All posts tagged Monk

Where Is My Life Taking Me?

Published 22/10/2015 by inspiringyourspirit


My Dear Friends,

Here I go again…thinking…and raising myself another challenging question…….

Where is my life taking me?

I sit, I ponder, I think and I meditate……..



Just when we think our life is settled, some curve ball comes our way!…..Our life is turned upside downI Change my friends is inevitable , our lives are constantly in flow, this way, that way, ever changing and we ourselves never stay still, especially our minds, worrying about this, worrying about that, planning this, arranging that, floating off after the next thought process that comes into our minds and as were following that though another thought pops up and we follow that too, and on and on it goes, our busy minds controlling our lives….But, do we have to be slaves to our mind, can we draw the line in the sand and say to our mind ‘No More’, I don’t want to follow you anymore, I want freedom of mind, I want peace in my life?

Well, we could all pack up our things now and go off and become Buddhist Monks or Nuns, we could go off to the mountains of India, Thailand or Tibet, we could seek out a Guru to follow, we could give up all our worldly possessions and meditate for years on end…. But!…, will that satisfy our mind and bring us a more peaceful and contented life?…For some, yes,… It is a noble path to follow and certainly one I greatly respect and often wish for myself…But, I also live in the realities of life and I honour who I am, where I am and what is important for me. I, like most of you have family, friends, colleagues, work, commitments etc, I, like many others also dream of that better life, a more fulfilling spiritual life in which I can help those less fortunate than I.

So, where is my life taking me?….

Well, It’s taking me where I need to be each day, and I need to come to terms with that very fact, I am where I am because how and what I think, I’m here right now writing this post because this is where I need to be and this is what I should be doing right now…Fact!

I work with people Spiritually and through Psychology each and everyday, I and those who know me know what sort of man I am, I give my all, I give my love, I give my compassion out to humanity everyday and I’m certainly grateful for all the love I have in my life, for all the abundance in my life, for all the support I have in my life and I always give thanks for all that I am in each and every moment, so…..

My life is what I make of it, it will flow in the direction I take it,….

I choose to live a life of Love, Compassion and Support for the betterment of humanity, mother earth and our environment 🙂

Namaste with Love



Dormant Seeds Ready to Sprout

Published 10/02/2015 by inspiringyourspirit


Excerpt from Grist of the Mill Ram Dass

There is a story about an old Zen monk who was dying, who had finished everything and was about to get off the wheel. He was just floating away, free and in his pure Buddha-mind, when a thought passed by of a beautiful deer he had once seen in a field. And he held on to that thought for just a second because of its beauty, and immediately he took birth again as a deer. It’s as subtle as that.

It’s like when we begin to see the work that is to be done, and we go to an ashram or a monastery, or we hang out with satsang. We surround ourselves with a community of beings who think the way we think. And then none of the stuff, the really hairy stuff inside ourselves, comes up. It all gets pushed underground. We can sit in a temple or a cave in India and get so holy, so clear and radiant, the light is pouring out of us. But when we come out of that cave, when we leave that supportive structure that worked with our strengths but seldom confronted us with our weaknesses, our old habit patterns tend to reappear, and we come back into the same old games, the games we were sure we had finished with. Because there were uncooked seeds, seeds of desires that sprout again the minute they are stimulated. We can stay in very holy places, and the seeds sit there dormant and uncooked. But there is fear in such individuals, because they know they’re still vulnerable.

Nothing goes under the rug. We can’t hide in our highness any more than we’ve hidden in our unworthiness. If we have finally decided we want God, we’ve got to give it all up. The process is one of keeping the ground as we go up, so we always have ground, so that we’re high and low at the same moment – that’s a tough game to learn, but it’s a very important one. So at the same moment that if I could, I would like to take us all up higher and higher, we see that the game isn’t to get high – the game is to get balanced and liberated.

Namaste with Love



The Misguided Monk

Published 12/09/2013 by inspiringyourspirit


The importance of true friendship:

When an old hermit monk has his day interrupted by an uninvited guest, he is unwillingly taken on a journey to discover the true meaning of companionship.

I think we all have something to learn from this simple cartoon 🙂



Buddhist Chanting and Rain Drops

Published 18/08/2013 by inspiringyourspirit


Once a young monk fell asleep in the Meditation Hall while the monks were chanting the Buddha Name. The monks had been there in the hall since the early hours of the morning with the chant of the word “Amitofuo” resounding through the temple. Unceasing, the chant continued into the late afternoon.

When the Master noticed a young monk asleep he asked him: “Why are you sleeping during the chanting, my son?” “Master, I do not see the purpose. I have chanted and chanted and nothing has changed. Maybe I am not suited to this practice.” “Then come with me replied the Master.” The kindly Master led the young novice to his room. “Bring me your water glass”, demanded the Master. The novice went inside his room and returned with his glass full of water. The Master took the glass and went to his office. Taking a calligraphy brush he rolled it with some water into the ink stone then dipped the brush into the young monk’s glass of water. Suddenly there were swirls of black in the clear water. The young monk stood transfixed as the clear water turned completely black.
“Now, my son, remove the ink without tipping out or refilling the glass. If you can do this then you will have wisdom of the dharma.”

