Questions that bring Insight

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Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has a few questions to ask the audience in a public talk and the questions might touch something very deep in you and provide you with insight to see the way to go. Allow the question to penetrate into your heart.


 – Are you in love? 
 – Are you still in love? 
 – Do you want to reconnect with the person you used to love? 
 – Do you think that he or she is happier than you are now? 
 – Do you have the time for each other or are you both to busy? 
 – Have you been able to preserve your freshness and beauty for yourself and for the other person? 
– Are you capable to offer him or her freshness and beauty everyday? 
 – Do you know how to handle the suffering within yourself?
– Are you able to help handle the suffering in the other person? 
 – Do you understand your own suffering and the roots of that suffering? 
 – Are you able to understand the suffering in the other person? 
 – Do you have the capacity to help the other person suffer less? 
 – Have you learned the way to calm down your painful feelings and emotions? 
 – Do you have the time to listen to yourself, your suffering, your difficulties, and your deepest desire? 
 – Do you have the time to listen to him or her and help him or her to suffer less? 
 – Do you know the Buddhist way of restoring communication and bringing about reconciliation?
 – Are you capable of creating a feeling of joy and happiness for yourself? 
 – Are you capable of helping the other person to create a feeling of joy and happiness? 
 – Do you really think you have a clear spiritual path to go? 
 – Do you have the feeling of peace and contentment within yourself? 
 – Do you know to nourish your love everyday?
 – Have you ever met a person who is truly happy? 
 // transcribed by our friend megasamé

dreams: the 12 steps by paulo coelho

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one more repost from a paulo coelho blog, he is an amazing person and very inspiring to a lot, please have a look at his guide to dream realization

1. tell yourself the truth
draw two columns on a sheet of paper and in the left column write down what you would love to do. then write down on the other side everything you’re doing without any enthusiasm. write as if nobody were ever going to read what is there, don’t censure or judge your answers.
2. start slowly, but start
call your travel agent, look for something that fits your budget; go and see the movie that you’ve been putting off; buy the book that you’ve been wanting to buy. be generous to yourself and you’ll see that even these small steps will make you feel more alive.
3. stop slowly, but stop
some things use up all your energy. do you really need to go that committee meeting? do you need to help those who do not want to be helped? does your boss have the right to demand that in addition to your work you have to go to all the same parties that he goes to? when you stop doing what you’re not interested in doing, you’ll realize that you were making more demands of yourself than others were really asking.
4. discover your small talents
what do your friends tell you that you do well? what do you do with relish, even if it’s not perfectly well done? these small talents are hidden messages of your large occult talents.
begin to choose
if something gives you pleasure, don’t hesitate. if you’re in doubt, close your eyes, imagine that you’ve made decision a and see all that it will bring you. now do the same with decision b. the decision that makes you feel more connected to life is the right one – even if it’s not the easiest to make.
don’t base your decisions on financial gain

the gain will come if you really do it with enthusiasm. the same vase, made by a potter who loves what he does and by a man who hates his job, has a soul. it will be quickly sold (in the first case) or will stay on the shelves (in the second case).
7. follow your intuition
the most interesting work is the one where you allow yourself to be creative. einstein said: “i did not reach my understanding of the universe using just mathematics.” descartes, the father of logic, developed his method based on a dream he had.
8. don’t be afraid to change your mind
if you put a decision aside and this bothers you, think again about what you chose. don’t struggle against what gives you pleasure.
9. learn how to rest
one day a week without thinking about work lets the subconscious help you, and many problems (but not all) are solved without any help from reason.
10. let things show you a happier path
if you are struggling too much for something, without any results appearing, be more flexible and follow the paths that life offers. this does not mean giving up the struggle, growing lazy or leaving things in the hands of others – it means understanding that work with love brings us strength, never despair.
11. read the signs
this is an individual language joined to intuition that appears at the right moments. even if the signs point in the opposite direction from what you planned, follow them. sometimes you can go wrong, but this is the best way to learn this new language.
12. finally, take risks!
the men who have changed the world set out on their paths through an act of faith. believe in the force of your dreams. god is fair, he wouldn’t put in your heart a desire that couldn’t come true.

original post => http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/09/25/dreams-the-12-steps/

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the four noble truths – attachment – the basics of buddhist wisdom

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the four noble truths

1. life is suffering;
2. suffering is due to attachment;
3. attachment can be overcome;
4. there is a path for accomplishing this.

1. suffering is perhaps the most common translation for the sanskrit word duhkha, which can also be translated as imperfect, stressful, or filled with anguish.

contributing to the anguish is anitya — the fact that all things are impermanent, including living things like ourselves.

furthermore, there is the concept of anatman — literally, “no soul”. anatman means that all things are interconnected and interdependent, so that no thing — including ourselves — has a separate existence.

2. attachment is a common translation for the word trishna, which literally means thirst and is also translated as desire, clinging, greed, craving, or lust. because we and the world are imperfect, impermanent, and not separate, we are forever “clinging” to things, each other, and ourselves, in a mistaken effort at permanence.

besides trishna, there is dvesha, which means avoidance or hatred. hatred is its own kind of clinging.

and finally there is avidya, ignorance or the refusal to see. not fully understanding the impermanence of things is what leads us to cling in the first place.

3. perhaps the most misunderstood term in buddhism is the one which refers to the overcoming of attachment: nirvana. it literally means “blowing out,” but is often thought to refer to either a buddhist heaven or complete nothingness. actually, it refers to the letting go of clinging, hatred, and ignorance, and the full acceptance of imperfection, impermanence, and interconnectedness.

4. and then there is the path, called dharma. buddha called it the middle way, which is understood as meaning the middle way between such competing philosophies as materialism and idealism, or hedonism and asceticism.  this path, this middle way, is elaborated as the eightfold path.


wisdom words from the dalai lama

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we are visitors on this planet. we are here for ninety, a hundred years at the very most. during that period we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. try to be at peace with yourself and help others share that peace. if you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.

– the dalai lama