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

25 Powerful Quotes From Zen Buddhism That Will Change Your Perspective on Life

Zen Buddhism is a profound philosophy that counters much of what we’re taught in the west.
In western society, we tend to think that we’ll find happiness once we reach certain goals. However, Zen Buddhism says that happiness doesn’t come from any outside achievements. Instead, it believes that true inner peace comes from within.
The key, according to Zen, is to let go of attachments and embrace living fully in the present moment. It’s certainly an outlook on life that all could benefit from, no matter your religion or race.
Below we have found 25 pieces of concise Zen Buddhist wisdom that summarize the wisdom of life. I hope they shift your perspective as much as they have mine. Enjoy!
1) The temptation to give up is strongest just before victory.
2) The goal in life is to die young, but to do as late as possible.
3) Don’t speak if it doesn’t improve on silence.
4) A thousand-mile journey begins with just one step.
5) A strong man overcomes an obstacle, a wise man goes the whole way.
6) Don’t be afraid to go slowly. Be afraid of stopping.
7) Even the happiness of a fool is a stupid kind of happiness.
8) Even if you stumble and fall down, it doesn’t mean you’ve chosen the wrong path.
9) A hut full of laughter is richer than a palace full of sadness.
10) Always look on the bright side of things. If you can’t comprehend this, polish that which has become dull until it begins to shine.
11) Whatever happens always happens on time.
12) Someone who points out your flaws to you is not necessarily your enemy. Someone who speaks of your virtues is not necessarily your friend.
13) Don’t be afraid that you do not know something. Be afraid of not learning about it.
14) A good teacher opens the door for you, but you must enter the room by yourself.
15) A mountain never yields to the wind no matter how strong it is.
16) Live calmly. The time will come when the flowers bloom by themselves.
17) There’s no such thing as a friend who doesn’t have any flaws. But if you try to look for all their flaws, you will remain with no friends.
18) Unhappiness enters through a door that has been left open.
19) No one returns from a long journey the same person they were before.
20) A person who is capable of blushing cannot have a bad heart.
21) It’s better be a person for a day than to be a shadow for a 1,000 days.
22) Your home is where your thoughts find peace.
23) The man who moved the mountain was the one who began carrying away the smallest stones.
24) If you’ve made a mistake, it’s better just to laugh at it.
25) The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

source and courtesy: hackspirit

Neuroscience Learns What Buddhism Has Known For Ages: There is No Constant Self

Evan Thomson, a researcher from the University of British Colombia, has confirmed that the Buddhist teaching of a constantly changing self is accurate.
According to Buddhists, change is the only constant in the universe, which means that there is no such thing as a stable self.
Neuroscience also says that the brain and body is said to be constantly in action or progressively flowing, which proves that there isn’t any stable self.
Evan Thompson, a philosophy of mind professor at the University of British Columbia, says “And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There’s nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”
Neuroplasticity, a concept coined by neuroscientists, states that our brain is malleable and able to change. This means you can change your brain in many aspects, opening up your possibilities for growth.
This concept can be incredibly liberating. Why? Because you’re not defined by your thoughts or your idea of who you are. The possibilities to change yourself are endless.
It also goes against the common thought in western society that we need to “find ourselves”. Instead, life is about change and growth. Buddha puts it best:
“Nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to change. Being is always becoming.”
Buddhist Monks have long said that the universe and ourselves are constantly changing. By training our mind, they say we can elevate our awareness and control.
This is also why they talk about the practice of non-attachment. If we attach ourselves to something, we are desiring for it to be stable, which directly goes against the forces of the universe.
Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron says:
“Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.”

What about consciousness?

Neuroscience has long been baffled by consciousness. They can’t explain why or how it exists.
Buddhists however define consciousness into three different areas:
consciousness is conditioned by mental fabrications (saṅkhāra);
consciousness and the mind-body (nāmarūpa) are interdependent; and,
consciousness acts as a “life force” by which there is a continuity across rebirths
As Neuroscience advances, perhaps Buddhism will be proven right in regards to consciousnesses.

Continue the conversation

Our parent site, Ideapod, is a social network for idea sharing. It’s a place for you to explore ideas, share your own and come up with new perspectives, meeting like minded idea sharers in the process.
Here are some conversations happening about Buddhism.
source and courtesy: thepowerofideas.ideapod

