Monday, December 1, 2008

Lessons on Life

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because hey had each seen but only one season in the tree's life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that
come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and the fulfillment of your fall.

Great minds discuss ideas;

Average minds discuss events;

Small minds discuss people

Anger is only one letter short of danger

If someone betrays you once, it's his fault;

If he/she betrays you twice, it's your fault

Fine tuning

Fine Tuning
I generally listen to classical music in my bath. I put some aroma oils and turn on the music and am transformed into my private sanctuary. It’s almost a ritual; one that I look forward to.
This morning however my sanctuary got transformed into a place of noise and mayhem. I think the dial on my radio station inadvertently got changed and all I could hear was noise and static and a few Cantonese ( Chinese) stations all jumbled together ; creating the most disgusting sound .
I tried to fiddle around with the dial, but somehow could not find the right frequency. The stations kept jumping and my frustration level kept getting higher. I just could not find the right station. I eventually gave up and cursing and shouting stepped into the bath, but not before banging my toe against the tub and almost burning myself with scalding hot water as in my frustration with the radio I forgot to turn on the cold water side. One small glitch in my routine and I started a chain of painful events.
While soaking in the bath, I had the epiphany…. Why not listen to AM instead of FM today. I stepped out and changed channels and …there was Mr. Bryan Ferry crooning earnestly if “I would still love him tomorrow!!!!” Beautiful soulful song and a lovely change from my usual classical music.
Wow! It was that simple. All I had to do was switch channels and if that did not work, I just would have to turn the radio off and enjoy the silence. But it had taken me a good 8-10 minutes to reach this conclusion. Short of throwing the radio in the WC, I had pretty much allowed the anger and frustration get the better of me and I think my daughter was glued outside the bathroom door wondering what her mother was ranting and shouting about? So much for preaching calm and happiness?????
Now the preachy bit…..
Often our lives are put in disarray when we least expect. I was expecting my usual morning ritual and got extremely annoyed with a lifeless radio and started shouting at something that could not hear me or respond to my profanities. Fortunately, I calmed down and switched channels and allowed myself the luxury of a different kind of music.
OK! So this wasn’t such a big deal and you might be scoffing and saying “ yeah so what”?
Life works the same way. From time to time it hands us frequencies that we are not used to. It sounds like complete mayhem and we don’t know how to handle the noise. It may not be a part of our plan. Not something we may have visualized or prepared ourselves for. We get angry and frustrated because we can’t control the outcome.
Now we have two choices, either we stay angry and frustrated and attract even more of the negative frequency into our life, or we calm ourselves down and open ourselves to different and maybe better possibilities.
It does take a bit of introspection and self realization to achieve that state. Anger; fear; frustration; greed and revenge have much lower vibration and thus are easier to attract, but the problem with this is if we attract any one of these lower frequencies, the others get attracted too. So frustration will lead to anger which will lead to revenge and eventual pain.
Love; compassion; altruism; justice; peace or forgiveness on the other hand are higher level frequencies and when we attract one the others automatically follow. According to Plato if we were to organize our life around even one of the higher values all the other higher values will come to us because all these higher values commune together.
Choice is entirely ours… should we choose to lower our vibration and stay with the static and the noise or should we quickly switch channels and attracts the other frequency and get pleasantly surprised??

PS : I made a rather interesting observation today. While I was upset and screaming profanities at the little radio in my bathroom, the static got even louder as if showing me the finger. Eventually when I calmed down even the static calmed down. It does sound weird and trust me I did think it was a bit odd, but I guess we do attract what we give out. My energy field was probably so weak when I was angry that all I could attract was the static, but the moment I calmed down, even the music became clearer and I promise I did not touch that dial.


Shveitta Sethi

The Secret to Happiness: Stop Caring


Our lives are inundated with practicality and productivity. We think that if there’s no purpose to something, there’s no point in doing it. In reality the best things in life have no purpose.

We sacrifice our time and our sanity doing what we don’t want to do, so at some future point we will create the freedom to do what we love.

We seek happiness in things. We seek happiness in the acceptance of others, in material possessions, in social status. We even search for happiness in some future-promised afterlife. We sabotage ourselves and our entire lives because we fail to understand a very simple but easily overlooked fact.

