Friday, December 31, 2010


The highest model of goodness (for a human beings) is like water. Water benefits to the ten thousand things and does does not compete with them. It flows to the lowest places that all despise; This is why it resembles so close to the Way (Tao).

Happy New Year 2011

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Healing Herbs & Spiritual Herbs

Healing Herbs
Comfrey Root
It is not known what makes some nettle plants absorb magical energy from the earth, but we are lucky they do. The strange, bright sheen on the leaves marks such plants. They can grow anywhere, even underground. However, the very same plant growing underground doesn't look like the same as it does on surface, but is more pale and grows weaker, instead.

Comfrey roots are used into healing purposes, both on surface and beneath it. To gain the beneficial effects of the plant, the roots must be grinded in mortar, and mixed with some sort of fluid, most commonly water. Some healers are known to use even resin or other sticky plant-parts in conjunction with comfrey-mass. Once ready, the gained concoction is put into a container that can be easily accessed and is lightweight to carry, usually into a glassbottle.

In times of need, internal usage of the comfrey-mass should be avoided completely, for this may or will be fatal to the imbiber. Instead, the salve should be spread across the damaged area of the user's body, i.e. broken bone or minor laceration.

Even though this quite useful plant is somewhat common around the world, it is still priced very often for it's general healing ability.

Glowing Nettle
Small plants that sparkle of their own accord, glowing nettle contains a magical energy that can be cannibalized for use in various healing potions.

Ember Flowers
Ember flowers are beautiful, sweet-smelling orange or yellow flowers. They have powerful healing properties that make them the essential component in the strongest healing potions and in resurrection balm. They are extremely rare.

Spiritual Herbs
This thorny green plant with the red berries is renowned for its usefulness in naturalistic rituals and alchemy. It is highly poisonous, and yet, in small quantities and properly treated, can make curing potions as well.

Crypt Shrooms
A rare variety of mushroom used in some poison and energy potions. Studied by Cochran of the Tower of Magi.

Asptongue Mold
A rare, dangerous mold, used in the creation of the most powerful poisons.

Energetic Herbs
Wormgrass is twisted, wicked-looking, and defends itself with razor sharp edges. The youngest, freshest, sharpest blades are valuable in alchemy.

Unique Herbs
One of many poisonous varieties of mushroom. Toadstools are scattered throughout the land, which contributes to their diversity.

One extremely rare species of toadstool is the Borgia toadstool. It is native to the lower caves.

Graymold is a sweet smelling, slimy, dark gray mold. Because of its scarcity and ability to cure almost any illness or injury, it is constantly in demand by healers and alchemists. It is best known for its use in graymold salve, though it is also used in other powerful potions. It is usually only found underground, but has been known to appear in isolated crags on the surface.

Since the earliest dawning of magical power, mandrake root has been the key ingredient of the most powerful rituals. In addition to containing much energy waiting to be unleashed, proper treatment can turn mandrake into a vicious poison.

Animal Part Ingredients
Fangs and glands from asps, spiders, and even drakes are sometimes used in the creation of poisons. Intact sets are hard to come by, as most venom sacs rupture soon after a creature dies. Fangs from especially strong, magical creatures, such as spider queens and drake lords, are particularly valuable.

Retrieved from ""

What is Vetiver Oil? 5 Reasons to Use Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver Oil

It has a number of benefits due to its therapeutic value and aroma which helps in calming the nerves of those who are stressed out mentally and want to calm down and relax. It has a sedative property which makes it a likeable choice to be used in relieving people of stress, tension, anxiety and curing patients who have been suffering from insomnia for a long period of time. The aroma is such that it eases the nervous nerves which make it easier for people to regain a steady and calm balance.

The vetiver oil has a spicy undertone and is sweet with an earthy tone. It has a revitalizing and restoring quality which helps an individual to calm their nerves and take solace under any circumstances. It helps one to take every challenge thrown in their path with courage and a sense of tranquillity. It comforts and supports those who use it to a great extent. It can eradicate the worst of your fears and inhibitions by giving you a sense of connectivity to your root and origin due to its earthy property.

Those hit by the worst of situations and those under severe shock and trauma can also get considerable relief from using this aromatic oil. It has the property to help one relax completely by putting the soul, mind and body in perfect sync and enables a person to rest peacefully. It is also a great conditioner and can be used to rejuvenate the scalp, skin and hair. The ancient science of India, Ayurveda, makes use of the vetiver oil to help the body overcome the doshas or imbalance. The balancing property of this oil puts things back in sync.

One can use this oil to stimulate the muladhara chakra which is the first chakra in the body and the Manipura chakra which is the third one respectively. This oil can be blended with any of the citrus oils like orange and petitgrain though it has the quality to be used on its own as well. You can use this oil when you feel low, feel that you need to soothe your nerves, bring your body imbalance back to normal or simply rejuvenate yourself with the aromatic value. It is a definite treat you can sit back and enjoy.

5 Reasons to Use Vetiver Essential Oil
Oct 16, 2010 Stephanie Holland

Vetiver is the only grass cultivated worldwide for the root essential oil. Used extensively in perfumery and cosmetics, it is less well known for its powerful healing properties and ease of use for day to day ailments.

Vetiver is a fantastic essential oil good for helping to relax frayed nerves, healing skin, relieving muscular aches and pains, treating PMS and menopause as well as being deeply grounding and uplifting. For these 5 reasons alone it is a fantastic oil to keep at home for day to day ailments.

The sweet, heavy, woody and earth aroma of vetiver is unmistakeably green and rich. Native to India, the grass also grows in Java, the Seychelles, Reunion, Brazil, Haiti and Japan. Its nature as the oil of tranquility is reflected in a dark amber liquid that is so thick and almost treacle-like. It is a beautiful oil for the home as it can help with many day to day ailments.

Here are the 5 reasons to use vetiver essential oil:

Use #1: Vetiver essential oil is deeply relaxing
Known as the oil of tranquility, it is beneficial for anyone experiencing stress, anxiety, insomnia or depression. It is a nervine (strengthens the nerves and nervous system) and sedative (reduces nervousness, distress and agitation) therefore the perfect oil to help you ground, relax and balance yourself in "I want to scream and pull my hair out" moments.

Use #2: Vetiver oil is great for skin, especially wrinkles and stretchmarks

Its vulnerary (prevent tissue regeneration and promotes wound healing) and cicatrisant (promotes formation of scar tissue) properties make it excellent for healing tired and stressed skin.

It is excellent for revitalizing skin after childbirth to minimize stretchmarks. It can also help with cuts, wounds and scars. It is helpful in daily skincare in the treatment of dry, dehydrated skin as well as bruises. Very moisturizing, it can even be used in facial blends for wrinkles. It is up there with a woman's best friend.

Use #3: Vetiver is very effective at relieving muscular aches and pains
Vetiver oil is rubefacient (meaning it's warming and increases blood flow) and therefore superb in the treatment of general body aches and pains, bruises, rheumatism and arthritis.

The use of vetiver in a massage blend is a deeply relaxing treatment that soothes aches and pains and is highly recommended for anyone with sore joints. Very good for massage in stressful times that manifest into a very sore and achy body.

Use #4: Vetiver essential oil is superb at treating PMS and menopausal symptoms
Vetiver oil is an excellent oil to have in the house when there are women around (of any age!). Whether it is you that suffers PMS or menopausal symptoms or the person you live with, vetiver essential oil is a star in helping to regulate hormones!

It is said to regulate the secretion of estrogen and progesterone, making it very helpful during menopause. Its cooling action also helps with hot flushes and its grounding action helps to balance the emotions.

PMS can be caused by estrogen deficiency and therefore is helpful for the same reasons as menopause. Its uplifting and grounding nature can help with unbalanced emotions during the menstrual period.

Use #5: Vetiver is great for the digestive system
Vetiver oil is able to support the body's restorative, absorptive and anabolic functions. It is therefore useful for stimulating a poor appetite, for weight loss, in cases of anemia and malabsorption. It is also said to be helpful for a congested liver and pancreas.

5 reasons to use vetiver essential oil
Vetiver oil is a gounding and uplifting essential oil great for revitalizing the skin, relaxing the mind and relieving muscular aches and pains, treating PMS and menopausal symptoms and helping with digestive complaints.

For the oil burner or diffuser it blends excellently with essential oils of frankincense, grapefruit, lemon, sandalwood and ylang ylang.

Battaglia, Salvatore, 2007, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, The Healing Arts Press, London

Mojay, Gabriel, 1999, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, The Healing Arts Press, London

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What is the Solar Plexus

What is the Solar Plexus

In the human body, a complex collection of nerves of the nervous system in one specific location is known as a plexus. And this is exactly what the solar plexus really is. It is a location where a number of nerve endings meet, and this increases the sensitivity and the functionality of this specific region. The general location of the solar plexus in a human being is in the back of the stomach, or the upper abdomen, and it is also referred to as the celiac plexus by doctors and medical experts. Some of the components that merge in the solar plexus location are as follows.
Splanchnic Nerves - These are nerves that stretch to both sides of the body, and the sensory fibers that they carry enable a person to feel pain and other feelings.
Vagus Nerve - These are nervous tissues that communicate the state of certain organs to the human brain, so they too are sensory nerves in their own right.
Celiac Ganglia - These are 2 big nerves located in the abdomen, and they overlook and communicate information about the digestive system.
Aorticorenal Ganglia - These constitute a part of the celiac ganglia.
Where is Your Solar Plexus Located

This basic information should be enough for you to get a simple idea about the solar plexus. This is why the area is so sensitive, and causes an individual to reel in agony if he receives a blow there. When you learn self defense or any other martial arts techniques, you will be told about the solar plexus location in the body, and you will be instructed on how to target it in your opponent. Doing so will enable you to gain an upper hand in combat.

