The importance of the eyes

Paulo Coelho

 

“I sell churches.”

I stood astonished as he continued:

“I am employed by the Vatican to select buyers, since there are more churches than churchgoers in Holland. And since we have had awful experiences in the past, seeing sacred places turned into nightclubs, condominiums, boutiques and even sex shops, we changed our sales system. The project has to be approved by the community and the buyer must say what he is going to do with the property: as a rule we accept only proposals that include a cultural center, a charity institution or a museum.

“So what does that have to do with your talk, and the others that I am trying to organize? People are no longer meeting one another. When they do not meet, they do not grow.”

He looked me straight in the eye and concluded:

“Meetings. That was precisely my mistake with you. Instead of sending a bunch of e-mails, I should have shown right away that I was made of flesh and blood. When I failed to get an answer from a politician, I went and knocked on his office door and he told me:

“If you want something, first of all you have to show your eyes.” That’s what I have done ever since then and I have had nothing but good results. We can have all the available means of communication in the world, but nothing, absolutely nothing takes the place of the human look.”

Of course, I finally accepted his proposal.

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Lessons from Yabut

Apprentice Asia’s Jonathan Yabut made a list of issues that he considers relevant to win any contest.
Although I am far from being a fan of this type of TV program, I liked some points of Yabut’s list. See below

1. It pays to be prepared
2. Honesty is truly the best policy
3. Think big picture
4. Find “” and firm up “” your strengths
5. Appreciate the beauty of strategy
6. Choose
7. Look ahead
8. Value your beginnings, all the way to the end
9. The universe can be your ally
10. Become your favorite movie, in a good way

to read the full post, click here

Accepting the fight

If someone confronts you over ideas or ideals, step up and accept the fight, because conflict is present in every moment of our lives and sometimes it needs to show itself in the broad light of day.

But do not fight in order to prove that you are right or to impose your ideas or ideals on someone else.
Only accept the fight as a way of keeping your spirit clean and your will spotless. When the fight is over, both sides will emerge as winners, because they tested their limitations and their abilities.

Since both respect the courage and determination of the other, the time will come when they will once again walk along hand-in-hand, even if they have to wait a thousand years for that to happen.

Meanwhile, if someone merely wishes to provoke you, shake the dust from your feet and carry on. Only fight with a worthy opponent, and not with someone who uses trickery to prolong a war that is already over, as happens with all wars.

Such cruelty does not come from the warriors who meet on the battlefield and know what they are doing there, but from those who manipulate victory and defeat for their own ends.

The enemy is not the person standing before you, sword in hand. It is the person standing next to you with a dagger concealed behind his back.

The most important of wars is not waged with a lofty spirit and with your soul accepting its fate.

It is the war that is going on now as we are speaking and whose battlefield is the Spirit, where Good and Evil, Courage and Cowardice, Love and Fear face each other.

taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

HIPPIE – first chapter

RELEASE DATES: http://bit.ly/2KthAfg

In September 1970, two sites squared off for the title of the center of the world: Piccadilly Circus, in London, and Dam Square, in Amsterdam. But not everyone knew this: if you asked most people, they’d have told you: “The White House, in the US, and the Kremlin in the USSR.” These people tended to get their information from newspapers, television, radio, media that were already entirely outdated and that would never regain the relevance they had when first invented.

In September 1970, airplane tickets were outrageously expensive, which meant only the rich could travel. OK, that wasn’t entirely true for an enormous number of young people whom these outdated media outlets could see only for their outward appearance: they wore their hair long, dressed in bright-colored clothing never took a bath (which was a lie, but these young kids didn’t read the newspaper, and the older generation believed any news item that served to denigrate those they considered “a danger to society and common decency”). They were a danger to an entire generation of diligent young boys and girls trying to succeed in life, with their horrible example of lewdness and “free love,” as their detractors liked to say with disdain. Well, this ever-growing number of kids had a system for spreading news that no one, absolutely no one, ever managed to detect.

