- Issue 95 -

Published by The Conscious Living Foundation

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.

We are now well into the new year.  Now is the perfect time to stop and reflect whether we're succeeding at incorporating our resolutions and intentions into our lives.  It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day responsibilities of life and keep putting off our intentions to modify some of our old habits and replace them with more positive, productive behaviors and thoughts.

A great way to break through is to be reminded of the real nature of our existence and our lives.  Our newsletter begins with "Through The Light - The Road To Death", which we believe will have the desired effect of causing us to stop and rethink whether we're living our lives in greater attunement with Spirit.  The fact that the story is true, makes it even more compelling.  I hope you'll find the time to read it!

We continue with our collection of essays by Ernest Holmes, with his thoughts on "The Vibrational Power of People and Places".   This article goes some way in explaining how we are influenced by other people and places and how we can strengthen our "mental atmosphere" and improve our lives.

In addition, we're pleased to offer another thought provoking essay by Steve Roberts entitled, "Leadership". He, like Ernest Holmes, calls us to reflect on the choices we're making  and how we influence and are influenced by others.

As always, you'll find a new spiritual poem, this one entitled, "As The New Day Dawns" and a collection of main entree vegetarian recipes perfect for healthy eating in the new year.

Finally, our newsletter also includes a series of short articles describing activities which we may want to incorporate into our new life style for 2007.  They include, "Giving All Actions To God", "It All Depends Upon Your Perspective", "How Do You Respond To Unconditional Love", "Are You Affirming Unconsciously" and "Practicing The Presence of God".

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

William Simpson
Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contents:

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

 

   
Through The Light - The Road To Death (A True Story)

In 1982 I died from terminal cancer. My condition was non-operable. I chose not to have chemotherapy. I was given six to eight months to live. Before this time, I had become increasingly despondent over the nuclear crisis, the ecology crisis, and so forth. I came to believe that nature had made a mistake - that we were probably a cancerous organism on the planet. And that is what eventually killed me. Before my death, I tried all sorts of alternative healing methods. None helped.

So I determined that this was between me and God. I had never really considered God. Neither was I into any kind of spirituality, but my approaching death sent me on a quest for more information about spirituality and alternative healing. I read various religions and philosophies. They gave hope that there was something on the other side.

I had no medical insurance, so my life savings went overnight on tests. Unwilling to drag my family into this, I determined to handle this myself. I ended up in hospice care and was blessed with an angel for my hospice caretaker, whom I will call "Anne." She stayed with me through all that was to follow. It lasted about eighteen months.

THE LIGHT OF GOD

I woke up about 4:30 am and I knew that this was it. I was going to die. I called a few friends and said good-bye. I woke up Anne and made her promise that my dead body would remain undisturbed for six hours, since I had read that all kinds of interesting things happen when you die. I went back to sleep.

The next thing I remember, I was fully aware and standing up. Yet my body was lying in the bed. I seemed to be surrounded by darkness, yet I could see every room in the house, and the roof, and even under the house.

A Light shone; I turned toward it, and was aware of its similarity to what others have described in near-death experiences. It was magnificent and tangible, alluring. I wanted to go towards that Light like I might want to go into my ideal mother's or father's arms. As I moved towards the Light, I knew that if I went into the Light, I would be dead. So I said/felt, "Please wait. I would like to talk to you before I go."

The entire experience halted. I discovered that I was in control of the entire experience. My request was honoured. I had conversations with the Light. That's the best way I can describe it. The Light changed into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, mandalas, archetypal images and signs. I asked in a kind of telepathy, "What is going on here?"

The information transmitted was that our beliefs shape the kind of feedback we receive: If you are a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own images. I became aware of a Higher Self matrix, a conduit to the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being, a conduit. All Higher Selves are connected as one being, all humans are connected as one being. We are literally the same being. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It was like all the love you've every wanted, and it was the kind of love that cures, heals, regenerates.

I was ready to go at that time. I said "I am ready, take me." Then the Light turned into the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen: a mandala of human souls on this planet. I saw that we are the most beautiful creations - elegant, exotic . . .everything. I just cannot say enough about how it changed my opinion of human beings in an instant.

I said/thought/felt, "Oh, God, I didn't realize." I was astonished to find that there was no evil in any soul. People may do terrible things out of ignorance and lack, but no soul is evil. What all people seek, what sustains them, is love, the Light told me. What distorts people is a lack of love.

The revelations went on and on. I asked, "Does this mean that humankind will be saved?" Like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling lights, the Light "spoke," saying, "You save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have and always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world."

In that instant I realized that WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN SAVED; this is what the "Second Coming" is about. I thanked the Light of God with all my heart. The best thing I could come up with was: "Oh dear God, dear Universe, dear Great Self, I love my Life."

The Light seemed to breathe me in even more deeply, absorbing me. I entered into another realm more profound than the last, and was aware of an enormous stream of Light, vast and full, deep. I asked what it was.

The Light answered, "This is the RIVER OF LIFE. Drink of this manna water to your heart's content." I drank deeply, in ecstasy.

