Archives for December 2010

The most dangerous man in America

Great interview, great man, great example that must be followed by everyone who is concerned with our world today

20 SEC READ: Barbers don’t exist

A man went to trim his hair and beard. As always happens, he and the barber chatted about this and that, until – commenting on a newspaper article about street kids – the barber stated:

– As you can see, this tragedy shows that God doesn’t exist. Don’t you read the papers? So many people suffer, abandoned children, there’s so much crime. If God existed, there wouldn’t be so much suffering.

– You know something? Barbers don’t exist.

– What do you mean, don’t exist? I’m here, and I’m a barber.

– They don’t exist! – insisted the man. – Because if they did, there wouldn’t be people with such longs beards and such tangled hair.

– I can guarantee that barbers do exist. But these people never come in here.

– Exactly! So, in answer to your question, God exists, too. It just so happens that people don’t go to Him. If they did, they would be more giving, and there wouldn’t be so much misery in the world.

Organizando o campo de batalha


Vai ser a minha participaí§í£o mais importante no Festival de Escritores em Melbourne, Austrália. Sí£o dez da manhí£, a plateia está lotada. Serei entrevistado por um escritor local, John Felton.

Piso no palco com a apreensí£o de sempre. Felton me apresenta, e comeí§a a me fazer perguntas. Antes que eu possa terminar um raciocí­nio, ele me interrompe e faz uma nova pergunta. Quando respondo, comenta algo como “esta resposta ní£o foi bem clara”.

Cinco minutos depois, nota-se um mal-estar na plateia – todos estí£o percebendo que há algo errado.

Lembro-me de Confúcio, e faí§o a única coisa possí­vel: “Vocíª gosta do que escrevo?”, pergunto.

“Isso ní£o vem ao caso”, responde. “Sou eu a entrevistá-lo, e ní£o o contrário”.

“Vem ao caso, sim. Vocíª ní£o me deixa concluir uma ideia. Confúcio disse: ‘sempre que possí­vel, seja claro’.Vamos seguir este conselho, e deixar as coisas claras: vocíª gosta do que escrevo?”

“Ní£o, ní£o gosto. Só li dois livros, e detestei”.

“OK, entí£o podemos continuar”.

Os campos agora estavam definidos. A plateia relaxa, o ambiente enche-se de eletricidade, a entrevista vira um verdadeiro debate, e todos – inclusive Felton – ficam, satisfeitos com o resultado.

Organizing the battlefield

This is to be my main appearance at the Writers’ Festival in Melbourne, Australia. It is ten o’clock in the morning and there is a packed audience. I am to be interviewed by a local writer, J. F.
I step onto the platform with my usual feelings of apprehension. F. introduces me and starts asking me questions.
Before I can finish what I’m saying, he interrupts me and asks me another question.
When I reply, he says something like ‘that wasn’t a very clear answer’.
Five minutes later, there is a feeling of unease amongst the audience; everyone can sense that something is wrong. I remember Confucius and take the only possible action.
‘Do you like what I write?’ I ask.
‘That’s irrelevant,’ F. replies. ‘I’m here to interview you, not the other way round.’
‘But it is relevant. You won’t let me finish my thought. Confucius says: “Whenever possible, be clear.” Let’s follow that advice and make things absolutely clear: Do you like what I write?’
‘No, I don’t. I’ve read two of your books and I hated both of them.’
‘Fine, now we can continue.’
The lines of battle have been drawn. The audience relaxes and the atmosphere becomes electric, the interview becomes a real debate, and everyone – including F. – is pleased with the result.

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

Declaration of principles

Beautiful, dearest Jane!

The basics of feng shui

by Priya Sher

When there is harmony in the home there is order in the nation, when there is order in the nation there is peace in the world.’ Chinese Proverb

Feng shui originated over 6000 years ago in China. It focuses on harnessing the energy in a property by optimizing its flow and ensuring the five elements (water, fire, earth, metal and wood) are balanced.
Each part of a property represents a particular family member or area of life, so the theory is that if energy in that space isn’t balanced, it will have an effect on the person or subject concerned.

