Practical Steps To Greater      Peace, Hope, Love                  And Joy    
   
 
 
 
 
 


December 13
, 2005

E-mail: CLF@consciouslivingfoundation.org

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

As we're moving deeper into the holiday season, it gives us a new opportunity to become more still and tune in with the essence of all our holy days, regardless of our religion - a greater peace,  a new more relaxed love and compassion, and a new willingness to forgive others as we hope to be forgiven and understood. 

The approaching new year has great potential to be lived more fully, more joyfully, with more enthusiasm and energy.  As we become determined to do our part, through improving our own personal, material and spiritual lives, we also embrace and encourage our national and world family.   

We wish you, your family and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and the most wonderful and joyful new year!

William Simpson
Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We respect your time and privacy. If you do not wish to receive these updates, please reply with REMOVE in the subject line.

Contents:
   
The Original Christmas Story:  Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-8            

Luke 2:1-20

1  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.

2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.

7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8  And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.

10 And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people;

11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."

16 And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child;

18 and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

19 But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Matthew 2:1-8

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6 "`But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.' "
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,
15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt
20 and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,
23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

News:  New Section of Web Site - More Health Care Products Added To Site -

Due to demand by our regular visitors, we have now begun adding Health Care products to our website.  We've added two categories of products so far - products designed to help with weight loss and products designed to support a healthy heart. 

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

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

In the next few days, we'll be adding a beautiful selection of hand-made soaps to our products selection and in the near future we will also be adding Energy Boosters, Skin Care Products, and cellular nutrition products.  Visit us throughout the month for a continuing evolution of our health care products section.  Please send us an email at clf@!consciouslivingfoundation.org telling us what kind of health products you would like to see next.

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

During the holidays, why not select gifts that can genuinely make a difference in the lives of your loved ones?

So often, we make purchases that are just fillers - not really knowing what to buy our friends and family for the holidays.  This year, give books and spoken word CDs that will continue to inspire and encourage throughout the year.

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

Some of our most popular titles include:  As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, Byways To Blessedness by James Allen, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shin, Discovering Spirit by William Simpson, The World As I See It by Albert Einstein, and many others!  Deepen your practice of the techniques that bring new joy and hope into your life - and give the gift of a deeper spiritual life and increased personal growth.
 

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Christmas Story: One Solitary Life
 

 He was born in an obscure village,
the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village,
where he worked in a carpenter shop
until he was thirty.
Then for three years
he was an itinerant preacher.
He never set foot inside a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles
from the place he was born.
He never wrote a book,
or held an office.
He did none of these things
that usually accompany greatness.

While he was still a young man,
the tide of popular opinion
turned against him.
His friends deserted him.
He was turned over to his enemies,
and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross
between two thieves.
While he was dying,
his executioners gambled
for the only piece of property he had -
his coat.
When he was dead,
he was taken down
and laid in a borrowed grave.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone,
and today his is the central figure
for much of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched,
and all the navies that ever sailed,
and all the parliaments that ever sat,
and all the kings that ever reigned,
put together
have not affected the life of man
upon this earth as powerfully as this
"One Solitary Life."

 

For a large variety of inspiring quotations, click Here.
 

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

News:  New Section of Web Site - Free Family Classics Audio Selections

Because of the continuing popularity of our free e-book sections, we have now added a free Family Audio Classics section to the site as well.  The audio files, in MP3 format, are a collection of radio programs from the past, and include such selections as:   
Treasure Island, King Lear, A Tale of Two Cities, The Count of Monte Cristo, Abraham Lincoln, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre, Around The World in 80 Days and many others!  Most episodes last approximately 1 hour each.

We will continue to add audio files that we believe provide wholesome entertainment while modeling positive choices and values.  Now you have the opportunity to "gather the family and sit around the radio together" and share in the adventure and fun!  Click Here to visit the Family Audio Classics page.

News:  New Section Added To Site - Free Audio Classics For Children

In addition to the Family Audio Classics Section described above, we have also added a very large collection of free audio files just for children.  Each episode runs approximately 30 minutes and includes such titles as:  The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Puss and Boots, Cinderella, Robin Hood, Beauty and the Beast, King Arthur, Hansel and Gretel, King Midas, Sleeping Beauty, The Emperor's New Clothes and many, many more!  Click Here to visit the Audio Classics For Children page.

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Story:  Gift Of The Magi                                                by  o. henry             
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade.

