Sunday 28 September 2014


2014-39 Elizabeth Silance Ballard: Teddy and his Best Teacher

Here is the best movie [8 min] that I have seen in my life, defining a true teacher
worth seeing again, and again, and again!

Make a Difference Movie [2014] - Courtesy Heart Productions & Publishing

Text of the Story of Teddy and his Best Teacher

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher.  Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stallard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath.  And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where  Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last.  However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh.  He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around."

His second grade teacher wrote,  "Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him.  He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote,  "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's.  His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.  Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume.  But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stallard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to."

After the children left she cried for at least an hour.  On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic.  Instead, she began to teach children.

Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy.  As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive.  The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded.  By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy.  He then wrote that he had finished high school, second in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came.  This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further.  The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had.  But now his name was a little longer.  The letter was signed, "Theodore F. Stallard, M.D."

The story doesn't end there.  You see, there was yet another letter that spring.  Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married.  He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.  Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what?  She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing.  And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.


They hugged each other, and Dr. Stallard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back.  She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong.  You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference.  I didn't know how to teach until I met you." 


Elizabeth Silance Ballard
This touching tale is one of pure invention and was penned by Elizabeth Silance Ballard. It appeared as an article captioned "The Teacher" in the March 1976 issue of Home Life magazine.  Many of the details, including the homemade wrapping paper and Teddy's wedding date, were taken from her own life.  The broken bracelet and perfume were a tidbit from a teacher friend who had gotten such a gift from a child in the class where she was a long-term substitute. The surname (Stanley) of the grandmother who urged young Elizabeth to bring Christmas present of hand-picked pecans to her teacher was combined with the author's then surname (Ballard) to form the surname "Stallard" for Teddy.  


For another popular version of this story - "Three Letters from Teddy"  [Click Here]

Sunday 21 September 2014


2014-38  Dr Edward Bach:  Heal Thyself

Dr Edward Bach [1886-1936]
Having qualified as a doctor in 1912, Dr Edward Bach worked for several years in hospitals and was well aware of their negative effect on the human spirit. After leaving orthodox medicines and hospitals in 1930, he started his work with the flower remedies. By 1935, when he had discovered 38 remedies in all, Dr Bach declared the system complete. He had founded a radically new approach to healing that concentrated exclusively on the emotional states of individuals rather than their physical symptoms.

Dr Bach consistently spoke of the Flower Remedies, not as a personal achievement but as a gift from nature, and from God. This is Dr Bach's central message: we are all healers. Everyone can use the remedies. Everyone can heal and in the process understand who they are and take charge of their own destinies.  

In "Heal Thyself" [1931], Dr Bach explains the real cause and cure of diseases. What follows is a summary of the book, in Dr Bach's own words.

Disease is in essence the result of conflict between Soul and Mind, and will never be eradicated except by spiritual and mental effort. Such efforts, if properly made with understanding, can cure and prevent disease by removing those basic factors which are its primary cause.  

No effort directed to the body alone can do more than superficially repair damage, and in this there is no cure, since the cause is still operative and may at any moment again demonstrate its presence in another form. In fact, in many cases apparent recovery is harmful, since it hides from the patient the true cause of his trouble, and in the satisfaction of apparently renewed health the real factor, being unnoticed, may gain in strength. 

Disease may be prevented before its onset or aborted in its earlier stages if the proper corrective spiritual and mental efforts be undertaken. Nor need any case despair, however severe, for the fact that the individual is still granted physical life indicates that the Soul who rules is not without hope.  
***                                              ***                                                ***  
There are two great errors: first, to fail to honour and obey the dictates of our Soul, and second, to act against Unity. Either of these brings conflict, which leads to disease.  

