July 25
, 2006

E-mail: CLF@consciouslivingfoundation.org

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

This issue begins with a collection of positive thoughts and affirmations from a variety of sources - Muslim, Taoist, Jewish, Hindu, Catholic and Protestant.  I continue to be amazed at the positive effect of keeping uplifting thoughts in mind.

We are also pleased to offer another thought provoking essay by Steve Roberts entitled, "I Love Being An Alcoholic".   Steve is a regular contributor to our newsletter and his new book, Cool Mind, Warm Heart - Adventures With Life's Biggest Secret is available now on our website and at booksellers everywhere.

As you know, in our last issue we announced the addition of an entirely new and unique service from CLF - Tours and Pilgrimages to India.  As a follow up to that, we are including in this issue an interview with Brenda Roberts, the person who escorts those joining our tours and pilgrimages.  During the interview, Brenda explores some of the significant spiritual events she has experienced during her many visits to India. 

One of the themes running through this issue is the importance of relaxation and stillness.  Living in a  21st century culture can often be stress producing, especially here in the United States.  So, we are offering a few excerpts from some scientific exploration of two effective cures for stress - music and the beauty of nature.  It's always fun to get scientific confirmation of things we've been experiencing personally.

We are also including a very powerful set of affirmations designed for those in recovery.  However, I urge everyone to take a look.  They express a wonderful "warrior" attitude toward life that evokes an energetic sense of personal empowerment and determination.

We conclude with an essay from Charles Filmore, the founder of Unity, entitled, "God Has Provided Prosperity For Every Home."  Developing a sense of the rightness of leading a prosperous and abundant life is still a challenge for many of us, and I'm sure this article will stimulate some new thinking on the subject.

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.)

   

 

Collection: Uplifting Thoughts and Affirmations                                       
 

Affirmation:
With every breath, I'm experiencing the natural law of giving and receiving.  Everything in this Universe manifests this law. Whether it's called the law
of Compensation or the law of reciprocity, it's working. And its working in me.

Because everything is completely unified all the time in an infinite field of possibility, whatever I give to this world, I receive. And vice versa. I am always participating in this dance of creation - breathing in and
breathing out, giving ideas and receiving their consequence, giving and receiving love.

This wonderful law allows for movement, growth, health, and circulation. And I can use it consciously. Wherever I feel stuck, I decide to prime the pump by giving freely, with a heart that's wide open. Whether it's time, money, understanding, or love - I decide to give. It's none of my business how this giving comes back to me - that's the Law's job. I simply give consciously, knowing that I'm directing an eternal spiritual principle as I do so.

in this activity, I discover that in giving, I literally do receive. Life becomes more about circulation! Just as you can't only breathe in, nor only breathe out - it's the balance, natural, deep, and easy, that brings joy to all that I am.

Thank god for this ability to use law consciously, and to let it work in me.  And so it is.  
- Dr. Susanne Freeborn


Poem:
The restless mind
is put at rest, and
the heart is illumined.

In the forms I beheld
the Formless,
along with the Friend.

Breaking the shackles,
You set me free
from all bondage.

Now Inaccessible
is accessible,
and soaked in love is Kabir.
- Kabir


Story:
A water bearer had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full. For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, fulfilled in the design for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was unable to accomplish what it had been made to do.

After two years of enduring this bitter shame, the pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself and I apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, f or these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house.
Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and was cheered somewhat. But at the end of the trail, it still felt the old shame because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you not notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, and not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we've walked back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow Him, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you, too, can bring something beautiful to the Father.
- anonymous


Thought:
What will a man gain by knowing many scriptures? The one thing
needful is to know how to cross the river of the world. God alone is
real, and all else illusory.
While Arjuna was aiming his arrow at the eye of the bird, Drona asked
him:
'What do you see? Do you see these kings.'
'No, sir,' replied Arjuna.
'Do you see me?'
'No.'
'The tree?' No.'
'The bird on the tree?'
'No.'
`What do you see then?'
'Only the eye of the bird.'
He who sees only the eye of the bird can hit the mark. He alone is
clever who sees that God is real and all else illusory. What need
have I of other information? Hanuman once remarked: 'I don't know
anything about the phase of the moon or the position of the stars.
I only contemplate Rama'.
- Sri Ramakrishna


Thought:
Yield and overcome;
Bend and be straight;
Empty and be full;
Wear out and be new;
Have little and gain;
Have much and be confused.
...The ancients say, "Yield and overcome."
Is that an empty saying?
Be really whole,
And all things will come to you.
Yielding is the way of the Tao.
Going forward seems like retreat ...
For one gains by losing
And loses by gaining.
- Tao Te Ching
 


Thoughts on Grace:
Holiness is twofold... At first it is effort, then a gift...it is
impossible to attain this state on your own…In the end, the Blessed
Holy One will guide you on the path that it wishes and impart
holiness to you, so that you become holy. Then you will succeed,
attaining union continuously.
- The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism

In the preliminary stages of meditation, the effort seems to come
entirely from yourself; you keep forcing your mind to remain pointed
at its object. But now you become aware of an outside force, a
magnetic power of attraction which draws your mind in the desired
direction, so that effort is no longer your own. This is what is
known as grace.
- Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood.

