Tag Archives: History

Celebrating American History in Words

America is home to inventors, artists, scientists, activists, freedom fighters…
The list could go on forever and it is something we’re very proud of.
We’re celebrating today with words of wisdom from Americans who overcame amazing odds to make history that changed us all.

We are not makers of history.
We are made by history.
-Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader

I freed a thousand slave.
I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
-Harriet Tubman, Abolitionist Continue reading

Student Eloquently Points Out What’s Wrong with Education System in Five Minutes

It seems you can’t go five minutes without hearing about how apathetic today’s youth is about education – that they only care about getting famous or doing things that make them happy rather than learning. We are consistently bombarded with statistics about lower test scores, op-eds on why today’s college students aren’t ready for the demanding rigor of the current work force and the reminder that the United States is constantly slipping in rank when it comes to world education.

One Knox County, Tennessee student is going to tell you why. And you know what? It’s not because of apathetic students or lazy teachers. In five short minutes he breaks down the history of the “common core” and why it is failing America’s students, its teachers and the overall system. He explains the problem with treating education like a fortune 500 business and how a student’s success and quality of learning can’t be accessed by the percentage score of a scantron test. He stands up for his peers, their desire to learn, and for the hard working teachers that try to give them that opportunity to do so against seemingly impossible odds.

I come from a family of teachers. My mother just retired from teaching second grade. My father has been teaching at a community college for over 15 years and this fall my brother started his first year as a fourth grade teacher. When I go home for the holidays I will spend most of my time listening to conversations about lesson plans, parent teacher conferences and a rundown of all of the tedious paperwork that has to be filled out just to get a student diagnosed with ADD. When my mother was teaching she would often be at the school until 6pm, and when she came home she would be up until 10 or 11 grading papers, tweaking lesson plans or responding to parent e-mails. Every child of a teacher knows that it is a 24/7 job and that as the years go on it becomes more and more impossible. As the video points out, our teachers today are graded by percentage points on quarterly standardized tests rather than the desire to learn they inspire in their students. It doesn’t measure the important things like the amount of time spent helping struggling students or thinking outside the box. For the sake of their own jobs teachers today are forced to teach their students how to think like a multiple choice question rather than creating their own original ideas.

If we fail our students in learning how to think for themselves, how do we ever expect them to succeed in life?

If you know a teacher that could use this video as encouragement, share it with them to show your support! Or tell us what you think about this student’s speech in the comments below.

What To Do When It Feels Like It Is Raining Hammers

cloud-rain-e1323102118236There are just some days when it feels like it is raining hammers. Things seem misaligned someplace that have major repercussions in our lives. We planned for a great presentation and the projector died. Your date for the dance/prom came down with the measles. Someone dented your car. You are overdrawn in your bank account. Your best friend just started to date your ex. People disappoint you. Events don’t happen as you planned. You know how it goes – all these things make us feel like hammers are falling.

How do we keep optimistic, focused on greatness and living life with passion when we are dodging hammers? The answer? Stop seeing things as hammers.

I know, it’s not so easy. But that is because we choose to see so many of the events and people of our lives as negative instead of viewing them as neutral. When we allow life to be, and not fight with it, we start to realize life doesn’t send hammers – we create hammers. Situations happen and we instantly pass judgment – we instantly define it as good or bad, and if perceived as bad, we start to notice a collection of bad. And the hammer shower starts.

Someplace in our history, we were told or imagined that life is supposed to go exactly as we plan it – we are in control. And though we repetitively see this not to be true, we still think we are the ones pulling the strings. Sure, we have choice but we can only choose from what we encounter. Every thing we encounter is strictly an encounter – not good, not bad. What we think about it determines its status. So if we were able to see the value in all of life’s events as ways to grow, learn and improve, we would start to focus more on blessings than hammers.

