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Published: Thursday 17 October, 2013

gift ideas for her gift ideas for her ?What the Buddha Might Say to Oprah

Saints get headaches. The Buddha had an upset stomach. Oprah has bad hair days. Each one of us, whether a spiritual teacher, film star or homemaker, is simply a human being. As the Dalai Lama said as he stopped us from bowing when we greeted him: We are all equal here. The search for meaning and real happiness is the same for all of us, although in Oprahs case she gets to walk the path in public, while most of us do it in our living rooms.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -- The Buddha

When Oprah originally aired on television Eckhart Tolles A New Earth, a course on spirituality and awareness, it was revolutionary. By mixing the spiritual journey and modern media, she exposed millions of people to the teachings. Since she began her latest TV series, Super Soul Sunday, where she gets to explore the journey with different luminaries such as Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston and Wayne Dyer, that search has become louder and more personal. No one of her magnitude has offered such guidelines to awakening wisdom and compassion on the television.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. -- The Buddha

The teachers that Oprah interviews can only point the way -- no one can do it for us -- but in doing so they highlight how many of us crave spiritual guidance of a non-secular nature, often without knowing where to find it. The search for a deeper meaning in life is universal, and religion has done its best to provide a roadmap. But, as evidenced by Oprahs success, religious doctrine isnt enough for many of those who watch her show. They seek universal spiritual answers without wanting to follow a specific set of ideas.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. -- The Buddha

However, as the Buddhas quote says so clearly, we have to be careful of blindly believing everything we are told unless we find it be of real import in our own lives. Being skeptical is of value. We wouldnt marry someone as soon as we meet them; we would take time to know them better. There are egotistical teachers who say they can enlighten us but actually are self-serving. So its good to first ensure a teacher is loving, compassionate and wise. The teacher on the outside is there to turn us on to our own inner teacher. Each of us is on a journey, and what works for one may not work for another. We need the courage to trust our own insights and awakenings. Oprah is on the cutting edge of this media revolution, and she shares every step of her search, but her answers may not always be applicable for all of us.

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. -- The Buddha

One of Oprahs personal advantages is she has what our Tibetan teacher calls Ding. This means a deep inner, unshakeable confidence where we are comfortable in our own skin, just as we are. We can see this clearly in her willingness to be herself. She publicly shares and reveals her dark edges, her confusion and search, as much as her generosity and desire to help others, and invites us all to do the same. She shows that within us all is a reservoir of basic goodness: as in her, so it is also in us. This is seen in our desire to be better than we are, to be kinder, more loving, and more compassionate; it is the impetus to begin seeking answers, to aspire beyond our limitations, to climb our own particular mountain.

A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure. -- The Buddha

Maitri is a Sanskrit word meaning unconditional friendship. When we were alone with the Dalai Lama, who wrote the foreword to our book, Be The Change, at his residence in India, he held our hands as we sat and talked with him. He emanated maitri by making us feel he was our very best friend, as he was so present and caring with us, paying attention to whatever we said. Through Oprahs informality and willingness to share, she becomes such a friend. She reassures us we are not alone on the journey, not the only one struggling to find answers, and not woo woo to be searching in the first place. It is as good as being in the room with her.

We walk, slide, skip, and dance along the path, picking ourselves up each time we fall. We are in this great mystery together, discovering that giving is getting, kindness is awesome, and life is a precious gift. However, as much as we applaud the journey, it is just as important to acknowledge ourselves as finders. Our lives do change for the better, we do become nicer, warmer, kinder, and less fearful. These are important shifts and we deserve every blessed congratulation there is!

What is your journey about? Do comment below. thank you.

wow what is my journey about. showing kindness and helping to make life better for us all. i work in areas where those involved have the least ability to ask for help or find it for themselves. i grew up in a very dark place so i have some understanding of what those places really are for those living in them. i do the best i can every day. i have this saying, i went to rescue them, and in fact they rescued me. tho i am not the best at it. and i do the best i can with the circumstance i hav, but so many people are wonderous beings , like true angles and bhodis among us. here is a vid of a few such people. if anyone wants to take almost 4 minutes and watch this. its worth the time. i still cry from happiness every time i see it. I admire Oprah and her achievements, hard work and perseverance from totally unknown to someone one needs to recon with. She is also a savvy business woman. Saying that I am not a fan of Oprah or Deepak Chopra but appreciate her goal to make the world a better place. As you say her answers may not always be applicable for all of us.

Btw what a lovely picture with Dalai Lama. Thanks for another nice piece.

I was having a conversation last evening with someone I believe is newly Spiritually Conceived, which means just becoming conscious of his spiritual journey. He, as I mostly always do, spoke about knowing our destiny and putting forth every effort to fulfill it and in the process become an aid others who are knowingly seeking to fulfill their destinies. My journey appears to be selfish since its about knowing my individual destiny and working to accomplish it, but, in the process Im working to to become a light to everyone with eyes enough to see the light.

Other than that I dont know how to explain what my journey is like unless i use the metaphor of climbing the mountain of enlightenment. In using it we find at the base of the mountain many paths and as we get higher up the mountain the paths merge into one another until we get to the finial path to the apex, there, we find only one which is so narrow its only traveled single file. We can only speak to those who are within the sound of our voices, therefore, there are many paths but to reach the apex of enlightenment is done alone, has been my experience. gift ideas for her


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