Solar Plexus Chakra

In Hindu mythology and in the Sanskrit language, Chakra represents a wheel of energy. This information was used for medicinal purposes in ancient times, and there are apparently 7 such Chakras in the body. The Solar Plexus Chakra is known as the Manipura or the Manipuraka, and it is associated with the digestive and metabolic processes of the human body due to the Solar Plexus location (Read more about the other Chakra points). The symbol of this Chakra is a downward pointing triangle enclosed in a circle, and bordered by 10 flower petals. Even Tibetan Buddhism propagates the concept of these Chakras, and they have a symbol for the Solar Plexus Chakra as well. This Chakra is also said to correspond with feelings of fear, anxiety, introversion, personal power, opinion-formation and spiritual growth.

With so much known about the solar plexus location, there is still a lot of mysticism and spirituality associated with this part of the human anatomy. Its vulnerability to physical blows is well known, but its real significance runs much deeper than that.

By Rahul Thadani
Published: 12/4/2010

Solar Plexus Pain Causes

As mentioned earlier, because the cluster of nerves in the solar plexus is interconnected to various parts of both the digestive and the nervous system, the causes of solar plexus pain can be many and may also be hard to define without proper medical examination. The common causes of solar plexus pain are as follows.
Improper functioning in the nerves of the solar plexus.

A hit or a blow on the stomach or the solar plexus area.

Pancreatic cancer
Chronic Pancreatitis
A pulled muscle can again be a cause for pain in solar plexus as there are so many nerves in there.
Too much of stress
Metastatic cancer
Acid reflux diseases which may cause solar plexus pain after eating.
Treatment of Solar Plexus Pain

When speaking of the treatment of solar plexus pain, it is very important to first determine the appropriate cause for the same. This is done through various medical procedures for testing including the scans, MRI's, blood tests etc. Therefore, in order to treat the solar plexus pain, it is best to get in touch with your health care specialist as soon as possible. Below mentioned are some treatments that might be helpful by the time you check with your doctor.
Avoid taking painkillers as they may cause trouble if the cause of the pain is ulcers.
You can go for antacids which may prove to be beneficial for the first 3-4 days, however, if you still fail to get some relief, then it is best advisable to get in touch with your doctor.
If you feel that the solar plexus pain is due to a muscle pull, then application of hot and cold packs on the solar plexus would also help.
If the pain is way to much then you can also take a few drops of chamomile or lavender oil on a warm damp towel and place it on the naked skin for sometime. Remember to cover it with a blanket so that the heat passes through the solar plexus.
There are many yoga exercises for muscle relaxation which can prove to be of help. Some simple activities like deep breathing, chanting loudly while placing your hands on the solar plexus, shallow and rapid breathing, etc, can help to relieve the pain.
Although the above mentioned treatments and causes might help you understand this subject better, I would like to remind you again about the amount of muscles and nerves that are a part of the solar plexus. Therefore, it is best to check with your doctor to know the exact cause of solar plexus pain, who will then provide you with the correct and relevant treatment. Do not take it lightly as a delay might only worsen the situation. The solar plexus is a complicated and sensitive part of your body, so you need to take special care of it. Take care.

By Shalu Bhatti
Published: 12/6/2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Your Awareness Comes from Sensing or Intuition!

Your Awareness Comes from Sensing or Intuition!

Type Dynamics of Energy Impact How You See the World!
Words to Describe Personality on the Awareness Level

Sensing and Intuition describe how you most instinctively BECOME AWARE of what is going on around you.

How do you SEE THE WORLD literally?

Why do you pay attention to some things more intently than others?

Why do you remember some things better/worse than others?

Sensors are naturally focused on the present moment,details, on concrete information in the here and the now, information gained powerfully from their five (5) senses; seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling.

Intuits are naturally focused on the future, what is over the horizon, with a view to concepts, patterns and possibilities.

Sensors more instinctively notice the facts, details,

and realities of the world around them in the here and the now. Consider the following list of personality traits NATURALLY associated with sensing:

•perceiving with the five senses
•clear straightforward speech pattern
•attends to practical and factual details
•focused on actual experiences
•very in touch with physical realities
•more literal using facts and real examples
•present oriented in the moment folk
•sensible down to earth
•see little things in everyday life
•attend to step-by-step experience
•the eyes will tell the mind what is going on

This is not a complete list of words to describe personality but these can be considered a list of personality traits and/or characteristics commonly displayed by Sensors.

Intuits more naturally see the potential connections and relationships between facts as well as the meaning, or possibilities of the facts as well as the meaning, or possibilities of the information.

Consider the following list of personality traits NATURALLY associated with intuition:

•perceive with memory and associations
•complex conceptual speech pattern using lots of compound sentences
•more figurative using analogies/metaphors
•focused on the possibilities
•more in their heads
see patterns and meanings
•repeat themselves recap and rephrase
•project possibilities for the future
•bored easily after learning skills
•read between the lines
•looking for the big picture
•get hunches out of nowhere
•finish other peoples thoughts (interrupt)
•leap around in a roundabout way mentally

Discover Your Thinking-Feeling Reasoning Style!

Discover Your Thinking-Feeling Reasoning Style!

Type Dynamics of Becoming Informed Impact How You Make Decisions!

Words to Describe Personality on the Reasoning Level

Thinking and Feeling describe how you like to go about DECIDING THINGS.Thinkers make decisions and reason based primarily on objective and impersonal criteria-what makes the most sense and what is the most LOGICAL-period. Feelers make decisions and reason based primarily on their PERSONAL VALUES and how they Feel about the choices.

Thinkers naturally tend to be cool, analytical, and are convinced by logical reasoning. Feelers tend to be sensitive, empathetic, and are convinced by extenuating circumstances and a constant search for HARMONY.

Thinkers more naturally reason with objectivity, pro and

con, cause and affect, most logical, factual bottom line analysis. Consider the following list of personality traits NATURALLY associated with thinking:

•use logical analysis
•truth is an objective
•notice ineffective reasoning
•act cooler distant toward others (while reasoning)
•deal with people firmly as needed
•expect world to run on logical principles
•may seem insensitive, blunt and tactless at times
•argue and debate for fun
get right to the point
•give praise sparingly
•usually very assertive
•more likely to be male (65%++)

This is not a complete list of words to describe personality but these can be considered a list of personality traits and/or characteristics commonly displayed by Thinkers.

Feelers more naturally tend to base their decisions primarily on people centered values and on subjective evaluations of people centered concerns and harmony.Consider the following list of personality traits NATURALLY associated with feeling:

•applying personal priorities
•harmony as a goal
•notice when people need support
•act warmer, friendlier toward others
•deal with people compassionately
•very sensitive to other’s feeling
•usually very gentle and diplomatic
•ANY feeling is valid
•avoid arguments conflict and confrontation
•thin skin feelings get hurt easily
•take most things personally
generous with praise
•may lack assertiveness
•more likely to be female (65%++)

This is not a complete list of words to describe personality but these can be considered a list of personality traits and/or characteristics commonly displayed by Feelers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heart Meditation

Heart Meditation
Heart meditation helps you with your ability to love and also your ability to let things go, both of which are very important in everyday life when dealing with other people, whether its loved ones or just acquaintances. Your ability to love effects your relationships on many levels, the ability to let go is also very important as resentment and anger can build up to dangerous levels if left unchecked.

Heart meditation helps on both of these matters by activating two important chakras, the heart chakra and the navel chakra. The heart chakra is in the heart centre which is located between the breast and slightly to the left. The navel chakra is located about 2 to 3 inches below your navel.

To practice the heart meditation firstly take your usual meditating position (heart meditation is not dependent on position and can be practiced in any), my favorite is to sit on a meditation cushion cross legged, with my knees touching the floor and my back straight.

Heart meditation is aligned with your breathing so you might want to take a minute to relax and take a few deep breaths. When you are comfortable, breathe in and imagine the breath going into your heart center.

The second stage is, when you breathe out, imagine your breath is flowing down to your navel chakra; this stimulates a feeling of letting go.

The third stage of heart meditation is when you breathe in you imagine you breathe in from your navel chakra to your heart center.
Stage two is then repeated with an inner feeling of letting go.
Stage three is repeated again, as you imagine that you breathe in from your navel to your heart center.

The process is repeated between stage 2 and stage 3 until your meditation is over.

When you have practiced and mastered the heart meditation technique, you may like to imagine when breathing to your heart center that a white light and a feeling of love is engulfing the heart, some yogi have said that the feeling of love is so intense that it has brought such joy and a inner peace that is unrivaled.
By Greg Hyman

Friday, December 17, 2010


Self-enquiry- Practice
Edited by David Godman

By David Godman

Beginners in self-enquiry were advised by Sri Ramana to put their attention on the inner feeling of ‘I’ and to hold that feeling as long as possible. They would be told that if their attention was distracted by other thoughts they should revert to awareness of the ‘I’-thought whenever they became aware that their attention had wandered. He suggested various aids to assist this process- one could ask oneself ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Where does this I come from?’- but the ultimate aim was to be continuously aware of the ‘I’ which assumes that it is responsible for all the activities of the body and the mind.

In the early stages of practice attention to the feeling ‘I’ is a mental activity which takes the form of a thought or a perception. As the practice develops, the thought ‘I’ gives way to a subjectively experienced feeling of ‘I’, and when this feeling ceases to connect and identify with thoughts and objects, it completely vanishes. What remains is an experience of being in which the sense of individuality has temporarily ceased to operate. The experience may be intermittent at first but with repeated practice it becomes easier and easier to reach and maintain. When self-enquiry reaches this level there is an effortless awareness of being in which individual effort is no longer possible since the ‘I’ who makes the effort has temporarily ceased to exist. It is not Self-realisation since the ‘I’-thought periodically reasserts itself but it is the highest level of practice. Repeated experience of this state of being weakens and destroys the Vasanas (mental tendencies) which cause the '‘I’-thought to rise, and, when their hold has been sufficiently weakened, the power of the Self destroys the residual tendencies so completely that the ‘I’-thought never rises again. This is the final and irreversible state of Self-realisation.

