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Welcome to Conscious Living, our online magazine 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.

With this issue we're pleased to add a new element to our offering - Featured Videos.  You can now view videos directly from our magazine.  We're beginning with two; the first, Barbara Walter's interview with the Dalai Lama.  An eye opening peek into the nature of the Dalai Lama and Barbara Walters.  Secondly, "Validation"; a very popular dramatization that makes a tremendous point in a very entertaining way.  It only lasts about 16 minutes and we recommend it highly.

We have also expanded the poetry which we offer each month.  In addition to the selections from Kahlil Gibran and myself, we are also introducing Rabindranath Tagore - a Nobel laureate and one of the most touching and inspiring spiritual poets of the last several centuries.

Also in this issue, we are excited to present the fifth 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 pleased to present a fascinating and informative article by Paramahansa Yogananda entitled "The Nature of Life After Death" in which the famous Swami speaks in detail on the nature of the astral and causal worlds - a tremendous solace for those who have lost loved ones, and a real eye opener for those curious about whether the soul really is immortal.

We continue with a new essay by Ernest Holmes, in which he offers his explanation of "How To Visualize".  As always, Dr. Holmes' thoughts are empowering and encouraging. 

We're also offering a new essay entitled "Thinking In A Certain Way For Wealth"; an excellent exploration of the power of visualization and how to practice it, by the author of "The Science of Getting Rich".  Taken together these two articles by Dr. Holmes and Mr. Wattles offer an in-depth opportunity to add the powerful tool of effective visualization to your personal growth practice.

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:  "One Day At A Time" and "Beginning Today"; both offering inspiration for everyone regardless of their tradition or field of interest.

We've added several new articles to keep you current with the latest explorations in health, including: "Planting A Medicinal Herb Garden",  "Vegetable Juice May Help With Weight Loss", an extensive exploration of "The Power of Silence" and a report of a scientific study entitled "Stop Worrying and Think Positively To Prevent Memory Loss" - taken together these articles give holistic support to the improvement of all parts of your being - body, mind and soul.

As usual, our online magazine also includes an article by one of our most thought-provoking writers, Steve Roberts and his new essay, "My Son Was Born Smiling, Bald and 220 Pounds". 

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Contents:

(If you've missed any past issues of our magazine, or you'd like to reread an article, click Here.)

 

   
Serial:  The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa
 

CHAPTER FIVE

LIFE AS A CHELA

    Our “day” started at midnight at Chakpori. As the midnight trumpet sounded, echoing through the dimly lit corridors, we would roll sleepily off our bed-cushions and fumble in the darkness for our robes. We all slept in the nude, the usual system in Tibet where there is no false modesty. With our robes on, off we would go, tucking our belongings into the pouched-up front of our dress. Down the passageways we would clatter, not in a good mood at that hour. Part of our teaching was : “It is better to rest with a peaceful mind than to sit like Buddha and pray when angry.” My irreverent thought often was: “Well, why can't we rest with a peaceful mind? This midnight stunt makes me angry!” But no one gave me a satisfactory answer, and I had to go with the others into the Prayer Hall. Here the innumerable butter-lamps struggled to shed their rays of light through the drifting clouds of incense smoke. In the flickering light, with the shifting shadows, the giant sacred figures seemed to become alive, to bow and sway in response to our chants.    

The hundreds of monks and boys would sit cross-legged| on cushions on the floor. All would sit in rows the length of the hall. Each pair or rows would face each other so that the first and second rows would be face to face, the second and third would be back to back, and so on. We would have our chants and sacred songs which employ special tonal scales because in the East it is realized that sounds have power. Just as a musical note can shatter a glass, so can a combination of notes build up metaphysical power. There would also be readings from the Kan-gyur. It was a most impressive sight to see these hundreds of men in blood-red robes and golden stoles, swaying and chanting in unison, with the silver tinkle of fittle bells, and the throbbing of drums. Blue clouds of incense smoke coiled and wreathed about the knees of the gods, and every so often it seemed, in the uncertain light, that one or other of the figures was gazing straight at us.    

The service would last about an hour, then we would return to our sleeping-cushions until four in the morning. Another service would start at about four-fifteen. At five we would have our first meal, of tsampa and buttered tea. Even at this meal the Reader would be droning out his words and the Disciplinarian would be watchful at his side. At this meal any special orders or information would be given. It might be that something was wanted from Lhasa, and then at the breakfast meal the names of the monks would be called, those who were going to take or collect the goods. They would also be given special dispensation to be away from the lamasery for such and such a time, and to miss a certain number of services.    

At six o'clock we would be assembled in our classrooms ready for the first session of our studies. The second of our Tibetan Laws  was: “You shall perform religious observances, and study.” In my seven-year-old ignorance I could not understand why we had to obey that Law, when the fifth Law, “You shall honour your elders, and those of high birth”, was flaunted and broken. All my experience had led me to believe that there was something shameful in being of “high birth”. Certainly I had been victimized for it. It did not occur to me then that it is not the rank of birth that matters, but the character of the person concemed.     We attended another service at nine in the morning, interrupting our studies for about forty minutes. Quite a welcome break, some- times, but we had to be in class again by a quarter to ten. A different subject was started then, and we had to work at it until one dclock. Still we were not free to eat ; a half hour service came first and then we had our buttered tea and tsampa. One hour of manual labour followed, to give us exercise and to teach us humility. I seemed more often than not to collect the messiest of most unpleasant type of job.    

Three o'clock saw us trooping off for an hour of enforced rest; we were not allowed to talk or move, but just had to fie still. This was not a popular time because the hou1 was too short for a sleep and too long to stay idle. We could think of much better things to do! At four, after this rest, we returned to our studies. This was the dread period of the day, five hours without a break, five hours when we could not leave the room for anything without incurring the severest penalties.  Our teachers were quite free with their stout canes and some of them tackled the punishment of offenders with real enthusiasm.  Only the badly pressed or most foolhardy pupils asked to “be excused” when punishment on one's return was inevitable.    

Our release came at nine o'clock when we had the last meal of the day.  Again this was buttered tea and tsampa.  Sometimes—only sometimes—we had vegetables. Usually that meant sliced turnips, or some very small beans. They were raw, but to hungry boys they were very acceptable.  On one unforgettable occasion, when I was eight, we had some pickled walnuts.  I was particularly fond of them, having had them often at home.  Now, foolishly, I tried to work an exchange with another boy: he to have my spare robe in exchange for his pickled walnuts. The Disciplinarian heard, and I was called to the middle of the hall and made to confess my sin. As a punishment for “greediness” I had to remain without food or drink for twenty-four hours.  My spare robe was taken from me as it was said that I had no use for it, “having been willing to barter it for that which was not essential”.     At nine-thirty we went to our sleeping-cushions, “bed” to us. No one was late for bed!  I thought the long hours would kill me, I thought that I should drop dead at any moment, or that I would fall asleep and never again awaken.  At first I, and the other new boys, used to hide in corners for a good doze.  After quite a short time I became used to the long hours and took no notice at all of the length of the day.    

It was just before six in the morning when, with the help of the boy who had awakened me, I found myself in front of the Lama Mingyar Dondup's door.  Although I had not knocked, he called for me to enter.  His room was a very pleasant one and there were wonderful wall paintings, some of them actually painted on the walls and others painted on silk and hanging.  A few small statuettes were on low tables, they were of gods and goddesses and were made of jade, gold, and cloisonné.  A large Wheel of Life also hung upon the wall.  The lama was sitting in the lotus attitude on his cushion and before him, on a low table, he had a number of books, one of which he was studying as I entered.    

“Sit here with me, Lobsang,” he said, “we have a lot of things to discuss together, but first an important question to a growing man: have you had enough to eat and drink?”  I assured him that I had. “The Lord Abbot has said that we can work together.  We have traced your previous incarnation and it was a good one.  Now we want to redevelop certain powers and abilities you then had.  In the space of a very few years we want you to have more knowledge than a lama has in a very long life.”  He paused, and looked at me long and hard.  His eyes were very piercing.  “All men must be free to choose their own path,” he continued, “your way will be hard for forty years, if you take the right path, but it will lead to great benefits in the next life.  The wrong path now will give you com- forts, softness, and riches in this life, but you will not develop. You and you alone can choose.”  He stopped, and looked at me.    

“Sir,” I replied, “my father told me that if I failed at the lamasery I was not to return home.  How then would I have softness and comfort if I had no home to which to return?  And who would show me the right path if I choose it?”  He smiled at me and answered: “Have you already forgotten?  We have traced your previous incarnation.  If you choose the wrong path, the path of softness, you will be installed in a lamasery as a Living Incarnation, and in a very few years will be an abbot in charge.  Your father would not call that failure!”     Something in the way he spoke made me ask a further question: “Would you consider it a failure?”     “Yes,” he replied, “knowing what I know, I would call it a failure.”    

“And who will show me the way ?”     “I will be your guide if you take the right path, but you are the one to choose, no one can influence your decision.”     I looked at him, stared at him.  And liked what I saw.  A big man, with keen black eyes.  A broad open face, and a high forehead. Yes, I liked what I saw.  Although only seven years of age, I had had a hard life, and met many people, and really could judge if a man was good.     “Sir,” I said, “I would like to be your pupil and take the right path.”  I added somewhat ruefully, I suppose, “But I still don't like hard work!”     He laughed, and his laugh was deep and warming. “Lobsang, Lobsang, none of us really like hard work, but few of us are truthful enough to admit it.”  He looked through his papers.  “We shall need to do a little operation to your head soon to force clairvoyance, and then we will speed your studies hypnotically. We are going to take you far in metaphysics, as well as in medicine!”    

 

 

I felt a bit gloomy, more hard work.  It seemed to me that I had had to work hard all my seven years, and there seemed to be little play, or kite flying.  The lama seemed to know my thoughts.  “Oh yes, young man.  There will be much kite flying later, the real thing: man-lifters.  But first we must map out how best to arrange these studies.”  He turned to his papers, and riffled through them.  “Let me see, nine o’clock until one. Yes, that will do for a start. Come here every day at nine, instead of attending service, and we will see what interesting things we can discuss.  Starting from tomorrow. Have you any message for your father and mother?  I'm seeing them today. Giving them your pigtail!”    

I was quite overcome. When a boy was accepted by a lamasery his pigtail was cut off and his head shaved, the pigtail would be sent to the parents, carried by a small acolyte, as a symbol that their son had been accepted.  Now the Lama Mingyar Dondup was taking my pigtail to deliver in person.  That meant that he had accepted me as his own personal charge, as his “spiritual son”. This lama was a very important man, a very clever man, one who had a most enviable reputation throughout Tibet.  I knew that I could not fail under such a man.    

That morning, back in the classroom, I was a most inattentive pupil.  My thoughts were elsewhere, and the teacher had ample time and opportunity to satisfy his joy in punishing at least one small boy!     It all seemed very hard, the severity of the teachers.  But then, I consoled myself, that is why I came, to learn. That is why I reincarnated, although then I did not remember what it was that I had to relearn. We firmly believe in reincarnation, in Tibet.  We believe that when one reaches a certain advanced stage of evolution, one can choose to go on to another plane of existence, or return to earth to learn something more, or to help others.  It may be that a wise man had a certain mission in life, but died before he could complete his work.  In that case, so we believe, he can return to complete his task, providing that the result will be of benefit to others.  Very few people could have their previous incarnations traced back, there had to be certain signs and the cost and time would prohibit it. Those who had those signs, as I had, were termed “Living Incarnations”. They were subjected to the sternest of stern treatment when they were young—as I had been—but became objects of reverence when they became older. In my case I was going to have special treatment to “force-feed” my occult knowledge.  Why, I did not know, then!    

A rain of blows on my shoulders brought me back to the reality of the classroom with a violent jerk. “Fool, dolt, imbecile! Have the mind demons penetrated your thick skull? It is more than I could do.  You are fortunate that it is now time to attend service.” With that remark, the enraged teacher gave me a final hearty blow, for good measure, and stalked out of the room. The boy next to me said, “Don't forget, it's our turn to work in the kitchens this afternoon.  Hope we get a chance to fill our tsampa bags.”  Kitchen work was hard, the “regulars” there used to treat us boys as slaves. There was no hour of rest for us after kitchen hour. Two solid hours of hard labour, then straight to the classroom again.  Some- times we would be kept later in the kitchens, and so be late for class.   A fuming teacher would be waiting for us, and would lay about him with his stick without giving us any opportunity of explaining the reason.    

My first day of work in the kitchens was nearly my last.  We trooped reluctantly along the stone-flagged corridors towards the kitchens.  At the door we were met by an angry monk: “Come on, you lazy, useless rascals,” he shouted.  “The first ten of you, get in there and stoke the fires.”  I was the tenth.  Down another flight of steps we went.  The heat was overpowering.  In front of us we saw a ruddy light, the light of roaring fires.  Huge piles of yak-dung lay about, this was fuel for the furnaces.  “Get those iron scoops and stoke for your lives,” the monk in charge yelled.  I was just a poor seven-year-old among the others of my class, among whom was none younger than seventeen.  I could scarcely lift the scoop, and in straining to put the fuel in the fire I tipped it over the monk's feet.  With a roar of rage he seized me by the throat, swung me round—and tripped.  I was sent flying backwards.  A terrible pain shot through me, and there was the sickening smell of burning flesh.  I had fallen against the red-hot end of a bar protruding from the furnace.  I fell with a scream to the floor, among the hot ashes. At the top of my left leg, almost at the leg  joint, the bar had burned its way in until stopped by the bone.  I still have the dead- white scar, which even now causes me some trouble.  By this scar I was in later years to be identified by the Japanese.    

