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Become an awesome individual, who anyone will be happy to be with.
If you are an educator, parent, grandparent or a person that someone looks up to (or you want to be) – watch, learn and do!
Wise Parenting program will list 30 personal traits, explaining and exploring each in depth, plus practical assignment for developing every quality.
This Intro class shows how the system works, its basis and origin, also the method of passing the qualities on children or other people.
Even though this world is based on truth, it still requires balance. Therefore, sages admonish us that some things are best kept secret. The mystery is present within the Absolute Truth. Hence, in our material world there is also a place for mystery which becomes part of culture. To reveal some secrets untimely is as harmful as not to speak about the Absolute Truth in due time. There’s a proper time for everything. There’s time for full disclosure and a certain time for mystery and secrecy. A cultured person knows what kind of behavior to demonstrate in any given situation. In one word, mystery is not a lie. Rather, this is one of the aspects of cultural behavior.
The first thing meant to be kept secret, as sages say, is a good recipe for a strong medicine that you compound. Seems like, such a recipe should be told on every street corner. But in reality, if people use it incorrectly, the result may be completely opposite. A strong medicine can easily turn into a deadly poison. Moreover, this world is filled with those who want to enrich themselves quickly. This is why any working technology is copied and applied haphazardly and indiscriminately.
Simply to compound a strong medicine is not enough – one should use it properly. Usage details depend on circumstances, and only a professional knows that. Therefore, those who possess the secrets of powerful medicines are not eager to share them. And this is the way it should be. Otherwise, the whole world will be filled with fake drugs and thus, real poison. I personally know a producer of rather strong medications. And don’t even try to ask him how he does that. Just tell him about your problem, and he will say whether he can help you. And indeed, there were several cases when people were envious of his art and started to invent their own recipes. They intended to compound medicines that would have the same appearance and smell as the original ones. But all these cases ended in severe poisoning.
The second point, as recommended by the sages, is not to share the secret concerning your charity work. Good deeds are rare in this world. This is why they should be cherished like the most precious jewels. Only secrecy may help to keep a jewel. There’s no need to tell anyone where you keep your wallet. A man sometimes inadvertently pats on the pocket where he has money, and thieves notice that. They are aware of this reflex. Similarly, one shouldn’t blow one’s own horn for one’s own good deeds. Otherwise, pride will immediately notice that and take away all the benefits that came as a result of this charity.
How come? It seems that all is done and dusted. Why is it still possible to lose such good results? This is because a deed is considered accomplished only after the last emotions in our consciousness were revealed. If the last emotion was that of pride or self-admiration, a good deed is still unfinished, and there will be no result. A cake may look nice – so what of it? It must also be tasty. A customer can buy a cake from the store, but this is not the whole story. A customer may come back and complain about the bad taste of that cake.
Similarly, as a result of a good deed there should appear a sweet taste of humility, modesty and gratitude for the chance to commit it. If emotions of pride, arrogance and bragging arise instead, a dish is spoiled: it tastes bitter and nasty. No one will eat such a cake. At best, it would be thrown into the dustbin, or at worst it would be returned to the store. Therefore, we shouldn’t tell anyone about our good deeds. It’s a good exercise for generating proper reactions and emotions. Of course, we may have trouble cooking a complex dish for the first time. But if we know exactly how it should taste in the end, sooner or later we’ll do everything right, and everyone will be satisfied.
The third point that sages don’t recommend to dwell on is the austerity we perform. No need to go on about how you limit yourself in eating, sleeping, sexual relations and everything else. Austerity brings positive results only if it is combined with emotional asceticism. If I’m ascetic only at the external level, and bloat with self-pride inside, it’s not an austerity but a mere over-indulgence.
A real austerity involves both the inner and outer world of a person. For this reason we shouldn’t be overjoyed at the mere fact that something worked out well. Suppose you stayed awake all night and didn’t eat anything for three days. So what? This is your penance, isn’t it? What’s the point of telling others about it? We must share knowledge and not our pride. If we are capable of doing something, it doesn’t make a difference in itself. Only time can tell whether our austerity actually brought benefit to us.
