Chớ khinh tội nhỏ, cho rằng không hại; giọt nước tuy nhỏ, dần đầy hồ to! (Do not belittle any small evil and say that no ill comes about therefrom. Small is a drop of water, yet it fills a big vessel.)Kinh Đại Bát Niết-bàn
Nghệ thuật sống chân chính là ý thức được giá trị quý báu của đời sống trong từng khoảnh khắc tươi đẹp của cuộc đời.Tủ sách Rộng Mở Tâm Hồn
Nhiệm vụ của con người chúng ta là phải tự giải thoát chính mình bằng cách mở rộng tình thương đến với muôn loài cũng như toàn bộ thiên nhiên tươi đẹp. (Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.)Albert Einstein
Những ai có được hạnh phúc cũng sẽ làm cho người khác được hạnh phúc. (Whoever is happy will make others happy too.)Anne Frank
Kẻ bi quan than phiền về hướng gió, người lạc quan chờ đợi gió đổi chiều, còn người thực tế thì điều chỉnh cánh buồm. (The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.)William Arthur Ward
Không có sự việc nào tự thân nó được xem là tốt hay xấu, nhưng chính tâm ý ta quyết định điều đó. (There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.)William Shakespeare
Tôi biết ơn những người đã từ chối giúp đỡ tôi, vì nhờ có họ mà tôi đã tự mình làm được. (I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. Its because of them I’m doing it myself. )Albert Einstein
Nhẫn nhục có nhiều sức mạnh vì chẳng mang lòng hung dữ, lại thêm được an lành, khỏe mạnh.Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Đối với người không nỗ lực hoàn thiện thì trải qua một năm chỉ già thêm một tuổi mà chẳng có gì khác hơn.Sưu tầm
Hương hoa thơm chỉ bay theo chiều gió, tiếng thơm người hiền lan tỏa khắp nơi nơi. Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 54)

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The Buddha's Apprentice at Bedtime
»» Aloka and the Band of Robbers

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Em mơ cùng Đức Phật - ALOKA VÀ BĂNG CƯỚP

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Relax, close your eyes and picture yourself deep in a jungle in Thailand, far from the nearest village. This story is about a clever boy called Aloka, who was sent away from his village to study in the great temple of Golden City. One day he was walking home to his village for the holidays when he met a band of robbers! Would you like to find out what happened? Listen carefully to his story.

Night was drawing in as Aloka made his way along the jungle trail. Ferns and palm trees lined the path and vines climbed into the sky. He was preparing to camp for the night when he met a family of merchants returning from market.

“Why don’t you camp with us tonight?” said Taai, the father of the family.

“Yes, come and share our meal,” said Rajini, his wife.

Aloka smiled gratefully. He had been walking for several days on his own and was very glad to have some company. He joined the family around a blazing camp fire and shared a delicious meal with them.

After they’d all eaten their fill, Taai put more logs on the fire. Then his six children gathered around to listen to him tell a story.

“Once upon a time there was a young Prince called Siddartha,” began Taai. “Although he was very rich and handsome, he was not happy. Siddartha could see that many people in his kingdom suffered. He wanted to help them but he didn’t know how, until one day he found the secret. Now children, do you know what that secret was?”

The youngest child, little Mai, spoke up. “The power to be happy is in your own mind,” she said.

“Very good, Mai,” said her father. “That’s exactly what the prince learned. Once he could control his mind through meditation, nothing had the power to frighten or upset him. He could help people, because he was at peace. And he taught people how they could help themselves.”

The children listened to Prince Siddartha’s adventures. They'd all heard the story many times before, but they loved it just the same. A large silver moon climbed into the night's sky and Taai’s gentle voice lulled the family into sleep. Then Taai himself closed his eyes and began to snore softly.

But young Aloka was wide awake. He was very excited by Prince Siddartha’s story. Now everything he’d learned at school about controlling his mind seemed to make sense.

Aloka wrapped himself in a blanket and walked over to a nearby fig tree where he would not disturb the family. He wanted to think about the ideas calmly and walked slowly back and forth in the cool night air. As he let his attention focus on his breathing, his mind began to settle. Aloka's teacher at the temple had taught him to do this whenever he got over-excited. Now he felt calm and at peace.

What Aloka did not know was that he and the family were in terrible danger. A band of robbers had spied the family’s camp fire from afar and quietly made their way through the jungle. Now they were hiding behind a boulder, watching Aloka and the sleeping family.

“Look at that family all fast asleep,’’ whispered their leader, Cha. “It'd be easy to steal from them.’’

“Yes, and they’re just back from market from the looks of it,’’ said his deputy Jao. “Look at all those bundles of cloth.’’

The family all slept on peacefully. Now Aloka spied the robbers but he decided to remain calm, as he’d been taught. “It’ll do no good if I panic,’’ he thought to himself.

“I’ll try to control my fear.” He continued to walk slowly back and forth under the tree, practising concentration.

“That man pacing there must be on guard,” said Bahn, the third robber. “Let’s wait until he falls asleep.”

“And then we can tie up the adults and take everything they own!” said Jao. “I’ve the ropes ready.”

The robbers waited for Aloka to go to sleep. They waited and they waited, but Aloka continued to walk back and forth under the tree. One by one, Cha, Jao and Bahn fell into fitful sleep. Every now and then, one of them would stir and open his eyes. But when he saw that Aloka was still awake, each robber would fall asleep once more. Finally, when the sun rose in the sky, all three robbers woke up.

“That guard is still awake!” growled Cha. “And now it’s daylight. It’s too risky for us to try to rob them now. They’ll wake up before we have a chance to tie them up.”

The angry robbers fled through the jungle as the morning light flooded into the valley. Jao was so annoyed he forgot to take his ropes with him. The leader, Cha, couldn’t resist calling out, “Hey, you lot, sleeping there without a care in the world! You were lucky this time. Your guard who never sleeps saved you! You should reward him well.”

Aloka watched them leave and at last stopped walking. He stretched his arms and legs and smiled quietly to himself. Soon everyone was up and bustling about preparing breakfast. Taai began gathering wood for a fire and found the trampled-down patch of ferns where the robbers had hidden. And then he discovered the ropes.

“Aloka, do you know how these got here?” asked Taai. He was concerned and confused.

“Oh yes, they belonged to the robbers who were watching our camp during the night. They left this morning” replied Aloka calmly.

“Robbers!” cried Taai. “Weren't you scared?”

“No,” said Aloka. “I felt very peaceful as I walked. I realized that robbers are only interested in rich people. I’d only my blanket and a calm mind and neither would be of interest to robbers. So why should I be afraid?”

“You’re very brave,” said Taai. “Because you remained calm in the face of danger, danger passed us all by.”

The family walked with Aloka back to his village. When they reached Aloka’s home, Taai met Aloka’s father and bowed to him. He told him the story of the robbers. “Your son is the wisest young man I know,” Taai said. “You should be very proud.”

Aloka’s father smiled and nodded. “I am,” he said.

Right concentration or meditation is about training your heart and mind. Once you’re calm and at peace, bravery and wisdom will come naturally to you. 


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