A Western Buddhist's Travels

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Archive for the tag “Albert Einstein”

Becoming a radical means showing compassion

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” Mohandas Gandhi

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” both by the 14th Dalai Lama

“If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.” Lao Tzu

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” St. Francis of Assisi

I started this post about compassion with the quotes, to show it doesn’t matter which path you are following, we all need to show compassion to other beings. The opposite may hold true, as various research studies have shown that adult violent offenders, have a higher rate of having inflicted unnecessary pain on animals, during their youth. These studies don’t include such activities as toddlers or young children, pulling the cat or dogs tail.

The next time you decide to respond to a beggar on the street, instead of just tossing a coin into their hat or cup, take 10 or 15 minutes and talk to them, perhaps offer to buy them a meal, even if it is from a street vendor or fast food establishment. One of the most common statements, I have heard from the formerly homeless, I talked to who moved into a social housing project, I used to manage, was the lack of meaningful contact they experienced while homeless. Watch how many people will avoid eye contact with a beggar, and some will cross the street to the other sidewalk to avoid them. Some of these beggars are, people who have mental health issues, that need caution in approaching, yet others are peaceful, and lonely.

Compassion can extend to helping your neighbor who is feeling sick, by dropping off a meal they can heat and eat. In winter, where snow falls, shovel the sidewalk for a senior, hold the door open for others, and many more ways to make others lives a little less painful.

This series starts here.

Possiblities and happiness.

I watched The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith the other day, and this scene reminded me about pursuing our dreams. Here are ten quotes to inspire and encourage us today.

What will you accomplish today?

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi

If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves. Thomas Alva Edison

“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

“Whether you believe you can or not, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” – Deepak Chopra

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein

“Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.” – Cher

We  are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy  follows like a shadow that never leaves. – The Buddha

“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength, but perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

“Just do it” – Nike

So what impossible thing will you carry out today?

Daily Prompt: My Hero!

I’m going to do a slightly different take on this topic.

When I was a child, my hero was my dad. I grew up in a family, where today I would have been called a latch key kid. He worked as a chef, so was usually gone when I woke up 5 days a week, and some days didn’t get home till late. Even though he was tired, he always had a smile when seeing mom and myself. He would help with the household chores, as mom deserved a day off as well, even when she wasn’t also working outside the home. He taught me the usual things, including the basics of self defense, however he also taught me that fighting was only to defend a life, and never to make someone do as you wanted them to do. He lived what he preached, and today I see a lot of him in myself, so even though he’s been gone for several years, he is still with me everyday.

As I grew older, I had the usual super heroes as heroes. However I knew they were fictional. At one time I even vacillated between Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Logic won that argument, I just had to be the Captain. Then different sports figures had their day at the top of the list.

Most of my adult years, I chose people who I admired, here’s a list of some of them, who I profiled earlier this year. If you want to see why I choose them, just click on their names, they link back to the individual posts.
Neil Armstrong Albert Einstein David Suzuki Mother Teresa Aung San Suu Kyi Sulak Sivaraska Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi Tensin Gyatso Billy Graham Budhadasa Bhikkhu

Today I see many heroes around us in the world. Those who strive to make the world around all of us, a cleaner, safer, more peaceful place to live. To close I will disagree with the line from one of Tina Turner’s better songs, where she sings “We don’t need another hero”. I think we need everyone to be a hero these days, if we are to give our children a world where they can flourish.
For many more inspirational heroes click here.

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