There was uproar. Monks came rushing from everywhere.  I was still among the hot ashes but was soon lifted out.  Quite a lot of my body had superficial burns, but the leg burn really was serious. Quickly I was carried upstairs to a lama. He was a medical lama, and applied himself to the task of saving my leg.  The iron had been rusty, and when it entered my leg, flakes of rust had remained behind.  He had to probe round and scoop out the pieces until the wound was clean.  Then it was tightly packed with a powdered herb compress.  The rest of my body was dabbed with a herbal lotion which certainly eased the pain of the fire.  My leg was throbbing and throbbing and I was sure that I would never walk again. When he had finished, the lama called a monk to carry me to a small side-room, where I was put to bed on cushions.  An old monk came in and sat on the floor beside me and started muttering prayers over me.  I thought to myself that it was a fine thing to offer prayers for my safety after the accident had happened.  I also decided to lead a good life, as I now had personal experience of what it felt like when the fire devils tormented one.  I thought of a picture I had seen, in which a devil was prodding an unfortunate victim in much the same place as I had been burned.    

It may be thought that monks were terrible people, not at all what one would expect. But — “monks”—what does it mean?  We understand that word as anyone, male, living in the lamastic service.  Not necessarily a religious person.  In Tibet almost any- one can become a monk.  Often a boy is “sent to be a monk” with- out having any choice at all in the matter.  Or a man may decide that he had had enough of sheep herding, and wants to be sure of a roof over his head when the temperature is forty below zero. He becomes a monk not through religious convictions, but for his own creature comfort. The lamaseries had “monks” as their domestic staff, as their builders, labourers, and scavengers.  In other parts of the world they would be termed “servants” or the equivalent. Most of them had had a hard time; life at twelve to twenty thousand feet can be difficult, and often they were hard on us boys just for sheer want of thought or feeling. 

To us the term “monk” was synonymous with “man”.  We named the members of the priesthood quite differently.  A chela was a boy pupil, a novice, or acolyte. Nearest to what the average man means by “monk” is trappa. He is the most numerous of those in a lamasery. Then we come to that most abused term, a lama. If the trappas are the non-commissioned soldiers, then the lama is the commissioned officer.  Judging by the way most people in the West talk and write, there are more officers than men!  Lamas are masters, gurus, as we term them. The Lama Mingyar Dondup was going to be my guru, and I his chela.  After the lamas there were the abbots.  Not all of them were in charge of lamaseries, many were engaged in the general duties of senior administration, or traveling from lama- sery to lamasery. 

In some instances, a particular lama could be of higher status than an abbot, it depended upon what he was doing. Those who were “Living Incarnations”, such as I had been proved, could be made abbots at the age of fourteen; it depended upon whether they could pass the severe examinations. These groups were strict and stern, but they were not cruel; they were at all times just.  A further example of “monks” can be seen in the term “police monks”.  Their sole purpose was to keep order, they were not concerned with the temple ceremonial except that they had to be present to make sure that everything was orderly. The police monks often were cruel and, as stated, so were the domestic staff. One could not condemn a bishop because his under-gardener misbehaved!  Nor expect the under-gardener to be a saint just because he worked for a bishop.     In the lamasery we had a prison.  Not by any means a pleasant place to be in, but the characters of those who were consigned to it were not pleasant either. 

My solitary experience of it was when I had to treat a prisoner who had been taken ill.  It was when I was almost ready to leave the lamasery that I was called to the prison cell.  Out in the back courtyard were a number of circular parapets, about three feet high. The massive stones forming them were as wide as they were high.  Covering the tops were stone bars each as thick as a man's thigh. They covered a circular opening about nine feet across.  Four police monks grasped the centre bar, and dragged it aside.  One stooped and picked up a yak-hair rope, at the end of which there was a flimsy-looking loop.  I looked on unhappily; trust myself to that? “Now, Honourable Medical Lama,” said the man, “if you will step here and put your foot in this we will lower you.”  Gloomily I complied. “You will want a light, sir,” the police monk said, and passed me a flaring torch made of yarn soaked in butter.  My gloom increased; I had to hold on to the rope, and hold the torch, and avoid setting myself on fire or burning through the thin little rope which so dubiously sup- ported me.  But down I went, twenty-five or thirty feet, down between walls glistening with water, down to the filthy stone floor. By the light of the torch I saw an evil-looking wretch crouched against the wall. 

Just one look was enough, there was no aura around him, so no life.  I said a prayer for the soul wandering between the planes of existence, and closed the wild, staring eyes, then called to be pulled up.  My work was finished, now the body- breakers would take over.  I asked what had been his crime, and was told that he had been a wandering beggar who had come to the lamasery for food and shelter, and then, in the night, killed a monk for his few possessions. He had been overtaken while escaping, and brought back to the scene of his crime.     But all that is somewhat of a digression from the incident of my first attempt at kitchen work.    

The effects of the cooling lotions were wearing off, and I felt as if the skin were being scorched off my body. The throbbing in my leg increased, it seemed as if it was going to explode; to my fevered imagination the hole was filled with a flaming torch. Time dragged; throughout the lamasery there were sounds, some that I knew, and many that I did not. The pain was sweeping up my body in great fiery gouts.  I lay on my face, but the front of my body also was burned, burned by the hot ashes. There was a faint rustle, and someone sat beside me.  A kind, compassionate voice, the voice of the Lalna Mingyar Dondup said: “Little friend, it is too much. Sleep.”  Gentle fingers swept along my spine.  Again, and again, and I knew no more.    

A pale sun was shining in my eyes.  I blinked awake, and with the first returning consciousness thought that someone was kicking me—that I had overslept.  I tried to jump up, to attend service, but fell back in agony.  My leg!  A soothing voice spoke: “Keep still, Lobsang, this is a day of rest for you.”  I turned my head stiffly, and saw with great astonishment that I was in the lama’s room, and that he was sitting beside me.  He saw my look and smiled. “And why the amazement?  Is it not right that two friends should be together when one is sick?”  My somewhat faint reply was: “But you are a Head Lama, and I am just a boy.”    

“Lobsang, we have gone far together in other lives.  In this, yet, you do not remember.  I do, we were very close together in our last incarnations.  But now you must rest and regain your strength. We are going to save your leg for you, so do not worry.”     I thought of the Wheel of Existence, I thought of the injunction in our Buddhist Scriptures: The prosperity of the generous man never fails, while the miser finds no comforter.  Let the powerful man be generous to the suppliant. Let him look down the long path of lives. For riches revolve like the wheels of a cart, they come now to one, now to another. The beggar today is a prince tomorrow, and the prince may come as a beggar.  It was obvious to me even then that the lama who was now my guide was indeed a good man, and one whom I would follow to the utmost of my ability.  It was clear that he knew a very great deal about me, far more than I knew myself.  I was looking forward to studying with him, and I resolved that no one should have a better pupil. There was, as I could plainly feel, a very strong affinity between us, and I marveled at the workings of Fate which had placed me in his care.    

I turned my head to look out of the window.  My bed-cushions had been placed on a table so that I could see out.  It seemed very strange to be resting off the floor, some four feet in the air.  My childish fancy likened it to a bird roosting in a tree!  But there was much to see.  Far away over the lower roofs beneath the window, I could see Lhasa sprawled in the sunlight.  Little houses, dwarfed by the distance, and all of delicate pastel shades.  The meandering waters of the Kyi River flowed through the level valley, flanked by the greenest of green grass.  In the distance the mountains were purple, surmounted with white caps of shining snow.  The nearer mountain-sides were speckled with golden-roofed lamaseries.  To the left was the Potala with its immense bulk forming a small mountain.  Slightly to the right of us was a small wood from which peeped temples and colleges. 

This was the home of the State Oracle of Tibet, an important gentleman whose sole task in life is to connect the material world with the immaterial.  Below, in the forecourt, monks of all ranks were passing to and fro.  Some wore a sombre brown robe, these were the worker monks.  A small group of boys were wearing white, student monks from some more distant lamasery.  Higher ranks were there, too: those in blood red, and those with purple robes.  These latter often had golden stoles upon them, indicating that they were connected with the higher admin- istration.  A number were on horses or ponies.  The laity rode coloured animals, while the priests used only white.  But all this was taking me away from the immediate present.  I was more concerned now about getting better and being able to move around again.    

After three days it was thought better for me to get up and move around.  My leg was very stiff and shockingly painful. The whole area was inflamed and there was much discharge caused by the particles of iron rust which had not been removed. As I could not walk unaided, a crutch was made, and I hopped about on this with some resemblance to a wounded bird.  My body still had a large number of burns and blisters from the hot ashes, but the whole lot together was not as painful as my leg.  Sitting was im- possible, I had to lie on my right side or on my face.  Obviously I could not attend services or the classrooms, so my Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup, taught me almost full time.  He expressed him- self as well satisfied with the amount I had learnt in my few years, and said, “But a lot of this you have unconsciously remembered from your last incarnation.”


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 magazine 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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Essay:  How To Visualize                                    by Ernest Holmes                                  
 

There is no power in holding thoughts; indeed, the real secret of successful mental work is to loose thought and let Mind operate upon it.

The first thing to do is to decide what you wish to image into Mind. After having become composed in thought, begin to see the complete outcome of your desires, in mental pictures. Suppose that you wish to demonstrate a home; you should know just what kind of home you wish.

Of course, if you simply thought of house you would get something, but the more definite the picture the better the results will be. In order to make the picture complete, decide just what kind of a home you wish to live in; then, in the silence of your thought, mentally look at this house; go from there to look at some piece of furniture or at some picture on the wall.

Make the whole thing real, as far as possible; enter the house, sit down and feel that you are actually living there, saying, "I am now living in this house." You have set a word in motion through the Law which will bring a realization of your desire, unless you, yourself, neutralize the picture by doubting it. Do this every day until the house appears. Use the same process in visualizing anything.

      

       

In order that you may fully understand just what I mean, I will illustrate by drawing a mental picture which I will ask you to follow as you read these lines.

Imagine that you are with me; we will suppose that I am a man about six feet tall, with light hair and complexion. We are sitting on the front porch of a house that is painted green; it is a two-story house and sits quite far back from the road; there are tall trees standing in front of the house through which the sun is shining.

We can see the little shadows as they play upon the porch through the open spaces between the trees. The breeze is gently blowing and the leaves are waving back and forth. I am talking to you, saying, "Let us take a walk together." We immediately rise from our seats, which are made of wicker, and walk down three stone steps to a gravel walk, leading to the street.

As we go out through a stone gate we are suddenly met by a dog which is running along the street; he is a large, yellow dog, and is running rapidly. We watch him as he runs, barking, down the street, till he turns a corner,—and our picture is at an end. Now, if you have carefully imaged each step in the above picture, you will understand what visualizing means.


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)                       

God is the only power and

That power is within me.

There is only one plan, God's plan, and

That plan now comes to pass.

(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.) 

 

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Essay:  My Son Was Born Smiling, Bald and 220 Pounds             by Steve Roberts

When I met my younger son, 41, for the first time a few months ago, I wasn’t surprised to find myself dazed and elated, saying, “My life will never be the same.”  What surprised me was why.

A short time earlier, this boy of my heart was inspired to explore the ancestry of his biological mother’s surname (the only biological surname he knew, since it was his at birth, changed immediately thereafter upon adoption).  Just to see what would happen he Googled his complete birth name, first and last—and presto!—up popped on the very first page that name, his birth date and the name of the hospital where he was born. 

Wait a minute, he thought, that’s me! 

Clicking the related link, an on-line registry I’d joined that helps connect biological children and parents, he found my smiling face and the message that I was his original dad.  Until that day, that moment, he’d known absolutely nothing about me.  In fact, he told me later, he’d not given much thought to looking for his biological parents, not from any particular resistance (he presumed it would happen at some point), but because the love he received from his family left him with no void of identity aching to be filled. 

Quickly, however, he found my website, where, among photos, biographical info and so on, he came upon several dozen of my essays—noodlings on my basic sense that the universe is a friendly place—including an essay about him, “The Power of Invisible People,” on the occasion of his 40th birthday. 

Plus, he learned I’d authored a book of essays and stories, which he ordered from Amazon overnight.  Thumbing through it, he paused at the acknowledgements, where he found himself listed among those who most conspicuously shape my life.  “Projectile weeping,” he says, was his response.  Soon after, he wrote the letter that began, “Hello Steve, I am your son….”

His name, I now know, is Craig.  I’ve read his letter to any number of friends and family, and invariably each echoes the sentiment: “My God, he sounds just like you.”

The litany of common idiosyncrasies is enjoyably endless.  The guy builds stone sculptures, for crying out loud.  Then there are those connections of spirit that seem to exist beyond the paradigm of shared DNA.  The part of me that, since birth, has experienced the universe as playful, loving and deep resides noticeably in him as well.  As a kid in the early morning darkness after a snowstorm, Craig would surreptitiously take red food coloring and paint hearts on random front lawns in his town. 

