STORIES FROM THE HEART
"The sage tried to help as many as he could.
Some said, 'don't bother I'd rather suffer',
therefore the sage could not help."
A little girl was ill in hospital with a rare blood disorder and was badly in need of a blood donor but a match could not be found.
As a last resort, her six year old brother was checked as a match and much to everyones relief, he was.
Both his mother and Doctor sat the little boy down and explained how they would like his blood to help his sister so she would not die.
The little boy waited a few moments then asked if he could think about it.
It wasn't the reaction the mother or Doctor expected but they agreed......
The following day the little boy sat in front of the Doctor with his mother and said he agreed to give his sister what she needed.
The hospital staff moved quickly for his sister was fading quite fast.
So the little boy could understand what was happening, he was placed in a bed next to his sister and so the transfusion began. Quickly, the colour and life began flooding back into the little girl and every one was over joyed.
The little boy turned to the Doctor and quietly asked, "How long will it be before I die?"
You see, the little boy thought that by giving his blood, he was giving his own life, which is why he took a little time to think about it..........
Jerry is the manager of a restaurant in America.
He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to
say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always
reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters
at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs; they would
follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the
waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural
motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always
there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one
day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! No one can
be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have
two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose
to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each
time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can
choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every
time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their
complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always
choose the positive side of life."
"But it's not always that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Jerry said, "Life is all about choices When you cut
away all the junk, every situation is a choice You choose how you
react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood.
You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It's your choice how
you live your life."
Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally
did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business:
he left the back door of his restaurant open one morning and was
robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand,
shaking from nervousness slipped off the combination. The robbers
panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed
to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive
care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the
bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better,
I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through
his mind as the robbery took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have
locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot
me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices:
I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared?" I asked.
Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me
I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency
Room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses,
I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.' I
knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big nurse shouting
questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything."
'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they
waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!'
Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please
operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'.
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because
of his amazing attitude.
I learned from him that everyday you have the choice to either enjoy
your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours - that
no one can control or take from you -- is your attitude, so if you
can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.
PRECIOUS THAN A GEM
"A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains
found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another
traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share
her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the
woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler
left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth
enough to give him security for a lifetime.
But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise
woman. "I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone
is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something
even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled
you to give me the stone."
Author Unknown (from Bob Gould in the Yahoo Club: Admirers
of HH the Dalai Lama)
^Top of Page
It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top
of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time
to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and
just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. We waited, some patiently,
others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.
She had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been
6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle-faced image of innocence.
Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were
all caught in: "Mom, let's run through the rain." she
"What?" mom asked.
"Let 's run through the rain!" she repeated.
"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit.," mom
This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "mom,
let's run through the rain."
"We'll get soaked if we do," mom said.
"No, we won't, mom. That's not what you said this morning,"
the young girl said as she tugged at her mom's arm.
"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rainand
not get wet?"
"Don't you remember? When you were talking to daddy about his
cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us
The entire crowd stopped dead silent.
I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain.
We all stood silently.
No one came or left in the next few minutes.
Mom paused and thought for amoment about what she would say.
"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain.
If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,"
Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling
and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles.
They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case.
They got soaked.
But they were followed by some who screamed and laughed like children
all the way to their cars.
Author unknown - from http://www.dewegvanhethart.com/treasures/rain/rain.htm
A MIRACLE OF $1.10 (claimed
to be a true story)
Tess was a precocious eight year old when she heard
her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she
knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money.
They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy
didn't have the money for the doctor bills and our house. Only a
very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there
was no-one to loan them the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful
Mother with whispered desperation, "Only a miracle can save him
Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding
place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor
and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be
exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing
the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out
the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with
the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently
for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy
at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise.
Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she
could muster. No good.
Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass
counter. That did it!
"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone
of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't
seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.
"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back
in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want
to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his
head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much
does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't
help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little. "Listen, I have
the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest.
Just tell me how much it costs."
The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down
and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother
"I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know
he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy
can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."
"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago. "One dollar
and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly. "And it's all the
money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven
cents - the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took
her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten
and said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother
and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising
in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and
it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and
Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led
them to this place.
"That surgery," her Mom whispered. "was a real miracle. I wonder
how much it would have cost?"
Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost... one dollar
and eleven cents ...... plus the faith of a little child.
A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation
of a higher law......
