“The Chinese Bamboo Tree” Parable By Les Brown

In the far East they have something called The Chinese Bamboo Tree.

The Chinese Bamboo Tree takes five years to grow.

They have to water and fertilize the ground where it is every day,
and it doesn’t break through the ground until the fifth year.

But once it breaks through the ground,
within 5 weeks it grows 90 feet tall.

Now the question is does it grow 90 feet tall in 5 weeks or 5 years?

The answer is obvious.
It grows 90 feet tall in five years.

Because at any time if had that person stopped watering, and nurturing, and fertilizing that tree, that bamboo tree would have died in the ground.

And I can see people coming out talking to a guy out there watering and fertilizing the ground that’s not showing anything,

“Hey, whatcha doing? You’ve been out here a long time, man. And the conversation in the neighborhood is…You growin a Chinese Bamboo Tree, is that right??”

“Yea that’s right”

“Well even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can see ain’t nothing showin.”

You know that’s how people are gonna do you:

“So how long have you been working on this? How long have you been working on your dream? And you have nothing to show? This is all you got to show???”

People gonna do that to you.

And some people ladies and gentleman, they stop.

Because they don’t see instant results.

It doesn’t happen quickly.

They stop, oh no, no, no, no…

You’ve got to keep on watering your dreams 

And when it begins to happen, they stop laughing.

They say “Look, whoa, look here, it’s, look up, hey man you know I knew you could do it, look, you got a job here?”

See during those hard times you didn’t know how you’re gonna make payroll, during those times when you failed and things didn’t work out, they were nowhere to be found. 

You know what I discovered, when you’re working at your dream, somebody said “the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.”

Oh it’s sweet to ya. It’s good to ya, why?

See when it’s hard and there’s a struggle, see what you become in the process is more important than the dream.

That’s far more important.

The kind of person you become, the character that you build, the courage that you develop, the faith that you’re manifesting.

Oh it’s something that you get up in the morning, you look yourself in the mirror, you’re a different kind of person, you walk with a different kind of spirit.

People know that you know what life is. That you have embraced life.
You knew it was hard, but you did it hard.

Where are you really? By Dan Millman

“…He asked, “Where are you today, right now?”

Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later.

“Very well,” he said. “But you still have not answered my question about where you are.”

“Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work.”

“Where are you?”

“What do you mean, where am I?”

“Where Are you?” he repeated softly.

“I’m here.”

“Where is here?”

“In this office, in this gas station!” I was getting impatient with this game.

“Where is this gas station?”

“In Berkeley?”

“Where is Berkeley?”

“In California?”

“Where is California?”

“In the United States?”

“On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I…”

“Where are the continents?

I sighed. “On the earth. Are we done yet?”

“Where is the earth?”

“In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?”

“Where is the Milky Way?”

“Oh, brother,” I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. “In the universe.” I sat back and crossed my arms with finality.

“And where,” Socrates smiled, “is the universe?”

“The universe is well, there are theories about how it’s shaped…”

“That’s not what I asked. Where is it?”

“I don’t know – how can I answer that?”

“That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of what anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery. My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.”

Intro to Timothy Leary

Born — October 22, 1920, Springfield, MA

Growing Up

—Only child in Irish Catholic home.

—Tim’s Father, also named Timothy, was a dentist, and left the family when Tim was 14. 

—Graduated from a high school in Massachusetts.

—1938-1940 Became a cadet in U.S. Military at West Point, but was a trouble maker. He was shunned and silenced from fellow cadets. This led to court appearances where Timothy then resigned and honorably discharged from the Army.

—He had gone to numerous jails throughout his whole life(first time in 1965), with the above case he said the military trial was “the only fair trial I’ve had in a court of law.”

—1950 received doctorate in psychology from University of California Berkeley, becoming an assistant professor until 1955. During this time he developed a psychotherapy model (egalitarian model) for psychotherapist and patients. 

—1959 Lecturer at Harvard University.

