Ë  Conscious Living

Volume One, Issue Four               November 15, 2002



Home       Descriptions of All Classes     Quotations    Becoming a Teacher    What is CLF?    Bulletin Board


Welcome to the fourth issue of 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.

The theme of this issue is an exploration of the power of environment.

conscious living newsletter - rabindranath tagore, classes, affirmation, meditation

     To subscribe to this newsletter, please click and then "Send" the email.  It is not necessary to include any message.  Please be assured that your email address will not be sold, rented or given to any other organization or individual.


conscious living newsletter - personal growth, affirmation, audio cd, free samples

News:  Classes Continuing, Moving and More Beginning!

Several of our classes have begun are others are beginning at various locations around the Los Angeles area including South Pasadena, Glendale, Pasadena, Reseda, Studio City and West Los Angeles.  For more information on the subject matter of a particular class, click on its Class Title.  If you're interested in a class that has already begun, contact us by email at .  Some of our classes are ongoing and are designed to accommodate new students joining after the start of the class.  Others have a limited admittance once they have begun, but a new class series will be beginning soon.


Meeting Day

Class Title and Teacher

Enroll Here


Fee Per Class

Mondays         6:30 to 8 p.m.

Changing Your Life Through Visualization and Affirmation  -  Jeff Braucher Enrollment South Pasadena $25

Mondays              8 to 10 p.m.

Walking - The Complete Exercise  -           Steve Hamlin Enrollment South Pasadena $25
Mondays,             7 to 9 p.m. A Little Bit of Music   -  Bill Simpson Enrollment Glendale $25
Tuesdays             7 to 8:30 p.m. Reclaiming Your Singing Voice  - David Joyce Enrollment Reseda $25
Wednesdays,        7 to 9 p.m. Developing a Spiritual Lifestyle:  The Fundamentals of Conscious Living   -  Bill Simpson Enrollment Glendale $25
Fridays,             6:30 to 8 p.m. Embracing the Unknown in Each Moment -    Tom Rook Enrollment Burbank $25

Fridays                8 to 10 p.m.

Fun and Awareness Through Improvisation - Michael Nye

Enrollment Burbank $30
Saturdays,       8:30 to 10 a.m. Exploratory Watercolors for Parent and Child - Lucinda White Enrollment Pasadena $25
Saturdays,  10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Relieving Computer Related Distress  - Steve Hamlin

Enrollment Pasadena $25

Saturdays             1 to 3 p.m.     

Spiritual Psychology: The Gateway to Healing and Freedom - Juan Girardi

Enrollment Pasadena $25

Saturdays           3 to 4 p.m.    

Conscious Living Public Lecture Series

Nov. 16 - “Remembering God” - Bill Simpson                Nov. 30 - “Visualizing a Better Life” - Jeff Braucher 

Join Us Pasadena

         $5            Suggested Donation

Saturdays           3 to 5 p.m. November 23  December 7 & 14 Learning to Really See by Drawing -    Juan Ugarte Enrollment Pasadena $25

Saturdays           6 to 8 p.m.

Love in Action: Practical Ways to End the Cycle of Violence - Frederick Rule

Enrollment Studio City $25
Saturdays,           8 to 9:30 p.m. Personal Story Telling - Michael Nye Enrollment Studio City $25


We encourage you to visit other pages of our web site to learn more about the Conscious Living Foundation and to peruse the wide variety of other classes that will be available soon. CLF's Classes                       CLF's Discounts

What is CLF?


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conscious living newsletter - quotations on environment

Quotations: On The Power of Environment .

     Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.

                       James Allen

     Heredity is nothing, but stored environment.

Luther Burbank

     Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.

                       W. Clement Stone

     Man shapes himself through decision that shape his environment.

                     Rene Dubos


    Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.

                      Earl Nightingale

   The environment is everything that isn't me.

          Albert Einstein


    Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will -- his personal responsibility.

