Monthly Archives: September 2007

Importance of Time

Importance of Time

A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door. It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams.

There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr.. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday."

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life," she said.

"He’s the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him.

He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture….Jack stopped suddenly.

"What’s wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.

"The box is gone," he said.

"What box?" Mom asked.

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most, ‘" Jack said. It was gone.

Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. 

"Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

"Mr. Harold Belser" it read. 

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life." 
A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.  Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.

Inside he found these words engraved: 

"Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser." 

"The thing he valued most…was…my time." 

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

"Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.  

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said. "Oh, by the way, Janet…thanks for your time!" 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it’s 100% true.

1. At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

4. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

5. You mean the world to someone.

6. If not for you, someone may not be living.

7. You are special and unique.

8. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you trust God to do what’s best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.

11. Someone that you don’t even know exists, loves you.

12. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

13. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you’ll both be happy.

14. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

"Thanks for your time."

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Mother Teresa’s Quotes

18 Mother Teresa Quotes To Celebrate The Life of an Extraordinary Woman

by Noel Jameson

When choosing words of wisdom to live by, you can’t go wrong with Mother Teresa quotes. After all, she was one of the most remarkable women to ever walk the earth. We can learn a lot from her kindness, patience, generosity and gentleness of spirit.

These 18 Mother Teresa quotes are perfect examples of why this woman was so special and how many of us can learn from her example.

1. "It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters."

2. "Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world."

3. "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

4. "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."

5. "If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive."

6. "We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls."

7. "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."

8. "There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation in this world than for bread."

9. "Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go."

10. "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

11. "Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

12. "I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much."

13. "I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?"

14. "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

15. "We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."

16. "God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try."

17. "People are generally irrational, unreasonable and selfish. They deserve to be loved, anyway."

18. "Despite giving your best to the world, you may be kicked in the teeth. Give the best you’ve got anyway."

 

The power of love

 

The power of love

"The power of love is closest to the fountain of life. Of all things, love is what keeps us young, flexible, joyful and healthy. Love brings us close to life itself and it must be approached with deep respect and reverence. This vital spark does not depend on age. It is a matter of a radiant, positive attitude toward life."

Lovage

 

A Chinese proverb says "How can a man grow old when he has sage in his garden"

11 signs you’re crazy for someone

 

11 signs you’re crazy for someone

Eleven:    You walk really slow when your with them.
Ten:        You feel shy whenever they’re around.
Nine:       You smile when you hear their voice.
Eight:      When you look at them, you can’t see the other people around you,
you just 
               see him/her.
Six:         They’re all you think about.
Five:        You realize you’re always smiling when you’re looking at them.
Four:        You would do anything for them, just to see them.
Three:      While reading this, there was one person on your mind this whole time.
Two:        You were so busy thinking about that person, you didn’t notice number seven 
               was missing.
One:        You just scrolled up to check & are now silently laughing at yourself.

Now make a wish. You know you want to….
Post this as 11 signs you’re crazy for someone, and something good will happen to you tonight.

If you don’t you’ll certainly regret not doing so….
What shall it be?

Argueing for our ignorance

Argueing for our ignorance

      I was involved in a homoeopathic discussion forum recently and the topic under discussion was a study that had shown that homoeopathic remedies even at ultradilution where there isn’t a single molecule of the original substance still exhibit artifacts of the original substance.  The researcher took 3 years to design and develop the instrumentation.

      Two of the forumers, one a sceptic – a lecturer from Germany and the other an advocate were arguing various aspects of the study. They went into great minutiae of the procedure used to extract and analyse the parameters extracted from the instrument. The lecturer even went to the extend of giving a lecture on statistics to demonstrate that the study was invalid. Both sides gave very powerful and well-reasoned arguments. Both sides were very convincing.  And no winner seem to emerge from the long drawn out debate as to whether homoeopathic remedies do have artifacts that could be therapeutic.

      I joined the debate rather late and I went into the details of the study and then looked at what was being argued/discussed.  To my amazement both parties actually didn’t understand instrumentation (I had taught instrumentation and did a study on image and signal processing for my Master) and were looking at only one tiny aspect and then criticizing the entire study based on nothing more than a personal prejudice. As an example the lecturer argued that corona discharge was a totally random phenomenon and therefore whatever that was captured in a photograph can never be repeatable and no 2 photographs would be the same. He presented arguments and website links showing that kirlian photography is not repeatable even with the same person. Very convincing and well reasoned.  What he failed to read in the study was that while the instrument used a corona discharge photography it actually subjected the photographs to image analysis. Two drops were placed in a corona discharge chamber –  one drop is the homoeopathic remedy and the other pure water. The two photographs are then subtracted pixel by pixel. The image is then subjected to image analysis to extract 14 parameters. Interestingly the 14 parameters extracted were repeatable in photographs after photographs with different samples of the same homoeopathic remedy. When different remedies were used the parameters changed and the result were again repeatable for different sample of the same remedy. Under normal spectrography it will only show pure water.  

