Life Lessons : by understanding nature we come to an understanding of our own natures. Everwhere we look are lessons to be learnt. Open your heart and become open to life’s lessons.
A little girl — 5 — is walking along a sandy beach. A red tide had caused millions of jellyfish to wash ashore. They lay there marooned, gasping for air. She ever so gently picks one little jelly fish and returns him to the surf. Her teenage brother begins to laugh, “You will never be able to save all of them whats the point ?”. She picked up another jellyfish and whilst retruning it to the sea she chided her brother saying, ” To this little jellyfish it makes a difference”. She tirelessly wandered to and fro from jellyfish to ocean repeating ” to this little jellyfish it makes a difference “.
We may not be able to change the world but by performing random acts of kindness daily we have the potential to positively influence the lives and environment of those around us. Thus changing the world, one small miracle at a time. Please start today, what does it cost to lovingly smile at a strange, hug a friend or give in charity. Surprisingly, not only will the world change but our heart too.
- 2.Fresh Fish
The Japanese love fresh fish. However, the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste.To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer.However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish.So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive.Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish.So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem?
Like the Japanese fish problem, the best solution is simple. It was observed by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950’s.“Man thrives, oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging environment.” — L. Ron Hubbard
How Japanese Fish Stay Fresh
To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state.The fish are challenged.
Instead of avoiding challenges, jump into them. The shark of adversity fosters character and growth. All to often we become lax and complacent.
Strife also affords us an opportunity to take shelter of a higher power, One greater than ourselves. In doing so we can truly realise just how puny and insignificant we are in relation to the universe and the juggernaut of time. Embrace the shark in your tank by viewing it as a blessing for wholistic and rapid growth. Seeing all that transpires as a blessing, for we are spiritual beings having a human experience, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. So when disease, material loss and death strike know this is a wake up call — the cry of eternity.
- 3.Master, dog & his dress
When the owner of the home arrives after a long day at the office, dressed in suit & tie, he is greeted by his dog. Later that evening he changes in to his pj’s and plays with his dog before turning in. The dog still recognizes him as the same owner who was previously in formal attire. Similarly if we fail to see our Supreme Master in the dress or guise of another religion than our consciousness is less than that of a dog. One God reveals Himself according to time, place and circumstances. He takes into consideration geographic settings, cultural paradigms & collective and individual conditionings. Your path is not the only way, it is a way. How arrogant to think that only my way leads to salvation and others to damnation. There is no American sun or African sun. One celestial burning ball of gas manifest at different regions of the world. God reveals Himself via a similar premise. It doesn’t matter what you call Him, simply call Him.
- 4.Japanese Bamboo
Like any plant, growth of the Chinese Bamboo requires nurturing through water, fertile soil, and sunshine.In its first year though, we see no visible signs of growth in spite of providing all of these things. In the second year (again), there is no growth above the soil.The third, fourth year…still no signs of anything happening.Our patience is tested, and we begin to wonder if our efforts caring for and watering the tree will ever be rewarded. We start to doubt ourselves and question the value of our efforts. Inevitably, we contemplate quitting. But then finally in the fifth year – something amazing happens…The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet tall in just six weeks!But think for a moment, does the Chinese Bamboo really grow 80 feet in six weeks? Did the Chinese Bamboo Tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth?Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond?
We water our devotional creeper with daily meditation and spiritual practice, results may not be immediately tangible, but like an expert gardener we continue with faith, determination and patience. People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenges, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success. Spiritual life is not a play ground but a battle ground. Battles are waged daily, not always are we the victors. When the spiritual root is deep then we are able to withstand the material storm.
- 5.Alexandra the great
5.1 Real wealth
Alexander, after conquering many kingdoms, was on his death bed. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence. He now longed to reach home to see his mother’s face and bid her his last adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit him to reach his distant homeland.So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last.
He called his generals and said, “I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail.”With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king’s last wishes.“My first desire is that”, said Alexander, “My physicians alone must carry my coffin.”After a pause, he continued, “Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones that I have collected in my treasury.”
A few minute’s rest and he continued.
“My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin.”
The people who had gathered there wondered at the king’s strange wishes. But, no one dared bring the question to their lips. Alexander’s favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart.
