Nov 17, 2017

The missing goat

It all started one lazy Sunday afternoon in a small town. Two school-going friends had a crazy idea. They rounded up three goats from the neighborhood and painted the numbers 1, 2 and 4 on their sides. That night they let the goats loose inside their school building. The next morning, when the authorities entered school, they could smell something was wrong. They soon saw goat droppings on the stairs and near the entrance n realized that some goats had entered building.

A search was immediately launched and very soon, three goats were found. But the authorities were worried,  where was goat No. 3? They spent the rest of the day looking for goat No.3 .The school declared classes off for the students for the rest of the day The teachers, helpers, guards,  canteen staffs, boys were all busy  looking for the goat No. 3,  which, of course, was never found. Simply because it did not exist

Those among us who inspite of having a good life are always feeling a "lack of fulfilment"  are actually looking for the elusive, missing, non-existent  Goat No.3. We feel that the absence of something  is always larger than  the  presence of other things. Let's stop worrying about goat No.3. Enjoy life with what you have.

Nov 10, 2017

Nothing is useless

A disciple of Buddha, said, "Oh Master! I have a request to make."

Buddha: "What is it; tell me?"

Disciple: "My robe is worn out. It is no longer decent enough to wear. Please, may I have a new one?"

Buddha looked at the disciple's attire and found that the garment was absolutely in tatters and really needed replacement. So he asked the store-keeper to give a new robe to this disciple.

The disciple offered obeisance to the great master and left the room.

Buddha kept thinking about the incident and felt that he had perhaps missed an opportunity to teach a valuable lesson to the disciple. So he went to the disciple's quarters to talk to him.

Buddha: Are you comfortable in your new robe? Do you need anything else?

Disciple: Thank you Master. I am very comfortable and do not need anything else.

Buddha: Now that you have a new one, what have you done with the old one?

Disciple: I have used it to replace my worn out bedspread.

Buddha: What did you do with the old bedspread?

Disciple: Master, I am using it as a curtain on my window.

Buddha: Did you discard your old window curtain?

Disciple: Master, I tore it into four pieces and am using them as napkins to handle the hot pots and pans in the kitchen.

Buddha: What about the old kitchen napkins?

Disciple: We are using them as mops to wash and wipe the floor.

Buddha: Where is the old mop?

Disciple: Lord, the old mop was so tattered that the best we could do was to take all the threads apart and make wicks for your oil lamp. One of them is presently lit in your room."

Buddha was content. He was happy that His disciples realized that nothing is useless. We can find a use for everything, if only we want to! Nothing should be wasted; not even time!

If all of us were to practice the habit of thrift, we can preserve the non-renewable resources for our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren as our forefathers so thoughtfully did for us.

Nov 3, 2017

Not everything deserves your time and attention

An elephant took a bath in a river and was walking on the road. When it neared a bridge, it saw a pig fully soaked in mud coming from the opposite direction. The elephant quietly moved to one side, allowed the dirty pig to pass and then continued its onward journey.

The unclean pig later boasted to its friends in arrogance, "See how big I am; event the elephant was afraid of me and moved to onsite to let me pass".

On hearing this, some elephants questioned their friend, the reason for its action. Was it out of fear? The elephant smiled and replied, "I could have easily crushed the pig under my leg but I was clean and the pig was very dirty. By crushing it, my leg would have become dirty and I wanted to avoid it. Hence, I moved aside."

Realized souls will avoid contact with negativity not out of fear but out of desire to keep away from impurity though they are strong enough to destroy the impurity.

You need not react to very opinion, every comment or every situation. Kick the dram and keep going ahead. Choose your battles wisely. Not everything deserves your time and attention.

Oct 27, 2017

Stay Calm

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Please get me some water from that lake there”.

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing the lake right at the edge of it. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?!” So he came back and told the Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink”.

So, the Buddha said, let us take a little rest here by the tree. After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to the Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See, You let the water be and the mud settled down on its own. You got clear water. It didn’t require any effort”.

Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in  effort to calm it down. We can judge and take the best decisions of our life when we stay calm.

Oct 20, 2017

Take care

A cobbler lived in a large village, he was the only cobbler in town, so he was responsible for repairing everyone’s boots.

However, he didn’t have time to repair his own boots. This wasn’t a problem at first, but over time, his boots began to deteriorate and fall apart. While he worked feverishly on everyone’s boots, his feet got blisters and he started to limp. His customers started to worry about him, but he reassured them that everything was fine. However, after a few years, the cobbler’s feet were so injured that he could no longer work and no-one’s boots got repaired. 

As a consequence, soon the entire town started to limp in pain, all because the cobbler never took the time to repair his own boots.

