A Great Life Lesson by Alan Watts

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“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is....

The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune." - Alan Watts

I love this. He is saying we should refrain from thinking of things in terms of gain or loss, advantage or disadvantage, because one never knows…

In fact we never really know whether an event is fortune or misfortune, we only know our ever-changing reactions to ever-changing events.

I believe it's an important cog in the wheel of living with presence. 

Do you agree with Alan Watts? Is it a good way to look at life?

3 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Alan Watts

1. This moment it is infinite and eternal.

“Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever….” ~ Alan Watts

2. Let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself.
“When you get free from certain fixed concepts of the way the world is, you find it is far more subtle, and far more miraculous, than you thought it was.” 

3. Who you are is enough. There is nothing wrong with you at all.

“What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.” ~ Alan Watts


A Great Life Lesson by Alan Watts
"The whole process of nature is a process of immense complexity and it is really impossible to tell whether something that happens in it is good or bad. Because you never know the consequences of the misfortune. Or, you never know the consequences of good fortune."~ Alan Watts.
source: ideapod

The Lack of Understanding Turns Us Into Victims

This article was featured in the Spanish newspaper Lavanguardia on 28 June 2014.

Thich Nhat Hanh, whom Martin Luther King nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 
I am 88 years old. I am Zen master. On my 16th I entered a monastery. Vietnamese, I live in France, where I founded Plum Village, a Buddhist community. I lead retreats about the art of living mindfully for everyone. If I had to choose between Buddhism and peace, I would choose peace.
In Vietnam, during the war, you took the monks in the streets.
My life is not important. What is important is that you practice mindfulness. What I want is to help.
You moved from contemplation to commitment, you are a revolutionary.
You think you take a decision, but in reality the decision already exists: it all depends on the way you have observed, listened…
But it was your decision.
The freedom to decide can only come from mindfulness: I breathe in and I know I’m breathing in; I breathe out and I know I’m breathing out. The decision is the result of this practice continued for a long time.
Freedom?
Yes, freedom from anger, fear, desire…., this will help you and bring you compassion.
What have you learned about the human being during the Vietnam War?
The Vietnam War wasn’t distinct from other wars. They all come from us not having right thinking. Dominated by fear and anger, we do not understand our own suffering nor that of our enemies.
It’s the human condition.
The lack of comprehension turns us into victims. Both sides have ideas about how to obtain peace and happiness, but they are not able to communicate with each other.
The monks sacrificed themselves, which is an act of violence against oneself.
There was no other way to tell the world that we were suffering. The important thing is not your acts, but the motivation.
A Western psychologist would have said that setting yourself on fire as a sacrifice is crazy.
That’s why I had to go to the United States to explain this to Martin Luther King because from the Western point of view, it was very difficult to understand.
King nominated you for the Nobel Peace Prize and publicly opposed the War.
I went to the United States because I knew there was little comprehension of the situation, but with Luther King we spent a long time exchanging postcards. He, like you, also wanted to understand why the monks set themselves on fire.
You were interviewed by federal officials and those from the Pentagon, like Robert McNamara.
The most difficult ones were the participants from the peace movement, who had a lot of anger. I spent a lot of time helping them to have more compassion. They were very angry with me because I was not angry. I had to have a lot of patience.
How did you accomplish to create an illegal Buddhist University in Vietnam?
It wasn’t easy, but there is something I wish to tell you. Even if you are a very talented person and you have a lot of energy, you cannot achieve big things alone. We created a community where there is a lot of mutual understanding, and which shares ideals: it is the way to have hope to achieve something.
You worked with North American veterans of the Vietnam War.
We’ve had mindfulness retreats with them. It was very difficult, but there was true healing. The understanding must become very deep: You also have to understand the suffering of those who sent you to war.
But they talk about collateral damage.
They suffer a lot. The Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara resigned three months after meeting me. He carried a heavy weight in his heart; he considered that this war had been a mistake.
How to heal the horror of a war?
When you understand your own suffering and that of the other, and you aspire to help others, compassion is born. This will start to heal you. Allow me to tell you a story.
Go ahead.
-Daniel, a war veteran, was full of hate because the majority of his companions died in an ambush. He wanted revenge. He went to a village and left a bag of sandwiches filled with gunpowder…, and he watched as five children ate them.
He saw them die?
Yes, in the arms of their mothers. When I met him he was a tortured man; he did not dare to tell this story to anyone. I recommended him to dedicate his life to save children who were dying in the world, that the energy of this aspiration would save him. He did it and dreamed that the five children smiled at him. He was healed and married an English dentist.
You are the sage as a reference for bankers and business people.
They come to us because they also suffer.
A gesture of whomever amongst them could end hunger in the world.
They have tried to do charity projects, but this hasn’t helped them.
And why do they suffer so much?
Because they have money but they do not have happiness nor time to love. They are full of worries, fear, anger…, and they do not enjoy themselves. They do not communicate with each other, nor with their wives and children, and without communication they cannot be happy. I always tell them: “What do you prefer, being happy or having money?… You have to choose.”
They want both things.
Yes, but when they practice seriously, they start to transform their mind and discover love. They realise that they do not need money and choose happiness. It’s interesting.

