The PRCA board of directors and administration sees this as more than an attractive financial offer.
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The PRCA board of directors and administration sees this as more than an attractive financial offer.

-Troy Ellerman

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Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs.In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production.Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal.Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness.Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.'Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature.Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.

-Thích Nhất

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Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '. Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice.I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about.

-Stephen Fry

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Every Woman is UniqueAsalamu Alaikum.Every woman is unique for she bears the complete genes and background of her family. She is defined by her roots if she would live her life within the confines of her family values.However, she can be more than that if she dares her limitations and explores her potentials.Every woman loves differently. There are women who master the art of materialism, hence, they define love as a source of material and financial fulfillment using such belief as their motivation to marriage.There are women whose only life is to nod, follow and submit even if silently they do not like what they do.She was raised to believe that she can be nothing without her man. That she is a failure if she is incapable of marriage.Then there are women of great social status and ancestry, well-educated and proud. To them, they set standards, dividing men according to their qualities and would not accept a man who falls below it. This is the type that men avoid because they often bring pain to those they reject.Then there is one type of woman, whose level I belong. She looks beyond the superficial world and desires to connect with the soul.This type finds it hard to find true love for most value physical beauty and nothing more. While physical attraction is the first step to great connection, later on, she wants more depth and loyalty. Purity that is hard to attain for most men evolve in either surrendering to temptation or just playing with it. Rare is the man who shuns temptation and honor his commitment.That is why, I do not seek. I leave it all to Allah and ask His help to send me the man who meets me soulfully, and who would appreciate me beyond what he sees.If there is none, I would be happy to face my fate.I hope this will answer all questions to me.A princess by blood right like me can only go back to my ancestry as my source of inspiration and I cannot ask for the love that can master my heart if my fate is not for it.Love comes when it is ready and it must be the true love that DOES NOT only expect, command and criticize selfishly, but a love that is pure and UNCONDITIONAL.I would not settle for anything less.But certainly, as a Muslim, I should be led to the same faith because I was born and raised as a Muslim, and I would love to die in the arms of a pure Muslim.

-Princess Maleiha

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