God in all things

21 Sep

Anger & Love

A sage asked his disciples,” Why do we yell in anger? Why do people yell at each other when they are upset?’
The man thought for a while and replied, “Because we lose our calm and hence yell..” “But, why to yell when the other person is just next to you?’ asked the sage… “Isn’t it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you yell at a person when you’re angry?’
The man gave some other answers but none satisfied the sage.
Finally he explained, “When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must yell, to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to yell to hear each other through that great distance.’
Then the sage asked, what happens when two people fall in love? They do not yell at each other but talk softly, why? Their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small…
The sage continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all.
That is how close two people are when they love each other.’ Then the sage said, ‘When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’
*Lets reach across the lines that divide us, not with pointing fingers but outstretched hands*

24 Aug

Look Around You

A very special teacher in high school many years ago had a husband who unexpectedly died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students. As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there.

With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, “Before class is over, I would like to share with all of you a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves… and none of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is God’s way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day.”

Her eyes beginning to water, she went on, “So I would like you all to make me a promise… from now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn’t have to be something you see – it could be a scent – perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone’s house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please, look for these things, and cherish them.

For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the “stuff” of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any time … it can all be taken away.”

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn’t do.

29 Jun

Truth Will Set You Free

Once there was a thief and he was looking for things to steal, but could not find very much. In desperation, he went in a temple where the Pujari (Priest) was giving a religious speech to many people. The thief had decided to steal money from the businesspeople, but after observing a new man’s presence with different face he decided to listen to the speech for a little while.
The Pujari was speaking on the topic of truthfulness, and the thief thought that the talk was not so bad. He was completely lost in the true feeling of truthfulness. When the program was over everybody went home except for the thief who was not ready to leave.
The thief began to worry that the Pujari would think the thief would do something wrong in the temple. To help feel less fearful, the thief asked the Pujari, “I have nothing to do here but you gave a very deep speech on the importance of truthfulness which I really liked. However my mind is still not going to digest it.”
The thief had many questions and arguments in his mind regarding the imbuement of truthfulness. He wondered how a thief could become free from not speaking a lie. The priest gave deep advice to him that by speaking truth also he would do his business. By using the virtue of truthfulness also he would remain safe and secure no matter where he was or what he stole.
The Pujari gave the thief confidence that he could be successful, even while stealing. The thief firmly determined to follow the Pujari’s advice in the practical life and promised to follow the norm of truthfulness and honesty from that day in all respect. He committed to speak fact and reality everywhere from that very moment.
As making the promise not to speak a lie in his life when the thief was going out from there, in the same time, the king disguised in an ordinary form was roaming there to look after the atmosphere of the capital city. Coincidentally the thief met a person on the way in a roaming condition. The roaming gentleman asked the thief who he was. The thief recalled his promise to always speak the truth, even though difficult, he still revealed that he was a thief.
The gentleman replied happily and excitedly that he is also a thief. These two men became friends by handshaking and hugging with each other. The new thief suggested that they steal some very valuable things, and that he knows exactly where to find them. He took him in such incognito way that both of them arrived in front of the Grand Royal Palace.
The first thief told his new friend that he was committed to speak truth at all times. The new friend replied, “It doesn’t matter. Let us go just saying our true identity and purpose.” As the security personnel asked who they are and where they are going, both of them replied that they were going into the palace to steal diamonds.
The security guard thought, “What sorts of staff are they, and why are they being so angry with me? It is my duty to ask, but why did they reply so bitterly?” He did not know why they were so angry without any cause.
The new thief friend took them to a shelf in a beautiful big drawing room and said to break the lock of the safe. After breaking open the safe, they found five most valuable diamonds. The thief friend suggested that they take only four diamonds – two for each of them because breaking one diamond in half would be valueless. So they took four and left one diamond there in the opened safe.
Both of them went from their hiding two diamonds on their hand just packing on the cloth for each. They again returned in the same gate. While the security personnel asked who they are what they are taking in their hand? They replied they are thieving; they are taking diamonds of the palace. The security personnel again wondered why they were vulgarly behaving with him.
The next day as the royal palace offices were opened, they found the royal treasure of the palace was broken. When the royal treasurer checked it he noticed that 4 were missing. He saw this as a great opportunity, so he put the remaining diamond in his pocket and announced to the Kiing that the 5 valuable diamonds had been stolen from the royal treasure.
The King ordered the treasurer to ask the security guards about this event, and the guards responded that two people gave vulgarly replies last night that they were thieves and planned to steal the diamonds. The security guards also shared that they did not feel the people could really be thieves because no thief would announce so boldly that he was there to steal, and also have the courage to steal!
Then the evening security guards were questioned, and they replied “When we asked on their return what they carried, they said they were taking the valuable diamonds. This reply was unbelievable, so we did not do anything about it.”
The King then ordered the security guards to arrest the thief, and bring him to the King. After bringing him in the palace they presented the thief before his majesty the king. The king carefully observed him from his feet to head and said, “So you are the thief. What did you steal?”
The thief replied, “I cannot speak a lie, so you must know I have stolen the diamonds of the royal treasure along with my friend.”
“How many diamonds did you steal?” the King asked.
“We stole four. Two for each of us. Since we could not break the last one in half, we left one diamond in the safe.”
The King then asked to the treasurer, “How many diamonds are missing?”
“All five, your Majesty.”
Realizing what had happened, the King immediately fired the treasurer and appointed the thief as the new treasurer for his commitment to always being truthful.