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

 

 

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News:  New "Prosperity and Success" Section Added To Site

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

This area will be under regular development during the coming months.  However, we begin with a free, complete recording of Wallace Wattles famous book, "The Science of Getting Rich".  You can download, at no charge, the audio book, and e-book versions of this classic masterpiece by visiting our Prosperity and Success page, Here.

 

This holiday season, let's share with our loves ones, the gifts for which we are most grateful:
 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives.  Click Here for holiday discounts.

Vegetarian Recipes For The Holidays:

Harvest-Vegetable Ragout -
 
Serving Size: 6
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil -- divided
  • 3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
  • 2 cups sliced leek -- ( 1/2-inch-thick)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrot -- (1-inch-thick)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced parsnip -- (1/2-inch-thick)
  • 1 cup sliced celery -- (1/2-inch-thick)
  • 10 garlic cloves -- halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can chickpeas -- drained (19-ounce)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt -- divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 portobello mushrooms
  • thyme springs -- (optional)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Combine squash and next 5 ingredients (squash through garlic) and saute for 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
Add bay leaves and 2 thyme sprigs, and stir in tomato paste.
Stir in flour and wine, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the broth and chickpeas.
Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt pepper, and chopped parsley.
Discard bay leaves and thyme.

2. Discard mushroom stems; slice caps.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add sliced mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Serve ragout over mushrooms.
Garnish with additional thyme springs, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings (servings size: 1 cup ragout and 2/3 cup mushrooms).

Calories 260 (21% from fat); Fat 6.1g (sat 0.8g, mono 3.2g, poly 1.3g); Protein 9.9g; Carb 46.2g; Fiber 7.1 g; Chol 0mg; Iron 5mg; Sodium 539 mg; Calc 124 mg

Sweet Potato Pie -

Yield: 6 servings
  • 4 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Egg replacers (I use Ener-G)
  • 1/4 cup Margarine
  • 1/2 cup Soy or Rice milk
  • 1 Banana, mashed
  • 2 tb Flour
  • 1/2 ts Baking powder
  • 1 ts Vanilla
  • 1/2 ts Cinnamon
  • 1 Pie shell, unbaked (9 inch)
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the pie shell and mix thoroughly.
Transfer the mixture to the pie shell.
Bake the pie at 350 for 45 minutes or until light brown.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes -

serves 10
  • 6 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 heads garlic, tops trimmed off
  • 1 stick margarine, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 to 2 cups soy milk (it calls for buttermilk, I used soy), warmed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
Wrap garlic heads in tinfoil and cook in oven until cloves are soft and mushy, about 50 minutes.

While garlic is roasting, wash and peel potatoes.
Drop them into a pot of cold water.
Make sure the potatoes are completely immersed.
Add salt and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, then drain.

Heat the soymilk (buttermilk) over low heat.
Beat potatoes, adding warm milk a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
Squeeze head of garlic so that the mushy cloves slide out.
Add to potatoes, beat.
Season with salt and pepper to taste

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News: New Audio CD - From Flight To Might by Rob Jacobs
My Experiences With and Recovery From Panic Attacks, Depression and Insomnia

With the arrival of this new audio CD by Rob Jacobs, the potential of help for the serious issues of panic attacks, depression and insomnia greatly increases.  This presentation emotionally describes Rob's experiences, from the inception of the attacks in 1976, through the period of depression in 1980, to an unbelievable year of basically no sleep, and finally, with the help of two compassionate chiropractic physicians, Doctors Peter Evans and Gordon Durand, the holistic process leading to his recovery and peace.

Rob Jacobs takes us through the basic components of life – the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.  He specifically discusses the areas of diet, correct breathing technique, exercise, social support, right attitude, discharging of hurt and anger, relaxation, meditation and spiritual values, and he leads us through these issues with love, a sense of humor and respect for everyone going through these very difficult challenges.  To read more details, click Here.

