Categories
meditation

Words of wisdom and Moral Principles

Words of Wisdom & inspirational quotes

These Words of Wisdom or inspirational quotes have all been selected to try and ease our suffering, to bring about a calm within our minds. There is an unprecedented amount of pain and suffering going on in the world today and it is each of our responsibility to help in any way we can.

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The world we all live in is an ever changing, impermanent entity and today this seems more so than ever before. Coronavirus or Covid19 has altered our entire way of life in a very short period of time. No matter what country you come from, no matter what colour your skin, no matter the religion you believe or disbelieve everyone has been touched by this deadly virus. Masks are starting to become an everyday aspect of our lives, social distancing is necessary or enforced and millions of people are suffering as a result.

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Myself, Dhamma Tāpasā, and my adopted stray dog, Marley Moo, spend our time wandering the European countryside, what the Buddhists call Tudong, in search of spiritual enlightenment. Each day we meet scared individuals, frightened for there very lives and that of their families. My job as a Monk and Meditator is to help in anyway I can, through my unique Moral Stories created from real life experiences we come across during our week. We create words of wisdom or inspirational quotes that have been passed down through the ages and we teach meditation and mindfulness techniques to calm the mind from worry and try and alleviate our own suffering. Meditation is more than just a relaxation tool and I urge you to find out more.

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Learn more about Meditation

To learn more about mindfulness and meditation techniques, we have included FREE within these pages a complete Beginners Meditation guide, advancing to the more sophisticated Vipassana meditation practice. We have sections to help with our posture and sitting position for meditation, mini meditations that can be practiced for people with busy lives. Body scan meditation to learn how are body feels at any given moment, and many many more meditation tricks and tips that help with any problems you may be facing along the way.

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A New Set of Moral Principles through Moral Stories

I believe the world needs a new set of Moral principals to help us progress, develop and thrive in this 21st century. Our time on this planet is short and at the moment it seems the manipulation of large corporations, the absurdity of immoral sports personalities, lying governments and the wealthy elite are gaining ever more popularity of followers all dreaming that this is the correct way to live our lives.

The results or our Karma following this way of life are very clear to me. With more and more searching for Youtube star sensation and Facebook fame we are all starting to fall victim to an immoral set of principals that only harm others in favour of ourselves.

We share this planet with 7 billion other humans and more than 7 times that number of other mammals, insects and birds, something we have all seemed too of forgotten. If we keep chasing greed of wealth, and the constant wanting of more things and stuff we will be the generation that brings the end to life as we know it.

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I urge us all to change our ways and learn more about peace, happiness from within ourselves and not from external situations. For none of us can become truly happy by external happiness, only by looking deep within can we truly escape the suffering we are causing ourselves and others.

Morality seems to of been casted aside in this century and I wholeheartedly believe a new set of principles needs to be found by all of us. This is why I try to write a Moral story each week to show clear examples of our behaviour and it’s direct consequences. Most of these short sweet Moral stories are from inspiration on our wanderings, designed to be read by children and adults alike.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

Categories
Motivational Mini Stories

The Monk & The Grasshopper

This weeks motivational Moral story

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The Monk & The Grasshopper

The Monk & The Grasshopper

One fine day, whilst out and about, hopping here and there, a little grasshopper happened across a monk who was meditating.

He hopped his way around the motionless monk for some time. He was struck by how calm, still and peaceful the monk appeared but he wasn’t really sure what he was doing.

The grasshopper hopped here and there, back and forth, keeping his eye on the monk and slowly gaining courage to get closer and closer until finally he was almost at the monk’s side. Just at the moment when he was about to hop on his knee and clear his tiny grasshopper throat, the monk opened his eyes and looked down at the grasshopper.

“Hello little grasshopper” the monk said in a warm and friendly manner. “How may I help you? ”

Surprised that the monk knew he was there, the little grasshopper, hopped back a little, and, plucking up all of his little grasshopper courage, he asked his question.

“I have been watching you for some time and would like to know what it is you are doing?”

“Meditation little grasshopper” said the monk “we meditate to calm our wandering minds”.

