April 26
, 2006

E-mail: CLF@consciouslivingfoundation.org

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Welcome to Conscious Living, our newsletter designed to share our current activities and growth, along with articles and information that we hope will be supportive and encouraging in your efforts to live each moment with more joy and satisfaction.

The leading article in this month's newsletter is another essay by Steve Roberts entitled, "Being Mothered By Stones".  In addition to writing, Steve sculpts with stones.  To find out more, and see an example of his work, be sure to read the new essay.   Steve is a regular contributor to our newsletter and his new book, Cool Mind, Warm Heart - Adventures With Life's Biggest Secret is available now on the website.

There have been more additions to the website since our last newsletter.  We've added more beautiful images of saints, sages and gurus of all religions.  Perhaps the most notable image we've added this month is the famous Praying Hands by Durer.  Now, you can download it for free.  In addition, we've also put some new inspiring E-books on the site too.  For the first time, we're offering some of our larger E-Books in Zipped format for quicker downloading.  All the details are below.

Like everything else, it takes time and money to keep The Conscious Living Foundation running.  The total number of hours each month to keep the website updated, new audio and video selections created and edited, E-books discovered and uploaded; even the time it takes to create this newsletter can be quite significant.  So, this is the first edition of our newsletter in which we are asking for donations.

We hope that as you are moved or entertained, inspired or encouraged, you might, to the same degree, consider making a small donation to help support our efforts.  As of today, there are 23,774 people subscribed to this newsletter.  If each person donated 25 cents a month, we would have more than enough to continue to do this work.  But, as you know, many are living on limited budgets or have health care expenses that limit their financial ability.  It is for that reason that so much of what CLF offers is free.  However, for those who are able, your donation is greatly appreciated.  Click Here to get all the details.

As we discussed last month, there are tremendous changes going on in the background here at CLF.  Most significantly, we continue to develop our new CLF website.  In addition, we're going in the recording studio in the next few days to begin recording weekly Podcasts.  With this addition, you will be able to download our programs and play them on your Ipod or other portable mp3 player - at no charge.  Each program includes a guided meditation period in addition to delightful music and other entertainment and inspiration.  We'll keep you updated as their development progresses.

Finally, we want to urge you again to visit the "Prayers" section of the website.  There are so many people in need who have sent emails requesting your prayers.  By taking a few moments to read their request and send a positive thought their way, we participate in manifesting some of the blessings that we all constantly receive.  As Jesus Christ said, "where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."  Imagine the power of all 23,000 of us who are reading this newsletter, joining together in prayer for those in need.  Please join us.

As always, we are so grateful to all of you who visit our website, and contribute through your generous donations, purchases, emails and article submissions.  Thank you for letting us share with you. 

William Simpson
Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contents:

(If you've missed any past issues of our newsletter, or you'd like to reread an articles or clip that favorite recipe, click Here.)

   

Essay:  Being Mothered By Stones       by Steve Roberts

 

It is said that you find two kinds of people on Everest:

those who wish to climb her,

and those who wish to stand on top. 

     Being Mothered by Stones

It doesn’t take much for me to feel humble.  After all, I wrestle stones.  These jewels of the Vermont landscape remind me that life is a practice of bringing the kindest heart we can to every moment we have, and that to do so demands a very special relationship with the earth.  Which may be why, to me, stones are like badgers: fearless, relentless.  I’ve got the scars to prove it. 

           May 20, 2004 was among the deadliest days on Mt. Everest.  Six people died, including some of the world’s most experienced mountaineers.  Those who reached the summit and lived to tell about it included one David Watson of Vermont.

           In a subsequent interview Mr. Watson made it clear that he certainly hadn’t “conquered” Everest.  “I feel like I worked with the mountain, and she let me to the top.  It’s definitely a symbiotic relationship.”

           The Tibetans believe that Everest is the Mother Goddess of the World.  David Watson has found that “…if you don’t go there with a good heart and good intentions, you won’t get to the top.  You really have to be in tune with your heart and listen to the mountain.”

Whatever else Everest may be, I feel she is a dramatic example of the sacred power that exists in the earth everywhere, and thus is available to each of us, not just mountain climbers.  All we need do, as Mr. Watson says, is be in tune with our heart and listen. 

My understanding of this practice has deepened since I became a wild man infatuated with building stone sculptures. 

I fell in love with my bride pretty much the instant we met, and I fell in love with stones just about as quickly. 

