March 29, 2018
The mouse and the trap
A mouse, looking from a hole in the wall, saw a farmer and his wife opening a package. He thought about what he could hold and was terrified when he saw that there was a mousetrap inside the pack.
He rushed into the farmyard to warn everyone: “There’s a mousetrap in the house, there’s a mousetrap in the house!” The hen that was scrabbling for food, she lifted her head and said: “Excuse me! , mouse, I understand that it’s a big problem for you mice, but to me that I’m a hen nothing should happen, so the
I ask not to bother me. ”
The mouse, all worried, went to the sheep and shouted: “There’s a mousetrap in the house, a trap !!!”
“Excuse me, mister mouse,” replied the sheep, “there’s nothing I can do, I just have to pray for her. Do not worry, I will remember it in my prayers. ”
The mouse then went to the cow, and the latter said, “Are you in danger? I really do not think so!”
Then the mouse, worried and downcast, returned to the house thinking of how to defend himself from that trap.
That night there was a great noise, like a trap that snaps and grabs his victim.
The farmer’s wife ran to see what had happened, and in the darkness she saw that the trap had grabbed a big snake by the tail. The poisonous snake, very quickly, bit the woman.
Immediately the farmer took her to the hospital for the first treatment: as the woman had a very high fever they advised her a good soup of broth.
The husband then grabbed a knife and went to get the main ingredient: the hen.
But the illness lasted several days and many relatives went to visit the woman.
The farmer was forced to kill the sheep to feed them.
The woman did not improve and stayed in hospital longer than expected, forcing her husband to sell the cow to the butcher in order to cope with all the expenses of his wife’s illness …
March 17, 2018
« Someone tells you to be Catholic, or Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim etc. Watching him act, however, you realize that the religion to which he says he belongs does not have a real influence on his life, but is a collection of vague notions and empty forms of all content. What he was taught as a child, he repeats it as a lesson, but in reality those beliefs do not correspond to anything deep, alive. We must therefore conclude that he has a religion, but he does not really have faith. Someone else says he does not belong to any religion: his parents were … we say Christians, but they did not practice, so they did not baptize him and they did not give him any religious instruction. But continuing in the conversation and knowing that person better, see that it has the sense of the sacred, which is animated by a high ideal and the noblest aspirations. It does not speak of God, but in the depths of itself, and also in the universe, it confuses a presence confusedly. This person perhaps has no religion, but has faith.» Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
March 16, 2018
Zen Tea Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!” “Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
March 15, 2018
You know, Kamala … You know, Kamala, if you throw a stone into the water, it hurries by the shortest route to the bottom. And so it is from Siddhartha, when it has a goal, a purpose. Siddhartha does nothing. Siddhartha thinks, waits, fasts, but passes through the things of the world like stone through water, doing nothing, without agitation: he is thrown, and he lets himself fall. His goal draws him to himself, since he does not retain anything in his own soul, which could counteract this goal. This is what Siddhartha learned from the Samanas. This is what the fools call magic, believing that it is the work of demons. Everyone can work magic, everyone can achieve their goals, if they can think, if they can wait, if they can fast. Herman Hesse – Siddharta
March 14, 2018
The replaced child and the wise old woman (Part 4) Then she returned home from the old woman, who took the shawl on which the baby was lying, wrapped it around the bundle of grass and put the bundle on his knees, cradling him like a baby. “Sit next to the crib,” she told the young mother, “and be careful not to move and not to talk until I tell you.” The old woman then went to work. She filled a large pot with water and placed it on the hearth without cradling the bundle of grass wrapped in the shawl. Soon the water began to boil; the old woman fired the fire again and, when the pot seemed almost like a volcano, she put the bundle under one arm, grabbed a large wooden spoon and began to stir the water swirling. Every time a ladle repeated this chant: “Fire, fire, blaze, flare! Make this hot, warm water! Boil the pot! Here is the brat in the cauldron! ” And with a sudden gesture she threw the bundle of grass wrapped in the shawl into the boiling water! Suddenly the baby lying in the cradle jumped up, throwing a sharp scream: “Mom!” she called out, “come get me right away, they’re going to throw me into the pot!” The front door swung open with a loud noise and a disturbed looking fairy rushed into the room. Without uttering a word, she lifted his brat from the cradle and, without much compliment, dropped the kidnapped child. “Keep your baby, I’ll keep mine!” she shrieked, and in less than no time she had already left the door. “Well, well,” said the satisfied old woman. “Take the little one in your arms because this is really your son.” Then she went out of the door and went to his home. The young mother, with her face striped with tears of joy, ran to embrace her child and, holding him close to her, chased the old woman to thank her. But he gave her a single warning: “From now on, do not go around fooling around foolishly about your children.” In the years that followed the young woman had many other children, one more beautiful than the other, but no one ever heard her speak aloud a single word of complacency about her creatures. He had learned the lesson: there could always be a fairy ready to listen to the surroundings. (Celtic fairy tale)
