The Law Of The Garbage Truck

When life is full of shit:

How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss or an insensitive employee, difficult neighbour, ruin your day? Well, unless you are thick skinned like the Terminator, you’re probably setback on your heels. This happens to me regularly, even though I try to practice mindfulness but just now and then some Garbage Truck comes along and knocks me down for a while. I honesty think I am a sucker for punishment when it comes to life’s little niggles and being dumped on. However, the mark of success is how quickly you can recover and refocus on what’s important in your life. A few years ago I learned this small lesson. And I learned it in a city taxi. Here’s how the story goes:

I hopped into the taxi one day and we took off for the train station. We were travelling in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed and at the very last moment our car stoped just one inch from the other car’s back end. It was a close call.

I couldn’t believe it.But I couldn’t believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. And for emphasis, he threw in a one finger salute, as if his words were not enough.

But then here’s what really blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy as if old friends. And I mean, he was very friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just do that? This guy could have killed us!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The law of the Garbage Truck.”

He said, Many people are like garbage trucks.They run around full of garbage, full of frustrations, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up even more, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me you’ll be happier.”

So I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people, at work, at home, or in the street? It was then that i said, “I don’t want their garbage and I’m not going to spread it anymore.”

I began to see Garbage Trucks all over. Like in the movie the Sixth Sense, the litte boy said, “I see dead people.” Well, now “I see Garbage Trucks.” I see the load they are carrying. I see them coming to dump it and sometimes it’s on me! Now, like my taxi driver, I don’t take is personally, I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

From an original story by David J Poolay with thanks.

Prayer for the day:

“Dear God.

So far today, I’ve done alright.

I haven’t gossiped. I haven’t lost my temper.

I haven’t been greedy, moody, nasty or selfish.

And I’m really glad about that.

But in a few minutes, God,

I’m going to get out of bed.

And from then on I’m going

to need a whole lot more help.

Thank You.

Amen”

The Golden Buddha Story

This is an old story but enchanting enough to give it another outing on this blog.

In 1957 an entire Monastery in Thailand was being relocated by a group of monks. One day they were moving a giant clay Buddha when one of the monks noticed a large crack in the clay. On closer investigation he saw there was a golden light emanating from the crack. The monk used a hammer and a chisel to chip away at the clay exterior until he revealed that the statue was in fact made of solid gold.

Historians believe the Buddha had been covered with clay by Thai monks several hundred years earlier to protect it from an attack by the Burmese army. In the attack, all the monks had been killed and it wasn’t until 1957 that this great treasure was actually discovered.

I was able to share the story of the Golden Buddha at the end of a talk I gave recently when a woman in the audience asked “Is it just a utopian dream to think that I can find my ‘why’ at work? Where do I even start looking for my purpose?”

I explained that it’s already right there inside each of us, that it’s not necessarily found in another job, a new company or another country. It’s always been there and it’s way closer than we think.

What happens over the course of our life however is that we pile layer upon layer of clay over our own Golden Buddha. The heaviest layer of clay is of our own doing – it’s our own limited thinking and our unconscious conditioning. The other layers of clay get added on from external influences (parents, schools and teachers, bosses and co-workers, society, the media, the church, government and corporations). Eventually we are so laden with clay that we forget that the Golden Buddha is there all the time.

The secret to finding our Golden Buddha, our higher purpose, lies not in the future, but in our past. All we need to do is start chipping away at the clay and rediscovering those things we were passionate about as we grew up. We reconnect with why we first went into our profession or that job we really, really loved. We recall the times when we were in flow and time stood still. We chip away at our clay with a therapist or a trusted advisor. We get curious and we do something, anything. Action always precedes clarity. Action reveals the Golden Buddha.

At a company level, we also need to reclaim our Golden Buddha. I believe that most organisations are founded with a golden intent. They are started with a higher purpose to improve humanity and not damage the planet, however over time the clay appears in the form of poor management, flawed systems, board pressure, shareholder expectations or venture capitalist demands. The most vital role for leadership is to unearth that higher purpose again and make it both the glue and the guiding North Star of the company.

Imagine a world where every person and every company could return to their natural state, their Golden Buddha. Just imagine.

Hope this little story brightens your day!

Isabelle V. Lim

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

Poems and pictures

middle aged man in Rajasthan

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the mystic poet and India’s first and the only Nobel laureate in literature, had his life dedicated to social causes We are ever grateful for his gracious uplifting of the downtrodden and the oppressed women and highlighting the tragic incidents of the so-called low-caste people of India. 