This vision taught me that the continual seeking of the soul for God
is greatly pleasing to him, for all it can do is to seek, endure and
trust. And this the soul achieves by the Holy Spirit; and the
certainty that it has found God comes though his special grace…
- Julian of Norwich
 


Poem:
0h merry hearts overcome
by music and pleasure,
ask wine from the player.
Surrender to the sound of the ney.

0h you lucky, drunken ones,
ride upon the horse of joy.
Sacrifice sorrow's steed
at the feet of good cheer.

0h sober ones,
drink this wine from the jar of Union,
then destroy the mind
that always looks so far ahead of itself.

Spring has come.
There are hundreds of colors
in the rose garden and the meadow.
Forget those dark, cold winter months.

Open the ear of your soul.
Listen to the music
at the tavern of eternity.
Stop repeating the alphabet.

Fill your skull with that divine wine.
For God's sake,
roll up the covers of reason and the mind.

0h lovers,
remove the garment of self-consciousness.
Annihilate yourself while gazing
at the face of Immortal Beauty.
- Rumi


Affirmation:
I live in a Universe of infinite intelligence and absolute power. It is
governed by spiritual laws that operate perfectly and impersonally. All that
I am is made from the stuff of the Universe. I am governed by these
spiritual laws. I can also use them, and I do.

I use these laws whether I know I do or not. They operate on the content of
my consciousness. As the only thinker in my mind, as the only one who can be
responsible for my emotional life, as the only one who can choose what to
believe, I decide what goes in my consciousness. I make wonderful choices
for myself, filling my mind with the kinds of ideas that feed it. I stay
emotionally clean and centered in every relationship. And I decide to
believe what is true.

When things don't go the way I expect, it doesn't mean that the laws are not
working. Rather than being upset or confused, I simply understand that
there's more to know. Every situation contains within it the seed for a
greater consciousness - one that is more fully aligned with the absolute
Truth of Spirit. I open to this, and let Spirit's infinite intelligence
guide my mind. I let the infinite compassion of Spirit make its home in my
heart. Naturally, lawfully, my life rearranges itself to fit this new
consciousness. My inner life must expand before my outer one can. So I do my
work, and let the universal spiritual principles do theirs. And it's good!
And so it is.  
- Dr. Susanne Freeborn
 

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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Essay:  I Love Being An Alcoholic       by Steve Roberts

 


I Love Being an Alcoholic
 

Being an alcoholic is one of the best things that ever happened to me. In fact, alcoholism may be among the biggest contributors to human health.

I’m no expert, but my sense is that alcoholism was the first addiction be addressed with a comprehensive program that actually worked on a large scale, serving countless men and women who wished to live sober.

What’s more, developing effective methods of managing our lust for the annihilation brought about by booze has heightened our awareness of the nature and pervasiveness of addiction. And I don’t mean just things like narcotics, food and gambling. I for one could be addicted to just about anything I put my mind to—well, except perhaps stewed tomatoes and people who spit in your face even when your mustache isn’t on fire.

In 1989, my future was clear: Do something about my relationship with the various intoxicants I imbibed or live in the gutter.

While the evaluation at the drug rehab clinic confirmed the obvious and I quickly signed up for treatment at the earliest opportunity, I drove away holding two deep and conflicting emotions.

The first was relief. Finally, my denial breeched, this demon that had been plaguing me for 30 years had a name—and, miraculously, it seemed actually possible to free myself of its relentless grip.

Then came fear. My life as I had known it was over. I said aloud to myself, “Damn, how am I going to get high now?”

I needn’t have worried.

Nearly two decades later, my gratitude for being a recovering alcoholic only grows, for that addiction has helped me to realize how many others shape who I am.

Anger, for instance. Few feelings give us such an intense rush as self-righteousness, blame, condemnation, ridicule, sarcasm and any of the other numerous ways anger shows us we’re afraid. Anger is simply fear wearing a loud dress—the fear of embracing the pain within us and freeing our heart.

Perhaps the only addiction as prevalent as anger is our denial of the harm that such unmanaged fear always inflicts.

Have you noticed that the universe responds precisely to the energy we put forth? Let’s say we have an intention to be healthy. Yet, simultaneously, we believe that we are unworthy of being loved unconditionally. Presto! That’s exactly what we create for ourselves: the confusion and pain of health undermined by self-hatred. Think about it. To what extent are diets, workouts, plastic surgeries, massages, yoga retreats and whatnot fueled by our dislike of our body, which is simply dislike of ourselves?

I once heard a monk say, “Unless you are fanatically positive, you will never know your own soul.” The instant I turned single-minded about being sober my life changed. For one thing, I met some amazing people, all of them recovering addicts. No horror, no secret, no shame, no embarrassment of mine was beyond the understanding and acceptance of this community.

