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Monday, Jan 11, 2010 This week’s Food for Thought – January 11, 2010

Excerpts from THE DIAMOND CUTTER by Geshe Michael Roach

With these words, The Diamond Cutter seems to be floating off into that world of nothing-makes-sense which Buddhism is unfortunately known for in our culture. But it is anything but.

Let’s see what’s being said here, and why, and then try to see how it could have any application at all in our lives.  Because it really does—the words here contain the real secrets to a totally successful life.

The conversation seems to amount to this—

SUBHUTI:  What shall we call the book?

THE BUDDHA:  Call it Perfect Wisdom.

SUBHUTI:  How shall we think about the book?

THE BUDDHA:  Think of it as perfect wisdom.  And if you’re wondering why, it’s because the perfect wisdom I’m writing about is perfect wisdom that could never exist anyway—and that’s exactly why I’ve decided to name the book Perfect Wisdom.  By the way, Subhuti, were you thinking that the book was a book?

SUBHUTI:  Not at all.  We know you never write books.

The crux here, and the key to the hidden potential in all things, is the statement  ‘You can call the book a book, and you can think about the book as a book, because it never could have been a book.’  This statement has a very specific and very concrete meaning, it is not some kind of mumbo-jumbo, and contained in it is all you need to know to be successful both in your personal and business life.

TIP OF THE WEEK: BREATH   In the ancient Sanskrit language, the word for breath is the same as the word for life, Prana.  From the yoga point of view, the air that we breathe contains more than just oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases; it contains prana, our life force, that substance from which all life and activity is derived. Prana enters our bodies when we are born and mysteriously leaves us when we die. In the same way that the concept of a person’s soul is unlikely to be proven by modern science, so the idea of prana remains unproven. Yet modern science does acknowledge oxygen itself as the most basic of human needs, and the advanced Yoga breathing techniques called pranayama teach us to make maximum use of our oxygen for optimal health and vitality. The principle of a life force energy is common in various cultures; in China it is known as Chi, in Japan as Ki. —Larry Payne, Ph.D. & Richard Usatine, M.D.