Archives for June 2011

Challenges / Desafios

20 SEC READING: asking questions

Warriors of light always keep a certain gleam in their eyes.

They are of this world, they are part of the lives of other people and they set out on their journey with no saddlebags and no sandals.

They are often cowardly.
They do not always make the right decisions.

They suffer over the most trivial things, they have mean thoughts and sometimes believe they are incapable of growing.

They frequently deem themselves unworthy of any blessing or miracle.

They are not always quite sure what they are doing here.

They spend many sleepless nights, believing that their lives have no meaning.

That is why they are warriors of light.
Because they make mistakes.
Because they ask themselves questions.

Because they are looking for a reason – and are sure to find it.



10 SECOND READING: the one who cared most

The writer Leo Buscaglia was once invited to be on the jury of a school competition to find ‘the child who cared most for others’.

The winner was a boy whose neighbour, a gentleman of over eighty, had just been widowed.
When he saw the old man sitting in his garden crying, the boy jumped over the fence, sat on the man’s lap and stayed there for a long time.

When he went back home, his mother asked him what he had said to the poor man.

‘Nothing,’ said the boy. ‘He’s lost his wife and that must have really hurt.

“I just went over to help him to cry.”


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The five regrets

(One of my friends here sent me a link while commenting on “Insult the dead”. I checked it and I stumbled upon a very interesting text by Bonnie Ware. Below a resumée: )

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.



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O Jogo de xadrez

Illustration by Ken Crane

O jovem disse ao abade do mosteiro:

– Bem que eu gostaria de ser um monge, mas tudo que meu pai me ensinou foi jogar xadrez. Sei que qualquer jogo é um pecado.

– Pode ser um pecado, mas também pode ser uma diversí£o – foi a resposta.
O abade pediu um tabuleiro de xadrez, chamou um monge, e mandou-o jogar com o rapaz.

Mas antes da partida comeí§ar, acrescentou:

– Embora precisemos de diversí£o, ní£o podemos permitir que todo mundo fique jogando xadrez. Entí£o, teremos apenas o melhor dos jogadores aqui; se nosso monge perder, ele sairá do mosteiro, e abrirá uma vaga para vocíª.

O abade falava sério. O rapaz sentiu que jogava por sua vida, e suou frio; o tabuleiro tornou-se o centro do mundo.

O monge comeí§ou a perder.
O rapaz atacou, mas entí£o viu o olhar de santidade do outro; a partir deste momento, comeí§ou a jogar errado de propósito.

Afinal de contas preferia perder, porque o monge podia ser mais útil ao mundo.

De repente, o abade jogou o tabuleiro no chí£o.

– Vocíª aprendeu muito mais do que lhe ensinaram – disse. – Concentrou-se o suficiente para vencer, foi capaz de lutar pelo que desejava.
“Em seguida, teve compaixí£o, e disposií§í£o para sacrificar-se em nome de uma nobre causa.

” Seja bem-vindo ao mosteiro, porque sabe equilibrar a disciplina com a misericórdia.”

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La partida de ajedrez

Illustration by Ken Crane

Dijo el joven al sacerdote: “Me gustarí­a entrar en el monasterio, pero nada de lo que he aprendido es importante. Todo lo que mi padre me enseñó es a jugar al ajedrez, algo que no sirve para alcanzar la iluminación.”

El sacerdote pidió que le trajeran un tablero, llamó a un monje y le ordenó que jugara con el muchacho, añadiendo: “el que pierda, morirá.”

El joven se dio cuenta de que estaba luchando por su vida, y el tablero se convirtió en el centro del mundo.
Sin embargo, como conocí­a todas las estrategias, enseguida vio que el monje iba a perder. Se preparaba para el golpe final, cuando observó la miraba de santidad de su adversario.
Comenzó a cometer errores a propósito; preferí­a morir, pues el monje podrí­a ser más útil a la humanidad.

De repente, el sacerdote tiró el tablero al suelo.

“Has aprendido más de lo que te enseñaron,” dijo. “Sabes que el camino de la luz no está hecho sólo de concentración, sino también de compasión. Te acepto como mi discí­pulo.”

Aleph (the contest) – Final call

We have now 10 days left! The deadline for presenting the video is July 1, 2011.
Read the rules here:

Remember: you don’t need to buy or read the book – that it is published only in six countries so far (being # 1 in all of them! )
Important: ALEPH by Flavio Waiterman is not in the competition
but you can use as an example.

Below you find some interesting entries.
Looking forward to hearing from you

ALEPH by Raif Kurt


ALEPH by Fiuna & Shauky

Marriage & Monotony

I read Zahir recently. I could not understand clearly though that what do u think should be done to avoid making this relationship so monotonous. What are your views on what is Marriage? (question by Shipra)

How to keep our relations out of monotony is a very personal thing.
In regards to the situation you mention in The Zahir, what enabled the main character to finally re-live his passion for his wife was her absence.
I will quote here one of my favorite writers, Khalil Gibran, on the subject of marriage since I think he expressed really beautifully what marriage is:

“You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.

And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other’s shadow.”


Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

Gabriela Romaria by herself

Like I did with Celinne Costa, Barbara Zedler, Eleonora Iso, this week I give the floor to Gabriela Romaria

Talking about ANGELS in my show “IMAGINARY TALKS” with PAULO COELHO. A TV CHANEL for FUN and for MY FRIENDS! ***
Subtitles in Romanian language! ***

I encourage you to find creative ways to use my texts (walls, sand, stone, anything creative), and I will also promote them here. In this case, please send your photos to [email protected]

Fear of failure


Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

10 SEG LEITURA: Confucio e o bíªbado

Quando ia para o lago, Confúcio sempre passava por determinada casa e parava para conversar sobre o jardim da varanda, que era o orgulho do proprietário.

í€s vezes, o homem estava bíªbado, mas Confúcio fingia ní£o prestar atení§í£o ao fato e continuava a falar do jardim.

Num dia em que o homem estava muito embriagado, um discí­pulo disse:

“Ele ní£o escuta porque sua alma está cheia de álcool”.

Confúcio respondeu:
“Uma pessoa só consegue se desenvolver, sabendo que tem um lado bom. Mesmo nos momentos de fraqueza, é preciso chamar a atení§í£o para este lado.

“Entí£o, eu converso sobre a beleza de seu trabalho como jardineiro e, em algum canto de sua alma, ele me escuta.
“Assim consigo evitar que a culpa destrua sua vontade de seguir o caminho”

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10 SEC READING: careful with your work

Illustration by Ken Crane

As a boy, Abin-Alsar overheard a conversation between his father and a dervish.

“Careful with your work”, said the dervish. “Think of what future generations will say about you.”
“So what?”, replied his father, “When I die, everything shall end, and it will not matter what they say.”

Abin-Alsar never forgot that conversation.

During his whole life, he made an effort to do good, to help people and go about his work with enthusiasm.
He became well-known for his concern for others.
When he died, he left behind a great number of things which improved the quality of life in his town.

On his tombstone, he had the following epitaph engraved:

“A life which ends with death, is a worthless life.”

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE


Six countries, six # 1 !

Today, ALEPH was published in its sixth country, Serbia.
Thanks Serbia to join Brasil, Portugal, Turkey, Hungary, and Bulgaria ( CHECK ALL THE LISTS HERE ) , in keeping the tradition: directly to # 1 !

(source: Korisna Knjiga)

ALEPH updated publication dates > CLICK HERE
ALEPH video contest > CLICK HERE

Conscious attention

There is a meditation exercise which consists of adding – generally for ten minutes a day – the reasons for each of our actions.

For example: “I now read this blog because I saw a link in Facebook or Twitter. I now think of such-and-such a person, because the subject I read about lead me to do so. I walked to the door, because I am going out”.
And so forth.

Buddha called this “conscious attention”. When we see ourselves repeating our ordinary routine, we realize how much wealth surrounds our life.
We understand each step, each attitude.
We discover important things, and useless thoughts.

At the end of a week – discipline is always fundamental – we are more conscious of our faults and distractions.
But we also understand that, at times, there was no reason to act the way we did, that we followed our impulses, our intuition; and now we begin to understand this silent language which God uses in order to show us the true path.

Call it intuition, signs, instinct, coincidence, any name will do – what matters is that through “conscious attention” we realize that we are often guided to the right decision.

And this makes us stronger.


Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

Eleonora Iso by herself


Like I did with Celinne Costa (who painted her body with a quote from a book of mine), and Barbara Zedler, with a painting using one of my quotes in Twitter, this week Eleonora Iso has the space here.

Written in the bottle: “We find love by loving, and not by talking about it”
Idea: eleonora liso
Photo and editing : gianni salvi and vita de santis.

I encourage you to find creative ways to use my texts (walls, sand, stone, anything creative), and I will also promote them here. In this case, please send your photos to [email protected]

Nunca mais/ Never more

The Brazilian military right wing dictatorship lasted from 1964 to 1984. Today, as we see in the Arab Spring, many people died and I myself was arrested three times (and tortured in one of the arrests), but in the end freedom prevailed.
Don’t lose your hope!
Below are the lyrics in English I found on the web

Father, move this chalice away from me (“cálice” sounds the same as “cale-se” which means “be quiet, shut up”)

Father, move this chalice away from me
Father, move this chalice away from me
Of red wine of blood

How to drink of this bitter beverage
Swallow the pain, swallow the toil
Even silent the night, there’s the chest
Silence in the city is not heard
What’s worth to me to be the son of the saint
It’d be better to be the son of the other
Other reality less dead
So many lies, so much brute strength

How difficult it is to wake up silent
If in the dead of the night I’m screwed
I want to cast an inhuman scream
Which is a way to be heard
All this silence baffles me
Baffled, I remain attentive
In the bleachers to at any moment
See emerge the monster of the lagoon

Very fat, the pig no longer walks
Very used, the knife no longer cuts
How hard it is, father, to open the door
This word trapped in my throat
This homeric inebriation in the world
What good it is to have good will
Even silent the chest, there’s the head
Of the drunken downtown

Maybe the world’s not small
Neither is life a consumated fact
I want to invent my own sin
I want to die of my own poison
I want to completely lose your head
My head lose your judgement
I want to smell the smoke of diesel oil
Get drunk until someone
forgets me

Portuguese → English translation by isaprospero