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Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

proverbial thursday

 

There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is still the same.

– Chinese proverb

 

Mt Pilatus

This Chinese proverb is reassuring to those who sit outside the box, to those who don’t fit the mold, non-conformists who are so often cast aside from the mainstream, as being less valued.

We all, every single one of us, ends up in the very same place There is no immortal life on earth. Death is a leveling experience. The thought that we are racing headlong towards the end of life has slipped the mind of some, has run past many others, whilst a few appear hell bent on getting there before anyone else.

To paraphrase a song lyric:  “The race is long, but in the end, it is only with yourself.”

 

Confucius 20160212_084943

 

“How abundantly do spiritual beings display the powers that belong to them! We look for them, but do not see them; we listen to, but do not hear them; yet they enter into all things, and there is nothing without them.”

― Confucius

 

Confucius has many profound things to say, and this strikes me as pertinent, both from a religious and secular angle. The human race is not convinced about the existence of supernatural beings or extra terrestrials, strange metaphysical happenings, ESP, intuition, citing the need for tangible evidence before any acknowledgement is publicly given, yet religion heavily relies on intangible belief and imagination from the flock.

Trondheim

 

Something to Ponder About this Friday

StPA

Japanese gardens
Community

Proverbial Thursday – Global Sayings

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

This week the proverb comes from a country I have not featured previously on Proverbial Thursday:

Life is a candle before the wind – Japanese Proverb

God has no religion – Gandhi

Does the Japanese proverb ring true for you?

What do you make of Gandhi’s words?

Proverbial sml

Something Proverbial to Ponder About

Australia, Community, History & Traditions

Quakers or Amish? They’re all the same, aren’t they?

Have you ever wondered  about:

the Quakers?

There seems to be so very few in this movement, more correctly called the Religious Society of Friends in Australia, so I wanted to know who they are and what they represented? Here is what I found:

Quakers are not Amish, Amish aren’t Quakers, Amish are usually Pennsylvania Dutch, and Pennsylvania Dutch can be Amish. Got it?

The FACTS about QUAKERS

Quakers are people, following a Protestant pacifist religion, that emigrated to North America from England and the British isles, in the 18th century, seeking religious freedom.

Quakers are unusual among Christians in that they worship without any form of priest or pastor. They believe that anyone can communicate with God, hence meetings for Worship consists of sitting in silence together, with individuals speaking when they feel so moved.

Quakers are pacifists and believe in simplicity, humility and equality, so their places of worship  are quite plain.

They wear ordinary clothes, unlike the Amish. Quakers are indistinguishable (on the outside) from other people.

Still confused?

The following passage may clarify:

The term Pennsylvania Dutch refers to descendants of German settlers of Pennsylvania (the German word for German is Deutsche, which is probably why others picked up the word Dutch). The Pennsylvania Dutch do have their own language — a derivation of German — but that language is virtually extinct at this point, and modern Pennsylvania Dutch are indistinguishable from other modern Americans. Pennsylvania Dutch are a variety of religions, including Lutheran, Mennonite, Baptist, Amish (yes, that’s a religion — more on that in a minute). The Pennsylvania Dutch are similar to any other ethnic group whose relatives came in the 18th century…They may have some lasting cultural traditions (certain foods, for instance), but they are in other ways much like any other Americans.

The Amish (at least the Old Order ones, which is who most people think of when they think of the Amish) do very much stand out from other ethnic and religious groups in the U.S. Amish is a Protestant religion (a particular denomination of Mennonite, actually), and most Amish are actually Pennsylvania Dutch — meaning (as you now know) they are descended from Pennsylvania Germans and spoke that particular dialect of German. What makes the Amish stand out is that the rules of their church prohibit many modern conveniences, including electricity and more modern technologies. They still drive horses and buggies (they will get in a car if necessary, but only if somebody else is driving); they wear old-fashioned dresses and overalls with bonnets and black hats; they value farm labor and de-emphasize education. They are very much an insular community, as marriage outside of the church is forbidden. Your child’s college roommate will most likely not be Amish, though there’s a chance he or she will be Pennsylvania Dutch — or Quaker, for that matter. Oh, and the Amish don’t like to have their pictures taken, so please don’t run up to them, mouth agape, snapping photos.

http://www.nileguide.com/destination/blog/philadelphia/2010/08/15/not-to-be-confused-quakers-amish-and-pennsylvania-dutch/

Quakers

  • The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, wanted to break out of the English brand of Puritanism. From their foundation in the 1650s, the Quakers were persecuted in the British Isles and the New England colonies. The term “Quaker” stems from a patronizing jibe on the part of an English judge that the Friends “tremble at the word of God.” The Friends turned it around and started using the term themselves, although their formal name has always remained the same. Quaker core beliefs include “testifying” to four ideals in everyday life: pacifism, simplicity, equality and honesty.

Mennonites

  • The Mennonites are named for their founder Menno Simons. They evolved from the Anabaptist movement of Holland and Germany during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Despite all Mennonites taking their name from this one figure, from the very beginning of the Mennonite faith, the movement was split between Dutch and Swiss-German groups, and later fragmented further still. Mennonites are pacifists, and are practitioners of the 3-fold Believer’s Baptism: baptism by spirit, baptism by water and baptism by blood (martyrdom or ascetic lifestyle). Also, the Lord’s Supper (Communion) is understood as a memorial instead of as a sacrament.