This practice of Self-attention or awareness of the ‘I’-thought is a gentle technique, which bypasses the usual repressive methods of controlling the mind. It is not an exercise in concentration, nor does it aim at suppressing thoughts; it merely invokes awareness of the source from which the mind springs. The method and goal of self-enquiry is to abide in the source of the mind and to be aware of what one really is by withdrawing attention and interest from what one is not. In the early stages effort in the form of transferring attention from the thoughts to the thinker is essential, but once awareness of the ‘I’-feeling has been firmly established, further effort is counter-productive. From then on it is more a process of being than doing, of effortless being rather than an effort to be.

Being what one already is is effortless since beingness is always present and always experienced. On the other hand, pretending to be what one is not (i.e. the body and the mind) requires continuous mental effort even though the effort is nearly always at a subconscious level. It therefore follows that in the higher stages of self-enquiry effort takes attention away from the experience of being while the cessation of mental effort reveals it. Ultimately, the Self is not discovered as a result of doing anything, but only by being. As Sri Ramana Maharshi himself once remarked:

‘Do not meditate – be!

Do not think that you are – be!

Don’t think about being – you are!’

Self-enquiry should not be regarded as a meditation practice that takes place at certain hours and in certain positions; it should continue throughout one's waking hours, irrespective of what one is doing. Sri Ramana Maharshi saw no conflict between working and self-enquiry and he maintained that with a little practice it could be done under any circumstances. He did sometimes say that regular periods of formal practice were good for beginners, but he never advocated long periods of sitting meditation and he always showed his disapproval when any of his devotees expressed a desire to give up their mundane activities in favour of a meditative life.

The Magic of Five Seconds of Silence

The Magic of Five Seconds of Silence

You have heard that "silence is golden," right?

There are many teachers of the power of silence and you can buy books about the benefits of silence.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, "See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...we need silence to be able to touch souls."

Many of us spend our lives waiting to speak, forming our words, anxious to respond, ready to answer instantly when another stops speaking.

Today, as I was talking with one of my beloved spiritual partners, I suddenly felt a prompting to purposefully practice five seconds of silence before responding to my partner's statements. I suggested this to my partner and we both began to observe the five second rule.

The results were profoundly amazing - so amazing that we both became giddy with joy.

During those five seconds of silence, we experienced peace and a connectedness to spirit that I had not experienced before. Those five seconds of silence felt like pure consciousness, an acute awareness of my spiritual self.

We both became the Observers of ourselves, watching as our consciousness shifted and our energy vibrations were raised.

We began to giggle as we talked about how others would react to us if we began to exercise our new power of silence by pausing for just five seconds before responding to another's words.

Just five seconds.

We realized that during those five seconds of silence, we were in a state of allowing, receptive to Divine guidance, without the necessity of racing to be ready to speak immediately.

It is so simple, yet not easy to do. Can you imagine?

If you observe just five seconds of silence in a conversation on the telephone, others will respond with, "Are you still there?"

And if we practice our five seconds of silence with friends and family, they will say, "Did you hear me?"

And we can respond with, "Yes, I am here... Yes, I hear you... I am simply observing five seconds of silence before I respond."

Perhaps they will hear the peace in your voice or see the joy in your face as you begin to practice the art of truly listening, knowing that in your five seconds of silence you are in a state of receiving, trusting that your next words will be perfect and Divinely guided.

Try it! Simply pause to observe five seconds of silence before speaking in any conversation. Watch the shift in your consciousness and observe the peace that washes over you.

That is the magic of five seconds of silence.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spiritual Growth Benefits, Tips and Suggestions

Spiritual Growth Benefits, Tips and Suggestions
By Remez Sasson

Spiritual growth is an important inner process, not only for people who live in far away and secluded places, and who seek spiritual awakening. Spiritual growth is of paramount importance for a better, happier and more harmonious life, free of tension and strain, fear and anxiety.

Spiritual growth is the process of getting rid of wrong concepts, thoughts and beliefs about who we are and about the world in which we live. Through this process we increase our awareness of our true inner being, the true spirit that we are. It is a process of looking inside us, shedding our illusions and uncovering our true essence, which is always present, but hidden beyond the ego-personality.

Why should we be interested in spiritual growth? What are the signs that we are growing spiritually? What are the benefits? Here are a few signs and benefits:

# We develop detachment, which leads to inner peace.

# We learn not to let outside circumstance affect our moods and states of mind.

# We become more patient and tolerant.

# We learn to rise above frustration, disappointment and negative feelings.

# Inner power and strength increase.

# This process leads to increased feeling of happiness.

# Our intuition gets sharper.

# We become better citizens of the world.

# Our understanding of our inner essence, what we are, and why we are here grows.

How can one grow spiritually? The term spiritual growth is not really correct. The spirit is perfect and does not need to grow. It is a term that describes a process of becoming more aware of what and who we are, growing to look at our life and circumstances from a different, more detached point of view, and of putting things into the proper perspective. It is a process of shedding negative and limiting habits, thoughts and beliefs, and letting the inner self within us shine out.

Imagine a radiant bulb of light, hidden beneath layers of various materials. To let the light of the bulb shine out and illuminate the surroundings, you do not have to strengthen the light or change the bulb. All you have to do is to take away the layers that are covering it. As you remove layer after layer the light shines more radiantly and strongly.

How do you remove the layers that are covering the light of your inner self? You do so through positive thinking, reading spiritual literature, reading spiritual quotes, and by practicing concentration, meditation and other inner training techniques. If you browse this website, you will find a lot of information, advice and instructions for spiritual growth.

Here are a few suggestions to start you on the road of spiritual growth:

# Acknowledge the fact that you are a spirit with a physical body, not a physical body with a spirit. If you can accept this idea, it will change your attitude toward many things in your life.

# Look inside you, and try to find out what it is that makes you feel alive.

# Make an effort to think positively. If you find yourself thinking negatively, immediately direct your mind to thinking on something positive. Open the door for the positive and close it for the negative.

# Always try to look at the bright side of life. Your inner self is stronger than your circumstances. Don't let circumstances and situations dictate to you how to feel or think.

# Endeavor to focus your attention on everything you do, instead of letting your attention go wherever it desires.

# Start learning and practicing meditation.

# Do your best to be tolerant, patient, tactful and considerate.

# Thank the Universe for everything that you get.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Happy Friendship Day...

Friends are angels
who bring sunshine and warmth
to brighten our days;
they give us hope and happiness
in many wonderful ways.

They wrap us in their wings,
offering comfort and love,
and they bring us
blessings from above.

Their smiles mysteriously
summon the sun,
and fill our lives with
endless fun.

Friends are like angels,
an angel like you,
and I'm glad that I found
a friend in you.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Rudraksha Beads

Rudraksha beads are the material from which garlands (108 beads in number) are made. The term is used both for the berries themselves and as a term for the type of mālā made from them.[5] In this sense, a rudraksha is a rosary, used for repetitive prayer (japa), a common aid to worship in Hinduism. Rudraksha is also used for treatment of various diseases in traditional Indian medicine.

The seeds show variation in the number of grooves on their surface, and are classified on the basis of the number of divisions that they have. Different qualities are attributed to the rudraksha based on the number of grooves, or 'faces' that it has. A common type has five divisions, and these are considered to be symbolic of the five faces of Shiva. It can only be worn with black string or a gold chain.[6]

Rudraksha Mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary for thousands of years for meditation purposes to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). One Hindu legend says that once Lord Shiva opened His eyes after a long period yoga, because of extreme fulfillment He shed out a tear. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha fruit is blue in color but turns black when dried. The central hard Rudraksha uni-seed has 1 to 108 faces and 2 to 21 faces Rudraksha are available, 1 faced Rudraksha is scarcely available, Rudraksha having 22 to 108 are almost extinct, there are claims that 22 to 108 faced Rudraksha plants still survive at the foot hills of the Himalayas and Manasa-sarovar regions, but a person is yet to see them.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Quotes by intellectuals

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone.
--Audrey Hepburn

And yet I should have dearly liked, I own, to have touched her lips; to have questioned her, that she might have opened them; to have looked upon the lashes of her downcast eyes, and never raised a blush; to have let loose waves of hair, an inch of which would be a keepsake beyond price: in short, I should have liked, I do confess, to have had the lightest license of a child, and yet been man enough to know its value.
--Charles Dickens

He has shown you, o man, what is good. And what does the Lord ask of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly before your God?

First, a few words about tools.

Basically, a tool is an object that enables you to take advantage of the laws of physics and mechanics in such a way that you can seriously injure yourself. Today, people tend to take tools for granted. If you're ever walking down the street and you notice some people who look particularly smug, the odds are that they are taking tools for granted. If I were you, I'd walk right up and smack them in the face.
--Dave Barry

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
--Henry David Thoreau

They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

A cat's rage is beautiful, burning with pure cat flame, all its hair standing up and crackling blue sparks, eyes blazing and sputtering.
--William S. Burroughs

To all those who walk the path of human cooperation war must appear loathsome and inhuman.
--Alfred Adler

I value kindness to human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don't respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and old men and women warmer in the winter, and happier in the summer.
--Brendan Behan

If a child annoys you, quiet him by brushing his hair. If this doesn't work, use the other side of the brush on the other end of the child.

