The frugal business man and the sailor

One time, a frugal business man was almost drowning when the cruise ship started sinking. A young sailor throws himself in the water and saves the men. After they arrived to the shore, the frugal business man reached out to his pocket to give the sailor a reward for saving his life. The business man handed him 10$ and said “Thank you”. All the people around the business man, witnessing the situation got disgusted at how cheap the business man and how feeble is the payback for the sailor who saved his life. The sailor then calms the people down and tells them: “He knows more than any of us how much his life is worth”.

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A universal grace prayer

Back in 2007, I went to India to do Dyan Yatra (a spiritual trek/pilgrimage to the foothills of the Himalayas to visit ancient temples). We were a group of 120 people traveling in 4 buses containing 30 people each. We would drive to the foothills of a mountain range, then hike up around 8 to 10 km to reach a small village and the temple we wanted to visit. We would sleep in the village and hike back down the next day and resume our pilgrimage.

One day, we got stuck in a village because of a landslide blocking the road. We stayed an extra day in the village and this is when I befriended an Indian who’s both a homeopathic doctor and a Yogi. I had an extensive chat with him and he ended up teaching me a few handy spiritual practices. One of the things that I still remember and practice to this day was the prayer he taught me to say before eating. It is akin to the Christians’ grace prayer that is recited before food is consumed.

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed that I love two things: Prayers and Stories. Anyway, his version of the prayer goes something like this:

Oh my creator and God, thank you for this food. May this food nourish my body, may it be converted into blood and energy that I can use to help and serve others.

This is a very short prayer and is almost devoid of any religious affiliations. It is not a Christian prayer, it is not a Muslim prayer and it surely not a Buddhist or Hindu prayer. It is a simple remembrance that we are grateful for the grace we have in our life and how we intended to return this grace by serving others.

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The prince and the tiger

One day, a prince and his servant were walking in the jungle. Suddenly, a ferocious tiger leapt out of no where and tried to attack them. The servant, out of fear, quickly climbed a nearby tree and took refuge and refused to stay and help his master. The prince, on the other hand, faced the tiger with so much courage and finally killed the tiger.

The prince then calls down his servant and asked him: “Why did you not come down and help me? Come down, I will kill you myself!”

The servant: “I saw a Lion fighting a tiger and it is well known, when those two are fighting, dogs should not get involved”.

The prince then smiled at his reply and spared his life.

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Catching up after a long time

Two friends, Tom and Mark reunite after a long time. They started chatting and catching up.

  • Tom: So Mark, what’s up with you after this long time?
  • Mark: Oh, since then I got married
  • Tom: So that must be good news
  • Mark: No, not really. The wife turned out to be very evil and made my life miserable
  • Tom: Oh, that’s not good
  • Mark: Well, no worries here. We got divorced and she paid me lots of money during the divorce
  • Tom: So, that is of most convenience then
  • Mark: Oh yeah, with all the money, I decided to get into the cattle business, but unfortunately they all died in an accident
  • Tom: What luck!
  • Mark: Luckily, I could sell their pelts for good money
  • Tom: So for selling the pelts, at least you recovered your losses
  • Mark: Yes indeed and with the money I bought a new house
  • Tom: What a turn of events. That sucks!
  • Mark: No not really. The wife was still in the house when it burned.

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Story: Do you have an email account?

Once upon a time, a man was looking for a job. He reads about an office boy position in Microsoft Corporation. He applies and soon enough he lands an interview.
The interviewer starts asking the man some questions and then notices that the man forgot to fill in his email address.

  • The interviewer: “Oh, it seems you forgot to type in your email address”
  • The man: “No I did not forget. Actually, I don’t have an email account”
  • The interviewer: “You don’t have an email? Well sorry, you cannot work for Microsoft in that case”

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The Iceberg Illusion of Success

I found this picture on the internet and I really loved it and as usual, I would like to use it as a launching pad for today’s article.

I still remember my self when I was young, between the ages of 14 to 23, I used to envy people of my age or slightly older who seemed to have achieved the success that I want for myself.

If I saw another guy with a fancy car, I would immediately justify that by telling myself that he must have rich parents.

If I see a smart guy from a good university, I would say to myself that his parents could afford to educate him in such a prestigious university and then I would say to myself: only if I had the means, then I would have been more successful.

If I saw a guy with a hot looking girl, I would say to myself: “He must have money because that’s why the girl is hanging out with him. I don’t have a car or the money to take her out and give her a nice time”.

Back then, I could not afford to buy all the material possessions that I wanted. I remember when my peers used to have a Game Boy or a Sega Mega drive. They used to come to school and play with those game consoles and it made me feel sad and unhappy because I don’t have one myself. Often times, I would think about my parents with a bit of childish resentment. I had the sense of entitlement because I was immature.

Back then, I could not afford to take vacations or travel wherever I wanted. I was living in a continuous state of perceived lack, holding my happiness hostage to external situations. For a big part of my childhood and adulthood, It felt that my self worth really depends on how others perceive me, how much I have, what car I have, what cloth I wear, what kind of a girl friend I had. Continue reading

Five Ancient Lessons of the pencil

When Sri Gurudeva Srila Prabhupada ki jaya was walking today he felt his mind reach out over the blue sea to an island shimmering in the distance. When his mind returned it brought a story with it – a story of spiritual instruction. Strange are the ways of inspiration.

Sri Gurudeva Srila Prabhupada writes:

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