—1960 Leary tried psilocybin mushrooms for the first time, commenting afterwards:

“I learned more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than the preceding 15 years of studying and doing research in psychology.”

—In the following years he linked up with Richert Alpert – commonly known as Ram Dass, who was also a Harvard lecturer, studying and analyzing psilocybin’s effect on the brain. He concluded that psychedelics, under the guidance of psychologists/guides, in the right dose and good setting, could benefit people in ways that normal therapy couldn’t.

—1970 received a 10-year prison sentence. He had designed a psychological test for prisoners in the previous years, and he was given the test. That same year he answered all the right questions to put him in the most low-security prison possible, where he ended up escaping.

—He joined the Black Panther Party in Algeria after his escape – before one of the leaders of the Party attempted to hold him and his wife hostage. Tim and his wife left to Switzerland.

—Richard Nixon labeled Leary as “The most dangerous man in America”

—1973 After more traveling to escape getting caught, he was arrested and faced 95 years in prison, but ended up with a 15 year sentence, in Folson Prison, California, where his cell was beside Charles Manson’s cell. They couldn’t see each other but they conversed.

—Leary became an FBI informant to shorten his prison sentence, where he was released in 1976.

—Leary continued lecturing, debating, and writing the rest of his life.

Leary had an adventurous life to say the least, this is just a short outline of some of it. 

—Multiple songs have been written about or for Leary, including John Lennon writing “Come Together” for Leary during Leary’s political pursuit.

—The Moody Blues wrote the song “Legend of a Mind” with the main lyrics being “Timothy Leary’s dead..No he’s on the outside looking in.” …Leary was still alive at this time.

Written Books

The Psychedelic Experience

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

High Priest

—Your Brain Is God

He wrote many others that can be found online. 

Here’s a documentary from BBC on YouTube about Timothy Leary’s life, titled “The Man Who Turned On America

Died — May 31, 1996, Beverly, CA

“Think for yourself and question authority.”

“Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out.”

“Grow with the flow.”

“Any reality is an opinion-we make up our own reality.”

“I am 100 percent in favor of the intelligent use of drugs, and 1,000 percent against the thoughtless use of them, whether caffeine or LSD. And drugs are not central to my life.”

“If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people.”

Here is a related post about questioning your assumptions.

What’s your favorite Leary moment?

Intro to Alan Watts

Born—January 6, 1915, England.

Growing Up

—His grandpa on his mother’s side of the family was a missionary.

—Alan had interest in storybook fables, mysterious tales, and the idea of “ultimate things” – likely influenced by his mother’s religious family.

—At an early age he was interested in Buddhism.

—Alan became an Episcopal priest in the United States in 1938, before moving to Millbrook, New York.

—He wrote a number of books.

—Moved to San Francisco in 1951, teaching Buddhist studies.

—He became a worldwide spiritual speaker, with the help of his radio show “Way Beyond the West” giving lectures, writing books, living zen, throughout his days.

Written Books

—The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for the Age of Anxiety

—The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

—The Way of Zen

—Become What You Are

—The Meaning of Happiness 

—Out Of Your Mind

—This Is It

—What Is Tao?

—In My Own Way: An Autobiography

—The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness

—Nature, Man and Woman

These are only a small amount of all his publications, which you can find here at the Alan Watts Organization.

Alan Watts is known for multiple things, some of them are for bringing Zen and Buddhist teachings to the West.

He not only spoke of his beliefs, he manifested them, because he knew who he was at a deep universal level.

He knows how difficult those ideas are to be comprehended, but he explained it well so that if you listen enough, you might get it, but also that there’s nothing to get 🙂

One of the many ways he has influenced my life is getting me to wonder what I would do if I didn’t have to worry about money.

Here is Watt’s 3 minute speech on the above idea that changed my life.

He has so many other works that you can find on YouTube, bookstores, anywhere online. 

Died — November 16, 1973, California.