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful
stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps
to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think
back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current
situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. You'll die, but may achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love
for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get
19. Approach love and compassion with reckless abandon.
This advice did not come from His Holiness
the Dalai Lama as often mis-quoted.
^Top of Page
smiled at a sorrowful stranger.
The smile seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
And wrote him a thank you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank you
That he left a large tip after lunch.
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
Bet the whole thing on a hunch.
The next day she picked up her winnings,
And gave part to a man on the street.
The man on the street was grateful;
For two days he'd had nothing to eat.
After he finished his dinner,
He left for his small dingy room.
He didn't know at that moment that he might be facing his doom.
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy.
And took him home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful
To be in out of the storm.
That night the house caught on fire.
The puppy barked the alarm.
He barked till he woke the whole household
And saved everybody from harm.
One of the boys that he rescued
Grew up to be President.
All this because of a simple smile
That hadn't cost a cent.
STILSON'S LEAP (from a book
of which the title I lost)
a grey day in late November 1941, a squadron of Spitfires was flying
back towards Britain across the English Channel. The sky was low,
with few breaks in the clouds. They had just broken up a formation
of enemy bombers and, while most pilots were now low on fuel, all
would make it back safely to the base if luck held.
Then flames leaped out from beneath the cowling of the commanding
officer's plane, and thick, black smoke spewed from his exhausts.
The whirling propeller slowed, then froze, and his aircraft, trailing
smoke, began hurtling down towards the sea.
The cockpit canopy slid back, and the commanding officer tumbled
out. His parachute opened. The others watched him drift down through
the wind and silence towards the ocean, which splashed and foamed
Dropping lower, they saw him hit the sea, then, supported by his
life-vest, rise up and swim away from the entangling parachute lines.
He waved them off, but awkwardly, as if he were injured. Despite
his signal, they circled over him until their fuel was dangerously
low. They would wait for his life raft to bob up to the surface
before they left him.
But the raft never surfaced. A shard of metal had torn it, perhaps
- or a bullet had pierced it, or the flames had destroyed it. No
matter. Without a life raft he could never survive in those cold
The other pilots radioed his position over and over, though several
were flying with almost dry tanks.
The new acting squadron leader knew there was nothing more they
could do. It was his job to bring the squadron home. Cursing the
foul luck that had caught them so close to home, he gave the order
for them to continue back to their base.
But a man named Stilson, ignoring all orders to leave, and refusing
to acknowledge any radio contact, only gained altitude while still
circling over their downed commander. At three thousand feet, Stilson's
canopy slid back, the graceful green-and-brown fighter arched over,
and Stilson tumbled from the warmth and safety of the cramped little
cockpit, falling free.
His parachute blossomed above him, as he floated down towards the
foaming sea. The sun broke through the clouds, and a mile away his
empty plane ploughed into the waves, kicking up a long plume of
rainbow spray, and, settling in the water, sank from sight.
The other pilots saw Stilson float down, strike the choppy, glinting
surface of the Channel, sink, then come frothing up into the sunlight.
They saw him cut loose from the shroud lines and kick free of the
sinking chute. They saw his inflated raft pop up to the surface,
saw him pull himself in and paddle over to where the commander was
still struggling feebly in the bitterly cold water. They saw him
haul the officer into the tiny raft with him. On their next pass
- their last - the others saw both men bobbing in the life raft
together. Next, the clouds closed in, obscuring all.
The others all made it back safely - just barely. They filled out
their reports and waited. No word came. In the morning the sky was
peaceful and clear, and they flew over a bright, blue, calm, sparkling
But no trace of either man was ever found.
^Top of Page
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
A friend was walking down a deserted Mexican beach
at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the
distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept
leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the
water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.
As my friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was
picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at
a time, he was throwing them back into the water. My friend was
He approached the man and said. "Good evening, friend. I was wondering
what you are doing."
"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's
low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up
onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll
die up here from lack of oxygen."
"I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands
of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them.
There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably
happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't
you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish,
and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a difference
to that one!"
