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The Art of mind control

zen archer

After having won many archery contests, the town champion went to the Zen master.

– I am the best of all – he said. – I didn’t study religion, never sought help from the monks, and succeeded in becoming the finest archer in the whole region. I heard that, for a time, you were the best archer in the region, and ask you: was it necessary to become a monk in order to learn to shoot?

– No – replied the Zen master.

But the champion was not satisfied: he took an arrow, placed it in the bow, fired it and hit a cherry which was very far away. Smiling, as if to say: “you might have saved your time, devoting yourself only to technique.” And he said:

– I doubt whether you could do that.

Without looking in the least bit worried, the master went inside, fetched his bow, and began to walk towards a nearby mountain.On the way, there was an abyss which could only be crossed by an old bridge made of rotting rope, and which was almost collapsing.The Zen master went to the middle of the bridge, took his bow and placed an arrow in it, then aimed at a tree on the far side of the precipice, and hit his target.

– Now it is your turn – he kindly told the young man, as he returned to firm ground.

Terrified as he gazed down at the abyss below his feet, the young man went to the spot and fired, but his arrow veered wide of the mark.

– That is why the discipline of meditation was worthwhile – concluded the master, when the young man returned to him.

“You may have great skill with the instrument you choose for your livelihood, but it us useless, if you cannot command the mind which uses that instrument.”

The above post was taken form PauloCoelho’s Blog.

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August 12, 2012 · 1:24 pm

God will help me

Flood man on roof

There was an man who had a dream one night that he would be protected from a ravaging storm that would engulf his whole village.

The next day, as expected, a terrible storm came to his region. The first day a neighbor of his offered help for him to flee – help that he denied since he was sure God was going to help him.

The second day, when he had to take refuge in the second floor of his house given that the waters had taken over all of the first floor, a rescue team came to his house and offered him to get out of there – help that he again refused given that God had promised him to get out of there.

The third day came a helicopter to rescue him but he was adamant that God was going to save him.

Not long after he drowned and died. Once in heaven he complained to God: “why didn’t you help me as you promised?”
To which God replied: ” I sent your neighbor, a rescue squad and even a helicopter to which you simply declined!”

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July 7, 2012 · 11:02 am

The Bell Sound

the bell

One day, as the big temple bell was being rung, the Buddha asked Ananda, “Where does the bell sound come from?”

“The bell.”

The Buddha said, “The bell? But if there were no bell stick, how would the sound appear?”

Ananda hastily corrected himself. “The stick! The stick!”

“The stick? If there were no air, how could the sound come here?”

“Yes! Of course! It comes from the air!”

The Buddha asked, “Air? But unless you have an ear, you cannot hear the bell sound.”

“Yes! I need an ear to hear it. So it comes from my ear.”

The Buddha replied, “Your ear? If you have no consciousness, how can you understand the bell sound?”

“My consciousness makes the sound.”

“Your consciousness? So,Ananda, if you have no mind, how do you hear the bell sound?”

“IT WAS CREATED BY MIND ALONE.”

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July 4, 2012 · 9:06 am

Great Love

Zen Master Seung Sahn

Often, we want to “keep it.” That is just a big mistake. When you are doing something, just do it. Understanding is an illusion. If, you are not thinking, the answer is pure and clear, which is always in front of you.

Beautiful words will teach correct direction. If you are attached to beautiful speech or holding your opinion, you cannot attain their true meaning. So put it all down – your opinion, your condition, and your situation. Then your mind is clear like space. Then a correct answer will appear by itself. This is wisdom.

When you try something and don’t attain it, don’t worry! Don’t be attached and don’t try to understand it. Only go straight, try, try, try nonstop. If you wish to pass through this gate, do not give rise to thinking.

This is the Great Love.

-Zen Master Seung Sahn

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July 4, 2012 · 8:49 am

Being True, Good and Useful

socrates with friends

“In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“Umm, no, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

The above texts originally appeared in Priya Sher’s Blog

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June 30, 2012 · 8:55 am

True Way

just do it

Joju once asked Master Nam Cheon, “What is the true way?”

