less likely to take part in activities that improve health. They tend not to exercise, eat unhealthy foods and engage in less leisure activities," he adds.


Power naps 

              A short siesta in the afternoon can be good for you, research has shown. 
              However, Dr Lim Li Ling, a consultant neurologist in private practice, advises against taking long daytime naps unless one is sleep deprived.
              "Afternoon naps, if taken, should not exceed 20 to 30 minutes," says Dr Lim, who is also the Director of the Sleep Disorders Unit at Singapore General Hospital. Long naps can make it harder to fall asleep at bedtime.


Should I work out or not? 

              Exercise is good for one's overall health. However, Dr Lim cautions against vigorous physical activity too close to bedtime.
              Aerobic exercises such as running, swimming or cycling may make you tired, but the adrenaline produced during vigorous workouts can actually interfere with sleep. 
              Dr Lim says that one should not engage in vigorous exercise four hours before sleep.


Caffeine fiend 

              If you drink coffee regularly, try not to do so after lunchtime.
              Dr Ng and Dr Kwok say that it takes approximately five hours for your body to remove just half the amount of caffeine in the coffee you imbibe.


More dangerous than a drunkard 

              Be careful if you cannot get enough sleep, especially if you are driving or operating machinery. 
              Dr Ng and Dr Kwok say that prolonged sleep deprivation can significantly impair one's alertness and brain function.
              A person with sleep deprivation may perform even worse than someone who is drunk, they add.


Bananas a cure for insomnia? 

              Countless magazines and lifestyle resources recommend taking a glass of milk or eating a banana in order to make you sleepy. Such foods contain tryptophan, an amino-acid which has been linked to sleep.
              However, such "tryptophan snacks" have not been shown to induce sleep, say Dr Ng and Dr Kwok. 
              In fact, some health resources note that over twenty glasses of milk would be needed in order to provide sufficient levels of tryptophan to make one sleepy.

- Source Unknown 

Sunday, 28 November 2010

A Parable


In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their groups ever came back after crawling up the stem of the lilies to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realized that if they could ever see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number. The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation, which we call death, is no proof that they cease to exit. - Walter Dudley Cavert 

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Life - Quotes


… does not require us to make good; it asks only that we give our best at each level of experience. - Harold Ruopp

… appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs. - Charlotte Bronte

… finds its purpose and fulfilment in the expansion of happiness. - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 

… has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery 

… takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. - Les Brown

… was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. - Eleanor Roosevelt

… consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well. - Josh Billings

… will always be to a large extent what we ourselves make it. - Samuel Smiles

… asks of every individual a contribution and it is up to that individual to discover what it should be. - Viktor Frnakl

… tends to respond to our outlook, to shape itself to meet our expectations. - Richard M. Devos

… does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. - George Bernard Shaw

… without liberty is like a body without spirit. - Kahlil Gibran 

… seems but a quick succession of busy nothings. - Jane Austen

… has a value only when it has something valuable as it subject. - Hegel

… shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. - Anais Nin

… does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. - Annette Funicello

… isn’t all beer and skittles. - Thomas Hughes

… must be lived as play. - Plato

… may be short, but there is more than enough time for anyone to achieve something significant. 

… affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties. 

… rewards those who persevere.

… changes when we change.

… consists of little short moments. 

Friday, 26 November 2010

A Drunk’s Observation


              A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected: 
A Litre of low fat milk, 
A carton of eggs, 
A Litre of orange juice, 
A head of lettuce, 
A can of coffee, and
A pack of bacon. 
              As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. 
              While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated, “You must be single.” 
              The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was intrigued by the derelict’s intuition, since she was indeed single. 
              She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status. 
              Curiosity getting the better of her, she said, “Well, you know what, you’re absolutely correct. But how on earth did you know that?”
              The drunk replied, “’Cause you’re ugly.”