Coming across a monk praying while circumambulating
a holy building, Geshe Tenpa said, "How pleasant to walk around
sacred places, but you know, it's far better to practice the wonderful
Dharma." The monk took his words to heart and began earnestly studying
the scriptures. One day Geshe Tenpa came across him and commented,
"How commendable it is to study the scriptures, but you know, it
is far better to practice the wonderful Dharma." The monk took his
words to heart and took up intensive meditation. One day Geshe Tenpa
came across him and said, "How blissful to be lost in one-pointed
meditation, but you know, it's far better to practice the wonderful
Dharma." The monk was completely confounded. In desperation he begged,
"Master, teach me what to do." Geshe Tenpa smiled and replied, "Just
stop grasping at things."
BALANCING EFFORT AND PATIENCE
There is a story about a young man in Japan who
wanted to be the greatest martial artist of the land. He thought
that to reach this goal, he must study with the best instructor,
who lived many miles away.
One day he left home to go study with this great Zen teacher. After
travelling for several days, he arrived at the school and was given
an audience with the teacher. "What do you wish to learn from me?"
the master asked.
"I want you to teach me your art and help me become one of the best
martial artists in the country," the young man replied. "How long
must I study?"
"Ten years at least," the master answered.
The guy thought, ten years is a lot of time. I want to get his done
sooner than that. I don't have that much time. Certainly if I try
harder I can complete this task quicker. So he asked the master,
"What if I studied twice as hard as everyone else? How long would
it take then?"
"Then it would take twenty years," replied the master.
The guy thought, 'That's even longer! I don't want to spend twenty
years learning something. I've got other things to do with my life.
Certainly if I tried really hard I could learn it much quicker'.
So the student asked again, "What if I practised day and night with
all my effort, then how long would it take?"
"Thirty years," was the master's response.
The young student became confused and wondered why the master kept
telling him it would take longer.
He asked the master "How is it that each time I say I will work
harder, you tell me that it will take longer?"
"The answer is simple. With one eye focused on your destination,
there is only one eye left with which to find the way," the master
(Another way of saying this is, "With half your
attention on your goal, you only have the other half to focus on
the work." Any endeavor takes effort, but it also takes patience.
If we have one without the other, we get off balance. with only
effort, we try and try but get frustrated when we do not see results
as fast as we would like. Or we get burned out and tired very quickly.
With only patience and no effort, we never really put our full attention
to a task. We never give it the commitment we need. This is as true
with school work as it is with a meditation practice as it is with
sports. in the story, the master knew that the student had enough
effort; what he needed was to balance that effort with patience.)
"Just say Om! - A Teenager's Guide- Your Life's Journey" (Soren
I was at the temple when I had a sudden stomachache.
I dashed to the nearest restroom... and to my expectations, being
a busy day with hundreds of people, it was out of toilet paper.
I struggled to the next available toilet- a less "popular"
one, searching desperately in each cubicle. Thank goodness there
was a roll with a few scanty rounds of paper on it. I had an urge
to rip it all out, to use all of whatever was left. But the thought
struck me that there might be another poor fellow out there facing
the same problem I did. Brimming with gratitude to the last person
who saved some paper for me, I used slightly less than half of what
About two hours later.... Surprise, surprise... I was hit by another
stomachache! Once again, I dashed to the restroom- the first which
I approached earlier. Nope, it hasn't been stocked up with fresh
rolls of paper yet. Feeling rather hopeless, I returned to the less
"popular" one, almost convinced there would be no paper
left... Surprise, surprise... in the same cubicle I used, whatever
remained of the paper still remains. The "others" that
I had thought of saving paper for turned out to be myself! I became
the "others!" Guess what I did? Brimming with gratitude
to the last person who saved some paper for me, even though it was
me, I used only half of what was left...
What is the moral of the story? It pays to be grateful-
to have a heart of gratitude to all the blessings in life- even
if it is mere toilet paper in a public toilet. We should never "squander"
our blessings by taking them for granted. Whatever goes around comes
around in the name of karma. It pays to be kind, to have Compassion
for others- because you never know who it could be! In the end,
being kind to others is being kind to yourself too.
From: [email protected]; contribute your article
or your thoughts [email protected]
^Top of Page
THE VALUE OF BODHICITTA
In days of yore, an older master was traveling
along a country road, followed by a disciple carrying his bags.
As they walked, they saw lands being plowed while farmers and oxen
were strained to the utmost. Countless worms and insects were killed
in the process, and birds were swooping to eat them. This led the
disciple to wonder to himself, "How hard it is to make a living.
