19 November 2013

Father to his son

Beautiful letter written by a father to his son

Following is a letter to his son from a renowned Hong Kong TV broadcaster cum Child Psychologist.

Dear son ,

I am writing this to you because of 3 reasons

1. Life, fortune and mishaps are unpredictable, nobody knows how long he lives. Some words are better said early.

2. I am your father, and if I don't tell you these, no one else will.

3. What is written is my own personal bitter experiences that perhaps could save you a lot of unnecessary heartaches. Remember the following as you go through life

1. Do not bear grudge towards those who are not good to you. No one has the responsibility of treating you well, except your mother and I.
To those who are good to you, you have to treasure it and be thankful, and ALSO you have to be cautious, because, everyone has a motive for every move. When a person is good to you, it does not mean he really likes you. You have to be careful, don't hastily regard him as a real friend.

2. No one is indispensable, nothing is in the world that you must possess.
Once you understand this idea, it would be easier for you to go through life when people around you don't want you anymore, or when you lose what/who you love most.

3.Life is short.
When you waste your life today, tomorrow you would find that life is leaving you. The earlier you treasure your life, the better you enjoy life.

4.Love is but a transient feeling, and this feeling would fade with time and with one's mood. If your so called loved one leaves you, be patient, time will wash away your aches and sadness.
Don't over exaggerate the beauty and sweetness of love, and don't over exaggerate the sadness of falling out of love.

5.A lot of successful people did not receive a good education, that does not mean that you can be successful by not studying hard! Whatever knowledge you gain is your weapon in life.
One can go from rags to riches, but one has to start from some rags!

6.I do not expect you to financially support me when I am old, neither would I financially support your whole life. My responsibility as a supporter ends when you are grown up. After that, you decide whether you want to travel in a public transport or in your limousine, weather rich or poor.

7.You honour your words, but don't expect others to be so. You can be good to people, but don't expect people to be good to you. If you don't understand this, you would end up with unnecessary troubles.

8. I have bought lotteries for umpteen years, but I never strike any prize. That shows if you want to be rich, you have to work hard! There is no free lunch!

9. No matter how much time I have with you, let's treasure the time we have together. We do not know if we would meet again in our next life.

Your Dad

08 September 2013

All is Well

All is well, and everything is unfolding as it should. There are no mistakes. None have ever been made, none are being made, and none will ever be made. It’s all perception. It's how you perceive things.

 For instance, when you look at me what do you see? If I ask each one of you I get seven, eight, nine different answers, but the truth is you are seeing yourself. I am simply a mirror for your own reflection, but I am a self-contained mirror. So all this is taking place as an image on myself. All of life experiences are images on the screen of eternity. The screen is real. The images change. Consciousness is the screen. When you identify with consciousness you become consciousness. When you identify with the image you enhance the image, and you worry, and fret, and fear and you have all sorts of experiences.

 As soon as you begin to identify with reality, with consciousness, all fear leaves you, all doubt leaves you, all false thinking leaves you, and you become free. But that's the only free choice you get. Everything else has been preordained.

 The free choice again is: with what are you going to identify, with the image or the screen? If you identify with consciousness you are no longer reacting to conditions, because you understand that all things are for a short time only, then they disappear. Consequently nothing will irritate you, nothing will upset you, nothing will bother you for you are now appearing as only an image and will soon disappear.

 Look at this planet which has been here for billions of years. There have been civilizations on this planet for billions of years, and they come and go. We had civilizations on this planet that surpassed our existence today. They are all gone. No trace. As a matter of fact, a couple of years ago there were some excavations in Egypt of a city that was buried about 5,000 years ago.  The only thing left is a sign. They deciphered the sign and it said, "My name is King so-and-so, and this is my city that will last forever."

 So today we think we are going to make this a better world in which to live, and we are going to save the world, and so on. The world has its own collective karma. It's going through a phase. Your job is to save yourself. If you find yourself in a burning building, you do not stop to admire the pictures on the wall, you get out of the building as fast as you can. So, when you know you

have a short time in this existence you do not stop to play the games of life, you try to find yourself and become free as fast as you can.


By Robert Adams


26 May 2013

Near-death experience is a mirror

Yesterday, I met with major car accident on Mumbai Pune express way and miraculously survived with insignificant injury.

Normally we do not like to think about death...Why reflect on death?

