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CONTENTS
No. Type/Category Items Page
1 Inspiration (1) Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 1
2 Inspiration (2) 10 Favorite Axioms 2
3 Humor (1) Wanting to kill himself. What an Essay 3
4 Humor (2) Two Little Boys. Angry Customer 4
5 Story (1) Finding Peace 5
6 Story (2) The Boy & his Ice Cream 6
7 Inspiration (3) Recipe for a New Year 7
8 Humor (3) Catching Attention 9
9 Humor (4) Honest Lawyer 10
10 Story (3) The Businessman & the Fisherman 11
11 Inspiration (4) Don’t Give Up 12
12 Inspiration (5) Habit 13
13 Humor (5) Calling A Monkey 14
14 Humor (6) Before it Starts 15
15 Story (4) The Oak Tree and The Reeds 16
16 Inspiration (6) Press On; A Cheerful Heart 18
17 Inspiration (7) Today Matters 19
18 Humor (7) Husband’s Last Words 20
19 Humor (8) Letter to Toyota 21
20 Story (5) Self-Control 22
21 Inspiration (8) Our Choice 24
22 Inspiration (9) Life’s Light of Wisdom 25
23 Humor (9) Taxi Meter 26
24 Humor (10) A Wife’s Birthday 27
25 Story (6) Eight Worldly Winds 28
26 Inspiration (10) The Art of Success 29
27 Humor (11) A Final Moment of Truth 30
28 Humor (12) Toilet Paper 31
29 Story (7) A Choice 32
30 Inspiration (11) Seeing It as It really Is 33
31 Humor (13) Weight Loss 34
(i)
No. Type/Category Items Page
35 Humor (14) The Three Wishes 35
36 Story (8) Transient 36
37 Inspiration (12) The Triple Filter Test 38
38 Humor (15) Dark Secrets 39
39 Humor (16) The Shopkeeper 40
40 Story (9) It Will Pass. Practice Makes Perfect 41
41 Inspiration (13) Wisdom Tells Me That…1 42
42 Inspiration (14) Wisdom Tells Me That…2 43
43 Humor (17) Hot-Tempered Senator 44
44 Story (10) Heaven and Hell 45
45 Inspiration (15) Motivation List 1 - A Wish To-Do List 46
46 Inspiration (16) Motivation List 2– Formula for Success 47
47 Humor (18) Job Application 48
48 Humor (19) Bickering Couple 49
49 Story (11) Pickup in the Rain 50
50 Inspiration (17) Treasure Trove of Twitter Tweets 51
51 Humor (20) Grass Eaters 52
52 Humor (21) Self-Interest 53
53 Story (12) The Ring 54
54 Inspiration (18) Wise Things to Realize 1 55
55 Inspiration (19) Wise Things to Realize 2 56
56 Humor (22) The Dream. The College Graduate 57
57 Story (13) Just Two Words 58
58 Inspiration (20) Seeing Clearly 60
59 Humor (23) Revenge from a Kiss 61
60 Story (14) Flame of Love 62
61 Inspiration (21) Rights Thoughts to Live By 63
62 Humor (24) White Hair 64
63 Story (15) It’s in Your Hands 65
64 Inspiration (22) Be Thankful 66
65 Humor (25) The Eccentric Interviewer 67
66 Humor (26) I’d Do Anything 68
(ii)
(iii)
Dedication
In Ever Loving Memory Of
Our Beloved Parents
May they rejoice in the merits of this
Dhamma Dana and may they attain
The Bliss of Nibbana.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
With Metta,
Oh Teik Bin, Brothers and Sister
And All In The Family
Oh Khay Leng
1924 - 1999
Lim Saw Ghim
1924 - 2012
Inspiration /Motivation 1 Page 1
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Unknown Author
There are two days in every week
we should never worry about,
two days that should be kept free
from fear and apprehension.
One is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares,
its aches and pains, its faults and blunders.
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.
We cannot undo a single act we performed,
nor erase a single word we've said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow,
with its impossible adversaries,
its burden, its hopeful promise
and unknown performance.
Tomorrow is beyond our control.
Tomorrow's sun will rise either in splendor
or behind a mask of clouds ...
but it will rise ... and until it does
We have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn.
This leaves only one day: TODAY!
Anyone can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when we add
the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow
that we break down.
It is not the experience of today that drives people mad.
It is the remorse of bitterness for something that happened
yesterday, and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.
Make TODAY the best day it can be,
and live one day at a time!
Inspiration /Motivation 2 Page 2
* If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.
* A person of words and not of deeds is like a garden
full of weeds.
* Nature, Time, and Patience are the three greatest
physicians.
* Don’t talk about yourself; it’ll be done when you
leave.
* Diligence is the mother of good luck.
* Knowledge is madness if good sense doesn’t direct
it.
* What you dislike in another take care to correct in
yourself.
* No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
* Comparison and measurement can make people
happy or miserable.
* Treat others as you would want to be treated.
With Metta,
Bro. Oh Teik Bin
10 Favorite
Axioms
6 Life Lessons from Humor 1 Page 3
One day a suicidal man went to a railway track and lay
himself across the line. He was waiting for the train to
run over him. A passer-by noticed this and asked,
“What are you doing?” The man replied, “I am going to
kill myself.”
The passer-by asked, “Why are you holding a loaf of
bread in your hand?”
“You want me to starve to death if the train does not
come?” the man said.
Reflection
A depressed and confused person
cannot think clearly.
He needs help, love and care to lessen his misery.
Freddy, a twelve-year old boy was asked to write a 100-
word essay with the title “The Effects of Oil Pollution”.
Freddy wrote the following:
‘One morning my mother opened a can of sardines. It
was full of oil and all the fish were dead. Very sad, sad,
sad, sad … (100 Words)’.
Reflection: Out of ignorance or mischief,
young ones can do something silly.
They need to be taught and educated
with patience certainly.
Wanting
to Kill Himself
What
An Essay!
Life Lessons from Humor 2 Page 4
Two Jewish little boys, Adi and Channan were talking to
each other.
Adi : I’m getting operated on tomorrow.
Channan : Oh I see! What are they going to do to you?
Adi : They are going to circumcise me.
Channan : You know, I had that done when I was just a
few days’ old.
Adi : Did it hurt?
Channan : Hurt? I couldn’t walk for a year!
Reflection When there’s ignorance,
fear can arise in the mind.
What can dispel fear is knowledge learnt over time.
2 Little Boys
A bad-tempered man once came into Ah Chong’s
restaurant. He sat down at a table and ordered a steak
dinner, ate it and then finished off the wine. He then called
for the waiter and said angrily, “That meal was horrible. I
want to speak to the restaurant owner immediately. Where
is he?”
Cringing in fear, the waiter squeaked out, “He’s at the
restaurant next door – having his dinner…”
Reflection To be successful and happy,
there has to be integrity.
There’s a price to pay
for insincerity and dishonesty.
Angry Customer
Story for Reflection 1 Page 5
Finding Peace
There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who
would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The
King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he
really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect
mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it.
Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who
saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of
peace.
The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged
and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and
in which lightning flashed. Down the side of the mountain
tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at
all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a
tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush, a
mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the
rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest...
perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize?
The King chose the second picture. Do you know why?
"It’s because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to
be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be
calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."
Reflections
* True Peace and Happiness does not lie in the outside world,
the world of the senses.
* This sort of ‘Outside Peace’ is subjected to change,
impermanence… which will lead to Dukkha or suffering
* True Peace lies within our mind … unshaken by the 8
worldly winds… our Real Home of unconditioned happiness,
joy and freedom.
* Walk the 8-Fold Path to reach the true inner Peace.
S S
The boy and his
ice cream
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a
10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a
table.
A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
"How much is an ice cream sundae?"
"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and
studied a number of coins in it.
"How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired.
Some people were now waiting for a table and the
waitress was a bit impatient.
"Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the
plain ice cream," he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the
table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream,
paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down
the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two
nickels and five pennies - her tip.
Reflections
* One who is mindful, considerate and compassionate
towards others is truly spiritual.
* The world would be a happier and better place if we
care and share more with our fellow human beings.
* It’s rare to find one with metta and compassion.
Too much self-centeredness and selfishness prevails in
the world.
This brings Dukkha to oneself and others.
Story for Reflection 2 Page 6
1
Inspiration/Motivation 3 Page 7
Recipe For a Happy Year
Take twelve, fine, full-grown months,
see that these are thoroughly free
from all old memories of bitterness,
rancor, hate and jealousy;
cleanse them completely
from every clinging spite.
Pick off all specks of
pettiness and littleness;
in short, see that these months
are freed from all the past.
Have them as fresh and clean
as when they first came from
the great storehouse of Time.
Cut these months into
thirty or thirty-one equal parts.
This batch will keep for just one year.
Do not attempt to make up
the whole batch at one time,
but prepare one day at a time, as follows:
2
Inspiration / Motivation 3 (continued) Page 8
Into each day put twelve parts of faith,
eleven of patience, ten of courage,
nine of tolerance, eight of hope,
seven of fidelity, six of kindness,
five of work, four of rest, three of
generosity,
two of meditation and prayer,
and one well-selected resolution.
Put in about a teaspoonful of good spirits,
a dash of fun, a pinch of folly,
a sprinkling of play
and a heaping cupful of good humor.
Pour in lots of love
and mix with a vigor.
Cook thoroughly in a fervent heat;
garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy;
then serve with quietness,
unselfishness, and cheerfulness,
and a Happy New Year is certain.
~ Author Unknown ~
“May we lead a life of
Panna and Metta.
This will lessen our
Dukkha in Samsara.”
With
Metta,
Bro.
Oh
Teik
Bin
3
4 Life Lessons from Humor 3 Page 9
Catching Attention
Pastor Jonathan Brown noticed that a number of his
congregation members were not paying attention to
his sermon. He knew he had to do something about it.
He said in a booming voice, “Ladies and gentlemen,
may I have your attention please? I have an
important confession to make.” All the audience
members became alert and they sat up upright.
“I have to tell you this,” the pastor said. “The best
years of my life have been spent in the arms of
another man's wife." There were gasps of shock
among many of the people listening. Jonathan really
had their attention. One young man at the back stood
up and asked, “Pastor may we know who that woman
was?”
“It was my mother, Lucy Brown,” the pastor calmly
replied.
Reflection
* Oftentimes we make invalid assumptions and
jump to conclusions which put another in a bad
light. We need to gather more data to establish a
fact.
* Witty and creative ways can catch the attention
of our listeners.
Catching
Attention
4
Life Lessons from Humor 4 Page 10
Honest Lawyer?
A dying man gave each of his best friends -- a
lawyer, doctor and clergyman -- an envelope
containing $25,000 in cash to be placed in his coffin.
A week later the man died and the friends each
placed an envelope in the coffin. Several months
later, the clergyman confessed that he only put
$10,000 in the envelope and sent the rest to a
mission in South America.
The doctor confessed that his envelope had only
$8,000 because he donated the rest to a medical
charity.
The lawyer was outraged, "I am the only one who
kept my promise to our dying friend. I want you
both to know that the envelope I placed in the
coffin contained my own personal check for the
entire $25,000."
Reflections:
1 In a world where people seem to be getting more
greedy and dishonest, one needs to be careful as to
whom one can trust.
2 Beware! Seemingly professional people may
harbor unwholesome intentions in them.
5
6 Story for Reflection 3 Page 11
There was an American businessman with a Harvard MBA. One day,
on a visit to Mexico, he watched a Mexican fisherman unload his
small catch of fish at a small coastal village. The businessman then
asked the fisherman why he did not stay out at the sea longer and
catch more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his
family's immediate needs. The rest of his time he spent with his wife
and kids and playing his guitar and taking life easy. The businessman
was rather surprised at such an answer. He told the Mexican
fisherman, “This is really silly. You should spend more time fishing;
you could then buy a much bigger boat. Eventually you would have a
fleet of fishing boats. You would need no middleman but sell your big
catch directly to processing factories. Why, you could expand your
business and even own a cannery in New York City. Your enterprise
would reach out far and wide.”
The fisherman said, “May I ask you how long it would take?”
The businessman replied, “Oh perhaps 15 – 20 years. You would
make millions and then you could retire and live a simple, happy life
in a small village. Life would be so easy living with your wife and
playing with little kids in such a carefree way. You could also enjoy
your guitar playing.”
The Mexican fisherman was amused and smiled contentedly at
the businessman. He said, "Isn't that what I'm doing right now?"
Reflection
* Many including very educated people are caught in an endless
pursuit of material wealth and possessions to the extent that they do
not have time for the family, to enjoy their wealth or so importantly
to pay attention to the spiritual aspects of life.
* So many, lacking in wisdom strived so hard (at times using
unwholesome ways) to gain more money, status, fame, and power
disregarding the things that truly matter – Dana, morality, and
mental development. As all conditioned things are
impermanent and death can come anytime, the fool may in time
to come be filled with remorse and regret.
* The simple wise man practices contentment; he is happy and
peaceful. He lives a life of righteousness, his metta and
compassion grow.
The Businessman
and
The Fisherman
6
Inspiration/Motivation 4 Page 12
Don’t Give Up
Life is not smooth sailing
With bells always ringing
It has its ups and downs
It has its smiles and frowns
Not all days are sunny and bright
Few things are achieved overnight
To attain what is good and right
You need to struggle with your might
When things turn out wrong
Don’t think all is gone
When things become rough
It’s time you turn tough
There is no success without failure
Hardship and pain you have to endure
When you fall or get hit
Do not give up or quit.
*****************************************
“Persisting on in the practice
of the Sublime Dhamma,
May we conquer all defilements
and attain Nibbana”
7
Inspiration / Motivation 5 Page 13
HABIT
Unknown Author
I am your constant companion,
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to
failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do
might just as well turn over to me
and I will be able to do them quickly and
correctly.
I am easily managed -
you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people,
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine,
though I work with all the precision of a
machine, plus the intelligence of a human.
You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin -
it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me,
And I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
WHO AM I?
I AM HABIT.
8
Life Lessons from Humor 5 Page 14
Calling a Monkey …
Smart Robin was sued by a Mrs. Robinson for
defamation of character. The judge found him guilty
and fined him five thousand dollars.
After the sentence, Robin asked the judge in a loud
voice, “That means I cannot call Mrs. Robinson
“Monkey”?
“Yes, precisely,” the judge replied.
Making sure that Mrs. Robinson could hear him loud
and clear, Robin then asked the judge, “Can I call a
monkey ‘Mrs. Robinson’ then?”
“Oh, that would be alright,” the judge replied. “No
legal action can be taken on that.”
The man then looked at Mrs. Robinson directly and
said, “Good afternoon, Mrs. Robinson!”
Reflection
Some mean people will think of ‘ingenuous’ ways just to
get even with people they dislike.
Acts of revenge or vengeance do not solve problems. They
breed more anger, ill will and hatred.
The wise person cultivates kindness, compassion, and
forgiveness. Then and only then will the person experience
true mental peace and freedom.
Ill will, anger or hatred is one of the 5 hindrances that
obstruct a person’s spiritual development.
Metta Bhavana is a good practice to curb ill will or anger.
9
Life Lessons from Humor 6 Page 15
‘Before it starts…’
Ah Chew came home after a tiring day at work,
plopped down on the couch in front of the television,
and told his wife, “Get me a beer before it starts.”
The wife sighed and got him a bottle of beer. Fifteen
minutes later, he said, “Get me another beer before it
starts.” The wife looked angry but got another beer
and slammed it down next to him.
Ah Chew finished that beer and a few minutes later
said, “Quick, get me another beer, it’s going to start
any minute.”
The wife was furious, and she yelled at him, “Is that
all you’re going to do tonight … drinking beer and
sitting in front of the TV? You’re nothing but a lazy,
drunken, good-for-nothing fella …!”
The husband sighed and said, “It’s started …”
Reflection
Beware of the dangers of drinking liquor. It can lead to
intoxication and a loss of mindfulness and wisdom.
Drinking is no solution to one’s troubles at work or at
home. How much suffering has come about through the
drinking problem? When one gets intoxicated with alcohol
or drugs, one's mind is 'cloudy', confused and deluded.
