Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Pretty Lady

Once upon a time a big monk and a little monk were travelling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't cross the river. The big monk offered to carry the pretty lady across the river on his back. The lady accepted. The little monk was shocked by the move of the big monk. "How can big brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?" thought the little monk. But he kept quiet. The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her. All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy with the act of the big monk. He was making up all kinds of accusations about the big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his situation. Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. "How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite." The big monk looked surprised and said, "I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?"

This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away. We keep on carrying the baggage of the "pretty lady" with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony. Why? Simply because we are not willing to put down or let go of the baggage of the "pretty lady". We should let go of the pretty lady immediately after crossing the river, that is after the unpleasant event is over. This will immediately remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further hurt by the unpleasant event after it is over. - Thought Provoking Stories.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Simple Gestures of Solace

Offering Comfort

Sometimes just being with somebody, rather than words, is all that is needed to help.

Sometimes it is difficult to see someone we love struggling, in pain, or hurting. When this happens, we might feel like we need to be proactive and do something to ease their troubles. While others may want our help, it is important to keep in mind that we need to be sensitive to what they truly want in the moment, since it can be all too easy to get carried away and say or do more than is really needed. Allowing ourselves to let go and simply exist in the present with another person may actually provide a greater amount of comfort and support than we could ever imagine.

Perhaps we can think back to a time when we were upset and needed a kind word, hug, or listening ear from someone else. As we remember these times, we might think of the gestures of kindness that were the most healing. It may have been gentle words such as “I care about you,” or the soothing presence of someone holding us and not expecting anything that were the most consoling. When we are able to go back to these times it becomes easier for us to keep in mind that giving advice or saying more than is really necessary is not always reassuring. What is truly comforting for another is not having someone try to fix them or their problems, but to just be there for them. Should we begin to feel the urge arise to offer advice or repair a situation, we can take a few deep breaths, let the impulse pass, and bring our attention back to the present. Even though we may want to do more, we do not have to do anything other than this to be a good friend.

The more we are attuned to what our loved ones are feeling, the more capable we are of truly giving what is best for them in their hour of need. Keeping things simple helps us give the part of ourselves that is capable of the greatest amount of compassion—open ears and an understanding heart. - Daily OM

Friday, August 27, 2010


A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, "There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs - millions of them. They all croak all night long and they are about to make me crazy!" So the restaurant owner and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant, five hundred at a time for the next several weeks. The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, "Well... where are all the frogs?" The farmer said, "I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!"

Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember, it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs. Also remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark. Have you ever laid in your bed at night worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. 

Source: Thought Provoking Stories.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Turtles

A turtle family decided to go on a picnic. Turtles, being naturally slow about things, took seven years to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second year of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last! For about six months they cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. Then they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left. Three years passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five years... six years...then on the seventh year of his absence, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, "See! I knew you wouldn't wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt."
Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we don't do anything ourselves. 
Source: Thought Provoking Stories

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Without a Net

Living Life with Trust

Living life without a net can be just what we need to step outside of ourselves and make the choices we need most.

As we create the life of our dreams, we often reach a crossroads where the choices seem to involve the risk of facing the unknown versus the safety and comfort of all that we have come to trust. We may feel like a tightrope walker, carefully teetering along the narrow path to our goals, sometimes feeling that we are doing so without a net. Knowing we have some backup may help us work up the courage to take those first steps, until we are secure in knowing that we have the skills to work without one. But when we live our lives from a place of balance and trust in the universe, we may not see our source of support, but we can know that it is there.

If we refuse to act only if we can see the safety net, we may be allowing the net to become a trap as it creates a barrier between us and the freedom to pursue our goals. Change is inherent in life, so even what we have learned to trust can surprise us at any moment. Remove fear from the equation and then, without even wondering what is going on below, we can devote our full attention to the dream that awaits us.

