Showing posts with label personal development. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal development. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My favorite Buddhist Parables

Many teachings of Buddhism are taught and told in short and delightful parables. They are usually designed to develop the mind and to free it from distortions and so to connect with our spirit.

Many of them are really inspiring and enlightening. It is helpful to the mind to think about them and feel the deeper meaning. Even if it is not possible to grasp them fully, the beauty and simplicity of the message usually gets through to us one way or the other.

Some parables are a selection of the ones I found most inspiring and really worth to ponder about. Some may be instantly understood, some others need to be thought through and recognized in oneself. We must always keep in mind two crucial principles: the Buddha Mind and serious practice. Without practice, and without the determination to achieve Buddha hood for the benefit of all sentient beings (Bodhi Mind), parables merely feed the intellect and may become, in the words of D.T. Suzuki, "mere bubbles." 

1.       The Moving Flag

Two Buddhists monks were arguing about a flag flapping in the wind.
"It's the wind that is really moving," stated the first one.
"No, it is the flag that is moving," contended the second.
A third interrupted them. "Neither the flag nor the wind is moving," he said, "It is MIND that is moving."

2.       Goddess of Wealth / Goddess of Poverty

Once a beautiful and well-dressed woman visited a house. The master of the house asked her who she was and she replied that she was the goddess of wealth. The master of the house was delighted and so greeted her with open arms. Soon after another woman appeared who was ugly looking and poorly dressed. The master asked who she was and the woman replied that she was the goddess of poverty. The master was frightened and tried to drive her out of the house, but the woman refused to depart, saying, 'The goddess of wealth is my sister. There is an agreement between us that we are never to live apart; if you chase me out, she is to go with me.' Sure enough, as soon as the ugly woman went out, the other woman disappeared.
Birth goes with death. Fortune goes with misfortune. Bad things follow good things. Men should realize this. Foolish people dread misfortune and strive after good fortune, but those who seek Enlightenment must transcend both of them. (from The Teaching of the Buddha)

3.       A True Buddha

Three monks were drinking tea.
The Buddhist master asked the first monk, “What do you drink with your tea?”
The first monk replied, “I drink suffering, loneliness and make peace and happiness.”
The master nodded and exclaimed, “Oh, you are great, an enlightened one. You go now.”
The same question was asked to the second monk.
And the second monk replied, “I drink Buddha’s teaching, compassion and the Buddha himself with the tea.”
The master now fully satisfied with his explanation said, “You are a truly Buddha, an enlightened one. You too go.”
Then the master asked the third monk, “What do you drink with your tea?”
The third monk replied, “I picked out the fly from the tea cup and drink only tea.”
The master smiled and said, “You are the right person to sit in my place.”
And the master gave his sit to the third monk.

4.       The Buddha

There were two monks.
Younger is sitting in zazen.
Elder inquires, “Why are you sitting in zazen?”
Younger replies, “By sitting in zazen, I hope eventually to become a Buddha.”
Elder picks up a brick and begins rubbing it on a rock.
Younger laughs, “And what are you doing?”
Elder replies, “I am polishing this brick in hopes that eventually it will become a mirror.”
(The advanced story ends here, but for the rest of us it continues.)
Younger asks, “How can polishing a brick make a mirror?”
Elder retorts, “How can sitting in zazen make a Buddha!”
(And, true to the ancient formula, the younger monk instantly became a mirror.)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Give, and you Shall be Given Kick.

If you give anything free, you will be misapprehended and wronged some day. I have learned this, that, free without heart kills. DPT is right in some ways. Go on banning Druk Prohibition Party (DPT), if you win the next time.

Sometimes, religious philosophies mislead you. Say the religions, “Give, and it shall be given to you (Luke 6: 38),” “Give to those needy poor (a common Buddhist saying),” and etc. The truth is everyone needs; the rich needs to get richer and the poor battles with wealthy.

Give. I bet these human species will not give you back. They have learned to take and forget the good deeds. I have never heard anyone who has got so much free just like that. This freeness creates misapprehension in relationship as well. Because of giving, I lost many people in my life. One was my relatives, whom he had smilingly borrowed Nu.10, 000, but later he stopped talking with my family. I have many grave experiences in my life like this. There is a boy. This crook has a grouchy mouth and has a habit of showing very bad behaviors. I taught him free for many times. I expected nothing, but I was afraid of kicks. Bhutanese has a saying, if you raise a horse, you will only get kicks. And the next time he asked me again. I have a work too. He became so dependent and so lazy that he couldn’t even read a single line from a book. The more I tell him to learn and improve himself, the more dependent he becomes. He wouldn’t listen. That’s how he gets angry. Now, I am considered mean and selfish, and he gets me wrong, and I get myself into a most awkward predicament now, and I was in problem, not he, at times.

Last time, we had a guest lecture, and it was free. Nobody attended it because it was free. Free seems to be worthless sometimes. Sharchops word for free is ‘Tongpa,’ and it literally means nothing, an empty. You have got to think on this.

