“The Guest House” by the 13th-century poet Rumi

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Poem by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks


Simplicity, patience, compassion.

“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”

– Lao Tzu, “Tao Te Ching


Precious life

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

– Dalai Lama XIV


Love with all heart, all soul and all mind.

A friend pointed me to this. What is the most important of our brief? Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

There are different translations:

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

“Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

Common English Bible (CEB)

“Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the most important commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”

In Japanese:

Living Bible Japanese

「先生。 モーセの法律の中で一番重要な戒めは何でしょうか」と尋ねました。
 イエスはお答えになりました。「『心を尽くし、たましいを尽くし、思いを尽くして、あなたの神である主を愛しなさい。』これが第一で、最も重要な戒めです。 第二に重要なのも、同じようなもので、『自分を愛するように、あなたの隣人を愛しなさい』という戒めです。  ほかのすべての戒めと預言者たちの命令も、この二つから出ています。 ですから、この二つを守れば、ほかの戒めを全部守ったことになるのです。 これを守りなさい。」

Colloquial Japanese

「先生、律法の中で、どのいましめがいちばん大切なのですか」。 イエスは言われた、「『心をつくし、精神をつくし、思いをつくして、主なるあなたの神を愛せよ』。 これがいちばん大切な、第一のいましめである。 第二もこれと同様である、『自分を愛するようにあなたの隣り人を愛せよ』。 これらの二つのいましめに、律法全体と預言者とが、かかっている」。

I have a copy of Dr. Nagai Takashi’s carigraphy of “Love others as much as you love yourself” hanged near my desk at home. 如己愛人.

nyokoaijin-takashi-nagai

As many people I know, I don’t agree with church on a lot of issues. We also talked about being cafeteria catholicism. And difference between Catholic with capital-C and catholic with lowercase-c (which means “Including or concerning all humankind; universal”).

When I have my doubts, I need to remember Matthew 22:36-40.


‘Make the laughter outweigh the tears’

I guess it is said to be Spurious Quotations, but weather it was said by Robert Louis Stevenson (Scottish writer, 1850-1894) or not, it is still a great rule, so I am posting it here.

How to Be Happy

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.
  4. You can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you.
  5. Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.
  6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy, enmity, grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about new places.
  10. Don’t hold post-mortems. Don’t spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don’t be one who never gets over things.
  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
  12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.

A Husband’s Daily Prayer

I should really read this once a day…

As a husband I beseech Thee, o Triune God,
make me unselfish, cheerful, trustful, thrifty and a devoted companion.

As I am blessed by Fatherhood, I ask the additional grace of helpfulness and good example.

May our family be modeled upon the Holy Family.

Amen.


Trust in your future, love what you do, and follow your heart

Apple’s Steve Jobs died yesterday at age 56. Too young. Twitter went crazy about the news, and found this Stanford commencement speech, which had a lot of things I wanted to jot down, so here they are. The transcript was found on on Stanford’s website.

…Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.


Virgin mary in Kimono?

Fascinating. One of my favorite blog 8Asian’s Koji Steven had a interesting write up titled “Was Jesus Asian?” And while he concludes that he probably wasn’t Asian (he was probably more like Arab people, which is also interesting) the links to images of Asian christianity art are really fascinating. I was baptized in my late 20′s as a Catholic. Images like this blog here.

Christian wood prints from Sadao Watanabe are really beautiful. More images, and more images.

Japanese artist, Sadao Watanabe’s wood block of crucifixion and last supper.

This Facebook page dedicated for “Virgin Mary and Japan” is interesting too. So many Virgin Maries dressed in Kimono! Just fascinating.