A Zen Master Reveals How to Cope with the Trump Presidency

What can Zen Buddhism teach us about how to emotionally cope with Donald Trump’s presidency? Quite a lot if you speak to Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Nhat Hanh has been a social and environmental activist for over 40 years. He says the most important thin for those feeling a sense of despair is to remember that directing anger towards more anger only makes things worse.
Instead, Nhat Hanh says that mindfulness is essential when preparing to engage in social activism. This helps people to find peace within themselves so that their actions come from a place of compassion.
“Mindfulness must be engaged,” Nhat Hanh writes in his new book At Home in the World. “Once we see that something needs to be done, we must take action. Seeing and action go together. Otherwise, what is the point in seeing?”
“Nonviolence is not a set of techniques that you can learn with your intellect,” he goes on to say. “Nonviolent action arises from the compassion, lucidity and understanding you have within.”
Nhat Hanh was an activist seeking an end to the Vietnam War, for which he ended up being exiled from the country. Reflecting on his experience as an activist during this time, Nhat Hanh says that activists must treat themselves well if they are to be effective:
“[I]f we don’t maintain a balance between our work and the nourishment we need, we won’t be very successful. The practice of walking meditation, mindful breathing, allowing our body and mind to rest, and getting in touch with the refreshing and healing elements inside and around us is crucial for our survival.”
The Huffington Post recently interviewed a nun and monk at Nhat Hanh’s Plu Village monastery in France. They asked what advice they had for activists who want to take action during Trump’s presidency.
Sister Peace says that action must be inspired by a deep-rooted sense of love:
“If we can be strong in ourselves, then we could offer a resistance that is nonviolent,” she said. “But that means that we ourselves are at a place where we can have that recognition and we can offer that to another. And that is a great, great source of love and having the other feel they’re being recognized and listened to and embraced.”
She says that those who are passionate about taking action should learn from the nonviolent approach of the civil rights movement.
One key example is the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery during which marchers remained passive despite being chased and beaten. As Sister Peace said:
“They were taught how to be quiet, how to be still, how not to resist and fight back no matter what happened.”
Brother Phap Dung is a monk at Plum Village who was previously an architect based in Los Angeles. He suggests that when confronted with aggression or discrimination, it’s important to first find your center rather than immediately react to events.
“Non-action sometimes is very powerful,” he said. ”Sometimes we underestimate someone sitting very calm, very solid and not reacting and that they can touch a place of peace, a place of love, a place of nondiscrimination. That is not inaction.”
One key idea drawn upon by Sister Peace and Borther Phap Dung is the Buddhist teaching of interdependence. By this they mean that people we perceive as our greatest enemies can be our greatest teachers because they help us to see parts of ourselves that we otherwise find terrible, which gives us a chance to heal.
As Brother Phap Dung says, “We have the wrong perception that we are separate from the other. So in a way Trump is a product of a certain way of being in this world so it is very easy to have him as a scapegoat. But if we look closely, we have elements of Trump in us and it is helpful to have time to reflect on that.”

The nonviolent approach of Thich Nhat Hanh recognized by Martin Luther King

The nonviolent approach of Nhat Hanh was honed during the Vietnam War, when he formed a friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nhat Hanh was instrumental in encouraging King to speak out against the Vietnam war.
In 1967, King nominated Nhat Hanh for a Nobel Peace Prize.
“It would remind all nations that men of good will stand ready to lead warring elements out of an abyss of hatred and destruction,” King wrote of recommending Nhat Hanh for the award, which Nhat Hanh ultimately did not receive. “It would re-awaken men to the teaching of beauty and love found in peace. It would help to revive hopes for a new order of justice and harmony.”
“I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems,” King said. “I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate. … I have decided to love.”

A recommended course to learn Thich Nhat Hanh’s approach to activism

The above course is an incredible beginning to learning about Nhat Hanh’s work on mindfulness, which is essential to his approach to activism. We couldn’t recommend it highly enough, especially given the amount of anger in the current political climate.
In the course you’ll learn mindfulness techniques in order to:
  • Understand how to be mindful, whether you’re simply breathing or walking
  • Learn from your past and release anxiety about your future
  • Reflect upon your connection with nature and to all life
  • Access ancient Buddhist teachings to release suffering and gain compassion
You’ll practice mindfulness techniques, including meditation and simple breathing methods, so you can concentrate fully and connect with all the life that surrounds you.
From breathing meditation to walking meditation, you’ll learn how to touch the wonders of life to nourish and heal your body and reduce your suffering. Check out the reviews of the course before deciding whether it’s for you.

source and courtesy: thepowerofideas.ideapod

Alan Watts Quotes That Will Open Your Mind And Change The Way You See Everything

image source
Alan Watts is credited as one of the great thinkers that brought Western philosophy to the East. Here are some of his most profound words. 

You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.

—  Alan WattsThe Way of Zen

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 WattsThe Wisdom of Insecurity


But I'll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything.

—  Alan WattsThe Way of Zen


To put is still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.

—  Alan WattsThe Wisdom of Insecurity


A priest once quoted to me the Roman saying that a religion is dead when the priests laugh at each other across the altar. I always laugh at the altar, be it Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist, because real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter.

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