To move to blessings instead of hammers practice the following three approaches:

  1. Practice gratitude. Look lovingly at the events, people and circumstances in your life. When we focus on gratitude and seeing greatness around us, we don’t focus on hammers. And in spite of whatever may seem wrong with the world or life, there is always more right with it than wrong with it. Be grateful, see the blessings, focus on the good.
  2. Practice kindness. When you notice that you are angry, aggravated or disappointment, be kind. Though every fiber of your being will fight the urge to be kind, by actually being kind and loving, you quickly undo the anger. You can’t be angry and kind at the same time. You’ll notice a change in your body and in your spirit in the moment you release the anger in favor of an act of kindness.
  3. Practice opportunity-hunting. When hammers seem to start falling, reframe each negative event into an opportunity. When focus on finding opportunities – on being life-long opportunity hunters – we redirect our energy into positive and out of negative. We are constantly knee-deep in opportunities; we are distracted by the negative and don’t have the vision to see them. By intentionally looking for opportunity in a perceived negative event, we have the ability of changing the hammers to blessings.

We have more control than we think – not of how things move in the world but rather how we respond to them. Use your control to choose to show up happy, successful, great and optimistic, not narrow, vicious and petty.  These emotions are within our control.

But to choose anabolic over catabolic, we have to pay attention to when we are in hammer-mode – when we are seeing the negative. So much of how we act and react is involuntary – we go into autopilot based on what we know. To get out of hammer-mode we have to tune in, be conscious and be present. Then we can choose our responses to practice gratitude, kindness or opportunity-hunting. And with a more conscious approach to life, we stop seeing the hammers and just see life as an amazing adventure that has good and tough times, all are important and valuable in how we learn, grow and become our best selves.

Can the Rise of the Feminine Create a New Civilization?

Not to be confused with women taking over the world, the rise of the feminine in our society is a powerful and potentially transformative shift. In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra is joined by scholar, philosopher and researcher Jean Houston to discuss feminine archetypes and how a rise in feminine qualities will affect the civilization.

The emphasis in their discussion is on archetypes, which shouldn’t be confused with actual female versus male traits. Any given human characteristic might be expressed by any given human being, and we are at a point in our evolution where essentialized beliefs about the sexes are outdated. But as symbolic systems, gendered archetypes can be potent ways of looking at global trends, and this is what Deepak and Jean discuss as a need for the “rise of the feminine.”

Add your thoughts to the discussion and subscribe to The Chopra Well!


Thumbnail credit: Leela Francis

This Is What Real Love Looks Like

Burning Love -- Spring Botanical Red Tulip Flower“Real love is something so deep, so energizing, that you will not know it unless you experience it. Love is an expression of energy, not something that is transacted. Tell me one thing: can you love people when you meet them for the first time?”

(From the audience: No Swamiji! We don’t even know them, then how can we love them?)

Exactly! This is what you think. Let me tell you, with a little bit of intellectual understanding and meditation, you will realize that you can love anyone without a reason! You can love the trees on the road, you can caress them and feel the energy flow from you. You can love people whom you pass by on the road without even knowing them. Love is actually your very being, not a distilled quality that you possess.

Nothing is as misconstrued as love is today. Today, love is more of a transaction. If someone says something nice to you, you love him; tomorrow if the same person falls short of it, you don’t love him that much or you probably hate him.

Even your lifelong friend, with whom you chat everyday on the computer, will seem suddenly not-so-close if he says something that goes against your approval. Where is your love at this time? It has suffered temporarily!

It is just games that you play; a game in which love and hate surface alternately and interchangeably. And this love-hate relationship is not love at all. Be very clear. It is simply your reaction to a person or a situation, that’s all. This is what we call love. This is not real love. It is subjective love, that’s all.

Real love knows no object. It is simply there whether there is an object or not. Real love is the subject itself. It does not know any object. You are the subject and you have become love, that’s all. Any object that comes in touch with it, feels it. Just like a river flows naturally and people enjoy it at the different places that they encounter it, real love exudes from a person and the people around him will be able to feel it.

There is absolutely no room for conditioning in real love. The energy in you should overflow and express itself as love. It is then that you can break through the highly knotted boundaries of relationships and express yourself beautifully, as a loving being!

In order to discover the quality of your being, that is love, two things can be done. The first thing: repeatedly listen to words like these so that they create a conviction in you about real love; so that a space is created in you for the process of transformation. Second thing: meditate so that the transformation can actually happen.