I know today that addiction was among the ways the universe responded to my heart’s desire to love. I’m a little thick. I needed to be grabbed by the throat and asked: “What’s it going to be, boy, live or die?”

Addiction, regardless of the form it takes, is a gift to the spiritual warrior in each of us, should we accept it. From it can grow not just the desire to stop banging our head against a brick wall as if it were an Olympic sport, but also the courage to open ourselves to the possibility that who we really are is someone beyond our wildest dreams.

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

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

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

 
 

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News:  The Conscious Word is Now Available
 

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.

The lead article in this month's newsletter, "The Predicament, The Promise and The Process", lays out in great detail exactly how we can use affirmations to develop conviction.

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.

 

News:  An Interview With Brenda Roberts

Brenda Roberts is the group leader and escort for our Pilgrimage to India – Journey of the Heart tour.  This is the tour which focuses on visiting places associated with Paramahansa Yogananda.  Brenda has been a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda since 1972.  She currently serves at the SRF Escondido Meditation Center, and conducts Women’s Farm Retreats at Little Creek Acres Farm in Valley Center, California in addition to her work with our tours.

We thought that the story of her experiences in India might be of interest to all our readers. 

CLF:   How many times have you been to India?

Brenda: This fall will be my 14th journey to India, however, 13 of those journeys have been in the past 7 years because I’ve been escorting pilgrimage groups twice a year since the year 2000.

CLF:  When was your first visit to India?

Brenda: I first went to India – on pilgrimage – in 1977.   I was mesmerized immediately.  Before going to India I never – even as a little girl - felt at home on this planet.  On that first trip, amid floods of soulful tears, I realized India was the part of me that had been missing.  What a homecoming!  It completely took me and to this day I don’t remember many of the details; I was absorbed in the present moment of having come home.  It was a good thing I had someone looking after me!

 CLF:  Did you experience culture shock?

Brenda: Then, as now, the culture shock I experienced was not in going to India, but in coming back to the States.  That first time I came back, my body was back, but my heart and consciousness were still absorbed in the India experience.  Swami Sharananandaji greeted me after a Sunday Service in Los Angeles and told my husband I was in bliss.  I don’t know about that; all I know is that there was nothing else in my consciousness but the old feeling of Spirit India, like a deep meditation when you no longer have thoughts of self or place or activity – you only feel the love of God. 

 CLF: How long did that last?

Brenda: I don’t remember how long that lasted, but what came next was excruciating.  As it became necessary for me to reintegrate in my Western life, I became more and more homesick for Mother India.  I wanted to go back and live there.  But my husband was finishing his PhD and I was counseled to wait until that was done and then we could consider it.

It was ten long years of inner longing.  I would hear an Indian accent and I would cry.  I would hear Indian music and I would cry.  I would eat Indian food, and I would cry.  After many unsuccessful attempts to give God this deep heartfelt attachment, I went to Brother Anandamoyji who was my spiritual counselor at that time.  “Brother”, I said amidst more tears, “I have tried to give this desire and attachment to Yoganandaji, but I am so heartsick and home sick; India is the only part of me that makes me feel whole, the only thing that is really mine.”

Brother was thoughtfully quiet and then he said “Well, then, you really do have something precious to give God, don’t you?”  Golden magic words!  Yes!  It was the most precious thing I had that was mine to the core.  Although I had failed at giving the feelings and desires to God, the idea that I had something really precious to offer, was an immediate key to emotional freedom for me and I barely heard his following words, although they registered deep in my consciousness unbeknown to me.  Brother continued: “ You have to get to the place where you do not want to go.”

 CLF:   And did you get to that place?

Brenda: Well, the angst left me almost immediately.  Service at the Lake Shrine Temple in Los Angeles became my life.  Going back never entered my mind until 21 years later when my husband had an opportunity to go on pilgrimage to India.  He had not been before and I was overjoyed for him to go; I knew it would touch him deeply.  It was then that I found myself recalling Brother’s words and asking myself how I felt about not going.  Did I want to go?  The answer was swift and definitive.  No, I did not want to go.  I was thrilled that John was going to have this wonderful spiritual experience of pilgrimage to India, but I harbored no desire to go.

 CLF:  So how did you happen to go so many times since then?

Brenda: Well, it’s a long story, so I’ll try to tell the short version!  About 2 months after John’s return, I was driving up to Los Angeles from Escondido, by myself, on a rainy day.  On the freeway, out of nowhere I heard an audible voice say  ”You can go now.”  I was startled and thought “who said that?”  Then the voice repeated again unexplainably audible: “You can go now.”  And in an instant I knew it meant India – not only could I go, but I must now go for the unfoldment of the next step in my spiritual growth. 

