Archives for June 2016

Lao Tsu, China – 6th century B.C.

Paulo Coelho

Based on my message earlier this week – about the different languages of God – I would like to share with you this week some of the prayers that point in the same direction:

“For there to be peace in the world, the nations must live in peace.
For there to be peace among nations, cities must not rise up against one another.
For there to be peace in the cities, neighbors must get on well with one another.
For there to be peace among neighbors, harmony must reign in the home.
For there to be harmony at home, it must be found in your own heart.”

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Life is full of surprises

Wagner

Yesterday I was starting to climb Le Saleve (Haute-Savoie) and in a small village I saw this house. It happens that it is true! The text reads
“The Valkyrie were composed here.”
“Here lived Two Immortals : Richard Wagner (1856) – John Ruskin (1863 – 1864).”

How to observe the flight of the arrow

The arrow is intention projected into space.
Once it is fired, there is nothing left for the archer to do except accompany its path towards the target. From that moment on, the tension necessary for the shot has no more reason to exist.
The archer therefore keeps his eyes fixed on the flight of the arrow, but his heart is at rest and he smiles.
At that moment, if he has trained enough, if he has managed to develop his instinct, if he has maintained his elegance and concentration throughout the whole process of the shot, then he will feel the presence of the universe and hw will see that his action was fair and deserved.
Technique makes both hands always ready, breathing always precise, eyes able to fix on the target. Instinct makes the moment of the shot perfect.
Whoever passes by and sees the archer with his arms open and his eyes following the arrow will fancy that he is stopped. But the allies know that the mind of the one who fired the arrow has changed dimension and is now in contact with the entire universe: the mind goes on working, learning everything of a positive nature that the shot has brought, correcting any mistakes, accepting his qualities, and waiting to see how the target reacts when it is struck.
When the archer stretches the string, he can see the whole world inside his bow. When he accompanies the flight of the arrow, this world comes close to him, caresses him and makes him relish the perfect sensation of having fulfilled his duty.
A Warrior of Light, after fulfilling his duty and transforming his intention into gesture, need fear no more: he has done what he had to do. He has not allowed himself to be petrified by fear, for even if the arrow fails to reach its target, he will have another opportunity, because he has not been a coward.

(taken from my ebook “The Way of the Bow”)

Iran and Rumi

by Rumi, Persian poet (1207- 1273)

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

Question by the reader : Maria Edwards

My question is, can you tell us more about this quote of the day, “Anyone who gives help also receives help and needs to teach what he has learned?” How can we share the light we’ve found with people in our lives who may not have found their own path yet?

Firstly by trying to understand why they are acting the way they are. Before judging if a person is or not in their path, first we need to understand why they thread in the current path they are threading.
Of course, if a person is unhappy and they let you know about this – then you can actually say what you think. But remember, while giving your opinion you need to leave very clear that you are doing this out of love and nothing else.
The best way to reach someone is by letting them know that they have reached your heart first.

Please send your question for selection to [email protected]

The Warrior Of Light and Faith

The warrior of light, once he has learned how to use a sword, discovers that his equipment is still incomplete – he needs armour.
He sets off in search of this armour and he listens to the advice of various salesmen.
‘Use the breastplate of solitude,’ says one.
‘Use the shield of cynicism’, says another.
‘The best armour is not to get involved in anything,’ says a third.
The warrior, however, ignores them. He calmly goes to his sacred place and puts on the indestructible cloak of faith.
Faith parries all blows. Faith transforms poison into crystalline water.

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Mata Hari’s last week

Mata-Hari_Cover-USA

THE SPY brings to life the true story of Mata Hari, the famous courtesan and accused spy who was executed for treason one hundred years ago. Mata Hari was a dancer who shocked and delighted audiences during the First World War, and she became a confidant to some of the era’s richest and most powerful men. She dared to liberate herself from the moralism and provincial customs of the early twentieth century, but she ultimately paid for it with her life. As she waited for her execution in a Paris prison, one of her last requests was for a pen and some paper to write letters.
Over the past twenty years, MI5 in the UK and Germany and Holland have released their files on Mata Hari, and it provided Coelho with a trove of information as he was researching his novel.

“I ended up with a mountain of documents,” Coelho said, “but also with a question: What did Mata Hari write in those letters? And how was she caught in so many traps, set by both friends and enemies?”
Using first-person narrative, Coelho reimagines Mata Hari’s life through her final letter, which was written the week before her execution. There, from prison, Mata Hari reveals the choices she made in pursuing her own truth – from her childhood in a small Dutch town, to her unhappy years as the wife of an alcoholic diplomat in Java, to her calculated and self-fashioned rise to celebrity in France.