This will cause suffering to oneself and others. Refraining
from intoxicants is wise action .... before one suffers from
drug or alcoholic addiction. Such addiction will adversely
affect a person’s physical and mental health.
1
Story for Reflection 4 Page 16
There is an old fable from which we can learn some
good life lessons.
There was a mighty oak tree which stood for over 100
years. Its trunk was large, woody, and strong. Its
branches spread out majestically exuding an air of
strength and toughness. However, one day a great
storm came. The wind was relentless, and the rains
pounded down mercilessly. The oak tree was blown
over by the storm and it fell into a river. It floated
downstream and eventually it came to rest among the
reeds growing along the riverbank. The fallen giant
oak tree, in great amazement, asked the reeds, “Can
you tell me how is it that you were able to weather the
storm that was just too powerful for me. You know, an
oak tree is noted for its mighty strength and yet I could
not withstand the storm.”
The reeds, swaying to-and-fro as if smiling in peace
and contentment, told the oak tree, “All these years
you have been very proud of your strength and might.
You have all along stubbornly resisted the winds that
swept your way. You took such pride in your strength
that you refused to yield, even a little bit. We reeds on
the other hand, have never resisted the winds. We
acknowledge their strength and power. We have
always bent with them. Ah...you should realize the
superior power of the winds. The harder the winds
blow, the more we all should humble ourselves.”
The Oak
Tree and
the reeds
2
Story for Reflection 4 ~ Reflections Page 17
* The Proverb "Pride Goes Before a Fall" teaches us a good
Life Lesson. Humility and gentleness are strengths. Due to
our EGO, sometimes we foolishly resist or fight against
things that are inevitable or cannot be changed.
* When wisdom (which needs to be cultivated) tells us that
certain happenings are unavoidable, we need to accept them
with patience, calmness and understanding. Suffering will
follow the person who foolishly and forcefully interferes
with certain happenings of Nature that are inevitable.
* Oftentimes, one has to learn to 'flow smoothly with the
happenings of life' with a mind of patience, equanimity and
understanding. One then attains a degree of mental peace
and freedom.
* A wise person knows that he has to practice flexibility,
and adaptability according to the changing circumstances
of things. The foolish one clings on to a rigid set of rules,
traditional beliefs, false pride, and stubbornness.
* Take the world as it is, not as it ought to be.
German Proverb
* It is a wise person that adapts themselves to all
contingencies; it's the fool who always struggles like a
swimmer against the current. Anonymous
* It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will
survive but those who can best manage change.
Charles Darwin
* The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless
you refuse to take the turn. Author: Unknown
3
Inspiration / Motivation 6 Page 18
*PRESS ON
Nothing in the world can take the place of
persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common
than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the world is full of
educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
* A Cheerful Heart
"`Tis well to walk with a cheerful heart
Wherever our fortunes call,
With a friendly glance and an open hand
And a gentle word for all.
Since life is a thorny and difficult path
Where toil is the portion of man,
We all should endeavor, while passing along
To make it as smooth as we can."
* Capable of Growth
Pearl S. Buck observed that "we learn as much from
sorrow as from joy, as much from illness as from
health, as much from handicap as from advantage—
and, indeed, perhaps more.
"Suffering and pain and confusion are realities in
the lives of us all—but in learning to cope without
losing hope, in learning from those realities and
accepting the lessons learned in humility and
patience, we become capable of growth, re-creation,
transformation—and resurrection."
Pearl
Buck
4
Inspiration / Motivation 7 Page 19
We shall do much in the years to come,
but what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
but what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and
cheer
but what did we speak today?
We shall be so kind in the after while,
but what have we been today?
We shall bring each lonely life a smile,
but what have we brought today?
We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
but what have we sown today?
'Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
but here and now do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
"What have we done today?"
Source Unknown
Today
matters
1
Life Lessons from Humor 7 Page 20
20 – 8 – 2021 Wisdom from Humor (2)
Husband's
Last
Words
Martin was on his deathbed. His wife Maggie was at
his bedside. She held his cold hand as silent tears
streamed down her face.
“Maggie,” the husband said weakly.
“Quiet, my dear,” the wife interrupted, “don’t talk, it
will weaken you.”
However, Martin insisted, “Maggie, before I die,
there’s something that I must confess and ask for
your forgiveness.”
“You don’t have to confess anything,” the weeping
wife said. “I understand. Everything’s alright.”
“No, no. I must go in peace,” Martin said. “I must
confess that I have cheated on you. I had a few
extramarital affairs.”
Maggie stroked the husband’s hand, “Now, Martin,
don’t worry about that. I know all about it.”
“You really do?” Martin managed to gasp.
“Sure dear, why else would I put poison in your
food?”
Reflections
* How many spouses have been guilty of infidelity.
Each spouse tries to keep the affair a secret from the
other.
* Adultery has caused many a marriage to break; it
causes much suffering…to the two parties as well as
the children.
* Adultery is sexual misconduct, a breach of the
Buddhist Third Moral Precept.
2
Life Lessons from Humor 8 Page 21
Ah Thum tried a new shampoo for the first time. He
then wrote a letter of approval and praise to the
manufacturer. In the letter he said that he had found
the products of the Company to be excellent and that
he would tell his friends about them.
A few weeks later, after coming home from work, Ah
Thum found a large carton delivered to his house
under his name. When he opened the carton, he found
inside free samples of the many products produced by
the Company: soaps, toothpaste, detergents, kitchen
ware and some other paper items.
“Well, Ah Thum, you must be very happy getting all
those free stuff,” his wife said smiling. “What are you
going to do next?”
“Soon,” Ah Thum said, “I am going to write to
Toyota.”
Reflections
* Fortune smiles upon us sometimes. Accept the
good fortune happily and count your blessings.
* When greed sets into a person, he wants more
and more. He can become unrealistic and
unreasonable.
* Beware of the danger of greed and craving. It
can lead you to mental dis-ease and suffering.
Learn to practice contentment.
3
A Story for Reflection 5 Page 22
SELF-CONTROL
One day there was an earthquake that shook the
entire Zen temple. Parts of it even collapsed.
Many of the monks were terrified. When the
earthquake stopped the teacher said, "Now you
have had the opportunity to see how a Zen man
behaves in a crisis situation. You may have
noticed that I did not panic. I was quite aware of
what was happening and what to do. I led you all
to the kitchen, the strongest part of the temple. It
was a good decision, because, you see we have
all survived without any injuries. However,
despite my self-control and composure, I did feel
a little bit tense - which you may have deduced
from the fact that I drank a large glass of water,
something I never do under ordinary
circumstances."
One of the monks smiled but didn't say anything.
"What are you laughing at?" asked the teacher.
"That wasn't water," the monk replied, "it was a
large glass of soy sauce."
Next Page for Reflections
4
Stor
Points For Reflection
• We see this sort of behavior often among people. They
feel they have to put on a front to appear to be
something that they are not. What about us? Do we
sincerely watch and recognize our mental weaknesses
and take steps to improve? Too often, we are clouded in
egoism and delusion. Sometimes, when in certain trying
situations, we are not aware of our silly actions until
someone else points it out.
• To have a cool and composed mind … one with
calmness and equanimity needs a lot of mental training.
Constant Dhamma contemplation and meditation is
essential to make us grow and be strong. Many of us
give up because we lack patience, effort, determination
and perseverance.
• Conquering oneself is indeed the greatest challenge in
our life. We need to take the step now if we still haven’t
- we can ill-afford to wait until we grow old or until we
face with great problems. Even Zen Teachers struggle
… what more about us with our conditioned negative
habits and reactions. The wise man looks within and
develops or cultivates his mind. He constantly does
battle with the Mara forces within us: greed & craving,
anger & ill-will, conceit & ego.
Story for Reflection 5 ~ Reflections Page 23
5
Inspiration / Motivation 8 Page 24
Our Choice...
(Adapted From an Unknown Source)
Some people quit, some people try,
Some people laugh, some people cry,
Some people will, some people won't,
Some people do, some people don't.
Some people believe, and develop a plan,
Some people have no faith, never think that they can,
Some people face hurdles and give their very best,
Some people back down or quit when faced with a test.
Some people complain of their unlucky lot,
Some people are thankful for all that they have got,
And when it's all over, when it comes to an end,
Some people regret, and some people feel content.
We all have a choice, we all can have a say,
We stand by and look, or we get in and play,
Whichever we choose, how we handle life's game,
The choice is ours, no one else is to blame.
* Choice or Decision has to be made from time to time.
* In solitude, in the quiet of your mind, settle and calm the mind.
* Ponder, reflect on the issues where decisions have to be made.
* Consider the information that has been gathered; weigh the
pros and cons.
* A choice or decision is wise if it makes your mind, more happy,
and peaceful. It MUST NOT be based on Greed, Anger/Hatred,
Ego and Delusion.
Some Wise Advice on Choice…
6
Inspiration/Motivation 9 Page 25
* Life is tough…it can be hard
But when it gets unbearable don’t let down your guard
* Although bad things happen to us all
It’s important to remember to learn from each fall
* Life is tough, but you are tougher
And just remember it could be rougher
* Remember to cherish the good things in life
They help to get you by in times of strife
* Don’t underestimate the worth of a friend
Because without them our hearts would not mend
* Always be true to everyone you meet
If you act fake you have suffered defeat
* It’s important to say what is only sincere
Words from the heart are the best kind to hear
* Never look back…the past is gone
Only memories remain to look upon
* Always look forward…moving ahead you must
Make the most of each day…it could be your last
* Don’t let others get you down
Show them a smile when they want a frown
* Try your best in all that you do
Believe in yourself and others will too
* Life is not a game to win or lose
It is a Gift to LOVE if we wisely choose
Life's Light of Wisdom
With
Metta,
Bro. Oh
7
Life Lessons from Humor 9 Page 26
A taxi was crazily weaving in and out of the traffic.
“Just what are you trying to do?” the grumpy miserly
passenger shouted at the taxi driver.
He was getting quite angry with the taxi driver.
“I can’t control the car,” the driver said. “I think there is a
technical problem … the brake or clutch … can you please
use your mobile phone to ask for help?”
“You have to pay the charge for me to make the call,” the
miser replied.
“And for Heaven’s sake, switch off the fare meter!”
Reflections
1 The Mara forces of greed, covetousness, selfishness, miserliness,
craving, attachment, grasping and clinging at worldly material things
can conquer or overwhelm the fool. His mind becomes so ‘clouded’
and deluded that he can say or do really foolish things for which he has
to suffer.
2 The mental defilement of Loba or Greed will lead to Dukkha or
suffering in this and future lives.
3 Life is uncertain, Death is certain, and Death can come at any time
and all worldly things must be left behind. Reflecting on this often will
lessen our greed and attachment.
Taxi
meter
8
Life Lessons from Humor 10 Page 27
A Wife’s
Birthday
A young wife told her husband that he needn’t remember
her birthday
the following month, and there was no need for a
birthday present.
When the husband mentioned this to an office colleague
the next day,
she said, “Ha! Your wife just phoned and told me you
would pay
a heavy price if you forgot to give her a birthday
present!”
Reflections
1 Sometimes words do not tell the actual feelings in a
person’s heart. Their spoken words are not truthful.
2 Beware! Many do not tell the truth. They do not mean
what they say. And sometimes heedless ones say things
that they do not mean and then regret. One has to be
mindful of one’s thoughts, speech and actions.
3 One must practice Right Speech (No Lying, No Slander
or Malicious Speech, No Harsh Speech and No Gossip) to
avoid generating unwholesome Kamma.
9
Story for Reflection 6 Page 28
There was once a famous scholar who practiced meditation for some
years. He had earlier befriended a Zen Master. The scholar, thinking
that he had made great spiritual progress, wrote a poem, and asked his
attendant to deliver it to the Master who lived across the river. The
Master opened the letter and read the short poem aloud:
"Unmoved by the eight worldly winds,
Serenely I sit on the purplish gold terrace."
The lips of the Master broke into a smile. Picking up an ink brush,
he scribbled the word "FART" across the poem and asked
that it be delivered back to the scholar.
The scholar was upset and angry and he went across the river right
away to tell the Master off for being so rude. The Master laughed as he
said, "You said you are no longer moved by the eight worldly winds
and yet with just one 'fart', you charged across the river like a rat!"
Reflections
* We all react to the 8 worldly winds of happiness and sorrow, gain
and loss, praise and blame, honor and dishonor. It is not easy to
embrace them with wisdom, equanimity and thereby have unshakable
mental peace come what may.
* “Intellectual or Academic Dhamma” is one thing, the SEEing or
realization of the true Dhamma is another. Until the Dhamma is
actualized or realized, our strong mental defilements of greed,
attachment, ill-will, anger, hatred, delusion, conceit, and ego will
make us suffer.
* The ego and self-pride in us, is very strong. It takes great spiritual
cultivation to remove it.
* When pleasant things happen, we attach to them … this will lead
to Dukkha.
When unpleasant things happen, we react and are overwhelmed by
Dukkha.
* It’s only by practicing ardently and diligently The Noble 8-Fold
Path that our Dukkha will begin to lessen and eventually cease when
the defilements are conquered.
8 Worldly Winds
10
Inspiration / Motivation 10 Page 29
The Art of
Success
Success is discovering your best talents,
skills, and abilities
and applying them where
they will make the most effective
contribution to your fellow men
and to yourself.
Longfellow once said, "Success is doing what
you do well, and doing well
whatever you do."
Success is mostly a mental attitude.
It calls for
love, excitement, optimism, confidence,
humbleness, poise, faith, courage,
cheerfulness, imagination, initiative,
tolerance, honesty, self-control
and enthusiasm.
My Reflection
In our life the greatest success
is when we make Dhamma our quest
and when we walk the Middle Way
to SEE Nibbana’s Endless Day.
With Metta,
Bro. Oh Teik Bin
11
Life Lessons from Humor 11 Page 30
A man was lying on his deathbed, surrounded by his family:
his wife and four children.
Three of the children were tall, good looking and athletic,
but the fourth and youngest was short and ugly.
“Darling wife,” the husband whispered, "assure me that the
youngest child is really mine. I want to know the truth
before I die. I will forgive you if …”
The wife gently interrupted him, “Yes, my dearest,
absolutely, no question. I swear on my mother’s grave that
you are his father.”
The man gave a sigh and then died, happy.
The wife muttered under her breath, “Thank God he didn’t
ask about the other three.”
Reflections
* How many infidelity cases remain a secret or hidden?
There will be a price to pay.
* Adultery is a breach of the Third Precept ... it leads to
disharmony, conflict and break-up of a family. There will be
much suffering among many in the family on account of this.
* In the practice of Dhamma, one needs to train or purify
the mind to attain a state of contentment. One needs to
reflect on the consequences of one's actions .... will they
bring suffering to other people?
A Final Moment
Of Truth
12
Life Lessons from Humor 12 Page 31
There were three bald-headed middle-aged men, Ah Choon,
Ah Gong and Ah Ho.
They were on a vacation and staying in a hotel by the sea.
One day the three of them were taking a stroll along the
beach. Suddenly a seagull swooped down low and deposited
its droppings on the bald head of Ah Gong.
Ah Ho, being a simple good-hearted person started to run
back to the hotel saying, “Don’t worry. I will soon be back
with some toilet paper.”
Pointing at Ah Ho, running back to the hotel, Ah Choon
remarked to Ah Gong, “This Ah Ho is really stupid. By the
time he comes back with the toilet paper, the seagull would
have flown so far away!”
Ah Gong said sadly, “Poor seagull. Ah Ho should have run
faster!”
Reflections
* People who are dull and lack clear thinking can have very
muddled-up views over matters. They can say or do
incredibly foolish things.
* It is unbelievable that even in a modern age, there are
loads of stupid and foolish things that so-called educated
people would say or do … due to greed, anger, ignorance
delusion and egoism. They need to train and develop their
minds to be able to think clearly and wisely.
Toilet Paper
13
Story for Reflection 7 Page 32
A beggar asked Ibrahim ibn Al Adham for charity.
Ibrahim told him: "I'll give you better than that; come with me."
