- Issue 103 -

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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.

In this new issue, we are excited to present the fourth chapter of "The Third Eye" by T. Lobsang Rampa, a fascinating, controversial and very popular account of the life and esoteric experiences of a Tibetian Monk. 

In addition, we are offering the next chapter of "A Romance of Two Worlds" by Marie Corelli.  This best selling Victorian novel explores the relationship between the occult and Christianity, plus a discussion of guardian angels and life after death along with mystery, romance and tragedy.  

We are also continuing with our series of selections from Kahlil Gibran's masterpiece, "The Prophet".  This issue's selection is entitled, "On Pain". 

We are pleased to present an article by Paramahansa Yogananda entitled "Encounters In India" in which the famous Swami tells of some of his experiences while meeting other mystics and savants.

We continue with a new essay by Ernest Holmes, in which he asks "Are You Being Controlled by The Suggestions of Others".  As always, Dr. Holmes' thoughts are empowering and encouraging. 

We also continue our exploration of 12 Step Programs and their ability to support personal and spiritual transformation.  We're pleased to offer two articles for your consideration:  First, "How The 12 Steps Work" along with "12 Step Affirmations" a wonderful collection of one sentence power thoughts useful for everyone regardless of their tradition or field of interest.

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We're also offering a new essay entitled "Gratitude"; an excellent exploration of the results of an attitude of giving thanks by the author of "The Science of Getting Rich", along with two wonderful articles - one the real-life story of a young man in Africa - "William's Windmill" and a report of a scientific study entitled "Charitable Monkeys Show Empathy".

As usual, our newsletter also includes an article by one of our most thought-provoking writers, Steve Roberts and his new essay, "The Beautiful Future of Eliot Spizter". 

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Contents:

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Serial:  The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa

CHAPTER FOUR

AT THE TEMPLE GATES

    The road led straight ahead to Chakpori Lamasery, the Temple of Tibetan Medicine.  A hard school, this!  I walked the miles as the day grew lighter and at the gate leading to the entrance com- pound I met two others, who also desired admission.  We warily looked each other over, and I think that none of us was much impressed by what we saw in the others.  We decided that we would have to be sociable if we were going to endure the same training.    

For some time we knocked timidly, and nothing happened. Then one of the others stooped and picked up a large stone and really did make enough noise to attract attention.  A monk ap- peared, waving a stick which to our frightened eyes looked as large as a young tree.  “What do you young devils want?”  he exclaimed.  “Do you think that I have nothing better to do than answer the door to such as you?”  “We want to be monks,” I replied.  “You look more like monkeys to me,” he said.  “Wait there and do not move, the Master of the Acolytes will see you when he is ready.”  The door slammed shut, nearly knocking one of the other boys flat on his back, he having moved incautiously near. We sat upon the ground, our legs were tired with standing.  People came to the lamasery, and went.  The pleasant smell of food was wafted to us through a small window, tantalizing us with the thought of satisfying our growing hunger.  Food, so near, yet so utterly unattainable.    

At last the door was flung open with violence, and a tall, skinny man appeared in the opening. “Well!” he roared.  “And what do you miserable scamps want?”  We want to be monks,” we said. “Goodness me,” he exclaimed. “What garbage is coming to the lamasery nowadays!”  He beckoned us to enter the vast walled enclosure which was the perimeter of the lamasery grounds.  He asked us what we were, who we were, even why we were!  We gathered, without difficulty, that he was not at all impressed with us.  To one, the son of a herdsman, he said: “Enter quickly, if you can pass your tests you can stay.”  To the next: “You, boy. What did you say?  Son of a butcher?  A cutter-up of flesh?  A transgressor of the Laws of Buddha?  And you come here?  Be off with you, quickly, or I wil1 have you flogged round the road.” The poor wretched boy forgot his tiredness in a sudden burst of speed as the monk lunged at him.  Wheeling in a flash he leaped forward, leaving little scuffs of disturbed dust as his feet touched the ground in his hurry.    

Now I was left, alone on my seventh birthday.  The gaunt monk turned his fierce gaze in my direction, almost causing me to shrivel on the spot with fright.  He twitched his stick menacingly “And you?  What have we here?  Oho!  A young prince who wants to turn religious.  We must see what you are made of first, my fine fellow.  See what kind of stuffing you have; this is not the place for soft and pampered princelings.  Take forty paces backwards and sit in the attitude of contemplation until I tell you otherwise, and do not move an eyelash!”  With that he turned abruptly and went away. 

Sadly I picked up my pathetic little bundle, and took the forty steps back.  On my knees I went, then sat cross-legged as commanded.  So I sat throughout the day.  Unmoving.  The dust blew against me, forming little mounds in the clips of my upturned hands, piling on my shoulders and lodging in my hair.  As the sun began to fade my hunger increased and my throat was wracked with the harshness of thirst, for I had had no food or drink since the first fight of dawn.  Passing monks, and there were many, took no heed.  Wandering dogs paused a while to sniff curiously, then they too went away.  A gang of small boys came past.  One idly flipped a stone in my direction.  It struck the side of my head and caused the blood to flow.  But I did not stir.  I was afraid to.  If I failed my endurance test my father would not allow me to enter what had been my home.  There was nowhere for me to go. Nothing that I could do.  I could only remain motionless, aching in every muscle, stiff in every joint.    

The sun hid behind the mountains and the sky became dark. The stars shone bright against the blackness of the sky.  From the lamasery windows thousands of little butter lamps flickered into flame.   A chill wind, the leaves of the willows hissed and rattled, and about me there were all the faint sounds which go to make the strange noises of the night.    

I still  remained motionless for the strongest of reasons.  I was too frightened to move and I was very stiff   Presently came the soft suah-sush of approaching monks' sandals slithering over the gritty way; the steps of an old man feeling his way in the darkness. A form loomed up before me, the form of an old monk bent and gnarled with the passage of austere years.  His hands shook with age, a matter of some concern to me when I saw that he was spilling the tea he was carrying in one hand.  In the other hand he held a small bowl of tsampa.  He passed them to me.  At first I made no move to take them.  Divining my thoughts, he said: “Take them, my son, for you can move during the hours of darkness.”  So I drank the tea and transferred the tsampa to my own bowl. The old monk said, “Now sleep, but at the first rays of the sun take your stance here in the same position, for this is a test, and is not the wanton cruelty which you may now consider it to be.  Only those who pass this test can aspire to the higher ranks of our Order.”  With that he gathered up the cup and the bowl and went away.  I stood and stretched my legs, then lay upon my side and finished the tsampa.  Now I was really tired, so scooping a depres- sion in the ground to accommodate my hip bone, and placing my spare robe beneath my head, I lay down.    

My seven years had not been easy years.  At all times father had been strict, frightfully strict, but even so this was my first night away from home and the whole day had been spent in one position, hungry, thirsty, and motionless.  I had no idea of what the morrow would bring, or what more would be demanded of me.  But now I had to sleep alone beneath the frosty sky, alone with my terror of the darkness, alone with my terrors of the days to come.    

It seemed that I had hardly closed my eyes before the sound of a trumpet awakened me.  Opening my eyes, I saw that it was the false dawn, with the first light of the approaching day reflected against the skies behind the mountains.  Hurriedly I sat up and resumed the posture of contemplation.  Gradually the lamasery ahead of me awoke to life.  First there had been the air of a sleeping town, a dead, inert hulk.  Next, a gentle sighing, as of a sleeper awakening.  It grew to a murmur and developed to a deep hum, like the drone of bees on a hot summer's day.  Occasionally there was the call of a trumpet, like the muted chirp of a distant bird, and the deep growl of a conch, like a bullfrog calling in a marsh. As the light increased, little groups of shaven heads passed and repassed behind the open windows, windows which in the earlier pre-dawn light had looked like the empty eye-sockets of a clean- picked skull.    

The day grew older, and I grew stiffer, but I dared not move; I dared not fall asleep, for if I moved and failed my test, then I had nowhere to go.  Father had made it very clear that if the lamasery did not want me, then nor did he.  Little groups of monks came out of the various buildings, going about their mysterious businesses. Small boys wandered around, sometimes kicking a shower of dust and small stones in my direction, or making ribald remarks.  As there was no response from me they soon tired of the abortive sport and went away in search of more co-operative victims. Gradually, as the light at eventide began to fail, the little butter- lamps again flickered into life within the lamasery buildings. Soon the darkness was relieved merely by the faint star-glow, for this was the time when the moon rose late.  In our saying, the moon was now young and could not travel fast.    

I became sick with apprehension; was I forgotten?  Was this another test, one in which I had to be deprived of all food? Throughout the long day I had not stirred, and now I was faint with hunger.  Suddenly hope flared in me, and I almost jumped to my feet.  There was a shuffling noise and a dark outline approached. Then I saw that it was a very large black mastiff dragging something along.  He took no notice of me, but went on his nocturnal mission quite uncaring of my plight.  My hopes fell; I could have wept.  To prevent myself  being so weak I reminded myself that only girls and women were as stupid as that.    

At last I heard the old man approaching. This time he gazed more benignly upon me and said: “Food and drink, my son, but the end is not yet.  There is still the morrow, so take care that you do not move, for so very many fail at the eleventh hour.”  With those words he turned and went away.  While he was speaking I had drunk the tea, and again transferred the tsampa to my own bowl. Again I lay down, certainly no happier than the night before.  As I lay there I wondered at the injustice of it; I did not want to be a monk of any sect, shape, or size.  I had no more choice than a pack animal being driven over a mountain pass.  And so I fell asleep.    

The next day, the third day, as I sat in my attitude of contemplation, I could feel myself becoming weaker, and giddy. The lamasery seemed to swim in a miasma compounded of buildings, bright coloured Lights, purple patches, with mountains and monks liberally interspersed. With a determined effort I managed to shake off this attack of vertigo.  It really frightened me to think that I might fail now, after all the suffering I had had.  By now the stones beneath me seemed to have grown knife edges which chafed me in inconvenient places.  In one of my lighter moments I thought how glad I was that I was not a hen hatching eggs, and compelled to sit even longer than I.    

The sun seemed to stand still; the day appeared endless, but at long last the light began to fail, and the evening wind commenced to play with a feather dropped by a passing bird.  Once again the little lights appeared in the windows, one by one.  “Hope I die tonight,” I thought; “can't stick any more of this.”  Just then the tall figure of the Master of the Acolytes appeared in the distant doorway.  “Boy, come here!” he called.  Trying to rise with my stiffened legs, I pitched forward on to my face. “Boy, if you want a rest you can stay there another night.  I shall not wait longer.” Hastily I grabbed my bundle and tottered towards him. “Enter,” he said, “and attend evening service, then see me in the morning.”    

It was warm inside, and there was the comforting smell of incense.  My hunger-sharpened senses told me there was food quite near, so I followed a crowd moving to the right.  Food— tsampa, buttered tea.  I edged my way to the front row as if I had had a lifetime of practice.  Monks made ineffectual grabs at my pigtail as I scrambled between their legs, but I was after food and nothing was going to stop me now.    

