Time flies

Has it really been ten days since the last post? 

Time flies.
That is nothing new.
My training sessions have been
postponed by a week or two.
Consultancy levels are low.
The financial crisis is here
And I’m one of the lucky few.

But there is news.
A new way of working!
I’m a freelancer-a worker
of the global workforce.

Within just a short month
I’ve gained credibility
And new clients!

All of this online.
Life is fun.

End of poetry.

I manged to get the top spot on one test on oDesk and am in the top 10s and top 20s at both eLance and oDesk.

I have quite good client feedback for the work performed.

The best part of the whole thing is having the choice to select which jobs I bid for.

So far I have worked on projects I enjoyed immensely.

Welcome 21st century. I guess I am a learner.

As I wrote in my MBA applications, the best thing I have learned is how to learn. The best thing I have done is to become the person I am.

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer

Looking for merit (or not)

I have always wondered where it is mentioned in Buddhism that giving alms to the Maha Sangha (priests) is more meritorious than giving to the needy.

Today I found the source:

A man looking for merit thereby, may offer food and other necessaries to the whole world in the course of a whole year; but all that amounts not to a fourth part of the homage paid to an upright man.
– Sahassa Vagga, Dhammapada

Now I have the answer, but it is still a dilemma.

Where I am from, it is difficult to get a day to offer meals to a priest at the temple because the people in the area are highly organised and dates are divided among a lot of families. The priests will not want for food.

But on the other hand there are orphanages and old people’s homes which are really needy. The case has worsened since the outset of the financial crisis. Many people have no money to spare for good deeds anymore. Or they prefer to do other things.

So in that case, isn’t it better to give alms to such a place rather than clamour to somehow force the priests in the closest temple?

I might just go ahead and give money and food to the orphanages etc. After all, you need to worry about this only if you are seeking merit.

So I believe I’d settle for simple peace of mind and social justice any day.

Also, to me, doing things just for merit when there are other things that need to be done somehow seems wrong. I really want to know what the Buddha would say to this.

For all I know, he might agree with me that feeding the needy is a better thing than forcing food on well fed priests.

Give your mind a break!

Remember what Byron said of lonely places in Childe Harold?

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.
-Lord Byron

Here is what the Dhammapada says:

Delightful are the forests, where the folk find no delight. The men without passions take delight in them. They are not seekers of pleasures.

The folk referred to here are the common people. Men without passions are those who have gone into the forest for contemplative purposes, I guess.

Forests not only clear the air; they also clear the mind.

When was the last time you were in a forest? Or just under large trees looking up? Give your mind a break. Visit a forest or at least a public park.

I wish you peace of mind!