‘Punishment’, one of his more powerful books with a social message for corrective measures, is a treatise on social horrors.

But, it is his Nobel-winning book, Gitanjali, that deals with divine and human love, and makes him a messenger of peace and love across the globe. 

With his “song offerings”, Tagore turned himself into an instrument in making the world realise that truth is God and God is truth.

Holi fest. Inzamam Azez Raad

Tagore stood for humanity and humility, and for him God did not dwell in temples and other places of worship; for him God was with the poor and the workers and the tillers in the field. In other words, Tagore wanted to make us realise that work is worship and, therefore, God’s presence is among the humble and those who toil for an honest and truthful living.

Depy’s photos –

Rabindranath Tagore believes that God pervades the whole of the human existence and man is nothing but an instrument in the hands of God, a servant whose duty it is to carry out the commands of his master. The human body is like a frail of a vessel which God empties again and again and then fills it ever with fresh life. Man dies and takes birth in another shape. In this way, human life is constantly renewed. this shows Tagore’s faith in the Hindu doctrine of transmigration.


He compares his body to a flute, made of reeds. God is the musician and He plays upon it everywhere, over the hill, as well as, in valleys. He always plays new and fresh melodies. Tagore believes it is under divine inspiration that he is always able to sing fresh and new songs. As God is everywhere and in every object of Nature, he gets His inspiration everywhere and sings over hills and dales.


Whenever God touches his soul with His immortal hand I.e. whenever He inspires him, he sings with immense joy, forgetting his own physical limitations. He loses his identity in his union of man and God, the eternal soul gets absorbed in Infinite.


God’s bounty knows no limit. His gifts are numerous and He has scattered them everywhere for ages. But the human soul is too little to enjoy in full abundance and profusion of divine bliss. again human soul is compared to a little child, whose hands are too small to hold the gifts which his parents offer to him. God has been bestowing His gifts upon His slaves for ages and still, His blessings are not exhausted. God’s gifts are endless.

Radha Krishna

This is the first poem from the collection of poems “Gitanjali” by Rabindranath Tagore.

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure, this frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.
This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of thy hands, my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still, there is room to fill.

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation.

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation.
I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.
Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colors and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim.
My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame
and place them before the altar of thy temple.
No, I will never shut the doors of my senses.
The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight.
Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy,
and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.

~Tagore

Curious eyes

Just a taster for anyone unfamiliar with Rabindranath Tagore and his wonderful creative spirit and genius.

Finding Our Light -Spirituality

bluebells in the glade
bluebells in the glade

It is a sure thing that darkness and the light are equally sacred but that does not mean we benefit by becoming complacent about the darkness we may meet in ourselves or others. Others’ darkness is a constant reminder to ourselves that we need to overcome our own.  Yet, often we are complacent about our darkness and oftentimes, we accept it as the way things are. Why hurry? we lament.  What’s the point of life is there’s only suffering! And what does it matter if there’s a little dust on the mirror? Still, in the end we will  need to cleanse our mirror. The all important  mirror of perception will not cleanse itself, only we can purify ourselves. We must bring light into the darkness and that is no easy task. There has always been the path of consciousness and the  flow of illumination or light. The coexistence of darkness and light indeed creates a crazy dance in which the clarity of light is invited to lead, but it does not create a higher order . ~Eve
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“He who is in the sun, and in the fire and in the heart of man is ONE
He who knows this is one with the ONE.” – Maitri Upanishad

 

bluebells in Kent, UK Winter 2016
bluebells in Kent, UK ~ Winter 2016

One of the most beautiful meditations from Sathya Sai Baba.

 

“Let it be in the hours before dawn. This is preferable because the body is refreshed after sleep, and the dealings of daytime will not yet have impinged on you. Have a lamp or a candle before you with an open, steady, and straight flame. Sit in front of the candle in the lotus posture or any other comfortable sitting position. Look on the flame steadily for some time, and closing your eyes try to feel the flame inside you between your eyebrows. Let it slide down into the lotus of your heart, illuminating the path. When it enters the heart, imagine that the petals of the lotus open out by one, bathing every thought, feeling, and emotion in the light and so removing darkness from them. There is no space for darkness to hide.

 

The light of the flame becomes wider and brighter. Let it pervade your limbs. Now those limbs can never indulge in dark, suspicious, and wicked activities; they have become instruments of light and love. As the light reaches up to the tongue, falsehood vanishes from it. Let it rise up to the eyes and the ears and destroy all the dark desires that infest them and which lead you to perverse sights and childish conversation. Let your head be surcharged with light and all wicked thoughts will flee there from. Imagine that the light is in you more and more intensely. Let it shine all around you and let it spread from you in ever widening circles, taking in your loved ones, your kith and kin, your friends and companions, your enemies and rivals, strangers, all living beings, the entire world.