18 May

Double Take

He gasped as he suddenly awoke from a terrible dream. “Where am I?? How did I get here?!” he thought frantically as he looked around the hospital room. A few seconds later he remembered—he only had a short amount of time left.
“Left to do what? Wheeze and throw up? Watch my wife and mother cry and feel my eyes water from all the stinking flowers in my room? Yeah, what a life this is,” he thought miserably. Lying on this hospital bed day in and day out has made him start to wonder what all this is really about. You’re born, you go to school, you get a job then you rot and die. There’s gotta be something more to it than this!! If only he knew what…
Just then, his little sister with her ugly purple hair, two thousand and one piercings and her too-cool-for-school boy toy waltzed in.
“Oh, Lord, what now?” he thought wearily as they came up beside him.
“You look like a ghost, bro” his sister remarked, making a face. “Yeah, man, you look whiter than Michael Jackson,” her oh-so-suave boyfriend commented. Obnoxious laughter rang out in his room as they both doubled over, nearly knocking over two dozen roses.
“Leave me alone,” he grumbled, closing his eyes. Maybe when he opened them they would be gone, maybe everything would be gone. “I’m sorry, bro, really. Look, I just came to say I love you and all that stuff. I just wanted you to know that.”
“Uh, thanks, sis, that’s real, um, sweet of you.” “Anything for you, bro,” she grinned as she started to walk out the door, her boy toy in tow.
“Wait,” he said, not sure where that came from. “Yeah, bro?”
He paused, trying to collect his thoughts, which were mostly made of mush these days. Slowly, he uttered the words, “Don’t go.” His sister looked at him in a way he’d never seen before and came up beside him again. Her boy toy took a seat next to the door. “I’m here, bro, I’m here,” in a rare moment of tenderness, she took his hand in hers. They stayed like that for what seemed like hours to him.
Finally, he looked up at her and whispered, “Sis, what is all this for?” His voice cracked as he uttered the last word and tears started flowing down his ashen cheeks. With tears in her eyes as well she whispered back, “I don’t know, bro, I really don’t know.” Suddenly, her boy toy cleared his throat loudly, an obvious indicator of his growing impatience. “I do know, though, that life isn’t all about that guy,” she said as they both laughed gently.
“Thanks, sis,” he said genuinely, giving her hand a light squeeze. “For what? I didn’t do much. I can’t even answer your question.”
“You’ve done a lot more than you realize,” he said softly, growing weaker. “Well, alright then, I’m glad I could help. See ya later, bro.” With that, her and her boy toy were out the door.
He passed away about twenty minutes later wearing the most blissful look you ever did see.

