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.

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.

The 3 symptoms of killing our dreams

ESPANOL: Matando los suenos
PORTUGUES: Matando os sonhos

The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the Good Fight.

The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those who are engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the Good Fight.

And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state, we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams – we have refused to fight the Good Fight.

When we renounce our dreams and find peace, we go through a short period of tranquility. But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being.
We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. That’s when illnesses and psychoses arise. What we sought to avoid in combat – disappointment and defeat – come upon us because of our cowardice.

And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breathe, and we actually seek death. It’s death that frees us from our certainties, from our work, and from that terrible peace of our Sunday afternoon

taken from THE PILGRIMAGE

 

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: How to live with some wounds (ENG, PORT,ESPA)

EN ESPANOL: Puercoespines
EM PORTUGUES: Os Porcos-Espinhos


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.

 

(taken from “Like a Flowing River”)

Character of the week: Teilhard de Chardin

Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed. The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one’s self to others.

He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend must have a long head or a very short creed.
Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.

In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.

It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist.

Love alone can unite living beings so as to complete and fulfill them… for it alone joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth.

Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.
Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world… Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955) was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, a paleontologist and geologist

Memories and salt

I arrive in Madrid at eight o’clock in the morning. I will only be here a few hours, so it’s not worth phoning friends and arranging to see them. I decide to go for a walk alone in my favourite places, and I end up sitting smoking a cigarette on a bench in the Retiro Park.

‘You look miles away,’ says an old man, joining me on the bench.

‘Oh, I’m here,’ I say, ‘but I’m sitting on this same bench with a painter friend of mine, Anastasio Ranchal, 24 years ago in 1986. We are both watching my wife, Christina, who has had a bit too much to drink and is trying to dance the flamenco.’

‘Enjoy your memories,’ says the old man.

‘But don’t forget that memory is like salt: the right amount brings out the flavour in food, too much ruins it. If you live in the past all the time, you’ll find yourself with no present to remember.’

Defeat

Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold? The tree says to the leaf: ‘That’s the cycle of life. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. It’s thanks to you that I’m alive, because I can breathe. It’s also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap, we are one thing.’

Does a man who spent years preparing to climb the highest mountain in the world feel defeated on reaching that mountain and discovering that nature has cloaked the summit in storm clouds? The man says to the mountain: ‘You don’t want me this time, but the weather will change and, one day, I will make it to the top. Meanwhile, you’ll still be here waiting for me.’

Does a young man, rejected by his first love, declare that love does not exist? The young man says to himself: ‘I’ll find someone better able to understand what I feel. And then I will be happy for the rest of my days.’

Losing a battle or losing everything we thought we possessed will bring us moments of sadness, but when those moments pass, we will discover the hidden strength that exists in each of us, a strength that will surprise us and increase our self-respect.

Wait patiently for the right moment to act. Do not let the next opportunity slip.

Take pride in your scars. Scars are medals branded on the flesh, and your enemies will be frightened by them because they are proof of your long experience of battle. Often this will lead them to seek dialogue and avoid conflict. Scars speak more loudly than the sword that caused them.

 

taken from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

1 MIN reading: the child within us

We must listen to the child that we once were, and who still lives within us.

This child understands about magic instants.

We can muffle his sobbing, but we can’t hush his voice.

If we aren’t reborn, if we don’t see life again with the innocence and enthusiasm of childhood, then there is no more sense to living.

 

There are many ways to commit suicide. Those who try to kill their body offend God’s law.

Those who try to kill their soul also offend God’s law, although their crime is less visible to the eyes of man.

 

Let’s allow the child within us to take the reins of our existence a little. This child says that one day is different from another.

Let’s make the child feel loved again. Let’s please this child – even if it means acting in a way that we’re not used to, even if it seems foolish in the eyes of others.

Remember that the wisdom of men is madness before God.

If we listen to the child we bear in our soul, our eyes will shine once more. If we don’t lose contact with this child, we won’t lose contact with life.

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Vacations!