I will cultivate with all my strength, become a Buddha and save
all these creatures." Immediately the Master, an Arhat able to read
the thoughts of others, turned around and said, "Let me have those
heavy bags and I will follow you." The disciple was puzzled but
did as instructed and walked in front. As they continued on their
way with the hot sun bearing down on them, dust swirling all around
them, the road stretching endlessly in front, the disciple grew
more and more tired. It wasn't long before he thought to himself,
"There are so many sentient beings and there is so much suffering,
how can I possibly help them all? Perhaps I should try to help myself
only." Immediately, the Master behind him said, "Stop. Now you carry
the bags and follow me." The puzzled disciple did as told, knowing
he was not supposed to ask questions. He took up the bags again
and walked behind. This sequence repeated itself several times.
The Master walked in front with the disciple carrying the bags,
then the disciple in front with the Master carrying the bags, back
and forth, until they stopped for lunch. Then the disciple gathered
his courage and asked the reason why. The Master said, "When you
had exalted thoughts of saving all sentient beings, you had the
Bodhi Mind, the mind of a Bodhisattva, and I as an Arhat had to
follow you. But as soon as you had selfish thoughts, you were no
longer a Bodhisattva, and being junior to me in years and cultivation,
you had to carry my bags!"
See the weary traveler;
How he suffers carrying everything he owns,
Ten years worth,
Twenty years worth,
Upset at how the years have gone.
And many have taken him in,
Offering him shelter from the constant storms.
But the storms are within him.
And in his anger, he can always find something wrong;
"The bed is too hard"
"They were not so kind"
"I am not welcome anywhere"
"This is not the truth I was meant to find".
One day he met a calm man
That in anger, he could not shake.
The men greeted each other with smiles and bows,
One in kindness, the other, fake.
"Would you take tea with me?", the calm man asked
"Yes thank you." the angry man replied.
So the man set off to make his tea
Leaving the angry man there for awhile.
And while he waited, his anger grew,
Harsh and loud like a storm of the sea.
He thought long about how rude his host was
For keeping him waiting,
And what he would say when he returned;
How he would show him humility.
Hours past and day became night
Finally the calm man returned with just one cup of tea.
"This is the best tea from my village."
"We serve it for only most honored guests.
It takes a very long time to brew
because we can only pick and steep the leaves
when the leaves are just right."
The angry man sat staring at the beautiful tea cup
and the hot tea steaming inside
In it, he could see the many people picking the leaves.
He could hear their prayers and chants,
He could see their smiles,
How heavy their burdens were,
And yet, how light their lives seemed.
He looked deeper and could see the earth blossoming
The simply beauty of both flowers and trees.
At the bottom of the cup there was a single tea leaf
Rolled up like a pearl
"You left something in my tea." he said quietly.
The calm man smiled and touched the mans hands.
"Many decorate themselves with jewels." he said,
"But the grandest most beautiful jewel of all, is within.
Hidden beneath our fragility,
Hidden far beyond our every day sight,
Buried in the places we'd rather not go,
Beneath all the hurt we'd rather deny,
So in our tea, the curled green leaf is a reminder
to cultivate the inner jewels that cannot be seen."
"Then why did you offer it to me?" the
angry man asked,
"I am not worthy of such things.
I hate and rage, am ungrateful and unkind.
I am a foolish man, foolish, cruel and blind.
I have hurt more than I have helped,
and have left so many feeling angry and used.
Why give me such a gift?
Why share with me this "precious jewel"?
"Every being is worthy.
Every being has such worth inside,
No matter how deep they bury it,
No matter how hard it is to find,
We offer only what we have to give
And ask nothing of you in return.
Drink the tea my friend,
May we all work with joy to cultivate and share
the very best of ourselves
We cannot always stop the storms,
But we can always learn to act in love, not abuse."
By Jenifer Edwards
^Top of Page
Mahatma Gandhi provides a perfect example of how
anger can be harnessed. As a young, unknown, brown-skinned lawyer
traveling in South Africa on business, he was roughly thrown from
the train because he refused to surrender his first-class ticket
and move to the third-class compartment. He spent a cold, sleepless
night on the railway platform.
Later, he said this was the turning point of his life: for on that
night, full of anger because of this personal injustice, as well
as the countless injustices suffered by so many others every day
in South Africa, he resolved not to rest until he had set those
injustices right. On that night he conquered his anger and vowed
to resist injustice, not by violence or retaliation, but through
the loving power of nonviolent resistance, which elevates the consciousness
of both oppressed and oppressor.