Feeling a Little better with some food inside me, I followed the crowd to the inner temple and the evening service.  I was too tired to know anything about it, but no one took any notice of me.  As the monks filed out I slipped behind a giant pillar, and stretched out on the stone floor, with my bundle beneath my head.  I slept.    

A stunning crash—I thought my head had split—and the sound of voices.  “New boy.  One of the high-born. Come on, let's scrag him!”  One of the crowd of acolytes was waving my spare robe, which he had pulled from under my head, another had my felt boots.  A soft, squashy mass of tsampa caught me in the face. Blows and kicks were rained upon me, but I did not resist, thinking it might be part of the test, to see if I obeyed the sixteenth of the Laws, which ordered: Bear suffering and distress with patience and meekness.  There was a sudden loud bellow: “What's going on here ?”  A frightened whisper: “Oh ! It's old Rattlebones on the prowl.”  As I clawed the tsampa from my eyes the Master of  the Acolytes reached down and dragged me to my feet by my pigtail. “Softly ! Weakling!  You one of the future leaders?  Bah!  Take that, and that!” Blows, hard ones, absolutely showered upon me. “Worthless weakling, can't even defend yourself!” The blows seemed non-ending. I fancied I heard Old Tzu's farewell saying: “Acquit yourself, well, remember all I have taught you.” Unthinkingly I turned and applied a little pressure as Tzu had taught me. 

 

The Master was caught by surprise and with a gasp of pain he flew over my head, hit the stone floor, and skidded along on his nose, taking all the skin off, and coming to rest when his head hit a stone pillar with a loud “onk!”  “Death for me,” I thought, “this is the end of all my worries.”  The world seemed to stand still. The other boys were holding their breath.  With a loud roar the tall, bony monk leaped to his feet, blood streaming from his nose.  He was roaring all right, roaring with laughter. “Young gamecock, eh?  Or cornered rat; which?  Ah, that's what we must find out!” Turning and pointing to a tall, ungainly boy of fourteen, he said: “You, Ngawang, you are the biggest bully in this lamasery; see if the son of a yak-driver is better than the son of a prince when it comes to fighting.”    

For the first time I was grateful to Tzu, the old police monk. In his younger days he had been a champion judo expert of Kham. He had taught me—as he said—“all he knew”.  I had had to fight with fully grown men, and in this science, where strength or age does not count, I had become very proficient indeed.  Now that I knew that my future depended on the result of this fight, I was at last quite happy.    

Nhawang was a strong and well-built boy, but very ungainly in his movements.  I could see that he was used to rough-and-tumble fighting, where his strength was in his favour.  He rushed at me, intending to grip me and make me helpless.  I was not frightened now, thanks to Tzu and his, at times, brutal training.  As Ngawang rushed, I moved aside and lightly twisted his arm.  His feet skidded from under him, he turned a half-circle and landed on his head. For a moment he lay groaning, then sprang to his feet and leapt at me.  I sank to the ground and twisted a leg as he passed over me. This time he spun around and landed on his left shoulder.  Still he was not satisfied.  He circled warily, then jumped aside and grasped a heavy incense burner which he swung at me by its chains.  Such a weapon is slow, cumbersome, and very easy to avoid.  I stepped beneath his flailing arms, and lightly stabbed a finger to the base of his neck, as Tzu had so often showed me.  Down he went, like a rock on a mountainside, his nerveless fingers relinquishing their grip on the chains, and causing the censer to plummet like a sling- shot at the group of watching boys and monks.     Ngawang was unconscious for about half an hour. That special “touch” is often used to free the spirit from the body for astral traveling and similar purposes. 


    The Master of the Acolytes stepped forward to me, gave me a slap on the back which almost sent me flat on my face, and made the somewhat contradictory statement: “Boy, you are a man!” My greatly daring reply was: “Then have I earned some food, sir, please?  I have had very little of late.”  “My boy, eat and drink your fill, then tell one of these hooligans—you are their master now—to show you to me.”    

The old monk who had brought me food before I entered the lamasery came and spoke to me: “My son, you have done well, Ngawang was the bully of the acolytes.  Now you take his place and control with kindness and compassion.  You have been taught well, see that your knowledge is used well, and does not fall into the wrong hands.  Now come with me and I will get you food and drink.”     The Master of the Acolytes greeted me amiably when I went to his room. “Sit, boy, sit.  I am going to see if your educational prowess is as good as your physical.  I am going to try to catch you, boy, so watch out!”  He asked me an amazing number of questions, some oral, some written.  For six hours we sat opposite each other on our cushions, then he expressed himself as satisfied.  I felt like a badly tanned yak-hide, soggy and limp.  He stood up. “Boy,” he said, “follow me.  I am going to take you to the Lord Abbot.  An unusual honour, but you will learn why.  Come.”    

Through the wide corridors I followed him, past the religious offices, past the inner temples, and the school rooms.  Up the stairs, through more winding corridors, past the Halls of the Gods, and the storage places of herbs. Up more stairs, until, at last, we emerged on the flat roof and walked towards the Lord Abbot's house which was built upon it. Then through the gold-paneled doorway, past the golden Buddha, round by the Symbol of Medi- cine, and into the Lord Abbot's private room.  “Bow, boy, bow, and do as I do.  Lord, here is the boy Tuesday Lobsang Rampa.” With that, the Master of the Acolytes bowed three times, then prostrated himself upon the floor.  I did the same, panting with eagerness to do the right thing in the right way. The impassive Lord Abbot looked at us and said: “Sit.”  We sat upon cushions, cross-legged, in the Tibetan way.    

For a long time the Lord Abbot remained looking at me, but not speaking.  Then he said: “Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, I know all about you, all that has been predicted.  Your trial of endurance has been harsh but with good reason. That reason you will know in later years.  Know now that of every thousand monks, only one is fitted for higher things, for higher development.  The others drift, and do their daily task.  They are the manual workers, those who turn the prayer-wheels without wondering why.  We are not short of them, we are short of those who will carry on our knowledge when later our country is under an alien cloud.  You will be specially trained, intensively trained, and in a few short years you will be given more knowledge than a lama normally acquires in a long lifetime. The Way will be hard, and often it will be painful. To force clairvoyance is painful, and to travel in the astral planes requires nerves that nothing can shatter, and a determination as hard as the rocks.”    

I listened hard, taking it all in. It all seemed too difficult to me. I was not that energetic!  He went on: “You will be trained here in medicine and in astrology. You will be given every assistance which we can render. You will also be trained in the esoteric arts. Your Path is mapped for you, Tuesday Lobsang Rampa.  Although you are but seven years of age, I speak to you as a man, for thus you have been brought up.” He inclined his head, and the Master of the Acolytes rose and bowed deeply.  I did the same, and together we made our way out.  Not until we were again in the Master's room did he break the silence.   “Boy, you will have to work hard all the time.  But we will help you all we can.  Now I will have you taken to get your head shaved.”  In Tibet, when a boy enters the priesthood, his head is shaved with the exception of one lock.  This lock is removed when the boy is given the “priest-name”, and his former name is discarded, but more of that a little further on. 

The Master of the Acolytes led me through winding ways to a  small room, the “barber shop”.  Here I was told to sit on the floor. “Tam-cho,” the Master said, “shave this boy's head.  Remove the name lock as well, for he is being given his name immediately.” Tam-cho stepped forward, grasped my pigtail in his right hand and lifted it straight up. “Ah! my boy.  Lovely pigtail, well but- tered, well cared for.  A pleasure to saw it off “  From somewhere he produced a huge pair of shears-the sort our servants used for cutting plants. “Tishe,” he roared, “come and hold up this end of rope.”  Tishe, the assistant, came running forward and held up my pigtail so tightly that I was almost lifted off the ground.  With his tongue protruding, and with many little grunts, Tam-cho manipu- lated those deplorably blunt shears, until my pigtail was severed. This was just the start. The assistant brought a bowl of hot water, so hot that I jumped off the floor in anguish when it was poured on my head. “What's the matter, boy ? Being boiled ?” I replied that I was, and he said : “Never mind that, it makes the hair easier to remove!” He took up a three-sided razor, very like the thing we had at home for scraping floors. Eventually, after an eternity, it seemed to me, my head was denuded of hair.    

“Come with me,” said the Master.  He led me to his room and produced a big book. “Now, what are we to cal1 you?”  He went on mumbling to himself, then, “Ah!  here we are: from now on you will be called Yza-mig-dmar Lah-lu.” For this book, however, I shall continue to use the name of Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, as it is easier for the reader.    

Feeling as naked as a new-laid egg, I was taken to a class. Having had such a good education at home, I was considered to know more than the average, so was put in the class of the seven- teen-year-old acolytes.  I felt like a dwarf among giants. The others had seen how I had handled Ngawang, so I had no trouble except for the incident of one big, stupid boy. He came up behind me and put his dirty great hands on my very sore pate.  It was just a matter of reaching up and jabbing my fingers into the ends of his elbows to send him away screaming with pain. Try knocking two “funny bones” at once, and see!  Tzu really taught me well.  The judo instructors whom I was to meet later in the week all knew Tzu; all said he was the finest “judo adept” in the whole of Tibet.  I had no more trouble from boys.  Our teacher, who had had his back turned when the boy put his hands on my head, had soon noticed what was happening.  He laughed so much at the result that he let us go early.    

It was now about eight-thirty in the evening, so we had about three-quarters of an hour to spare before temple service at nine-fifteen.  My joy was short-lived; as we were leaving the room a lama beckoned to me.  I went to him and he said: “Come with me.” I followed him, wondering what fresh trouble was in store.  He turned into a music room where there were about twenty boys whom I knew to be entrants like myself.  Three musicians sat at their instruments, one at a drum, one had a conch, and the other a silver trumpet. The lama said: “We will sing so that I may test your voices for the choir,” The musicians started, playing a very well-known air which everyone could sing.  We raised our voices. The Music Master raised his eyebrows.

The puzzled look on his face was replaced by one of real pain. Up went his two hands in protest. “Stop! Stop!” he shouted, “even the Gods must writhe at this.  Now start again and do it properly.” We started again.  Again we were stopped. This time the Music Master came straight to me. “Dolt,” he exclaimed, “you are trying to make fun of me. We will have the musicians play, and you sing alone as you will not sing in company!” Once again the music started.  Once again I raised my voice in song.  But not for long. The Music Master waved to me in a frenzy. “Tuesday Lobsang, your talents do not include music. Never in my fifty-five years here have I heard such an off key voice.  Off key?  It is no key at all!  Boy, you will not sing again. In the singing sessions you will study other things.  In the temple services you will not sing, or your disharmony will ruin all.  Now go, you unmusical vandal!” I went.    

I idled around until I heard the trumpets announcing that it was time to assemble for the last service.  Last night—good gracious— was it only last night that I had entered the lamasery?  It seemed ages.  I felt that I was walking in my sleep, and I was hungry again. Perhaps that was just as well, if I had been full I should have dropped off to sleep.  Someone grabbed my robe, and I was swung up in the air.  A huge, friendly looking lama had hoisted me up to his broad shoulder. “Come on, boy, you will be late for service, and then you'll catch it.  You miss your supper, you know, if you are late, and you feel as empty as a drum.” 