I realised that, our eternal self is more real than anything we perceive in this physical form. Ultimate essence and richness of the life don't lie outside. They lie deep within us at conscious level....Until we experience what is within, we can't perceive what is without. 
Based on this experience, I am now aware that the power, energy, composition, nature and magnitude of this "Cosmic Law or Cosmic Joke" is far beyond my limited mind can comprehend.

This near-death experience is a mirror in which I found simple meaning of life: 1.How we spend our time on earth 2. Love is the essence of life 3. live in the moment, enjoy every moment, and use each moment of life meaningfully to elevate the next moment...if available!!!

Live well, consciously and mindfully, and death will take care of itself.....

21 May 2013

King of the Road: On Loneliness and Solitude

King of the Road: On Loneliness and Solitude
By Chuan Zhi     Feb 15, 2001  

Why should I feel alone? Is not our planet in the Milky Way?
- Henry David Thoreau: Walden: Solitude

Roger Miller, that lyrical genius from Texas, was propelled to stardom in 1965 when he released King of the Road, an album which showcased his most famous song of the same name. It begins "Trailers for sale or rent, Rooms to let - 50 cents. No phone, no pool, no pets. Ain't got no cigarettes. Ah but two hours of pushing broom buys an 8 by 12 four-bit room. He's a man of means by no means. King of the road."

Why should this song, inspired when Miller saw a hobo in an airport gift shop, have endeared itself to so many millions of us? No matter what our economic or religious backgrounds were, we all tuned in to listen to the contented account of this vagabond King of the Road. Was it that we had never before considered what a life of simplicity could do for us? Roger Miller made us think about our lives and that part of us that craves simplicity and the joyful freedom that it brings.

But if simplicity is so desirable, why do we strive so hard to lead such complicated lives? What one part of us craves, the other fears.

The King of the Road travelled his highway alone. Always we tend to equate being alone with being rejected and alienated. The song intrigued us because it was a testament to solitude - and solitude is the opposite of loneliness.

Loneliness doesn't like being alone. Solitude is delighted to be with itself. Why is it that we human beings are so ashamed or afraid to be alone with ourselves? We awake in the morning and the first thing we do is turn on the television whose job it is, we insist, to stay on until we are ready for sleep at the end of the day. Whether we watch it or not, we like to hear the voices and activities of other people. Somehow, even images from a cathode-ray tube comfort us.

When we stop to analyse our daily lives, we discover how many of our activities are constructed to assuage this fear of being alone. We wait in lines at restaurants and take several hours to eat a meal that we could quickly have prepared at home. We go out to crowded malls shopping for things we don't even need. We go to a book store to browse the shelves for half an hour and spend two hours in the coffee shop, chatting with strangers. We join clubs, social organizations, and religions for no other reason than to avoid being alone with ourselves and to gain a sense of belonging. Belonging to what?

The irony is that spiritual growth, that objective common to all religions, tells us to look inward and not outward … and this mandates that we somehow manage to transform those raging fears of loneliness into the tranquil love of solitude. Zen has a solution for us: it begins with simplifying our lives. When we are incessantly in motion - managing our households, taking care of our families, working at our demanding jobs - when every moment of our waking life is filled with activity there is no time for us to look inward. Something or someone clamours for our attention; and in a very real sense we are relieved to think that we have an excuse or a reason to divert our attention away from our spiritual needs.

We begin by examining each of our activities, and with fierce honesty ask ourselves if it’s one we need. If we can omit it, we do.

Let’s examine the common example of attending religious services. Do we go to the local Zendo or temple once or twice a week because we feel obliged to go? Or because we might otherwise feel guilty? Are we trying to prove to ourselves or to others that we are good Buddhists? Perhaps we spend an hour preparing ourselves for the occasion, an hour driving to the event in busy traffic, and an hour sitting in attendance - and all the while the chores we have postponed are weighing heavy on us … the laundry must be done, groceries bought, garbage taken out, email checked, phone calls returned, and bills paid. As we sit to meditate or to listen to a sermon, our minds are swirling with thoughts of neglected responsibilities and with those lingering traffic tensions. Stressed out, we're not prepared to meditate or, in any other way, to attend to our inner lives. When the service is over, we drive back home praying only that with a little luck we can still get all our chores done. It doesn't require much analysis to understand that we've wasted too much time and that our efforts have been counter-productive. But usually we don't stop to analyse anything. We continue to delude ourselves, following a program that on the surface appears to satisfy spiritual needs. In fact, our program has succeeded only in taking us farther away from our spiritual goal.

