Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Dalai Lama: Why I Laugh

I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher. [...]

The life of exile is an unfortunate life, but I have always tried to cultivate a happy state of mind, appreciating the opportunities this existence without a settled home, far from all protocol, has offered me. This way I have been able to preserve my inner peace.

If we are content just to think that compassion, rationality, and patience are good, that is not actually enough to develop these qualities. Difficulties provide the occasion to put them into practice. Who can make such occasions arise? Certainly not our friends, but rather our enemies, for they are the ones who pose the most problems. So that we truly want to progress on the path, we must regard our enemies as our best teachers.

For whoever holds love and compassion in high esteem, the practice of tolerance is essential, and it requires an enemy. We must be grateful to our enemies, then, because they help us best engender a serene mind! Anger and hatred are the real enemies that we must confront and defeat, not the “enemies” who appear from time to time in our lives.

Of course it is natural and right that we all want to have friends. I often say jokingly that a truly selfish person must be altruistic! You have to take care of others, of their well-being, by helping them and serving them, to have even more friends and make more smiles blossom. The result? When you yourself need help, you will find all you need! On the other hand, if you neglect others’ happiness, you will be the loser in the long run. Is friendship born of arguments, anger, jealousy, and unbridled competition? I don’t think so. Only affection produces authentic friends. […]

As for me, I always want more friends. I love smiles, and my wish is to see more smiles, real smiles, for there are many kinds—sarcastic, artificial, or diplomatic. Some smiles don’t arouse any satisfaction, and some even engender suspicion or fear. An authentic smile, though, arouses an authentic feeling of freshness, and I think the smile belongs only to human beings. If we want those smiles, we must create the reasons that make them appear.

-- The Dalai Lama, in an excerpt from his book "My Spiritual Journey"

Listen online at: http://www.awakin.org/read/audio.php?op=play&tid=995




Sunday, February 2, 2014

Albert Einstein - How I See the World




“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein

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Albert Einstein navigated the twilight turf between consciousness and matter for much of his life. He argued that “Man” suffers from an “optical delusion of consciousness” as he “experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest.” His cure? “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious,” he said. “It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed.” 
 
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” -Albert Einstein

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.” -Albert Einstein 

10 Lessons from Albert Einstein

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1. Follow Your Curiosity “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

2. Perseverance is Priceless “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

3. Focus on the Present “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

4. The Imagination is Powerful “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

5. Make Mistakes “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

6. Live in the Moment “I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”

7. Create Value “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

8. Don’t be repetitive “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

9. Knowledge Comes From Experience “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”

10. Learn the Rules and Then Play Better “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” -Albert Einstein
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein Read More: http://www.knowledgeoftoday.org/2013/01/albert-einstein-how-i-see-world.html
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein Read More: http://www.knowledgeoftoday.org/2013/01/albert-einstein-how-i-see-world.html
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein Read More: http://www.knowledgeoftoday.org/2013/01/albert-einstein-how-i-see-world.html



How to Meditate in a Moment

How to Live Your Life as if Everything is a Miracle

miracle moth

Do you believe that life is miraculous?

Are you waiting for a miracle to happen in your life?

Just imagine what it would be like to live your life as if everything is a miracle.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” ~ Albert Einstein
Sometimes people look for some kind of miracle when their life is in a fix. Other times, people may pray for a miracle when a loved one is seriously ill or when they face a life threatening challenge.
I remember praying for a miracle when I felt I hadn’t done well in a school exam. Somehow I did pass and that was my first personal experience of my own miracle, albeit a tiny one.

In the recent Haiti earthquake, there were many “miracles” of afflicted people surviving for many days under the rubble without food or water.
“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common”Ralph Waldo Emerson
What’s a miracle and how does one recognise one?

Wikipedia gives us a number of interpretations of what we mean by a miracle:-
  • An unexpected event attributed to divine intervention.
  • A fortuitous event.
  • Any statistically unlikely but beneficial event, such as the survival of a natural disaster.
  • An event which is regarded as “wonderful” regardless of its likelihood, such as birth.
  • Survival of a terminal illness.
  • Escaping a life threatening situation.
  • Beating the odds.
  • Some “coincidences”.
In all of the above, the common thing is some unlikely or unexpected occurrence, or something that just seems so incredible such as the birth of a child.

I have never witnessed the miracle of a child being born but a few years ago, I was lucky enough to be just outside the hospital maternity where a friend was giving birth.

I heard some faint crying and then 20 minutes later, the beaming father invited me in to see their newly arrived baby son. And there he lay cradled next to his mother, with his eyes wide open and looking as if he had always been there.

It was one of the most beautiful and miraculous moments of my life – I can’t even imagine what it would have been like for the proud father.

miracle of a baby
Just how did that little baby boy happen?
“I am realistic – I expect miracles”Wayne Dyer
In reality, everything around us is a miracle if only we can learn to see and recognise these miracles.

By living your life as if everything is a miracle, every moment becomes something to savour and live in awe of. You naturally get to feel great appreciation and gratitude for your life, knowing that you are blessed with such miracles all around.

To help you become more present to all the miracles in your life – I have split them up into 5 specific categories.

As you read the remainder of this post, I invite you to treat this as your own personal journey into the world of miracles.

After every section, please pause for a few seconds, breathe deeply a couple of times and simply become present to that miracle.