                    Albert Schweitzer

     A primary function of art and thought is to liberate the individual from the tyranny of his culture in the environmental sense and to permit him to stand beyond it in an autonomy of perception and judgment.

Lionel Trilling

     You see, it's never the environment; it's never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events -- how we interpret them -- that shapes who we are today and who we'll become tomorrow.

Anthony Robbins

     One measure of how creative you are is how you respond to changes in your circumstances and environment. How flexible are you? Consider how water adapts to its environment: evaporation, condensation, snowflake, melting, flowing, goes around rocks, and fills containers.




     To a very large extent men and women are a product of how they define themselves. As a result of a combination of innate ideas and the intimate influences of the culture and environment we grow up in, we come to have beliefs about the nature of being human. These beliefs penetrate to a very deep level of our psychosomatic systems, our minds and brains, our nervous systems, our endocrine systems, and even our blood and sinews. We act, speak, and think according to these deeply held beliefs and belief systems.

                        Jeremy W. Hayward

     We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted.

Napoleon Hill

     Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings.

                       William James 

     Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day...

                         Orison Swett Manden

    I believe there are few whose view of life has not been affected by the stern or kindly influences of their early childhood, which threw them in upon themselves in timidity and reserve, or drew them out in genial confidence and sympathy with their fellow creatures.  

          Basil W. Maturin


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conscious living newsletter - rabindranath tagore poem

Another Poem: by Rabindranath Tagore



 That I should make much of myself and turn it on all sides, thus casting coloured shadows on thy radiance - such is thy Maya.

Thou settest a barrier in thine own being and then callest thy severed self in myriad notes.  This thy self-separation has taken body in me.

The poignant song is echoed through all the sky in many-coloured tears and smiles, alarms and hopes; waves rise up and sing again, dreams break and form.  In me is thy own defeat of self.

This screen that thou hast raised is painted with innumerable figures with the brush of the night and the day.  Behind it thy seat is woven in wondrous mysteries of curves, casting away all barren lines of straightness.

The great pageant of thee and me has overspread the sky.  With the tune of thee and me all the air is vibrant, and all ages pass with the hiding and seeking of thee and me.




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conscious living newsletter - balancing masculine and feminine

Article:  Balancing Masculine and Feminine            by Shirley Knapp and Nanette McLane


The feminine spirit that has been reawakened in all here on the planet, out of considerable necessity, will help heal the Earth -- must be reawakened for ultimate healing of the planet. This is not about the battle of masculine and feminine where many continue to get frozen in time. It is not about war with each other. It's about embracing the understanding of the masculine and feminine within each of you so that you can bring it as a piece of whole truth, not half-truth.

Each of you have a masculine and feminine energy in your being, and both need to be activated and brought to an equal place. If you're doing battle with the outside masculine and feminine gender, you can assume that you are most definitely in inner conflict with yourself. You need the balance of both aspects of masculine and feminine energy, which has nothing to do with gender. It is about energy, and this is why, of course, all the confusion at this time which seems to he brought to the focus of sexuality, when that is clearly not the issue. The issue is of energy. So, when you find others about you who are angry with the opposite gender, ask them to look inside and heal, not project more isolation and separation to the outside world.

The Earth at this time and all beings who walk upon it need to be loved, need to he held, need to be held in community, in connection to Truth, not separate. It is time to bring balance, because you cannot take the next step without being in balance. You have been walking on one foot. You must be at peace --you must be balanced to take these next steps, and for those of you who have this illusion that being alone is balanced, you need to take a further, deeper look inside. You can be balanced on the inside emotionally as much as you can be, but that is only one piece or one side of the scale.

You had to learn to do the solo to understand and learn the dance. You had to learn to dance by the self so that you did not dance in dependence with another. However, one can only hold energy so long by the dance of themselves. This is nothing about relationships of the past. This is about connection to energy balances of the now, so that you're walking Foundation and Truth, not confusion and chaos, but balance and harmony. Do not find it a coincidence that you will be touched with a new heart-opening situation, whether it be in the connection that you are already in or a further one that will come along the path. This is the new step to take you higher. This next step needs to be taken so that you can understand balance, because when you start to travel multi-dimensionally, you must be more connected to balance.