I came into this world with a bit of an attitude: I was going to experience God or die trying.  (Of course, there are those who would say that I was also committed to being the person your mother warned you about.)  By “experience,” I mean something way beyond thinking, studying, reading or talking about God, or even going to church: I mean realizing consciously, in every particle of my being, my Oneness with all of existence: my true identity.  From that intention I have drawn to me endless beautiful, destructive, uplifting and nasty happenings that call me to be relentless in giving up my attachment to any belief, any choice, any anything that keeps me separate from Love.  It’s messy at times, steep being the price of pretense, but there’s also fun.  The more I’m dead certain about less and less; the more I get that every person, place or thing is a mirror showing me myself; the more I breathe through both joy and pain; the more I see everything as a manifestation of the Divine—the more I am open to what Paramahansa Yogananda calls the illimitable sky of wisdom. 

The sun in this sky warms within me a passion to share what I’m learning with fellow travelers, beginning with my family of spirit and blood.  It’s one reason I write essays, photograph my stone sculptures and draw with pen and ink as a form of journaling.  No matter when Craig learned of my identity, even if he chose not meet me (or couldn’t because I was no longer walking the earth), I wished to provide him an opportunity to learn something about himself from my life, should he find that useful. 

Now that he’s actually been born to me—smiling, bald and 220 pounds—the awe and reverence of a grand adventure marks the prospect of being with him in whatever ways lay before us.

And yet, and this is the surprising part, if, after receiving Craig’s letter, he and I were somehow prevented from enjoying any further contact—no phone calls, no long days in one another’s company, no emails, no sharing photos, no nothing—my heart would still be singing. 

His letter satisfied a hunger that I hadn’t acknowledged I’d been living with all these years, a hunger that had always been central to my intentions for him: that he be making his way surrounded by love, and thriving in that love.  In the context of his written words that prompted me to say to my wife on the day I received them, “He’s such a beautiful boy,” two sentences leapt out: “I was raised…by the most loving family a boy could ever want,” and “I am blessed with a…circle of friends who never miss an opportunity to love me shamelessly.”

Among Craig’s earliest memories is seeing his parents, Wilma and Max, standing in his bedroom doorway, watching him sleep.  Speechless with gratitude, I shouldn’t wonder.  It’s certainly my primary feeling—gratitude for the privilege of meeting this boy of my heart, but mostly gratitude for the privilege of learning that his soul has been well-tended.


 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:  Stop Worrying, Think Positively To Avoid Memory Loss
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Think positive, especially if you want to retain a good memory as you age.

That's the advice of scientists at North Carolina State University who found that expecting to have a diminishing memory with age could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In a study published in the journal Experimental Aging Research, they found that seniors who do not believe in the negative stereotype that memory loss is a natural occurrence in old age did better on tests than other elderly people.

'Older people will perform more poorly on a memory test if they are told that older folks do poorly on that particular type of memory test,' Dr Tom Hess, who headed the study, said in a statement.

He and his team tested memory performance of adults 60 to 70 years old and others who were 71 to 82. In addition to doing more poorly in tests if they bought into the negative stereotype of aging and memory, seniors also performed poorly if they thought they were stigmatized, or looked down on, because of their age.

'Such situations may be part of older adults' everyday experience, such as being concerned about what others think of them at work having a negative effect on their performance—and thus potentially reinforcing the negative stereotypes,' said Hess.

The negative effects were strongest in adults with the highest level of education, according to the researchers.

But on the plus side, if seniors have a more positive view of aging their memory performance scores are higher.

'The take-home message is that social factors may have a negative effect on older adults' memory performance,' he added.

Copyright 2009 Reuters.
Reprinted with permission from Reuters. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution or Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters Sphere Logo are registered trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world. For additional information about Reuters content and services, please visit Reuters website at www.reuters.com. License # REU-4198-JJM.
 

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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:  Vegetable Juice May Help With Weight Loss

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Drinking at least one glass of low sodium vegetable juice every day may help overweight dieters lose more weight.

In a study, adults who drank at least 8 ounces of vegetable juice as part of a calorie-controlled heart-healthy diet lost 4 pounds over 12 weeks, while those who followed the same diet but did not drink the veggie juice lost only 1 pound.

It's possible, study investigator Dr. Carl L. Keen told Reuters Health, that vegetable juice helps reduce a person's appetite. 'There is also a long-term belief that a high fruit and vegetable diet is associated with lower body weight,' added Keen, who is with the University of California, Davis.

All 81 participants in the study, almost three-quarters of whom were women, had metabolic syndrome—a cluster of risk factors including excess body fat around the middle, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. It's estimated that 47 million Americans have some combination of these risk factors, placing them at increased risk diabetes and heart disease.

All of the study subjects were encouraged to follow the American Heart Association's 'Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension,' or DASH, diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, minerals and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and salt. In addition, they were randomly assigned to drink 0, 1, or 2 cups of low sodium, high potassium vegetable juice every day for 12 weeks.



 

The vegetable juice drinkers—in addition to losing more weight over 12 weeks than the non-juice drinkers—were also more likely to get the recommended 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily.

Vegetable juice drinkers also significantly increased their intake of vitamin C and potassium, while decreasing their overall carbohydrate intake.

'Diet and body weight are key modifiable factors in changing the course of metabolic syndrome,' principal investigator Dr. John Foreyt, of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, noted in a written statement.

Most U.S. adults don't get the recommended servings of vegetables each day. Vegetable juice, Keen said, 'is a very good, portable option and may be a good way to help close the gap.'

Keen reported the results of the study, which was funded in part by the Campbell Soup Company, this week at the Experimental Biology convention in New Orleans.

Copyright 2009 Reuters.
Reprinted with permission from Reuters. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution or Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters Sphere Logo are registered trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world. For additional information about Reuters content and services, please visit Reuters website at www.reuters.com. License # REU-4198-JJM.

 

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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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News:  The Power of Silence                         by Steven Taylor

Modern humans have lost touch with their inner "true  self". Silence and stillness are a means to recovering happiness and contentment.

In the modern world silence has practically ceased to exist. The human race has stamped its authority over the planet Earth not just by covering its surface with concrete and destroying its plant and animal life, but also by burying the natural sounds of the Earth beneath a cacophony of man-made noise. We live our lives against the background of this cacophony, with the jagged mechanical sounds of urban-industrial society continually assaulting our ears: the roar of cars, aeroplanes and trains, the clanging and thudding of machinery, the noise of building and renovating, the chatter of radios and TVs in other people's cars and houses, and pop music blaring from every conceivable place. But nothing, of course, has done more to obliterate silence than the car. In the modern world it's very difficult to go anywhere where there's no possibility of being disturbed by the sound of passing cars, and the only chance that city or town dwellers get to experience something of the quietness which existed everywhere in the pre-car world is sometimes on Sundays, when the mad rushing to and fro of modern life slows down. This quietness seems so foreign now that it seems difficult to believe that a hundred years ago and before it was everywhere all the time. Back then this quietness would even have filled the busiest city centres, which would have probably had a noise level equivalent to that of a modern small village.

There's also more noise than ever before inside our houses. It's unusual to go into a house nowadays where there isn't at least one television set chattering away somewhere, even if the residents aren't actually watching it, and other forms of home entertainment compete against TV to produce the most noise: radios, CD players, computer and video games etc. In fact the only sound which is largely absent from people's houses nowadays is the voices of their occupants actually talking to one another.

Living in the midst of all this noise is bound to have a bad effect on us. All man-made noise is fundamentally disturbing—we find the sound of birds singing or of wind rushing through trees pleasing, but mechanical noise always jars and grates. And since we live our lives against a background of mechanical noise it follows that there's always an undercurrent of agitation inside us, produced by the noise. This noise is certainly one of the reasons why modern life is so stressful as well. In modern life our senses are bombarded with massive amounts of external stimuli—our fields of vision are always crowded with different (and constantly shifting) things, and our ears are bombarded with a bewildering variety of sounds, all of which clamour for our attention. Our senses have to absorb and process all this material, which takes up a lot of energy, and means that we're liable to become drained of energy or 'run down' easily. We can get out of this state by removing ourselves from all external stimuli and letting our energy-batteries naturally recharge themselves—i.e., by relaxing. But there's so much external stimuli around in the modern world and people are so unaccustomed to the absence of it, that we may never be able relax properly, which could mean living in a permanently 'run down' state.

This lack of quietness has also meant is that people are no longer used to silence, and have even, as a result, become afraid of it. Along with inactivity, silence has become something which most people are determined to avoid at all costs, and which, when they are confronted with it, unnerves them. People have become so used to the frantic pace and the ceaseless activity of modern life that they feel uneasy when they're left at a loose end with nothing to occupy their attention even for a few moments, and they feel equally uneasy when the noise they live their lives against the background of subsides. Why else is it that they need to have their radios and televisions chattering away in the background even when they're not paying attention to them?

In other words, in the modern world silence has become an enemy. And this is a terrible shame, because in reality silence is one of our greatest friends, and can—if it's allowed to reveal itself to us—have a powerfully beneficial effect on us.

Inner Noise

It's not just the noise outside us which causes us problems, though, but also the noise inside us.

In the same way that the natural quietness and stillness of the world around us is always covered over with man-made noise, the natural quietness of our minds is constantly disturbed by the chattering of our ego-selves. This chattering fills our minds from the moment we wake up in the morning till the moment we go to sleep at night—an endless stream of daydreams, memories, deliberations, worries, plans etc. which we have no control over and which even continues (in the form of dreams) when we fall asleep. This 'inner noise' has as many bad effects as the mechanical noise outside us. It actually creates problems in our lives, when we mull over tiny inconveniences or uncertainties which seem to become important just because we're giving so much attention to them, and when we imagine all kinds of possible scenarios about future events instead of just taking them as they come. It means that we don't live in the present, because we're always either planning for and anticipating the future or remembering the past—'wandering about in times that do not belong to us and never thinking of the one that does' as Blaise Pascal wrote. And this constant inner chattering also means that we can never give our full attention to our surroundings and to the activities of our lives. Our attention is always partly taken up by the thoughts in our minds, so that wherever we are and whatever we're doing we're never completely there.

It's probably possible to say that there's also more of this 'inner noise' inside human beings than there's ever been before. The hectic pace and the constant activity of our lives, the massive amount of external stimuli we're bombarded with, and the barrage of information which the mass media sends our way, have made our minds more restless and active. We've got to juggle dozens of different problems and concerns in our minds just to get by from day to day, and every new thing we see or every new piece of information which is sent our way is potentially the beginning of a whole new train of thought to occupy our minds.

The True Self

Ultimately, the most serious consequence of both this inner chattering and the noise and activity of the modern world is that they separate us from our true selves.

Our 'true self' might be called the ground, or the essence, of our beings. It's the pure consciousness inside us, the consciousness-in-itself which remains when we're not actually conscious of anything. It's what remains when our the activity of our senses and the activity of our minds cease. The sense-impressions we absorb from the world and the thoughts which run through our minds are like the images on a cinema screen, but our 'true self' is the cinema screen itself, which is still there even when there aren't any images being projected on to it.

Experiencing this 'consciousness-in-itself' can have a massively therapeutic effect. It brings a sense of being firmly rooted in ourselves, of being truly who we are. We also have a sense of being truly where we are, realising that before we were only half-present, and everything we see around us seems intensely real and alive, as if our perceptions have become much more acute. But above all, we experience a profound sense of inner peace and natural happiness. As the Hindu and Buddhist traditions have always held, the nature of consciousness-in-itself (which means the consciousness inside us and the consciousness which pervades the whole universe) is bliss. Getting into contact with the pure consciousness inside us enables us, therefore, to experience this bliss. Indeed, it could be said that it's only when we do this that we can experience true happiness. Usually what we think of as happiness is hedonistic or ego-based—that is, based around pressing instinctive 'pleasure buttons' or around receiving attention and praise from others and increasing our self-esteem. But the kind of deep and rich happiness we experience when we're in touch with the ground or essence of our beings is a natural, spiritual happiness, which doesn't depend on anything external, and doesn't vanish as soon as the thing which produced it is taken away. It's a happiness which comes from experiencing the divine inside us—and also the divine inside everything else, since the pure consciousness inside us is the same pure consciousness inside everything else, and the pure consciousness of the universe itself.

Making Contact with the True Self

Whether we're in touch with this 'true self' or not depends on how much external stimuli our senses are taking in from the world around us, and on how much activity there is going on in our minds. If there is a lot of noise, movement and activity taking place around us then we can't help but give our attention to it; and in the same way, when there is a lot of 'inner noise' taking place we have to give our attention to that too. And when our attention is completely absorbed in this way—either by external stumuli on their own, such as when we watch TV; by 'inner noise' on its own, such as when we daydream; or by both of them at the same time—it's impossible for us to be in contact with our 'true self' to any degree, in the same way that it's impossible to see a cinema screen in itself when it's full of dancing images. Being in contact with our 'true self' is a state of attentionless-ness, when our minds are completely empty.

What we have to do if we want to get into contact with this part of ourselves is, therefore, to withdraw our attention from these things. And this is, of course, what we do when we meditate: first of all, we remove ourselves from external stimuli, by sitting in a quiet room and closing our eyes. And then there's only 'inner noise' standing between us and consciousness-in-itself, which we try to quieten by concentrating on a mantra or on our breathing. If we manage to stop the inner noise (and therefore stop our attention being absorbed in it) pure consciousness immerses us and we become our true selves.