       Such extensive processing could hardly be associated with kirlian photography for reading of the aura and yet the link was made and the study was torned apart just from there. It seems that the study was cast in a bad light by mere association with corona discharge photography and not from understanding.   

       I summarised the study into perhaps 3 paragraphs and concluded that they were both arguing from ignorance. And the debate ended  8-)……I sound like a party pooper – hah 8-). 

        What can we learn from this episode ?  Very often we are so convinced of our position, our ideas, our actions and we could even argue with good reasons and rationalization that we fail to see our own ignorance. Buddha had compared this ignorance to the 6 blindmen trying to figure what an elephant was. All of them arguing with great conviction without accepting or realizing that they were arguing from ignorance.

        When we are so convinced of the good or the rightness of what we are doing we refused to listen or to communicate until a better understanding could emerge. We are locked into a position that is actually nothing more than a comfortable prison of the mind.

        There lies the source of our sufferings and the sufferings we inflict on others.

Pre-destination

Pre-destination

  Christianity believes that our life is pre-destined and our spiritual life and happiness is dependent on the degree to which we surrender our lives to God.  We can plan and dream but it is God who executes or dispose of these plans and dreams of ours.

  

 Sweet surrender or deep acceptance of all that surrounds us in our life is God’s will.  We of course have our will and these are not denied us but our joy and happiness comes from aligning this inner life with what God had decided for us.  Such sweet surrender is developed through daily contemplation on the good qualities of God as was prescribed by Jesus himself.

     Such pre-destination is beyond our control or will for all had been surrendered.

 

     Buddhism talk of pre-destination as well but such pre-destination is determined by our past-life karma. We are not a product of our choices but a result of past-life influences. Because we can’t "see" or discern the influences of our past-life we conduct our life through the rationalising process, which Buddha had shown to be grossly inadequate to know what is real and what is false, what is good and what is bad. 

       An adage in Buddhism says that "how much we eat and how well we dress are all pre-determined." But this, according to Buddha also depend on the conditions. For example a stretch of road that has a lot of accidents and death. Those who are pre-destined to die such a death actually died because the condition on the road had allowed the karmic seed to ripen. However if the stretch of road is straightened there will be less deaths because the prevailing conditions no longer support the ripening of these karmic seeds.  Because we could not see how our inner and outer conditions will affect the ripening of the seeds within, our life then is driven by the karmic wind that continued to be stirred up within our mindstream when the inner and outer conditions present itself.

        One inner condition that can help ripen our good karmic seeds is our kindness, our basic compassion for others.  We may even have a lot of bad karma ripening but this inner condition will shield us from forming new karmic seeds.  A second inner state that Buddha talked about that will help us to reduce our karmic burden is the mindstate of deep acceptance….something not unlike the sweet surrender of the christian faith. This mindstate of deep acceptance allows us to see that all that had happened to us in this life was a result of what we had done to others in some past life.

        There’s no mistake in life, as the foregoing has shown –  there are only lessons for each of us on the spiritual path towards peace and joy. 

 

       

Unworthy Impulses

Unworthy Impulses

   A few days ago I learned of a friend having cancer recurred. It was only a mere 5 months since the completion of her chemotherapy.  I had done quite a lot of prayers (medicine buddha) for her and when she told me of her recurrence I felt really helpless and I was thinking how precious life was. And we often fritter it away in hatred, suspicion and fear.  We can’t really live until these base emotions no longer influence us. It is still there but we must see it for what it is.  We never really cherish it until it is being taken away by diseases and old age.  Old age at least allow us to ease into the state of decay gently and we are not confronted by a dire prospect all of a sudden.

     I have been practising tantric meditation for a few years now and somehow I felt that I have reached a stage of stagnation. I had managed to reach the stage of body isolation and according to my tradition it would be a good time to practice with a consort.  My attempt at finding a spiritual partner seems to elude me at every turn.  It seems like fate and those who had sought to alienate me had conspired to thwart my effort at every turn.   After hearing the bad news there seem to be a renewed urgency and I felt that while I’m still healthy and virile I should just find a partner whatever the means – including bypassing all social norms.   I actually acted on this impulse and contacted a person who does such marriage arrangements with foreign brides.