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Laughter - Quotes


Laughter is man's most distinctive emotional expression. Man shares the capacity for love and hate, anger and fear, loyalty and grief with other living creatures. But humour, which has an intellectual as well as emotional element, belongs to man. - Unknown

If we consider the frequent reliefs we receive from laughter and how often it breaks the gloom which is apt to depress the mind and damp our spirits, with transient, unexpected gleams of joy, one would take care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life. - Joseph Addison

It may be possible to incorporate laughter into daily activities, just as is done with other heart-healthy activities, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The recommendation for a healthy heart may one day be exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day. - Michael Miller

Laughter is the evidence we are still here, proof that our tragedies will not define us forever. Laughter is the language of the survivor. - John Riebock

The best blush to use is laughter: It put roses in your cheeks and in your soul. - Linda Knight 

Once you get people laughing, they are listening, and you can tell them almost anything. - Herbert Gardner 

Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of the heart. - Mort Walker 

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing. - Unknown 

Of all the absurdly silly things human beings do, laughing ought to be among the hardest to explain. - Unknown 

Laughter is the most healthful exertion. - Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland 

People who laugh actually live longer than those who don’t laugh. Few persons realize that health actually varies according to the amount of laughter. - James J. Walsh

There is always a secret irritation about a laugh into which we cannot join. - Agnes Repplier 

One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

That is best – to laugh with someone because you both think the same thing is funny. - Gloria Vanderbilt

The burden of the self is lightened when I laugh at myself. - Rabindranath Tagore

Laughter is, after speech, the chief thing that holds society together. - Max Eastman 

If you don’t learn to laugh at troubles, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old. - Edward W. Howe 

I have always believed that a good laugh was good for both the mental and physical digestion. - Abraham Lincoln

A laugh, if purchased at the expense of propriety, costs too much. - Marcus Fabius Quintilian

Laughter is the gift of love, the music of the soul, and the essence of humanity. - Unknown

Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors. - Norman Cousins

So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter. - Gordon W. Allport

No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad. - Thomas Carlyle

Laugh when you can; cry when you must. - Unknown 

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing. - Ken Kesey

He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh. - The Koran 

Laughter translates into any language. - Unknown 

Laugh at yourself first, before anybody else can. - Elsa Maxwell

It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it. - Seneca

Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain. - Charlie Chaplin 

A laugh is a smile that bursts. - Mary H. Waldrip

Laughter is a tranquilliser with no side effects. - Arnold Glasow

Laughter is medicine for the heart. - Unknown 

Laughter between two is sometimes a closer act of love than any other. - Unknown 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Proverbs


A proverb is the wisdom of many and the wit of one. - Lord John Russell 

Indecision is like a stepchild: if he does not wash his hands, he is called dirty, if he does, he is wasting water. - Unknown

When the tiger comes down from the mountain to the plains, it is bullied by the dogs.- Unknown

Write down the advice of him who loves you, though you like it not at present. - Unknown

No one can say of this house, “There is no trouble here.” - Unknown

A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day. - Unknown

Make your bargain before beginning to plough. - Unknown

Examine what is said, not him who speaks. - Unknown

Pick the flower when it is ready to be picked. - Unknown

Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind. - Unknown

If you don’t want anyone to know it, don’t do it. - Unknown

Keep your broken arm inside your sleeve. - Unknown

The palest ink is better than the best memory. - Unknown

Ask advice only of your equals. - Unknown

A full cup must be carried steadily. - Unknown

An idle brain is the devil’s workshop. - Unknown

Children are poor men’s riches. - Unknown

The big thieves hang the little ones. - Unknown

Still waters run deep. - Unknown 

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Teachings Of Buddha


Once the fetters of lust and malevolence, and the delusion of separateness are cast off, man is no longer imprisoned within the cycle of birth, decay, death and rebirth, either here or hereafter, for he has found his being within the immortal. 

Reading the Vedas, making offerings to priests, or sacrifices to the gods, self-mortification by heat or cold, and many such penances performed for the sake of immortality, these do not cleanse the man who is not free from delusions. 

The repetition of the name Amitabha Buddha is meritorious only if you speak it with such a devout attitude of mind as will cleanse your heart and attune your will to do works of righteousness.

