The One Sure Way To Happiness

“Nothing on earth renders happiness less approachable than trying to find it. Historian Will Durant described how he looked for happiness in knowledge, found only disillusionment.

He then sought happiness in travel and found weariness; in wealth and found discord and worry. He looked for happiness in his writing and was only fatigued.

One day he saw a woman waiting in a tiny car with a sleeping child in her arms. A man descended from a train and came over and gently kissed the woman and then the child, very softly so as not to waken him. The family drove off and left Durant with a stunning realization of the real nature of happiness. He relaxed and discovered that ‘every normal function of life holds some delight’.”

June Callwood, published in the Reader’s Digest, October 1974

Without Stones There is No Arch

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Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone.
“But which is the stone that supports the bridge?”
Kublai Khan asks.
“The bridge is not supported by one stone or another,” Marco answers,
“but by the line of the arch that they form.”
Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting.
Then he adds:
“Why do you speak to me of the stones?
It is only the arch that matters to me.”
Polo answers:
“Without stones there is no arch.”

Italo Calvino “Invisible Cities”

No Offence To The Thief?

Nasreddin Hodja’s goods were stolen. He screamed and called his neighbours. After being called, they came to Nasreddin Hodja’s house and said;

-What happened Hodja, Why did you shout?

And Nasreddin Hodja told about everything what happened in his house. After being informed about robbery, they said;

-You should have locked the door.

-How come didn’t you hear any noise thief having made?

-The reason why the thief broke into your house was your carelessness so you were to blame!

Nasreddin Hodja shocked what he heard and said furiously;

Well, you were accusing me! No offence to the thief?

Nasreddin Hodja Joke

Nasreddin Hodja is a legendary folk character in the Middle East and Central Asia, portrayed as a wise fool, clever simpleton, or instructive prankster. Nothing is conclusively known about the person who originally inspired the stories, but popular tradition considers him a minor cleric from Anatolia in the 13th or early 14th century. The oldest surviving manuscripts containing tales of Nasreddin date from 16th century, and are Turkish.

A man called, wanting to borrow a rope.
“You cannot have it,” said Nasrudin.
“Why not?”
“Because it is in use.”
“But I can see it just lying there, on the ground.”
“That’s right: that’s its use.”

Idries Shah, “The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin”

One of the neighbors found Nasreddin scattering crumbs all around his house.
“Why are you doing that?” he asked.
“I’m keeping the tigers away,” replied Nasreddin.
“But there aren’t any tigers around here,” said the neighbor.
“That’s right,” said Nasreddin. “You see how well it works?”

Engelbert Thaler, “Teaching English Literature”

Hunger – Apocalypto

Old Story Teller: And a Man sat alone, drenched deep in sadness. And all the animals drew near to him and said, “We do not like to see you so sad. Ask us for whatever you wish and you shall have it.” The Man said, “I want to have good sight.” The vulture replied, “You shall have mine.” The Man said, “I want to be strong.” The jaguar said, “You shall be strong like me.” Then the Man said, “I long to know the secrets of the earth.” The serpent replied, “I will show them to you.” And so it went with all the animals. And when the Man had all the gifts that they could give, he left. Then the owl said to the other animals, “Now the Man knows much, he’ll be able to do many things. Suddenly I am afraid.” The deer said, “The Man has all that he needs. Now his sadness will stop.” But the owl replied, “No. I saw a hole in the Man, deep like a hunger he will never fill. It is what makes him sad and what makes him want. He will go on taking and taking, until one day the World will say, ‘I am no more and I have nothing left to give.'”

The Story of The Pencil – Paulo Coelho

e-motivation.net-paulo-coelho-story-The- story-of-the-pencilA boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:

‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’

‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’

‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’
‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpner. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.
‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’
‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’
‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action’

Paulo Coelho – “Like the Flowing River”

What Do You Want?

e-motivation.net-Blissfulness-motivational-osho-storyOne Sufi mystic who had remained happy his whole life — no one had ever seen him unhappy — who was always laughing, who was laughter, whose whole being was a perfume of celebration…. In his old age, when he was dying, on his deathbed and still enjoying death, laughing hilariously, a disciple asked, “You puzzle us. Now you are dying, why are you laughing? What is there funny about it? We are feeling so sad. We wanted to ask you many times in your life why you are never sad. But now, confronting death at least, one should be sad. You are still laughing — how are you managing it?” The old man said, “It is simple. I had asked my master — I had gone to my master as a young man; I was only seventeen and already miserable, and my master was old, seventy, and he was sitting under a tree, laughing for no reason at all. There was nobody else there, nothing had happened, nobody had cracked a joke or anything, and he was simply laughing, holding his belly. I asked him, ‘What is the matter with you? Are you mad or something?’

“He said, ‘One day I was also as sad as you are. Then it dawned on me that it is my choice, it is my life.’ “Since that day, every morning when I get up, the first thing I decide is… before I open my eyes I say to myself, ‘Abdullah’” — that was his name — “‘what do you want? Misery? Blissfulness? What you are going to choose today?’ And it happens that I always choose blissfulness.”

It is a choice. Try it. When you become aware the first moment in the morning that sleep has left, ask yourself, “Abdullah, another day! What is your idea? Do you choose misery or blissfulness?” And who would choose misery? And WHY? It is so unnatural — unless one feels blissful in misery, but then too you are choosing bliss, not misery.

Osho – “The Book of Wisdom”

Perfect Woman

Perfect-Woman-osho-story-e-motivation.netI have heard about a man who remained unmarried his whole life, and when he was dying, ninety years old, somebody asked him, “You have remained unmarried your whole life, but you have never said what the reason was. Now you are dying, at least quench our curiosity. If there is any secret, now you can tell it, because you are dying; you will be gone. Even if the secret is known, it can’t harm you.”
The man said, “Yes, there is a secret. It is not that I am against marriage, but I was searching for a perfect woman. I searched and searched, and my whole life slipped by.”
The inquirer asked, “But upon this big earth, so many millions of people, half of them women, couldn’t you find one perfect woman?”
A tear rolled down from the eye of the dying man. He said, “Yes, I did find one.”
The inquirer was absolutely shocked. He said, “Then what happened? Why didn’t you get married?”
And the old man said, “But the woman was searching for a perfect husband.”

Osho – The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha

In Search of A Master

In_search_of_a_master_osho_story_e-motivation.netThere is a famous Sufi story: a man went in search of a Master. He was ready to go around the world, but he was determined to find the Master, the true Master, the Perfect Master.

Outside his village he met an old man, a nice fellow, sitting under a tree. He asked the old man, “Have you ever heard in your long life — you look like a wanderer…”

He said, “Yes, I am a wanderer. I wandered all over the earth.”

The man said, “That is the right kind of person. Can you suggest to me where I should go? I want to be a disciple of a Perfect Master.”

The old man suggested a few addresses to him, and the young man thanked him and went on.

After thirty years of wandering around the earth and finding nobody who was exactly fulfilling his expectations, he came back dejected, depressed. the moment he was entering his village he saw the old man who had become very old now, sitting under the tree. And suddenly he recognized that he is the Master! He fell at his feet and he said, “Why didn’t you say it to me, that you are the Master?”

The old man said, “But that was not time for you. You could not recognize me. You needed some experience. Wandering around the earth has given you a certain maturity, a certain understanding. Now you can see. Last time you had met me, but you had not seen me. You had missed. You were asking me about some Master. That was enough proof that you could not see me, you could not feel my presence, you could not smell the fragrance. You were utterly blind; hence I gave you some bogus addresses so you could go. But even to be with wrong people is good, because that is how one learns. Fol thirty years I have been waiting for you here, I have not left this tree.”

In fact the young man, who was not young anymore, looked at the tree and was even more surprised. Because in his dreams, in his visions he was always seeing that tree and there was always a feeling that he would find The Master sitting under this tree. Last time he had not seen the tree at all. The tree was there, the Master was there, EVERYthing was ready but HE was not ready.

Osho – “Guida Spirituale”

The Sun and the Cave – A Sufi Story

e-motivation.net_e-motivasyon.net_ozdeyis.net_way_out_motivational_quotes_stories

One day the sun and a cave struck up a conversation. The sun had trouble understanding what “dark” and “dank” meant and the cave didn’t quite get the hang of “light and clear” so they decided to change places. The cave went up to the sun and said, “Ah, I see, this is beyond wonderful. Now come down and see where I have been living.” The sun went down to the cave and said, “Gee, I don’t see any difference.”

Crabs and People

When a single crab is put into a lidless bucket, they surely can and will escape. However, when more than one share a bucket, none can get out. If one crab elevates themself above all, the others will grab this crab and drag’em back down to share the mutual fate of the rest of the group.

Crab bucket syndrome is often used to describe social situations where one person is trying to better themself and others in the community attempt to pull them back down.

Life Never Raises The Same Question – Osho

There were two temples in Japan, both enemies to each other, as temples have always been down the ages. The priests were so antagonistic that they had stopped even looking at each other. If they came across each other on the road, they would not look at each other. If they came across each other on the road they stopped talking; for centuries those two temples and their priests had not talked.

But both the priests had two small boys – to serve them, just for running errands. Both the priests were afraid that boys, after all, will be boys, and they might start becoming friends to each other.

The one priest said to his boy, ‘Remember, the other temple is our enemy. Never talk to the boy of the other temple! They are dangerous people – avoid them as one avoids a disease, as one avoids the plague. Avoid them!’

The boy was always interested, because he used to get tired of listening to great sermons – he could not understand them. Strange scriptures were read, he could not understand the language. Great, ultimate problems were discussed. There was nobody to play with, nobody even to talk with. And when he was told, ‘Don’t talk to the boy of the other temple,’ great temptation arose in him.

That’s how temptation arises. That day he could not avoid talking to the other boy. When he saw him on the road he asked him, ‘Where are you going?’The other boy was a little philosophical; listening to great philosophy he had become philosophical. He said, ‘Going? There is nobody who comes and goes! It is happening – wherever the wind takes me….’ He had heard the master say many times that that’s how a buddha lives, like a dead leaf: wherever the wind takes it, it goes. So the boy said, ‘I am not! There is no doer. So how can I go? What nonsense are you talking? I am a dead leaf. Wherever the wind takes me….’

The other boy was struck dumb. He could not even answer. He could not find anything to say. He was really embarrassed, ashamed, and felt also, ‘My master was right not to talk with these people – these are dangerous people! What kind of talk is this? I had asked a simple question: ‘Where are you going?’ In fact I already knew where he was going, because we were both going to purchase vegetables in the market. A simple answer would have done.’

He went back, told his master, ‘I am sorry, excuse me. You had prohibited me, I didn’t listen to you. In fact, because of your prohibition I was tempted. This is the first time I have talked to those dangerous people. I just asked a simple question. ‘Where are you going?’ and he started saying strange things: ‘There is no going, no coming. Who comes? Who goes? I am utter emptiness,’ he was saying, ‘just a dead leaf in the wind. And wherever the wind takes me….”

The master said, ‘I told you before! Now, tomorrow stand in the same place and when he comes ask him again, ‘Where are you going?’ And when he says these things, you simply say, ‘That’s true. Yes, you are a dead leaf, so am I. But when the wind is not blowing, where are you going? Then where can you go?’ Just say that, and that will embarrass him – and he has to be embarrassed, he has to be defeated. We have been constantly quarreling, and those people have not been able to defeat us in any debate. So tomorrow it has to be done!’

Early the boy got up, prepared his answer, repeated it many times before he went. Then he stood in the place where the boy used to cross the road, repeated again and again, prepared himself, and then he saw the boy coming. He said, ‘Okay, now!’

The boy came. He asked, ‘Where are you going?’ And he was hoping that now the opportunity would come….

Again crestfallen, now really ashamed that he was simply stupid: ‘And this boy certainly knows some strange things – now he says, ‘Wherever the legs take me….”

He went back to the master. The master said, ‘I have told you not to talk with those people – they are dangerous! This is our centuries-long experience. But now something has to be done. So tomorrow you ask again, ‘Where are you going?’ and when he says, ‘Wherever my legs take me,’ tell him, ‘If you had no legs, then…?’ He has to be silenced one way or other!’

So the next day he asked again, ‘Where are you going?’ and waited. And the boy said, ‘I am going to the market to fetch vegetables.’

Man ordinarily functions out of the past, and life goes on changing.

Life has no obligation to fit with your conclusions. That’s why life is very confusing – confusing to the knowledgeable person. He has all ready-made answers: The Bhagavadgita, the Bible, the Vedas. He has everything crammed, he knows all the answers. But life never raises the same question again; hence the knowledgeable person always falls short.

The Happy Prince – Oscar Wilde

High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.

He was very much admired indeed. “He is as beautiful as a weathercock,” remarked one of the Town Councillors who wished to gain a reputation for having artistic tastes; “only not quite so useful,” he added, fearing lest people should think him unpractical, which he really was not.

“Why can’t you be like the Happy Prince?” asked a sensible mother of her little boy who was crying for the moon. “The Happy Prince never dreams of crying for anything.”

“I am glad there is some one in the world who is quite happy,” muttered a disappointed man as he gazed at the wonderful statue.

“He looks just like an angel,” said the Charity Children as they came out of the cathedral in their bright scarlet cloaks and their clean white pinafores.

“How do you know?” said the Mathematical Master, “you have never seen one.”

“Ah! but we have, in our dreams,” answered the children; and the Mathematical Master frowned and looked very severe, for he did not approve of children dreaming.

One night there flew over the city a little Swallow. His friends had gone away to Egypt six weeks before, but he had stayed behind, for he was in love with the most beautiful Reed. He had met her early in the spring as he was flying down the river after a big yellow moth, and had been so attracted by her slender waist that he had stopped to talk to her.

“Shall I love you?” said the Swallow, who liked to come to the point at once, and the Reed made him a low bow. So he flew round and round her, touching the water with his wings, and making silver ripples. This was his courtship, and it lasted all through the summer.

“It is a ridiculous attachment,” twittered the other Swallows; “she has no money, and far too many relations”; and indeed the river was quite full of Reeds. Then, when the autumn came they all flew away.

After they had gone he felt lonely, and began to tire of his lady- love. “She has no conversation,” he said, “and I am afraid that she is a coquette, for she is always flirting with the wind.” And certainly, whenever the wind blew, the Reed made the most graceful curtseys. “I admit that she is domestic,” he continued, “but I love travelling, and my wife, consequently, should love travelling also.”

“Will you come away with me?” he said finally to her; but the Reed shook her head, she was so attached to her home.

“You have been trifling with me,” he cried. “I am off to the Pyramids. Good-bye!” and he flew away.

All day long he flew, and at night-time he arrived at the city. “Where shall I put up?” he said; “I hope the town has made preparations.”

Then he saw the statue on the tall column.

“I will put up there,” he cried; “it is a fine position, with plenty of fresh air.” So he alighted just between the feet of the Happy Prince.

“I have a golden bedroom,” he said softly to himself as he looked round, and he prepared to go to sleep; but just as he was putting his head under his wing a large drop of water fell on him. “What a curious thing!” he cried; “there is not a single cloud in the sky, the stars are quite clear and bright, and yet it is raining. The climate in the north of Europe is really dreadful. The Reed used to like the rain, but that was merely her selfishness.”

Then another drop fell.

“What is the use of a statue if it cannot keep the rain off?” he said; “I must look for a good chimney-pot,” and he determined to fly away.

But before he had opened his wings, a third drop fell, and he looked up, and saw – Ah! what did he see?

The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity.

“Who are you?” he said.

“I am the Happy Prince.”

“Why are you weeping then?” asked the Swallow; “you have quite drenched me.”

“When I was alive and had a human heart,” answered the statue, “I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the Palace of Sans- Souci, where sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot chose but weep.”

“What! is he not solid gold?” said the Swallow to himself. He was too polite to make any personal remarks out loud.

“Far away,” continued the statue in a low musical voice, “far away in a little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and worn, and she has coarse, red hands, all pricked by the needle, for she is a seamstress. She is embroidering passion- flowers on a satin gown for the loveliest of the Queen’s maids-of- honour to wear at the next Court-ball. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying ill. He has a fever, and is asking for oranges. His mother has nothing to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, will you not bring her the ruby out of my sword-hilt? My feet are fastened to this pedestal and I cannot move.”

“I am waited for in Egypt,” said the Swallow. “My friends are flying up and down the Nile, and talking to the large lotus- flowers. Soon they will go to sleep in the tomb of the great King. The King is there himself in his painted coffin. He is wrapped in yellow linen, and embalmed with spices. Round his neck is a chain of pale green jade, and his hands are like withered leaves.”

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you not stay with me for one night, and be my messenger? The boy is so thirsty, and the mother so sad.”

“I don’t think I like boys,” answered the Swallow. “Last summer, when I was staying on the river, there were two rude boys, the miller’s sons, who were always throwing stones at me. They never hit me, of course; we swallows fly far too well for that, and besides, I come of a family famous for its agility; but still, it was a mark of disrespect.”

But the Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow was sorry. “It is very cold here,” he said; “but I will stay with you for one night, and be your messenger.”

“Thank you, little Swallow,” said the Prince.

So the Swallow picked out the great ruby from the Prince’s sword, and flew away with it in his beak over the roofs of the town.

He passed by the cathedral tower, where the white marble angels were sculptured. He passed by the palace and heard the sound of dancing. A beautiful girl came out on the balcony with her lover. “How wonderful the stars are,” he said to her, “and how wonderful is the power of love!”

“I hope my dress will be ready in time for the State-ball,” she answered; “I have ordered passion-flowers to be embroidered on it; but the seamstresses are so lazy.”

He passed over the river, and saw the lanterns hanging to the masts of the ships. He passed over the Ghetto, and saw the old Jews bargaining with each other, and weighing out money in copper scales. At last he came to the poor house and looked in. The boy was tossing feverishly on his bed, and the mother had fallen asleep, she was so tired. In he hopped, and laid the great ruby on the table beside the woman’s thimble. Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy’s forehead with his wings. “How cool I feel,” said the boy, “I must be getting better”; and he sank into a delicious slumber.

Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done. “It is curious,” he remarked, “but I feel quite warm now, although it is so cold.”

“That is because you have done a good action,” said the Prince. And the little Swallow began to think, and then he fell asleep. Thinking always made him sleepy.

When day broke he flew down to the river and had a bath. “What a remarkable phenomenon,” said the Professor of Ornithology as he was passing over the bridge. “A swallow in winter!” And he wrote a long letter about it to the local newspaper. Every one quoted it, it was full of so many words that they could not understand.

“To-night I go to Egypt,” said the Swallow, and he was in high spirits at the prospect. He visited all the public monuments, and sat a long time on top of the church steeple. Wherever he went the Sparrows chirruped, and said to each other, “What a distinguished stranger!” so he enjoyed himself very much.

When the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince. “Have you any commissions for Egypt?” he cried; “I am just starting.”

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you not stay with me one night longer?”