Ascetic people can degrade just in the same way as non-ascetic ones. On the other hand, non-ascetic people can also make good and easy progress and keep their spiritual achievements. The level of asceticism is a question of taste. Tastes differ, you know. In exactly the same way, different people have different ideas concerning the standards they set for themselves. To facilitate progress, the standard must be set individually – it should suit me, not others. Therefore, there is no logic in taking any special pride in austerity. It’s ridiculous to think that everybody eats bread with butter and cheese, and I’m a great ascetic who eats only bread and butter. And once a month I don’t even spread butter on bread…
The forth point to be silent about refers to courage, heroism and other acts of bravery. These are grand deeds, but they are given to us as a test from God. Some people need to pass external tests and some people internal ones. External tests can be seen: one receives honors, rewards or wins fame for undergoing them. But no one sees how we cope with internal challenges. No one awards medals for that. Therefore, sages advise heroes of external victories not to boast of their achievements and to show respect to heroes of internal battles.
All the more so, we shouldn’t demand honor and respect for our heroic deeds from society. It was not the society that set such a task before us. It was our personal choice to become a hero. It was our own test, our own sense of duty. Since it was a matter of personal decision, it’s very strange if we stipulate for reward. It is the same as to sweep a street in front of the bank and claim salary for that later. You scraped away the litter in front of the bank. Well-done! But the bank didn’t become indebted to you. A hero must remember that he or she obtains a reward inside one’s own heart in the form of purification. But it can be extinguished by the desire to obtain external honors. Therefore, remember: a true feat is accomplished within our own heart afterwards, and the result is truly valuable.
The fifth point to remain unrevealed concerns spiritual knowledge. How come it seems like that? This is our main purpose, after all, to tell others about the Absolute Truth. But spiritual knowledge is manifold. It has different levels which are to be disclosed only according to one’s level of purification. Therefore, the main mistake of a novice distributor of truth is the willingness to share spiritual knowledge that is too advanced. Instead of bringing a power of good, it turns out to be confusing, disturbing and even frightening.
A novice preacher has a tendency to think that the more lofty the knowledge he/she tries to impart, the more it is purifying. However, this is just another snare of illusion. Any spiritual knowledge has equal purifying capacity. But knowledge that is too advanced can barely be perceived and put into practice. Therefore, sages admonish us: spiritual knowledge must first and foremost be practical. And thus, it must correspond to the level of perception of each and every individual.
On hearing about the spiritual reality, one should clearly and distinctly understand what he or she can do right now, what actual result it will bring, how it will purify the heart and how it will make him or her at least one step closer to eternal happiness. It’s no good telling things one won’t be able to put into action. Otherwise, one will become disenchanted with spirituality and think it’s sheer lunacy to waste time on something that brings no real result. This can be compared to talking about cakes and breaking up the party without even tasting anything or sharing a recipe.
The sixth thing better left unsaid is our morality. Indeed, we may be great vegetarians. We can practice non-violence and be proud of our pure life. But as long as we live in this world, our morality is still imperfect. Each day an ordinary person cannot but commit this or that form of violence. We can avoid the main types of sin but there remains an invisible sin. It has to do with violence because it involves annihilation of living entities or inflicting suffering on them. Specifically, this is commonly known as pancha-suna, or five great sins of a householder. Pancha-suna is described in the Smritis and shows that our behavior is far from perfect.
The first type of sin pertains to killing living entities during spice- and grain-grinding. The second sin is that of killing living beings when walking. The third one relates to killing in the process of harvesting. The forth one pertains to killing during the kindling of fire. The fifth one is the sin of killing living beings when boiling or drinking water. Therefore, in traditional Hinduism “pancha-maha-yajna” system is used. It is represented by five major sacrifices consisting of forty Vedic rituals. These are meant for householders.
