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
____________________
EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI: Puercoespines
EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI: 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.

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.”
 
 

Incompetence behind authority

Jean was walking with his grandfather through a public square in Paris.
At a certain point, he saw a shoemaker being mistreated by a client, whose footwear showed a flaw. The shoemaker listened calmly to the complaint and apologized, promising to correct the error.

Jean and his grandfather stopped to have coffee at a bistro.
At the table next to them, the waiter asked a man to move his chair a little in order to make space. That man burst into a torrent of complaints and refused to move.

“Never forget what you have seen today,” Jean’s grandfather said, “the shoemaker accepted the complaint, while this man next to us didn’t want to move.

“Useful men, who do useful things, don’t mind being treated as useless.

“But the useless always judge themselves as being important and hide all their incompetence behind authority.”

 

Taken from “Like a flowing river”

20 SEC reading: the rich and the poor boy

An old Arab story goes that two boys – one rich and the other poor – were returning home from the market.

The rich boy bought honey-covered cookies and the poor one, a piece of old bread.

‘I will let you eat my cookie if you play the dog for me,’ the rich boy said.

The poor boy accepted and, on his fours on the walkway, he began to eat the rich boy’s goodies.

The wise man Fath, who was watching the scene, said:

‘If this poor boy had a little bit of dignity he would find out a way of making money.

‘But he prefers to turn into the rich boy’s dog in order to eat his cookies.
‘Tomorrow, when he is grown up, he will do the same for a public office and will be capable of betraying his country for a bag of gold.’

Elk-Shaped Structure Discovered in Russia

A huge geoglyph in the shape of an elk or deer discovered in Russia may predate Peru’s famous Nazca Lines by thousands of years.

The animal-shaped stone structure, located near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains, north of Kazakhstan, has an elongated muzzle, four legs and two antlers. A historical Google Earth satellite image from 2007 shows what may be a tail, but this is less clear in more recent imagery.

Excluding the possible tail, the animal stretches for about 900 feet (275 meters) at its farthest points (northwest to southeast), the researchers estimate, equivalent to two American football fields. The figure faces north and would have been visible from a nearby ridge.


A man named Alexander Shestakov first discovered the glyphs using satellite images. He alerted researchers, who sent out a hydroplane and paraglider to survey the giant structure.

This has since progressed to an on-the-ground excavation by a team led by Grigoriev. They’ve found that the stone architecture of the geoglyph is quite elaborate. When they excavated part of a hind leg the largest stones were on the edges, the smaller ones inside. This past summer they also found the remains of passageways and what appear to be small walls on the hoof and muzzle of the animal.

“The hoof is made of small crushed stones and clay. It seems to me there were very low walls and narrow passages among them. The same situation in the area of a muzzle: crushed stones and clay, four small broad walls and three passages,” Grigorievwrote in an email to LiveScience. He cautioned that his team didn’t excavate all the way down to the bottom of the walls, not wishing to damage the geoglyph.

(read this very interesting article by CLICKING HERE )

20 sec reading: the giant tree


By Paulo Coelho

A carpenter and his apprentices were travelling through the province of Qi in search of building materials.
They saw a giant tree; five men all holding hands could not encompass its girth, and its crown reached almost to the clouds.

‘Let’s not waste our time with this tree,’ said the master carpenter. ‘It would take us for ever to cut it down. If we wanted to make a ship out of that heavy trunk, the ship would sink. If we tried to use it to build a roof, the walls would have to be specially reinforced.’

The group continued on its way. One of the apprentices remarked:

‘Such a big tree and no use to anyone!’

‘That’s where you’re wrong,’ said the master carpenter. ‘The tree was true to its own destiny.
“If it had been like all the others, we would have cut it down. But because it had the courage to be different, it will remain alive and strong for a long time yet.’

Illustration by Ken Crane

Men and women were not as they are now

“According to him [Plato], at the beginning of creation, men and women were not as they are now; there was just one being, who was rather short, with a body and a neck, but his head had two faces, looking in different directions. It was as if two creatures had been glued back to back, with two sets of sex organs, four legs and four arms.