The “Invisible Post” couldn’t be bothered to discuss the latest Volkswagen or the new powdered soaps that had just been launched around the globe. It limited its news to the next great trail awaiting explorationby those insolent, dirty kids practicing “free love” and wearing clothes no one with any taste would ever put on. The girls with their braided hair covered in flowers, their long dresses, bright-colored shirts and no bras, necklaces of all shapes and sizes; the boys  with their hair and beards that hadn’t been cut for months. They wore faded jeans with tears from overuse because jeans were expensive everywhere in the world—except for the US, where they’d emerged from the ghetto of factory workers and were worn at all the major open-air shows in and around San Francisco.

The “Invisible Post” existed because people were always going to these concerts, swapping ideas about where they ought to meet next, how they could explore the world without jumping aboard one of those tourist buses where a guide described the sights while the younger people grew bored and the old people dozed. And so, thanks to word of mouth, everyone knew where the next concert was to take place or where to find the next great trail to be explored. No one had any financial restrictions because, in this community, everyone’s favorite author wasn’t Plato or Aristotle ; the big book, which almost no one who traveled to the Old Continent did so without, went by the name Europe on 5 Dollars a Day. With this book, everyone could find out where to stay, what to see, where to eat, where to meet, and where to catch live music while hardly spending a thing.

Frommer’s only error at the time was having limited his guide to Europe. Were there not perhaps other interesting places to see? Weren’t there those who would rather go to India than to Paris? Frommer would address this failing a few years later, but until such time the “Invisible Post” took it upon itself to promote a South American itinerary ending at the once-“lost” city of Machu Picchu, with the warning not to mention anything to those who were outside of the hippie culture, lest the place be invaded by wild animals with cameras and extensive explanations (quickly forgotten) about how a band of Indians had created a city so well concealed it could be discovered only from above—something they considered impossible, since men did not fly.

Let’s be fair: there was a second enormous bestseller, though not as popular as Frommer’s book, which appealed more to those who had already flirted with socialism, Marxism, and anarchy; each of these phases always ended in deep disillusionment with the system invented by those who professed that “it was inevitable that the workers of the world would seize power.” Or that “religion is the opium of the masses,” which only proved that whoever uttered such a stupid statement understood little about the masses and even less about opium: among the things these poorly dressed kids believed in were God, gods, goddesses, angels, that sort of thing. The only problem is that the book, The Morning of the Magicians, written by the Frenchman Louis Pauwels and the Russian Jacques Bergier—mathematician, ex-spy, tireless student of the occult— said exactly the opposite of political manuals: the world is made up of the most interesting things. There were alchemists, wizards, Cathars, Templars, and other words that meant it never had much success in the bookstores. A single copy was read by—at a minimum—ten people, given its exorbitant price. Anyway, Machu Picchu was in this book, and everyone wanted to go there, to Peru, and that’s where you could find young people from all over the world (well, all over the world is a bit of an exaggeration, because those who lived in the Eastern Bloc didn’t have the easiest time leaving their respective countries.)

 

 

 

Anyway, getting back to our story: young people from all corners of the globe who had managed at least one priceless good known as a “passport” met up on the so-called hippie trails. No one knew exactly what the word “hippie” meant, and it didn’t much matter. Perhaps it meant “a large tribe without a leader” or “delinquents who don’t steal,” or all the other descriptions we already covered earlier in this chapter.

Passports, these tiny little books issued by governments and placed along with cash (a lot or little, it doesn’t really matter) inside a belt worn around the waist, served two purposes. The first, as we all know, was for crossing borders—as long as the border guards didn’t get caught up in the news reports and decide to send someone back because they weren’t accustomed to those clothes and that hair, or those flowers and those necklaces and those beads and those smiles belonging to people who seemed to live in a constant state of ecstasy—a state normally, though often unjustly, attributed to diabolical drugs that, according to the press, these young people consumed in ever greater quantities.