He entered the temple still carrying me and took his place just at the back of the boys' cushions.  Carefully he placed me on a cushion in front of him. “Face me, boy, and make the same responses as I do, but when I sing, you—ha! ha!—keep quiet.” I was indeed grateful for his help, so few people had ever been kind to me; instruction I had had in the past had been yelled in one end, or knocked in the other. I must have dozed, because I came to with a start to find that the service had ended and the big lama had carried me, asleep, to the refractory and put tea, tsampa, and some boiled vegetables in front of me. “Eat it up, boy, then get off to bed. I'll show you where to sleep.  For this night you can sleep until five in the morning, then come to me.” 

That is the last thing I heard until at five in the morning I was awakened, with difficulty, by a boy who had been friendly the day before.  I saw that I was in a Large room, and was resting on three cushions.  “The Lama Mingyar Dondup told me to see that you were awakened at five.”  Up I got and piled my cushions against a wall as I saw the others had done.  The others were moving out, and the boy with me said: “We must hurry for breakfast, then I have to take you to the Lama Mingyar Dondup.” Now I was becoming more settled, not that I liked the place, or wanted to stay.  But it did occur to me that as I had no choice whatever, I should be my own best friend if I settled without any fuss.    

At breakfast, the Reader was droning out something from one of the hundred and twelve volumes of the Kan-gyur, the Buddhist Scriptures.  He must have seen that I was thinking of something else, for he rapped out: “ You, small new boy there, what did I say last?  Quick”  Like a flash, and quite without thinking, I replied: “Sir, you said that boy is not listening, I'll catch him'!  “That certainly raised a laugh and saved me from a hiding for inattention. The Reader smiled—a rare event—and explained that he had asked for the text from the Scriptures, but I could “get away with it this time”.    

At all meals Readers stand at a lectern and read from sacred books.  Monks are not allowed to talk at meals, nor to think of food.  They must ingest sacred knowledge with their food. We all sat on the floor, on cushions, and ate from a table which was about eighteen inches high. We were not permitted to make any noise at meal times, and we were absolutely banned from resting our elbows on the table.    

The discipline at Chakpori was indeed iron.  Chakpori means “Iron Mountain”.   In most lamaseries there was little organized discipline or routine.  Monks could work or laze as they pleased. Perhaps one in a thousand wanted to make progress, and they were the ones who became lamas, for lama means “superior one” and is not applied to all and sundry.  In our lamasery the discipline was strict, even fiercely so.  We were going to be specialists, leaders of our class, and for us order and training was considered to be utterly essential. We boys were not allowed to use the normal white robes of an acolyte, but had to wear the russet of the accepted monk.  We had domestic workers as well, but these monks were servant-monks who saw to the housekeeping side of the lamasery. 

We had to take turns at domestic work to make sure that we did not get exalted ideas.  We always had to remember the old Buddhist saying: “Be yourself the example, do only good, and no harm, to others.  This is the essence of Buddha's teaching.” Our Lord Abbot, the Lama Cham-pa La, was as strict as my father, and demanded instant obedience.  One of his sayings was: “Reading and writing are the gates of all qualities”, so we got plenty to do in that line.


Tuesday Lobsang Rampa was a very popular writer who claimed to have been a Lama in Tibet before spending the second part of his life in the body of a British man, Cyril Henry Hoskin, who described himself as the "host" of T. Lobsang Rampa.

To many, Dr. Rampa was a revolutionary of his time, one of the first of the Eastern teachers to bring Buddhism and metaphysics to the West in a popular fashion. He wrote many books about spiritual matters, beginning with "The Third Eye".

Lobsang Rampa attempts to teach the timeless universal truths, while traveling along the spiritual path. Dr. Rampa's books also discuss the state of humanity's progress and he shows how we can be a positive force for good, thus improving ourselves and helping our fellow humans and all sentient beings.

Look for the next chapter in The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa in the next edition of our newsletter or prior chapters in previous editions.  To read other books by T. Lobsang Rampa, visit our free Ebook section by clicking  Here.

 

 

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We have received emails and telephone calls from several visitors to our website asking if they could make a purchase by telephone.   Some do not feel confident providing credit card information on the Internet.  In response to this request, The Conscious Living Foundation is proud to announce that we are now able to accept your credit card payments by calling us at 818/502-9096.  If you call during non-office hours, please leave your phone number and we'll call you back.

In addition, in the past it was necessary to go through PayPal in order to make purchases from our website.  This is no longer the case.  If you prefer using PayPal to make your purchases, that option is still available.  However, we are now able to process all major credit and debit cards directly through our website without going through PayPal.  This increases the simplicity and decreases the time involved in making a purchase through us.  We now accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

Our goal is to make your shopping experience as relaxing and simple as possible.  Thank you for your continuing suggestions! 

 To visit our product catalog, click Here.


 

                                           

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Essay:  Are You Controlled By The Suggestions of Others?                                    by Ernest Holmes                                  

 

 

NEARLY all people are controlled by outer suggestions, and not by inner realizations. Ordinarily man thinks only what he sees others do, and hears others say. We must all learn so to control the inner life that outside things do not make an impression upon our mentalities. As we are thinking beings, and cannot help thinking, we cannot avoid making things happen to us, and what we need to do is so to control our thought processes that our thinking will not depart from the realization of that which is perfect.

Man is governed by a mind which casts back to him every thought he thinks; he cannot escape from this and need not try; it would be useless. The laws of mind are simple and easy to understand. The trouble with us has been that we have laid down great obstructions, and then have tried to overcome them. Stop trying, stop struggling, Learn to be calm, to trust in the higher laws of life, even though you do not see them; they are still there.

Did you ever see the law that causes a plant to grow? Of course you did not, and yet you believe in this hidden law of growth. Why do you believe? Simply because every ear, out of the seed time comes a harvest. Shall we not have as great faith in the higher laws of being? To those souls who have dared to believe has come as definite an answer as came to those who believed in receiving a harvest from the planted seed. This law is, and if we would see results we must use it; that is, we must provide the mental receptivity that will prepare us to accept the gift when the Spirit makes it. This receiving is a mental process, a process in which we lose all sense of limitation.

If you wish to demonstrate prosperity, begin to think and talk about it, and to see it everywhere. Do nothing that contradicts this thought either mentally or physically. The world is full of good; take it and forget all else. Rise above depression and be glad that you are saved from adversity; the human mind needs to be cleansed from the morbid thoughts that bind through its false beliefs.

No living soul can demonstrate two things at the same time, if one contradicts the other. There is no way except to let go of all that you do not wish to come into your experience, and, in mind, take all that you do wish.

            

SEE, HEAR, TALK ABOUT, AND READ ONLY WHAT YOU WISH,
AND NEVER AGAIN LET A NEGATIVE THOUGHT COME INTO YOUR MIND.

God knows good only, and when we are in line with good He knows us; when we are out of harmony with good, we say, “God has forgotten us.” On the one hand we have an Infinite Intelligence which has brought us up to where we are to-day; and having done all that it can for us now lets us alone to discover our own nature. On the other hand we have the Infinite Law — which is an activity of God and we can use it for what we will, only with this provision, that, in so far as we use it for the good of all, are we protected.

The law obtains through all nature that as a man sows, so must he reap. Now the Father has brought us to where we can understand life, and we must go as we choose. If we are in harmony with the great forward movement of the Spirit, there is nothing that can hinder our advance­ment; if we oppose it, somewhere along our pathway it will crush us. As with individuals so with nations; in so far as they work with a right spirit they prosper; when they begin to fail in the use of this law they begin to fall. He who understands will take the position of one who wishes to work in union with the Power of Good; and to such an one will come all the power that he can conceive of and believe in; his word becomes in expression as the very word of God, and he must realize it to be all powerful. So the one who is truly united with Good will wish to express only the truth for all; and in doing so he is work­ing along the lines of the unfoldment of the Spirit, and though he may seem to fail, from the ordinary standpoint, yet his success is assured; for he is at one with the only ultimate power before which, in time, all else must fall.


The Conscious Living Foundation is proud to offer its recording of one of Ernest Holmes most famous books, "Creative Mind and Success".  To learn more about the recording and hear several FREE selections on such topics as:

- How to attract friends
- An affirmation on love
- The power of words
     - Old age and opportunity
      - Money as a spiritual idea
           - How to know just what to do
                                     - Developing Intuition
                                      - What we will attract

Just click Here.
 

We are also pleased to announce the recent release of "Affirmations of Ernest Holmes" - a collection of 20 of Dr. Holmes' most powerful and effective affirmations and treatments.  Each of the affirmations was designed by him to create the best mental attitude and sense of feeling that will promote positive change according to the subject matter of the affirmation.

The affirmations cover a wide range of topics from healing and excellent health, to increased abundance and prosperity, to a greater sense of unity and oneness with Spirit.  These affirmations have been practiced by hundreds of thousands of people for decades and have been found to work with great effectiveness.

To hear several free samples from this wonderful recording, please click Here.
 

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.
Affirmations - Click Here.
Spiritual Poems - Click Here.

 

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Affirmation:  (Selection from The Conscious Word Daily Affirmation)                       

        

I am harmonious, happy and

Divinely magnetic.

I now draw to myself

Overflowing blessings and goodness.

 

 

(The preceding is a selection from our daily affirmation, emailed directly to you each morning, called The Conscious Word.  You can obtain more information and view a sample issue by clicking Here.) 

 

News A New Collection of Bath and Body Products

The Conscious Living Foundation is pleased to announce a new collection of healthy bar soaps, "SoapOne" - soap products with spirit.  Available now at a special introductory price.

SoapOne products are designed with harmony and beauty in mind.  One hundred percent vegetable soap with essential oils - the primary ingredients are: Palm Nut Oil, Palm Oil, and Palm Butter.  Our new products are circular in shape and come in four unique flavors:  Allure, Bloom, Reflection and Serenade.  To find out more, click Here.  
 

To see our full line of soaps, body scrubs, hand creams, room sprays and body creams, please click Here.

To visit the Bath and Body section of our catalog, which contains a wide variety of Bath Gift Sets, Perfumes, Women's Pajamas, Bathroom Decor Sets, Pillows, Head and Hair products and Cosmetics - please click Here.

 

 

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Essay:  The Beautiful Future of Eliot Spitzer  (Applying The 12 Steps)             by Steve Roberts

If there is one group besides aspiring saints from whom former New York governor Eliot Spitzer will find empathy for his recent swan-dive into self-destruction it’s recovering addicts.

Being one myself for the past 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of hearing (and telling) all manner of horror stories stemming from the insanity that is the heart and soul of addiction.  Stories as equally absurd and painful as, “I became governor of New York as the champion of moral rectitude only to start paying as much as five K a pop for prostitutes,” are as common as coffee at just about any Alcoholics Anonymous meeting I’ve attended.  As is the response from those fellow addicts who’ve been recovering long enough to know what they’re talking about. 

“Makes sense,” they’re likely to say. 

“What do you expect?” they’re likely to say.  “Craziness and addiction go hand in hand.”

“Welcome to the club,” they’re likely to say.

And as they speak they’re smiling with understanding.

Humankind’s growing experience with addiction reveals its presence in just about every single one of us.  This isn’t new news, really.  Attachment, said the Buddha, is the root of all human misery.  And in essence, attachment is addiction.