Tireless
During the war in his country, Vietnam, he made a decision that marked his life: he took the monks into the streets. Ever since then he’s been a peace activist. In his travels to the United States, he was interviewed by federal officials and those from the Pentagon, who presented arguments to stop the war, and contributed to change the course of history when he asked Martin Luther King to publicly oppose the Vietnam War. After the battle, he founded the School of Youth and Social Services, rebuilt villages and small towns, schools and medical centres. In his recent US tour, he got together with the most influential top executives. He just toured Spain.
source and courtesy: wkup.org

Lessons On Life-Inspiration From Alan Watts

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What If Money Didn’t Matter
What do you desire?
“What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? You do that and forget the money.”
“If you say getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time.”
“You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid.”
“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”
“We’re bringing up children to educate them to live the same sort of lives we’re living in order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children… to bring up their children to do the same thing… Therefore, it is so important to consider this question, what do I desire?”
The Real You
“What you do, is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call here and now.”
“You are something that the whole universe is dong in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing you.”
“The real you, is not a puppet in which life pushes around, the real deep down you is the whole universe.”
“Try and imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up…what was it like to wake up after never having gone to sleep? That was when you were born. You see, you can’t have an experience of nothing.”
“After you’re dead the only thing that can happen is the same experience or the same sort of experience as when you were born…after people die, other people are born. And they’re all you, only you can only experience it one at a time, everybody is I, you all know you’re you.”
“When they come into being that’s you coming into being…only you don’t have to remember the past in the same way you don’t have to think about how you work your thyroid gland…you don’t have to know how to shine the sun, you just do it, like you breath.”
“Doesn’t it really astonish you that you are this fantastically complex thing, and that you’re doing all of this and you never had any education in how to do it.”

103 Year Old Japanese Doctor Reveals The Secret To Long And Healthy Life

We are talking about Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara form Japan. This doctor is 103 years old, weights 60 kg and he had this body weight since his 30’s. He considers that due to his healthy diet he managed to reach the old age.
Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara is oldest doctor in Japan and in the world too. He is president of the council of trustees at St. Luke’s Hospital in Tokyo. He teaches about nutrition throughout the country and is consistently busy.
He has published over 150 books since the age of 75 years, one of which – “Living Long, Living Good” was sold in 1.2 million copies.
He encourages people to live a long and happy life, and he himself is the best example for it.
Read his life principles:
The doctor says that energy comes when we are feeling good, not because of what we eat and lot of sleep. He considers there is no need for strict rules about dinner and hours intended for sleeping.
All long-living people, regardless of their race, sex or nationality, have one thing in common – they are not overweight.
Food is the most important
For breakfast he drank a glass of fruit juice in combination with a tablespoon of olive oil or a glass of milk with a little powdered lentil and a banana. For lunch he ate milk and 2-3 biscuits or if it he was busy, he did not eat anything. Also he tells when he is focused on work he never feels hunger. For dinner he ate fruit, little fish with rice and 90 grams of fat meat two times a week.
Be busy and look only forward
This doctor is so busy that his lecture schedule and his usual work at the hospital is filled with a year ahead.
Contrary to popular belief, doctors can not cure everything. He believes that animals and music therapy can do more than what doctors can imagine.
If you want to stay healthy take the stairs and carry your own luggage.
Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara takes two steps at a time so he can keep the muscles in good shape. Every day he is trying to walk from 2000 to 2500 steps at slow pace, because he uses a cane.
Pain is something mysterious
The best way to forget about pain is to have fun.
“Do not worry too much about material things. Do not forget that when death comes, you will not take anything with you. “- says Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara.
Science does not treat humans on its own
According to this doctor, science does not treat all equally, but believes that diseases are individual. He also said that in order to know the diseases and treat them, we need to know them, as well as medicine, very well.
Find your hero and try being better than him
He proudly says that his hero was his father. And whenever he finds himself in a complicated situation, he wondered what his father would do.
Life is full of incidents and possibilities
In March 1970, when this doctor was 59 years old, he traveled from Tokyo to Fukuoka. The plane he was traveling with was kidnapped by a faction of the Japanese Communist League. So he had to pass the next 4 days in a seat on 40 degrees heat. At that point, this man, as a doctor, viewed the situation as an experiment. He noticed as the body slows in a crisis situation.
It is wonderful having a long life
From his life experience he says the first 60 years we are working for the family and achieving our goals and then we direct our energy for society’s benefits. He has worked as a volunteer for 65 years. To this day, he can still work up to 18 hours every day of the week.
source and courtesy: timefornaturalhealthcare

