Category Archive: Life style

Sep 27 2012

SHARING: The more you GIVE – the more you GET

I have been thinking about this since ever as to why people are such misers when it comes to sharing something with others. It need not be money or tangible assets always, but immortal possessions like knowledge, love, care, concern, empathy – these all should be shared in abundance. Or is it that we have become so self-centered that these words do not ring any bell in our mind any more when we hear them!

I recall an incidence when I was talking to a couple of aspiring students who since hailed from country side, did not have any direction about which path to tread on in terms of higher education. I liked their enthusiasm and drive so much that I sat with them to discuss about the options that they could look at.

The discussion went on for almost half an hour and we all were completely into it, with me asking them questions ranging from their current school to their interest areas in general. They were very excited talking to me, answering all my queries; may be with a feeling that it might take them a bit closer to defining their careers.

In the meanwhile, one of my relative was watching us closely for past 30 mins and was not very comfortable (all I could read from his face). Suddenly he called for me saying he wanted to talk to me about something urgent. When I walked up to him, he said some very strange words to me. He said, ” I know you are knowledgeable, but why are you wasting your knowledge like that. This way anyone will walk up to you and you will end up talking to many people for that much of time”.

That didn’t go very well with me internally and I somehow started feeling sorry for the poor fellow. It was later that I realized that he was actually POOR – poor because he didn’t have the knowledge to be shared and most of all he did not have the empathy towards fellow humans.

This brings me to sharing more insight into the art of SHARING, which is also preached by many saints and spiritual leaders. These words to some extent do depict my personal view about CHARITY vs SHARING.

We always hear them preaching that if you have love, share it. WHATSOEVER you have, share it, spread it all over; let it spread like the fragrance of a flower going to the winds.

They talk about sharing – and with a totally different quality in it. If you have, you share. Not because by sharing you will be helping others, but by sharing you will be growing. The more you share, the more you grow.

And the more you share, the more you have  whatsoever it is. It is not only a question of money. If you have knowledge, share it. If you have meditation, share it! If you have love, share it. WHATSOEVER you have, share it, spread it all over; let it spread like the fragrance of a flower going to the winds. It has nothing to do particularly with poor people. Share with anybody that is available, and there are different types of poor people.

A rich man may be poor because he has never known any love. Share love with him. A poor man may have known love but has not known good food – share food with him. A rich man may have everything and has no understanding – share your understanding with him; he is also poor. There are a thousand and one types of poverty. Whatsoever you have, share it.

But remember, it does not mean that this is a virtue and God is going to give you a special place in heaven, that you will be specially treated. By sharing here now you will be happier. A hoarder is never a happy man. A hoarder is basically constipated. He goes on hoarding; he cannot relax; he cannot give. He goes on hoarding; whatsoever he gets, he simply hoards it. He never enjoys it, because even in enjoying it you have to share it – because all enjoyment is a sort of sharing.

Joy is always a sharing. Joy does not exist alone.

How can you be happy alone? Absolutely alone! Joy is a relationship. It is togetherness. In fact, even those people who have moved to the mountains and have lived an alone life, they also share with existence – not alone. They share with the stars and the mountains and the birds and the trees – they are not alone.

For twelve years Lord Mahavir was standing in the jungles alone – but he was not alone. The birds were coming and playing around, the animals would come and sit around, the trees would shower their flowers on him, the stars would come and the sun would rise. The day and the night, the summers and winters the whole year around; it was joy! Yes, he was away from human beings.. He had to be, because human beings had done so much damage to him that he needed to be away from them so that he could be healed. It was just to avoid human beings for a certain period so they didn’t go on damaging him.

freedigitalphotos.netFor all those years Lord Mahavir was silent – standing, sitting, with the rocks and the trees, but he was not alone – he was crowded by the whole existence. The whole existence was merging upon him. Then the day came when he was healed, his wounds cured, and now he knew nobody could harm him. He had gone beyond. No human being could hurt him anymore. He came back to relate to human beings, to SHARE the joy that he had attained there.

Lord Buddha went into the forest, but he came back. How can you go on being there when you HAVE it? You will have to come back and share it. They HAD to come back! to the world, to human beings, to share their joy, their bliss, their ecstasy.

