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Only Service Heals, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On Apr 4, 2014 viral wrote:

 Thanks for sharing your insights Abhishek!

 

Nothing Left to Fight Against, by Zenkei Blanche Hartman

FaceBook  On Mar 15, 2012 viral wrote:
 @Mira, wonderful reflection! Thanks for sharing :-)
 

Seeing is an Act, by Jeanne de Salzmann

FaceBook  On Feb 13, 2012 iJourney Coordinators wrote:
 Thank you MJ. Indeed, Leah herself chooses these images from her beautiful collection of Dharma Comics, and sometimes even makes a special one for a specific passage. Thanks again for pointing to her work!
 

Living With a Rebel Within, by Dzogchen Ponlop

FaceBook  On Sep 17, 2011 viral wrote:

 @manisha, beautiful reflection!

 

Difference Between Eah and Oh!, by Jerry Wennstrom

FaceBook  On Sep 8, 2011 viral wrote:

 @Chris, great share! Thanks for the wonderful story ..

 

Reality Poses No Danger, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

FaceBook  On Oct 18, 2010 viral wrote:

From Sensitivity to Sensibility Being sensitive is a mixed blessing. Sensitivity to feelings or situations can be a great quality, but it can also quickly turn negative: “He’s so sensitive – being around him is like walking on eggshells.” What makes it a positive quality is a certain awareness of what’s beneath the surface, both within ourselves and in other people. It means picking up on subtle clues, reading between the lines, knowing our own intentions, and being able to distinguish between what we’re picking up from other people, and our own reactions.   Sensitivity gets to be a liability when that awareness isn’t accompanied with a sense of balance. The danger is that it becomes self-oriented – we lose perspective and our own feelings become exaggerated and hyper-important. It’s even trickier when it doesn’t seem self-oriented – for instance, sensitivity to other people’s pain. Even with this, if we get wrapped up in our reaction to someone’s pain, our own reactivity becomes a distraction and it becomes counter-productive. It’s like jumping into the water to bring someone to safety, but then not being able to swim. So having an acute and even empathic perceptivity can be deeply helpful, but if it doesn’t come with equanimity, it’s limited in its ability to support someone in transforming a challenge. True compassion, then, is about sharing (com) the pain (passio), without sharing the suffering.   The key is to ground sensitivity with equanimity – whatever we are aware of, are we remaining in a space of radical acceptance? Radical (coming from the Latin, radix, which means “root”) in the sense that it is goes to the heart of the matter and fully embraces what it finds there. And an acceptance that is more of an embrace of everything that *is* – without any resistance to the natural flow of internal feelings and external manifes  See full.

From Sensitivity to Sensibility

Being sensitive is a mixed blessing. Sensitivity to feelings or situations can be a great quality, but it can also quickly turn negative: “He’s so sensitive – being around him is like walking on eggshells.” What makes it a positive quality is a certain awareness of what’s beneath the surface, both within ourselves and in other people. It means picking up on subtle clues, reading between the lines, knowing our own intentions, and being able to distinguish between what we’re picking up from other people, and our own reactions.

 

Sensitivity gets to be a liability when that awareness isn’t accompanied with a sense of balance. The danger is that it becomes self-oriented – we lose perspective and our own feelings become exaggerated and hyper-important. It’s even trickier when it doesn’t seem self-oriented – for instance, sensitivity to other people’s pain. Even with this, if we get wrapped up in our reaction to someone’s pain, our own reactivity becomes a distraction and it becomes counter-productive. It’s like jumping into the water to bring someone to safety, but then not being able to swim. So having an acute and even empathic perceptivity can be deeply helpful, but if it doesn’t come with equanimity, it’s limited in its ability to support someone in transforming a challenge. True compassion, then, is about sharing (com) the pain (passio), without sharing the suffering.

 

The key is to ground sensitivity with equanimity – whatever we are aware of, are we remaining in a space of radical acceptance? Radical (coming from the Latin, radix, which means “root”) in the sense that it is goes to the heart of the matter and fully embraces what it finds there. And an acceptance that is more of an embrace of everything that *is* – without any resistance to the natural flow of internal feelings and external manifestations. When we come across something extremely pleasant, can we remain fully present, being fulfilled by it without fear of losing it? When we become aware of something painful, can we be completely objective to that pain, not subjecting it to habituated reactions, but instead allowing it to ebb and flow according to its own natural pattern? If so, we recognize that we actually have agency in any situation. Our sensitivity helps us pick up additional, useful, information, and our balance serves as a foundation for exercising a certain respons-ability, an ability to choose how we want to respond.

 

Then, that same sensitivity, combined with this responsibility, becomes sensibility – the faculty of attuning ourselves to deeper levels of experience, and having the wisdom to learn from and act in accordance to our dynamic reality. 

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A Portrait in Patience, by Pavithra Mehta

FaceBook  On Jun 29, 2010 viral wrote:

adding on to the reflections on meditation that Nikki started, i agree -- Though it isn’t its primary raison d’être, meditation is a perfect training ground for developing patience. Take being aware of the breath -- an invaluable tool in meditation. But even if we try meditating with the breath for five minutes , we quickly see how unstable our attention actually is. As a new meditator, it can feel hopeless -- mere seconds go by and the mind is already lost in some memory or day dream, gone for many minutes at a time. We might find that the mind actually wanders much faster in meditation than it does in our more everyday experiences (like say, reading a book). And that’s because everything is magnified in meditation. It’s designed to be that way, so that awareness can sharpen and refinement can happen at a subtler level of mind. Over years of practicing, I came to experience the principle at play here: when things realign at the core, this transformation ripples upward from the depths to the surface, and outward into the rest of our lives. So each time we realize that the mind is no longer focused, that realization presents us with an immediate opportunity to practice a new way of being. And that opportunity can only come alive  -- with a heart of patience.

Wrote up a much longer piece recently on this.

all in all, awesome passage, wonderful recording, and great comments ... melissa, regarding the male/female energy, turns out the author is also female :-)

 

The Fallacy of Togetherness, by Osho

FaceBook  On Jun 11, 2010 viral wrote:

patsy, i've always appreciated what you share. wanted to think out loud about the questions you pose here, by posing one more question. as context for that question, this snippet from the passage:

"If ten internally focused individuals are sitting in a room, it is not that there are ten internally focused individuals sitting. It is each individual sitting by themselves, thereby not forming a crowd."

here's the question: this being the case (which I think it is), why do ten internally focused individuals still decide to sit together? i think there is real value in it, inspite of ultimately each individual sittiing by themselves.

reflections?

best,

 

Willing to Experience our Suffering, by Charlotte Joko Beck

FaceBook  On Dec 25, 2009 Viral wrote:

"Well, a number of years ago a very good friend of mine and I were really into this beauty thing: what does it mean? Why did Doestoyevsky talk about beauty? Why did he say you can save the world with beauty? The way I try to explain it now, and it's just a fringe of an explanation, is that being human is having both pathos—you know about death, about suffering, you know all of that, and you can't get away from it—but the other side of being human is joy. You have friends, you can touch things and, in the long run, you're related to the universe. There's a great joy in that, and beauty is somehow the line, the edge between the two, the edge between the shadow and the light, and both of them become richer when they're both there." -- from a Works and Conversations Magazine interview of James Hubbell, by Richard Whittaker

 

Walking the Razor's Edge, by Charlotte Joko Beck

FaceBook  On Jun 17, 2009 JZ wrote:

This is a fanastic passage.  It make me think of a profound experience from my childhood, so thank you guys for sending out the passage.

 

The Two Beliefs of Successful People, by David Brooks

FaceBook  On Feb 4, 2009 viral wrote:
Cathy, that is an incense stick in an incense holder ...
 

Why Do You Meditate?, by Andrew Cohen

FaceBook  On Jan 14, 2008 A Reflection from the Thought-of-the-Week Photograph wrote:
A reflection on the photo, from our photographer-volunteer extra-ordinaire: This is a shot of mountains taken from an airplane. The sunlight is falling from the side, and the last bit of rays are falling on top of the mountains. For me, it represents the light of awareness on the mountain of the autopilot state -- frozen, conditioned mind.
 

The Secret To Surfing the Waves, by Ani Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Jul 16, 2007 Photograph Above wrote:
A note from our wonderful photographer-volunteer, who matches the thoughts with appropriate images. His thoughts on this photo: As I reflected on the message of awareness, being in the present but not attached to it and not being in the past and the future, I resonated well with this image of the Coliseum in Rome. We just happened to be at the right spot on the right day (full moon day) at the right time to catch the full moon through one of the portals of Coliseum. It is for me about blessing being received -— being present and aware and having all the mindfulness and tools with me plus the universe making it work —- without all these factors this photo would not have come about.
 

Ten Rules For Being Human, by Cherie Carter-Scott

FaceBook  On Jul 16, 2007 viral wrote:
mark, that was hilarious! i agree, that was a cryptic phrase. the way i took double helix of inner knowing: we all have this innate inner knowing ... so innate, that it's like our dna, intrinsically there, and i think the point is that so is inner knowing -- and it just needs to be unraveled.
 

Releasing Your Specifications, by Gary Zukav

FaceBook  On Jul 2, 2007 Note from the Photographer wrote:
Dear Readers, Here are the comments from our volunteer photographer, who has been matching the Thought of the Weeks with photos he has taken that capture the essence of the passage. "This photo is about letting go of expectations and living ‘God’s will’ because who is planning and providing and intending on behalf of the chipmunk? What does the chipmunk do with its daily life in terms preparing for the future? Does the Chipmunk have time — concept of of time, past and future? Why do we struggle..." Thought of the Week Editors
 

Who Was That Masked Man Anyway?, by Lawrence Kushner

FaceBook  On Jun 11, 2007 viral wrote:
Thanks Conrad for sharing your insights. I think the place of "not knowing" is rather a powerful one, as it leaves you open to many possibilities. Toni Packer describes this well in a previous thought of the week: http://tow.charityfocus.org/index.php?tid=438
 

The Soul of Money, by Lynne Twist

FaceBook  On May 13, 2007 TOW Team wrote:
Some possible points of reflection: * What is your own relationship to money? * How do you keep connected to the soul of money? * Have you had any experiences in which your way of relating to money is either restrictive or liberating?
 

Questioning Our Questions, by Eric Vogt, Juanita Brown, David Isaacs

FaceBook  On May 7, 2007 TOW Team wrote:
Some possible points of reflection: * What question can you ask every day that will connect you to yourself? * Have there been any times when the right question has triggered the right direction? * How do you craft powerful questions?
 

From Sincerity to Authenticity, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On Apr 18, 2007 VM wrote:
The remarkable magazine Paul refers to is available online, and an interview with Celaya can be found here: http://www.conversations.org/story.php?sid=67
 

Witnessing: A Form of Compassion, by James O'dea

FaceBook  On Mar 9, 2007 CP wrote:
David Geoffrey Smith, in "Trying To Teach In A Season Of Great Untruth- Sense" Pub. 2006 "Instead of Descartes' Private enterprise model of the epistemological and ontological certainty, "I think; therefore I am," today it may be more appropriate to say, "we are; therefore I am."
 

The Most Precious Freedom, by David Foster Wallace

FaceBook  On Feb 14, 2007 viral wrote:

Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday Many thoughts: the first part says that most of us feel that we are the center, and it's true. A few examples: our life is very significant -- in the Hindu and Jain way of looking at life, getting a human birth is extremely precious, after millions of lives. We squander health for wealth, then we squander wealth for health, and then we squander it all for the tombstone :-) And in vipassana, they teach constant awareness of your speech, your thoughts, your actions, so many things. And so the real education is constantly over and over again, sacrificing for others and thinking about others. And so, we live in flesh and blood, but who will remember us? The show goes on without you. And so you must remember why we are here. This quote hit home, literally. Some of the imagery: there's a little critter living in our attic right now, and we here it gnawing. And last night, throughout meditation, I could here it running from one end of the room to the other. And my mind would run with it. The imagery reminded me of a constant stream of thought. And at home, we are having a constant stream of ants :-) For the last few weeks, they've gone into the freezer, and they just end up dying. This thought, and the imagery, made me reflect on where our thoughts and monologue are going, and where are they going? Trying to get into some bottle of honey that we will never get into. Before we get into "no thought", where should we direct this stream, as long as we are streaming? And the person before me was talking about the beauty of sacrificing for others. Which made me think of: not think of yourself or think of others in yourself. I looked at this thought and shortly after that I read an email about a bomb that was mailed to our office a couple of weeks later, and this thought and this talk about funeral, just  See full.

Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday

  • Many thoughts: the first part says that most of us feel that we are the center, and it's true. A few examples: our life is very significant -- in the Hindu and Jain way of looking at life, getting a human birth is extremely precious, after millions of lives. We squander health for wealth, then we squander wealth for health, and then we squander it all for the tombstone :-) And in vipassana, they teach constant awareness of your speech, your thoughts, your actions, so many things. And so the real education is constantly over and over again, sacrificing for others and thinking about others. And so, we live in flesh and blood, but who will remember us? The show goes on without you. And so you must remember why we are here.

  • This quote hit home, literally. Some of the imagery: there's a little critter living in our attic right now, and we here it gnawing. And last night, throughout meditation, I could here it running from one end of the room to the other. And my mind would run with it. The imagery reminded me of a constant stream of thought. And at home, we are having a constant stream of ants :-) For the last few weeks, they've gone into the freezer, and they just end up dying. This thought, and the imagery, made me reflect on where our thoughts and monologue are going, and where are they going? Trying to get into some bottle of honey that we will never get into. Before we get into "no thought", where should we direct this stream, as long as we are streaming? And the person before me was talking about the beauty of sacrificing for others. Which made me think of: not think of yourself or think of others in yourself.

  • I looked at this thought and shortly after that I read an email about a bomb that was mailed to our office a couple of weeks later, and this thought and this talk about funeral, just reminds me that there's a lot going on outside of me and my world!

  • This reminded me of a quote: when you're sitting in traffic, have you ever realized that everyone else is traffic? :-) It's such a tall order to always do things for others, and I think I was able to breathe a little better when I read the word unglamorous. And it give me a little freedom to be myself and realize that you don't have to be Gandhi, but just yourself!

  • I've been spending a lot of time alone, and I get into my own world, but there's something that allows me to contact others in that space as well. I got something I liked in the mail, and there was something else in the mail too, but that second mail was just not interesting. And it made me think, what happens if I let all of the interesting, glamorous things go, will I be happy? And I just decided to let it all go, and I felt this lightness, this expansion. And I thought, what if I give myself to that feeling, and it all made sense. And so I've noticed that sometimes I look at people and I just see a cage. and my whole world is small. And i try to expand it, and when I let go of it, then literally my brain feels like it works differently.

  • One thing I was reflecting on when I was listening to the passage: there's a difference between being a disciple of your experience and being a prisoner. Something this weekend happened which startled me, in a very different way. I don't think being 30 is old, but when I realized that I was going to be 30 soon, my eyes were closed at the time, and they flew open. It was a difference experience when it was My experience. And I was remembering a poem I'd written years ago titled, "When I turn 30," :-) and it was about when I'm 30 I will have purpose and sharp defined boundaries, and a compass. And I realized I'm not there :-) And I looked outside and I saw these beatiful misty hills, and I realized that those hills have been there for a long time, and will be there for a long time. But every morning, they go through the process of remembering their shape. And so blurry edges are OK! The edges of things are so deceptive, and when you think about the edges of yourself, they are so dynamic, expanding contracting, and so to be aware of those boundaries, there's something powerful about that.

  • A thought occurred when I heard this thought now: we're moving offices at work this week, and so I learned yesterday that I am going to have an office. for the first time, and so that was exciting. But then I saw that others weren't going to have a cube, managers who have been there longer than me. And so I was thinking that I should give my spot up to someone who would be deserves it more. Then the next day I looked again at the chart and I was to be in a cube and not an office! And my first reaction was such that I came face to face with my self-centeredness. Of course I would have given it up, but it's so different when it's not YOURs to give up :-)

  • This basic problem of the self goes very deep. It's almost impossible as a human being. Even if I understand the ordinary selfishness, that's some awareness. But there's this really deep existential issue: no matter what, there's this sorrow, this emptiness. If not your sorrow, then the sorrow of the whole world. In my case, the problem is always there :-) So you have to answer that question for yourself. If you go deep, then you see that all the problems are because of the mind. The body has its own intelligence and it's fine. If you don't corrupt it. And in deep sleep, the thought identification is not present, and so that is big mind. And there's no problem. When you're awake, this I thought comes and you get ego and there's a problem. And that's why you need meditation. So what is the right place for thought? There's nothing wrong with technical thinking, if you are concentrating on it. It's the most important thing. The problem comes from the emotional part: hanging on to the memories of hurt, responding from the past, these emotional things. So where you put the thought is the problem. Once the mind realizes that there's a problem, it's fine, but it can't solve itself. In technical usage of the mind, there's no problem, but this emotional habit is the problem and solving it is meditation. And you realize that you can't do anything -- you just sit. And then maybe there's this possibility that a higher intelligence operates.

  • It's interesting that this thought comes now. It brings some things full circle for me. I heard a few weeks ago from someone here who talked about how at work, when there's conflict, he tries to respond in a centered and grounded way. And so the past few weeks, I've been thinking and applying this to my own interactions. And in order to do this, I had to take myself out of the equation, which allowed me to think about what I could do that is best for the other person.

  • I'm a very self-centered person :-) Whenever I used to take exams, my parents would say good luck and I felt happy. And now also, people are also wishing good luck, but now I realize that everything is for me. Even when we do something for others, we do it for others. And so I was going to an interview, and I thought, should I wake my husband up so that he can wish me good luck. :-) And I could see that it was for me. And I left, and I realized that I was so desperate to have a bye and good luck!

  • I really connected to the earlier reflection about coming from a grounded place at a time of conflict. This whole day was about talking with others at work about how each person had the greatest amount of work. And at the time, I really believed that I had the most work! And the theme was to do what you needed to do to accomplish what was important for yourself. And then some people left at that point. But interestingly, the rest who stayed were really forced to turn to each other and think about the other person. And it was so clear -- that exercise felt so much more valuable than if I had left before that.

  • I really appreciated the quote. And it just clearly resonated with me given where I've been the last few months. I was thinking about if there were moments when you hadn't been the center, and I think there might have been some quasi-moments. But I think most of the time I'm guilty of being self-centered. I was also thinking about the emotional baggage we carry and how that keeps us from having a true connection outside. And so it's really about facing your vulnerabilities.

  • This is an interesting quote and it talks about control, and someone earlier touched on the emotional aspects of how the mind gets into different spaces based on emotions. And so many people ask me why I meditate, and it all boils down to one quote: don't look backwards into the past with anger, don't look forward into the future with fear, but look everywhere with awareness. If we can do that, that's the goal.

  • It's a real joy to listen to everybody. I went to a meditation camp, and I spent ten days with a rock star, without even knowing it! We were together in silence for most of it, and then on the tenth day, we talked and had a great time. And so we were talking about our life situations, and he said, I have a pretty flexible schedule, and I said so do I, and we moved on. And we had a very genuine interaction, but we didn't care to keep in touch. And then I got home, and I tell my brother his name, and I learn that this is a guy who was on the front cover of Rolling Stone! And I was reading about him, and he was talking about how at 11, he wanted to be a rock star, where it would be all about him, and now it's the complete opposite. ... And the article brought out a view that perhaps he was being selfish in meditating, which to me is really about being selfless and egoless from another angle. So any action can be seen in different ways, as self-centered or perhaps not. And so I try to remain open to all the different views, and try not to take the view that determines something to be selfish too seriously.

  • Besides the quote, I had something else on my mind: a friend I've known for some time was just diagnosed today with cancer. And I just happened to call her within half an hour of when she'd found out, and she said she was doing research on the right treatment. And it just came to my mind how these kinds of things just change your experience so drastically. So it was a definite wake up call to realize that things are constantly changing. I guess that Bottom line is that as long as you try to do what is good for the other person and try to take yourself out of the equation, it all falls in place.

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    Cultivating Affirmation, by Patricia Ryan Madson

    FaceBook  On Dec 20, 2006 viral wrote:
    Great thoughts everyone! Rekha, I loved what you wrote and tried to read it out loud at our weekly circle of sharing, but alas, the internet connection failed ;-) thanks!
     

    Divided You Suffer, United You Dance, by Osho

    FaceBook  On Dec 7, 2006 viral wrote:

    Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday One of the nice things about going first is that you get to say what comes up without the triggering of thoughts based on what others have said. One thing that struck me was comparing what thich nhat hanh talks about: being mindful, but in a different way. Being mindful, and that bringing joy. I like hearing these things in different ways. We're all looking for fulfillment, joy, and so it helps to have different views to keep us focused. I really like the quote, because it says something very powerful, but still has a very tactile feel. This passage has all the things put together, being present, mindful, and it's certainly true that there is a lot of joy in that. What I have learned in Vipassana meditation, which is really about observing oneself, and it gives good training into the principle of being here now. If you apply this principle into whatever you do, it makes you feel completely absorbed into whatever you do. It becomes natural for you to pour your enthusiasm into whatever you're doing, and that enthusiasm flows into other people beyond you. And then there's a greater flow in the group. So in teaching, I've found that when I am absorbed, then there's a greater effect on the students. There's a good word in Sanskrit which describes a half-hearted approach: the mind is in a state of "vidha," which means split in two. I really like the quote. I like the quote, but I'm not sure if I like it because it's simple, or because I have difficulty focusing on many things anyway! The one aspect which is from some other books I've read too, is that the time when you are fully devoted in one activity, you are fully engrossed, that puts you in touch with your inner core, that is why we start enjoying and feel the joy; we are not divided. The only thing that I can really think about, is how about ten years ago, I made the choice half-consciously, to focus on really what I thought was important  See full.

    Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday

  • One of the nice things about going first is that you get to say what comes up without the triggering of thoughts based on what others have said. One thing that struck me was comparing what thich nhat hanh talks about: being mindful, but in a different way. Being mindful, and that bringing joy. I like hearing these things in different ways. We're all looking for fulfillment, joy, and so it helps to have different views to keep us focused.
  • I really like the quote, because it says something very powerful, but still has a very tactile feel.
  • This passage has all the things put together, being present, mindful, and it's certainly true that there is a lot of joy in that.
  • What I have learned in Vipassana meditation, which is really about observing oneself, and it gives good training into the principle of being here now. If you apply this principle into whatever you do, it makes you feel completely absorbed into whatever you do. It becomes natural for you to pour your enthusiasm into whatever you're doing, and that enthusiasm flows into other people beyond you. And then there's a greater flow in the group. So in teaching, I've found that when I am absorbed, then there's a greater effect on the students. There's a good word in Sanskrit which describes a half-hearted approach: the mind is in a state of "vidha," which means split in two.
  • I really like the quote.
  • I like the quote, but I'm not sure if I like it because it's simple, or because I have difficulty focusing on many things anyway! The one aspect which is from some other books I've read too, is that the time when you are fully devoted in one activity, you are fully engrossed, that puts you in touch with your inner core, that is why we start enjoying and feel the joy; we are not divided.
  • The only thing that I can really think about, is how about ten years ago, I made the choice half-consciously, to focus on really what I thought was important -- go within, and realize the true nature of my being. And the half-conscious part of it was that I thought that the rest of my life would self-organize around that: school, career, how I dressed. I found that when I dedicated myself wholly to the inner life, I found that things really would organize. And so one thing I'm thinking about is work: I always got jobs that allowed me to fudge myself through half-heartedly. I never really had to give myself fully. To make a long story short -- all of that journey has come together, and so many parts have fallen away, and so many have come through. And this Monday, I got a job which really won't allow me to fudge myself through. And through this transition, I am really going to try to apply this quote.
  • A week or so ago, I was feeling very half-hearted, and very split. And my guru is in town, and so I was going to ask her about this, and so I was standing in line, and so I fasted, thinking that that would be helpful to aim my fast towards helping me make this decision. And I couldn't ask the question, they wouldn't let me, and so I was disappointed and my ego was heart. And five minutes after I broke my fast, disappointed, I got fired. And now I'm working in my first design job, and everything fell into place, and I felt ready. I'm feeling really happy about that. And it's nice to be able to share that whole-heartedness with others on the same path.
  • In my own experiences at work, you can spend your life running away from work or running away from the weekends -- both are possible dangers!
  • So what makes one do things whole or half-heartedly? You work whole-heartedly when you are working for a higher value, as opposed to it being an expedient. Like volunteering, or fighting injustice as a elected official. When you are working for a higher purpose, there's an old story of someone who goes up to a contractor and asks "What are you doing?" and in one case, he says "I'm building a wall." But in the other case, he says "I'm building the Taj Mahal." It's the same wall, but when there's a greater vision, there's more whole-heartedness.
  • A couple of thoughts. I give my whole-hearted effort only when I'm enjoying it. It's sort of chicken and egg. For example, I started volunteering, and I find that I really enjoy it. And so then I'm much more likely to do it whole-heartedly. And when I do it more whole-heartedly, I'm more likely to enjoy it, and so it builds on itself.
  • Some of the things about this quote, it's a good way to know if you have choices, this is a way to find out what's the right choice for you -- if you perceive yourself as being whole-hearted, it's probably a better choice. The issue with whole-heartedness is that it's easier to do when it's spontaneous, and that's when I feel happiest. The last thing is that sometimes when ou have some losses, it's a basis for a future success.
  • I completely agree about what has been said so far about work. I read somewhere that "Interest follows hard work, but not vice versa." I also want to talk about passion: passion is not as much about contentment, but more about achieving, and winning. So even if you are passionate, it's not necessarily going to result in a very peaceful state of mind. Sometimes you have to be willing to do the best you can, and face the consequences, and let it be. It's ok. Having said that, there are some basic necessities like health, but other than that, what's the point of taking something too hard, like work or action.
  • This quote about being divided, reminds me of growing up, about growing up as South-Asian American, and growing up seeing the differences between me and others. Here I wouldn't fit in, and when I go to India, I see myself as an American! And I realized that it was a state of being, and there was a split. And since seeing it then, I've been able to be more comfortable with myself.
  • I think there's a potential confusion with the quote. He seems to be equating whole-hearted with total, and half-hearted with partiality. I think it's possible otherwise. To be able to listen totally, takes a lot of attention and energy to get everything. But I could listen whole-heartedly and still get a partial view. The ability to be total, which means being able to see the whole thing, before engaging with it. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try, and there might be a struggle, and just because one can't be total, to the extent that one can be total, to that extent it is right. Overall, what I take away: one should attempt to be total, and try to integrate so much of what we know to the everyday moments, to constantly ask oneself, "Am I being total?" In that struggle, something special can happen.
  • I have a quote which relates to where I am, not clear about which way to head in my life. I liked what someone earlier said, about focusing on the core, the most basic point. When I focus on that, it lends a lot of clarity. Another way I look at it is that when I feel really alive, I don't feel that split, there's a whole-istic quality to that.
  • I didn't really think about whole versus half, and total versus partial. What I focused on was creativity. I was thinking of when I'm doing something with the totality of my being, then I'm creating.
  • When I read this, it just made me smile and feel happy. I relate a lot with it, and I feel that if you are more in the moment, it takes away the fear or apprehension of the future, and regret of the past. Whatever you do, whether you walk, if you are being with it, it doesn't matter how it comes out ... just be happy.
  • A few random thoughts: just felt that life is too short to have too many thoughts in your mind. We just keep thinking, when there are a lot of thoughts. It makes a lot of sense to just do what's in front of you with the fullest commitment and dedication. It makes a lot of sense to just be total and happy with what's there. I also like what someone else said earlier about the core value and sticking to that, and everything else revolving around that. But it's just that we keep getting distracted from that core.
  • My mind is spinning with all things. The quote lost me, honestly. I agree in a different way, that the quote was delivered a different kind of message than it intended. I don't think it's bad to be partial or good to be total. Just accept what is, and then you are likely to be more total with who you are. Just be total in doing what makes you happy. And in the last 15 years, I just follow that, and knowing yourself, and being total is an alignment of mind and heart. Another thought: I saw this documentary called the secret, and it talks about the law of attraction, and it's spectacular. One thing they talked about is dis-ease.
  • When I was a kid, my dad used to ask me to take something from one room to another, and I was doing it half-heartedly. But I've realized that doing things half-heartedly took me to the point where I can do them whole-heartedly!
  • Anything that we do in life, we can do it full-heartedly, with joy. If you do it half, then you aren't happy. If you do it full, you're happy. If you change your intention in this way, then you can be happy.
  • The thought brought to mind Thich Nhat Hanh's: Miracle of mindfulness. People go to watch him just open the door, because it is mindful and whole-hearted, from intention to action.
  • A few people said a few things, and there's one sentence I have to share: the whole person, or the complete person, thinks with his heart.

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    Divided You Suffer, United You Dance, by Osho

    FaceBook  On Dec 5, 2006 viral wrote:
    Conrad, I like your notion of accepting imperfections. The Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki once said to his students, "Each one of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement." On another note, this link has another thought by Osho in which he distinguishes between totality and perfection: http://tow.charityfocus.org/index.php?tid=269
     

    The Blooming of the Offering Within You, by Thich Nhat Hanh

    FaceBook  On Nov 21, 2006 viral wrote:

    Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday Blooming takes some amount of nurturing. Native American story of an elder -- who wins between my good and bad natures? The one I fed the most. When are you most creative? It turns shower is one of those places. Why might that be? It's because these thoughts, and insights are already within you. Michelangelo -- take a rock and remove all the layers A great story of Mindfulness from Thich Nhat Hanh: going to meet his teacher the day before he's going to take his robes. He's excited, and he walks in, and they have this talk, and the teacher asks him to close the door on his way out. And in the excitement, he doesn't close it fully. And so his teacher says, "When you're closing the door, close the door." And he says that that lesson stayed with him. Today I was reading the newspaper, and there's a section on "Gift of Giving." And so I came across MyTwoFrontTeeth.org, which goes up to toy companies and connects donated toys to children who need it. One thought I wanted to put out: what is the most inspiring moment that you have heard of? I went to a meditation retreat, and it was a good refresher. It's amazing that the same words are repeated, but you take different meaning every time you refer to it, similar to the Bhagavad Gita. My mother told me that every time you are in difficulty, read that, and you get different insights and perspectives. This experience at the meditation retreat was similar -- some deeper understanding was coming forth even though I had been there before. This thought is very useful, because normally we rush from one activity to another, and in the process, our heart isn't fully there, and so I think it's better to do what we do fully. For me, the thought leads to this notion of just Being, in whatever form, space, time, activity that we might be going through. Also, this thought touches on enlightenment, and I have a lot of friends who are into spirit  See full.

    Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday

  • Blooming takes some amount of nurturing.
  • Native American story of an elder -- who wins between my good and bad natures? The one I fed the most.
  • When are you most creative? It turns shower is one of those places. Why might that be? It's because these thoughts, and insights are already within you.
  • Michelangelo -- take a rock and remove all the layers
  • A great story of Mindfulness from Thich Nhat Hanh: going to meet his teacher the day before he's going to take his robes. He's excited, and he walks in, and they have this talk, and the teacher asks him to close the door on his way out. And in the excitement, he doesn't close it fully. And so his teacher says, "When you're closing the door, close the door." And he says that that lesson stayed with him.
  • Today I was reading the newspaper, and there's a section on "Gift of Giving." And so I came across MyTwoFrontTeeth.org, which goes up to toy companies and connects donated toys to children who need it.
  • One thought I wanted to put out: what is the most inspiring moment that you have heard of?
  • I went to a meditation retreat, and it was a good refresher. It's amazing that the same words are repeated, but you take different meaning every time you refer to it, similar to the Bhagavad Gita. My mother told me that every time you are in difficulty, read that, and you get different insights and perspectives. This experience at the meditation retreat was similar -- some deeper understanding was coming forth even though I had been there before.
  • This thought is very useful, because normally we rush from one activity to another, and in the process, our heart isn't fully there, and so I think it's better to do what we do fully.
  • For me, the thought leads to this notion of just Being, in whatever form, space, time, activity that we might be going through. Also, this thought touches on enlightenment, and I have a lot of friends who are into spirituality. And I wonder, because there are a lot of people who let go of material seeking, and come to a spiritual path, but it seems to be that even that is a seeking, and is a barrier to being. Like, Ah, I will have this feeling of peace, and that seeking can be a barrier.
  • I was thinking of someone I know who walks the "Thich Nhat Hanh," and talks a lot about the concept of doing dishes fully etc, but it turns out that you have to do the dishes after them. And even this person sees that they are not as grounded in a meditation practice. And this thought talks about enlightenment being about washing the dishes, and that's true on some level, but on some level, it's just not. So it reminded me of the quote from last week: It's not the truth if it's not a paradox.
  • I was at a car dealership and I ended up talking to the person next to me, as I waited. And this person was carrying a gun, was a gangster, and lived a very different life than mine. And as we were talking, he realized that his choices have led him to a place where he can be in serious situations. And he talked about how he loves love, loves people, loves to learn and interact. He studied the greeks and the romans, and friends and community, and trust, and I was just sitting there, and it reminded me of the scene from waking life, and we were just having this holy moment, and all this conditioning melted away and it was just two souls, two brothers, just being there. And I've been going off of this energy, because one interaction like this means so much.
  • One of the things I was thinking: the times when we do these simple, small daily routines, is the time when we truly appreciate. Like when you go back home and cook a meal after a long day at work. So even relaxing is more fulfilling when you are fully there. But this concept of having a baby in you, or a poem in you, you have to have that in you in order for it to be the basis for you to appreciate the simple things more.
  • This thought made me think of the trip I took to Europe, and the whole trip was a big flower, or big sea of energy. It was such a rich experience, and I've just wanted to share that. And so I'm on the plane back to America, and I have this feeling like "I don't want to go back." And so I can just see these habits coming back, and I felt so layered. And it made me realize that I want to be in that space I was in, but the habits are so strong. And so it's just like there are all these babies within you, but they need to be nurtured, or else they don't come out healthy. So I have so many seeds that are ripening, and I want to do something, and I'm just searching for putting all of that out in the world, and I really have to work on having it come out in form.
  • The author, when you mentioned how accomplished he was, it doe show up in his writing. Like his description of the tenderness of being a poet. And one interesting thing it reminded me of: "Poets can reach the places where even the sun can't reach." And so by thought, a person can reach vast distances. So poetry can be so rich without any physical possession.
  • I think the second or third time I went over this passage, what I felt it was really talking about was beauty and being connected to the beauty of each moment. And it reminded me of something of what my grand-uncle used to say: Intelligence and capability are not enough. It's about the joy of doing something beautiful. So it's not about washing the dishes, but seeing the beauty in that. And he talks about the poem, or the blooming flower, and so being able to bloom in whatever action we're doing is about not having an agenda. So the challenge is to live with purpose without having an agenda. So being engaged in something meaningful, but not letting that rob meaning from other experiences. Another reflection: a cousin of mine, who was visiting, has this special ability to be joyful in so many of her experiences. And it made me reflect on the difference between being frivolous and seeing the beauty in the moment.
  • And then, I was thinking about the difference between priorities and being dynamic, in the way you deal with the day-to-day, so that your life doesn't end up being a series of tasks, but there's a flexibility to what you're doing, so that you aren't locked into your priorities.
  • I'd just like to thank everyone for sharing these wonderful thoughts today.
  • The story earlier made me think about being present when other people make connections: a week ago, I was sitting on the train, and there was this older Nigerian guy who comes and sits next to me, and he's really jolly, and this other hippie-ish guy, also older, and jolly, came and they started talking and I just realized how joyful I feel when people connect. So I really appreciate observing moments like that, and being present to that.
  • I just really appreciated listening to everyone today: a lot of valuable thoughts. And the thought was good too. This last weekend, I had to traffic school -- not somewhere you necessarily want to go, but you go. And it's early in the morning, and everyone just has to show up, and it's a total United Nations of people, from every strata of society, from every culture etc. And there was this mixed group, much like us tonight, and we're sitting there, and really tense, and the teacher comes, and she did something which teachers do: she made everybody sit in a circle, and just talk, not just about what happened and why you are here, but also, "tell us something about yourself," and we also had to play the name game. So it ended up such that you start off not knowing anyone, and by lunch, you have this feeling of camaraderie, and I just felt like I was really there. And it was nice to see that even though we were brought together in this unfortunate way, we were able to connect, and that was really nice.
  • Traffic school can be a spiritual experience! It's also a place where you find everyone knowing the rules exactly, but not doing it!
  • About mindfulness, one of the things that came up in traffic school: why is it you do these wrong things? It's because you aren't mindful. Another example is, "I'm late, and I need to get to where I need to go, and I don't care about others."
  • Every time I come to Wednesday, I feel like something connects, and this time, it's the fact that I have traffic school this weekend! And one more thing: it does make me think about being mindful while driving.
  • I've never been to traffic school, but all of this is interesting! About a year ago, I had been accepted to this fellowship, and I was looking to be inspired so that I could do valuable work: save the world! I was going to be working with this nonprofit, and everything was fitting in nicely, and I was so excited to be able to go and do something valuable and helpful. And I had a friend tell me before I went, "The best advice I can give you is to be happy while you're washing the dishes." And I didn't understand it then, but I remembered it, and looking back, some of the things I remembered the most, are the really small experiences, where you can see the beauty. What I was doing on the external level was great, but what I see the most beauty is experiences like being on a bus with 150 people, but there's no sound. Or the conversations with the host grandmother I was with, and I could see the parallels between her and the host mother my sister had in Denmark, and seeing how mothers all say that you should never say no to a child. And so really seeing the beauty in washing dishes is what I really got out of being there.
  • This is something I've been struggling for a long time, of these "chores," as they are labelled. One thing I found was that when there was context, there can be a lot of energy, but when that context wasn't there, the mindfulness isn't either. And when I think of Thich Nhat Hanh, I think that his context helps him be mindful fully. But our lives are so disjoint, and so I don't see the real connection between cleaning the carpet, and that having an impact on the rest of my day. And the third thing that comes to me: when I'm washing the dishes I can't disengage my mind and heart, and so in the name of mindfulness, if I disengage, that isn't going to work. And so I thought how it can be seen as, on the heart level, cleaning my heart, and on the mind level, clearing my mind. And so engaging on different levels, and knowing what those levels are, can be very helpful. If anyone else has any other inputs, please share them!
  • I think being mindful is the simplest thing to understand, but the hardest thing to do. And insight that I had earlier today -- I forgot that it was the thought of the week. I'm the kind of person that needs to slow down. You need to prioritize a little bit, and you focus on that, and yet you have that dynamic-ness. And so the insight I had was that, if I'm not mindful all the time, I feel like it's a failure. But I realized that it's really about those moments were mindful. And so it's not so much about all those other moments of "failure," and I'm switching my strategy! And I realize that at some subconscious level, if I am not mindful, I think I can't be. So instead of fooling myself, it's about being honest with myself, and take it slow, and really learn how I work and go from there.
  • I've also been struggling to understand what mindfulness is. In some ways it means, giving your full attention is what being mindful. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about mindfulness a lot but I don't think I've ever seen a full definition about it. Ultimately, when we are doing that active listening, we create a strong connection and a lot of the distractions fall away and that's what allows creativity to come up, so we can write the poetry. That blooming is what living is about.
  • I really like this quote because I'm facing a real lesson in mindfulness, with my 4-week old daughter. How to get my daughter's wishes met in the best way I know. It really hit that I'm as mindful about it as I am. It's hard to describe. The part of the "baby being in you before you can deliver it" really hit home for me. You have to find that joy in all the small things, all the chores, in the process of doing it. If you're able to do that, you give birth to that wonderment that everyone has inside of them. It's hard and I'm not a smiley person but I know my daughter is lookin' at me all the time, so I'm doing a lot more smiling these days. Then, I walked down the street and I carried forward that smile and I didn't realize until it everyone was smiling back at me!
  • A humorist once asked, "What is it in this world that everyone loves to give but no one loves to take?" Advice. :)
  • For a long time, I didn't see the difference between compassion and empathy. Empathy is the ability to be able to identify with the hurt of another person, while compassion is to put that feeling into action. Compassion is not passive.
  • I'm thinking of a character in the Epic Mahabharata, who is skilled at doing a hundred things with equal mindfulness. And here we are, struggling to do just one! But the other thought I had was that there is such a tangible difference when someone does something with just that much more mindfulness, as opposed to a lack of mindfulness.
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    Riding the Crest of the Unknown, by Dada