Ibrahim accompanied the beggar to see a merchant and asked
him to find a job for the beggar. As Ibrahim was well trusted,
the merchant didn't hesitate to give some merchandises to the
beggar and asked him to travel and sell them in another city.
A few days later, Ibrahim found the beggar still in a miserable
condition; surprised, he asked him about the matter.
The beggar informed him: "While traveling, I found a blind
eagle in the desert, and I was very curious how it got food though
it was blind; I observed it for some time, and, to my big surprise,
another eagle came by and fed it. Thus, I said to myself: Ah,
WHOEVER took care of that blind eagle in this desert will also
take care of me! I returned to the city and gave the merchant
back his goods."
Ibrahim, after reflection, asked him:
"But tell me, why did you choose to be the blind eagle, not the
other one, who could fly, chase, and take care of others?"
Reflection:
* How often have we been conquered by the Mara forces
of laziness, mental sloth and torpor and foolish
delusions?
* Let us learn to be more self-reliant, industrious,
determined and persevering ...these are hallmarks of a
dignified and worthy human being.
* May we choose to live a meaningful and worthy life of
developing our wisdom and reaching out to the more
unfortunate ones.
* Effort, energy, patience and mindful striving on are
essential in walking the spiritual path.
A Choice
A Spiritual Story
by Unknown Author
14
Inspiration/Motivation 11 Page 33
SEEING
IT AS IT
REALLY IS
Facts don’t change no matter what you
believe.
If what is assumed as true, is really true, can
there be advancement in the world?
Facts still exist even if you ignore them.
If the majority say a foolish thing, it is still a
foolish thing. Successful people are
realistic … they do not live in a fantasy
world.
Wise people are not deluded by false
appearances. They see the world as it is.
The Truth is what it is…it is neither good nor
bad. It is reality.
Your concepts and views must fit reality.
Don’t twist reality to fit your views.
See things as they truly are, and you are on
the way to happiness, peace, and wisdom.
15
Life Lessons from Humor 13 Page 34
Weight loss
A lady in her mid-forties lived with
her husband who had quite an eye
for young and pretty women. One
day, their married daughter paid
them a visit.
The daughter noticed that pasted inside the well-stocked
refrigerator was a photo of a beautiful actress – young,
slender, and sexy in bikini.
“Mum,” she asked, “what’s the photo doing in the fridge?”
“Well,” the mother replied. “You see, it’s to remind me not
to overeat.”
“And has it brought positive results?” the daughter asked.
“Yes and no,” the mother sighed.
“I lost 10 pounds, but your dad gained 15.”
Reflections
1 An action done with the best of intention can bring
unexpected and undesirable consequences. One has to
reflect, and act with wisdom. Only actions done with
wisdom would bring about the desired goal without
negative effects upon oneself or others.
2 The defilement of Raga or Lust in a man can know
no bounds. Beware! Unchecked lust can lead to a man
breaking his third precept of sexual misconduct!
16
Life Lessons from Humor 14 Page 35
The Three
wishes
A man walking along a beach came upon a lamp.
He picked it up and rubbed it. A genie shot out and
granted him three wishes.
The man first wished for a million dollars and a
million dollars appeared near him. Then he wished to
have a Palace fit for a powerful king. And a majestic
Palace appeared behind him.
Now, the man was filled with further greed. He had
money, power ... now, sensual lust grew in him.
“As for my last wish,” the man said, “I’d like to be
irresistible to women and they'd crave for me.”
POOF! The man turned into a box of chocolates.
Reflections
1 Unwholesome desire can lead to a man's downfall.
One's wishes and desires can take an unexpected and
painful twist. Things don't always go the way one
wants or expects.
2 Greed and lust inevitably will lead one to much
suffering ultimately.
3 Wise ones would wish for things that really matter
in the rounds or rebirths: Love, Compassion, Peace
and Tranquility of Mind, Virtue and Wisdom.
17
Story for Reflection 8 Page 36
Transient
A Story
To Reflect Upon
There once lived a famous spiritual teacher. One day he
came to the front door of the King’s huge palace. He
asked the guards to let him in as he wanted to see the
King. The guards brought him to the King who was
sitting on his majestic throne. The King recognized him
as the well-known spiritual teacher. He asked the
spiritual teacher, “And what do you want?”
The teacher said, “I would like to have a room to sleep
in this hotel.”
“But this is not a hotel! This IS my palace!” The king
was surprised at the teacher’s words.
“Can you tell me who owned this place before you?”
“My father was the owner. He is dead.”
“And who owned this big place before your father?”
“My grandfather. He too is now dead!”
“So,” the teacher spoke in a calm voice, “this place
where people live for a short time and then move
on…did I not hear you say that it is NOT a hotel?”
The King reflected on the words of the wise teacher. He
learnt an important LIFE Lessons – the transiency of all
things.
18
Story for Reflection 8 ~ Reflection Page 37
Reflection
* We are ALL here for just a short time, and then
move on. Reflecting on this, shouldn’t we realize a
sense of urgency to lead a righteous and wise life
before it is too late? Doesn’t it make sense to
develop our virtues and cut our defilements of
greed, hatred and delusion in this very short life of
ours?
* Our true wealth does not lie in our material
possessions or in the people we love or attach to.
We live and die and never really own anything.
How many people today think about this deeply?
Too many people entrench themselves in their
possessions, positions, and worldly delights. For
something as certain as death, they don’t give a
thought or reflect let alone make any wise
preparation for it.
With Metta,
Bro. Oh Teik Bin
19
Inspiration / Motivation 12 Page 38
* The Triple Filter Test . . . . . . Source Unknown
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in
high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher
and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before you talk to me
about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and
filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple
filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure
that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"Well, no," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and…"
"All right," said Socrates. "So, you don’t really know if it’s
true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of
Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend
something good?"
"Umm, no, on the contrary…"
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad
about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still
pass the test though because, there’s one filter left—the filter of
Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to
be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is
neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
1
Life Lessons from Humor 15 Page 39
At school Dennis was told by a classmate that most
adults are hiding at least one dark secret and that this
makes it very easy to blackmail them by merely saying
"I know the whole truth."
When Dennis went home from school that day,
he approached his mother and said,
"I know the whole truth."
His mother quickly handed him $20
and said, “Just don’t tell your father.”
Quite pleased, the boy waited for his father to get
home from work and greeted him with “I know the
whole truth.” His father promptly handed him $40 and
said, “Please don’t say a word to your mother.”
Very pleased, Dennis was on his way to school the
next day when he saw the mailman at his front gate.
The boy greeted him by saying, “I know the whole
truth.”
The mailman immediately dropped the mail, opened his
arms and said, “Then, come and give your real father a
big hug.”
Reflection
Secret affairs or adultery on the part of a husband or
wife can end up with disastrous consequences.
Adultery is a break of the Third Precept, namely “No
Sexual Misconduct”. A break of a moral precept can
and does fill the mind with guilt, worry, anxiety,
remorse and fear. How can such a mind find calmness,
happiness and peace? The wise person observes all
the moral precepts to the best he or she can.
Dark
Secrets
2
Life Lessons from Humor 16 Page 40
Two shopkeepers were very bitter
rivals. They had stores directly facing each other across
the road and every day they would monitor the other’s
business. If one had a customer, the other would be filled
with great jealousy.
One night a genii appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a
dream and said, “I will give you anything you wish for but
remember that whatever you ask for, your rival opposite
your shop will receive twice as much. You can be very rich,
but he will be twice as rich as you. Do you want to be
famous? Well, he will be twice as famous.
The shopkeeper frowned and thought for a while. Then he
said, “Make me blind in one eye and deaf in one ear.”
Reflection
There are cruel and vicious people who would go to
extremes to get even with their enemies. A mind that is
filled with anger, ill will, jealousy, and hatred can
propel a person to horrifying acts of evil ... this of
course generates very bad kamma that will bring
untold suffering to the evil doer. One has to learn to
develop thoughts of understanding, loving-kindness,
compassion and forgiveness. Only then will one truly
attain happiness, peace and freedom.
With Metta,
Bro. Oh Teik Bin
The
Shopkeeper
3
Story for Reflection 9 Page 41
It Will Pass
A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My
meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache,
or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"
"It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.
A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My
meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so
alive! It's just wonderful!'
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.
My Reflections All conditioned things are impermanent.
Do not attach or cling to them. ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ – watch
without reacting to them – clinging or resenting.
Practice Makes Perfect
A dramatic ballad singer studied under a strict teacher
who insisted that he rehearse day after day, month after
month the same passage from the same song, without
being permitted to go any further.
Finally, overwhelmed by frustration and despair, the
young man ran off to find another profession. One night,
stopping at an inn, he stumbled upon a recitation contest.
Having nothing to lose, he entered the competition and, of
course, sang the one passage that he knew so well. When
he had finished, the sponsor of the contest highly praised
his performance. Despite the student's embarrassed
objections, the sponsor refused to believe that he had just
heard a beginner perform.
"Tell me,” the sponsor said, "who is your instructor? He
must be a great master."
The student later became known as the great performer
Koshiji.
My Reflections In Dhamma practice, patience,
determination, and persistence are essential to develop the
mind.
4
Inspiration/Motivation 13 Page 42
* It doesn’t cost anything to be nice.
In fact you get to feel your spirits rise.
* If someone says something unkind about me,
I must live so that no one will believe it.
* Every great achievement was once
considered impossible.
I must have confidence that I am capable.
* You shouldn’t compare yourself to the best
others can do, but to the best you can do.
* The great challenge of life is to decide what’s
important and to disregard everything else.
* Nothing of value comes without effort and
energy.
It’s time you put a stop to laziness and lethargy.
* You can do something in an instant that
will give you a heartache for life.
* Generous people seldom have emotional
problems or problems of the mind.
wisdom
tells me that…1
Their ‘Letting Go’ brings Peace Sublime.
5
Inspiration/Motivation 14 Page 43
* It’s not what happens to people that’s important.
It’s what they do about it.
* Even when I have pains, I don’t have to be a pain.
This I have to ardently train.
* Success is more often the result of hard work
than talent.
This important point all have to learn.
* Kindness is more important than perfection.
Trying to be perfect brings stress.
Showing kindness brings happiness.
* Attractiveness is a positive caring attitude
and has nothing to do with face lifts or nose jobs.
* It’s a lot easier to react than it is to think
and respond positively.
Reacting can cause much misery.
* When bad times come, you can let them
make you bitter or use them to make you better.
* If you allow people to make you angry,
you have let them conquer you.
This is a fact of wisdom, not a view.
When Wisdom Grows in The Mind,
You’re Nearer to Peace Sublime
wisdom
tells me that…2
6
Life Lessons from Humor 17 Page 44
Hot-
tempered
Senator
A hot-tempered senator exploded one day in
mid-session and began to shout, “Half of this
Senate is made up of cowards and corrupt
politicians!”
All the other Senators protested and demanded
that the angry Senator withdrew his statement
otherwise he be suspended for the session.
The angry Senator cynically replied, “Okay, I’ll
withdraw my previous statement. I now say,
‘Half of this Senate is NOT made up of cowards
and corrupt politicians!’”
Reflection
* Beware of our speech when we lose our
temper. A person speaking in anger may
regret later the words he utters.
* Some assertive persons would go all the
way to speak their minds even at the risk of
facing negative consequences. Would this
be wise?
* There is a Japanese Proverb of Wisdom:
“The tongue is three inches long, yet it can
kill a man six feet high”.
7
Story for Reflection 10 Page 45
The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed, his legs
crossed, and his hands folded in his lap, he sat. In deep meditation, he
sat. Suddenly his meditation was interrupted by the harsh and
demanding voice of a samurai warrior.
"Old man! Teach me about heaven and hell!"
At first, as though he had not heard, there was no perceptible response
from the monk. But gradually he began to open his eyes, the faintest
hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth as the samurai
stood there, waiting impatiently, growing more and more agitated with
each passing second.
"You wish to know the secrets of heaven and hell?" replied the monk at
last. "You who are so unkempt…You whose hands and feet are covered
with dirt…You whose hair is uncombed… whose breath is foul, whose
sword is all rusty and neglected…You who are ugly and whose mother
dresses you funny… You would ask me of heaven and hell?" The
samurai uttered a vile curse. He drew his sword and raised it high
above his head. His face turned to crimson and the veins on his neck
stood out in bold relief as he prepared to sever the monk's head from
its shoulders.
"That is hell," said the old monk gently, just as the sword began its
descent.
In that fraction of a second, the samurai was overcome with
amazement, awe, compassion, and love for this gentle being who had
dared to risk his very life to give him such a teaching. He stopped his
sword in mid-flight and his eyes filled with grateful tears.
"And that," said the monk, "is heaven."
Reflections
* The untrained and uncultivated mind experiences hellish mental
states right here on Earth.
* One creates one’s own heaven and hell in one’s living …through
one’s mind states.
* A mind filled with unwholesome states like terrible craving, great
anger, hatred, worry, fear, sorrow, grief, lamentation with their roots
in ignorance and delusion are experiences of “Hell”.
* A mind suffused with loving-kindness, compassion, non-attachment
and letting go, calm and peace are experiences of “Heaven”.
* A mind of Wisdom, seeing things as they really are, attains serenity,
happiness, peace and bliss.
Heaven and Hell
8
Inspiration / Motivation 15 Page 46
A Wise To-Do List
Smile at someone.
Listen to someone's heart.
Say some kind words to a child.
Share something useful to
someone.
Send thoughts of Metta to a family member or a friend.
Drop any grudge you may have.
Don't be afraid to say, "I'm sorry."
Express gratitude to someone who
has helped you a number of times.
Look beyond the face of a person
and into his good or kind heart.
Resolve to be more mindful.
From time to time call up or write to
someone to find out his or her
well-being.
Show kindness to an animal.
Have time for quiet meditation.
Do an act of Dana or charity to the
needy.
Improve on your moral conduct.
Count Your Blessings.
With Metta,
Motivation
List 1
Bro. Oh Teik Bin
Be Mindful, ‘Kindful’
and Peaceful.
9
Inspiration / Motivation 16 Page 47
Formula for Success
A small truth to make our Life 100% successful..........
If A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Is equal to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26
Then H+A+R+D+W+O+R+K = 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 =
98%
K+N+O+W+L+E+D+G+E = 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 =
96%
L+O+V+E=12+15+22+5=54%
L+U+C+K = 12+21+3+11 = 47%
(None of them makes 100%)
...............................
Then what makes 100%
Is it Money? ..... No!!!!!
Leadership? ...... NO!!!!
Every problem has a solution, only if we perhaps change our
"ATTITUDE".
It is OUR ATTITUDE towards Life and Work that makes
OUR Life 100% Successful.
A+T+T+I+T+U+D+E = 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
Does that make sense?
Motivation
List 2
Weakness of attitude becomes
weakness of character.
Albert Einstein
10
Life Lessons from Humor 18 Page 48
Two young graduates applied for a single position in a big
company. Both of them had the same qualifications.
The two applicants had to sit for a test consisting of 10
questions. Both men could not answer only one of the
questions correctly.
After looking at the answers of the test, the manager called
in the first applicant and told him, “Both of you answered 9
questions correctly but we have decided to give the job to
the other applicant.”
“May I know why I was not chosen since I also had 9
correct answers? the rejected applicant asked.
“Our decision was not based on the correct answers, but on
the that question you missed,” the manager said.
“How would you judge that one incorrect answer is better
than the other?” the rejected applicant asked.
“Simple,” the manager said. “For question 6, your fellow
applicant answered, ‘I don’t know’.
You put down ‘Neither do I’.”
Reflections
* In today's very materialistic world, so many resort to lying and
cheating in order to gain an upper hand. This is a break of the second
and/or fourth moral precept.
The fool thinks he can get away with such immoral conduct but
sooner or later negative consequences will come round back to him.
* Constant reflection on the following will help us realize the
Dhamma and lead a righteous life:
1. Impermanence is a fact of life. Upon death, material possessions,
earthly wealth, loved ones and even our bodies cannot follow us.
Only our kamma follows us.
2. Life is uncertain. Death is certain. And the point and mode of death
are uncertain. Shouldn't we then lead moral and righteous lives?