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Collection:  The Fundamentals For Life - A Kid's View

Never trust a dog to watch your food.
Patrick, Age 10

When you want something expensive, ask your grandparents.
Matthew, Age 12

Never smart-off to a teacher whose eyes and ears are twitching.
Andrew, Age 9

Wear a hat when feeding seagulls.
Rocky, Age 9

Sleep in your clothes so you'll be dressed in the morning.
Stephanie, Age 8

Never try to hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
Rosemary, Age 7

Don't flush the toilet when your dad's in the shower.
Lamar, Age 10

Never ask for anything that costs more than five dollars when your parents are doing taxes.
Carrol, Age 9

Never bug a pregnant mom.
Nicholas, Age 11

Don't ever be too full for dessert.
Kelly, Age 10

When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don't answer him.
Heather, Age 16

Never tell your mom her diet's not working.
Michael, Age 14

Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat.
Joel, Age 12

When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone.
Alyesha, Age 13

Never try to baptize a cat.
Laura, Age 13

Never spit when on a roller coaster.
Scott, Age 11

Never do pranks at a police station.
Sam, Age 10

Beware of cafeteria food when it looks like it's moving.
Rob, Age 10

Never tell your little brother that you're not going to do what your mom told you to do.
Hank, Age 12

Remember you're never too old to hold your father's hand.
Molly, Age 11

Listen to your brain. It has lots of information.
Chelsey, Age 7

Stay away from prunes.
Randy, Age 9

Never dare your little brother to paint the family car.
Phillip, Age 13

Forget the cake, go for the icing.
Cynthia, Age 8

 

 

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A Poem by William Simpson -

 

As The New Day Dawns

As the new day dawns

The mist slowly evaporates.

Blending into the morning sun

In an intimate fleeting embrace.

The blossoming flowers dip and pray

Opening to new joy, new life.

 

So this day opens for me.

I begin anew.

Each breath a new existence

Freshly carved and shaped by

My willingness to share it with You.

 

As the blossom of my heart

Gently awakens and  turns

Toward the entrancing gleam of

Your radiating presence,

Every goodness awaits me.

 

I  am new again.

I am healed and refreshed again.

I am united with your persistent love again

I am glorified and redeemed again.

I am Your newborn child.

(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

This holiday season, let's share with our loves ones, the gifts for which we are most grateful:
 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives.  Click Here.

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News:  New Audio CD - Byways To Blessedness by James Allen (4 CD Set)

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

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

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

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

  • Burden Dropping

  • Hidden Sacrifices

  • Sympathy

  • Standing Alone

  • Forgiveness

  • Seeing No Evil

  • Abiding Joy

  • Silentness

  • Solitude

  • Right Beginnings

  • Happy Endings


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

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

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

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

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

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

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This holiday season, let's share with our loves ones, the gifts for which we are most grateful:
 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives.  Click Here for our Holiday Discounts.

Collection:  The Fundamentals For Life - An Adult View

The Way to Happiness

  • Keep your heart free from hate
  • Keep your mind free from worry
  • Live simply
  • Expect little
  • Give much
  • Fill your life with love
  • Scatter sunshine
  • Forget self
  • Think of others
  • Do as you would be done

Another Bill of Rights

  • You have the right to be you-the way you are. the way you want to be.
  • You have the right to grow, to change, to become, to strive. to reach for any goal, to be limited only by your degree of talent and amount of effort.
  • You have the right to privacy-in marriage, family, or any relationship or group-the right to keep a part of your life secret, no matter how trivial or important, merely because you want it to be that way. You have the right to be alone part of the each day, each week and each year to spend time with and on yourself.
  • You have the right to be loved and to love, to be accepted, cared for, and adored, and you have the right to fulfill that right.
  • You have the right to ask questions of anyone at anytime in any matter that effects your life, so long as it is your business to do so; and to be listened to and taken seriously.
  • You have the right to self-respect and to do everything you need to do to increase your self-esteem, so long as you hurt no one in doing so.
  • You have the right to be happy, to find something in the world that is meaningful and rewarding to you and that gives you a sense of completeness.
  • You have the right to be trusted and to trust and to be taken at your word. If you are wrong, you have the right to be given a chance to make a good if possible.
  • You have the right to change your mind.
  • You have the right to be free as long as you act responsibly and are mindful of the rights of others and of those obligations that you entered into freely.
  • You have the right to win, to succeed, to compete, to make plans. to see those plans fulfilled. to become the best you can possibly become.
  • You have a right to boundaries and limits, a right to be intentional, a right to choice.