“Mata Hari was one of our first feminists,” Coelho said, “defying male expectations of that time and choosing instead an independent, unconventional life. There are lessons we can draw from her life today, where accusations by the powerful still cost the innocent their lives.”
At her death by firing squad – as she stared down her executioners and refused to be blindfolded – Mata Hari famously said, “I am ready.” Coelho says of that moment, “her only crime was to be an independent woman.”
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My Favorite Painters – Magritte

O presente dos insultos

Perto de Tóquio vivia um grande samurai, já idoso, que agora se dedicava a ensinar o zen budismo aos jovens. Apesar de sua idade, corria a lenda que ainda era capaz de derrotar qualquer adversário.

Certa tarde, um guerreiro – conhecido por sua total falta de escrúpulos – apareceu por ali. Era famoso por utilizar a técnica da provocação: esperava que seu adversário fizesse o primeiro movimento e, dotado de uma inteligência privilegiada para reparar os erros cometidos, contra-atacava com velocidade fulminante.

O jovem e impaciente guerreiro jamais havia perdido uma luta. Conhecendo a reputação do samurai, estava ali para derrotá-lo, e aumentar sua fama.

Todos os estudantes se manifestaram contra a ideia, mas o velho aceitou o desafio.

Foram todos para a praça da cidade, e o jovem começou a insultar o velho mestre. Chutou algumas pedras em sua direção, cuspiu em seu rosto, gritou todos os insultos conhecidos – ofendendo inclusive seus ancestrais.

Durante horas fez tudo para provocá-lo, mas o velho permaneceu impassível.

No final da tarde, sentindo-se já exausto e humilhado, o impetuoso guerreiro retirou-se.

Desapontados pelo fato de que o mestre aceitara tantos insultos e provocações, os alunos perguntaram:

“Como o senhor pode suportar tanta indignidade? Por que não usou sua espada, mesmo sabendo que podia perder a luta, ao invés de mostrar-se covarde diante de todos nós?”

“Se alguém chega até você com um presente, e você não o aceita, a quem pertence o presente?”, perguntou o samurai.

“A quem tentou entregá-lo”, respondeu um dos discípulos.

“O mesmo vale para a inveja, a raiva, e os insultos”, disse o mestre. “Quando não são aceitos, continuam pertencendo a quem os carregava consigo”.

Respect for mystery

Paulo Coelho

I had to live for many years before I realized that love is an act of faith in another person, and its face should continue to be wrapped in mystery. It should be lived and relished at each and every minute, but whenever we try to understand it, the magic vanishes.

When I accepted this I also began to let my life be guided by a strange language that I call “signs”. I know that the world is talking to me, I need to listen to it, and if I do so I shall always be guided towards what is most intense, passionate and beautiful. Of course, it is not easy and at times I feel like Psyche at the cliff, cold and terrified, but if I can pass through that night and deliver myself to the mystery and faith in life, I will always end up waking in a palace. All I need is to trust in Love, even though I run the risk of making a mistake.

To conclude the Greek myth: desperate to have her love back, Psyche submits to a series of tasks imposed by Aphrodite (or Venus), the mother of Cupid (or Eros), who is envious of her beauty. One of the tasks is to deliver some of her beauty to Aphrodite. Psyche grows curious about the box that was supposed to contain the Goddess’ beauty and once again is unable to cope with the Mystery, so she decides to open it. Inside she finds not beauty but rather an infernal sleep that leaves her inert and immobile.

Eros/Cupid is also in love, regretful for not having been more tolerant towards his wife. He manages to enter the castle and wake her from her deep sleep with the point of his arrow and once again tells her: “You almost died on account of your curiosity.” That is the great contradiction, Psyche sought for security in knowledge and found only insecurity.

The two of them go to Jupiter, the supreme god, and implore that their union will never be undone. Jupiter passionately pleads the cause of the lovers and succeeds in gaining the support of Venus. From that day onwards, Psyche (the essence of the human being) and Eros (love) are always together. Whoever does not accept this and tries to find an explanation for magical and mysterious human relations will miss the best part of life.

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Emotional independence

“At the beginning of our life and again when we get old, we need the help and affection of others. Unfortunately, between these two periods of our life, when we are strong and able to look after ourselves, we don’t appreciate the value of affection and compassion. As our own life begins and ends with the need for affection, wouldn’t it be better if we gave compassion and love to others while we are strong and capable?”

The above words were said by the present Dalai Lama. Really, it is very curious to see that we are proud of our emotional independence. Evidently, it is not quite like that: we continue needing others our entire life, but it is a “shame” to show that, so we prefer to cry in hiding. And when someone asks us for help, that person is considered weak and incapable of controlling his feelings.