23 Mar

Practice before you advice

One day, an old lady came to Ramakrishna Paramahamsa with her 10 year old grandson. She prostrated before him and said: “Master! I have come to seek your advice. This boy is my grandson. He lost his father and mother when he was just a child of five. I have been taking care of him. He is very fond of sweets. He eats so much that his health is deteriorating day by day. The doctors have advised him not to eat sweets but this fellow does not pay any heed to their advice. However, he has great respect and admiration for you. So I have come to request you to stop the boy from eating sweets. I am sure, you alone can do this”. Ramakrishna said: “Mother, don’t worry, come with your grandson after a month. In the meanwhile I shall think of a plan to convince the boy that one’s health is very important, more important even than wealth”. The old woman thanked him and took leave of him.
She came with her grandson exactly after a month. Both of them paid their salutations to the master. Ramakrishna made the boy sit beside him and said: “My dear boy! Remember, one’s real wealth is health. Unless you take proper care of your health, you will not be able to grow into a strong and healthy young man. You will not be able to do anything great in life if you are weak. When something that we eat does not suit our constitution, we should give up eating that item. From tomorrow you should not eat sweets. After some time you may eat moderately. You are a nice boy and will listen to me, will you not?”. The boy nodded his head and promised that he would not eat sweets.
The old woman sent the boy on some errand just to have confidential talk with the master. “Master! May I ask you a question?” said the old woman. “Certainly mother”, replied Ramakrishna. “Master! This advice which you have given today to my grandson, you could have given last month itself. Why did you ask me to come again after a month? I don’t understand”. Ramakrishna replied with an understanding smile: “Mother! I myself eat lot of sweets. How can I advise the boy to do something that I am not doing myself? One has no right to preach anything to others before practising it himself. So I asked for some time. This one month I did not eat sweets. So I have earned the right to advise your grandson.” The old woman marvelled at the righteous conduct of Ramakrishna. She fell at his feet and took leave of him.
We should never advise anyone about anything which we ourselves have not put into practice.

09 Mar

Feathers from Heaven

In November of 2000, my brother was diagnosed with lung cancer in the final stages. My oldest sister took on the responsibility of his care. Each weekend I would drive the 300 miles to give her a break by going to the grocery store and pharmacy and helped to take care of our brother.One weekend, my sister in law told us that she would be fine with our brother for a few hours and for the three of us girls to go spend some time with each other.We went to lunch and then to the store. On the way back to my brother’s house, I asked my sisters to make a promise to me that whichever of us passed first, we would let the others know by giving us a sign. They agreed and we discussed what the “sign” should be.
The oldest, said how about turning on the lights but the middle sister said that would scare her. We laughed and finally decided on a white feather. It had to be some place that you would not expect to see it.We arrived back at my brother’s home, unloaded the car and settled down to listen to some music. I was sitting next to my brother’s hospital bed on one side and my sister in law was on the other side, my two sisters were on the sofa talking to each other quietly.
All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I see a WHITE feather floating from the ceiling. I thought that I was so stressed out that I was seeing things and I wanted desperately for my two sisters to quit talking and look my way so I could see if they saw it too! Keep in mind that my sister in law was not in the car with us so she did not know of our conversation. My sister in law must have seen the look on my face and she said “How odd, I wonder where that white feather came from.” Immediately, both my sisters stopped talking and started crying! I was too! We all hugged one another then told our sister in law what we had discussed and that we all knew that it was our mother sending us the sign, letting us know that she was with us.

08 Feb

A Letter to GOD:

Little Bobby came into the kitchen where his mother was making dinner.His birthday was coming up and he thought this was a good time to tell his mother what he wanted. Mom, I want a bike for my birthday. Little Bobby was a bit of a troublemaker. He had gotten into trouble at school and at home.
Bobby’s mother asked him if he thought he deserved to get a bike for his birthday. Little Bobby, of course, thought he did. Bobby’s mother wanted Bobby to reflect on his behavior over the last year. Go to your room, Bobby, and think about how you have behaved this year. Then write a letter to God and tell him why you deserve a bike for your birthday. Little Bobby stomped up the steps to his room and sat down to write God a letter.
************ **
Letter 1
Dear God,
I have been a very good boy this year and I would like a bike for my birthday. I want a red one.
Your friend,
Bobby
************ **
Bobby knew that this wasn’t true. He had not been a very good boy this year, So he tore up the letter and started over.
************ **
Letter 2
Dear God,
This is your friend Bobby. I have been a good boy this year and I would like a red bike for my birthday. Thank you.
Your friend,
Bobby
************ **
Bobby knew that this wasn’t true either. So, he tore up the letter and started again.
************ **
Letter 3
Dear God,
I have been an OK boy this year. I still would really like a bike for my birthday.
Bobby
************ **
Bobby knew he could not send this letter to God either. So, Bobby wrote a fourth letter.
************ **
Letter 4
God,
I know I haven’t been a good boy this year. I am very sorry. I will be a good boy if you just send me a bike for my birthday. Please! Thank you,
Bobby
************ **
Bobby knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to get him a bike. Now, Bobby was very upset. He went downstairs and told his mom that he wanted to go to church. Bobby’s mother thought her plan had worked, as Bobby looked very sad. Just be home in time for dinner, Bobby’s mother told him.
Bobby walked down the street to the church on the corner. Little Bobby went into the church and up to the altar. He looked around to see if anyone was there.
Bobby bent down and picked up a statue of the Mary. He slipped the statue under his shirt and ran out of the church, down the street, into the house, and up to his room.
He shut the door to his room and sat down with a piece of paper and a pen. Bobby began to write his letter to God.
************ **
Letter 5
God,
I’VE KIDNAPPED YOUR MAMA. IF YOU WANT TO SEE HER AGAIN, SEND THE BIKE!!!!!!