Beware of misdeeds of the mind, and control thy mind; Renounce the sins of the mind, and practise virtue with thy mind.
Beware of misdeeds of the tongue, and control thy tongue; Renounce the sins of the tongue and practise virtue with thy tongue.
Beware of bodily misdeeds, and control thy body, renounce the sins of the body, and with thy body practise virtue.

A man may be an intellectual giant endowed with the power to perceive quickly and express clearly and accurately, but if he pays no attention to his actions and if he is only bent on fulfilling his own longings and inclinations at any cost he is, according to the Buddha, a fool, a man of inferior intelligence and he indeed destroys his own progress here and hereafter. 

Seeing that we are better than others is not right. Seeing that we are equal to others is not right. Seeing that we are inferior to others is not right. If we think we are better than others, pride arises. If we think we are equal to others, we fail to show respect and humility at the proper times. If we think we are inferior to others, we get depressed thinking we are inferior, born under a bad sign and so on. Just let all of that go.

Merit is not burnt by fire, by wind too it cannot be broken asunder, and not by water be rotten, and it is able to sustain the world. Merit can bravely withstand, both the king and the thief, and cannot be taken away by humans and non-humans.

Delusions, errors and lies are like huge, gaudy vessels, the rafters of which are rotten and worm-eaten, and those who embark on them are fated to be shipwrecked. 

Just as the great ocean has only one taste, the taste of salt, so has my doctrine and discipline only one taste - the taste of emancipation.

However many holy words you read, However many you speak, What good will they do you If you do not act on upon them? 

Let a man avoid evil deeds as a man who loves life avoids poison. 

Like a beautiful flower that is colorful but has no fragrance, even well spoken words bear no fruit in one who does not put them into practice.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Food For Thought


Think often of how swiftly all things pass away and are no more - the works of Nature and the works of man. The substance of the Universe, matter, is like unto a river that flows on forever. All things are not only in a constant state of change, but they are the cause of constant and infinite change in other things. Upon a narrow ledge thou standouts! Behind thee, the bottomless abyss of the Past! In front of thee, the Future that will swallow up all things that are now. Over what things, then, in this present life wilt thou, O foolish man, be disquieted or exalted - making thyself wretched; seeing that they can vex thee only for a time - a brief, brief time! - Marcus Aurelius 

Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briars in your path? Turn aside. That is enough. Do not go on and say, "Why were things of this sort ever brought into this world?" Neither intolerable nor everlasting - if thou bearest in mind that it has its limits, and if thou addest nothing to it in imagination. Pain is either an evil to the body (then let the body say what it thinks of it!) - or to the soul. But it is in the power of the soul to maintain its own serenity and tranquility. . . . - Marcus Aurelius 

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Life


Life is the Great Initiation – a crossing of the threshold from non-existence to self-realization. Its rites consist of the vicissitudes of life, each with its symbolic value. Ultimate attainment is the integrating of the total experience into an order of personal understanding and meaning. - Validivar 

Life is a series of lessons. The quicker you learn, the more progress you can make upon your spiritual path. We are all spiritual beings and everything we experience presents us with an opportunity to learn. To be free, happy and fulfilled requires that we let go of the past, having learnt all we can from it, look forward to the future by holding on to our dreams, and live in the present. We can neither change the past nor predict the future; we can only have influence in the present. - Andy Baggott

As sacred and glorious as each daily sunrise, the journey of life offers us all lessons that subtly imbue growth in all levels of being. Manoeuvring through life, our nature will inevitably be sculpted by many things - the environment, our genetics, our family and friends, our luck. And challenges or bumps that form upon our roads will also play a role - dis-ease, relationship issues, death of a loved one, a feeling of dissatisfaction with a life path, or just a plain feeling of not connecting. For the courageous, the search to overcome these trials will lead to paths of healing, be it through naturopathy, conventional therapies, energetic modalities, yoga, Reiki, prayer, self exploration or even simply embracing adventure out in the world, travelling. - Millie Gounder-Flynn 

Life is not a prison and spirituality need not be an attempt to escape from life. - Anon 

Saturday, 20 November 2010

A Fable


Aesop, that master storyteller of old, told this fable: 

A jar of honey was upset in a housekeeper's room, and a number of flies were attracted by its sweetness. Placing their feet in it, the flies ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and they were suffocated. Just as they were dying, they exclaimed: "Oh, foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves." 
- Aesop 

Friday, 19 November 2010

Reporting A burglary


George was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. 