‘Charity’ is not a good word. It is a very loaded word. In the word ‘charity’ there is some ugliness also: it seems that you are having the upper hand and the other is lower than you, that the other is a beggar; that you are helping the other, that he is in need. That is not good. To look at the other as if he is lower than you — you have and he has not — is not good; it is inhuman.

Sharing gives a totally different perspective. It is not a question of whether the other has it or not. The question is that you have got it too much – you have to share. When you give charity, you expect the other to thank you. When you share, you thank him that he allowed you to pour your energy – which was getting too much upon you, it was getting heavy. You feel grateful.

Sharing is out of your abundance.

Charity is for others’ poverty, Sharing is out of your richness. There is a qualitative difference.

So, its not about charity, but sharing.

Share! Whatsoever you have, share… and it will grow. That is a fundamental law: the more you give, the more you get. Never be a miser in giving.

Mar 14 2012

BUDDHISM – A different way of life

Lately, we have been talking a lot at home about BUDDHISM, its teachings, people following the religion and the difference they have felt in their lives after they adopted the religion!!

This is when an impulsive feeling started building inside me to know more about this globally putative religion.

While reading through the contributions of a few authors who have been writing on Buddhism, I learnt about the principles and teachings of the religion.

Chip Tolaney states that the aim of the Buddha was simply to show mankind how to live without turmoil and in harmony by following the Eight-Fold Path and the Ten Precepts, as well as the Four Noble Truths.

He describes it further that to understand the basic principles of Buddhism, it is not necessary to believe in heaven or hell or to chant mantras.

While monks must practice all the precepts, the lay Buddhist (if he is to be called Buddhist) is expected to follow the five main precepts.

Buddhist principles are based on the basic idea of cause and effect, also known in eastern philosophy as karma.

According to this law every intention, thought and action has a consequence that equals the energy invested in it.

From good deeds come good results. Leading a disciplined life can ensure that suffering is kept to a minimum. The calm mind that comes from a disciplined life leads down the path of spirituality to the goal of all human life – self realization, or what the Buddhists call Nirvana.

The Buddhist philosophy and way of life is laid out in the Three Jewels, the Four Noble Truths, the Eight Fold Path and the Five Precepts. The first three doctrines are pursued by those who either adopt a monastic life or are involved in a deep philosophical interpretation of Buddhism.

The Philosophy of Buddhism: The Buddha presented his philosophy in the Four Noble Truths:

  1. Life is suffering: Disease, death and emotional pain are inevitable.
  2. Attachment causes suffering: An attempt to derive happiness from things that have shape and form results in suffering because these are not permanent.
  3. To cure suffering, free yourself from attachment: The cause of suffering is attachment, so make attempts to free yourself from attachment.
  4. The eight-fold path will show you the way out of suffering: The Buddha taught practical ways to end suffering through eight pursuits – right speech, right action, right livelihood, right concentration, right view, right intention, right mindfulness, and right effort.

The Five Precepts are what a lay Buddhist is expected to follow in day-to-day living.

The Five Main Precepts:

  1. Refrain from killing: In order to live harmoniously with all living creatures and create positive instead of negative vibrations, the Buddhist must be vegetarian. This is necessary for the growth of compassion.freedigitalphotos.net
  2. Refrain from stealing: In order to be free of guilt, and not cause pain to others, Buddhists must not take anything that is not freely given.
  3. Refrain from sexual misconduct: The Buddha taught his disciples that sexual desire is the greatest obstacle to enlightenment, and the most difficult to overcome. Sexual misconduct is forbidden.
  4. Refrain from lying: To tell a lie is to deny the truth, and a Buddhist centers his life around truth – whether it is the truth of his spiritual path, the truth about himself, or the truth of the universe. Denial of the truth leads to confusion, guilt and disharmony.
  5. Refrain from drugs and alcohol: If we are to clearly see the truth, and gain an accurate perception of life and reality, our minds must be free from the delusion and fuzziness caused by alcohol and drugs. An alert mind is capable of controlling actions efficiently and directing them along virtuous paths.