THE VOID OF NOTHINGNESS

Suddenly I seemed to be rocketing away from the planet on this stream of Life. I saw the earth fly away. The solar system, whizzed by and disappeared. I flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge as I went. I learned that this galaxy, and all of the Universe, is bursting with many different varieties of life. I saw many worlds. We are not alone in this Universe.

It seemed as if all the creations in the Universe soared past me and vanished in a speck of Light. Almost immediately, a second Light appeared. As I passed into the second Light, I could perceive forever, beyond Infinity. I was in the Void, pre-Creation, the beginning of time, the first Word or vibration. I rested in the Eye of Creation and it seemed that I touched the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. I was simply at One with Absolute Life and Consciousness.

It would take me years to assimilate the Void experience. It was less than nothing yet greater than anything. Creation is God exploring God's Self through every way imaginable. Through every piece of hair on your head, through every leaf on every tree, through every atom, God is exploring God's Self. I saw everything as the Self of all. God is here. That's what it is all about.

Everything is made of light; everything is alive.

THE LIGHT OF LOVE

I rode the stream directly into the center of the Light. I felt embraced by the Light as it took me in with its breath again. And the truth was obvious that there is no death; that nothing is born and nothing dies; that we are immortal beings, part of a natural living system that recycles itself endlessly. I was never told that I had to come back. I just knew that I would. It was only natural, from what I had seen.

As I began my return to the life cycle, it never crossed my mind, nor was I told, that I would return to the same body. It did not matter. I had complete trust in the Light and the Life process. As the stream merged with the great Light, I asked never to forget the revelations and the feelings of what I had learned on the other side.

I thought of myself as a human again and I was happy to be that. From what I have seen, I would be happy to be an atom in this universe. An atom. So to be the human part of God ... this is the most fantastic blessing. It is a blessing beyond our wildest estimation of what blessing can be. For each and every one of us to be the human part of this experience is awesome, and magnificent. Each and every one of us, no matter where we are, screwed up or not, is a blessing to the planet, right where we are.

So I went through the reincarnation process expecting to be a baby somewhere. But I reincarnated back into this body. I was so surprised when I opened my eyes, to be back in this body, back in my room with someone looking over me, crying her eyes out. It was "Anne," my hospice caretaker. She had found me dead thirty minutes before.

We do not know how long I was dead, only that she found me thirty minutes before. She had honoured my wish to have my newly-dead body left alone. She can verify that I really was dead. It was not a near-death experience. I believe I probably experienced death itself for at least an hour and a half. When I awakened and saw the light outside. Confused, I tried to get up to go to it, but I fell out of the bed. She heard a loud "clunk," ran in and found me on the floor.

When I recovered, I was surprised and awed about what had happened, I had no memory at first of the experience. I kept slipping out of this world and kept asking, "Am I alive?" This world seemed more like a dream than that one. Within three days, I was feeling normal again, clearer, yet different than ever before. My memories of the journey came back later. But from my return I could find nothing wrong with any human being I had ever seen.

Previous to my death I was judgmental, believing that people were really screwed up. Everyone but me.

About three months later a friend said I should get tested for the cancer, so I got the scans and so forth. I felt healthy. I still remember the doctor at the clinic looking at the "before" and "after" scans. He said, "I can find no sign of cancer now."

"A miracle?" I asked.

"No," he answered. These things happen . . . spontaneous remission." He  seemed unimpressed. But I was impressed, and knew it was a miracle.

LESSONS LEARNED

The Great Mystery of life has little to do with intelligence. The universe is not an intellectual process. The intellect is helpful; but our hearts are the wiser part of ourselves.

Since my return I have experienced the Light spontaneously, and I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation.. You can also do this. You do not have to die first. You are wired for it already.

The body is the most magnificent Light being there is. The body is a universe of incredible Light. Spirit is not pushing us to dissolve this body. We don't need to commune with God; God is communing with us in every moment.

I asked God: "What is the best religion on the planet? Which one is right?" God said with great love: "I don't care." What an incredible grace. It does not matter what religion we are. Religions come and they go, they change. Buddhism has not been here forever, Catholicism has not been here forever, and they are all about to become more enlightened. More light is coming into all systems now.

Many will resist and fight about it, one religion against the next, believing that only they are right. When Godhead said, "I don't care," I understood that it is for us to care about, because we are the caring beings. The Source does not care if you are Protestant, Buddhist, or Jew. Each is a reflection, a facet of the whole. I wish that all religions would realize it and let each other be. It is not the end of separate religions, but live and let live. Each has a different view. And it all adds up to the big picture.

I went over to the other side with a lot of fears about toxic waste, nuclear missiles, the population explosion, the rain forest. I came back loving every single problem. I love nuclear waste. I love the mushroom cloud; this is the holiest mandala that we have manifested to date, as an archetype. More than any religion or philosophy on earth, that terrible, wonderful cloud brought us together all of a sudden, to a new level of consciousness.