One day, for no particular reason, I started picking up and replacing the “droppings” that had tumbled from the many rock walls built on our land during the past two centuries.  Next thing I know I’ve got a crowbar and a tractor with a bucket.  I’ve worn out several dozen pair of work gloves.  I’m schlepping boulders that can weigh more than a sumo wrestler, and I’m dotting our 200-acre mountainside with rock formations that suggest the artifacts of a pre-historic culture—or a fellow with definitely too much time on his hands.  If I build all the sculptures I can imagine, just on this farm, I’ll live to be at least 175.  I’m like a man with a hammer in a nail factory. 

Along the way stones have become my teachers, and not just the ones that spark some pretty colorful epithets when they roll on my fingers or drop on my toes.

The inevitable despair that comes from trying to make a stone do something against its nature has led me to become a better listener, more fluid in letting go of preconceptions, and more able simply to be an instrument in service to something larger than myself. 

But the biggest thing I’ve learned from stones is that to be a listener, to be fluid, to be an instrument doesn’t happen by just thinking about it—I must also allow myself to be mothered by the earth, the ultimate nurturer. 

           I believe that those who say we can destroy the earth are mistaken.  We can surely make the planet uninhabitable (we seem to be moving in that direction with mindless alacrity), but destroying the earth is something else again.  Whether Hiroshima or Chernobyl or Mt. St. Helens, the earth heals her wounds relatively quickly.  I have a feeling that if every nation detonated its entire stockpile of weapons and unleashed every poison possible, we humans might cease to exist, but some number of millennia down the road—hardly a blink in the universal scheme of things—Mother Earth herself would be thriving once again.  The land is the mother that never dies, say the Maori.

           Such is her resilience, her power, as well as the depth of her urging for us to live in conscious union with the Yin of creation.  There’s a reason we humans are making life increasingly miserable for ourselves, the same reason many die on Everest: lack of attunement.

Of course, awareness of this truth is one thing, action another—as I demonstrate regularly when some rock extravaganza about which I am oh-so-proud collapses with a noise that, to my ear, sounds suspiciously like a chuckle.  

Among the spiritual practices I’m attempting to get the hang of is navigating my moments resting in the energetic embrace of the earth.  From this grounded place, on those rare occasions I actually remember to choose it, an amazing thing happens.  My mind lives in service of my heart, rather than the other way around.  This shift is such a gift, for it means that I manage with a measure of grace the fear and pain that arise in the natural course of events. 

The big plan for my life is simply to choose more of these moments. 

It is said that you find two kinds of people on Everest: those who wish to climb her, and those who wish to stand on top.  Both impulses are very much alive in each of us, I’d say: the ego’s desire to win, and the heart’s passion to join.  The question is which do we ask to lead?

As my love affair with stones grows, so does the part of me that can make room for anything.  It is an awakening that is not only beautiful but terrifying.  Which is why, as powerful as the earth is, she’s not more powerful than denial.  I can ignore her with the best of them.  I’ve got the scars to prove it.

To find out more about Steve, see examples of his stone sculptures or read a chapter from his book, click Here.

 Steve Roberts is the author of Cool Mind Warm Heart, a collection of essays, stories, and photographs of stone sculptures he builds on his Vermont farm.  He can be found on the web at CoolMindWarmHeart.com and at TheHeartOfTheEarth.com.

If you enjoy our inspirational stories and articles, be sure to visit our website for more:
Articles on Personal Growth, Health and Positive Change - Click Here.
Inspiring Stories - Click Here.

 

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Story:  A Hermit And An Infidel           Translated From The Original Arabic

There was an old hermit who lived in the pine forest of Mount Lebanon.

He was very devout and learned and people flocked to him from miles around. They regarded him as a saint.

In a neighboring town lived a rich man who was very worldly and loved his pleasures. One day he called some of his friends and had an elaborate banquet for them. They ate and drank and became merry. After a while the host suggested jokingly that they all go to the hermit, because he had three important questions he wished to put to him.

When they met the old hermit, the rich man smiled at him and said: "Father, I have come a long way to learn something from you which has puzzled me for a long time."

The hermit felt that the man was a hypocrite, but he answered politely: "Pray, be seated and I will gladly answer your questions and enlighten your mind."

The rich man then said, "There are three things I’d like you to convince me of—first, you say that there is a God, but how can you prove it when no one is able to show Him to me; secondly, you say that devils are angels of fire. If it is so, then there is no danger of hell fire to burn them up; you also say that God knows every hair on our heads. He knows what we are going to do and He creates us and maps out a career for us. In other words, fate places us and our destiny is mapped out for us. Why, then, are we to be blamed for our actions?"

