Wisdom

The choice of healthful living, the choice to be conscious of co-creating health and happiness in our lives naturally leads us to seek models for realizing these innately human aspirations. There are many respected sages whose very life essence emanates the principles and practices of healthful living. We can learn from their loving expressions and integrate whatever meaning we glean from them into our respective life views, thus informing healthful living for us all.

We will share here select wisdom that moves us. We welcome your contributions and pieces of wisdom so that we may all learn and grow together. 

The Dalai Lama on Life

  • Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  • When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  • Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
  • Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  • Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  • Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  • When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  • Spend some time alone every day.
  • Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  • Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  • Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  • A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  • In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  • Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  • Be gentle with the earth.
  • Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  • Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The following is from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. His insights and teachings about the nature of our world and the stresses we face have benefited millions. Visit his website and learn about the Art of Living

Advice

  • Expectations reduces joy
  • Live in the present
  • Give 100% to whatever you do
  • Responsibility equals power
  • Opposite values are complementary
  • Whatever you resist will persist
  • Accept people and situations as they are
  • Do not be a football of people's opinions
  • Stretch your hand out first
  • Don't see intention behind other peoples actions

The Purpose of Life

Our first and foremost commitment is to do service in the world. If there is fear in your life, it is because of a lack of commitment. If there is confusion in your life, it is because of lack of commitment. The very thought, 'I am here in this world to do service', dissolves the "I" and when the "I" dissolves, worries dissolve. Sevice is not something you do out of convenience or for pleasure. The ultimate purpose of life is to be of service. An uncommitted mind is miserable. A committed mind may experience rough weather but will reap the fruits of its toil. When you make service your sole purpose in life, it eliminates fear and brings focus and purposefulness in your mind, action and long term joy -- and maybe short term problems!

Do It Till You Become It!

Virtues have to be practiced till they become your nature. Friendliness, compassion and meditation should continue as practices till you realize that they are your very nature. The flaw in doing something as an act is that you look for a result. When it is done as your nature, you are not attached to the result and you continue doing it. An action that arises from your nature is neither tiring nor frustrating. For example, daily routines like brushing one's teeth or bathing are not even considered actions because they are so integrated into one's life. You do all this without doership. When Seva is made part of your nature, it happens without doership.

Rest and Activity

Activity and rest are two vital aspects of life. To find a balance in them is a skill in itself. When to have what and how much to have is wisdom. Finding them in each other-activity in rest and rest in activity-is the ultimate freedom. More tiring than the work itself is the memory of hard work. Thinking you have worked hard itself interferes with the quality of rest. Some people take pride in working hard without any results. And there are others who crave for long rest not knowing the rest is in non-doership. It is the quality of rest, even if it is short, that recuperates. When rest is needed, your body will automatically take it. Resting, without thinking about the need for it, is more restful. Desirelessness, Dispassion, and Samadhi are the deepest rest.

Question: Work is very stressful. We don't get enough time for the family. What do we do?

Sri Sri: Do you spend quality time with your family? Even if you spend half an hour, are you cordial and fully attentive to the needs of your family? It is not the length of time you spend with your family matters. What matters is the quality of time that you spend with them.

Understanding our Inter-connectedness and Interdependence

How we are all connected:

Physical Level

  • By our breath - we breath the same air as Jesus and Buddha breathed (however there's probably less oxygen and more pollution now!)
  • We exchange neutrinos every second, in fifty years you will have a different set of molecules in your body, in a month your liver will have new set of cells
  • By our composition - we are all made up from the Same stuff Stars are made of - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen
  • By our actions - eg. by touching, feeling, hurting
  • By our food chain, ecological web / systems
  • By our environment - we are all on the same planet - walking the same Earth, drinking water that is connected to the whole world.

Emotional Level

  • Laughter & Crying are contagious
  • People are affected by moods of others
  • We are constantly transferring energy
  • We are triggered by similar predictable phenomena

Mental Level

  • When people meet in crowds / groups - people act as one - 'group think'
  • People can tap into collective unconscious / subconscious
  • Telepathy - (although not strictly limited to the mental level) people can read other people's minds - or so it seems - also people get the same thoughts at same time
  • Astral projection traveling, remote viewing, - seeing / feeling other space-times
  • People with still, peaceful minds influence a shift in consciousness in others eg. Jesus, Mother Teresa etc.

Spiritual Level

  • We are one, we always were and will be one - the Great Breath of Life, The Great Spirit.
  • Our higher self awareness is as close as we can know about our true essence - which is all pervading, non local, not limited by time or space
  • Inspiration, Enthusiasm, Courage, Patience, Vigilance, Justice, Non-Judgment, Generosity, Compassion, Honesty, Integrity, Unconditional Love, are contagious and our natural state of being

Karmic Level

While in existence we are connected through Karma - Law of Cause & Effect how you sow shall you reap, - on physical, mental, emotional, levels. On spiritual level there is no karma, there is just pure being and non being / un-manifest - pure potential for Karma to arise.

So we see that no act is insignificant - a butterfly's wings can seem to cause a avalanche on the other side of the globe - we are all interconnected whether we like it or not!

In fact as one gets into it one realizes - where does self finish? Where are the boundaries of self - where does the mind finish? Who set the boundaries?

Some teach that there is no self - as in no separate entity from the oneness of being.

Others teach we are individuals simultaneously in union.

We are always in balance and connected. Imbalance and separation is an illusion.

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