“I am waited for in Egypt,” answered the Swallow. “To-morrow my friends will fly up to the Second Cataract. The river-horse couches there among the bulrushes, and on a great granite throne sits the God Memnon. All night long he watches the stars, and when the morning star shines he utters one cry of joy, and then he is silent. At noon the yellow lions come down to the water’s edge to drink. They have eyes like green beryls, and their roar is louder than the roar of the cataract.

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “far away across the city I see a young man in a garret. He is leaning over a desk covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a bunch of withered violets. His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes. He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold to write any more. There is no fire in the grate, and hunger has made him faint.”

“I will wait with you one night longer,” said the Swallow, who really had a good heart. “Shall I take him another ruby?”

“Alas! I have no ruby now,” said the Prince; “my eyes are all that I have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of India a thousand years ago. Pluck out one of them and take it to him. He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his play.”

“Dear Prince,” said the Swallow, “I cannot do that”; and he began to weep.

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “do as I command you.”

So the Swallow plucked out the Prince’s eye, and flew away to the student’s garret. It was easy enough to get in, as there was a hole in the roof. Through this he darted, and came into the room. The young man had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the bird’s wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on the withered violets.

“I am beginning to be appreciated,” he cried; “this is from some great admirer. Now I can finish my play,” and he looked quite happy.

The next day the Swallow flew down to the harbour. He sat on the mast of a large vessel and watched the sailors hauling big chests out of the hold with ropes. “Heave a-hoy!” they shouted as each chest came up. “I am going to Egypt”! cried the Swallow, but nobody minded, and when the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince.

“I am come to bid you good-bye,” he cried.

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you not stay with me one night longer?”

“It is winter,” answered the Swallow, “and the chill snow will soon be here. In Egypt the sun is warm on the green palm-trees, and the crocodiles lie in the mud and look lazily about them. My companions are building a nest in the Temple of Baalbec, and the pink and white doves are watching them, and cooing to each other. Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.”

“In the square below,” said the Happy Prince, “there stands a little match-girl. She has let her matches fall in the gutter, and they are all spoiled. Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some money, and she is crying. She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is bare. Pluck out my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will not beat her.”

“I will stay with you one night longer,” said the Swallow, “but I cannot pluck out your eye. You would be quite blind then.”

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “do as I command you.”

So he plucked out the Prince’s other eye, and darted down with it. He swooped past the match-girl, and slipped the jewel into the palm of her hand. “What a lovely bit of glass,” cried the little girl; and she ran home, laughing.

Then the Swallow came back to the Prince. “You are blind now,” he said, “so I will stay with you always.”

“No, little Swallow,” said the poor Prince, “you must go away to Egypt.”

“I will stay with you always,” said the Swallow, and he slept at the Prince’s feet.

All the next day he sat on the Prince’s shoulder, and told him stories of what he had seen in strange lands. He told him of the red ibises, who stand in long rows on the banks of the Nile, and catch gold-fish in their beaks; of the Sphinx, who is as old as the world itself, and lives in the desert, and knows everything; of the merchants, who walk slowly by the side of their camels, and carry amber beads in their hands; of the King of the Mountains of the Moon, who is as black as ebony, and worships a large crystal; of the great green snake that sleeps in a palm-tree, and has twenty priests to feed it with honey-cakes; and of the pygmies who sail over a big lake on large flat leaves, and are always at war with the butterflies.

“Dear little Swallow,” said the Prince, “you tell me of marvellous things, but more marvellous than anything is the suffering of men and of women. There is no Mystery so great as Misery. Fly over my city, little Swallow, and tell me what you see there.”

So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates. He flew into dark lanes, and saw the white faces of starving children looking out listlessly at the black streets. Under the archway of a bridge two little boys were lying in one another’s arms to try and keep themselves warm. “How hungry we are!” they said. “You must not lie here,” shouted the Watchman, and they wandered out into the rain.

Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.

“I am covered with fine gold,” said the Prince, “you must take it off, leaf by leaf, and give it to my poor; the living always think that gold can make them happy.”

Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the Swallow picked off, till the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey. Leaf after leaf of the fine gold he brought to the poor, and the children’s faces grew rosier, and they laughed and played games in the street. “We have bread now!” they cried.

Then the snow came, and after the snow came the frost. The streets looked as if they were made of silver, they were so bright and glistening; long icicles like crystal daggers hung down from the eaves of the houses, everybody went about in furs, and the little boys wore scarlet caps and skated on the ice.

The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the baker’s door when the baker was not looking and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings.

But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to fly up to the Prince’s shoulder once more. “Good-bye, dear Prince!” he murmured, “will you let me kiss your hand?”

“I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “you have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you.”

“It is not to Egypt that I am going,” said the Swallow. “I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?”

And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet.

At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost.

Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked up at the statue: “Dear me! how shabby the Happy Prince looks!” he said.

“How shabby indeed!” cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with the Mayor; and they went up to look at it.

“The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer,” said the Mayor in fact, “he is litttle beter than a beggar!”

“Little better than a beggar,” said the Town Councillors.

“And here is actually a dead bird at his feet!” continued the Mayor. “We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here.” And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. “As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful,” said the Art Professor at the University.

Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. “We must have another statue, of course,” he said, “and it shall be a statue of myself.”

“Of myself,” said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled. When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.

“What a strange thing!” said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry. “This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away.” So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.

“Bring me the two most precious things in the city,” said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

“You have rightly chosen,” said God, “for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.”

Starfish

Once upon a time there was a wise man, who use to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking along the beach before he began his writing.

One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. He walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer he called out, “Good Morning”. What are you doing?

The young man paused, looked up and replied, “I’m throwing starfish into the ocean”.

I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?

“The sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I don’t thrown them in, they will die.”

“Young man don’t you know there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along them. You can’t possibly make a difference.”

The young man listened politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, passed the breaking waves. “Made a difference to that one!” he said.

Loren Isley

Monkey Trap

There is a kind of monkey trap used in Asia. A coconut is hollowed out and attached by a rope to a tree or stake in the ground. At the bottom of the coconut, a small slit is made and some sweet food is placed inside. The hole on the bottom of the coconut is just big enough for the monkey to slide in his open hand, but does not allow for a closed fist to pass out. The monkey smells the sweets, reaches in with his hand to grasp the food and is then unable to withdraw it.

The clenched fist won’t pass through the opening. When the hunters come, the monkey gets frantic but cannot get away. There is no one keeping that monkey captive, except the force of its own attachment. All that it has to do is to open the hand. But so strong is the force of greed in the mind that it is a rare monkey which can let go.

It is the desires and clinging in our minds which keep us trapped. All we need to do is to open our hands, let go of our selves, our attachment, and be free.

Joseph Goldstein   “The Experience of Insight”

Rebirth of Eagle

This is a story of the Eagle’s life. Eagle has long life up to 70 years. It has patient to survive.

To live till 70 years, he has to pass though a hard decision. It’s talons works properly till 40 years. After 40 years, it’s talons becomes weak and can’t grab prey. It’s long and sharp beak also becomes bent. It’s thick feathers become stuck to chest due to heavy wings and can’t fly freely. Then Eagle has left only two options: either die or pass through a painful process of the changes, which lasts 5 months.

When Eagle reached near 40, it’s beak,talon and feathers becomes weak. For new life, agle makes one hard decision. Eagle flies on top of a mountain and sits on nest. Then Eagle strikes its beak against a rock and pull it out.  After that it waits for new beak to grow. Then it starts plucking out it’s talons. New talons grow back. Then it plucks its old and thick feathers.

Now the painful process completed and it has to wait for 5 month to recover. After that it can make its fly to sky and  can enjoy new birth. Now it can live 30 years more.

Some change needs to survive in difficulty. In miserable condition, we have to change life style. That process may be very painful. Sometimes we have to throw our old habits, memories and our daily routines. We can’t go ahead with all our past burdens. Then we have to free our burdens and sorrows.