    FaceBook  On Nov 11, 2006 viral wrote:

    Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday This thought is from a book that is not generally published, from a friend of mine who is a very kind person, and is always hosting people. At one time, he was hosting this person named Dada, and soon after his visit, my friend gets into a near-death car crash. Just a little while later, he gets a letter in the mail, from Dada, saying "You've got a second chance. Don't waste it." Since then, his life has changed radically. Regarding this thought, it points to why we choose. An interesting book by Barry Schwartz: the Paradox of choice, goes deeper into choice. The premise is that we think that choice is good, but then we carry that forward and think that more choice is better, but at some point, more choices is actually worse. 21 types of chocolate cookies, and 81 types of cereal, and 30,000 choices in a supermarket, out of which 20,000 fail every year. One of the interesting questions isn't just how we choose, but why we choose. If I think about how I choose, there was one conversation with a monk I had in the hallway, and that has defined many of my decisions in the last 8 years: he said, "whenever i have a tough choice to make, i do what's hardest on the ego." and that has been priceless, and i haven't regretted any choice i've made in that way. Something about choice struck me. A bunch of friends and I volunteer at a nonprofit for underprivileged children in San Jose. And one of the things they do is they allow the children to gain points, and then with the points, they can buy things. So I was at the Kindergarten table -- because they give the best hugs! -- and what struck us was that kindergarteners knew right away what they wanted. But teenagers were always a little perplexed by what to choose. And so that made me reflect on choice and how my mind has gotten tainted by it. And the message from childhood on was: be prepared. Whether it was for school or society. And from that, I created  See full.

    Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday

  • This thought is from a book that is not generally published, from a friend of mine who is a very kind person, and is always hosting people. At one time, he was hosting this person named Dada, and soon after his visit, my friend gets into a near-death car crash. Just a little while later, he gets a letter in the mail, from Dada, saying "You've got a second chance. Don't waste it." Since then, his life has changed radically.
  • Regarding this thought, it points to why we choose. An interesting book by Barry Schwartz: the Paradox of choice, goes deeper into choice. The premise is that we think that choice is good, but then we carry that forward and think that more choice is better, but at some point, more choices is actually worse. 21 types of chocolate cookies, and 81 types of cereal, and 30,000 choices in a supermarket, out of which 20,000 fail every year. One of the interesting questions isn't just how we choose, but why we choose. If I think about how I choose, there was one conversation with a monk I had in the hallway, and that has defined many of my decisions in the last 8 years: he said, "whenever i have a tough choice to make, i do what's hardest on the ego." and that has been priceless, and i haven't regretted any choice i've made in that way.
  • Something about choice struck me. A bunch of friends and I volunteer at a nonprofit for underprivileged children in San Jose. And one of the things they do is they allow the children to gain points, and then with the points, they can buy things. So I was at the Kindergarten table -- because they give the best hugs! -- and what struck us was that kindergarteners knew right away what they wanted. But teenagers were always a little perplexed by what to choose. And so that made me reflect on choice and how my mind has gotten tainted by it. And the message from childhood on was: be prepared. Whether it was for school or society. And from that, I created a mental model out of this, and every stimulus was subject to checks and balances against this model. If something checked off, I felt good, otherwise I didn't. And so patterns got more and more rigid, and when I didn't get what was pleasant, I would shirk away from it, and so my comfort zone became smaller and smaller. And it's only something recent that I've come across: being in the moment, and how that creates so much of a sense of freedom.
  • What this thought reminded me of was the concept of "black box," such that you know what goes in and you know what comes out, but you don't know how that process in between occurs. So if you trace thoughts back to the source, it all comes down to this black box effect.
  • When I read this, I was reflecting on some of my practices with the Gita, and how what defines heaven and hell is what your thoughts are. The second thing i was thinking was about free flowing, and letting go of thoughts. And the third thing, with some choices, you need to sleep on it, and be relaxed. When there's a salesperson that offers a good deal and you have to respond by the end of the day, it just creates more stress, and so I just don't do it.
  • I really like choice. If you reduce your choices further and further, it all comes down to two or three. Once I become clear, through the process of reducing choices this way, you actually learn and become clearer about what you are oriented toward.
  • I have some problems with choice sometimes, and I do find that giving it time does work for me.
  • Something about the nature of having choice and being choiceless both frighten me. There was something else in the quote: sensitivity. I've always thought of it as two types, external and internal. And when you think of tyrants of the last century, they are thought to be desensitized, and they could never come to terms with their actions. And then the internal notion of sensitivity is about listening to yourself. And that meditation being the source of sensitivity, to me, was a profound thought.
  • I like this quote very much and I like the notion of having choice more than not having choice!
  • In my opinion, lesser choices makes life easier. A lesser number makes it easier to manage.
  • One thing that struck my was about finding out where choice comes from. When I have my students, if a student hits another student, in my capacity as a teacher, I have no choice -- I have to act. But when they are just conversing, I have choices, and I feel that having choice becomes a reflection of my own uncertainty about the right action.
  • The origin of Dada's thought about the origin of thoughts reminded me of Yogananda's notion of thoughts being universally rooted. So a thought would draw our mind to the realm where that thought resides. So our thoughts aren't just contained within us. Whenever I hear the story of the monk and the choice brought up earlier, I think of this time about four years back, where I was in a pretty good position in a company, and there were a lot of challenges internally and external. It was hard on my ego, being there, and I felt that taking off, going travelling for four months, was the right thing. And so this advice would come along, about doing what's hardest on my ego, which was staying at work, but something didn't feel right about that. And upon reflectin, I realized that sometimes it's not clear what's hardest on the ego, and in those times, I think it's just about doing what's best for the soul. That has never failed me.
  • So I was thinking about why we choose. There are things we choose, like what we eat, and then there are things we don't choose, like your DNA. And one of the reasons to choose, why there's a pressure to choose, is the current message that we must reach our potential. So if you're an engineer, you must be the best engineer, if you are a singer, you must be the best singer. And that pressure ends up driving a lot of our choices, and I think that's too much. Also, on this notion of 3000 choices in the supermarket, it's a general issue of information overload. The solution is certainly not not having choice. In summary, I would say, I choose, therefore I am.
  • Something that stood out for me was the line that says you know nothing about yourself. And when you are in tune with that, then it's easier to make a decision being rooted in the unknown. I have a joke: two deer meet in the forest, and one asks the other, is it noon yet? Why, because when it's noon, we can graze! But deer don't do that, because deer aren't vested in time. Nor are they in the realm of ego. So why do humans have this complex baloney of time and ego? It exists anyway.
  • Two thoughts. Sometimes it's good not to have a choice. You know the outcome and it's easier to accept. But if you choose to not choose, it's harder to accept. The other thought was that sometimes choosing gets in the way of being. All the decisions I make throughout the day, sometimes I feel like they are too much. I don't need 50 different types of oranges, and that makes it harder. And when you feel like there's so much, whatever you select, you feel like it should be the best, and then if it's not, you feel guilty for not having picked right. So, too many preferences can get in the way of enjoying what's there sometimes.
  • The basic response I have is that it's all a mystery. It feels like we're trying to describe the moon, and all we can do is point to the moon. (And that's from someone describing zen.) The other thing I heard today: "It's not the truth unless it's a paradox." I was going to stop at "it's all a mystery," but then I reflected on the posture of buddha as perfect ethical behavior, and I thought about karma and how it's the vibration of our choices.
  • This thing about choice reminded me of something I read: if you have a tough choice to make, toss a coin, not because the coin will determine the choice, but rather that while the coin is spinning, you realize what you really wanted. But going further, as far as where they come from, I have no idea!
  • Sometimes it's easier when you have lots of choices, to know what you don't want, as trying to figure out what you want is more difficult. So you start from not knowing. And a cluttered mind is an obstacle to knowing what you want. Going with the flow, or being in the zone, is about knowing what choice to make without thinking about it. And I think it's because it just comes down to fewer options when you are in that state.
  • The subject of choice gives me context to bring up the quote from mother teresa. Before that quote, my own two cents: there is a general notion, especially among so called progressive people, that the degree of freedom can be expressed by the number of choices we have. But that notion, in my experience of life, seems to be a wrong notion. Two people have already alluded to that, that insistence on having too many choices comes in the way of spontaneity of behavior. This also refers to the other speaker who said that the little kids had no problem knowing, because they acted spontaneously and naturally. But as time goes on, this becomes weaker. So the emphasis has to be how we choose, or why we choose. The quote: http://tow.charityfocus.org/index.php?tid=107
  • I don't remember where I read this, that people don't want more choices, they actually want better choices. About how Microsoft gives many options, but the Google philosophy is to give better options. The other thing: I don't know if it's the American culture, and this may sound sexist, but I think women like having more choices than men! I have the same grocery stores, and the same restaurants, and I get confused by having too many choices!
  • Being a monk, I have only one choice in terms of wearing clothes! One of my teachers used to say about food, to not be picky about wanting this or wanting that: ultimately, it's just energy! Another teacher said to me, "Choosers are losers. Choice comes from the ashes of desire." A Buddhist Monk friend of mine, Heng sure, relates this story of an interaction with is teacher before going on a pilgrimage: they had packed all these texts to take with them to study, and his teacher said, "Just choose one and enter into that so deeply, that you will get them all." Master Hsuan Hua said, "To investiage chan (meditation), one must have patience..."
  • few things I thought about: twenty years ago, there wasn't as much choice. And the man who was responsible for that was malcolm gladwell's teacher. And he did research with pasta sauces: Ragu and Prego, and he was hired by Prego, who was lagging behind. And he found that people wanted more options, and so he advised Prego to come up with "Garden Style" etc, and Prego initiated that and gained a much larger share. And so interestingly, Gladwell thought that this man was truly fantastic, because he gave people choice, which means people are enjoying more. And barry schwartz's research contradicts this, and my own experience confirms Schwartz's findings. The confusion that sets in in the abundance of choices, is that consumption will make you happy, whereas when you don't have all those choices, you look within and realize the true source of happiness.
  • What came to my mind when I was thinking about choice, as well as the origin of thought was a quote from the movie, Waking Life, "To say yes to one moment, is to say yes to eternity." So saying yes is a choice, but it's not the kind of numerically oriented choice we were talking about. This choice is more of a fundamental choice: there is reality and I can either resist it or accept it. And if I do say yes, whatever happens after that, in that happening, saying yes ends up meaning that you have accepted the unknown. One might confuse this yes to be the literal yes, but it's about saying yes to whatever is occuring within. I was in this restaurant, and as you walk out, there's a huge basket of free fruits, and this is after you've eaten. So there's a story of a grandfather and grandson, and the grandpa tells the child to take the fruit, but the child says I'm full, but Grandpa says, "Take it -- it's free!" But the kid refuses, and so the grandfather takes more on his behalf. And much later, the kid was asked why he refused, and he said "I wasn't hungry and so I don't need it, but also, in saying no, I got more, because grandpa's hand is bigger!" Another story, about Buridan's Donkey: In front of the donkey are two stacks of hay, both of which are equal distances away, and the donkey, unable to decide, as a result, starves!
  • I thought this was a very good thought. Choiceless Awareness was a very powerful phrase for me. And Krishnamurti was the first person I came across using it. So choicelessness is the ground. And in normal existence, we have a division, with consciousness perceiving, and everything being filtered by ego, desire, will. If you go back to the origin, it goes back to awareness: since I'm aware, everything is happening, even according to modern science. Before quantum mechanics, everything was based on the objective world, and they forgot the person looking at it. And Heisenberg said that the observer cannot be distinguished from observed. And so choiceless awareness is a witnessing. And ego holds us back from that. And so in meditation, you can come to that space of choiceless awareness, or even if you're doing some simple task: just be aware of what you're doing. It starts as a simple thing, but once it takes root, there's an awareness such that it eventually makes the will subservient. But this is dangerous, because normally we identify personality with ego. And so ego is always threatened. And so in the quote, talking about going beyond the will, the will will always resist, but once you start this process of overcoming, you can't stop. Both forces will be there. So choiceless awareness is this deep meditative state.
  • I appreciated what was just explained: about choiceless awareness regarding the choices within. If you take a child, they don't care about choices, but eventually, the idea of looking at other things comes in, the conditioning evolves, and so as soon as you create a choice, there is ego involved. So unless you drop that, it's very difficult to make a pure choice.