If I were to walk on water, the press would say I'm only doing it because I can't swim.
--Bob Stanfield

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance.
--James Bryant Conant

The words figure and fictitious both derive from the same Latin root, fingere. Beware!
--M.J. Moroney

Telephone books are like dictionaries -- if you know the answer before you look it up, you can eventually reaffirm what you thought you knew but weren't sure. But if you're searching for something you don't already know, your fingers could walk themselves to death.
--Erma Bombeck

Walk softly and carry a BFG-9000.

I do enjoy a good long walk -- especially when my wife takes one.

The kindness I have longest remembered has been of this sort, the sort unsaid; so far behind the speaker's lips that almost it already lay in my heart. It did not have far to go to be communicated.
--Henry David Thoreau

Jesus don't walk on water no more; his feet leak.
--Edward Abbey

It's good to see so many friends here in the Rose Garden. This is our first event in this beautiful spot, and it's appropriate we talk about policy that will affect people's lives in a positive way in such a beautiful, beautiful part of our national - really, our national park system, my guess is you would want to call it.
--George W. Bush

Like an expensive sports car, fine-tuned and well-built, Portia was sleek, shapely, and gorgeous, her red jumpsuit moulding her body, which was as warm as seatcovers in July, her hair as dark as new tires, her eyes flashing like bright hubcaps, and her lips as dewy as the beads of fresh rain on the hood; she was a woman driven -- fueled by a single accelerant -- and she needed a man, a man who wouldn't shift from his views, a man to steer her along the right road: a man like Alf Romeo.
--Rachel Sheeley

My music is the spiritual expression of what I am my faith, my knowledge, my being When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups I want to speak to their souls.
--John Coltrane

The lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of the warrior-chief Beast, with his barbarian tribe now stacking wood at her nubile feet, when the strong clear voice of the poetic and heroic Handsomas roared, 'Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you'll feel my steel through your last meal!'
--Winning sentence

Walk softly and carry a megawatt laser.

The two most beautiful words in the English language are "Cheque Enclosed."
--Dorothy Parker

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair.
--George Burns

Although there are now twice as many of us as there were in 1961, each of us has more to eat, in both developed and developing countries. Fewer people are starving. Food is far cheaper these days and food-wise the world is quite simply a better place for far more people.
--Bjorn Lomborg

A career is great, but you can't run your fingers through its hair.

Walk softly and carry a big stick.
--Theodore Roosevelt

A hungry dog hunts best.
A hungrier dog hunts even better.
Decreased business base increases overhead.
So does increased business base.
The most unsuccessful four years in the education of a cost-estimator
is fifth grade arithmetic.
Acronyms and abbreviations should be used to the maximum extent
possible to make trivial ideas profound. Q.E.D.
Bulls do not win bull fights; people do.
People do not win people fights; lawyers do.
--Norman Augustine

Saturday, December 04, 2010

About Koi Fish Symbolism

About Koi Fish Symbolism
The koi is an ornamental carp and there are at least 14 different classifications of koi distinguished by their color and markings. Many people believe that the koi originated in Japan; however, much of the ancient historical accounts place China as the first home to the koi fish. This fish has been used as a feng shui symbol and cure for thousands of years. Feng shui principles state that the koi is auspicious and attracts prosperity and abundance.

Koi Attributes
Regardless of its origins, the koi is a prominent symbol of feng shui. Many of the attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons and even trials individuals often encounter in life. The koi fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream.

In fact, one of the oldest Chinese legends tells about a brave koi that fought its way upstream to reach the Longmen's Dragon Gate, a series of caves in the mountainside bordering the Yi River. The fish endured many hardships and overcame innumerous obstacles, but its tenacity helped it to be victorious. Its reward when it finally leapt over the falls at the gate was the transformation from a simple carp into a magnificent dragon god.

Koi as a Chinese Food Source
No symbol in the Chinese culture has a singular meaning behind its status, especially when it comes to feng shui symbols. The koi has a varied background of how it was elevated to the symbol status of being auspicious. One of the things to remember is that in less modern times, the koi was a vital part of the Chinese diet. The farmers raised the fish in their rice fields in a perfect ecosystem. The fish provided fertilizer for the rice crops while the aquatic life found in the rice fields sustained the koi.This is a good example of the balance in life that the koi represents. When times became hard, often during the winter months, the rice farmers would survive by eating the highly nutritious koi. Some feng shui experts believe this history of the koi and its importance in sustaining the Chinese people first as a fertilizing source for the rice crop and then as a direct food source was the beginning of the koi becoming a symbol of prosperity.

The koi is used in feng shui as various symbols. The most prominent one is as a bringer of good fortune, wealth and prosperity. If you wish to be successful in your career, or if you need courage when asking for a promotion, a koi symbol will imbue you with the fish's positive attributes.

Good Luck: The koi is a tried and true symbol of auspiciousness. If you're in search of a good luck symbol then this colorful carp is the perfect choice.
Wealth and Prosperity: If you wish to draw wealth and prosperity to you and your family then buy seven red carp and one black one. The number eight is an auspicious number of prosperity. The black fish will attract and absorb any negative luck destined your way.
Auspicious Happiness: The official symbol of auspicious happiness is that of a young boy holding a carp. The fish is vital to the Chinese culture and the symbol is often combined with other good luck symbols.
Decorative Symbolism: Red envelopes presented as wedding gifts, birthdays, and on New Year's Day are typically decorated with colorful koi often highlighted with gold.

Lucky Bamboo: Fu Gwey Zhu

Lucky bamboo meaning plays an important role as a living example of the feng shui elements of water, wood and earth.

History of Lucky Bamboo
When you place this plant in the correct pot, it introduces fire and metal to complete a balance of the five elements. This plant is one of the most recognizable feng shui cures. Its popularity is two-fold. The plant is elegant and simplistic in care requirements and it can survive in any kind of light.

Feng shui principles suggest using bamboo to attract vibrant fresh chi. Because the bamboo is a strong plant, it helps to energize your home.

Lucky Bamboo: Fu Gwey Zhu
In Chinese, lucky bamboo is known as Fu Gwey Zhu.

Fu - Luck and fortune
Gwey - Power and honor
Zhu - Bamboo
Bamboo Symbolism
Bamboo has long been the Chinese symbol for strength. Many admire the bamboo's qualities of fast-growth and resilience.

Lucky Bamboo As a Gift
Many people give this kind of plant for a housewarming gift, birthdays, anniversaries, grand openings, awards, and other occasions. Having someone give you one increases the amount of luck the plant attracts to you.

Lucky Bamboo Meaning: Number of Stalks
Much of the luck that is associated with bamboo comes from the number of stalks bunched together or woven together into an arrangement. The number of stalks determines the kinds of energy the plant attracts into your home and life. The more stalks in the planter, the greater the blessing of good fortune and luck.

Lucky Log
This is a certain kind of bamboo that looks like a log with no roots. You'll want to place one end in water so it can grow leaves and continuously produce new leaves. Lucky log bamboo is symbolic of a strong life that's filled with prosperity. This plant is a favorite for businesses to give as gifts, especially to other companies since it promises to keep the business growing. Some varieties produce fragrant white flowers in addition to the healthy green leaves.

Two Bamboo Stalks
People often send two stalks of bamboo as an expression of love. This number also is said to double your luck.

Three Bamboo Stalks
The plant of three bamboo stalks is one of the most favorite number combinations to have in your home. It brings three kinds of luck to you:

Happiness - Fu
Long Life - Soh
Wealth - Lu
Especially career-related income such as a promotion
Four Bamboo Stalks
In the Chinese language, the word used as four sounds very similar to the word used for death. The number four has the same kind of connotation and draws sha (negative) energy. You'll never find a four-stalked bamboo plant in the Chinese culture; much less ever give one for a gift. To do so is extremely rude and would be interpreted that you're giving the recipient a death wish.
Five Bamboo Stalks
With this number there's one stalk for every area of your life that can bring you wealth. The overall energy attracted to a five bamboo stalk plant is one of health which is needed to benefit from any of the five areas of your life. You'll want to have a healthy career, healthy relationships, etc. The five-stalk bamboo reinforces each of the five areas of your life that can influence the level of wealth for each area.

Five Areas of Life:
Six Bamboo Stalks
Six in the Chinese language also sounds like the word luck. Six stalks of bamboo attracts prosperity and advantages to achieve greater wealth.

Seven Bamboo Stalks
Seven stalks of bamboo bestows good health to you.

Eight Bamboo Stalks
Once more the Chinese language plays a big part in this number's law of attraction. Eight sounds like the word used for grow or thrive. Eight stalks also improves fertility.

Nine Bamboo Stalks
This is the symbol for good luck and bestows great luck to whoever receives a nine stalk plant.

Ten Bamboo Stalks
If you have a ten-stalk bamboo arrangement then the wish for you is to feel complete and complacent. The hope is that you find your life to be perfect. The sender want you to have everything in life just as you envision and desire.

Twenty-One Bamboo Stalks
If someone has gifted you with a plant with this number of bamboo stalks, then the well wishes for you and your family are being delivered in a very powerful overall blessing for great wealth and enduring health.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Unconditional love -- my wife, our son, the puppy
Unconditional love -- it keeps me going strong
An unconditional smiling face
A tender kiss -- a warm embrace
A gift from Heaven above
Unconditional love

But unconditional sin -- the booze, the pills, the women
Unconditional sin -- is tugging oh so strong
Now Pride, Anger, Envy & Sloth are a bore
But Lust, Greed & Gluttony -- I want more
I fear I'm 'bout to give in
To unconditional sin

Demons & angels duking it out
The final outcome ever in doubt
One drink too many, living the life
Then home to my dear unconditional wife

This unconditional life -- the sorrow and the splendor
We're on the edge of a knife -- but still we're going strong
So pass me the bottle; I just want to play
We may pay tomorrow, but let's live today

Forget your struggle & strife -- they're unconditional
Just me, my boy & my wife
It's quite tradtional
If unoriginal
This unconditional life

Water The Great Healer !

