Giving Thanks

Sometimes we get so caught up in the rigors of daily life that we forget to appreciate the simple blessings that life offers. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so let me use this opportunity to give thanks to the small blessings that I have received:

  • My Parents: For supporting and providing for me throughout my adolescence years, now I have the opportunity to give back.
    • The many meals they provided
    • The wisdom they’ve imparted
    • The sacrifices (financial & emotional) they’ve made

 

  • My Girlfriend: She came at an opportune time when I thought all hope was lost in finding an ideal partner. She’s loving, compassionate and supportive. If that in itself is not a blessing, I don’t know what is.
    • The big hug I got from her this morning. I could feel the love flowing through her into me
    • The muffin we shared because we we’re running late for church

 

  • My Job: Though it’s not ideal, it affords me  the opportunity to handle my responsibilities. A lot of persons are home sending out hundreds of resumes in hopes that they can get even a mediocre job so that they can take care of their expenses.

Each day is truly a blessing and to realize that, we must focus more on the positives. I know it’s easy to focus on the negative things that are happening in our lives because they’re in our face, but for every bad thing that has happened to us, there are three or more good things that has happened or will happen. It’s just a matter of perspective really.

As you go throughout your day, I leave you with this quote:

The more elevated the soul, the broader the outlook.

~Hazrat Khan

 

 

 

Victims of Choice

You are gay?

How comes?

How do you know?

Are you sure?

Actor Neil Patrick Harris came out publicly and it created a stir in the media and Hollywood. Neil and his partner are happy with their twins. I’m seeing children as young as 12 y/o professing that they are gay. These children are victimized by children of heterosexual couples. Some even take their life because they feel that they would be safer in death. How sad.

Life is a gift. How you live it is your prerogative. What makes you happy? The things that makes me happy are not the same things that make you happy. Deviation from societal norm is extremely frowned upon.

Human rights are extremely important, but sometimes we can be a bit biased when assessing certain situation that questions human rights. If we spend more time embracing the things that connect us instead of the things that separates us, wouldn’t society be a better place?

I sound like an idealist :)

Let me leave you with two quotes:

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
Maya Angelou

Internal peace is an essential first step to achieving peace in the world. How do you cultivate it? It’s very simple. In the first place by realizing clearly that all mankind is one, that human beings in every country are members of one and the same family.
The Dalai Lama

 

As usual, feel free to share your thoughts.

P.S. Be sure to check out my photography blog –> here and drop in a comment or two :)

Until next week,

Peace!

Thought Provoking Quotes

Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.

~The Buddha

 

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. 

~Henry David Thoreau

 

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”

~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

 

Spiritual Tuesdays: Buddhist Ethics

A lay Buddhist should train in what is known as the “Five Precepts“. The five precepts are training rules, which, if one were to break any of them, one should be aware of the breach and look at how such a breach may be avoided in the future.

Buddhism places a great emphasis on the ‘mind‘ and its mental anguish such as remorse, anxiety, guilt etc. which is to be avoided to cultivate a calm and peaceful mind. The five precepts are:

  1. Avoid taking the life of beings: This applies to all living things not just humans. All beings have a right to their life and that right should be respected.
  2. Avoid taking things not given: This goes beyond stealing. One should avoid taking anything unless one is sure it is intended for them.
  3. Refrain from false speech:Avoid lies and deceit. Avoid speech which is not beneficial to the welfare of others.
  4. Avoid sensual misconduct: This means avoid overindulgence in any sensual pleasures e.g. gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature.
  5. Avoid substances which cause intoxication or heedlessness:This does not mean alcohol is bad, but indulgence in such a substance could lead to the breaking of the other four precepts.

The information above was extracted from Buddhanet.net.

Buddhism is a way of life. The precepts above is tantamount to the ten commandments in Christianity.

Thanks for reading … Namaste!

Image via zazenlife.com

Obnoxious Passenger … FAILED Buddhist Teachings

Tuesday evening, my wife and i were traveling on the bus home. When we got on, the only double seats available was at the back of the bus. A man was sitting in the row before the last with his seat reclined. My wife went into the corner, directly behind the man and I sat beside her. I tapped him on his shoulder and asked him to raise his seat a little.

He turned around quite furious with a frown on his face and bellowed “What?!” I repeated in a polite tone “Could you raise your seat a little please?” He ignored me and answered his phone. When he hung up, he raised the seat a little (literally an inch). He asked if that was OK. Before I could say anything, my wife answered, as if to avoid confrontation, “YES”. His seat was still pressing against her legs. I was livid! My protective instinct was compelling me to pound him with my umbrella.

Buddha‘s teachings of nonviolence was the farthest thing from my mind in the moment. We scooched over one seat to the right. With a frown plastered on my face, I told her how I felt. She smiled and said “Babes, some people are just inconsiderate. If we wanted convenience we would buy a car. This is out of our control”.  I smiled. As she laid her head on my shoulder, my anger dissipated as quickly as it came.

I thought I was in perfect control of my emotions, but sometimes it takes moments like these for us to realize how weak we really are and they act as a lesson.