Knowing that maybe we can blow up the planet fifty times, or 500 times, we finally realize that maybe we are all here together now. For a period they had to keep setting off more bombs to get it in to us. Then we started saying, "we do not need this any more." Now we are actually in a safer world than we have ever been in, and it is going to get safer. So I came back loving toxic waste, because it brought us together.

These things are so big.

Clearing of the rain forest will slow down, and in fifty years there will be more trees on the planet than in a long time. If you are into ecology, go for it; you are that part of the system that is becoming aware. Go for it with all your might, but do not be depressed or disheartened. Earth is in the process of domesticating itself and we are cells on that Body.

Population increase is getting very close to the optimal range of energy to cause a shift in consciousness. That shift in consciousness will change politics, money, energy.

What happens when we dream? We are multi-dimensional beings. We can access that through lucid dreaming. In fact, this universe is God's dream. One of the things that I saw is that we humans are a speck on a planet that is a speck in a galaxy that is a speck. Those are giant systems out there, and we are in sort of an average system. But human beings are already legendary throughout the cosmos of consciousness.

The little bitty human being of Earth/Gaia is legendary. One of the things that we are legendary for is dreaming. We are legendary dreamers. In fact, the whole cosmos has been looking for the meaning of life, the meaning of it all. And it was the little dreamer who came up with the best answer ever. We dreamed it up. So dreams are important.
 
After dying and coming back, I really respect life and death. In our DNA experiments we may have opened the door to a great secret. Soon we will be able to live as long as we want to live in this body. After living 150 years or so, there will be an intuitive soul sense that you will want to change channels. Living forever in one body is not as creative as reincarnation, as transferring energy in this fantastic vortex of energy that we are in. We are actually going to see the wisdom of life and death, and enjoy it. As it is now, we have already been alive forever.

Here's to life! Here's to death! Here's to it all!

Mellen-Thomas Benedict is an artist who survived a near-death experience in 1982.

Dr. Kenneth Ring has said, "His story is one of the most remarkable I have encountered in my extensive research on near-death experiences."
 

 

Essay:  The Vibrational Power of People and Places                                    by Ernest Holmes                                  
 

 

Each person has a mental atmosphere which is the result of all that he has thought, said, done, and consciously or unconsciously perceived. This mental atmosphere is very real and is that subtle influence which constitutes the power of personal attraction; for personal attraction has but little to do with looks; it goes much deeper and is almost entirely subjective. This will explain the likes and dislikes for those with whom we come in daily contact. We meet some, only to turn away without a word, while others we are at once drawn toward, and without any apparent reason; this is the result of their mental atmosphere or thought vibration. No matter what the lips may be saying, the inner thought outspeaks them and the unspoken word often carries more weight than the spoken. As Emerson said: "What you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say."

In contacting people, we are instantly attracted or repelled, according to the vibrations which we feel. A person whose atmosphere is one of love and sunshine, whose nature is to be happy, who lives a clean, wholesome life in a free atmosphere, will always attract friends.

Children feel mental atmosphere very keenly and are drawn to those who are inwardly right, shunning those who are inwardly wrong. It has been truly said that people whom children and dogs do not like are dangerous. Animals are almost entirely subjective and feel mental atmospheres more keenly than do most people. A dog instinctively knows one's attitude toward him and, acting accordingly, is immediately a friend or foe. Personal atmospheres vary in their intensity, there being as many varieties as there are people; for each creates his own atmosphere in Mind.

Personal charm may be easily created by learning to love all and hate none. Truly did the great Emerson say: "If you want a friend, be one." If one wishes to have friends, he should become friendly; if he wishes love, he should learn to love. There is no excuse for any one being without a power of attraction, since it is a mental quality and may be consciously induced through right practice.

As all people have a mental atmosphere, so do all places; and as the atmosphere of people is the result of their thoughts, so the atmosphere of places is the result of the thoughts that have been created in them. Places are permeated with the thoughts of the people who inhabit them; in this way, mental atmospheres are created and may be easily felt by those contacting them.

How often we have had the experience of going into a place, only to feel that we were not wanted, and became so disturbed that we wished immediately to leave. How often, on the other hand, we have gone into places where we felt such a warmth and inner glow that we wished to remain. This is the result of the mental atmosphere surrounding the place or room. This is why we love our homes; they are filled with love and affection and we feel at peace within their walls. This is why one likes to return home after his day's work; for he knows that here is a place where he will be away from the world with all of its cares and worries. It is a wise wife who understands this law and who keeps the atmosphere of the home pleasant. Such a one will seldom lose her mate, but will hold him through the strong ties of love and affection with which she floods his abode. Many an unhappy home could be harmonized if this law were better understood and practiced.

The atmosphere of the home should never be clouded with the uncertainties of the outside world. Here, in the palace of human love, all else should be forgotten and an atmosphere maintained which will be a shelter from the world. Here love should be the ruling passion and harmony should reign supreme. Here, above all other places, should the Kingdom of God be established and families should dwell together in peace and joy.

Too often, jealousy and deceit rob the home of its joy, while mistrust and doubting make it so unpleasant that it becomes an impossible place in which to live. But all this can be changed by reversing the wrong thoughts and in their place creating thoughts of love and tenderness toward one another.

There is nothing more unfortunate for a child's mind than to be compelled to live in an unhappy home. The home should stand for heaven on earth, and unless it does, it will not stand long, but will be buried in the ashes of dead hopes.

The atmosphere of the desert is wonderful, for it is free from the thoughts of men's confusion and fear, and so is a place of great peace. Here, indeed, away from the haunts of men's terrible struggles, quiet may be found and peach regained. It is the same with the mountains, the lakes and the trackless deep. This is what we love about Nature; her marvelous calm and deep peace; for she speaks to us and tells of a life undisturbed by the strife of man. She does, indeed, bear a message from On High, and happy is the one who can talk to her and learn from her, for she is wonderful and filled with light.

Even the slightest things seem to be possessed of a soul, or subjective atmosphere. How often we see a familiar coat or hat hanging on a peg, while in it we seem to see the person who wears it; it seems to look like him, and so it does, for it retains the emanation of his atmosphere, and really is permeated with his personality. Everything has an atmosphere which we sense and to which we react accordingly; if it is pleasant we like it, and if unpleasant we dislike it.


The Conscious Living Foundation has just released 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.

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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News A New Collection of Healthy Bar Soaps

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

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

 

 

 

Essay:  It All Depends Upon Your Perspective

A professor stood before her Philosophy 101 class and had some items in front of her. When the class began, wordlessly, she picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

She then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. She shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. She then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else. She then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous - yes.

The professor then produced two cans of liquid chocolate from under the table and proceeded to pour the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things - - your family, your spouse, your health, your children, your friends, your favorite passions - - things that if everything
else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car." "The sand is everything else - - the small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first," she continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. "Take care of the golf balls first the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One student raised her hand and inquired what the chocolate represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for chocolate!"


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News:  The Conscious Word is 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 and A Two Week Free Trial, Click Here.

Looking for a unique gift for the holidays?  Consider gift subscriptions to The Conscious Word.  For more information, 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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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, tours and pilgrimages to various parts of the world.  Our first effort in this direction, is the following collection of escorted tours to India: 
 

Tour No. 1 - Exotic India:

It is impossible not to be astonished by India.   Experience luxurious palaces and romantic desert tents, chauffeurs and rickshaws, colorful bazaars and ancient forts, timeless observatory technology, temples, turbans, tribal dances and regional folk music, historic architecture, Mughal art, exquisite jewelry, sumptuous fabrics, incredible handicrafts, exotic foods, - the culture, the people, the land of Incredible India – it is all there for you to experience on your Exotic India tour! 

Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. Every aspect of the country presents itself on a massive, exaggerated scale, worthy in comparison only to the superlative mountains that overshadow it.

Visit - DELHI – AGRA – JAIPUR – JODHPUR -MANVAR– DELHI- -KOLKATA  (formerly Calcutta)

The Exotic India escorted tour features 4 and 5 star hotels, to give you a taste of the Raj.

Next Exotic India Escorted Tour:  February 10 - 24, 2007
(We are also planning our next escorted Exotic India tour for the fall of 2007, check back for details.)

For a complete itinerary and details, click Here.
 

Tour No. 2 - Pilgrimage To India - A Journey of the Heart:

Recommended for those who wish to experience the spiritual side of India at it’s best.  Focusing exclusively on reverential visits to the places associated with the great Guru Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda and His spiritual lineage, this journey of the heart takes you to northern India to visit many of the places described in the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. 

You will thrill at seeing the lofty Himalayan mountains and you will blissfully float on the ancient holy Ganges River, but even greater experiences await you!  On this soul-etching pilgrimage, you will soar in gratitude as you take the dust of Babaji’s Cave or sit under the litchi tree where The Master taught on the sacred grounds of Ranchi.  Your heart will know the grandeur of immersion in lofty thoughts of The Great Ones as you visit the spots hallowed by Them, and you will be floating in joy each time you give your heart in stillness to the spiritual vibrations that abound in these holy places. 

If you are wanting a spiritual boost or a new beginning, this journey of the heart is a trip of a lifetime, and for many the pilgrimage experience gives a new perspective on their spiritual life; it is a dream fulfilled for those wanting to say with The Guru ‘…I am hallowed, my body touched that sod.”

Next Pilgrimage:  Jan. 13 - Feb. 10, 2007

NOTE: This fall’s Pilgrimage to India will be very special because it will include an historic event at the
YSS Ranchi Ashram during their Sharad Sangam (Convocation).  An expansive new YSS temple will be inaugurated during the week of classes and festivities.  It is anticipated that at least one of the SRF Board of Directors will be going to India to dedicate the beautiful new temple on the YSS Ranchi Ashram grounds during the Sharad Sangam. 

