Friday, March 21, 2014

You Are Just Like Everyone Else

"Tattoo inside your eyelids this reminder:

'you are the messenger, not the message. You are just like everyone else.' "
This was the advice given by a charismatic Zen teacher to a class of Zen teachers-in-training.

"What do you mean?" they asked her.

"I'll begin with a story about a besieged town that was surrounded by enemies who would slaughter all the inhabitants if help didn't arrive. Just when things looked hopeless, a messenger slipped through enemy lines with the message that the army of the Shogun would attack in the morning and drive off the

"The townspeople were so enraptured with this news that they treated the messenger like a hero. And after the Shogun's army left, they elected the messenger mayor. Though a pleasant fellow, the messenger turned out to be a thoroughly inept leader and was soon sent away in disgrace.

"The lesson here is never confuse the message--which is the precious gift of Buddha--with the messenger. You are only a messenger.
"When you stun an audience with the wisdom of a lecture, when your students cede to you the molding of their minds, when you are treated as someone special, focus on the message inside your eyelids:

You are the messenger, not the message.
You are just like everyone else."

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Fear of Being Found a Fraud

Over the past few months, I have become a fan of Zen Habits. The recent post by Leo stimulated me to introspect. I resonated with the thinking and hence sharing this with you.
If you like this post by him, resonate with the ideas, I recommend that you become a regular visitor of his blog: Zen Habits

The Fear of Being Found a Fraud
My friend Brian asked me yesterday what my biggest fear might be, and the first fear that came out of my mouth was: “The fear that people will discover I’m a fraud.”
The truth is, this fear isn’t something I think about a lot, but it’s often present in the background of my mind, unnoticed but working its dark magic on me. Lots of fears work this way, and until we say them aloud, they have a power over us. Once we say them out loud, really bring them out in the light of day, and give them some thought, we take away their power.
How might I be found a fraud? Lots of ways:
  • Because I blog about habits, and mindfulness, and simplicity and minimalism, people have certain ideas about who I am. This picture in people’s heads isn’t true, of course, because the reality is never the same as the fantasy. What if you find out I’m not what you think I am?
  • People might think I’m amazing at forming habits, and while it’s true I’ve found some pretty good success over the years, much of the time I still struggle, and still fail. Habits aren’t just a skill you learn and then all of a sudden, you can flip a switch for any habit you want to create. You have to constantly remotivate yourself, constantly check your urges to quit, constantly analyze what’s working and how to overcome the obstacles that come up. Each habit is different, and yet they’re all the same in this way.
  • I put myself forward as a minimalist, but I’m not nearly as extreme a minimalist as others. I’m OK with that, because for me minimalism is a philosophy, not a competition. It’s a check against the urges and consumerist tendencies of our modern consumerist lives. So yes, I might have less than the average person, but I still buy stuff regularly, and I worry people will judge me for that.
  • I’m a fairly successful blogger by most standards, and so people might think I have it all figured out. I don’t. I’m still figuring things out. I still have nervousness, with every post, that I’ll be judged and thought stupid. This has gotten less true as I’ve come to know my audience and trust that you’re a very positive, supportive group, but honestly it still happens. For example, someone attacked me on Twitter a couple days ago for my post on a Healthful Vegan Diet. Apparently, I don’t know anything! And I accept this as true.
  • I’m a husband and father of six, and I do my best, but while others might see my family life and think I’m an amazing dad and husband, the truth is I don’t always know what I’m doing, I get mad at my kids, I fight with my wife on a regular basis, I fail often. I do my best, but I fall short all the time.
This comes down to one thing: my imagining of the expectations others might have of me, and my fear that I won’t meet those expectations.
And the honest truth is, I won’t meet those expectations.
So here’s what I do.
I realize that I can’t meet the fantasies of others.
I try to be honest, and not just present a fa├žade. This post is an attempt to do that, as was my failure post. If others have a fantasy of me, perhaps I can make that fantasy more like reality.
I try to be myself, which is really the best I can do. If I’m authentic, I can’t be a fraud, because I’m just being who I am. Of course, I’m always trying to figure out who that self is, and the self is constantly changing, so it’s an interesting endeavor.
I realize I’m still learning, am never “perfect”, and will always be learning. That’s all I can hope for.
I ask myself, “What would happen if the fear came true?” And the truth is, even if I were found to be a fraud by everyone I know and many I don’t, I would be OK. My life would go on. I might need to find another job, but I think I’d be OK sweeping floors or chopping vegetables (both activities I enjoy, btw).
I smile, and give thanks that I’ve been given the chance to write, to share, to connect, to help in some small way. That’s an amazing gift, and I won’t let the scared little child in me ruin it with its complaints.
So thank you, my friends. I’m happy to be here.

