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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Determining Your True Path

A master was strolling through a field of wheat when a disciple came up to him and asked, “I can’t tell which is the true path. What’s the secret?”

“What does that ring on your right hand mean?” – asked the master.

“My father gave it to me before dying.”

“Well, give it to me.”

The disciple obeyed, and the master tossed the ring into the middle of the field of wheat.

“Now what?” – shouted the disciple.

“Now I have to stop doing everything I was doing to look for the ring! It’s important to me!”

“When you find it, remember this: You yourself answered the question you asked me. That is how you tell the true path: It is more important than all the rest.”

Put Mind at Ease

One day, Buddha was walking from one town to another with a few of his followers.

While they were traveling, they happened to pass by a lake. They stopped to rest there and Buddha asked one of his disciples to get him some water from the lake.

A disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake.

As a result, the water became very muddy. The disciple thought, ““How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!””

So he came back and told Buddha, “”The water in the lake is very muddy. I don’’t think it is suitable to drink.””

After a while, Buddha again asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water.

The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the mud had settled down and the water was clean so he collected some in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water then looked up at the disciple and said, 

““See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be and the mud settled down on its own. It is also the same with your mind. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time and it will settle down on its own.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Poisoning Mother-In-Law

A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law.

In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn’t get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law’s habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.

Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing the poor husband great distress.

Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it.

Li-Li went to see her father’s good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for a while, and finally said, “Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.”

Li-Li said, “Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.” Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs.

He told Li-Li, “You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.”

Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law.

Weeks went by, months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed.

Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn’t had an argument in six months with her mother-in-law, who now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with.

The mother-in-law’s attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter.

Li-Li’s husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, “Mr. Huang, please help me to stop the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She’s changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.”

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. “Li-Li, there’s nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her.”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Parenting - 20 Tips to Promote Positive Esteem


1) Value each child as an individual with unique strengths, needs, interests and skills.

2) Focus on the child's strengths. Emphasize and celebrate his "islands of competence."

3) Reject the child's behavior, but never reject the child. Use affectionate terms and nicknames when scolding ("Your room is a mess, honey. Now turn off the TV and make your bed.").

4) Remember that sincere interest can be more effective and meaningful than praise. Demonstrate a genuine interest in her activities, hobbies, etc.

5) Establish realistic, achievable goals for your child. Anticipate success.

6) Avoid using sarcasm with kids - children with language problems often misinterpret it.

7) When discussing an issue or a problem, avoid bringing up past difficulties.

8) Never compare one child to another.

9) Help the child develop decision-making and problem-solving skills.

10) Understand that mistakes are an inevitable (and valuable!) part of any learning experience. Use these as an opportunity to teach and assist.

11) Divide large tasks into smaller, manageable ones. This will ensure success, mastery, and retention.

12) Maintain a file of his academic work. Use this to demonstrate his progress and development when he is feeling down.

13) Encourage him to maintain "collections" (e.g., baseball cards, stamps, rocks, etc.). This allows him to be the resident expert on a topic.

14) If she does not participate in team sports, promote individual sports (e.g., skiing, golf, swimming). This will provide opportunities for success, exercise, and peer interaction.

15) Communicate your confidence in the child and in her future.

16) Permit and encourage the child to follow the normal fads of his peer group (e.g., clothing, music). This will enhance his acceptance at school and in the community.

17) Emphasize the positive aspects of her behavior or performance, even if the task was not completely successful. Reward direction, not perfection.

18) Anticipate that the child will have plateaus, failures, backslides, setbacks, and regressions. Support and encourage him at these times. Kids need love most when they deserve it least!

19) Look for opportunities to offer him choices to allow him to practice decision-making skills.

20) Never, ever, communicate disappointment to your child. The disappointment of an adult may be too great a burden for a child to carry.