Nam Cheon replied, “Everyday mind is the true way.”

“Then should I try to keep it or not?”

Nam Cheon said, “If you try to keep it, you are already mistaken.”

“If I do not try to keep it, how can I understand the true way?”

Nam Cheon replied, “The true way is not dependent on understanding or not understanding. Understanding is illusion; not understanding is blankness. If you completely attain the true way of not thinking, it is like space, clear and void. So why do you make right or wrong?”

Joju heard that, and got enlightenment.

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June 30, 2012 · 8:37 am

Gandalf

Gandalf the grey

“I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

“It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”

“The treacherous are ever distrustful.”

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

Gandalf is a fictional character from the book series “The Lord of the Rings” written by J.R.R.Tolkien.

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June 18, 2012 · 9:02 pm

Sergeant William James

Sergeant William James

“Well, if he wasn’t an insurgent, he sure the hell is now.”

“There is enough bang in there to send us all to Jesus. If I’m going to die, I’m going to die comfortable.”

“The way you don’t die sir.” (in reply to Colonel Reed’s question, “What’s the best way to … go about disarming one of these?”)

“Everyone’s scared about something, you know?”

“You know I just think it’s really interesting to hold something in your hand that could have killed anyone.”

“You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your Mommy, your Daddy. You love your pajamas. You love everything, don’t ya? Yea. But you know what, buddy? As you get older… some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore. Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you’ll realize it’s just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it’s only one or two things. With me, I think it’s one.”

Sergeant William James is a character in the American War film The Hurt Locker.

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June 8, 2012 · 8:53 pm

The juggling

“Our lady with Baby Jesus in her arms, decided to come down to Earth and visit a monastery. The monks proudly joined in a long queue, and each of them came before the Virgin to render their homage. One declaimed beautiful poetry, another showed his illuminated paintings of biblical subjects, a third repeated the names of all the Saints. And so on, one monk after the other, praising Our Lady and the Baby Jesus.”

“The last monk of all there was the humblest in the whole monastery, who had never studied the learned books of the time. His parents were simple people, who worked in an old travelling circus, and all they had taught him was to throw balls into the air and juggle with them.”

“When it was his turn, the other members of the order wanted to bring the homage to a conclusion, since the old juggler would have nothing important to say, and might lower the image of the monastery. But in the bottom of his heart, he also felt a burning need to give something of himself to Jesus and the Virgin.”

“Ashamed, conscious of the disapproving looks of his brothers, he took a few oranges from his bag, and started to juggle them in the air, saying that juggling was all he knew how to do.”

“It was at that moment that the Baby Jesus, sitting on Our Lady’s lap, smiled and started to clap his hands. And the Virgin reached out her arms, inviting him to hold the baby.”

From the preface of the book “The Alchemist” written by Paulo Coelho.

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April 20, 2012 · 11:21 am

Leader

I present the profile of the three world leaders who lived in the same period of history, and ask you if it is possible to choose the best one using the following data:

Candidate A was associated with witchdoctors and often consulted astrologists. He had two mistresses. His wife was a Lesbian. He smoked a lot. He drank eight to ten martinis a day.

Candidate B never managed to hold down a job because of his arrogance. He slept the whole morning. He used opium at school, and was always considered a bad student. He drank a glass of brandy every morning.

Candidate C was decorated a hero. A vegetarian, he did not smoke. His discipline was exemplary. He occasionally drank a beer. He stayed with the same woman during his moments of glory and defeat.

And what was the answer?

A] Franklin Delano Roosevelt. B] Winston Churchill. C] Adolf Hitler.

Our big problem, especially in a world that is growing more and more fundamentalist, is not allowing people in prominent positions to commit human mistakes.

We are always in search of the perfect ruler. And we risk to have another madman like Hitler.

We are always looking for a pastor to guide and help us find our way.

The truth is that the great revolutions and the progress made by humanity were brought about by people just like us. We only need to have the courage to make a key decision at a crucial moment.

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April 9, 2012 · 4:48 pm