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    When the Real Heart Breaks Open, by Adyashanti

    FaceBook  On Sep 28, 2006 Viral wrote:

    Notes from the Wednesday Circle of Sharing ... The author of this quote was a bicyclist, and then started meditating in zen very intensely. And then at one point, he had an illumination that gave him insight into the way things were. A couple of my own thoughts. I was at a conference, and as this thought was being read, i was thinking that it kept on saying, "don't gather, don't gather, don't gather." And at conferences, the whole pattern seems to be to gather, gather, gather. And when it's around you, it brings up those tendencies in you. I was in this beautiful area at the conference, and it was very, very natureful. And I realized that that beauty couldn't be gathered. A bird doesn't have a bank account. Another insight regarding this thought: he says if you want to be in a space of love, you have to serve. At the conference, I was biking home, and I got lost. Dirt roads, and very dark, and no sign of life. My first thought was that I don't know if I'm afraid of the dark, but I'm going to find out real soon! And I'd just come from this meditation retreat, so I was thinking, what am I really afraid of? Is it wildlife coming to eat me? It's so irrational. It reminded me of this story I'd heard a year or so back. These monks were walking in deep meditation, and this lion comes and eats the last guy in the line. And so the monk being eaten has this thought that I don't want to disturb the other monks. And the second thought he has is, Oh this lion must be hungry. And the story is that at this point he becomes awakened. So fear, and love, and the relation between the two. Another friend at this conference was a real naturalist. And he described this jellyfish that emits bioluminescence. So the jellyfish, according to him, as a form of survival instinct, emits this light so as to distract from it. So again, fear and what it does. "Faith is a withholding of conclusion so that you allow what is to arise." -- Adyashanti "THe heart that breaks open can contain  See full.

    Notes from the Wednesday Circle of Sharing ... The author of this quote was a bicyclist, and then started meditating in zen very intensely. And then at one point, he had an illumination that gave him insight into the way things were. A couple of my own thoughts. I was at a conference, and as this thought was being read, i was thinking that it kept on saying, "don't gather, don't gather, don't gather." And at conferences, the whole pattern seems to be to gather, gather, gather. And when it's around you, it brings up those tendencies in you. I was in this beautiful area at the conference, and it was very, very natureful. And I realized that that beauty couldn't be gathered. A bird doesn't have a bank account. Another insight regarding this thought: he says if you want to be in a space of love, you have to serve. At the conference, I was biking home, and I got lost. Dirt roads, and very dark, and no sign of life. My first thought was that I don't know if I'm afraid of the dark, but I'm going to find out real soon! And I'd just come from this meditation retreat, so I was thinking, what am I really afraid of? Is it wildlife coming to eat me? It's so irrational. It reminded me of this story I'd heard a year or so back. These monks were walking in deep meditation, and this lion comes and eats the last guy in the line. And so the monk being eaten has this thought that I don't want to disturb the other monks. And the second thought he has is, Oh this lion must be hungry. And the story is that at this point he becomes awakened. So fear, and love, and the relation between the two. Another friend at this conference was a real naturalist. And he described this jellyfish that emits bioluminescence. So the jellyfish, according to him, as a form of survival instinct, emits this light so as to distract from it. So again, fear and what it does. "Faith is a withholding of conclusion so that you allow what is to arise." -- Adyashanti "THe heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe." -- Joanna Macy The idea of being present all the time and serving what's present is a very powerful concept for me. And this morning, I was talking about what is happening around us. And ironically, the things that are happening around us tend to take us away from the present. So the news and media tend to make us feel (unless you're really strong) like we don't have power. But then there are people who are able to be in the present moment and serving the moment in the way we can. We can have an impact to change the world, much like Gandhi showed through his life. The spotlight was more on him, and so the impact was greater. At the same time, with the idea of six degrees of separation, what we do can make a difference, because while we may not be in the big spotlight, even in being in the spotlight for one or two people, our actions can inspire others to be present and in a space of love. So it doens't have to be a big change to have an impact. Video: http://www.charityfocus.org/blog/cf/arch/general/001282.html The title, with the heart breaking open, seems to be a dramatic thing. "But for me, it's little cracks. Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen. So with this thought, there was this feeling of deeper resonance with some resistance. A gap between what you really resonate with and what you're living. That made me think of the latin roots of emotion, and it goes to disturbance. There's a tribe in Africa, where in group talking, the concept is to keep awake to the places where there is emotion, or disturbance. And those are the places that need work, which is what emotion can be thought of. In this thought, the last part struck me, about the serving the one not having anything to do with your life's purpose, career or goals -- Separating it from what a lot of us try to find meaning in. And that's a pretty radical thought, and it's also pretty liberating, because it brings you back to the agency you have in this moment. And this is what this thought gave me. I also wanted to touch on the part about how your career and your life goals aren't really connected to what you're serving. We're focused on how what we will do in the future will serve, but this brings us back to how you can serve in the now. And so I find myself thinking only of the next stage, but this is a reminder that it can be now. In this passage, the two words that stayed with me are service and oneness. To me, service is a natural expression of joy, fulness. When one feels a gratefulness, then service flows naturally. EVen the word service becomes unnecessary. When my right hand scratches my left hand, there is no service. But service is also a way to get into that fulness. My spiritual teacher says that the shortest way to depression is "What can I do for me? What can I do for me?" The shortest way to happines is "What can I do for others? What can I do for others?" The last thought is that when one is in the mode of service, then the entire universe seems to be conspiring. And there's such a natural high to that. In this one scripture, I remember reading a commentary that says that the universe is space, and you are a pot. And we think we are the pot, but eventually the pot cracks and merges into oneness. So the pot is temporary, but the oneness is our destiny. The second aspect is about what we do not being how we serve. And so when you are young, we think that we are preparing to get to the point where we are going to make a difference. But then this becomes a habit, and you never get there. Today, on the radio, I heard of an initiative called youth ventures, which supports any venture by 12 to 20 year olds. Which I thought was interesting: if you have an idea, go out and do it. I really like this video. What a nice person, giving his kindness for nothing in return. He just gave his time to hug people. Reminds me of the quote "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." -- John Kennedy. Unfortuntately, we have so much of a hard time letting go, and we want something back. And that's what's around us. The concept of free hugs is so wonderful, even though I've received so many in the past week! Being in a space where you see people giving selflessly really lightens your heart up. I really feel strongly about it. I didn't really identify with the breaking open. I prefer to think of it as going deeper, with there being no limit. And this includes expansion. Also, as someone said about doing service, I've discovered that it really works this way: if you're feeling bad, and you think, what can I do for someone else, immediately, your whole energy likes. I actually really liked the title. I had a cool experience yesterday where I got to meet someone whose heart did break open, and they talked about their journey and how it happened. I'm a grad student in Biology, and I get to hear a lot of talks. And usually, it's all focused on experiments and what's going on in research. Yesterday, we brought in a different kind of speaker, the CEO of OneWorld Health -- the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company. They're focusing on the Developing world, and it's really sad because companies aren't focusing on diseases there because there isn't money. But this company is different, and so I got to go to lunch with this woman. I was really pleasantly surprised by how the interaction. Where I work, the kind of conversations that happen here don't tend to happen there. The room is usually pretty silent when a talk is going on, but things seemed to be even quieter. And she talked about wanting her own heart to be opened. And I've never been to a talk where someone brought in spirituality into the technical. And I was resonating with it, but I didn't know what other people were feeling, and that made me feel a little uncertain. But it was just really interesting. I really like this thought too. I also see it as this capsule breaking open, releasing all the contents in the water. Although I'm quite a gatherer, whenever I've felt the oneness, those are really beautiful moments where you merge into the oneness and there's nothing to see. With regards to six degrees of separation: sometimes I do a random search for someone and then I try to see if I can connect to someone in less than 6 degrees, and 3 out of 4 times it does! It always picks me up. Another story about the lion and the priest. The priest is walking around preaching, and he's walking in the forest, and he sees a lion, and immediately freezes up. And the lion comes closer, and he's really thinking this is going to be it. So he puts his hands together in prayer gesture, and the lion comes closer and they make eye contact, and the lion puts his paws together, and the priest says "What are you doing?" And the lion says, in looking at you, I realized that I am a religious lion and so I thought I should also say grace! And so the lion goes on being a lion. So sometimes I realize that sometimes I am a lion in priest's clothing, getting stuck to some pattern of what it means to serve, instead of being real and serving what's in this moment. I like Adyashanti's works in general, and it's full of wisdom. Speaking of wisdom, sometime ago, I remember reading that no amount of rational thought can lead to wisdom. So what can lead to wisdom? They say in this book that if you give full attention to anything, then that process puts you in that space of stillness, and the wisdom arises. That's a very practically useful tool, because you could be fully attentive to some activity, or some piece of art, or the person in front of you. All of these things are processes that lead to greater wisdom. What he just said reminds me of another quote by Winston Churchill: There are three ways to get wisdom: reading, which is easiest, contemplation which is noblest, and experience which is bitterest. I'm just at a lot of peace after this hour and so I just wanted to share that. I don't know what happened, but it's good. I really liked the quote. It really did strike me, the phrase on breaking open the heart. It would sound tragic, but this makes sense. In terms of serving others, I've recently gotten caught up in this whole maternity thing! I have three weeks to go, and people do look at you differently when you're pregnant. You're standing in an aisle and this guy completely stops and waits, and he can't get around me until I move. And he's just waiting patiently. So you get that treatment of being served in a way, and three weeks from now, that will be gone. But I look forward to doing more service soon! I have a lot of admiration for Adyashanti. He started at about the same time as CharityFocus. His name was John Gray and he put up a pamphlet in a bookshop on Zen Satsang, and I thought that was interesting, so I used to go there. He had deep experience and you can see that he is talking from that space. And as I was watching him, it was extraordinary. We used to meet in some psychologist's office, and now he's so famous. Coming back to the quote, I was following the quote, and with the heart breaking open, I was trying to connect that to service. And he says it's not obvious. When the heart breaks open, it's so profound, that it's not service, it's just love. But I think he means embodiment: how do you live it day to day. Then he brings up service, but then service is not about doing this or that, but keeping that experience alive moment to moment. And everybody that goes to him has this experience, and have that as a starting point, and so there's no technique. In each person, it manifests differently: how do you embody and manifest. Some people use words, and some people just sit there. It expresses in many different ways. I think this is what he's talking about. Adya has a deep and wonderful place in my heart, and I've known him for about four years. And this has to be in his earliest writing, because it's lengthy. He says in 5 or 10 years, he might just say one word! So I'd been spirituality shopping for several years, and when I met him, he was just so clear and it just spoke to me. Any teacher goes through this, concepts or words they use to explain something. The time I saw him he used the phrases egoic trance or egoic fantasy, which described everything which is not true. What I got from hanging out with him, I realize more and more that what is going to happen is going to happen anyway. I can swim upstream or downstream, and it's my choice. And so he says it's about awakening to the truth/oneness or awakening from the separation. And with this thought, it's interesting that he talks not of breaking the heart open, but more about it breaking open. And so sometimes it's just about getting rid of ideas of what it means to live in truth and just being here. And if you are living in the flow of the truth, it's not your work or your life meaning. So I wish I could stay in that space all the time, and so this is about being in relationship as a servant to the truth, and not just waiting. An aside: at an AA meeting recently, I heard "God doesn't do for me or to me, God just shines through me." It's good to be here with all of you. I really like the concept of asking is oneness being served. So there's no ego. Wherever I'm going, whatever my truth is, I want to take everyone to that same place, whatever they are searching within themselves. I want to suport that. So this is where the heart breaking open comes in. And this is what service is to me. And I've noticed the more I do it, the more there is. So it just constantly keeps giving. And so sometimes I do think that the heart just breaks open, and it's just this oneway flood -- you just have so much that it really can contain everything. My favorite thing Adya says: The whole point is to be in love with now, and now, and now, and now.