There is an unwritten rule saying that “the world is for the strong”, that “only the fittest survive.” If it were like that, human beings would never have existed, because they are part of a species that needs to be protected for a long period of time (specialists say that we are only capable of surviving on our own after nine years of age, whereas a giraffe takes only six to eight months, and a bee is already independent in less than five minutes).

We are in this world, I, for my part, continue – and will always continue – depending on others. I depend on my wife, my friends and my publishers. I depend even on my enemies, who help me to be always trained in the use of the sword.

Clearly, there are moments when this fire blows in another direction, but I always ask myself: where are the others? Have I isolated myself too much? Like any healthy person, I also need solitude and moments of reflection.

But I cannot get addicted to that.

Emotional independence leads to absolutely nowhere – except to a would-be fortress, whose only and useless objective is to impress others.

Emotional dependence, in its turn, is like a bonfire that we light.

In the beginning, relationships are difficult. In the same way that fire is necessary to put up with the disagreeable smoke – which makes breathing hard, and causes tears to pour down one’s face. However, once the fire is alight, the smoke disappears and the flames light up everything around us – spreading warmth, calm, and possibly making an ember pop out to burn us, but that is what makes a relationship interesting, isn’t that true?

I began this column quoting a Nobel Peace Prize winner about the importance of human relationships. I am ending with Professor Albert Schweitzer, physician and missionary, who received the same Nobel prize in 1952.

“All of us know a disease in Central Africa called sleeping sickness. What we need to know is that there is a similar disease that attacks the soul – and which is very dangerous, because it catches us without being noticed. When you notice the slightest sign of indifference and lack of enthusiasm for your similar, be on the alert!”

“The only way to take precautions against this disease is to understand that the soul suffers, and suffers a lot, when we make it live superficially. The soul likes things that are beautiful and profound”.

Character of the week: Muhammad Ali


to Paulo, from Muhammad Ali

” I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.

Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.

I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.

If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.

It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.

It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.

It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 4, 2016) a former American boxer and three-time World Heavyweight Champion,

China’s last eunuch spills sex secrets

By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING (Reuters) – Only two memories brought tears to Sun Yaoting’s eyes in old age — the day his father cut off his genitals, and the day his family threw away the pickled remains that should have made him a whole man again at death.

China’s last eunuch was tormented and impoverished in youth, punished in revolutionary China for his role as the “Emperor’s slave” but finally feted and valued, largely for outlasting his peers to become a unique relic, a piece of “living history.”

To read the rest of the story, please click here.

El Cuerpo de la Mujer

Captura-de-Tela-2015-05-20-às-21.46.42

No importa cuánto pesa. Es fascinante tocar, abrazar y acariciar el cuerpo de una mujer. Conocer su peso no nos da ninguna emoción.
No tenemos la menor idea de cuál sea su maniquí. No importa cómo se mide en centímetros – es una cuestión de proporciones, no de medidas.

Las proporciones ideales del cuerpo de una mujer son curvilínea, rellenita, femenina. Esa clase de cuerpo que, sin duda, se nota en una fracción de segundo.
No hay belleza más irresistible en una mujer que la feminidad y la dulzura. La elegancia y el buen trato.

Si la naturaleza les dio estas formas curvilíneas, fue por una razón y reitero: ocultar estos aspectos, es como tener el mejor sofá guardado en el sótano.
Y ésta es la ley de la naturaleza; que todo el que se casa con una modelo delgada, anoréxica, bulímica y nerviosa, luego busca una amante rellenita, simpática, tranquila y llena de salud.

Ustedes nunca tendrán un comentario objetivo, de cuán lindas son, dicho por otra mujer. Ninguna mujer va a reconocer en la cara de un hombre, sinceramente, que otra mujer es hermosa.
No pueden pensar, sin parecer psicóticas que pueden entrar el mismo vestido que usaban a los 18 años. Sin embargo, si una mujer de 45 años, entra en la ropa que usaba a los 18, o tiene problemas de desarrollo o se está autodestruyendo.

Viva las mujeres que saben cómo llevar su vida con equilibrio y saben controlar su tendencia natural a las culpas. Es decir, que cuando tienen que comer, comen con voluntad (la dieta vendrá en septiembre, no antes); cuando están a dieta, hacen dieta con voluntad (sin sabotaje y sin sufrimiento); cuando tienen intimidad con su pareja, la tienen con voluntad; cuando se tiene que comprar algo que les gusta, lo compran; cuando tienen que economizar, economizan.

Algunas líneas en la cara, algunas cicatrices en el vientre, algunas estrías; no desvirtúan la belleza. Son testigos de que hicieron algo con sus vidas, que no estuvieron años en “formol” en un spa… ¡Vivieron!