 And with that came an awareness that for quite some time I had the unconscious conviction that in a past life I had experienced a closer relationship with God than I had been able to access in this lifetime, and that the other lifetime was in India.  So each time I sat to meditate there was a part of my consciousness that kept trying to get back that experience; back to that state of consciousness related to that Indian lifetime.  And further came the understanding that in not “being present”, I was not able to move forward in this lifetime.  Somehow going back to India was the next step I needed to take.  But I didn’t realize exactly what that meant until I came back from India. 

 But that is another story altogether, so we can fast forward to say that I did go back quite a few times, each time undergoing the soul-etching, karma-burning, life-changing experiences I needed, until at last I was able to experience India in real time and not through the eyes of some dim distant belonging. 

 It was at this time, when I was free from the fetters of the past, that I came to understand why I was born in this western body, and that I still had a connection with India in this lifetime; I still had “work to do” in India; work in and of this lifetime. 

 CLF:   And what is this “work” of which you speak?

Brenda: Well, I wasn’t given a job description, and I’m sure it will all be revealed in Divine Timing, but at least part of it is escorting these Pilgrimages to India.  My  long love of India and the ease with which I integrate there has resulted in many special friendships and abilities and connections to take those interested in Paramahansa Yogananda, not on a “trip to India,” but on a reverential pilgrimage to Yoganandaji's India.  With the focus on Him; His places and His devotees, it is truly a journey of the heart.

 CLF: So what advice would you give to someone considering a pilgrimage to India?

Brenda: Oh, my!  I could fill up pages answering that question! And I do that quite literally.  It is part of my specialty to provide lots of information and advice for the pilgrim in preparation for the experience.  And although there is no way to fully prepare for what India has in store for the individual pilgrim, yet there are many things to know and do ahead of time that can clear the way for allowing more of your consciousness to be there in a spiritual way.

 CLF:  What does that mean?

Brenda: I often say that pilgrimage begins with the decision to do it!  There are a hundred questions on the mind of a pilgrim who has decided to go.  Helping to get those answered is my job.  Then, it’s like training for a new adventure.  Advance warning of what you are likely to find, and how to deal with it, allows you to maximize your efforts and your positive outcomes.  You still have to deal with the things that are endemic to the process you are undertaking, but it’s not quite so shocking (if difficult) or it can be an even better experience if your mind is tuned to appreciate what is likely to come.

 CLF:  Such as?

Brenda: The areas of preparation are the areas of life: physical, mental, and spiritual.  I’ll give an example of spiritual preparation.  And bear in mind that I give my thoughts on the spiritual only in the preparation phase of the pilgrimage – never when we are in India, for in India the pilgrim has already been given the preparation tools and an awareness of how to use them before arriving.  Once there, each pilgrim is left to experience the pilgrimage and God's Presence at their own level, pace, ability and  timing,

But in terms of spiritual preparation, one piece of advice I give is for the devotee to begin now to practice the Presence as much as possible with regard to the pilgrimage preparation.  Bring God and Guru into the process from the start.  Then when India offers up a difficulty, find God and Guru in that experience; don’t get side-tracked by Maya.  When the pilgrimage brings tender feelings of the sweet Divine Presence (or seeming absence), embrace those feelings with abandon; as a great yogi once said, “Don’t be afraid to cry for God.”

CLF: Ok, are there things to consider before making the decision to go on pilgrimage?

Brenda: Yes, many.  I won’t take up the space here, but anyone interested can email me at brenda.india@gmail.com and I’ll send them a sheet on “What to Consider…”  Having said that, what I have seen consistently about the big decision is this:  Hardly ever is pilgrimage a logical decision.  Either everything comes together magically, or the urge to go is so strong that not going is not an option!

 CLF:  Is it possible to have a personal and meaningful pilgrimage when traveling with a group?

Brenda: I think this is a concern and question of many considering joining us. 

Here’s the thing, it is at once complex and simple.  On one hand, if the group is too large, the logistics of day to day and keeping up can become onerous.  On the other hand if one is able to truly experience God in all situations, then even large group dynamics can be overcome.  It’s a very personal call.  For me, large groups create an environment to be overcome, not an environment that supports the individual experience.  Just the noise and interactions alone are a drawback in my view.

Travel alone is also not good in my view.  Even for seasoned world travelers, India is challenging – - even for the people who live there!!  Usually, pilgrims are short on time and/or money. Travel alone inevitably creates an incredible waste of time and/or money, but further the consciousness has to be constantly involved with outer details of trying to get from one place to another – a major feat in India.  They say half the experience is getting wherever you are going.  This is true and in the case of trying to do it solo, getting there becomes the compelling element.  If one has lots of time and money, even then travel alone, while doable, still does not give you the depth and breadth of experience possible with a knowledgeable escort.  (Note that a lady traveling alone is not well-viewed and at times not safe.) 

