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Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows?

Chinese farmer story luck news horse

An old Taoist story goes like this:

An old Chinese farmer had worked his crops for many years. One day his only horse broke through the fence and ran away. When his neighbors learned of it, they came to the farmer and said, “What bad luck this is. You don’t have a horse during planting season.” The farmer listened and then replied, “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

A few days later, the horse returned with two other horses. When the neighbors learned of it, they visited the farmer. “You are now a rich man. What good luck this is,” they said. The farmer listened and again replied, “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

Taoist zen story good luck bad new who knows maybe

Later that day, the farmer’s only son was thrown from one of the stallions and broke his leg. When the neighbors heard about it, they came to the farmer. “It is planting season and now there is no one to help you,” they said. “This is truly bad luck.” The farmer listened, and once more he said, “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

The very next day, the emperor’s army rode into the town and conscripted the eldest son in every family. Only the farmer’s son with his broken leg remained behind. Soon the neighbors arrived. Tearfully, they said, “Yours is the only son who was not taken from his family and sent to war. What good luck this is…” to which the farmer replied “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?

Caring about what others think – Lao Tzu Quote

lao tzu quote image picture inspirational quote care about what others think alway prisoner

  1. Other people really don’t care as much as you think. People tend to spend very little time thinking outside of themselves actually. Its a sad truth, but, people are generally ego-centric and think about most things in terms of “ME”. Sorry to break it to you, but people spend very little time thinking about you at all.
  2. People and their thoughts are constantly changing. Even if they think badly of you at the moment, there is a good chance they will forget or think differently in the future. So it doesn’t really matter.
  3. Its impossible to please everybody. This is a simple fact.
  4. Other people don’t have to live with your choices, but you do.
  5. Life is too short.

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner” – Lao Tzu

Our Windows To the World – Thich Nhat Hanh

thich naht hanh quote peace is every step book review commentary

One cold, winter evening I returned home from a walk in the hills, and I found that all the doors and windows in my hermitage had blown open. When I had left earlier, I hadn’t secured them, and the cold wind had blown through the house, opened the windows, and scattered the papers from my desk all over the room. Immediately, I closed the doors and windows, lit a lamp, picked up the papers, and arranged them neatly on my desk. Then I started a fire in the fireplace, and soon the crackling logs brought warmth back to the room.
Sometimes in a crowd we feel tired, cold, and lonely. We may wish to withdraw to be by ourselves and become one again, as I did when I closed the windows and sat by the fire, protected from the damp, cold wind. Our senses are our windows to the world, and sometimes the wind blows through them and disturbs everything within us. Some of us leave our windows open all the time, allowing the sights and sounds of the world to invade us, penetrate us, and expose our sad, troubled selves. We feel so cold, lonely, and afraid. Do you ever find yourself watching an awful TV program, unable to turn it off? The raucous noises, explosions of gunfire, are upsetting. Yet you don’t get up and turn it off. Why do you torture yourself in this way? Don’t you want to close your windows? Are you frightened of solitude – the emptiness and loneliness you may find when you face yourself alone?
Watching a bad TV program, we become the TV program. We are what we feel and perceive. If we are angry, we are the anger. If we are in love, we are love. If we look at the snow covered mountain peak, we are the mountain. We can do anything we want to, so why do we open our windows to bad TV programs made by sensationalist producers in search of easy money, programs that made our hearts pound, our fist tightened, and leave us exhausted? Who allows such TV programs to be made and seen by even the very young? We do! We are too undemanding, too ready to watch whatever is on the screen, too lonely, lazy, or board to create our own lives. We turn on the TV and leave it on, allowing someone else to guide us, shape us, and destroy us. Losing ourselves in this way is leaving our fate in the hands of others who may not be acting responsibly. We must be aware of which programs do harm to our nervous systems, minds, and hearts, and which programs benefit us.

 

… excerpt from Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh…

Sharing Spirituality

Sharing Spirituality

Feeling the positive benefits of a spiritual journey, its hard not to want to share it with those you care about. Sharing is very important and a natural part of a spiritual journey. In fact it gradually becomes a matter of duty to share, but one must do so responsibility. It’s very easy to sound judgmental, controlling, or coming with a “you have to do this” attitude .  How you share, is as important as what you share.  Here I would like to share with you some insights into the consciousness of sharing;

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We All Have Our Flaws

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The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others is often how you see yourself.
When I criticise or condemn another it makes me feel bigger, more superior. These are egoic patterns that are often hard to break. Most of the time, the things that bother us about other people are actually reflections of your our internal issues, which is why they are so apparent to us. At times when you find yourself criticising others, ask, “what is it in me that needs to change?”
First we must become aware of these mental processes, and then we slowly drop them.

Don’t wait to start living

Lao tzu quotes a good traveller has no fixed plans waiting to start livingThe “waiting to start living” syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state. You don’t have to wait for something “meaningful” to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning and joy in the here-and-now than you will ever need.

A reversal of your priorities comes about when the main purpose for doing what you do becomes the doing itself, or rather, the current of consciousness that flows into what you do. That current of consciousness is what determines quality. Another way of putting it, in any situation and in whatever you do, your state of consciousness is the primary factor: the situation and what you do is secondary. Future success is dependent upon and inseparable from the consciousness out of which the actions emanate. That can be either the reactive force of the ego or the alert attention of the awakened consciousness. All truly successful action comes out of the field of alert attention, rather than from ego and conditioned, unconscious thinking.

The Noble Purpose of Suffering

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Suffering has a noble purpose, the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of ego.
The ego says, I should not have to suffer, and that makes you suffer so much more.

It is a distortion of the truth.

Your soul’s purpose is to transform.
As long as you avoid suffering, you slow to process of transformation, because the resistance creates more ego. When you accept suffering, however, there is an acceleration of that process which is brought about by the fact that you suffer cautiously. The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness.