Native Americans

Which wolf will win?

An old Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A battle is raging inside me … it is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The old man fixed the children with a firm stare. “This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.” They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee replied: “The one you feed.”



A friend of God must have affection like the Sun. When the sun rises, it is beneficial to all irrespective of whether they are Muslim, Christian, or Hindu.
A friend of God must be generous like a river. We all get water from the river to quench our thirst. It does not discriminate whether we are good or bad or whether we are a relation or a stranger.
A friend of God must display the hospitality like the earth. We are raised and cradled in its lap, and yet it is always under our feet.

Be a blazing fire of truth,
be a beauteous blossom of love
and be a soothing balm of peace.

Hazrat Ihayat Khan

Sincerity is the jewel that forms in the shell of the heart.
Life is an opportunity given to satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul.
There are many paths, and each man considers his own the best and wisest. Let each one choose, that which belongs to his own temperament.
All earthly knowledge is as a cloud covering the sun.
Life is a misery for the man absorbed in himself.
Happy is he who does good to others; miserable is he who expects good from others.
He, who wants to understand, will understand.
Narrowness is primitiveness; it is the breadth of heart that proves Rest of mind is as necessary as rest of body, and yet we always keep the former in action.
Happiness lays in thinking or doing that which one considers beautiful.


Lao Tzu

He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.
Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretches her fingers to touch the heavens.
An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Be the chief but never the lord.
Because of a great love, one is courageous.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. By letting it go it all gets done. Those, who let it go, win the world. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.


The spoons

One day a wise Rabbi came to God and said: “Lord, I have a problem. My disciples ask me, how can you differentiate Heaven from hell. As I don’t know neither of the two, I can’t guess an answer. Can’t You help me?” “Of course, my friend, follow me!” And God took the hand of the Rabbi and led him into a big hall. In the addle of the hall there was a fire burning. Above the fire a delicious soup was simmering. Around the pot sat many humans – with long spoons in their hands. But – the humans looked sick, hungry and miserable. “What’s going on here?” asked the Rabbi and looked closely – then he saw it: the spoons in the hands of the humans were too long to put them into the mouth. “Where am I here?” asked the Rabbi. “This, my friend, is hell!” And God took the hand of the Rabbi and led him into another room. Same scene: a fire, a pot with delicious soup, many humans around the fire – with long spoons in their hands. But – these humans looked full, healthy and satisfied. “What’s going on there?” asked the Rabbi and looked closely – then he saw it: these humans were feeding each other, they were giving food mutually! “Do you foresee, where you are?” smiled God, “this is Heaven!”
~ Folke Tegethoff “God is everywhere”


The King and the Sculptor

One time a powerful and wealthy king wanted to learn sculpting, so he went to a sculptor of repute. “I am a great admirer of your work,” he said, and several of his retinue murmured and nodded in agreement. “I wish to learn this great art”. “Yes, I can teach you” said the artist. “Let me see some of your painting.” “No, no, not painting,” said the king. “Sculpture. I want to learn the art of sculpting.” “Of course, of course. But painting is the preliminary training for the visual arts. Let me see some of your work.” “Well, I have not painted at all.” “Hmm, I see. Well, l can teach you that, I suppose. Let me see you dance.” “Dance? What has dance got to do with it?” “Surely one who wished to portray the human form would have studied its graceful movement.” “I do not dance.” The sculptor was taken aback. “Very well, I will teach you some dance, also. Bring your instrument.” The king began to falter. “Instrument? What instrument?” “Listen. I have indicated the importance of the study of painting and dance to sculpting. Surely you understand that the dance is done to music of instruments? How could you expect to dance without knowing something about instrumental music?” The king admitted that he didn’t know the first thing about playing an instrument. . . “Well, no matter. I will teach you. Sing something.” “I can’t sing.” “You can’t sing? You come here expecting to learn the fine art of sculpting and you cannot sing? Doesn’t the study of all art begin with singing? We have much work to do. Let’s see. we shall start with the note Sa…”

I asked God…

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said: “No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.”
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said: “No. His spirit is whole , his body is only temporary.”
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said: “No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is learned.”
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said: “No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.”
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said: “No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said: “No. You must grow on your own! But I will prune you to make you fruitful.”
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said: “No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.”
I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said: “…Ahhhh, finally you have the idea”

Controlling your temper…

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. First day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence… Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.”

Wisdom shines bright and never fades

Wisdom shines bright and never fades; she is easily discerned by those who love her, and by those who seek her she is found. She is quick to make herself known to those who desire knowledge of her; the man who rises early in search of her will not grow weary in the quest, for he will find her seated at his door. To set all one’s thoughts on her is prudence in its perfect shape, and to lie wakeful in her cause is the short way to peace of mind. For she herself ranges in search of those who are worthy of her; on their daily path she appears to them with kindly intent, and in their purposes meets them halfway. The true beginning of wisdom is the desire to learn, and a concern for learning means love towards her; the love of her means the keeping of her laws; to keep her laws is a warrant of immortality; and immortality brings a man nearer to God. Thus the desire of wisdom leads to kingly stature.
~ The Wisdom of Solomon chapter 6 Greek text from Alexandria, Egypt, 2nd century BCE

…Rising every time we fail

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.
~ Confucius


A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. “There is a mousetrap in the house!There is a mousetrap in the house!” The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.” The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house.” The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.” The mouse turned to the cow. She said “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.” So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, — remember — when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.Each Of Us Is A Vital Thread In Another Person’s Tapestry; Our Lives Are Woven Together For A Reason.

A water bearer

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the damaged pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I turned it into an advantage. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s able. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”


Ancient Wisdom