Seven Christmas Presents Never to Give Your Mum

Your mum deserves the best. But mothers are often a bit overlooked in the gifts department. Many mums spend hours of time and lots of energy picking out just the right gifts for everyone in their families–only to find coal in their own stockings! If you want to give your mother a present this year that she’ll be thrilled to receive, follow our advice and avoid these seven gift blunders.

A blender – Getting anything related to the kitchen can be a touchy gift for a mom. It sends the message that you think her place is in the kitchen–which, even if she’s the main cook in the house, isn’t the message she wants to get on holidays! Avoid other kitchen-related gifts as well, like food processors, aprons, sponges, dishwashing soap, or electric mixers. If you do want to give her kitchen hardware, get her a luxury-based item like an espresso or cappuccino maker (only if you know she likes espresso and cappuccino!) or a fancy bronze teapot. Make sure the item you get isn’t associated with workaday food preparation. Choose a luxury item she’d appreciate but probably wouldn’t buy for herself.

A new cookbook – This one’s even worse. It sends the message that you don’t like the food she ordinarily cooks–especially if you pick a cookbook that features food she doesn’t normally cook, like Thai food if she’s a strictly meat-and-potatoes person, gourmet if she prefers quick-and-easy recipes, or Mexican if she’s a health nut. An exception, however, is an autographed cookbook from a celebrity chef she really admires. Make sure it’s someone she’d love an autograph from–a personality whose show she watches religiously.

A mug – If she’s like most moms, she has a million mugs already. Mugs are the kind of gifts most people give when they’re at a loss as to what else would make a good present, and nobody’s fooled. When you were a kid, you could probably get away with giving her a “World’s Best Mum” mug for a Christmas present, but now that you’re an adult, it’s a habit you should give up.

Scented bubble bath – It seems like a great idea at first–but scented bath oil, lotion, shampoos, or any other “smelly” gifts tend to be the most often returned. That’s because most people are very specific about the smells they like and don’t like. If you get the wrong scent or even the wrong brand–where a “lemon” scent from one brand might be radically different from another company’s idea of “lemon”–you might just wind up giving her a gift she’ll never use.

Breakfast in bed before she’s ready to get up – Sure, breakfast in bed is always appreciated. But don’t bring it in before she’s already awake. Waking her up before she’s ready sends the message that this isn’t a day she can relax. Give her the message that you want her to have a nice, relaxing and leisurely day by bringing her tea or coffee first, made just the way she likes it. If she’s still half awake when you bring it in, tell her you brought her something to warm up with while you put breakfast together. Then take your time cooking. Make sure she gets the sleep she wants, especially if she’s usually up early taking care of the family.

A day full of chores – Nothing gives a mum more chagrin than having to do most of the housework on a special holiday. Pitch in to do the laundry, clean the kitchen, clear the table–and don’t wait for her to ask! Most mums appreciate help with chores just as much as the most well thought out present.

A vacuum cleaner – These are bad gift ideas all around–even if she really does need a new one. It’s never a good idea to give a mother any gift that reinforces her role as the person in charge of household chores–it sends the message that you see her as a maid. This includes feather dusters, mops, brooms, and any other cleaning supplies. If you do want to give her a cleaning-related gift that’s sure to be appreciated, however, give her a break from doing the chores. Buy her a month’s worth of house-cleaning from a reputable service–get recommendations from friends and family if you don’t know which to choose. Or offer to do her most-hated household chore for a month–and she’s sure to love you for it.

Your mother’s love is unconditional. She’ll probably still love you after you give her that same “World’s Best Mum” mug you gave her last Christmas. However, if you want to make your mother happy on birthdays and holidays, follow our advice and avoid these gifts. You might just find that your holiday experience improves, as well!

Instrument Technicians and Dual Trade Electricians – Highly Requested Professions in Present

Specialized manual labor is becoming scarcer nowadays, generating a severe workforce crisis among companies that require specialized manual laborers. Due to the pronounced gaps in specialized manual workforce fields, a lot of major industrial companies are interested in hiring a wide range of certified manual workers in present. Blue collar Trade qualified personnel is also highly demanded among various industrial companies that require specialized services. In present, the most requested professions among various industrial branches are Instrument Technicians, Instrument Mechanics and Dual Trade Electricians.