If You Have This Line On Hand You’re Really Lucky

It is believed that people who have this line on the hand have a guardian angel who watches in difficult situations.
Line parallel to the line of life. It is said that people with angel line easily pass obstacles and have  luck in love and life.
Those who have guardian angel lines are thought to be very lucky all throughout their lives. They always manage to somehow avoid suffering and harm, and instead enjoy a lifetime of happiness, peace, and well being. Not everyone has this line on their palm, they are more rare than common. The guardian angel line runs parallel to the “lifeline” on the left hand palm.
Guardian angels have long been a part of humanity’s more spiritual side. The belief is that each one of us has a protector who watches over and keeps us out of harms way. When life gets tough, dangerous, or when accidents happen, our guardian angel appears and keeps vigil.
Some people claim to have actually seen visions of angels, but more commonly there are reports of overwhelming feelings of re-assurance and comfort by people involved in near death experiences. They believe that some un-explainable force intervened and miraculously pulled them through the tragedy they faced. Others turn to their guardian angels for advice, comforting thoughts and reassurance.

Steve Jobs' last words will make you change your view of life completely!

I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.
At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.
In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of god of death drawing closer…
Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth…
Should be something that is more important:
Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days …
Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.
The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me.
What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.
That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.
Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.
What is the most expensive bed in the world? – “Sick bed” …
You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.
Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – “Life”.
When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – “Book of Healthy Life”.
Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.
Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

source: speakingtree

12 Pieces Of Buddhist Wisdom That Will Transform Your Life

1. Live with compassion

Compassion is one of the most revered qualities in Buddhism and great compassion is a sign of a highly realized human being. Compassion doesn’t just help the world at large, and it isn’t just about the fact that it’s the right thing to do. Compassion, and seeking to understand those around you, can transform your life for a number of reasons. First, self-compassion is altogether critical towards finding peace within yourself. By learning to forgive yourself and accepting that you’re human you can heal deep wounds bring yourself back from difficult challenges. Next, we can often be tortured because of the fact that we don’t completely understand why people do certain things. Compassion is understanding the basic goodness in all people and then seeking to discover that basic goodness in specific people. Because of this, it helps you from going through the often mental torture we experience because we don’t understand the actions of others. But even more than that, expressing compassion is the very act of connecting wholeheartedly with others, and simply connecting in this way can be a great source of joy for us. The reasons for practicing compassion are numerous and powerful. Seek to live in a way that you treat everyone you meet as you would yourself. Once you begin trying to do this, it will seem altogether impossible. But keep at it, and you’ll realize the full power of living with compassion.

2. Connect with others and nurture those connections

In Buddhism, a community of practitioners is called a “sangha”. A sangha is a community of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen who practice together in peace towards the united “goal” of realizing greater awakening, not only for themselves but for all beings. The sangha is a principle which much of the world can greatly benefit from. People come together in groups all the time, but it’s usually for the purpose of creating monetary riches or obtaining substantial power and rarely towards the united goal of attaining peace, happiness, and realizing greater wisdom. The principle of the sangha can be expressed in your own life in many ways. The sangha is ultimately just one way of looking at life, through the lens of the individual “expressions” of the totality. By living in a way that you’re fully aware of the power of connecting with others, whether it’s one person or a group of 100, and seeking to nurture those relationships in the appropriate way, you can transform your life in ways that will pay dividends for years to come.

3. Wake up

One of the most powerful points on this list, the power of simply living in a way that you’re fully awake to every moment of your life pretty much couldn’t be exaggerated even if I tried. Mindfulness, greater awareness, paying attention, whatever you want to call it- it changes every facet of your life and in every way. It’s as simple as that. Strive to live fully awake to each moment of your daily life and overcome your greatest personal struggles, find a great sense of peace and joy, and realize the greatest lessons life can teach you as a result of living fully awake to the present moment.

