Friendship

All posts tagged Friendship

So much Sunshine on a Cloudy Day!

Published 15/10/2016 by inspiringyourspirit

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My dear friends,

‘Today’s a new day and there is no sunshine’,…  but when I really open my eyes and look with my heart, I see sunshine everywhere 😄 

The trees 🌲 giving out their oxygen so we can breathe, bring a smile to my face. The flowers in the park sharing their fragrance with all those who stop and take in their beauty . The children running around with endless energy and enthusiasm their grandparents and parents sharing their games. Even the dark clouds passing overhead , heavy with rain and fit to burst, bring me joy as they will nourish the earth beneath my feet and quench the thirst of the trees and the flowers 🌹 

Sunshine is there for all to see , we just need to ‘stop’ for a while and take in the beauty that is ‘always’ around us 😄

I wish you all a very happy weekend

Namaste with love ❤️ 

Always 

Mark

Liebster Award

Published 28/08/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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One of my readers Khalkinised over at http://buddhasutra.com has just nominated me for the Liebster award and although I have a policy of not accepting awards and going through their process and acceptance criteria due to the time it takes to complete, I do however accept the award in the spirit it was offered to me, so a big thank you to Khalkinised, please check out his site as it is full of great articles 🙂

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Inspire Someone Today

Published 17/08/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Go on, you know it makes sense …’Inspire Someone Today’

Nothing More 🙂

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

A Letter to a Friend Who Was Asking For Advice

Published 29/06/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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My Dear Friends,

I read this letter and felt if was worthy of a post, the letter was written by Hunter S. Thomposon to his friend  Hume roughly 57 years ago.

I hope you like it and that the words resonate for you too?

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Roughly 57 years ago, a 22-year-old Hunter S. Thompson wrote a letter to a friend that had asked him for advice. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a big deal – 57 years ago letters were just how people communicated. What stands out to me is the fact that Thompson wrote this letter way before anyone really knew who he was. The letter, in my opinion, is a pure statement of faith, written by one of the most influential writers of our time, solely for the purpose of helping his friend. I know the letter wasn’t written to me, but I still read it like it was.

April 22, 1958
57 Perry Street
New York City

Dear Hume,

You ask advice: ah, what a very human and very dangerous thing to do! For to give advice to a man who asks what to do with his life implies something very close to egomania. To presume to point a man to the right and ultimate goal — to point with a trembling finger in the RIGHT direction is something only a fool would take upon himself.

I am not a fool, but I respect your sincerity in asking my advice. I ask you though, in listening to what I say, to remember that all advice can only be a product of the man who gives it. What is truth to one may be disaster to another. I do not see life through your eyes, nor you through mine. If I were to attempt to give you specific advice, it would be too much like the blind leading the blind.

“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles … ” (Shakespeare)

And indeed, that IS the question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect — between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.

But why not float if you have no goal? That is another question. It is unquestionably better to enjoy the floating than to swim in uncertainty. So how does a man find a goal? Not a castle in the stars, but a real and tangible thing. How can a man be sure he’s not after the “big rock candy mountain,” the enticing sugar-candy goal that has little taste and no substance?

The answer — and, in a sense, the tragedy of life — is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which CANNOT be valid. When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. It’s not the fireman who has changed, but you. Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.

So it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day? How could we ever hope to accomplish anything other than galloping neurosis?

The answer, then, must not deal with goals at all, or not with tangible goals, anyway. It would take reams of paper to develop this subject to fulfillment. God only knows how many books have been written on “the meaning of man” and that sort of thing, and god only knows how many people have pondered the subject. (I use the term “god only knows” purely as an expression.) There’s very little sense in my trying to give it up to you in the proverbial nutshell, because I’m the first to admit my absolute lack of qualifications for reducing the meaning of life to one or two paragraphs.

I’m going to steer clear of the word “existentialism,” but you might keep it in mind as a key of sorts. You might also try something called “Being and Nothingness” by Jean-Paul Sartre, and another little thing called “Existentialism: From Dostoyevsky to Sartre.” These are merely suggestions. If you’re genuinely satisfied with what you are and what you’re doing, then give those books a wide berth. (Let sleeping dogs lie.) But back to the answer. As I said, to put our faith in tangible goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. WE STRIVE TO BE OURSELVES.