Relationship to Soul Path

The balance of masculine and feminine in each of you is being brought to the surface of your beings at this time in a new form of relationship to soul. Many of you who are working on the aspect of relationship to self and relationship to others are about to begin the new journey that is just the next step: relationship to your soul path. What this is about to show you is not only how to recognize relationship to soul path, but how to hold it, to strengthen it, to be conscious of it, and to be understanding of how it is that you do, indeed, direct your soul's travel and destiny.

For many of you, this time has been filled with awareness, or newness, so the bringing of the awareness to the soul path has already been clearly prepared for you. Each of you has been asked to re-examine your own limitations. And now you ask, what is the next step now that we are all open and shifted and expanded? Where do we take this information and apply its understanding to the earth plane? Each of you has been prepared for this step, letting go of old past limitations so that you are consciously prepared now to open to the examination of your soul destiny.

Remember here, in relationship to soul, that your souls have chosen this particular way of the earth walk; have chosen the beings you walk with; have chosen the experiences you have had and are about to have; all in preparation for soul growth. In essence, you are choosing what is required of you to take the next step that will push you just a little further. Your soul is requiring this process.

Now, you can pretend at times that you don't hear it, or you don't see it or feel it. The soul will continue on the path until you align with the truth that this is indeed the best growth for your next piece on the path of travel and Light. Whatever circumstance brings you to this place; whatever person asks you to stretch a little further; whatever relationship to whatever in your life asks you to go a little further -- examine it before you push it away, because you are being brought exactly what is going to take you to the next step toward growth on the spiritual journey For some of you it is about relationship, for some it is about home, and for others it is about growth in your beings. Whatever it is, look at each aspect of your journey and see how it is asking you to stretch, without fear, to the next level.


Always remember you are integrating. Sometimes it will feel like you're moving ahead and flowing faster and forward; and then it is very quiet, and there seems to be no insights, no connections, no Truth, no understandings -- it's a fog. That is the time of integration. It has to be that after every forward movement, you have to integrate. You could not keep up that pace in your energy field, in your energy form. So, when it feels foggy, just sit. You never move forward in a fog. You sit in your quiet, in your Truth. When the fog lifts, you begin forward motion.

Just listen to your inside cycle of Truth and healing and open your arms to the essence of who you are. Open your hearts to the beauty of all your beings -- without fear and limitation -- and you will see yourselves as never before. Each of you has a strong, vital path that only you and you alone can walk. Honor each other's path, because we all walk a different path, but many are heading in the same direction. Just remember this.

The commitment to staying centered on your path and in your Truth of healing is more important than before. It may also appear more difficult than before. The energy of fear and change feels very oppressive and heavy at times. Support each other. Gather -- continue to gather -- a resilience to all that you will see about you. See it as change; see it as opportunity; see it just as you would plant a garden. You must till and pull out the dead wood, the weeds that are in the garden, so that you can grow the new. As you shift, you will shift others. We know that in essence you know this, but say to you at this time that it is more important than ever before to hold fast to this truth because it will encourage others to consciously choose joy.

The essence of joy and the conscious choice to choose joy will direct you and all others about you. And you do make this choice. You may ask for our support and help at all times. We will remind you of your choice. We will remind you of your Truth, and that indeed you deserve the highest on all levels. Once again, we know that you hear this many times a day but we do see that vibrationally, even though you hear this and understand these words, perhaps it is not always totally and completely absorbed and understood in your cellular memories.

             Article Reprinted With Permission. 

             Visit Shirley Knapp at:  http://www.northwindsprod.com.




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conscious living newsletter - relativity, free inspirational articles

A Story:  Relativity                                         by anonymous
One day, Timmy was talking to God.