A passport’s second purpose was to get its owner out of extreme situations where they’d run out of money and had nowhere to appeal for help. In such cases, the “Invisible Post” always provided much-needed information regarding locations where a passport might be sold. The price varied according to the country: a passport from Sweden, where everyone was blond, tall, and blue-eyed, wasn’t worth much, since it could be resold only to those who were blond, tall, and blue-eyed, and so these were never the most sought-after. But a Brazilian passport was worth a fortune on the black market—the country was home not only to the blond, tall, and blue-eyed, but also to those who were tall and short, black people with dark eyes, Asians with narrow eyes, others of mixed race, Indians, Arabs, Jews; in other words, an enormous cultural melting pot that made a Brazilian passport one of the most coveted on the planet.

Once he’d sold this passport, the original owner would go to his country’s consulate and, feigning horror and distress, explain that he’d been mugged and everything taken—he was completely out of money and had no passport. The consulates of wealthier countries would furnish a new passport and a free flight back to a traveler’s country of origin, an offer immediately declined under the allegation that “somebody owes me a hefty sum, I need to get what’s mine before I go.” The poorer countries, often governed by harsh regimes in the hands of generals, would conduct a veritable interrogation to determine whether the applicant wasn’t on a list of “terrorists” wanted for subversion. Once they’d verified that the young woman (or man) had a clean record, these countries were bound, against their will, to issue the new document. And they never offered a return flight, because they had no interest in having such derelicts influence generations that had been raised to respect God, family, and property.

 

 

 

Returning to the trails: after Machu Picchu, the next hot spot was Tiahuanaco, in Bolivia. Then Lhasa, in Tibet, where it was difficult to enter because, according to the “Invisible Post,” there was a war between monks and Chinese soldiers. Of course it was difficult to imagine such a war, but everyone took it seriously and wasn’t about to risk an endless trip to later end up a prisoner to the monks or the soldiers. Last the era’s great philosophers, who had just split up in April of that year, had a short time before proclaimed that the greatest wisdom on the planet was to be found in India. That was enough to send all the world’s young people to the country in search of wisdom, knowledge, gurus, vows of poverty, enlightenment, and communion with My Sweet Lord.

The “Invisible Post,however, warned that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, famed guru to the Beatles, had tried to engage in sexual relations with Mia Farrow. The actress had always been unhappy in love through the years.  She had traveled to India at the invitation of the Beatles,possibly in the hope of finding a cure for other traumas related to her sexuality, which seemed to hound her like bad karma.

But everything suggests that Farrow’s bad karma had accompanied her, John, Paul, George, and Ringo on their trip. She was meditating in the great seer’s cave when he grabbed her and tried to force her into sexual relations. By this point in the trip, Ringo had already returned to England because his wife hated Indian food and Paul had also decided to abandon the retreat, convinced that it wasn’t doing anything for him.

Only George and John remained in the Maharishi’s temple when Mia came looking for them, in tears, and told them what had happened. The two immediately packed their bags, and when the Enlightened One came to ask what was going on, Lennon gave him a bruising response:

“You’re the fucking Enlightened One, are you not? You ought to be able to figure it out.”

 

 

Now, in September 1970, women ruled the world—or, more precisely, young hippie women ruled the world. Wherever they went, the men did so knowing these women weren’t about to be seduced by the latest trends—the women knew much more about the subject than the men did. And so the men decided to accept once and for all that they needed these women;they constantly wore an expression of yearning, as though begging, “Please protect me, I’m all alone and I can’t find anyone, I think the world’s forgotten me and love has forsaken me forever.” The women had their pick of men and never gave a thought to marriage, only to having a good time enjoying company and wild, intense sex. When it came to the important things, and even the most superficial and irrelevant, they had the last word. However, when the “Invisible Post” brought news of Mia Farrow’s sexual assault and Lennon’s reaction, these women immediately decided to change their itineraries.

A new hippie trail was created, from Amsterdam to Kathmandu, on a bus that charged a fare of approximately a hundred dollars and traveled through countries that must have been pretty interesting: Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and part of India (a great distance from the Maharishi’s temple, it’s worth noting). The trip lasted three weeks and an insane number of miles.

******

 

Karla was seated in Dam Square, asking herself when the guy who ought to accompany her on this magical adventure (in her mind, of course) would show up. She’d left a job behind in Rotterdam, just an hour’s train ride away, but since she needed to save every last cent, she’d hitched a ride and the trip had taken almost a day. She had found out about the bus trip to Nepal in one of a dozen alternative newspapers published with the sweat, love, and effort of people who felt they had something to say to the world and subsequently sold for a nominal price.

_______________________________

RELEASE DATES: http://bit.ly/2KthAfg

 

Vacations

Love cannot be desired because it is an end in itself.
It cannot betray because it has nothing to do with possession.
It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks.

#HIPPIE (already in Portugues, Français, Turkish, Greek, Italiano. Worldwide >>> http://bit.ly/2KthAfg

Getting ready for the release of my new book all over the world! So it is time to relax a bit, watch the World Cup and wonder around beautiful fields

Begona Miguel of the Huelgas Monastery says: “San Juan de La Cruz teaches us that silence has its own music; it is silence that enables us to see ourselves and the things around us.

“I would like to add that there are words that can only be said in silence, odd as that may seem. To compose their symphonies, the great geniuses needed silence – and they managed to transform this into divine sounds. Philosophers and scientists need silence.”

“In the monastery, at night we practice what we call the ‘Great Silence’. In the absence of talk we can understand what lies beyond.”

Therefore, it is time for me to enjoy the silence. This blog takes a vacation, returning by the end of August.

You are always welcome to browse the ARCHIVES below

Enjoy your summer.
Love
Paulo

4 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure

by Grace Gordon, Huffington Post


1. Accept that failure is a reality.

Let’s be real here. No matter how much you learn and move forward from a failure in life, the fact of the matter is that failure does happen – even to the best of us. But you know what? Who cares! I’ve personally found that as soon as you accept failure as a reality, it won’t be this big, frightening thing that you once thought it was. You’d be surprised at how much freedom that gives you to move forward, try new things, and experience successes you might not have otherwise.

2.Remember past failures.
No really – think about the last failure you had in life. Did your world come crashing down around you? Even if it did (it has for me), chances are you’ve moved on, gotten past it, and have become stronger and wiser because of it. So the next time you find yourself not taking a certain chance or being crippled by the fear of failure, remember that you’ve overcome failure before…and you will again.

3.Listen to other people’s stories.
Something that has always encouraged me when it comes to taking risks despite the threat of failure is learning the stories of people who have achieved great things, or at least have gone through similar situations. Some of the biggest innovators and most successful people will admit to having gone through multiple failures before arriving to where they are now. The reason why brings me to my last point…

4.Learn, reflect, and learn some more.
You can study and memorize facts all day long, but there’s nothing that compares to the learning that comes from personal experience. Like I said before, failure is just a part of life – the key is how you deal with it. Not only is overcoming failure a huge step in building character, but reflecting on how and why the failure took place is what will set you up for success moving forward.