Considered to be the pillars of any industrial business, Instrument Technicians and Instrument Mechanics have a multitude of roles in ensuring the well functioning and the safety of a company. These professions involve activities such as repairing, maintenance, calibration, adjustment, installation or optimization and upgrading of industrial measuring and controlling specific instrumentation. Instrument Technicians and Instrument Mechanics are usually employed by nuclear and hydro power generating companies, mining companies, petrol extracting and refining companies, natural gas companies, pulp and paper processing companies and many other industrial establishments that depend on specific industrial instrumentation for sustaining their activity.

Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics are nowadays highly requested among industrial companies under the form of blue collar employment. Certified Instrument Technicians and Mechanics that hold Trade qualifications have a great advantage in finding employment opportunities, as they benefit from inter-provincial mobility.

Dual Trade Electricians also have a set of vital roles inside industrial companies, well-trained professionals being highly requested in present. Industrial Dual Trade Electricians are responsible with installation, repairing, maintenance, testing, troubleshooting and evaluation of industrial electrical devices and installations, as well as electric and electronic equipments. Dual Trade Electricians are generally employed by electrical contractors and maintenance sectors of plants, factories, mining companies and various other industrial companies.

As well as in the case of Instrument Technicians, the Dual Trade Electrician profession involves a lot of responsibility, rendering experience, good training and proper skills crucial traits that all practitioners should posses. Dual Trade Electricians can easily find employment opportunities among an extended set of industrial establishments that require their services. Dual Trade Electricians can be hired by companies with or without contract, also being able to sustain their work under the form of blue collar oriented employment.

If you are certified in one of these areas and you are looking for great job opportunities, the best thing to do is ask for the help of a reliable recruiting company. By relying on the services of a serious, professional recruiting company, you will be offered the chance to find great job opportunities according to your level of experience in the branch and your obtained credentials and recommendations. Remember that companies specialized in different industrial branches are currently confronted with pronounced employment deficits in these particular areas, rendering Instrument Technicians and Dual Trade Electricians highly requested professions in present. If you want to become the member of a major industrial establishment, all you have to do is ask for the services of a solid recruiting company, specify your level of training and add your contacts. Follow these steps and you will find a suitable job in no time!

Tibetan Monastic Life in the Past and Present

Although numerous books have been written on the teachings and philosophy of the Buddha, little is known about the manner in which that philosophy is put into practice, that is to say, how Buddhist monks live and work and how the monastic system functions. The Tibetan monastic life, in particular, deserves special attention within a study of the religious life of human history. The entire social, political and cultural history of Tibet and other central Asian countries was greatly influenced by the monasteries. They represent one of human history’s most ambitious and radical social and psychological experiments precisely because they were attempting to achieve, on a massive scale, the creation and perpetuation of a subculture which institutionalized the basic Buddhist principles of non-attachment, material renunciation, celibacy and transcendental wisdom. They secure a spiritual heaven, a means of withdrawing from the temporal world with its sensual values and simultaneously act as an instrument, for bringing Buddhist philosophy and beliefs to that very same temporal world of the lay people. It is the monasteries that preserve the doctrine in the traditionally most acceptable form.

It is well known fact that the survival of Buddhism has always depended upon the health and strength of its monasteries. With the destruction of the monasteries after the thirteenth century, Buddhism ceased to be a distinct form of religious life in north India. Similarly with the destruction of the monasteries of Tibet during the present century, Buddhism has ceased to be a living force in the land.

Monasticism in Buddhism started during lifetime of Lord Buddha in the 5th century B.C. in India, the Buddhist monastery was usually called a vihara, which can also mean school in the monastery. The first large Buddhist monastery within a city seems to have been the Jetavana in a park at Sravasti which is now in the northern part of India. And it is often mentioned as a place where, Buddha stated when he preached. There was, a great emphasis on learning in these monasteries and some of them grew into university stature, with courses on many topics besides the expected expositions on Buddhism. Probably the most famous were the Nalanda and Vikramasila monastic universities which developed and lasted through most of the first millennium and upto the end of the 10th century. Tibetan monasteries originated from them and followed the same pattern of offering all Buddhist education and philosophy in the monastery and vihara. The history of Tibetan monasteries goes back to the 8th century. The first important monastery, Samye, was built under the sponsorship of King Trisong Detsen (AD 742-97) on thr advice of Guru Padhamasambhava, a tantric master from Indian. Santirakshita was appointed as abbot, thereby becoming the head of the first monastic order of Tibet. A monastic curriculum was established and at first as an experiment, six or seven Tibetan youths were admitted as novices. These monasteries attracted a number of Indian saints and scholars, and eventually, many learned scholars and translators of both countries jointly translated thousands of Buddhist texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan. These are today one of the main sources for doing researches on Buddhism and Indian studies.

