Archive | August 2012

“we shape the things we …


“we shape the things we make, thereafter they shape us”

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Memory – A room with many…


Memory – A room with many windows, but no door.

10 Most Meaningful Passages The Heart Of Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh


Comprehensive, inspiring and practical,  The Heart Of Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh helps us to integrate Buddhist ideas into our everyday life without becoming too encumbered with terminology. Although Thich Nhat Hanh does tend to repeat himself in subtle ways, within this book and across his other books, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching seems to integrate many of his ideas into one very coherent and practical treatise on the nature suffering as one of the most basic human conditions we spend our lives trying to accept, or possibly escape. I hope these 10 passages effectively condense the beauty of this book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Thich Nhat Hanh’s introduction begins with the Turning the Dharma Wheel Sutra, the classic tale of Buddha’s announcement in the Deer Park of his awakening. Nhat Hanh then proceeds through a series of laundry-list definitions of core Buddhist terminology: Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Path, The Three Dharma Seals, The Three Doors of Liberation, The Twelve Links of Causation, The Three Jewels, The Six Harmonies, The Five Powers, The Five Wonderful Precepts and The Four Immeasurable Minds. Despite the tedium of the list, Nhat Hanh does present Buddhism as way of thinking and a well-traveled path toward enlightenment. Buddhism, he teaches, is not only about the individual’s attainment of enlightenment but also about the community, past and present, which has fostered the possibility of an individual’s enlightenment. As an introduction to Buddhism, this is a masterful inventory of the basic accouterments of a well-furnished Buddhist life.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In, out Deep, slow Calm, ease Smile, release Present moment, wonderful moment
Highlighted by 41 Kindle users
Mindfulness is the energy that allows us to recognize our habit energy and prevent it from dominating us.
Highlighted by 41 Kindle users
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything — anger, anxiety, or possessions — we cannot be free.
Highlighted by 37 Kindle users
The Buddha said many times, “My teaching is like a finger pointing to the moon. Do not mistake the finger for the moon.”
Highlighted by 36 Kindle users
When we are mindful, touching deeply the present moment, the fruits are always understanding, acceptance, love, and the desire to relieve suffering and bring joy.
Highlighted by 35 Kindle users
My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
Highlighted by 33 Kindle users
The greatest miracle is to be alive. We can put an end to our suffering just by realizing that our suffering is not worth suffering for!
Highlighted by 28 Kindle users
After calming, the third function of shamatha is resting.
Highlighted by 25 Kindle users
The Buddha called suffering a Holy Truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation. Embrace your suffering, and let it reveal to you the way to peace.
Highlighted by 25 Kindle users
The first function of meditation — shamatha — is to stop. The second function of shamatha is calming.
Highlighted by 15 Kindle users

10 Most Meaningful Passages – Mans Search For Meaning


“Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud.”
Frankl, who survived the concentration camps, writes that suffering is inevitable and that avoiding suffering is futile. Rather, one should be worthy of one’s suffering and make meaning of it instead of surrendering to nihilism, bitterness and despair. He uses poetic, moving anecdotes from the concentration camps to illustrate those souls who find a deeper humanity from their suffering or who become animals relegated to nothing more than teeth-clenched self-preservation. Though not specifically religious, this masterpiece has a religious purpose–to help us find meaning. This book succeeds immeasurably.
…everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Highlighted by 2423 Kindle users
Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
Highlighted by 2307 Kindle users
Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
Highlighted by 1952 Kindle users
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
Highlighted by 1927 Kindle users
“Don’t aim at success-the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
Highlighted by 1748 Kindle users
“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”
Highlighted by 1657 Kindle users
Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.
Highlighted by 1543 Kindle users
When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Highlighted by 1338 Kindle users
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it.
Highlighted by 1301 Kindle users

Frankl approvingly quotes the words of Nietzsche: “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”

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10 Most Meaningful Passages – The Alchemist


I love this book! As a practicing ‘alchemist’, even more so! Because perhaps the greatest riddles are hidden in plain sight, and this work by Paulo Coelho is no exception, showing a breadth of understanding quite rare in modern short stories, and a lively prose peppered with four dimensional characters.

Here are the 10 most meaningful passages from The Alchemist as chosen by literally thousands of reader from around the world. Enjoy!

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
Highlighted by 2629 Kindle users
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Highlighted by 2604 Kindle users
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Highlighted by 2569 Kindle users
It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting,
Highlighted by 2446 Kindle users
Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
Highlighted by 2371 Kindle users
when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.
Highlighted by 2358 Kindle users
“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”
Highlighted by 2107 Kindle users
‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.’”
Highlighted by 1946 Kindle users
“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”
Highlighted by 1932 Kindle users

“That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

Highlighted by 1734 Kindle users
If this has wet your appetite, you can find a full digital edition here.