Words Of Truth

  • To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.
  • Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.
  • Real friends are those who, when you feel you've made a fool of yourself, don't feel you've done a permanent job.
  • A coincidence is when God performs a miracle, and decides to remain anonymous.
  • Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.
  • I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.
  • Lead your life so you won't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.
  • People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.
  • Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you respond to it.
  • Did it ever occur to you that nothing occurs to God?
  • Life is like an onion, you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
  • There are two things I've learned: There is a God. And, I'm not Him.
  • Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked.
  • Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace and your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.
  • When it comes time to die...make sure all you got to do is die.
  • Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Thoughts To Live By

  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
  • A good example is the best sermon.
  • Every good thought is a prayer.
  • What we pray for may not be for our ultimate good. "No" can be an answer to a prayer as well as "Yes."
  • If you worry, why pray? If you pray, why worry?
  • No one is easier to deceive than oneself.
  • The greatest fault of all is to be conscious of none.
  • Any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
  • No matter how hopeless the present problem may seem, remember: This, too, shall pass.
  • Living in harmony with ourselves is essential to living in harmony with others,
  • Fear is the enemy of good works; it is a deadly sickness of the soul.
  • More things are accomplished by prayer than the world realizes.
  • Knowledge advances one step at a time; let us be patient.
  • One with God is always in the majority.
  • How poor are they that have not patience; what wound did ever heal but by degrees?
  • No one's knowledge can go beyond experience.
  • The misfortunes which are hardest to bear are those which never come.
  • Growth is the only evidence of life.
  • A person who makes no mistakes usually does not make anything.
  • Love is understanding, acceptance, and tenderness. If it tries to strangle and possess, it is not love.
  • The more often we think and act honestly, the stronger the habit becomes.
  • The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
  • The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power within us.
  • They hurt the absent who quarrel with the drunken.
  • Al-Anon is a kissing cousin to invention because they were both born of necessity.
  • If you find life is empty, try putting something into it.
  • Beware of the rubber conscience and the concrete heart.
  • The trouble with many of us is that in trying times we stop trying.

15 Ways to Enhance Your Day

  1. Get up early.
  2. Look around outside before going to work
  3. Relax and enjoy your meals.
  4. Spend time with friends.
  5. Pace yourself.
  6. Find a quiet place to go to.
  7. Praise yourself and others.
  8. Develop positive relationships.
  9. See your mistakes as stepping stones.
  10. Keep track of your own moods so you can watch out for them.
  11. Say No without feeling guilty.
  12. Learn effective time management.
  13. Pay attention to health, diet and sleep.
  14. Exercise regularly.
  15. Keep from comparing yourself to others.

What I've Learned

  • I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
  • I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back.
  • I've learned that it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.
  • I've learned that you can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that, you'd better know something.
  • I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do.
  • I've learned that it's not what happens to people that's important. It's what they do about it.
  • I've learned that no matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.
  • I've learned that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
  • I've learned that it's a lot easier to react than it is to think.
  • I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
  • I've learned that you can keep going long after you think you can't.
  • I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
  • I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
  • I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
  • I've learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
  • I've learned that learning to forgive takes practice.
  • I've learned that there are people who love you dearly, but just don't know how to show it.
  • I've learned that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
  • I've learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
  • I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down may be the ones to help you get back up.
  • I've learned that I'm getting more and more like my grandma, and I'm kinda happy about it.
  • I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
  • I've learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
  • I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
  • I've learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
  • I've learned that you should never tell a child her dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if she believed it.
  • I've learned that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't biological.
  • I've learned that no matter how good a friend someone is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
  • I've learned that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
  • I've learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
  • I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
  • I've learned that sometimes when my friends fight, I'm forced to choose sides even when I don't want to.
  • I've learned that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
  • I've learned that sometimes you have to put the individual ahead of their actions.
  • I've learned that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
  • I've learned that if you don't want to forget something, stick it in your underwear drawer.
  • I've learned that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
  • I've learned that the clothes I like best are the ones with the most holes in them.
  • I've learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
  • I've learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.
  • I've learned that there are many ways of falling and staying in love.
  • I've learned that no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves, get further in life.
  • I've learned that many things can be powered by the mind, the trick is self-control.
  • I've learned that no matter how many friends you have, if you are their pillar, you will feel lonely and lost at the times you need them most.
  • I've learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
  • I've learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
  • I've learned that writing, as well as talking, can ease emotional pains.
  • I've learned that the paradigm we live in is not all that is offered to us.
  • I've learned that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
  • I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.
  • I've learned that although the word "love" can have many different meanings, it loses value when overly used.
  • I've learned that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe.
  • I've learned that no matter how fast or how far you go, you can't outrun God.
  • I've learned that no matter how far away I've been, He'll always welcome me back.
  • I've learned that love is not for me to keep, but to pass on to the next person I see.
  • I've learned that even if you do the right thing for the wrong reason, it's still the wrong thing to do.

