Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Window

The Window -- author unknown

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

And so it is.

Listen to those who describe beauty, serenity, and peacefulness, for perhaps, they just wish to encourage you to see for yourself.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Symptoms of Inner Peace

Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace.

The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs to look for:
A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

A loss of interest in judging other people.

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

A loss of interest in conflict.

A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

Frequent attacks of smiling.

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

An increased susceptibility to the love offered by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
Be Forewarned!!! If you have all or even most of the above symptoms, please be advised that your condition may be too far advanced to turn back. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting several of these symptoms, remain exposed at your own risk. This condition of inner peace is likely well into its infectious stage.-- Author unknown

Monday, December 04, 2006

The chains that bind you

These are some honking chains. I believe they are used for battleships -- each link is about a foot long.

We all have many chains that binds us from being what we want to be, or all we are capable of becoming. Of course, that depends on what you want, and ultimately, that may be to realize just what your biggest chains are.

I hope these quotes help you realize that in the end, the most significant chains are all self imposed, and while they appear real and substantial like the chains in this picture, in fact they are as insubstantial as gossamer, which you will understand with the proper insight.

"The important thing is this:
To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are
for what we could become."

-- Charles Dubois

"The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove."
-- Samuel Johnson

"The mind is your past. Die to your past and you will suddenly become fully conscious. The past is nothing but dead debris. Get rid of it and you will learn how to witness. When you die to your past, to your thoughts and your memories, then you will be fully in the present. When you truly exist in the present, you are simply witnessing. The past can only exist as long as there are thoughts. When the thoughts are eliminated, the past disappears and you abide in your own Self. The Self does nothing but witness. The Self is not a person - it is Pure Awareness. It is completely detached from all phenomena. It is the state of becoming the one subject, the core of your existence."
-- Mata Amritanandamayi

"Happiness is your choice.

Something will happen today.
You will be tempted to say that it made you happy.
It won't.
You will make you happy by taking pleasure in it.

Something else will happen today.
You will be tempted to say that it made you sad or angry.
It won't.
You will make you sad or angry by taking displeasure in it.

Lots of somethings will happen today.
Will you make them happy somethings?"

-- David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy

"Happiness is a butterfly,
which, when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you."

-- Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Man does not know if he will live another moment,
Yet his thoughts are ten million and more."

-- Thirukkural

Restroom sign:
"At the feast of ego everyone leaves hungry."
-- Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, Tucson, AZ