Archives for September 2015

Oh Happy Day


Oh Happy Day! (Full version) – Choeur Gospel Célébration de Québec & Sylvie Desgroseilliers

Oh, happy day
(oh, happy day)
When jesus washed
(when jesus washed)
he washed my sins away!

(oh, happy day)
Ah, it’s a happy day
he taught me how
(to watch)
(fight and pray)
(fight and pray)
(and he’ll rejoice)
(in things we say)
Oh, happy day

27 setembro: VIVA SíƒO COSME, DAMIíƒO E DOUM!

10 SEC READ: why to shout?

story sent by Anupam Karn

A master asked his disciples:
‘Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?’

the disciples thought for a while, and one of them said
‘Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.’
‘But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you? ‘Isn’t it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you’re angry?’
The disciples gave him some other answers but none satisfied the master.

Finally he explained:
‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.’

Then the master asked:
‘What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small…’
And he finally said:
‘When they love each other even more, what happens?
‘They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love.
‘Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’


Un maestro preguntó a sus discí­pulos:
“¿Por qué gritamos con rabia? ¿Por qué la gente se grita cuando están molestos?
Los discí­pulos pensaron un rato, y uno de ellos dijo:
“Porque perdemos la calma,… será por eso? “

“Pero, ¿por qué gritar cuando la otra persona está a tu lado? ¿No es posible hablar con él o ella con una voz suave? ¿Por qué le gritas a una persona cuando estás enojado?”
Los discí­pulos le dieron algunas otras respuestas pero ninguna de ellas satisfací­a al maestro.

Finalmente explicó:
“Cuando dos personas están enojadas, sus corazones se alejan mucho. Para cubrir esa distancia deben gritar para poder escucharse entre sí­. Mientras más enojados estén, más fuerte tendrán que gritar para escucharse uno a otro a través de esa gran distancia.”

Entonces el maestro le preguntó:
“¿Qué sucede cuando dos personas se enamoran? No se nota en cada uno sino que se hablan suavemente, ¿por qué? Debido a que sus corazones están muy cerca. La distancia entre ellos es muy pequeña …

Y por fin dijo:
“Cuando se aman aún más, ¿qué sucede?
No hablan, sólo susurran y se tienen aún más cerca el uno al otro en su amor.
“Finalmente no necesitan siquiera susurrar, sólo se miran el uno al otro y eso es todo. Así­ es como están cerca dos personas cuando se aman.”


“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. The trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.

The truth it is a beautiful and terrible thing, and therefore should be treated with caution…It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, just as much to stand up to our friends.

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we are, far more than our abilities.Curiosity is not a sin. But we should exercise caution with our curiosity…

Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. Numbing the pain for a while will only make it worse when you finally feel it. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.

Difference of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.The consequences of our actions are so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

You place too much importance… on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.

Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.”

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a fictional character, a major protagonist in the magistral J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

10 SEC READ: Teaching (ENG, PORT, ESPA)

During one of Bankei’s classes, a pupil was caught stealing.
All the disciples demanded he be expelled, but Bankei did nothing.
The following week, the pupil stole again. The others, irritated, demanded that the thief be punished.

“How wise you all are,” said Bankei. “You know what is right and wrong, and you can study anywhere you like. But this poor brother – who does not know what is right or wrong – has only me to teach him. And I shall go on doing that.”

A flood of tears purified the thief’s face; the desire to steal had disappeared.



Durante uma das aulas do mestre zen Bankei, um aluno foi pego roubando.
Todos os discí­pulos pediram a expulsí£o do aluno, mas Bankei ní£o fez nada.
Na semana seguinte, o aluno roubou de novo. Irritados, os outros exigiram que o ladrí£o fosse punido.

“Como vocíªs sí£o sábios”, disse Bankei. “Sabem o que é certo ou errado, e podem estudar em qualquer outro lugar. Mas este pobre irmí£o – que ní£o sabe o que é certo ou errado – só tem a mim para ensiná-lo. E continuarei fazendo isto”.

Uma torrente de lágrimas purificou o rosto do ladrí£o; o desejo de roubar havia desaparecido.



Durante una de las clases del maestro zen Bankei, un alumno fue descubierto robando. Todos los alumnos pidieron la expulsión del alumno, pero Bankei no hizo nada.
A la semana siguiente, el mismo alumno volvió a robar. Irritados, los demás exigieron que el ladrón fuera castigado.

-Hay que ver lo sabios que sois -dijo Bankei-. Sabéis lo que es correcto y lo que está equivocado, por lo que podéis estudiar en cualquier otro lugar. Pero este pobre hermano, que no sabe diferenciar lo que está bien de lo que está mal, sólo me tiene a mí­ para que le enseñe. Y voy a continuar haciéndolo.

Un torrente de lágrimas purificó el rostro del ladrón. El deseo de robar habí­a desaparecido.

A warrior of light knows what he wants

A warrior of the light never stumbles; but he knows how to distract his adversary.

However anxious he is, he plays with the resources of strategy in order to reach his objective. When he realizes his strength is running out, he makes the enemy believe he is in no rush.
When he must attack on the right, he moves his troops to the left.
If he intends to begin the fight immediately, he pretends he is sleepy and prepares himself for sleep.

The friends comment: “see how he has lost his enthusiasm “. He pays these comments no attention, for his friends know not the tactics of combat.

A warrior of light knows what he wants. There is no need to spend time explaining.

in “The Manual of the warrior of light”.

Between Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk

My book “Aleph” describes my spiritual journey during my crossing of Asia in 2006. To write it, I had to consult the notes I had taken throughout my journey. Below there are two of them:


I arrived at the wagon that will carry me to the Siberian with my arms full of books, thinking I would have plenty of time over the 9228 km of rail travel to read them all. I soon discovered, however, that reading on a wagon is virtually impossible due to the swaying and lack of shock absorbers. The only thing I could do was think, and quickly write down my thoughts once we stopped at the stations.


One of the people on the train shows me a prayer that she said was found among the personal belongings of a Jew who died in a concentration camp. It read:

“Lord, when you come in Your glory, do not remember only the men of goodwill; also remember the men of ill will. And, on Judgment Day, do not remember only the cruelty, abuse and violence that they carried out, but the fruit produced because of what they did to us. Remember the patience, courage, brotherhood, humility, generosity of spirit and faithfulness that our executioners awoke in our souls. And then, Lord, pray that the fruits that we have produced may serve to save the souls of men of evil.”

The path is full of contradictions

In one of his rare writings, the Sufi sage Hafik comments on the idea of travel;

“Accept with wisdom the fact that the Path is full of contradictions.

Many times the Path will contradict itself, just to stimulate the passenger to discover what will happen at the next curve. If two travelers take this journey together, it is almost certain that one of them is on the wrong Path.

Each person must run his own risks along his Way, because there are no set formulas to achieving the Truth.

Only the ignorant try to imitate the ways of others. The intelligent men don’t waste their time with that, and develop their own set of skills.

They know that no two leaves in the forest of a million trees are exactly the same. No two Paths on the Journey of Life are exactly the same.”

Things I learned with Paulo


1. When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

2. Detach from all things and you will be free.
“When I had nothing to lose, I had everything.”

“Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.”

3. We are all here for a purpose.
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.”

4. The only thing standing between you and your dream are your fears.
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

5. Mistakes are part of life.

“Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?”

6. Really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies meet.

“Really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other. Generally speaking, these meetings occur when we reach a limit, when we need to die and be reborn emotionally. These meetings are waiting for us, but more often than not, we avoid them happening. If we are desperate, though, if we have nothing to lose, or if we are full of enthusiasm for life, then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes direction.”

“We can also allow our Soulmate to pass us by, without accepting him or her, or even noticing. Then we will need another incarnation in order to find that Soulmate. And because of our selfishness, we will be condemned to the worst torture humankind ever invented for itself: loneliness.”

7. Every experience, either good or bad, comes with a lesson.
“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.”

8. Do not seek for love outside of you.
“Love is not to be found in someone else but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person.”

9. When you change, the whole world changes with you.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

10. No reason is needed for loving.
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

11. Mind your own business.
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

12. When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.
“When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.”

“No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.”

13. Love is an untamed force.
“Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”

14. Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

15. Judge not.
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”

16. Children have valuable lessons to teach you.
“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”

17. Appreciate the contrast of life.
“Never be ashamed,’ he said. ‘Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.’ ‘How will I know which is which?’ ‘By the taste. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.”

18. Nobody’s responsible for how you feel or don’t feel.
“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”

19. Your beliefs shape you and make you who you are.
“You are what you believe yourself to be.”

20. Let go of the need to explain yourself.
“Don’t explain. Your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe you.”

21. Love changes everything.
“It is not time that changes man nor knowledge the only thing that can change someone’s mind is love.”

22. Don’t mistake elegance with superficiality.
“Elegance is usually confused with superficiality, fashion, lack of depth. This is a serious mistake: human beings need to have elegance in their actions and in their posture because this word is synonymous with good taste, amiability, equilibrium and harmony.”

23. When you do work from your soul, the critics won’t hurt you.
“I write from my soul. This is the reason that critics don’t hurt me, because it is me. If it was not me, if I was pretending to be someone else, then this could unbalance my world, but I know who I am.”

24. Each day brings a miracle of its own.
“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.”

25. Embrace your authenticity

“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.”

“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.”

At the Writers Festival

It will be my most important participation at the Writers Festival.

It is 10am; the auditorium is filled.

John Felton, a local writer, will interview me. I step on the stage with the apprehension of always.

Felton introduces me and starts asking me questions. Before I can finish my thoughts, he interrupts me and asks me a new question.

When I answer, he says something like “this answer wasn’t very clear.”