The next alternative is to travel with a personal escort.  This works if you are comfortable with him or her.  The escort should hopefully be one who has a spiritual component in their lives, so that side of the experience is always cultivated and enhanced.  Also, the escort should be able to help you through the preparation phases as well as the journey, 

The last alternative is the one I think is the best way to go.  Small groups with a focus on reverential pilgrimages.  With this focus, you are apt to be in the company of like-minded spiritual seekers.   Everyone is involved with experiencing their own personal and meaningful experience of the Divine Presence while the escort handles the logistics. 

Everyone who has been on pilgrimage with me has also attested to having a closer, more meaningful relationship with Spirit because of their pilgrimage experience.

So I think the answer is a personal call; the key is to bring your spiritual awareness into the decision-making process as to if, when, and who to go with.   Spirit knows what is best.  In India you learn to trust That. 

 

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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:  Oct. 21 - Nov. 18, 2006
(Our Spring Pilgrimage is scheduled for March 10 - 31, 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!


 
Simple Solutions To Stress: Music and Nature                                
           

 

Science is beginning to verify through experimentation what some have understood for centuries - that music and the beauty of nature have a profound relaxing and inspiring effect on us.  Below are a few conclusions we recently discovered:

"Music is one of the most powerful tools for changing brain chemistry. It alters our chemistry instantly, with no known negative side effects. If chosen well, music can be medicine for the mind and soul."
Dr. Joel Robertson, Natural Prozac (San Francisco, HarperCollins, 1998), p. 152.

"Viewing nature scenes is associated with enhanced mental alertness, attention, and cognitive performance, as measured by tasks such as proofreading and by formal psychological testing."
Environment and Behavior, 1991, vol. 23, 3-26; Cancer Nursing, 1993, vol. 16, 83-92

"Music has well established psychological effects, including the induction and modification of cognitive states, moods and emotions."
Dr. Norman M. Weinberger, "The Musical Hormone," MuSICA Research Notes, vIV #2, Fall 1997

"Visual exposure to natural settings has produced significant recovery from stress, as indicated by changes in physiological measures such as blood pressure and muscle tension."
D. Felf, ed., The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development, (Portland, Timber Press,1992)

Of course, the most powerful thing we can do to relax and maintain a center of calm during the challenges of our daily life is the practice of meditation.  There are many articles and techniques of meditation placed throughout our website.  However, one place to start is by clicking Here.

To support your efforts at listening to music that is designed to relax, calm and inspire, click HereFor a large selection of beautiful nature photographs, downloadable for free, click Here and Here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

We are continually adding new images, so don't forget to take a look and see what's new  - just click Here!  


 

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

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Warrior Affirmations For Recovery

 

- Warrior Attitude -
I am a warrior. I live in a no excuse world.
I am a warrior. I play at 100%.
I am a warrior. I do whatever it takes.
I am a warrior. I keep my commitments no matter what.
I am a warrior. I never give up.

- Action Strategies -
My thoughts create my reality.
I visualize successful results.
I act "as if" I'm the world's greatest, in a situation.
I tell my mind, "Thank you for sharing."
And then take the action.
I focus on one step at a time.

 - Conditioned Mind Vs. True Self -
I am a warrior. My way is the way of action.
I am not my mind. I observe my mind.
I find peace, power and my higher self by quieting my mind.
My fear exists only in my imagination.
I am courageous. I act in spite of fear, doubt and worry.

- Accountability -
I am a warrior. I create each moment of my life.
I constantly ask myself, "How am I creating this situation?"
I use power vocabulary: "I choose to..." ;
"I choose not to..." ; "I won't..."
I do not use the terms: "I will try..." and "I think..."
I am fully accountable for everything that is in my life
and everything that's not in it.

- Living In The Present -
I am a warrior. For me the time is always now,
the place is always here.
I only have power in the present.
I focus my thoughts only on what I am doing now.
When I sit, I sit. When I stand, I stand.
Above all, I don't wobble.
When I feel anxiety, I come back to the present.

 - Focus and Concentration -
I am a warrior. I focus on one thing at a time.
I concentrate my resources in one direction.
I am clear on exactly what I want.
I keep my life simple.
I know my life priorities and handle them first.


 - Go With The Flow –

I am a warrior. I go with the flow.
I adapt quickly to changes and new situations.
I can handle whatever comes up at the time.
I have no needs, only preferences. I lack nothing.
I utilize everything that occurs for my benefit.

- Self Approval -
I am a warrior. I approve of myself.
I am an original. I express my individuality.
I ask for what I want.
I live as I choose. I don't need anyone else's permission.
I'll look `em in the eye, I'll tell `em who I am, and if
they don't like it, screw `em!

- Purpose -
I am a warrior. I have a purpose for my life.
I have a unique gift to share with humanity.
I align my work and daily tasks with my purpose.
I constantly ask, "How can I help?" And,
"How can I best serve?"
I will leave the world a little better than I found it.

- Courage -
I am a warrior. I tame the cobra of fear.
I am willing to make mistakes and correct them quickly.
I am willing to take action without all my ducks
lined up in a row.
I accept the worst, expect the best and go for it.
I take unconditional action. Action in spite of fear,
discomfort, disapproval or my mood

- Integrity -
I tell the truth.
I keep my commitments.
My word is law. I do what I say.
I act in accordance with my true values.
I finish what I start or declare it complete and move forward.