Water The Great Healer !

Water Drop @ 2000 Frames Bounces ! Great to watch BY TOSHNIDHI

Time Warp - Water Balloon to the Face

Medical Report: A New Medical Discovery
by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

I have used water to cure people who were suffering from "incurable" diseases. I have cured people who suffered for 10 years, 20 years, even 30 years from painful conditions produced by dehydration.

The Mayo Clinic had pronounced Lloyd Palmer, of Minnesota, as incurable. Since 1965 he had suffered from excruciatingly painful arthritis of his spinal column -- ankylosing spondylitis. His spine twisted and lost movement until, he says, he became a "walking comma." He suffered pain for 31 years, until he started to drink water and take salt. He writes: "I continue to be pain-free with my ankylosis spondylitis one year after starting the water/salt regime. My blood pressure is normal as well. I thank God every day for allowing me to finally be pain-free." Lloyd Palmer's story is so incredible that Paul Harvey reported it on his ABC News program. He also wrote a syndicated column, printed in a few hundred newspapers.

Attention! It is easy to understand what water does in your body, but bear in mind there is more to it than just simply drinking water. You must learn to rehydrate your body gradually and carefully. You need to recognize your own particular early indicators of thirst. Not everyone is the same. You must learn what can happen to your own body when it becomes dehydrated. Not every body registers drought in the same way.

Depending on where the drought has settled, the initial indicators are different in different people. Dr. Batmanghelidj's Natural Miracle Cure Program is vital for your initiation into the new art of self-healing.

"Use 1/4 tsp. of sea salt for every quart of water you drink. Use a good sea salt, one with at least 80 minerals, liberally with food. As long as you drink the water, you can use the salt. Some put it in their water, some lick it off their hand, some season their foods after cooking. It's up to you. Make sure you take potassium daily (banana, orange juice,etc) "

Joseph M. Price, MD - "Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison."
Albert Schatz, Ph.D - "Fluoridation is the greatest fraud that has ever been perpetrated and it has been perpetrated on more people than any other fraud has." Professor Albert Schatz, Ph.D. (Microbiology), Discoverer of streptomycin and Nobel Prize Winner

No matter what the specific health or fitness goal, one cannot achieve the maximum benefit from any health program without drinking the right kind of water in the proper amount. All experts agree, that next to the air we breathe, water is the most important thing we will ever put in our bodies. It is surprising that so much time and money is being spent on supplements, organic foods and natural remedies (some of which are very subtle and delicate) but little attention is given to the quality and effect of the water with which those items are taken.

F. Batmanghelidj, M.D "Day After Day ... Patient After Patient ...The Results Prove the Healing Power of Water"
Every function inside the body is regulated by and depends on water. Water must be available to carry vital elements, oxygen, hormones, and chemical messengers to all parts of the body. Without sufficient water to wet all parts equally, some more remote parts of the body will not receive the vital elements that water supplies.

Water is also needed to carry toxic waste away from the cells. In fact, there are at least 50 reasons why the body needs sufficient water on a regular, everyday basis. Without sufficient water to constantly wet all parts, your body's drought-management system kicks into action. The histamine-directed chemical messenger systems are activated to arrange a new, lower quota of water for the drought-stricken areas. When histamine and its subordinate "drought managers" come across pain-sensing nerves, they cause pain. This is what I discovered in my research that I mentioned earlier.

This is why dehydration produces pain as its first alarm signal. If the dehydration persists and is not corrected naturally with water, it becomes symptom-producing and, in time, develops into a disease condition. This is why people who take antacids to silence their bodies’ thirst pain become more vulnerable and eventually develop other serious complications of dehydration.

History of Hajj

Hajj literally means ‘to set out for a place’. Islamicly, however, it refers to the annual pilgrimage that Muslims make to Makkah with the intention of performing certain religious rites in accordance with the method prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.

Hajj and its rites were first ordained by God in the time of the Prophet Abraham and he was the one who was entrusted by God to build the Kaaba - the House of God - along with his son Ishmael at Makkah. God described the Kaaba and its building as follows:

“And remember when We showed Abraham the site of the [Sacred] House [saying]: Associate not anything [in worship with Me and purify My House for those who circumambulate it [i.e. perform Tawaaf] and those who stand up for prayer and those who bow down and make prostration [in prayer etc.].” (Quran 22:26)

After building the Kaaba, Abraham would come to Makkah to perform Hajj every year, and after his death, this practice was continued by his son. However, gradually with the passage of time, both the form and the goal of the Hajj rites were changed. As idolatry spread throughout Arabia, the Kaaba lost its purity and idols were placed inside it. Its walls became covered with poems and paintings, including one of Jesus and his mother Maryand. Eventually over 360 idols came to be placed around the Kaaba.

During the Hajj period itself, the atmosphere around the sacred precincts of the Kaaba was like a circus. Men and women would go round the Kaaba naked, arguing that they should present themselves before God in the same condition they were born. Their prayer became devoid of all sincere remembrance of God and was instead reduced to a series of hand clapping, whistling and the blowing of horns. Even the Hajj call was distorted by them with the following additions: “No one is Your partner except one who is permitted by you. You are his Master and the Master of what he possesses.”

Sacrifices were also made in the name of God. However, the blood of the sacrificed animals was poured onto the walls of the Kaaba and the flesh was hung from pillars around the Kaaba, in the belief that God demanded the flesh and blood of these animals.

Singing, drinking, adultery and other acts of immorality was rife amongst the pilgrims and the poetry competitions, which were held, were a major part of the whole Hajj event. In these competitions, poets would praise the bravery and splendor of their own tribesmen and tell exaggerated tales of the cowardice and miserliness of other tribes. Competitions in generosity were also staged where the chief of each tribe would set up huge cauldrons and feed the pilgrims, only so that they could become well-known for their extreme generosity.

Thus the people had totally abandoned the teachings of their forefather and leader Abraham. The House that he had made pure for the worship of God alone, had been totally desecrated by the pagans and the rites which he had established were completely distorted by them. This sad state of affairs continued for nearly two and a half thousand years. But then after this long period, the time came for the supplication of Abraham to be answered:

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them your verses and instruct them in the book and the Wisdom and sanctify them. Verily you are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Quran 2:129)

Sure enough, a man by the name of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah was born in the very city that Abraham had made this supplication centuries earlier. For twenty-three years, the Prophet Muhammad spread the message of monotheism - the same message that Abraham and all the other Prophets came with - and established the law of God upon the land. He expended every effort into making the word of God supreme and his victory over falsehood culminated in the smashing of the idols inside the Kaaba which once again became the universal centre for the worshippers of the one True God.

Not only did the Prophet rid the Kaaba of all its impurities, but he also reinstated all the rites of Hajj which were established by God’s Permission, in the time of Abraham. Specific injunctions in the Quran were revealed in order to eliminate all the false rites which had become rampant in the pre-Islamic period. All indecent and shameful acts were strictly banned in God’s statement:

“There is to be no lewdness nor wrangles during Hajj.” (Quran 2:197)

Competitions among poets in the exaltations of their forefathers and their tribesmen’s’ achievements were all stopped. Instead, God told them:

“And when you have completed your rites [of Hajj] then remember God as you remember your forefathers; nay with a more vigorous remembrance.” (Quran 2:200)

Competitions in generosity were also prohibited. Of course, the feeding of the poor pilgrims was still encouraged as this was done in the time of Abraham, but God commanded that the slaughtering of the animals which was done for this purpose should be done seeking the pleasure of God rather than fame and the praise of the people. He said:

“So mention the name of God over these animals when they are drawn up in lines. Then, when they are drawn on their sides [after the slaughter], eat thereof and feed the beggar who does not ask, and the beggar who asks.” (Quran 22:36)

As for the deplorable practice of spattering blood of the sacrificed animals on the walls of the Kaaba and hanging their flesh on altars, then God clearly informed them that:

“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches God, but it is Taqwaa (piety) from you that reaches Him.” (Quran 22:37)

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, also put a stop to the practice of circling the Kaaba in a state of nudity and the argument that the pagans put forward to justify this ritual was sharply rebutted in God’s question:

“Say: Who has forbidden the adornment [i.e. clothes] given by God which He has produced for His Slaves?” (Quran 7:32)

Another custom which was prohibited through the Quran was that of setting off for Hajj without taking any provisions for the journey. In the pre-Islamic period, some people who claimed righteousness, having total dependency on God, would travel to perform Hajj begging food the whole journey. They considered this form of behavior a sign of piety and an indication of how much faith they had in God. However God told mankind that to have sufficient provisions for the journey was one of the preconditions for making Hajj. He said:

“And take a provision [with you] for the journey, but the best provision is piety.” (Quran 2:197)

In this way, all the pre-Islamic practices, which were based in ignorance, were abolished and Hajj was once more made a model of piety, fear of God, purity, simplicity and austerity. Now, when the pilgrims reached the Kaaba, they no longer found the carnivals and the frolic and frivolity that had once occupied the minds of the pilgrims there before. Now, there was the remembrance of God at every step and every action and every sacrifice was devoted to Him alone. It was this kind of Hajj that was worthy of the reward of paradise, as the Prophet said:

“The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing less than paradise.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Purple is the color of good judgment.

Purple is the color of good judgment. It is the color of people seeking spiritual fulfillment. It is said if you surround yourself with purple you will have peace of mind. Purple is a good color to use in meditation.

Purple has been used to symbolize magic and mystery, as well as royalty. Being the combination of red and blue, the warmest and coolest colors, purple is believed to be the ideal color. Most children love the color purple. Purple is the color most favored by artists. Thursday's color is purple.

Violet is the color of purpose. Violet is associated with the Crown chakra (This links individual and universal).