We may never be called on to liberate a people or lead a vast nation,
but Gandhi's example can apply in a small way in our own lives,
when we decide to return goodwill for ill will, love for hatred,
in the innumerable little acts of daily life.
"I have learned through bitter experience
the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved
is transmuted into energy,
even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power that
can move the world."
One day a father of a very wealthy family took
his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing
his son how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would
be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How
was the trip?"
" It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked
The son answered: "I saw that we have one
dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle
of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported
lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio
reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have
a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond
our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our
property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we
Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and
founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-violence, in his June
9 lecture at the University of Puerto Rico, shared the following
story as an example of "non-violence in parenting":
"I was 16 years old and living with my parents
at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of
Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations.
We were deep in the country and had no neighbours, so my two sisters
and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends
or go to the movies.
One day, my father asked me to drive him to town
for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I
was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed
and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care
of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When
I dropped my father off that morning, he said, 'I will meet you
here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.'
After hurriedly completing my chores, I went
straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a
John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30
before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the
car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was
He anxiously asked me, 'Why were you late?' I
was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western
movie that I said, 'The car wasn't
ready, so I had to wait,' not realizing that he had already called
the garage. When he caught me in the lie, he said: 'There's something
wrong in the way I brought you up that didn't give you the confidence
to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong
with you, I'm going to walk home 18 miles and think about it.'
So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began
to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn't
leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching
my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered.
I decided then and there that I was never going
to lie again. I often think about that episode and wonder, if
he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would
have learned a lesson at all. I don't think so. I would have suffered
the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single
non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened
yesterday. That is the power of non-violence."
The story goes that some time ago a man punished
his 5-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping
paper. Money was
tight and he became even more upset when the child pasted the gold
paper so as to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift
box to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you,
Daddy." The father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction,
but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He spoke
to her in a harsh manner, "Don't you know, young lady, when
you give someone a present there’s supposed to be something
inside the package?" The little girl looked up at him with
tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty. I blew
kisses into it until it was full." The father was crushed.
He fell on his knees and put his arm around his little girl, and
he begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short
time later and it is told that the father kept that gold box by
his bed for all the years of his life. And whenever he was discouraged
or faced difficult problems he would open the box and take out an
imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it
A MONK FATHERING A CHILD?
This is a story about one of the great Tibetan
kadampa masters of the 11th century, the monk Langri Tangpa who
wrote the 'Eight verses of mind training',:
There was once a woman who gave birth to a baby
girl. The woman had already lost one baby and was frightened that
her baby girl would also die. The woman told her mother how worried
she was and her mother told her that children given Geshe Langri
Tangpa to be looked after would not die.
Later, when the little girl fell ill, the woman
took her to see Geshe Langri Tangpa, but when she arrived she
found him sitting on a throne giving a teaching to a thousand
disciples. The woman began to worry that her child would die before
the end of the teaching. She knew that Geshe Langri Tangpa was
a Bodhisatta and would show patience, and so she walked up to
the throne and in a loud, rude voice she said; 'Here, take your
baby. Now you look after her!' She turned to the audience and
said; 'This is the father of my child', and then turned back to
Geshe Langri Tangpa and pleaded softly; 'Please don't let her
Geshe Langri Tangpa just nodded his head. As if he really were
the father of the child, he wrapped it tenderly in his robes and
continued his teaching.
His disciples were very suprised and asked him; 'Are you really
the father of that child?' Knowing that if he were to say no,
the woman would have been thought crazy and the people would have
laughed at her, Geshe Langri Tangpa said that he was.
Although he was a monk, Geshe Langri Tangpa acted like a real
father for the child, delighting in her and caring for her.
After some time the mother returned to see if
her daughter was well. When she saw how healthy the child was
she asked Geshe Langri Tangpa if she could have her back again.
The Geshe then kindly returned the girl to her mother.
When his disciples understood what had happened
they said; 'So you are not really the father after all!' and Geshe
Langri Tangpa simply said; 'No, I am not.' "
There was a blind girl who hated herself because
she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend,
who was always there for her. She said that if she could only see
the world, she would marry her boyfriend. One day, someone donated
a pair of eyes to her. She could see everything, including her boyfriend.
Her boyfriend asked her, “Now that you can see the world,
will you marry me?”
The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend
was blind, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in
tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying - “Just take
care of my eyes dear.”
See here for a
nice collection of Buddhist stories
September 11, 2011