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    Serving Like The Mountain Stream, by Allan Watts

    FaceBook  On Aug 15, 2006 viral wrote:
    nice thoughts ... a quote: "faith is a witholding of conclusion, so that you allow what is to arise." -- adyashanti
     

    To Transcend: Observe Cause and Effect, by Dan Millman

    FaceBook  On Jul 26, 2006 Viral wrote:

    when you're meditating leave your front and back door open ... let your thoughts come and go -- just don't serve them tea ... but in a way you are your thoughts, but the trick is to not see it as you ... thought of feeling like it's "me versus the world" ... realized that thoughts come and go ... dalai lama once said emotions are a very base motivation of action ... i think there's a deeper force than emotion ... so what role does emotion play? last sentence: it's not about your likes and dislikes, but rather doing the right thing ... dr. v passed away last week ... story of his life of service ... interesting press story: he was serving, so instead of memorial and shutting down the hospital, they kept it going, contrary to normal practice ... my aha-moment: smiling face of my grandson ... agreed with most of the things in the quote ... but the last line caught my attention: we talk about intentions, and you can do something good with bad inentions and vice versa ... example of my mom: doing good because it comes form within ... on topic of emotions: have gotten caught into patterns and reacting ... and i don't like it ... i disagreed on the passage ... but thinking about tendencies was interesting to think about ... if i think about every moment being an opportunity to make a decision ... i'm not sure how we know what is good ... and happiness is a good measure of whether youre doing the right thing ... hard to say without that measure ... in the gita, there's a reference to "what's pleasant and convenient" versus what's "good and wholesome" ... that part i understand, but the other part about self-denial i disagree ... instead of dichotomy ... we need synergy -- your self-interest is aligned with interest of the world ... who decides what go don't ask what the world needs. do instead what makes you come alive. because what the world needs are people who have come alive transcend and self-mastery are contradictory ... b  See full.

    • when you're meditating leave your front and back door open ... let your thoughts come and go -- just don't serve them tea ... but in a way you are your thoughts, but the trick is to not see it as you ...
    • thought of feeling like it's "me versus the world" ... realized that thoughts come and go ...
    • dalai lama once said emotions are a very base motivation of action ... i think there's a deeper force than emotion ... so what role does emotion play?
    • last sentence: it's not about your likes and dislikes, but rather doing the right thing ...
    • dr. v passed away last week ... story of his life of service ... interesting press story: he was serving, so instead of memorial and shutting down the hospital, they kept it going, contrary to normal practice ...
    • my aha-moment: smiling face of my grandson ...
    • agreed with most of the things in the quote ... but the last line caught my attention: we talk about intentions, and you can do something good with bad inentions and vice versa ... example of my mom: doing good because it comes form within ...
    • on topic of emotions: have gotten caught into patterns and reacting ... and i don't like it ...
    • i disagreed on the passage ... but thinking about tendencies was interesting to think about ... if i think about every moment being an opportunity to make a decision ...
    • i'm not sure how we know what is good ... and happiness is a good measure of whether youre doing the right thing ... hard to say without that measure ...
    • in the gita, there's a reference to "what's pleasant and convenient" versus what's "good and wholesome" ... that part i understand, but the other part about self-denial i disagree ... instead of dichotomy ... we need synergy -- your self-interest is aligned with interest of the world ... who decides what go
    • don't ask what the world needs. do instead what makes you come alive. because what the world needs are people who have come alive
    • transcend and self-mastery are contradictory ... brings up difficult points in my life, about identity and thought ... a tibetan teacher i went to see was talking about renunciation as transcending the need for what we're attached to ... and it starts with material things, but really goes to thoughts ... so i don't believe in self-mastery, but rather letting go ... get out of the way and do the right thing ...
    • goes back to conversation about taking versus making decisions ...
    • love and joy operate on different thoughts ...
    • when the trance ends, you transcend
    • when i got the news of when dr. v died, i was wondering what it would feel like to know that millions can see because of your efforts .. i'm sure he didn't think of it that way, and probably just did what was in front of him ...
    • one thing that struck me: things that influence us, when you think about it, are from the lifetime of collecting tendencies, and they're even beyond emotion -- an unconscious act ... and so focus more on what we do in our life ...
    • when you come from more present space, one begins to realize what the right action is ...
    • when i heard about dr. v, it impacted me in a way that i didn't expect, because i didn't know him ... i think it surrounds the fact that a few deaths have come in my own family ... i tend to think more with my mind than with my heart ... and so i'm
    • there is a power within that knows ...
    • the dalai lama once talked about bottled up thoughts being similar to a dam that is going to burst at some time ... so to me, a thought is something that can't be really stopped, but it's a question of how you channel that ... that's whayt i find to be quite important ...
    • a quote by dr. v: if the person who i'm treating has this kind of belief or faith in me, what should my reaction be to it ... i found that notion to be very powerful ...
    • thought wasn't one of my favorites, but having read the way of the peaceful warrior, i thought of it as saying that it's tough, but do it anyway ... i remember heng sure's analogy of thoughts being the root of every thing ...
    • i didn't like the greatness word. and felt that the thought was really attacking my ego ...
    • about dr. v -- anybody who has lived so fully for so long, helped me to see it in a very detached way ... i hope to be that way ...
    • this thought helped give me clarity ... found out this week that my brother was sick, and he was in a hospital ... and it was a jarring experience ... and sometimes your emotions take over, but this helped in still functioning through that .... so gave me clarity
    • felt happy reading it ... who doesn't want self-mastery ...
    • the part that resonates most: we tend to be lazy ... it's
    • hearing about dr v was the saddest moment of the day ... starting to distinguish between wants and needs ...
    • about unwanted thoughts: i think we can work with our thoughts ... neuro linguistic programming ... we don't always want to do things we need to do, but we can change the mood ...
    • i am actually from madurai, and both my grandparents had surgeries there, and so i feel very grateful ... i didn't know about dr. v, but i used to be fascinated to see hundreds of villagers who would be brought in all the way from the villages for a ten minute surgery ...
    • intelligence and capability are not enough ...
    • when i know what is right: if it's not related to any thought of emotion .. there's some kind of genuine honesty within me ... if i don't know what's right, then i'm not connected to myself ...
    • i have a friend who is seriously ill ... and so i called her and she was in great pain ... and i knew that i couldn't help ...
    • differing a little from george bernard shaw: as a kid, if i'm happy, i do things ... and so deep down inside, that can be a good metric ...
    • be selfish, be generous -- quote by dalai lama
    • ownership of thoughts and emotions didn't come till i was about 15 ... and recognized that the emotions of today become the actions of tomorrow ... i don't have to take complete ownership for everything, but there are things that i can see the cause and effect ...
    • spontaneity: context is important ... perhaps george bernard shaw has to be seen in the context of what he said this in ...
    • no satsang has the number of young people that i have seen here. i hope they continue and don't get disappointed. i am 73 and so far till today, i have never sat down for one full hour. i managed 55 minutes. but last five minutes was hell. you are training yourself early. good. my mind started with the thought of g. venkataswamy ... and it made me think of the happiness of the poorest of the poor ... and everyone got their happiness got their happiness from attending to their duty ... gave a bertrand russell book: the conquest of happiness to a teacher ... happiness is our birthright
    • so many times, i think, "why am i thinking of this?" this passage lightens the burden! thoughts arise from mind, and to stop the generation process, in order to give a break, we have to remain present in the current moment ... the process of mind is to either generate thoughts which are related to protecting the ego, based on the past, or trying to build the future ... so the only way to break out of that, would be to try to live as many moments as possible in the current moment ... regarding dr. v, it illustrates very clearly both the impermanence as well as the permanence ... impermanence of body, which all of us have to let go, and permanence of the momentum of inspiration ...
    • i have a lot of dr. venkataswamy stories, but this story is from two weeks ago, as i was there: a year ago, i have seen infinite vision ... and so i went to order it at seva, then showed it to several hundreds as i'm a professor ... one of my dvds got scratched in the process and so i called seva, and they told me their credit card machine was broken and so they couldn't send it to me in time ... and i have these dalai lama quotes in front of me and so i sent them an email while on the phone: "learn the rules so that you can break them properly." this dvd, any time you want to inspire soeone, show infinite vision!
    • this thought today was so powerful, that i wanted to open the discussion ... this was the best thought that i have ever heard ... this morning i had a little experience where i realized how if you can take emotions out of any act, how it can lead to a spiritual act or a service act ... i have seen so many inspiring people, in this house, in dr. v ... and so emotions are habits of interpretation -- and i had the biggest realization of my life today: if any one would take emotion as a habit of interpretation, it would lighten up the burden and make it a truly spiritual experience ... my introduction to dr v was when nipun was taking a trip to the south of india, when he was quite young. and so he said, don't worry, i have a friend, dr v. later i could see that it was in the same spirit ...