Violet Energy
Violet is a combination of blue and red. Red is a focusing, dynamic and active energy while blue is cooling, calming and expansive. Violet brings a new dynamic to the expansion of blue and the activity of red. Red brings practicality to the undirected expansiveness of the blue, and allows more creative energy to emerge. For this reason, violet is associated with imagination and inspiration.

Violet is an important energy for those who use blue and indigo skills in the psychic field. The red in violet offers a grounding effect.

Put some violet in your life when you want:

to use your imagination to its fullest
to re-balance your life
to remove obstacles
to calm overactivity or to energize from depression

Saturday, November 13, 2010


1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers
Who smoked and/or drank while they were

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing,
Tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles,
Locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode
Our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children,
We would ride in cars with no car seats,
No booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day
Was always a special treat.

We drank water
From the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends,
From one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.
We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.
And, we weren't overweight.

Because we were
Always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day,
As long as we were back when the
Streetlights came on.

No one was able
To reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
And then ride them down the hill, only to find out
We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes
a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes.
There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable,
No video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's,
No cell phones,
No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
And we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth
And there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt,
And the worms did not live in us

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
Made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen,
We did not put out any eyes..

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and
Knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just
Walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal
With disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law
Was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best
Risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years
Have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them?
You might want to share this with others
who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the
lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives
for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know
how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house
with scissors, doesn't it ?

The quote of the
month is by Jay Leno:
"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control,
mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms
tearing up the country from one end to another,
and with the threat of swine flu
and terrorist attacks. . .
Are we sure this is a good time
to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


GREEN: leaves, trees, moss, grass, salads, U.S. money, frogs and iguanas. Green represents regeneration and growth, nature, change, healing, abundance, endurance, perseverance, persistence, self-esteem, environment, health, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy, faithful love, truth, freedom, balance, harmony in nature.

Green is the color of harmony and balance. Green is made by combining Blue with yellow. Yellow, represents individual will, blue, represents the Divine will. The tranquil energy of blue melds with the cheerful creative vitality of yellow. Green is the unification and resolution point between the physical and rational and the spiritual and intuitive. The beautiful lush emeralds and spring green shades symbolize balance and health . The ugly sickly shades of green can indicate opposite qualities such as illness, jealousy, pessimism and deceit. Green can be either a cool or warm shade depending on the proportion of blue to yellow . Green has many symbolic meanings, Nature ,fertility and growth being some of the most universal. It signifies youth, life, renewal, hope and vigor, wealth, prosperity, accomplishments. and sometimes inexperience.

Green corresponds to the Sephiroth at Netzach (or Victory). and the fourth, Heart Chakra. Night, Dark Moon, Luck, Stability, Prosperity, Rebirth,Fertility, North, Earth. Winter, youth (spring and grass greens) and old age (pine and dark greens) The everyday world. Some traditions include green as a Water color as well as an Earth color. A traditional color of life, vigor, resurrection, and youth. Christian church vestments are green at Easter. Green was used for sedan chairs of minor officials and was the royal color of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Green is yin shui, and emblematic of the growing phase of energy. east and family. Different shades have a variety of symbolic meanings: Dark Green is wealth, masculine, cool, conservative. Emerald Green represents immortality, Olive green represents peace. The olive green shade ( two parts yellow to one part blue) is specifically attributed to the area between the solar plexus and the bottom of the heart area protecting the heart from below this is the part of the heart center which connects us with our surroundings and helps us to link our consciousness with the world. It represents the bringing of wisdom into the world. Olive green is associated with things hidden away or disguised. This green with is associated with new leafs unfolding, forests,nature, army uniforms and camouflage, power, authority and leadership. It is the color of the earth mother and it connects us with ancient times.

Green is the easiest color on the eye and can help improve vision. It is a calming color and has a neutral effect on the human nervous system. green rooms are very restful and the term "green room" is used to designate the area where theatrical and other performers rest and wait during and after performances (They are not often green anymore though.). Green is a popular color for rooms in hospitals and government and medical offices because it relaxes clients.

People who favor clear green are usually down to earth, reliable, kind and giving, They often have a knack for identifying and bringing out the best in people. Their concern for people is genuine and sincere. they make good friends They tend to value personal achievement and are not concerned with status.

In the aura green dominant , indicates loving, trusting , home and family oriented people, creative artists, teachers, and those who are really in tune with the rhythms of nature , adaptable, empathic, enjoys life and comfort, perceptive, altruistic is concerned for the well being of others. these people care for humanity as a whole, May do well in careers as social workers, doctors or teachers, psychologists, or the humanities,

They may not handle personal emotion well and sometimes have difficulty detaching from an intense situation. The very sensitivity to the big picture may cause them to miss details. Olive, encased in their own negative emotions, petulant often, not enjoying the now. Transient Moss greens, may indicate someone who is retreating from emotional participation in life because they have been hurt. Green also appears in the aura when a person is thinking of something beyond himself. It is not a coincidence that environmentally active people are often called greens. Lighter or lime green can mean an inflated ego, and deeper to deceitful nature of a con artist. Yellow green indicates a spontaneous and direct manner, dark green adaptability.

Green is the basic color of Healing , it is good for almost any and all healing needs provided the person wants healing.
First choice for treating all heart area issues, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Green balances the emotions, calms, soothes nervous exhaustion (use in moderation). It stimulates growth and is good for helping heal broken bones, Can dramatically assist with easing pain, promotes rapid healing of all kinds. Green is used during pregnancy and labor because of its soothing and healing properties. Green provides an essential nourishment for the body, the spirit and the heart. Helps the digestive system, relieves tension.It is good for shock and anxiety.
It helps to alleviate headaches and neuralgia. It helps control the blood pressure (light green for high blood pressure and dark green for low blood pressure). Green helps with relaxation can be effective for insommnia. It assists with healing past trauma and eases the impact of troubled memories. The Olive green shade can help us to work positively with our emotions, olive is cleansing and disinfectant It can be used to heal and soothe, to regenerate and to gain awareness and understanding of situations. Too much green can deepen depression and social withdrawal in some who are already so inclined. Green is one of the most frequently used colors in healing and in meditations. You can use green as a healing shakti (energy) for all kinds of healing work.
Some people have taught that Green should not be used in treatment of cancer because of its association with growth. This to me is simply another example of fear thought and the inability to release limitations. Green is a color of Healing. Healing practitioners should preface any treatment with the intention that it work only for the recipients highest good and wholeness or some simular variant. This will protect from doing harm of any kind. Even were it true that green was bad for cancer it would not do anything at all rather than do harm.

Green is a healing color it soothes and heals it will work on any imbalance including cancer. Probably anyone who thinks it will do harm should not use it because our thoughts create our reality. When you look at plants growth which is where this limiting idea comes from you will notice that the bright green healthy plants often easily resist and overcome the blights, diseases and fungus and even many of the insects that attack them. The green growth benefits the plant not the blights and so it is with disease and imbalance in people too.
Green is a color of abundance and can be used for work in manifesting and for weath and prosperity.
Green also promotes connection with nature and spirituality and can help one connect with nature spirits, some Earth Water and and plant spirits and information about healing.

Some Green stones used in crystal healing are:

Aventurine is generally thought to be good for skin diseases and improves vitality.
Green Aventurine: heart balance, helps easy expression of feelings, balances male female energies, activates and clears the heart, protects against psychic vampires”, enhances creativity, and pioneering spirit, unconditional love and for the heart , lungs ,muscles and emotional healing. of “heartbreak”

Malachite: digs out deep feeling, break unwanted patterns, stimulates physical vision, psychic vision, concentration , lungs, immune system, especially effective with azurite and/or chrysocolla for all healing, relief of pain , inflammation, protection from negative energies , treat asthma, toothache, irregular menstrual periods, and improves one's eyesight..

Bloodstone: green with red flecks for an active balance of energy and calm ,stimulates emotional growth, benefits the heart and circulation, being in the now, centering and grounding , blood disorders, detoxification.

Amazonite: calms and balances the emotions and helps throat and lung problems helps calm the emotions and soothes the nerves, helps the throat and heart chakra.

Moss Agate: supports lungs eases breathing difficulties and helps release stifled emotions , brings in the energy of the natural world. Improves self-esteem, emotional balance, strengthens positive traits.

Peridot: cleanses the subtle bodies, motivates growth and needed change, growth, openness. strengthening, prosperity, indigestion, heals hurt feelings, helps bruised eyes and repairs damaged relationships.

Emerald: helps you find personal direction clarity to emotions, and calm to the heart, successful love, sensitivity and loyalty, opening the heart chakra, clearing negativity
from ones life , abundance, peace, harmony, patience, honesty, for easing depression, insomnia, peaceful dreams, spiritual healing, breath improves the intellect and memory , subtle body healing.

Dioptase: clears and stimulates all chakra to a higher level of awareness and action promotes ability to live in the moment a very powerful and beautiful soft emerald green stone for spiritual attunement and releasing past life trauma also for pain relief and cellular healing.

Chrysoprase: Meditation, mental stability, vitality.

Jade: fidelity, remembering dreams, inner peace, wisdom, problem solving,
kidney complaints and bladder trouble.

There are many meditations and visualizations done with green as the dominant color and influence. Visualizing sitting by a verdant pool in a forrest clearing is a common meditation for calm and for bringing in ones awarenessof being part of nature.

Please share your experiences with green and green stones.

Peggy Jentoft ~ Solarraven
Feb 10, 2002

Friday, October 22, 2010


Persevere with all your might
Persevere and put up a fight
Persevere and do what's right
Persevere through the night
Persevere through the pain
Persevere through the rain
Persevere and you will gain
Whatever is on your mind.

Taiwan Touch Your Heart

Taiwan Touch Your Heart

Would you say that you need the power of God to endure whatever comes with a good temper?

