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The sun shines over all life without distinction
The water flows with no attempt at prejudice
The earth holds us all without labels
The tree gives fruit and shade without judgement
The breath flows from one to another giving life to all
The sky covers us with the umbrella of infinite space
Rich or poor, dark or light, man or woman
No East, West, North, or South
Seeing no country or religion
Just Being
Why let the mind divide what Nature does not

Poem: Meena Modi

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2016/02/01/21/53/weapons-1174491_960_720.jpg

In meditation we experience oneness. Nothing separates us from life, all beings.Can we carry that inner awareness into our outer world, our daily lives? If the inner light cannot shine on thoughts and behaviors that arise from fears and insecurities, conditioned thinking, then one must question the quality and motivation of meditation. Fears arise from lack of understanding. They imprison and painfully dissect minds, people, and communities. This poem from the March 27, 2013,  blog post is copied to renew awareness in this polarized world.

Dalai Lama Lady Gaga Talk

Lady Gaga asks His Holiness The Dalai Lama about the despair and loneliness in youth; the importance of kindness and compassion for self-esteem and sense of purpose; and connecting to our shared humanity for healthier living. What meditation to practice is another question briefly explored.

Dalai Lama Lady Gaga Talk

Difference Of One

Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective's photo.

“In a family, if there is one person who practices mindfulness, the entire family will be more mindful. Because of the presence of one member who lives in mindfulness, the entire family is reminded to live in mindfulness. If in one class, one student lives in mindfulness, the entire class is influenced.”

Source ~ Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective

 

March 20 was Happiness Day and the World Happiness Report 2016 has been released. India’s ranking is a shocking surprise. The top 10 countries remain unchanged though the rankings within the top has changed a bit. These reports began in 2012.

Top 10

  1. Denmark
  2. Switzerland
  3. Iceland
  4. Norway
  5. Finland
  6. Canada
  7. Netherlands
  8. New Zealand
  9. Australia
  10. Sweden

The US ranks at 13, UK 23, Saudi Arabia 34, Italy 50. War-torn, unstable countries with repression and violence rank higher than India (118), now a major economy with a GDP rate higher than China’s (83): Libya 64, Lebanon 93, Greece 99, Iran 105, Palestine 108, Iraq 112! Even Bangladesh (110) and Pakistan (92) rank higher.

In the next post we will look at the factors that account for some of the differences.

 

 

Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit

Mind and Life Fellow Jud Brewer talks about the relationship between mindfulness and addiction in his recent TED Talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit.”

 

 

We try out many different ways to manage our physical and mental stress, anxiety, pain, grief, loss, regrets. Some work, some don’t. Meditation is one of them–and all the different types of meditations. Mahasri Yoga offers free online shorter breathing tracks as meditation and longer Yoga Nidras. They have had a profound effect on many (and like any other type of meditation, done nothing for many!). A recent reminder is that of an old college friend who had juvenile arthritis that started in college. She now lives in Spain with debilitating arthritis as an adult and happened to try the Yoga Nidras on the website. A Christmas card announced that they had transformed her life, “They were fabulous.”

So this goes to anyone who may want to try it out!

 

This is a question that comes up quietly but persistently–a man’s duty as a father, husband, spiritual quest–and the conflicting emotions that arise from it: How does a man just walk out on his wife and new-born son without a single word? What about duty to them and the Buddhist teachings of duty to parents and family?

“When I heard the story of Gautam Buddha, my question was always about his wife and son that he left behind…this write-up by Vikram Bhattacharya touches that part of the story.” (Source: saw this posted by a friend’s friend on Facebook and here is another link http://metamorphosiseyou.blogspot.com/2015/10/buddhas-wife.html)
—————

He left her in the middle of the night, the night their son was
born. When she heard the news
she was devastated.

Yet, she did not complain but her
life lost all meaning. The only
reason for her to live now was
her son. She wanted him to grow
up to be a man that the world
would look up to.

Her friends and relatives came
around and asked her to forget
about the man who had left her
and start life again.

They asked her to marry again
but she refused. She was young
& beautiful & suitors queued up
outside her door, but she refused each one of them.

Then one fine day he came back !

He stood in front of her and she could hardly remember him as the man who had left her. “They call you the Buddha now?” she asked him gently.

“I hear they do,” he answered in
a calm fashion.

“What does it mean?” she further inquired.

“I think it means the enlightened one, a knower,” he informed.

She smiled and then a silence.
“I suppose we have both learned something. Your lessons O Buddha, will make the world richer in spirit, but my lesson will unfortunately remain largely unknown.”
she reflected deeply….

“ And what lesson is that ? ”
The Buddha probed.

Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears, “That a courageous woman does not need anyone to complete her…..
SHE IS COMPLETE ON HER OWN ”

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