Used with permission from "A New Beginning", click Here to visit their website.

 

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

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News:  Huge Selection of Free Audio Recordings and Video Now Available

Free Audio -
Since our last newsletter we have added a very large selection of new audio recordings to our "Downloads" section.  They include an abridged version of "My Experiments With Truth" - The Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, a sermon by Billy Graham entitled "The Value of a Soul", "Attaining The Worlds Beyond" by Rabbi Michael Laitman, a sermon by Amme Semple McPherson - "The Power of Faith", "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan, "The Beginning of Miracles", a talk by Kathryn Kulman, an unabridged recording of "The Book of Proverbs", along with a collection of quotations entitled "The Words of Mahatma Gandhi".

In addition, we continue to offer a wide variety of other recordings including "The Science of Getting Rich", "Practicing The Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis, Buddhist Insight Meditation Instructions, Loving Kindness Meditation Instructions, lectures by Krishnamurti and an interview with the Dalai Lama along with many other recordings.  Just click Here to download your new audio books for free.

Free Video -
Along with our audio recordings, large collection of still pictures and music recordings, we also offer an increasing number of inspiring and informative video selections.  Our new additions include a collection of meditation instruction videos:  "Imagination Meditation, "laughter Meditation", Music For Meditation and Healing" and "Relaxation, Deep Breathing and Meditation".  We've also added two new televised reports on the health benefits of meditation and "A Man of God - An Interview With Leonard Ravenhill". 

We also continue to offer a variety of short videos of Paramahansa Yogananda, a collection of talks by Krishnamurti, a biography of Mary Baker Eddy and several other video titles of interest.  Just 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:

MUSHROOM-NUT BURGERS
 

INGREDIENTS:
2 eggs
1/3 cup ground nuts (almonds cashews, sunflower seeds, or Brazil nuts)
6 mushrooms, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbs wheat germ
1 Tbs brewer's yeast
1 Tbs onion, chopped (scallion or Spanish)
Flour to thicken, if necessary
 

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

Mock Mashed Potatoes - Low Carb

Ingredients:
  • 2 10oz pkgs frozen cauliflower (or fresh 3/4 head)
  • 1 tsp chicken boullion granules
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp minced onion flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
     
Preheat oven to 375F. Cook cauliflower in microwave or on stovetop until it is VERY done — fall-apart fork tender. Drain well and mix cauliflower with all other ingredients except cream in food processor or with a powerful mixer (hand or stand). Mixing with mixer will give "lumpier" results than a food processor, but some people feel the lumps make it seem even more like mashed potatoes. Add cream slowly and mix again. (You must be careful adding liquid. If you add too much, you are in for trouble. Your dish may take a tiny bit more or less than the called for amount of cream.)

Spray an ovenproof dish with cooking spray and put mixture in. Add pats of extra butter or margarine on top if you like an extra buttery potato, and a bit of paprika sprinkled on top adds nice color as well. Bake 15 - 20 minutes until hot.

For those of you who think they would not like this dish because they are not fans of cauliflower, I implore you to try it - you'll be hard pressed to tell it from mashed potatoes - it does not taste like cauliflower at this point. Really.

Makes 4-6 Servings.   5-7 net grams of carbohydrate per serving.

ALTERNATE VARIATIONS: Instead of using cauliflower, you can also use Turnips! For this method, peel and dice turnips to very small squares and boil till extremely tender (just short of mush!). Use the method above, or skip the oven step if you prefer since they hold their shape better than cauliflower. They have a very potato taste also - you would not guess these started their lives as turnips! For a REALLY rich Mock Mashed Potato, add 2 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened) before adding to the mixer/food processor. Adjust carbs accordingly. Turnips have slightly LESS carbs than cauliflower (and more fiber) so there's no worry of over-carbing

Steamed Asparagus with Provencal Vinaigrette and Mimosa Garnish

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pound asparagus
1   hard-boiled egg, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To prepare the asparagus: First snap off the woody bottoms of the stalks. With a paring knife, remove the skin from the stalks from just below the tip to the base. Place spears in a large steamer set in a large pot over simmering water, cover and cook just until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Using a rubber spatula, press the cooked egg through a coarse sieve into a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Crush garlic with the flat side of a chef's knife. Sprinkle with salt and mash, again using the side of the knife, until you have a paste. Scrape into a small bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add remaining ingredients and whisk or shake until well blended.
  4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over room-temperature asparagus and sprinkle with the sieved egg

 

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

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

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

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

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News:  New Music CDs by William Belote
 

William Belote is an eclectic composer of everything from modern chamber music to cutting edge electronica. He wrote and produced a series of albums for the record label Music House Productions, combining acoustic and electronic instruments, that have been popular on radio stations around the world.  