It doesn’t matter whether our preferred drugs include alcohol, pot, coke, crack, smack, meth, nicotine, sex, sugar, power, tidiness, revenge, gambling, a gang, eating, being a victim, self-hatred, making money, skydiving, keeping a schedule, patriotism, or having the world tell us how wonderful we are—the first rule of addiction is that, when it comes to making healthy choices, all bets are off.  What is a healthy choice?  One that grows kindness, compassion and understanding.  It’s not that an addict is always going to make a destructive choice; it’s that he or she can’t be counted on (by others or themselves) to make a loving one.  While addicts can be sociopaths, addiction, in itself, is not an absence of moral character, no matter how devastating its consequences.  Addiction is that compulsion or fixation about which, given the right circumstances (for some of us amounting to no more than waking up in the morning), there is very little, if anything, we will not sacrifice to satisfy.  In the extreme, that sacrifice can include the trust of those we love. 

Announcing his resignation as governor, Mr. Spitzer said his first priority was healing his relationship with his family.  It sounds good, but a sober old-timer might tell him that’s just another way his addiction is talking.  When I finally awoke to the reality that my life had become unmanageable and I needed to do something about it, I heard quickly from many voices of experience that it wasn’t my relationship with my family I had to pay attention to; it was my relationship with me.  “You get so you can trust you, and the rest will take care of itself,” my AA sponsor said.  He wasn’t implying that, sooner or later, my family was going to trust me.  He meant that their trust was their business (and maybe it would never come); my business was learning to trust myself to live a healthy life.   

I can’t speak for what Mr. Spitzer faces in healing his life, but for me it’s been a long, deliberate process—humbling, often painful, moving through fear upon fear, learning to forgive and to love myself.  Yet, as once I lived with unending despair, since day one of recovery I have lived with unending gratitude.  The first year was like having survived a plane crash.  Two decades later I continue to remove the veils of delusion that separate me from the boundless potential inherent in being human—and as each veil drops, there is more light with which to see the beauty of who I really am; indeed, who all of us really are. 

Like many addicts, Mr. Spitzer is a man of considerable talents.  Should he choose to embrace his so-called public ignominy as an opening for self-discovery, what he learns, and how his life evolves from it, could be a source of considerable service to not only himself and those close to him, but also to the world at large.  

And should that occur, fellow addicts who’ve been recovering long enough to know what they’re talking about will smile with understanding.

“Makes sense,” they’re likely to say.

“What do you expect?” they’re likely to say.  “Amazing, beautiful things go with the territory.”

“Welcome to the club,” they’re likely to say.

 

 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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News:  The Conscious Word and Conscious Wisdom are Now Available With A 2 Week FREE Trial
 

The Conscious Word is an email newsletter sent directly to you each day.  Each issue contains an inspirational affirmation designed to help uplift your spirits and support your conscious efforts at personal and spiritual growth and development.

By practicing the affirmation which we email to you, for 3 to 4 minutes a day, you create an effective tool that will help you experience an ongoing positive change in your life. 

We all “know” many things.  However, “knowing” something, in and of itself, does not make it “true” to us.  We can read all about oranges; we can look at pictures of oranges and we can talk to people who have eaten oranges.  But, until we taste the orange ourselves, we do not truly understand the full truth about what an orange is. 

Likewise, we can experience the “truth”, the real nature, of many more subtle and essential concepts by “tasting” them.  One of the capabilities of an affirmation is to provide us with a “taste” of the subject matter of the affirmation.

However, something else is also at work in an affirmation.  One of the secrets of the universe is that when a human believes something is so, it becomes what he or she believes.

Jesus said “Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, `Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea,' it shall be done.  And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  (Book of Matthew verses 21 and 22)

The key words in this quote are “If ye have faith and doubt not..” and “all things whatsoever ye shall ask believing..”

Jesus is describing this receptivity of the universe to human belief.  However, there are requirements for this belief to be effective.  Jesus says we must have “faith” without doubt and that we must “believe” as we ask.

James Allen’s famous premise “As a man Thinketh, so it is” expresses this same truth.

In essence, when we become utterly convinced of the truth of something, which means we have absolutely no doubts about it, the universe will be molded and shaped to match our conviction.  The challenging part is to find a way to become convinced of something that is not yet actualized.  To cultivate our faith.  This is where affirmations can help.

By taking a thought or collection of thoughts and impressing them deeply upon the mind with persistence and concentration,  a conviction can be cultivated.  Developing our own personal convictions, especially about ourselves, and then deepening and persisting in those convictions is a major key to our health, happiness and success in life.

For More Information, an example issue and A Two Week Free Trial, Click HereAfter your 2 week free trial, our normal subscription rate is $3.50 each month.

 

In addition, CLF is pleased to announce the introduction of our newest Daily Inspiration product, Conscious Wisdom. 

Conscious Wisdom is an email newsletter sent directly to you each day. 

Each issue contains inspirational guidance and wisdom designed to help uplift your spirits and support your conscious efforts at personal and spiritual growth and development.  We're offering a Two Week Free Trial subscription, so that you can experience personally how Conscious Wisdom can help change your life.  The regular monthly subscription costs $3.50 each month.

For More Information, an example issue and A Two Week Free Trial, Click Here.

 

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News:  Gift Certificates Now Available - Give the gift of Spiritual Inspiration and Renewal
Consider a Gift Certificate from The Conscious Living Foundation.  What better gift to give friends and loved ones than the gift of new hope, inspiration, encouragement and upliftment?  If you are considering buying a gift, why not let your loved ones select something that can genuinely make a difference in their lives?

Your Gift Certificate can be printed out for your personal delivery, or it can be emailed directly.  Our Gift Certificates are available in denominations from $5.00 to $1,000 and every product in our catalog is available for purchase with our CLF Gift Certificates. 

 Click Here for more information.

This time give the gift of a deeper spiritual life and increased personal growth.

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News:  Charitable Monkeys Show Empathy
THE GUARDIAN, LONDON

Monkeys enjoy performing charitable acts and are capable of empathizing with members of their own species, US researchers said.

The team taught capuchin monkeys a game involving food handouts in which players could adopt a selfish or helpful strategy. They found that even when the monkeys were paired with individuals they had never come across before they frequently adopted the helpful or “prosocial” option.

“The fact the capuchins predominantly selected the prosocial option must mean seeing another monkey receive food is satisfying or rewarding for them,” said Frans de Waal of Emory University in Atlanta. “We think it is self rewarding in the sense that the animals get something positive out of doing this.”

Studies involving brain scans of humans have found that when a person behaves charitably the reward centers of the brain light up. De Waal believes something similar may be happening in the monkeys.

In the experiment a researcher offered a monkey one of two tokens. If it chose the selfish token it received a slice of apple, but another monkey paired with it received nothing.

If it chose the helpful token it got the same reward, but its partner also received food.

Whatever the pairing, the animals chose the non-selfish option more frequently, but if the partner was a relative or a member of its group it chose that option even more frequently.

The research is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When a monkey adopted the non-selfish option it spent more time engaging with the other monkey, suggesting that the charitable act is the product of genuine interest in another individual.

 
News:  New Product Line Added To Our Catalog:  Spiritual Classical Music
The Conscious Living Foundation is pleased to announce that we have added an entirely new category of music to our product catalog.  In addition to our wide variety of New Age music CDs and Cassettes, we are now offering a variety of classical recordings of the very highest quality.

This expanding selection of recordings are primarily performances by the acclaimed choral group Gloriae Dei Cantores.  You will find selections by Renaissance masters,   sacred music of Russia (including numbers by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky), Palestrina, Brahms and Mozart.

In addition, there are more traditional spiritual songs such as Amazing Grace, What A Friend We Have In Jesus and Simple Gifts.

As always, free audio samples from each album are available for your download and enjoyment.

 Click Here for more information and lots of free samples.

Spiritual encouragement can come in many forms - one of the most powerful are these recordings of the deep attunement and inspiration of these great masters.

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News:  William's Windmill                         by Tom Reilly
 

At any age, designing, building and further adapting your own fully operational, power-generating windmill from scratch is quite amazing. However, if you are only 14, living in a remote village in Malawi, with no electicity, it is an astounding achievement.

When he was 14 years old, William Kamkwamba found he would have to leave school because his parents could no longer manage the fees but he did not give up hope. “An organization called the Malawian Teacher Training Activity contributed a large quantity of books to the primary school library near my home,” he said. “One of the books was called Using Energy. Inside there were plans for a windmill so I decided to build one to provide power for my family.”

William’s motivation to succeed was also born out of deep concern for his sister’s health. “She was coughing from the candles,” he explained. “They smoke and they are dangerous.” With no supply of electricity in his village, the only light source came from paraffin wax candles, which emit carcinogens and soot, filling a small house with the same toxins produced when burning diesel. William’s windmill would mean electric light but more importantly, a healthier sister. “When I was making it, all these people were mocking me, saying I was going mad,” he explained, “but I had confidence in what I was doing because I knew that if it was written in the book, then it was true and possible.”

Following the book’s diagrams and instructions, he set to work.  However, the only materials readily available were just some wooden poles, broken pipes, old shoes, copper wire and the pièce de résistance, his father’s old bicycle. As the structure started to take shape, he utilised anything that looked like it might work and when he could not find the right component, he just made it out of something else instead.

The blades for William’s windmill where fashioned out of old PVC pipes – cut, heated and pounded down until flat and then attached to a rotor. “I had some problems because I was using an old bicycle chain,” he remembered. “I had to remove it and use a car fan belt instead and that worked better.”
 

 

From a mish-mash of recycled bits and bobs, William’s first working windmill generated enough energy to light one room. This however, was only the beginning – he would need more power. He asked a local tinsmith to cut new, more efficient steel blades out of an old oil barrel, which helped speed up the turbine and thereby boost the energy production to power several light bulbs. In fact, enough for the whole house plus two radios, two mobile phone  ‰ chargers and a car battery for the purpose of backup power.

William, now 20, was recently made a Fellow at TEDGlobal – a conference that brings together exceptional people from the three worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design. After reading about him on a ‘blog’, which picked up the story from a local newspaper, TEDGlobal Conference Director Emeka Okafor spent several weeks tracking him down. News of William and his accomplishments had been spreading outwards through Africa, beginning with an article in Malawi’s The Daily Times entitled: School Drop-Out With a Streak of Genius. His humble, meaningful story became the emotional highlight of the TEDGlobal conference where the likes of Bono and Jane Goodall were also speaking.

Invited onto the stage, William talked to the audience about his invention and shared his dreams: to build a larger windmill which could pump water and irrigate his entire village and then to go back to school. The audience, clearly moved, rose to their feet to cheer and applaud. Public donations flooded in from North America, Asia, Europe and Australia, enabling him to return to school and TED community members rallied round to buy him a solar energy system to further improve his power supply.

“When I first met him,” said Tom Rielly, Partnership Director of TED Conferences, “I was struck by his intelligence and ingenuity. He has overcome both the lack of access to education and the lack of monetary resources to set a great example for young people everywhere by making life better for his family. Now all his sisters and he can read at night, listen to the radio and watch television, helping to make them part of the wider world. He inspires me everyday.”