There are 2, 3 and 4 week itineraries available.  Click Here for details.

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Appeal:  We Depend On Your Donations -

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

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

Click Here for more information.  Thank you!


 
Essay:  How Do You Respond To Unconditional Love?                               
           
One day a man punished his young daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he
was furious when the child tried to decorate a box.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy." He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don't you know when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside it?

His daughter looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty, I blew kisses into the box.  All for you, Daddy."  The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for many years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember
the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love--love and kisses
from our children, our friends, our family and from God - despite how we have behaved toward them. 

What must we do in order to truly express our response to such gifts?  Are you ready to change?

 

  

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Essay:  Leadership               by Steve Roberts                               
           

 

Leadership isn’t the province of the select or the special. 

Leadership is storytelling

that sheds light on those deepest of questions:

“What’s going on?” and “What’s the healthiest choice I can make right now?”

Everyone can contribute.

  

Leadership

 

By Steve Roberts

Despite all our beliefs to the contrary, it seems to me that one cannot actually choose to be a leader.  There are a number of reasons for this, but perhaps the most elementary is that leadership requires followership  Only followers create a leader.  No so-called leader can create him or herself. 

And what is it that we humans follow?  Not people, really.  Following a person stems from the desire to be “taken care of,” which is fear.  If we are guided by our heart, what we follow are those principles, practices and insights that we find in harmony with an instinctive sense of truth or “rightness” we carry within us.  Often it is no more than what feels like the best answer of the moment.  How could it be otherwise?  There’s always more to life than anything we can imagine.   

Sometimes we meet a person (whether in the flesh or in spirit) whose sense of truth resonates with ours, yet whose depth of conscious understanding and ability to articulate that truth is greater than ours, and so from our rapport with this person we enjoy an enhanced understanding of ourselves.  Sometimes, we are motivated to make this person a significant part of our life—even a polestar of sorts, a presence against which we assess our own awareness and growth.  Sometimes we go so far as to call this person a leader.  It’s an understandable conclusion, but it’s incomplete, if not mistaken.  What’s really happening is that we have chosen to follow (make part of our life) a quality of illumination that we find invaluable.  And that illumination just happens to come wrapped in a human package.  There are those whose rapport with a flower has led them to experience God.  Does this make the flower a leader? 

Indeed, I know of no saints or sages who ever wanted, wished for, or attempted to be a leader.  They live only for God, yet may inspire vast organizations.  Paramahansa Yogananda said, “People call me master, but I am the master only of myself.  I am a servant to all.” 

Our ego alone creates the wish to be a leader.  Our heart calls us only to love.  That said, there are all sorts of people—and their worldly expressions—whose example we find worthy of following, whether for a minute or a lifetime.  And that example, because it is useful to us (in the deepest sense of usefulness) can be called “leadership.” 

So what is leadership?  Leadership, to me, is perspective, the kind of perspective that helps an individual or a community take the most life-affirming actions possible in a given moment.

Perspective helps us to answer the questions: “What’s going on?” and “What’s the healthiest choice we can make here and now?”  In this sense, leadership is eminently practical.  Showing a child who is struggling to cut a sandwich the value of using the sharp edge of the knife is leadership.  Then there are those people and events that awaken in us the transforming awareness that, metaphorically, all of life is the never-ending practice of learning to use the sharp edge of the knife.  One concrete example of this metaphor is developing the presence to ask questions that cut to the core of a circumstance.

Why is it that good chefs don’t need a cookbook?  It’s not because they’ve memorized a zillion recipes.  Give them a bagel, a cup of stale beer and a handful of dandelions and they’ll make a soup worth talking about.  Why?  Because they have a deep sense of perspective on what it takes to prepare food that causes the body and mind to sing.  This quality of perspective is what allows any of us to make choices—not just once, but time and again—that are the equivalent of cutting with the sharp edge of the knife.  Developing this quality of perspective is key to anyone who wishes to live in joy, let alone serve others at the core of their being. 

Perspective, then, can be the equivalent of magic, since it can instantly expand our sense of possibility.  Moreover, perspective can come from anywhere: a book, a movie, a snowstorm, a joke, you name it.  And perhaps most delightful of all, perspective has absolutely nothing to do with being right. 

To me, notions of “right” and “wrong” are a distraction born of fear to the extent that we allow them to focus our attention on some ultimate judgment located outside of ourselves.  Real life is about making the healthiest choice we can, given whatever circumstance we face and whatever resources (beginning with our own sense of things) we have available to us.  We can change our mind ten times an hour and still be making the healthiest choices we can. 

What do I mean by health?

To me, health is resilience: the ability to respond in a positive way to any eventuality.  And what is a positive way?  With kindness, compassion and understanding.

So, what is this “perspective” that is the essence of leadership?  More than anything else, perspective is one’s personal story in response to whatever life presents.  That’s really all any of us have to offer ourselves or anyone else.  And a healthy perspective is way beyond information, for our heart’s natural response to it is expansion. 

