(from the Dalai Lama)
(another perspective on "Aspects")
(Hawaiian "Huna" Healing)
Years of Female Portraits in Western art.
One of the worlds most incredible courageous
God is at
was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He
was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He
in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a
discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking
he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of
impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in
head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he
dead duck in the
wood pile, only to see his sister watching! Sally
had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch
the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the
dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he
wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him,
"Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day,
asked if the children wanted to go fishing and
Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper. "
just smiled and said," Well that's all right because Johnny told
wanted to help." She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So
went fishing and Johnny stayed to help. After several days of
doing both his chores and Sally's,
he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma
and confessed that he had killed the duck.
Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I
know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole
but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering
how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."
is in your past, whatever you have done ... and the devil
keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear,
habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) whatever it is. You need
know that God was standing at the window and He saw
the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to
know that He loves
you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long
you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing
about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He
not only forgives you, but He forgets.
Seven Wonders of the World
group of students were asked to list what they thought were the
Wonders of the World. Though there were some disagreements, the
following received the most votes:
The Taj Mahal
The Panama Canal
Empire State Building
St Peters Basilica
Great Wall of China
gathering the votes, she noticed that one student had not finished
pager yet, so she asked the girl if she was having trouble with
The girl replied "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make
up my mind because there are so many."
The teacher said "well,
tell us what you have, and maybe we can help you."
hesitated, then read "I think the Seven Wonders of the World
room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The things we
simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly
A gentle reminder - that the most precious things in life cannot
built by hand or bought by man. (and truly, are a gift from God).
I guarantee you will
remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a
week from now, a month from now, a year from now.
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and
four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight
blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly
shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled
his spoon and onto the floor. When he grasped the glass milk
the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with
mess. "We must do something about Grandfather", said the son.
enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."
the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There,
Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in
wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction,
sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the
words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he had
a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing
scraps on the floor He asked the child curiously, "What are you
making?" Sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little
you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The
smiled and went back to work
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then
started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken,
knew what must be done. That evening, the husband took
Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family
table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with
the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed
care any longer when a fork was dropped, when milk was spilled, or
the tablecloth was soiled.
On a positive note, I've learned that life sometimes gives you a
chance. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open
heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that
every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People
love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just
friendly pat on the back. I've learned that no matter what happens
how bad it seems today, life goes on, and it will be better
I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you will miss them when
they are gone from your life.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way
handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and a late
I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making
life. I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But,
you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others,
your work, and doing the very best you can, happiness will
find you. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a
catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw
back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned
you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did
The 10 Biggest Lies that Stop People from Getting What
Want by Cynthia Kersey
They say that
"everybody's a critic," and that never seems truer than when
pursuing a dream. There will always be well-meaning people who
"protect" you from your "unrealistic fantasies." Critics
tried to discourage the people profiled in Unstoppable.
Everyone ignored the negative input and achieved their
Follow their lead and you, too, will be UNSTOPPABLE!
1. The timing is all wrong. In 1987, prior to accepting
Paramount's offer to host a late-night talk show, Arsenio Hall
by everyone: "It's too hard to crack into the late-night
Television isn't ready for a black talk show host. This is
you can forget it."
The only opinion about your
dream that really counts is yours
2. Why don't you get a
real job? Not understanding his desire to become Mr.
Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger's family pleaded with him,
long will you go on training all day in a gymnasium and living
3. It'll never work, you'll
lose everything. Weeks before she opened her first store,
cosmetic tycoon Mary Kay Ash's attorney said: "Liquidate the
right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don't, you'll
4. Don't rock the boat
. In response to Muriel Siebertís application to be the
first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange,
responded: "The language on the floor is too rough and there's
ladies' room." She bought a seat anyway and remained the
woman there for nine years
5. It's never
been done before. Upon applying for a job after graduation
from Columbia University, announcers for NBC Radio responded to
Jessy Raphael: "You have the perfect voice for broadcasting, but
should get a job as a secretary. We're not using women."
6. You don't have enough talent. Responding to his
desire to become a recording artist, Ray Charles' teachers said:
can't play the piano, and God knows you can't sing. You'd better
how to weave chairs so you can support yourself."