“Africa means a great many things to a great many people,” wrote Wendy Jewell and David Kemker from the My Hero Project – an educational website that celebrates the best of humanity. “Many of us in the West hear only the disturbing parts – famine, war, epidemics – but there’s another story to be told about Africa; the story of the so-called ‘Cheetahs’ – the people who aren’t waiting for government or foreign aid or NGOs to solve their problems. They are the Africans who are standing up and saying: the change begins with me. I am the answer. William Kamkwamba is one such African.”

News:  Your First Source For Everything -

In our attempt to offer new products and services which support your efforts at personal and spiritual growth, The Conscious Living Foundation is now offering for the first time, a greatly expanded catalog of products.  We hope, once you see our low prices, that you'll think of us as your first source for all your needs.

In addition to our Inspirational Products, we also now offer many other products which we all tend to purchase as part of our daily living.  We now make available almost everything you can imagine – from candles, incense, wind chimes, bird houses and angels to clocks, jewelry, kitchen supplies, tools and telephones. 

It is our hope that you will consider our product catalog as your first source for these other purchases.  Even if the product is not specifically inspirational, your purchase from us helps tremendously in our ability to remain in existence and continue to offer our other, more spiritually directed products and services.

To find our new catalog, just click the red “Products” button at the top of most pages of our website, or to explore the wide gamut of new products right now, just click Here.

 

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Letters To The Editor:

1.  A great newsletter Bill - thank you. I first read Lobsang Rampa in the 60"s and some of his other books but it was good to read the 1st chapter again. Linda, my wife, has just read Wattles essay about material success and liked it too.  -- Bryan (From New Zealand)

Thanks Bryan - we appreciate the positive feedback.  The second chapter of T. Lobsang Rampa's book is included in this edition of our newsletter.  In addition, we've added a new article on material abundance as well.  Enjoy the reading! - The Editor

2.  Overall, it was a pleasure to read the newsletter; your style of writing is always very engaging.

For myself, your current contents layout was a bit disorganized, and left me feeling like there was "too much".  From a practical stand point, I think I'd group the contents by category; news, essays, etc.  I think people would find it much easier to traverse that way, and if you were to including a link to each item, I'm sure your readers would appreciate it.  Sometimes a person only has a few minutes to spare and if something were to catch their eye, they could easily go directly to it.  Unfortunately that would no doubt add more work to your no doubt, super busy schedule. -- Erica (From California)

Thank you for your suggestions Erica.  Your idea to group the table of contents into categories made sense to us, so we've followed your advice for this issue of the newsletter.  We look forward to feedback on whether this makes it easier.  Regarding links to each article:  As you're aware, there are actually 2 versions of the newsletter.  We only email the table of contents to each subscriber.  That email contains one link which connects to the complete newsletter contained on our website.   We've discovered the hard way that if we place more than a few links in our email that is a trigger for many email applications to think the email is spam.

So, our solution is to only place one link in the actual email, but when you click that link and go to the complete email on our website, then each article listed in the table of contents contains a link to that specific article.  I guess that's my long-winded way of saying we agree with you and the links to the articles do exist in the complete newsletter.  Thanks again for the super suggestions! - The Editor

If you have any comments on the emails that we've received, the contents of our newsletter or any other matter of interest to our subscribers, please email us at:  bill@consciouslivingfoundation.org and we'll try to include your thoughts in our next newsletter.

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Conscious Friends - Creating a World-Wide Spiritual Community

Tens of thousands of people visit The Conscious Living Foundation website.  Married or single, male or female, youth or senior, we all appreciate having friends who share our common interest in personal and spiritual growth.  As we learn and mature, many of us have realized that relationships are an important part of creating and maintaining a harmonious and uplifting life. 

To that end, The Conscious Living Foundation is pleased to announce the formal launch of the Conscious Friends section of our website, in the hope that we all can find new like-minded friends, develop deeper relationships and work together to enhance our world.

Conscious Friends offers several excellent features designed to help us communicate with each other, including access to custom created profiles of spiritually oriented people, a wide range of stimulating and thought-provoking forums, public and private chat rooms, instant messaging and our own private and confidential internal email system.

However, the most valuable assets within Conscious Friends are the people who create the community.  Even in its infancy, we have members from Croatia, Great Britain, Switzerland, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Oman and Norway, as well as all over the United States.  And, our membership continues to grow every day.  Don't miss this great opportunity to discover how wide-spread, optimistic and hopeful our global spiritual community really is.

Joined together we can create a world-wide Spirit village, a global community of high-minded individuals who can help uplift and serve each other and all our brothers and sisters hungry for a deeper meaning in their lives. 

Membership is free, so we invite you to visit Conscious Friends and discover for yourself the great opportunities which await you - just click  Here.

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!

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News:  Special 10% Discount For Newsletter Subscribers Only
We know that many people throughout the world are experiencing increasing economic hardships.  However, our desire for personal and spiritual growth does not stop regardless of economic conditions.

In our small way, to help with this dilemma, The Conscious Living Foundation is offering a 10% discount on all products we offer for sale through our catalog.  This discount is only available to those who read this specific issue of our newsletter.  CLF is not offering any other discounts of any kind at this time and will not renew this discount in upcoming issues of the newsletter.  However there is no limit on the total amount of your purchase which will be subject to the discount.  Regardless of your total purchase amount, 10% will be deducted.

How To Get Your Discount
You can go to our catalog by clicking Here.  After you complete your shopping and start the payment process, while you are selecting your payment method (credit card, check, telephone order, PayPal) look for a box that asks for a Discount Code.  The Discount Code is CLF1234.  After inputting the code, 10% will be taken off your total order regardless of its size.

Please note that this Discount Code can only be used a total of two times.  So, be sure to take advantage of this discount opportunity to the greatest degree you are able, to maximize your discount.

It is our hope that our CDs, Videos and other products will help provide the inspiration, guidance and hope you are seeking. 

Wishing you the best, as always,
CLF


 
Serial:  A Romance of Two Worlds          by Marie Corelli                      
           

CHAPTER IV.
A
 DANCE AND A PROMISE.

Our little French friend, Madame Didier, was not a woman to do things by halves. She was one of those rare exceptions among Parisian ladies--she was a perfectly happy wife; nay, more, she was in love with her own husband, a fact which, considering the present state of society both in France and England, rendered her almost contemptible in the eyes of all advanced thinkers. She was plump and jolly in appearance; round-eyed and brisk as a lively robin. Her husband, a large, mild-faced placid man--"mon petit mari," as she called him--permitted her to have her own way in everything, and considered all she did as perfectly well done. Therefore, when she had proposed this informal dance at the Hotel de Lourve, he made no objection, but entered into her plans with spirit; and, what was far more important, opened his purse readily to her demands for the necessary expenses. So nothing was stinted; the beautiful ballroom attached to the hotel was thrown open, and lavishly decorated with flowers, fountains, and twinkling lights; an awning extended from its windows right down the avenue of dark ilex-trees, which were ornamented with Chinese lanterns; an elegant supper was laid out in the large dining-room, and the whole establishment was en fete.

The delicious strains of a Viennese band floated to our ears as Colonel Everard, his wife, and myself descended the staircase on our way to the scene of revelry; and suggestions of fairyland were presented to us in the graceful girlish forms, clad in light, diaphanous attire, that flitted here and there, or occasionally passed us. Colonel Everard marched proudly along with the military bearing that always distinguished him, now and then glancing admiringly at his wife, who, indeed, looked her very best. Her dress was of the finest Brussels lace, looped over a skirt of the palest shell-pink satin; deep crimson velvet roses clustered on her breast, and nestled in her rich hair; a necklace of magnificent rubies clasped her neck, and the same jewels glittered on her round white arms. Her eyes shone with pleasurable excitement, and the prettiest color imaginable tinted her delicate cheeks. " When an American woman is lovely, she is very lovely," I said. "You will be the belle of the room to-night, Amy!" " Nonsense!" she replied, well pleased, though, at my remark. "You must remember I have a rival in yourself."

I  shrugged my shoulders incredulously. " It is not like you to be sarcastic," I said. "You know very well I have the air of a resuscitated corpse." T he Colonel wheeled round suddenly, and brought us all up to a standstill before a great mirror. " If YOU are like a resuscitated corpse, I'll throw a hundred dollars into the next mud-pond," he observed. "Look at yourself." I  looked, at first indifferently, and then with searching scrutiny. I saw a small, slender girl, clad in white, with a mass of gold hair twisted loosely up from her neck, and fastened with a single star of diamonds. A superb garniture of natural lilies of the valley was fastened on this girl's shoulder; and, falling loosely across her breast, lost itself in the trailing folds of her gown. She held a palm-leaf fan entirely covered with lilies of the valley, and a girdle of the same flowers encircled her waist. Her face was serious, but contented; her eyes were bright, but with an intense and thoughtful lustre; and her cheeks were softly coloured, as though a west wind had blown freshly against them. There was nothing either attractive or repulsive about her that I could see; and yet-- I turned away from the mirror hastily with a faint smile. " The lilies form the best part of my toilette," I said. " That they do," asserted Amy, with emphasis. "They are the finest specimens I ever saw. It was real elegant of Mr. Cellini to send them all fixed up ready like that, fan and all.

You must be a favorite of his!" " Come, let us proceed," I answered, with some abruptness. "We are losing time." I n a few seconds more we entered the ballroom, and were met at once by Madame Didier, who, resplendent in black lace and diamonds, gave us hearty greeting. She stared at me with unaffected amazement. " Mon dieu!" she exclaimed--her conversation with us was always a mixture of French and broken English--"I should not 'ave know zis young lady again! She 'ave si bonne mine. You veel dance, sans doute?" W e readily assented, and the usual assortment of dancing-men of all ages and sizes was brought forward for our inspection; while the Colonel, being introduced to a beaming English girl of some seventeen summers, whirled her at once into the merry maze of dancers, who were spinning easily round to the lively melody of one of Strauss's most fascinating waltzes.

Presently I also found myself circling the room with an amiable young German, who ambled round with a certain amount of cleverness, considering that he was evidently ignorant of the actual waltz step; and I caught a glimpse now and then of Amy's rubies as they flashed past me in the dance-- she was footing it merrily with a handsome Austrian Hussar. The room was pleasantly full--not too crowded for the movements of the dancers; and the whole scene was exceedingly pretty and animated. I had no lack of partners, and I was surprised to find myself so keenly alive to enjoyment, and so completely free from my usual preoccupied condition of nervous misery I looked everywhere for Raffaello Cellini, but he was not to be seen. The lilies that I wore, which he had sent me, seemed quite unaffected by the heat and glare of the gaslight--not a leaf drooped, not a petal withered; and their remarkable whiteness and fragrance elicited many admiring remarks from those with whom I conversed. It was growing very late; there were only two more waltzes before the final cotillon. I was standing near the large open window of the ballroom, conversing with one of my recent partners, when a sudden inexplicable thrill shot through me from head to foot.