Literally translated feng shui means ‘wind water’. Its principles maintain that we live in harmony with our environment.
Its aim is to achieve balance in our living space and maximize our potential for success for every area in our life.
Feng shui takes many years of specialized training to practice. By combining the knowledge of both the form and compass orientation of a space, the feng shui analysis can explain how the property in which you are living or working in affects your behavior, mental clarity and health.

The ‘art of placement’ is a very important aspect of feng shui. How a property sits in its environment is crucial. A building should have high ground behind it to hold the energy and support us, a clear view in front to give us an open vision and bright future, and balanced support on its left and right side to offer its occupants a balance of yin/female and yang/male energy resulting in stability.

Los dos monjes

Cuenta una conocida historia japonesa que dos monjes, Tanzan y Ekido, quienes, cuando regresaban a su monasterio, les agarró una lluvia torrencial.

Al cabo de un rato, vieron que una mujer joven, vestida con un precioso kimono de seda, vacilaba en cruzar un pequeño torrente que bajaba de la montaña y habí­a inundado por completo el camino.
Tanzán acudió en su ayuda, la cargó en sus brazos, atravesó la corriente y la dejó sana y salva al otro lado del camino . Ekido permaneció en silencio, visiblemente molesto, durante todo el resto del camino.

Por fin, cuando ya llegaban a la puerta del monasterio, Ekido soltó con ira toda su queja:
-Se supone que los monjes no deben tocar a las mujeres, mucho más si son bellas y jóvenes como la que tú cargaste sobre el agua. No sé cómo pudiste cometer una falta tan grave…

Su queja y sus palabras sorprendieron a Tanzan que se habí­a olvidado por completo del incidente. Miró fí­jamente a los ojos de Ekido y le dijo:

-Mira, yo dejé a la mujer allá al otro lado del camino cubierto por el agua. Pero parece que tú todaví­a la sigues cargando.

10 SEC READ: The muddy road


Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once.
Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself.

“We monks can’t be near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”

“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

Character of the week: Mae West

A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.

I only have ‘yes’ men around me. Who needs ‘no’ men?

A woman in love can’t be reasonable – or she probably wouldn’t be in love.

All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.

An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.

I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.

Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.

When I’m good I’m very, very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

I’m a woman of very few words, but lots of action.

Don’t keep a man guessing too long – he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else.

Don’t marry a man to reform him – that’s what reform schools are for.

Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can’t figure out what from.

Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you.

He who hesitates is a damned fool.

Save a boyfriend for a rainy day – and another, in case it doesn’t rain.

I’m no model lady. A model’s just an imitation of the real thing.

It takes two to get one in trouble.

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, playwright, and screenwriter


Illustration by Ken Crane

Durante a era glacial, muitos animais morriam por causa do frio.

Os porcos-espinhos, percebendo a situaí§í£o, resolveram se juntar em grupos, assim se agasalhavam e se protegiam mutuamente, mas os espinhos de cada um feriam os companheiros mais próximos, justamente os que ofereciam mais calor.

Por isso decidiram se afastar uns dos outros e voltaram a morrer congelados, entí£o precisavam fazer uma escolha:
Ou desapareceriam da Terra ou aceitavam os espinhos dos companheiros.

Com sabedoria, decidiram voltar a ficar juntos.
Aprenderam assim a conviver com as pequenas feridas que a relaí§í£o com uma pessoa muito próxima podia causar, já que o mais importante era o calor do outro.

E assim sobreviveram.


Illustration by Ken Crane

Durante la era glacial, muchos animales morí­an por causa del frí­o.

Los puercoespines, percibiendo la situación, resolvieron juntarse en grupos, así­ se abrigaban y se protegí­an mutuamente, más las espinas de cada uno herí­an a los compañeros más próximos, justamente los que ofrecí­an más calor.

Por eso decidieron alejarse unos de otros y comenzaron de nuevo a morir congelados.

Entonces precisaron hacer una elección: o desaparecí­an de la Tierra o aceptaban las espinas de los compañeros.
Con sabidurí­a, decidieron volver a estar juntos.