In practical life, when you go deeper and deeper into relationships, you will understand that all that you feel is not real love, but just some form of give and take. It is all just adjustment, some compromise, some duty-bound feelings, some fear, some guilt. It is all there in the name of love.

Meditation will take you beyond these mis-understandings of love. Meditation will work at the being level. That is why it is a shortcut! When you have to go through life and know it by yourself, it will take you a lifetime. But with meditation, a space opens inside you to experience these things clearly for yourself, whatever your age may be.

Just understand this one thing: when you are able to love without a reason, you will expand like anything. Your world will suddenly seem larger than life. It will be so ecstatic. You will become an energy source to yourself and to others. You will be so overflowing that the energy in you has to touch others. There is no other way. Others will be naturally drawn to you.”


Originally posted September 2011

Deepak Chopra: Why Did Buddha Get Enlightened Under the Bodhi Tree?

As the story goes, Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree and meditated. For a long time. As a result, the Bodhi tree later became now known as the Tree of Enlightenment or the Tree of Knowledge. What happened in the time he spent under the tree?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak poetically describes what Buddha may have seen and explores what we can learn from this experience – including interdependent origin, impermanence, and more.

What do you imagine Buddha’s time under the Bodhi tree might have looked like? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak’s book, Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment!

What is Enlightenment?

"We are always chasing happiness. We want to be happy all the time. The shortest way to be that way is to become enlightened!


Let me tell you what it means to be in the state of enlightenment. This is my personal experience.


The enlightenment keeps me in tremendous ecstasy 24 hours, 365 days a year. The word ‘ecstasy’ is not enough to describe the bliss I am in. Scientists say that whenever pleasure is stimulated in your system, a hormone called dopamine is released. Doctors call the point where it is released as the D-spot. When the chemical is released, our body is flooded with enormous energy.


When I am in the state of enlightenment, the idea of boundary, a limiting factor for most of us is lost. The feeling that my body ends here and the rest of the world starts here is absent. Everything is mine. The sensitivity with which I feel my body is the same that I feel for the whole cosmos.


My first experience with this kind of joy happened when I was a mere teenager. When I experienced it for the first time, the heightened sense of ecstasy lasted only for a few days. It gave me the first experience, the first glimpse. But after enlightenment, I live continuously in this heightened ecstasy. I am always in bliss day in and day out. It does not diminish, reduce. It just is. There is no time where I am not in this state.


When I became enlightened, I could no longer be judgmental. I only have compassion for everyone and everything. Merely by my physical presence, I radiate energy that will touch everyone.


With enlightenment, the basic idea of sex disappeared. The idea of being either male or female died. Though I have a male body, I can never identify with a male or female body. The truth is I am holding on to my body delicately, just like I hold a handkerchief, with my fingertips.


My mind doesn’t exist. I am like a tape recorder that plays when it is switched on. When it plays, you hear the sound. When it is switched off, there is silence. Similarly, when I stop talking, a space is created. There are no words here. There is only silence.


There are thousands of enlightened masters living on planet Earth. Their energies are all one and the same. Only their expressions are different.


Let us all strive towards enlightenment. Let us all partake the ecstasy and bliss that is eternal. Let all of us be in Nithyananda – eternal bliss."


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One Of The Most Empowering Ways

 Friday, 9/16

“One of the most empowering ways you can see the world at this pivotal moment in history is to know that Creative Solutions Abound!  It is obvious that nothing less than a miracle may be necessary to solve world situations that appear dire and immediate.  The Law of Creative Solutions is provided by a benevolent Universe for you to have a foundation where you can center for new hope and expanded perspectives in your life and in the world.  The higher frequencies of Divine Light working on the earth can offer far reaching, seemingly miraculous, and very Creative Solutions when put into action.  God Exists in all Circumstances.”

–Archangel Gabriel as channeled by Shanta Gabriel

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director


One Of The Most Empowering Ways

 Friday, 9/16

“One of the most empowering ways you can see the world at this pivotal moment in history is to know that Creative Solutions Abound!  It is obvious that nothing less than a miracle may be necessary to solve world situations that appear dire and immediate.  The Law of Creative Solutions is provided by a benevolent Universe for you to have a foundation where you can center for new hope and expanded perspectives in your life and in the world.  The higher frequencies of Divine Light working on the earth can offer far reaching, seemingly miraculous, and very Creative Solutions when put into action.  God Exists in all Circumstances.”