Thank you, Satyam Vaidya

“When you want something from all your heart, all the universe will conspire in helping you to achieve it.” — The Alchemist
We all have heard this quote in different ways, and got motivation by these golden words. Today I’m going to talk about the man who inspired billions of people and made them believe that everyone must have a dream and courage of taking steps to make them real.
Paulo Coelho is the Guinness world record for most translated book by a living author. His masterpiece ‘The Alchemist’ has been translated in 81 languages.
Born in Brazil as a teenager Coelho wanted to become a writer. His father was an engineer and very practical toward life, so he didn’t understood Coelho’s passion. When his father realized that he can’t manipulate Paulo, he sent him to mental institution at the age of 17. There he tried his escape for three times but couldn’t made it. At the age of 20 finally he was free.
After that he joined law school and abandoned his idea of becoming a writer. But soon after a year he dropped out and started life as nomads, traveling through South America, North America, Mexico and Europe where he started using drugs.
After his return to Brazil he started his career as lyricist. At that time he was got arrested by the ruling military government for his lyrics as they found them leftist and dangerous.
After all of these in 1986 Coelho walked a long Road to Santiago which he calls his time of spiritual awakening, and he have described it in his book The Pilgrimage. It was the turning point in his life which gave a very unique concept toward living a life.
“I was happy in doing the things I was doing. I was doing something that gave me food and water for The Alchemist.”–Paulo Coelho
In 1987 he The Alchemist was published with only 900 copies. But as soon his novel Brida with bigger publication The Alchemist went off in 1994.
The Alchemist has gone on to sell over 83 million copies and became one of the best-selling books of the history.
From a mental institution to nomad and drug addict and then the pilgrim of Road to Santiago de Compostela and now the living legend Coelho teaches us the large number of lessons through his life.
He found a unique concept of spirituality for everyone who is in the language of the world of heaven passing through our ears, and that language is love, humanity and never giving up on our dreams.
Thank you much dear Paulo Coelho for showing us true meaning of life.

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.”

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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Master, who was your master?

One of the great Sufi Masters, Junaid, was asked this when he was dying. His chief disciple came close to him and asked, ?Master, you are leaving us. One question has always been in our minds but

we could never gather courage enough to ask you. Who was your Master? This has been a great curiosity among your disciples because we have never heard you talk about your Master.?

Junaid opened his eyes and said, ?It will be very difficult for me to answer because I have learned from almost everybody. The whole existence has been my Master. I have learned from every event that has happened in my life. And I am grateful to all that has happened, because out of all that learning I have arrived.?
Junaid said, ?Just to satisfy your curiosity I will give you three instances.”
Dog and the Begging Bowl
 