One of the sacrifices is called brahma-yajna, or recitation of the Vedas. It is performed in order to discharge the debt to the sages who have given us this knowledge. Deva-yajna means offering worship to demigods who help us meet our daily needs. Pitri-yajna represents gratitude to ancestors. Through manushya-yajna one can repay the debt to society, by means of offering hospitality to guests, for example. Finally, bhuta-yagna is about showing compassion to living beings in a subtle form. Although we can’t see them, they exist and somehow or other interact with us.
Hence, being too proud of morality makes no sense. Otherwise, anyone more or less versant in spiritual science will immediately accuse us of a dozen of instances of our immorality. And not just immorality, but immoral hypocrisy. Once you declare yourself to be universally non-violent, they will point out at your leather shoes, silk clothing (poor silkmoth), and electric appliances (poor fish at HPPs, animals in flooded fields). And indeed, any manufacturing process is a small chemical warfare against environment. But we enjoy these products calling ourselves great moralists at the same time…
The seventh thing, better kept under wraps, concerns your family quarrels and family life in general. It’s not enough to install steel doors and PVC windows – one should also keep one’s mouth shut about what’s going on in that house. Remember: the less you talk about your family problems, the more close-knit and stable your family will be. We must wash our dirty linen at home, not in public. If you drop litter at the neighbors’ door, no one will like it. You must scrape it together and throw it into the dustbin.
Quarrel implies getting rid of negative energy which has accumulated in the process of communication. It’s not too pleasant, of course, but it brings about some purification, although aggressive one. But if we impart this energy to others, instead of getting rid of it, it will return to the family and only add to the existing problems. Therefore, if a family man tells his/her problems to surrounding persons, it brings to mind the following picture. It looks like going to the scrapeyard to throw away a garbage can, and returning back with the same full can, without having disposed of anything. Sewage system must perform its functions properly and carry all the wastes to the natural purifier. There’s no need to flood the neighbors with sewage water. No one will like it.
The eighth thing best kept secret is that the meals you provide are cheap cooked ones. Let those who help themselves to dishes appreciate their taste. Even the simplest food can be perfectly delicious. But if a cook starts to tell that he/she didn’t have enough money to buy olive oil, saffron, brown sugar or fresh ginger, it will spoil the pleasant impression of the meal. Bad mood turns off digestion, and food becomes poison. So, keep a good table, but don’t tell anyone how much you spend on it. Porridge and cabbage soup is but our native food!
The ninth thing better left unspoken concerns expletives and slang words that have been heard from someone else. As we mentioned before, contamination can be both gross and subtle. One’s shoes can get dirty in the street, and the same pertains to consciousness: it can also become polluted. If one comes home and says all the foolish things he/she heard on the way home, this can be compared to wearing shoes in the house. Previously it was considered uncultured if someone entered the house without taking off one’s shoes. In some places of the world this tradition is still preserved.
And the tenth thing best kept secret is our far-reaching plans. Sages advise not to talk about them until they are fulfilled. The bare fact that plans are sometimes fulfilled in this world is a miracle in itself. Any plan can easily be frustrated: one only has to find the weak spots in it and let everyone know. As soon as other people know our plans, the likelihood is great that someone may throw a wrench into them. Therefore, we must be aware of the fact that our plans are not just imperfect – they have many blank sides actually. An ill-wisher can easily heat a blot and ruin everything. Don’t give them a chance, which means that you shouldn’t disclose your plans unless necessary.
Finally, I’d like to remind you that a wise man doesn’t plume oneself on one’s humility, as well. This is because from time to time we are forced to take harsh, willed and even aggressive actions in our life. Therefore, let’s be humble inside because outwardly we sometimes have to turn into warriors to meet the challenges posed by life. Arjuna wanted to exhibit humility, go to the forest and escape from the war. But it could have turned into great shame…
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Now that we are living in the time of crisis, things are getting a little harder: someone is being fired, others change jobs on their own initiative, and some people are only beginning to think of their life activities. So how to make sense of this seemingly common issue – what job to apply for? What advice can be given to those who ask that sort of question? And almost everyone just now seeks to get this question answered…
Everything seems easy at a casual glance: a kind of job that lets you work less and earn more is the best of all possible jobs. If it’s also close to home, it’s a great piece of luck. But is such method of thinking effective? By no means always, as experience suggests. In fact, job satisfaction is no easy thing. Our work is not just about making efforts for money – a real third, sometimes even half of our life is spent at work. And it’s not only the wage rate that is important when we choose the way to spend this time. Some more fundamental principles exist that enable us to experience satisfaction not only after work, but in work, as well. How to achieve that? Let’s turn to world-wise sages for advice.
