Showing posts with label INSPIRING STORIES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label INSPIRING STORIES. Show all posts

Monday, 9 April 2018

A Collection Of Quotes From Thich Nhat Hanh That Will Uplift Your Soul

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen Master and global spiritual leader, peace activist and poet , known worldwide for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace.

His greatest teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can be taught to live happily in the present moment and be at peace with oneself and with the world around us.
Here is a collection of some of his quotes that will not only teach you mindfulness in the simple things in life, but that will also bring peace to your soul.
• “There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.”
• “Walk and touch peace every moment. Walk and touch happiness every moment. Each step brings a fresh breeze. Each step makes a flower bloom. Kiss the earth with your feet. Bring the earth your love and happiness. The earth will be safe When we feel safe in ourselves.”
• “When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.”
• “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
• “Sometimes we speak clumsily and create internal knots in others. Then we say, ‘I was just telling the truth.’ It may be the truth, but if our way of speaking causes unnecessary suffering, it is not. Right Speech. The truth must be presented in ways that others can accept. Words that damage or destroy are not Right Speech. Before you speak, understand the person you are speaking to. Consider each word carefully before
you say anything, so that your speech is ‘Right’ in both form and content.”
• “Insight brings love, and love is not possible without insight, understanding. If you do not understand, you cannot love. This insight is direct understanding, and not just a few notions and ideas. In meditation we allow ourselves to be shined on by the light of that insight."
• “Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something, just as anger is always anger at something. When you drink a glass of water and are aware that you are drinking a glass of water, that is mindfulness of drinking water. In this case, we produce mindfulness of anger. “Breathing in, I know I am angry. Breathing out, I know that anger is in me.” First, the energy of anger arises, and second, the energy of mindfulness arises. The second energy embraces the first in order to soothe it and allow it to subside.”
• “When you are angry, close your eyes and ears and return to yourself in order to quell the flames. Smile, even if it takes effort. Smiling relaxes hundreds of tiny muscles, making your face more attractive. Sit wherever you are and look deeply. If your concentration is not yet strong, you can go outside and practice walking meditation. Most essential is to water the seed of mindfulness and allow it to arise in your mind consciousness.”
• “The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.”
• “Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.”
• “People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
• “Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” 
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Sunday, 4 February 2018

12 LIFE-CHANGING RULES BUDDHIST MONKS LIVE BY

What is your impression of the day-to-day of a Buddhist monk? Your visualization may make it appear that the monk-life is a vast departure from modern society, and you’d be pretty close to the truth. However, we can draw inspiration from the way they live their lives.



If you are looking to bring more mindfulness and peace to your days, then we can look to these simple Zen Buddhist-inspired rules to live by, no matter what your spirituality or religion.

One Thing At A Time.shaolin-monk-tips

Take steps, rather than multi-tasking.
For example: when eating, just eat. When bathing, just bathe.
“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” –  Zen proverb.

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Now that you’re doing one thing at a time, don’t rush it. Instead, take your time, move slowly, and act deliberately. Focusing like this is surprisingly difficult for someone used to rushing around doing a million things at once. Practice makes perfect, though.

Follow Through.

You’re doing one task slowly and deliberately, now make sure you follow through and finish it before moving on to the next.
If it is impossible, at least try to put away and clean up the unfinished task so that it doesn’t interfere with your next movements.

Do Less.

The Buddhist Monk’s day starts early and is filled with work. However, the task list is not unending. Today has its tasks, and no more. If you are completely filling your day with ‘to-dos,’ you’ll be rushing around from one thing to another without being mindful at all.

Rest.

Now that you’re managing your schedule to allow time for finishing tasks mindfully, try to leave room in between things.
You can rest here, meditate, or even finish something that took a little longer then expected.

Ritual.

To the Zen Buddhist, rituals exist for everything from the sacred to the mundane. Rituals surrounding cleaning are as important as the rituals surrounding meditation. Actions are done because they are important to do, and if they are important enough to take time out of your day, then they are worthy of your entire attention.

Make Time.

Certain times of day in the Monk life are for certain activities.
For example, bathing, working, cleaning and eating all take place in their time to make sure they are done regularly.
You can designate time like this for your own regularly-occurring activities.

Sit.

Sitting meditation (zazen) is vitally important in the life of a Zen Buddhist. Slices of every day are set aside for this practice, and it will teach presence and living from moment to moment.

Smile and Serve.

Monks spend parts of every day in service to others. This teaches humility and helps leave selfishness behind. In the same way, the practices of smiling and kindness help to improve the lives of those around you, and your own.

Meditate While Cooking And Cleaning.

Besides zazen, cooking and cleaning are the next two most important moment of the Zen Buddhist Monk’s day.
Both are good practices in mindfulness. If you find these boring or a chore, try to surround them with meditation and ritual.
Put your mind to them, focus, and do them completely. You may change your mind about these tasks.