The elderly man opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?"

He said "No, but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.”

Then the police dispatcher said, "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."

George said, "Okay."

He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot and killed them both. The dogs are eating them right now." and he hung up.

Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said to George , "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Humour - Quotes


Humour is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs. - Christopher Morley

Humour is also a way of saying something serious. - T.S. Eliot

Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth – a sense of humour. - Unknown

Humour is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. - Mark Twain 

Good humour is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. - Unknown

The kind of humour I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes. - William Davis

A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. - Dwight Eisenhower

People of humour are always in some degree people of genius. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The only thing worth having in an earthly existence is a sense of humor. - Lincoln Steffens

Humour prevents one from becoming a tragic figure even though he/she is involved in tragic events. - E. T. Eberhart

Humour is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man’s superiority to all that befalls him. - Romain Gary

It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment. - Grenville Kleiser

A sense of humour is an important quality and ingredient in a free society. - John H Bunzel

Good humour is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society. - William Makepeace Thackeray

Good humour is the health of the soul, sadness is its poison. - Lord Chesterfield

A sense of humour is a major defence against minor troubles. - Mignon Mclaughlin

Good humour isn’t a trait of character, it is an art which requires practice. - David Seabury

Anyone without a sense of humour is at the mercy of everyone else. - William E. Rothschild

No mind is thoroughly well organized that is deficient in a sense of humor. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Good humour makes all things tolerable. - Henry Ward Beecher

The most perfect humor and irony is generally quite unconscious. - Samuel Butler

The first prerequisite of an advanced being is a sense of humor. - Richard Bach

This I conceive to be the chemical function of humour: to change the character of our thought. - Lin Yutang

The secret to humour is surprise. - Aristotle

Humour is truth in candy coating. - Ernie Holye

Humour comes from self-confidence. - Unknown 

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Proverbs


A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. - Miguel de Cervantes

He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes. - Unknown

A fool may ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years. - Unknown

Rejoice not at thine enemy’s fall - but don’t rush to pick him up either. - Unknown

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth. - Unknown

He who comes for the inheritance is often made to pay for the funeral. - Unknown

Be honourable yourself if you wish to associate with honourable people. - Unknown

Ask about your neighbours, then buy the house. - Unknown

A man shows his character by what he laughs at. - Unknown

When you drink the water, remember the spring. - Unknown

When you have given nothing, ask for nothing. - Unknown

The Reverse side also has a Reverse side! - Unknown

Eagles fly alone, but sheep flock together. - Unknown

No road is long with good company. - Unknown

He who knows little soon repeats it. - Unknown

Never swap horses crossing a stream. - Unknown

Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf. - Unknown

Don’t fall before you’re pushed. - Unknown

It takes all sorts to make a world. - Unknown

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Mindset


I got this story off the net. The person who posted it didn’t say who the author was or where he got this. 

As my friend was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a rope tied to their legs. It was obvious that the elephant could at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. My friend saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

“Well”, he said, “when they were very young, and much smaller, we used the same size rope to tie them and at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grew up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” 

My friend was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. The powerful and gigantic creature has limited its present abilities by the limitations of its past.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life holding onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before? How many of us refuse to attempt something new and challenging because of our so called MINDSET?

Your attempt may fail, but never fail to make an attempt… and

Choose not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Spiritual Journey



The Spiritual Journey requires dedication, commitment and effort. There will be times when difficulties and self-doubts creep in, making the self exploration unproductive and a drudgery. 

Maybe these comments by fellow practitioners will help you through your difficult periods, and times of doubt. 

Light and Bliss to you on the Journey! 