      On reflecting on what I had done I was wondering if what I had done was more an unworthy impulse disguise as spiritual guest.  ALL of us without exception have such unworthy impulses because of our basic delusions.  We can never know what our real motives are in doing some of the things that we do. To be socially acceptable we often give socially and politically correct answers.  Was I driven by sexual desire or loneliness ?  Am I doing it so that I could complete the spiritual path before health and old age take its toll ?  Would it be fair to the girl when I give in to such selfish indulgence ? 

      Very few buddhists, at least none that I have met, had actually acknowledged that they are delusional. This lack of acknowledgement is a result of wrong understanding. Buddhist delusions are different from modern psychology’s definition. Buddhist delusions are wider in scope and basically means we really do not know, most of the time what we are doing or even know the motivation behind our thoughts, speech and actions.  When we do, we also seldom have the courage to confront it and do what is right. Because of this ALL of us at one time or another give in to unworthy impulses. This is why Buddha had recommended the 3 fold examination in whatever we do.  Because we do not know whether our impulses are worthy or unworthy we have to look at the consequences before we do something, while we are doing it and even after we have done it. A sensitive and understanding heart is very vital in this 3 fold examination of our actions. 

       Does marrying a girl from a foreign country with whom we have no affection or anything in common an unworthy impulse ?   We have a girl who lives in abject poverty and without much education (most who came here don’t have much education – occasionally there are university graduates). The economic prospect for most of them is bleak. On the other hand we have men in their 30s, 40s and 50s who could not find a partner through the modern courtship approach for one reason or another. The courtship ritual seems daunting for many men and women.  The arranged marriages of the past took away all these uncertainties and mind games that seem to plague and stress many modern men and women.  

      Such arranged marriages seem to solve two problems with a single solution.  The woman now has a comfortable living eventhough she may have to help out in the husband’s business. And the man has a chance for companionship, marital bliss, support and all the benefits that come from a marital relationship ; something he may never have dreamt of if such arranged marriages are not available.

       Does all such arranged marriages end in misery ?   I met a couple who had gone through such an arranged marriage and I had met many in India who also had gone through such marriages and many actually have developed genuine affection for each other.  It is learning to love whom you marry rather than marrying the person you love.  The former seems to work out better than the latter if divorce statistics are anything to go by.  Love marriages also is not a guarantee for eternal happiness. A lot of marriages become problematic after a year or so and it takes between 3 to 7 years to unravel and in this period of time there is much headaches and heartaches.  Wife beating, extramarital affairs and other common problems in relationships also occur in both love and arranged marriages. 

           In my mind how well the relationship will develop depend on the 2 persons coming into the relationship and how they were connected in some past lives. While we could choose using socio-economic-educational profiles or even using astrological charts what will really determine the success or failure of a relationship is our past life connections as well as our conditioning in this life.  How these factors affect us at a subtle level we never know until we have become at least a once-returner ( a person who will return to earth realm one last time before liberation is gained).  At the gross level it is easy to know if we have developed a certain level of awareness.  We often decide first and then look for reasons to justify our decision.  How often do we do things in such a manner ? We first decide we want or don’t want to do something and then we set about to come up with all kinds of reasons – many of which are actually untrue or even outright lies.

           At the end of all this does it really matter which ever way we find a life companion ?   Is it fatalistic to take such a position ?  Love marriages with all its carefully constructed rituals and pretensions haven’t fared any better. I submit that it had actually caused my harm than good ; the increased stress, the uncertainties (love me, love me not), the silly mind games to create good impressions etc.

           So was my impulse an unworthy one ?   I admit I don’t really know.  And that’s delusion. I could see the delusion but I could not see what the delusion is.  How many buddhists are willing to admit that they are delusional and what they think could be wrong and could even be harmful ?  Or is it all just some carefully constructed facade of being in control, of being a goody two shoe ?   Remember also that our delusions are vajra-like(or diamond-like) and the ego, the false self , kept putting up diamond-like defences to appear good and pious and righteous.

           To be able to penetrate these diamond-like delusions is a miracle as buddha had said.  If we could make a simple and genuine acknowledgement of our delusions we then open up a space in our hearts and mind to consider what is before us with a free and open mind. We could then explore and consider possibilities that our delusions that had entrapped us, had closed off these possibilities.   Without this space insights can never arise and we will continue to be controlled by the impulses of our ego.  It is like a tail wagging a dog.