“The Greek gods, however, were jealous, because this creature with four arms work harder; with its two faces, it was always vigilant and could not be taken by surprise; and its four legs meant that it could stand or walk for long periods at a time without tiring. Even more dangerous was the fact that the creature had two different sets of sex organs and so needed no one else in order to continue reproducing.

“Zeus, the supreme lord of Olympus, said: ‘I have a plan to make these mortals lose some of their strength.’

“And he cut the creature in two with a lightning bolt, thus creating man and woman. This greatly increased the population of the world, and, at the same time, disoriented and weakened its inhabitants, because now they had to search for their lost half and embrace it and, in that embrace, regain their former strength, their ability to avoid betrayal and the stamina to walk for long periods of time and to withstand hard work. That embrace in which the two bodies re-fuse to become one again is what we call sex.”

– Ralf Hart (in Eleven Minutes)

1 min reading: the two jewels

A deeply religious Rabbi lived happily with his family, an admirable woman and two dear sons. One time, he had to be away from home for several days due to work. When he was away, a serious car accident killed his two boys.

Alone, the mother suffered in silence. But being a strong woman, backed up by her faith and trust in God, she endured the shock with dignity and bravery. However, she constantly worried how she was going to break this sad news to her husband. Even though he was a man of faith, he had already been admitted to the hospital for cardiac problems in the past and his wife feared that learning about the tragedy would kill him too.

On the eve of her husband’s arrival, she prayed earnestly and was given the grace of an answer.

On the following day, the Rabbi returned home, embraced his wife warmly and asked for their sons.
His wife told him not to worry about that, he should take a shower and rest.

Hours later, both of them sat down to have lunch.
She asked him for details about his journey, he told her about everything he had experienced, spoke of God’s mercy, but asked about the boys again.

His wife, in a quiet embarrassed posture, answered her husband, “Leave them alone, we’ll worry about them later. First I want you to help me solve a problem I consider serious.”

Her husband, already worried, asked, “What happened? I noticed you are worn! Tell me everything that goes through your soul and I am sure we will solve any problem together, with the help of God.”

“While you were away, a friend of ours visited me and left two jewels of incalculable worth for us to save. Those are very precious jewels! I have never seen something so stunning! He is coming to get them back and I don’t want to give them back to him as I have already taken a liking to them. What do you say?”

“Well now, woman! I don’t understand you! Vanities have never appealed to you!”
“It is that I had never seen such jewels! I can’t accept the idea of losing them forever!”

And the Rabbi answered:
“No one loses what he doesn’t own. Keeping them would be like stealing! We are going to return them and I will help you get over them. We will do that together, today.”

“Very well, my dear, as you wish. The treasure will be returned. In truth, that has already been done. The precious jewels were our sons. God trusted us their guard and during your trip he came to get them. They are gone…”

The Rabbi embraced his wife, and together they shed many tears, but he had understood the message and from that day on they fought to overcome the loss together.

All we need is today

“All we need is the morning. As long as there is sunrise, then there is the possibility that we can face all of our misfortunes, celebrate all our blessings, and live all our endeavors as human beings.
Spirituality is something that has become necessary in these troubled times. Yet it is inherently superfluous.
We need it to remind ourselves, to bolster ourselves, to integrate ourselves, to fulfill ourselves.
If we could simply acknowledge the mystery of night and the glory of morning, we would need neither civilization nor spirituality.

At its simplest, life begins with dawn. That is blessing enough. All else becomes fullness immeasurable. At dawn, kneel down and give thanks for this wonderful event.
We may think mornings are so common they are unworthy of veneration, but do you realize most places in the cosmos do not have mornings?

This daily event is our supreme goodness. Greet the dawn. That is your miracle to witness. That is the ultimate beauty. That is sacredness. That is your gift from heaven.
That is knowledge that life is not futile. That is enlightenment. That is your meaning in life. That is your directive.
That is your comfort. That is the solemnity of duty. That is inspiration for compassion. That is the light of the ultimate.”