“Wandering minds, the grasshopper repeated, What do you mean?.

“Our minds can be like that of a little grasshopper that hops from place to place, always moving, never still and calm”

“Oh, said the little grasshopper, trying hard to be still for a moment. “I like that. I would like to try to calm my wandering mind, and my wandering legs, for that matter. Do you think I could learn?”

“Of course, little grasshopper. Its quite simple. We start by getting comfortable, then sitting with crossed legs and our backs straight, we close our eyes”.

The little grasshopper immediately sits down and after spending a little time working out how to cross its little legs, it closes its little eyes.

A few moments pass before the grasshopper opens one eye and looks up at the still and calm monk. “But what now? ” he asks a little impatiently.

The monk chuckles “steady little grasshopper, not so fast. When we close our eyes we watch our breath, Breathing in we are truly aware we are breathing in. Breathing Out we are truly aware we are breathing out”

“OK, that sounds pretty simple”, says the little grasshopper and does as the monk says, making himself comfortable again and crossing his little legs, he slowly closes his eyes and takes a deep in breath.

A few moments pass. “Wait!” shouts the grasshopper “I think it would be better to meditate over there on that lovely grass stalk” and off he hops. He jumps onto the blade of grass and looks around in satisfaction.

“Ok I’m ready now”

The monk and the grasshopper get themselves comfortable again, the monk crosses his legs and the little grasshopper does the same, they both slowly close their eyes and take a deep in breath.

A few more moments pass. “Wait!” Shouts the grasshopper “I think it would be better to meditate over there on that lovely rock” and off he hops. He jumps onto the rock and looks around in satisfaction.

“Ok I’m ready now”

The monk and the grasshopper once again make themselves comfortable the monk crosses his legs and the little grasshopper does the same, they both slowly close their eyes and take a deep in breath.

A few more moments pass. “Wait!” shouts the grasshopper

Author Dhamma Tapasa

Edited by Sophie Mars

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The Monk & The Grasshopper

Moral of Story

Our minds can be like that of the little grasshopper, always hopping off to here and there following the next big distraction. We meditate to calm our minds, stilling and quietening ourselves to live more in the present moment. When we become present in the moment we start to learn and experience the fundamental truths to that which causes us to suffer

Categories
meditation Misadventures of a Monk

Coronavirus from a Monks perspective

Covid19 and the view of a concerned monk

It’s been quite a while since I posted an update as to myself, Dhamma Tāpasā and my faithful companion Marley Moo, we were about to embark once again on our walking or wanderings then the coronavirus struck everyone, first Asia then Europe and then followed by the rest of the world, everywhere went into lockdown.

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Marley Moo

Marley and myself have been in Portugal for the last few years, a wonderful country full of inquisitive hospitable and extremely tolerant people who have slowly stolen my heart. This post is not going to try and be all political or which countries have done better than others. All I know is this has been an extraordinary world event that has caused massive amounts of suffering. Nowhere and no one on our awesome planet has been left untouched by this one event.

This is more of what we marley Moo and myself Dhamma Tāpāsa have been doing during this time. How a monk, living a simple and austere life has managed to survive.

As someone who relies on the kindness of strangers for food and our basic needs, corona and the lockdown effect has been an interesting journey. At first I tried treating the lockdown as an extended retreat and continued meditating as if I was on a rains period. We were extremely lucky to be living on 88 hectares of land during the winter months and continued to stay during corona, allowing me and Marley to also spend long days walking. We have of course had our ups and downs just like everyone, but understanding the reality of seeing the impermanence in everything we knew this too shall pass.

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Monsanto

As lockdown eased slightly we started to wander a little further each day, always returning to our chosen base. We have struggled money wise and have lost our internet connection for, sometimes, long periods at a time. It has been difficult to fund this website or keep it regularly updated as library’s shut to the public. Even now trying to organise enough time on the internet to revamp the website after a disastrous change of service caused page crashes and broken links, but we are managing slowly, just like the rest of humanity, to get back to normality.