4. Live deeply

To live deeply, in a way that you become keenly aware of the precious nature of life, is to begin down the path of true peace and happiness. Why? Because to live in this way is to gradually become aware of the true nature of the world. This will happen essentially in “sections” of the whole, such as realizing your interconnectedness (you begin to see how everything is connected to everything else) and impermanence (you begin to see how everything is ever-changing, constantly dying only to be reborn in another form). These realizations are the bread and butter of Buddhism and all spiritual practice. These “sections of the whole” are fragments of the ultimate realization, ways for us to understand that which can’t be fully understood in the traditional sense. By living in a way that you seek to realize these various “qualities of the ultimate” you find greater and greater peace in realizing the natural way of things. This cultivates in us the ability to savor every moment of life, to find peace in even the most mundane activities, as well as the ability to transform your typically “negative” experiences into something altogether nourishing and healing.

5. Change yourself, change the world

Buddhists understand that you can hardly help another before you help yourself. But this isn’t referring to you gaining power or riches before you can help others, or living in a way that you ignore others. This is mostly referring to the fact that because we’re all interconnected, by you helping yourself you create an exponentially positive effect on the rest of the world. If you want to make an impact on the world, don’t falsely convince yourself that it’s “you or them”. You don’t need to drag yourself through the mud to help those around you. If you do this, you’ll greatly hamper your ability to create a positive impact. At the deepest level of understanding, by making it about you you’re also making it about them because you know there’s no separating “you” and “them”. Take care of yourself and seek to be more than just a help, but an example of how to live for others to follow and you’ll create waves of exponential possibility that inspires others to do the same.

6. Embrace death

Death is an often taboo topic in Western society. We do everything we can to not only avoid the subject, but pretend that it doesn’t even exist. The reality is, this is really unfortunate and in no way helps us lead better lives. Becoming keenly aware of your own impermanence and deeply understanding the nature of death with regards to our interconnectedness are both things which can help us find great peace.In Buddhism, students in many sects at one point or another “meditate on the corpse” as it were (a practice which is said to have originated at least as far back as the Buddha’s lifetime). This is literally what it sounds like. They meditate on the image of a corpse slowing decomposing and imagine that process through to its end, eventually resulting in a deep and profound realization on the true nature of death. That might sound a little intense to you, but the truth is, if you live you’re entire life acting as if you’re never going to die or ignoring your own impermanence then you won’t ever be able to find true peace within yourself. You don’t necessarily have to meditate on the image of a corpse, but simply opening up to yourself about death so that you’re no longer shielding it from your mind (which you’re likely doing unconsciously, as that’s how most of us were brought up in the West) can begin to be a great source of peace and help you appreciate the many joys in your everyday life. A true appreciation for life can never be fully realized until you come face-to-face with your own impermanence. But once you do this, the world opens up in a new and profound way.

7. Your food is (very) special

Meditative practice offers the ability to transform every experience in your everyday life, which I discuss in my forthcoming book Zen for Everyday Life, and food is one of those everyday experiences which is greatly transformed and often in very interesting and rewarding ways. Buddhist meditative practice, particularly mindfulness and contemplation, helps you realize the precious nature of the food in front of you. Indeed, with how integral a part food plays in our lives, to transform our relationship with food is to transform a key aspect of our entire lives, both now and in the future. By contemplating on the food in front of us, for example, we can come to realize the vast system of interconnectedness that is our life, and how our food coming to be on our dinner plate as it is depended on numerous elements coming to be. This helps us to deepen our relationship with food, cultivate a deep sense of gratitude before each meal, and learn to respect the delicate but ever-pressing balance that is life.

8. Understand the nature of giving

Giving is more than the act of giving Christmas and Birthday gifts, it’s also about those gifts which we give each and every day which we don’t typically see as gifts at all. Buddhists hold a very deep understanding of the nature of giving, particularly in that life is a constant play between the act of giving and receiving. This doesn’t just help us find peace in understanding the way of the world around us, but helps us realize the amazing gifts we all have within us that we can give others in every moment, such as our love, compassion, and presence.

9. Work to disarm the ego

The easiest way to sum up all “spiritual” practice is this: spirituality is the act of coming in touch with the ultimate reality or the ground of being, and as a result spiritual practice is the act of overcoming those obstacles which keep us from realizing that. The primary obstacle in our way? The ego. To put it short and sweet, the reason the ego is the major obstacle in spiritual practice, or simply the practice of finding true peace and happiness (whatever you choose to call it, it’s all the same), is because it’s very function is to pull you away from the ground of your being by convincing you that you’re this separate self. The process of unraveling the ego can take time, as it’s something which has been with us, intertwined with us, for years. But it’s infinitely rewarding and altogether necessary if we want to realize our best life.