Love is the key that unlocks forgiveness for you. To forgive an individual is to decide that their wrong won't affect the decision you have made to do what the Word says in responding to their actions. You decide that you will not retaliate, but will respond scripturally. And as far as you are concerned, you will maintain a good relationship with that person, because you walk in love. A love person lets love rule the relationship.

Would you say that you need the power of God to endure whatever comes with a good
temper? I certainly do. Well, God has given us all that is necessary to fulfill His
will in life. And the element He is given us to maintain a good temper in all things is forgiveness, which comes out of a heart of love.

Forgiveness covers our heart and other extremities. Why is it so important?
Unforgiveness does not hurt the other person; it hurts you. Also, God said that He will not forgive you unless you forgive others. Forgiveness helps you to maintain a good temper at all times.

God requires that you walk in love. That love will cause you to maintain a good temper because 1 Corinthians 13:4 says that love is patient. Love can endure anything and everything that comes your way. And when you have that kind of supernatural element working in your life, joy and peace is sure to follow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sufi Stories

A Matter of Judgment

One day a man came to the house of the Cogia and asked him to lend him his ass.

'He is not at home,' replied the Cogia. But it just so happened that the ass began to bray within.

'O Cogia Efendi,' said the man, 'you say that the ass is not at home, and there he is braying within.'

'What a strange fellow you are!' said the Cogia.
'You believe the ass, but will not believe a grey-bearded man like me.'

The Splendid Pelisse

One day Cogia Efendi went to a bridal festival. The master of the feast observing his old and wretched garments, paid him no consideration whatsoever.

The Cogia saw that he had no chance of notice, so going out he hurried to his house, and putting on a splendid pelisse, returned to the place of festival.

No sooner did he enter the door than the master advanced to meet him, and saying, 'Welcome, Cogia Efendi,' with all imaginable honour and reverence placed him at the head of the table, and said, 'Please to eat, Lord Cogia.'

Forthwith the Cogia taking hold of one of the furs of his pelisse, said, 'Welcome, my pelisse, please to eat, my lord.'

The master looking at the Cogia with great surprise, said, 'What are you about?'

Whereupon the Cogia replied, 'It is quite evident that all the honour paid is paid to my pelisse, so let it have some food too.'

The Cauldron is Dead

One day the Cogia borrowed a cauldron of a brazier, and carrying it home, put a little saucepan into it, and then carrying it back, returned it to its owner.

The owner seeing a little saucepan in the cauldron, said, 'What is this?'

'Why,' cried the Cogia, 'the cauldron has borne a child', whereupon the owner took possession of the saucepan.

One day the Cogia asked again for the cauldron, and having obtained it, carried it home. The owner of the cauldron waited one day and even five days for his utensil, but no cauldron coming, he went to the house of the Cogia and knocked at the door.

The Cogia coming to the door, said, 'What do you want?'

'The cauldron,' said the man.

'Oh, set your heart at rest,' said the Cogia, 'the cauldron is dead.'

'O Cogia,' said the man, 'can a cauldron die?'

'Oh,' said the Cogia, 'as you believed it could bear a child, why should you not believe that it can die?'



The word Sufi somes from Arabic and means pure, as in pure from differences and distinctions. In Persian sufi means wool, hence the supposition that Sufis were named by their woolen garments. Al-Rudhabari combined the two meanings defining the Sufi as 'one who wears wool on top of purity'. The Sufi path rises above the I, me, he or she, and as such it is also above gender issues.

"What is a Sufi?
One who does not separate himself
from others by opinion or dogma;
and who realizes the heart as the Shrine of God.
What does the Sufi desire?
To remove the false self and discover God within.
What does the Sufi teach?
What does the Sufi seek?
What does the Sufi see?

What does the Sufi give?
Love to all created things.
What does the Sufi get?
A greater power of love.
What does the Sufi find?
And lose?

Hazrat Inayat Khan

According to the traditional Sufi view, Sufism (or tasawwuf) and its teachings were passed on from teacher to student through the centuries, since Muhammad. Some call Sufism the inner mystical dimension of Islam. It aims to repair the heart and help it on its journey to the divine. Someone practitioning the tradition of Sufism is called a Sufi or Dervish.

Sufi Teachings & Beliefs
To overcome beliefs and disbeliefs by self realization;
Never to be enslaved to principles;
Best moral is love and praiseworthy is beauty;
To be pure from distinctions and differences by merging in the One;
Wisdom is the true religion;
Harmony is in justice, justice being in reciprocity;
Music is food of the soul and source of all perfection.

Sufi Practices
Common spiritual or mystical practices include Sufi Whirling (or Sema), Dhikr (Chanting), Muraqaba (Meditation) and Qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music.


Discovering Spirituality

The term gnosticism derives from Latin gnosticus, which comes from Greek gnostikos (knowledge) and refers to gnosis which is a mystical and godlike knowledge of the heart and the soul. It is a journey of self-discovery and self-knowledge, which by experiencing the Truth within oneself awakes one's consciousness, hence bringing it into the state of pleroma (fullness or the totality of divine powers).

"Matthew said, "Lord, I wish to see that Place of Life, that place in which there is no evil but rather where there is only pure light."
The Lord said, "Brother Matthew, you cannot see it, as long as you wear the flesh."
Matthew said, "O Lord, even if I cannot see it, let me know it."
The Lord said, "Every one of you who has known himself has seen it"

"The Dialogue of the Savior"- Codex III of the Nag Hammadi codices

Uncovering this knowledge and the spiritual transformation that results from it is the goal of the gnostic seeker. Finding this individual inner peace enables one to help others achieve the same.
Gnostic Teachings & Beliefs
1. Self-knowledge leads to the state of pleroma, which is the center of divine life. In that world there are spiritual beings, like aeons (eternal beings), who are sent to help people recover lost knowledge about their divine origin. Jesus is such an aeon;
2. Tolerance of different religious beliefs within and outside of Gnosticism;
3. There is no dogma but personal mystical experiential knowledge of God;
4. Process of inner transformation liberates humans from compulsive imprisonment of dualities which are harmonized in pleroma.
The qualities of Pleroma are pairs of opposites:
The Effective and the Ineffective
Force and Matter
Fullness and Emptiness
Good and Evil
Light and Darkness
The Hot and the Cold
These opposites are balanced and void in pleroma. But, although being in us, they are not balanced. Being distinguished from them delivered us. Neutralizing them brings us again in one with Light.
C.G.Jung "Seven Sermons to the Dead", (1916)
5. Both genders are treated equally;
6. Matter and the human body are of earthly importance;
7. The goal is to reveal the spirit, which is divine by origin. It was hidden when brought by Sophia in the form of a seed to be understood and discovered;
8. Spiritual experience is individual and cannot be destroyed;
9. When the experience of gnosis is upon the person, one can do no other but love oneself, another, life, and God, as this is the state of no separation.

Gnostic Practices
Spiritual and mystical practices include working with life questions through meditation, silence, concentration, self-observation, out-of-body-experiences, dreams and other spiritual techniques that aid in achieving a transcendental knowledge about destiny and death while still being embodied on Earth.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Five Spiritual Powers

The Five Spiritual Powers ...Sarah Doering
IMS Dharma Talk / Three Month Retreat / October 1999

[Sarah Doering has had a long association with the Insight Meditation Society and with the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. On both boards for many years, she has been a devoted practitioner of insight meditation, and has been teaching at IMS for the past several years. Sarah is currently one of the resident teachers at the newly opened Forest Refuge.]

For forty-five years after his enlightenment, the Buddha wandered about northern India teaching. He spoke publicly as many as ten thousand times. But he was not teaching in order to argue philosophical theories. He was teaching for one purpose only: to bring to an end all the suffering which he saw around him.

The assumption underlying all his teaching is that we don’t have to be the way we are—that all the sorrow and pain and grief and fear that we all know is not necessary. It can be eliminated. New ways of being can be cultivated. He taught so that we may know not suffering, but happiness and peace. These teachings are trainings for a spiritual way of life. This means a way that is real and true, and beneficial for all beings, both now and in times to come.

Tonight I want to speak about five qualities of heart and mind which are known as the “five spiritual powers.” They’ve been called “five priceless jewels,” because when they’re well developed, the mind resists domination by the dark forces of greed and hate and delusion. When the mind is no longer bound by those energies, then understanding and love have no limits. These five powers are also called the “controlling faculties.” When they’re strong and balanced, they control the mind, and generate the power which leads to liberation. The five are faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom.

When I first heard this list, I was puzzled. I come from a Christian background. Faith seemed, of course, exactly right to be there. Wisdom, too, belonged on the list. But the others—effort and mindfulness and concentration—sounded very clinical and psychological and dry. Where, I wondered, was love? I did not in any way understand then that the cultivation of these five factors leads directly to love. They’re all necessary. They all work together and interweave very closely.

Faith—which here means trust and confidence in the Dharma—inspires an outpouring of energy. When energy is strong, then the effort to be alert and pay attention is easy. Mindfulness prospers and becomes more and more continuous. The stronger the continuity of mindfulness, the more focused and steady the mind. Concentration grows. As concentration deepens, in the stillness of an attentive mind, wisdom emerges. It’s the wisdom of emptiness, whose only expression is love.


The first of the five faculties, faith, actually is a rather suspect word today. The most conspicuous examples of faith are in the various extremes of religious fundamentalism, where faith is often a coercive force, a force which is used to control insiders so that they’ll stay within the confines of the faith. It’s also a force that’s sometimes imposed upon outsiders in order to encourage them to believe. But faith in the sense that I want to speak of tonight has nothing to do with force. It has nothing to do with conventional belief. It’s an innocence of conviction, an open heart that is not afraid to trust, and so can move beyond the known. It senses the possibility of transcendence—that what seems to be, isn’t all there is. It senses that there’s some profound human possibility to be realized, even though it’s not immediately apparent.