El cuerpo de la mujer es la prueba de que Dios existe. Es el sagrado recinto de la gestación de todos los hombres, donde somos alimentados, y sin querer, las llenamos de estrías, de cesáreas y otras cosas que tienen que pasar para nosotros estar vivos.

La belleza es todo esto.

(traduccion: Karem Molina Escobar)

O Corpo da Mulher

Captura-de-Tela-2015-05-20-às-21.46.42
Não importa o quanto pesa. É fascinante tocar, abraçar e acariciar o corpo de uma mulher. Saber seu peso não nos proporciona nenhuma emoção.

Não temos a menor idéia de qual seja seu manequim. Não nos importa quanto medem em centímetros – é uma questão de proporções, não de medidas.

As proporções ideais do corpo de uma mulher são: curvilíneas, cheinhas, femininas… . Essa classe de corpo que, sem dúvida, se nota numa fração de segundo.
Não há beleza mais irresistível na mulher do que a feminilidade e a doçura. A elegância e o bom trato.

A maquiagem foi inventada para que as mulheres a usem. Usem! Para andar de cara lavada, basta a nossa. Os cabelos, quanto mais tratados, melhor.

As saias foram inventadas para mostrar suas magníficas pernas… Porque razão as cobrem com calças longas? Para que as confundam conosco? Uma onda é uma onda, as cadeiras são cadeiras e pronto. Se a natureza lhes deu estas formas curvilíneas, foi por alguma razão e eu reitero: ocultar essas formas, é como ter o melhor sofá embalado no sótão.

É essa a lei da natureza… que todo aquele que se casa com uma modelo magra, anoréxica, bulêmica e nervosa logo procura uma amante cheinha, simpática, tranqüila e cheia de saúde.

Voces unca terão uma referência objetiva, do quanto são lindas, dita por uma mulher. Nenhuma mulher vai reconhecer jamais, diante de um homem, com sinceridade, que outra mulher é linda.
Não podem pensar, sem ficarem psicóticas que podem entrar no mesmo vestido que usavam aos 18. Entretanto uma mulher de 45, na qual entre na roupa que usou aos 18 anos, ou tem problemas de desenvolvimento ou está se auto-destruindo.

Viva as mulheres que sabem conduzir sua vida com equilíbrio e sabem controlar sua natural tendência a culpas. Ou seja, aquela que quando tem que comer, come com vontade (a dieta virá em setembro, não antes); quando tem que fazer dieta, faz dieta com vontade (sem sabotagem e sem sofrer); quando tem que ter intimidade com o parceiro, tem com vontade; quando tem que comprar algo que goste, compra; quando tem que economizar, economiza.

Algumas linhas no rosto, algumas cicatrizes no ventre, algumas marcas de estrias não lhes tira a beleza. São testemunhas de que fizeram algo em suas vidas, não tiveram anos ‘em formol’ nem em spa… viveram!
O corpo da mulher é a prova de que Deus existe. É o sagrado recinto da gestação de todos os homens, onde foram alimentados, ninados e nós, sem querer, as enchemos de estrias, de cesárias e demais coisas que tiveram que acontecer para estarmos vivos.
A beleza é tudo isto.

The whole in everything

Paulo Coelho
When Ketu turned twelve years old he was sent to a master, with whom he studied until he was twenty-four. Upon finishing his training, he came back home filled with pride.
His father asked him:
“How can we know what we can’t see? How can we know that God the Almighty is everywhere?”
The young man began to recite the sacred scriptures, but his father interrupted him:
“That’s all too complicated. Isn’t there an easier way for us to learn about the existence of God?”
“Not that I know of, my father. Today I am a learned man and I need this knowledge to explain the mysteries of divine wisdom.”
“I have wasted my time and money sending my son to the monastery,” complained the father.
And taking Ketu by the hand, he led him to the kitchen. There he filled a basin with water and poured in a little salt. Then they went for a stroll in the city.
When they came back home, the father told Ketu:
“Bring the salt that I put in the basin.”
Ketu looked for the salt but did not find it because it had already dissolved in the water.
“So you can’t see the salt any more?” asked the father.
“No, the salt’s invisible.”
“Then taste a little of the water that’s on the surface of the basin. How does it taste?”
“Salty.”
“Try a little of the water in the middle: how does it taste?”
“As salty as on the surface.”
“Now taste the water at the bottom of the basin and tell me what it tastes like.”
Ketu tried it and it had the same taste as he had felt before.
“You have studied for many years and can’t explain simply how Invisible God is in all parts,” said the father. “Using a basin of water, and calling God “salt”, I could make any peasant understand that. Please, dear son, forget the wisdom that moves us away from men and look again for the Inspiration that draws us closer.”

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