The hermit took a big, heavy lump of damp earth and hit the rich man with it on the head. The man cried with pain, and the hermit was brought to court. The judge asked him why he did that, and he answered, "My action was the correct answer for his three questions. He said he could not believe in God without seeing Him. That was the proof that he wanted. Now he said I caused him a lot of pain. Well, let him prove it to me and show me the pain. He feels it, but cannot show it to anyone. Secondly, he said if the devils are made of fire, the fire of hell should not hurt them. Well, I hit him with earth, and he himself is made of earth also, so he should not have been hurt. Then again, if it is my fate to hit him, I am not to be blamed for it, neither am I responsible for my actions."

The judge was well pleased with his wisdom and the case was dismissed in his favor.

If you enjoy our inspirational stories and articles, be sure to visit our website for more:

Articles on Personal Growth, Health and Positive Change - Click Here.
Inspiring Stories - Click Here.

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News:  Refreshing Hand Made Soap!

What's important about soap being hand made?  Hand made soap retains precious vegetable “glycerin” - a natural humectant which attracts moisture to your skin.  Did you know that glycerin is removed by commercial soap manufacturers for use in their more profitable products like lotions and resold to the consumer to combat the effects of drying soap?   Not with hand made!  Your skin will be naturally soft and nourished.

Hi!  My name is Erin and I'm the owner of Kapow Soap, which is now available on the Conscious Living Foundation website. 

Every batch of Kapow Soap is brewed by hand (by me!) in the time honored “Kettle Method”.  This means big pots, wooden spoons and lots of arm muscles!  There is much preparation all leading to the thrilling moment when I pour the temperature perfect lye or ‘sodium hydroxide’, into the hot oils melted in my kettle and watch as the magic begins! Immediately, the hand stirring phase (with the handed down Frankie spoon!) gets under way.  I stir and stir, thinking peaceful wishes, expansive thoughts, and simple prayers for the friends and strangers who will find sudsy enjoyment in the bars to come! Something specific for each batch!

Around 12 minutes, when the mixture begins to “trace”, time becomes of the essence. Precise action is required so the soap doesn’t cool prematurely! With one last stir, I add crushed botanicals and put the soap “to bed” - pour the creamy liquid into molds to be kept cozy under layers of warm woolen blankets (for 20 hours) to allow the soap to continue the process on its own.

Next the lids come off!  I gently remove the firm soap and place it on my curing shelves where it spends another 24 hours in the open air.

And at long last – I hand cut the blocks of soap into fresh fragrant bars with my custom wooden soap cutter and trim them to perfection!  I’m always tempted to grab a few bars and jump into a bath right there and then! Of course it’s best to wait a couple of weeks to let retained water evaporate out of the bar, but … sometimes a girl can’t help herself!   You've got to find out more about our products - click Here to see our complete selection!

In addition to our soaps, we continue to offer our new weight loss products which include a wide range of meal replacement shakes with essential nutrients, multi-vitamins and herb concentrates - all in a delicious selection of flavors.  In addition we're offering protein powders, soup mixes, a cell activator to increase your ability to absorb your vitamins and minerals, protein bars, teas, phytonutrients, Omega 3 fatty acid supplements, fiber powders, and a variety of other healthy additions to your diet.  Take a look Here for complete details.

The Healthy Heart section offers a great selection of products including antioxidants, vitamins, herbs, and healthy snacks.  To see the complete collection, click Here.

Visit us throughout the month for a continuing evolution of our health care products section.  Please send us an email at clf@consciouslivingfoundation.org telling us what kind of health products you would like to see next.

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Appeal:  We Depend On Your Donations -

The Conscious Living Foundation's only source of income is your donations and purchase of our products.  If you enjoy our newsletter and website, if you receive inspiration and encouragement from our efforts, we urge you to make a donation to help sustain and grow this work.

By helping us, you are supporting the spiritual growth of the tens of thousands of people from all over the world, who regularly visit our website.

Click Here for more information.  Thank you!


 
Selection:  The Definition of God                  From the Koran

ALLAH

(From the Al Quran)

He is of pure essence, free from all impurities, free from all defects, self-sufficient, self-subsiding, self-effulgent, light of all lights, possessing splendour and glory, self-dependent and ever-existing, an ever-living God, Omniscient, Omnipresent, imperishable even when all comes to naught.

He is the beginning and the end, the manifest and the hidden, the Absolute and One indivisible, the minute of the minutest, the greatest of the great, the most intelligent, the most patient, the most magnificent, the most exalted, the high of the highest.

He is beyond all attributive description, He who pervades the universe and whose knowledge extends over all; He who breathes life into the body and He who takes it away, He who created at the beginning and He who begins again with subsequent creation; He who watches everything and keeps everything within His knowledge.