 “Once, I was very thirsty and I was going towards the river carrying my begging bowl, the only possession I had. When I reached the river a dog rushed, jumped into the river, started drinking.
I watched for a moment and threw away my begging bowl, because it is useless. A dog can do without it. I also jumped into the river, drank as much water as I wanted. My whole body was cool because I had jumped into the river. I sat in the river for a few moments, thanked the dog, touched his feet with deep reverence because he had taught me a lesson.
I had dropped everything, all possessions, but there was a certain clinging to my begging bowl. It was a beautiful bowl, very beautifully carved, and I was always aware that somebody might steal it. Even in the night I used to put it under my head as a pillow so nobody could snatch it away. That was my last clinging-the dog helped. It was so clear: if a dog can manage without a begging bowl, I am a man, why can?t I manage? That dog was one of my Masters.”
The Patient Thief
?Secondly,? he continued, ?I lost my way in a forest and by the time I reached the nearest village that I could find, it was midnight. Everybody was fast asleep. I wandered all over the town to see if I could find somebody awake to give me shelter for the night, until finally I found one man. I asked him, ?It seems only two persons are awake in the town, you and I. Can you give me shelter for the night??
?The man said, ?I can see from your gown that you are a Sufi monk….??
The word Sufi comes from the word ‘suf’ which means wool, a woolen garment. The Sufis have used the woolen garment for centuries; hence they are called Sufis because of their garment. The man said, ?I can see you are a Sufi and I feel a little embarrassed to take you to my home. I am perfectly willing, but I must tell you who I am. I am a thief. Would you like to be a guest of a thief??
For a moment, I hesitated. The thief said, ?Look, it is better I told you. You seem hesitant. The thief is willing but the mystic seems to be hesitant to enter into the house of a thief, as if the mystic is weaker than the thief. In fact, I should be afraid of you. You may change me, You may transform my whole life! Inviting you means danger, but I am not afraid. You are welcome. Come to my home. Eat, drink, go to sleep, and stay as long as you want, because I live alone and my earning is enough. I can manage for two persons. And it will be really beautiful to chit-chat with you of great things. But you seem to be hesitant.?
And then I became aware that it was true. He asked to be forgiven. He touched the feet of the thief and he said, ?Yes, my rootedness in my own being is yet very weak. You are really a strong man and I would like to come to your home. And I would like to stay a little longer, not only for this night. I want to be stronger myself!?
The thief said, ?Come on!? He fed the Sufi, gave him something to drink, helped him to prepare for sleep and he said, ?Now I will go. I have to do my own thing. I will come back early in the morning.? Early in the morning the thief came back. Junnaid asked, ?Have you been successful??
The thief said, ?No, not today, but I will see tomorrow.?
And this happened continuously, for thirty days: every night the thief went out, and every morning he came back empty-handed. But he was never sad, never frustrated–no sign of failure on his face, always happy –and he would say, ?It doesn?t matter. I tried my best. I could not find anything today again, but tomorrow I will try. And, God willing, it can happen tomorrow if it has not happened today.?
After one month I left, and for years I tried to realize the ultimate, and it was always a failure. But each time I decided to drop the whole project I remembered the thief, his smiling face and his saying ?God willing, what has not happened today may happen tomorrow.?
Junnaid said, ?I remembered the thief as one of my greatest Masters. Without him I would not be what I am.
The Lit Candle
?And third,? he said, ?I entered into a small village. A little boy was carrying a lit candle, obviously going to the small temple of the town to put the candle there for the night.?
And Junaid asked, ?Can you tell me from where the light comes? You have lighted the candle yourself so you must have seen. What is the source of light??
The boy laughed and he said, ?Wait!? And he blew out the candle in front of Junaid. And he said, ?You have seen the light go. Can you tell me where it has gone? If you can tell me where it has gone I will tell you from where it has come, because it has gone to the same place. It has returned to the source.?
And Junaid said, ?I had met great philosophers but nobody had made such a beautiful statement: ?It has gone to its very source.? Everything returns to its source finally. Moreover, the child made me aware of my own ignorance. I was trying to joke with the child, but the joke was on me. He showed me that asking foolish questions ?From where has the light come?? is not intelligent. It comes from nowhere, from nothingness, and it goes back to nowhere, to nothingness.?
Junaid said, ?I touched the feet of the child. The child was puzzled. He said, ?Why you are touching my feet?? And I told him, ?You are my Master–you have shown me something. You have given me a great lesson, a great insight.?
?Since that time,? Junnaid said, ?I have been meditating on nothingness and slowly, slowly I have entered into nothingness. And now the final moment has come when the candle will go out, the light will go out. And I know where I am going to the same source. I remember that child with gratefulness. I can still see him standing before me, blowing out the candle.?
No situation is without a lesson, no situation at all.

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.”

 

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The five regrets before dying


(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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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.

________________
in in WARRIOR OF THE LIGHT: A MANUAL

20 SEC READING: The window and the mirror

A very rich young man went to see a Rabbi in order to ask his advice about what he should do with his life. The Rabbi led him over to the window and asked him:

‘What can you see through the glass?’

‘I can see men coming and going and a blind man begging for alms in the street.’

Then the Rabbi showed him a large mirror and said to him:

‘Look in this mirror and tell me what you see.’

‘I can see myself.’

‘And you can’t see the others. Notice that the window and the mirror are both made of the same basic material, glass.

‘You should compare yourself to these two kinds of glass. Poor, you saw other people and felt compassion for them.
‘Rich – covered in silver – you see yourself.

‘You will only be worth anything when you have the courage to tear away the coating of silver covering your eyes in order to be able to see again and love your fellow man.’

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.