Accountability

“If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.”
– Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) British lexiographer.

 

I was reading an article about accountability on Freshly Pressed (yes, that same Freshly Pressed that still eludes me :() this morning, and it struck me. I should be more accountable.

I have … give me a minute while I go check … ah yes, 81 followers friends (wait, is that right? Damn. That’s more than I expected). That’s 81 people who think that I have something worth reading. 81 people who expect a new post often (not everyday), but not once a month either :). 81 people who wish to be on the path to enlightenment (no, I’m joking, but I had to throw that one in :D)

So, it’s been decided. I will post something every Tuesday and Thursday. I’ve marked my digital calendar. To all my friends (I don’t fancy the term followers), I thank you for putting up with what appears to be a dormant blog!

Thank YOU! YOU get me out of bed in the mornings … well technically it’s that damn alarm … but after a cold shower, YOU are the ones that bring me … oh darn. I think I’m messing up what I thought would be a great speech.

The point is, I APPRECIATE YOU ALL :)

Namaste (The light within me salutes the light within you) <–picked that up from Yoga :D

 

Dedicated to all good men

Most of my post have been about equal rights to all especially towards women and others who are different from us. Someone made a comment on one of my post accusing me of being a “feministic moron”. I deleted it. Although I believe  everyone is entitled to their own opinion and not everyone will agree with what I have to say and I have no control over that. I accept that. But what I do have control over is my blog, and what gets accepted :). I will not entertain any negativity on my blog space.

Everyone loves their mother, but what about the fathers? There are some really GOOD men out there and then some. I often hear women complain about not finding the right man, or that they’re giving up on relationships because the last one they were in was shitty. I think sometimes our expectations are too high – he’s not handsome enough, or tall enough or muscular enough. Look past the surface. Is he kind to others? Does he treat and respect women? How does he treat his mother (very telling)? Does he cook? etc.

Image via Glenmuir.com

My father is awesome. He taught me the value of hard work. He was strict (when needs be). He always showed interest in my school work, whether he understood it or not. That man would beat me silly to take school word seriously. In retrospect, that’s kind of why I’m where I am in my life now. He understood the value of education (even though his stopped at junior high). He was always around and he took good care of me as a child. The things he taught me I will pass on to my son (or daughter). I will be the best husband and father I can be because of him.

Without a father in the house, it’s easy for a child to turn towards violence. Granted it’s possible to bring up a good child as a single parent, but it’s much harder. So this post is for all the good men out there. Those that stick to it through thick and thin. Those that make time for their child/children and wife. Those that don’t abuse their woman or any other woman.

PS: Ladies, if you’re complaining about not finding the right man or that there are no good man out there, get off you high horse. YOUR right man might be closer than you think.

Respect and love to all the GOOD men out there.

Peace!

We all have a role to play

I watched HUGO with my wife the other day and I must say we were quite impressed. It deserved all the awards it got at the Oscars. I won’t give a review but I think it’s worth watching. One of the things that stood out in my mind was when Hugo Cabret (the protagonist), brought his friend Isabelle inside the clock tower in Paris in the night and showed her the well lit city. He then said to her that a machine never comes with more parts than it needs. If you think of the world as one big machine, we all have our part to play. No one is insignificant.

I found that quite profound because sometimes we’re merely existing, wondering what’s our role on this big planet of ours or even if our little contribution will make a difference.

So I’m here to tell you that our contribution matters. We are all important. We all have our role to play.

Image via raycalabresecom.ipage.com

Becoming a Better You: Negativity

“You have to ask yourself, ‘Does this item or thought or response move me closer to my vision for my best life?’ If it does, great. If it doesn’t, what is it doing in your life?”

—  Peter Walsh

Sometimes our thoughts are our greatest enemy. Negative thoughts can be so dis-empowering, and so are negative people.

Mister Negative

Image via Wikipedia

I am always conscious of the people I bring into my “circle”. I try my very best to avoid people who are perpetually negative because they’re a magnet for negative energy (look at the bonds formed by some of your coworkers). When you are so caught up thinking about all the wrongs that others did to you, or the external factors that are preventing you from doing something you’ve always wanted to do, your growth becomes stunted. You will never move forward.

If a thought, something or someone is in your life that’s not contributing to your quality of life, or helping you to become a better you, then you should get rid of it or them.

What I’ve Learned: Masquerade

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

~ William Shakespeare

People define us by our actions. If you steal something, people label you as a thief. Even if your reason for stealing might be just, you will still be labeled as a thief and treated accordingly.

People wear masks on a daily basis. Some wear it to protect themselves, others wear it because the mask is more liked by others than their true self. Let me tell you a story about a fellow coworker who is always overly cheery. When I first met her, I thought that she knows who she is and knows what makes her happy, and that’s good. Then I heard a number of occasions where that same coworker flared up quite horrifically on others. I thought to myself, really. Are they talking about the same person? This behavior came off shocking to me because it was in contrary to how she always acted.

I still don’t know which of the mask is her true self, but what it highlighted was that we all wear masks.