His feature film scores include “Warlords” with David Carradine and “B.O.RN. with Russ Tamblyn and P.J. Soles.   

Recently, he has been scoring multi-media documentaries for the Self-Realization Fellowship, and a new series of chamber works.   Also, he is currently involved in a project with the band “gopher gods” whose new album will be available on this website as soon as it is released.  He continues to produce both artists and songs for radio, TV, film, and the web.  

Bill’s spiritual quest began in his teens with much reading and experimentation.  The Zen writings of Alan Watts and the life of Ram Dass were important early influences before discovering his Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda.  

Bill's presence and character evidence a love for all of humanity, an obvious desire for a life of service, and the simplicity expressed when the Dalai Lama said, “Kindness is my religion.”

We are pleased to offer 5 of Bill's wonderful music CDs - to listen to samples, just click the album title:

Siddhartha, Connected, Mind Sailing, The Reflecting Pool, Timeless Vibrations

 

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A Poem by William Simpson -

 

Meditation

 

Meditation

 

What a complication

When sitting in meditation.

 

The body is designed to move –

But may not.

The mind wants to think –

But must not.

The emotions want to feel –

But should not.

 

Shouldn’t I be doing something?

 

Sitting in stillness,

Motionless,

Without thought or feeling,

Awareness arises.

That which discerns directly –

Observing what is.

 

Observing.

No motion,

Observing

No thought,

Observing

No emotion.

Observing

Peace and tranquility.

 

Always present.

At the very core.

An effervescent thrill.

A radiant fountain of joy.

An intensifying compassionate love.

The bedrock of all that is.

The soul.

 

I have found

me.

 

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

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

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

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

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

  • Burden Dropping

  • Hidden Sacrifices

  • Sympathy

  • Standing Alone

  • Forgiveness

  • Seeing No Evil

  • Abiding Joy

  • Silentness

  • Solitude

  • Right Beginnings

  • Happy Endings


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

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News:  Hundreds of New Nature Photos To Download For Free

 

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

 

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

 

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

  

 

News:  New Audio CD - 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.

 

God Has Provided Prosperity for Every Home                     by Charles Filmore                     
 

THE HOME is the heart of the nation. The heart is the love center. Love is the world's greatest attractive power. The electromagnet that lifts the ingots of steel must first be charged with the electric current, for without the current it is powerless. So the heart of man, or the home that is the heart of the nation, must be aglow with God's love; then it becomes a magnet drawing all good from every direction. God has amply provided for every home, but the provision is in universal substance, which responds only to law. Through the application of the law the substance is drawn to us and begins to work for us.

It is the law of love that we have whatsoever we desire. As a father gives his children gifts so the Lord gives to us, because of love. When we desire aright, we put our thoughts into the supermind realm; we contact God-Mind and from it draw the invisible substance that is manifest in temporal things. The substance thus becomes a part of our mind and through it of our affairs. We draw spiritual substance to ourselves just as the magnet draws the iron. When we think about the love of God drawing to us the substance necessary for support and supply, that substance begins to accumulate all around us, and as we abide in the consciousness of it, it begins to manifest itself in all our affairs.

"Perfect love casteth out fear." Fear is a great breeder of poverty, for it breaks down positive thoughts. Negative thoughts bring negative conditions in their train. The first thing to do in making a demonstration of prosperity in the home is to discard all negative thoughts and words. Build up a positive thought atmosphere in the home, an atmosphere that is free from fear and filled with love. Do not allow any words of poverty or lack to limit the attractive power of love in the home. Select carefully only those words that charge the home atmosphere with the idea of plenty, for like attracts like in the unseen as well as the seen. Never make an assertion in the home, no matter how true it may look on the surface, that you would not want to see persist in the home. By talking poverty and lack you are making a comfortable place for these unwelcome guests by your fireside, and they will want to stay. Rather fill the home with thoughts and words of plenty, of love, and of God's substance; then the unwelcome guests will soon leave you.

Do not say that money is scarce; the very statement will scare money away from you. Do not say that times are hard with you; the very words will tighten your purse strings until Omnipotence itself cannot slip a dime into it. Begin now to talk plenty, think plenty, and give thanks for plenty. Enlist all the members of the home in the same work. Make it a game. It's lots of fun, and, better than that, it actually works.

Every home can be prosperous, and there should be no poverty-stricken homes, for they are caused only by inharmony, fear, negative thinking and speaking. Every visible item of wealth can be traced to an invisible source. Food comes from grain, which was planted in the earth; but who sees or knows the quickening love that touches the seed and makes it bear a hundredfold? An unseen force from an invisible source acts on the tiny seeds, and supply for the multitude springs forth.

The physical substance that we name earth is the visible form of a superabundant mind substance, everywhere present, pervading all things, and inspiring all things to action. When the grain or seed is put into the earth, the quickening thought of the universe causes the little life germ to lay hold of the spiritual substance all about it and what we call matter proves to be a form of mind. "There is no matter; all is mind."