Aprendieron así­ a convivir con las pequeñas heridas que la relación con un semejante muy próximo puede causar, ya que lo más importante era el calor del otro.

Y así­ sobrevivieron.

Can culture change anything?

Do you think that culture can change anything in this world?

I believe internet helps – given that it is a platform for people that are open to share ideas. So please, leave here your opinion so that I may share it with the people of this forum.


O discí­pulo embriagado

Illustration by Ken Crane

Um mestre zen tinha centenas de discí­pulos. Todos rezavam na hora certa – exceto um, que vivia bíªbado.

O mestre foi envelhecendo. Alguns dos alunos mais virtuosos comeí§aram a discutir quem seria o novo lí­der do grupo, aquele que receberia os importantes segredos da Tradií§í£o.

Na véspera de sua morte, porém, o mestre chamou o discí­pulo bíªbado e lhe transmitiu os segredos ocultos.

Uma verdadeira revolta tomou conta dos outros.

– Que vergonha! – gritavam pelas ruas. – Nos sacrificamos por um mestre errado, que ní£o sabe ver nossas qualidades.

Escutando a confusí£o do lado de fora, o mestre agonizante comentou:

– Eu precisava passar estes segredos para um homem que eu conhecesse bem. Todos os meus alunos eram muito virtuosos, e mostravam apenas suas qualidades. Isso é perigoso; a virtude muitas vezes serve para esconder a vaidade, o orgulho, a intolerí¢ncia.

“Por isso escolhi o único discí­pulo que eu conhecia realmente bem, já que podia ver seu defeito: a bebedeira”.

As quatro forí§as

O padre Alan Jones diz que, para a construí§í£o de nossa alma, precisamos das Quatro Forí§as Invisí­veis: amor, morte, poder e tempo. É necessário amar, porque somos amados por Deus. É necessária a consciíªncia da morte, para entender bem a vida. É necessário lutar para crescer – mas sem cair na armadilha do poder que conseguimos com isto, porque sabemos que ele ní£o vale nada. Finalmente, é necessário aceitar que nossa alma – embora seja eterna – está neste momento presa na teia do tempo, com suas oportunidades e limitaí§íµes.

Primeira forí§a: amor

A esposa do rabino Iaakov vivia procurando um motivo para discutir com o marido. Iaakov nunca respondia as provocaí§íµes.

Até que, durante um jantar com alguns amigos, o rabino terminou discutindo ferozmente com sua mulher, surpreendendo a todos na mesa.

– O que aconteceu? – perguntaram – Por que abandonou seu costume de jamais responder?

– Porque percebi que o que mais perturbava minha mulher era o fato de ficar em silíªncio. Agindo assim, eu permanecia distante de suas emoí§íµes.

“Minha reaí§í£o foi um ato de amor, e eu consegui fazíª-la entender que escutava suas palavras”.

Segunda forí§a: morte

Assim que morreu, Juan encontrou-se num belí­ssimo lugar, rodeado pelo conforto e beleza que sonhava. Um sujeito vestido de branco aproximou-se:

– Vocíª tem direito ao que quiser.

Encantado, Juan fez tudo que sonhou fazer durante a vida. Depois de muitos anos de prazeres, procurou o sujeito de branco. Disse que já tinha experimentado tudo, e agora precisava de um pouco de trabalho para sentir-se útil.

– Essa é a única coisa que ní£o posso conseguir – disse o sujeito de branco.

– Passarei a eternidade morrendo de tédio! Preferia mil vezes estar no inferno!

– E onde o senhor pensa que está?

Terceira forí§a: poder

– Tenho passado grande parte do meu dia pensando coisas que ní£o devia pensar, desejando coisas que ní£o devia desejar, fazendo planos que ní£o devia fazer.

O mestre apontou uma planta e perguntou se o discí­pulo sabia o que era.

– Beladona. Pode matar quem comer suas folhas.

Mas ní£o pode matar quem simplesmente a contempla. Da mesma maneira, os desejos negativos ní£o podem causar nenhum mal – se vocíª ní£o se deixar seduzir por eles.

