There is no better panacea for sorrow, no better reviving tonic, and no greater beauty than a genuine smile. Paramhansa Yogananda

“Jesus, Please Let Him into Heaven”
(Told by Nayaswami Bharat)

In the early 1980s, just after my book Sharing Nature with Children was published, I gave a nature workshop in Pennsylvania. The sponsor of the program, with whom I stayed, was a devoted fundamentalist Christian and a very fine man.

During my stay in his home and at the workshop, he observed me blessing my food, praying before speaking, and thinking of God as much as I could during the day. The day after I finished the workshop, I was with him in his living room, waiting for my next program sponsor to pick me up. He said, “Joseph, could you come upstairs to my office?”

I had no idea what he wanted to talk about, and why we needed to go upstairs for him to tell me.

As soon as we sat down in the chairs in his office, he immediately began to pray out loud to Jesus. In his prayer, he said: “Jesus, Joseph loves God very much. He is deeply sincere. Although he isn’t a Christian, could you make an exception for him and let him into heaven?”


A Good Idea
(Told by Swami Kriyananda)

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western civilization. He replied: “I think it would be a good idea.”


“Go Find Your Own Dirt!”
(Told by Nayaswami Parvati)

A scientist came to God and said, “You’ve supposedly created everything in the universe, but as far as I can see, I can create anything you’ve created. I challenge you to a contest. Let’s both create something. I bet I can make anything you can make and probably do it even better.”

God looked at the man and said, “All right. That sounds fine to me.” But when they both reached down to grab a handful of earth, God said, “Wait a minute, go find your own dirt!”


Holier than Thou
(Told by Swami Kriyananda)

There was a certain cartoon that I saw many years ago: two monks, one of them looking slightly down his nose at the other, protested: “But I am holier than thou!”


The Best Way to Pray
(Told by Nayaswami Bharat)

A telephone lineman was up on a telephone pole repairing power lines when a car pulled up underneath him. Three ministers got out to stretch their legs. They began a discussion about the best way to pray.

The first minister said, “Oh, I pray best when I kneel and bow down humbly before the Lord. This is when I feel God’s presence the most.”

The second minister said, “I pray best when I sit down and am very still.”

The third minister said, “Oh no, the best way to pray is standing up. I love to pray when I dance around in joy.”

They kept debating for awhile. Meanwhile, the telephone lineman, overhearing the conversation, interrupted and said: “Hey, you guys are all wrong. The best prayer I ever said was when I was hanging upside down on a power line!”


Good and Bad Judgment
(Told by Nayaswami Jyotish)

Two friends, Tom and Frank, are sitting in a room, and Tom says to Frank,

“You seem to have good judgment. How did you get such good judgment?”

Tom replies, “Good judgment is born of experience.”

Frank asks, “Well, how do you get that kind of experience?”

Tom answers, “Bad judgment.”

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