04 Feb

SOAR BEYOND YOUR FEARS !!!

Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons from Arabia. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained.
Months passed and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.
The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch. Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself, “May be I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem.” So he cried out to his court, “Go and get a farmer.”
In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, “Bring me the doer of this miracle.”
The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, “How did you make the falcon fly?”
With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, ” It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting.”
We are all made to fly — to realize our incredible potential as human beings.
But instead of doing that, we sit on our branches, clinging to the things that are familiar to us.
The possibilities are endless, but for most of us, they remain undiscovered.

25 Jan

A Cup Of Coffee

It tells about how kindness can be shown to utter strangers without much effort.
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighbouring town of Venice (Italy), the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.’
We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two. As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying ‘A Cup of Coffee’.
While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had the two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, ‘A Cup of Coffee’.
It was something unique and perplexing for us. We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left. After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man poorly dressed entered. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, ‘One cup of coffee from the wall’. The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity. The man had his coffee and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the dust bin. Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear.
The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up with tears. Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted… He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him. He only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left. Probably the most Beautiful Wall you may ever see anywhere….!!!

19 Jan

Conversation of the Flame

It was an unusually quiet night. Perhaps the new blanket of snow, the first of the season, had something to do with it… but none of the usual conversation was going on in the kitchen. The tea cups that loved to gossip about the day’s events were silent, and even the sink–whose habit it was to complain every night about the dishes left in it–had nothing to say. It was as though everyone was waiting for something to happen. Only what?
It was the candleholder that finally broke the silence. He was speaking to Ms. Wax–a part of the candle he was holding at the moment, and someone with whom he felt very close. He had always looked up to her as a consequence of their positions in life, but there was an edge to his voice that evening.
“Mind if I say something that’s been on my mind?”
“That’s never stopped you before!” said Ms. Wax, somewhat teasing him. Besides, she was grateful for the conversation. A moment or two went by without a further word from the candleholder.
An unusual tension came over the room.
“I’m all ears,” she said, thinking it would help break the ice. Besides, surely her quip would get a laugh. It had always been considered humorous among nonhuman beings to speak of themselves as having human features. Sure enough, a few chuckles came spilling out of the open cupboards above her; but the candleholder wasn’t amused.
“I’m quite serious,” he said a moment later. “There’s something that’s been bothering me ever since we were put together this way, and I have to get it off my chest.” A few more laughs came from distant corners of the kitchen, but so intent on his conversation was he that the candleholder didn’t even hear his own joke. And, for reasons unknown to himself, he fairly whispered what he had to say next.
“I’m jealous of the relationship you have with the flame, how you dance with it through the night so high above me. I have always wanted to know what it feels like to have it touch me the way it touches you.” He paused there to consider his condition, so as to be clear. Then he went on:
“The only relationship I have with the warmth and light of the flame is the little bit of it that spills over the edge of your body to reach mine.” He paused again–already uncertain whether he should have made this confession. So he waited for her to say something, but nothing came; the seconds that passed felt like an eternity. Surely, he thought to himself, I’ve made a fool of myself, but just as he was falling into a pool of dark thoughts her next words saved him.
“That’s so strange,” she said, “that you should tell me this now. You see I feel the same way that you do!”
“What on Earth are you talking about?” blurted out the candleholder, clearly irritated with her comment. “Every night you and Mr. Wick are joined together with the flame in a way I will never know. What can you possibly know of the isolation I endure down here below? I hold you both, and yet… I have no direct relationship with the flame as you do.”
“Oh,” sighed Ms. Wax aloud, “if only you knew.”
“Knew what?!” he retorted, growing even more impatient with her seeming insensitivity to his plight.

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