“O king, we assure you that your wishes will all be fulfilled. But, tell us why do you make such strange wishes?”
At this, Alexander took a deep breath and said: “I would like the world to know of the three lessons I have just learnt…
(01) People should realize that no doctor can really cure my body. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So, let not people take life for granted. The riches on the way to the graveyard is to tell people that not even a fraction of gold will come with me.
(02) I spent all my life earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth. What is real wealth? Only spiritual knowledge and practise is accrued in our eternal bank account.
(03) And, about my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world.”
An estimation of real wealth is to measure those things you have in your life that money can’t buy.
Alexandra and his men where lost in a dessert, his men found water and brought it back to their general. There was only enough to fill a helmet. He took the helmet and poured the water out in front of the men. “If the men don’t drink i don’t drink”, he said. This is a quality of a leader. A leader inspires others. A boss says,” go do this”, a leader, “lets go do this”. Remember you will be judged not by what you say but what you do. As its been said actions cry louder than words, so be the change you wish to see in others. Inspire in them a desire for a higher truth.
- 6.Animal Olympics
In the 100m dash a cheetah and elephant were one of eight opponents. At the sound of the starters gun the cheetah annihilated the field of competitors. The elephant, to no great surprise, finish last. He was devastated. For the next year he arduously trained with the burning desire to win gold in the next 100m race. After a year of training, when the starters pistol sounded… guess who won the race. The cheetah. The elephant was distraught but did not give up. Instead he tried out for another event, the short put and won goal easily.
We are all created uniquely — like little snow flakes, no two identical. As such we have varying psycho – socio conditionings and talents. Don’t judge your results comparatively to the success or failures of others. Always try your best and become aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Edison discovered 9999 ways to not make a light bulb before his 10 000th try was a success. See every failure or obstacle as a learning opportunity to grow and develop. Thus their are no failures only potential for elevation and growth.
- 7.The saintly cat
There lived a feline who tormented the neighbour mice. One day he called a truce. “I’ve decided to change my sinnister ways and become a saint” the cat said. Forgive me for the torment I have created in the past. Now please use my body as an amusment park as atonment for my misdeeds. The mice where overcome, ” Have you heard, have you heared, the cats become a saint!”. He is now dressed in the robes of a monk and sits in meditation daily as we play with his tail and use his body as a jungle gym. As the days progressed the cat became ever more hungry. He told the mice to hide in his mouth as they played a game of hide and go seek. When the last of the mice got into the trap, he shut it tight, devouring them all.
Not all that glitters is gold, sometimes, those knights in shining amour are nothing but morons in foil. Dont be fooled by externals. A crane may look like a yogi meditating in the water but what is his meditation? Where can i get my next fish!
- 8. Prince, monk & butcher
A wondering saint enters a village giving blessings to one and all. He comes across the son of a king. May you live for an eternity he blesses. Too a young monk, may you die soon and to the butcher may you neither live nor die. The towns folk were bamboozled by his blessings and begged for the meaning behinds its utterance.
The Prince is embroiled in enjoyment. Wine, women and material opulence immersed his consciousness. But when he is to die the karmic retribution for a life of decadence and indulgence would be painful, so better he live as long as possible in this life for a hellish existence is to ensue in the future.
Better you die to the young monk, he was living a life of spiritual practice and austerity. Your lifestyle determines your death style as such he was destined for glory in the next life due to his accruement of spiritual wealth and surrender to God.
The butchers daily practice caused pain and torture to innocent animals in this life, his livelihood is one of blood. Thus in the future there shall be retribution. The atonement for the spilling of so much innocent blood would be painful. He is the cause of great suffering at present and in the future immense punishment awaits. Better he neither live nor die.
- 9. Compassion
A yogi’s meditation is broken by a journalist high in the Himalayan mountains. My dear sir, the journalist asks, by metitating here you make spiritual adavncement but what about the billions of souls traped in cities entombed by illusion. The yogi replied, ” The well does not go to the thirsty, the thirsty go to the well”. How profound i though till i deciphered the under tones of his message. Real and genueine compassion and kindness is not to save oneself but to live in such a way as to save as many people as possible. This can be achieved only through selfless sacrifice.