Thought for the Day: Compound Your Spirit

” It is not necessary to have any particular spiritual path in this life in order to learn from [illness, failure, sorrow, success] . . . It is not essential to have a guru, to eat this way or not eat this way, to talk this way or any way.  Some part of this education of the spirit in you will happen to you in this life.  That is so for every soul. . . . But if you care about your mind, you see, if you don’t stir up the energies of your mind by hurting some person or some animal, by using your body in a way that is not a healthy way, if you meditate, or say prayers, if you have some quiet in your life instead of keeping all the time busy with noise and errands, if you cultivate good thoughts and feelings where you can instead of bad thoughts and feelings, if you do this then you will . . . compound your learning.

Lahaina cocketel

Cockatiels in Lahaina

It doesn’t not mean you are better person than the one who does not do these things.  It means you will squeeze all the juice from this life that there is to squeeze.  You will not waste your time here, that you have been given, that is so precious we do not realize until the moment we die.  You will not waste this precious time, do you see?  This is the best kind of being an environmentalist person.  This is not misusing the gifts of this world.  Do you see?”  says Ripoche, the monk in Roland Merullo’s Breakfast with Buddha.

Ducks in Waikapu

Ducks in Waikapu

Aloha, Renée



About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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