Thursday, December 23, 2010

Classic Brazilian story: The fisherman and the businessman

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Staying positive really does make all the pieces fall together at the right time. Lately I feel like everything I need or want is just handed to me at exactly the right time. For instance the other day I needed the address of a friend in order to send her a Christmas card but didn't want to call her and ask for it. I knew I had her address somewhere but could nto recall where. So I decided to call her in the evening when i get home. And guess what? As soon as I got into the house I saw on the table a Christmas card from her with her address on it:)

Another time I wanted to watch the latest Shrek movie that just came out and there was a long wait to get it through Netflix. i really didn't care about the wait, all I wanted is a chance to watch it with my family on Christmas Eve. But it looked like there was absolutely no way the movie will become available by then. The last netflix delivery was supposed to be today, December 22nd, and I was not even counting on getting the movie before I opened my Netflix account on iPod and saw that the movie was scheduled to be delivered today!

Also tonight my in-laws wee supposed to stop by and I wanted to bake something but didn't feel like baking since I have been sick for the past few days. Then my husband called and said that my mother visited and she brought us my mother-in-law's favorite cookie. So after all I will not have to bake and I will have something baked for tonight:)

Then, last week I found out that a friend of mine is having tough times and Christmas was looking pretty gloomy for her and her kids, so I've decided to send them small presents to cheer them up a bit. That was all I could do, being so far away and all... Since I only had a week left to do so, I placed an order online and prayed the presents will arrive on time. I kept checking e-mail every day to see if the packages have been mailed and there was nothing but I was not worried, somehow I knew that the beautiful things I ordered will be there on time to put smiles on the kids' faces. First package was delivered yesterday, and second one just received update few hours ago stating that it was out for delivery!

I know all those things that make me so happy may seem very small and insignificant to someone else, but being grateful and appreciating every little thing brings more positive energy and bigger and better things into my life.

P.S. Yesterday I read the list of wishes I made two months ago, and it turns out that EVERYTHING on that list came true for me. Literary everything! Including good news about my son't improved hearing! I swear, the little one can hear everything! Even when I wisper to him from the door of his room when he is peacefully sleeping in his crib. I know he can hear even the slightest wispers because he smiles happily in his sleep every time I wisper his name. And if the sleep is not so deep, he opens his eyes and lifts his head. Nothing makes me happier!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Celestine Prophecy" fourth insight and energy vampires

Today, on my way to work, I was re-reading "Celestine Prophecy" and thinking about the fourth insigt, talking about power struggle and how humans take each others energy in fight for the power.

One of the charaters, Robert Jensen, even had a specific method of getting a hold of someone's energy - first he would gain one's trust by acting as their friend, and then he would find something wrong with what they were doing and as soon as he would plant seeds of doubt in one's mind, it was easy to get the person to follow you. I can't tell you how many time it has happened to me so by now I have become very careful whenever I feel someone probbing into my life, trying to find a weak link.

My own mother is an expert at this method, even though she is not doing that consciously. I guess, what's important to remember is that most people do it unconsciously because it makes them feel empowered.

My mom had a thing of calling me and questioning me to see how i was doing. But instead of friendly "how are you", she would ask me specific questions and make comments leading me to re-think my existence, my circumstances and actions of those around me.

-"How are you, darling?" mom would ask "How's your job?"

-"Good. Everything is good. Want to hear a joke my manager told me?"

-"I wish, instead of telling you jokes he'd raise your salary" mom would say

-"Mom, do you even knopw how much I make? Have I ever complained about money?"

-"No, I don't know and no, you have not complained. Ever"

-"So why are you making such strange comments?"

And she would just laugh and proceed

-"How's Lisa?"


-"Has she called you today?" (???)

-"Actually, no. Why do you ask?"

-"No reason... I guess she is spending time with her OTHER friends... It's probably more fun for her"

-"What are you saying?"

-"Nothing. Has Roberto called you today?"


-"yeah, I thought so... He probably find his MALE friends to be more fun. Or he simply forgotten about you..."