 

 

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Taking the decision to follow the light

Paulo Coelho

The Warrior of the light had begun to believe that it is better to follow the light. He had already betrayed, told lies, strayed off his path, paid court to the darkness. And everything continued going well – as if nothing had happened. Now he wants to change his attitudes.

When taking this decision, he hears four comments: “You always acted wrongly. You are too old to change. You are not good. You don’t deserve it”.

He looks towards heaven, and a voice says: “well, my dear, everyone has made mistakes. You are forgiven, but I can’t force this pardon. Decide for yourself”.

The true warrior of the light accepts the pardon and then takes some precautions.

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Between faith and prayer

‘Is there anything more important than prayer?’ a disciple asked his teacher.

The teacher told the disciple to go to a nearby tree and cut off a branch. The disciple obeyed.

‘Is the tree still alive?’ asked the teacher.

‘As alive as it was before.’

‘Then go over there and slice through its roots.’

‘If I do that, the tree will die.’

‘Prayers are the branches of a tree whose roots are called Faith,’ said the teacher. ‘Faith can exist without prayer, but prayer cannot exist without faith.’

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Association of the Week: The Triangle

The triangle is one of the most elementary symbolic figures due to its geometric aspect: it’s basically the simplest way of linking three points in space with straight lines.

Yet not all triangles have the same meaning. In excavations made near to Lepenski Vir in the Danube, there was found many blocs of stones shaped like triangles and inscriptions in bones also with triangular shapes. These vestiges date from the Stone Age and are mainly composed of inverted triangles which most probably refer to the feminine sex.

In more recent times, including in Alchemic texts, the inverted triangle would symbolize water (reproducing in a geometric fashion the shape of a drop) whilst the triangle with its point up would refer to the masculine element of fire.

In the system drawn from Pythagoras (Born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC), the delta letter symbolized the cosmic birth, whilst for Hindus the same letter would represent the goddess Durga – source of life and incarnation of femininity.

In the Christian era, the triangle was increasingly used as a symbol of the Trinity and later on, during the Baroque period, God’s eye was incrusted at its center. Such a vision can also be found in the Zohar: “God’s eyes and foreheads form in the sky a triangle and they reflect mutually in water in the shape of a triangle.”

Now you take the floor: what do you associate with the triangle?

89 quotes

 

1. “Never explain. Your friends won’t need it. And haters will continue to hate (because they also hate themselves).” – Paulo Coelho

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

3. “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coelho

4. “Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.” – Paulo Coelho

5. “The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes.” – Paulo Coelho

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

7. “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho

8. “When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho

9. “Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

10. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

11. “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” – Paulo Coelho

12. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” – Paulo Coelho

13. “The more in harmony with yourself you are, the more joyful you are and the more faithful you are. Faith is not to disconnect you from reality – it connects you to reality.” – Paulo Coelho

14. “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.” – Paulo Coelho

15. “The two worst strategic mistakes to make are acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip; to avoid this, the warrior treats each situation as if it were unique and never resorts to formulae, recipes or other people’s opinions.” – Paulo Coelho

16. “You’re always learning. The problem is, sometimes you stop and think you understand the world. This is not correct. The world is always moving. You never reach the point you can stop making an effort.” – Paulo Coelho

17. “I’m not saying that love always takes you to heaven. Your life can become a nightmare. But that said, it is worth taking the risk.” – Paulo Coelho

18. “If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.” – Paulo Coelho

19. “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

20. “Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.” – Paulo Coelho

21. “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” – Paulo Coelho

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

23. “The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.” – Paulo Coelho

24. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho

25. “Don’t waste your time with explanations, people only hear what they want to hear.” – Paulo Coelho

26. “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” – Paulo Coelho

27. “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.” – Paulo Coelho

28. “People are capable at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” – Paulo Coelho

