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The Talkative Tortoise

The Talkative Tortoise

Once a tortoise lived near a pond in a forest. One day he met a pair of geese who had come to drink water from the pond. "Hello", said the tortoise. "It is a beautiful day. Too good to sit inside the house. Where do you live?"

"Not far from here" replied Shanti, one of the geese. "We often come to drink water, but we have never seen you before."

"I usually stay indoors," replied the tortoise.

He and the geese became friends and started meeting every day. The tortoise would come out of the pond and the three would spend a long time wandering around the forest happily talking and gossiping.

Not long after, there was a famine and the trees in the forest died as the rivers and ponds dried up. Many birds and animals died because there was no water available. Those that lived in the forest started looking for somewhere else to live. Even the geese decided to leave for a better place.

Before leaving, they came to the tortoise and said, "We have decided to go away from this dry forest before we also die. We have come to say goodbye to you and wish you all the best."

"So you are leaving me to face my death?" cried the tortoise. "What kind of friends of you? I am so frightened living here alone and facing this deadly environment. Take me with you," he pleaded.

"How can we take you with us?" Shanti replied. "You cannot fly. We do not wish to leave you here to face death, but we don't know how to take you with us."

"I know I can't fly," the tortoise said with tears in his eyes. "But you can help me. I can tell you how, if you are willing to take me along."

"How?" the geese asked. "We will take you if we can."

"All right then," said the tortoise with a sign of relief. "Get a strong stick and hold it on either side with your beaks. I can hold onto the middle, with my mouth. Then you can fly carrying me along."

Shanti and her partner immediately accepted the proposal and set out to find a suitable pond for the tortoise's new home. Once they found one, they returned to the tortoise with a large stick.

"Now that is a good strong stick," said the tortoise. "Let us start our journey. This place is becoming a bit too dry."

"All right, let us start our journey," replied Shanti. "But first, remember that you must not speak at all. If you open your mouth, you will fall. So remember to stay quiet throughout the journey."

"I am not a fool," replied the tortoise. "I know what could happen."

"Well then, let us go," Shanti said. "I want to take you with us to our beautiful pond where we know you are going to be happy, and we can live the way did in the forest. We don't want to lose you."

They began their journey towards their new home. The tortoise was taken up with the sights he saw along the way, and very often he felt like saying something about them. But he remembered Shanti's advice.

Soon they were flying over a large city, where there were a lot of people. Suddenly they saw a crowd clapping hands and pointing to them, saying, "Look, look there! The geese are carrying away a foolish tortoise."

The tortoise became very angry. He could not bear it any more and opened his mouth to tell the crowd off. He fell right into the middle of the crowd and died.

"What a foolish tortoise," laughed one of the crowd. "Did he think he could fly by himself?" The others joined him in making fun of the tortoise's stupidity, while the geese cried for their loss. They were sad and their hearts were filled with pain. "Our poor friend," cried Shanti. "He did not understand that real happiness comes from keeping quiet."

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The Violin Player

*The Violin Player*

It happened in Paris, in a centric street although secondary. This man,dirty and smelly, played an old violin. Before him and on the floor he placed his beret, with the hope that the passers-by had pity of his condition and threw some coins to take home.

The poor man tried to bring forth a melody, but it was impossible to identify it at all due to the out of tune of the instrument, and the unpleasant and boring way he played that violin.

A famous concert performer, who along with his wife and some friends was coming out of a nearby theatre, passed in front of the musical beggar.

 


All wrinkled the face to hear those so discordant sounds. And could not help but laugh heartedly.

The wife asked the concert performer to play something. The man took a look at the few coins inside the beret, and decided to do something.

 

 

He requested the violin. And the musical beggar lent it with certain reticence. At first the concert performer did was to tune its strings. And then, vigorously and with great mastery he drew a fascinating melody from the old instrument.

 


His friends started to applaud and the passers-by started to gather around to see the improvised spectacle. After listening to the music, people of the nearby main street came too and soon there was a small multitude listening in rapture to the strange concert.

 

 

The beret got full not only of coins, but of many bills of all denominations, while the maestro played melody after melody, with so much joy.

 

 

The musical beggar was even happier to see what was going on, and did not cease to jump up and down in joy and proudly reaping to all, "That is my violin!!, That is my violin!!". Which is, of course, rigorously true.

 

 

In life we all have "a violin". It is our knowledge, our abilities and our attitudes. And we have the absolute freedom to play "that violin" as we please.

 

 

It was said to us that God concede upon us free will, say, the faculty to decide what we will do with our life. And this, of course, is both a marvellous right, as well as, a formidable responsibility.

 


Some, by laziness, not even tune that violin. They do not perceive that in the present world you have to prepare yourself, learn, develop abilities and constantly improve attitudes if we want to perform a good concert.

 


They want a beret full of money, and what they deliver is a discordant melody that nobody likes. That is the people who do their job in the form, "here it goes... " Who think in terms of "it costs me...", and that believe that humanity has an obligation to pay for their bad performance, covering all their needs.

 

 

It is the people that think only of their rights, but feel no obligation to own them. Truth, as harsh as it may seem to us, is otherwise. You and I, and any other person, have to learn sooner or later, that the best places are for those that not only tune well that violin, but who learn over time to play it with mastery too.