"What's a thousand years like to you, God?" Timmy asked.

"Like a second," God replied.

"What's a million dollars like to you, God?" Timmy asked.

"Like a penny, Timmy," God replied.

"Hey, God," Timmy thoughtfully asked, "can I borrow a penny?"

"Sure," God replied. "Hold on a second."




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conscious living newsletter - free article chan buddhist meditation

Article: The Foundation of Chan Buddhist Meditation                   Translated by                                                                                                         Dharma Master Lok To

Why Meditate?
When you are caught up in the emotional upheaval of greed, anger and delusion, you may find yourself succumbing to some very real physical ailments; and when you are ill, the world may seem to be a very dismal place. That is not to say, however, that all of our illnesses are due to extreme emotions. Exposure to substances to which you may be allergic can alter everything about you. It can cause violent mood swings, depression, hallucinations and all sorts of physical effects, including actual tissue damage. Whatever the cause, disease is most often accompanied by an assortment of disruptive emotions. Programs that have been designed to make therapeutic use of relaxation methods and meditation have proved to be effective in curbing both the physical effects and the emotions which accompany them. Yet, as beneficial as they may be, such methods can take one only so far.

In the Buddhist tradition, meditation is used to defuse the source of all the trouble-the illusion of self and other. In Ch'an (or Zen), the aim is to overcome thought and defilement. Having done this, and with thoughts no longer stirring, the real substance of mind becomes evident. Without thoughts and without the illusion of self and other, greed, anger and hatred have no place to arise; and the energy that was tied up by those illusions becomes available, helping to provide an overall improvement in health. That is why meditation is called The Fundamental Practice.

The Psychophysiological Effects Of Meditation
The Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), emphasized the role that the cerebrum plays in physiology. At first glance, one might assume this to be merely a statement of fact, because that part of the brain is usually thought to involve little else other than thinking. Actually, it takes part in the production of many hormones, both directly and indirectly. Every aspect of a person is interrelated, and that is how and why thoughts and emotions can have such far-reaching effects. That is, however, also why meditation and calm-inducing thoughts can be so stabilizing and so healthy. One can safely assume, then, that most of what contributes to proper functioning also contributes to good health.

Useful Hints For Better Practice And Better Health
As you progress in your practice, you are required to sit motionless for longer and longer periods of time at a stretch. It is then that some very important physical limitations may oblige you to make some adjustments in the way that you sit. Should you choose to ignore them, thinking that there is just one right way to practice, you may cause yourself needless pain and distraction (which means that you will not be able to concentrate); and you may possibly expose yourself to irreparable physical damage as well.

It is not unusual for people who have gone on retreats to return with painfully damaged knees, having held a position in spite of pain and having welcomed an ensuing numbness, simply because they have more trouble than they can remedy. To paraphrase The Kalama Sutra, "Do not do something because you have been instructed to do so, but try it and find out how it works for you."  Be always on guard for what doesn't seem to be quite right, and see what might be done about it. There are many, many methods that can be tried. There is no reason to have to submit to pain or outright debility, especially when nothing good can come of it.

The Relationship Between Mind And Meditation
The metaphor of the mirror, often referred to in Ch'an, is most suitable here in pointing out the most salient aspects of meditation as practiced in this tradition. The mirror-mind does not respond at all, and it is by this lack of agitation that all things are clearly known. This is how the mind is said to be when there is no clinging. The mind, to be like a mirror, must be passive, detached, uninterested and quiet. It is a time of rest, recuperation and of learning to be undefiled in the midst of what is normally defiling. When there is no perturbation in the mind, just as when there are no ripples on the surface of a lake, all things are mirrored clearly, leaving no trace. There are no intentions, and there is no action to be taken or not taken. There is no dependence upon anything that you do or do not do. Meditation just unfolds naturally as the mind grows tranquil.