 

News:  Special Discounts Continue - Buy 1, Second at 1/2 Price -      

If you've been thinking about purchasing books and recordings that support your personal and spiritual growth, now is the perfect time - take advantage of our special discounts and save money while, at the same time, you substitute more meaningful entertainment for that which is readily available on TV and radio - but which rarely uplifts. 

Also, if you're considering buying a gift for a friend or loved one, why not select gifts that can genuinely make a difference in their lives?  This time, give books and CDs that will continue to inspire and encourage throughout the year.

We make buying even easier with our "Second 1/2 Price" special discounts.  Buy any of our selected products at the usual price and buy another great book or CD at 1/2 price.  Click Here to see our great selection of best sellers and favorites.  They include audio versions of your all time favorites, perfect to listen to while driving or exercising.

Deepen your practice of the techniques that bring new joy and hope into your life - and give the gift of a deeper spiritual life and increased personal growth.

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News:  Lots of New Photos of Saints and Sages To Download For Free
 

One of the most popular sections of our website is our gallery of saints, sages and gurus of all religions.  In addition, we are also adding photographs of holy sites and shrines. 

 

We have just added more new images, so don't forget to take a look and see what's new  - just click Here!  


 

Let's share the gifts for which we are most grateful:
 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives. 
Click Here for our special discounts.

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Affirmation:  An Affirmation For Health

 
"Everything that God has made is good, it could not be otherwise.  In a universe that is intelligent, constructive and purposeful my experience of normal, natural health is my rightful state.  I know that health is always mine to experience and that it is always available to me in accordance with my acceptance of it.  I continually accept health in my every thought and emotion.
 
As I maintain health in my mind, that is what I experience in my body.  I now free myself from any tendency on my part, or that of others, to say that health is not mine.  I build my health, I maintain my health, thought by thought and nothing can deter me in my acceptance of the perfection of the One Life as active and creative in and through me.
 
I remove all ideas of fear and anxiety about my body and leave it free to perfectly manifest its perfect pattern - an idea in the Mind of God.  Infinite Intelligence governs all the functions of my body and as I keep my own thinking clear and receptive to Its action, health is mine.
 
Today and every day I insure God's gift of health to me by the healthy pattern of my thinking, which permits nothing unlike it to be entertained in my mind or body.
 
I am healthy, and I remain healthy, through my knowledge that what God creates is good.  I accept health as my normal state and insure its continuance by discarding all thoughts to the contrary."

 

For a collection of affirmations, click Here.
For a large variety of inspiring quotations, click Here.

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News:  Free Recordings of "Practicing The Presence of God", "Imitation of Christ" and "The Science of Getting Rich"

Often those of us who are trying to apply spiritual principles in our lives on a regular basis, have a seeming conflict with the ideas of success and prosperity.  Is it possible to be ever more attuned to Spirit and at the same time have increasing material prosperity and success?

In partial answer to these questions, we offer the free, complete recording of Wallace Wattles famous book, "The Science of Getting Rich".  You can download, at no charge, the audio book, and e-book versions of this classic masterpiece by visiting our Prosperity and Success page, Here.

In addition, we are now offering in the "Downloads" Section of our site, complete spoken word audio recordings of two great spiritual masterpieces: "Practicing The Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence and "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis.  Just click Here to download your new audio books for free.

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Let's share the gifts for which we are most grateful:
 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives. 
Click Here for our special discounts.

New Delicious Vegetarian Recipes:

4 eggs, beaten

9 oz. cheddar cheese (3 c.) grated

1/2 c. rolled oats

1 onion, chopped fine

Seasoning to taste (1/4-1/2 t. salt)

Mushroom gravy (below)

¾ c. fresh mushrooms, chopped fine

1 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped fine

1.5 c. cooked brown rice

Mix all ingredients together except mushroom gravy. Place in greased loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven (3500) for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Loosen edges and turn onto serving plate. Cut into slices and serve with mushroom gravy. Makes approximately 8 servings.

 

MUSHROOM GRAVY: Brown 1 1/2 c. fresh chopped mushrooms in 3 T. margarine. Add 3 T. flour and blend. Slowly add 2 c. milk, 1/4 t. salt and dash of nutmeg. Cook until thick.

1 c. nuts, ground (walnuts, etc.)

1 c. onions, chopped

1 c. sunflower seeds, ground

1 c. cottage cheese

1 c. cooked rice

1 c. cooked lentils, drained

1/2 t. sea salt

Mix all ingredients together and form into patties. Fry in a little oil; top with cheese. Makes approximately 10 patties. Can also be made into a loaf.