 


That is why we are willing to do well in our daily job, whatever it may be. And to always aspire to prepare ourselves to be able to accomplish other things we would like.

 


History is full of examples of people that even with initial difficulties became good concert performers with their violins (their lives).

 


And also, unfortunately, it registers cases of many others, that having great opportunities, decided with that violin, to become music beggars.

 



*The truth is that God bestowed upon us "free wi**ll". You can do something great with your life, or make of it a misery. That is your personal decision.*

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Logic of letting go

Logic of Letting Go

When we are children, and someone tells us to ‘let go,’ it is usually in reference to something material, and when we let go, we can either feel empty, as if we are being deprived of something, or we can feel full, knowing that we have allowed someone to have that something, and s/he must really need it.

As adults, letting go can still leave us feeling empty or full. Both feelings may occur simultaneously. Ultimately , letting go will allow us to feel free, unburdened, healed, happy, even joyous . I intend to address how we can reach these ultimate feelings.
The concept of letting go is very complex. For the sake of this discussion, i will divide the various aspects of letting go into three categories:
1) physical,

 2) psychological, and

3) spiritual.
When i discuss the physical realm, i am talking about anything tangible, whether it is our bodies or our environment. Our environment can often be cluttered, so purging of much of this stuff can be truly liberating.
Our bodies may not please us, so we can choose to let go of extra weight. We can choose to let go of bad habits and addictions. We can choose to free ourselves of the indiscriminate materialism and consumerism that requires constantly acquiring more and more of anything.
Moving from the physical to the psychological, we move to the why of those items that we could let go of physically. For example, why do we have all of the stuff that needs to be purged? What has caused the rampant materialism that has allowed us to fill up our lives with objects and beings? I almost wrote ‘inanimate,’ but there are those who fill up their lives with pets and children and casual acquaintances rather than real relationships.
All such acquisitional behaviour is symptomatic of a psychological need that longs to be filled, but which should be purged. The same is true of other unpleasant emotions, like anger, fear, jealousy /envy, even hate; when a psychological need exists, it causes these emotions to manifest in an attempt to satisfy that need. Guess what?
The very same is true for any bad habits and addictions we want to let go of; while there may be a biochemical component to these, they also are indicative of some sort of need or self-perceived deficiency or pain that, in turn, is symptomatic of needing to spiritually let go.
Truthfully, one could argue that if one lets go and purges at the physical and psychological levels, spiritual level purges and progress will automatically follow. Instead of dealing with those two arguments, i am going to run to one common expression: Let Go; Let God.

When we consider the spiritual level, by definition we are dealing with the Divine by whatever name we wish to call Him. Also, by definition, we are exiting the scientific arena that forms the foundation of most of my work, and moving into the realm of faith, which happens to form the foundation for the remainder of my work.
Most spiritual advisors argue that happiness and joy are the natural state of our souls. Therefore, if these are not what we feel, what must be purged from the spiritual realm?
Because every single major faith has reincarnation as one of its major tenets, and the purpose of reincarnation is for the spirit to achieve a higher state. Ridding ourselves of karma is the ultimate purge!

Now that we have seen the different levels of letting go and purging, how do we begin the process? Try beginning with just one small step in one aspect of your everyday life. Identify something that you don't need, and let go of it. Perhaps it will be your décor?
Even though i embrace much of Mies van der Rohe’s ‘Less is More’ philosophy, one does not have let go of an overall personal style that you might enjoy more in order to simplify and streamline your life. However, it may help to examine “Why” you have a particular décor, and whether it might merit letting go in order to have a more lifeenhancing physical environment. Mostly, this is about just getting rid of accumulated material items that aren’t needed any more.

Think about the motivations you have for selecting a career, a hobby, a car, a house, even a spouse. Are those motivations from your own internal dreams and drive, or are there some external pressures? This is moving beyond the realm of everyday activity , and into the realm of special activity ; these special events are most often psychological in nature.
Remember, though, that there are many ways to get an education, so temper all external pressures with your internal dream. Loosen the influence of external pressures, learn what your choices are, listen to your own internal dream, and then let go of what isn’t part of that internal dream.
Now that you have identified your internal dream, what is holding you back from achieving your greatness? Money? Fear? Inhibitions? Overwhelming anger? Frustration? Laziness? Whatever it is, you must start to let go of what is holding you back.
For instance, i have a beautiful relative who is very intelligent and artistically talented; she once told me that her dream was to write children’s books. When i asked her why she didn’t ‘just do it,’ she said she was afraid of failing. I urged her to let go of her fear of failure, but that fear had its hooks in too deep.
Once you start letting go of what you don’t need, and loving all, you will have fewer blocks in your spiritual Path! As you begin to ‘Let go,’ you automatically begin ‘Letting In.’ Both are processes, so please don’t expect overnight success. Start small, and change will occur incrementally.

Let go of the need for perfection and the physical, psychological and spiritual baggage that embodies . Let in the goal of self-improvement throughout your life. Let in Love. We are all works in progress. Make a pact with yourself to show just a little more love every day. Let in the Divine.

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