Live Simply With Your Necessities.

While we are not Zen Monks, it is good to look at how they live as an example. There is little in their lives which is not necessary – clothing, shelter, utensils, tools, and simple vegetarian food. While extreme, their example allows us to think about what we have that we don’t need, and whether we can jettison some of the excess weight of our possessions.

Live Without.

The other side of the topic above is that if something is unnecessary, you can live without it.
Try to make it a goal to rid yourself of as many unessential things as you can. Remember, it’s up to you to decide what is essential.
So if you have a vast library that you study, this is probably essential to you. If you have a collection that is your passion, this is probably essential.


Even though another person may see that as clutter, it’s not up to them to decide.
The point is keeping what’s important, and ridding yourself of excess weight.
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Friday, 2 February 2018

10 Quotes By Late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam That Will Continue To Inspire Young Indians Forever


Dr. Kalam, when you became the President, you gave the word 'hope' a new meaning for Indians... 
we have lost a great leader who inspired our young minds to feel that we live in the greatest nation on earth and that each one of them can achieve great things... May the creator lead you to heaven.


Here are 10 most inspirational quotes by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

1. “Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success.” - A.P.J Abdul Kalam

2. “Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.” - A.P.J Abdul Kalam

3. "All of us do not have equal talent. But , all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.” - A.P.J Abdul Kalam

4. “If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun.” - A.P.J Abdul Kalam 

5. “All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds.” - A.P.J Abdul Kalam

6. "Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness." -A.P.J Abdul Kalam

7. “Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough”. - A.P.J Abdul Kalam

8. "Without your involvement you can't succeed. With your involvement you can't fail. " - A.P.J Abdul Kalam

9. "Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life." - A.P.J Abdul Kalam

10.“It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone” - A.P.J Abdul Kalam


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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

What It’s like to Be the First Buddhist Chaplain at America’s Most Notorious Jail

Justin von Bujdoss, the first-ever Buddhist chaplain at Rikers Island Prison, speaks with Lindsay Kyte about America’s most notorious jail, his role in supporting the prison’s staff, and how he finds beauty in prison’s “charnel ground.”

“There’s a lot of suffering,” says Von Bujdoss. But, “When people are supported, they naturally do the right thing.”
Read Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s profile of von Bujdoss in the January 2018 issue of Lion’s Roar.

Transcript

Lindsay Kyte: Hi, I’m Lindsay Kyte and I’m the associate editor of Lion’s Roar magazine. Today we’re talking to Justin von Bujdoss, who is the first-ever Buddhist chaplain at America’s most notorious jail, Rikers Island. Hi, Justin.
Justin von Bujdoss: Hi, Lindsay.
Lindsay Kyte: So, tell us, what is the atmosphere like at Rikers Island?
Justin von Bujdoss: It’s a place where there’s a lot of suffering I think you could say in the sense that nobody wants to be incarcerated. Nobody wants to have their rights taken away or their liberties taken away necessarily. And it’s a very challenging place for staff to work, so for officers there can be long hours sometimes, it could be stressful, and it can be unpredictable. In this particular kind of combination of things it’s very hard, you know, very challenging. That being said, there’s a lot of work being done here to provide very meaningful support on both sides. Both for the inmate population, and then also for staff.
Lindsay Kyte: Can you give us some examples of sort of the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day and what you’re doing?
Justin von Bujdoss: Because I serve staff I might start off my day visiting a staff member in the hospital, or I might visit a staff member who’s sick at home, or recovering from surgery at home. I might also be serving my kind of official role as departmental chaplain in a ceremony for some kind. Typically though, I’ll end up coming to the office and just kind of assessing what’s gone on overnight, because we run 24 hours a day. And then either going out into the field, so that could be facilities off-island, hospitals, nursing homes, or what have you. And then I offer meditation in the jail facilities.