~Deng Ming-Dao from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations

The name of the angel

A baby asked God, “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”

“Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

The child further inquired, “But tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.”

God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.”

Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?”

God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”

“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”

God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

“Who will protect me?”

God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it’s life.”

“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”

God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.”

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”

“You will simply call her, ‘Mom.'”

 

(unknown)

How I see the world the year 2067 A.D

“To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, we are embarking on a publishing milestone: collecting the visions of the 100 greatest innovators, artists, scientists and visionaries of our time in the world’s first 3D-printed book – Genius: 100 Visions of the Future.”

Early in 2017 I got an invitation that really moved me: together with 99 of the most outstanding scientists, politicians, philosophers, artists (you can see their names here), I was invited by the Einstein Foundation  to write a 250-word essay on how I see the future. I could choose any time frame and any subject I feel confortable with.

The book, printed in 3-D and, as far as I know, has only one copy, was finally released. Below you find how I see the world the year 2067…

1] BOOKS

  • National Libraries will become museums. No more local libraries.
  • Bookstores will continue to exist, but as we see art galleries today – limited to the elite. Printed books will be very, very expensive, and normally printed on demand.
  • Philosophy will go back to its original pre-Socratic form – aphorisms.

2] WALLS

  • Countries will erect electronic walls to control immigration.
  • Affluent people will leave cities, moving to the countryside to live in protected (walled) condos.
  • Artificial Intelligence will have a major role in everything – hiring, procreating, supplying, medicine, enforcing law, etc.
  • Significant decrease of birth rate.

3] THE END OF NUCLEAR TABOO

  • A major world war starts in SE Asia before 2020 that will see the use of nuclear bombs. From this moment on, every major –or rich – country will go nuclear.
  • Cities will become obsolete as they are easy targets, occupied by homeless people and controlled by the Government, as they will become a hub of drug distribution.
  • Wars will be first used as a geopolitical expansion, but as the price will be exorbitant, countries who win will abandon this expansion and retreat to their walled territories.
  • Cyber armies will be the hard power. Conventional armies will shrink and used only against poor countries and riot control.
  • The UN will cease to exist, and no other mechanism will substitute it.

4] THE CALIPHATE

  • Artificial borders created after WWI will disappear,  and a common religion (Islam) will give birth to the biggest “country” in the world.
  • Significant increase of birth rate

(NOTE: due to space limitation, I could not cover all the issues I consider important- like global warming and local genocides, for example. AND I SINCERELY HOPE THAT I AM WRONG, but I’m afraid I’m not. )

 

 

40 Paulo Coelho quotes

A keen user of electronic media, in 2014 he uploaded his personal papers online to create a virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation. May his quotes inspire you to believe in yourself and chase your dreams (selected by Asad Meah)

 

1. “It takes huge effort to free yourself from memory.” Paulo Coelho

2. “No one can lie, no one can hide anything when he looks directly into someone’s eyes.” Paulo Coelho

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

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

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

6. “If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: never lie to yourself.” Paulo Coelho

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

8. “People want to change everything and, at the same time, want it all to remain the same.” Paulo Coelho

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

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

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

12. “What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give their best in order to discover what they already know.” Paulo Coelho

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

14. “Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near.” Paulo Coelho

15. “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” Paulo Coelho

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

17. “Live truly and forgive quickly.” Paulo Coelho

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

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

20. “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

21. “Don’t forget: temporary insanity moments spice up your life.” Paulo Coelho

22. “Never miss an opportunity to show your love.” Paulo Coelho

23. “Your eyes show the strength of your soul.” Paulo Coelho

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

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

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

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

28. “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

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

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

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

32. “Never give up.” Paulo Coelho

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

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

35. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” Paulo Coelho

36. “Fight for your dreams and your dreams will fight for you.” Paulo Coelho

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

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

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

40. “We need to forget what we think we are so that we can really become what we are.” Paulo Coelho

Life explained

On the first day God created the dog. God said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years.” The dog said, “That’s too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten.”
So God agreed.