And this brings us back to the most serious problem caused by the massive amount of external stimuli (including noise) which our senses are bombarded with in the modern world, and by the intensified 'inner noise' which modern life generates. It's not just a question of completely closing yourself off to external stimuli and shutting down 'inner noise', so that you can experience a state of total immersion in pure consciousness. It's possible to have a foot in both camps, so to speak—to live a normal life in the world, being exposed to external stimuli and experiencing inner noise, and at the same time still be rooted in your real self. That is, it's possible to be partially immersed in consciousness-in-itself, and for your attention to be partially absorbed by external stimuli and inner talk. But this can only happen when there is just a moderate degree of both of the latter.

It would probably have been quite easy for our ancestors to live in this way, because they weren't exposed to a great deal of external stimuli and because their lives were relatively slow-paced and stress-free, which would have meant that their attention needn't have been completely absorbed by external stimuli and inner talk. Perhaps this even partly explains why native peoples seem to possess a natural contentment which modern city dwellers have lost—because their more sedate lives mean that they're able to be in touch with the ground of their being as they go about their lives, and that they can therefore continually experience something of the bliss of which is the nature of consciousness-in-itself.

For us, however, this has become very difficult. There's always so much noise and activity both inside and outside us that our attention is always completely absorbed, so that we can't be in contact with our real selves. We spend all our time living outside ourselves, lost in the external world of activity and stimuli or in the inner world of our own thoughts. We're like a person who plans to go away for a few days but finds so much to occupy them in the place they go to that they never go home again, and never again experience the peace and contentment which lie there. This is certainly one of the reasons why so many people nowadays seem to live in a state of dissatisfaction—because they've lost touch with the natural happiness inside them. That natural happiness has been buried underneath a storm of external stimuli and what Meister Eckhart called 'the storm of inward thought'.

As a result of this it's essential for us, in the modern world, to go out of our way to cultivate silence ourselves. Circumstances may oblige us to live in cities, and our jobs may be stressful and demanding, but we're still free to remove ourselves from external stimuli and to try to quieten our minds by meditating, going out into the countryside, or just by sitting quietly in our rooms. We don't have to fill our free time with attention-absorbing distractions like TV and computer games, which take us even further away from ourselves. We should do the opposite: stop our attention being absorbed like this so that we can find ourselves again.

We need silence and stillness to become our true selves and to be truly happy. 'Be still,' said Jesus, 'and know that I am God.' But he might have added, 'and know that you are God.'

Steven Taylor is a free-lance writer and teacher residing in Manchester, England.

This article was published in New Renaissance magazine Vol. 8, No. 2

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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.

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Serial:  A Romance of Two Worlds          by Marie Corelli                      
           

CHAPTER V.
Cellini's Story.

The following morning at the appointed hour, I went to Cellini's studio, and was received by him with a sort of gentle courtesy and kindliness that became him very well. I was already beginning to experience an increasing languor and weariness, the sure forerunner of what the artist had prophesied--namely, a return of all my old sufferings. Amy, tired out by the dancing of the previous night, was still in bed, as were many of those who had enjoyed Madame Didier's fete; and the hotel was unusually quiet, almost seeming as though half the visitors had departed during the night. It was a lovely morning, sunny and calm; and Cellini, observing that I looked listless and fatigued, placed a comfortable easy-chair for me near the window, from whence I could see one of the prettiest parterres of the garden, gay with flowers of every color and perfume. He himself remained standing, one hand resting lightly on his writing- table, which was strewn with a confusion of letters and newspapers.

 " Where is Leo?" I asked, as I glanced round the room in search of that noble animal. " Leo left for Paris last night," replied Cellini; "he carried an important despatch for me, which I feared to trust to the post- office." " Is it safer in Leo's charge?" I inquired, smiling, for the sagacity of the dog amused as well as interested me. " Much safer! Leo carries on his collar a small tin case, just large enough to contain several folded sheets of paper. When he knows he has that box to guard during his journeys, he is simply unapproachable. He would fight any one who attempted to touch it with the ferocity of a hungry tiger, and there is no edible dainty yet invented that could tempt his appetite or coax him into any momentary oblivion of his duty. There is no more trustworthy or faithful messenger." " I suppose you have sent him to your friend--his master," I said. " Yes. He has gone straight home to--Heliobas." T his name now awakened in me no surprise or even curiosity. It simply sounded homelike and familiar.

I gazed abstractedly out of the window at the brilliant blossoms in the garden, that nodded their heads at me like so many little elves with coloured caps on, but I said nothing. I felt that Cellini watched me keenly and closely. Presently he continued: " Shall I tell you everything now, mademoiselle?" I  turned towards him eagerly. " If you please," I answered. " May I ask you one question?" " Certainly." " How and where did you hear the name of Heliobas?" I  looked up hesitatingly. " In a dream, signor, strange to say; or rather in three dreams. I will relate them to you." And I described the visions I had seen, being careful to omit no detail, for, indeed, I remembered everything with curious distinctness. T he artist listened with grave and fixed attention. When I had concluded he said: " The elixir I gave you acted more potently than even I imagined it would. You are more sensitive than I thought. Do not fatigue yourself any more, mademoiselle, by talking. With your permission I will sit down here opposite to you and tell you my story. Afterwards you must decide for yourself whether you will adopt the method of treatment to which I owe my life, and something more than my life-- my reason."

He turned his own library-chair towards me, and seated himself. A few moments passed in silence; his expression was very earnest and absorbed, and he regarded my face with a sympathetic interest which touched me profoundly. Though I felt myself becoming more and more enervated and apathetic as the time went on, and though I knew I was gradually sinking down again into my old Slough of Despond, yet I felt instinctively that I was somehow actively concerned in what was about to be said, therefore I forced myself to attend closely to every word uttered. Cellini began to speak in low and quiet tones as follows: " You must be aware, mademoiselle, that those who adopt any art as a means of livelihood begin the world heavily handicapped--weighted down, as it were, in the race for fortune. The following of art is a very different thing to the following of trade or mercantile business. In buying or selling, in undertaking the work of import or export, a good head for figures, and an average quantity of shrewd common sense, are all that is necessary in order to win a fair share of success.

But in the finer occupations, whose results are found in sculpture, painting, music and poetry, demands are made upon the imagination, the emotions, the entire spiritual susceptibility of man. The most delicate fibres of the brain are taxed; the subtle inner workings of thought are brought into active play; and the temperament becomes daily and hourly more finely strung, more sensitive, more keenly alive to every passing sensation. Of course there are many so-called 'ARTISTS' who are mere shams of the real thing; persons who, having a little surface-education in one or the other branch of the arts, play idly with the paint-brush, or dabble carelessly in the deep waters of literature,--or borrow a few crotchets and quavers from other composers, and putting them together in haste, call it ORIGINAL COMPOSITION.

Among these are to be found the self-called 'professors' of painting; the sculptors who allow the work of their 'ghosts' to be admired as their own; the magazine-scribblers; the 'smart' young leader-writers and critics; the half-hearted performers on piano or violin who object to any innovation, and prefer to grind on in the unemotional, coldly correct manner which they are pleased to term the 'classical'--such persons exist, and will exist, so long as good and evil are leading forces of life. They are the aphides on the rose of art. But the men and women I speak of as ARTISTS are those who work day and night to attain even a small degree of perfection, and who are never satisfied with their own best efforts. I was one of these some years ago, and I humbly assert myself still to be of the same disposition; only the difference between myself then and myself now is, that THEN I struggled blindly and despairingly, and NOW I labour patiently and with calmness, knowing positively that I shall obtain what I seek at the duly appointed hour. I was educated as a painter, mademoiselle, by my father, a good, simple-hearted man, whose little landscapes looked like bits cut out of the actual field and woodland, so fresh and pure were they.

But I was not content to follow in the plain path he first taught me to tread. Merely correct drawing, merely correct colouring, were not sufficient for my ambition. I had dazzled my eyes with the loveliness of Correggio's 'Madonna,' and had marvelled at the wondrous blue of her robe--a blue so deep and intense that I used to think one might scrape away the paint till a hole was bored in the canvas and yet not reach the end of that fathomless azure tint; I had studied the warm hues of Titian; I had felt ready to float away in the air with the marvellous 'Angel of the Annunciation'--and with all these thoughts in me, how could I content myself with the ordinary aspiration of modern artists? I grew absorbed in one subject--Colour. I noted how lifeless and pale the colouring of to-day appeared beside that of the old masters, and I meditated deeply on the problem thus presented to me. What was the secret of Correggio--of Fra Angelico--of Raphael?

I tried various experiments; I bought the most expensive and highly guaranteed pigments. In vain, for they were all adulterated by the dealers! Then I obtained colors in the rough, and ground and mixed them myself; still, though a little better result was obtained, I found trade adulteration still at work with the oils, the varnishes, the mediums--in fact, with everything that painters use to gain effect in their works. I could nowhere escape from vicious dealers, who, to gain a miserable percentage on every article sold, are content to be among the most dishonest men in this dishonest age. " I assure you, mademoiselle, that not one of the pictures which are now being painted for the salons of Paris and London can possibly last a hundred years. I recently visited that Palace of Art, the South Kensington Museum, in London, and saw there a large fresco by Sir Frederick Leighton. It had just been completed, I was informed.

It was already fading! Within a few years it will be a blur of indistinct outlines. I compared its condition with the cartoons of Raphael, and a superb Giorgione in the same building; these were as warm and bright as though recently painted. It is not Leighton's fault that his works are doomed to perish as completely off the canvas as though he had never traced them; it is his dire misfortune, and that of every other nineteenth-century painter, thanks to the magnificent institution of free trade, which has resulted in a vulgar competition of all countries and all classes to see which can most quickly jostle the other out of existence. But I am wearying you, mademoiselle--pardon me! To resume my own story. As I told you, I could think of nothing but the one subject of Colour; it haunted me incessantly. I saw in my dreams visions, of exquisite forms and faces that I longed to transfer to my canvas, but I could never succeed in the attempt. My hand seemed to have lost all skill. About this time my father died, and I, having no other relation in the world, and no ties of home to cling to, lived in utter solitude, and tortured my brain more and more with the one question that baffled and perplexed me. I became moody and irritable; I avoided intercourse with everyone, and at last sleep forsook my eyes.

     

Then came a terrible season of feverish trouble, nervous dejection and despair. At times I would sit silently brooding; at others I started up and walked rapidly for hours, in the hope to calm the wild unrest that took possession of my brain. I was then living in Rome, in the studio that had been my father's. One evening--how well I remember it!--I was attacked by one of those fierce impulses that forbade me to rest or think or sleep, and, as usual, I hurried out for one of those long aimless excursions I had latterly grown accustomed to. At the open street-door stood the proprietress of the house, a stout, good-natured contadina, with her youngest child Pippa holding to her skirt.

As she saw me approaching, she started back with an exclamation of alarm, and catching the little girl up in her arms, she made the sign of the cross rapidly. Astonished at this, I paused in my hasty walk, and said with as much calmness as I could muster: " 'What do you mean by that? Have I the evil-eye, think you?' " Curly-haired Pippa stretched out her arms to me--I had often caressed the little one, and given her sweetmeats and toys--but her mother held her back with a sort of smothered scream, and muttered: " 'Holy Virgin! Pippa must not touch him; he is mad.' " Mad? I looked at the woman and child in scornful amazement.

 Then without further words I turned, and went swiftly away down the street out of their sight. Mad! Was I indeed losing my reason? Was this the terrific meaning of my sleepless nights, my troubled thoughts, my strange inquietude? Fiercely I strode along, heedless whither I was going, till I found myself suddenly on the borders of the desolate Campagna. A young moon gleamed aloft, looking like a slender sickle thrust into the heavens to reap an over-abundant harvest of stars. I paused irresolutely. There was a deep silence everywhere. I felt faint and giddy: curious flashes of light danced past my eyes, and my limbs shook like those of a palsied old man. I sank upon a stone to rest, to try and arrange my scattered ideas into some sort of connection and order. Mad! I clasped my aching head between my hands, and brooded on the fearful prospect looming before me, and in the words of poor King Lear, I prayed in my heart: " 'O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heavens!'

" PRAYER! There was another thought. How could I pray? For I was a sceptic. My father had educated me with broadly materialistic views; he himself was a follower of Voltaire, and with his finite rod he took the measure of Divinity, greatly to his own satisfaction. He was a good man, too, and he died with exemplary calmness in the absolute certainty of there being nothing in his composition but dust, to which he was as bound to return. He had not a shred of belief in anything but what he called the Universal Law of Necessity; perhaps this was why all his pictures lacked inspiration. I accepted his theories without thinking much about them, and I had managed to live respectably without any religious belief. But NOW-- now with the horrible phantom of madness rising before me--my firm nerves quailed. I tried, I longed to PRAY. Yet to whom? To what?

To the Universal Law of Necessity? In that there could be no hearing or answering of human petitions. I meditated on this with a kind of sombre ferocity. Who portioned out this Law of Necessity? What brutal Code compels us to be born, to live, to suffer, and to die without recompense or reason? Why should this Universe be an ever- circling Wheel of Torture? Then a fresh impetus came to me. I rose from my recumbent posture and stood erect; I trembled no more. A curious sensation of defiant amusement possessed me so violently that I laughed aloud. Such a laugh, too! I recoiled from the sound, as from a blow, with a shudder. It was the laugh of--a madman! I thought no more; I was resolved. I would fulfil the grim Law of Necessity to its letter.