Such perspective, such leadership, isn’t the province of the select or the special.  If we are awake and ready, we can feel the universe showering us with loving perspective all the time.  And surely every person reading these words has offered their perspective to others in a manner that has resonated with such truth that the response has been, at the very least, “Yep, that makes sense.”  This is leadership. 

There is really only one way I know of to bring forth leadership, and that is by offering ourselves completely to every moment—walking the dog, getting married, responding to an empty bank account, driving a tank, washing a baby, writing a memo, reading these words.  Among life’s biggest myths is that some circumstances are more important than others.  You know, giving birth is more important than washing our socks.  It sounds sensible, yet it is short-sighted.  Being truly alive means bringing all of us, all our love, to the moment we’re in—even moments when we feel shame and terror and pain.  Anytime we shy away from offering ourselves completely we prevent the possibility of leadership from flowering to its full potential. 

All we ever have to offer ourselves or another is the experience of our own life, and that experience is most valuable when it is guided by a commitment to the never-ending practices of:

·        Managing fear

·        Learning from what happens to us

·        Gaining deeper clarity on what is essential or sacred

·        And aligning our commitments with action

These are some of the key elements that create the fertile ground from which leadership springs, often unexpectedly.  Leadership is storytelling that sheds light on those deepest of questions: “What’s going on?” and “What’s the healthiest choice I can make now?”  And the most meaningful story we can tell is the one that comes from our heart as we share what we are learning from the practice of being human—the practice of growing our kindness, compassion and understanding. 

And when we and/or someone else finds our story useful, then and only then does leadership occur.  It may not be possible to choose to be leader, but everyone can choose to bring forth leadership. 

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

If you're considering buying a gift for a friend or loved one, why not select gifts that can genuinely make a difference in their lives?  This time, give books, videos and CDs that will continue to inspire and encourage throughout the year.  To view our entire catalog of products, click Here.

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

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

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News:  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 (Click on any underlined words to go directly to that section):

 

Brand New Additions

VideoThe Life of Mahatma Gandhi - (A Video Documentary running over 5 hours, containing excellent archival footage of the entire life of Gandhi.  Not to be missed!)  The Science of Mind - Core Concepts, Becoming A Blessing: Living As If Your Life Makes A Difference, The Koran Today, and Discover The Spirit Within - An Introduction To Raja Yoga Meditation.

 

Spoken Word Audio:   Corrie Ten Boom Sermons,  Sadhana, The Realization of Life by Rabindranath Tagore, The Art of Getting Money by P.T. Barnum, How Meditation Works,  Peace of Mind and Peace on Earth, The Sermon on the Mount of Jesus Christ, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther's Defense of His Belief, St. Francis' Sermon to the Birds, Guided Meditation on Awareness of the True Self, and Guided Meditation on the End of Suffering.

 

Spoken Word Audio 

(Lectures, Talks, Sermons, Recorded Comments, Classes and Workshops)

 

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.

 

Music

(Music and sounds from a variety of sources, styles and historical periods)

 

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.

 

Video

(Large variety of films and videos, historic and modern, documentary and talks)

 

Our Video section currently contains:  The Ocean At Dusk - Guided Relaxation, A Biography of Mother Teresa, Meditation and Movement, Imagination Meditation, Laughter Meditation, Music for Meditation and Healing, A CNN Report on the Health Benefits of Meditation, A Biography of Mary Baker Eddy, A Man of God - An Interview with Leonard Ravenhill, Paramahansa Yogananda & Sri Yukteswar, Paramahansa Yogananda & Ramana Maharshi, Paramahansa Yogananda at Mt. Washington, Paramahansa Yogananda on a Walk In New York, Paramahansa Yogananda Demonstrating How To Sleep, Krishnamurti Talks on Freedom, Krishnamurti Talks on Life and Death, Krishnamurti  Talks on Meditation and Krishnamurti Talks on World Suffering.

 

Still Images

(Nature Pictures, Saints, Sages, Gurus, Mandalas, Chakras, Fine Art)

 

Our collection of pictures is too large to list in detail, but we promise that you will browse for quite some time in order to see them all.

 

Complete Audio Classics

(Complete Plays, Radio Dramatizations, Books Read Aloud

and Stories To Entertain The Entire Family

- With a special collection for children)

 

Our audio classics are dramatic portrayals designed to primarily entertain, but with wholesome content that expresses positive values and that are suitable for the entire family to experience together.  They include such titles as:

 

The Importance of Being Earnest, Treasure Island, A Tale of Two Cities, War of the Worlds, Abraham Lincoln, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Immortal Sherlock Holmes, Around The World In 80 Days, Pickwick Papers, Julius Caesar and Jane Eyre.

 

In addition, there is a special Children's Section containing dramatizations and readings especially created for younger children.  They include such titles as:  The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Jack and The Bean Stalk, Puss and Boots, Blue Beard, Thumbelina, Cinderella, Twas the Night Before Christmas, Snowdrop and the 7 Dwarves, Robin Hood, The Golden Fleece, Beauty and The Beast, Rapunzel, King Arthur, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Magic Carpet and many, many more!