The young monk seemed to fumble for words now wishing he had not fallen asleep during the chanting and wondering what punishment the Master was going to mete out. “But Venerable Master I cannot do this.” “Good reply”, came the Master. Then the old Venerable took the novice back outside to a place just under the eaves of the tiled roof of the monks’ quarters. The old Venerable look up then down as if to be positioning the glass. Then with deliberate precision he placed the glass full of inky black water on walk way. “There, my son. Sit here and contemplate and meditate on the glass until I tell you to move.” The young monk did just as the Venerable had asked him.

One hour passed . . . then two. . . then three. The young monk focused with concentration on the glass of inky water contemplating how he could remove the dark water without tipping it out. While doing so large dark rain clouds began to amass overhead. There were distant rumblings of thunder. Soon small droplets of rain began to fall then a deluge broke loose. Rain began to fall in torrents upon the tiled roof sending streams into the spouting. Before long droplets of rain water began to fall into the glass precisely where the Master had positioned it. Droplet after droplet after droplet the drops fell into the glass. Soon the glass was full to the brim and began to over flow with the inky water gradually being displaced. Each raindrop sounded like the “tock” of the ‘muyu’ – the wooden fish the monks strike in time with the chanting. The young monk watched with glee as gradually the inky water was displaced by the droplets of cool clear rain water.

Eventually the rain stopped. The young monk sensed the presence of the Master and looked up at him with a glowing smile. The Venerable smiled in turn knowing that enlightenment had come upon the novice. “The rain removed the inky water, Master” came the novice. “And removed the ignorance from your mind as well” returned the Master.


Unconditional Love

Published 05/08/2013 by inspiringyourspirit


Several centuries ago, seven monks were in a cave in a jungle somewhere in Asia, meditating on unconditional love. There was the head monk, his brother and his best friend. The fourth was the head monk’s enemy: they just could not get a long. The fifth monk in the group was a very old monk, so advanced in years that he was expected to die at any time. The sixth monk was sick – so ill in fact that he too could die at any time. And the last monk, the seventh, was the useless monk. He always snored when he was supposed to be meditating; he couldn’t remember his chanting, and if he did he would chant off-key. He couldn’t even keep his robes on properly. But the others tolerated him and thanked him for teaching them patience.

One day a gang of bandits discovered the cave. It was so remote, so well hidden, that they wanted to take it over as their own base, so they decided to kill all the monks. The head monk, fortunately, was a very persuasive speaker. He managed – don’t ask me how – to persuade the gang of bandits to let all the monks go, except one, who would be killed as a warning to the other monks not to let anyone know the location of the cave. That was the best the head monk could do.

The head monk was left alone for a few minutes to make the awful decision of who should be sacrificed so that the others could go free.

When I tell this story in public, I pause here to ask my audience, “Well, who do you think the head monk chose?” It stops some of my audience from going to sleep during my talk, and it wakes up the others who are already asleep. I remind them that there was the head monk, the brother, the best friends, the enemy, the old monk and the sick monk (both close to death), and useless monk. Who do you think he chose?

Some then suggest the enemy….. “No”, I say.

“His brother?”


The useless monk always gets a mention – how uncharitable we are! Once I have had my bit of fun, I reveal the answer: ……The head monk was unable to choose.

His love for his brother was exactly the same, no more and no less, than his love for his best friend – which was exactly the same as his love for the enemy, for the old monk, the sick monk, and even for the dear old useless monk. He had perfected the meaning of those words: the door of my heart will always be open to you, whatever you do, whoever you are.

The door of the head monk’s heart was wide open to all, with unconditional, non-discriminating, free-flowing love. And most poignantly, his love for others was equal to his love for himself. The door of his heart was open to himself as well. That’s why he couldn’t choose between himself and others.

I remind any Christians in my audience that their books say to “love thy neighbour as thy self”. Not more than yourself and not less than yourself, but equal to yourself. It means to regard others as one would regard oneself, and oneself as one regards others.

Why is it that most in my audience thought that the head monk would choose himself to die? Why is it, in our culture, that we are always sacrificing ourselves for others and this is held to be good? Why is it that we are more demanding, critical and punishing of ourselves than of anyone else? It is for one and the same reason: we have not yet learned how to love ourselves. If you find it difficult to say to another “the door of my heart is open to you, whatever you do”, then that difficulty is trifling compared with the difficulty you will face in saying to yourself, “Me. The one I’ve been so close to for as long as I can remember. Myself. The door of my heart is open to me as well. All of me no matter what I have done. Come in.”

That’s what I mean by loving ourselves: it’s called forgiveness. It is stepping free from the prison of guilt; it is being at peace with oneself. And if you do find the courage to say those words to yourself, honestly, in the privacy of your inner world, then you will rise up, not down, to meet sublime love. One day, we all have to say to ourselves those words, or ones similar, with honesty, not playing games. When we do, it is as if a part of ourselves that had been rejected, living outside in the cold for so long, has now come home, we feel unified, whole, and free to be happy. Only when we love ourselves in such a way can we know what it means to really love another, no more and no less.

And please remember you do not have to be perfect, without fault, to give yourself such love. If you wait for perfection, it never arrives. We must open the door of our heart to ourselves, whatever we have done. Once inside, then we are perfect.

People often ask me what happened to those seven monks when the head monk told the bandits that he was unable to choose.

The story, as I heard it many years ago, didn’t say: it stopped where I have finished. But I know what happened next; I figured out what must have ensued. When the head monk explained to the bandits why he couldn’t choose between himself and another, and described the meaning of love and forgiveness as I have just done for you, then all the bandits were so impressed and inspired that not only did they let the monks live, but they became monks themselves…Well, that’s my ending anyway 🙂


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