3. All face old age, disease, and death. At the end of the day, what
counts is this: Have we led a moral life, rendering service to
others, and cultivating the mind to grow in compassion and
wisdom?
Job
application
11
Life Lessons from Humor 19 Page 49
Bickering
Couple
An elderly couple would constantly argue about
almost everything. The wife was an arrogant
person and quite a nag. She would always make
sure that she had the last say in any argument.
“I’ll jump and curse on your grave,
I’ll jump and curse on your grave!" she would
state vehemently whenever there was a quarrel
with the husband.
Not long later the man died.
His last request was that he must be cremated,
and his ashes strewn over the sea. He stressed in
the will that on no account must he buried and
there was to be no graveyard.
Reflection
1 To protect himself upon knowing of a threat, a person
can resort to all sorts of actions albeit very foolish ones.
Superstitions and fear dictate his actions.
2 Anger, ill-will, and hatred are unwholesome mental
states.
3 Words and thoughts of anger and revenge cause mental
suffering to a person. He or she will not have mental
peace.
4 A wise person always watches his or her mind of any
negative states. Enmity, ill will, anger, and hatred will not
do any person any good.
5 It is important to practice forgiveness and a mind of
‘Letting Go’.
6 Bearing grudges, anger, ill-will and hatred in the mind
can lead to rebirths in woeful states.
12
Story for Reflection 11 Page 50
Pickup in the
Rain
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an elderly Afro-American woman was
standing on the side of a Alabama highway trying to endure a
lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately
needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in
the conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her
get assistance and put her into a cab. She seemed to be in a big
hurry! However, she remembered to write down the young
man’s name, his address, thanked him and drove away.
Seven days went by, and a knock came on the man's door. To his
surprise, a giant combination console color TV and stereo record
player was delivered to his home. A special note was attached.
The note read:
Dear Mr. James:
Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other
night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then
you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying
husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for
helping me and unselfishly serving others.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Nat King Cole
Reflections
* Charity, help, generosity and service… is our materialistic and self-
centered world lacking in this?
* Living meaningfully would entail touching another’s life and making our
world a better place to live in.
* The selfless act of giving or helping brings inner spiritual joy and
happiness. An act of charity is most praiseworthy.
* The Giver should give selflessly with no expectation in return.
The Receiver should remember others’ kindness with gratitude.
13
Inspiration / Motivation 17 Page 51
Treasure Trove of Twitter Tweets
* Live each day wisely and mindfully.
Then you'll be free, peaceful, and happy!
* May we look at Life's Humorous side
and let it be a good WISDOM Guide.
* Relax...let your mind think out of the box.
Then you'll untangle many 'Puzzle Knots'.
* Compassion and Loving-kindness
lead to the Path of Happiness.
* Be thankful for what we have or get.
Many face times that are bad and sad.
* Speaking without mindfulness
can bring much unhappiness.
* "Don't have a rigid mind,” the sage says.
"Look at a problem in different ways."
* When one has put in one's best,
then there will be no regrets.
* With a mind of determination and cultivation,
strive on for peace and liberation.
14
Life Lessons from Humor 20 Page 52
One afternoon, a wealthy lawyer was being driven in his big car.
Looking out of the car window, he saw two men eating grass by the
roadside. He asked his driver to stop, and he got out to investigate.
“Why are you eating grass?” he asked one of the men.
“We are hungry. We don’t have any food to eat," the poor man
replied.
“Oh, come along with me then,” the lawyer said.
“But sir, I have a wife and two children.”
“That’s fine. Bring them along. And you,” he told the other man,
“Can come with us too.”
“But sir, I too have a wife and two children,” the second man said.
“No problem,” the lawyer said. “Bring them all along.”
And so, all the poor people got into the big car. Along the way, one
of the poor fellows said, “Sir, you are so very kind. How can we
thank you for taking all of us with you to your home?”
The lawyer smiled wickedly and said, “No problem, the grass in my
backyard is about two and a half feet tall.”
Reflection
Beware! The very people whom you think are kind and
helpful can have selfish intentions. They may be out to
exploit you. Today, our materialistic world is full of people
blinded by greed, covetousness, and delusion. There are so
many out to deceive and cheat for easy gain. Sincerity,
honesty, kindness, and compassion seem to diminish in our
present world. Dhammaduta workers need to work hard
to try to inculcate true moral virtues and values especially
among the young.
Grass Eaters
15
Life Lessons from Humor 21 Page 53
For the umpteenth time, Brian a college student had been
telling the college principal, “Sir, I’m so scared. Mr. Weller
says he’s going to kill me if I continue studying in this
college.”
The principal was getting tired hearing this, over and over,
again. “Don’t worry, Brian,” the principal replied. “Just
ignore the threat. We will all continue to pray for you.”
“Thank you, sir,” Brian said, “but this morning Mr. Weller
said that if I keep coming to this college, he’s going to kill
the principal.”
“Well, now,” the principal said, “perhaps it’s time for you to
check out the college opposite ours. It offers similar courses
… and they’re as good as ours.”
Reflection
When it comes to one’s own self-interest, one’s own
principles are set aside, and hypocrisy is practiced. This
self-interest, self-centeredness, attachment, and
selfishness will lead one more and more to suffering
eventually. Self-interest and attachment can propel one
to unwholesome actions, actions rooted in greed and
delusion. This will bring about their fall eventually and
more Dukkha (Suffering) arises. Such is the Law of
Cause and Effect.
Self-Interest
16
Story for Reflection 12 Page 54
The Ring
One morning, the boy Solomon saw the goldsmith who
worked for King David's Palace walk out of the palace
very worried, perturbed, and sad.
Out of curiosity, Solomon asked the goldsmith why he
looked so worried and sad. The goldsmith replied, “I have
to come out with a solution to a problem the king asked me
to solve within seven days. If I fail, I will be punished and
lose my job. I am really at wits’ end because there is no
solution to the problem the king posed.”
“What is the problem the king gave to you?” Solomon
asked for he was very curious to know.
The goldsmith told Solomon, “I have to make a gold ring
for the king with an inscription on it. The inscription
should help the king not to be very happy and forget the
divine Truth at his happy moments. At the same time, the
inscription on the ring should help him not to lose his heart
when he is facing moments of sorrow and suffering.”
The wise Solomon thought for a while, and he then told
the goldsmith that he should inscribe the following on the
ring:
“This too shall pass”
Reflection
* “Impermanence” and “Uncertainties” are facts of life.
Realizing this, one can cope better with the tribulations
and ‘ups and downs’ of life. Training one’s mind to be
more and more with the NOW, one attains an inner
spiritual peace.
* Every mortal cannot be free from the experiences of
pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame,
honor and loss of fame. However, all these states come
and go.
17
Inspiration / Motivation 18 Page 55
Wise Things to Realize 1
For True Peace to Arise
Anger, hatred are poisons to the mind.
They block the arising of PEACE Sublime.
When what you do is rooted in GREED,
suffering will come with every deed.
There will be praise, there will be blame.
Let go of your SELF and your NAME!
At times you will be unwell or sick.
This happens to all, the strong, the weak.
When you have less expectation,
you will have little frustration.
Every ‘bad’ person has his good side.
The ‘good’ one also has faults and pride.
All make mistakes through ignorance
of the mind.
Forgiving oneself and others is Divine.
Why let others disturb your mind.
Reflect on this from time to time.
18
Inspiration / Motivation 19 Page 56
Let not your mind dwell in the past.
Bring it to the present you must.
The Future is uncertain.
This great lesson you must learn.
Worry will not solve anything.
It will bring mental suffering.
Everything will sure come to pass.
SEE this…PEACE will come to you fast.
Fill your mind with love and kindness.
You will soon attain Peacefulness.
Be adaptable and flexible.
This is a most precious WISDOM Pearl.
When you learn to really care and share,
the joy that comes is beyond compare.
Mindfulness in life is Supreme Practice.
It leads to true happiness, peace, and bliss.
Virtue and Wisdom are a real Treasure.
They are your true Wealth far beyond measure.
Wise Things to Realize 2
For True Peace to Arise
19
Life Lessons from Humor 22 Page 57
******************************************************
The
Dream
A woman awoke excitedly on Valentine's Day and
announced enthusiastically to her husband, "I just dreamt
that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine Day!
What do you think it means?”
With certainty in his voice, the man said, “You’ll know
tonight.”
That evening the man came home with a small package and
handed it to his wife. With anxious anticipation the woman
quickly opened the package to find a book entitled –
“ The meaning of Dreams”.
Reflecting…What turns out in reality
sometimes is not what one expects.
Wanting, craving, expecting …
it can lead to suffering!
The College Graduate
A young man hired by a
supermarket reported for his first
day of work.
The manager greeted him with a
warm handshake and a smile, gave
warm handshake and a smile, gave
him a broom, and said, “Your first job will be to sweep out
the store.” “But I’m a college graduate,” the young man
replied indignantly. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize
that,” the manager said. “Here, give me the broom – I’ll
show you how.”
Reflecting… * One should never regard certain menial tasks
as ‘lowly’ even if one
has high academic qualifications.
* When one's ego grows big, one will face with negative
consequences, for example, unemployment, relationship
problems with others and a greater feeling of frustration
more and more often.
EGO is a hindrance to spirituality.
Feelings of self-importance lead to misery.
20
Story for Reflection 13 Page 58
JUST TWO
WORDS
There once was a monastery that was very strict.
Following a vow of silence, no one was allowed to
speak at all. But there was one exception to this
rule. Every two years, the monks were permitted
to speak just two words. After spending
his first two years at the monastery, one monk
went to the head monk.
"It has been two years," said the head monk.
"What are the two words you would like to
speak?"
"Bed... hard!"said the monk.
"I see," replied the head monk.
Two more years later, the monk returned to the
head monk's office. "It has been two more years,"
said the head monk. "What are the two words you
would like to speak?"
"Food... stinks!" said the monk.
"I see," replied the head monk.
Yet another two years passed, and the monk once
again met with the head monk who asked, "What
are your two words now, after these two more
years?"
"I... quit!" said the monk.
"Well, I can see why," replied the head monk.
"All you ever do is complain."
21
Story for Reflection 13 ~ Reflections Page 59
Points For Reflection
• Is it our habit and conditioning to complain,
complain and complain? There are times when we
have to make the best of the circumstances or the
situation, we are in. Learn to count our blessings
and the good things that we have. Remember that
in Samsara, nothing is perfect.
• Patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance
and forbearance are great virtues to develop.
Without these, we often give up on many things
that we start upon to do … Dhamma study,
outreach work (Dana), meditation and so on.
• There is a saying: “There’s no gain without
pain!” The Path of Dhamma Practice and
cultivation is a struggle …it entails much effort,
discipline, sacrifice, and commitment. Remember
Siddharta Gautama struggled for 6 long years
before
Enlightenment ….and he was a Bodhisattva with
good paramis! Reflecting on this, we know that
we, defiled worldlings have to struggle even more!
Just Two Words
22
Inspiration/Motivation 20 Page 60
Seeing Clearly
Next time you wake up, instead of dreading the day ahead,
rise and shine and expect something
wonderful to happen today!
When you go outside, notice people going about their lives,
and wonder to yourself what they're thinking,
and if they're happy.
Feel the rain or wind on your face, don't hide from it.
Isn't it refreshing? Smile at everyone you meet.
It is a fact that people tend to respond
to the look you are wearing on your own face!
Wiggle your toes if you are bored.
Be happy that you have toes to wiggle!
Be polite and say 'please' and 'thank you'.
That girl taking your order at the fast-food place
is a human being too, be nice to her.
When you are eating, really slow down and enjoy every bite!
It's good... well, and even if you don't like it,
isn't it great that you have food?
Never underestimate yourself!
You are always growing and learning. Just because you
didn't succeed at something in the past doesn't
mean you can't get it right this time around!
Stop complaining about your life.
Never take for granted all the joys and blessings you have.
Remember those who have less. Tell everyone who is
important to you how you feel about them!
You do not ever want to spend your days
regretting things you never told them.
And last but never least, remember that life is about love.
Give love when you can, and it will be given to you!
Unknown Author
23
Life Lessons from Humor 23 Page 61
Revenge
from a Kiss
A married couple met with a terrible accident and the
wife’s face was severely burnt. As the wife was too skinny
the plastic surgeon told the husband that the skin graft
had to come from the buttocks of the husband.
Both the husband and wife agreed that they would tell no
one where the skin came from and requested the plastic
surgeon to keep the secret too.
The surgery was a great success, and everyone was
astounded at the woman’s new beauty and many people
commented on her lovely cheeks.
One day when the wife was alone with her husband, she
said, “Darling, I just don’t know how to thank you for the
sacrifice you made to give me a new fresh face. There is
no way I could ever repay you.”
“My dear,” the husband replied, “I get all the thanks I
need every time I see your mother kiss you on the
cheeks.”
Reflection
A revengeful person can get a strange sense of satisfaction
thinking he has got even with a person he hates or
dislikes. Learn to forget and forgive - only then will a
person be able to attain true mental peace and happiness.
24
Story for Reflection 14 Page 62
Flame of Love
There was once a block of Steel who declared, “No one can
master me, can shape me or turn me into something more
useful.”
The Axe declared proudly, “I can overcome it. I can master
it.” With these words, he struck many heavy blows on the
very hard and strong steel. However, each blow only made
his edge more blunt. Finally, he gave up and stopped the
striking.
The Saw stepped in and said, “Don’t worry, leave it to me to
handle the Steel.” With his sharp teeth, the Saw relentlessly
worked on the Steel back and forth. How pathetic! To his
dismay, all of his teeth were worn out or broken off and the
Steel did not yield.
The Hammer laughed loudly, “Ho! Ho! I knew you all could
not do it. Let me show you how.” To everyone’s amusement,
with the very first blow, the head of the Hammer flew off and
the Steel remained unchanged.
The Flame humbly asked, “May I try?’ And it curled itself
gently around the strong and hard steel; he embraced it tightly
and would not let go. The tough steel melted.
Reflections
* There are hearts that are hard enough to resist the forces
of wrath or the fury of pride.
But hard is the heart that can resist the warm "flame of
Love".
* Force, aggression, and violence are not effective ways to
resolve a problem or conflict.
* ‘Hatred is not overcome by hatred; hatred can only be
overcome by LOVE or Metta. This is an Eternal Law.
* Metta is gentle, kind, understanding and loving. Its
powers are immense, and it can conquer many a hard-
hearted person.
25
Inspiration/Motivation 21 Page 63
Right Thoughts to Live By
You shall not worry, for worry is the most
unproductive of all human activities.
You shall not be fearful, for most of the things we
fear never come to pass.
You shall not carry grudges, for they are the
heaviest of all life's burdens.
You shall face each problem as it comes. You can
only handle one at a time anyway.
You shall not take problems to bed with you, for
they make very poor bedfellows.
You shall not borrow other people's problems.
They can better care for them than you. You can
help wisely.
You shall not try to relive yesterday for good or
ill, it is forever gone.
Concentrate on what is happening in your life.
Be happy now!
You shall be a good listener, for only when you
listen do you hear ideas different from your own.
You shall not become "bogged down" by
frustration, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity
and will only interfere with positive action.
You shall count your blessings, never overlooking
the small.
26
Life Lessons from Humor 24 Page 64
White
Hair
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her
mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink.
She suddenly noticed that her mother had
several strands of white hair sticking out in
contrast on her brunette head.
She looked at her mother and inquisitively
asked, 'Why are some of your hairs white,
Mum?'
Her mother replied, 'Well, every time that you
do something wrong and make me cry or
unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.'
The little girl thought about this revelation for a
while and then said,
'Mummy, now I understand why ALL of
grandma's hairs are white?'
Reflection
* Never underestimate the thinking of and types
of questions a kid can pose.
* Lying or giving incorrect information is no
way to teach or educate a young child.
* A child has to be educated in a patient, wise
and truthful way.
27
Story for Reflection 15 Page 65
Once there was a wise old man who could
answer any question anyone asked him. Two
young men decided to trick him. "We're going
to fool that old man. We'll catch a bird and go
to the old man and say, "This that we hold in
our hands today, is it alive or is it dead?"