 

“Since the light illumines all the senses every day so deeply and so systematically, a time will soon come when you can no more relish dark and evil sights, yearn for dark and sinister tales, crave for base, harmful, deadening toxic food and drink, handle dirty demeaning things, approach places of ill-fame and injury, or frame evil designs against anyone at any time. Stay on in that thrill of witnessing the light everywhere. If you are adoring God in any form now, try to visualize that form in the all-pervasive light. For Light is God; God is Light.”

Om Shanti

 

painterly style - bluebells
painterly style – bluebells

No Death, No Fear – Spirituality

tropicalflowersca

NO DEATH, NO FEAR

…The day my mother died, I wrote in my journal, “A serious misfortune of my life has arrived.” I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.

l opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants. And my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet… wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine alone but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. These feet that I saw as “my” feet were actually “our” feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.

From that moment on, the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time…

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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Transformation – Spirituality

viola in the wind
viola in the wind

Time to say goodbye to the computer for a while. My visa was late in arriving, I very late in leaving. Here is a dainty little quotation to ponder upon in the meanwhile.  Now to  flowers again, I am sure they could tell a tale or two about the harshness of life. I have watched them grow and bloom through the cold winter season. Watched them battle each new storm, bend in strong winds, and battle with the hard frost and yet even then, they all kept their beautiful smiles.. Well done flowers. 🙂

 

“The basic pain of feeling separate and disconnected is fundamental human experience. Yet when we consciously reside in the physical feeling of separation, we come closer to recognizing its insubstantiality. Continually bringing the light of awareness to our viscerally held beliefs, our pretenses, our anxieties, begins to dissolve these self-imposed boundaries, the boundaries that block awareness of the vast reality of being. This is the slow transformative path to freedom.”
~
Ezra Bayda


Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts)

 


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aaaawhiteflowers_n

 

ayellow4

 

largesnowdrops

 

Also several abstract art photos:

 

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my garden - spiria? not sure of the spelling of this beautiful flower
my garden – spiria? not sure of the spelling of this beautiful flower

roses in summer - my garden
roses in summer – my garden

Sri Krishna As Godhead – Spirituality

Bala Krishna
Bala Krishna

 

It is interesting to read the notes of Sri Aurobindo, about  how he expresses  devotion to Sri Krishna. Imagine a man who had little liking for religion, then somehow  his intuition tells him  that one day he would be in the consciousness of Krishna. (See slide-show at the bottom of the post.)

 

Asked by a disciple as to why he choose Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo replied: “I could not question. It was Sri Krishna’s Adesh. I had to obey. Later on I found it was for the Ashram and or the work.” (Evening talks with Sri Aurobindo pg 23)

In 1908 when arrested and sent to prison, Sri Aurobindo was shaken in faith and it was the voice from within that assured him. In the famous Uttarpara speech Sri Aurobindo says:”When I was arrested and hurried to the Lal Bazar hajat I was shaken in faith for a while, for I could not look into the heart of His intention. Therefore I faltered for a moment and cried out in my heart to Him,

 


Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Janmashtami (also known as Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami) is a festival dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna to commemorate his birth on earth. This year it falls on August 17, and on this day (up to midnight), the whole story of Sri Krishna’s birth will be enacted by the devotees in their houses and many delicacies, prepared out of milk and curd, will be distributed as ‘prasad’ (food made sacred by offering to God) to everyone.

In his letters to sadhaks, Sri Aurobindo mentions about Sri Krishna:

“Krishna as a godhead is the Lord of Ananda, Love and Bhakti; as an incarnation, he manifests the union of wisdom (Jnana) and works and leads the earth-evolution through this towards union with the Divine by Ananda, Love and Bhakti.”

“The boy with the flute is Sri Krishna, the Lord descended into the world-play from the divine Ananda; his flute is the music of the call which seeks to transform the lower ignorant play of mortal life and bring into it and establish in its place the Lila of his divine Ananda.”

 


 Krishna by Sri Aurobindo

At last I find a meaning of soul’s birth
Into this universe terrible and sweet,
I who have felt the hungry heart of earth
Aspiring beyond heaven to Krishna’s feet.

I have seen the beauty of immortal eyes,
And heard the passion of the Lover’s flute,
And known a deathless ecstasy’s surprise
And sorrow in my heart for ever mute.

