There is an old story of a farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically. "Maybe," the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "Maybe," replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "May be," answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "Maybe," said the farmer....

What did you do with your Guru?

Did you practice with yesterday's exercise? What are your insights? You have a guru? good. You don't have a guru? good. More than one? also good. Do you believe everything your guru says, want to become like her confident that you will never accomplish this? 

Take it from an old Chinese collection of stories, The Blue Cliff Record (Chinese: 碧巖錄; pinyin: Bìyán Lù; Japanese: 碧巌録; rōmaji: Hekiganroku; Korean: 벽암록; romaja: Byeokamrok; Vietnamese: Bích nham lục) compiled in 1125 C.E. (thats 892 years ago). 

A monk (named Hui Ch'ao) asked Fa Yen, "Hui Ch'ao asks the Teacher, what is Buddha?"
Fa Yen said, "You are Hui Ch'ao"
The Blue Cliff Record; Case #7 (Thomas Cleary et al translation)

Endless commentaries you are welcome to read - they may or may not help you, or you can simply understand the text as be yourself, take care of your own stuff, don't try to explain, and above all - don't expect anybody to do your work, to be you so you can be someone else. 

Can Buddha or Jesus or Barbarella or  [enter your favorite idol] be your Guru? The dilemma starts with the understanding of the Guru. We have developed this perspective of three year olds: "Papa fix it", yet Guru's don't fix anything, they don't even tell you to believe or trust anything they tell you on the contrary. "Guru (Sanskrit: गुरु. IAST: guru) is a Sanskrit term that connotes someone who is a 'teacher, guide, expert, or master'" [Wikipedia].


There is an easy test — ask your Guru "are you a guru?" — if they say "yes" they're not.

Zorbás the Guru

Angelos Derlopas a Greek coach and president of ICF Greece,  whom I met this year in Poland at the ICF Global Leadership Forum, posted on FB on seeking a Guru. Explore for yourself how you relate to your own Guru. Take a few moments and consider whom you always consider your guru, whom you never wanted to accept as your guru and who actually is your guru... and finally DO YOU HAVE A GURU?

Anthony Quinn as Zorbas (right)

«Αν ήταν στον κόσμο όλο σήμερα να διάλεγα έναν ψυχικό οδηγό, σίγουρα θα διάλεγα τον Ζορμπά. Γιατί αυτός είχε ό,τι χρειάζεται ένας καλαμαράς για να σωθεί: την πρωτόγονη ματιά που αδράχνει ψηλάθε σαϊτευτά τη θροφή της. Τη δημιουργική, κάθε πρωί ανανεούμενη, αφέλεια να βλέπει ακατάπαυτα για πρώτη φορά τα πάντα και να δίνει παρθενιά στα αιώνια καθημερινά στοιχεία αγέρα, θάλασσα, φωτιά, γυναίκα, ψωμί. Τη σγουράδα του χεριού, τη δροσεράδα της καρδιάς, την παλικαριά να κοροϊδεύει την ίδια του την ψυχή, σαν να 'χε μέσα του μια δύναμη ανώτερη από το σπλάχνο του ανθρώπου, που ανατινάζουνταν απολυτρωτικό στις κρίσιμες στιγμές από το γέρικο στήθος του Ζορμπά. Ανατινάζουνταν και μπορούσε να γκρεμίσει, και γκρέμιζε, όλους τους φράχτες -ηθική, θρησκεία, πατρίδα- που ασκούσε γύρα του ο κακομοίρης ο φοβητσιάρης ο άνθρωπος για να κουτσοπορέψει ασφαλισμένα τη ζωούλα». Ν.Κ.

and provided a translation for me and for you:

"If today I were to choose from the whole world a single spiritual guide, a “guru,” as the Hindus say, a geronta as such a guide is called by the monks on Mount Athos, without a doubt I would choose Zorbás.

Anthony Quinn as Zorbas the Greek

For he possessed all the qualities needed to save a pen-pusher: the primitive glance that catches its prey from on high like an arrow; the creative ingenuousness, each morning renewed, that enables him ceaselessly to look upon everything as if for the first time and to impart virginity to the ageless daily elements—wind, sea, fire, woman, bread; the steadiness of hand; the freshness of heart; the bold manly confidence to poke fun at his own soul, as if he had within him a power higher than the soul; and finally his wild gurgling laughter coming from a deep inner source, deeper than a person’s entrails, a redemptive laughter that at crucial moments sprang out of Zorbás’s aged chest, sprang out and was able to demolish, did demolish, all the barricades—morality, religion, nation—that miserable, cowardly people erect around themselves in order to limp safely through their smidgen of life." N.K.

FilmBookNikos Kazanzakis

 Trailer "When Zorbás talks, you listen"

Why do you ask all these questions?

Most days you just do your stuff and don't worry too much about why things happen - and then from one moment to the next you wonder- why am I here? Why am I doing all this? You see yourself sitting there and doing your job only to realize that you have no real reason to do all this - beyond "it needs to be done".

Most days you just do your stuff and don't worry too much about why things happen - and then from one moment to the next you wonder- why am I here? Why am I doing all this? You see yourself sitting there and doing your job only to realize that you have no real reason to do all this - beyond "it needs to be done".

This is the moment when you need to step outside into the open, look up and realize that you're standing on a reasonably-sized planet that keeps you there so you don't float away – as above you there is nothing. Well some air, atmosphere, clouds, but nothing solid that stos you from floating away into outer space - next stop is the Andromeda Nebula.

Unless of course you bump against one of the rings of Saturn on your way. It's going to be somewhat of a long journey - 2.6 million years drive time even at the speed of light according to Waze - traffic congestion not included.

Balance and Integration in Everyday Life

Balance and Integration in Everyday Life

A good work-life balance seems to be the epitome of healthy living. A concept introduced in the UK in the 1970s and in the mid-80s in the US as a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation)".(Wikipedia). Until the mid 19th. century this difference was unknown and work was life and life work. Then work became the bad part and life the good part of life. Retirement was invented and with it the notion that you would work hard and once you retire you would do what you "really" want to do (such as building your model railway) or die of a heart attack.