As Buddhism spread in Tibet many other monasteries were built and a succession of other monastic orders grew around the personality of inspired teachers and saints. A good example of these are the monasteries of Ganden, Drepung and Sera which were founded during the lifetime of Tsong Khapa (A1357-1419), a great reformer and eminent scholar of Tibetan Buddhism. They have preserved their traditions and serve as an important institution for Buddhist studies.

Tibetan Buddhism is often described as a combination of Mahayana and tantrism. However, life in almost all monasteries were regulated over centuries by the ancient monastic rule of the Mula-Saravastivada school favored in central and northwest India. Tibetans of Tibet, the monasteries were re-established in India and Nepal. It has been estimated that between six to eight present of the population of Tibet – were life-long monks and nuns; and large monasteries often resembled towns. For example, Drepung, the largest monastery of Tibet, held roughly 10,000 monks before the cultural revolution of China.

Monastic life in its entirety is ruled by philosophical studies and performance of ceremonies. The four major orders of Tibetan Buddhism also have slightly varying monastic systems. But basically, study and spiritual trainings are deeply rooted in the curriculum of most monasteries. Within a large monastery there are two divisions of monastic teachings. One division is mainly devoted to the tantric studies and practices and performance of rituals and ceremonies. These involve mastering of the five Great treatises in which the enormous corpus of Buddhist scriptures is divided:

1. Pramana, the Buddhist logic and epistemology which includes the studies of many non-Buddhist thoughts

2. Prajnaparmitas which include voluminous texts of Bodhisattva practices such as the study of six perfections.

3. Madhyamika, the study of Buddhist middle views, Sunyatavada.

4. Abhidharmakosa, the Buddhist metaphysics and

5. Vinaya, monastic rules and disciplines.

They form a very demanding curriculum. The idea behind such studies is that ‘if you study, you will know the Law of Buddha and from then, you will be able to keep away from sin. It is by this means you will find your way out of the wheel of rebirth.’ Understandably not all of those willing to learn are able to immerse themselves in these studies with equal depth. The entire period of study takes more than twenty years. However the Tibetan monastic life rests on spiritual communities containing very large number of monks. But every member of these communities is not able to see the prescribed course of studies through to the end. Simples tasks are required of bearer of low monastic grades. These include maintenance of the monastery buildings, lighting lamps in the temple, working in the monastic kitchens – in short all the jobs that require no particular training. And those who have completed their courses successfully were awarded the degrees of ‘Geshe’, a Doctorate of Buddhology, by the monasteries themselves of by the State. They are now qualified to carry out the most important and most difficult rituals in the general chapels or in their colleges and are also qualified to teach in the various monasteries and universities. They can also proceed further on the higher tantric studies and practices.

Study in the monasteries is by no means restricted only to liturgical, doctrinal and esoteric teachings. The student is also offered the possibility of penetrating into the auxiliary sciences, even if these are not directly connected to the primarily religious and liturgical trainings. They are also taught medicine, astrology and astronomy, rhetoric, literature, painting and the art of drawing such religious arts as mandala and thankas. At present in Indian and Nepal, elementary modern sciences and foreign languages like English are also taught in the monastic schools.

The liturgical life in large monasteries unfolds in a multiplicity of religious ceremonies in which monks or nuns have to participate. The most important ritual performances take place in the central chapel (sog Chen) and the minor ones are in the chapel of colleges or house itself. The rites and rituals in the tantra are meant mainly for the meditation in which one’s guardian deity (Yidam) is visualized. All the instructions are given by a spiritual director for such practices at the time of ritual performance or before that. It is believed that no genuine insight can have merely intellectual value; it must always tend to become a living spiritual experience. These rituals also serve as means of purification and promote accumulation of spiritual merit.