But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that we can’t BE firemen, bankers, or doctors — but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires — including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter.

As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES. In doing this, he is fulfilling a need (giving himself identity by functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal), he avoids frustrating his potential (choosing a path which puts no limit on his self-development), and he avoids the terror of seeing his goal wilt or lose its charm as he draws closer to it (rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform to his own abilities and desires).

In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important. And it seems almost ridiculous to say that a man MUST function in a pattern of his own choosing; for to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life — the definitive act of will which makes a man an individual.

Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN — and here is the essence of all I’ve said — you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.

Naturally, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ve lived a relatively narrow life, a vertical rather than a horizontal existence. So it isn’t any too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. But you say, “I don’t know where to look; I don’t know what to look for.”

And there’s the crux. Is it worth giving up what I have to look for something better? I don’t know — is it? Who can make that decision but you? But even by DECIDING TO LOOK, you go a long way toward making the choice.

If I don’t call this to a halt, I’m going to find myself writing a book. I hope it’s not as confusing as it looks at first glance. Keep in mind, of course, that this is MY WAY of looking at things. I happen to think that it’s pretty generally applicable, but you may not. Each of us has to create our own credo — this merely happens to be mine.

If any part of it doesn’t seem to make sense, by all means call it to my attention. I’m not trying to send you out “on the road” in search of Valhalla, but merely pointing out that it is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it. There is more to it than that — no one HAS to do something he doesn’t want to do for the rest of his life. But then again, if that’s what you wind up doing, by all means convince yourself that you HAD to do it. You’ll have lots of company.

And that’s it for now. Until I hear from you again, I remain,

your friend,

Hunter

Published 29/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Friendship.

What does it mean to you?

Can you be friends with your family?

Can you be friends with your spouse?

Can you really be friends with your colleagues?

How about friendships with your animals?

To me, they are all friends, my heart is open to all and I will take on many new friends as they come into my life. Some come into my life and stay, and some go, they move on with their life’s journey when it takes them on to new pastures. I too move on, some friends have been with me forever, some i have not seen for years but they are still true friends and they would be here for me in a moments need, I too would be there for them whatever the time of day, the time to get there and cost is irrelevant because I would get there as soon as i can. Friendships with family, often challenging but the love is there no matter the challenge.

Friendship is to be worked on with many or as simple as simple can be, with few words exchanged, you both go on with life knowing the other completely and loving each other unconditionally, without the need for words. Being there for your friend and listening without judgement is so special and appreciated by the other, which in turn will repay itself at a later date..no time limit needed 🙂

How often do we recognise our friends, how often do we tell them how much they are loved and appreciated? Often not enough as we take the relationship/s for granted, they are always there, we are always there but sometimes a hug, a quick call, a note of appreciation is all it takes to say…

“I love you my friend, you are so much appreciated in my life, thanks for being there for me” 🙂

So, my dear friends, thank you for being a part of my life, we may never meet face to face, but you are all true friends, your support of my blog is so appreciated and your kind words, comments and faves give me the spirit to do more, to help more people, to continue on with my spiritual journey and make my life and yours a better life, each and every day.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Where to Next?

Published 20/11/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

 

 

 

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If we are to start making any headway towards changing our world for the better, to bring about peace, to eradicate disease and to bring about an end to poverty and starvation for millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, we will need to bring out the ‘Big Guns’

We need to start listening to each other, start to understand the other side of the story, give our compassion to others irrespective of their colour, religion or social status, forgive and forget what has gone on in the past and forge forward together as one humanity in the search of peace and in love of each other toward a common goal of life and environmental sustainability of our crops and waters and the protection of our planet, we need to build up our patience and understanding of other cultures and ways of life and most of all we need to be truthful and honest with each other.

OM

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

The Day You Realise That You Are in Charge of Your Life

Published 03/03/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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Realisation that it’s time to change.

I was with a friend a couple of times over these past few days, she is going through a really tough time in her life, everything is going wrong for her, her business is failing, she owes money to everyone, she has a foreclosure notice at her door and her life is a downward spiral, in short; a mess.