If Necessity caused my birth, it also demanded my death. Necessity could not force me to live against my will. Better eternal nothingness than madness. Slowly and deliberately I took from my vest a Milanese dagger of thin sharp steel--one that I always carried with me as a means of self-defence- -I drew it from its sheath, and looked at the fine edge glittering coldly in the pallid moon-rays. I kissed it joyously; it was my final remedy! I poised it aloft with firm fingers--another instant and it would have been buried deep in my heart, when I felt a powerful grasp on my wrist, and a strong arm struggling with mine forced the dagger from my hand. Savagely angry at being thus foiled in my desperate intent, I staggered back a few paces and sullenly stared at my rescuer. He was a tall man, clad in a dark overcoat bordered with fur; he looked like a wealthy Englishman or American travelling for pleasure. His features were fine and commanding; his eyes gleamed with a gentle disdain as he coolly met my resentful gaze. When he spoke his voice was rich and mellifluous, though his accents had a touch in them of grave scorn.

" 'So you are tired of your life, young man! All the more reason have you to live. Anyone can die. A murderer has moral force enough to jeer at his hangman. It is very easy to draw the last breath. It can be accomplished successfully by a child or a warrior. One pang of far less anguish than the toothache, and all is over. There is nothing heroic about it, I assure you! It is as common as going to bed; it is almost prosy. LIFE is heroism, if you like; but death is a mere cessation of business. And to make a rapid and rude exit off the stage before the prompter gives the sign is always, to say the least of it, ungraceful. Act the part out, no matter how bad the play. What say you?' " And, balancing the dagger lightly on one finger, as though it were a paper-knife, he smiled at me with so much frank kindliness that it was impossible to resist him. I advanced and held out my hand. " 'Whoever you are,' I said, 'you speak like a true man. But you are ignorant of the causes which compelled me to---' and a hard sob choked my utterance. My new acquaintance pressed my proffered hand cordially, but the gravity of his tone did not vary as he replied: " 'There is no cause, my friend, which compels us to take violent leave of existence, unless it be madness or cowardice.'

" 'Aye, and what if it were madness?' I asked him eagerly. He scanned me attentively, and laying his fingers lightly on my wrist, felt my pulse. " 'Pooh, my dear sir!' he said; 'you are no more mad than I am. You are a little overwrought and excited--that I admit. You have some mental worry that consumes you. You shall tell me all about it. I have no doubt I can cure you in a few days.' " Cure me? I looked at him in wonderment and doubt. " 'Are you a physician?' I asked. " He laughed. 'Not I! I should be sorry to belong to the profession. Yet I administer medicines and give advice in certain cases. I am simply a remedial agent--not a doctor. But why do we stand here in this bleak place, which must be peopled by the ghosts of olden heroes? Come with me, will you? I am going to the Hotel Costanza, and we can talk there.

As for this pretty toy, permit me to return it to you. You will not force it again to the unpleasant task of despatching its owner.' " And he handed the dagger back to me with a slight bow. I sheathed it at once, feeling somewhat like a chidden child, as I met the slightly satirical gleam of the clear blue eyes that watched me. " 'Will you give me your name, signor?' I asked, as we turned from the Campagna towards the city. " 'With pleasure. I am called Heliobas. A strange name? Oh, not at all! It is pure Chaldee. My mother--as lovely an Eastern houri as Murillo's Madonna, and as devout as Santa Teresa--gave me the Christian saint's name of Casimir also, but Heliobas pur et simple suits me best, and by it I am generally known.' " 'You are a Chaldean?' I inquired. " 'Exactly so. I am descended directly from one of those "wise men of the East" (and, by the way, there were more than three, and they were not all kings), who, being wide awake, happened to notice the birth-star of Christ on the horizon before the rest of the world's inhabitants had so much as rubbed their sleepy eyes.

The Chaldeans have been always quick of observation from time immemorial. But in return for my name, you will favor me with yours?' " I gave it readily, and we walked on together. I felt wonderfully calmed and cheered--as soothed, mademoiselle, as I have noticed you yourself have felt when in MY company." H ere Cellini paused, and looked at me as though expecting a question; hut I preferred to remain silent till I had heard all he had to say. He therefore resumed: " We reached the Hotel Costanza, where Heliobas was evidently well known. The waiters addressed him as Monsieur le Comte; but he gave me no information as to this title. He had a superb suite of rooms in the hotel, furnished with every modern luxury; and as soon as we entered a light supper was served. He invited me to partake, and within the space of half an hour I had told him all my history--my ambition--my strivings after the perfection of colour--my disappointment, dejection, and despair--and, finally, the fearful dread of coming madness that had driven me to attempt my own life. He listened patiently and with unbroken attention. When I had finished, he laid one hand on my shoulder, and said gently: " 'Young man, pardon me if I say that up to the present your career has been an inactive, useless, selfish "kicking against the pricks," as St. Paul says.

You set before yourself a task of noble effort, namely, to discover the secret of colouring as known to the old masters; and because you meet with the petty difficulty of modern trade adulteration in your materials, you think that there is no chance--that all is lost. Fie! Do you think Nature is overcome by a few dishonest traders? She can still give you in abundance the unspoilt colors she gave to Raphael and Titian; but not in haste-- not if you vulgarly scramble for her gifts in a mood that is impatient of obstacle and delay. "Ohne hast, ohne rast," is the motto of the stars. Learn it well. You have injured your bodily health by useless fretfulness and peevish discontent, and with that we have first to deal. In a week's time, I will make a sound, sane man of you; and then I will teach you how to get the colors you seek--yes!' he added, smiling, 'even to the compassing of Correggio's blue.' " I could not speak for joy and gratitude; I grasped my friend and preserver by the hand.

We stood thus together for a brief interval, when suddenly Heliobas drew himself up to the full stateliness of his height and bent his calm eyes deliberately upon me. A strange thrill ran through me; I still held his hand. " 'Rest!' he said in slow and emphatic tones, 'Weary and overwrought frame, take thy full and needful measure of repose! Struggling and deeply injured spirit, be free of thy narrow prison! By that Force which I acknowledge within me and thee and in all created things, I command thee, REST!' " Fascinated, awed, overcome by his manner, I gazed at him and would have spoken, but my tongue refused its office--my senses swam--my eyes closed--my limbs gave way--I fell senseless." C ellini again paused and looked at me. Intent on his words, I would not interrupt him. He went on: " When I say senseless, mademoiselle, I allude of course to my body. But I, myself--that is, my soul--was conscious; I lived, I moved, I heard, I saw.

Of that experience I am forbidden to speak. When I returned to mortal existence I found myself lying on a couch in the same room where I had supped with Heliobas, and Heliobas himself sat near me reading. It was broad noonday. A delicious sense of tranquillity and youthful buoyancy was upon me, and without speaking I sprang up from my recumbent position and touched him on the arm. He looked up. " 'Well?' he asked, and his eyes smiled. " I seized his hand, and pressed it reverently to my lips. " 'My best friend!' I exclaimed. 'What wonders have I not seen--what truths have I not learned--what mysteries!' " 'On all these things be silent,' replied Heliobas. 'They must not be lightly spoken of. And of the questions you naturally desire to ask me, you shall have the answers in due time. What has happened to you is not wonderful; you have simply been acted upon by scientific means. But your cure is not yet complete. A few days more passed with me will restore you thoroughly.

Will you consent to remain so long in my company?' " Gladly and gratefully I consented, and we spent the next ten days together, during which Heliobas administered to me certain remedies, external and internal, which had a marvellous effect in renovating and invigorating my system. By the expiration of that time I was strong and well--a sound and sane man, as my rescuer had promised I should be--my brain was fresh and eager for work, and my mind was filled with new and grand ideas of art. And I had gained through Heliobas two inestimable things--a full comprehension of the truth of religion, and the secret of human destiny; and I had won a LOVE so exquisite!" H ere Cellini paused, and his eyes were uplifted in a sort of wondering rapture. He continued after a pause: " Yes, mademoiselle, I discovered that I was loved, and watched over and guided by ONE so divinely beautiful, so gloriously faithful, that mortal language fails before the description of such perfection!" H e paused again, and again continued: " When he found me perfectly healthy again in mind and body, Heliobas showed me his art of mixing colors. From that hour all my works were successful. You know that my pictures are eagerly purchased as soon as completed, and that the color I obtain in them is to the world a mystery almost magical.

Yet there is not one among the humblest of artists who could not, if he chose, make use of the same means as I have done to gain the nearly imperishable hues that still glow on the canvases of Raphael. But of this there is no need to speak just now. I have told you my story, mademoiselle, and it now rests with me to apply its meaning to yourself. You are attending?" " Perfectly," I replied; and, indeed, my interest at this point was so strong that I could almost hear the expectant beating of my heart. Cellini resumed: " Electricity, mademoiselle, is, as you are aware, the wonder of our age. No end can be foreseen to the marvels it is capable of accomplishing. But one of the most important branches of this great science is ignorantly derided just now by the larger portion of society--I mean the use of human electricity; that force which is in each one of us--in you and in me--and, to a very large extent, in Heliobas. He has cultivated the electricity in his own system to such an extent that his mere touch, his lightest glance, have healing in them, or the reverse, as he chooses to exert his power--I may say it is never the reverse, for he is full of kindness, sympathy, and pity for all humanity. His influence is so great that he can, without speaking, by his mere presence suggest his own thoughts to other people who are perfect strangers, and cause them to design and carry out certain actions in accordance with his plans. You are incredulous? Mademoiselle, this power is in every one of us; only we do not cultivate it, because our education is yet so imperfect. To prove the truth of what I say, I, though I have only advanced a little way in the cultivation of my own electric force, even I have influenced YOU. You cannot deny it.

By my thought, impelled to you, you saw clearly my picture that was actually veiled. By MY force, you replied correctly to a question I asked you concerning that same picture. By MY desire, you gave me, without being aware of it, a message from one I love when you said, 'Dieu vous garde!' You remember? And the elixir I gave you, which is one of the simplest remedies discovered by Heliobas, had the effect of making you learn what he intended you to learn--his name." " He!" I exclaimed. "Why, he does not know me--he can have no intentions towards me!" " Mademoiselle," replied Cellini gravely, "if you will think again of the last of your three dreams, you will not doubt that he HAS intentions towards you. As I told you, he is a PHYSICAL ELECTRICIAN. By that is meant a great deal. He knows by instinct whether he is or will be needed sooner or later. Let me finish what I have to say. You are ill, mademoiselle--ill from over-work. You are an improvisatrice--that is, you have the emotional genius of music, a spiritual thing unfettered by rules, and utterly misunderstood by the world.

You cultivate this faculty, regardless of cost; you suffer, and you will suffer more. In proportion as your powers in music grow, so will your health decline. Go to Heliobas; he will do for you what he did for me. Surely you will not hesitate? Between years of weak invalidism and perfect health, in less than a fortnight, there can be no question of choice." I  rose from my seat slowly. " Where is this Heliobas?" I asked. "In Paris?" " Yes, in Paris. If you decide to go there, take my advice, and go alone. You can easily make some excuse to your friends. I will give you the address of a ladies' Pension, where you will be made at home and comfortable. May I do this?" " If you please," I answered. H e wrote rapidly in pencil on a card of his own: " MADAME DENISE, "36, Avenue du Midi, "Paris," a nd handed it to me. I stood still where I had risen, thinking deeply. I had been impressed and somewhat startled by Cellini's story; but I was in no way alarmed at the idea of trusting myself to the hands of a physical electrician such as Heliobas professed to be.

I knew that there were many cases of serious illnesses being cured by means of electricity--that electric baths and electric appliances of all descriptions were in ordinary use; and I saw no reason to be surprised at the fact of a man being in existence who had cultivated electric force within himself to such an extent that he was able to use it as a healing power. There seemed to me to be really nothing extraordinary in it. The only part of Cellini's narration I did not credit was the soul-transmigration he professed to have experienced; and I put that down to the over-excitement of his imagination at the time of his first interview with Heliobas. But I kept this thought to myself. In any case, I resolved to go to Paris. The great desire of my life was to be in perfect health, and I determined to omit no means of obtaining this inestimable blessing. Cellini watched me as I remained standing before him in silent abstraction. " Will you go?" he inquired at last. " Yes; I will go," I replied. "But will you give me a letter to your friend?" " Leo has taken it and all necessary explanations already," said Cellini, smiling; "I knew you would go. Heliobas expects you the day after tomorrow .

His residence is Hotel Mars, Champs Elysees. You are not angry with me, mademoiselle? I could not help knowing that you would go." I  smiled faintly. " Electricity again, I suppose! No, I am not angry. Why should I be? I thank you very much, signor, and I shall thank you more if Heliobas indeed effects my cure." " Oh, that is certain, positively certain," answered Cellini; "you can indulge that hope as much as you like, mademoiselle, for it is one that cannot be disappointed. Before you leave me, you will look at your own picture, will you not?" and, advancing to his easel, he uncovered it. I  was greatly surprised. I thought he had but traced the outline of my features, whereas the head was almost completed. I looked at it as I would look at the portrait of a stranger. It was a wistful, sad-eyed, plaintive face, and on the pale gold of the hair rested a coronal of lilies. " It will soon be finished," said Cellini, covering the easel again; "I shall not need another sitting, which is fortunate, as it is so necessary for you to go away. And now will you look at the 'Life and Death' once more?"