This simple principle is so often disregarded. If you are in a responsible position and are one of the important links in the groups survival chain and if you  do not look after yourself, after a while you’ll be no good to anyone else either. Your best intentions will mean nothing and you’ll be unable to do what you’re meant to do.

This goes for leaders, social workers, teachers, even parents, breadwinners and homemakers!

If you don’t take the time to care for yourself, no-one else will. Are you taking care of yourself?

Oct 13, 2017

Karma

One day, Buddha was sitting with his disciples. One of them asked him "What is Karma?"

Buddha said, "Let me tell you a story..."

A king was touring his kingdom on his elephant. Suddenly he stopped in front of a shop in the market and said to his minister, "I don't know why, but I want to hang the owner of this shop." The minister was shocked. But before he could ask the king why, the king had moved on.

The next day, the minister went to that shop dressed as one of the locals to see the shopkeeper. He casually asked him how his business was faring. The shopkeeper, a sandalwood merchant, reported sadly that he had hardly any customer. People would come to his shop, smell the sandalwood and then go away. They would even praise the quality of the sandalwood but rarely buy anything. His only hope was that the king would die soon. Then there would be a huge demand for sandalwood for performing his last rites. As he was the only sandalwood merchant around, he was sure the king's death would mean a windfall.

The minister now understood why the king had stopped in front of this shop and expressed a desire to kill the shopkeeper. Perhaps, the shopkeeper's negative thoughts had subtly affected the king, who had, in turn, felt the same negative thoughts arising within.

The minister; a nobleman, pondered over the matter for a while. Without revealing who he was or what had happened the day before, he expressed a desire to buy some sandalwood. The shopkeeper was pleased. He wrapped the sandalwood and handed it over to the minister.

When the minister returned to the palace, he went straight to the court where the king was seated and reported that the sandalwood merchant had a gift for him. The king was surprised. When he opened the package, he was pleasantly surprised by the fine golden color of the sandalwood and its agreeable fragrance. Pleased, he sent some gold coins to the sandalwood merchant. The king also felt sorry in his heart that he had harbored unbecoming thoughts of killing the shopkeeper.

When the shopkeeper received the gold coins from the king, he was astounded. He began to proclaim the virtues of the king who had, through the gold coins, saved him from the brink of poverty. After some time, he recalled the morbid thoughts he had felt towards the king and repented for having entertained such negative thoughts for his own personal goal.

If we have a good and kind thought for another person, that positive thought will come back to us in a favorable way. But if we harbor evil thoughts, those thoughts will come back to us as retribution.

"What is Karma?" asked Buddha

Many replied, "our words, our deeds, our feelings, our actions......"

Buddha shook his head and said "Your thoughts are your Karma!"

Oct 6, 2017

The donkey and the farmer

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and begin to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that fell on his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Life doesn’t stop with a challenge, it actually starts when we overcome it!

Sep 29, 2017

The Elephants and the trainer

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not. He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Sep 22, 2017

The Millionaire

There was a millionaire who was bothered by severe eye pain. He consulted many physicians and was getting his treatment done. He did not stop consulting a galaxy of medical experts; he consumed  loads of drugs and underwent hundreds of injections. But the ache persisted more than before. At last a monk who was supposed to be an expert in treating such patients was called for by the millionaire. The monk understood his problem and said that for sometime he should concentrate only on green colours and should not have been looking at other colours. The millionaire got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green colour and directed that every object his eye was likely to see should be painted in green colour just as the monk had directed. When the monk came to visit him after a few days, the millionaire's servants ran with buckets of green paints and poured it on him since he was in red dress, lest their master not see any other colour and his eye ache would come back. Hearing this monk laughed said, If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles, worth just a few dollars, you could have saved these walls , the pots and all other articles and also could have saved a large share of his fortune. You cannot paint the world green.

Solutions to most of the life’s complex problems are simple!

Sep 15, 2017

Adjust the height!

An engineer in a car manufacturing company designs a world class car.

While trying to bring out the car from the manufacturing area to the showroom, they realized that the car is few inches taller than the entrance.

The engineer felt bad that he didn't notice this one before creating the car.

The painter said that they can bring out the car and there will be a few scratches on top of the car which could be touched up later.

The engineer said that they can break the entrance, take the car out, and later re-do it.

A Watchman was observing & remarked "The car is only a few inches taller than the entrance so,

Simply release the air in the tyre, the height of the car will sink and can be easily taken out.
  
Don't see problems from an expert's point of view.

There is always a layman's outlook that gives an alternate solution.

Life issues are also same.  Adjust the height (Ego).

Think Simple. Live Humble.

Sep 8, 2017

Things can change!

Once upon a time in a village lived an old farmer who used to work very hard. He had a horse. 

One day his horse ran away. After hearing this his neighbor came to him and said, “Such bad Luck”. Farmer replied, “Maybe.” 