Nearer and nearer now the music draws,
Life shudders with a strange felicity;
All Nature is a wide enamoured pause
Hoping her lord to touch, to clasp, to be.

For this one moment lived the ages past;
The world now throbs fulfilled in me at last.

15-9-1939

Interesting slide Show with Sri Aurobindo and Sri Krishna

 http://www.slideshare.net/aurovir/sri-aurobindo-and-sri-krishna-1853775

 

Who Moves The Universe – Spirituality

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Goddess Lakshmi is often depicted with two white elephants pouring water. This form of Goddess Lakshmi is known as Gajalakshmi. In some images four elephants are shown pouring water on Goddess Mahalakshmi. The four elephants are symbols of Kama (desire), the water may be to cool the “passions.”  This is a very old bronze Gajalaxmi medallion from Bharhut stupa railing pillar, sand stone, 2nd Century BCE, Indian Museum, Kolkata.
 


Brahma temple at Carambolim in Sattari (BrahmaKarmali)

How best to understand the Hindu term of  “Brahma”  is best written in the Kena Upanishad. It’s beautifully and poetically expressed in the verse below. The meaning  is also clearly described. Brahma is the spirit that moves the universe, is neither male nor female but transcends both. Brahma is like a drop of the ocean that bubbles up and separates, then descend down to merges once more with its origin. I hope you enjoy this little piece, also the quote from Rudolf Steiner on masculinity and feminine. He gives another more western and clearly defined view on this principle. (see para. towards the bottom of the page)

Not that which the eye can see, but that whereby the eye can see: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;

Not that which the ear can hear, but that whereby the ear can hear: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;

Not that which speech can illuminate, but that by which speech can be illuminated: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;

Not that which the mind can think, but that whereby the mind can think: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore.

The One Power that illumines everything and every one is indivisible. It is the Ear behind the ears, Mind behind the mind, Speech behind speech, Vital Life behind life. The ears cannot hear it; it is what makes the ears hear. The eyes cannot see it; it is what makes the eyes see. You cannot speak about it; it is what makes you speak. The mind cannot imagine it; it is what makes the mind think. It is different from the known; yet it is not unknown. Those who feel they know Him know Him not. Those who know that anything amenable to the senses is not Brahman. they know it best. When it is known as the innermost witness of all cognitions, whether sensation, perception or thought, then it is known. One who knows thus reaches immortality.

The spirit of the Upanishads is clear: the physical body is a finite creation within which exists the infinite and true soul or self, the Atman. A similar soul exists as the substantial reality in which all has its nature. This infinite, powerful soul is Brahman. The concept of Brahman, while often translated as ‘God,’ differs from the traditional abrahamic concept of God in that Brahman is not an anthropomorphic or human-like deity in the sky looking down upon mankind. Brahman is more of a force or energy, neither male nor female, transcending all universal realities yet existing in all universal things. To better understand the relationship between the Atman and Brahman, it can be said that the Atman is like a drop of water taken from the Ocean, while the vast ocean represents Brahman itself. To get in touch with the infinite Atman and thereby better know Brahman, we must reach awareness of our true selves through meditation and contemplation. We must first know who we truly are beyond our earthly, finite human bodies. This is what the ancient sages meant when they said “know thyself,” and what Jesus meant when he proclaimed “Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here!’ or ‘Lo there!’ for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

RUDOLF STEINER ON MASCULINITY & FEMININITY

“One could say that the male body now has a female soul, the female body a male soul. This inner one-sidedness of the human being is compensated by fertilization through the spirit, which abolishes the one-sidedness. Both the male with the female body and the female soul with its male body become double-sexed again through fructification by the spirit. Thus, men and women are different outwardly; internally their spiritual one-sidedness is rounded out to a harmonious whole. Internally, spirit and soul are fused into a unit. The spirit’s effect on the male soul in woman is female, rendering it both male and female; the spirit’s effect on the female soul in man is male, making it, too, male and female. The double-sexedness of human beings has retired from the outer world, where it existed in the pre-Lemurian period.

One can see that the higher essence of a human being has nothing to do with man or woman. The inner equality, however, does result from a male soul in woman and from a female soul in man. The union with the spirit finally brings about equality; but the fact that a difference exists before the establishment of the equality involves a secret of human nature. Understanding this secret is of great significance for all mystery science and is the key to important enigmas of life. For the present we are not permitted to lift the veil spread over this secret…

– LOVE & ITS MEANING IN THE WORLD by Rudolf Steiner (ISBN 0880104414)

http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19121217p01.html