We spent some hours together and i listened, she told me how much she loves what she does for a living, she explained all about her business, her daughter who is also her business partner, the animals they look after, the shop they work from and their home life. I asked her some questions and held up a mirror to her so she could see who she was and what she looked like when she answered my questions with an open heart, and all of a sudden she realised! She is not in charge of her life, everyone else is…She cannot say no to her daughter who constantly spends money they just don’t have, when her daughter says ‘we need to buy this and that for the shop because if we don’t have it in stock then we won’t be able to sell it’! , they purchase more pets for their shop paying for them up front in the hope that someone will buy them, feeding them everyday and keeping them warm 24 hours a day, incurring the veterinary bills and so on in the hope that they will sell. They are passionate about animals, they are excellent pet behaviourists, they are gifted caregivers to all animals but they have no business sense whatsoever, they; like many others go on day after day on a downward spiral, loosing all hope and in most cases loosing everything.

My friend now realises that she can be in charge of her life, she can make a success of her business, she can change things around from doom and gloom to a brighter and happier way of life moving forward.

She has now started to map out a plan, to speak to her daughter and tell her the facts, to close down the shop and to concentrate on a new business model focussing on their real love, the animals and their care.

I will stick close to her and help her through the difficult challenges she has ahead of her; but she will do the work, she will be in charge of her life and she will make it through 🙂

Remember my friends, if we can help someone realise that they can take control of their lives and make changes for the better, then, we have done a great job for humanity 🙂

Namaste with Love my friends
Always
Mark

Communication and the Lost Art of Conversation

Published 17/02/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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Communication and The Lost Art of Conversation

I’m here in a restaurant, no one is talking
Heads down
Peering into their hands
Their iPhone, their iPad, their electronic Screens

The screen that takes them away from reality
To other worlds of fantasy of dreams
Are they free or caught in a trap?
The world of lost communication, of direction being re-directed

Friends, families and loved ones
All heads down, fingers moving swiftly, click, click click
Sitting together with no conversation, no signs of life
All lost in their own little world

Worlds of self
Worlds of fantasy
Worlds of intrigue
Worlds of gossip

No love, no compassion, no cares here
In and out, one sight then the next
Moving on with no loyalty and no love lost
Today number one, tomorrow dead and gone

No face-to-face communication, no words spoken
Growing up, and growing old
No life skills, no interaction
All signs of visible life are lost

Confusion reigns and body language gone
The selfie to show whom you are
But are you that selfie or is it fake
Your alter Ego taking control

Where will it end?
The corporations richer, manipulating our fingers to their hearts desire
More controls over us, our thoughts, our lives
The lost art of communication

The End

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

The Misguided Monk

Published 12/09/2013 by inspiringyourspirit

 

The importance of true friendship:

When an old hermit monk has his day interrupted by an uninvited guest, he is unwillingly taken on a journey to discover the true meaning of companionship.

I think we all have something to learn from this simple cartoon 🙂

Namaste

Mark

Friendship

Published 29/06/2013 by inspiringyourspirit

Friendship

 

  • Silence is a true friend who never betrays
  • A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
  • Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
  • One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
  • A friend to all is a friend to none.

 

 

Of all the relationships we have, it is our friends who most directly reveal the kind of person we are.

 

If you want to really understand someone, have a look at their circle of friends, this will tell you what their values and priorities are- after all, as is often shown, birds of a feather flock together.

However, friends are divided into good and bad. The right sort of friend can help you a lot, but the bad sort can bring you a great deal of trouble, and many even lead you down the wrong pathway in your life. Having the ability to choose your friends wisely is a great skill and will stand you in good stead.

So what kind of friend is a good friend? And what kind of friend is a bad friend? And how can we make sure we make good friends?

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If we take a look at Confucianism we can see that Confucius attached a great deal of importance to friendship and what effects friends had on a persons development. Confucius also taught his students how to make good friends, and avoid the bad ones.

Confucius said there are three types of friends in this world who can help us.

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The first are straight friends  (and, he did not mean heterosexual) J Straight here means upright, honest and fair-minded.

A straight friend is sincere, has a good heart, they have a bright, cheery and openness about them, without a trace of flattery. Their character will have a good influence on your own. They give you courage when you are timid and decisiveness and resolution when you are wavering.

The second are friends who remain loyal and trustworthy. These friends are honest and sincere in their dealings with others and they are never fake. Association with this kind of friend makes us feel calm, at ease and safe, they purify and raise our spirits.

