Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, When 24 Hours in a day is not enough, Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. " "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car." "The sand is everything else --the small stuff." "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life." "If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you." So... "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play With your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. " "There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." "Take care of the golf balls first --the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired What the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

-- from a forwarded email

Friday, October 19, 2007


It is useless to discuss the peace of the world. What is necessary just now is to create peace in ourselves that we, ourselves, become examples of love, harmony and peace. That is the only way of saving the world and ourselves.

- Hazrat Inayat Khan


Paradoxically, we achieve true wholeness only by embracing our fragility and sometimes, our brokenness. Wholeness is a natural radiance of Love, and Love demands that we allow the destruction of our old self for the sake of the new.

-- Jalaja Bonheim
Aphrodite's Daughters

Thursday, October 18, 2007

walking meditation

Walking meditation consists of paying attention to the walking process. If you are moving fairly rapidly, make a mental note of the movement of the legs, "Left, right, left, right" and use your awareness to follow the actual sensations throughout the leg area. If you are moving more slowly, note the lifting, moving, and placing of each foot. In each case you must try to keep your mind on just the sensations of walking. Notice what processes occur when you stop at the end of the lane, when you stand still, when you turn and begin walking again.

Do not watch your feet unless this becomes necessary due to some obstacle on the ground; it is unhelpful to hold the image of a foot in your mind while you are trying to be aware of sensations. You want to focus on the sensations themselves, and these are not visual. For many people it is a fascinating discovery when they are able to have a pure, bare perception of physical objects such as lightness, tingling, cold, and warmth.

Walking meditation is usually divided into three distinct movements: lifting, moving, and placing the foot. If you have a difficult time connecting with the inner-body, place your attention on your breath. When you do make the connection with the breath, feel your hands. Then start feeling other parts of your body as you feel the in and out flow of your breath. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. It's important that you direct the breath into the lower abdomen. Doing this will bring a sense of calmness to the walk.

-- from an email invitation for a walking meditation by a "power of now" group

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

are you part of the 11%?

God's Presence

We feel G-d's presence when we realize that our willpower, wisdom, insights and love are really not ours but His and experience ourselves as merely serving to channel His powers into the world. In this state of connectivity we feel the joy of purposeful and meaningful living. We also experience G-d's presence when we encounter His mastery in the wonders of nature and see everything as a divine masterpiece-a piece of the master.

However, G-d cannot give us this great gift of His presence, unless we want Him in our lives. We must first know in our hearts that G-d's presence is, indeed, the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive; that it is pure ecstasy. We give G-d pleasure, so to speak when we want to receive what He wants to give us.

- Rabbi David Aaron

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


On a superficial level, the giving of thanks is merely a social convention. Its forms vary greatly. In some societies the absence of all verbal expressions of thanks indicates not a lack of gratitude, but rather a deeper awareness of mutual belonging than our society has. To the people in question, an expression like “thank you” would seem as inappropriate as tipping family members would seem to us. The more we lose the sense of all of us belonging to one big family, the more we must explicitly express that belonging when it is actualized in some give-and-take. To give thanks means to give expression to mutual belonging. Genuine thanksgiving comes from the heart where we are rooted in universal belonging.

Wholehearted thanksgiving engages the whole person. The intellect recognizes a gift as gift. Thanksgiving presupposes thinking. The will, in its turn, acknowledges the interdependence of the giver and thanksgiver. And the emotions celebrate the joy of that mutual belonging. Only when intellect, will, and emotions join together does thanksgiving become genuine, that is, wholehearted.

-- Brother David Steindl-Rast

Friday, October 12, 2007

soul - a poem

The progress of our soul is like a perfect poem. It has an infinite idea which once realised makes all movements full of meaning and joy.

Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, October 07, 2007

have you filled a bucket today?

Carol McCloud's book of same title is a guide to daily happiness for kids. It's a great book for teaching children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis.

- read more


"Mawlana says - if the sky is not in love, then it will not be so clear. If the sun is not in love, then it will not be giving any light. If the river is not in love, then it will be in silence, it will not be moving. If the mountains, the earth are not in love, then there will be nothing growing."

-- The roar of Rumi - 800 years on

Saturday, October 06, 2007


What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

-- Judy Brown

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

in every heart

"You are constant in each and every heart, and in all things. O Dear lord, you are the one. Some are givers, and some are beggars. This is all your wondrous play. You yourself are the giver, and you yourself are the enjoyer. I know no other than you. You are the supreme lord God, limitless and infinite. What virtues of yours can I speak of and describe? Unto those who serve you, unto those who serve you, dear lord, servant Nanak is a sacrifice."

- Guru Ram Das ji

Monday, October 01, 2007

happiness and peace

- I want happiness and peace.
- Remove "I" and "want" and you're left with happiness and peace.

- from a lecture at chinmaya mission