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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Very meaningful

Cindy Lapeña: Creativity Unlimited

I’m taking things

one day at a time

I can’t take more

sometimes I’d like to take less

but life keeps on coming at me

one day at a time

I need to see things

one day at a time

anything more

and I don’t see all I can

but I can’t see beyond what’s facing me

any more than

one day at a time

 

© Cindy Lapeña, 2012

 

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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Poems I like

 

Jesus, His originality

Matthew 18:3

And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”.

The real predicament with human beings is that they do not live with their original face but a painted one given to them by society. A child is born with an original face which no one has changed. But sooner or later society starts working on it and the original face gets hidden and many faces are given for different occasions. Through the day as the situation changes the need for different faces arises and many faces are worn. When a person in authority approaches a different face is put on it again changes when a beggar comes close. As the day progresses from moment to moment there is a change of faces. All these faces are gimmicks, techniques to deceive, techniques to defend.  What Jesus is implying is that all these false faces have to be dropped before you can enter the Kingdom. When all faces are dropped and the original face without modification is exposed only then the doors to the Kingdom will be open. Anybody who is lying through words, gestures cannot be part of the Kingdom. Only one step exists between a person and the Kingdom. Not a path but just a step: drop all the borrowed masks. Drop all the falsities – untruths, deceptiveness, fallacies, and hollowness.

Why does a person want to hide the original face? Simply because there is hatred for the self. The whole conditioning of society depends on creating self-hatred, a self-condemnation, and guilt. A child is forced from birth by everybody to become like them. Whatsoever the child proposes to do is condemned as wrong. The freedom is killed and the child is forced to feel that he is wrong. The child begins to hate the self. A person who hates the self cannot love anybody else and therefore the need for masks.  It is this self-hatred which leads to the charade of loving others that prevents the real face from being laid bare. Only few people are able to get out of this prison because it has such a strong foundation. The irony is that since the poison exists at the source it poisons all relationships.

People who cannot love the self cannot believe that anybody can truly love and that true love can be experienced. They become skeptical and doubtful. They cannot trust and find every means to prove the other person too does not truly love.

A boy and a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of marbles. The girl had some sweets with her.

The boy told the girl that he will give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed. The boy kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside and gave the rest to the girl. The girl gave him all her sweets as she had promised.

That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn’t sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble.

When a person cannot be truly honest in a relationship, there will be a doubt whether the other person is being truly honest.

When a child is forced to put on clothes for the first time there is rebellion against it. The child is against it because it confines the freedom and gives falseness. Though it is a natural response the child may be persuaded to wear the clothes on the pretext that in to go out clothes are essential. Since the child wants to go out with the parents, clothes are worn. But the moment the child returns home he/she removes the clothes, throws them on the ground and jumps on them because the child feels that the clothes are enemies that make him/her false. When the clothes are off there is freedom and the child celebrates by jumping on the clothes.

Accepting the self is the foundation. Being real and trusting reality without fighting against it is indispensable. If there is anger it has to be accepted without creating opposites like forgiveness. Forgiveness is a mask because the anger remains. Masks are created when opposites are created. Masks are not helpful but transformation is. Transformation needs deep acceptance of the self with no judgments about good or bad. With acceptance comes transformation. When there is self-acceptance only then can the acceptance of everything become possible.

Jesus makes it clear that a person has to become like a child by dropping all the masks given by society is a pre-requisite to enter the Kingdom. Society has not given a person life but masks. Society has not given a person the self but an ego. Drop the masks and the ego disappears. One can never succeed in anything with masks because it can be compared to a foolish person who builds his/her house on the sand. Jesus succeeds because He stands in His originality. When the masks are removed it leads to purity – it leads to the Kingdom.

God Bless

Ranji Varughis

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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The International Food Shortage

Recently, a worldwide survey was conducted and the only question asked was: “Would you please give your honest opinion about the solution to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”

The survey was, not surprisingly, a huge failure. Because:

In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant.

In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what “honest” meant.

In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.

In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.

In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.

In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant.

And, in the USA they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories

 

The Frog and The Tower

There once was a bunch of tiny frogs…

… who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants…

The race began…

Honestly, no-one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as:

“Oh, WAY too difficult!!”

“They will NEVER make it to the top”.

“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one…

… Except for those who in a fresh tempo were climbing higher and higher…

The crowd continued to yell

“It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!”

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up…

…But ONE continued higher and higher and higher…

This one wouldn’t give up!

At the end, everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

A contestant asked the tiny frog how the one who succeeded had found the strength to reach the goal?

It turned out…

That the winner was deaf.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories

 

A Sense of A Goose

Next Autumn, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying in a “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
If we have the sense of a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are heading the same way we are.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
What message do we give when we honk from behind?

Finally – and this is important – when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of the formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their own group.
If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories

 

The Carrot, Egg and The Coffee Bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” the mother asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories

 

Three Races

In old times, fable retells the story of the young athletic boy hungry for success, for whom winning was everything and success was measured by such a result.

One day, the boy was preparing himself for a running competition in his small native village, himself and two other young boys to compete. A large crowd had congregated to witness the sporting spectacle and a wise old man, upon hearing of the little boy, had travelled far to bear witness also.

The race commenced, looking like a level heat at the finishing line, but sure enough the boy dug deep and called on his determination, strength and power .. he took the winning line and was first. The crowd was ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however. felt proud and important.

A second race was called, and two new young, fit, challengers came forward, to run with the little boy. The race was started and sure enough the little boy came through and finished first once again. The crowd was ecstatic again and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, again expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however, felt proud and important.

“Another race, another race!” pleaded the little boy. The wise old man stepped forward and presented the little boy with two new challengers, an elderly frail lady and a blind man. “What is this?”, quizzed the little boy. “This is no race” he exclaimed. “Race!”, said the wise man. The race was started and the boy was the only finisher, the other two challengers left standing at the starting line. The little boy was ecstatic, he raised his arms in delight. The crowd, however, was silent showing no sentiment toward the little boy.

“What has happened? Why not do the people join in my success?” he asked the wise old man. “Race again”, replied the wise man, “…this time, finish together, all three of you, finish together” continued the wise man. The little boy thought a little, stood in the middle of the blind man and the frail old lady, and then took the two challengers by the hand. The race began and the little boy walked slowly, ever so slowly, to the finishing line and crossed it. The crowd were ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man smiled, gently nodding his head. The little boy felt proud and important.

“Old man, I understand not! Who are the crowd cheering for? Which one of us three?”, asked the little boy. The wise old man looked into the little boy’s eyes, placing his hands on the boy’s shoulders, and replied softly .. “Little boy, for this race you have won much more than in any race you have ever ran before, and for this race the crowd cheer not for any winner!”

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories

 

The Mouse Trap

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said “Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The mouse turned to the pig and told him “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The pig sympathized, but said “I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the cow and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many! people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person’s tapestry.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories

 

Testing Gossip

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and …”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really …”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories

 

Peace of Mind

Peace of mind

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do 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 through the lake. 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 Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”

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 Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water… 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 any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘peace of mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and in the environment, such that people around start feeling that peace and grace.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Stories