I have nothing to give you

A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by.

“Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap.
“I have nothing to give you”, said the stranger, then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?”
“Nothing” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.”
“Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger.
“No.” said the beggar, “What’s the point, there’s nothing in there”
“Have a look inside” insisted the stranger.

The beggar managed to prey open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.

Moral of the story: we may spend all our lives looking for the treasure outside and never spare just a minute to look inside.

Origin: “The power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle

Amazon.com – Freelance mode

Amazon.com has always been my favorite online bookstore, nonetheless shipment cost was always a big problem for me since all my orders are delivered by international shipment.

What would be nice to see is a new mode in Amazon.com called “Freelance mode” in that mode you can buy single items or more and ship them almost anywhere in the world **for free**.

By slightly and intelligently increasing the price of each item when in “Freelance mode”, Amazon.com would be able to cover the shipment cost of the items.

Amazon.com can also improve its shopping cart system and lessen pages reloads when one deletes an item or moves an item to the shopping list.

And if “Freelance mode” is ever implemented, a nice feature would be to add an option so that Amazon store, intelligently, sends you the next book (you queued in your shopping list) on time just before you finish reading the current book (it does that by teaching it how fast you read, and how much time the books usually take to arrive to your destination).

Of course, in the advancement of electronic books it is useless to introduce such modes.

Baoding trackball mouse

I routinely clean my trackball mouse but this time something else came to mind also: Baoding balls.

A small excerpt from Wikipedia about Baoding Balls:

Baoding balls, also called Chinese exercise balls, Chinese meditation balls, and Chinese medicine balls, are thought to have been created in Baoding, China, during the Ming dynasty. Baoding balls are a tool for injury recovery or as an exercise tool to improve manual dexterity and strength. They consist of two or more balls which are rotated to orbit in the hand. The iron-ball system is the greatest of Baoding prefecture’s “three treasures.” Long throughout history, renowned within China and other countries, this is Baoding prefecture’s traditional product. This item of Buddhist martial arts was first produced in the Northern Song Dynasty.

So imagine the mouse initially like this:

How the mouse normally looks

Then ready to be cleaned:

How it looks without its ball

But suddenly, the Baoding Balls sitting on the shelf catch my attention:

The perfect match!

So you can imagine what I did next:

Top view

Spiritual Baoding trackball mouse

Oh btw, Baoding balls produce a nice sound when you juggle them in your hands:

But I doubt you can use this mouse at work since it will produce lots of melody! 😉

How to be ready for your first 10 days Vipassana Course

meditating-buddhaIf life puts Vipassana in your way and you are considering to take the course, then it is best to read a little about the technique, and how to be prepared mentally and physically so that you can complete the 10-days course.

The purpose of this article is to tell you, from my own experience, what should be known before hand, what mental attitude to adopt, and any other aspects that can help you. It is a bit of a long read, but I think it is worth it especially that you are considering to take this life changing meditation course.

The advises below do not follow any specific order, but all of them are essential points I discovered when I took the course. Continue reading

The young professor and the old layman

On board of a big ship a simple old man met a young professor and they started to have conversations along the journey. Every night the man came to the professor’s cabin, trying to learn something from the learned man.

On the first night, the professor asked: ‘Old man, do you know what Geology is?’
‘Oh, Professor Sir, I never went to school, I know nothing about Geology. Could you tell me what it is?’ replied the man.
‘Oh, poor old man, you don’t know what geology is. It’s the science of the earth. You’ve wasted a quarter of your life.’ said the professor.
The old man felt so sad, if the professor said that he wasted a quarter of his life than it must be true.

On the second night, the two men met again and the professor asked: ‘Old man, do you know what Oceanology is?’
‘Professor Sir, I am just a simple man, I don’t know that Oceanology is. What is that sir?’ replied the old man.
And the professor said: ‘Oh, poor old man, you don’t know what oceanology is. We are sailing and you don’t know the science of the sea. You’ve wasted half of your life.’ The old man felt so sad, so incredibly sad, he just found out that he wasted half of his life.

On the third night, still eager to learn, the old man came to the professor’s cabin and was asked: ‘Old man, do you know what Meteorology is?’
‘Professor Sir, you know I am just a simple man, I don’t know that Meteorology is.’ reply the old man.
‘Oh, poor old man, you don’t know what geology is; you also don’t know what oceanology is. And now you don’t know what meteorology is. It’s the science of the sky and the weather. You’ve wasted three quarter of your life,’ said the professor.
The old man felt so sad, so incredibly sad, he just found out that he wasted three quarter of his life.

On the fourth night, the old man ran into the professor and start asking: ‘Professor Sir, Professor Sir, do you know swimmology?’
‘Old man, I know a lot of things, but I’ve never heard of swimmology. What is that?’ replied the professor.
‘Do you know how to swim, Sir?’ Asked the old man.
‘To swim? I didn’t have time to learn how to swim; I was busy learning other things. I can’t swim,’ said the professor.
‘Oh poor professor, you’ve wasted all of your life. If you had known swimmology, you could have swim to the shore because the ship is sinking now.’ said the old man.

Origin: Dhamma 10 days discourse by S.N Goenka

Oh that’s very good! … No! It’s not!

so joe the old farmer, was sitting outside his farm, with a sad look on his face; them sam, his neighbor, comes and asks joe what’s the matter:

sam: joe, you look sad, what’s up?
joe: we had one horse that helped us alot, but now it ran away
sam: oh, that is so so sad, …poor joe
joe: no it isn’t sad!
sam: what? your only horse ran away and it is not sad?
joe: no, it is good! the horse ran away, but returned with 3 other horses!
sam: that is great!!!
joe: no, that is bad!!! ;(
sam: you now have 3 + 1 horses, you can do more work now
joe: true i have 3 horse more, but one day my elder son was mounting one of the horses, and that horse went wild and my son broke his leg!
sam: oh! how sad!
joe: no it isn’t!
sam: what?! your son with a broken leg? and it is not sad?!
joe: no it is not sad! last week, the military was recruiting young boys; when they saw my boy’s broken leg, they did not enlist him!
sam: oh that’s great!!!
joe: no it isn’t!
sam: ……..

and it goes on…..

do you love the story? what do you think happened next? what did they talk about, write me!

origin: Hans DeJong, Silva Method

Trying to be nice

I found myself saying internally “..but I was trying to be nice…” and that made me wonder: “am I not nice in the first place?” 😉

It turns out there is nothing as “trying to be nice” there is either you’re nice by your nature and how you act, or you’re not nice. Anything in between can be superficial, acting and not natural, and that does not work for whatever purpose you were “trying to be nice” for.

Bottom line: don’t try to be nice, just be as you are.