2 eggs

1/3 c. broccoli, chopped fine

4 mushrooms, sliced thin

2 T. wheat germ

1 T. brewer's yeast

Salt & pepper to taste

2 T. ground nuts (cashews, almonds, Brazil or sunflower seeds)

1 T. onion, chopped (scallion or Spanish)

Flour to thicken, if necessary

Beat eggs, add all other ingredients except flour, and mix. Add flour, if necessary, to get proper consistency. Fry in butter or oil. Makes 4 patties

1 1/2 c. sour cream 

9-12 corn tortillas

1 c. cottage cheese 

6 T. butter or margarine

1/2 t. onion salt 

1/2 lb. jack cheese, cut in strips

1/8 t. pepper

1/2 of 7-oz. can green chili peppers

1/4 lb. cheddar cheese, cut in strips

Mix sour cream, cottage cheese, onion salt and pepper. Remove seeds from peppers and cut in strips. Sauté tortillas in butter until they start to brown but are still limp. Spread tortillas with sour cream mixture. Put several strips of jack and cheddar cheese and chili peppers on the sour cream and roll up. Place rolled tortillas close together in shallow 9 x 13-inch pan. Spoon remaining sour cream mixture over tortillas. Garnish with remaining peppers and cheese. Bake at 3501 for 30 minutes. Then set under broiler to brown.
Serves 4-6.

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News: New Pictorial Book "India Unveiled" by Robert Arnett
 

India Unveiled has been internationally acclaimed as one of the most revealing compendiums ever written about the country. The stunning photography and engaging text with an insightful portrait of its people, landscape, and diverse culture, truly captures the essence of India, one of the oldest continuously surviving civilizations on earth.

- Independent Publisher Book Awards: Best Travel Book of the Year 
- Benjamin Franklin Award: Best Travel Essay of the Year
- Mid-American Publishers Association (MAPA): Best Armchair Travel Book of the Year
- MAPA's Best Color Photography Book of the Year First Runner-up
- British Book-of-the-Month Travel Club Selection

To find out more about India Unveiled and Robert Arnett, click Here.

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Essay: Divine Love              by H. Hobson
 

Divine Love is not to be confounded either with human affections or with physical sensations. It is as cool as a glass of distilled water; as aloof as a moonbeam. It is an impersonal principle, and as such, it works in as strict accordance with scientific law, as does the fact that two plus two makes four. It is the most powerful chemical in the universe, and what it does not transmute into its own likeness, it hurls back into Divine Substance ...there to remain until it is again drawn to a single point as a Concrete Expression.

Divine Love is the great creative power that controls the worlds. At the same time, it is the tenderness that shingles a butterfly's wings with star-dust, lifts the fairy hands of a grass blade toward the Light, and uncurls the petals of a rose-bud. It is the power that hurls the leader of a just cause ...to victory; it is the sweet wisdom of the nest-building bird, and the abnegation of the mother polar bear that starves ...while she gives food to her cubs.

Divine Love is the pure acid that unselfs the soul. It consumes hatred, envy, jealousy, spite and egotism; and releases in the very places they occupied, such virtues as generosity, fidelity, justice, devotion, mercy, and humility. It banishes greed from the heart, changing the clutching talons of the miser, into the wide-open —giving hand— of the humanitarian. It destroys lust, and out of a libertine ...it can make a Saint Augustine. It changes intolerance into comprehension; and condemnation into sympathetic understanding. It drives out fear, and makes the timid heart ...strong and courageous.

Divine Love is the Royal Giver! It pours forth blessing as lavishly and impersonally as the Sun showers down heat and light upon the earth and the inhabitants thereof. It blesses friends and foes alike. It gives, and forgets the gift, shrinking from thanks ...as the unenlightened shrink from blame.

A soul filled with Divine Love is invincible. It is consciously sheltered beneath the wings of the All Mighty. It wears a shield through which no evil thing can penetrate. For Divine Love is the Refuge of all who walk in THE WAY. It is the Holy of Holies where the Masters seek ...and find, strength. It is the Divine Harbor in which they cast anchor, and find peace and rest and ...that Energy which works ceaselessly but is never weary. It is the Great Calm of the Adept.

Divine Love is the Truth that sets man free. It is the Great Emancipator. It shatters fetters of prejudice and evil habits that have bound souls within a bondage worse than the lowest slavery. It dissolves veils of illusion, giving clear sight. It takes the sting from a vitriolic tongue, removes claws from tempers, and renders harmless ...the high explosives attached to over-wrought nerves. It is the Mighty Expander, bringing extensions of consciousness ...that reveal to one —the aching weariness of the over-worked horse— as well as the Divine Breath vibrating through the universe.