If you make the sun's rays converge, using a magnifying glass, and focus the resulting point of light onto a sheet of paper, you can easily burn a hole through it. Similarly, when you concentrate your thoughts, you are empowered in many ways. A lay Buddhist, Yang Jen San, once found a copy of The Surangama Sutra in an old bookstore. He was overjoyed. It was just what he had been looking for. He sat down and read and read in complete absorption, oblivious to his surroundings, until someone called him. Suddenly he noticed it had become dark and that if he wanted to continue, he would have to light a lamp. Wondrous things must happen in deep concentration, for he had been reading in the dark! A very famous writer of the Sung Dynasty, Su Dong Pu, recounted a similar experience in which he was so deeply engrossed in painting a picture that he was no longer aware of his person nor of anything else. It is as though where wholehearted application is directed, the whole world must step aside.

As your concentration strengthens, your breathing slows down and becomes subtle; areas of residual tension relax, perhaps after having existed there for a very long time, and there is no effort. A feeling of well-being and ease ensues. Sustained, relaxed concentration of this type easily becomes meditation. Unfolding naturally, if allowed to continue, it improves one's health and vitality, as stultified emotions and their physical concomitants give way to healing. The health-enhancing benefits of meditation are now a matter of record, and numerous physicians include it in programs for their patients' recoveries.

The average person's mind is in turmoil. He or she is the product of deep-rooted patterns of thought resulting from karma accumulated since time immemorial, as well as being  tortured by the illusion of self. To be enlightened is to be free of all of that. Concentration already reduces the turmoil by limiting one's attention to just one thing. Through this practice, the apparent hold that you have on your illusion of self and things gives way until there is meditation. Then, there is an absence of thought and an absence of words. Then, without the stress and the strain of delusion, a very deep sort of healing takes place.

Meditation And Dhyana
In Buddhism, the ordinary man is seen as leading a life steeped in suffering through the defilements of greed, anger and delusion. It is only when he finds out, firsthand, that there is, indeed, nothing that he does that is free of defilement and suffering and that there is a way out of it all, that he may become sufficiently well-motivated to gain that freedom. This is traditionally likened to the discovery that the pretty, colored rope that one has found and treasures is actually a very poisonous snake. When that is your experience, you may have such a profound understanding of Buddhadharma that your life will turn around radically. You may realize beyond all doubt that, though the body may be strong and healthy, it still changes and grows old. You may realize deeply, by breaking off attachment to both body and mind, that birth, death, and defilement also no longer exist. In the Ch'an tradition, this is discovered through meditation.

Discipline (sila), and wisdom (prajna)are closely related to meditation (dhyana). Proper discipline leads to dhyana, and dhyana gives rise to wisdom.  It is by means of discipline that the defilements are dispelled, and this eases the way for the cultivation of dhyana (established in the same region as prajna). The great Ch'an Ting (Chinese for dhyana-related meditative practice) is said to be secluded from defilement and suffering as the result of self-discipline. To free oneself from defilements is the main purpose of the practice of pure discipline. By means of discipline, defilements are dispelled. Then, dhyana can become established; defined variously as voidness, the absence of subject and object, Ch'an Ting, or that which is not of the flow of suffering, it is the access route to wisdom (prajna).



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conscious living newsletter - meditation, awareness, audio cd free samples

News:  New Teacher Joins the Conscious Living Foundation - Juan Pablo Girardi

       Juan Pablo's first class with CLF, "Spiritual Psychology:  The Gateway to Healing and Freedom" is offered on Saturday afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Pasadena Church of Religious Science at 277 N. El Molino in Pasadena. 

              Some of the topics in the class include:  Art of Acceptance”, “Eliminating Negative Thinking”, “Discovering Your Life Mission”, “Affirmations That Really Work”, “Healing Our Relationship With Money”, “Service Leads To Oneness”, and “The Path of Creativity”.