10. Remove the 3 poisons

Life is filled with vices, things which attempt to bind us to unwholesome ways of living and therefore do the very opposite of cultivate peace, joy, and greater realization in our lives. Among these, the 3 poisons are some of the most powerful. The 3 poisons are:
  1. Greed
  2. Hatred
  3. Delusion
Together, these 3 poisons are responsible for the majority of the pain and suffering we experience as a collective species. It’s perfectly normal to be affected by each of these poisons throughout your life, so don’t knock yourself for falling for them. Instead, simply accept that they’re something you’re experiencing and begin working to remove them from your life. This can take time, but it’s a key aspect on the path towards realizing true peace and happiness.

11. Right livelihood

We should all strive to work and make our living in a way that’s more “conscious” or aware. This generally means not selling harmful items such as guns, drugs, and services that harm other people, but it goes deeper than that. There’s ultimately two aspects to this: making a living by doing something which doesn’t inhibit your own ability to realize peace and making a living doing something which doesn’t inhibit others ability to realize peace. Facing this can lead to some interesting situations for some people, and as Thich Nhat Hanh has mentioned this is a collective effort as opposed to a solely personal one (the butcher isn’t a butcher only because he decided to be, but because there is a demand from people for meat to be neatly packaged and made available for them to be purchased from supermarkets), but you should strive to do your best. Following the teaching on right livelihood can help you realize the harmful effect that your own work is having on you and therefore coming up with a solution can result in a largely positive shift in your life as a whole. Only you can decide if a change needs to happen though. Whatever the case, seek to make a living doing something that promotes the peace and happiness of yourself and those around you as much as possible.

12. Realize non-attachment

This is a difficult point to put into so few words, but a profound one I felt would be greatly beneficial to mention nonetheless. To realize non-attachment in a Buddhist sense doesn’t mean to abandon your friends and family and live alone for the rest of your life,never truly living again just so that you don’t become attached to these desires. Non-attachment refers to living in a way that you exist in the natural flow of life and generally living a typical modern life, building a family, working, etc., while simultaneously not being attached to any of these things. It simply means to live in a way that you’ve become aware of and accepted the impermanence of all things in this life and live in a way that you’re ever-aware of this fact. It’s perfectly normal for a Zen student in Japan, once having completed his training, to actually de-robe and go “back into the world” so to speak. This is because, once they’ve reached this level of realization, they see the beauty in all things and are compelled to live fully absorbed in all the beauty and wonders of this life. From this point on, they can truly “live life to the fullest”, while not clinging to any of these things. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that you stop feeling emotions. On the contrary, these emotions are welcomed and expected, and fully experienced with mindfulness in the moment of their impact. But this is simply the natural course of things. Once these emotions subside though, and when we have no mental formations or obstructions to block our path, a natural healing process takes place that heals the wound and allows us to continue on living in peace and joy instead of dragging us down into darkness. Strive to live free, fully aware of the wonders of life and in the very midst of all of those wonders, while not clinging to any of it. To do this is to realize the greatest joy life has to offer.
source: buddhaimonia

10 Essential Lessons From Thich Nhat Hanh

Without a doubt, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the important spiritual teachers of the 21st century.
His wisdom and calm demeanor have won over millions of readers around the world, and inspired them to live their lives in conscious ways.
Not to mention he had the respect of MLK Jr., and even convinced him to come out against the Vietnam war.
These quotes will give you an essential peak into his beliefs and teachings- and might even help you along your path as well.
Enjoy!

On Kindness

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”

On love

“If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”
“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
“If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.”
“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
“In true love, you attain freedom.”
“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.” 

On Finding Peace

“When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.”
“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
“It is my conviction that there is no way to peace – peace is the way.”

On Knowing Yourself

“In modern society most of us don’t want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book – we want to forget ourselves. Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us, opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to come and colonize us.”
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

On World Peace

“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ”

On Sorrow

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”
“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.”

On Hope and Happiness

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
“The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.”

On Kindness

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”

On Fear

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”
“In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.”
“Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.”

On Miracles

“Around us, life bursts with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
“The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom. Our practice is to make ourselves ready for the kingdom so that it can manifest in the here and the now. You don’t need to die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, you have to be truly alive in order to do so.”
source: sivanaspirit

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