Things We Can Learn from a Dog

  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
  • Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
  • Take naps and stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp and play daily.
  • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you're not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout .. run right back and make friends.
  • Delight in the simple joys of a long walk.

 

 

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News:  New Audio Book CD - "The World As I See It" by Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was one of the most influential men of the 20th century.  In addition to his fundamental contributions to physics, he also modeled behaviors and attitudes of humanism and non-violence that continue to inspire at the beginning of the 21st century.
 

Some of his thoughts on spirituality:

"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

The topics of his talks include:

"The World As I See It"               "Religion and Science"                  
"Good and Evil"                             "Paradise Lost"
"Education and Educators"            "Society and Personality"
"Impressions of America"              "Wealth and Education"
"Peace"                                         "Students and Disarmament"
"Letter To Sigmund Freud"            "Arnold Berliner's 70th Birthday"

This holiday season, let's share with our loves ones, the gifts for which we are most grateful:
 joy, wisdom, love and the means to increase them in our lives.  Click Here.

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Chanukah - A History:
More than 2000 years ago there was a time when the land of Israel was part of the Syrian Empire, dominated by Syrian rulers of the dynasty of the Seleucids.

In order to relate the story that led up to Chanukah, we shall start with Antiochus III, the King of Syria, who reigned from 3538 to 3574 (222-186 B.C.E.). He had waged war with King Ptolemy of Egypt over the possession of the Land of Israel. Antiochus III was victorious and the Land of Israel was annexed to his empire. At the beginning of his reign he was favorably disposed toward the Jews and accorded them some privileges. Later on, however, when he was beaten by the Romans and compelled to pay heavy taxes, the burden fell upon the various peoples of his empire who were forced to furnish the heavy gold that was required of him by the Romans. When Antiochus died, his son Seleucus IV took over, and further oppressed the Jews.

Added to the troubles from the outside were the grave perils that threatened Judaism from within. The influence of the Hellenists (people who accepted idol-worship and the Syrian way of life) was increasing. Yochanan, the High Priest, foresaw the danger to Judaism from the penetration of Syrian-Greek influence into the Holy Land. For, in contrast to the ideal of outward beauty held by the Greeks and Syrians, Judaism emphasizes truth and moral purity, as commanded by God in the holy Torah. The Jewish people could never give up their faith in God and accept the idol-worship of the Syrians.

Yochanan was therefore opposed to any attempt on the part of the Jewish Hellenists to introduce Greek and Syrian customs into the land. The Hellenists hated him. One of them told the King’s commissioner that in the treasury of the Temple there was a great deal of wealth.

The wealth in the treasury consisted of the contributions of "half a shekel" made by all adult Jews annually. That was given for the purpose of the sacrifices on the altar, as well as for fixing and improving the Temple building. Another part of the treasury consisted of orphans’ funds which were deposited for them until they became of age. Seleucus needed money in order to pay the Romans. He sent his minister Helyodros to take the money from the treasury of the Temple. In vain did Yochanan, the High Priest, beg him not to do it. Helyodros did not listen and entered the gate of the Temple. But suddenly, he became pale with fright. The next moment he fainted and fell to the ground. After Helyodros came to, he did not dare enter again.

The "Madman"

A short time later, Seleucus was killed and his brother Antiochus IV began to reign over Syria (in 3586 - 174 B.C.E.). He was a tyrant of a rash and impetuous nature, contemptuous of religion and of the feelings of others. He was called "Epiphanes," meaning "the gods’ beloved." Several of the Syrian rulers received similar titles. But a historian of his time, Polebius, gave him the epithet Epimanes ("madman"), a title more suitable to the character of this harsh and cruel king.

Desiring to unify his kingdom through the medium of a common religion and culture, Antiochus tried to root out the individualism of the Jews by suppressing all the Jewish Laws. He removed the righteous High Priest, Yochanan, from the Temple in Jerusalem, and in his place installed Yochanan’s brother Joshua, who loved to call himself by the Greek name of Jason. For he was a member of the Hellenist party, and he used his high office to spread more and more of the Greek customs among the priesthood.