There are certain rules that existed for thousands of years. They give an insight into how to choose the appropriate work environment, and an appropriate place for any life activity in general. Understandably, there’s no point in having a job where we can’t meet basic needs. But on top of that, the following set of rules is worth-while and should be taken into account.
Firstly, one is not recommended to stay long in a place where one is not treated with respect. If we talk about damnation, a place where one is held in low esteem is exactly the cursed place. We can’t live without air, and respect for us is the air for our consciousness. Without it we may not live much longer. When they treat you with contempt, it leads you to doldrums, being placed in a mental hospital room; it’s a straight road to alcohol addiction and even suicide. These problems are much spoken of in our time but few people can understand: this is simply the evidence of atmosphere of disrespect.
Secondly, it’s impossible to stay long in a place where you have no friends. Sounds like — what’s the big deal about that? We shall get along without their help. But in fact where there are no friends there are only enemies. It’s not a workplace any longer – rather it’s a battle for life that is short enough without adding this. How is it possible to stay calm and happy in the enemy’s rear? Life becomes sort of continuous self-defense. Under such conditions one must fully accept the rules of combat, but did we mean to become soldiers on a crisis spot? No, such atmosphere is far from being tranquil. Certainly we shouldn’t expect that absolutely everyone will become our friend, but at least some co-workers must be apparently friendly; otherwise it’s better that we push off, moving by bounds…
The third principle is even more interesting. A placement without training opportunities is also unsuitable both for work and for life. Without the opportunity to constantly acquire new knowledge, a person becomes stupefied very soon. In a stupefied state one cannot but make mistakes and act foolish. This in turn makes one devitalized and deprived of their job. Other people lose respect for such a person. One can even be held criminally liable and brought to trial. Therefore, all managers should remember one simple truth: where there are no training programs, there’s much thievery going on.
The fourth obligatory time-proved principle is that there must be people around you at the very least a little richer than you. Otherwise, what’s the point of making money in a place where there are no wealthier people around? Everybody only gets poorer in such a place. People can be divided into two conceptual categories: they are either growing richer step by step, or are gradually growing poorer. Just look around you and see the trend you follow. Is it a route forward, or are you sliding into poverty instead? Remember: if no one around you is on the mend, maybe it’s a room for lingering out one’s days that you are in…
The fifth principle pertains to the managers whose responsibility is not only to give orders and hand out wages, but to take real good care of their subordinates. A place where an elaborate caring system can’t be perceived is not exactly a workplace but a slaves’ plantation. They can get rid of you any time you make a slightest misstep. It has been well said that the rot starts at the top – if not even managers care about their employees, the outlook is pretty dim. I mean – when applying for a job we enhance our ability to care for others. Being neglected ourselves what can we impart to other people? We may turn into cynic slave-holders ourselves and coming home from work shout at our family members so they fulfill their household chores. In this way one can lose not only the job and humanness, but a family, as well.
Thus what makes a good employer is a fatherly attitude towards subordinates. Don’t merely search for a job – search for a family with the father at the head.
The sixth principle suggests that it’s better to work at a place where there is some charity or welfare practice involved. This points to the fact that you are employed by merciful and compassionate people. For one thing, we can learn from them, for another thing, when you mix with such people it’s not dangerous if something goes down like a lead balloon. They will always understand you and try to help. If there is no outreach for those in sore need of help, to work in such a place is as dangerous as in a prison or in an uncouth desert. Everyone thinks only of themselves. There are no lofty ideals, social work or genuine concern for others. But having a job is exactly the desire to take care of others. If there’s no such care, it’s not a job but a hotbed of selfishness and cynicism. The mood of serving people gives way to the feather-one’s-own-nest mood.