At this point I am getting really irritated and start shouting

-"Why are you so mean to me?!!" starts weeping my mom "I simply want to talk to you. I am feeling lonely and I figured why don't I call and talk to my LONELY daughter. I am so sad that your life didn't turn out well"

My life didn't turn out well??!! I have a career, job I love, fun, interesting friends, loving parents, an amazing sister, nice, spacious apartment, new car, closet full of designer labels, a whole bunch of exciting hobbies ranging from meditation to salsa dancing. Oh, and it was never hard for me to meet good men. Not to mention excellent health, good education, and many more other wonderful things. How is that a bad life???

-"Mom, I gotta go"

-"Wait, I just wanted to ask where is that boyfriend of yours?"

-"I don't know mom, I am not his mother nor a cop to keep track of his whereabouts. Sometimes I do my things and he does his. Separately."

-"He obviously does not love you. Otherwise he'd want to be with you every minute of the day. But of course not everyone gets to find someone special. Ok honey, I just wanted to see how were you doing. Bye now"

By then I am all shook up and I have nothing left to do but violently shut my phone closed and hurl it accross the room. Strangely my mom seems content and full of energy.

The conversation took up no more than 7 minutes but the difference between my state of mind before and after is drastic! before mom called I was feeling content, curled up on my couch in front of wide-screen TV with a glass of good wine and a good book. I was listening to the sound of falling rain drops outside, feeling wonderful. And now, after speaking to my mom, here I am, a nervous wreck, feeling abandoned by my friends and the guy I started seeing. I no longer think I have great friends and that I recently met a wonderful man, now all I can think about how he probably does not love me (even though how could he? We only went on a couple of dates so far and I, myself, not sure if he is someone I want to be with), and how my fiends prefer other company (while they could be either sleeping, or at the gym, or spending time with their family or significant others. Neither of which makes them less of a friend to me).

What has happened is that my mom, unconsciouly of course, found a weak link and drained my energy. Typical case on energetic vampire. She has been doing that since I was a child and only now I am starting to recognize that and come up with ways to deal with her negativity. I also learned that the only reason she does that to me because it makes her feel like a concerned loving parent and gives he strong energy boost. Unfortunatelly my mother never learned how to fill herself with energy without draining those around her, but it's not my fault and I should not have to pay for it.

Any energetic vampire is looking for weakness, a hole in your energy through which they could drain you, and if they don't find one, they will move on, so staying strong and staying connected to a source of infinite energy could really make a difference in dealing with such issues. When vampire is someone insignificant in one's life, one can always cut him/her out, but in most cases our vampires are the people close to the heart, the ones that are dear to us. So the only way is to protect your energy and keep yourself connected to the source.

One of excellent ways to protect your energy is imagining a bubble of light surrounding you, shielding you from those trying to deplete your energy. I imagine it every time my mom calls or visits. As I grow stronger and stay more connected, my mom has less and less power to upset me.

Another important point is that it's easy to see when someone trying to deplete your energy, but do we really notice when we ourselves are depleting energy of others?

Staying connected to the source helps us to maintain high energy level without the need to rob our loved ones of their energy. When you are feeling good about yourself, you feel empowered at all times

Monday, November 15, 2010

That Which Never Dies

A woman's husband died. She was young, had only one child. She wanted to commit sati, she wanted to jump in the funeral pyre with her husband, but this small child prevented her. She had to live for this small child.

But then the small child died; now it was too much. She went almost insane, asking people, "Is there any physician anywhere who can make my child alive again? I was living only for him, now my whole life is simply dark." It happened that Buddha was coming to the town, so people said, "You take the child to Buddha. Tell him that you were living for this child, and the child has died, and ask him, 'You are such a great enlightened person, call him back to life! Have mercy on me!'"

So she went to Buddha. She put the dead body of the child at Buddha's feet and she said, "Call him back to life. You know all the secrets of life, you have attained to the ultimate peak of existence. Can't you do a small miracle for a poor woman?"

Buddha said, "I will do it, but there is a condition."

She said, "I will fulfill any condition."

Buddha said, "The condition is, you go around the town and from a house where nobody has ever died, bring a few mustard seeds."

The woman could not understand the strategy. She went to one house, and they said, "A few mustard seeds? We can bring a few bullock carts full of mustard seeds if Buddha can bring your son back to life. But we have seen so many deaths in our family...." It was a small village, and she went to every house. Everybody was ready: "How many seeds do you want?" But the condition was impossible because they had all seen so many deaths in their families....