 

Wall Paper

(Large Beautiful Pictures with Inspirational Quotes Suitable To Place on The Background of Your Computer Desktop or Screensaver Program.)

 

The images in this section of the newsletter are a few of the selections contained in our Wall Paper Download Library.  To read the inspirational inscriptions, visit us by clicking "Wall Paper" above.

 


 

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

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Essay:  Are You Affirming Unconsciously?                        by Jeff Braucher

 

What’s floating beneath the surface of our conscious awareness? Subliminal or subtle thoughts that define who we are: how healthy we are, how successful we are, how happy we are. What are these thoughts telling us about ourselves? What are they telling us we can and can’t do? How many times do we tell ourselves we can’t do something, and are hardly aware of what we’re thinking?

These thoughts are so familiar to us that they go unnoticed, so we often don’t even see how our lives follow the direction of those thoughts. We may wonder why we’re not succeeding or why our health doesn’t improve.

If we become more aware of our thoughts, we might find the answer there. We may discover that our conscious desires don’t match our subconscious desires. We may discover that we are sabotaging our very efforts to improve and grow on all levels.

What can we do once we discover the lack of alignment between what we’re thinking and what we need and desire? We can start to think new thoughts and keep thinking them until they become our habitual thought pattern and eventually create the reality we want.

It does little good to blame others or our environment for what we have or don’t have in life when it’s our thoughts that are largely responsible for how things turn out. And since we are responsible for our own thoughts, we are responsible for what manifests in our lives.

Many of us at the Conscious Living Foundation practice some form of affirmation and visualization. Affirmation and visualization, together or practiced separately, can create the change in our thought patterns that in turn create changes in our condition or circumstances — sometimes within a matter of minutes.

Even if things don’t change as rapidly as we’d like, we have a changed and more empowering consciousness, one that feels in charge and is doing everything within its power to create whatever we want or need. As we wait for conditions to improve, we are buoyed by the strength of our changed consciousness.

 

 

 

 

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

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News:  Gurutej - Kundalini Yoga Video Collection

For thousands of years in India, the sacred science and technology of Kundalini Yoga was veiled in heavy secrecy. Knowledge was shared verbally from master to chosen disciple. 

“Yoga” means integration or union of the soul with the Cosmos or a Supreme Being.

Yoga comes in many forms specifically designed to suit different kinds of people. As the yoga of awareness, Kundalini is an ancient, specific system using posture-exercises, breathing and sound. 

Practicing it integrates and balances body, mind and spirit. Kundalini, known as the seat of all knowledge, is one of the few yoga practices which is practical and easily incorporated into everyday life, regardless of your beliefs, philosophy or religion.

To learn more about:
- Kundalini Yoga For Mental Clarity
- Kundalini Yoga For The Immune System
- Kundalini Yoga Awakening Intuition For Women
- Kundalini Yoga For Balanced Chakras
Click
Here

 

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

New Delicious Vegetarian Recipes:     


Cheesy Baked Eggplant -

Original recipe yield:
6 servings

PREP TIME  20 Min
COOK TIME  40 Min
READY IN  1 Hr

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Brush eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides, and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle garlic powder over the top. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and spinach. Cook and stir for a few minutes until fragrant, and the tomatoes have released their juices. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  3. Place the eggplant slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with the spinach mixture. Spoon the cheese mixture over the spinach, and spread into a thin layer. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through and the eggplant is easily pierced with a fork.

       

Chili Steak Stir-Fry -
 

Original recipe yield:
4 servings

READY IN  15 Min

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters™ Steak Strips or Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters™ Chik'n Strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
  • 3 cups broccoli flowerets
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

DIRECTIONS

  1. In small bowl stir together lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
  2. In nonstick wok or large skillet stir-fry steak strips in 2 teaspoons hot oil over medium-high heat for 1 to 3 minutes or until hot. Remove from wok.
  3. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, garlic and gingerroot to wok. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add broccoli, snow peas (if desired), bell pepper, carrot and onions to wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in strips and soy sauce mixture. Heat through. Serve over rice.

Winter Vegetable Hash -

Original recipe yield:
6 servings
PREP TIME  15 Min
COOK TIME  35 Min
READY IN  50 Min

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small acorn squash, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and mix in potatoes, mushrooms, pepper, squash, and shallot. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender.
  2. Mix kale and sage into skillet. Continue cooking 5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Serve and enjoy!

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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:  Destiny Designer - A Practical Aid To Organize Your Life
 

Even when we read spiritual books; even when we exercise; even when we practice affirmations and positive thinking;
even when we pray and meditate - it is not enough until we undertake these actions - consistently every day.  If we aren't organized, we aren't committed.


Virtually all organized, responsible business professionals carry them. They are essential.  They are the omnipresent symbols of our busy, complicated lives. They are, of course…day planners. And until now they have performed just two functions, where to be or what to do next: the next meeting, the next event, the next task, the next party, the next phone call...