 

The third type of friend is the well-informed friend, they possess a great deal of knowledge about a great many things, they love to read and have usually seen a lot of the world. When you find yourself dithering over a problem, unable to come to a decision, you would be well advised to see your well-informed friend. That friends wide ranging knowledge and experience will help you with your choice.

Having a well-informed friend is like owning a huge volume of encyclopedia; we can learn many valuable lessons from their knowledge and experience.

Confucius also said there are three types of bad friends, the ingratiating in action, the pleasant in appearance and the plausible in speech, and that to have these three types of friends is ‘to lose’. So how can we tell what kind of people they are?

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By the ingratiating in action, Confucius meant flatterers, fawners, and shameless sycophants.

We often find these sort of people in our lives, they will always say things like ‘ That’s so brilliant’, whatever you do they will always say ‘ That’s amazing’, they will never say ‘No’ to you.  On the contrary they will follow you and take their tone from yours, praising you and paying you compliments.

This type of friend has the great talent of weighing your words and watching your expressions. They change their direction depending on the way the wind is blowing. Making sure they never do anything to displease you.

They are the direct opposite to the straight friend. The hearts of these people are neither straightforward nor honest, and they have no sense of right or wrong. Their aim is to make you happy, but only so that they get something out of it.

As Confucius says, making friends with this type of person is dangerous!

Why?

After being told all the things you want to hear, and flattered into a state of contentment, it will start to go to your head, your ego will grow uncontrollably and you will become blindly self-centered and self-important, caring for nobody but yourself. You will loose the capacity for self-awareness and it will not take long for you to bring disaster down upon your own head.

This kind of friend is slow poison for your soul.

The second kind of bad friend is the one Confucius called ‘the pleasant in appearance’, or two-faced. They will be all smiles and sweetness to your face, positively beaming as they dish out the compliments and flattery. But behind your back they will spread rumors and malicious slander.

We often hear of people complaining ‘That friend of mine seemed so kind and loving, their speech was so gentle, their behavior so thoughtful, I believed they were my dearest, closest and most intimate friend’. I was so committed to them, I poured out my heart to them, told them my deepest secrets. But they betrayed me, abused my trust for their own benefit, started rumors about me, spread my secrets and destroyed my character. And when I confronted them, they had the shame to deny it to my face and put on a show of injured innocence for all to see.’

This kind of person is false and hypocritical, the exact opposite of the frankness and honesty of the loyal and trustworthy friend.

People like this are the true ‘pretty people’ p petty and with darkness in their hearts. However, these types of people often wear a mask of goodness. Because they have an ulterior motive, they will be very friendly towards you, they might even be ten tomes nicer to you than somebody with no hidden agenda. So if you are not careful and let yourself get used by this person, you will find you have fitted restraints to your own wrists, this friend will not let you go unless you pay a heavy price. This is a test of our judgment, and of our understanding of people and the ways of this world.

The third kind of bad friend is the one Confucius called  ‘the plausible in speech’, referring to the people who brag all the time and exaggerate. Most people would now call them ‘Fast Talkers’.

There is nothing this type of person doesn’t know, and no argument they don’t understand. These people talk continuously, dragging you along with their momentum until you can’t help believing them. But apart for this gift of the gab, they have nothing else to offer.

There is a clear difference between this type of person and the ‘well informed’, which is that this kind of person has no real talent or knowledge. A person who is plausible in speech has a glib tongue, but nothing inside to back it up.

Confucius was always suspicious of glib people and their sweet words. They should speak less and do more. Confucius believed that it is not what a person says but what they do that matters.

Of course, in our modern society there has been a change in attitudes and values: if people with real talent and true scholarship cannot communicate effectively and do not get their meaning across, it will obstruct their careers and their lives.

However, if someone can only talk, and has no real skill, it is far more harmful.

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If you want to make good friends, and avoid making bad, you need two things: the first is the desire to make good friends, the second is the ability to do so.

We know how important ‘benevolence’ and ‘wisdom’ are and they are key if we wish to make good friends. The desire to make good friends comes from benevolence and the ability to make them from wisdom.

Fan Chi one of Confucius’s students asked, “What did he mean by benevolence, Confucius answered with only two words: ’Loving People’.

Fan Chi then asked then what is this thing called Wisdom?