Quarta forí§a: tempo

Um carpinteiro e seus auxiliares viajavam em busca de material quando viram uma árvore gigantesca.

– Ní£o vamos perder nosso tempo – disse o mestre carpinteiro. – Para cortá-la, demoraremos muito. Se quisermos fazer um barco, ele afundará, de tí£o pesado o seu tronco. Se resolvermos usá-la para a estrutura de um teto, as paredes terí£o que ser exageradamente resistentes.

O grupo seguiu adiante. Um dos aprendizes comentou:

– É uma árvore tí£o grande e ní£o serve para nada!

– Vocíª está enganado. Ela seguiu seu destino a sua maneira. Se fosse igual as outras, nós já a terí­amos cortado. Mas porque teve coragem de ser diferente, permanecerá viva e forte por muito tempo.

Las cuatro fuerzas

El religioso Alan Jones dice que, para construir nuestra alma, nos son necesarias las Cuatro Fuerzas Invisibles: el amor, la muerte, el poder, y el tiempo. Es necesario amar, porque somos amados por Dios. Es necesaria la conciencia de la muerte, para entender bien la vida. Es necesario luchar para crecer; pero sin caer en la trampa del poder que conseguimos con esto, porque sabemos que no vale nada. Por último, es necesario aceptar que nuestra alma, aun siendo eterna, se encuentra en este momento atrapada en la tela de araña del tiempo, con sus oportunidades y limitaciones.

Primera fuerza: el amor

La esposa del rabino Iaakov viví­a rebuscando motivos para discutir con su marido. Iaakov nunca respondí­a a las provocaciones.

Hasta que, durante una cena con unos amigos, el rabino terminó discutiendo ferozmente con su mujer, sorprendiendo a todos los comensales.

-Pero, ¿que ha ocurrido? -le preguntaron – ¿Por qué no has seguido tu costumbre de no responder?

-Porque por fin me he dado cuenta de que lo que más irritaba a mi mujer era que me quedara en silencio. Actuando de esta manera, me estaba manteniendo distante de sus emociones.

»Mi reacción ha sido un acto de amor, y así­ he conseguido que entendiera que yo estaba escuchando sus palabras.

Segunda fuerza: la muerte

Nada más morir, Juan se vio en un bellí­simo lugar, rodeado por las comodidades y por la belleza con las que siempre habí­a soñado. Un individuo vestido de blanco se le aproximó:

-Tiene usted derecho a todo lo que desee.

Encantado, Juan hizo todo lo que habí­a deseado en vida. Tras muchos años de placeres, buscó al tipo de blanco. Le dijo que ya lo habí­a probado todo, y que ahora necesitaba trabajar un poco para sentirse útil.

-Esa es la única cosa que no puedo conseguir – dijo el de blanco.

-¡Voy a pasar la eternidad muriéndome de aburrimiento! ¡Preferirí­a mil veces estar en el infierno!

-¿Y dónde piensa usted que se encuentra?

Tercera fuerza: el poder

-He pasado la mayor parte del dí­a pensando lo que no deberí­a pensar, deseando lo que no deberí­a desear, haciendo planes que no deberí­a hacer.

El maestro señaló a una planta y le preguntó al discí­pulo si sabí­a lo que era.

-Belladona. Puede matar a quien se come sus hojas.

-Pero no puede matar a quien simplemente la contempla. De la misma forma, los deseos negativos no pueden causar ningún mal, si no te dejas seducir por ellos.

Cuarta fuerza: el tiempo

Un carpintero y sus auxiliares viajaban por la provincia de Ki, en busca de material para construcciones, Vieron un árbol tan gigantesco que cinco hombres tomados de las manos no conseguí­an rodearlo, y su copa era tan alta que casi tocaba las nubes.

– No perderemos nuestro tiempo con este árbol – dijo el maestro carpintero. Tardarí­amos demasiado en cortarlo. Si quisiéramos hacer un barco, se hundirí­a por causa de lo pesado que es su tronco. Si quisiéramos usarlo para la estructura de un techo, las paredes tendrí­an que ser exageradamente resistentes.