7. Don't even try, you'll just be disappointed. When
auditioning for a part in a high school musical, a teacher
Diana Ross saying: "You have a nice voice, but it's nothing
8. You don't fit the mold OR you're not the right "type."
Trying to convince her she didn't have the right look, fashion
photographer Richard Avedon told Cher: "You will never make the
of Vogue because you don't have blond hair or blue eyes."
When she did make the cover, Vogue sold more copies than
had ever sold before.
9. Don't give up
your day job. Commenting on the first manuscript of an
unpublished author, a New York publisher told James Michener:
good editor with a promising future in the business. Why would
to throw it all away to try to be a writer? I read your book.
it's not really that good." Michener's first book, Tales of the
Pacific, later won a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted for stage
screen as South Pacific.
10. There's no
market for it. When hearing his plans to launch Perrier in
the United States, several consulting firms advised Gustave
"You're foolish to try to sell sparkling water in the land of
. The negative comments of
others merely reflect their limitations --- not yours. There is
unrealistic about a dream that aligns with your purpose, ignites
passion, and inspires you to plan and persevere until you attain
the contrary, it's unrealistic to expect a person with such drive
commitment not to succeed.
Choose to be unstoppable
by Bronnie Ware from her book titled "The
Top Five Regrets of the Dying".
It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed by
regrets of dying people.
For many years I worked in palliative care. My
patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly
times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve
of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own
mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for
growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety
emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial
eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace
they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or
anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again
again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true
to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people
realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on
is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people
not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing
was due to choices they had made, or not made. It is very
important to try and honour at least some
of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your
health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise,
they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed.
They missed their children's youth and their partner's
Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older
generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners.
of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their
the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your
lifestyle and making conscious
choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that
think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become
happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to
keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre
existence and never became who they were truly capable of
Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment
carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However,
although people may initially react when you change the way you
speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a
and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy
relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits
of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always
to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own
that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There
many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort
they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let
friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching
the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get
financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or
that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things
order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though,
too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down
love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the
final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not
realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed
in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity
overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives.
of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that
were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and
silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of
you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let
and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life.
Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose
IN SANTA CLAUS
remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a
remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my
sister dropped the bomb: "There is no SantaClaus," she jeered.
dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy
had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be
with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the
truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one
her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous,
because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her
was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous!
believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it
mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second
cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the
store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.
we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That
bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy
for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she
turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight
I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped
anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of
people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few
I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar
wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.
thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors,
kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about
thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid
bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs.
Bobby Decker didn't have a coat.
I knew that
because he never went out to recess during the winter. His
always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but
we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have
good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement.
would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one
a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter
asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I
shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at
me, as I told
her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get
change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me
That evening, Grandma helped me
wrap the coat
(a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her
in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on
she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went
was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept
noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma
me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."
took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present
on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the
Together we waited breathlessly in
the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there
years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering,
beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I
that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma
they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on
still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and
FRIENDS that care...
And may you always believe in
the magic of Santa Claus!
Life may not be the party
we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
Spiritually Transmitted Diseases
by Mariana Caplan
It is a jungle out there, and it is no less true about spiritual
than any other aspect of life. Do we really think that just
someone has been meditating for five years, or doing 10 years of
practice, that they will be any less neurotic than the next
best, perhaps they will be a little bit more aware of it. A
It is for this reason that I spent the last 15 years of my life
researching and writing books on cultivating discernment on the
spiritual path in all the gritty areas—power, sex,
gurus, scandals, psychology, neurosis—as well as earnest, but
just plain confused and unconscious, motivations on the path.
Several years ago, I spent a summer living and working in South
Upon my arrival I was instantly confronted by the visceral
I was in the country with the highest murder rate in the world,
rape was common and more than half the population was HIV
and women, gays and straights alike. As I have come to know
spiritual teachers and thousands of spiritual practitioners
work and travels, I have been struck by the way in which our
views, perspectives, and experiences become similarly
“infected” by “conceptual
contaminants”—comprising a confused and immature
relationship to complex spiritual principles—that are as
invisible, yet as insidious, as sexually transmitted disease.
The following 10 categorizations are not intended to be
are offered as a tool for becoming aware of some of the most
spiritually transmitted diseases.