Although I enjoy my work a lot (once I tweeted: “if you do what you love, every day is a holiday”) I need to stop being in front of the computer – and this is the main reason for taking vacations.

I will be back by the September.

Meanwhile, you can download to your phone (iOS or Android my FREE DAILY MESSAGES

If you are in places were the bookstores/libraries are still closed,  here you can download some FREE BOOKS

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Paulo

Those who were never defeated

Those who were never defeated seem happy and superior, masters of a truth they never had to lift a finger to achieve.
They are always on the side of the strong. They’re like hyenas, who only eat the leavings of lions.

They teach their children: ‘Don’t get involved in conflicts, you’ll only lose. Keep your doubts to yourself and you’ll never have any problems.
If someone attacks you, don’t get offended or demean yourself by hitting back. There are more important things in life.’

In the silence of the night, they fight their imaginary battles: their unrealised dreams, the injustices to which they turned a blind eye, the moments of cowardice they managed to conceal from other people – but not from themselves – and the love that crossed their path with a sparkle in its eyes, the love God had intended for them, and which they lacked the courage to embrace.

And they promise themselves: ‘Tomorrow will be different.’

But tomorrow comes and the paralysing question surfaces in their mind: ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’

And so they do nothing.
Woe to those who were never beaten! They will never be winners in this life.
 
 
taken from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

How to discover if something is important

The master was strolling through a field of wheat when a disciple came up to him: “I can’t tell which is the true path. What’s the secret?”

“What does that ring on your right hand mean?” asked the master.

“My father gave it to me before dying.”

“Well, give it to me.”

The disciple obeyed, and the master tossed the ring into the middle of the field of wheat.

“Now what?” shouted the disciple.

“Now I have to stop doing everything I was doing to look for the ring! It’s important to me!”

“When you find it, remember this: you yourself answered the question you asked me. That is how you tell the true path: it is more important than all the rest.”

30 seec read: The right question

Gun-Zai and his disciples were walking in the country and talking about God’s miracles, when it began to rain.

They all ran to a cabin that stood close by.

When they reached there, the master turned to his pupils and said: “I shall only let you in if you give me the right answer.”

Intrigued, they all remained there under the downpour, not knowing how to please Gun- Zai.

They trembled with cold, but could not find the right answer.

Finally, after nearly two hours in the rain, one of them said: “Master, you haven’t asked any question, and here we stand like fools, looking for explanations.It isn’t wise to look for problems if we weren’t posed any problem.”

“Congratulations, that’s how we should behave in life. You may come in,” said the master, opening the door.

20 SEC READ: The camel, the painter, the poet and the critic

Aa painter, a poet and a critic were crossing the desert.

One night, to kill the time, they decided to describe the camel that was accompanying them.

The poet  took ten minutes to describe the animal’s nobility in beautiful verses.

In a few rapid strokes, the painter offered his friends a drawing.

Finally the critic entered the tent.

He came out two hours later, by which time they were all annoyed at how long he was taking.

“I tried to be quick, but I discovered flaws in the animal,” said the critic.

“It doesn’t run. It’s uncomfortable. It’s ugly.”

And he handed his friends a wad of pages with the title:
“The perfect camel, or how God should have made the camel.”

 

(Arab oral tradition)

Guadalupe

Juan Diego is walking towards Mexico City when he sees a lady covered in light.
juan-diego-virgen-guadalupe
“Go to the Bishop; I am the Virgin, I want to be honored here,” says the apparition.

Diego obeys her, but nobody pays him any attention.

The lady asks time and time again, but the Bishop says that Juan is lying.

“You could have picked someone more respected and educated – that’s the only way the Church will listen,” complains Juan to the Virgin.

“I shall send them a sign,” she said.

And flowers bloom in the middle of the desert.

Juan fills his poncho with the flowers and takes them to the church.

They still do not believe it.

When Juan opens his poncho to leave the flowers on the table, the image of the Virgin is imprinted on the cloth.

This image became known as the Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americas.

Until this day, all the tests to prove it false have been negative.

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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