********************

Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees-should be your teacher. - Morihei Ueshiba

The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don't have to gain, develop, or attain them. We're like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don't need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are. - Anonymous

Give yourself permission to Trust your Higher Self and then simply begin doing so. Accept your mistakes, learn from them and you turn them into lessons. Don't let doubt hold you back. Take a deep breath and just keep walking. - Anonymous

Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is never too late. 
Even if you are going to die tomorrow, 
Keep yourself straight and clear and be a happy human being today. 
If you keep your situation happy day by day, 
You will eventually reach the greatest happiness of Enlightenment. 
- Anonymous

Saturday, 13 November 2010

A Hundred And Four Years Old


              Reporters interviewing a hundred-and-four-year-old woman: “And what do you think is the best thing about being a hundred and four years old?” the reporter asked. 
              She simply replied, “No peer pressure.”

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Alert On Vitamin E Risk


People should be cautious about taking vitamin E supplements regularly because doing so can increase the risk of a certain type of stroke, scientist said yesterday.

Researchers from the United States, France and Germany reviewed existing studies and found that taking vitamin E increased the risk of haemorrhagic stroke, where bleeding occurs in the brain, by 22 per cent.

However, the study also showed that vitamin E intake cuts the risk of ischaemic stroke, which has less severe outcomes, by 10 per cent.

- Reuters 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Proverbs


Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them. - Aldous Huxley 

Once bitten by a snake, you are even frightened by a rope that resembles a snake. - Unknown

When you go up to the mountain too often, you will eventually encounter the tiger. - Unknown

Don’t be sweet, lest you be eaten up; don’t be bitter, lest you be spewed out. - Unknown

Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk. - Unknown

He who is anxious for the death of another has a long rope to pull. - Unknown

Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends. - Unknown

A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. - Unknown

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. - Unknown

A good husband should be deaf and a good wife should be blind. - Unknown

He that waits for a dead man’s shoes may long go barefoot. - Unknown

Wait until it is night before saying that is has been a fine day. - Unknown

Elephant tusks cannot grow out of a dog’s mouth. - Unknown

A good lawyer is a bad neighbour. - Unknown

Many a true word is spoken in jest. - Unknown

Better ask than go astray. - Unknown

If you bow at all, bow low. - Unknown

Pray to God, but hammer away. - Unknown

Don’t cry over spilt milk. - Unknown 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Food For Thought


If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbour; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures. - Carl Jung 

There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. - Carl Jung 

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Teachings Of Buddha


Excerpts from Buddhist text and publications. 

On one occasion, while The Buddha was passing through a forest. He took a handful of leaves and said: "O Bhikkhus, what I have taught is comparable to the leaves in my hand. What I have not taught is comparable to the amount of leaves in the forest.

Monks, even if a monk should take hold of the edge of my outer garment and should walk close behind me, step by step, yet if he should be covetous, strongly attracted by pleasures of the senses, malevolent in thought, of corrupt mind, an purposed, templative, scatter-brained, his sense-faculties uncontrolled, then he is far from me and I am far from him.
          &nbsp Monks, if a monk should be staying even a hundred miles away, yet if he is not covetous, not strongly attracted by the pleasures of the sense, not malevolent in thought, not of corrupt mind and purpose, his recollection firmly set, attentive, contemplative, his thought be one-pointed, restrained in his sense-faculties, then he is near me and I am near him.

Buddha to Ananda: It may be Ananda, that ye shall say: 'The world had lost its master, we have no master more.' Ye must not think thus, Ananda. The Dhamma, which I have taught unto ye, this is your master when I am gone hence. Be mindful, be righteous and be vigilant. Be lamps unto yourselves. Transient are all component things. Strive on with needfulness.

If anyone were to speak ill of me, my doctrine or my disciples, do not bear any ill-will towards him, do not be upset or be perturbed at heart, for if you were to be so it will only cause you harm. On the other hand if anyone were to speak well of me, my doctrine and my disciples, do not be overjoyed, thrilled or be elated at heart, for if you should be so it will only be an obstacle in your way of forming a correct judgment as to whether the qualities of praised are indeed real and actually found in us.