–Archangel Gabriel as channeled by Shanta Gabriel

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director


Vacations in Agra India


Agra city has identification because of Taj Mahal, one of the most famous buildings and tourist destinations in the world, two other UNESCO World Heritage sites which are landmark in India. In 1631 the then emperor Shah Jahan grief-stricken by his wife Mumtaz Mahal’s death decided to build a mausoleum in her memory which becomes the famous TAJ MAHAL, an emblem of love and romance.

My personality sphere-my sight of view

As per my point of view, Agra is a mixed cultural point of Indo-Islamic art and culture. The city has a vast background in history that is why it is not only a monumental city but it holds lot in its treasures. The city is famous for the replica models of Taj Mahal also made in white marble, being sold as decorative gift item or as souvenirs. Also it is a big market of leather items. Dal Moth, a spicy lentil mix and petha (sweetmeat) is specialties of Agra. Like most cities of North India, the weather and climate of Agra is extreme and tropical. In Agra and surrounding areas, summers are extremely hot and the maximum temperature goes as high as 45º Celsius, while the weather during winter remains cold and foggy at times. During the Monsoon season, Agra city receives heavy rains and the weather becomes hot and humid. As one of the main tourism spot of India, the Agra is very much crowded in all seasons. The city has not a very good waste and sewage system that result the pollution of Yamuna River.

Also the industries and factories aside of river sum up more waste to it. Also it resulting blackness of taj mahal white marble due to pollution and acid rains. Like every old cities of India, Agra city is extending as per demand of population growth. High rise buildings changing the old city scenario, but still the scent of great history comes out from the city.

The city got attention of world due to its historical background and tourism is the biggest industry trail by small scale production industries. The old city is still covered with shops and narrow streets which are mostly crowded. The city is a good art and cultural centre. The city is known for many sangeet gharanas (Ata Hussain Khan, Chidanand Nagarkar, Faiyaz Khan) and music.

There are many temples in Agra such as Kailash Temple; Balkeshwar Temple at riverside of Yamuna, Mankameshwar Temple near Agra fort railway station and Prithvinath Temple shows the character of indo-Islamic culture. The river Yamuna is very holy as per the Hindu myths.

The seventh session of the international Council on monuments and sites, Under the UNESCO, in 1983 declared the red fort in Agra as one of the world heritage sites. It is the most important fort in India tours where the Mughal emperors like Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan not only lived but ruled the country from there. It was originally a brick fort built by the chauhan rajputs. They called it badalgarh. The first sultan of Delhi, Sikanmder lodi (1487-1517) made it hius second capital. His son, Ibrahim Lodi, held it until he was defeated at Panipat by Babur in 1526.

Babur passed away in Agra in 1530. It was here that his eldest son, humayun was coronated. After his defeat by sher shah suri, he was in exile for 18 years. He recaptured agra, and delhi where he passed away following an accident. Akbar was only 13 at the time of his coronation in Delhi. On his arrival in agra in 1558, Akbar decided to rebuild the fort with red sandstone.

It took eight years for 4,000 workers to complete the fort. Akbar also built another fort, Fathepur in sikri, 36 km away from agara and stayed there for some years before returning to agra. His son jahangir lived in the agra fort where he received the first emissary from England, sir Thomas Roe.

His successor, Shah Jahan, was known as a great builder. It was he who built the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid in delhi. He returned to Agra where he Later built a mausoleum for his beloved consort, Mumtaz, across the river Yamuna the world famous tajmahal. While recommending the Agra Fort as a heritage site, the ICOMOS stated that the imperial city is one of the symbols of Mughal architectural grandeur. Agra Jaipur tour

The city is a big tourist spot and trade centre, yet very congested and rushes. The state government has approved some plans but not implemented considerably. The small-scale industries are also not managed. After taj becoming one of the seven wonders of world, the city got an international remark and also affects the tourism.

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