Lindsay Kyte: Do you present your work as Buddhism or do you present it more as helpful techniques drawn from Buddhism?
Justin von Bujdoss: I think it’s not necessarily a very useful term to be called a Buddhist chaplain. I’m a chaplain who acts from my own internal kind of spiritual compass at the end of the day. Because what really I’m trying to bring is a piece of, a sense of calm, a sense of curiosity about what it’s like to be going through what someone’s going through. Not that necessarily I’m curious. I am, but I’m trying to allow people to develop a sense of inquiry and an ability to skillfully walk into the situation they’re in, and support them as they do that. I think that’s something that people respond very well to, and have actually been a little bit surprised that that can be done in an effective way. And then, once done, I’ve had so many people say, “Oh well of course you’re our chaplain, that makes total sense.”
Lindsay Kyte: On a personal note, what is it like for you to be in this atmosphere?
Justin von Bujdoss: You know, occasionally I’d like to really refer to this place as a charnel ground as you find in the Vajrayana tradition where everything is just really intense, everything is a little more heightened than normal. The beauty is that there’s just nowhere to hide. When there’s nowhere to hide, all you can learn how to do or learn how to be is yourself. Right? And then as a chaplain, as a Buddhist teacher, as a practitioner of Dharma, if there’s nowhere for me to hide, then I need to cope, and I need to understand, and I need to cut through everything that makes me want to disengage while I’m here. And, because I’m here to serve people, then I really need to learn in real time how to be able to do that. It’s not theoretical at all. It’s this kind of call to action to be a presence, and not an armchair Buddhist.
Lindsay Kyte: So, what is your hope for how this work will ultimately be of benefit to Rikers?
Justin von Bujdoss: I’m not so concerned about specific outcomes, as much as making sure that the people I’m serving are supported. I also have a lot of faith in the fact that when people are supported people naturally do the right thing.

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Ant A Fable... Or May be not....



Every day, a small ant arrives at work and starts work immediately without anyone's monitoring. She produces a lot and she was happy.

The Chief of the company, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without any supervision. He thought to himself: "If the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn't she produce more if had a supervisor?"

So the lion recruited a cockroach who had "extensive experience" as a supervisor and who was "famous" for writing excellent reports. Now what did the roach do?
  
His first and foremost decision was to set up a clocking in attendance system. After all he needed that to track the sole employee of the company, an ant who arrived to work before anybody else did!

Next he needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports.

And last but not the least he recurited a spider, who managed the archives and monitored phone calls. After all the roach needed to see where the ant whiled away time ..... 

The lion was delighted with the cockroach's reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyze trends, so that he could use them for presentations at Board meetings.

Now the roach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer to produce trendy reports. Not only that, he recruited a fly to manage the IT (Information Technology) "Department" ....

The ant who had once been so productive and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of his time ......

The Chief (who else but King Lion!) came to the conclusion that it was high time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the ant worked.

The position was given to a cicada, whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office.

He also needed a computer and a PA (Personal Assistant). So he brought them over from his previous department. They would increase productivity and the bottom line by helping him to prepare a "Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimization Plan." 

Around this time, the cicada convinced The Chief, the lion, of the absolute necessity to start a climactic study of the environment!

The "department" where the ant works is now a sad place where nobody laughs anymore and everybody has become upset ....

The Chief, the lion, reviewed the charges for running the ant's department and found out that the production was much less than before.

So he recruited an owl, who was a prestigious and renowned consultant, to carry out an audit and suggest solutions. 

The owl spent three months and came up with an enormous report, in several volumes, that concluded: "The department is overstaffed ....."

Guess who the lion fires first?

The ant of course! Because he showed: "Lack of motivation and had a negative attitude."

So think, what had happened to an ant, was it justified? Why he was fired... 

Who is the responsible?  

Where does the wrong happenings came in to the action?

Properly evaluate and analyze the things for number of times before taking any big decision.
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Monday, 25 December 2017

7 Spiritual Laws That Will Create Good Vibes In Your Home According To A Buddhist Monk

Monks dedicate their whole life in obtaining harmony, peace, and wisdom. Their mission is to share with the world the life lessons and wisdom they achieved.
The home of each individual is a reflection of their psyche’s deepest layers, a place where they feel safest and most relaxed. Because our home is a sacred place, monks give us laws of life on how to make it a place of positivity, good ambiance, and good vibes.
These laws should not be followed by only one member of the family, but by everyone that are a part of the home in order to make the flow of positive energy smoother.
The Buddhist Monk said the following laws will help increase the positive energy in your home.

7 Spiritual Laws That Will Create Good Vibes In Your Home:

1. Take care of the objects in your home.

You must give value to everything you possess regardless of how you acquire it. Whether it’s a limited edition or acquired through a garage sale, it still took a lot of work to arrive in your home.

It’s said that the way you take care of the objects you have, you take care of the people in your life.
This is especially true when the object is specially given to you by a loved one or a special person in your life.

2. Be thankful for the things that were once useful to you.

With the passage of time, things could get obsolete.
Some are replaced with new models while others are simply outgrown by its owners like a pair of shoes or coats.
Instead of throwing these things away, find people who need them as much as you did the first time you got them.
This way, you still maintain their value and usefulness, and they leave a positive trail back to your home.

3. Start your day early and in silence while others are still asleep.

The monk referred to the ideal time you should wake up in the morning. Starting the day in silence means you are experiencing the complete peacefulness of the place you live in. This, in return, creates a place of peacefulness in your psyche.
Waking up early will give you time for meditation and prayer in the wee hours of the morning.
This will help tune in to positivity and decide how you want your day to flow. When you have a positive mood, it will influence everybody in the home and your day in general.
And at the end of the day you will subconsciously know that you will get back to that peaceful place so you can sleep and recharge.