Buddhism affords believers an oasis where they can regain equilibrium by following the Middle Way. Buddhism enables people to look at life anew and stop blaming God, the universe, and others for their plight. They are the creators of their own worlds. Once they can grasp this great truth, life becomes a joyful journey. I am not sure I can ever lead life as preached by Buddhism, however I will always try to come as closer to it as it may be in my capacity.

Jul 17 2011

Put the WHIRLING MIND at rest!

Lately I have been thinking of the lifestyle I am leading owing to my commitment towards job and my family. I always feel that there is so much to do and so little time for that.
Was just having a morning “over the cup of tea” talk with my wife discussing how one should spend the whole day doing something or the other and should have some hobbies & passions to follow..

But then it just hit me my mind that am I clear about what I feel about these things?? About living a full life?? Do I actually know the meaning of all that I just said??

I guess I had such a life in the past and all my talks were based on the past experience.

However, my present is not the same. Nowadays my Mind is always occupied with work, some pending electric repair work at home, cleaning my office drawer of the trash, cutting a DVD of movies, downloading a rip software for digital frame I just got although I have enough DVD players and computes at home!! My mind is never at rest and its continuously spinning!

Even when I am lying in the bed trying to fall asleep, my mind keeps spinning with all the things I need to do and the thoughts just keep ticking? (I even wake up in the middle of the night to scribble things on my pad!)

I realize that we (I believe all of us) wind ourselves up like a motor when we pile on more things than can possibly get done in the time frame have. When we rush to meetings, speed in the car and make it to places “just in time”, it’s no wonder some of us can have a tough settling in for the night. Or settling in for the day!

Wondering how can we keep our mind from whirling? I just tried to figure out as to why we face these situations:

Matter of Life and Death:

Most of what is keeping our minds whirling isn’t as serious as we make it out to be. Fetching the can of milk for home, getting something for the kids or trying to make it to the movie show is not life or death. Most of the time if things don’t get done when we think they should get done, life stills goes on. Just think, when you are sick and down, does the world stop revolving?? But we forget this because we like to stay busy and experience the adrenaline rush.

I don’t have time for myself:

Sounds familiar??? Yes, it is so important to have the time when nothing is planned; no meetings, no reunion with friends, no taking-the-kid-out. Maybe its the time to get some pampering done, like a massage. Or go for a drive all alone with your favourite music playing.. no phone calls, no grocery list in your pocket and no “From -To” schedule in your mind… Its really important to let yourself loose at times..

Review your TO-DO list:

It’s very likely that there is a lot going on in our lives at the same time.. and its always logical to have a TO-DO list maintained for all those activities. But did it ever occur to you that you should probably revise the TO-DO list to drop something from it??

Just give it a thought:

Is it that you actually have to fix that leaking faucet in your kitchen yourself or can you simply hire a plumber??

Have you accepted an invite for a half day conference on “How to save the planet?” on the other side of the city, which you don’t want to attend??

Have you actually denied the “Home pick-up” service for your car and decided to go all by yourself to the service station to get the car serviced?

We need to get rid of the TO-DOs that take up time but do not add to the quality to our life!!

Keep the Evening Subtle:

Usually the times I have trouble sleeping are when I have worked too late on the computer or have been watching an action packed movie right before bed. The computer screen and the quick-paced movie are too stimulating late at night. Though I realised that turning off the computer or TV at least an hour before bed really helps… I actually feel relaxed with some soft music or a book instead.

Work Life – Personal Life Balance:

We often talk about that at those social gatherings and at evening tea-time chats.. A few people boast of striking perfect balance between work and personal life.. I somehow have never been that lucky.. and am friends with people who are more like me (and I guess 90% of the people out there are my friends)..
There are people who feel extremely guilty when they are at work because they aren’t spending time with their family. Then, when they go home they feel guilty that they aren’t working. They feel miserable most of the time.

Its up to us to enjoy work when we are at work and enjoy with our family when we are at home. Living in the moment helps to be happier.

As you can see, how just a few simple changes can bring us closer to a calmer and more peaceful mind. Hope we all strike that balance and have a peaceful and joyful life..

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