Archives for November 2017

The beggar and the guru

A baker wanted to get to know a great guru in his town a little better, so he invited him to dinner. The day before, the guru went to the bakery disguised as a beggar, picked a bread roll off the display and began to eat it. The baker saw this and tossed him out into the street.

The following day, the guru and a disciple went to the baker’s house and were treated to a splendid banquet.

In the middle of the meal, the disciple asked, How does one tell a good man from a bad man?

Just look at this baker. He is capable of spending ten gold pieces on a banquet because I am famous, but is incapable of giving a piece of bread to feed a hungry beggar.

Too shy to dance

When I was an adolescent I envied the great ballerinos among the kids on the block, and pretended I had other things to do at parties — like having a conversation. But in fact I was terrified of looking ridiculous, and because of that I would not risk a single step.

Until one day a girl called Marcia called out to me in front of everybody: Come on!

I said I did not like to dance, but she insisted.

Everyone in the group was looking, and because I was in love (love is capable of so many things!), I could refuse no further.

I did not know how to follow the steps, but Marcia did not stop; she went on dancing as if I were a Rudolf Nureyev.

Forget the others and pay attention to the bass, she whispered in my ear. Try to follow its rhythm.

At that moment I understood that we do not always have to learn the most important things; they are already part of our nature.

When we become adults, and when we grow old, we need to go on dancing. The rhythm changes, but music is part of life, and dancing is the consequence of letting this rhythm come inside us.

I still dance whenever I can. With dancing, the spiritual world and the real world manage to co-exist without any conflicts.

Ninja training

The Ninja warriors go to the field where some wheat has just been planted. Obeying the trainer’s command, they jump over the places where the seeds were sown.

Every day the Ninja warriors return to the field. The seeds turn into buds, and the warriors jump over them. The buds turn into small plants, and the warriors jump over them.

They do not become bored. They do not feel it is a waste of time.

The wheat grows, and the jumps become higher and higher. In this way, when the plant is ripe, the Ninja warriors still manage to jump over it.

Why? As a result of their jumping over what many may have seen as insignificant, has allowed them to be keenly aware of their obstacles.

 

(taken from “Manual of the warrior of the light )

20 SEC READ: The Chinese bamboo

After the bamboo seed is planted, you don’t see anything for approximately five years, other than a tiny shoot. All of its growth happens underground; a complex root system that extends vertically and horizontally in the earth begins to form.

At the end of the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo grows until it is approximately 25 meters tall.

Many things in life, personal and professional, are like the Chinese bamboo. You work, invest time, energy, do everything possible to nurture your growth and, sometimes, you don’t see anything for weeks, months or even years. But if you have the patience to keep working, to keep persisting and nurturing, your fifth year will arrive and with it will come changes that you hadn’t even dreamed of.
Remember that one must be very daring to reach great heights, and at the same time, a lot of depth to stay grounded.

Taken from ALEPH

20 SEC READ: Learning to live with some wounds (ENG, PORT,ESPA)

Illustration by Ken Crane
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EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI: Puercoespines
EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI: Os Porcos-Espinhos
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During the Ice Age many animals died because of the cold. Seeing this situation, the porcupines decided to group together, so they wrapped up well and protected one another.

But they hurt one another with their thorns, and so then they decided to stay apart from one another.

They started to freeze to death again.
So they had to make a choice: either they vanished from the face of the earth or they accepted their neighbor’s thorns.

They wisely decided to stay together again. They learned to live with the small wounds that a very close relationship could cause, because the most important thing was the warmth given by the other.

And in the end they survived.

Destroying and rebuilding

I am invited to go to Guncan-Gima, the site of a Zen Buddhist temple. When I get there, I am surprised to see that the extraordinarily beautiful building, which is situated in the middle of a vast forest, is right next to a huge piece of waste ground.
 
I ask what the waste ground is for and the man in charge explains (I can’t verify if it is true, but it must be):
 
‘That is where we will build the next temple.
‘Every twenty years, we destroy the temple you see before you now and rebuild it again on the site next to it.
‘This means that the monks who have trained as carpenters, stonemasons and architects are always using their practical skills and passing them on to their apprentices.
‘ It also shows them that nothing in this life is eternal and that even temples are in need of constant improvement.’
 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

 

The Worst Reviews of Classic Books

selected from a post By Bill Henderson, Publishers Weekly

“The final blow-up of what was once a remarkable, if minor, talent.”
-The New Yorker, 1936, on Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

“Whitman is as unacquainted with art as a hog is with mathematics.”
-The London Critic, 1855, on Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

“That this book is strong and that Miss Chopin has a keen knowledge of certain phrases of the feminine will not be denied. But it was not necessary for a writer of so great refinement and poetic grace to enter the overworked field of sex fiction.”
-Chicago Times Herald, 1899, on The Awakening by Kate Chopin

“What has never been alive cannot very well go on living. So this is a book of the season only…”
-New York Herald Tribune, 1925, on The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Here all the faults of Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Brontí«) are magnified a thousand fold, and the only consolation which we have in reflecting upon it is that it will never be generally read.”
-James Lorimer, North British Review, 1847, on Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontí«

“That a book like this could be written–published here–sold, presumably over the counters, leaves one questioning the ethical and moral standards…there is a place for the exploration of abnormalities that does not lie in the public domain. Any librarian surely will question this for anything but the closed shelves. Any bookseller should be very sure that he knows in advance that he is selling very literate pornography.” –
Kirkus Reviews, 1958, on Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

“Her work is poetry; it must be judged as poetry, and all the weaknesses of poetry are inherent in it.”
-New York Evening Post, 1927, on To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

“An oxymoronic combination of the tough and tender, Of Mice and Men will appeal to sentimental cynics, cynical sentimentalists…Readers less easily thrown off their trolley will still prefer Hans Andersen.”
-Time, 1937, on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

“Its ethics are frankly pagan.”
-The Independent, 1935, on Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

“At a conservative estimate, one million dollars will be spent by American readers for this book. They will get for their money 34 pages of permanent value. These 34 pages tell of a massacre happening in a little Spanish town in the early days of the Civil War…Mr. Hemingway: please publish the massacre scene separately, and then forget For Whom the Bell Tolls; please leave stories of the Spanish Civil War to Malraux…”
-Commonweal, 1940, on For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

“Monsieur Flaubert is not a writer.”
-Le Figaro, 1857, on Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

10 second reading: the wrong gift

A friend of mine, Miie T. decided to abandon everything she knew “” she was an economist “” in order to dedicate herself to painting.

For years she sought an adequate master until she met a woman who lived in Tibet and specialized in miniatures.
Miie left Japan and went to the Tibetan mountains and moved in with the teacher, who was extremely poor, to learn what she needed to learn.

At the end of the first year, Miie returned to Japan for a couple of days and returned to Tibet with suitcases filled with gifts.
When her teacher saw what she had brought, she began to cry and asked Miie not to come back to her home, saying,

“Before your trip, our relation was of equality and love. You had a roof, food and paints.
“Now, as you brought me these gifts, you have established a social difference between us.
“If this difference exists, there can’t be comprehension and surrendering.”