El grupo siguió adelante. Uno de los aprendices comentó:

– ¡Es un árbol tan grande y no sirve para nada!

– Estás equivocado – dijo el maestro carpintero. Él ha seguido su destino a su manera. Si fuese igual a los demás, nosotros ya lo habrí­amos cortado. Pero porque tuvo el coraje de ser diferente, permanecerá vivo y fuerte mucho tiempo.

The Four Forces

EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI: Las cuatro fuerzas


Father Alan Jones says that building our soul requires Four Invisible Forces, namely love, death, power and time. It is necessary to love because we are loved by God. It is necessary to be conscious of death in order to understand life better. One has to fight in order to grow – but without falling into the trap of the power that we obtain in doing so, because we know that such power is worth nothing. And lastly, it is necessary to accept that our soul – although eternal – is at this moment caught in the web of time, with all its opportunities and limitations.

First Force: Love

Rabbi Iaakov’s wife was always looking for an excuse to argue with her husband. Iaakov never answered her provocations.
Until one night when, during a dinner with some friends, the rabbi had a ferocious argument with his wife to the surprise of all at table.
“What happened?” they asked. “Why did you break your habit of never answering?”
“Because I realized that what bothered my wife most was the fact that I remained silent. Acting in this way, I remained far from her emotions. My reaction was an act of love, and I managed to make her understand that I heard her words.”

Second Force: Death

As soon as he died, Juan found himself in a very beautiful place, surrounded by all the comfort and beauty that he had dreamed of.
A figure dressed in white came up to him and said, “You are entitled to anything you want.”
Enchanted, Juan did everything he had dreamed of during life. After many years of pleasure, he sought out the figure in white. He said that he had experienced everything and that now he needed a little work to make him feel useful.
“That’s the only thing I cannot get for you,” said the figure in white.
“But I’ll spend eternity dying of boredom! I’d much rather be in hell!”
“And where do you think you are?”

Third Force: Power

“I’ve spent a good part of the day thinking about things that I should not think about, desiring things that I should not desire, planning to do things that I should not do.”
The master pointed to a plant and asked the disciple if he knew what it was.
“It’s a belladonna. It can kill you if you eat the leaves. But it can’t kill you just by looking at it. Likewise, negative desires can cause no harm – if you don’t let yourself be seduced by them.”

Fourth Force: Time
A carpenter and his apprentices were traveling through the province of Qi in search of building materials. They saw a giant tree; five men holding hands could not encompass its girth, and its crown reached almost to the clouds.
“Let’s not waste our time with this tree,” said the master carpenter. “It would take us forever to cut it down. If we wanted to make a ship out of that heavy trunk, the ship would sink. If we tried to use it to build a roof, the walls would have to be specially reinforced.”
The group continued on its way. One of the apprentices remarked, “Such a big tree and no use to anyone!”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” said the master carpenter. “The tree was true to its own destiny. If it had been like all the others, we would have cut it down. But because it had the courage to be different, it will remain alive and strong for a long time.”

20 SEC READ: The Drunkard Disciple / El discipulo borracho

Illustration by Ken Crane

AQUI EN ESPANOL: El discipulo borracho
AQUI EM PORTUGUES: O discí­pulo embriagado

A Zen master had hundreds of disciples. They all prayed at the right time, except one, who was always drunk.

The master was growing old. Some of the more virtuous pupils began to wonder who would be the new leader of the group, the one who would receive the important secrets of the Tradition.

On the eve of his death, however, the master called the drunkard disciple and revealed the hidden secrets to him.

A veritable revolt broke out among the others.

“How shameful!” they cried in the streets, “We have sacrificed ourselves for the wrong master, one who can’t see our qualities.”

Hearing the commotion outside, the dying master remarked:
“I had to pass on these secrets to a man that I knew well. All my pupils are very virtuous, and showed only their qualities. That is dangerous, for virtue often serves to hide vanity, pride and intolerance. That is why I chose the only disciple whom I know really well, since I can see his defect: drunkenness.”