The Search for Happiness is the Single Greatest Cause of Misery

You can’t find something that’s already there. Happiness exists now. It’s not something you have to find. That’s like trying to find your breath.

It’s the grasping of the mind that causes unhappiness. If you’re not happy, it’s because your mind doesn’t allow you be happy. And the reason your mind doesn’t let you be happy, is because you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of productivity, judgment and purpose. That’s not to say productivity is bad, or that doing things that have a purpose is wrong. It’s basing the reason for your existence on them that causes so much anguish.

When we place our happiness solely in "getting" something, completing a certain number of tasks on our to-do list, or achieving a goal, we’re fooling ourselves. We’re like a rabbit with a carrot stick attached to our heads. We keep chasing the carrot, but we never get there. We never stop to think that it might be the chasing that’s causing the problem. We’re too distracted trying to find a better way to beat the game. As soon as we reach one level of success, we’re hurrying to upgrade our search and move on to the next level of the chase. We never stop to think that it’s not the failure to win the game that causes our grief, but the game itself.

We neglect to realize that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem. Sometimes the best way to to solve a problem is to just stop caring.


The best way to solve the problem of not having a lot of cool friends is to stop caring about having cool friends.
The smartest way to be happy with the place you live is to stop caring about living in a two story house with a pool, a fireplace, central air and satellite TV.
The simplest way to be content with yourself is not to achieve greatness and praise, but to accept yourself fully for who you are now.
The quickest route to happiness is to stop caring about finding happiness and to start being happiness.
By not caring, we immediately release ourselves of the grasping of the mind. But it’s not easy to stay in this mindset (the mind loves to grasp); it’s something we have to constantly cultivate.

It’s especially difficult when our society tends to place more value on things, than on experiences. We value what we do more than how we feel.

This is completely ridiculous when you think about it. Because the way you feel should be more important than anything else. Isn’t the purpose of everything you do to feel good? Isn’t the purpose of that new car, that promotion, or college degree to give you a feeling of accomplishment? Isn’t that supposed to make you happy?

The problem with this is we’re basing our happiness on temporary things. We’re deriving our joy from an achievement, or an attainment. This isn’t true happiness; it’s an addiction. We get a short burst of endorphins to our bloodstream from our new TV, or new iPod, and then what happens? It disappears. It leaves us feeling empty and we begin looking for our next fix.

Our advertising and consumer culture doesn’t help this much. We are constantly bombarded with messages that we need this, or we need that. Incessantly, we hear: “Buy this and it will solve your problem!” If only we could solve that problem we may finally be happy. Wrong. It’s not the problems that are the problem. I mean, buying a more efficient vacuum or sowing on that button you’ve been meaning to for seven years is great. You may feel a sense of achievement for a few moments or days. But you’re still looking for happiness in a thing.

It’s the same with productivity. If only we could finish all of the things on our to-do list, could we be content. If only we could accomplish all of our goals, could we finally be gratified. This thinking is based on the illusion that you’ll reach a certain point where everything is done. You finally made it! There’s nothing left in your inbox, all your projects are complete and your lifelong goals are achieved! Now you can rest easy.

But this point never seems to come, does it? That’s because there will always be things to do. There will always be challenges, because everything in life is constantly changing. If you reached a point in your life where you had no more problems, no more struggles, no more worries, life would stop. The game would end and there would be no point left in playing.

So… what can we do about this?

We Need to Stop Caring

That doesn’t mean we stop trying to achieve our goals or striving for personal growth. It just means that we no longer base our happiness on fleeting, semi-permanent things.

There are obviously some situations where not caring may have serious negative consequences (paying your rent). Excessive caring, however, is likely to make you miserable.

The reason caring too much can be detrimental to your health, is you’re so focused on the future. Your identity is too attached to outcomes. If something does, or doesn’t go your way, it will likely have an enduring effect on your mood for the rest of the day.

Instead, we should base our happiness on permanent things. Things that don’t change. Desires that don’t shift from moment to moment. We choose to find our happiness in living. In life itself. In fact, we don’t even need to “find” happiness. We can be happiness.

So stop searching. You can’t find something that’s already there.