Now there is the Destiny Designer,™ a breakthrough personal calendar/planner that demands your focus on enhancing the fullness and richness of your life as much as it does managing your daily routine. If you use this one-of-a-kind tool every day, you will create the life you most passionately desire!

In our busy lives we often do that which screams for our attention first, not what truly moves our lives forward in a real and fulfilling way. Destiny Designer™ is designed to keep you centered on what is actually important in your life - not merely what you must get done in your profession.  Find Out More - Click Here.

 

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A Poem by William Simpson -

                                                                        

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

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


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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:  Practicing The Presence of God                  by William Simpson

Mind is the thinking tool inside your head.  Your mind is a wonderful tool, but it has taken control of you.  One of the primary goals in improving your awareness is for you to gain control of your mind - so that you can decide when you want to use it, how you want to use it, and when you do not want to use it at all. 

Marcus Aurelius said, about thoughts:

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”

 The impact of your thoughts on your feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values, health and success can not be over-stated.  By impressing the mind with thoughts that you have consciously chosen, you begin to take control of your feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values, health and ability to succeed.  In addition, you begin to take control of your ability to discern the deeper reality.

 William James said, “Man is made or unmade by himself..  In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself..  He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.”

 “Practicing the presence” works at directing the mind in a consciously controlled direction.  It consists in selecting a short thought and mentally repeating it over and over, in every spare moment throughout the day and night – continually for weeks, months or even years.  In time, you will learn how to practice this technique even while doing other tasks – going for a walk, dancing, driving, working in the yard.  Eventually, it is even possible to maintain your practice while performing more involving tasks such as having a conversation.

 Practicing the presence is a way to create positive, heart-centered thoughts and carry them into your daily life.

 No particular words are important in themselves; there are no “magic words”.  However, the words can be magic, if they affect you – if they stimulate you to feel their meaning. Repeating the words, without any additional effort will help.  However, the key to successful practice is to “feel” the meaning behind the words.  If you practice the phrase “I am well”, for example, explore what feelings come to you as you mentally repeat those words.  Immerse yourself in the feeling till it is all that you perceive. 

 With continued practice you will immediately feel the effect of your phrase as soon as you start repeating it.  Eventually, that feeling will be with you or immediately available to you, as part of your every day attitude and mood – as part of your nature. 

 When the feeling and meaning of your phrase has gone that deep, you have successfully changed your self and your life, in a positive way.  The ultimate expression of this practice is to practice a phrase that opens the door to feeling God’s presence.

 (The preceding were selections from “From The Path - Verses On The Mystic Journey”, a book by William W. Simpson, available now on this site, by clicking Here.  Copyright 2004, all rights reserved.)

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

 

Essay:  Giving All Actions To God                       by William Simpson
  

As we continue to act in the outer world, we continue to create good, neutral or bad results.  Jesus said “As you sew, so shall you reap”.  Simply put, what you put out into the universe will come back to you.  This is the law of Karma.

 Part of our goal in continuing to interact with the world is to first improve our Karma – that is, try to consciously take action to do the right thing – the loving thing, and eventually to stop creating any Karma at all.

 One way to step out of the constant circle of experiencing the results of our prior actions is to perform all actions for God.  If our intention in taking a particular action is genuinely only to please God, to express our love for God, then that action creates no resulting Karma for us in the future.

 One way to practice this, is to say to yourself as you are taking action, “I am doing this for God”, or “Lord, I am doing this for you”, or “Lord, receive this as an offering (or gift) from me”, or “Lord I am giving this to you as a sign of my love”.

 This can be applied to the most momentous or most apparently insignificant activities.  Try it while you brush your teeth.  Give those actions, those few moments directly to God as a gift from you heart. 

 After you’ve got the hang of it, try the same technique in more complex or more “important” activities.  While you take a walk, give each step of the walk to God.  When you ask your boss for raise, give the entire experience and the results to God.

 When you have to make an important presentation, or you are in the middle of an artistic creation, when you are arguing with someone who is important to you – all of these are opportunities to give each nanosecond of the experience as an act of love and service to God.  Can you watch television and give each moment of the act, and your reactions to what you see, to God? 

In addition to being relieved of the consequences of these actions, or perhaps, as part of the effect of taking action in this way, you will find that you no longer have to worry about the consequences.  You may find that, although you think you need a raise and deserve a raise, you can comfortably feel that whether you actually get the raise is up to God and that you can accept any result with equanimity.

 Continued practice of this technique in more and more of our life’s activities will lead to a greater calmness, a greater confidence, and a greater peace of mind that your life is progressing in the best possible way and that God is the one who is guiding you through its various twists and turns.

 The Tao Te Ching puts everything in context in its clear, poetic wisdom:

  

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

 (The preceding were selections from “From The Path - Verses On The Mystic Journey”, a book by William W. Simpson, available now on this site, by clicking Here.  Copyright 2004, all rights reserved.)

 

 

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