Posted: 08 Aug 2013 07:36 AM PDT

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jacob Barnett, 14-Year-Old With Asperger's Syndrome, May Be Smarter Than Einstein

When Jacob Barnett was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Doctors told his parents that the boy would likely never talk or read and would probably be forever unable to independently manage basic daily activities like tying his shoe laces.
But they were sorely, extraordinarily mistaken.
Today, Barnett -- now 14 -- is a Master's student, on his way to earning a PhD in quantum physics. According to the BBC, the teen, who boasts an IQ of 170, has already been tipped to one day win the Nobel Prize.
Since enrolling at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) at the age of 10, Barnett has flourished -- astounding his professors, peers and family with his spectacular intelligence.
The teen tutors other college students in subjects like calculus and is a published scientific researcher, with an IQ that is believed to be higher than that of Albert Einstein. In fact, according to a 2011 TIME report, Barnett, who frequently tops his college classes, has asserted that he may one day disprove Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Outside of his rigorous university commitments, Barnett, who has Asperger's Syndrome, is also an entrepreneur and aspiring author.
The teen, who, with his family, runs a charity called Jacob's Place for kids on the spectrum, has used his story to raise awareness and dispel myths about autism.

"I'm not supposed to be here at all," he said last year during a TEDx Teen speech about "forgetting what you know" in New York City. "You know, I was told that I wouldn't talk. There's probably a therapist watching who is freaking out right now."

Though he makes it all look so easy, his mother, Kristine Barnett, says that he has to work hard on a daily basis to handle his autism.
"He overcomes it every day. There are things he knows about himself that he regulates everyday," his mother told the Indianapolis Star last month.
In April, Kristine Barnett's memoir about her family's experience with autism, "The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius," was released. A movie deal is said to be in the works.
"I hope it really inspires children to actually be doing something," Barnett told the Star of his mom's book and potential film. "[I hope it] encourages them to do what they like doing. I just hope it is inspirational."
----- from
My Experience of treating some Autism patients with Homeopathy
I have been treating some patients of Autism with Homeopathy.  And what is observed and what is possible is the following in nutshell.
It is possible to 

  • Bring about moderation in sensitivity disturbances
  • Improve hyperactivity and hence enhances the attention span of a child.
  • Help in controlling emotional disturbances 
  • Promote the growth processes and intellectual faculties

    Homoeopathy Acts as immuno modulators and promotes the general RESISTANCE POWER of the system
  • Help in managing underlying neurological, genetic, metabolic problems
  • DO NOT HAVE any adverse or depressing neuro-physiological side effects.    

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Failure is NOT a possiblity

Like most other countries, Japan was hit badly by the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1938, Soichiro Honda was still in school, when he started a little workshop, developing the concept of the piston ring.

    His plan was to sell the idea to Toyota. He labored night and day, even slept in the workshop, always believing he could perfect his design and produce a worthy product. He was married by now, and pawned his wife's jewelry for working capital.
    Finally, came the day he completed his piston ring and was able to take a working sample to Toyota, only to be told that the rings did not meet their standards! Soichiro went back to school and suffered ridicule when the engineers laughed at his design.
    He refused to give up. Rather than focus on his failure, he continued working towards his goal. Then, after two more years of struggle and redesign, he won a contract with Toyota.
    By now, the Japanese government was gearing up for war! With the contract in hand, Soichiro Honda needed to build a factory to supply Toyota, but building materials were in short supply. Still he would not quit! He invented a new concrete-making process that enabled him to build the factory.
    With the factory now built, he was ready for production, but the factory was bombed twice and steel became unavailable, too. Was this the end of the road for Honda? No!
    He started collecting surplus gasoline cans discarded by US fighters – "Gifts from President Truman," he called them, which became the new raw materials for his rebuilt manufacturing process. Finally, an earthquake destroyed the factory.
    After the war, an extreme gasoline shortage forced people to walk or use bicycles. Honda built a tiny engine and attached it to his bicycle. His neighbors wanted one, and although he tried, materials could not be found and he was unable to supply the demand.
    Was he ready to give up now? No! Soichiro Honda wrote to 18,000 bicycles shop owners and, in an inspiring letter, asked them to help him revitalize Japan. 5,000 responded and advanced him what little money they could to build his tiny bicycle engines. Unfortunately, the first models were too bulky to work well, so he continued to develop and adapt, until finally, the small engine 'The Super Cub' became a reality and was a success. With success in Japan, Honda began exporting his bicycle engines to Europe and America.
    End of story? No! In the 1970s there was another gas shortage, this time in America and automotive fashion turned to small cars. Honda was quick to pick up on the trend. Experts now in small engine design, the company started making tiny cars, smaller than anyone had seen before, and rode another wave of success.
    Today, Honda Corporation employs over 100,000 people in the USA and Japan, and is one of the world's largest automobile companies. Honda succeeded because one man made a truly committed decision, acted upon it, and made adjustments on a continuous basis. Failure was simply not considered a possibility.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Have a Lucky Day !! And Work for It !!!