Joshua or Jason was later replaced by another man, Menelaus, who had promised the king that he would bring in more money than Jason did. When Yochanan, the former High Priest, protested against the spread of the Hellenists’ influence in the Holy Temple, the ruling High Priest hired murderers to assassinate him.

Antiochus was at that time engaged in a successful war against Egypt. But messengers from Rome arrived and commanded him to stop the war, and he had to yield. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, a rumor spread that a serious accident, had befallen Antiochus. Thinking that he was dead, the people rebelled against Menelaus. The treacherous High Priest fled together with his friends.

The Martyrs

 Antiochus returned from Egypt enraged by Roman interference with his ambitions. When he heard what had taken place in Jerusalem, he ordered his army to fall upon the Jews. Thousands of Jews were killed. Antiochus then enacted a series of harsh decrees against the Jews. Jewish worship was forbidden; the scrolls of the Law were confiscated and burned. Sabbath rest, circumcision and the dietary laws were prohibited under penalty of death. Even one of the respected elders of that generation, Rabbi Eliezer, a man of 90, was ordered by the servants of Antiochus to eat pork so that others would do the same. When he refused they suggested to him that he pick up the meat to his lips to appear to be eating. But Rabbi Eliezer refused to do even that and was put to death.

There were thousands of others who likewise sacrificed their lives. The famous story of Hannah and her seven children happened at that time.

Antiochus’s men went from town to town and from village to village to force the inhabitants to worship pagan gods. Only one refuge area remained and that was the hills of Judea with their caves. But even there did the Syrians pursue the faithful Jews, and many a Jew died a martyr’s death.

Mattityahu

One day the henchmen of Antiochus arrived in the village of Modin where Mattityahu, the old priest, lived. The Syrian officer built an altar in the marketplace of the village and demanded that Mattityahu offer sacrifices to the Greek gods. Mattityahu replied, "I, my sons and my brothers are determined to remain loyal to the covenant which our God made with our ancestors!"

Thereupon, a Hellenistic Jew approached the altar to offer a sacrifice. Mattityahu grabbed his sword and killed him, and his sons and friends fell upon the Syrian officers and men. They killed many of them and chased the rest away. They then destroyed the altar.

Mattityahu knew that Antiochus would be enraged when he heard what had happened. He would certainly send an expedition to punish him and his followers. Mattityahu, therefore, left the village of Modin and fled together with his sons and friends to the hills of Judea.

All loyal and courageous Jews joined them. They formed legions and from time to time they left their hiding places to fall upon enemy detachments and outposts, and to destroy the pagan altars that were built by order of Antiochus.

The Maccabees

 Before his death, Mattityahu called his sons together and urged them to continue to fight in defense of G d’s Torah. He asked them to follow the counsel of their brother Shimon the Wise. In waging warfare, he said, their leader should be Yehuda the Strong. Yehuda was called "Maccabee," a word composed of the initial letters of the four Hebrew words Mi Komocho Bo’eilim Hashem, "Who is like unto Thee, O God."

Antiochus sent his General Apolonius to wipe out Yehuda and his followers, the Maccabees. Though greater in number and equipment than their adversaries, the Syrians were defeated by the Maccabees. Antiochus sent out another expedition which also was defeated. He realized that only by sending a powerful army could he hope to defeat Yehuda and his brave fighting men.

An army consisting of more than 40,000 men swept the land under the leadership of two commanders, Nicanor and Gorgiash. When Yehuda and his brothers heard of that, they exclaimed: "Let us fight unto death in defense of our souls and our Temple!" The people assembled in Mitzpah, where Samuel, the prophet of old, had offered prayers to God. After a series of battles the war was won.

The Dedication

Now the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem to liberate it. They entered the Temple and cleared it of the idols placed there by the Syrian vandals. Yehuda and his followers built a new altar, which he dedicated on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev, in the year 3622.

Since the golden Menorah had been stolen by the Syrians, the Maccabees now made one of cheaper metal. When they wanted to light it, they found only a small cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the High Priest Yochanan. It was sufficient to light only for one day. By a miracle of God, it continued to burn for eight days, till new oil was made available. That miracle proved that God had again taken His people under His protection. In memory of this, our sages appointed these eight days for annual thanksgiving and for lighting candles.

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All Contents Copyrighted, 2005, The Conscious Living Foundation