29. “Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” – Paulo Coelho

30. “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” – Paulo Coelho

31. “The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” – Paulo Coelho

32. “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.” – Paulo Coelho

33. “I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.” – Paulo Coelho

34. “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” – Paulo Coelho

35. “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.” – Paulo Coelho

36. “Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” – Paulo Coelho

37. “People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” – Paulo Coelho

38. “You are what you believe yourself to be.” – Paulo Coelho

39. “What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” – Paulo Coelho

40. “When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.” – Paulo Coelho

41. “Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.” – Paulo Coelho

42. “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.” – Paulo Coelho

43. “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.” – Paulo Coelho

44. “I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.” – Paulo Coelho

45. “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho

46. “All you have to do is pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready.” – Paulo Coelho

47. “Live truly and forgive quickly.” – Paulo Coelho

48. “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say.” – Paulo Coelho

49. “Happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided.” – Paulo Coelho

50. “Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.” – Paulo Coelho

51. “Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.” – Paulo Coelho

52. “Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily.” – Paulo Coelho

53. “Miracles only happen if you believe in miracles.” – Paulo Coelho

54. “Fortunate are those who take the first steps.” – Paulo Coelho

55. “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.” – Paulo Coelho

56. “A life without cause is a life without effect.” – Paulo Coelho

57. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: it is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

58. “Close some doors today, not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.” – Paulo Coelho

59. “Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment help us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments — but all of this is transitory it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.” – Paulo Coelho

60. “Talent is a universal gift, but it takes a lot of courage to use it. Don’t be afraid to be the best.” – Paulo Coelho

61. “Never give up. When your heart becomes tired, just walk with your legs – but move on.” – Paulo Coelho

62. “You must always know what it is that you want.” – Paulo Coelho

63. “It is possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experiencing it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.” – Paulo Coelho

64. “You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.” – Paulo Coelho

65. “The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.” – Paulo Coelho

66. “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.” – Paulo Coelho

67. “People are never satisfied. If they have a little, they want more. If they have a lot, they want still more. Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.” – Paulo Coelho

68. “Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.” – Paulo Coelho

69. “There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” – Paulo Coelho

70. “What hurts us is what heals us.” – Paulo Coelho

71. “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paulo Coelho

72. “Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.” – Paulo Coelho

73. “Sometimes, we are so attached to our way of life that we turn down wonderful opportunities simply because don’t know what to do with it.” – Paulo Coelho

74. “Be crazy! But learn how to be crazy without being the center of attention. Be brave enough to live different.” – Paulo Coelho

75. “People learn twenty-five percent from their teacher, twenty-five percent from listening to themselves, twenty-five percent from their friends, and twenty-five percent from time.” – Paulo Coelho

76. “Haters are confused admirers who can’t understand why everybody else likes you.” – Paulo Coelho

77. “Go for the impossible. I always tried to find my own limits. So far I did not find them, so my universe is in constant expansion.” – Paulo Coelho

78. “Timidity puts obstacles in your path, boldness eliminates them.” – Paulo Coelho

79. “‘Someday’, ‘maybe’ and ‘if’ are very dangerous words that must be avoided.” – Paulo Coelho

80. “Don’t listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.” – Paulo Coelho

81. “All battles in life serve to teach us something, even the battles we lose.” – Paulo Coelho

82. “Stop thinking all the time that you’re in the way, that you’re bothering the person next to you. If people don’t like it, they can complain. And if they don’t have courage to complain, that’s their problem.” – Paulo Coelho

83. “Those who never take risks can only see other people’s failures.” – Paulo Coelho

84. “The most important experiences we can have are those that take us to the very limit. That is the only way we learn, because it requires all our courage.” – Paulo Coelho

85. “The world lies in the hands of those who have the courage to dream and who take the risk of living out their dreams – each according to his or her own talent.” – Paulo Coelho

86. “It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” – Paulo Coelho

87. “Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been; it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.” – Paulo Coelho

88. “It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.” – Paulo Coelho

89. “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho