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Your life as a Zen Garden


Best-Zen-Garden-Wallpaper-on-Garden-Decor-zen-garden-wallpaper-iphone-I recently met a person who casually told me that she was in multiple relationships and hence is a bit stressed. I found it a bit strange for someone who I met for the first time said this to me in a formal business setting. Anyway, not wanting to be judgmental and  polite I didn’t make any comments or react to it in any particular manner. Honestly, it didn’t concern me much, its her personal life and it was fine with me. But she went on to explain her relationships a bit more to me in an effort to clarify her position and impress upon me that I or anyone for that mater should not judge her based on this casual comment she made.

This is how she explained:

Her father was a highly passionate gardener who specializes in building   nihon teien – Japanese Garden for his clients. Although a Zen Garden is mostly a Rock and Sand arrangement, he often combined the elements of a Japanese Garden with the Zen garden philosophies which was very popular with his clients.

But he did take the art and the philosophy of the Japanese/Zen garden to heart and made it the basic philosophy of his life in terms of his relationships and life in general. He raised her and her siblings with a strong belief that one should conduct their lives as a garden where they are their own gardeners. Especially, a garden of Zen, – a garden of tranquility, balance, aesthetics, space and peace. In this garden, you choose the elements that will make your life beautiful and all that you desire by you as a gardener, investing your time, passion, care and commitment. Thus, the Zen Garden of your life will be as follows:

The Japanese/Zen Garden. A pristine place of perfectly manicured trees, plants, clear path ways with perfectly located open space. The basic 4 rules to build such a beautiful place of tranquility and peace are

1) most trees and plants should be taken care of by constantly trimming them in perfect shapes and regularly watering them and nourishing them with the right amount of soil

2) some select trees and plants should be allowed to grow as per it’s natural beauty and shape

3) all paths should be clean without clutter and

4) each zen garden should have a space to sit and meditate.

5) Rocks should be strategically placed to support the garden.

Life. It’s similar to a Zen Garden where you are the gardener. Your relationships are like the trees. Each need to be trimmed and cared for as you want them to grow into your life. You shape them in your garden as opposed to them growing out of your bounds and liking. However, a select few of them can be allowed to grow to its own beauty such as a child or someone whose natural self just beautifies your life.

Always keep your thoughts and mind clear as the pathways and make it a point to provide for your personal space. A place to collect your self and your thoughts, meditate and calm down. In your life, similar to the rocks, there are a few relationships that will support you and hold you down to the ground when you need it most. You can always lean on them and use them for support. Pay a lot of importance to these rocks in your lives.

This will make your life a life of tranquility, beauty, peace and balance. Enjoy your own Zen Garden life!

 

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Stop being the problem and Start becoming the solution


kc


What can a better you do?


A better person inspires better people, makes better families who build better societies, who make great countries, who influences a better world.

ONE SOURCE TO A BETTER YOU: http://despicablewonderfulyou.wordpress.com/

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Are you a Thinker/Self Learner OR an Unquestioning Follower?


The core problem in life is that too many of us are unquestioning followers rather than intelligent thinkers. If we didn’t depend upon others to learn from, borrow ideologies, ape other people’s beliefs and behaviours or even conform to their opinions, perhaps we will truly progress and be happier. Because when we begin to self learn and gather our own original opinions from life and experiences, our wisdom is truly first hand and reliable based on our own use of intellect and thinking. This is the only way we can bring about change and true progress.

 

This may be a bit difficult to the power brokers and those who barter knowledge for power, but for the free spirited and the eager minds, this is perhaps a revolution against age old wisdom, centuries old prejudice, senseless rituals, and confined wisdom. The trasition from being a conformist to a self learner and thinker will bring about greater changes in self and the world.

Please see this TED talk:

TED Talks


Progressive People, Regressive Religions


I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is. ~ Albert Camus

 

An interesting fact prevails in all of these various religions that were established at different times based on different messages from different Prophet’s in different cultures. The surprising fact lies in the “similarities” in these “religious” systems. The message and the moral basic core principles are identical. When one investigates further, we can see that there are many similar rituals practiced by the followers of all these various faith systems including monotheistic and polytheistic ones. For example, the similarity of two faiths and belief systems which is widely considered to be opposing in fundamental concept, Islam and Hinduism have quite a few similar rituals: one being monotheistic and against idol worshiping, while the other a polytheistic, with an idol for each of their gods and their respective attributes. They both have holy water, both have the practice of circling around their place of worship (Muslims around Kaaba, and Hindus around their temple), both cut their hair after pilgrimage, both fast, both offer sacrifices, both bow to their Gods. Further, they have the same beliefs in good and bad, love, peace, and respect. Yet it is believed by their respective followers as an opposing religion surprisingly.

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.  ~George Bernard Shaw

 

People have progressively evolved into more intelligent beings but religions havent. Hence, as man becomes more intelligent, the religions and several rituals and illogical practices are losing value and significance rapidly. As people evolved and developed into more intelligent beings, so did their ability to comprehend, learn, communicate and better understand life. In our current advanced age and time we still have trouble communicating and understanding our own language, nuances, behavior and most importantly controlling the integrity of a message, which only proves that this communication skill is still in a state of evolution and will continue to be so. Thus, many people who try to learn the doctrines and writings of this man-made religion happen to question aspects of it which doesn’t appear to be logical or make sense. Many such doctrines are questioned on a few selective messages therein which clearly doesn’t appear to be part of those with divinity. Particularly, messages that defy or contradict equal respect for both genders, tolerance and respect for all religions, serving humanity regardless of race, color or creed, be forgiving, how to be modest, and rights of all human beings to be equal. Such differences between what the Prophet’s preached which is considered to be divine and what the religion proclaims has caused many to explore these religious beliefs further. The result of such questions which are often considered as blasphemy in nature by the stubborn and illogical religious heads of these religions has provided very few logical answers that are convincing. Clearly, man has evolved much further than expected by those who formed these religions a few thousand years ago. It is quite disappointing to still watch a small portion of the more educated and advanced people of today often blindly follow a specific fundamental set of religious beliefs and practices that often defies any logic, divinity or are in line with the original messages by their own Prophets. Although we witness each generation evolving into more intelligent begins than the last, many of us still trust and follow the wisdom of people who lived several generations past. This is where people began to shift their faith from God of mankind to religion. Perhaps in a way a shift from humanity to community.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
However, no matter the religion or the respective deity or symbol, all of them preach very similar aspects of life, morals and values and often indulge in similar practices and rituals. What makes them different are the rules, laws of conduct, social norms, symbols of identity, attire, social behavior and systems of control that were developed by people who soon took control of the followers of the prophets under the banner of religion. This need and desire to control and exercise power over the respective communities or followers, gave birth to the evils that human beings fester till date. Ego, pride, arrogance, and vainglory are some of the key characteristics of these appointed spiritual or religious leaders of these faith systems today. Surprisingly, these are the same characteristics of Satan under which he refused to obey God and bow to his creation – man. Under these very influences these leaders often abuse their power and try to manipulate their people to achieve their personal goals and egoistic aspirations. They often are very wise and recruit people who are accustomed to obeying commands blindly due to fear of persecution from the powerful. But the true shock is when educated people armed with some basic rational thinking also choose to blindly follow such leaders and actively participate or support in their egocentric and political aspirations under the pretext of religion.
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama
Before one speaks of his or her religion, it pays a lot to get educated a little about the true and unbiased history, inception, growth and evolution of thier faith system. History has proved time and over again, that all of the popular religions or faith systems of today had begun with peaceful intentions. Each of these religions were spread with humble intentions but each had a handful of leaders who used violent force unfortunately due to their individual choice, limited wisdom, ego, and the lack of any other system available to them but religion as a viable political system to manage people and install familiar culture that is easier to manage. Each of these “religions” went through a phase of power struggle soon after their inception and the demise of their  Prophet. In the immediate years to follow, each had their share of religious leaders trying to use and manipulate the then political leaders and kings to their advantage, each have good followers and bad ones, all of these religions had leaders who were good and bad as well, every religion has their share of positive social and scientific contribution by people from their faiths. Some had great builders and ambitious plans to expand their cultural richness, some were conquerors of different strategic lands and some tried to spread their culture, beliefs and religious practices by force. But regardless of the religions or practices, all have the same fundamentals of good values and morals and each have their own set of social rules and norms that drive and influence behaviours based on moral living, love, tolerance, peace, justice and faith in the creator.
A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society. ~ Joseph Ratzinger
I oppose religion based charities. I believe if a religion preaches to serve humanity, then the charity work should be without the need to convert their faiths. Not in this age and time. The people of faith, especially who are seen or hold the position as leaders or experts should not speak words of hate, anger, rage and incite such concepts in people. If anything, these are the people who should be preaching tolerance, love, peace and instill hope, faith, and inspire morality. But all that we see is many such people doing exactly the opposite and tragically people following them like cattle. People of good faith should rather strive to inspire others by their character, demeanor, deeds, love, respect for others as opposed to their attire, communal strength, and rituals.  And above all, should evolve with time. The need for progressive evolution has become more essential now more than ever. Past mistakes of others and poor past leaderships should be left in the past and we need to see ourselves as the new builders of society.
That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.  ~ Albert Einstein
If we can primarily be human beings and begin to behave like one that could alone ignite a flame of enlightenment. Do not choose to be blinded by your faith systems, and live in the assumption that your faith is the only path to heaven. If this is true, the creator would not have sent several prophets. Followers of the wrong faiths could be wiped off this planet if the creator chooses, followers of other faiths will not be prosperous and happy, followers of other faiths will not have their prayers answered and people who follow wrong faith systems will not be able to procreate and give birth to pure innocent souls. Thank the creator for life, for making us human, giving us the ability to think, creating us and this world with all its endless resources, our ability to learn and appreciate, love, be loved, procreate, help others, and appreciate his or her divine powers being exercised on us and creation every day. Do not be blinded and instead choose to thank for a man-made religion, rituals, age-old beliefs and fables, or mundane stories of proof less miracles. Learn, read, explore and understand. Do not blindly follow like a cattle but use your own ability to seek, read, learn, think, understand for yourself. Be sensible enough to differentiate between the man who speaks the words of compassion and love from the scriptures from the man who speaks of hate, intollerance and prejudice in the name of religion. If we refuse injustice towards one and all regardless of their cast, creed or color we can bring change. If we can lead by example of character rather than a display of costumes and rituals we can creat a positive influence. If we can be charitable to all humans regardless of their religion, color or culture we will bring peace. With such a balanced approach and the will to coexists by mutual respect and understanding and by removing ego and pride from the equation, mankind can and will eventually develop a much more peaceful and resourceful living. They can leave behind a life of love, and peace for their loved ones to enjoy, thrive in and sustain for the other following generations to come. But we must remember to eliminate the dreaded characteristic of the evil: “ego and pride” especially associated to our faiths and our belief systems as it has no place in there. We need to realize that if we feel the need to keep our faiths, then we need to keep the faith in God of mankind as opposed to the man-made religion, religious leaders, religious systems, rituals and beliefs. Learn and seek yourself for the truth and answers using your logic and intelligence and you shall find it. If God does exisit then it is only in your heart where he or she lives and in your conscience where the truth resides.
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. ~ Khalil Gibran

Economic Advices vs Commonsense?


Save, do not spend, but invest, in properties that are depreciating like cars, or invest in banks, insurance companies or energy companies or car manufacturers who will claim bankruptcy and have the Government bail them out using your tax dollars. Save! That’s the Mantra! Save and you shall become rich. Spend and you shall become poor. And it took a decline in the stock market, a plunge in the Dollar value and a chars in Europestock market to realize this. Further, it took the stupid channel on cable having an intelligent looking pretty face read of the teleprompter read out “..now we have an expert in Econocomic who is an author of : Another wise crack quoting flawed statistics to create fear for personal monetary benefits

 So what does these experts and so-called financial and economic Gurus say to the common man? Do not spend, save. Do not buy your fancy phones, cars, and luxuries of life that you so desire having worked your life off and pay a good chunk of it to the government. But do put the remaining pennies you bring home into a jar and “invest” it in companies that will either pay you minimal dividends over time or win your trust to invest more over a short period of time and finally declare bankruptcy once they have got all that they can make off you. Oh yes, do not worry, your tax dollars will bail them out should they fail and keep them afloat to ensure that they continue taking your money.

 Show me a man who became rich by saving and I will show you a few hundreds to one who became rich by earning more. Saving will help you not get poor, but earning more is the only way to become rich. Simple and common logic points to this basic fact. Ensure that your “needs” are fulfilled and put aside some if you have for a rainy day before you go get your “wants”.

The true fact is that the experts were wrong and continue to be wrong. Economy will not collapse, invest in real estate, build and they will come, people will buy anything that is cheap, invest in technology, invest in energy, and so on and so forth are all advice that never stuck. The experts who quoted them now sing a different song.

The common man pays. Pays for the governments blunders, pays as an investor, pays to take his own money out of a bank, pays his taxes, pays for his living, his needs, his wants, his familys’ needs and their wants and pays for his death. The people who find ways to take the common man’s money are those who make money. And amongst them who finds a way to take more money from the common man in exchange for something he needs, wants or places a higher value becomes rich. And those who do this frequently become richer. Trade: at its basic best.

We are forced to pay more of our hard earned money for many basic things that we shouldn’t. Health care, water, electricity, roadways and insurance are some that our tax dollars should cover. Yet we are forced and/or convinced to pay for such basic and rightful needs of ours  by age old philosophies, systems and concepts that are backed up by statistics that are produced by vested interests of the companies that service these industries. Spend! Not save! Yet the so called experts harp away the magic mantra of “Save”! Really genius? You have a platform today to dish out your cheap good for nothing advice because you are getting “paid” to say this and by creating some sort of fear and diversion from the reality where you make more money for fear mongering. When is the last time you saved? And if you did, what has it done to your wealth?

The facts remain to be facts. Not much that diverts from basic common sensibilities and logic.

  • Strive always to make more money. Earn more, innovate, think of ways to make more money by exchanging goods and services that others see value in.
  • Yes, do spend. But spend wisely. But your needs and your wants as and when you can afford it.
  • Save for a rainy day. Put some money aside just in case of emergency.
  • Enjoy life. Be happy and realize that many of these things can be sweeter with more money.
  • You live once, so do not live in constant fear and do not be foolish to pay high monetary value on momentary pleasures.
  • If you have excess, help others and the needy who cannot fend for themselves.
  • Invest only on secure ventures that ensure good returns. And you are willing to take chances, do not crib or cry when they fail you.
  • Make money and then spend it. Not the other way around.
  • Buying in credit with interest is nothing but fulfilling your wants by paying out of a possible income in your future for the product and paying more to the middle man in interest for allowing you to do so.
  • Remember that you can buy for $100 more today than what you can get for the same $100 a year later.
  • Learn to differentiate between depreciating assets and appreciating assets and put your money in the right kind.

Rather live a poor man with expensive experiences than be the richest man in the grave having lived a life of no pleasures.

Many experts have been very wrong. Many experts fail in their concepts. And ideas that seem to be true are dependent to that specific time, conditions, circumstances and period (which isn’t long). It never works if any of these parameters change. Ideas, concepts, theories and philosophies need to progressively evolve. Sadly they seldom do. New changing conditions do not adhere to age old paradigms. And economics is one constant proof of that. The economic super powers of yesterday are the rapidly dwindling debt holes of today. And those who were brandished as the poor nations and a country laden with street beggars are the economic stalwarts of today.

This comical madness of econophobia shall continue as long as we feed them with our money. First make yourself rich by earning more. Then perhaps invest with great caution and for decent returns gradually. Greed will get you. Greed will make the other man richer with your money. If you are greedy that is a great thing. It makes many people become rich and gives you a “chance” to become rich as well. But the “chance” is yours and only yours. For the gains for others are a sure fact.

Earn! Earn more!

Spend and rejoice of the money you earn.

Spend for good returns, or on things you place value in and not on those that give you nothing in return

Save just enough for your future (the future when you will not want to earn and live a retired life).

Save for emergency expenses.

Invest in yourself first! Invest in your happiness, life, and quality of life.