We have been extremely lucky here in Portugal and have seen relatively low numbers of people infected. Even with these low numbers there are hundreds and thousands of people who are suffering greatly. My heart goes out to everyone, around the world as we all try and get to grips with this changing world.

As someone who practices meditation everyday, I would highly recommend at least giving this new age, hippy dippy, concept a go. Not only will your anxiety and stress reduce, it will help us all become calmer and more tolerant of people and our surroundings. Just the simple task of sitting comfortably and closing our eyes for ten minutes will have a tremendous effect on our well being. Meditation for Beginners is a great place to start if your contemplating dipping you toe into this wonderful exercise of mindfulness.

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We would still like to continue our walking and maybe one day soon the conditions will be just right again for us to do just that. As for the moment myself and Marley Moo have wandered and travelled away from our sanctuary of 88 hectares in Portugal’s Algarve and have moved a little further to central Portugal and close to the Estrella mountains. We have a couple of friends here and will use this area as a base for the foreseeable future.

We really can see first hand how dangerous this virus really is, not just as a disease that can kill and cause millions of us to die, but the act of social distancing on our mental health, frightened to see older parents in case we pass on a disease. People scared to go to hospital for normal regular stuff, the loss of work and income for millions of families around the world and small business, the push for a cashless society so small independent people can be controlled and monitored more easily. Corporations begging for bailouts to save even more loss of jobs. Unprecedented times indeed.

There are millions and millions more people who our suffering greatly in this time than the actual disease will kill. We are asked to care for a system so that it can care for us, and by doing so must self isolate, social distance and loose household income. It has created a divide between old and young, different nations, different politics and even caused differences of opinion amongst friends and family. This one event we all share in common has and is causing more suffering to millions than anything in my living history.

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This is a very very scary time and I urge each and everyone to take time to breath, meditate and relax. Take a look at your life values and reassess your ideas, dreams and look at what is truly important for you.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

To help support Dhamma Tāpasā and Marley Moo with this website and the creation of unique Motivational Moral Stories perhaps you could help by donating the price of a coffee or cost of a newspaper using this PayPal Link below.

www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

Please note that Dhamma Tāpasā is a real life Monk and the spiritual name of Andrew Hallas, I have been continuously using my spiritual name Dhamma Tāpasā, the name given to me upon full ordination as a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand, however it wasn’t until I needed a bank account did I realise I had to use my birth name as well..

Categories
meditation Meditation Masters

Spiritual teachers of our time

Spiritual teachers & Guru’s in the 21st Century

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Quotes that make you laugh

The world has seen its fair share of spiritual teachers, as tribal groups there would always be someone we could seek advice, the shaman, witch doctors and wise sages. As humanity settled into greater societies we developed philosophy, meditation, and ever more sophisticated ways of exploring the mind and our consciousness. We have consistently and constantly throughout time sought advice from others. 

This ever changing impermanent world we populate has given rise to some amazing Guru’s, sages, philosophers and spiritual teachers through out the centuries. We have seen the birth of Socrates, Aristotle, the Buddha, Jesus Christ and Confucius to name just a mere few of these wonderful people who shared there knowledge and understanding to help others.

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Today’s spiritual teacher or guru can, as always, be difficult to separate from the hum drum of the real world. Some ask us to invest our time and energy into something they say produce staggering results in next to no time, but at a cost. Some seem to walk the walk or talk the talk but seldom practice that which they preach. personal development through mindfulness, words of wisdom, developing minds, spiritual enlightenment, inspirational advice, change your mindset, commit to sit, spiritual teachers of 21st Century, motivational quotes, changing thought patterns, spiritual awakening,

There are of course in the 21st century some wonderful teachers out there, it just may seem a little crowded with wanna be YouTube stars, or Pinterest and Facebook hero’s quoting or misquoting life lessons, people who may have little to no life experience.

My personal search

Before I became an ordained Buddhist Monk in North Thailand I went through many frustrating years following the advice of one teacher then the next, only to find my own life experience differed from those teachings.

