Sunday, January 23, 2011

Its how you look at things ...

Once an unhappy young man came to an old master and told he was very sad and asked for a solution. The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. "How does it taste?" the Master asked. "Awful," spat the apprentice. The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake.

Thereafter the two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."
As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the Master asked, "How does it taste?" "Good!" remarked the apprentice. "Do you taste the salt?" asked the Master.
"No," said the young man.

The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, "The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the 'pain' depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things... Stop being a glass. Become a lake!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giving ourselves wings ......

Here is an interesting story my friend Sridhar sent to me and I thought of sharing this with you.

Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons
from Arabia. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he
had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be

Months passed by and one day the head falconer informed the king that
though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the
sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had

The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to
the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task
to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the
palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch. Having
tried everything else, the king thought to himself, "May be I need
someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of
this problem." So he cried out to his court, "Go and get a farmer." In
the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high
above the palace gardens. He said to his court, "Bring me the doer of
this miracle." The court quickly located the farmer, who came and
stood before the king. The king asked him, "How did you make the
falcon fly?" With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, " It
was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird
was sitting."

We are all made to fly -- to realize our incredible potential as human
beings. But instead of doing that, we sit on our branches, clinging to
the things that are familiar to us. The possibilities are endless, but
these remain undiscovered. One conforms to the familiar,
the comfortable, the mundane. Life then tends to be
mediocre instead of exciting, thrilling and fulfilling.

Moral of the story, thus, is to destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Story Telling

There was once a disciple of a great teacher. Day after day the disciple would sit at the feet of his teacher listening to his instruction. Many people would come to visit and inevitably the teacher would engage them by telling a story.

One day the disciple asked; "Guruji, why do you engage people by means of stories? Why don't you just give them your teaching straight out?"
The Guru answered: "Bring me some water."

Now the disciple knew his teacher to be a very formal and disciplined man. He had never asked for water at this time of the day. Nevertheless, he went immediately to fetch it. Taking a clean brass water pot from the ashram kitchen, the disciple went to the well, filled the pot with water and returned. He offered it to his teacher.

The Guru asked"Why have you brought me a pot when I asked only for water?"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

I was reading a anecdote written by Bob Perks and thought it appropriate to start with my posts in the New Year.

"Time, faith and the love of my family and friends," he said. How wonderful. Somehow, from the moment we met, I knew we would connect. His response was perfect. His answer was mine.
It is that time of the year when we reflect back on accomplishments and failures. It is a wrapping up and an unfolding all in one.

The sentimental fool that I am keeps me deep in thought filling my days with mood swings easily compared to riding a roller coaster. Oddly, I love those ups and yes, even the downs. The happy thoughts remind me that life is good. The sad thoughts remind me that life is fragile. In the end I hope for more happy than sad, but still come out on top when the ball officially drops on New Year’s Eve, if I can at least find balance.

You may think this strange, too, when I say some of my best years turned out to be the years when I struggled, lost, failed and retreated into the darkness of that final night of the old year.
Job loss, car repossession, debt, divorce, a failed business, cancer in my family, death of loved ones, depression, all made life nearly unbearable. Still, the light of the new day, the new year, always seemed to be brighter than any other.
It was in falling down that I learned how to climb.
It was in losing that I learned how to win.
It was in struggling that I found strength.
It was in darkness that I learned to see again.
So, why was this man's response to me so perfect? This man had just lost his business. This man was struggling with finances, self-image, and hope. He was standing on the edge of a dismal past and desperately trying to see the possibilities in his future. Instead of dismissing everything as failure, he chose to acknowledge the most important parts.
I asked him, "If you could take something with you into the new year, what would it be?"
"Time, faith, the love of my family and friends," he said. "If I have time I can begin again. I can build again. I can start over. If I have faith, I know I cannot fail. If I have the love of my family and friends, I have purpose."