          So will I give in to my unworthy impulse ? 

          Will it harm the other party or myself ?  Will good come from it ? Is it fair to both of us ?  Will we be able to work together to benefit others as a couple ?  Will we be able to really know the answers to these questions ?  

 

 

 

 

Life is precious

Life is precious

Whether they belong to more evolved species like humans or to simpler ones such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort, and security. Life is as dear to the mute animal as it is to any human being; even the simplest insect strives for protection from dangers that threaten its life. Just as each one of us wants to live and does not wish to die, so it is with all other creatures in the universe, though their power to effect this is a different matter.


–His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
From "A Human Approach to World Peace"

Angelic Love making

Angelic Love making

 

         Tantric Vision 

How do Angels make love ? 
   Like the porcupine do – very carefully  8-).  

   Spiritual sex is about conserving the essence so that the energy generated during intercourse is not dissipated but is used to envelope and bath the whole being with a feeling of delight and love. 

Only when a person coming from such a profound centre can truly love another person unconditionally.

   Why am I writing on such a topic where the term "sacred sex" sounds like an oxymoron ? 

   I’m a student of Traditional Chinese Medicine and one issue that seem to arise in my discussion with a number of people when they realised I was learning TCM was the issue of how to prevent pre-matured ejaculation or erectile dysfunction using acupuncture or herbs. It is quite a common question in a number of homoeopathic forums I participated in and many of those who asked were actually very young men. Due to excessive masturbation or sex they became impotent or ejaculate prematuredly.  It seems that the body has an intelligence of its own and when we indulge too much in this activity we damage our health. 

    In TCM every time we ejaculate we lose our pre-natal qi or vital qi. How healthy we live and how long we live depend on this qi. Those who suffer from pre-matured ejaculation or erectile dysfunction due to excessive indulgence usually also suffer from pre-matured graying of hair, receding hair-line, lower-back pain, pain or discomfort in the kidney region, tiredness or fatigue usually early in the evening and afternoon, disturbed sleep pattern.

    TCM have some excellent herbs and acupuncture points that can help us recover our health but if we continue to indulge we will be like the kings in china ages ago – all suffered pre-matured aging and early death. Of the more than 300 emperors since the Qin dynasty only eight exceeded the age of 70 and NONE were a centenarian. Emperor Xian Feng who was well-knowned for his indulgence with wine, women and song all day long died at the age of 30.

    A study of centenarians in china found that they were usually very moderate in their sexual indulgences.  Wang Gui of the Yuan dynasty and an author of healthy living suggested that for those under or in their 30s to have sexual relations once every 8 days, at 40 once every 16 days , at 50 once every 20 days and in their 60s none at all or once every month.

    When I was asked to recommend herbs or acupuncture point to be used to restore a person’s vitality I hesitated because I realised that if they restored their vitality they will further damage their vital qi and this will bring about greater damage down the road.  So thus far, except for one occasion, I had often spoken only generally without giving specifics.  But I do realise that the many nagging symptoms associated with pre-matured ejaculation or erectile dysfunction are also health issues. Having such disharmony in the body over time will lead to damage in the kidney and liver and even the shen.  It is for this reason that I’m exploring spiritual sex that is both satisfying and at the same time health promoting.  Living harmoniously physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is the Way.

    The key to sacred sex, spiritual sex,  tantric sex or angelic dual cultivation can be found in the teaching of Lao Tzu in Hua Hu Qing (downloadable from http://www.clayjackson.com/pages/huahuching.htm). The copy I have is no longer available on the internet but the link cited provide also a good translation.

    On the angelic dual cultivation this is what Lao Tzu had to say :

"A person’s approach to sexuality is a sign of his level of evolution.

  Un-evolved persons practice ordinary sexual intercourse. 

 Placing all emphasis upon the sexual organs, they neglect the body’s other organs and systems.  Whatever physical energy is accumulated is summarily discharged, and the subtle energies are similarly dissipated and disordered.

It is a great backward leap.

For those who aspire to the higher realms of living, there is angelic dual cultivation.
Because every portion of the body, mind, and spirit yearns for the integration of yin and yang, 
angelic intercourse is led by the spirit rather than the sexual organs.

Where ordinary intercourse is effortful, angelic cultivation is calm, relaxed, quiet, and natural.

Where ordinary intercourse unites sex organs with sex organs, angelic cultivation unites spirit with spirit, mind with mind, and every cell of one body with every cell of the other body.