Very Next morning the horse returned with three other wild horses with him. Again after hearing this neighbor came and exclaimed, “How wonderful.” Again Old farmer replied, “Maybe.” 

Following day, his son tried to ride one of the wild horse and broke his legs. Again neighbors came to offer sympathy to him. Farmer answered, “Maybe.” 

Next day, Military officials came to village to draft young men into army. Seeing old man’s son broken leg, they didn’t draft him. Seeing this neighbor came again and congratulated farmer on how well things turned out. Even at this farmer replied, “May be.”

We can see that the farmer is practicing non-judgement. He understands the true nature of life, that we can’t judge any event as the “end”.

There is always tomorrow, there are always million effects which can arise from one event. Things can change in an instant.

Sep 1, 2017

How Much Do You Make An Hour?

With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work, “Daddy, how much do you make an hour? “Greatly surprised but giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: “Look son, not even your mother knows that. Don’t bother me now, I’m tired.” “But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour,” the boy insisted.

The father finally giving up replied: ” Twenty dollars per hour.” “Okay, Daddy? Could you loan me ten dollars?” the boy asked. Showing restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: “So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right?? Go to sleep and don’t bother me anymore!”

It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he had said and was feeling guilty. Maybe he thought, his son wanted to buy something. Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son’s room.

“Are you asleep son?” asked the father. “No, Daddy. Why?” replied the boy partially asleep. “Here’s the money you asked for earlier,” the father said. “Thanks, Daddy!” rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money. “Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!” the boy said to his father, who was gazing at his son, confused at what his son just said.

“Daddy could you sell me one hour of your time?”

‘Time is precious in the busy life we live, but are we giving time to the people who are precious in our life too?’

Aug 25, 2017

Switch on the filters

One day, a man came up to the great philosopher.  “Sir, I have just heard some news about one of your friends.”  he excitedly exclaimed.

“Before you tell me this news, we need to make sure that it passes the triple filter test,” responded Socrates.

“The first test is that of truth.  Tell me, do you know that what you’re going to tell me is absolutely true?”  asked Socrates. After thinking for a moment, the man said, “I heard this news from someone else, so I’m not 100% sure if it’s true.”

“The second test is that of goodness,” Socrates continued, “Is what you’re about to tell me something good?”. “No, actually it’s the opposite…”explained the man

Socrates interrupted the man, “So what you’re going to tell me is neither true, nor good?” The man was slightly embarrassed and shrugged his shoulders.

Socrates continued, “There is one final test which is usefulness.  Is what you’re about to tell me going to be useful?”
“Probably not,” the man replied.

“Well, if you’re going to tell me something that’s not true, good or useful, then why tell me at all?” responded the philosopher.

We all come across salacious information from time to time that we feel compelled to pass on to others. The filters could help us in making a better judgment about the information that we consume every day.  Next time pass the information through the triple filter test & if it fails, lets realize that we are only wasting our precious time.

Imagine how different the world would be if we only choose to seek and create information that is true, good, or useful.

Aug 18, 2017

The Black Spot

One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper, with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions….just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following:
“I want you to write what you see there.”

The students confused, got started on the inexplicable task.At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc. etc. etc. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain:

I am not going to grade on you this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. 

We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift given to us by God, with love and care, and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself every day, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see every day.

However we insist on focusing only on the dark spots – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend etc.

The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds.

Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you.

Be happy and live a life positively!

Aug 11, 2017

The Obstacle in our Path

There once was a very wealthy and curious king. This king had a huge boulder placed in the middle of a road. Then he hid nearby to see if anyone would try to remove the gigantic rock from the road.

The first few people to pass by were some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers. Rather than moving it, they simply walked around it. A few loudly blamed the King for not maintaining the roads. Not one of them tried to move the boulder.

Finally, a peasant came along. His arms were full of vegetables. When he got near the boulder, rather than simply walking around it as the others had, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. It took a lot of effort but he finally succeeded.

The peasant gathered up his load and was ready to go on his way when he say a purse lying on the road where the boulder had been. The peasant opened the purse. The purse was stuffed with gold coins and a note from the king. The king’s note said that the  gold in the purse was a reward for moving the boulder from the road.

The king showed the peasant what many of us never understand: every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Aug 4, 2017

Two Castle Builders


A little boy is on his knees scooping and packing the sand with plastic shovels into a bright blue bucket. Then he upends the bucket on the surface and lifts it. And, to the delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created.

All afternoon he will work. Spooning out the moat. Packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries. Popsicle sticks will be bridges. A sandcastle will be built.

A man is in his office. At his desk he shuffles papers into stacks and delegates assignments. He cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. Numbers are juggled and contracts are signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made.

All his life he will work. Formulating the plans. Forecasting the future. Annuities will be sentries. Capital gains will be bridges. An empire will be built.