Let’s begin our journey:-

1. The Miracle of Life.

The greatest miracle is that you are alive and able to engage in this conversation with me. Just think about it – how is it that a mass of flesh and blood is able to partake and experience what we call life? What allows us to experience the world through our senses?

If you have never thought about your very life as a miracle, please take a pause right now.
What is it that makes your blood go through your body – and what’s that universal intelligence that makes you tick?

Isn’t it a miracle that somehow life evolved on this planet we call earth, which just happens to be the right distance from our star and where during the course of billions of years, just the right conditions came about for some hydrogen and carbon molecules to gel together and finally evolve into you and me?

I am giving myself permission to repeat what I just said here, since I am so in awe – just how is it that a soup of organic materials somehow evolved into the wonder of you and me?

It all seems to happen like magic – and yet we hardly ever pause to reflect on the biggest miracle of all.

Life – our greatest miracle and gift – and even more reason for you to appreciate it every day.
“Each of my days are miracles. I won’t waste my day; I won’t throw away a miracle” – Kelley Vicstrom

2. The Miracle of Love

miracle of love

After the miracle of life, the greatest miracle is that of love.
But what is love?

Love is much greater than what we feel romantically. It is what makes us sing, dance and makes us human.
“Love doesn’t make the world go around, it just makes the ride worthwhile.”Franklin P. Jones
Love is the most amazing thing in our lives. It is what makes us human, what makes life worth living – in the grander scheme of things, nothing else truly matters. The size of our homes, bank balances, the beauty of our partner, the speed of our car – all those things pale into insignificance when we face the miracle of love.
“Where there is great love there are always miracles”Willa Cather
Love leads to other miracles such as kindness. 

Have you noticed how great you feel afterwards when you have done someone a kind deed?
Through the miracle of our love, we can indeed transform the world – even a hug, a loving touch or just a smile can cause the miracle of healing others.

There are so many simple things we can all do on a daily basis to bring more love into our lives. Together we can all make this an even more beautiful and miraculous world than it already is.
So from today onwards, appreciate and acknowledge all the love around you and in you. Look for ways of spreading your love through compassion and making a practical difference to those around you.

3. The Miracle of your Body

To experience this thing we call life, we need our bodies to function as well as possible. Our bodies somehow sustain themselves, grow, repair and fight to stay alive till the very end.

There are trillions of chemical reactions and exchanges going on within us every second and everything seems to run like clockwork. Even when disease or decay sets in, our bodies continue to strive and sustain themselves almost like magic.

The durability of our body is a miracle in itself – I remember when my first nephew was born a few weeks prematurely and he spent the first month of his life in an incubator.

It was heart-breaking to see this little guy, a tiny bag of skin and bones fighting for dear life and getting stronger day by day, ounce by ounce. Experiencing something like that sure opens you up to the miracle of life – and also makes you realise that perhaps there really is something much bigger than us out there and indeed within us.

From today onwards, why not commit to take great care of your body?
You only have to take some simple and practical self-care steps and your body will begin to miraculously heal itself and sustain you for the rest of your life.

4. The Miracle of Nature

the miracle of life

Where does one even begin to extol the sheer beauty of our natural world?

Let’s start with one of the main symbols of beauty in our society – the majestic flower. Have you ever looked at a beautiful flower closely and failed to be moved by its magnificence and symmetry?
“The miracles of nature do not seem miracles because they are so common. If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world” – Author Unknown
A flower is but just one example of all the wonderful nature that makes up our earth and indeed beyond the earth. Look at the sky this evening and marvel at all the twinkling stars all around us.
Just how do those points of light just stay there? And who put them up there?

Everything in nature is so beautifully symmetrical and perfect – it is almost like a universal master craftsman or craftswoman was at work.

From today onwards, please spend some time in nature daily and simply appreciate the miracle of what’s around you – from the humble ant to the majestic oak. And then for the rest of your life, be in continuous awe of the nature around you.


5. The Miracle of your Creativity

Only a few years ago, before the advent of the internet, it would have been impossible to even envisage you and I having this conversation via the medium of the blogosphere.

And yet today, we can send out a single message to thousands of people around the world in seconds.

As a species, we are incredibly creative and intelligent, and sometimes there seems no end to what we are capable of.

You are capable of so much – and probably a lot more than what you are currently doing. You can literally create your own miracles – if you choose to do so.

From my perspective, the challenge really is to channel this creativity into something that benefits the greater good.

So from today onwards, put your own creative gifts to work – and create your own miracles to make the world a better place.
“I have found in life that if you want a miracle you first need to do whatever it is you can do – if that’s to plant, then plant; if it is to read, then read; if it is to change, then change; if it is to study, then study; if it is to work, then work; whatever you have to do. And then you will be well on your way of doing the labour that works miracles.” - Jim Rohn
It’s in your hands to see life as a miraculous experience.

miracle of nature

Make the Rest of your Life a Miracle

Your journey of seeing the world as a miracle has only just begun. From today onwards, your eyes and the other senses have been opened up.

See everything around you as the miracle that it really is – and your life will never be the same again.

So if everything is a miracle, how will you live from now onwards?

Source: http://www.arvinddevalia.com/blog/2010/03/24/how-to-live-your-life-as-if-everything-is-a-miracle/