Instinctively I turned, and saw Cellini approaching. He looked remarkably handsome, though his face was pale and somewhat wearied in expression. He was laughing and conversing gaily with two ladies, one of whom was Mrs. Everard; and as he came towards me he bowed courteously, saying: " I am too much honoured by the kindness mademoiselle has shown in not discarding my poor flowers." " They are lovely," I replied simply; "and I am very much obliged to you, signor, for sending them to me." " And how fresh they keep!" said Amy, burying her little nose in the fragrance of my fan; "yet they have been in the heat of the room all the evening." " They cannot perish while mademoiselle wears them," said Cellini gallantly. "Her breath is their life." " Bravo!" cried Amy, clapping her hands. "That is very prettily said, isn't it?" I  was silent. I never could endure compliments. They are seldom sincere, and it gives me no pleasure to be told lies, however prettily they may be worded. Signor Cellini appeared to divine my thoughts, for he said in a lower tone: " Pardon me, mademoiselle; I see my observation displeased you; but there is more truth in it than you perhaps know." " Oh, say!" interrupted Mrs. Everard at this juncture; "I am SO interested, signor, to hear you are engaged! I suppose she is a dream of beauty?" T he hot color rushed to my cheeks, and I bit my lips in confusion and inquietude. What WOULD he answer?

My anxiety was not of long duration. Cellini smiled, and seemed in no way surprised. He said quietly: " Who told you, madame, that I am engaged?" " Why, she did, of course!" went on my friend, nodding towards me, regardless of an imploring look I cast at her. "And said you were perfectly devoted!" " She is quite right," replied Cellini, with another of those rare sweet smiles of his; "and you also are right, madame, in your supposition: my betrothed is a Dream of Beauty." I  was infinitely relieved. I had not, then, been guilty of a falsehood. But the mystery remained: how had I discovered the truth of the matter at all? While I puzzled my mind over this question, the other lady who had accompanied Mrs. Everard spoke. She was an Austrian of brilliant position and attainments. " You quite interest me, signor!" she said. "Is your fair fiancee here to-night?" " No, madame," replied Cellini; "she is not in this country." " What a pity!" exclaimed Amy. "I want to see her real bad. Don't you?" she asked, turning to me. I  raised my eyes and met the dark clear ones of the artist fixed full upon me. " Yes," I said hesitatingly; "I should like to meet her. Perhaps the chance will occur at some future time." " There is not the slightest doubt about that," said Cellini. "And now, mademoiselle, will you give me the pleasure of this waltz with you? or are you promised to another partner?" I  was not engaged, and I at once accepted his proffered arm.

Two gentlemen came hurriedly up to claim Amy and her Austrian friend; and for one brief moment Signor Cellini and I stood alone in a comparatively quiet corner of the ballroom, waiting for the music to begin. I opened my lips to ask him a question, when he stopped me by a slight gesture of his hand. " Patience!" he said in a low and earnest tone. "In a few moments you shall have the opportunity you seek." T he band burst forth just then in the voluptuous strains of a waltz by Gung'l, and together we floated away to its exquisite gliding measure. I use the word FLOATED, advisedly, for no other term could express the delightful sensation I enjoyed. Cellini was a superb dancer. It seemed to me that our feet scarcely touched the floor, so swiftly, so easily and lightly we sped along.

 

 

A few rapid turns, and I noticed we were nearing the open French windows, and, before I well realized it, we had stopped dancing and were pacing quietly side by side down the ilex avenue, where the little lanterns twinkled like red fireflies and green glow-worms among the dark and leafy branches. W e walked along in silence till we reached the end of the path. There, before us, lay the open garden, with its broad green lawn, bathed in the lovely light of the full moon, sailing aloft in a cloudless sky. The night was very warm, but, regardless of this fact, Cellini wrapped carefully round me a large fleecy white burnous that he had taken from a chair where it was lying, on his way through the avenue. " I am not cold," I said, smiling. " No; but you will be, perhaps.

It is not wise to run any useless risks." I  was again silent. A low breeze rustled in the tree-tops near us; the music of the ballroom reached us only in faint and far echoes; the scent of roses and myrtle was wafted delicately on the balmy air; the radiance of the moon softened the outlines of the landscape into a dreamy suggestiveness of its reality. Suddenly a sound broke on our ears--a delicious, long, plaintive trill; then a wonderful shower of sparkling roulades; and finally, a clear, imploring, passionate note repeated many times. It was a nightingale, singing as only the nightingales of the South can sing. I listened entranced. " 'Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown,'" q uoted Cellini in earnest tones. " You admire Keats?" I asked eagerly. " More than any other poet that has lived," he replied. "His was the most ethereal and delicate muse that ever consented to be tied down to earth. But, mademoiselle, you do not wish to examine me as to my taste in poetry. You have some other questions to put to me, have you not?"

For one instant I hesitated. Then I spoke out frankly, and answered: " Yes, signor. What was there in that wine you gave me this morning?" H e met my searching gaze unflinchingly. " A medicine," he said. "An excellent and perfectly simple remedy made of the juice of plants, and absolutely harmless." " But why," I demanded, "why did you give me this medicine? Was it not wrong to take so much responsibility upon yourself?" H e smiled. " I think not. If you are injured or offended, then I was wrong; but if, on the contrary, your health and spirits are ever so little improved, as I see they are, I deserve your thanks, mademoiselle." A nd he waited with an air of satisfaction and expectancy. I was puzzled and half-angry, yet I could not help acknowledging to myself that I felt better and more cheerful than I had done for many months.

I looked up at the artist's dark, intelligent face, and said almost humbly: " I DO thank you, signor. But surely you will tell me your reasons for constituting yourself my physician without even asking my leave." H e laughed, and his eyes looked very friendly. " Mademoiselle, I am one of those strangely constituted beings who cannot bear to see any innocent thing suffer. It matters not whether it be a worm in the dust, a butterfly in the air, a bird, a flower, or a human creature. The first time I saw you I knew that your state of health precluded you from the enjoyment of life natural to your sex and age. I also perceived that the physicians had been at work upon you trying to probe into the causes of your ailment, and that they had signally failed. Physicians, mademoiselle, are very clever and estimable men, and there are a few things which come within the limit of their treatment; but there are also other things which baffle their utmost profundity of knowledge. One of these is that wondrous piece of human machinery, the nervous system; that intricate and delicate network of fine threads--electric wires on which run the messages of thought, impulse, affection, emotion.

If these threads or wires become, from any subtle cause, entangled, the skill of the mere medical practitioner is of no avail to undo the injurious knot, or to unravel the confused skein. The drugs generally used in such cases are, for the most part, repellent to the human blood and natural instinct, therefore they are always dangerous, and often deadly. I knew, by studying your face, mademoiselle, that you were suffering as acutely as I, too, suffered some five years ago, and I ventured to try upon you a simple vegetable essence, merely to see if you were capable of benefiting by it. The experiment has been so far successful; but----" H e paused, and his face became graver and more abstracted. " But what?" I queried eagerly. " I was about to say," he continued, "that the effect is only transitory. Within forty-eight hours you must naturally relapse into your former prostrate condition, and I, unfortunately, am powerless to prevent it."

I  sighed wearily, and a feeling of disappointment oppressed me. Was it possible that I must again be the victim of miserable dejection, pain, and stupor? " You can give me another dose of your remedy," I said. " That I cannot, mademoiselle," he answered regretfully; "I dare not, without further advice and guidance." " Advice and guidance from whom?" I inquired. " From the friend who cured me of my long and almost hopeless illness," said Cellini. "He alone can tell me whether I am right in my theories respecting your nature and constitution." " And what are those theories?" I asked, becoming deeply interested in the conversation. C ellini was silent for a minute or so; he seemed absorbed in a sort of inward communion with himself. Then he spoke with impressiveness and gravity: " In this world, mademoiselle, there are no two natures alike, yet all are born with a small portion of Divinity within them, which we call the Soul.

It is a mere spark smouldering in the centre of the weight of clay with which we are encumbered, yet it is there. Now this particular germ or seed can be cultivated if we will--that is, if we desire and insist on its growth. As a child's taste for art or learning can be educated into high capabilities for the future, so can the human Soul be educated into so high, so supreme an attainment, that no merely mortal standard of measurement can reach its magnificence. With much more than half the inhabitants of the globe, this germ of immortality remains always a germ, never sprouting, overlaid and weighted down by the lymphatic laziness and materialistic propensities of its shell or husk--the body. But I must put aside the forlorn prospect of the multitudes in whom the Divine Essence attains to no larger quantity than that proportioned out to a dog or bird--I have only to speak of the rare few with whom the soul is everything--those who, perceiving and admitting its existence within them, devote all their powers to fanning up their spark of light till it becomes a radiant, burning, inextinguishable flame. The mistake made by these examples of beatified Humanity is that they too often sacrifice the body to the demands of the spirit.

It is difficult to find the medium path, but it can be found; and the claims of both body and soul can be satisfied without sacrificing the one to the other. I beg your earnest attention, mademoiselle, for what I say concerning THE RARE FEW WITH WHOM THE SOUL IS EVERYTHING. YOU are one of those few, unless I am greatly in error. And you have sacrificed your body so utterly to your spirit that the flesh rebels and suffers. This will not do. You have work before you in the world, and you cannot perform it unless you have bodily health as well as spiritual desire. And why? Because you are a prisoner here on earth, and you must obey the laws of the prison, however unpleasant they may be to you.

Were you free as you have been in ages past and as you will be in ages to come, things would be different; but at present you must comply with the orders of your gaolers--the Lords of Life and Death." I  heard him, half awed, half fascinated. His words were full of mysterious suggestions. " How do you know I am of the temperament you describe?" I asked in a low voice. " I do not know, mademoiselle; I can only guess. There is but one person who can perhaps judge of you correctly,--a man older than myself by many years--whose life is the very acme of spiritual perfection--whose learning is vast and unprejudiced. I must see and speak to him before I try any more of my, or rather his, remedies. But we have lingered long enough out here, and unless you have something more to say to me, we will return to the ballroom.

You will otherwise miss the cotillon;" and he turned to retrace the way through the illuminated grove. B ut a sudden thought had struck me, and I resolved to utter it aloud. Laying my hand on his arm and looking him full in the face, I said slowly and distinctly: " This friend of yours that you speak of--is not his name HELIOBAS?" C ellini started violently; the blood rushed up to his brows and as quickly receded, leaving him paler than before. His dark eyes glowed with suppressed excitement--his hand trembled. Recovering himself slowly, he met my gaze fixedly; his glance softened, and he bent his head with an air of respect and reverence. " Mademoiselle, I see that you must know all. It is your fate. You are greatly to be envied. Come to me tomorrow , and I will tell you everything that is to be told.

Afterwards your destiny rests in your own. hands. Ask nothing more of me just now." H e escorted me without further words back to the ballroom, where the merriment of the cotillon was then at its height. Whispering to Mrs. Everard as I passed her that I was tired and was going to bed, I reached the outside passage, and there, turning to Cellini, I said gently: " Good-night, signor. Tomorrow  at noon I will come." H e replied: " Good-night, mademoiselle! Tomorrow  at noon you will find me ready." W ith that he saluted me courteously and turned away. I hurried up to my own room, and on arriving there I could not help observing the remarkable freshness of the lilies I wore.