Now I wish to draw some attention on its organization and administration. These are two principle things to be considered: the spiritual education and liturgy on the one hand and the world functions like administration on the other. Taking the three largest monasteries of Tibet (Sera, Drepung and Gaden) as an example which are re-established in South India, the spiritual authority is concentrated in the hands of the abbot who is elected and then approved by the Dalai Lama. The office of abbot is as a rule entrusted to a famous Geshe on account of his spiritual merits and learning. Under him, there is an office of Gekoe, the Dean of discipline, who is responsible for maintenance of monastic discipline. Provost (the leader of chanting) who directs all liturgical acts and also leads the collective recitation of prayers during morning and evening assemblies and ceremonies. Most of the large monasteries have two or three stewards who duty is to manage the monastic propert such as offering food and tea to the congregation at important ceremonies and is incharge of financial interest of the monastery in general. Thus the above offices are important for the monastic life from the point of view of discipline and administration. The larger monasteries are divided into two or three colleges which are sub-divided into many houses for keeping the monastery in order.

Each monastery forms a self-sufficient economic entity. All the property which it has come to possess by inheritance or any other means belongs fully and entirely to the monastic community as donations made by the entire community. Now at present in India, most of the large monasteries are allotted some lands to cultivate. So life in the monastery is a mixture of work, stuffy, prayers and meditation. It is very similar to the Catholic Monastic life of the West which is the largest monastic system of Christianity. The assets of the monastery includes corn fields, rice paddies, a small herd of buffalo and cows and a small restaurant which is run by themselves. The monks are sent out to perform prayers and rituals in the lay community. This also provides some income. Besides the daily routine of rituals, study and meditation, monastic life is periodically enlivened by religious festivals and ceremonies. The monks in the monastery are responsible for the performance of these ceremonies and the lay members are beneficiaries of their performances. It is believed that the merits will go to both monks and lay people.

Thus the obligation of monks or nuns to participate in the divine services regularly, the strict regulations of all external aspects of life, the memorization of the basic rules and mastery in the philosophical studies all keep the monastic community life into a fixed structure. The monasteries in future should also serve as a haven of refuge for the lay community by providing religious teachings, spiritual guidance, counseling and retreat facilities.

The Law of Attraction and Being In the Present

A number of years ago I had been reading one of Deepak Chopra’s books and discovered his “live in the present moment principle.” That discovery alone opened a significant door to new thinking for me.

I have shared with friends numerous times of a day when I experienced happiness and peace like no other before. I had several appointments with insurance clients and was driving from one to the other when I paused in my thinking long enough to realize that I was really peaceful, very calm and happy. As I examined this emotional state further, I saw that I was very “in the moment” not dreading the next appointment or upset by the one that had just passed.

It was a mid-winter day in Denver, one of those in which we were blessed with bright sunshine, cool temperatures and constant views of the snowcapped Rockies just a few miles away. I’ve lived in this area most all of my life and never tire of the beauty of the mountains and plains merging.

On this particular day, I was working on Chopra’s concepts because they appealed greatly to me; I wanted to live a peaceful, calm, and happy life every day. This seemed like an insurmountable task after a recent divorce.

At that time, I viewed my business as one of interminable service to many clients who were grumpy. Now many years later, I’ve realized it was me who was grumpy, and I attracted clients of a similar attitude.

Learning to live in the present was a baby step in the long walk toward the Law of Attraction. That one-day years ago was my first adventure into a daylong smile, filled with nice people, pleasant surroundings, good food, and a feeling of downright bliss about life, my life.

The journey to discovery of metaphysical principles is often one of brief explosions of fabulous, new knowledge, and then many days of trying to understand what you’ve really discovered.

Since the basic tenet of the Law of Attraction is learning to maintain a happy outlook and attract the wonderful things available in this life, we first have to learn to be in the happy in the present moment.
With that one accomplishment you can begin to move rapidly to new, higher levels of understanding and enlightenment.

There have been many authors, philosophers and metaphysicians along my journey who contributed to an understanding which enabled me to accept the Law of Attraction when it was first presented. I was ready for it. It made tremendous sense, and I can now say, without hesitation, that I attracted it without knowing it.

We all get here by different routes and the trip is definitely worth it. Don’t give up, ever.