This freeness has become an impediment to a peaceful life. Everything in life doesn’t come free as we think. Everything is cost effective. Its do and get, pay and receive, not all the times receiving. Learn to give back. The receiver becomes lazy and dependent. The Buddhist teaching says that to reach an enlightened state, and if you want to see the door of the heaven, one mustn’t search for and receive free, but submit to get freedom.

In giving anything free, I feel we must take into some considerations, which I have listed as per my own experience.
1.      Why do you give free?
2.      How to give it?
3.      What will be the consequences?
4.      Future position?
5.      Only give it for twice or thrice, and you will know the person. If you do every time, you are a fool.

I support DPT for their forceful and valid way of banning many things to bring to a right track. Go on DPT. And PDP (People’s Deadly Party) farcically gives deadly attacks and deadly promises to kill DPT’s banning. Here is a small, a favorite joke of mine, where the Prime Minister Jigme Y. Thinley (JYT) proudly declared in one of the gatherings before 2008 election in Nanong. He said that there are three ‘JIGMEs’ in Bhutan, in which the country may not function if one went missing; the BIG Jigme (the king), the Small Jigme (JYT), and the Smaller Jigme (JD). The survival of smaller Jigme makes me laugh. The smaller Jigme survives life beating his goat skin coated Dramyang (Bhutanese guitar).

An autocratic statement by JYT to Bhutanese media was really, strikingly strong.  (Click for more info. The Bhutanese). He warned media house owners and also accused the media of creating disharmony and spoiling the country’s image. The DPT President said, “I will not leave you.” I am with him. The media will become strong. Facts and concrete proves will be reported. The freedom of press doesn’t mean that they have a freedom to give false information or news to the public. In a free society, and especially democratic rule, we should not take offence at our beliefs or wrongs being criticized. That is the hallmark of a healthy vibrant democracy. Though, censorship and banning is the character of totalitarianism. Yet some standards of totalitarianism regime must not be allowed to drop, if so, that would bring hatred and stifle the very liberal ideas of vibrant democracy. The cost of freedom comes with the cost of sacrificing another.

Some media must be banned to have humane lifestyle in the society. Some harmful social media like Facebook, Omega, etc, kill times, distract life, erode culture, and direct a false life. Chinese had banned many such media to bring goodness to the country. We too can live without some of these harmful channels. If we can ban, we are moving forward, not backward; to a civilized; a culturally and socially attached life. Banning Tobacco has a significant benefit, and it was a right move. Ban. Ban freedom to understand what freedom is, and to value freedom. Ban.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Teachers’ Day: From a Teacher’s Perspective

Coinciding with Teachers’ Day today, I would like to write something about teaching and what it means to me. The best way I have learned to be a teacher is by looking at the way in which others teach me. Teachers are lifelong learners who relish the chance to grow and evolve. Moreover, the innocent enthusiasm of young students keeps teachers young as they remind you to smile through.

In many ways learning and teaching are tie to each other. Teaching means to help people to learn something. Teaching is learning, enriching and growing. Teaching is caring, motivating and inspiring. Teaching is collaborating/ equalizing, energizing and exhilarating. Teaching is dividing, equalizing and loving.

I gain fondness by seeing a person who learns and changes and gain understanding about the meanings of life and the world they live in and having the ability to be unselfish and worthy contributors to society. I help them to grow into they want to be.

I have encountered many best students in my life who have in turn shaped my life better. They are Monu Tamang, Mahindra, Yangchen, Sonam3s, Susan, Karma to name a few.

A novice child comes into class not able to read. When he leaves in December, he will have become an independent and understand the way of things and potential and creative solver.  I have to say, seeing the progression a child and making a difference in a child's life from February to December is invigorating. That's what will make teaching means the most to me.

Teaching to me means caring, nurturing, and developing minds and talents. It is about passion as it is about reason. It's about not only motivating students to learn, but teaching them how to learn, and doing so in a manner that is relevant, meaningful, and memorable. It is about listening, questioning, being responsive, and pushing students to excel; at the same time, it's about being human, respecting others, and being professional at all times.

Teaching is more than just a job. It's a calling. It's an ever-surprising mix of grueling hard work and ecstatic successes, both big and small. To constantly improve teaching capabilities and to be there for the student, and to help with any problems they have, in or out of the class, to teach and delight are my motto of being in teaching.

There are many different learning styles as there are many ways to solve the problems. The ability to look at life in a different way and to explain a topic in a different way is one way.  Not everyone gets a subject as taught by every teacher. Images, pictures, trips, etc are some ways.


As a teacher I think, we need to have the ability to change, but it also important to be able to keep hold of the good things. Some teachers may fear change, as change is uncertain, but it is not necessary for teachers to change everything they currently do in the classroom, but to change some things to make improvements. Change is a slow and difficult process, so should be taken step by step.

As teachers we should always remember the ‘Wise Old Owl:’

The wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard
Why can’t we all be like that bird?

The work of the teacher will not end. Its continuous ripple effects are always there somehow somewhere. We teachers must remember that if a student fails then: the teacher has failed; the examination system has failed; the evaluation system has failed and by and large the education system as a whole has failed.