Zen requires that we simplify our religious practice as well as our lives. Instead of wasting time acquiring unnecessary material goods or postponing important domestic duties in order to participate in fruitless religious events, we can attend to what is truly important and then, when we do sit down to meditate, we can relax and be free of anxiety. The disciplines of material and social detachment are like any other disciplines.

As we strip away the layers of activity in our lives to the bare essentials, a whole new universe unfolds within us -- we become free of the burdens we carry and quickly discover the joys of solitude. We become an Independent Person on our Path, or as Miller put it, a King of the Road.

Trailers for sale or rent,
Rooms to let - 50 cents,
No phone, no pool, no pets,
Ain't got no cigarettes, ah but
Two hours of pushing broom
buys an 8 by 12 four-bit room
He's a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Third box car midnight train
Destination Bangor, Maine
Old worn-out suits and shoes,
Don't pay no union dues.
He smokes old stogies he has found
Short, but not too big around
He's a man of means by no means
King of the road

(He knows) Every engineer on every train
All of their children and all of their names
And every hang-out in every town
Every lock that ain't locked
When no one's around.

I say, Trailers for sale or rent,
Rooms to let - 50 cents,
No phone, no pool, no pets,
Ain't got no cigarettes.
I've got two hours of pushing broom
buys an 8 by 12 four-bit room
He's a man of means by no means
King of the road.
The original scribbling of the "King of the Road" lyrics by Roger Miller now hang in a shadow-box at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

18 February 2013

Plastic Flowers, Plastic Mind

One Sunday, while Seung Sahn Soen-Sa was staying at the International Zen Center of New York, there was a big ceremony. Many Korean women came, with shopping bags full of food and presents. One woman brought a large bouquet of plastic flowers, which she smilingly presented to an American student of Soen-sa's. As quickly as he could, the student hid the flowers under a pile of coats. But soon another woman found them and, with the greatest delight, walked into the Dharma Room and put them in a vase on the altar.

The student was very upset. He went to Soen-sa and said, "Those plastic flowers are awful. Can't I take them off the altar and dump them somewhere?"

Soen-sa said, "It is your mind that is plastic. The whole universe is plastic." The student said, "What do you mean?"

Soen-sa said, "Buddha said, 'When one's mind is pure, the whole universe is pure;
When one's mind is tainted, the whole universe is tainted.' Every day we meet people who are unhappy. When their minds are sad, everything they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is sad, the whole universe is sad. When the mind is happy, the whole universe is happy.
If you desire something, then you are attached to it. If you reject it, you are just as attached to it. Being attached to a thing means that it becomes a hindrance in your mind. So 'I don't like plastic' is the same as 'I like plastic'— both are attachments. You don't like plastic flowers, so your mind has become plastic, and the whole universe is plastic. Put it all down. Then you won't be hindered by anything. You won't care whether the flowers are plastic or real, whether they are on the altar or in the garbage pail. This is true freedom. A plastic flower is just a a plastic flower. A real flower is just a real flower. You mustn't be attached to name and form.

The student said, "But we are trying to make a beautiful Zen Center here, for all people. How can I not care? Those flowers spoil the whole room."

Soen-sa said, "If somebody gives real flowers to Buddha, Buddha is happy. If somebody else like plastic flowers and gives them to Buddha, Buddha is also happy. Budhha is not attached to name and form, he doesn't care whether the flowers are real or plastic, he only cares about the person's mind. These women who are offering plastic flowers have very pure minds, and their action is Bodhisattva action.
Your mind rejects plastic flowers, so you have separated the universe into good and bad, beautiful and ugly. So your action is not Bodhisattva action. Only keep Buddha's mind. Then you will have no hindrance. Real flowers are good; plastic flowers are good. This mind is like the great sea, into which all waters flow— the Hudson River, the Charles River, the Yellow River, Chinese water, American water, clean water, dirty water, salt water, clear water.
The sea doesn't say, 'Your water is dirty, you can't flow into me.' It accepts all waters and mixes them and all become sea. So if you keep the Buddha mind, your mind will be like the great sea. This is the great sea of enlightenment.