If you judge by yourselves - these actions are demeritorious, these are wrong, these are despised by the wise and these are conducive to the prejudice and grief of him who commits them - then do shun them.
          &nbsp If you judge by yourselves - these actions are meritorious, these are right, these are praised by the wise, these are conducive to well-being for the happiness of him who performs them - then act accordingly.

As a wise man tests gold on a touch-stone, heating and cutting, so you, monks should test my words by practice, and not accept them simply due to the reverence to me.

When a simpleton abused him, Buddha listened in silence; but when the man finished, Buddha asked, "Son, if a man declined to accept a present made to him, to whom would it belong?" The man answered, "To who offered it."
          &nbsp "My son." Said Buddha, "I decline to accept your abuse, and request that you keep it for yourself."

In the self same way, disciple, a certain monk may be very kind, very gentle, very quiet, so long as no unpleasant words are uttered. When, however, people begin to say unpleasant things of the monk - then is the time to see if the monk is kind, or if he is gentle or if he is quiet.

Rituals have no efficacy; prayers are vain repetitions; and incantations have no saving power. But to abandon covetousness and hurt, to become free from evil passions and to give up hatred and ill-will, that is the right sacrifice and the true worship.

Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height. 

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.? Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. 

When you listen to the Dharma you must open up your heart and compose yourself in the centre. Don't try to accumulate what you hear or make a painstaking effort to retain what you hear through memory. Just let the Dharma flow into your heart as it reveals itself, and keep yourself continuously open to its flow in the present moment. What is ready to be retained will be so, and it will happen of its own accord, not through any determined effort on your part.
          &nbsp Similarly, when you expound the Dharma, you must not force yourself. It should happen on its own and should flow spontaneously from the present moment and circumstances. People have different levels of receptive ability, and when you're there at that same level it just happens, the Dharma flows.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Buddhism


Excerpts from Buddhist text and publications. 

Buddhism teaches us not to judge and believe a thing blindly (even though it was said by the book, by the teacher, by the monk or whoever) but to come, see and prove it yourself that the thing is good for yourself. Then even though it was said by your enemy, if you find it good and useful, you can practise it in your life. 

Faith alone without wisdom is the blind faith of fanatics. Wisdom alone without faith is the cold knowledge of philosophers. Where wisdom points out the way to faith, and Faith proceeds along the way of wisdom, then there is the true practice of Buddhism.

A Buddhist must be a free man with an open mind and must not be subservient to anyone for his spiritual development. He seeks refuge in the Buddha by accepting Him as a source of supreme guidance and inspiration. He seeks refuge in the Buddha, not blindly, but with understanding. To Buddhists, the Buddha is not a saviour nor is He an anthropomorphic being who claims to possess the poser of washing away others' sins. Buddhists regard the Buddha as a Teacher who shows the Path to salvation.

A Buddhist cannot conceive of an unchanging entity, any being in the form of a deva, a man or an animal. This forms are merely temporary manifestations of the karmic force. "Being" is only a term used for conventional purposes. Strictly speaking what we call a "being" is nothing but a mere composition of mind and matter.

Knowledge is like a deep well, fed by perennial springs, and the mind of man is like a bucket that is dropped into it. He will get as much as he can assimilate. Knowledge and mental self-culture will confer incalculable blessings to man. One third of the ills of man are due to human ignorance, delusions, and superstitious beliefs; the rest of the ills, according to the Dharma, are traceable to human selfishness and human malevolence.

It is because both I and you did not understand and comprehend the Four Noble Truths that we have run this long and weary course of round of existences - SAMSARA.

Wide open be the door of immortality to all who have ears to hear. May they receive the Dharma with faith.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Devoted Wife


              A devoted wife had spent her lifetime taking care of her husband. Now, he had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she stayed by his bedside every single day. 
              When he came to senses, he motioned for her to come near him. 
              As she sat by him, he said, “You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you gave me support. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. You know what?” 
              “What dear?” she asks gently. 
              “I think you bring me bad luck.” 

