Archive for category Stories; Quotes

Listen to the Doctor

I read many of Dr. Seuss’ books to my children. They were full of simple wisdom.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

- Dr. Seuss

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Ellie Wiesel on Gratitude

Ellie Wiesel is a Buchenwald concentration camp survivor, writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner. In the photo he is in the second row, 7th from the left. This quote is from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.

We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.

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Service

a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

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Find Yourself

a quote from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

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Which One Will Win?

a native American story

An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life.

He said to them, ‘A fight is going on inside me . . . it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.’

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf will win?’

The old Cherokee simply replied . . . ‘The one you feed.’

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Hanging Ten

a quote from Jack Kornfield


You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

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Where do you think you are?

a story from Margaret Stevens

There was a man who died and found himself in a beautiful place, surrounded by every conceivable comfort. A tuxedo jacketed man came to him and said, “you  may have anything you choose – any food – any pleasure – any kind of entertainment.”

The man was delighted, and for days he sampled all the delicacies and experiences of which he had dreamed on earth. But one day he grew bored with all of it, and calling the attendant to him, he said, “I’m tired of all this, I need something to do. What kind of work can you give me?”

The attendant sadly shook his head and replied, “I’m sorry, sir. That’s the one thing we can’t do for you. There is no work here for you.”

To which the man answered, “That’s a fine thing. I might as well be in hell.”

The attendant said softly, “Where  do you think you are?”

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The Good Wooden Coffin

a Zen Buddhist story

A farmer got so old that he couldn’t work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. “He’s of no use any more,” the son thought to himself, “he doesn’t do anything!” One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wooden coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in. Without saying anything, the father climbed inside.

After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff. As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin. He opened it up. Still lying there peacefully, the father looked up at his son. “I know you are going to throw me over the cliff, but before you do, may I suggest something?” “What is it?” replied the son. “Throw me over the cliff, if you like,” said the father, “but save this good wooden coffin. Your children might need to use it.”

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Ritual Cat

a Buddhist story

When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, a cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. One day the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice.

Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

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Maybe

a Zen Buddhist story

There was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.

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