March 13, 2018
The replaced child and the wise old woman (Part 3)
Some time later, an old woman who lived a short distance from the village became aware of the misadventures of mother and child. The old woman was known to all for her wisdom and was also said to know the magical arts, so that many considered it a witch. to make sure of the news that had come to her, she put the shawl on her shoulders, closed the door of the house and walked towards the home of the poor mother. He introduced himself, entered and examined the little one for a long time. “Dear girl,” he said at last, “it is not surprising that the child is not well, this is not your child, there is another child in the cradle: someone has replaced him with your son.” At those words the mother burst into tears, hiding her face in her apron. “Do you know what I’m afraid?” the old woman added in a tone of reproach. “That you went around extolling to everyone the beauty of your baby.” “Oh yes, that’s right!” the young mother is displeased. “And yes, they had warned me.” “Here’s how it went,” explained the old woman. “The fairies have heard your praises and decided to take your beautiful child away, so they kidnapped him by putting their ugly brat.” The woman was more and more upset. “When could they have made the replacement?” asked the old woman. The poor mother stopped crying for a moment: “On the hill, when I picked up the blueberries, it was only for a few minutes, and it’s not the same since.” Then she began to cry almost as much as the baby screaming in the cradle. “Calm down, my girl and stop complaining,” the old woman reproached her. “Even the most serious situations have some way out, you run to get a nice bundle of the grass on the hill and give me the shawl on which you laid the baby … You’ll see, we’ll soon be able to make the intruder to the fairies and get back back your baby.” The mother ran in a breath up the hill, reached the grassy clearing and gathered a good deal of grass.
(To be continued)
March 10, 2018
The replaced child and the wise old woman (Part 2) As soon as he touched his cradle, the little boy, who had continued to scream all the way, doubled his screams. Despite trying with all her mother’s love, she could not calm him; the only one moment when the noise stopped when he offered him food. Even in this circumstance, however, the behavior of the child proved to be rather strange: it seemed that he could never get away with it. His mouth was always open and the spoonfuls of oatmeal were never enough. His hunger was such that he quickly disappeared three bowls of baby food, a large bowl of milk and several scones. And again, he was not satisfied. She would have continued to eat if her mother, amazed at how such a small creature had managed to swallow so much food, had not decided to stop indulging him. Now it was impossible to deny it: the child was unquestionably changed and, as if that were not enough, even his appearance continued to change. In a short time, legs and arms became thin as sticks, the sternum protruding like that of a plucked chicken and the head became so large as to be completely disproportionate to the rest of the body. He also kept screaming and being perpetually hungry, despite being fed with large quantities of food. His face had become like that of an old man: red and wrinkled because of the great cry. Mum was nothing short of desperate. Upon learning of what happened and how the woman was unable to solve the child’s problems, the villagers went to visit her with the intention of providing her with help. But when they saw the baby, they could do nothing but shake their heads and leave. As they were far from the house and sure their mother could not hear them, they began to argue with each other. “We warned her,” one said. “Of course, it’s as clear as the sun,” another insisted. And again: “We told him he would end up regretting it!” “Yeah, by dint of bragging about the baby’s beauty! It was like trying to get in trouble alone. “Everyone nodded in pedantic condescension, but no one dared to go to the woman and tell her the conclusions they had come to. (To be continued)
March 9, 2018
