1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Leo Tolstoy’s short stories – true pearls! December 6, 2009

Filed under: Russia,spirituality,writing — axinia @ 5:09 pm
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Leo Tolstoy is mostly known for this great works like “War & Peace” or “Anna Karenina”, however he has left many short stories of great wisdom. Let me share with you one here.



‘And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.’ — Matt. vi. 7, 8.
A BISHOP was sailing from Archangel to the Solovétsk Monastery; and on the same vessel were a number of pilgrims on their way to visit the shrines at that place. The voyage was a smooth one. The wind favourable, and the weather fair. The pilgrims lay on deck, eating, or sat in groups talking to one another. The Bishop, too, came on deck, and as he was pacing up and down, he noticed a group of men standing near the prow and listening to a fisherman who was pointing to the sea and telling them something. The Bishop stopped, and looked in the direction in which the man was pointing. He could see nothing however, but the sea glistening in the sunshine. He drew nearer to listen, but when the man saw him, he took off his cap and was silent. The rest of the people also took off their caps, and bowed.

‘Do not let me disturb you, friends,’ said the Bishop. ‘I came to hear what this good man was saying.’

‘The fisherman was telling us about the hermits,’ replied one, a tradesman, rather bolder than the rest.

‘What hermits?’ asked the Bishop, going to the side of the vessel and seating himself on a box. ‘Tell me about them. I should like to hear. What were you pointing at?’

‘Why, that little island you can just see over there,’ answered the man, pointing to a spot ahead and a little to the right. ‘That is the island where the hermits live for the salvation of their souls.’

‘Where is the island?’ asked the Bishop. ‘I see nothing.’

‘There, in the distance, if you will please look along my hand. Do you see that little cloud? Below it and a bit to the left, there is just a faint streak. That is the island.’

The Bishop looked carefully, but his unaccustomed eyes could make out nothing but the water shimmering in the sun. (more…)


My small daily wonders July 1, 2009

What is a wonder? Normally we call a “wonder” something unexpected, pleasant and “supernatural” in a way. I don’t know about everyone but I think small wonders happen daily to many people, but they not always notice them. Or may be they just do not happen that often to everyone?

Anyway I can only speak about myself: I enjoy experiencing small wonders on a daily basis.

Yesterday I had such lovely example of it! Let me share it with you.

I had to arrange for the transport of some lamps from our old office. Surprisingly the carrier company sent a woman (very though one but still a woman!) – I was a bit confused and said there was something heavy to carry to the car. She said “never mind, that is my job – I have a special trolley for that”. Fine, but the lamps had to be nicely packed and they were heavy to move. I realized it would be a hard task for the two of us… I just though “OMG, I badly need some male help, but where to take it from?”  – this seemed to be totally unreal, as there is normally nobody around at this place. In 3 min. a male head peeped in the door which we kept open and asks: “Any help needed?” . To say I was stunned is to say nothing… The situation looked totally impossible and unreal. But we have got a perfect helper who by an incredible coincidence found to our place, although his intention was a different one. And then the fact that he has offered his help – great and still unusual. Apart from that normally in Austria people never peep into the opened doors! 🙂

Life is indeed beautiful, especially when we are able to see and value this beauty daily.

Any stories from my readers? Thank you!

LOVE, axinia

 (image by me)


Learning from flowers April 11, 2009

 (image by axinia)

I met a florist lady who told me the one interesting observation of hers.

Flowers for sale are being picked up at their baby-stage, as buds.

They they are being treated with chemicals for the transportation.

Then they fly over the ocean from Latin America to Europe, being pressed in boxes.

Then they have to wait till the best price will be given for them at the auction – to be again several times transported to their final destination.

The whole time form the pick up till the final sale they are not allowed to bloom, and have to be kept in a hard condition.

And finally, when the flowers land at our warm homes, they open up and give and give and give their fragrance, beauty and joy to everyone! How much power of life and love they posses that after all that treatments they still make people happy!..

I just thought this might be a nice story to tell, because of the obvious comaprission with human being: people with beautiful souls are often compered to flowers – even if they suffer a lot, their power of love is still there to spread beauty and joy around!

And I strongly believe that everyone is such a flower.




If Sharks were Men December 30, 2008


“If sharks were men,” Mr. Keuner was asked by his landlady’s little girl, “would they be nicer to the little fishes?”

“Certainly,” he said. “If sharks were men, they would build enormous boxes in the ocean for the little fish, with all kinds of food inside, both vegetable and animal. They would take care that the boxes always had fresh water, and in general they would make all kinds of sanitary arrangements. If, for example, a little fish were to injure a fin, it would immediately be bandaged, so that it would not die and be lost to the sharks before its time. So that the little fish would not become melancholy, there would be big water festivals from time to time; because cheerful fish taste better than melancholy ones.

“There would, of course, also be schools in the big boxes. In these schools the little fish would learn how to swim into the sharks’ jaws. They would need to know geography, for example, so that they could find the big sharks, who lie idly around somewhere. The principal subject would, of course, be the moral education of the little fish. They would be taught that it would be the best and most beautiful thing in the world if a little fish sacrificed itself cheerfully and that they all had to believe the sharks, especially when the latter said they were providing for a beautiful future. The little fish would be taught that this future is assured only if they learned obedience. The little fish had to beware of all base, materialist, egotistical and Marxist inclinations, and if one of their number betrayed such inclinations they had to report it to the sharks immediately.

“If sharks were men, they would, of course, also wage wars against one another, in order to conquer other fish boxes and other little fish. The wars would be waged by their own little fish. They would teach their little fish that there was an enormous difference between themselves and the little fish belonging to the other sharks. Little fish, they would announce, are well known to be mute, but they are silent in quite different languages and hence find it impossible to understand one another. Each little fish that, in a war, killed a couple of other little fish, enemy ones, silent in their own language, would have a little order made of seaweed pinned to it and be awarded the title of hero.


On the crisis November 16, 2008

image by axinia

One interesting parable on the nature of the current world economic crisis:

One wandering Monk met the Plague:
-Where are you going? – He asked her.
-I go to your home town. I will take one thousand of lives.

After a while, the Monk met the Plague again.
– Hey, you are a deceiver! You have told you would take only one thousand lives and took five thousand!
-I told you the truth! I took only one thousand. The rest died of fear …


So, let`s don`t panic!


🙂 axinia


What is true professionalism? September 16, 2008

 image by axinia

The American College Dictionary explains professionalism as following: Professionalism is exhibited by one of the “professional character, spirit or methods” or the “standing, practice, or methods of a professional as distinguished from an amateur.” However it does not say anything precisely.

Intrestingly there is no explanation of professionalism on Wikipedia, there is one on “professional”, but I believe it is not the same.

I have a feeling that “professionalism” , like one of these mysterious things such as love, is difficult to explain. If you hear “that is done professionally” – what does it actually mean?

Professionalism is both popular and desirable – people are driven to look and to perform professionaly. Recently, during my visit to Germany – this motherland of professionalism 🙂 – I suddenly realised what this phenomenon is about. (more…)


What not to tell your friends or the gossip-killer that always works May 11, 2008

 image by axinia

This is a well-known Socrates story, but I keep meeting people who never heard of that. I love the wisdom here, because it is so simple and obvious. In fact, I also live it and every time someone comes to me, I just ask the same questions after Sokrates -Amazing, how embarassing it is then for the gossiper…


In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high
esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and

“Socrates, do you know what I just heard about your best friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything
I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about
my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter
what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you
made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?” (more…)


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