I  raised my eyes to the grand picture, unveiled that day in all its beauty. " The face of the Life-Angel there," went on Cellini quietly, "is a poor and feeble resemblance of the One I love. You knew I was betrothed, mademoiselle?" I  felt confused, and was endeavoring to find an answer to this when he continued: " Do not trouble to explain, for I know how YOU knew. But no more of this. Will you leave Cannes tomorrow ?" " Yes. In the morning." " Then good-bye, mademoiselle. Should I never see you again---" " Never see me again!" I interrupted. "Why, what do you mean?" " I do not allude to your destinies, but to mine," he said, with a kindly look. "My business may call me away from here before you come back--our paths may lie apart--many circumstances may occur to prevent our meeting--so that, I repeat, should I never see you again, you will, I hope, bear me in your friendly remembrance as one who was sorry to see you suffer, and who was the humble means of guiding you to renewed health and happiness." I  held out my hand, and my eyes filled with tears.

There was something so gentle and chivalrous about him, and withal so warm and sympathetic, that I felt indeed as if I were bidding adieu to one of the truest friends I should ever have in my life. " I hope nothing will cause you to leave Cannes till I return to it," I said with real earnestness. "I should like you to judge of my restoration to health." " There will be no need for that," he replied; "I shall know when you are quite recovered through Heliobas." H e pressed my hand warmly. " I brought back the book you lent me," I went on; "but I should like a copy of it for myself. Can I get it anywhere?" " Heliobas will give you one with pleasure," replied Cellini; "you have only to make the request. The book is not on sale. It was printed for private circulation only. And now, mademoiselle, we part. I congratulate you on the comfort and joy awaiting you in Paris. Do not forget the address--Hotel Mars, Champs Elysees. Farewell!"

And again shaking my hand cordially, he stood at his door watching me as I passed out and began to ascend the stairs leading to my room. On the landing I paused, and, looking round, saw him still there. I smiled and waved my hand. He did the same in response, once--twice; then turning abruptly, disappeared. T hat afternoon I explained to Colonel and Mrs. Everard that I had resolved to consult a celebrated physician in Paris (whose name, however, I did not mention), and should go there alone for a few days. On hearing that I knew of a well-recommended ladies' Pension, they made no objection to my arrangements, and they agreed to remain at the Hotel de L---till I returned. I gave them no details of my plans, and of course never mentioned Raffaello Cellini in connection with the matter. A nervous and wretchedly agitated night made me more than ever determined to try the means of cure proposed to me. At ten o'clock the following morning I left Cannes by express train for Paris. Just before starting I noticed that the lilies of the valley Cellini had given me for the dance had, in spite of my care, entirely withered, and were already black with decay--so black that they looked as though they had been scorched by a flash of lightning.


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 online magazine 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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News:  Exploring The Free Downloads Library of The Conscious Living Foundation
 

 

One of the most popular sections of our website is our Free Downloads Library.  It is made up of several sections which are updated on a continuous basis.  We have just added a large number of new items - especially in the E-Book and Video sections.  (Click on any underlined words to go directly to that section):

 

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One of our most popular sections of our website is our free E-Book section, which is divided into two general areas:  Inspirational, Philosophical and Metaphysical E-Books and Literature and Light Entertainment E-Books.  Our collection now contains several hundred E-Books in a variety of popular formats.  We add new selections on a continuous basis.

 

Titles include works by:  James Allen, Emilie Cady, Catherine Ponder, Walter Lanyon, Charles Filmore, Wallace Wattles, Mary Baker Eddy, Florence Scovel Shin, Ernest Holmes, William Atkinson, Confucius, Aristotle, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Hesse, Signmund Freud, Ralph Waldo Trine, Thomas A Kempis, Rabindranath Tagore, Lao Tze, Paramahansa Yogananda, Krishnamurti, Kahlil Gibran, Buddha, Patanjali, Napoleon Hill, Mahatma Gandhi plus Literature by authors such as:  Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, a Sherlock Holmes Collection, Edgar Rice Burroughs, P.G. Wodehouse, Alexander Dumas, H.G. Wells, a Wizard of Oz Collection and hundreds of other titles!

 

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Our Spoken Word Audio section currently includes recordings made by Mahatma Gandhi, Rabbi Michael Laitman, Billy Graham, Amee Semple McPherson, Kathryn Kulman, William Simpson, Krishnamurti and The Dalai Lama.

 

In addition, it contains recordings of works such as:  The Book of Proverbs, The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shin, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A' Kempis, Practicing The Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles, The Dialogs of St. Catherine of Siena and As a Man Thinketh and Byways To Blessedness by James Allen.

 

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Our Music and Audio section contain a wide range of musical styles from various historical periods, but all "spiritual" in nature.  They currently include selections from such albums as:  Yoga Heart Healing, MasterPeace, Harmony in Disarray, Siddartha, Hush and Feel, Gospel Music, Tara Mantras, Soul Calls, The Kyoto Connection, Daughter of Love, Dream World, Buddhist Chanting, Songs For The Soul, Mind Sailing, Timeless Vibrations, Heart of the Mother, Yosemite Suite, Connected, The Cosmic Chants of Paramahansa Yogananda, Marti Walker, Hindu Chants, The Reflecting Pool, Winter Snow and Strings and Root Road Flute.

 

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Article:  The Nature of Life After Death - The Astral and Causal Worlds      by Paramahansa Yogananda

The following is an excerpt from Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography (the first edition).  In it, his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar describes his experience after the death of his physical body and the nature of life in the astral and causal worlds.

 

The final half of this exposition will be offered in the next issue of our online magazine.

 

"You have read in the scriptures," Master went on, "that God encased
the human soul successively in three bodies-the idea, or causal,
body; the subtle astral body, seat of man's mental and emotional
natures; and the gross physical body. On earth a man is equipped with
his physical senses. An astral being works with his consciousness
and feelings and a body made of lifetrons.  A causal-bodied
being remains in the blissful realm of ideas. My work is with those
astral beings who are preparing to enter the causal world."

"Adorable Master, please tell me more about the astral cosmos."
Though I had slightly relaxed my embrace at Sri Yukteswar's request,
my arms were still around him. Treasure beyond all treasures, my
guru who had laughed at death to reach me!

"There are many astral planets, teeming with astral beings," Master
began. "The inhabitants use astral planes, or masses of light,
to travel from one planet to another, faster than electricity and
radioactive energies.

"The astral universe, made of various subtle vibrations of light
and color, is hundreds of times larger than the material cosmos.
The entire physical creation hangs like a little solid basket
under the huge luminous balloon of the astral sphere. Just as many
physical suns and stars roam in space, so there are also countless
astral solar and stellar systems. Their planets have astral suns and
moons, more beautiful than the physical ones. The astral luminaries
resemble the aurora borealis-the sunny astral aurora being more
dazzling than the mild-rayed moon-aurora. The astral day and night
are longer than those of earth.

"The astral world is infinitely beautiful, clean, pure, and
orderly. There are no dead planets or barren lands. The terrestrial
blemishes--weeds, bacteria, insects, snakes-are absent. Unlike
the variable climates and seasons of the earth, the astral planets
maintain the even temperature of an eternal spring, with occasional
luminous white snow and rain of many-colored lights. Astral planets
abound in opal lakes and bright seas and rainbow rivers.

"The ordinary astral universe-not the subtler astral heaven
of Hiranyaloka-is peopled with millions of astral beings who have
come, more or less recently, from the earth, and also with myriads
of fairies, mermaids, fishes, animals, goblins, gnomes, demigods
and spirits, all residing on different astral planets in accordance
with karmic qualifications. Various spheric mansions or vibratory
regions are provided for good and evil spirits. Good ones can travel
freely, but the evil spirits are confined to limited zones. In the
same way that human beings live on the surface of the earth, worms
inside the soil, fish in water, and birds in air, so astral beings
of different grades are assigned to suitable vibratory quarters.

"Among the fallen dark angels expelled from other worlds, friction
and war take place with lifetronic bombs or mental MANTRIC
vibratory rays. These beings dwell in the gloom-drenched regions
of the lower astral cosmos, working out their evil karma.

"In the vast realms above the dark astral prison, all is shining
and beautiful. The astral cosmos is more naturally attuned than
the earth to the divine will and plan of perfection. Every astral
object is manifested primarily by the will of God, and partially by
the will-call of astral beings. They possess the power of modifying
or enhancing the grace and form of anything already created by the
Lord. He has given His astral children the freedom and privilege
of changing or improving at will the astral cosmos. On earth a
solid must be transformed into liquid or other form through natural
or chemical processes, but astral solids are changed into astral
liquids, gases, or energy solely and instantly by the will of the
inhabitants.

"The earth is dark with warfare and murder in the sea, land,
and air," my guru continued, "but the astral realms know a happy
harmony and equality. Astral beings dematerialize or materialize
their forms at will. Flowers or fish or animals can metamorphose
themselves, for a time, into astral men. All astral beings are
free to assume any form, and can easily commune together. No fixed,
definite, natural law hems them round-any astral tree, for example,
can be successfully asked to produce an astral mango or other
desired fruit, flower, or indeed any other object. Certain karmic
restrictions are present, but there are no distinctions in the
astral world about desirability of various forms. Everything is
vibrant with God's creative light.

"No one is born of woman; offspring are materialized by astral beings
through the help of their cosmic will into specially patterned,
astrally condensed forms. The recently physically disembodied being
arrives in an astral family through invitation, drawn by similar
mental and spiritual tendencies.

"The astral body is not subject to cold or heat or other
natural conditions. The anatomy includes an astral brain, or the
thousand-petaled lotus of light, and six awakened centers in the
SUSHUMNA, or astral cerebro-spinal axis. The heart draws cosmic
energy as well as light from the astral brain, and pumps it to
the astral nerves and body cells, or lifetrons. Astral beings can
affect their bodies by lifetronic force or by MANTRIC vibrations.

"The astral body is an exact counterpart of the last physical form.
Astral beings retain the same appearance which they possessed in
youth in their previous earthly sojourn; occasionally an astral
being chooses, like myself, to retain his old age appearance."
Master, emanating the very essence of youth, chuckled merrily.

"Unlike the spacial, three-dimensional physical world cognized
only by the five senses, the astral spheres are visible to the
all-inclusive sixth sense-intuition," Sri Yukteswar went on. "By
sheer intuitional feeling, all astral beings see, hear, smell,
taste, and touch. They possess three eyes, two of which are partly
closed. The third and chief astral eye, vertically placed on
the forehead, is open. Astral beings have all the outer sensory
organs-ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin-but they employ the
intuitional sense to experience sensations through any part of the
body; they can see through the ear, or nose, or skin. They are able
to hear through the eyes or tongue, and can taste through the ears
or skin, and so forth.

"Man's physical body is exposed to countless dangers, and is easily
hurt or maimed; the ethereal astral body may occasionally be cut
or bruised but is healed at once by mere willing."

"Gurudeva, are all astral persons beautiful?"

"Beauty in the astral world is known to be a spiritual quality,
and not an outward conformation," Sri Yukteswar replied. "Astral
beings therefore attach little importance to facial features. They
have the privilege, however, of costuming themselves at will with
new, colorful, astrally materialized bodies. Just as worldly men
don new array for gala events, so astral beings find occasions to
bedeck themselves in specially designed forms.

"Joyous astral festivities on the higher astral planets like
Hiranyaloka take place when a being is liberated from the astral
world through spiritual advancement, and is therefore ready to enter
the heaven of the causal world. On such occasions the Invisible
Heavenly Father, and the saints who are merged in Him, materialize
Themselves into bodies of Their own choice and join the astral
celebration. In order to please His beloved devotee, the Lord takes
any desired form. If the devotee worshiped through devotion, he
sees God as the Divine Mother. To Jesus, the Father-aspect of the
Infinite One was appealing beyond other conceptions. The individuality
with which the Creator has endowed each of His creatures makes every
conceivable and inconceivable demand on the Lord's versatility!"
My guru and I laughed happily together.

"Friends of other lives easily recognize one another in the astral
world," Sri Yukteswar went on in his beautiful, flutelike voice.
"Rejoicing at the immortality of friendship, they realize the
indestructibility of love, often doubted at the time of the sad,
delusive partings of earthly life.

"The intuition of astral beings pierces through the veil and
observes human activities on earth, but man cannot view the astral
world unless his sixth sense is somewhat developed. Thousands
of earth-dwellers have momentarily glimpsed an astral being or an
astral world.

"The advanced beings on Hiranyaloka remain mostly awake in ecstasy
during the long astral day and night, helping to work out intricate
problems of cosmic government and the redemption of prodigal
sons, earthbound souls. When the Hiranyaloka beings sleep, they
have occasional dreamlike astral visions. Their minds are usually
engrossed in the conscious state of highest NIRBIKALPA bliss.

"Inhabitants in all parts of the astral worlds are still subject
to mental agonies. The sensitive minds of the higher beings on
planets like Hiranyaloka feel keen pain if any mistake is made in
conduct or perception of truth. These advanced beings endeavor to
attune their every act and thought with the perfection of spiritual
law.

"Communication among the astral inhabitants is held entirely by
astral telepathy and television; there is none of the confusion and
misunderstanding of the written and spoken word which earth-dwellers
must endure. Just as persons on the cinema screen appear to move
and act through a series of light pictures, and do not actually
breathe, so the astral beings walk and work as intelligently guided
and coordinated images of light, without the necessity of drawing
power from oxygen. Man depends upon solids, liquids, gases, and
energy for sustenance; astral beings sustain themselves principally
by cosmic light."