Divine Love is the miracle worker. It takes a beggar and makes him fit to sit among kings. It takes a king, and deposits him on the junk heap. It takes a weak, whimpering, limping soul, purifies it, and it becomes One who walks in THE WAY. Centuries ago Divine Love flamed in the heart of "The Little Black Friar," and hurled him forth as Martin Luther, the giant of the Reformation. It touched the soul of Peter, a rough fisherman, and transmuted him into the Chief of the Apostles, the Saint of the Flaming Faith. It filled the heart of a humble peasant lad, made him strong beneath intolerable burdens, and then fashioned him into the Christ-like priest, Father Damien, who gave his life to work among the lepers.

Divine Love sends the great Wisdom Teachers from the Orient to all parts of the world, bearing their messages of holiness. It brought the saintly Swami Vivekananda to us, years ago, when he blazed the trail along which Mother India has since sent to us her highest, and purest, and holiest and best.

Divine Love hurled Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor, to the earth, and when he was uplifted, he had become changed into Paul of God, the great Evangelist. Divine Love flamed like a living light in the soul of Jesus of Nazareth, and he became the Christ, or the Holy Enlightened One, who told His disciples of a Love whose translation into deeds would bring lasting peace to a blood-drunk world.

Divine Love saturated the whole being of the young Prince, Gautama, and he became the Buddha, The Compassionate One; the Dharmaraja; Revealor of the Four Beautiful truths, and the Eight Fold Path, whereby millions found the Light. Divine Love produces the Bhakti-yogi, so united with the Divine through devotion ...that in his soul there blooms the White Lotus of Holiness.

Divine Love filled the heart, mind and soul of a quiet Hindu lawyer, and gave him to the world as Gandhi, the Mahatma, who is beloved by countless millions, not only of his own land but of every other land where men and women believe in freedom, in peace and in the brotherhood of man.

Divine Love is the great Teacher; the Great Link that unites all nations, all creeds, all castes, all colors, all ages. It makes the Brotherhood of man a divine truth in active operation, instead of a few empty words pattering from the lips.


It was the sweet singer, Sidney Lanier, who wrote:

"Long as thy God is God above,

Thy brother ....every-man below."


         It was Saint Paul who said:

"Love suffereth long and is kind;

Love envieth not; love vaunteth not Itself;

Is not puffed up,

Doth not behave Itself unseemly,

Seeketh not Her own, is not easily provoked,

Thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity,

But rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things,

Believeth all things, hopeth all things,

Endureth all things."


It was Swami Vivekananda who said:

"Forms vanish, rituals fly away,

Books are superseded,

Images, temples, churches,

Religions, sects, countries and nationalities,

All these limitations and bondages

Fall off from him

Who knows this Love of God."


It was Jesus the Christ who said:

"This is My Commandment,

That ye love one another,

As I have loved you."


It was Buddha who said:

"Better than sovereignty over the earth,

Better than living in heaven,

Better than lordship over all worlds,

Is the fruit of holiness."

 
News:  New Additions To Our Collection of Free Inspiring E-Books
 
We continue to add to our wide-ranging collection of Free E-Books on our website.  Now, for the first time, we're including zip file (compressed for easier download) versions of some of the larger books.  Some of our newest additions include:
  • A new version of the Koran translated by Sale
  • Buddhists In China
  • Lao Tzu and Wu Wei
  • Giving Dignity To Life
  • Matter:  The Other Name For Illusion
  • How To Meet Evil With Good
  • The Dolorus Passion Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Buddhist Precepts In The Modern World
  • Yaqui Myths And Legends

 Also - A reminder that we can email all of our E-books directly to you in a collection of Zip files for $6.00.  This eliminates the time it takes to separately download each of the books and instead, conveniently places them in your in box.

For Details on All of Our Inspirational E-Books, Click Here.
For Details on All of Our Literature and Entertainment E-Books, Click Here.

To download these wonderful E-books for free, click Here.

 

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News:  Children's Book "Finders Keepers?" by Smita Turakhia
 

 
 

One of the best multicultural books for children. Timeless and universal values for children are emphasized in this absorbing book set in India.   The book is based on a charming true story about a boy who found the author’s lost wallet and could not understand why he should be rewarded for doing the right thing!