Amish

  • The Amish are the heirs of Jacob Amman, a reformer who tried to convince the larger German Mennonite faith to embrace certain changes. Among other things, he wanted to strengthen the discipline of the church to include excommunication and ostracism. This lead to a severe split in the Swiss Mennonite community in particular. It is widely believed that the Amish are anti-technology or regard it as sinful, which is a gross over-simplification and largely untrue. Instead, they have adopted certain practices in keeping with their communitarian values and to shun people from outside their community. The attitude of different Amish communities towards modern devices can vary markedly.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5075390_origins-amish-quakers-mennonites.html

AND THIS FROM http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-quakers-and-amish/

The Amish are characterized by their reluctance to adapt to the changes brought about by advances in modern technology. This continuing struggle against modernity can be traced back to their belief that one should live life in a simple manner. To better understand why this is so, one must understand the basic concepts of Amish belief. First is their belief in the rejection of Hochmut, which translates into what we call pride and arrogance. Secondly they give great importance to Gelassenheit and Demut. The former refers to submission and the latter pertains to humility. Gelassenheit is an expression of one’s reluctance to assert oneself and is a manifestation of the anti-individualist belief held by the Amish. This anti-individualism is a primary reason for the rejection of labor-saving technology by the Amish as to embrace new technology would make one less dependent on the community.

The Quakers, on the other hand, do not share this view, as they have a different set of beliefs. The Amish are among the most conservative religious groups out there, as can be seen by their banning of electricity, birth control, women wearing pants, and higher education. The Quakers are just the opposite, as most of them are liberals. The Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends, believe that everyone has a direct connection with God. Most of them reject sacraments and religious symbolism. This belief also eliminates the need for clergy, as everyone is directly connected to God. They believe firmly in religious tolerance and they do not use the word ‘convert’; they prefer the word ‘convince’, since this eliminates the use of coercion that is implied by the former. They do not try to ‘save’ anyone. They believe that it is not enough for one to read scripture in order to be spiritual; one has to practise it.

Both these groups, though they differ in some key aspects, are united in their belief in non-violence. Even on the national level, these churches believe that any form of violence, including war, is going against Christian morality. Both groups are part of the Peace Churches.

Something to Ponder about……
Community

Personal faith versus Public Religion

Where is the boundary drawn?

Do the public institutions of religion enhance or restrict the evolution and development of personal faith?

If a person becomes ‘enlightened’, do they really need the guidance and advice of clergy who carry their own opinionated dogma and experience? Can the clergy really provide an impartial view?

The hypocrisy of a cleric extolling the virtue of living a simplistic life, and assisting the poor and needy, and deriding selfishness, whilst living himself in grandiose surroundings grates against my craw, especially when I see the wealth that exists in the churches of the old religions.

Tele-evangelists don’t always seem to have a ‘good grasp’ either. They encourage their congregations to pray for a new car or for money for this or that desired possession. Is that the true purpose of becoming a spiritual person?  So as you can attain more material wealth, and then by supposedly guaranteeing your place in the eternal hereafter? Should their guidance for us be more of a ‘spiritual’ kind?

Where does caring, compassion and trying to be a better person fit in the prayers of material wealth?

Finding one’s inner strength and using that to better the conditions of one’s life and those around us, sits better with my values and what I view religion or faith to be. The dogma of God first, others second and me last does not always seem to universally apply to public religion.

Perhaps St Francis had the right path, or the Dalai lama?

Something to ponder about…..

Community

Therapeutic Hunger – when it is good not to finish all on your plate!

Interesting concept we can all adopt.

Abridged from:

http://bhardwazbhardwaz.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/therapeutic-hunger-necessary-for-good-health/comment-page-2/#comment-382

Therapeutic Hunger: Habitual Mindless eating to Mindful eatingDSC00905

Therapeutic Hunger: Necessary for good health

I want to coin this term “Therapeutic Hunger” (TH), to differentiate it from the hunger that is associated with problem issues like famine, poverty and eating disorders.

“Therapeutic Hunger” (TH) is residual hunger that is still left when we don’t eat stomach full.  When we finish meals, and have eaten just the right quantity of food, that we don’t feel full. This sweet hunger is very therapeutic, as it helps optimise digestion, proper absorption of nutrients, and enough space for elimination of waste.

TH is a signal for body organs to more efficiently. Our body parts have evolved to work in such a way, so as to conserve energy. They will not perform any unnecessary work. So when there is plenty of food supply, they don’t need to extract nutrients most efficiently or digest fully. Also abdomen is like a food processor, when filled over the limit it can’t process food very well. It needs space to digest the food.

Thus if we make it a habit to always eat just the amount of food, so as to leave some “Therapeutic Hunger” (TH). It will improve health by controlling weight, digesting food, absorbing nutrients. It seems hard in the beginning, but later it feels good like sweet hunger. That remaining hunger is a very good feeling, and one can enjoy various tastes of the foods, digestion and good health.

Now a days, when we are used to eating on fixed time and fixed amounts. We have time for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The serving sizes are also more or less fixed, as suggested by food recipes. Even the most weight loss programs suggest the size of meals. Instead of habit of eating at fixed times, and fixed quantities, we should build or senses to eat when we are hungry and the right amount for individual need. Dependence on stimulating agents like coffee, team, alcohol, tobacco etc. also doesn’t help. These substances mask our senses and we slowly lose control.

  • Always leave some space for food to process, and digest. No over eating.
  • Enhance your senses, move from habitual Mindless eating to Mindful eating.
  • Food is just one channel of life force, there are others. Don’t ignore other forces that sustain life – breathing, sun, and other cosmic energies. When you eat less, body will automatically draw more from other life forces.