They looked as if they had just been gathered. I unfastened them all from my dress, and placed them carefully in water; then quickly disrobing, I was soon in bed. I meditated for a few minutes on the various odd occurrences of the day; but my thoughts soon grew misty and confused, and I travelled quickly off into the Land of Nod, and thence into the region of sleep, where I remained undisturbed by so much as the shadow of a dream.


Marie Corelli was the most widely read author of fiction of her time.  Her works were collected by members of the British Royal Family and by Winston Churchill.  A recurring theme throughout her books was her attempt to reconcile Christianity with reincarnation, astral projection and other mystical topics.

Her books were a very important part of the foundation of today's New Age and New Thought movements.

Look for the next chapter in A Romance of Two Worlds by Marie Corelli in the next edition of our newsletter and prior chapters in prior editions.  To read other books by Marie Corelli, visit our free Ebook section by clicking  Here.

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Article:  Encounters In India      by Paramahansa Yogananda

"God is simple. Everything else is complex. Do not seek absolute
values in the relative world of nature."

These philosophical finalities gently entered my ear as I stood
silently before a temple image of Kali. Turning, I confronted a
tall man whose garb, or lack of it, revealed him a wandering SADHU.

"You have indeed penetrated the bewilderment of my thoughts!" I
smiled gratefully. "The confusion of benign and terrible aspects
in nature, as symbolized by Kali, has puzzled wiser heads
than mine!"

"Few there be who solve her mystery! Good and evil is the challenging
riddle which life places sphinxlike before every intelligence.
Attempting no solution, most men pay forfeit with their lives,
penalty now even as in the days of Thebes. Here and there, a towering
lonely figure never cries defeat. From the MAYA {FN5-2} of duality
he plucks the cleaveless truth of unity."

"You speak with conviction, sir."

"I have long exercised an honest introspection, the exquisitely
painful approach to wisdom. Self-scrutiny, relentless observance of
one's thoughts, is a stark and shattering experience. It pulverizes
the stoutest ego. But true self-analysis mathematically operates
to produce seers. The way of 'self-expression,' individual
acknowledgments, results in egotists, sure of the right to their
private interpretations of God and the universe."

"Truth humbly retires, no doubt, before such arrogant originality."
I was enjoying the discussion.

"Man can understand no eternal verity until he has freed himself
from pretensions. The human mind, bared to a centuried slime, is
teeming with repulsive life of countless world-delusions. Struggles
of the battlefields pale into insignificance here, when man first
contends with inward enemies! No mortal foes these, to be overcome
by harrowing array of might! Omnipresent, unresting, pursuing man
even in sleep, subtly equipped with a miasmic weapon, these soldiers
of ignorant lusts seek to slay us all. Thoughtless is the man who
buries his ideals, surrendering to the common fate. Can he seem
other than impotent, wooden, ignominious?"

"Respected Sir, have you no sympathy for the bewildered masses?"

The sage was silent for a moment, then answered obliquely.

"To love both the invisible God, Repository of All Virtues, and
visible man, apparently possessed of none, is often baffling! But
ingenuity is equal to the maze. Inner research soon exposes a unity
in all human minds-the stalwart kinship of selfish motive. In one
sense at least, the brotherhood of man stands revealed. An aghast
humility follows this leveling discovery. It ripens into compassion
for one's fellows, blind to the healing potencies of the soul
awaiting exploration."

"The saints of every age, sir, have felt like yourself for the
sorrows of the world."

"Only the shallow man loses responsiveness to the woes of others'
lives, as he sinks into narrow suffering of his own." The SADHU'S
austere face was noticeably softened. "The one who practices a
scalpel self-dissection will know an expansion of universal pity.
Release is given him from the deafening demands of his ego. The
love of God flowers on such soil. The creature finally turns to
his Creator, if for no other reason than to ask in anguish: 'Why,
Lord, why?' By ignoble whips of pain, man is driven at last into
the Infinite Presence, whose beauty alone should lure him."

The sage and I were present in Calcutta's Kalighat Temple, whither
I had gone to view its famed magnificence. With a sweeping gesture,
my chance companion dismissed the ornate dignity.

"Bricks and mortar sing us no audible tune; the heart opens only
to the human chant of being."

We strolled to the inviting sunshine at the entrance, where throngs
of devotees were passing to and fro.

"You are young." The sage surveyed me thoughtfully. "India too is
young. The ancient RISHIS laid down ineradicable patterns
of spiritual living. Their hoary dictums suffice for this day
and land. Not outmoded, not unsophisticated against the guiles
of materialism, the disciplinary precepts mold India still. By
millenniums-more than embarrassed scholars care to compute!-the
skeptic Time has validated Vedic worth. Take it for your heritage."

As I was reverently bidding farewell to the eloquent SADHU, he
revealed a clairvoyant perception:

"After you leave here today, an unusual experience will come your
way."

I quitted the temple precincts and wandered along aimlessly. Turning
a corner, I ran into an old acquaintance-one of those long-winded
fellows whose conversational powers ignore time and embrace eternity.

"I will let you go in a very short while, if you will tell me all
that has happened during the six years of our separation."

"What a paradox! I must leave you now."

But he held me by the hand, forcing out tidbits of information.
He was like a ravenous wolf, I thought in amusement; the longer I
spoke, the more hungrily he sniffed for news. Inwardly I petitioned
the Goddess Kali to devise a graceful means of escape.

My companion left me abruptly. I sighed with relief and doubled my
pace, dreading any relapse into the garrulous fever. Hearing rapid
footsteps behind me, I quickened my speed. I dared not look back.
But with a bound, the youth rejoined me, jovially clasping my
shoulder.

"I forgot to tell you of Gandha Baba (Perfume Saint), who is gracing
yonder house." He pointed to a dwelling a few yards distant. "Do
meet him; he is interesting. You may have an unusual experience.
Good-by," and he actually left me.

The similarly worded prediction of the SADHU at Kalighat Temple
flashed to my mind. Definitely intrigued, I entered the house and
was ushered into a commodious parlor. A crowd of people were sitting,
Orient-wise, here and there on a thick orange-colored carpet. An
awed whisper reached my ear:

"Behold Gandha Baba on the leopard skin. He can give the natural
perfume of any flower to a scentless one, or revive a wilted blossom,
or make a person's skin exude delightful fragrance."

I looked directly at the saint; his quick gaze rested on mine. He
was plump and bearded, with dark skin and large, gleaming eyes.

"Son, I am glad to see you. Say what you want. Would you like some
perfume?"

"What for?" I thought his remark rather childish.

"To experience the miraculous way of enjoying perfumes."

"Harnessing God to make odors?"

"What of it? God makes perfume anyway."

"Yes, but He fashions frail bottles of petals for fresh use and
discard. Can you materialize flowers?"

"I materialize perfumes, little friend."

"Then scent factories will go out of business."

"I will permit them to keep their trade! My own purpose is to
demonstrate the power of God."

"Sir, is it necessary to prove God? Isn't He performing miracles
in everything, everywhere?"

"Yes, but we too should manifest some of His infinite creative
variety."

"How long did it take to master your art?"

"Twelve years."

"For manufacturing scents by astral means! It seems, my honored
saint, you have been wasting a dozen years for fragrances which
you can obtain with a few rupees from a florist's shop."

"Perfumes fade with flowers."

"Perfumes fade with death. Why should I desire that which pleases
the body only?"

"Mr. Philosopher, you please my mind. Now, stretch forth your right
hand." He made a gesture of blessing.

I was a few feet away from Gandha Baba; no one else was near
enough to contact my body. I extended my hand, which the yogi did
not touch.

"What perfume do you want?"

"Rose."

"Be it so."

To my great surprise, the charming fragrance of rose was wafted
strongly from the center of my palm. I smilingly took a large white
scentless flower from a near-by vase.

"Can this odorless blossom be permeated with jasmine?"

"Be it so."

A jasmine fragrance instantly shot from the petals. I thanked the
wonder-worker and seated myself by one of his students. He informed
me that Gandha Baba, whose proper name was Vishudhananda, had
learned many astonishing yoga secrets from a master in Tibet. The
Tibetan yogi, I was assured, had attained the age of over a thousand
years.

"His disciple Gandha Baba does not always perform his perfume-feats
in the simple verbal manner you have just witnessed." The student
spoke with obvious pride in his master. "His procedure differs
widely, to accord with diversity in temperaments. He is marvelous!
Many members of the Calcutta intelligentsia are among his followers."

I inwardly resolved not to add myself to their number. A guru too
literally "marvelous" was not to my liking. With polite thanks to
Gandha Baba, I departed. Sauntering home, I reflected on the three
varied encounters the day had brought forth.

 

 

For a collection of affirmations, click Here.
For a large variety of inspiring quotations, 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:  Gratitude       by Wallace D. Wattles


The whole process of mental adjustment and atonement can be summed up in one word, gratitude.

First, you believe that there is one Intelligent Substance, from which all things proceed; second, you believe that this Substance gives you everything you desire; and third, you relate yourself to it by a feeling of deep and profound gratitude.

Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude. Having received one gift from God, they cut the wires which connect them with Him by failing to make acknowledgment.

It is easy to understand that the nearer we live to the source of wealth, the more wealth we shall receive; and it is easy also to understand that the soul that is always grateful lives in closer touch with God than the one which never looks to Him in thankful acknowledgment.

The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme when good things come to us, the more good things we will receive, and the more rapidly they will come; and the reason simply is that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with the source from which the blessings come.

If it is a new thought to you that gratitude brings your whole mind into closer harmony with the creative energies of the universe, consider it well, and you will see that it is true. The good things you already have have come to you along the line of obedience to certain laws. Gratitude will lead your mind out along the ways by which things come; and it will keep you in close harmony with creative thought and prevent you from falling into competitive thought.

Gratitude alone can keep you looking toward the All, and prevent you from falling into the error of thinking of the supply as limited; and to do that would be fatal to your hopes.

There is a Law of Gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law, if you are to get the results you seek.

The law of gratitude is the natural principle that action and reaction are always equal, and in opposite directions.

The grateful outreaching of your mind in thankful praise to the Supreme is a liberation or expenditure of force; it cannot fail to reach that to which it addressed, and the reaction is an instantaneous movement towards you.

"Draw nigh unto God, and He will draw nigh unto you." That is a statement of psychological truth.

And if your gratitude is strong and constant, the reaction in Formless Substance will be strong and continuous; the movement of the things you want will be always toward you. Notice the grateful attitude that Jesus took; how He always seems to be saying, "I thank Thee, Father, that Thou hearest me." You cannot exercise much power without gratitude; for it is gratitude that keeps you connected with Power.

But the value of gratitude does not consist solely in getting you more blessings in the future. Without gratitude you cannot long keep from dissatisfied thought regarding things as they are.

The moment you permit your mind to dwell with dissatisfaction upon things as they are, you begin to lose ground. You fix attention upon the common, the ordinary, the poor, and the squalid and mean; and your mind takes the form of these things. Then you will transmit these forms or mental images to the Formless, and the common, the poor, the squalid, and mean will come to you.

To permit your mind to dwell upon the inferior is to become inferior and to surround yourself with inferior things.

On the other hand, to fix your attention on the best is to surround yourself with the best, and to become the best.