Why do some people have all the luck while others never get the breaks they deserve?

Why are some people always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently experience ill fortune? Research over the years reveal that although these people have almost no insight into the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their good and bad fortune. Take the case of seemingly chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not.

A simple experiment to discover whether this was due to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities... Both lucky and unlucky people were given a newspaper, and asked to look through it and tell how many photographs were inside.A large message was secretly placed halfway through the newspaper saying: 'Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $50'.

This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than two inches high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected.
As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and miss other types of jobs.

Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for. The research eventually revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

Another research on a group of volunteers to spend a month carrying out exercises designed to help them think and behave like a lucky person... Dramatic results! These exercises helped them spot chance opportunities, listen to their intuition, expect to be lucky, and be more resilient to bad luck. One month later, the volunteers returned and described what had happened. The results were dramatic: 80 per cent of people were now happier, more satisfied with their lives and, perhaps most important of all, luckier.

The lucky people had become even luckier and the unlucky had become lucky. Finally, the elusive 'luck factor' was found. Here are four top tips for becoming lucky:

1) Listen to your gut instincts ^ they are normally right.
2) Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine.
3) Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well.
4) Visualise yourself being lucky before an important meeting or telephone call.

Have a Lucky day and work for it.
The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but those who learn to live with things that are less than perfect.

The author of `The Luck Factor'-- "RICHARD WISEMAN" teaches at the University of Hertfordshire.
(Reproduced here from "The Times of India".)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I am amazed by the good people do and try to do. We read everyday about all the ' bad' that is happening around us, we watch it on television. In all this hype and hoopla the small things that people do are not noticed easily.

The big 'philanthropists' always are noticed, and rightly so. They are reported by media all over.
Now a days the word 'Philanthropy' is associated exclusively with its most conspicuous manifestations, foundations and grant-making.

Philanthropy means "love of man" in the sense of caring for, nourishing, improving, and enhancing the quality of life for human beings. But we no longer use the term for the small acts of goodness.

In the recent times, a new(?) form of Philanthropy has emerged. Marking money for donations in future.. bequeathing. 
See Some large individual bequests listed below
(Source: Wikipedia)
Note: These are nominal values and have not been adjusted for inflation
  • $31 billion from Warren Buffett to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (initial value of the gift)
  • $9 billion from Chuck Feeney to Atlantic Philanthropies
  • $2 billion from Azim Premji to the Azim Premji Foundation in 2010.
  • $1 billion from Ted Turner to the United Nations
  • $500 million from T. Boone Pickens to Oklahoma State University.
  • $500 million from Walter Annenberg to public school reform in the United States
  • $350 million ($7 billion in modern terms) from Andrew Carnegie in 1901 who distributed most of his wealth to good causes, including the building Carnegie Hall New York City.
  • $424 million from managers of the Reader's Digest fortune to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • $350 million from Michael Jackson who distributed most of his wealth to good causes, and who supported over 39 charity organizations. He was listed in the Guinness Book Of World Records for the "Most Charities Supported By a Pop Star".
  • $350 million from Yank Barry and his Global Village Champions in food, education and medical supplies to the needy around the World from 1990 to the present.
  • $225 million from Raymond and Ruth Perelman, parents of Ronald O. Perelman, to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2011.
  • $200 million from Joan B. Kroc to National Public Radio in 2003
  • $100 million from John D. Rockefeller to the Rockefeller Foundation, 1913-1914
 You may feel that Philanthropy is not for you.
But have a look at this short talk and decide for yourself !
Happy Philanthropy !!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Magician is very honest. He promises to deceive you and he does.

I happened to see a few magic clips.

And I just started to think about two words: Magic & Miracle.

Magic is man-made. Miracle is devine.
Magic may be for entertainment or ther may be "black magic". I don't know whether you believe in "Black- Magic". But I think that we appreciate both forms of energy: Positive & Negative.

Miracles are devine. So we don't know the resons  or the "How" of those miracles. But I believe there are reasons for those 'Miracles'.

But read the following from a Magicians of Today:

 Marco Tempest

“The Chinese general Sun Tzu said that all war was based on deception. Oscar Wilde said the same thing of romance.”

“We willingly enter fictional worlds where we cheer our heroes and cry for friends we never had.” 
“Magic [makes] possible today what science will make a reality tomorrow.” 
“Art is a deception that creates real emotions — a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.”  
Keith Barry
“Magic is all about directing attention. If I didn’t want you to look at my right hand then I don’t look at it.”
How true!
I liked a statement that Magician is very honest. He promises to deceive you and he does.

And you will appreciate these statements when you watch it for yourself:
Magic of Truth & Lies : Full with Philosophy
A Lyrical tale : Futuristic Magic
Ejnoy the magic show!
And what about Miracles?... We will wait for some time!