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Toasts


More toasts.

More than silver, more than gold
Are the good friends, new and old;
Giving freely from their store
So that I may have the more.
Sorrow for my troubles voicing,
Yet in my success rejoicing,
New friends, old friends tried and true
Here’s a toast from me to you.

I wish you health; I wish you wealth,
And may you always have true friends,
But never have cause to need them.

Here’s to the man who can smile through his tears,
And laugh in the midst of a sigh,
Who can mingle his youth with advancing years,
And be happy to live or die.

I wish you the strength of all elements. I wish you always:
- air to breathe
- fire to warm you
- water to drink and
- the earth to live in

Here’s wishing one and all
A life of joy and happiness
And may you rise from every fall.

Here’s to your health!
You make Age curious,
Time furious,
and all of us envious!

Here’s to the man who can bravely say,
“I have loved her all my life –
Since I took her hand on our wedding day
I have only loved my wife.”
Would we not praise him long and well
With the warmest praise that is,
The man who could boldly, firmly tell,
And stick to - a lie like this?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Proverbs


Some proverbs are directly translated from their native languages. And because there is a limit to how accurately these languages can be translated without losing the original meaning and flavour, they don’t come across as powerful or as beautiful as they would have been if expressed in their own languages. 

Proverbs are mental gems gathered in the diamond fields of the mind. - William Rounseville Alger 

Keep five yards from a carriage, ten yards from a horse and a hundred yards from an elephant; but the distance one should keep from a wicked man cannot be measured. - Unknown

Small ills are the fountains of most of our groans. Men trip not on mountains, they stumble on stones. - Unknown

Fear not a jest. If one throws salt at you, you will not be harmed unless you have sore places. - Unknown

Travelling ten thousand miles will enrich you more than reading ten thousand pages. - Unknown

Dwell not upon thy weariness, thy strength shall be according to the measure of thy desire. - Unknown

When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. When it is unspoken you reign over it. - Unknown

You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. - Unknown

The participant’s perspectives are clouded while the bystander's views are clear. - Unknown

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Unknown

The greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow. - Unknown

A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible. - Unknown

When the character of the person is not clear to you, look at his friends. - Unknown

Faith is like a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark. - Unknown

He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything. - Unknown

Don’t make use of another’s mouth unless it has been lent to you.- Unknown

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Best Way To Clean Fruit And Vegetables


The Claim: A soap-and-water rinse is the best way to clean produce.

The facts: The prospect of ingesting pesticides and other contaminants can make supermarket produce seem less than appetising. Buying organic produce lowers the risk, but is no guarantee against food-borne pathogens.
The simplest way to eliminate germs and pesticides? Rinsing with tap water, which works as well as a mild soap solution or vegetable washes.

In studies at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 2000, for example, scientists compared pesticide removal methods on 196 samples of lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes. Some were rinsed under tap water for a minute; others were treated with either a 1 per cent solution of a popular detergent or a fruit and vegetable wash.

Tap water “significantly reduce” residues of 9 of 12 pesticides, and it worked as well as soap and wash products. Water temperature was not the key; friction was. “The action of rubbing the produce under tap water is responsible for removing pesticide residues,” scientists wrote.

For micro-organisms, try rinsing produce with a 10 per cent vinegar solution. In a 2003 study at the University of Florida, researchers tested disinfectants on strawberries contaminated with E. coli and other germs. They found the vinegar mixture reduced bacteria by 90 per cent and viruses by 95 per cent.

The bottom line: To remove pesticides and germs, rinse produce with a vinegar solution, then wash with tap water for at least 60 seconds.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 1 November 2010

Loving-kindness For Yourself


Do not forget to have loving-kindness for yourself. You are also a living being who deserves, who needs love and compassion. In fact, you can’t really love others until you learn to love yourself. That doesn’t mean being selfish and egotistical. It means being a friend to yourself, accepting yourself as you are with your faults and limitations, knowing that you can change and grow. - Unknown