"Master mine, do astral beings eat anything?" I was drinking in his
marvelous elucidations with the receptivity of all my faculties-mind,
heart, soul. Superconscious perceptions of truth are permanently
real and changeless, while fleeting sense experiences and impressions
are never more than temporarily or relatively true, and soon lose
in memory all their vividness. My guru's words were so penetratingly
imprinted on the parchment of my being that at any time, by
transferring my mind to the superconscious state, I can clearly
relive the divine experience.

"Luminous raylike vegetables abound in the astral soils," he answered.
"The astral beings consume vegetables, and drink a nectar flowing
from glorious fountains of light and from astral brooks and rivers.
Just as invisible images of persons on the earth can be dug out of
the ether and made visible by a television apparatus, later being
dismissed again into space, so the God-created, unseen astral
blueprints of vegetables and plants floating in the ether are
precipitated on an astral planet by the will of its inhabitants.
In the same way, from the wildest fancy of these beings, whole
gardens of fragrant flowers are materialized, returning later to
the etheric invisibility. Although dwellers on the heavenly planets
like Hiranyaloka are almost freed from any necessity of eating,
still higher is the unconditioned existence of almost completely
liberated souls in the causal world, who eat nothing save the manna
of bliss.

"The earth-liberated astral being meets a multitude of relatives,
fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, and friends, acquired during
different incarnations on earth, as they appear from time
to time in various parts of the astral realms. He is therefore at
a loss to understand whom to love especially; he learns in this way
to give a divine and equal love to all, as children and individualized
expressions of God. Though the outward appearance of loved ones
may have changed, more or less according to the development of new
qualities in the latest life of any particular soul, the astral
being employs his unerring intuition to recognize all those once dear
to him in other planes of existence, and to welcome them to their
new astral home. Because every atom in creation is inextinguishably
dowered with individuality, an astral friend will be
recognized no matter what costume he may don, even as on earth an
actor's identity is discoverable by close observation despite any
disguise.

"The span of life in the astral world is much longer than on earth.
A normal advanced astral being's average life period is from five
hundred to one thousand years, measured in accordance with earthly
standards of time. As certain redwood trees outlive most trees by
millenniums, or as some yogis live several hundred years though
most men die before the age of sixty, so some astral beings live
much longer than the usual span of astral existence. Visitors
to the astral world dwell there for a longer or shorter period in
accordance with the weight of their physical karma, which draws
them back to earth within a specified time.

"The astral being does not have to contend painfully with death
at the time of shedding his luminous body. Many of these beings
nevertheless feel slightly nervous at the thought of dropping their
astral form for the subtler causal one. The astral world is free
from unwilling death, disease, and old age. These three dreads
are the curse of earth, where man has allowed his consciousness to
identify itself almost wholly with a frail physical body requiring
constant aid from air, food, and sleep in order to exist at all.

"Physical death is attended by the disappearance of breath and
the disintegration of fleshly cells. Astral death consists of the
dispersement of lifetrons, those manifest units of energy which
constitute the life of astral beings. At physical death a being
loses his consciousness of flesh and becomes aware of his subtle
body in the astral world. Experiencing astral death in due time, a
being thus passes from the consciousness of astral birth and death
to that of physical birth and death. These recurrent cycles of
astral and physical encasement are the ineluctable destiny of all
unenlightened beings. Scriptural definitions of heaven and hell
sometimes stir man's deeper-than-subconscious memories of his long
series of experiences in the blithesome astral and disappointing
terrestrial worlds."

 

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

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Essay:  Thinking In A Certain Way For Wealth       by Wallace D. Wattles

You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want; you cannot transmit an idea unless you have it yourself.

You must have it before you can give it; and many people fail to impress Thinking Substance because they have themselves only a vague and misty concept of the things they want to do, to have, or to become.

It is not enough that you should have a general desire for wealth "to do good with"; everybody has that desire.

It is not enough that you should have a wish to travel, see things, live more, etc. Everybody has those desires also. If you were going to send a wireless message to a friend, you would not send the letters of the alphabet in their order, and let him construct the message for himself; nor would you take words at random from the dictionary. You would send a coherent sentence; one which meant something. When you try to impress your wants upon Substance, remember that it must be done by a coherent statement; you must know what you want, and be definite. You can never get rich, or start the creative power into action, by sending out unformed longings and vague desires.

Go over your desires just as the man I have described went over his house; see just what you want, and get a clear mental picture of it as you wish it to look when you get it.

That clear mental picture you must have continually in mind, as the sailor has in mind the port toward which he is sailing the ship; you must keep your face toward it all the time. You must no more lose sight of it than the steersman loses sight of the compass.

It is not necessary to take exercises in concentration, nor to set apart special times for prayer and affirmation, nor to "go into the silence," nor to do occult stunts of any kind. There things are well enough, but all you need is to know what you want, and to want it badly enough so that it will stay in your thoughts.

Spend as much of your leisure time as you can in contemplating your picture, but no one needs to take exercises to concentrate his mind on a thing which he really wants; it is the things you do not really care about which require effort to fix your attention upon them.

And unless you really want to get rich, so that the desire is strong enough to hold your thoughts directed to the purpose as the magnetic pole holds the needle of the compass, it will hardly be worth while for you to try to carry out the instructions given in this book.

The methods herein set forth are for people whose desire for riches is strong enough to overcome mental laziness and the love of ease, and make them work.

The more clear and definite you make your picture then, and the more you dwell upon it, bringing out all its delightful details, the stronger your desire will be; and the stronger your desire, the easier it will be to hold your mind fixed upon the picture of what you want.

Something more is necessary, however, than merely to see the picture clearly. If that is all you do, you are only a dreamer, and will have little or no power for accomplishment.

Behind your clear vision must be the purpose to realize it; to bring it out in tangible expression.

And behind this purpose must be an invincible and unwavering FAITH that the thing is already yours; that it is "at hand" and you have only to take possession of it.

Live in the new house, mentally, until it takes form around you physically. In the mental realm, enter at once into full enjoyment of the things you want.

"Whatsoever things ye ask for when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them," said Jesus.

See the things you want as if they were actually around you all the time; see yourself as owning and using them. Make use of them in imagination just as you will use them when they are your tangible possessions. Dwell upon your mental picture until it is clear and distinct, and then take the Mental Attitude of Ownership toward everything in that picture. Take possession of it, in mind, in the full faith that it is actually yours. Hold to this mental ownership; do not waiver for an instant in the faith that it is real.

And remember what was said in a proceeding chapter about gratitude; be as thankful for it all the time as you expect to be when it has taken form. The man who can sincerely thank God for the things which as yet he owns only in imagination, has real faith. He will get rich; he will cause the creation of whatsoever he wants.

You do not need to pray repeatedly for things you want; it is not necessary to tell God about it every day.

"Use not vain repetitions as the heathen do," said Jesus said to his pupils, "for your Father knoweth the ye have need of these things before ye ask Him."

Your part is to intelligently formulate your desire for the things which make for a larger life, and to get these desire arranged into a coherent whole; and then to impress this Whole Desire upon the Formless Substance, which has the power and the will to bring you what you want.

You do not make this impression by repeating strings of words; you make it by holding the vision with unshakable PURPOSE to attain it, and with steadfast FAITH that you do attain it.

The answer to prayer is not according to your faith while you are talking, but according to your faith while you are working.

You cannot impress the mind of God by having a special Sabbath day set apart to tell Him what you want, and the forgetting Him during the rest of the week. You cannot impress Him by having special hours to go into your closet and pray, if you then dismiss the matter from your mind until the hour of prayer comes again.

Oral prayer is well enough, and has its effect, especially upon yourself, in clarifying your vision and strengthening your faith; but it is not your oral petitions which get you what you want. In order to get rich you do not need a "sweet hour of prayer"; you need to "pray without ceasing." And by prayer I mean holding steadily to your vision, with the purpose to cause its creation into solid form, and the faith that you are doing so.

"Believe that ye receive them."

The whole matter turns on receiving, once you have clearly formed your vision. When you have formed it, it is well to make an oral statement, addressing the Supreme in reverent prayer; and from that moment you must, in mind, receive what you ask for. Live in the new house; wear the fine clothes; ride in the automobile; go on the journey, and confidently plan for greater journeys. Think and speak of all the things you have asked for in terms of actual present ownership. Imagine an environment, and a financial condition exactly as you want them, and live all the time in that imaginary environment and financial condition. Mind, however, that you do not do this as a mere dreamer and castle builder; hold to the FAITH that the imaginary is being realized, and to the PURPOSE to realize it. Remember that it is faith and purpose in the use of the imagination which make the difference between the scientist and the dreamer. And having learned this fact, it is here that you must learn the proper use of the Will.

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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 -

I Shall Not Leave Your Presence Again

 

Bathed in Your eternal light,

I shall not leave Your presence again.

 

Deeply I merge into Your center,

Clinging to You,

Without a movement or thought.

 

When this body shall drop,

My life with You shall not end.

I shall go on, eternally,

Loving You.

Ever entering deeper and deeper

Into Your limitless heart.

 

Thank you my God.

For this greatest of blessings.

 

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

Copyright 2004 by The Conscious Living Foundation, All Rights Reserved


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

Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

  


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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A Poem by Rabindranath Tagore from Gitanjali

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.

I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.

It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself, and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.

The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!'

The question and the cry `Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!'

  

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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:  One Day At A Time - A Personal Collection of Thoughts on Recovery
 
Happiness is an achievement brought about by inner productiveness.
People succeed at being happy by building a liking for themselves.

Erich Fromm


It has been said that if one of us ever treated another human being the way we treated ourselves, we would be liable for criminal charges. I did not treat myself as a friend, someone I loved; I constantly fed into my unhappiness.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W. was asked, shortly before he died, to sum up the program in the lowest common denominator. He replied, "Get right with yourself, with God, then with your neighbor." Therefore, it stands to reason that I must start making friends with myself. I must treat myself with love and dignity, and the result will be happiness. To be happy, joyous, and free is the by-product of obedience to the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I going to try being happy?
Am I going to make friends with myself?
If not today, when?

There is only one happiness in life ... to love and be loved.

George Sand


It took me many, many years to really and truly discover what turned out to be something that I have yearned for all of my life. That "something" was love ~ both the ability to love and to accept love.


As a child, I felt I had to achieve to be loved and, in the process of achieving, lost a great deal of my childhood. This carried over to adulthood and thus began the years of doing what was expected of me (or so I thought) in order to be loved, valued and respected.


Recovery has taught me so much about myself and about love. One of the greatest truths I have learned about myself and my ability to love is that for me to love someone, it is not necessary that they love me back. My loving someone else never depends on their loving me ... but how wonderful it is when they do.


One Day at a Time . . .
Let me realize that love is something that just happens ... I can't make it happen ... and I can't stop it from happening.
 

When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes.

Oprah Winfrey


I receive the gift of abstinence one day at a time. I am relieved from the obsession to eat one day at a time. With the help of my Higher Power, I can live life on life's terms... one day at a time.


As my recovery builds and builds, I start to imagine all the possibilities for my life. Things I never had the confidence or emotional stability to pursue are options for me. Now that I am free from the despair and self-destruction of overeating, there is space to actualize new adventures. But before I become overwhelmed or grandiose in my thinking, the Program gently reminds me that it is STILL just one day a time.


One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program so that I have a future.

Shallow men believe in luck ~
Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Abstinence did not happen for me until I made a commitment to it. I realized that I would have abstinence until something was a bit too uncomfortable for me to face or feel. Then I would have a slip. So it became a game for me. Was this event or circumstance enough to justify another slip? Sure, why not? That's the nature of the disease. Everything and anything was an excuse to eat.

It wasn't until I made a commitment to abstinence that I was forced to find my solutions in the Twelve Steps and really let go of my addiction. I'm grateful to my Higher Power that I hit the bottom I did. By accepting the truth about myself and my food addiction, I am now free to live in the solution.


One Day at a Time . . .
I will renew my commitment by receiving the gift of abstinence and practicing my program to the best of my ability.

Until you make peace with who you are,
you will never be content with what you have.

Doris Mortman


Through abstinence and recovery, I can begin to accept myself. I can pay attention to my likes and my dislikes as I continue to grow and learn about me. Learning about myself is a new adventure. There are so many layers that have been hidden under years of food abuse and weight obsession. Exploring and discovering the new me requires a lot of acceptance. There are parts of me that I do not like, and there are also wonderful surprises. By accepting all parts of myself, I am honoring my Higher Power and demonstrating spiritual recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept myself. By learning to accept myself, I will find myself growing in my acceptance of others.

It takes a lot of courage
to show your dreams to someone else.

Erma Bombeck


I remember first starting my Twelve Step program. I had lots of expectations and dreams, but I couldn't talk to anyone about them. I thought my dreams were stupid and that nobody there really cared about who I was or what I wanted to achieve.

This is a big problem with all of us compulsive overeaters. We all have hopes and dreams of losing our impulse to eat all the time, and of losing our excess weight. Thinking we're not worth anyone's time keeps us strong in our addiction.

As we work through the Steps and learn to trust our new family of choice, we get the courage to begin to open up and share our dreams and hopes. We all find our hidden courage by praying and trusting our Higher Power. We find the courage to tell people about ourselves and trust that nobody will put us down for our past or for the future we dream of achieving. Our dreams have no time limit; they don't have to happen immediately. They may happen immediately, or it may take a long time of struggling, but as long as we have hope and courage, they will become a reality in Higher Power's time.


