A Secret about God, Religions and Virtues

water-with-sunlightI wish to share a secret with you, that I have learned in my spiritual exploration.

Your character and love towards everyone should invite people to ask curiously “What is the secret?”. Your answer can be any like Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism or any faith, even Atheism can be your answer.

What is the real secret here? Your Faith or your Virtues?

In fact, your virtues are the secret of your Faith that you’ve chosen to believe. ūüôā

It is like keeping a precious jewel in a safe box. Without the box, the jewel would be lost, without the jewel, the box would be regarded worthless. Your faith is the safe box and your virtues are the jewels.

Regardless of whatever the safe box/religions you have, the jewels/virtues remain the same. God has all the virtues and needs no safe box like we need. Now this is the bigger secret one can understand at higher level of spiritual enlightenment.

So, value people based on their virtues, not on the basis of their religion. Respect their choice and freedom, they are free souls just like you and me.


– Din


Documentary : Know Thailand

541px-Thailand_(orthographic_projection).svgThailand officially the Kingdom of Thailand formerly known as Siam is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

The country is a¬†constitutional monarchy, headed by King¬†Rama IX, the¬†ninth king¬†of the¬†House of Chakri, who, having reigned since 1946, is the world’s¬†longest-serving¬†current¬†head of state¬†and the¬†longest-reigning¬†monarch¬†in¬†Thai history.¬†The king of Thailand is titled Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Adherent of Buddhism, and Upholder of religions.

Thailand is the world’s¬†51st-largest country¬†in terms of total area, with an area of approximately 513,000¬†km2(198,000¬†sq¬†mi), and is the¬†20th-most-populous country, with around 64 million people. The capital and largest city is¬†Bangkok, which is Thailand’s political, commercial, industrial and cultural hub. About 75% of the population is ethnically¬†Thai, 14%¬†Thai Chinese, and 3% is ethnically¬†Malay;¬†the rest belong to minority groups including¬†Mons,Khmers¬†and various¬†hill tribes. The country’s official language is¬†Thai. The primary religion is¬†Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of the population.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996, and is presently a newly industrialized country and a major exporter. Tourism also contributes significantly to the Thai economy. There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand, and the country has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries.

Bonus Video:

Courtesy : YouTube, Wikipedia

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See more documentary about other countries Click here 

Know : History of Meditation

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Antiquity

Some of the earliest written records of meditation (Dhyana), come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism around 1500 BCE. The Vedas discuss the meditative traditions of ancient India. Around the 6th to 5th centuries BCE, other forms of meditation developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India. Dhyana in early Buddhism also takes influence on Vedanta by ca. the 4th century BCE.

The exact origins of¬†Buddhist¬†meditation are subject to debate among scholars.¬†Early written records of the multiple levels and states of meditation in¬†Buddhism¬†in¬†India¬†are found in the¬†sutras¬†of the¬†PńĀli Canon, which dates to 1st century BCE. The Pali Canon records the basic fourfold formula of salvation via the observance of the rules of morality, contemplative concentration, knowledge and liberation, thus placing meditation as a step along the path of salvation.¬†By the time Buddhism was spreading in China, the¬†Vimalakirti Sutra¬†which dates to 100CE included a number of passages on meditation and enlightened wisdom, clearly pointing to¬†Zen.

In the west, by 20 BCE¬†Philo of Alexandria¬†had written on some form of “spiritual exercises” involving attention (prosoche) and concentration¬†and by the 3rd century¬†Plotinushad developed meditative techniques, which however did not attract a following among Christian meditators.¬†Saint Augustine¬†experimented with the methods of Plotinus and failed to achieve ecstasy.

The¬†Silk Road transmission of Buddhism¬†introduced meditation to other oriental countries.¬†Bodhidharma¬†is traditionally considered the transmitter of the concept of¬†Zen¬†to China. However, the first “original school” in East Asia was founded by his contemporary¬†Zhiyi¬†in the 6th century in central China. Zhiyi managed to systematically organize the various teachings that had been imported from India in a way that their relationship with each other made sense. ¬†Wonhyo¬†and¬†Uisang¬†promoted¬†Korean Buddhism¬†in the 7th century.

There is evidence that¬†Judaism¬†has inherited meditative practices from its predecessor traditions in¬†Israelite antiquity. For instance, in the¬†Torah, the patriarch¬†Isaac¬†is described as going “lasuach” in the field – a term understood by all commentators as some type of meditative practice (Genesis¬†24:63). There are indications throughout the¬†Tanach¬†(the Hebrew¬†Bible) that Judaism always contained a central meditative tradition.

Middle Ages

With the growth of¬†Japanese Buddhism¬†from the 8th century onwards, meditative practices were brought to and further developed in Japan. The Japanese monk Dosho learned of Zen during his visit to China in 653 and upon his return opened the first meditation hall in Japan, at¬†Nara.¬†Meditative practices continued to arrive in Japan from China, and were subjected to modification. When¬†DŇćgen¬†returned to Japan from China around 1227, he wrote the instructions for¬†Zazen, or sitting meditation, and conceived of a community of monks primarily focused on Zazen.

Early practices of Jewish meditation grew and changed by the Middle Ages and Hasidic variations were developed later. Jewish meditation is a deeply religious activity that involves Kabbalistic practices involving prayer, mizvot and study.

Sufi view or Islamic mysticism involves meditative practices. Remembrance of God in Islam, which is known by the concept Dhikr is interpreted in different meditative techniques in Sufism or Islamic mysticism. This became one of the essential elements of Sufism as it was systematized in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is juxtaposed with fikr (thinking) which leads to knowledge. By the 12th century, the practice of Sufism included specific meditative techniques, and its followers practiced breathing controls and the repetition of holy words.

Eastern Christian meditation can involve the repetition of a phrase in a specific physical posture, and can be traced back to the Byzantine period. Between the 10th and 14th centuries, hesychasm was developed, particularly on Mount Athos in Greece, and continues to the present. It involves the repetition of the Jesus prayer. It is possible that there were interactions between Hesychasts and the Indians or the Sufis, but this can not be proved.

Western¬†Christian meditation¬†contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture. Western¬†Christian meditation¬†progressed from the 6th century practice of Bible reading among¬†Benedictinemonks called¬†Lectio Divina, i.e. divine reading. Its four formal steps as a “ladder” were defined by the monk¬†Guigo II¬†in the 12th century with the Latin terms¬†lectio,¬†meditatio,¬†oratio, and¬†contemplatio¬†(i.e. read, ponder, pray, contemplate). Western¬†Christian meditation¬†was further developed by saints such as¬†Ignatius of Loyola¬†and¬†Teresa of Avila¬†in the 16th century.

Modern history

By the 18th century, the study of Buddhism in the West was a topic for intellectuals. The philosopher Schopenhauer discussed it, and Voltaire asked for toleration towards Buddhists. The first English translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead was published in 1927.

New¬†schools of yoga¬†developed in¬†Hindu revivalism¬†from the 1890s. Some of these schools were introduced to the west, by¬†Vivekananda¬†and later gurus. Other schools were designed as secularized variants of yoga traditions for use by non-Hindus, e.g. the system of¬†Transcendental Meditation¬†popular in the 1960s, and numerous forms of¬†Hatha Yoga¬†derived from the¬†Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga¬†school, which became known simply as “Yoga” in western terminology.

Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement. Both spiritual and secular forms of meditation have been subjects of scientific analyses. However, after 60 years of scientific study, the exact mechanism at work in meditation remains unclear.

Powerful Quote #76 : Tough Situations

teach

All situations teach you, and often it’s the tough ones that teach you the best.

~ Pema Chodron.

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