- Winner of 2005 Mom's Choice Award
-
Winner of IPPY Ten Outstanding Books of the Year
- Winner of IPPY Most Inspirational to Youth Book
-
Winner of Benjamin Franklin Silver Award — Multicultural
- Winner of The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval

"Gorgeous illustrations and global message…a wonderful book…teaches multicultural respect, character education skills, self-esteem, tolerance, and cultural awareness…[students] wanted me to read it again immediately after I finished."
- Teachers' Choice Awards Panel

To read more about Smita and her wonderful book, click Here.

 

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A Poem by William Simpson -

 

There Is A God

 

Watch-listen-feel the darkness

Behind your closed eyes.

 

Don’t try to see.

Don’t try to think.

 

Discover a part of yourself

That can observe

What’s happening inside of your head

Without being

What’s happening inside of your head.

 

If you continue

Over time

To cultivate

That observer-self

You will discover that

 

There is a God.

 

(From the collection, "From The Path - Verses On The Mystic Journey" click Here for more)

Copyright 2004 by The Conscious Living Foundation, All Rights Reserved

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 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives. 
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News:  New Audio CD - Byways To Blessedness by James Allen (4 CD Set)

Many of our members and visitors are familiar with the James Allen's classic book "As A Man Thinketh".  This is Mr. Allen's most popular book and is a wonderful introduction to his view of the power of thoughts, words and actions.  For those who have not read it, "As A Man Thinketh" is available in the "E-Books" section of our website at no charge.  We also offer an audio version of the book Here.

However, the most complete expression of his approach to living is contained in his masterwork "Byways To Blessedness".  This book is the most complete, detailed and in-depth expression of James Allen’s inspirational vision of the path to conscious evolution.  As "As A Man Thinketh" was the introductory course to his thoughts and wisdom, "Byways To Blessedness" is James Allen's Master's thesis.  Ours is the only complete audio version of this work available anywhere.

This four CD unabridged recording contains the keys to personal happiness, prosperity, health and spiritual growth. 

Experience James Allen's insightful ideas and encouragement within such chapters as:  
  • Transcending Difficulties and Perplexities

  • Burden Dropping

  • Hidden Sacrifices

  • Sympathy

  • Standing Alone

  • Forgiveness

  • Seeing No Evil

  • Abiding Joy

  • Silentness

  • Solitude

  • Right Beginnings

  • Happy Endings


To hear sample selections from this new recording, click Here.

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News:  Hundreds of New Nature Photos To Download For Free

 

When nothing else will work, taking a brief walk outside, sitting in the park, or just admiring beautiful flowers can often reduce stress and give us a break from our routine.  However, sometimes, we don't have the opportunity to go out and get back to nature.

 

CLF wants to give you the alternative of bringing nature into your workplace, computer room or home.  We have recently added over 350 new photographs of nature, including a collection of wonderful photographs taken with the Hubble Space Telescope.

 

So don't miss this opportunity to see the wonders of the earth and the universe, at absolutely no charge - just click Here!

  

 

News:  New Audio CD - Discovering Spirit - Informal Talks and Guided Meditation (2 CD Set)

 
Discovering Spirit is an inspirational collection of informal talks and a relaxing guided meditation with the Director of The Conscious Living Foundation, William Simpson.

Topics include: "God Is Within", "What Do We Do When We're Not Meditating?", "Perspective On The Path", "God's Forgiveness and Non-Judgment", "Sitting In The Stillness", "How To Practice Affirmations" and "The Nature of God".

"If we can free ourselves from this conception that God has a measuring tape with him all the time... it limits our understanding of the true nature of God as sweetness, as comfort, as compassion, as love.  God knows every single act we have ever undertaken... every thought we've ever had - every feeling, every emotion.  And yet, with all that awareness, with all that knowledge, God's only response is love.  Because God knows our true nature... And all these mistakes we make, are merely superficial coverings that will be washed away.  Our essence has been, is, and will be, ever unchanging light, love, joy, awareness and bliss."

To hear some sample selections from this new recording, click Here.

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Let's share the gifts for which we are most grateful:
 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives. 
Click Here for our special discounts.

 

Essay:  A Practical Experiment In Non-Violence     by J.S. Hoyland
 
William Penn was born in 1644. He was the son of a distinguished British admiral, who in 1655 had captured Jamaica for Cromwell, and afterwards had given valuable assistance in the Restoration of the Stuarts. William became a Quaker, or Friend, very greatly to his father’s disgust. It was a time when the Quakers (or members of the Society of Friends) were exceedingly unpopular, and were undergoing severe persecution; indeed at that time, or shortly afterwards, there were probably at least four thousand of them in jail on account of their religious opinions.

William Penn himself was imprisoned, and underwent a trial which has become of historic importance in the development of British liberty, on account of the opposition aroused by the efforts of the judge to browbeat the jury into bringing in a verdict against Penn.