The Creative Power within us makes us into the image of that to which we give our attention.

We are Thinking Substance, and thinking substance always takes the form of that which it thinks about.

The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best; therefore it tends to become the best; it takes the form or character of the best, and will receive the best.

Also, faith is born of gratitude. The grateful mind continually expects good things, and expectation becomes faith. The reaction of gratitude upon one's own mind produces faith; and every outgoing wave of grateful thanksgiving increases faith. He who has no feeling of gratitude cannot long retain a living faith; and without a living faith you cannot get rich by the creative method, as we shall see in the following chapters.

It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you; and to give thanks continuously.

And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.

Do not waste time thinking or talking about the shortcomings or wrong actions of plutocrats or trust magnates. Their organization of the world has made your opportunity; all you get really comes to you because of them.

Do not rage against, corrupt politicians; if it were not for politicians we should fall into anarchy, and your opportunity would be greatly lessened.

God has worked a long time and very patiently to bring us up to where we are in industry and government, and He is going right on with His work. There is not the least doubt that He will do away with plutocrats, trust magnates, captains of industry, and politicians as soon as they can be spared; but in the meantime, behold they are all very good. Remember that they are all helping to arrange the lines of transmission along which your riches will come to you, and be grateful to them all. This will bring you into harmonious relations with the good in everything, and the good in everything will move toward you.

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News:  Conscious Money Circulation "Abundant Blessings"
 

Would you like to have a greater feeling of being in the flow of abundance?   Is the activity of paying your bills a time of stress and anxiety for you?  The meditation, affirmations and background music on this CD were created to provide an uplifting and expansive experience of abundance and prosperity while paying bills.

Abundant Blessings © contains a meditation and affirmations for Conscious Money circulation. The meditation guides you within, to a place of centered calm. Affirmations of abundance and gratitude play in the background while you pay your bills or any time that you would like to be uplifted.

Play this CD and transform the mundane into the miraculous as you pay bills with gratitude and JOY!

To find out more about Abundant Blessings, click Here.
 


 

                                           

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News:  First Spanish Products - Conscious Word, Conscious Wisdom and E-books
 

The Conscious Living Foundation is proud to announce the translation of our website into Spanish.  The entire website, with all of our articles, poems, inspiring stories, affirmations, previous newsletters, quotations and affirmations are now available.  We are excited about the prospect of being able to reach others who were unable to share in all of the resources of the site because they didn't read English.  To visit the Spanish language version of our site, click Here.

 

In addition, we have begun creating our first products for those who prefer to read in Spanish.  The Conscious Word and Conscious Wisdom are both now available in a Spanish version. 

 

We have also translated 14 wonderful, inspirational masterpieces and are offering them as E-books in Spanish.  The titles include:

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
Prosperity by Charles Filmore
The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes
The Tao Te Ching
A Lamp Unto My Feet by Walter Lanyon
The Science of Getting Rich  by Wallace D. Wattles
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda (2 volumes)
Above Life's Turmoil by James Allen
An Introduction to Yoga by Annie Besant
Teach Us To Pray by Charles Filmore
The Power of Thought by Thomas Hamblin
The Secret Door To Success by Florence Scovel Shin
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Charles Johnson
Your Word is Your Wand by Florence Scovel Shin

 

This E-book collection in Spanish can be purchased for $7.00 by clicking  Here.

 

He desterrado el pasado

Ahora vivo en el maravilloso presente

Donde regocijantes sorpresas

Llegan envolviendome

Todos los dias.

 

If you have any suggestion on other titles which we should translate, or other languages we should support, we would love to hear from you.  You can email us at:  CLF@consciouslivingfoundation.org

  

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A Poem by William Simpson -

The Path Is Everywhere.

 

The path is everywhere.

We can never move off the path.

 

Streak-tinted hair middle aged woman

Hushed-gruff voice distorted by smoking

Hardened by abuse and abusing

Looks with squinted cynical eye

At the discount price of her

Salvation Army blouse.

Perfectly experiencing the next step

In her enfoldment.

 

Fearful child

Bullied again

Embarrassed and bruised

Afraid to act

Afraid to tell.

Utterly alone in his hopeless torment.

Perfectly feeling the next step

In his transformation.

 

The path is everywhere

We can never move off the path.

Our life can only move in one direction.

Toward God

Toward Joy

Toward Perfection

And Liberation.

 

As I experience the fear of

Wondering if enough money will come.

As I wonder why

I can’t find a parking place.

As I see the pain and confusion

Of my dieing father – and can’t help.

 

I remember –

 

Do not lose hope.

The path is everywhere

I can never move off the path.

My life can only move in one direction.

Toward God


 

Every temptation

Toward Joy

 

Every failure and pain

Toward Perfection

 

Every fear and anguish

Toward Liberation.

 

Each breath

Each thought

Each action and experience

Precisely shaped and woven

Into my life

 

To polish and refine me

So that I might receive

Thee.

 

(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

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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A Poem by Kahlil Gibran - On Pain (From The Prophet)

 

Then a priestess said, "Speak to us of Prayer."

And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain."

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.                     

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

  

The Conscious Living Foundation is pleased to offer an original 2 CD recording of Kahlil Gibran's mystical masterpiece, "The Prophet".  For complete details and samples from the recording, please click Here.

 

     

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News:  Two New Music CDs:  "Soul Calls" and "Yoga Heart Healing"

 

Spirituality is a quiet inner quality that eclipses all boundaries of land, caste, profession, and religion, - and it manifests in many ways. For those whose spirituality seeks an ever deepening personal peace, the music of the SOUL CALLS provides a peaceful, soothing vibrational environment for the heart and mind of the listener. For those who are actively engaged in the interior life of loving God, the lyrics of the SOUL CALLS affirm the longing for and the presence of the Divine Beloved. Touching the heart of the peace-giver, the spiritual seeker and the devotee alike, the SOUL CALLS take the consciousness within ~ to the place of peace.   Click Here
 

 

 

 

YOGA HEART HEALING was created from the need to heal Anahata, the fourth chakra, considered the seat of universal love.   Anahata is the color green.  Our recording was created to support your practice of yoga, massage and other nurturing and healing activities.

 

Inspired by Dharma teachings from both Hindu and Buddhist wisdom, Yoga Heart Healing will open your heart chakra with its rich vibrant textures of soothing melodic transitions.  - just click Here!

  

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Essay:  How The 12 Step Programs Work  (From The Original Text of "Alcoholics Anonymous")
 
How The 12 Steps Work
“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. we asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:  

1.      We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

2.      Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.      Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4.      Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.      Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6.      Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7.      Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8.      Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9.      Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10.  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11.  Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 

12.  Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

            a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

            b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

            c) That God could and would if He were sought.

Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?

The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful. In trying to make these arrangements our actor may sometimes be quite virtuous. He may be kind, considerate, patient, generous; even modest and self- sacrificing. On the other hand, he may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. But, as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.

What usually happens? The show doesn't come off very well. He begins to think life doesn't treat him right. He decides to exert himself more. He becomes, on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?

Our actor is self-centered — ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. He is like the retired business man who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation; the minister who sighs over the sins of the twentieth century; politicians and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?

Selfishness — self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kill us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God's help.

This is the how and the why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most Good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom. When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our own little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.

We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we Understood Him: "God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.”

Pages 58 thru 64 Alcoholics Anonymous~ © Copyright 2004 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

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News:  Philanthropic Youth Receives  Award

 
This world, our world, is where Amy Kroll expects to spend the next six decades of her life or more, which is why the 18-year-old York School graduate devotes so much of her time to making it a better place to live.

As a high school student, Kroll spent more than 800 hours organizing card-making drives for the sick or homebound with Meals on Wheels, organizing and performing concerts at convalescent homes with Music for the Ages, feeding the homeless through the I-HELP program, and providing narrator and docent services at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

She wasn't asking or expecting anything in return, but Thursday afternoon she got some anyway when she was honored as Outstanding Philanthropic Youth at the 17th annual National Philanthropy Day awards luncheon at the Inn at Spanish Bay.

Joining Kroll on the awards stand were the Rotary Club of Seaside (Outstanding Service Organization), the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County (Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation), KSMS Channel 67 (Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation) and Beverly Lannquist Hamilton (Outstanding Philanthropist). About 50 additional groups were recognized as Distinguished Honorees at the event, presented by the Development Executives Network and the Monterey Bay chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

"To be honest, it almost feels a little bit weird to be singled out. There are so many other people who could have gotten this award," said Kroll, now a freshman at Stanford University.

"I just feel honored to live in this wonderful place, and I look at community service as an opportunity to do my part to try to make the world a little bit better.

"I just voted in the first election of my life and it was an exciting experience for me," she said. "If you don't have hope and optimism that our world will get better, what do you have? I figure I'm going to be here for the next 60 or so years, and I think young people need to feel that way about changing things."

Kroll graduated from York with a grade-point average of better than 4.0. She served as class president. She competed on the varsity field hockey and swim teams — "I was the only senior and the slowest swimmer," she jokes — and she played clarinet in the school band and sang in the honor choir. She was selected to attend the Girls' State and Camp Royal leadership camps.

But her community service work was the most rewarding.

"I don't think I ever had a big epiphany in my life, a moment when I realized I needed to help other people," she said. "But at some point I started noticing that I have so much, and there are so many people who have so little. That's what made me want to give back. It seems like it's always been that way for me."

As class president at York, Kroll organized several fundraisers, always making sure a portion of the money raised was donated to local nonprofits. Because of those efforts, the York School class of 2008 donated hundreds of dollars to charities, including Habitat for Humanity, York's sister school in Haiti and the Lewis Fenton Scholarship Fund at York.

"There's just so much that my parents have given me, that my community has given to me, that my school has given to me," she said. "It's because I feel so blessed that I feel the need to give back to my community, to people who have much less than I have.

"I have a lot of hope and optimism that the things I'm doing will actually make a difference in the world," Kroll said.

News:  New Audio CD - Embracing The Stillness - Lessons In Meditation

 
Embracing The Stillness is a collection of meditation techniques explained and practiced with the Director of The Conscious Living Foundation, William Simpson.

It contains the following tracks:

  1. Discovering The Purpose of Our Lives  (2:29)
  2. How To Meditate  (3:22)
  3. Meditation on a Devotional Phrase  (11:01)
  4. Affirmation for Relaxation and Happiness  (6:45)
  5. Learning the Technique of Meditating on Om  (5:46)
  6. Meditation on Chanting Om  (6:25)
  7. Affirmation for Health, Wealth and Wisdom  (8:28)
  8. Sitting in the Stillness  (3:31)
  9. Affirmation for Perfection, Immortality and Light  (11:25)
  10. Visualization and Prayer for Others  (2:44)
  11. What We Believe  (1:31)

"There is an essential part of our being which exists beyond thought and feeling - pure awareness.  When we can remain present, alert and calm, we discover the fertile ground upon which we can plant the seeds of immediate growth, positive change and joy". 

William Simpson -
from "Embracing The Stillness"

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:  12 Step Affirmations                  by Mark Bedillion
 

 

 

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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Let's share the gifts for which we are most grateful:
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All Contents Copyrighted, 2008, The Conscious Living Foundation