I travelled in search of answers looking first towards South America and the Indian shaman’s, who taught me that The Earth is our Mother. I ventured further and sought out our ancestral roots within Africa, finding some of the indigenous tribes people still left who taught me wisdom doesn’t come from school.

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After all this searching, as if by chance, I met a simple Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the greatest spiritual teachers alive today. Thanks to his wonderful compassion, wisdom and guidance, I found my search for a teacher over. Every word he spoke to me resonated deep within my soul, sparking a realisation I had been seeking for years.

Now it’s your turn

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I really hope you find your spiritual teacher, someone that can also spark that magic Thich Nhat Hanh did for me. To help you out we thought it might be useful for a small list of trustworthy people, alive today, who really do know there stuff. Please feel free to help with any suggestions, someone special to you. Click on the highlighted name for more information.

Thich Nhat Hanh:

Is a Buddhist monk who set up Plum village monastery in France, as well as many others. He was nominated for the noble peace prize and a prolific author of some 100 books. A true real life saint.

Jack Kornfield:

A trained Buddhist monk under the tutelage of Ajahn Chah, one of the original 1960’s hippy trail travellers caving a path towards a spiritual East. A wonderful author of many many enlightening books of meditation and mindfulness.

Deepak Chopra:

Indian born American spiritual author, public speaker and advocate of alternative medicine, and a celebrated author in the self help category

Mooji:

Jamaican born Mooji is a spiritual guru filled with loving kindness. He became a spiritual teacher in 1999 when a group of spiritual seekers became his students, and began to produce books, CDs, and videos of his teachings

Ajahn Brahm

Is a British born Australian Buddhist monk from the Thai forest tradition and tutored under the auspicious Ajahn Chah. He now resides in Perth, Australia and Abbot Of Bodhinyana Monastery, a wonderfully entertaining and funny speaker and lecturer.

Dhali Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama, born as Tenzin Gyatso and is the current spiritual leader of Tibet. Tenzin was born in the small village of Taktser in Tibet and became the spiritual leader at the tender age of 15 years old. A remarkable man of humble origins.

How a spiritual teacher can help

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My life dramatically changed after meeting Thich Nhat Hanh and from that moment onwards. I committed wholeheartedly to practice meditation and mindfulness and discover the workings of my own mind. I travelled to Asia and ordained as a Buddhist monk, a journey that took many years in itself, I spent many happy years living and training in meditation and mindfulness within the monastic surroundings of Thailand.

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I decided to return to Europe, where I wander the countryside with my adopted street dog Marley Moo, together we teach and write moral stories, however it has come at the cost of loosing all monetary assistance from my monastery. This caused a few problem and made me question my beliefs and ideas, I am now in my 12th year, or 12th rains, as a Monk and I spend my days in continuous practice of the discovery of myself. It is again only by chance I find myself now in the position where it is I who can give back.

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To find out more about Dhamma Tāpasā Click Here!

And if your feeling spontaneously generous

Our PayPal link is as follows

www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

Categories
Motivational Mini Stories

The Two Arguing Tigers

The Two Arguing Tigers.

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The Two Arguing Tigers

Two tigers start to get into an argument while out for a walk

The first tiger is adamant that he is right, the second tiger is certain that he is right, both won’t give in and the argument starts to escalate.

Just then, as they round a corner in the road, they meet a friendly meditating monk.

“Ahhh now for sure we will see I am right” says one tiger

“I don’t think so” says the other tiger “we shall see I am right.”

They pay their respects to the monk, before asking their pressing question.

“Monk we have a question for you” states one tiger “we would like you to clarify who is right and who is wrong. where does Heaven and Hell reside? My friend believes that Heaven is above and Hell is below but I disagree and am sure that Hell is above and Heaven is below. Monk please tell us”

The Monk smiles and considers the problem for a moment before replying

“I’m afraid neither of you are correct. Heaven and Hell don’t reside outside of us, either above the clouds or deep within the earth. Heaven and hell reside in each one of our minds. Let me explain. Both of you are angry with each other in this moment and so your minds are filled with a destructive force, this is like a Hell. Only peace and compassion can bring about a Heaven in our minds”

Both the two tigers instantly understand what the monk has explained and drop their stupid argument, apologise to each other and become friends once more.