The replaced child and the wise old woman (Part 1) Once upon a time there was a young mother who thought, as often happens, that her baby was so beautiful that it had no rivals in the world. He was repeating this conviction to everyone, even though they had repeatedly tried to explain to her that such behavior could be a source of great misfortune. “Why should not I let everyone know?” the woman insisted. “The truth is that you’ve never seen a beautiful baby like my baby.” “You do not know what could happen,” the villagers muttered, shaking their heads. “Be careful or you’ll regret it.” Meanwhile, the baby continued to grow in good health and more and more beautiful, until one unfortunate day the mother started on the hill to pick up blueberries. He took a nice walk holding the baby with one arm and one basket with the other; then, arriving in a clearing covered with soft grass and enclosed by green bushes, he spread the shawl on the lawn and laid the child on it. Only in this way could he gather a great quantity of blueberries; in fact, with her games, the baby would certainly have interfered with it, to say nothing of the blueberries that she probably would have removed from the basket at the same speed with which she picked them up. So the young woman went to work and, one blueberry after another, without even realizing it, moved further and further away from the clearing where she had left the baby. The basket was now full when the clearing began to rise from the shrill screeds. “I did not realize I had left it for so long,” he thought, running worried toward the grassy clearing. Still lying on the shawl, the baby’s face was red and wrinkled with incessant crying; to no avail were kisses and sweet words, the little boy was only screaming and kicking. The woman was left to pick her up and walk home in a hurry. (Go on…)
March 8, 2018
Indian prayer Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to all things. Listen to me; I need your strength and your wisdom, let me walk in beauty, and let my eyes always look at the red and purple sunset. Let my hands respect nature in all its forms and let my ears quickly listen to your voice. Let it be wise and understand the things you have thought of for my people. Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all those who come against me. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and in every rock. Help me find actions and pure thoughts to help others. Help me find compassion without the oppressive contemplation of myself. I seek strength, not to be bigger than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy: Myself. Always let me be ready to come to you with clean hands and a high look. So when life fades, as the sunset fades, my spirit can come to you without shame. Tatanka Iyothanka (Sitting Bull)
March 7, 2018
The Wise (Pandita-Vagga) 76. Should one see a wise man, who, like a revealer of treasure, points out faults and reproves; let one associate with such a wise person; it will be better, not worse, for him who associates with such a one. 77. Let him advise, instruct, and dissuade one from evil; truly pleasing is he to the good, displeasing is he to the bad. 78. Associate not with evil friends, associate not with mean men; associate with good friends, associate with noble men. 79. He who imbibes the Dhamma abides in happiness with mind pacified; the wise man ever delights in the Dhamma revealed by the Ariyas. 80. Irrigators lead the waters; fletchers bend the shafts; carpenters bend the wood; the wise control themselves.
March 6, 2018
A Mother’s Advice Jiun, a Shogun master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students. His mother heard about this and wrote him a letter: “Son, I do not think you became a devotee of the Buddha because you desired to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentation, glory and honor. I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountain. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain true realization.”
March 3, 2018
Learn to ride the wind Young Yin Cheng had heard that Liezi had penetrated mysteries of the Dao and was able to ride the wind. Eager to discover the secret of the old master, he had himself admitted to the exiguous number of his disciples. However, after a few months, he had not yet received any teaching. The teacher not only had never spoken to him, but had not even looked at him. One day the disciple approached the sage by soliciting a word of truth, an accent that extradited him on the Way. Liezi passed on without answering. The next day Yin Cheng, with an expression of disappointment, went to say goodbye. Maestro Lie let him leave without a word. After several weeks, the disciple returned. -What does all these go-and-go mean? asked Liezi. – I’m upset. Master, because in many months I was in your school you did not give me the least teaching. But then I thought about it: I humbly ask you for forgiveness and I beg you to explain to me your behavior. “That’s better,” the wise man continued. Sit down, and listen to how I was instructed in my turn by my Master. It was only after three years of total silence, during which my lips did not say a single word, that the Master deigned to look at me. At that point I began to speak, but being careful not to express the slightest judgment on things and beings. After five years, the Master gave me a smile. From that day on, I gradually lost the habit of judging with my mind: I no longer knew how to distinguish good from evil, good from bad, affirmation from negation. At the end of seven years, the Master finally invited me to sit on his mat and ask him a question. He only answered me with a gesture. By dint of meditating on that gesture, I became unable to perceive the difference between the inside and the outside. Finally, after nine years, Master told me a word. At that moment my spirit condensed, while the body, flesh and bones seemed to melt. And I was overwhelmed by a breath of air as if I were a leaf fallen from the tree, or a straw fowl. And Liezi burst into a thunderous laugh: -And you, who have not spent even a year next to your Master, would you like to ride the wind? Your body is too full of desires and your spirit too full of impatience: how would you move in the Void?
