Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Come from Gratitude

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in US. Here's a message of hope and gratitude.
Come from Gratitude, guidelines by Joanna Macy

The Filter of Emotions

When presented with opposing point of views or even facts, we tend to believe what makes us feel better. Our emotions play a large role in convincing our intellect to believe one or another point of view. Most of the real situations in life are too complicated and contain many shades of gray, but our emotions have the power of painting it black or white depending on which one feels better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Few Gems

Your power is limited by your objective. If your objective is service, the power that comes through you is unlimited.
- Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
Alchemical Wisdom

Suffering exists not for the purpose of hurting us, but to teach us where genuine good is to be found, and thus to make us stronger, more intelligent and more vibrant.
- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Gratitude is so close to the bone of life, pure and true, that it instantly stops the rational mind, and all its planning and plotting.
- Regina Sara Ryan
Praying Dangerously

Another name for God is surprise.
- David Steindl-Rast

Words of the Day from

An interview with God

Thursday, November 04, 2004

moral values

In the exit polls of this week's elections in US, the top issue for most people was moral values (more than Iraq war, terrorism, jobs and healthcare). Since moral values has such importance in these times for people, we can expect people to pay more attention and ask their leaders to do the same to moral issues such as morality of war and peace, love for mankind, value of human life without considering their nationality, compassion for less fortunte, honesty in corporations, and taking care of God's gifts to us such as environment !!!???

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

visitors at guest house

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your houseempty of it's furniture,still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."

- A translation of a poem by Rumi, a 12th century Sufi poet.
(The Essential Rumi, 109)

a few gems

Gratitude is the intention to count-your-blessings every day, every minute,while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances.
- Timothy Miller How To Want What You Have

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
- Marcel Proust

The same pain that can blemish our personality can act as a creative force,burnishing it into an object of delight.
- Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan Alchemical Wisdom

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
- E.B. White Charlotte's Web

Quotes are from Word For the Day from

Monday, November 01, 2004

Another Example of Seva (selfless service)

Dentist Sinks His Teeth Into Relief
Los Angeles Times10/31/2004By Steve Chawkins

Jim Rolfe has spent weeks and about $50,000 trying to fill a big void in Afghanistan. Now he is planning to set up his own clinic in Kabul
At 65, Jim Rolfe has been a dentist for a long time, but his practice in downtown Santa Barbara hardly prepared him for what he found in Afghanistan.
"There was a continuous flow of problems you couldn't imagine even existing in the U.S.," he said. "It's like coming onto an auto accident with bodies lying all over the street. That's how it is when a person opens his mouth to be treated."
Like numerous other medical professionals who pitch in at Third World clinics for brief periods, Rolfe wanted to spend a few weeks simply doing what he could. What he didn't count on was his spark of altruism turning into a full-fledged mission.
So far, Rolfe has spent more than $50,000 of his own money to provide dental care in Afghanistan. What he has in mind, though, is far grander in scope than simply writing a check.
Rolfe could be the only Santa Barbara dentist currently looking to buy land in Kabul. When he finds it, he will plunk down a used shipping container he purchased as the hub of his future clinic. He will rig it up with a generator and running water, outfit it with dental equipment, recruit U.S. professionals, train Afghan dental assistants, and, practically overnight, give Afghans in sore need of dental work an opportunity to get it.
Rolfe has a gray beard, rock-star-length hair, and a down-to-earth style. It's not hard to picture him as what he once was: the official dentist — as well as goat tender and truck driver — for a Santa Barbara commune called Brotherhood of the Sun.
Decades later, his office is as distinctive as his background. Conga drums and bongos sit in the waiting room for patients anxious to take the edge off their visit to the dentist. Patients recline to view TV sets mounted in the ceiling as a fountain cascades in the background. Designed and built by Rolfe, the treatment areas are cozy beige nooks with curved walls, a style Rolfe calls "Southwestern Eskimo."
Such comforts are a world away from the grim certainties of a country torn by war over the last 30 years. Sitting in his waiting room, Rolfe wearily reels off the statistics: The average male dies at 44. One in four children die by age 5. Ten percent of the population are orphans. Only one in seven people can read.
And the number of people in a land of 27 million who have ever seen a dentist is too small to measure.
"I'd look into mouths and just see a disaster," he said. "Instead of teeth, I'd see abscessed roots. These people had never had their teeth cleaned; I'd pull out tartar in huge rocks."
In 2002, Rolfe read about an orphanage in a remote mountain province and volunteered there for three weeks. He worked from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., using the children he treated as his "assistants."
"When I saw how grateful they were, I cried," he said. "They couldn't wait to get treatment."
Two years later, he returned for another couple of weeks, this time setting up shop at a women's clinic in Kabul.
For this trip, Rolfe had made a portable wooden dental chair, pocked with a Swiss-cheese pattern of holes to reduce its weight.
He also had some help. A recent graduate of Kabul's medical university acted as translator for $20 a day. He was jobless, as were all of the other 314 graduates in his class. And one of Rolfe's Santa Barbara patients, yoga instructor Hayley Parlen, came along as well. She had hoped to teach yoga techniques to children in Kabul but wound up assisting Rolfe.
Parlen, 29, had learned about Rolfe's plans when she was getting her teeth cleaned. She had no idea that within months, she would be able to soothe frightened women by intoning, in the local dialect, standard dental bromides such as "Just breathe" and "It'll only hurt for a second."
"With one hand, I'd suction blood from their mouth and with the other, I'd squeeze their hands or massage their forehead," she said. "My calmness translated to them that they'd be OK."
Rolfe is looking for donations and volunteers to help him on his planned trip in April. Setting up a booth at a recent state dental conference in San Francisco, he already has recruited Ike Rahimi, an Afghanistan-born dentist who treats farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley.
"The need is enormous," said Rahimi, whose mother might accompany him on the trip to see sisters still in Afghanistan. "Life is not so forgiving there."
In January, the secondhand shipping container that Rolfe bought for $2,500 will be stuffed with equipment and placed on a freighter to Rotterdam. From there, it will travel by rail to southern Russia, and then by truck through Uzbekistan, and, finally, to Kabul.
When it's set up, it will house a lab and three dental chairs. Westerners now fly four hours to Qatar for dental treatment. With his new facility, Rolfe hopes to treat them for fees that will subsidize treatment of the poor.
He hopes to eventually add simple accommodations for visiting professionals and classrooms where Afghan hygienists and technicians can be trained.
His is not the first such plan in Afghanistan. Other dentists have volunteered as well, and the American military has worked on restoring the nation's only dental hospital. Still, Rolfe said he has to focus on not being overwhelmed.
"I feel like a drop of water in the desert," he said.
For more information, see Rolfe's Afghanistan Dental Relief Project website at .