A buddish friend said to me that there are 3 aspects needed to perform a charity – the giver, the object you want to give and the receiver. These three should be there, otherwise you can not perform a charity. He shared a story of a monk who accepted a charity from his disciple. This disciple gave him something he can’t use or he will never use, yet he accepted it. When he was asked why he accepted it, he said that he wanted to give a chance to that disciple to perform something good, unless she doesn’t perform a charity.
It is true when it comes to give something physical. There should be these 3 – the giver, the object and the receiver. But you can also give something not physical. You can give your good thoughts, good wishes or good feelings to others. In giving this, you don’t need any physical object, you can do it from whereever you are and whenever you want. You might not need the receiver’s approval for this. Just give it away. They will definitely receive it, no one will reject your giving. This is more unlimited than giving a physical stuff. Our physical wealth is limited, but our mind and our heart are unlimited. Our good thoughts and good wishes are unlimited. This is not physical wealth, this is spiritual wealth. The more you give this wealth, the more it will increase. Keep giving and keep increasing your wealth. In fact this is the wealth that you will carry with you forever. Your physical wealth may get reduced or stolen, but this wealth is always safe. No one can take it away from you.
Have a happy weekend!
What can you see in this picture?
Someone said : “I can see a little yellow plant in a glass filled with water.” Others said : ”a hope”, “growth”, “life“ etc. It is interesting. Each one has different answer. All of the answers are right. It depends on from which point they are speaking. If we see the picture with our physical eyes, we can see a little yellow plant but if we are using the eye behind those physical eyes we might see the beauty of it, something different, something more subtle. The beauty is always hidden behind the facades. It needs the ability to capture what is hidden. It is the inner eye that can capture the beauty. Some call this inner eye as awareness, consciousness, heart, the eye of wisdom, the soul or the spirit. In fact it refers to one and same thing.
The key to happiness in life is the ability to see the beauty in small things around you using this inner eye, not the physical eyes. The physical eye only captures the gross things, but the inner eye can capture the subtle things. Beauty is experienced by the heart. Not many big things happen in life. We might not experience big success so much in our life, but there are so many little things happening in each day. Start seeing the beauty or success in small things around you, do not wait till something big to happen to be happy. Open your inner eye and fill your heart with this.
Someone shared her thoughts on how to become creative. She said that we should learn from children to be creative. I notice that most children are very creative. Their spirits are free….to explore everything. They have no worries and no fears in their spirits. They are not aware of what fear is. Each one of us was very creative when we were so young. When we grew up, we suppressed this spirit. We started creating fears and worries of what people might think about us. We started creating fear of being rejected by others. We might then stop doing something because of this fear. At some point in our life we might miss that spirit in us.
I remember when I was in a retreat, I escaped from one of the morning sessions, I went to the garden in the corner of the campus instead. The garden was small, beautiful and quiet. It was really enjoyable to sit there especially in the morning hour. I also could enjoy little birds and squirrels. They were running around on the ground, jumping from one twig to another. Sometimes they went so close to my feet. I really enjoyed it.
That morning I had an appointment with David who stayed above the garden. David is an artist and a musician. He promised to teach me how to feed squirrel at 7 o’clock. I was so excited about it. My heart said “If I can touch and hold the squirrel with my hand, it would be an achievement for me”. We might think that this kind of thought belongs to a child, not an adult. I knew it was the spirit of a little child in me who had that thought. David was ready with bread crumbles in his hand. He then made a little sound to call the squirrels with his mouth. We sat there and maintained silence. We should not make any movement that would create a feeling of threat in the squirells. We created a feeling of love to the squirrels. I said in my mind that we were friends and we loved to meet and play. I held that thought and created a feeling of friendship. We waited patiently and after a while one squirrel came closer to us. It jumped onto David’s lap and started eating the bread. It was so cute. I took the video of it. I hope I can share the video next time here. Then David gave the bread crumbles to me. I held it in my hand and the squirrel came to my lap and started eating the bread. The spirit of a little child in me was so happy.
Nurture this spirit inside you and you will experience so much freedom and joy.
It is said that knowledge is power. You might have heard this many times. But how do you experience this practically in your life? You might have read so many books with great advice to become a better person. You might have attended seminars, trainings and workshops and that you felt so inspired. You were inspired to make a change. You really wanted to make a change in you. But, do you experience that a change is easy? Is it to change yourself easy? I think a change is difficult. You might reflect on yourself after sometimes and ask yourself “have I changed? how much have I changed?” You might not see so much change in you. You wished to become a much better you, but it didn’t happen the way you wished to happen. Then, knowledge is not power yet. It doesn’t have power to change you.
Knowledge will become power when you use it to really make a change in you. To change means to change the mindset. To know is the first step and to change the mindset is the next step. Only when your mindset is changed by your new understanding, then you can say knowledge is power.