"If he says 'Dead', we'll turn it loose and let it
fly, and if he says 'Alive', we'll crush it."
So, they caught a bird and carried it to the old
man. "This that we hold in our hands today, is
it alive or is it dead?" they asked
The old man looked at the men, smiled and
replied: "It's in your hands.”
Reflection
* Wisdom needs a calm, clear mind ... a mind
that is alert, mindful of all phenomena and data
around.
* Wise thinking requires the ability to think 'out
of the box', to be free from habitual and
conditioned thinking based on untested
assumptions.
* Training the mind in "Right Mindfulness"
can develop clear comprehension and wisdom.
It’s in
your
Hands
28
Inspiration/Motivation 22 Page 66
Be Thankful
By Unknown Author
Be thankful that you don't already
have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities
for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build
your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment
comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
29
Life Lessons from Humor 25 Page 67
The Eccentric
Interviewer
An eccentric boss was interviewing a lady applicant for a post in
his company. He had a candle at his desk. With a smug in his
face, the boss asked the applicant, “Why did the elephant eat the
candle?”
The lady, after a moment of pause, attempted an answer,
“Because the elephant was crazy?”
The boss laughed sneeringly and said, “No! You brainless lady
…because the elephant wanted a light snack!”
The applicant was getting annoyed and insulted.
She wanted to get back at the interviewer.
“Sir,” she said, “do you know what kind of candle burns longer,
a red candle or a green candle?”
The boss was stumped. “A red candle?” he guessed.
“Neither!” the lady said. “Candles always burn shorter! You lack
brains!”
Reflection
* One has to be careful, with the words one uses on another.
Just as we do not like to
1. be lied to
2. be slandered
3. have harsh words used upon us
4. be the target of gossip, rumors, insults, ridicule and so on,
likewise, we should not use such speech upon others.
* It does not pay to try to insult or bring down another person.
We are bound to get back negative effects.
30
Life Lessons from Humor 26 Page 68
“I’d do
anything!”
A sexy young lady undergraduate entered a young
professor’s office. She closed the door and knelt down
pleadingly.
“I would do anything to pass this exam," she pleaded.
She then leant closer to him, flipped back her hair, gazed
sexily into his eyes.
“I mean …” she whispered, "... I would do... anything."
“Anything?” the professor returned her gaze.
“Yes, absolutely anything,” she said sexily.
The professor whispered to her, “Go back and study your
lecture notes.”
Reflection
* Today, in this highly materialistic world, so many
have lost their sense of values, moral principles,
integrity, and human dignity.
* Many resort to immoral or unethical means to attain
worldly gains. It does not pay in the end ... by the law of
moral causation, immoral actions will eventually bring
about negative consequences.
* Never resort to immoral behavior to try to achieve
your goal. Honest hard work is the righteous way.
This will bear good kammic fruit.

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  • 1.
  • 2. CONTENTS No. Type/Category Items Page 1 Inspiration (1) Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 1 2 Inspiration (2) 10 Favorite Axioms 2 3 Humor (1) Wanting to kill himself. What an Essay 3 4 Humor (2) Two Little Boys. Angry Customer 4 5 Story (1) Finding Peace 5 6 Story (2) The Boy & his Ice Cream 6 7 Inspiration (3) Recipe for a New Year 7 8 Humor (3) Catching Attention 9 9 Humor (4) Honest Lawyer 10 10 Story (3) The Businessman & the Fisherman 11 11 Inspiration (4) Don’t Give Up 12 12 Inspiration (5) Habit 13 13 Humor (5) Calling A Monkey 14 14 Humor (6) Before it Starts 15 15 Story (4) The Oak Tree and The Reeds 16 16 Inspiration (6) Press On; A Cheerful Heart 18 17 Inspiration (7) Today Matters 19 18 Humor (7) Husband’s Last Words 20 19 Humor (8) Letter to Toyota 21 20 Story (5) Self-Control 22 21 Inspiration (8) Our Choice 24 22 Inspiration (9) Life’s Light of Wisdom 25 23 Humor (9) Taxi Meter 26 24 Humor (10) A Wife’s Birthday 27 25 Story (6) Eight Worldly Winds 28 26 Inspiration (10) The Art of Success 29 27 Humor (11) A Final Moment of Truth 30 28 Humor (12) Toilet Paper 31 29 Story (7) A Choice 32 30 Inspiration (11) Seeing It as It really Is 33 31 Humor (13) Weight Loss 34 (i)
  • 3. No. Type/Category Items Page 35 Humor (14) The Three Wishes 35 36 Story (8) Transient 36 37 Inspiration (12) The Triple Filter Test 38 38 Humor (15) Dark Secrets 39 39 Humor (16) The Shopkeeper 40 40 Story (9) It Will Pass. Practice Makes Perfect 41 41 Inspiration (13) Wisdom Tells Me That…1 42 42 Inspiration (14) Wisdom Tells Me That…2 43 43 Humor (17) Hot-Tempered Senator 44 44 Story (10) Heaven and Hell 45 45 Inspiration (15) Motivation List 1 - A Wish To-Do List 46 46 Inspiration (16) Motivation List 2– Formula for Success 47 47 Humor (18) Job Application 48 48 Humor (19) Bickering Couple 49 49 Story (11) Pickup in the Rain 50 50 Inspiration (17) Treasure Trove of Twitter Tweets 51 51 Humor (20) Grass Eaters 52 52 Humor (21) Self-Interest 53 53 Story (12) The Ring 54 54 Inspiration (18) Wise Things to Realize 1 55 55 Inspiration (19) Wise Things to Realize 2 56 56 Humor (22) The Dream. The College Graduate 57 57 Story (13) Just Two Words 58 58 Inspiration (20) Seeing Clearly 60 59 Humor (23) Revenge from a Kiss 61 60 Story (14) Flame of Love 62 61 Inspiration (21) Rights Thoughts to Live By 63 62 Humor (24) White Hair 64 63 Story (15) It’s in Your Hands 65 64 Inspiration (22) Be Thankful 66 65 Humor (25) The Eccentric Interviewer 67 66 Humor (26) I’d Do Anything 68 (ii)
  • 5. Dedication In Ever Loving Memory Of Our Beloved Parents May they rejoice in the merits of this Dhamma Dana and may they attain The Bliss of Nibbana. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! With Metta, Oh Teik Bin, Brothers and Sister And All In The Family Oh Khay Leng 1924 - 1999 Lim Saw Ghim 1924 - 2012
  • 6. Inspiration /Motivation 1 Page 1 Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow Unknown Author There are two days in every week we should never worry about, two days that should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its aches and pains, its faults and blunders. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed, nor erase a single word we've said. Yesterday is gone. The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its impossible adversaries, its burden, its hopeful promise and unknown performance. Tomorrow is beyond our control. Tomorrow's sun will rise either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds ... but it will rise ... and until it does We have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn. This leaves only one day: TODAY! Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when we add the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives people mad. It is the remorse of bitterness for something that happened yesterday, and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Make TODAY the best day it can be, and live one day at a time!
  • 7. Inspiration /Motivation 2 Page 2 * If you add to the truth, you subtract from it. * A person of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds. * Nature, Time, and Patience are the three greatest physicians. * Don’t talk about yourself; it’ll be done when you leave. * Diligence is the mother of good luck. * Knowledge is madness if good sense doesn’t direct it. * What you dislike in another take care to correct in yourself. * No one is in charge of your happiness except you. * Comparison and measurement can make people happy or miserable. * Treat others as you would want to be treated. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin 10 Favorite Axioms
  • 8. 6 Life Lessons from Humor 1 Page 3 One day a suicidal man went to a railway track and lay himself across the line. He was waiting for the train to run over him. A passer-by noticed this and asked, “What are you doing?” The man replied, “I am going to kill myself.” The passer-by asked, “Why are you holding a loaf of bread in your hand?” “You want me to starve to death if the train does not come?” the man said. Reflection A depressed and confused person cannot think clearly. He needs help, love and care to lessen his misery. Freddy, a twelve-year old boy was asked to write a 100- word essay with the title “The Effects of Oil Pollution”. Freddy wrote the following: ‘One morning my mother opened a can of sardines. It was full of oil and all the fish were dead. Very sad, sad, sad, sad … (100 Words)’. Reflection: Out of ignorance or mischief, young ones can do something silly. They need to be taught and educated with patience certainly. Wanting to Kill Himself What An Essay!
  • 9. Life Lessons from Humor 2 Page 4 Two Jewish little boys, Adi and Channan were talking to each other. Adi : I’m getting operated on tomorrow. Channan : Oh I see! What are they going to do to you? Adi : They are going to circumcise me. Channan : You know, I had that done when I was just a few days’ old. Adi : Did it hurt? Channan : Hurt? I couldn’t walk for a year! Reflection When there’s ignorance, fear can arise in the mind. What can dispel fear is knowledge learnt over time. 2 Little Boys A bad-tempered man once came into Ah Chong’s restaurant. He sat down at a table and ordered a steak dinner, ate it and then finished off the wine. He then called for the waiter and said angrily, “That meal was horrible. I want to speak to the restaurant owner immediately. Where is he?” Cringing in fear, the waiter squeaked out, “He’s at the restaurant next door – having his dinner…” Reflection To be successful and happy, there has to be integrity. There’s a price to pay for insincerity and dishonesty. Angry Customer
  • 10. Story for Reflection 1 Page 5 Finding Peace There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace. The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning flashed. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest... perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The King chose the second picture. Do you know why? "It’s because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace." Reflections * True Peace and Happiness does not lie in the outside world, the world of the senses. * This sort of ‘Outside Peace’ is subjected to change, impermanence… which will lead to Dukkha or suffering * True Peace lies within our mind … unshaken by the 8 worldly winds… our Real Home of unconditioned happiness, joy and freedom. * Walk the 8-Fold Path to reach the true inner Peace.
  • 11. S S The boy and his ice cream In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip. Reflections * One who is mindful, considerate and compassionate towards others is truly spiritual. * The world would be a happier and better place if we care and share more with our fellow human beings. * It’s rare to find one with metta and compassion. Too much self-centeredness and selfishness prevails in the world. This brings Dukkha to oneself and others. Story for Reflection 2 Page 6
  • 12. 1 Inspiration/Motivation 3 Page 7 Recipe For a Happy Year Take twelve, fine, full-grown months, see that these are thoroughly free from all old memories of bitterness, rancor, hate and jealousy; cleanse them completely from every clinging spite. Pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past. Have them as fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. This batch will keep for just one year. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time, but prepare one day at a time, as follows:
  • 13. 2 Inspiration / Motivation 3 (continued) Page 8 Into each day put twelve parts of faith, eleven of patience, ten of courage, nine of tolerance, eight of hope, seven of fidelity, six of kindness, five of work, four of rest, three of generosity, two of meditation and prayer, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about a teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play and a heaping cupful of good humor. Pour in lots of love and mix with a vigor. Cook thoroughly in a fervent heat; garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy; then serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness, and a Happy New Year is certain. ~ Author Unknown ~ “May we lead a life of Panna and Metta. This will lessen our Dukkha in Samsara.” With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
  • 14. 3 4 Life Lessons from Humor 3 Page 9 Catching Attention Pastor Jonathan Brown noticed that a number of his congregation members were not paying attention to his sermon. He knew he had to do something about it. He said in a booming voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please? I have an important confession to make.” All the audience members became alert and they sat up upright. “I have to tell you this,” the pastor said. “The best years of my life have been spent in the arms of another man's wife." There were gasps of shock among many of the people listening. Jonathan really had their attention. One young man at the back stood up and asked, “Pastor may we know who that woman was?” “It was my mother, Lucy Brown,” the pastor calmly replied. Reflection * Oftentimes we make invalid assumptions and jump to conclusions which put another in a bad light. We need to gather more data to establish a fact. * Witty and creative ways can catch the attention of our listeners. Catching Attention
  • 15. 4 Life Lessons from Humor 4 Page 10 Honest Lawyer? A dying man gave each of his best friends -- a lawyer, doctor and clergyman -- an envelope containing $25,000 in cash to be placed in his coffin. A week later the man died and the friends each placed an envelope in the coffin. Several months later, the clergyman confessed that he only put $10,000 in the envelope and sent the rest to a mission in South America. The doctor confessed that his envelope had only $8,000 because he donated the rest to a medical charity. The lawyer was outraged, "I am the only one who kept my promise to our dying friend. I want you both to know that the envelope I placed in the coffin contained my own personal check for the entire $25,000." Reflections: 1 In a world where people seem to be getting more greedy and dishonest, one needs to be careful as to whom one can trust. 2 Beware! Seemingly professional people may harbor unwholesome intentions in them.
  • 16. 5 6 Story for Reflection 3 Page 11 There was an American businessman with a Harvard MBA. One day, on a visit to Mexico, he watched a Mexican fisherman unload his small catch of fish at a small coastal village. The businessman then asked the fisherman why he did not stay out at the sea longer and catch more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The rest of his time he spent with his wife and kids and playing his guitar and taking life easy. The businessman was rather surprised at such an answer. He told the Mexican fisherman, “This is really silly. You should spend more time fishing; you could then buy a much bigger boat. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. You would need no middleman but sell your big catch directly to processing factories. Why, you could expand your business and even own a cannery in New York City. Your enterprise would reach out far and wide.” The fisherman said, “May I ask you how long it would take?” The businessman replied, “Oh perhaps 15 – 20 years. You would make millions and then you could retire and live a simple, happy life in a small village. Life would be so easy living with your wife and playing with little kids in such a carefree way. You could also enjoy your guitar playing.” The Mexican fisherman was amused and smiled contentedly at the businessman. He said, "Isn't that what I'm doing right now?" Reflection * Many including very educated people are caught in an endless pursuit of material wealth and possessions to the extent that they do not have time for the family, to enjoy their wealth or so importantly to pay attention to the spiritual aspects of life. * So many, lacking in wisdom strived so hard (at times using unwholesome ways) to gain more money, status, fame, and power disregarding the things that truly matter – Dana, morality, and mental development. As all conditioned things are impermanent and death can come anytime, the fool may in time to come be filled with remorse and regret. * The simple wise man practices contentment; he is happy and peaceful. He lives a life of righteousness, his metta and compassion grow. The Businessman and The Fisherman
  • 17. 6 Inspiration/Motivation 4 Page 12 Don’t Give Up Life is not smooth sailing With bells always ringing It has its ups and downs It has its smiles and frowns Not all days are sunny and bright Few things are achieved overnight To attain what is good and right You need to struggle with your might When things turn out wrong Don’t think all is gone When things become rough It’s time you turn tough There is no success without failure Hardship and pain you have to endure When you fall or get hit Do not give up or quit. ***************************************** “Persisting on in the practice of the Sublime Dhamma, May we conquer all defilements and attain Nibbana”
  • 18. 7 Inspiration / Motivation 5 Page 13 HABIT Unknown Author I am your constant companion, I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed - you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great people, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a human. You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin - it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, And I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you. WHO AM I? I AM HABIT.
  • 19. 8 Life Lessons from Humor 5 Page 14 Calling a Monkey … Smart Robin was sued by a Mrs. Robinson for defamation of character. The judge found him guilty and fined him five thousand dollars. After the sentence, Robin asked the judge in a loud voice, “That means I cannot call Mrs. Robinson “Monkey”? “Yes, precisely,” the judge replied. Making sure that Mrs. Robinson could hear him loud and clear, Robin then asked the judge, “Can I call a monkey ‘Mrs. Robinson’ then?” “Oh, that would be alright,” the judge replied. “No legal action can be taken on that.” The man then looked at Mrs. Robinson directly and said, “Good afternoon, Mrs. Robinson!” Reflection Some mean people will think of ‘ingenuous’ ways just to get even with people they dislike. Acts of revenge or vengeance do not solve problems. They breed more anger, ill will and hatred. The wise person cultivates kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Then and only then will the person experience true mental peace and freedom. Ill will, anger or hatred is one of the 5 hindrances that obstruct a person’s spiritual development. Metta Bhavana is a good practice to curb ill will or anger.
  • 20. 9 Life Lessons from Humor 6 Page 15 ‘Before it starts…’ Ah Chew came home after a tiring day at work, plopped down on the couch in front of the television, and told his wife, “Get me a beer before it starts.” The wife sighed and got him a bottle of beer. Fifteen minutes later, he said, “Get me another beer before it starts.” The wife looked angry but got another beer and slammed it down next to him. Ah Chew finished that beer and a few minutes later said, “Quick, get me another beer, it’s going to start any minute.” The wife was furious, and she yelled at him, “Is that all you’re going to do tonight … drinking beer and sitting in front of the TV? You’re nothing but a lazy, drunken, good-for-nothing fella …!” The husband sighed and said, “It’s started …” Reflection Beware of the dangers of drinking liquor. It can lead to intoxication and a loss of mindfulness and wisdom. Drinking is no solution to one’s troubles at work or at home. How much suffering has come about through the drinking problem? When one gets intoxicated with alcohol or drugs, one's mind is 'cloudy', confused and deluded. This will cause suffering to oneself and others. Refraining from intoxicants is wise action .... before one suffers from drug or alcoholic addiction. Such addiction will adversely affect a person’s physical and mental health.
  • 21. 1 Story for Reflection 4 Page 16 There is an old fable from which we can learn some good life lessons. There was a mighty oak tree which stood for over 100 years. Its trunk was large, woody, and strong. Its branches spread out majestically exuding an air of strength and toughness. However, one day a great storm came. The wind was relentless, and the rains pounded down mercilessly. The oak tree was blown over by the storm and it fell into a river. It floated downstream and eventually it came to rest among the reeds growing along the riverbank. The fallen giant oak tree, in great amazement, asked the reeds, “Can you tell me how is it that you were able to weather the storm that was just too powerful for me. You know, an oak tree is noted for its mighty strength and yet I could not withstand the storm.” The reeds, swaying to-and-fro as if smiling in peace and contentment, told the oak tree, “All these years you have been very proud of your strength and might. You have all along stubbornly resisted the winds that swept your way. You took such pride in your strength that you refused to yield, even a little bit. We reeds on the other hand, have never resisted the winds. We acknowledge their strength and power. We have always bent with them. Ah...you should realize the superior power of the winds. The harder the winds blow, the more we all should humble ourselves.” The Oak Tree and the reeds
  • 22. 2 Story for Reflection 4 ~ Reflections Page 17 * The Proverb "Pride Goes Before a Fall" teaches us a good Life Lesson. Humility and gentleness are strengths. Due to our EGO, sometimes we foolishly resist or fight against things that are inevitable or cannot be changed. * When wisdom (which needs to be cultivated) tells us that certain happenings are unavoidable, we need to accept them with patience, calmness and understanding. Suffering will follow the person who foolishly and forcefully interferes with certain happenings of Nature that are inevitable. * Oftentimes, one has to learn to 'flow smoothly with the happenings of life' with a mind of patience, equanimity and understanding. One then attains a degree of mental peace and freedom. * A wise person knows that he has to practice flexibility, and adaptability according to the changing circumstances of things. The foolish one clings on to a rigid set of rules, traditional beliefs, false pride, and stubbornness. * Take the world as it is, not as it ought to be. German Proverb * It is a wise person that adapts themselves to all contingencies; it's the fool who always struggles like a swimmer against the current. Anonymous * It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. Charles Darwin * The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to take the turn. Author: Unknown
  • 23. 3 Inspiration / Motivation 6 Page 18 *PRESS ON Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. * A Cheerful Heart "`Tis well to walk with a cheerful heart Wherever our fortunes call, With a friendly glance and an open hand And a gentle word for all. Since life is a thorny and difficult path Where toil is the portion of man, We all should endeavor, while passing along To make it as smooth as we can." * Capable of Growth Pearl S. Buck observed that "we learn as much from sorrow as from joy, as much from illness as from health, as much from handicap as from advantage— and, indeed, perhaps more. "Suffering and pain and confusion are realities in the lives of us all—but in learning to cope without losing hope, in learning from those realities and accepting the lessons learned in humility and patience, we become capable of growth, re-creation, transformation—and resurrection." Pearl Buck
  • 24. 4 Inspiration / Motivation 7 Page 19 We shall do much in the years to come, but what have we done today? We shall give our gold in a princely sum, but what did we give today? We shall lift the heart and dry the tear, We shall plant a hope in the place of fear, We shall speak the words of love and cheer but what did we speak today? We shall be so kind in the after while, but what have we been today? We shall bring each lonely life a smile, but what have we brought today? We shall reap such joys in the by and by, but what have we sown today? 'Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask, but here and now do we do our task? Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask, "What have we done today?" Source Unknown Today matters
  • 25. 1 Life Lessons from Humor 7 Page 20 20 – 8 – 2021 Wisdom from Humor (2) Husband's Last Words Martin was on his deathbed. His wife Maggie was at his bedside. She held his cold hand as silent tears streamed down her face. “Maggie,” the husband said weakly. “Quiet, my dear,” the wife interrupted, “don’t talk, it will weaken you.” However, Martin insisted, “Maggie, before I die, there’s something that I must confess and ask for your forgiveness.” “You don’t have to confess anything,” the weeping wife said. “I understand. Everything’s alright.” “No, no. I must go in peace,” Martin said. “I must confess that I have cheated on you. I had a few extramarital affairs.” Maggie stroked the husband’s hand, “Now, Martin, don’t worry about that. I know all about it.” “You really do?” Martin managed to gasp. “Sure dear, why else would I put poison in your food?” Reflections * How many spouses have been guilty of infidelity. Each spouse tries to keep the affair a secret from the other. * Adultery has caused many a marriage to break; it causes much suffering…to the two parties as well as the children. * Adultery is sexual misconduct, a breach of the Buddhist Third Moral Precept.
  • 26. 2 Life Lessons from Humor 8 Page 21 Ah Thum tried a new shampoo for the first time. He then wrote a letter of approval and praise to the manufacturer. In the letter he said that he had found the products of the Company to be excellent and that he would tell his friends about them. A few weeks later, after coming home from work, Ah Thum found a large carton delivered to his house under his name. When he opened the carton, he found inside free samples of the many products produced by the Company: soaps, toothpaste, detergents, kitchen ware and some other paper items. “Well, Ah Thum, you must be very happy getting all those free stuff,” his wife said smiling. “What are you going to do next?” “Soon,” Ah Thum said, “I am going to write to Toyota.” Reflections * Fortune smiles upon us sometimes. Accept the good fortune happily and count your blessings. * When greed sets into a person, he wants more and more. He can become unrealistic and unreasonable. * Beware of the danger of greed and craving. It can lead you to mental dis-ease and suffering. Learn to practice contentment.
  • 27. 3 A Story for Reflection 5 Page 22 SELF-CONTROL One day there was an earthquake that shook the entire Zen temple. Parts of it even collapsed. Many of the monks were terrified. When the earthquake stopped the teacher said, "Now you have had the opportunity to see how a Zen man behaves in a crisis situation. You may have noticed that I did not panic. I was quite aware of what was happening and what to do. I led you all to the kitchen, the strongest part of the temple. It was a good decision, because, you see we have all survived without any injuries. However, despite my self-control and composure, I did feel a little bit tense - which you may have deduced from the fact that I drank a large glass of water, something I never do under ordinary circumstances." One of the monks smiled but didn't say anything. "What are you laughing at?" asked the teacher. "That wasn't water," the monk replied, "it was a large glass of soy sauce." Next Page for Reflections
  • 28. 4 Stor Points For Reflection • We see this sort of behavior often among people. They feel they have to put on a front to appear to be something that they are not. What about us? Do we sincerely watch and recognize our mental weaknesses and take steps to improve? Too often, we are clouded in egoism and delusion. Sometimes, when in certain trying situations, we are not aware of our silly actions until someone else points it out. • To have a cool and composed mind … one with calmness and equanimity needs a lot of mental training. Constant Dhamma contemplation and meditation is essential to make us grow and be strong. Many of us give up because we lack patience, effort, determination and perseverance. • Conquering oneself is indeed the greatest challenge in our life. We need to take the step now if we still haven’t - we can ill-afford to wait until we grow old or until we face with great problems. Even Zen Teachers struggle … what more about us with our conditioned negative habits and reactions. The wise man looks within and develops or cultivates his mind. He constantly does battle with the Mara forces within us: greed & craving, anger & ill-will, conceit & ego. Story for Reflection 5 ~ Reflections Page 23
  • 29. 5 Inspiration / Motivation 8 Page 24 Our Choice... (Adapted From an Unknown Source) Some people quit, some people try, Some people laugh, some people cry, Some people will, some people won't, Some people do, some people don't. Some people believe, and develop a plan, Some people have no faith, never think that they can, Some people face hurdles and give their very best, Some people back down or quit when faced with a test. Some people complain of their unlucky lot, Some people are thankful for all that they have got, And when it's all over, when it comes to an end, Some people regret, and some people feel content. We all have a choice, we all can have a say, We stand by and look, or we get in and play, Whichever we choose, how we handle life's game, The choice is ours, no one else is to blame. * Choice or Decision has to be made from time to time. * In solitude, in the quiet of your mind, settle and calm the mind. * Ponder, reflect on the issues where decisions have to be made. * Consider the information that has been gathered; weigh the pros and cons. * A choice or decision is wise if it makes your mind, more happy, and peaceful. It MUST NOT be based on Greed, Anger/Hatred, Ego and Delusion. Some Wise Advice on Choice…
  • 30. 6 Inspiration/Motivation 9 Page 25 * Life is tough…it can be hard But when it gets unbearable don’t let down your guard * Although bad things happen to us all It’s important to remember to learn from each fall * Life is tough, but you are tougher And just remember it could be rougher * Remember to cherish the good things in life They help to get you by in times of strife * Don’t underestimate the worth of a friend Because without them our hearts would not mend * Always be true to everyone you meet If you act fake you have suffered defeat * It’s important to say what is only sincere Words from the heart are the best kind to hear * Never look back…the past is gone Only memories remain to look upon * Always look forward…moving ahead you must Make the most of each day…it could be your last * Don’t let others get you down Show them a smile when they want a frown * Try your best in all that you do Believe in yourself and others will too * Life is not a game to win or lose It is a Gift to LOVE if we wisely choose Life's Light of Wisdom With Metta, Bro. Oh
  • 31. 7 Life Lessons from Humor 9 Page 26 A taxi was crazily weaving in and out of the traffic. “Just what are you trying to do?” the grumpy miserly passenger shouted at the taxi driver. He was getting quite angry with the taxi driver. “I can’t control the car,” the driver said. “I think there is a technical problem … the brake or clutch … can you please use your mobile phone to ask for help?” “You have to pay the charge for me to make the call,” the miser replied. “And for Heaven’s sake, switch off the fare meter!” Reflections 1 The Mara forces of greed, covetousness, selfishness, miserliness, craving, attachment, grasping and clinging at worldly material things can conquer or overwhelm the fool. His mind becomes so ‘clouded’ and deluded that he can say or do really foolish things for which he has to suffer. 2 The mental defilement of Loba or Greed will lead to Dukkha or suffering in this and future lives. 3 Life is uncertain, Death is certain, and Death can come at any time and all worldly things must be left behind. Reflecting on this often will lessen our greed and attachment. Taxi meter
  • 32. 8 Life Lessons from Humor 10 Page 27 A Wife’s Birthday A young wife told her husband that he needn’t remember her birthday the following month, and there was no need for a birthday present. When the husband mentioned this to an office colleague the next day, she said, “Ha! Your wife just phoned and told me you would pay a heavy price if you forgot to give her a birthday present!” Reflections 1 Sometimes words do not tell the actual feelings in a person’s heart. Their spoken words are not truthful. 2 Beware! Many do not tell the truth. They do not mean what they say. And sometimes heedless ones say things that they do not mean and then regret. One has to be mindful of one’s thoughts, speech and actions. 3 One must practice Right Speech (No Lying, No Slander or Malicious Speech, No Harsh Speech and No Gossip) to avoid generating unwholesome Kamma.
  • 33. 9 Story for Reflection 6 Page 28 There was once a famous scholar who practiced meditation for some years. He had earlier befriended a Zen Master. The scholar, thinking that he had made great spiritual progress, wrote a poem, and asked his attendant to deliver it to the Master who lived across the river. The Master opened the letter and read the short poem aloud: "Unmoved by the eight worldly winds, Serenely I sit on the purplish gold terrace." The lips of the Master broke into a smile. Picking up an ink brush, he scribbled the word "FART" across the poem and asked that it be delivered back to the scholar. The scholar was upset and angry and he went across the river right away to tell the Master off for being so rude. The Master laughed as he said, "You said you are no longer moved by the eight worldly winds and yet with just one 'fart', you charged across the river like a rat!" Reflections * We all react to the 8 worldly winds of happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, praise and blame, honor and dishonor. It is not easy to embrace them with wisdom, equanimity and thereby have unshakable mental peace come what may. * “Intellectual or Academic Dhamma” is one thing, the SEEing or realization of the true Dhamma is another. Until the Dhamma is actualized or realized, our strong mental defilements of greed, attachment, ill-will, anger, hatred, delusion, conceit, and ego will make us suffer. * The ego and self-pride in us, is very strong. It takes great spiritual cultivation to remove it. * When pleasant things happen, we attach to them … this will lead to Dukkha. When unpleasant things happen, we react and are overwhelmed by Dukkha. * It’s only by practicing ardently and diligently The Noble 8-Fold Path that our Dukkha will begin to lessen and eventually cease when the defilements are conquered. 8 Worldly Winds
  • 34. 10 Inspiration / Motivation 10 Page 29 The Art of Success Success is discovering your best talents, skills, and abilities and applying them where they will make the most effective contribution to your fellow men and to yourself. Longfellow once said, "Success is doing what you do well, and doing well whatever you do." Success is mostly a mental attitude. It calls for love, excitement, optimism, confidence, humbleness, poise, faith, courage, cheerfulness, imagination, initiative, tolerance, honesty, self-control and enthusiasm. My Reflection In our life the greatest success is when we make Dhamma our quest and when we walk the Middle Way to SEE Nibbana’s Endless Day. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
  • 35. 11 Life Lessons from Humor 11 Page 30 A man was lying on his deathbed, surrounded by his family: his wife and four children. Three of the children were tall, good looking and athletic, but the fourth and youngest was short and ugly. “Darling wife,” the husband whispered, "assure me that the youngest child is really mine. I want to know the truth before I die. I will forgive you if …” The wife gently interrupted him, “Yes, my dearest, absolutely, no question. I swear on my mother’s grave that you are his father.” The man gave a sigh and then died, happy. The wife muttered under her breath, “Thank God he didn’t ask about the other three.” Reflections * How many infidelity cases remain a secret or hidden? There will be a price to pay. * Adultery is a breach of the Third Precept ... it leads to disharmony, conflict and break-up of a family. There will be much suffering among many in the family on account of this. * In the practice of Dhamma, one needs to train or purify the mind to attain a state of contentment. One needs to reflect on the consequences of one's actions .... will they bring suffering to other people? A Final Moment Of Truth
  • 36. 12 Life Lessons from Humor 12 Page 31 There were three bald-headed middle-aged men, Ah Choon, Ah Gong and Ah Ho. They were on a vacation and staying in a hotel by the sea. One day the three of them were taking a stroll along the beach. Suddenly a seagull swooped down low and deposited its droppings on the bald head of Ah Gong. Ah Ho, being a simple good-hearted person started to run back to the hotel saying, “Don’t worry. I will soon be back with some toilet paper.” Pointing at Ah Ho, running back to the hotel, Ah Choon remarked to Ah Gong, “This Ah Ho is really stupid. By the time he comes back with the toilet paper, the seagull would have flown so far away!” Ah Gong said sadly, “Poor seagull. Ah Ho should have run faster!” Reflections * People who are dull and lack clear thinking can have very muddled-up views over matters. They can say or do incredibly foolish things. * It is unbelievable that even in a modern age, there are loads of stupid and foolish things that so-called educated people would say or do … due to greed, anger, ignorance delusion and egoism. They need to train and develop their minds to be able to think clearly and wisely. Toilet Paper
  • 37. 13 Story for Reflection 7 Page 32 A beggar asked Ibrahim ibn Al Adham for charity. Ibrahim told him: "I'll give you better than that; come with me." Ibrahim accompanied the beggar to see a merchant and asked him to find a job for the beggar. As Ibrahim was well trusted, the merchant didn't hesitate to give some merchandises to the beggar and asked him to travel and sell them in another city. A few days later, Ibrahim found the beggar still in a miserable condition; surprised, he asked him about the matter. The beggar informed him: "While traveling, I found a blind eagle in the desert, and I was very curious how it got food though it was blind; I observed it for some time, and, to my big surprise, another eagle came by and fed it. Thus, I said to myself: Ah, WHOEVER took care of that blind eagle in this desert will also take care of me! I returned to the city and gave the merchant back his goods." Ibrahim, after reflection, asked him: "But tell me, why did you choose to be the blind eagle, not the other one, who could fly, chase, and take care of others?" Reflection: * How often have we been conquered by the Mara forces of laziness, mental sloth and torpor and foolish delusions? * Let us learn to be more self-reliant, industrious, determined and persevering ...these are hallmarks of a dignified and worthy human being. * May we choose to live a meaningful and worthy life of developing our wisdom and reaching out to the more unfortunate ones. * Effort, energy, patience and mindful striving on are essential in walking the spiritual path. A Choice A Spiritual Story by Unknown Author
  • 38. 14 Inspiration/Motivation 11 Page 33 SEEING IT AS IT REALLY IS Facts don’t change no matter what you believe. If what is assumed as true, is really true, can there be advancement in the world? Facts still exist even if you ignore them. If the majority say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. Successful people are realistic … they do not live in a fantasy world. Wise people are not deluded by false appearances. They see the world as it is. The Truth is what it is…it is neither good nor bad. It is reality. Your concepts and views must fit reality. Don’t twist reality to fit your views. See things as they truly are, and you are on the way to happiness, peace, and wisdom.