4. Before cleaning your home in the morning, open the windows and let the air circulate.

By opening your windows, you allow bad energy to go out and the positive energy to come in.
Letting in fresh air will also improve the health of everybody in the house. Opening the windows eliminates bad odors as well.

5. Have a clean sink at night.

This means plates, utensils, or any kitchenware you used should all be cleaned prior to sleep at night. While this prevents inviting cockroaches, it also keeps bacteria away.
It is a subconscious reminder that you have finished every task for the next day to start clean.
It’s letting you know that everything is in the right place for you to have your next meal. That has a powerful spiritual meaning of purity and reassurance for survival.
Not only will you keep your home clean and the people healthy, you also allow the smooth flowing of the positive energy.

6. When you clean your home, focus only on the task at hand and let not your thoughts wander.

Your home is your abode. You should give it the same loving care you give to your loved ones.
Once you give your focus on what you are doing at the moment, it becomes a kind of meditation.

7. Divide the house chores among everybody at home.

While this makes you less stressed, it will also boost the pride of each one for having contributed in the cleanliness of your home.
Even children should participate in the house chores.
This division of chores is a subconscious reminder that everybody who is a part of your home, of that special and safe place inside your psyche, plays their part to keep it pure. And it’s also their reminder, for their own psyche, as they call that their home.
Cleaning your home as a team not only will make a priceless bonding moment but will also enhance your teamwork.
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Saturday, 23 December 2017

10 LIFE LESSONS FROM THE BUDDHA - A MUST READ

1. Its Okay to Start Small

“A jug fills drop by drop.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every artist was once an amateur.”
We all start small, do not despise small beginnings. If you’re consistent, and if you’re patient, you will succeed! No one succeeds over night; success belongs to those who are willing to start small and patiently work until their jug is filled.

2. Thoughts Become Things

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” James Allen said, “Man is mind.”
In order to live rightly, you must fill your mind with “right” thoughts.
Your thinking determines your actions; your actions determine your outcome. Right thinking will grant you everything you desire; wrong thinking is a vice that will eventually destroy you.
If you change your thinking you will change your life. Buddha said, “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

3. Forgive

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
When you release those who you are holding captive in the prison of un-forgiveness, it is you who is released from prison. You can’t keep someone down, without staying down with them. Learn to forgive, learn to forgive quickly.

4. It’s Your Actions That Count

“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”
They say “Talk is cheap,” because it is. To progress you must act; to progress quickly, you must act daily. Greatness will not fall upon you!
Greatness is for everyone, but only those who are willing to act consistently will experience it. There’s a proverb that goes, “God gives every bird a worm, but he doesn’t throw it into their nest.” To be great you must act great. Buddha said, “I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

5. Seek to Understand

“In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”
Stephen Covey said, “Seek to understand first, then to be understood.” Easily said, very difficult to do; you must labor to understand the “other” person’s perspective. When you feel anger rising, let it cease. Listen to others, understand their perspective, and you will have more peace. Be more concerned with being happy, than being right.
image credits: home max

6. Conquer Yourself

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
He who can conquer himself is greater than the mighty. To conquer yourself you must conquer your mind. You must control your thinking. Your thoughts cannot be tossed to and fro like the waves of the sea. You may be thinking, “I can’t control my thoughts, if a thought comes, it comes.” To that I say, you may not be able to stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can certainly stop him from building a nest in your hair. Dismiss thoughts that are contrary to the life you desire to live. Buddha said, “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe that lures him to evil ways.”

7. Live in Peace

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
Don’t look without for something that can only be found within. Many times we may look without only to distract ourselves from the reality we know is true. That reality is that peace can only be found within. Peace is not a new job, peace is not a new car, or a new spouse….peace is a new perspective, and that new perspective begins with you.

8. Be Thankful

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
There’s always something to be thankful for. Don’t be so pessimistic that for a moment, even a split moment, you fail to realize the thousands of things you have to be thankful for. Everyone didn’t wake up this morning; some people went to sleep last night for the last time. There’s always something to be grateful for, recognize it, and give thanks. A grateful heart will make you great!

9. Be True to What You Know

“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
We know a lot, but we don’t always do what we know. If you fail, it won’t be because you didn’t know; it will be because you didn’t do what you knew to do. Work to do what you know to do. Don’t just consume information, but ponder on thoughts that are conducive to what you desire to become until you have a burning desire to manifest it.

10. Travel Well

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”
Life is about the journey! I’m not trying to arrive, I’m already there. I am happy, and content, and satisfied where I am today. I may experience nicer places, and finer wines, but I am traveling well. Don’t put off your happiness into some nebulous time in the future based on some goal that you think will bring you happiness. Travel well today, enjoy the journey.

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