Invest in other ventures only on secure and substantial returns.

Gamble! A little risk is good. Simply because the returns are very good!

But do not blame a system or others for your greed!

Do not hate the successful and the wealthy, instead work towards becoming one of them or choose and work towards a comfortable economic state you are happy with.

Lastly, have some realistic expectations. You are not entitled for anything unless you work for it. NOTHING comes for free or easy. Ask your self what have you done or doing to get what you want.

Here are some select quotes:

If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.  ~George Bernard Shaw

 

A happy life is one spent in learning, earning, and yearning.
Lillian Gish

 

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people inAmerica.  If I’m not there, I go to work.  ~Robert Orben

 

Education is not solely about earning a great living. It means living a great life.
Brad Henry

 

Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.  ~Sam Ewing

 

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.  ~Bob Hope

 

Business is the art of extracting money from another man’s pocket without resorting to violence.  ~Max Amsterdam

 

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.  ~Voltaire

 

Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.  ~Zig Ziglar

 

Economists are coming to acknowledge that measures of national wealth and poverty in terms strictly of average income tell you little that is significant of the health or viability of a society.
Rowan D. Williams

Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man’s lifetime income – which he then spends sending his son to college.
Bill Vaughan

Economic Disparity Complex:

However, we are collectively witnessing a growing sense of self entitlement by the have-nots and a general sense of anger at those who have. As opposed to taking charge and responsibility of their own state of economic conditions, and taking steps to earn more and develop towards becoming successful, many choose to blame those at the opposite end of the spectrum for their lack of initiative or the system. Strangely, those who are considered to be wealthy in USA the now notorious 1% consist of many who crossed the width of economic disparity by making choices and working hard towards building their wealth. They chose to innovate, invent, take risk, work harder, and take advantage of those who spent their hard-earned dollars in exchange for their offerings. For example: It is largely the middle class and to a great extent the lower earning members of the economic ladder who seem to spend their hard-earned dollars on fancy phones and gadgets that are developed and sold by those who become wealthy. The strange and ironic fact is that the remainder of this 99% choose to spend their time to use the same cell phones and online social media to organize protests against those who became wealthy by selling these very tools.

Once again, out comes the “experts” with the statistics and advice on the 1% of the evil “wealthy”. The wealthy own majority of the shares in big companies, they earn more than the 99%, they live in bigger houses etc. Yeah? What are they supposed to do with the wealth they earn? Not invest in business they choose? Dont buy things they like? What about the philanthropic contributions they make? If they have earned it they can choose to spend as they wish. Like wise, those who are at the lower end of the economic ladder have all they need and the freedom to make real choices and actions to become wealthy. They can “get rich or die trying” – right Curtis? If only these half-baked statistics from these so-called “experts” were unbiased and gave the point of view for both sides. Then the number will perhaps indicate towards what the 99% should and could do to cross the economic disparity.

Being wealthy isn’t a crime neither is being self-sufficient and happy where you stand. The “American Dream” isn’t just being a millionaire or wealthy. For many it is owning a house, raising good and balanced children, sharing good and happy memories, a cozy family dinner at Thanksgiving or owning a sports car close to their retirement. And for those who want to do all this and more, there is nothing stopping you from working harder, smarter, taking risks, being innovative, and making more money. The difference is in your attitude, approach, will and choices.

For every person who says they do not have enough money to put themselves through school, there are several who work two jobs and put themselves through school.

For every person who blames the tax system and the amount they pay in taxes, there are several who take advantage of the welfare provided and several more who pay the taxes and still achieve their dreams and ambitions.

For every person who spends time blaming the system and the “wealthy: there are several who work hard and find ways to become wealthy.

For every person who resorts to borrowing money or living on credit there are several who strive hard to earn that money and live within their means.

There is no use of fear mongering and marketing what I call “Econophobia” by the media and the silly statistics put forward by the experts. They are no reliable than the weathermans’ predictions. If the past statistics have proved anything, it is totally unreliable and will change faster than you expect it to change. Your success and economic condition lies in your will, ability and desires. There is no one that can be blamed for your failures but yourself. Stand up and make the changes you need to become successful! 


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