Words are also seeds, and when dropped into the invisible spiritual substance, they grow and bring forth after their kind. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" Farmers and gardeners choose their seed with the greatest care. They reject every defective seed they find and in this way make sure of the coming crop. To have prosperity in your home you will have to exercise the same intelligent discrimination in the choice of your seed words.

You should expect prosperity when you keep the prosperity law. Therefore, be thankful for every blessing that you gain and as deeply grateful for every demonstration as for an unexpected treasure dropped into your lap. This will keep your heart fresh; for true thanksgiving may be likened to rain falling upon ready soil, refreshing it and increasing its productiveness. When Jesus had only a small supply He gave thanks for the little He had. This increased that little into such an abundance that a multitude was satisfied with food and much was left over. Blessing has not lost its power since the time Jesus used it. Try it and you will prove its efficacy. The same power of multiplication is in it today. Praise and thanksgiving impart the quickening spiritual power that produces growth and increase in all things.

You should never condemn anything in your home. If you want new articles of furniture or new clothes to take the place of those you now have, do not talk about your present things as old or shabby. Watch your words. See yourself clothed as befits a child of the King and see your house furnished just as pleases your ideal. Thus plant in the home atmosphere the seed of richness and abundance. It will all come to you. Use the patience, the wisdom, and the assiduity that the farmer employs in planting and cultivating, and your crop will be sure.

Your words of Truth are energized and vitalized by the living Spirit. Your mind is now open and receptive to an influx of divine ideas that will inspire you with the understanding of the potency of your own thoughts and words. You are prospered. Your home is a magnet of love, drawing to it all good from the unfailing and inexhaustible reservoir of supply. Your increase comes because of your righteous application of God's law in your home.

"The blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich; And he addeth no sorrow therewith."

Jesus showed men how to live in rest and peace, a simple life. Where the simplicity of His teaching is received and appreciated the people change their manner of living, doing away with ostentation and getting down to the simplicity and beauty of the things that are worth while. Every summer those who feel that they can, plan to go away for a vacation and many of them enjoy a small cabin in the woods where they can live a simple and natural life close to nature. This shows that they long to let go of the burdens of conventionality and rest in touch with the real of things. The soul wearies of the wear and tear of the artificial world, and now and then it must have a season of rest. Jesus invites, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

There is a great difference between the simple life and poverty. The two have been associated in the minds of some people, and this is the reason they shun the idea of the simple life. Even those who have come into some degree of spiritual understanding sometimes put out of mind all thought of a simple manner of living, because they fear that others will think they are failing to demonstrate prosperity. In such cases those who judge should remember to "judge not according to appearance," and those who are judged should be satisfied with the praise of God rather than with the praise of men. All those who base their prosperity on possessions alone have a purely material prosperity which, though it may seem great for a time, will vanish, because it is founded on the changing of the external and has no root within the consciousness.

There is a great similarity in the homes of nearly all people who have about the same-sized incomes. Each one unconsciously follows suggestion and furnishes his home with the same sort of things as his neighbors. Here and there are exceptions. Someone is expressing his or her individuality, overcoming mass suggestion and buying the kind of furniture he really wants or that is really comfortable and useful. This free, independent spirit has much in its favor in making a prosperity demonstration. The delusion that it is necessary to be just like other people or to have as much as other people have, causes a spirit of anxiety that hinders the exercise of faith in demonstration.

The simple life does not imply poverty and it is not ascetic. It is as different from the austere as it is from wanton luxury. It is the natural, free, childlike, mode of living, and one never really knows what true prosperity is until one comes into this simplicity and independence of spirit. The simple life is a state of consciousness. It is peace, contentment, and satisfaction in the joy of living and loving, and it is attained through thinking about God and worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.

You want to learn how to demonstrate prosperity in your home by the righteous exercise of powers and faculties that God has given you. Realize in the very beginning that you do have these powers and faculties. You are in possession of everything necessary for the demonstration of prosperity and can undertake it with the utmost confidence and faith. You can draw on the omnipresent substance throughout all eternity, yet it will never grow less, for it consists of ideas. Through thinking you take some of these ideas into your mind and they begin to become manifest in your affairs.

Love is one of the ideas that provide a key to the infinite storehouse of abundance. It opens up generosity in us. It opens up generosity in others when we begin to love and bless them. Will it also open up a spirit of generosity in God? It certainly will and does. If you consciously love and bless God, you will soon find that things are coming your way. It will surprise you that just thinking about God will draw to you the things you want and expect, and bring many other blessings that you had not even thought about. Thousands of persons have proved this law to their entire satisfaction, and we have many records that illustrate how people have demonstrated abundance in the very face of apparent lack, simply by thinking about the love of God and thanking Him for what they have. This law will demonstrate itself for you or for anyone who applies it faithfully, for "love never faileth."


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

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

 

 

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

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All Contents Copyrighted, 2006, The Conscious Living Foundation