By the evening she understood that whoever is born is going to die, so what is the point of getting the child back again? "He will die again. It is better for you yourself to seek the eternal, which is never born and never dies." She came back, empty-handed.

Buddha asked, "Where are the mustard seeds?" She laughed. In the morning she had come crying; now she laughed, and she said, "You tricked me! Everybody who is born is going to die. There is no family in the whole world where nobody has died. So I don't want my son to be brought again back to life--what is the point? Forget about the child. Initiate me into the art of meditation so that I can go into the land, the space of immortality, where birth and death have never happened."

Blessings in Disguise

A man had a very beautiful horse, and the horse was so rare that even emperors had asked the man to sell it--whatsoever the price--but he refused. Then one morning he found that the horse had been stolen.

The whole village gathered to sympathize, and they said, "How unfortunate! You could have got a fortune--people were offering so much. You were stubborn and you were stupid. Now the horse is stolen."

But the old man laughed; he said, "Don't talk nonsense! Only say that the horse is no more in the stable. Let the future come, then we will see."

And it happened that after fifteen days the horse came back, and not only alone--it brought a dozen wild horses with it from the forest. The whole village gathered, and they said, "The old man was right! His horse is back and has brought twelve beautiful horses with him. Now he can earn as much money as he wants." They went to the man and they said, "Sorry. We could not understand the future and the ways of god, but you are great! You knew something about it; you have some glimpse of the future."

He said, "Nonsense! All that I know now is that the horse has come back with twelve horses--what is going to happen tomorrow, nobody knows."

And the next day it happened that the old man's only son was trying to break in a new horse and he fell, and his legs were broken. The whole town gathered again and they said, "One never knows--you were right; this proved to be a curse. It would have been better that the horse had not come back. Now your son will remain crippled for his whole life."

The old man said, "Don't jump ahead! Just wait and see what happens. Only say this much, that my son has broken his legs--that's all."

It happened after fifteen days that all the young men of the town were forcibly taken away by the government because the country was going to war. Only this old man's son was left, because he was of no use. Everybody gathered--they said, "Our sons are gone! At least you have your son. Maybe he is crippled, but he is here! Our sons are gone, and the enemy is far stronger; they are all going to be murdered. In our old age we will have nobody to look after us, but you at least have your son and maybe he will be cured."

But the old man said, "Say only this much--that your sons have been taken by the government. My son has been left, but there is no conclusion."

Just state the fact! Don't think of anything as a curse or a blessing. Don't interpret it, and suddenly you will see that everything is beautiful.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Story of Two Monks

Two monks were making a pilgrimage to venerate the relics of a great Saint. During the course of their journey, they came to a river where they met a beautiful young woman -- an apparently worldly creature, dressed in expensive finery and with her hair done up in the latest fashion. She was afraid of the current and afraid of ruining her lovely clothing, so asked the brothers if they might carry her across the river.

The younger and more exacting of the brothers was offended at the very idea and turned away with an attitude of disgust. The older brother didn't hesitate, and quickly picked the woman up on his shoulders, carried her across the river, and set her down on the other side. She thanked him and went on her way, and the brother waded back through the waters.

The monks resumed their walk, the older one in perfect equanimity and enjoying the beautiful countryside, while the younger one grew more and more brooding and distracted, so much so that he could keep his silence no longer and suddenly burst out, "Brother, we are taught to avoid contact with women, and there you were, not just touching a woman, but carrying her on your shoulders!"

The older monk looked at the younger with a loving, pitiful smile and said, "Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river; you are still carrying her."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wisdom of the Buddha

Buddha was well known for his ability to respond to evil with good. There was a man who knew about his reputation and he traveled miles and miles and miles to test Buddha. When he arrived and stood before Buddha, he verbally abused him constantly, he insulted him, he challenged him, he did everything he could to offend Buddha.

Buddha was unmoved, he simply turned to the man and said, “May I ask you a question?”

The man responded with “Well, what?”

Buddha said, “If someone offers you a gift and you decline to accept it to whom then does it belong?”

The man said, “Then it belongs to the person who offered it”

Buddha smiled, “That is correct. So if I decline to accept your abuse does it not then still belong to you?”

The man was speechless and walked away.