Disease is in itself beneficent, and has for its object the bringing back of the personality to the Divine will of the Soul; and thus we can see that it is both preventable and avoidable, since if we could only realise for ourselves the mistakes we are making and correct these by spiritual and mental means there would be no need for the severe lesson of suffering.  
          ***                                              ***                                                ***   
What we know as disease is the terminal stage of a much deeper disorder, and to ensure complete success in treatment it is obvious that dealing with the final result alone will not be wholly effective unless the basic cause is also removed.  

There is one primary error which man can make, and that is action against Unity; this originates in self-love. So also we may say that there is but one primary affliction - discomfort, or disease.    

The real primary diseases of man are such defects as pride, cruelty, hate, self-love, ignorance, instability and greed; and each of these, if considered, will be found to be adverse to Unity. Such defects as these are the real diseases and it is a continuation and persistence in such defects which precipitates in the body the injurious results which we know as illness.    Such are examples of real disease, the origin and basis of all our suffering and distress. Each of such defects, if persisted in against the voice of the Higher Self, will produce a conflict which must of necessity be reflected in the physical body, producing its own specific type of malady.   
          ***                                              ***                                                *** 
We can now see how any type of illness from which we may suffer will guide us to the discovery of the fault which lies behind our affliction.

For example, Pride, which is arrogance and rigidity of mind, will give rise to those diseases which produce rigidity and stiffness of the body. Pain is the result of cruelty, whereby the patient learns through personal suffering not to inflict it upon others, either from a physical or from a mental standpoint. The penalties of Hate are loneliness, violent uncontrollable temper, mental nerve storms and conditions of hysteria. 

The diseases of neurosis, neurasthenia and similar conditions which rob life of so much enjoyment, are caused by excessive Self-love. Ignorance and lack of wisdom bring their own difficulties in everyday life, and in addition should there be a persistence in refusing to see truth when the opportunity has been given, short-sightedness and impairment of vision and hearing are the natural consequences.

Instability of mind must lead to the same quality in the body with those various disorders which affect movement and co-ordination. The result of greed and domination of others is such diseases as will render the sufferer a slave to his own body, with desires and ambitions curbed by the malady. 

Moreover, the very part of the body affected is no accident, but is in accordance with the law of cause and effect, and again will be a guide to help us. For example, the heart, the fountain of life and hence of love, is attacked when especially the love side of the nature towards humanity is not developed or is wrongly used; a hand affected denotes failure or wrong in action; the brain being the centre of control, if afflicted, indicates lack of control in the personality.    
          ***                                              ***                                                *** 
 Obviously the first way to prevent the spread and increase of disease is for us to cease committing those actions which extend its power; the second, to wipe out from our natures our own defects, which would allow further invasion. The achievement of this is victory indeed; then, having freed ourselves, we are free to help others. And it is not so difficult as it may at first appear; we are but expected to do our best, and we know that this is possible for all of us if we will but listen to the dictates of our own Soul. Life does not demand of us unthinkable sacrifice; it asks us to travel its journey with joy in our heart and to be a blessing to those around, so that if we leave the world just that trifle better for our visit, then have we done our work. 
          ***                                              ***                                                *** 

Want to read the full book HEAL THYSELF by Dr Edward Bach? [Click Here]

Home of Dr Edward Bach, and the Bach Flower Remedies, Mount  Vernon, Oxfordshire, England

Sunday 14 September 2014


2014-37 Dr Edward Bach: Twelve Healers and Other Remedies

Dr Edward Bach [1886-1936] studied medicine at the University College Hospital, London.  

He worked as a bacteriologist / pathologist and discovered a set of homoeopathic nosodes, still known as the seven Bach nosodes. 

In 1930 he gave up his lucrative Harley Street practice and left London, to devote the rest of his life to the new system of flower medicines, now used all over the world.DB Dr Edward Bach studied medicine at the University College Hospital, London, and was a House \


Aspen Remedy for nameless fears and dreads.
Cherry Plum Remedy for fear of mind being over-strained and reason giving way.