1. Fast-Food Spirituality: Mix spirituality with a culture that
celebrates speed, multitasking, and instant gratification and
result is likely to be fast-food spirituality. Fast-food
is a product of the common and understandable fantasy that
the suffering of our human condition can be quick and easy. One
is clear, however: spiritual transformation cannot be had in a
2. Faux Spirituality: Faux spirituality is the tendency to talk,
and act as we imagine a spiritual person would. It is a kind of
imitation spirituality that mimics spiritual realization in the
that leopard-skin fabric imitates the genuine skin of a leopard.
3. Confused Motivations:
Although our desire to grow is genuine and pure, it often gets mixed
with lesser motivations, including the wish to be loved, the desire to
belong, the need to fill our internal emptiness, the belief that the
spiritual path will remove our suffering, and spiritual ambition—the
wish to be special, to be better than, to be “the one.”
4. Identifying with Spiritual Experiences:
In this disease, the ego identifies with our spiritual experience and
takes it as its own, and we begin to believe that we are embodying
insights that have arisen within us at certain times. In most cases, it
does not last indefinitely, although it tends to endure for longer
periods of time in those who believe themselves to be enlightened
and/or who function as spiritual teachers.
5. The Spiritualized Ego: This disease occurs when the very
of the egoic personality becomes deeply embedded with spiritual
concepts and ideas. The result is an egoic structure that is “bullet-proof.” When the ego becomes spiritualized,
we are invulnerable to help, new input, or constructive
become impenetrable human beings and are stunted in our
growth, all in the name of spirituality.
6. Mass Production of Spiritual Teachers: There are a number of
trendy spiritual traditions that produce people who believe
to be at a level of spiritual enlightenment, or mastery, that is
beyond their actual level. This disease functions like a
conveyor belt: put on this glow, get that insight, and–bam!
–you’re enlightened and ready to enlighten others in
similar fashion. The problem is not that such teachers instruct
represent themselves as having achieved spiritual mastery.
7. Spiritual Pride: Spiritual pride arises when the
through years of labored effort, has actually attained a certain
of wisdom and uses that attainment to justify shutting down to further experience. A feeling of “spiritual
superiority” is another symptom of this spiritually transmitted
disease. It manifests as a subtle feeling that “I am better,
wise, and above others because I am spiritual.”
8. Group Mind:
Also described as groupthink, cultic mentality, or ashram disease,
group mind is an insidious virus that contains many elements of
traditional codependence. A spiritual group makes subtle and
unconscious agreements regarding the correct ways to think, talk,
dress, and act. Individuals and groups infected with “group mind”
reject individuals, attitudes, and circumstances that do not conform to
the often unwritten rules of the group.
9. The Chosen-People Complex: Unfortunately, the chosen people
is not limited to Jews. It is the belief that Our group is more
spiritually evolved, powerful, enlightened and, simply put, better than any other group.” There is an
important distinction between the recognition that one has found
right path, teacher, or community for themselves, and having
10. The Deadly Virus: “I Have Arrived” This disease is so
potent that it has the capacity to be terminal and deadly to our
spiritual evolution. This is the belief that “I have
arrived” at the final goal of the spiritual path. Our spiritual progress ends at
point where this belief becomes crystallized in our psyche, for
moment we begin to believe that we have reached the end of the
further growth ceases.
I believe that a critical part of learning discernment on the
path is discovering the pervasive illnesses of ego and
that are in all of us. That is when we need a sense of humor and
support of real spiritual friends. As we face our obstacles to
spiritual growth, there are times when it is easy to fall into a sense of despair
self-diminishment and lose our confidence on the path. We must
faith, in ourselves and in others, in order to really make a
in this world.
[adapted from Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the
© Sounds True, 2009]
A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20
In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”
Hands started going up.
He said, “I am going to give this $20 bill to one of you, but
first let me do this.”
He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked “who
still wants it”?”
Still the hands were up in the air.
“Well, “he replied, “what if I do this?” He dropped it on the
and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it
now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?”
Still the hands went in the air.
“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No
what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not
decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into
dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our
We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or
will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still
priceless to those who love you.
The worth of your lives come not in what we do or who we know but
by WHO WE ARE!”
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