In 1682, Charles II discharged some of his old obligations to the Penn family by making a grant to William Penn of the vast area in eastern North America now known as the State of Pennsylvania. Penn immediately decided to use, as effectively as possible, this opportunity for carrying out in a practical way his religious convictions, especially those regarding non-violence, non-resistance to evil and the treatment of all men with honesty and with love. The area assigned to him was inhabited by Red Indian tribes, whose fellows in the other areas of colonization had been grossly maltreated by the European colonists. They were cheated and robbed; tyrannized over; made to sign treaties after having first been made so drunk that they were incapable of knowing what they were doing; persuaded to part with great areas of land in exchange for muskets or drink. In consequence, a deadly hatred had sprung up between the Red Indians and the White settlers in the districts bordering on that just granted to Penn. Constant wars occurred, many of which were marked by appalling atrocities; for the Red Indians were past-masters of the art of torturing prisoners, and this led to savage reprisals from the Whites.

In spite of all this, and in accordance with his Quaker belief in non-violence, Penn decided that in his new settlement, which was afterwards called Pennsylvania, there should be no military defenses of any kind,—’no forts, no soldiers, no militia, even no arms.’ In view of the relations existing in surrounding regions between Whites and Red Indians, this appeared at the time to be a piece of criminal and suicidal folly, but it succeeded.

In the second place, Penn decided to treat the savages with scrupulous honesty. In accordance with his Quaker faith, he believed that in every man, however cruel or degraded, there is (although it may be hidden) the Divine Light of God’s Spirit. He therefore believed that he could appeal to this best element in the Red Indians, and by treating them with honesty and love establish his new settlement on the basis of friendly and peaceful relationships between the races.

Accordingly, as soon as he landed in Pennsylvania, he made a formal treaty with the Indian chiefs, entirely refusing—to their great astonishment—to get them drunk first. Every effort was made to guard against any exploitation by the Whites, and to establish permanent peace and agreement. Penn was so scrupulous, that he even refused to sanction an arrangement, which would have been exceedingly profitable to himself for a trade-monopoly in the newly settled regions.

Later on, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, who held African slaves, became very uneasy in their minds regarding the legitimacy of slavery; and at a time when others regarded such an action as Quixotic in the highest degree, they set their slaves free. They not only did so, but ‘an enquiry was held, and by a voluntary decision owners setting free their slaves gave to their slaves what was estimated as a just payment of past services.’

Penn’s ‘Holy Experiment,’—as this attempt to found a State on the principles of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount was called—succeeded in a very remarkable fashion. Time and again, fierce frontier wars broke out in the neighboring settlements between the Whites and Red Indians. There were horrible massacres and other atrocities. The surrounding colonies put considerable pressure upon the Quaker Assembly of Pennsylvania to arm the colonists, or to help in other ways in the wars. But the Quakers absolutely refused. The result was, that ‘the province was entirely bare to the attack of enemies,—not a single man, nor, at the public expense, a single fortification to shelter the unhappy inhabitants.’

The courage involved in such an attitude may be realized by anyone who takes the trouble to enquire what happened to fighting-men (and still worse to women and children) who came under the power of the American Indians in the other colonies.

Yet the policy was justified, even when judged by the most superficial and ‘worldly’ standards. Amidst the devastations suffered by surrounding colonies in the Indian wars, Pennsylvania remained unscathed. ‘Others were slain; others were massacred; but they were safe. Not a Quaker woman suffered assault; not a Quaker child was slain, not a Quaker man was tortured; and when at last, under pressure, the Quakers gave up the government of the State, and war broke out, and some Pennsylvanians were killed, only three Quakers were killed. These three had so far fallen from their faith, as to carry weapons of defense.’

On one occasion, in any outlying station, a group of Friends (Quakers) were holding one of their meetings for the silent worship of God, when they became conscious that a war-party of Red Indians had stolen out of the neighboring forest, and were preparing to attack them. In spite of the imminent and terrible danger, the Friends, remained seated in their silent worship. ‘Not a man, not a woman, not a child stirred.’ The fierce red men filed in and stood silently looking at them. The power of God came upon them, and they sat down and took their part in that strange meeting for worship. When it was over the Friends, as is their custom, shook hands with one another; first they shook hands with those Red Indians and said, "We have been worshipping the great Father of us all." and the Indians said, "We have worshipped Him with you!"

If you enjoy our inspirational stories and articles, be sure to visit our website for more:

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Let's share the gifts for which we are most grateful:
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All Contents Copyrighted, 2006, The Conscious Living Foundation