Mimulus Remedy for worldly fears like illness, poverty, public speaking, being alone.
Red Chestnut Remedy for fear and over-concern for others who are dear.
Rock Rose Remedy for terror or extreme fear


Cerato Remedy for those with no self-trust, always seeking advice from others.
Gentian Remedy for those who are easily discouraged and depressed.
Gorse Remedy for great hopelessness, and feeling that nothing more can be done.
Hornbeam Remedy for tiredness more of the mind than of the body.
Scleranthus Remedy for difficulty in choosing between alternatives and indecision.
Wild Oat Remedy for uncertainty in choosing the correct path in life.

Insufficient interest in present circumstances

Clematis Remedy for dreamy people who live more in the future than in the present.
Honeysuckle Remedy for people who live more in the past than in the present.
Mustard Remedy for times when deep gloom descends for no apparent reason.
Olive Remedy for total exhaustion, both mind and body drained of energy

White Chestnut Remedy for mental turmoil and persistent unwanted thoughts.
Chestnut Bud Remedy for those who fail to learn by experience, need repetition.
Wild Rose Remedy for those who feel resigned to their circumstances, apathy.


Water Violet Remedy for those who are self-reliant, reserved and stay aloof.
Heather Remedy for those who are always s
elf-centered and filled with self concern. 
Impatiens Remedy for those who are impatient, want others to work at their speed. 


Agrimony Remedy for those who hide worries behind a brave face and humour.
Centaury Remedy for gentle, weak-willed people, over-anxious to serve others.
Holly Remedy for jealousy, envy, revenge and suspicion.
Walnut Remedy for adjustment to change, like marriage, menopause, new job, etc.

Despondency or despair

Elm Remedy for capable people feeling inadequate with overwhelming responsibility.
Larch Remedy for lack of confidence and the will to succeed, expecting failure.
Sweet Chestnut Remedy for extreme mental anguish, seeing no way out.
Oak Remedy for plodders who work hard and struggle on against adversities.
Willow Remedy for those who are embittered, resentful and finding fault with others. 

Star of Bethlehem Remedy for physical/mental shock [accident, serious news, etc.] 
Pine Remedy for those who blame themselves even for others' mistakes. 
Crab Apple Remedy for feeling of uncleanliness, self-disgust.

7  Over-care for welfare of others

Beech Remedy for those who are critical and intolerant of others. 
Chicory Remedy for those who are full of selfishness and possessive love.
Vervain Remedy for those who have fixed principles/ideas and
impose on others.
Vine Remedy for efficient, strong-willed people, expecting unquestioning obedience.
Rock Water Remedy for hard-masters, rigid-minded, self-denying people. 


FR 01 AGRIMONY*                Mental torment hidden behind a brave and cheerful face
FR 02 ASPEN                         Fears and worries of unknown origin
FR 03 BEECH                         Intolerance
FR 04 CENTAURY*                Timid, weak-willed, "doormats"
FR 05 CERATO*                     Distrust of self, always seeks advice from others

FR 06 CHERRY PLUM            Fear of mind giving way
FR 07 CHESTNUT BUD          Failure to learn from past mistakes
FR 08 CHICORY*                    Selfishly possessive
FR 09 CLEMATIS*                   Dreaminess, lack of interest in present
FR 10 CRAB APPLE                Feeling
 of uncleanliness, self-disgust

FR 11 ELM                              Overwhelmed by responsibility
FR 12 GENTIAN*                     Discouragement, despondency
FR 13 GORSE                         Hopelessness and despair
FR 14 HEATHER                     Self-centeredness, self concern
FR 15 HOLLY                           Hatred, envy, jealousy

FR 16 HONEYSUCKLE            Lives in the past
FR 17 HORNBEAM                  Fatigue more of mind than of body
FR 18 IMPATIENS*                  Impatience, quick in mind and action
FR 19 LARCH                           Lack of Confidence
FR 20 MIMULUS*                     Fear of known things

