Author Archive | tejvan

Quotes on Humility

“Humility is not a sign of cowardice. Humility does not mean false modesty. Humility is true divinity. It is the inner being that sustains, supports, guides, moulds and shapes us, but it does so with all humility.”

– Sri Chinmoy [1. Sri Chinmoy, Life-Tree-Leaves, Agni Press, 1974. ]

“My humility does not mean that I want the world to ignore me. That is no humility. My humility wants that I should neither veil my ignorance nor make a parade of my knowledge. To be violently dissatisfied with oneself and curse one’s fate is not the sign of humility. The true signs of humility are one’s constant aspiration and one’s inner cry for more peace, light and bliss.”

– Sri Chinmoy [1. Sri Chinmoy, Meditations: Food For The Soul, Agni Press, 1970. ]

Humility is not humiliation.
Just as a tree is not humiliated
When it bows down
To offer its fruits,
Even so by showing humility
We offer the best in ourselves
To humanity.

– Sri Chinmoy [1. Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 69, Agni Press, 1983. ]

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Sister Madonna Iron Nun

Sister Madonna is a unique combination of Catholic nun and record setting triathlete. Her running career began late in life, when a priest encouraged her to take up running to help harmonise mind and body.

In 2005, Sister Madonna ran the 2005 Hawaii Ironman setting a record for the oldest women to finish an Ironman Triathlon. Sister Madonna is also a full time nun and is only able to train part-time. Altogether, Sister Madonna has completed 350 triathlons and 40 at the Ironman distance.

Sister Madonna has a simple philosophy for explaining her unique ultra distant events, in the evening of her life.

“If we want to do it, we can. The only failure is not to try, because putting forth the effort is success in itself.”

“If life doesn’t have some challenges, it isn’t worth living, right?”

When asked what she would say to people who think they are too old to start exercising, she said, “If you’re not too young to start walking or running you’re not too old to stop…..no excuses!”

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Walt Whitman – I Celebrate Myself

I Celebrate Myself - Walt Whitman

Songs of Myself by Walt Whitman

During the American civil war, Walt Whitman worked as a nurse after being profoundly affected by the sight of wounded solider. Despite the privations and horrors of war, his spirit always sought to see the unity in nature and life. He was influenced by Deism and Transcendentalism. He saw all religions and spiritual paths having validity, though he did not attach himself to any religion.

“I adopt each theory, myth, god, and demi-god, / I see that the old accounts, bibles, genealogies, are true, without exception”

– Walt Whitman [1. With Antecedents, Walt Whitman]

His epic  Leaves of Grass is seen as a major element in American literature, his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

“I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of “LEAVES OF GRASS.” I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. I am very happy in reading it, as great power makes us happy. It meets the demand I am always making of what seemed the sterile and stingy nature, as if too much handiwork, or too much lymph in the temperament, were making our western wits fat and mean.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson [2. In letter thanking Whitman for a copy of Leaves of Grass. (21 July 1855) ]

Sri Chinmoy writes of Walt Whitman

“Born ahead of his time, Whitman pointed to his nation and to the world the Path of Tomorrow. And, by the Grace of the Supreme, the dawn-rays of Tomorrow have already become visible, however faintly, on today’s horizon.”

– Sri Chinmoy [3. Sri Chinmoy, America In Her Depths, Agni Press, 1973.]

Photo: Sharani.

Footnotes

Spirit Over Matter

seated press

Sri Chinmoy Seated Press

Sri Chinmoy is best known as a spiritual teacher, advocating a path of meditation and inner peace. However, when a knee injury curtailed his running career, in his mid 50s, Sri Chinmoy felt an inner command to take up the sport of weightlifting. From modest beginnings, he managed to rapidly progress to remarkable feats of strength. Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting is a very visible demonstration of how inner strength can translate into tangible outer strength.

Many weightlifters who witnessed Sri Chinmoy’s lifts were surprised to see how he managed to lift very heavy weights, whilst remaining slightly built and not having the body type of a weightlifter. Sri Chinmoy said, that it was prayer and meditation which gave him the capacity to lift these heavy weights.

“Prayer and meditation are my inner secret and my outer secret. My muscles are next to nothing compared to the muscles of the professional bodybuilders and weightlifters. It is because of the strength of my prayer-life and meditation-life that I am able to accomplish these feats of strength.”

Sri Chinmoy, Aspiration-Body, Illumination-Soul Part 2, Agni Press, 1993.

People often ask why would a Spiritual Teacher take up the sport of weightlifting. Sri Chinmoy would reply it was not to compete with others, but only to compete with himself in a spirit of self-transcendence.

“I do not compete with anybody else; I compete only with myself. You saw my capacity a few minutes ago. Now I am competing with myself. When I do weightlifting, my body is my world. If I can improve myself, if I can go beyond my previous achievements, then that is my goal. My own previous record is always what I am competing with.”

Sri Chinmoy, Aspiration-Body, Illumination-Soul Part 1, Agni Press, 1993.

Sri Chinmoy also sought to inspire people; he felt if people got joy from seeing an elderly person lift weights, it would make them happy and inspire them in their own way. For example, well known bodybuilder, Frank Zane spoke how “the guru strengthened his already devout practice of meditation and Buddhist chanting to overcome nervousness and sharpen his confidence in bodybuilding competitions.” (A Monument to Strength as a Path to Enlightenment) at New York Times.

Spirit Over Matter

To Sri Chinmoy his philosophy was not to use ‘mind over matter’, but to use the strength from within. Before lifting, Sri Chinmoy said he would simply silence the mind and be as concentrated as possible allowing no thought to enter.

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Judge Not

sunrise

“Judge not, then, the karmic path walked by another. Envy not success, nor pity failure, for you know not what is success or failure in the soul’s reckoning.”

“But judge not, and neither condemn, for you know not why a thing occurs, nor to what end. And remember you this: that which you condemn will condemn you, and that which you judge, you will one day become. Rather, seek to change those things—or support others who are changing those things—which no longer reflect your highest sense of Who You Are.”

– Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God.

 

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