  • 39. 15 Life Lessons from Humor 13 Page 34 Weight loss A lady in her mid-forties lived with her husband who had quite an eye for young and pretty women. One day, their married daughter paid them a visit. The daughter noticed that pasted inside the well-stocked refrigerator was a photo of a beautiful actress – young, slender, and sexy in bikini. “Mum,” she asked, “what’s the photo doing in the fridge?” “Well,” the mother replied. “You see, it’s to remind me not to overeat.” “And has it brought positive results?” the daughter asked. “Yes and no,” the mother sighed. “I lost 10 pounds, but your dad gained 15.” Reflections 1 An action done with the best of intention can bring unexpected and undesirable consequences. One has to reflect, and act with wisdom. Only actions done with wisdom would bring about the desired goal without negative effects upon oneself or others. 2 The defilement of Raga or Lust in a man can know no bounds. Beware! Unchecked lust can lead to a man breaking his third precept of sexual misconduct!
  • 40. 16 Life Lessons from Humor 14 Page 35 The Three wishes A man walking along a beach came upon a lamp. He picked it up and rubbed it. A genie shot out and granted him three wishes. The man first wished for a million dollars and a million dollars appeared near him. Then he wished to have a Palace fit for a powerful king. And a majestic Palace appeared behind him. Now, the man was filled with further greed. He had money, power ... now, sensual lust grew in him. “As for my last wish,” the man said, “I’d like to be irresistible to women and they'd crave for me.” POOF! The man turned into a box of chocolates. Reflections 1 Unwholesome desire can lead to a man's downfall. One's wishes and desires can take an unexpected and painful twist. Things don't always go the way one wants or expects. 2 Greed and lust inevitably will lead one to much suffering ultimately. 3 Wise ones would wish for things that really matter in the rounds or rebirths: Love, Compassion, Peace and Tranquility of Mind, Virtue and Wisdom.
  • 41. 17 Story for Reflection 8 Page 36 Transient A Story To Reflect Upon There once lived a famous spiritual teacher. One day he came to the front door of the King’s huge palace. He asked the guards to let him in as he wanted to see the King. The guards brought him to the King who was sitting on his majestic throne. The King recognized him as the well-known spiritual teacher. He asked the spiritual teacher, “And what do you want?” The teacher said, “I would like to have a room to sleep in this hotel.” “But this is not a hotel! This IS my palace!” The king was surprised at the teacher’s words. “Can you tell me who owned this place before you?” “My father was the owner. He is dead.” “And who owned this big place before your father?” “My grandfather. He too is now dead!” “So,” the teacher spoke in a calm voice, “this place where people live for a short time and then move on…did I not hear you say that it is NOT a hotel?” The King reflected on the words of the wise teacher. He learnt an important LIFE Lessons – the transiency of all things.
  • 42. 18 Story for Reflection 8 ~ Reflection Page 37 Reflection * We are ALL here for just a short time, and then move on. Reflecting on this, shouldn’t we realize a sense of urgency to lead a righteous and wise life before it is too late? Doesn’t it make sense to develop our virtues and cut our defilements of greed, hatred and delusion in this very short life of ours? * Our true wealth does not lie in our material possessions or in the people we love or attach to. We live and die and never really own anything. How many people today think about this deeply? Too many people entrench themselves in their possessions, positions, and worldly delights. For something as certain as death, they don’t give a thought or reflect let alone make any wise preparation for it. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
  • 43. 19 Inspiration / Motivation 12 Page 38 * The Triple Filter Test . . . . . . Source Unknown In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?" "Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?" "Well, no," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and…" "All right," said Socrates. "So, you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?" "Umm, no, on the contrary…" "So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though because, there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?" "No, not really." "Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
  • 44. 1 Life Lessons from Humor 15 Page 39 At school Dennis was told by a classmate that most adults are hiding at least one dark secret and that this makes it very easy to blackmail them by merely saying "I know the whole truth." When Dennis went home from school that day, he approached his mother and said, "I know the whole truth." His mother quickly handed him $20 and said, “Just don’t tell your father.” Quite pleased, the boy waited for his father to get home from work and greeted him with “I know the whole truth.” His father promptly handed him $40 and said, “Please don’t say a word to your mother.” Very pleased, Dennis was on his way to school the next day when he saw the mailman at his front gate. The boy greeted him by saying, “I know the whole truth.” The mailman immediately dropped the mail, opened his arms and said, “Then, come and give your real father a big hug.” Reflection Secret affairs or adultery on the part of a husband or wife can end up with disastrous consequences. Adultery is a break of the Third Precept, namely “No Sexual Misconduct”. A break of a moral precept can and does fill the mind with guilt, worry, anxiety, remorse and fear. How can such a mind find calmness, happiness and peace? The wise person observes all the moral precepts to the best he or she can. Dark Secrets
  • 45. 2 Life Lessons from Humor 16 Page 40 Two shopkeepers were very bitter rivals. They had stores directly facing each other across the road and every day they would monitor the other’s business. If one had a customer, the other would be filled with great jealousy. One night a genii appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, “I will give you anything you wish for but remember that whatever you ask for, your rival opposite your shop will receive twice as much. You can be very rich, but he will be twice as rich as you. Do you want to be famous? Well, he will be twice as famous. The shopkeeper frowned and thought for a while. Then he said, “Make me blind in one eye and deaf in one ear.” Reflection There are cruel and vicious people who would go to extremes to get even with their enemies. A mind that is filled with anger, ill will, jealousy, and hatred can propel a person to horrifying acts of evil ... this of course generates very bad kamma that will bring untold suffering to the evil doer. One has to learn to develop thoughts of understanding, loving-kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Only then will one truly attain happiness, peace and freedom. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin The Shopkeeper
  • 46. 3 Story for Reflection 9 Page 41 It Will Pass A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!" "It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly. A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!' "It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly. My Reflections All conditioned things are impermanent. Do not attach or cling to them. ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ – watch without reacting to them – clinging or resenting. Practice Makes Perfect A dramatic ballad singer studied under a strict teacher who insisted that he rehearse day after day, month after month the same passage from the same song, without being permitted to go any further. Finally, overwhelmed by frustration and despair, the young man ran off to find another profession. One night, stopping at an inn, he stumbled upon a recitation contest. Having nothing to lose, he entered the competition and, of course, sang the one passage that he knew so well. When he had finished, the sponsor of the contest highly praised his performance. Despite the student's embarrassed objections, the sponsor refused to believe that he had just heard a beginner perform. "Tell me,” the sponsor said, "who is your instructor? He must be a great master." The student later became known as the great performer Koshiji. My Reflections In Dhamma practice, patience, determination, and persistence are essential to develop the mind.
  • 47. 4 Inspiration/Motivation 13 Page 42 * It doesn’t cost anything to be nice. In fact you get to feel your spirits rise. * If someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. * Every great achievement was once considered impossible. I must have confidence that I am capable. * You shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do. * The great challenge of life is to decide what’s important and to disregard everything else. * Nothing of value comes without effort and energy. It’s time you put a stop to laziness and lethargy. * You can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life. * Generous people seldom have emotional problems or problems of the mind. wisdom tells me that…1 Their ‘Letting Go’ brings Peace Sublime.
  • 48. 5 Inspiration/Motivation 14 Page 43 * It’s not what happens to people that’s important. It’s what they do about it. * Even when I have pains, I don’t have to be a pain. This I have to ardently train. * Success is more often the result of hard work than talent. This important point all have to learn. * Kindness is more important than perfection. Trying to be perfect brings stress. Showing kindness brings happiness. * Attractiveness is a positive caring attitude and has nothing to do with face lifts or nose jobs. * It’s a lot easier to react than it is to think and respond positively. Reacting can cause much misery. * When bad times come, you can let them make you bitter or use them to make you better. * If you allow people to make you angry, you have let them conquer you. This is a fact of wisdom, not a view. When Wisdom Grows in The Mind, You’re Nearer to Peace Sublime wisdom tells me that…2
  • 49. 6 Life Lessons from Humor 17 Page 44 Hot- tempered Senator A hot-tempered senator exploded one day in mid-session and began to shout, “Half of this Senate is made up of cowards and corrupt politicians!” All the other Senators protested and demanded that the angry Senator withdrew his statement otherwise he be suspended for the session. The angry Senator cynically replied, “Okay, I’ll withdraw my previous statement. I now say, ‘Half of this Senate is NOT made up of cowards and corrupt politicians!’” Reflection * Beware of our speech when we lose our temper. A person speaking in anger may regret later the words he utters. * Some assertive persons would go all the way to speak their minds even at the risk of facing negative consequences. Would this be wise? * There is a Japanese Proverb of Wisdom: “The tongue is three inches long, yet it can kill a man six feet high”.
  • 50. 7 Story for Reflection 10 Page 45 The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed, his legs crossed, and his hands folded in his lap, he sat. In deep meditation, he sat. Suddenly his meditation was interrupted by the harsh and demanding voice of a samurai warrior. "Old man! Teach me about heaven and hell!" At first, as though he had not heard, there was no perceptible response from the monk. But gradually he began to open his eyes, the faintest hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth as the samurai stood there, waiting impatiently, growing more and more agitated with each passing second. "You wish to know the secrets of heaven and hell?" replied the monk at last. "You who are so unkempt…You whose hands and feet are covered with dirt…You whose hair is uncombed… whose breath is foul, whose sword is all rusty and neglected…You who are ugly and whose mother dresses you funny… You would ask me of heaven and hell?" The samurai uttered a vile curse. He drew his sword and raised it high above his head. His face turned to crimson and the veins on his neck stood out in bold relief as he prepared to sever the monk's head from its shoulders. "That is hell," said the old monk gently, just as the sword began its descent. In that fraction of a second, the samurai was overcome with amazement, awe, compassion, and love for this gentle being who had dared to risk his very life to give him such a teaching. He stopped his sword in mid-flight and his eyes filled with grateful tears. "And that," said the monk, "is heaven." Reflections * The untrained and uncultivated mind experiences hellish mental states right here on Earth. * One creates one’s own heaven and hell in one’s living …through one’s mind states. * A mind filled with unwholesome states like terrible craving, great anger, hatred, worry, fear, sorrow, grief, lamentation with their roots in ignorance and delusion are experiences of “Hell”. * A mind suffused with loving-kindness, compassion, non-attachment and letting go, calm and peace are experiences of “Heaven”. * A mind of Wisdom, seeing things as they really are, attains serenity, happiness, peace and bliss. Heaven and Hell
  • 51. 8 Inspiration / Motivation 15 Page 46 A Wise To-Do List Smile at someone. Listen to someone's heart. Say some kind words to a child. Share something useful to someone. Send thoughts of Metta to a family member or a friend. Drop any grudge you may have. Don't be afraid to say, "I'm sorry." Express gratitude to someone who has helped you a number of times. Look beyond the face of a person and into his good or kind heart. Resolve to be more mindful. From time to time call up or write to someone to find out his or her well-being. Show kindness to an animal. Have time for quiet meditation. Do an act of Dana or charity to the needy. Improve on your moral conduct. Count Your Blessings. With Metta, Motivation List 1 Bro. Oh Teik Bin Be Mindful, ‘Kindful’ and Peaceful.
  • 52. 9 Inspiration / Motivation 16 Page 47 Formula for Success A small truth to make our Life 100% successful.......... If A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Is equal to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Then H+A+R+D+W+O+R+K = 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98% K+N+O+W+L+E+D+G+E = 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96% L+O+V+E=12+15+22+5=54% L+U+C+K = 12+21+3+11 = 47% (None of them makes 100%) ............................... Then what makes 100% Is it Money? ..... No!!!!! Leadership? ...... NO!!!! Every problem has a solution, only if we perhaps change our "ATTITUDE". It is OUR ATTITUDE towards Life and Work that makes OUR Life 100% Successful. A+T+T+I+T+U+D+E = 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100% Does that make sense? Motivation List 2 Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. Albert Einstein
  • 53. 10 Life Lessons from Humor 18 Page 48 Two young graduates applied for a single position in a big company. Both of them had the same qualifications. The two applicants had to sit for a test consisting of 10 questions. Both men could not answer only one of the questions correctly. After looking at the answers of the test, the manager called in the first applicant and told him, “Both of you answered 9 questions correctly but we have decided to give the job to the other applicant.” “May I know why I was not chosen since I also had 9 correct answers? the rejected applicant asked. “Our decision was not based on the correct answers, but on the that question you missed,” the manager said. “How would you judge that one incorrect answer is better than the other?” the rejected applicant asked. “Simple,” the manager said. “For question 6, your fellow applicant answered, ‘I don’t know’. You put down ‘Neither do I’.” Reflections * In today's very materialistic world, so many resort to lying and cheating in order to gain an upper hand. This is a break of the second and/or fourth moral precept. The fool thinks he can get away with such immoral conduct but sooner or later negative consequences will come round back to him. * Constant reflection on the following will help us realize the Dhamma and lead a righteous life: 1. Impermanence is a fact of life. Upon death, material possessions, earthly wealth, loved ones and even our bodies cannot follow us. Only our kamma follows us. 2. Life is uncertain. Death is certain. And the point and mode of death are uncertain. Shouldn't we then lead moral and righteous lives? 3. All face old age, disease, and death. At the end of the day, what counts is this: Have we led a moral life, rendering service to others, and cultivating the mind to grow in compassion and wisdom? Job application
  • 54. 11 Life Lessons from Humor 19 Page 49 Bickering Couple An elderly couple would constantly argue about almost everything. The wife was an arrogant person and quite a nag. She would always make sure that she had the last say in any argument. “I’ll jump and curse on your grave, I’ll jump and curse on your grave!" she would state vehemently whenever there was a quarrel with the husband. Not long later the man died. His last request was that he must be cremated, and his ashes strewn over the sea. He stressed in the will that on no account must he buried and there was to be no graveyard. Reflection 1 To protect himself upon knowing of a threat, a person can resort to all sorts of actions albeit very foolish ones. Superstitions and fear dictate his actions. 2 Anger, ill-will, and hatred are unwholesome mental states. 3 Words and thoughts of anger and revenge cause mental suffering to a person. He or she will not have mental peace. 4 A wise person always watches his or her mind of any negative states. Enmity, ill will, anger, and hatred will not do any person any good. 5 It is important to practice forgiveness and a mind of ‘Letting Go’. 6 Bearing grudges, anger, ill-will and hatred in the mind can lead to rebirths in woeful states.