One Day at a Time . . .
I remember that we learn that, together, things become much easier. As we share our experience, strength and dreams with others, they will help us learn how we can work with a special program and plan. With Higher Power and our recovery friends, our courage grows stronger, and we find we can and will succeed.

 

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News:  Planting A Medicinal Herb Garden

 
Why go to the drug store for medicine when you can have many medicinal remedies for a wide variety of ailments growing right in your own back yard?! It's easy. It's fun. It's inexpensive. It's very rewarding. And you don't have to be a master gardener to do it!

Many medicinal herbs are easy to germinate, easy to grow, and will give you a bountiful harvest throughout the summer, fall, and even winter. Most herbs like a nice sunny spot, though many will tolerate only a half day's sun, or filtered sunlight. Of course if you go the extra mile and fortify your soil with compost, seaweed, grass clippings, a little limestone, and maybe even some animal manure (best if aged), you can have a spectacular herb garden that will keep you happy and healthy throughout the year. Here are a few herbal suggestions for getting started.

valerian.jpgVALERIAN (Valerian officinalis) is one of the herb world's best nervine relaxants. This is the guy (or gal!) that helps you get to sleep after a stressful day. It loves full sun but will take a bit of shade. Valerian has a beautiful arching foliage that is alternately leaved, and has a large white flower head, perhaps like Queen Ann's Lace. I have seen it grow in my own medicinal herb garden to a height of five feet. In June when it blooms and the wind is out of the southwest, the fragrance carries right down into our shop through the back door and just fills the old pine board building, and is it sweet! We use the root of this plant and, as with most roots, we harvest in the fall when the energy of the plant has returned below ground. When the root is fresh it has little fragrance, But as it dries it takes on the very characteristic odor that makes most people think of sweaty gym socks! Don't laugh until you smell it for yourself! Personally, I adore its earthy richness, but each of us has a completely unique constitution. You must decide for yourself if Valerian is one of your "herbal allies."

FEVERFEW (Tanacetum vulgare) is a profusely-flowering, bushy perennial (when winter has not been severely cold) whose florets look very much like our old friend Chamomile: little white petals surrounding a yellow center. However, Feverfew's petals radiate horizontally while Chamomile's tend to droop. Medicinally, we use this herb for aches, pains, and fevers (as its name clearly implies), but its most famous use is for migraine headaches. Because it is very bitter and not pleasant to the taste, it might be best to tincture this herb, then add to a little juice to make it more palatable. Or, if you do dry it for use as a tea, blend it with other yummy herbs like Lemon Balm, Chamomile, or some of the stronger mints.

ECHINACEA (Echinacea species) is probably the most popular herb in the western world. It is indigenous to this country and, thus, you should not have a difficult time growing it — especially if you stick to the variety "purpurea" which grows and blooms profusely in the Cape Cod area. It is a stimulant to the immune system and is used to treat colds, flus, and infections including ear aches and yeast infections. It blooms for five or six weeks and thus is an excellent garden ornamental as well as a superior medicinal herb. You may use all parts of this plant: roots, herbaceous (stems and leaves), flowers and seeds. Don't forget to save some of the seed heads in October or November for next year's planting.

COMFREY (Symphytum officinale) is one very aggressive plant! This is the bully of the garden! The weight-lifting Bubba (or Bertha!) that just can't stop growing! A few plants should be sufficient for home use (maybe even just one?) Comfrey grows so fast that you can take at least three cuttings per season and not harm the plant. It is used primarily for cuts, wounds, scrapes, etc., either in the form of a poultice or as a salve. It causes cells to proliferate more rapidly, thus healing over a wound. Can also be used effectively as a tea or tincture for ulcers as, again, it heals wounds. Be cautious when using internally as there has been a hot debate for many years over whether or not one of the alkaloids in Comfrey may injure the liver, although people have been using Comfrey for hundreds of years with very few reported problems. Use it sensibly, perhaps no more than three cups per day for not more than three weeks. This indispensable plant really shines, however, when used as a salve, along with the flower buds of our indigenous friend St. Johns Wort, and the flowers of the old-fashioned Marigold, or Calendula. This combination is used by almost every herbalist in the western world, and for good reason; it is fabulous for eczema, psoriasis, dry and cracked skin, scrapes, bruises, diaper rash, and on it goes. Every home in America ought to have a jar of homemade Comfrey salve at the ready!

VIOLET (Viola odorata) may be planted in the shadier parts of the garden, or property. You probably never thought of this common, fast-spreading little beauty as having medicinal qualities but it has been used successfully to treat cancers, especially of the mouth and throat. Violet is also used for colds and coughs, to dispel mucous and soothe inflamed mucous membranes, for sore throats, and for headaches and fevers. Gather the fresh leaves and make a tea or tincture for help in dealing with swollen breasts or breast cancer. It is taken not only internally, but is also used externally as a poultice.

CALENDULA (Calendula offinicalis) makes a spectacular show of bright yellow and orange blossoms. It loves full sun. The seeds form quite early in the season and you may be able to sow a second crop with them and have more flowers before the fall frosts! Calendula is a great anti- inflammatory both topically for bug bites, rashes, infections; and internally for digestive problems including ulcers, ulcerative colitis and heartburn.

BLACK COHOSH (Cimicifuga racemosa) likes a little shade, as its native habitat is the borderland between hardwood forest and field. Its lovely white, fuzzy flowers on spikes bloom in mid to late summer. I have seen Black cohosh grow as high as seven feet and it is spectacular! In the nursery business it is sometimes (appropriately) called "Fairy Candle." Medicinally, it is an excellent anti-spasmodic used frequently by women experiencing painful menstrual cramps or by women going through the menopausal years. I use this herb in several formulas to help relieve the muscular pain associated with fibromyalgia or Lyme disease, as well as stiff muscles and joints from exercise and for lower back pain.

catnip.jpgCATNIP (Nepeta cataria) is not only for your cat! I like to say that it's a good remedy "for rampaging children!" It is an excellent relaxing herb, and is lush, lovely and fragrant in your garden. Use other mints as well for their cooling and tonifying properties. Try Chocolate Mint, Orange Mint, Lemon Balm, as well as the usual Peppermint and Spearmint. All of the mints make great summertime teas because the energetics or properties of the mints are "cooling" — being very aromatic, they open your skin pores, thus promoting perspiration, and through evaporation, a cooling effect.

ELECAMPANE (Inula helenium) is a member of the sunflower family. It grows three to six feet tall and thus would do well at the back of the garden! Harvest the second year roots in autumn and use for thinning the mucous, for strengthening the lungs, as an expectorant, and for coughs and wheezing. Its leaves are huge and the flowers have lovely, spider-like yellow petals in mid to late summer.

WOOD BETONY (Stachys betonica) is an adorable plant and one of my personal "herbal allies!" I love its compact growth, dark green foliage, and lovely blue spiked flowers that bloom for many weeks in mid summer. It is an excellent ornamental as well as a medicinal. Use it for headaches, migraines, nervous system rejuvenation, as well as for bronchial catarrh. As with other nervines (excepting Valerian) the foliage is the part of the plant used for your tea or tincture. This plant is a premier addition to the modern herb garden that incorporates a variety of culinary, medicinal and ornamental plants.

HYSSOP (Hyssop officinalis) is a woody herb that forms a beautiful little hedge up to two and a half feet tall. You could border one or several sides of a small garden, enjoying the profuse, tiny blue blossoms in mid to late summer. Shear it in late summer to thicken it up, possibly using it as a windbreak for more tender occupants of the garden. Tincture it for treating colds and congestion. Hyssop is also used to treat the Karposi's sarcoma found in more advanced stages of HIV infection.

LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) is the best herb for a delicious summertime tea! The coolness of lemon in a plant of the mint family — yum! It's flower is not conspicuous, but the delicious fragrance of its bruised foliage is, so go out and pick the leaves any time between mid-May and late September for a very fresh and refreshing herbal beverage. Pick and dry the leaves (preferably in early summer) for later use as a relaxing hot tea in fall and winter. Herbalists call Melissa "the cheery herb" because of its spirit-lifting quality. As a tincture it can be used for herpes sores and, as either tea or tincture is a nourisher for an exhausted nervous system. Lemon balm prefers a slightly shady home in moist, rich garden loam. We do quite well with it at the farm in Brewster, so the thinner soil of Cape Cod is not a huge problem. Grow lots!

WILD INDIGO (Baptisia tinctoria), like Echinacea, is a great immune system enhancer. As an ornamental it is somewhat vinelike and has strikingly blue flowers that develop into large seed pods. Leaves are flat and paddle-like, adding a unique foliar texture to your garden.

WORMWOOD (Artemisia absinthium) is one of the most bitter herbs in the world — reportedly only one drop of tincture in 50,000 parts of water is still detectable to the taste! As its name implies, it is used to expel worms and parasites, but also, as with all other bitter herbs, it enhances the digestion by stimulating the bile and digestive enzymes. Take a few drops in an ounce or two of water before meals. As a garden ornamental, it is especially effective in the "moon garden" because of its soft, silvery foliage that reflects moonlight. It wants to grow to four feet or more, at which time it gets a bit "leggy," so trim it back once or twice a year to keep it fuller. One of its cousins is the Silver Mound Artemisia that you find in nurseries and garden centers.

HOREHOUND (Marrubium vulgare) is a very useful herb to have in the garden. The leaves are used to treat coughs, lung problems, and hoarseness. It is often used in a syrup or in lozenges for those conditions. Its unusual, wrinkled foliage is unmistakable, and the flowers are arranged in little balls, one above the other with spaces between, along the main stalks. The bees love it!

stjohns.jpgST. JOHN'S WORT (Hypericum perforatum), the current "star" of the herb world, can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as Prozac, and it grows everywhere! Its sunny yellow, five-petaled flowers bloom on the day named for St. John the Baptist— on or around June 22nd. Plant some on your own property in a sunny, sandy location, and see if it will spread as the years go by, then harvest and make your own products. Infused into olive oil, it is better than Aloe for burns and sunburn, as well as joint and muscle aches and pains. One of the most useful of the medicinal plants, let it naturalize itself for future generations.

CHINESE ASTRAGALUS (Astragalus membranaceus) was, until recently, only available from Asian sources, but since it grows so well in the United States more and more people are now planting it. It germinates quite easily and only takes seven days! I suggest planting a dozen at least. Astragalus is one of the very best herbs for boosting a depleted deep immune system, or bone marrow reserve immune system (vs. the superficial, or secretory immune system for which Echinacea and Wild Indigo are so helpful). This extraordinary herb can be used with people who have frequent colds/flus/infections, or with those undergoing chemotherapy where the immune system has been greatly depleted. The root is not harvested for at least four years, preferably longer. It has a delightfully sweet taste, and I suggest using it in soups and stews in the cold seasons. (I call this Immunity Stew). I highly recommend planting Astragalus (if you can find it!), as I believe that the demand for good, organic root will be strong in years to come, but even more importantly, because we need to be taking this herb frequently in order to rebuild our immunity which has been severely compromised by the profligate use of antibiotics, corticosteroids, and the toxins of everyday life.

CHINESE CODONOPSIS (Codonopsis pilosula), an herb which I feel the same way about as I do Astragalus — plant it now and save your health! The nickname for this plant is "poor man's ginseng" because it acts so much like ginseng — energizing, immune supporting, and helping us to adapt to the stresses of contemporary life on planet Earth. But it is much easier to grow and far less expensive. As an ornamental, it is a vine that loves to climb. Thus it would be nice on a stake, trellis, or perhaps climbing up a lamp post, or over an arbor. The flower is a large, deep- throated bell that is a pale creamy green with veins of lavender. Seed pods may be gathered in late autumn and saved for the following year. As with Astragalus and true Ginseng, you should grow this plant for four or five years before harvesting the root. And like Astragalus — the root is sweet and a perfect addition to Immunity Stew.

GINKGO (Gingko biloba), the oldest tree species on the Earth — over 200 million years old — can be thought of as our "connection with the eons." It represents stamina, endurance, overcoming-the-odds and surviving, persistence, and our will to overcome adversity and thrive! Plant one in a very special place in your garden and allow it to be "the ancient one" that looks over and protects all the other "junior" plants. In the autumn when the leaves begin to turn yellow, harvest them and make a tincture. Hundreds of scientific studies and clinical trials have shown Ginkgo to be effective in increasing the circulation to the brain, thereby helping memory and increasing mental alertness. It is the Ginkgo's gift to us. Give him/her a revered place in your garden (and in your life...)

Medicinal herb gardening is easy, lots of fun and extremely rewarding both in the medicines that can be made for free and in the gorgeous blossoms and foliage textures that will make your garden the pride of the neighborhood. Help carry on our Western herbal traditions by teaching others about the wonderful healing qualities of the herbs in your garden!

Stephan Brown is a self-taught practitioner of traditional western herbalism. He owns an organic medicinal herb farm on Cape Cod on which he grows plants for his herbal apothecary and crystal shop, Great Cape Herbs. He is also known to many as The Ginkgo Man for his love of the world's oldest tree. Contact Stephan at Great Cape Herbs, 2628 Rt. 6A, PO Box 1206, Brewster, MA 02631. Phone: 508 896-5900. Email: ginkgo@greatcape.com. Website: http://www.greatcape.com

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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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Essay:  Beginning Today                 
 

 

 

 

 

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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. 
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