You might have experienced being treated badly by someone, or someone might show a rude manner or just a little bit impoliteness to you. Don’t get hurt, stay calm. They are revealing who they are not who you are. Don’t let their behavior bring you down. Rudeness is a false show of strength by a weak person. The weak ones have rudeness inside, and they will show what is inside. The strong ones have gentleness inside, so they show gentleness.
To stay calm means to remain strong in front of the weak one. To stay calm also means to become like a mirror for others to reflect themselves on you. They can see the pictures of themselves clearly only when the mirror is still.
Become a mirror like this. Don’t react. A cool mind reflect dignity and strength.
Why is it very difficult to make the mind silent? The mind is not still. It keeps wandering from one thought to another thought. The heart is not experiencing peace. Peace is experienced when the mind is still. The body is still when the mind is still. We are now living in a very noisy world. The atmosphere has become so noisy. There is so much noise in the mind, an internal noise. A retreat might be required to silence the mind.
God doesn’t live in this noisy world. it is said that God lives in the abode of peace, where all the souls come from. He is always peaceful. God is in silence the most. Why? He understands everything. He can accept everything. He doesn’t need to ask anything. Human beings question a lot because they have many things that they don’t understand. What happens? Why something happens? How does it happen? When is it going to happen? These questions of what, why, how and when are constantly occupying our minds. The mind is constantly questioning. It definitely creates worries and fear in the heart. Until you have the right understanding of life fully, you will not experience a peaceful mind. Learn this from God. Learn how to silence the mind. Learn how to be peaceful.
We have three personalities within us. The arrogant I, the depressed I and the real I. We keep in an oscillation between the arrogant I and the depressed I most of the time. One moment we might think “I am good. I am better than other people. I know better. I am more experienced…..” and the next moment we might think “I am not valued. I am not good enough. I can’t handle this situation. I am small. I am weak….”. We are fluctuating from high to low constantly.
Pause a moment. Can you listen a voice from within you? It might be very soft. But try to listen to it. When you need to make a very important decision, you might need to decide what to do or what not to do. There might be several choices. You might need a clarity at that moment. This voice is trying to give you clarity. It is trying to help you and guide you. This voice in fact is the real you, your conscience, the wise self. It always tells you the truth. Listen to it.
So when you write your journal, make sure that you are sitting on the seat of the real I. Write what she says to you. Let her speak to the arrogant you or the depressed you. She is your wise advisor.
Who is God for you? A young boy of twelve years old has asked me this question. What would be your answer if you were asked this? The answers might be different for each one. I said God is my father, not my physical father but my spiritual father. Someone might say that God is the Lord, the Almighty, the Supreme Being. The answer would create a feeling in the heart. If you think that God is your father, there is a feeling of closeness, love, care etc. It might indicate a relationship with Him.
God serves the whole world. It is a very big job to serve the world. He can’t do it alone. He needs hands. He makes me into His companion in serving the world. He empowers me and enables me to make a change in this world. He is a loving and caring figure. What do you feel if you consider God as your father in this way? I asked that boy. And he said “I feel very good”.
What do people collect from a trip? Experience or memories basically. Nowadays wherever people are going since they always carry smartphones with them, so they always take pictures. People collect pictures a lot in their smart phones while traveling and on their day to day life also. Everyone loves taking pictures and collecting pictures.
I was in a trip very recently. We were on a boat to Mt. Rigi in Switzerland. I was sitting next to a couple from Hongkong. We were sitting inside the boat on the first floor. As soon as everyone entered the boat, I noticed that everyone started taking pictures using each one’s smart phone, including the lady sitting next to me and including me. I reminded myself to enjoy the trip by enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere not busily taking pictures and missing the moments. So I did’t take many pictures.
When the lady was settling down next to me, she started scrolling the screen of her camera. She showed me pictures of their trip in several places in France. Beautiful pictures! Keeping photos is a good way to store the beautiful memories. And nowadays it is very easy. It doesn’t need ‘a space’ to keep. It only needs a space in your computer or gadget. I asked her “For how long will you keep the pictures with you?” She said “May be a life time”.
I was in a conversation with a friend very recently. We were on our flight back from a trip. He shared me a story about his younger son. This boy has not gone to school yet. He has long hair. He doesn’t want to have his hair cut, until one day he took his son to a school where his elder brother goes to and see that no one has long hair in school. In fact, he copies a character of a cartoon film on TV. It is very interesting how a small child is looking for a figure to copy.
Hearing this story, I remembered one point in my life I was impressed by a lady who was an activist of human rights in her country. I read an interview with her in a woman magazine. Her story was really touching my heart. And I remembered I copied literally the way she dressed and her hair style. I just did the same thing what the boy did. When I am thinking about this, I think I was silly. We laughed.
But then we discussed about finding self identity. The discussion went a bit serious after that.