Confucius replied, again with just two words: ‘Knowing People’. To understand people is to be wise.

If we want to make good friends, we must first have a kind, benevolent heart, be willing to get close to people, and have the desire to make friends; second, we must have the ability to discriminate. Only in this way can one make friends of real value. Once you have this basic standard, you will be well on your way to making friends of the very best kind.

In a sense, making a good friend is the beginning of a beautiful new chapter in our lives. Our friends are like a mirror: by watching them, we can see where we ourselves fall short.

 Make friends who are happy, and can take pleasure in their lives the way they are right now!

China-Recluse-Culture(1)

Almost everyone in China knows Tao Yuanming, one of the first recluses who would never compromise on his ideals, and who became the founder of the pastoral school of poetry. Tao Yuanming lived in rather straitened circumstances, but he had a very happy life. The Southern Histories tell us that Tao Yuanming had no knowledge of music, but he owned a zither. This zither was just a big length of wood; it did not even have any strings. Every time he invited his friends to his house, he would stroke this piece of wood, saying he was playing the zither, and he would pour his heart into his playing, sometimes playing for hours until he was weeping audibly. And every time he did this, those friends who really understood music were also visibly moved. Tao Yuanming would play out the music of his soul on his string less zither, while his friends drank wine and talked happily amongst themselves. Afterwards, he would say: ‘I am drunk and I want to sleep, you may go.’ The friends left without making a fuss, and continued to meet on similar occasions in the future.

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Friends like this are true friends, because your souls share an unspoken understanding. And this kind of life is truly happy.

 

Namaste

Mark

 

 

 

Friendships and Our Spiritual Journey

Published 25/03/2013 by inspiringyourspirit

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It’s the end of yet another day, a productive and happy day but as I sit here quietly contemplating I can feel tears rolling down my face one more time, tears of sadness and despair so I sit and wonder if my spiritual journey is becoming too much for me to bare….I ask myself ‘Why me, Why Now’, ‘What do I have to do?…..

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Our spiritual journeys are all very different and our aims, needs and destinations are all very different too! In my case, I have no idea as to why I have been chosen to follow a spiritual journey; but all I know is, I must follow the path and help as many people as I can along the way.

My days and nights are often full of sadness, trying to juggle family life, business life, friendships and relationships at home and abroad whilst also trying to follow a spiritual pathway to an end we often still don’t understand. I have always been a soft hearted man, easy going as many might say, always putting the needs of friends, employees and business relationships before thinking of; or, caring for myself, never putting anyone down, smiling as often as possible and trying to keep a cheerful, sunny, caring disposition as much as possible, and certainly not intentionally doing anything to hurt or harm anyone or anything as I go. However, what I don’t understand is ‘why do our friends treat us differently as we grow spiritually? It’s like they no longer trust us, or think were doing something underhand, untoward or against them! They become distant and off-hand with us for no reason! Maybe its just me overthinking things too much or maybe it’s their lack of understanding or nervousness of where we may be headed…I honestly don’t know why they change, but I do know it’s upsetting and it breaks my heart! When we honestly ask ourselves which person or people in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those friends who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our journey, help us through the spiritual growing pains we are going through and touch our battle wounds with a gentle and tender supporting hand. The friend’s who we care for dearly who can be silent when the time is right and also offer words of wisdom and support to us in our moments of frustration, despair, lack of energy or general spiritual confusion, friends who can stay with us in our hours of need, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is in my opinion a friend who cares.

I still don’t know where I’m heading but I know I’m on the right pathway, I keep checking my direction at each and every kink and curve in the road, and look for clarity along the way. I don’t possess to be anything special, I’m just a simple man who needs to follow his destiny and love and help people along the way.

So my dear friends please, please be open and honest with each other because friendship is precious and love is needed by all, not just the few!

Namaste
Mark

Chatterbox – Take a Seat and Make a New Friend

Published 27/12/2012 by inspiringyourspirit

Please watch this inspiring short video…I don’t know why but I cried watching this..maybe its because I see all the hurt, hatred and sadness in this world and the lack of direct communication between individuals…This video inspired me to want to create a Chatterbox for my community here in Shanghai…What do you think?..I would love to hear your thoughts on this idea, do you think it’s a good idea?..Would you try it out?

Namaste

Mark

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