March 2, 2018
The practice of meditation “A lama from the province of Golok, in eastern Tibet, went to visit the great Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye and told him that he had stayed in a meditation retreat for nine or ten years. “My practice is pretty good now and sometimes I develop a certain clairvoyance. When I focus on something, my attention remains stable. I feel so calm and serene! I find myself in a state completely devoid of thoughts and concepts, and for long periods I experience only bliss, clarity and absence of thoughts. I could say that my meditation has given good results! ». “What a pity!” Said Jamgön Kongtrül. The practitioner went off a bit ‘down and returned the next morning. “Honestly, Rinpoche, my practice of samadhi is good. I managed to level all the mental states of pleasure and pain. The three poisons, anger, desire and dullness have no more hold on me. After meditating for nine years, I think I’m on a pretty good level. ” “What a pity!” Repeated Jamgön Kongtrül. The practitioner retired to his room and probably began to have some doubts, because after a few days he came back and said, “I go back to my retreat, what do I have to do?” Jamgön Rinpoche said to him, “Do not meditate anymore! From today on, stop meditating. If you want to follow my advice, go home and go to retreat for three years without meditating! […] ». The practitioner thought to himself: “What are you saying! What does it mean? On the other hand, he is reputed to be a great teacher. I will try to do what he says and I will see what happens ». So he said, “All right, Rinpoche,” and left. When he returned to his retreat, he had many difficulties not meditating. Every time he left his mind as he was, without trying to meditate, he found himself meditating. He later said: “The first year was very difficult. The second year went a little bit better ». At that point he had discovered that meditating had simply kept the mind occupied and understood the meaning of the words of Jamgön Kongtrül: “Do not meditate.” The third year reached the authentic state of non-meditation and completely abandoned all deliberate efforts. Simply leaving awareness in a natural condition, as it is, discovered the state perfectly beyond doing and meditating. Nothing spectacular appeared more in his practice, not even a particular clairvoyance. Even the experiences of bliss, clarity and absence of thought had vanished and he thought: “Now my meditation practice has been completely lost! Maybe it’s better if you come back to Rinpoche and ask for more advice! ” When he found himself in the presence of Jamgön Kongtrül and told him about his experience, Rinpoche replied: “It’s all right! In these three years your meditation has been successful! Very well!”. Jamgön Kongtrül continued: “Do not meditate with something deliberately in mind, but do not distract yourself!” The practitioner said: “Perhaps due to my previous training in the calm state the distraction periods are quite short, there is not much distraction. I think I discovered what you meant to say: I find myself in a state not created by meditation, and yet it lasts long enough for itself ». “That’s fine!” Said Jamgön Kongtrül. “Spend the rest of your life practicing like this” ” Taken from “Dipinti di arcobaleno” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
March 1, 2018
The practice of awareness The ancient texts Pali compare meditation to domesticated a wild elephant. In those days, the newly captured animal was tied to a pole with a resistant rope. The elephant, who found himself bound, was certainly not happy: he was bargaining and kicking, and he was pulling the rope for days. At last the fact that he could not leave was coming to his head, and he calmed down. At that point they could start feeding and caring for him, taking some measure of security. In the end they could do without the rope and the pole and could train the elephant to the various tasks. So they found themselves having a tame elephant that could be used for useful work. In this analogy the wild elephant is your mind, wildly vivacious, the rope is the awareness and the pole is the object of meditation, ie the breath. The tame elephant, the result of the process, is a well-trained and concentrated mind, which can be used for the extremely hard work of penetrating layers of confusion that obscure reality. Meditation tames the mind. Taken from “La pratica della consapevolezza” by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.