We attract support into our lives when we are willing to make those first tentative steps, trusting that the universe will provide exactly what we need. In that process we can decide that whatever comes from our actions is only for our highest and best experience of growth. It may come in the form of a soft landing, an unexpected rescue or an eye-opening experience gleaned only from the process of falling. So rather than allowing our lives to be dictated by fear of the unknown, or trying to avoid falling, we can appreciate that sometimes we experience life fully when we are willing to trust and fall. And in doing so, we may just find that we have the wings to fly.

When we believe that there is a reason for everything, we are stepping out with the safety net of the universe, and we know we will make the best from whatever comes our way. - Daily OM

Friday, August 20, 2010

Your Keepers

I grew up in the fifties with practical parents -- a Mother, God love her,
who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the
original recycle queen, before they had a name for it... A Father who was
happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a
wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a
house dress, lawn mower in one hand, dish towel in the other.
It was the time for fixing things -- a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the
oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes
it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be
wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd
always be more.
But then my Mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the
hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away... never to
So...while we have it...it's best we love it.....and care for it.... and fix it when it's
broken..... and heal it when it's sick. This is true... for marriage...old radios...and
old cars... and children with bad report cards... and dogs with bad hips... and aging
parents... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we
are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away -- or -- a
classmate we grew up with.
There are just some things that make life important,
like people we know who are special.....and so, we keep them close!
Who are the keepers in your life? • • •

Author Unknown
Have a great time and wonderful weekend.

Read from  Best Collection of Inspirational Stories  by Arswino Sonata 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Evening in Kanchi Mutt


Is Your Hut Burning

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God. --Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Imperfect Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots; each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts." The pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Fathers table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength. – Read in the web - Redmond Family Com.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Worth Remembering - by Malcolm Forbes

A True Story

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned.

"We want to see the President," the man said softly.
"He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped.
"We'll wait," the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away.
They didn't and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the President, even though it was a chore she always regretted. 

"Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him. He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. 

The President, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him, "We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus."

The President wasn't touched, he was shocked. "Madam," he said gruffly. "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery."

"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard."

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard"

For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now. And the lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don't we just start our own?"

Her husband nodded.

The President's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.

Malcolm Forbes

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bend but Don't Break

One of my fondest memories as a child is going by the river and sitting idly on the bank. There I would enjoy the peace and quiet, watch the water rush downstream, and listen to the chirps of birds and the rustling of leaves in the trees. I would also watch the bamboo trees bend under pressure from the wind and watch them return gracefully to their upright or original position after the wind had died down.

When I think about the bamboo tree's ability to bounce back or return to it's original position, the word resilience comes to mind. When used in reference to a person this word means the ability to readily recover from shock, depression or any other situation that stretches the limits of a person's emotions.

Have you ever felt like you are about to snap? Have you ever felt like you are at your breaking point? Thankfully, you have survived the experience to live to talk about it.

During the experience you probably felt a mix of emotions that threatened your health. You felt emotionally drained, mentally exhausted and you most likely endured unpleasant physical symptoms.

Life is a mixture of good times and bad times, happy moments and unhappy moments. The next time you are experiencing one of those bad times or unhappy moments that take you close to your breaking point, bend but don't break. Try your best not to let the situation get the best of you.

A measure of hope will take you through the unpleasant ordeal. With hope for a better tomorrow or a better situation, things may not be as bad as they seem to be. The unpleasant ordeal may be easier to deal with if the end result is worth having.

If the going gets tough and you are at your breaking point, show resilience. Like the bamboo tree, bend, but don't break - Author Unknown

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keep Believing in Yourself

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren't the way you had hoped they would be.
That's when you have to tell yourself that things will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.
But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.
There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.
Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you.
It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are. So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be. Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

Keep Believing in Yourself  - Author Unknown

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Stop Worrying and Love the World

We live in times when it seems like a duty to be worried. Two wars, global warming, an out of control oil spill. More than anytime I can remember, people are uniformly glum about the future prospects of the planet. If you aren’t worrying, you feel that somehow you aren’t doing your part.