Culminating not in dissolution but in integration, it is an opportunity for a man and a woman to mutually transform and uplift each other into the realm of bliss and wholeness.

The sacred ways of angelic intercourse are taught only by one who has himself achieved total energy integration, and taught only to students who follow the Integral Way with profound devotion, seeking to purify and pacify the entire world along with their own being.

However, if your virtue is especially radiant, it can be possible to open a pathway to the subtle realm and receive these celestial teachings directly from the immortals."

 

      In the next posting I’ll talked about experiences, effects of opening the energy on the mind-body complex and some techniques will also be surveyed and discussed.  For now it is suffice just to mention that the neo-tantra approach of having copulation and ejaculation a few times a day in the name of going through some rituals dictated by the planetary movements will cause a lot of harm to the body and at the end of it all there isn’t any spiritual advancement or realisation. 

 

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell


The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed, his legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap, he sat. In deep meditation, he sat.

Suddenly his zazen was interrupted by the harsh and demanding voice of a samurai warrior. "Old man! Teach me about heaven and hell!"

At first, as though he had not heard, there was no perceptible response from the monk. But gradually he began to open his eyes, the faintest hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth as the samurai stood there, waiting impatiently, growing more and more agitated with each passing second.

"You wish to know the secrets of heaven and hell?" replied the monk at last.

"You who are so unkempt. You whose hands and feet are covered with dirt. You whose hair is uncombed, whose breath is foul, whose sword is all rusty and neglected. You who are ugly and whose mother dresses you funny. You would ask me of heaven and hell?"

The samurai uttered a vile curse. He drew his sword and raised it high above his head. His face turned to crimson and the veins on his neck stood out in bold relief as he prepared to sever the monk’s head from its shoulders.

"That is hell," said the old monk gently, just as the sword began its descent. In that fraction of a second, the samurai was overcome with amazement, awe, compassion and love for this gentle being who had dared to risk his very life to give him such a teaching.

He stopped his sword in mid-flight and his eyes filled with grateful tears.
"And that," said the monk, "is heaven."

 A Traditional Zen Story

        Neuroscientists had found through the use of functional MRI that whenever we are presented with a sensory stimulation such as a sound or a picture the part of the brain that gets excited is the part that deals with imagination.  This means that the brain create a reality for our consciousness based on the sense input.  This mind-created reality is dependent on what we hold inside our mind – our memory, our experiences, our conditioning, our learning and past-life influences.  How well the mind works is also dependent on how good the sensory input is, the physiology and the biochemistry that works in our physical body.  If our eye-ball is distorted what we will see will be distorted. Similarly if our perception is warped or wrong the interpretation of what we see, hear, smell, taste or touch will also be wrong.  In buddhism this is called delusions.  A rope is seen as a snake, just as a snake could be falsely viewed as a rope.  In another metaphor that Buddha gave to describe our delusions and how these delusions arose from our inner state Buddha use a glass of water. A deva will see the glass of water as nectar, those in the human realm will see it as just water while those in the hell realm will see it as poison.  So if we see something as beautiful or poisonous it could well come from the contamination of the mirror of our mind.  

       It is interesting how modern science today validated Buddha’s insights formed a few thousand years ago.

        Understanding the mechanism in which we formulate our thoughts and beliefs and how we are affected by what we behold inside can help us to be a lot more circumspect in what we believe. If what we believe can make us do things that could harm another we should even be more cautious. The key to liberation from suffering isn’t what we belief or the attainment of any super-mundane mindstates but our ability to let go of those belief systems.

     In the Khemaka sutta it is said "….while Reverend Khemaka was delivering this talk, the minds of about sixty elder monks and that of Reverent Khemaka himself was freed from latent influences of passions and delusions through the cessation of grasping."

     It is clear from here that cessations of passions and other fetters only occur when there’s cessation of grasping….the holding on for dear life our views, our prejudices, our very being, our life stories, our experiences, our knowledge , our values etc.  When cessation of grasping occurs, in an instant suffering would have ended as well.

      It seems the degree of our happiness seem to be in proportion to how much we are able to let go of all that is within us.

      The degree to which we are able reduce our grasping is also in proportion to the degree of awareness we have.  Buddha himself had tried concentration meditation and had achieved very high jhanic states but still he was not liberated. After his liberation he introduced insight meditation which, for all intends and purposes develop our awareness. 

       The key to happiness and liberation from sufferings lies in developing our awareness.