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Though one may conquer
a thousand times a thousand people in battle,
yet one indeed is the noblest victor
who conquers oneself.

                   Dhammapada 10.103 (Words of the Buddha)

” Million reasons to smile “

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
peacefully towering mountains 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
played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This
did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, 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 the nest–in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize ? The king chose the second
picture . Do you know why ?

” 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 .”

” When Life gives you a thousand reasons to cry, Show that you have a
million reasons to smile .”

Thanks to S. Ganesh


I came back yesterday after completing a 10-day Vipassana sit at the meditation retreat at Massachusetts. Needless to say, it was timely and a well-needed break. This was my fourth course in 10 years. Don’t just think about it, find time out of your busy schedule and go do the course. No ifs and buts…Just Do It ! (no pun intended…I am not wearing Nike’s shoes for the marathon).

Vani did get her Vipassana article published by her paper. It’s my fault that I have not updated my blog to reflect that. So here is the link –

The Hindu article

The above picture is the pagoda at the Igatpuri Vipassana center near Mumbai where I meditated last year. The pagoda is absolutely fabulous and has small bells at the top of the spire. They jingle with the breeze and in that quiet and serene surrounding is a very soothing sound to hear. A truly sublime experience!

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