“And right now, in your mind tigers, is Heaven” said the monk “when we have peace and compassion in our minds we are experiencing Heaven”

Author: Dhamma Tāpasā

Moral of the story

There are said to be 108 defilements or destructive forces of our minds. Anger and hatred are amongst those 108, we must calmly and clearly see for ourselves how each of these 108 destructive forces, harm us and cause only ourselves to suffer. To truly feel this within our own minds and bodies we begin to let go.

Our mind is the one thing that comes with us wherever we go. Most of us seek outside of ourselves for that elusive happiness, I challenge you to look within to find that happiness, peace and compassion that you so richly deserve.

Observe, how you body feels when anger is present, truly see for yourself how tense your body becomes how the stress courses through you. To truly experience anger this way the truth will shine, gradually or instantly you will let go.

Categories
Motivational Mini Stories

How to catch a Baby Dragon

Inspirational Short Moral Story

How to catch a Baby Dragon

Almost 6,000 years ago to this very day a challenge was set by a wise and noble king.

“Whoever can catch me a Baby Dragon will inherit my kingdom”

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There were many takers to this quest, all would eagerly set out in pursuit but none ever returned.

The king was a wise man and knew it would take someone of exceptional skill to capture a Baby Dragon and only that someone would be worthy of ruling fairly and justly his kingdom.

It has been almost 500 years since the last Dragon was seen on earth, so allow me to enlighten you a little and separate some fact from fiction.

Dragons as we all know are formidable opponents, a mighty flying beast capable of fire breathing and with claws that are sharper than any steal sword we can make.

What, dear reader, you may not realise is a Baby Dragon posses none of the above skill set, and can at first appear vulnerable. However what the Baby Dragon lacks in shear power and destruction they make up for in cunning and deceptive ways.

The Baby Dragon posses an infinite variety of evil tricks to lure their victims in, then they gobble them up, bones and all.

Our story starts, like all good fairy tales do, with our hero and five others who except the kings challenge.

Standing at the palace gates each bid their fairwells and boldly stride onwards to where the dragons reside.

It’s a long and strenuous march over mountains and valleys, through streams and woods until finally they reach there destination. Each of the six are very tired and exhausted, but now must be more aware than ever before.

As they enter the Dragon woods an eeriness descends and each fall silent taking careful steps not to be spotted. As they reach a clearing deep in the forest they spot the Baby Dragons.

The quickest to react spots the most beautiful Baby Dragon and leaps into action, but as they approach they start to notice how wonderful this Baby Dragon really is, more beautiful than any sunrise or sunset they have ever seen, with colours that seem to shimmer and sparkle with ever step. Our wanna be hero becomes so engrossed and mesmerised by this sight, that the Baby Dragon seeing their opportunity gobbles him all up, bones and all.

Our next hero to act is drawn to a Baby Dragon who is gently singing, as they approach the music becomes so soothing and peaceful, a melody so perfect in pitch and tone our hero completely forgets the mission and stands engrossed. Seeing this opportunity the Baby Dragon gobbles them up, bones and all.

The third to act is a little more cautious. Seeing the other two got caught by the sight and sound of the Baby Dragons our hero decides to carefully step pass the singing Dragons and doesn’t even glance upon the most beautiful. Instead they are drawn to one little Baby Dragon who seems harmless enough.

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Our hero walks right up to this seemingly harmless Baby Dragon, they pick it up to place it in their rucksack but as they do they are instantly drawn to the feeling of the Baby Dragon’s surprisingly soft and soothing skin, as fluffy as a kitten but at the same time silky and smooth to the touch. Our hero starts to stroke the Baby Dragon as if a pet completely abandoning the idea of the quest. seeing this as an opportunity the Baby Dragon gobbles them up, bones and all.

Our next and fourth hero to approach the Baby Dragons is also cautious and manages to control their desire for the most beautiful and quell their passions for those soothing sounds, they pass unaffected those first devilish Baby Dragons but find themselves suddenly transfixed with a smell so heavenly and intoxicating that it stops them in their tracks. A smell so full of spices from old l, with a fragrance full of depth and character that our hero’s mind is captivated. Seeing the opportunity, the Baby Dragon quickly gobbles them up, bones and all.