The seventh principle says that at a workplace there must be an occupational health doctor who would provide on-going recommendations for disease prevention and for treatment of those health problems that already emerged. We live in the world where different stages of human life run their appointed course. And as far as diseases are concerned, unfortunately, they are one of the aspects of our living. Only quite a healthy person is able to work, therefore, it’s reasonable to constantly look after health and take appropriate health care measures. If very few people seem to care, then it’s a place where everybody runs ragged to death. Think of a car driver who doesn’t care about their own car. This is so silly. We may only take a dim view of such a driver. The same holds true for such a workplace – we can’t expect anything much from it. It’s more like a horse barn where a horse is driven in first, shot up next.
The eighth principle relatable to the preceding one states that we may only work at such a place where leisure facilities are also thought of. Work and rest are two sides of the same coin. If we don’t care about recreation, we don’t care about the job itself. And how can we work in a place where no one thinks about the job? This is what is called madness. Therefore, learn about the customary leisure time activities at the job you are going to apply for. Get to know what is done for that, how much money is put up – and you will understand whether it’s decent work or another way to lose time, health and composure. As scriptures say: “He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all pains by practicing the yoga system.”
And the ninth principle lies in the fact that our co-workers should be more or less cultured people. The main criterion for that is the culture of speech. Sages don’t recommend working at a place where leadership, job and other staff members are constantly given damns and curses. A place where abuse is yelled out lacks right-mindedness, and without right-mindedness, there is no life. One should be afraid of being placed in a situation where intelligence is not applied. Under such conditions one may lose their own intelligence, health and peace of mind. One may even lose their soul. Money certainly isn’t worth it. Any activity requires strenuous efforts and some verbal confrontation coming from it, but it shouldn’t be cynical, dirty and offensive. Dirty words speak of dirty motives, and this is not the best option for a place where we spend a considerable part of our life.
A perfect place is surely impossible to find, but in case you notice at least some of the above-mentioned signs, a chance of success is still there. If you are not satisfied by their partial embodiment, start your own business and bring all these principles into life. And remember –if you want to do something well, do it yourself. Therefore, if you see some discrepancy, don’t be fiercely critical of that, rather try to make some improvements within your own sphere of influence, and if you succeed in doing so, others will be willing to follow the lead.
And now we’ll tag on a parable at the end.
One man decided to change the world. But the world was so large, and he was so small… There and then he decided to change his city. But the city was so large, and he was so small… Then he decided to change his family. But his family was so large – half a score of children! Thus the man made it to the only thing that was in his power to change, given that he was so small. And that was himself…
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Today I am going to share this amazing seminar on Conflict Resolution given by HH Bhakti-Tirtha Swami in 2003 in Ukraine. Please be patient because after speaker you will have to listen to/wait for Russian translator. Please share this if you know anyone who has a conflict situation and/or may need it in the future.
Here is little bit about this extraordinary soul.
“A specialist in international relations and conflict resolution, Bhakti-Tirtha Swami (John E. Favors) constantly traveled around the world and has become a spiritual consultant to may high-ranking members of the United Nations, to various celebrities and to Several chiefs, kings and high court justices. In 1990 His Holiness was coronated as a high chief in Warri, Nigeria in recognition of his outstanding work in Africa and the world. During Nelson Mandela’s precedency of South Africa, Bhakti-Tirtha Swami met several times with the leader to share visions and strategies for world peace.In addition to encouraging self-sufficiency through the development of schools, clinics, farm projects and cottage industries, Bhakti-Tirtha Swami conducted seminars and workshops on principle centered leadership, spiritual development, interpersonal relationships, stress and time management and other pertinent topics. He was also widely acknowledged as a viable participant in the resolution of global conflict.
Bhakti-Tirtha Swami’s books are used as reference texts in universities and leadership organizations throughout the world. Many of his books have been printed in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Macedonian, Croatian, Russian, Hebrew, Slovenian, Balinese and Italian.”(from http://www.btswami.com/about)
HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami. Photo by Радха Манохар дас – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7994742
conflict resolution – part 1