FR 21 MUSTARD                     Deep gloom with no origin
FR 22 OAK                               Exhausted but struggles on
FR 23 OLIVE                            T
otal exhaustion, mental and physical weariness
FR 24 PINE                              Self-reproach, guilt
FR 25 RED CHESTNUT          Fear or over-concern for others

FR 26 ROCK ROSE*               Terror, extreme fright
FR 27 ROCK WATER              Self-repression, self-denial
FR 28 SCLERANTHUS*          Indecision, dilemma
FR 29 STAR OF BETH            After-effects of shock
FR 30 SWEET CHESTNUT     Extreme mental anguish

FR 31 VERVAIN*                     Over-enthusiasm
FR 32 VINE                              Domineering, inflexible
FR 33 WALNUT                       Protection from change and outside influences
FR 34 WATER VIOLET*          Serene and self-reliant people, bearing pain in silence
FR 35 WHITE CHESTNUT      Unwanted thoughts, mental arguments

FR 36 WILD OAT                     Uncertainty as to the correct path in life
FR 37 WILD ROSE                  Resignation, apathy
FR 38 WILLOW                        Resentment ; finding fault with others 

*The original 12 HEALERS [marked in red] had been discovered by Dr Edward Bach by 1932.  
26 other remedies were added in 1933-1935 to complete the set of  38 Bach Flower Remedies.


Read the Original 12 Healers and Other Remedies by Dr Edward Bach [Click Here]


Sunday 7 September 2014


2014-36 Katha Upanishad : Teaching: 1] Good  and Pleasant   2] Arise! Awake!

What is an Upanishad?  It literally means "sitting down near": that is, at the feet of an illuminated teacher in an intimate session of spiritual instruction. The Upanishads record such sessions of inspired teachings.  They are Darshana, "something seen". The students to whom they were taught were expected not only to listen to the words but to realize them. That is, to make their truths an integral part of character, conduct and consciousness.

"When a person dies, there arises this doubt: "He still exists," say some; "he does not," say others. I want you to teach me the truth." 

Thus, asks Nachiketha, the ideal student, of Yama, the ideal teacher, in the Katha Upanishad [KU 1.1.20]. "Now that I have seen your face, " he says to Yama, "what can I enjoy?" 

Nachiketa represents the capacity latent in all of us to face that grim awareness and use it as a drive to deepening consciousness.  [Eknath Easwaran The Upanishads]

What I learnt from the Katha Upanishad (कठ उपनिषद्) on the Art of Living:

1] Good[श्रेय:] and Pleasant[प्रेय:]

Man has the choice of the path of the good and the path of the pleasant.
The wise man examines them both and discriminates. 
The wise man prefers the good to the pleasant. 
The foolish man chooses the pleasant through love of bodily pleasure.   [Katha U 1.2.2]

श्रेयः च  प्रेयः च  मनुष्यं एतः                         
sreya: cha preya: cha manushyam etah: 
तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः ।
thou sampareetya vivinakthi dheerah: |
श्रेयो हि धीरः अभि प्रेयसो वृणीते                                                     
sreyo hi dheera: abhi preyaso vruNeethe
प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमात् वृणीते ॥                                                              
preyo mando yoga kshemath vruNeethe ||             [Katha U 1.2.2]

2] Arise! [उत्तिष्ठत]  Awake! [जाग्रत]
Arise, Awake [from the slumber of ignorance] !  
Approaching the wise teachers, realize the Ultimate Truth
For, that path is sharp as a razor’s edge, 
impassable, and hard to go by, say the wise.       [Katha U 1.3.14]
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत 
uthishtatah jaagratha
प्राप्य वरान् निबोधत ।       
praapya varaan nibodhatha |    
क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया
kshurasya dhaaraa nisithaa durathyaa
दुर्गं पथः तत् कवयो वदन्ति  ||
durgam patha: that kavayo vadanthi ||                    [Katha U 1.3.14]


Swami Vivekananda's clarion call "Arise, Awake" originated from the Katha Upanishad