end of friendships

I have come to the conclusion that most friendships do not last a lifetime and nor should one expect them to.  People change and we change too.  People move and people die.  Friendships are transient, part of this world’s tumultuous life journey that come and go like waves  Of course, for the time that we are together, we should respect one another and thoroughly love that time together. But one must not feel sad to let go when that time comes to an end for whatever reason.  One must be grateful for that time spent together and not cling to the past.

Recently I celebrated a landmark birthday and I invited many past and present friends. I felt hurt that many of these friends did not come to this party (which had involved a lot of effort and expense) or even responded to my invite and even when I met them later, did not remember to wish me.  Rather than hold a grudge or make some remark to remind them of their rudeness, I decided to let go of these people gracefully. People come together for many reasons- shared goals, passions and pains.  When these emotions or events go, the people go as well.  For that time in history, they were of value to me and I to them. For now and for the future that has not yet happened, they mark an important period of shared learning and growth.  Thank you, my past and present friends!


Finding daily Inspiration

I have realised that I keep going back to certain quotes and so I thought it would be good to place them together.   Hope you enjoy ( even identify with me) and get inspired by them too!

1. The quickest way to gain power is to do something we are afraid of doing.  When we are afraid of doing something, we have given up our power to that.  So to regain that power, we need to do whatever we stopped doing or never did.

Robin Sharma (I heard this in one of his  videos so this is may not be the exact quote but it is the essence of what he said ).

2. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr. (I read this at a hotel in Birmingham when I was going through an extremely difficult time and this inspired me to carry on)

3. In your 20’s and 30’s, you worry about what other people think. In your 40’s and 50’s you stop worrying about what other people think. Finally in your 60’s and 70’s, you realize they were never thinking about you in the first place!

Anonymous (I can’t remember where exactly I read it but it struck me that I had I had spent a long time worrying about what others thought of me and consequently, I had put very little into nourishing my own soul and body.  And this had been another way of giving up my power and individuality and so this has helped me)

Today, a Buddhist friend said that he spends the time before going to bed reflecting on three things that he did for others and how he could do them better next time.  I thought this was an inspirational way to get ready for sleep in a positive frame of mind for the next day.

Finally I read this recently in Huffington Post written by Tamara Star (10/10/13) and I read this daily as an affirmation as I go around finally living my own life.


Happy invention

Daisaku Ikeda says “Everything passes. Both soaring joys and crushing sorrows fade away like a dream. However, the knowledge of having lived one’s life to the fullest never disappears.”

My life has been quite full so far and yes, I have done foolish things too and wasted time.  However, the time that I have spent following my heart have been the most joyful (including writing these blogs, which have helped me to understand myself).  Yes, I can to look back at the foolish stuff I have done, yet they were learning experiences, even though they may have been sometimes unhappy.  The present is the only moment to live, fully.  We don’t know what the future may bring but as Alan Kay says, “The best way to predict the future is invent it.”

Happy invention today to all of you!


Treading softly

It is said that you should be nice to people on your way up in your job as you will probably meet those people on your way down.  This applies not only to work but to life.  Buddhism tells us that we are not separate but people with the same problems- life, ageing, sickness and death- no matter who were are.  You can be the Prime Minister of a country but you will still suffer from the problems that life, ageing, sickness and death throws at you.

I have had people in my life who have been really bad towards me.  I realise now that they were immature or probably suffering deeply themselves to treat others like this.  However, I made the humiliation and suffering they inflicted on me as sources for further creativity. ‘Turning poison into medicine’ as Buddhism says.  These people will also go through these four universal sufferings- the same as me. As Nichiren says in this beautifully evocative piece of writing-

“How long does a lifetime last? If one stops to consider, it is like a single night’s lodging at a wayside inn…Once you awaken to the uncertainty and transience of this world, you will find endless examples confronting your eyes and filling your ears. Vanished like clouds or rain, the people of past ages have left nothing but their names. Fading away like dew, drifting far off like smoke, our friends of today too disappear from sight. Should you suppose that you alone can somehow remain forever like the clouds over Mount Mikasa?
The spring blossoms depart with the wind; maple leaves turn red in autumn showers. All are proof that no living thing can stay for long in this world.”

Therefore in life, it is best to tread softly as W B Yeats has said.  To treat our fellow passengers in this passage of life and time with respect while respecting ourselves too.  For even if we don’t meet them again on our way down or up, we will always meet the four sufferings.  When someone disrespects me, I always tell them but then I let it go like the autumn leaves that blow away in the wind.  In order to respect your own creativity and life, I have learnt to let go of these people and what they did or said and felt so much better for it.


Good luck, bad luck, who knows?

I read this parable a long time ago in a book edited by Mark Tully.  The name of the book escapes me but I remember the parable so well.  In that book, it was attributed to a Chinese man but on the Internet, I have seen it attributed to Jewish, African, Indian and other cultures- perhaps it is universal.  It goes like this-

There once lived a farmer who owned a horse.  He had a son. One day, the farmer’s horse ran away. The neighbours came to console him on his bad luck. But the farmer said, “Good luck, bad luck- who knows?”

After a few days, the farmer’s horse came back with other wild horses. Now, the neighbours were slightly jealous and said, “You are so lucky- this is such a good thing!” But the farmer said again,”Good luck, bad luck- who knows?”

The next day, the farmer’s son fell off while trying to tame one of the new horses and broke his leg. The neighbours came over to commiserate, “Your only son has broken his leg.  Now you don’t have anyone to help you- what bad luck!”  The farmer said again,”Good luck, bad luck- who knows?”

Soon came the news that a war had broken out and all young men needed to be conscripted into the army. However due to his broken leg, the farmer’s son could not be drafted.  His neighbours remarked enviously, “How lucky! Your son won’t get killed or maimed in battle.”

As usual, the farmer replied, “Good luck, bad luck- who knows?”

Who knows what happened to the farmer or his son after that.  But what is clear is that the farmer had great wisdom and did not get carried away by immediate things.  This parable shows that life, luck and things happen to everyone and everything has its positive and negative.  Sometimes our short sightedness does not allow us to judge the long term effects.

John F Kennedy said in 1959 that the Chinese word for ‘crisis’ has two characters- one for danger and one for opportunity.


Although some experts believe that the second character means ‘crucial point’, I like that even better- the idea that danger brings one to a ‘crucial point’ in life- one where choices are very important if you want to keep following your heart. That crucial point is when you view everything as a positive.

And sometimes we can turn anything that happens to us into a good thing over time!