“I had a discussion with a great master in Japan…and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, ‘That’s a waste of time. If you really understand Zen…you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because…the sound of the rain needs no translation’.”

“And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words… As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.”

“If you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water…You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”

“So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.”

Here are 69 of Watt’s best quotes. I wrote down many of his quotes before numbering them and it just happened to be 69. Enjoy.

Joaquin Phoenix Oscars 2020 Award Speech Transcript

…But I think the greatest gift it’s given me and many of us in this room, is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about some of these distressing issues that we are facing collectively, and I think at times we feel or were made to feel that we champion different causes, but for me, I see commonality. 

I think whether we’re talking about gender equality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animals rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice.

We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control, and use and exploit another with impunity.

I think that we’ve become very disconnected with the natural world, and many of us what were guilty of is an egocentric world view; the belief that we’re the center of the universe.

We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. 

We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable, and then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal, and I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up, but human beings at are best are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles we can create, develop, and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.

And I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and ungrateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance, and I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is best of humanity.

When he was 17 my brother wrote this lyric. He said “run to the rescue with love and peace will follow,” thank you.

5 Joseph Campbell Quotes to Live Fully

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”

^^ What makes you come alive?

The world needs more of this. I do. I think we all do when it’s experiences founded in love.

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

It is a privilege

I am deeply thankful to my parents for always encouraging and loving me for who I am. They have shaped my life tremendously 🙂


What are a few of your favorite experiences?

How will you make more time for them?

Thank you for reading.

Peace. Love. Happiness.

4 Ricky Gervais’s 2020 Golden Globes Insightful Moments

Funnyman Ricky Gervais kicked off the 2020 Golden Globes with a bang.

His real and raw opening monologue included a range of personal jokes as well as a range of insightful statements.

This post explains and brings light to 4 of Gervais’s insightful statements from his opening monologue.

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1 — “So, I mean, Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars for some offensive tweets, hello?”

—Main point = Racism. 

— Gervais has been hired 5 times to host the Golden Globes despite being consistently offensive. In the same Hollywood realm lies the Oscars where they fired Kevin Hart from hosting for having offensive tweets…Later in Gervais’s opening monologue he says “The Hollywood Foreign Press are all very very racist.”

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2 —  “Let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, so, yea, remember that.”

—Main point = Laugh.

—Gervais understands the importance of jokes in a hypocritical world where we’re all going to die(Memento Mori). He knows to not take himself or others too seriously, because life is short. Gervais uses comedy to lighten the weight of the world, because it sure is heavy…

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3 — “Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama…A superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. So, well you say you’re woke but the companies you work for, I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?”

—Main point = Hypocrisy.

—Gervais sheds light on a cornerstone of capitalism and the hypocrisy of capitalistic companies actors are working for. He begins by calling out Apple for creating a TV drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, but that they run sweatshops in China…Which, yes, is complete hypocrisy. Then he relates this hypocrisy to actors who are working for these companies and that they would probably work with an ISIS streaming service if one was created. The message Gervais displays here goes even deeper, but let’s move on.

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4 — “So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”

Main point = Thoughtlessness.

—Gervais brings to completion one of his main messages: There are awful things in this world we are all oblivious to, or we choose to be oblivious to, and only a few that are made public and worked upon.

He wants us all to wake up and be honest about the reality of the world and our part in it. That actors who are working for capitalistic companies with sweatshops are playing a role in maintaining those sweatshops. That the winners of the evening are likely to make a political speech, but that political speeches are narrow, biased, and leave out billions of other problems in the world.

Yes, there are issues needing resolution and there always will be, but Gervais encourages people to really think, to see the world objectively(What’s normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly), and rather than make a political speech one time about making the world better, act in your day to day life toward making the world a little less worse. 

Gervais hopes we all recognize the chaos of this world and still laugh, have fun, and enjoy it while it lasts. To work toward a better world but to not take it all too seriously.

How did you interpret Gervais’s speech?