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    From Wonder into Wonder, Existence Opens, by Lao Tzu

    FaceBook  On Jul 10, 2006 gebremedhin wrote:
    for the time being i want to say i am wondered by this expression. i have just started to listen to my self
     

    If You Don't Go Within, You Simply Go Without, by Victor Frankl

    FaceBook  On Jun 27, 2006 viral wrote:
    Great thought. The word responsibility is an interesting one in this context. Repons-ibility can be thought of as the ability to respond, that is, a proactive and intelligent action that meets the needs of the moment with the resources available to us. This word response also came up in a thought of the week a while back by M. Scott Peck, in which he refers to a definition of prayer given by Matthew Fox. http://tow.charityfocus.org/index.php?tid=322
     

    Become What You Are, by Alan Watts

    FaceBook  On Jun 13, 2006 In Joy wrote:
    I like this idea expressed by alan watts about concentrating for just one second. in terms of words, for me the phrase "just be for one moment" is more accurate than "concentrate for one second."
     

    Become What You Are, by Alan Watts

    FaceBook  On Jun 12, 2006 Lariv wrote:
    Reminds me of a quote from the movie waking life http://www.wakinglifemovie.com/ , which, by the way, is a must see! "To say yes to one moment is to say yes to all of eternity."
     

    Quotes, by Ajahn Chah

    FaceBook  On Jun 12, 2006 Viral wrote:

    Spirituality is within We have to know the language of the heart, to read that book. Thinking outside the box experiment: listen to the chatter in a restaurant or a room; don't zoom into one conversation but hear the chatter. Like the "birds chirping" in Ajahn Chah's quote. Before I was listening to everybody but my heart. But now, everything is better -- there's beauty in the freeway even, I notice people smiling, little thing become beautiful. Letting go actually makes your happier -- kind of ironic. Your true teacher is yourself. Despite accepting a teacher, I feel like the teacher was always there. I just recognized it in this form. Being with a 3 year old, I realized I was a 3 year old. Turtle mustache made me laugh :) When squirrels ate all the tomatoes in my backyard, it would really be annoying. Eventually, I just let go. I figured it's my service to the squirrels. What a relief from anger! Chance to practice patience today: a fender bender on the road. Challenge turns into beauty after a while. Dirty apartment stairs became clean, when I finally stopped being annoyed and asked the apartment manager. Internal things can be let go -- what about something external? Can you really let go or are we all going to be activists? Truly letting go of the outcome is to come from a space of love, even if you're resisting. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Olympics: a cabbie in athens returend the silver medal! Cabbies have soooo many opportunities to do acts of kindness. My dream job. Ajahn Chah's quote could be rap lyrics: if it aint' good, it'll die. if it don't die, make it good. Paying lot of attention to the mind -- even if you see the light, can you be the light? The more external reward you have, harder it is to do it. KG, no grades, and everyone enjoys school. High school, not quite the same. gandhi -- what ever you do is insignificant, but it's most important that you do it. Y  See full.

    • Spirituality is within
    • We have to know the language of the heart, to read that book.
    • Thinking outside the box experiment: listen to the chatter in a restaurant or a room; don't zoom into one conversation but hear the chatter. Like the "birds chirping" in Ajahn Chah's quote.
    • Before I was listening to everybody but my heart. But now, everything is better -- there's beauty in the freeway even, I notice people smiling, little thing become beautiful.
    • Letting go actually makes your happier -- kind of ironic.
    • Your true teacher is yourself. Despite accepting a teacher, I feel like the teacher was always there. I just recognized it in this form.
    • Being with a 3 year old, I realized I was a 3 year old.
    • Turtle mustache made me laugh :)
    • When squirrels ate all the tomatoes in my backyard, it would really be annoying. Eventually, I just let go. I figured it's my service to the squirrels. What a relief from anger!
    • Chance to practice patience today: a fender bender on the road.
    • Challenge turns into beauty after a while. Dirty apartment stairs became clean, when I finally stopped being annoyed and asked the apartment manager.
    • Internal things can be let go -- what about something external? Can you really let go or are we all going to be activists?
    • Truly letting go of the outcome is to come from a space of love, even if you're resisting.
    • Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
    • Olympics: a cabbie in athens returend the silver medal! Cabbies have soooo many opportunities to do acts of kindness. My dream job.
    • Ajahn Chah's quote could be rap lyrics: if it aint' good, it'll die. if it don't die, make it good.
    • Paying lot of attention to the mind -- even if you see the light, can you be the light?
    • The more external reward you have, harder it is to do it. KG, no grades, and everyone enjoys school. High school, not quite the same.
    • gandhi -- what ever you do is insignificant, but it's most important that you do it.
    • You can't light someone's path without lighting your own.
    • Whatever you do, like it.

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    The Quantum Matrix, by Raphael Kellman

    FaceBook  On Jun 12, 2006 Viral wrote:

    Today is a lunar eclipse! Auspicious time to meditate. Dharma actually means discipline. Moksha means liberation; liberation is right here, not when you die. Ayurveda is not a medical system with herbs; it's not for each one of us but rather about us Ayu refers to body, mind, sense and soul and veda means study. Most people think Ayurveda means classifying people into vatta, kapha, pitta -- that's not it; it's more about state of mind and our awareness. United States people seems to have a lot of "stress". In India people seem to have too much relaxation (even red lights in Delhi read "relax"). Yoga has become a fad. There's even boxing yoga now! Out of six hundred slokas in the Patanjali sutra -- only one is about "asana" (posture). The purpose of those physical exercises is to simply show you how to sit without disturbance. And the purpose of yoga is to connect with God, which is the purpose of life. Bhajan literally means seva; fastest way to truth is selfless seva. Generally, we serve the senses; instead of slaves, we have become its masters. Simplest way to be happy is to make others happy; people suffer when we connect in the spirit of self-interest. Essence of Gita philosophy -- don't go the himalayas, temple -- instead fight. Nature of sugar is to make anything sweet; similarly, dharma of soul is to serve. Surrender means follow the rules. Health is a result of happy soul, happy mind and happy body. Understand who you are, what kind of body you have: you have to know (put deisel in petrol car, it won't work) Jiva Institute: if india is spiritual, why is there corruption? if indians are so intelligent, why are they poor? Problem is education. Jiva provide ICOT -- India's curriculum of tomorrow. Eating, sleeping, meeting, defending. We have to move beyond those primal instincts. Physical imbalance -- wrong eating, wrong lifestyles; even deeper -- miuse of intelligence: burgers, fries, and then "diet coke" We can get sick i  See full.

    • Today is a lunar eclipse! Auspicious time to meditate.
    • Dharma actually means discipline.
    • Moksha means liberation; liberation is right here, not when you die.
    • Ayurveda is not a medical system with herbs; it's not for each one of us but rather about us
    • Ayu refers to body, mind, sense and soul and veda means study.
    • Most people think Ayurveda means classifying people into vatta, kapha, pitta -- that's not it; it's more about state of mind and our awareness.
    • United States people seems to have a lot of "stress". In India people seem to have too much relaxation (even red lights in Delhi read "relax").
    • Yoga has become a fad. There's even boxing yoga now!
    • Out of six hundred slokas in the Patanjali sutra -- only one is about "asana" (posture). The purpose of those physical exercises is to simply show you how to sit without disturbance. And the purpose of yoga is to connect with God, which is the purpose of life.
    • Bhajan literally means seva; fastest way to truth is selfless seva.
    • Generally, we serve the senses; instead of slaves, we have become its masters.
    • Simplest way to be happy is to make others happy; people suffer when we connect in the spirit of self-interest.
    • Essence of Gita philosophy -- don't go the himalayas, temple -- instead fight.
    • Nature of sugar is to make anything sweet; similarly, dharma of soul is to serve.
    • Surrender means follow the rules.
    • Health is a result of happy soul, happy mind and happy body.
    • Understand who you are, what kind of body you have: you have to know (put deisel in petrol car, it won't work)
    • Jiva Institute: if india is spiritual, why is there corruption? if indians are so intelligent, why are they poor? Problem is education. Jiva provide ICOT -- India's curriculum of tomorrow.
    • Eating, sleeping, meeting, defending. We have to move beyond those primal instincts.
    • Physical imbalance -- wrong eating, wrong lifestyles; even deeper -- miuse of intelligence: burgers, fries, and then "diet coke"
    • We can get sick if our body isn't in sync, or if we are affected by an external impulse or because of seasonal imbalance.
    • Ayurveda accounts for genetics. Ayurveda is not naturopathy (which only deals with herbs).
    • If your body is balanced, no bacteria can affect it.
    • Can Ayurveda cure diseases like cancer and aids? Sure.
    • Why don't enough people know about Ayurveda? The word has started spreading.
    • What about dairy? In the US, you don't really milk, because you don't really have cows.
    • Using stones and precious metals for good health? Yes. Body is microcosm of macro.
    • How can we be disciplined? Priority. I travel with my spices. Once we taste health, we can't go for lower taste.
    • How is the organic food in India? Non-existent.
    • The ultimate "Mahabharata" is in our body. Sometimes we behave like Dhritrashtra, the blind king ... so attached, we're blind. Our life purpose is to wake up!

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    Our Situation on Earth, by Albert Einstein

    FaceBook  On Jun 12, 2006 Viral wrote:

    We had a great session last week, with Thanksgiving theme. Lot of can't be expressed but below are some notes anyhow. :) At the end, we all crayoned our top-five thankfulness items, put our addresses on the back and randomly redistributed the cards. Each person, then, is to mail that card at a random time throughout the next year, as reminder of thankfulness. Interesting state to be a loner and still connected. More aware you become, more interconnected life is. I'm thankful for my ability to give thanks. I'm thankful for bonds that form instantly -- like my niece. I'm thanful for suffering loss of my grandma. I'm thankful to hug my brother when my grandfather passed away, en route to his connecting flight, at the airport. Rumi quote: let the beauty we love be what we do. Another Rumi quote: sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. Enlightenment poem by Ragu I'm thankful for being able to make others thank me. :) I'm thankful to einstein and that I'm not alone. For the first time in ten years our family was together at grandma's funeral. I'm grateful that she was giving even in her death. When I read this book, I saw that Einstein was really big into the fact that everyone contributes to his achievements. I'm thankful that others are honest about their emotions. I'm thankful to all who make me be more real, for uncertainties and family and friends that keep me strong. The quote brought a smile to my place. start: we're in a strange place; we don't know. We build mental models and then write a rule base about it; gratitude comes from the same place -- we don't believe things should be as good as they are. Why not? What makes the clock tick? Sunday nights in Iowa are inspired by Wednesdays. Thanks. Thankful for charityfocus.org -- what every link and where it could take you. I'm thankful that I feel connected. This year, one of the things I'm grateful for is to bring service more in alignment with my life. Einstein didn't b  See full.