Worry is nothing to be glib about. In some situations it is inescapable. In a crisis when you are uncertain about the future, the mind begins to obsess as a way to gain a sense of control over events that are uncontrollable. But revolving a host of worst case scenarios as you lie awake at night isn’t really a solution. May I give some good reasons for not worrying?

Worry is a form of pain, and pain doesn’t make people change.

Worry is chronic anxiety, one of the least productive of all emotions.

Worry is like mental smog. It keeps you from seeing clearly.

People who create real change aren’t worriers. They are the exact opposite.

If you take a step back, you can see that worrying is a form of self-inflicted pain. For many people the pain is a mild mental martyrdom — they feel that to worry makes you a better person than if you don’t worry. It’s true that the kind of person who never worries about others may be selfish, callous, and indifferent. But you aren’t making up for such people by putting yourself in pain.

Other worriers believe that being anxious will force them to change, but psychologists know that pain isn’t a good motivator. If it were, the millions who worry about their weight would all be slim. When somebody punishes you, do you feel motivated to change? No, and worry, being a form of self-punishment, is just as useless. If anything, it becomes a habit that clings stubbornly to the mind and refuses to change.

You can’t think clearly while you are worrying. Worry takes up energy and occupies the space where productive thoughts could enter. Like smog, it limits visibility. The reason for this is both psychological and biological. Psychologically, fear is convincing because it is such a powerful emotion, yet what it wants to convince you of — that everything is bad, hopeless, and doomed — is rarely correct. Biologically, worry activates stress hormones that throw the brain into a state of low-level arousal to fight or flee. This arousal is temporary, and is soon followed by exhaustion and apathy. So when you worry, your brain isn’t in the best shape to consider what to do.

Finally, the kind of people who lead the way to real solutions aren’t worriers. They have looked at a bad situation, felt the pain, and moved on to creative answers. Right now a lab somewhere is developing algae and bacteria that will consume greenhouse gases and metabolize the oil that dirties the surface of every ocean. Someone else is working around the clock to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. Others have taken on the role of job creators, micro financiers in the developing world, and green activists.

Their motivation is something better than worry. It can be pure love of the planet, which all of us share. It might also be what’s called intrinsic motivation, which is the desire to master a field and to do as good a job as possible. They may have a specific passion or suddenly see a solution that no one else has. Free market incentives also enter the mix. Far, far down on the list is worry. Such people wouldn’t be human if they didn’t feel anxious about the state of things, yet they have taken steps to wipe out their anxiety in a productive way.

So the message isn’t a callous “What, me worry?” It’s more like, “I know what it’s like to worry, but I’ve moved on.” Let anxiety be your past. Let a renewal of love for this beautiful world be your guide in the future.

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Learning to Get Back Up

Bringing a giraffe into the world is a tall order. A baby giraffe falls 10 feet from its mother's womb and usually lands on its back. Within seconds it rolls over and tucks its legs under its body. From this position it considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from its eyes and ears. Then the mother giraffe rudely introduces its offspring to the reality of life.
In his book, A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond describes how a newborn giraffe learns its first lesson.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.
When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.
Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they'd get it too, if the mother didn't teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.
The late Irving Stone understood this. He spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, and Charles Darwin.
Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives of all these exceptional people. He said, "I write about people who sometime in their life have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished and they go to work.
"They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified, and for years they get nowhere. But every time they're knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they've accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do." - Craig B Larson

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Cup of Coffee

    A group of Computer Engineers, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

    Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups, some ordinary looking, some expensive, some exquisite. He told them to help themselves to hot coffee.

    When all the students had a cup of coffee in their hands, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap looking ones.

    "While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and worse, you were eyeing each other's cups."

    "Now if life is coffee , then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn't change. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it. "

    So the moral of this story is........don't let the cups drive you, enjoy the coffee instead. - Saturn Star