Two builders of two castles. They have much in common. They shape granules into grandeur. They see nothing and make something. They are diligent and determined. And for both the tide will rise and the end will come.

Yet that is where the similarities cease. For the boy sees the end while the man ignores it. Watch the boy as the dusk approaches.

As the waves near, the wise child jumps to his feet and begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised. And when the great breaker crashes into his castle and his masterpiece is sucked into the sea, he smiles. He smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father’s hand, and goes home.

The grownup, however, is not so wise. As the wave of years collapse on his castle he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He blocks the waves from the walls he has made. Salt-water soaked and shivering he snarls at the incoming tide.

“It’s my castle,” he defies.

The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs…

I don’t know much about sandcastles. But children do. Watch them and learn. Go ahead and build, but build with a child’s heart. When the sun sets and the tides take – applaud. Salute the process of life and go home.

Jul 28, 2017

Four Burning Candles

In a room there were four candles burning. The ambiance was so soft you could hear them talking. The first one said, “I am PEACE, however nobody can keep me lit. I believe I will go out.” It’s flame rapidly diminishes and goes out completely. The second one says, “I am FAITH. Most of all, I am no longer indispensable, so it does not make any sense that I stay lit any longer.”When it finished talking a breeze softly blew on it putting it out.

Sadly, the third candle spoke “I am LOVE. I don’t have the strength to stay lit. People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.” And waiting no longer it goes out.

Suddenly a child entered the room and saw three candles not burning. “Why are you not burning you are supposed to stay lit till the end.”

Saying this the child began to cry. Then the fourth candle said, “Don’t be afraid, while I am still burning we can re-light the other candles, I am HOPE.”

With shining eyes, the child took the candle of Hope and lit the other candles.

The flame of Hope should never go out from our life so that each of us can maintain HOPE, FAITH, PEACE and LOVE. Hope never abandons you. You abandon hope. Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Jul 21, 2017

Learn to Appreciate!!

Once upon a time, there was a man who was very helpful, kindhearted, and generous. One day while walking on a dusty road, this man saw a purse, so he picked it up and noticed that the purse was empty. Suddenly a woman with a policeman showed up and got him arrested.

The woman kept asking where he had hidden her money but the man replied, “It was empty when I found it, Ma’am.” The woman yelled at him, “Please give it back, it’s my son’s school fees.”  The man noticed that the woman really felt sad, so he handed over all his money.  He could say that the woman was a single mother.  The man said, “Take this, sorry for the inconvenience.”  The woman left and a policeman held the man for further questioning.

The woman was very happy but when she counted her money, later on, it was lot more than she had lost, she was shocked.  One day while the woman was going to pay her son’s  fees she noticed that a skinny man was walking behind her.  She thought that he may rob her, so she approached a policeman standing nearby.  He was the same policeman, who she took along to enquire about her purse.  The woman told him about the man following her, but suddenly they saw that man collapsing.  They ran towards him and realized that he was the same man who they had arrested a few days back for stealing her purse.

He looked very weak and the woman was confused.  The policeman said to the woman, “He didn’t return your money, he gave you his money that day.  He wasn’t the thief but hearing about you son’s school fees, he felt sad and gave you his money.”  Later, they helped the man stand up, and the man told the woman, “Please go ahead and pay your son’s school fees. I saw you and followed you to be sure that no one steals your son’s school fees.”   The woman was speechless.

Life gives you strange experiences. We end up making wrong judgments in our anger, desperation and frustration. However, when you get a second chance, correct your mistakes and return the favor. Be Kind and generous...                 

Jul 14, 2017

Invisible divider...

During a research experiment a marine biologist placed a shark into a large holding tank and then released several small bait fish into the tank.

As you would expect, the shark quickly swam around the tank, attacked and ate the smaller fish.
The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fiberglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions. She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other.

Again, the shark quickly attacked.  This time, however, the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off.  Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behavior every few minutes to no avail. Meanwhile, the bait fish swam around unharmed in the second partition.  Eventually, about an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up.

This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks.  Each time, the shark got less aggressive and made fewer attempts to attack the bait fish, until eventually the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.

The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark didn’t attack.  The shark was trained to believe a barrier existed between it and the bait fish, so the bait fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.

Many of us, after experiencing setbacks and failures, emotionally give up and stop trying. Like the shark in the story, we believe that because we were unsuccessful in the past, we will always be unsuccessful. In other words, we continue to see a barrier in our heads, even when no ‘real’ barrier exists between where we are and where we want to go.

Jul 7, 2017

Rubber & Glass Balls

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How?

◾Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

◾Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

◾Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

◾Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.

◾Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

◾Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us each together.

◾Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

◾Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

◾Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.

◾Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

◾Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

◾Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.