    • We had a great session last week, with Thanksgiving theme. Lot of can't be expressed but below are some notes anyhow. :) At the end, we all crayoned our top-five thankfulness items, put our addresses on the back and randomly redistributed the cards. Each person, then, is to mail that card at a random time throughout the next year, as reminder of thankfulness.

    • Interesting state to be a loner and still connected.
    • More aware you become, more interconnected life is.
    • I'm thankful for my ability to give thanks.
    • I'm thankful for bonds that form instantly -- like my niece.
    • I'm thanful for suffering loss of my grandma.
    • I'm thankful to hug my brother when my grandfather passed away, en route to his connecting flight, at the airport.
    • Rumi quote: let the beauty we love be what we do.
    • Another Rumi quote: sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.
    • Enlightenment poem by Ragu
    • I'm thankful for being able to make others thank me. :)
    • I'm thankful to einstein and that I'm not alone.
    • For the first time in ten years our family was together at grandma's funeral. I'm grateful that she was giving even in her death.
    • When I read this book, I saw that Einstein was really big into the fact that everyone contributes to his achievements.
    • I'm thankful that others are honest about their emotions.
    • I'm thankful to all who make me be more real, for uncertainties and family and friends that keep me strong.
    • The quote brought a smile to my place. start: we're in a strange place; we don't know.
    • We build mental models and then write a rule base about it; gratitude comes from the same place -- we don't believe things should be as good as they are. Why not?
    • What makes the clock tick?
    • Sunday nights in Iowa are inspired by Wednesdays. Thanks.
    • Thankful for charityfocus.org -- what every link and where it could take you.
    • I'm thankful that I feel connected.
    • This year, one of the things I'm grateful for is to bring service more in alignment with my life.
    • Einstein didn't believe in freedom of will? Interesting.
    • Have the humility to believe that you don't have the will to will whatever I want.
    • I'm thankful for my sister.
    • As a high schooler, I took at class at Stanford and realized it was unproctored. They just trusted us!
    • I'm thankful that I'm aware.
    • I'm thankful that Nipun lets me attend even when sometimes I forget to RSVP. :)
    • Where the fruit is attached is the wine, it's very bitter. Just like cucumber.
    • All of us were born of a union; we were made because there was love.

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    Do What You Can, by Bernie Glassman

    FaceBook  On Jun 12, 2006 Viral wrote:

    Doing what you can: flying kites, thread gets tangled up. Seems unsolvable, but bit by bit, it all get resolved. Take whatever step you can, and maybe after that, further steps become clear. Sometimes we're numb to the pain of the world. Until stuff like Tsunami hits us. Not doing what you ought to, but doing what you can. Connection: Satish Kumar: "Only Connect". I don't know how to connect to 100,000 people whose faces I don't know. Answer is somewhere in the keyword connect. Media turns it into entertainment. Everything is countdown or count up. Number of people dying or amount of aid. Human beings are eternal optimists. We never give up. Even when someone is dying of cancer, you breath your next breath till you're able. Lot of times I feel guilty about the lack of activism. Bodhisatva story: every snow flake counts. No effort is wasted. If the intention is right, it's all good. Going to give up caffiene and TV, after going to a 10-day meditation camp. Sometimes it's hard to go outside of yourself. I sat outside in the cold, because I was late. That connected me to what others must be feeling. When you start with your body, you start with yourself. Then it eventually flows to the Boddhisattva, and something that encompasses everything. Shouldn't be thinking about I don't have this and I don't have this. Instinct of doing things one at a time is very prevalent in the animals, like insects. Love the first line -- "I'm a very simple person." That ties into doing what I can. Watching the news sensationalizes the castatrophe. At the same time, I was able to connect with random story about a kid seen on tv, who'se gone through a horrible thing. I like seeing the pics because it makes me face reality and am part of it. Connectedness and lactive. We should send our loving thoughts to our friends in other parts of the world; best thing we can do. In rural Costa Rica, a man reached out  See full.

    • Doing what you can: flying kites, thread gets tangled up. Seems unsolvable, but bit by bit, it all get resolved. Take whatever step you can, and maybe after that, further steps become clear.
    • Sometimes we're numb to the pain of the world. Until stuff like Tsunami hits us.
    • Not doing what you ought to, but doing what you can.
    • Connection: Satish Kumar: "Only Connect". I don't know how to connect to 100,000 people whose faces I don't know. Answer is somewhere in the keyword connect.
    • Media turns it into entertainment. Everything is countdown or count up. Number of people dying or amount of aid.
    • Human beings are eternal optimists. We never give up. Even when someone is dying of cancer, you breath your next breath till you're able.
    • Lot of times I feel guilty about the lack of activism.
    • Bodhisatva story: every snow flake counts. No effort is wasted. If the intention is right, it's all good.
    • Going to give up caffiene and TV, after going to a 10-day meditation camp. Sometimes it's hard to go outside of yourself.
    • I sat outside in the cold, because I was late. That connected me to what others must be feeling.
    • When you start with your body, you start with yourself. Then it eventually flows to the Boddhisattva, and something that encompasses everything.
    • Shouldn't be thinking about I don't have this and I don't have this.
    • Instinct of doing things one at a time is very prevalent in the animals, like insects.
    • Love the first line -- "I'm a very simple person." That ties into doing what I can.
    • Watching the news sensationalizes the castatrophe. At the same time, I was able to connect with random story about a kid seen on tv, who'se gone through a horrible thing. I like seeing the pics because it makes me face reality and am part of it.
    • Connectedness and lactive. We should send our loving thoughts to our friends in other parts of the world; best thing we can do.
    • In rural Costa Rica, a man reached out and offered his hand. I didn't. Another person helped and I realized all he wanted a hand!
    • "Love poems from God": St. Assissi -- God came to my door and asked for charity and I fell to my knees, "My Beloved, what can I give?" Just love.
    • Andrew Cohen's insight -- timeless enlightenment. There's also enlightenment in time and in action.
    • Horrendous toothache on the day of the tsunami. And then fever. Realized that I can use this pressure to widen the scope of my heart.
    • Mom, roommate, coworker -- all are connected.
    • Arot?... measured the circumference of the earth with a stick. Took a measurement with a shadow. If one guy with a stick, can measure this -- what can we do?
    • Do you want to be on the simple side of simple or the complex side of simple?
    • With natural disasters, we come closer; with man-made disasters, we grow farther apart.

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    Waves in the Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki

    FaceBook  On Jun 12, 2006 Viral wrote:

    In a conversation with IT coworker, I realized: everyone is thinking about the same thing -- meaning of life. Wave vs. ocean -- which one do you identify with? Boddhisattva resolve: I will not go to ultimate happiness, unless all being go across. After 7 years, my parents are coming back to the US -- made me realize about how deeply I'm connected to them. Delivering anonymous smile cards at a hospital on Christmas day was a real "big mind" feeling. In making decisions about people, what I've been forgetting is looking at their heart. Before dinner, keep consicousness of all the hungry people in the world. That's big mind. I'm trying to plan a wedding (yes, Santosh is getting married!) -- this passage helps a lot. :) I was once able to let go of all the thoughts and fears -- aha moment of the mind. Small mind, big mind -- what about no mind? Not all thoughts are empty of meaning; sometimes they are useful to tell you what you are going through. Experiences are at times communicating through thought. Nothing is absolutely meaningless or meanginful. It's a dynamic process. Albert Einstein: life is like riding a bicycle. You have to keep spinning the wheels to stay balanced. Big mind is when you can be an observor, without being in the thick of it. Convalescent homes: my visit reminded me of how lucid "old" people really are. I have run away from hospice more times than I have volunteered. Why? NAFTA: what difference does it make if we ruin the air in Mexico? Well, it'll come back to America -- it's all the same air! All living beings are big mind. Principle of non-doing -- can't acomplish things if you're trying to accomplish ... like moving water in a glass to make it still. Ray Yeh, Art of Business: businesses that complish things are those that look beyond it. Accomplishing happens along the way. During meditation, I start out in a relaxed posture and then all of sudden, I'm stiff. Where is that coming from? Any thought that comes in a l  See full.

    • In a conversation with IT coworker, I realized: everyone is thinking about the same thing -- meaning of life.
    • Wave vs. ocean -- which one do you identify with?
    • Boddhisattva resolve: I will not go to ultimate happiness, unless all being go across.
    • After 7 years, my parents are coming back to the US -- made me realize about how deeply I'm connected to them.
    • Delivering anonymous smile cards at a hospital on Christmas day was a real "big mind" feeling.
    • In making decisions about people, what I've been forgetting is looking at their heart.
    • Before dinner, keep consicousness of all the hungry people in the world. That's big mind.
    • I'm trying to plan a wedding (yes, Santosh is getting married!) -- this passage helps a lot. :)
    • I was once able to let go of all the thoughts and fears -- aha moment of the mind.
    • Small mind, big mind -- what about no mind?
    • Not all thoughts are empty of meaning; sometimes they are useful to tell you what you are going through.
    • Experiences are at times communicating through thought.
    • Nothing is absolutely meaningless or meanginful. It's a dynamic process.
    • Albert Einstein: life is like riding a bicycle. You have to keep spinning the wheels to stay balanced.
    • Big mind is when you can be an observor, without being in the thick of it.
    • Convalescent homes: my visit reminded me of how lucid "old" people really are.
    • I have run away from hospice more times than I have volunteered. Why?
    • NAFTA: what difference does it make if we ruin the air in Mexico? Well, it'll come back to America -- it's all the same air!
    • All living beings are big mind.
    • Principle of non-doing -- can't acomplish things if you're trying to accomplish ... like moving water in a glass to make it still.
    • Ray Yeh, Art of Business: businesses that complish things are those that look beyond it. Accomplishing happens along the way.
    • During meditation, I start out in a relaxed posture and then all of sudden, I'm stiff. Where is that coming from?
    • Any thought that comes in a language, belongs in a language; if you can think a thought in language, it's already there in you.
    • Hesse: that which isn't within you, you can't affect you.

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    A Relentless Search For Greater Understanding, by Robert E. Rubin

    FaceBook  On May 25, 2006 James wrote:
    There's a joke I heard once about planning: You want to hear God laugh? Just tell him your plans!
     

    A Relentless Search For Greater Understanding, by Robert E. Rubin

    FaceBook  On May 23, 2006 Voltaire wrote:
    This all reminds me of a quote by Voltaire: "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."
     

    A Relentless Search For Greater Understanding, by Robert E. Rubin

    FaceBook  On May 23, 2006 Lariv wrote:
    Great thought, and great comments too. A couple of interesting studies.One: With complex decisions, like buying a house, the unconscious appears to do a better job of weighing the factors and arriving at a sound conclusion. More here: http://qad.charityfocus.org/view.php?qid=2300 Two: Research shows that as the number of flavors of jam or varieties of chocolate available to shoppers is increased, the likelihood that they will leave the store without buying either jam or chocolate goes up. More here: http://qad.charityfocus.org/view.php?qid=1167
     

    Clear and Present Compassion, by Thich Nhat Hanh

    FaceBook  On May 16, 2006 Anon wrote:
    This is an excerpt I ran across from his book, Being Peace: Can the peace movement talk in loving speech, showing the way for peace? I think that will depend on whether the people in the peace movement can be peace. Because without being peace, we cannot do anything for peace. If we cannot smile, we cannot help other people to smile. If we are not peaceful, then we cannot contribute to the peace movement. I hope we can bring a new dimension to the peace movement. The peace movement is filled with anger and hatred. It cannot fulfill the path we expect from them. A fresh way of being peace, of doing peace is needed. That is why it is so important for us to practice meditation, to acquire the capacity to look, to see, and to understand. It would be wonderful if we could bring to the peace movement our contribution, our way of looking at things, that will diminish aggression and hatred. Peace work means, first of all, being peace. (p 79-80)
     

    Clear and Present Compassion, by Thich Nhat Hanh

    FaceBook  On May 16, 2006 Lariv wrote:
    http://www.beliefnet.com/index/index_1031.html has an awesome flash animation of "Being Peace," narrated by Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by none other than Martin Luther King Jr!