Five minutes later, a discomfort can be felt in the audience — everyone notices there is something wrong. I recall Confucius and do the only thing possible:

“Do you like what I write?” I ask him.

“That doesn’t matter,” he answers. “I am the one doing the interview, not the other way around.”

“It does matter. You don’t let me finish a thought. Confucius said: ‘whenever possible, be clear.’ Let’s follow this advice and leave things clear: do you like what I write?”

“No, I don’t like it. I have read only two books and I didn’t like them.”

“Ok then, we can go on.”

The fields were now defined. The audience relaxes, the atmosphere is charged with electricity, the interview becomes a true debate and everyone, even Felton, are satisfied with the result.

1 MIN READING: The fisherman and the businessman

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

classic Brazilian story, probably also present in other cultures. Someone found the English version, but I could not identify the translator

Paulo Coelho interview – The Talks

Mr. Coelho, are you interested in building bridges between cultures?

For a writer you have to be interested in different cultures, different backgrounds. You are not there to write only about your village. You’re there to show a bit of your village, but also to understand other villages. Like Tolstoy says: everything that happens in a village happens everywhere.

Were you raised with that kind of approach?

As a child I was influenced by many different inputs and cultures – Arabic, Jewish, American – and I became interested like this. We did not select music that we were going to hear out of political correctness. We selected something that you either like or you don’t like. When I started writing I started seeing this input manifesting itself. And then I became interested.

Do you feel like we have more bridges between cultures today than in the past?

Today I see all the bridges collapsing. It seems that nobody is capable of understanding each other anymore. I feel it’s my duty as a human being, as a person who is trying – like everybody else who thinks about the state of the world – to enhance the importance of this multicultural connection. As long as you still have one bridge left, nothing is lost. But from the moment that you cannot even understand the storytelling or the music of other cultures anymore, then we become strangers to each other and the situation will become very complicated.

Well I’d say you are bridging cultures with your online presence – you have 26 million Facebook Likes, 10 million Twitter followers, and you have been blogging since 2006. Why are you so active on the internet?

It’s a new platform and as a writer I have to find platforms that can use this writing process. The internet is one of them. People are reading more and writing more now because of the internet. So the virtual world is a way for me to listen to my readers and interact with my readers. It is a way that they can voice their opinion. I like to be challenged with language, so I start to do texts for my blogs that people can download, can spread. There is no commercial interest behind it. It’s only for fun, like doing something that you really enjoy to do. I have texts that I write specifically for the internet and I put them there. I am interested in how readers also respond to the texts that I write to them.

So you don’t write with a purpose in mind?

I write because I need to share my thoughts with the audience. I don’t know if the books are making the world a much better place. I don’t write with that objective. What I know is that I see my readers creating a critical mass so we can at least understand this world in a different way. You need to change yourself. The moment that you change yourself it is a gigantic step. And this is what I do. The book is much more important than the writer.

But your personality is still very present in your work.

I am very present in my work and my work is somehow an expression of my soul, but at the same time I think that a writer cannot write out of nothing. You have two types of writers: one like Proust who was locked in his room and wrote the masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu. And the other type was Hemingway who celebrated life and also wrote a masterpiece.

Chimps’ mating calls contain careful calculation

I’ve stumbled upon this article by Nicholas Wade in the International Herald Tribune.

Intricate as the mating dance may be among people, for other primates like chimpanzees and baboons it is even more complicated. This is evident from the work of researchers who report that the distinctive calls made by female chimpanzees during sex are part of a sophisticated social calculation.

Biologists have long been puzzled by these copulation calls, which can betray the caller’s whereabouts to predators. To compensate for this hazard, the calls must confer a significant evolutionary advantage, but what?

The leading explanation involves the way female primates protect their offspring. Male chimps and baboons are prone to kill any infant they believe could not be theirs, so females try to blur paternity by mating with as many individuals as possible before each conception. A side benefit is that by arranging to have sperm from many potential fathers compete for her egg, the female creates conditions for the healthiest male to father her child.

The calls that female chimps make during sex seemed to be just part of this strategy. By advertising a liaison in progress, biologists assumed, females stood to recruit many more partners.


Unlike female baboons, who give a staccato whoop at each copulation, the chimps seem much more aware of the social context.

Chimps are particularly likely to be silent and conceal their liaisons when higher-ranking females are nearby. They were most acoustically exuberant when cavorting with a high-ranking male.

The reason may be that other higher-ranking males are also likely to be around, and by advertising her availability to them a female chimp may gain many influential protectors for her future infant.

The calculus changes when higher-ranking females are around because they are likely to attack the caller and break up the fun. To avoid incest, young females leave their home group and try to integrate with neighbors by offering themselves to socially important males. But the resident females tend to be obstructive, perhaps because they see the visiting females as competitors for male protectors and desirable feeding areas.

A similar use of copulation calls could once have existed in the human lineage but if so, it may have lost its evolutionary advantages when human societies developed their distinctive system of pair bonding and made intercourse a largely private activity.


For the full article, please click here.