  • 55. 12 Story for Reflection 11 Page 50 Pickup in the Rain One night, at 11:30 p.m., an elderly Afro-American woman was standing on the side of a Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in the conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! However, she remembered to write down the young man’s name, his address, thanked him and drove away. Seven days went by, and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant combination console color TV and stereo record player was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. The note read: Dear Mr. James: Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others. Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole Reflections * Charity, help, generosity and service… is our materialistic and self- centered world lacking in this? * Living meaningfully would entail touching another’s life and making our world a better place to live in. * The selfless act of giving or helping brings inner spiritual joy and happiness. An act of charity is most praiseworthy. * The Giver should give selflessly with no expectation in return. The Receiver should remember others’ kindness with gratitude.
  • 56. 13 Inspiration / Motivation 17 Page 51 Treasure Trove of Twitter Tweets * Live each day wisely and mindfully. Then you'll be free, peaceful, and happy! * May we look at Life's Humorous side and let it be a good WISDOM Guide. * Relax...let your mind think out of the box. Then you'll untangle many 'Puzzle Knots'. * Compassion and Loving-kindness lead to the Path of Happiness. * Be thankful for what we have or get. Many face times that are bad and sad. * Speaking without mindfulness can bring much unhappiness. * "Don't have a rigid mind,” the sage says. "Look at a problem in different ways." * When one has put in one's best, then there will be no regrets. * With a mind of determination and cultivation, strive on for peace and liberation.
  • 57. 14 Life Lessons from Humor 20 Page 52 One afternoon, a wealthy lawyer was being driven in his big car. Looking out of the car window, he saw two men eating grass by the roadside. He asked his driver to stop, and he got out to investigate. “Why are you eating grass?” he asked one of the men. “We are hungry. We don’t have any food to eat," the poor man replied. “Oh, come along with me then,” the lawyer said. “But sir, I have a wife and two children.” “That’s fine. Bring them along. And you,” he told the other man, “Can come with us too.” “But sir, I too have a wife and two children,” the second man said. “No problem,” the lawyer said. “Bring them all along.” And so, all the poor people got into the big car. Along the way, one of the poor fellows said, “Sir, you are so very kind. How can we thank you for taking all of us with you to your home?” The lawyer smiled wickedly and said, “No problem, the grass in my backyard is about two and a half feet tall.” Reflection Beware! The very people whom you think are kind and helpful can have selfish intentions. They may be out to exploit you. Today, our materialistic world is full of people blinded by greed, covetousness, and delusion. There are so many out to deceive and cheat for easy gain. Sincerity, honesty, kindness, and compassion seem to diminish in our present world. Dhammaduta workers need to work hard to try to inculcate true moral virtues and values especially among the young. Grass Eaters
  • 58. 15 Life Lessons from Humor 21 Page 53 For the umpteenth time, Brian a college student had been telling the college principal, “Sir, I’m so scared. Mr. Weller says he’s going to kill me if I continue studying in this college.” The principal was getting tired hearing this, over and over, again. “Don’t worry, Brian,” the principal replied. “Just ignore the threat. We will all continue to pray for you.” “Thank you, sir,” Brian said, “but this morning Mr. Weller said that if I keep coming to this college, he’s going to kill the principal.” “Well, now,” the principal said, “perhaps it’s time for you to check out the college opposite ours. It offers similar courses … and they’re as good as ours.” Reflection When it comes to one’s own self-interest, one’s own principles are set aside, and hypocrisy is practiced. This self-interest, self-centeredness, attachment, and selfishness will lead one more and more to suffering eventually. Self-interest and attachment can propel one to unwholesome actions, actions rooted in greed and delusion. This will bring about their fall eventually and more Dukkha (Suffering) arises. Such is the Law of Cause and Effect. Self-Interest
  • 59. 16 Story for Reflection 12 Page 54 The Ring One morning, the boy Solomon saw the goldsmith who worked for King David's Palace walk out of the palace very worried, perturbed, and sad. Out of curiosity, Solomon asked the goldsmith why he looked so worried and sad. The goldsmith replied, “I have to come out with a solution to a problem the king asked me to solve within seven days. If I fail, I will be punished and lose my job. I am really at wits’ end because there is no solution to the problem the king posed.” “What is the problem the king gave to you?” Solomon asked for he was very curious to know. The goldsmith told Solomon, “I have to make a gold ring for the king with an inscription on it. The inscription should help the king not to be very happy and forget the divine Truth at his happy moments. At the same time, the inscription on the ring should help him not to lose his heart when he is facing moments of sorrow and suffering.” The wise Solomon thought for a while, and he then told the goldsmith that he should inscribe the following on the ring: “This too shall pass” Reflection * “Impermanence” and “Uncertainties” are facts of life. Realizing this, one can cope better with the tribulations and ‘ups and downs’ of life. Training one’s mind to be more and more with the NOW, one attains an inner spiritual peace. * Every mortal cannot be free from the experiences of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, honor and loss of fame. However, all these states come and go.
  • 60. 17 Inspiration / Motivation 18 Page 55 Wise Things to Realize 1 For True Peace to Arise Anger, hatred are poisons to the mind. They block the arising of PEACE Sublime. When what you do is rooted in GREED, suffering will come with every deed. There will be praise, there will be blame. Let go of your SELF and your NAME! At times you will be unwell or sick. This happens to all, the strong, the weak. When you have less expectation, you will have little frustration. Every ‘bad’ person has his good side. The ‘good’ one also has faults and pride. All make mistakes through ignorance of the mind. Forgiving oneself and others is Divine. Why let others disturb your mind. Reflect on this from time to time.
  • 61. 18 Inspiration / Motivation 19 Page 56 Let not your mind dwell in the past. Bring it to the present you must. The Future is uncertain. This great lesson you must learn. Worry will not solve anything. It will bring mental suffering. Everything will sure come to pass. SEE this…PEACE will come to you fast. Fill your mind with love and kindness. You will soon attain Peacefulness. Be adaptable and flexible. This is a most precious WISDOM Pearl. When you learn to really care and share, the joy that comes is beyond compare. Mindfulness in life is Supreme Practice. It leads to true happiness, peace, and bliss. Virtue and Wisdom are a real Treasure. They are your true Wealth far beyond measure. Wise Things to Realize 2 For True Peace to Arise
  • 62. 19 Life Lessons from Humor 22 Page 57 ****************************************************** The Dream A woman awoke excitedly on Valentine's Day and announced enthusiastically to her husband, "I just dreamt that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine Day! What do you think it means?” With certainty in his voice, the man said, “You’ll know tonight.” That evening the man came home with a small package and handed it to his wife. With anxious anticipation the woman quickly opened the package to find a book entitled – “ The meaning of Dreams”. Reflecting…What turns out in reality sometimes is not what one expects. Wanting, craving, expecting … it can lead to suffering! The College Graduate A young man hired by a supermarket reported for his first day of work. The manager greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom, and said, “Your first job will be to sweep out the store.” “But I’m a college graduate,” the young man replied indignantly. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that,” the manager said. “Here, give me the broom – I’ll show you how.” Reflecting… * One should never regard certain menial tasks as ‘lowly’ even if one has high academic qualifications. * When one's ego grows big, one will face with negative consequences, for example, unemployment, relationship problems with others and a greater feeling of frustration more and more often. EGO is a hindrance to spirituality. Feelings of self-importance lead to misery.
  • 63. 20 Story for Reflection 13 Page 58 JUST TWO WORDS There once was a monastery that was very strict. Following a vow of silence, no one was allowed to speak at all. But there was one exception to this rule. Every two years, the monks were permitted to speak just two words. After spending his first two years at the monastery, one monk went to the head monk. "It has been two years," said the head monk. "What are the two words you would like to speak?" "Bed... hard!"said the monk. "I see," replied the head monk. Two more years later, the monk returned to the head monk's office. "It has been two more years," said the head monk. "What are the two words you would like to speak?" "Food... stinks!" said the monk. "I see," replied the head monk. Yet another two years passed, and the monk once again met with the head monk who asked, "What are your two words now, after these two more years?" "I... quit!" said the monk. "Well, I can see why," replied the head monk. "All you ever do is complain."
  • 64. 21 Story for Reflection 13 ~ Reflections Page 59 Points For Reflection • Is it our habit and conditioning to complain, complain and complain? There are times when we have to make the best of the circumstances or the situation, we are in. Learn to count our blessings and the good things that we have. Remember that in Samsara, nothing is perfect. • Patience, perseverance, determination, tolerance and forbearance are great virtues to develop. Without these, we often give up on many things that we start upon to do … Dhamma study, outreach work (Dana), meditation and so on. • There is a saying: “There’s no gain without pain!” The Path of Dhamma Practice and cultivation is a struggle …it entails much effort, discipline, sacrifice, and commitment. Remember Siddharta Gautama struggled for 6 long years before Enlightenment ….and he was a Bodhisattva with good paramis! Reflecting on this, we know that we, defiled worldlings have to struggle even more! Just Two Words
  • 65. 22 Inspiration/Motivation 20 Page 60 Seeing Clearly Next time you wake up, instead of dreading the day ahead, rise and shine and expect something wonderful to happen today! When you go outside, notice people going about their lives, and wonder to yourself what they're thinking, and if they're happy. Feel the rain or wind on your face, don't hide from it. Isn't it refreshing? Smile at everyone you meet. It is a fact that people tend to respond to the look you are wearing on your own face! Wiggle your toes if you are bored. Be happy that you have toes to wiggle! Be polite and say 'please' and 'thank you'. That girl taking your order at the fast-food place is a human being too, be nice to her. When you are eating, really slow down and enjoy every bite! It's good... well, and even if you don't like it, isn't it great that you have food? Never underestimate yourself! You are always growing and learning. Just because you didn't succeed at something in the past doesn't mean you can't get it right this time around! Stop complaining about your life. Never take for granted all the joys and blessings you have. Remember those who have less. Tell everyone who is important to you how you feel about them! You do not ever want to spend your days regretting things you never told them. And last but never least, remember that life is about love. Give love when you can, and it will be given to you! Unknown Author
  • 66. 23 Life Lessons from Humor 23 Page 61 Revenge from a Kiss A married couple met with a terrible accident and the wife’s face was severely burnt. As the wife was too skinny the plastic surgeon told the husband that the skin graft had to come from the buttocks of the husband. Both the husband and wife agreed that they would tell no one where the skin came from and requested the plastic surgeon to keep the secret too. The surgery was a great success, and everyone was astounded at the woman’s new beauty and many people commented on her lovely cheeks. One day when the wife was alone with her husband, she said, “Darling, I just don’t know how to thank you for the sacrifice you made to give me a new fresh face. There is no way I could ever repay you.” “My dear,” the husband replied, “I get all the thanks I need every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheeks.” Reflection A revengeful person can get a strange sense of satisfaction thinking he has got even with a person he hates or dislikes. Learn to forget and forgive - only then will a person be able to attain true mental peace and happiness.
  • 67. 24 Story for Reflection 14 Page 62 Flame of Love There was once a block of Steel who declared, “No one can master me, can shape me or turn me into something more useful.” The Axe declared proudly, “I can overcome it. I can master it.” With these words, he struck many heavy blows on the very hard and strong steel. However, each blow only made his edge more blunt. Finally, he gave up and stopped the striking. The Saw stepped in and said, “Don’t worry, leave it to me to handle the Steel.” With his sharp teeth, the Saw relentlessly worked on the Steel back and forth. How pathetic! To his dismay, all of his teeth were worn out or broken off and the Steel did not yield. The Hammer laughed loudly, “Ho! Ho! I knew you all could not do it. Let me show you how.” To everyone’s amusement, with the very first blow, the head of the Hammer flew off and the Steel remained unchanged. The Flame humbly asked, “May I try?’ And it curled itself gently around the strong and hard steel; he embraced it tightly and would not let go. The tough steel melted. Reflections * There are hearts that are hard enough to resist the forces of wrath or the fury of pride. But hard is the heart that can resist the warm "flame of Love". * Force, aggression, and violence are not effective ways to resolve a problem or conflict. * ‘Hatred is not overcome by hatred; hatred can only be overcome by LOVE or Metta. This is an Eternal Law. * Metta is gentle, kind, understanding and loving. Its powers are immense, and it can conquer many a hard- hearted person.
  • 68. 25 Inspiration/Motivation 21 Page 63 Right Thoughts to Live By You shall not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities. You shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass. You shall not carry grudges, for they are the heaviest of all life's burdens. You shall face each problem as it comes. You can only handle one at a time anyway. You shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows. You shall not borrow other people's problems. They can better care for them than you. You can help wisely. You shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life. Be happy now! You shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. You shall not become "bogged down" by frustration, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action. You shall count your blessings, never overlooking the small.
  • 69. 26 Life Lessons from Humor 24 Page 64 White Hair One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, 'Why are some of your hairs white, Mum?' Her mother replied, 'Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.' The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, 'Mummy, now I understand why ALL of grandma's hairs are white?' Reflection * Never underestimate the thinking of and types of questions a kid can pose. * Lying or giving incorrect information is no way to teach or educate a young child. * A child has to be educated in a patient, wise and truthful way.
  • 70. 27 Story for Reflection 15 Page 65 Once there was a wise old man who could answer any question anyone asked him. Two young men decided to trick him. "We're going to fool that old man. We'll catch a bird and go to the old man and say, "This that we hold in our hands today, is it alive or is it dead?" "If he says 'Dead', we'll turn it loose and let it fly, and if he says 'Alive', we'll crush it." So, they caught a bird and carried it to the old man. "This that we hold in our hands today, is it alive or is it dead?" they asked The old man looked at the men, smiled and replied: "It's in your hands.” Reflection * Wisdom needs a calm, clear mind ... a mind that is alert, mindful of all phenomena and data around. * Wise thinking requires the ability to think 'out of the box', to be free from habitual and conditioned thinking based on untested assumptions. * Training the mind in "Right Mindfulness" can develop clear comprehension and wisdom. It’s in your Hands
  • 71. 28 Inspiration/Motivation 22 Page 66 Be Thankful By Unknown Author Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons. Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference. It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.
  • 72. 29 Life Lessons from Humor 25 Page 67 The Eccentric Interviewer An eccentric boss was interviewing a lady applicant for a post in his company. He had a candle at his desk. With a smug in his face, the boss asked the applicant, “Why did the elephant eat the candle?” The lady, after a moment of pause, attempted an answer, “Because the elephant was crazy?” The boss laughed sneeringly and said, “No! You brainless lady …because the elephant wanted a light snack!” The applicant was getting annoyed and insulted. She wanted to get back at the interviewer. “Sir,” she said, “do you know what kind of candle burns longer, a red candle or a green candle?” The boss was stumped. “A red candle?” he guessed. “Neither!” the lady said. “Candles always burn shorter! You lack brains!” Reflection * One has to be careful, with the words one uses on another. Just as we do not like to 1. be lied to 2. be slandered 3. have harsh words used upon us 4. be the target of gossip, rumors, insults, ridicule and so on, likewise, we should not use such speech upon others. * It does not pay to try to insult or bring down another person. We are bound to get back negative effects.
  • 73. 30 Life Lessons from Humor 26 Page 68 “I’d do anything!” A sexy young lady undergraduate entered a young professor’s office. She closed the door and knelt down pleadingly. “I would do anything to pass this exam," she pleaded. She then leant closer to him, flipped back her hair, gazed sexily into his eyes. “I mean …” she whispered, "... I would do... anything." “Anything?” the professor returned her gaze. “Yes, absolutely anything,” she said sexily. The professor whispered to her, “Go back and study your lecture notes.” Reflection * Today, in this highly materialistic world, so many have lost their sense of values, moral principles, integrity, and human dignity. * Many resort to immoral or unethical means to attain worldly gains. It does not pay in the end ... by the law of moral causation, immoral actions will eventually bring about negative consequences. * Never resort to immoral behavior to try to achieve your goal. Honest hard work is the righteous way. This will bear good kammic fruit.