Our fifth hero watches as one by one each of the others have succumbed to these Baby Dragons devious ways. They still think they will be safe and so boldly stride through the most beautiful and even the sweetly singing Baby Dragons. The wonderful smells don’t distract them from the quest nor are they caught by the silky soft touch as they brush up against a Baby Dragon. Our fifth hero is starting to see victory when something strange starts to happen, without warning our hero’s mouth waters with a taste so succulent and delicious they are transfixed. Their mind wanders and is caught up in this taste just for a moment but a moment is all that a Baby Dragon needs and seeing the chance they gobble them up, bones and all.

The last one left is our true hero, for they have seen the others fall victim to their overwhelmed senses and understands that one must guard against those passions of sight, those desires for taste, the pursuit of feelings, the want of sound and the intoxicating lust for smell.

Our true hero, guarding those senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and feeling with the six and most important sense, our sense of consciousness, find they are not controlled or manipulated by their desires or passions but see them clearly for what they are Impermanent, forever changing and as we cling and attach bring us suffering. As so they are unaffected by these devilish tricks and simply walk calmly up to one Baby Dragon place it in their rucksack and start making the long way back to the palace.

Author: Dhamma Tāpasā

Moral of the story:

As humans we experience the world around us through our five senses of sight, sound, taste, feeling and smell. No matter what comes our way and fixes itself within our six sense, our consciousness, always starts from one of these five senses.

Each of us has our favourite sense, mine has always been Feeling, I love the feeling of the sun and wind on my skin, the feeling of a hug and the feeling of surfing as examples. I can get so caught up and carried away with a feeling I sometimes too will get eaten by my Baby Dragons, which represents the Anger, loathing, envy and a 108 defilements of mind or any other negative and destructive thoughts associated with attachment to an impermanent, forever changing entity. Suffering will always ensue.

As Monk’s and meditators we practice guarding our senses and staying present in the moment, sometimes a seemingly difficult task. This is why we learn meditation, focusing on our breath, the more we practice the more we learn to stay focused on this present moment, never attaching to our thoughts, feelings, sounds, tastes, sights and smells. We begin to see them for what they truly are impermanent, that which is always forever changing, to attach to these forever changing thoughts and sensations will always bring suffering, something we are all trying to ovoid.

Categories
Motivational Mini Stories

Weekly Moral Story “The Poisoned Dice”

This weeks Moral story

The Poisoned Dice

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Once upon a time there was a rich man living in India who was addicted to gambling. He played dice day and night and in the process met with another gambling addict, a man whose mind worked in tricky ways.

While the rich gambler was very honest and above board, the tricky gambler was one of dishonesty. When the tricky gambler won he kept on playing. But when he began to lose he would secretly put one of the dice in his mouth and swallow it, claiming the dice lost and stopped the game.

The rich gambler began to notice this little trick and decided one day to teach his friend a lesson. His plan was simple, he smeared poison on the dice and let it dry so it was invisible then took these to his next game of Dice with his friend.

The day came and the two friends set up the gambling board and started to play. As usual the tricky gambler was happy to win. And win he did with every throw of the dice, as soon as he luck began to change and he started to lose he immediately snuck one of the dice into his mouth, unaware they were coated in poison.

After swallowing the poison dice the trickster instantly fell down sick. The rich gambler, who was basically good at heart and only wanted to teach his friend a lesson, thought, “Enough is enough. Now I must save his life.”

He made a concoction of herbs and spices to cause vomiting. He made his friend swallow it, and he threw up the poison dice. His friend was saved and learnt a valuable lesson.

Moral of story:

Deceiving a friend may be hazardous to your health.

Lying, or deception causes real pain in this world, and a liar is always found out. To create a lie requires vast amounts of effort in keeping it believable, real and who you actually told, this takes valuable energy away from your true purpose of living contently, calmly and at peace.