Wisdom of Life - New and Old

Tadao Ogura, M.D.

Before you read the items listed below, you should know one thing about "Wisdom." That is the fact that you cannot truly appreciate nor understand anything unless you have experienced it.  That is "Experiencial Understanding" as contrasted with "Intellectual Understanding."


To explain this, I like to use the "Banana Principle."  Suppose you went to Alaska to study native Eskimos living there.  After having interviewed a few of them, you returned to your little lodge nearby. A little boy followed you all the way to the lodge.  At the dinner table, with the little boy still hanging around you, you happened to mention, "I wish I had a Banana for deserts." 

The boy became so curious about a "Banana" and wanted to know all about it.  But if he had never seen nor eaten a Banana, he would not be able "understand" it, no matter how hard you try to explain.  All you have to do to help him is to get a Banana for him.  He will have no problem "understanding it" once he holds it and eats it. 

As in this example, unless you have experienced IT (be it mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual), you cannot really appreciate IT.  Some of the sayings in "Basic Principles," "Serenity Prayer," or other quotations may not make too much sense to you at this time.  However, in time as you grow or mature mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, you will come to appreciate IT some day.


"Basic Principles"

This is a collection of common wisdom in short words.  Some of them are well-known and some others were created by me. Some of the Basic Principles are linked to Dr. Ogura's "Comments" that may help you to fully appreciate the deeper meaning of these Principles.



This is a well-known poem beautifully illustrating the relationship between Man and God.  If you can truly appreciate this one, you have come a long way.


"Serenity Prayer"

This is the whole "Serenity Prayer," not the abbreviated version.  Only the first paragraph of this "Prayer" is often recited but there are four more paragraphs!  Now you can read all five paragraphs.


"Paradoxes of Prayers"  

Most people seem to be confused about the "Wants" vs. "Needs."  This unique poem may shock you about "True Needs."


"The Gift in the Struggle"

This beautiful story illustrates the meaning of "Tough Love" versus "Enabling."  


Zen Koh-ans

A "Koh-an" is a means a Zen master often uses to facilitate enlightenment for students.  Most Koh-ans do not make sense for intellectual minds.  Therefore, a student given a Koh-an must go beyond his or her intellectual thinking.  In this site, only two are introduced.

My Resolutions
Since we are forgetful or too distracted, we need a constant reminder to go back to the basics.  By reciting these resolutions, we can keep our feet on the firm ground and, therefore, we can move on.  If we live in our heads, we are out of touch with the ground and, therefore, we cannot move on. 

Twelve Steps

This is a well know Twelve Steps of AA.  The deep meaning in this Steps are applicable to all of us, AA members as well as non-AA members.  If you live your life according to the Twelve Steps, you are truly living, in stead of merely existing.


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