              Juan Pablo has an M.A. in Psychology, is licensed as a Marriage Family Therapist and has practiced clinical psychotherapy for more than 10 years and spiritual disciplines for more than 20 years.  His classes are an integration of his experience in both fields. 

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conscious living newsletter - audio cd, shin, tagore, gibran

News:  Saturday Afternoon Public Lecture Series Is Here!  
             CLF is now offering a 1 hour public lecture series on select Saturday afternoons at 3 p.m. at the Pasadena Church of Religious Science at 277 N. El Molino in Pasadena.  The first lecture was held on November 16th with a talk by Bill Simpson entitled "Remembering God". 

              The next meeting in the series will be held on November 30th with a talk entitled "Visualizing A Better Life" by one of CLF's teachers, Jeff Braucher.

              The topics for the remainder of the series will be wide-ranging, informative, inspirational and entertaining.  Please watch our web site for details on the talks scheduled for December.

              Admission for all talks in this series is on a donation basis - the suggested donation is $5. 

              Although some of our speakers for the series are also teachers within CLF, we are inviting all others who are interested in giving a talk appropriate to our organization to contact us at . 

               Please check our web site regularly for more information.


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conscious living newsletter - audio book series james allen

News:  We Are Pleased To Announce the First of Our “Legendary Masters” Audio Book Series, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen


James Allen was born in Leicester, England in 1864.  In 1879 his father left for America in an effort to recoup financial losses. The elder Allen had hoped to settle in the United States, but was robbed and murdered before he could send for his family.

The financial crisis that resulted forced James to leave school at fifteen and begin work as a personal secretary for an executive of a large corporation until  1902. 

 At the age of 38 he resigned from his prior work to begin writing and moved with his wife to a small cottage at Ilfracombe, England. 

There he wrote more than 20 books in the 10 years prior to his death in 1912.

He is credited by some as being the progenitor of the personal growth movement and has influenced many of today's leaders in the field including Norman Vincent Peale, Earl Nightingale, Denis Waitley, Tony Robbins and Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup books.

"Beyond the New Testament, the Old Testament and other books documenting the beliefs of the greatest religions of the world, there is one little book that impacted my life dramatically during my formative teenage years.  The book is "As A Man Thinketh", the most widely acclaimed...book written by James Allen, who might be likened to the Norman Vincent Peale or Earl Nightingale of the late 1800's." - Denis Waitley, author of The Psychology of Winning.

Our CD Audio Book is read by Bill Simpson, the founder and director of the Conscious Living Foundation.

Selections from the recording are available to be downloaded from our Web site by clicking:


"He who has  conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.  His every thought is allied with power and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome.  Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force."

James Allen - from "As A Man Thinketh"

 Audio CD - $9.99 plus shipping and handling.


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conscious living newsletter - inspiring audio and video products

News:  Future Audio and Video Products


We are pleased to announce that our first video product, “The Sacred Rivers of India”, a meditation and relaxation video tape photographed on location, will be released within the next few weeks.  Through artistically blended images of the rivers Ganges and Jamuna and the natural beauty surrounding them, the viewer is lead into a deeper calmness, peace and relaxation.  Video samples will be available for download soon on the Web site.


     Further, we are pleased to announce our relationship with California musician, Raymond Powers and we will be offering his musical CD "Heart of the Mother" very shortly.  This is a special CD because 30% of the proceeds of each sale go to the Ojai Birth Resource and Family Center in Ojai, California who offer, among other services, infant and early childhood courses for new parents in the Ojai area.


     Finally, in the near future, we will also be adding to our “Legendary Masters” Audio Book Series with “Practicing The Presence Of God” by Brother Lawrence, “The Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu, “The Game Of Life” by Florence Scovel Shinn and “Above Life’s Turmoils” by James Allen.  Each CD in this series is priced at $9.99.



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conscious living newsletter - free e-books, free audio samples, affirmations, quotes

Copyright 2002 The Conscious Living Foundation (all rights reserved)