On the second day God created the monkey. God said, “Entertain people, do monkey tricks and make them laugh. I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.” The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years? I don’t think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that’s what I’ll do too, okay?”
And God agreed.

On the third day God created the cow. “You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves, and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years.”
The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I’ll give back the other forty.”
And God agreed again.

On the fourth day God created man. God said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I’ll give you twenty years.”
Man said, “What? Only twenty years? Tell you what, I’ll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, okay?”

Okay,” said God, “You’ve got a deal.”

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves; the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

When Generosity Means Saying “No”

Saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.” – Paulo Coelho

To follow up on an earlier post, I wanted to take the time to address one of the most common myths surrounding generosity: that being generous means saying yes to people.

As I see it, the opposite is often true. This is true in several different contexts:

1. Sometimes giving people what they want is not what they need/ is not what is in their best intererests.

We’ve all likely been in situations where people ask us to help them with something or do something for them that we do not believe to be in their best interests. This can include, but is certainly no limited to, people struggling with addictive behaviors or codependency. It can be particularly challenging to say no in these situations, especially when there is an emotional investment in the other person or when the other person responds with threats, intimidation, passive aggressiveness, or any other type of manipulation. The two most important things to remember in these situations are 1) to not take the other person’s request/ behavior/ communication personally and 2) to uphold your boundaries. I will write more about how to say no specifically in my next post.

2. Saying yes to too often causes us to be spread too thin. This can lead to stressed inputs, medicore outputs, and commitments left undone. 

It is important to remember that when we say yes to everything, we are actually allowing the things that we will end up not finishing/ not doing well up to chance. The way I see it, it much more preferable to prioritize and decide for ourselves what we wish to devote our time, attention, and energy on. In the words of Suzette Hinton, ““We must say “no” to what, in our heart, we don’t want. We must say “no” to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say “no” to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else’s.” Until we learn how to say NO to the many things that are constantly vying for our attention, we will always say YES to so many things. One all too common cause of a regretful life is a life that failed to balance YES and NO. A life that did not recognize when to courageously say NO and when to confidently say YES!

3. Saying Yes when we mean No cheapens our word, diminishes our sense of self-respect, and compromises our integrity. 

Saying Yes out of a sense of duty, guilt, obligation, insecurity, inadequacy, a desire to be liked, or a desire to maintain the peace is a recipe for diminished self-esteem and self-worth. People pleasers often struggle to say no, even if saying yes makes them feel uncomfortable. What we don’t recognize in the moment is that saying Yes is only a temporary band-aid solution for our underlying insecurities, inadequacies, and other feelings that we will have to address at some point. Saying yes under the pretense of saving a relationship is only a front for a crumbling relationship foundation that must be addressed.

Remember that what you do not do determines what you do. You can be just as proud of the things you have not done as the things you have done. It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that really matter.

30 SEC READ: A story by Kahlil Gibran

I was strolling in the gardens of an insane asylum when I met a young man who was reading a philosophy book.

His behavior and his evident good health made him stand out from the other inmates.

I sat down beside him and asked:

‘What are you doing here?’

He looked at me, surprised. But seeing that I was not one of the doctors, he replied:

‘It’s very simple. My father, a brilliant lawyer, wanted me to be like him. My uncle, who owns a large emporium, hoped I would follow his example. My mother wanted me to be the image of her beloved father. My sister always set her husband before me as an example of the successful man. My brother tried to train me up to be a fine athlete like himself.

And the same thing happened at school, with the piano teacher and the English teacher – they were all convinced and determined that they were the best possible example to follow. None of them looked at me as one should look at a man, but as if they were looking in a mirror.

So I decided to enter this asylum. At least here I can be myself.’

From “The book of the five rings”

by Miyamoto Musashi

 

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way