Such faith is born in experience. It can’t be given. It arises spontaneously, out of seeing and knowing for oneself. From it flow devotion and gratitude and commitment. It’s a natural self-giving. It stems from knowing the problematic nature of life, from realizing that human existence is very imperfect. Because of this one is sensitive to what else might be, to some other way of being. Faith may arise from hearing the Buddha’s words that say there’s a cause for suffering, a cause that can be removed so that suffering comes to an end. It may arise from seeing someone whose presence, whose manner or words, are so compelling, that they suggest possibilities not at all understood. It may come from reading something that suddenly reveals a meaning that speaks to the heart. It may dawn through music or art or, as happened to me, from a glimpse of something seen in nature.

Each of us has our own story, which brought us here tonight. No one here is without faith. You came in response to an attraction to some wordless possibility—some possibility of discovery, of change, that’s implicit in these long weeks of silence. Faith is critical for a spiritual journey, for it’s through faith that we move from the known to the unknown. Without faith, not much is possible in any endeavor. If there’s no end goal which we particularly value, or if we lack faith in our own strength and ability to get to it, we tend to stay in a rut. We don’t go much of anywhere.

When faith first dawns, the mind is filled with brightness and love and devotion. But faith that’s new is vulnerable. If it meets a skeptic who doubts, and has many views and opinions, faith wants to run away and hide. At least I did, in those years. Because the source of faith is outside ourselves, we’re very dependent on its not changing in any way at all. But gradually faith is internalized. We see for ourselves that the teaching works. We discover that we can sit with physical pain and not be overwhelmed. We begin to taste the happiness of a concentrated mind. Faith deepens, and gives the courage to go beyond our former limits. We begin to allow ourselves to feel more of what we’re feeling. So much of what we feel, we close off, because we fear the pain will be too much to bear. But faith that’s been tested in the crucible of experience comes to know that even in the midst of suffering, there is calm.

When we meet difficulties, faith gives the courage to go on. It’s important to note, however, that faith is very different from hope. Hope is for a specific outcome. Hope is associated with expectation and desire. If hope is disappointed, sadness and fear or anger are the result. Faith is different. It’s trust in the ongoing process. It’s confidence that we can handle whatever comes—for in faith, we can. It’s knowing that each step we take is an unfolding of our life’s journey, even if we don’t know at all where we’re going.

Faith in the truth of the Dharma, by its very nature, implies faith that we have the ability to realize that truth. The whole movement of deepening faith is inward, toward more and more trust in ourselves, more and more trust in the understanding and the love within our own hearts and our own minds. Faith has a very great influence upon consciousness. That’s why it’s the first of these spiritual powers. It removes the shadows of doubt that are so debilitating. It gives a clarity to the mind, which is energizing


Energy, or effort, is the second spiritual power. These two words are linked, but they’re not quite the same. Energy comes first, and effort channels it, and puts it to use. Nothing happens without effort in any kind of endeavor, but especially, perhaps, in spiritual practice. This practice isn’t easy. The instructions are simple, but carrying them out isn’t simple. To be with the breath, feeling it, knowing it, and not identifying with it; to be with an emotion, a mind-state, feeling it, knowing, not identifying; to be with sensations, thoughts, the whole spectrum of experience, seeing it clearly and dispassionately—such work is not child’s play. A lot of energy is expended here just to get out of the pull of habit, the kind of gravitational pull of the mind that would get us and keep us in the grooves of habit that have been worn over years of time. The mind is used to wandering, just erratically wandering from one thing to the next, keeping itself busy with planning and hoping and fantasizing, fearing, complaining, judging. It doesn’t even know that anything might lie outside of its own limited scope.

Right effort is the effort to be mindful, and to bring the mind back when it wanders, so it knows what is happening right now. To do this is really a very delicate balancing act. On the one hand, hard work is needed, in the attempt to keep paying attention. On the other hand, there’s nothing to do, because awareness is already present. It’s just that we’ve been distracted. Right effort is not striving. Striving leads to clinging. It reinforces the sense of self, and can be very painful. Right effort isn’t trying to get anything, for there’s nothing to get. It’s not trying to penetrate something and go deeper and deeper. Rather, it’s the effort to listen with greater sensitivity. It’s a soft receptivity. Just total surrender, receiving and welcoming whatever is here.

When effort is balanced, without any strain, there’s no sense of, “I should do this.” Rather, there’s just a willingness to do. Out of that willingness there comes a more and more constant flow of energy. This quality of energy is bold and courageous. A Pali word describes it as “the state of the heroic ones.” It gives patience and perseverance in the face of difficulty. If pain arises, the heat of the energy burns away fear, and makes it possible to do what ordinarily is very difficult to do—to go right to the center of the pain.

There are many levels of effort. Like the gears of a car, one level leads to the next. But the key to them all is being willing to start fresh, to start all over again. At the beginning of each day, at the beginning of each sitting, at the beginning of each breath—to bring back the wandering mind and start fresh. As we become more skilled, effort becomes smoother and steadier, and mindfulness grows.


Mindfulness is the third of the spiritual powers. It’s the one factor of mind of which we can never have too much. Mindfulness is the observing power of the mind, the active aspect of awareness. Mindfulness means not forgetting to pay attention, not forgetting to be aware of whatever is happening within us, around us, from moment to moment to moment. It’s a very subtle process.

When first we notice something, there is a fleeting moment of pure awareness, before the thinking mind jumps in. It’s a moment that’s nonverbal, pre-verbal. It has in it no thought. It’s a moment of seeing with very great clarity and no thought. The thing noticed is not yet separated out, but is simply part of the whole flow of the process of life. Perception then fixates on the thing, puts boundaries around it and labels it. Then the thinking mind jumps in, and the mind is back in its everyday mode.

Under ordinary circumstances, that first pristine moment of awareness is very brief, and it goes unnoticed. What this practice of mindfulness does is to prolong the moments of pre-verbal knowing. The effect of doing that, over time, is profound. It’s a kind of deep knowing which changes the way that we understand the world.

When mindfulness is present, it’s like an empty mirror. It sees whatever appears before it with no distortion. Mindfulness has no likes and no dislikes. There is no passion or prejudice to color what is seen. It knows things in the round, as it were—in their totality, just as they are.

The question, of course, is, “How can we come to such clarity?” “Interest” is the answer. Get interested in what’s going on. Krishnamurti once said that the way to watch thoughts is the way that you would watch a lizard crawling on the ceiling of a room. This seemed to me a very odd recommendation when first I heard it. I had no connection with it at all, until a few years later. Then I found myself on the island of Antigua, in the Caribbean. I had just arrived. It was late at night and I was half-asleep, but too tired to go to bed. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something moving on the wall. Attention woke up. It was galvanized. Now, what was moving was a lizard. It was a big one, maybe between nine and ten inches long from the tip of its tail to its nose. It was a dull, mottled brown. Nothing remarkable; it looked very ordinary. I sat, attention just riveted, as it climbed the wall, slowly crawled across the ceiling, down the other side, and then slithered out an open window.

The intensity of that brief little moment was so great that I can see every detail in my mind’s eye right now. Interest was amazingly total. Awareness was complete. There wasn’t a thought, an emotion, to disturb what was seen. All that was there was the seeing of each movement of this little creature from the moment it appeared to the moment it disappeared. Krishnamurti’s words came back into my mind then, and I knew exactly what he had meant. Interest makes the difference. When interest is there, awareness is total, and it’s effortless.

Now, the breath may not have the same compelling quality as seeing a lizard crawling on the ceiling, but the more careful attention we pay to it, the more we get into the habit of paying attention. Interest grows. Careful attention in itself creates interest, for it brings us close to experience—increasingly close, so that we see the texture, the detail, the remarkable wonder of experience. In the doing there comes a brightness and a vividness to things.

Emily Dickinson knew this quality well. She lived a very quiet life, saw few people, and spent most of her time alone in her room. Yet she was so attentive, and saw with such sensitivity and precision, that she could only sum up her experience in this way: “To live is so startling, there’s little time for anything else.”

Close attention opens the heart. When there is interest, real interest, there’s no judgment. Whatever appears is welcome. Acceptance is unconditional. Awareness has a benevolent quality, a friendly quality, about it, which leads to bodhicitta. This welcoming acceptance allows whatever comes to reveal itself in its fullness. Ultimately, mindfulness opens into the realm of the sacred. To speak of knowing things as they are, as they really are—what is that but spiritual talk?


Faith… effort…mindfulness…The fourth spiritual faculty is concentration. Concentration arises naturally out of the effort to be mindful. It gives the power which makes mindfulness so effective. Concentration is often defined as “one-pointed attention.” In the context of insight meditation, it is steady, one-pointed attention upon a succession of changing objects. Concentration keeps attention pinned down upon whatever object mindfulness is noticing. As mindfulness moves from, say, the breath to a sound, concentration moves with it, and again keeps attention focused and steady. In each case it lasts for just a moment, because the mind moves so quickly. But it begins again in the next moment, with the same intensity. This so-called “momentary concentration” provides the power for the work of our practice.

The key to developing concentration is one word: effort. It’s the effort to pay close attention, to keep coming back. Usually the energies of the mind are scattered in a thousand different directions. The mind is all over the place, and its energy is simply frittered away in random thoughts and desires, hopes, fears, feelings. All the huge potential power that it has is wasted. But as the effort to be mindful becomes more consistent, these scattered energies come together and converge around a single point, and the mind becomes focused, like a lens. If parallel rays of light fall upon a piece of paper, they won’t do much more than warm the paper. But if the same amount of light is focused through a lens, the paper will burst into flame. In the same way, concentration focuses the energy of the mind, and gives it the power to cut through surface appearance.

As concentration deepens, the mind becomes calm and centered. It’s less reactive. It comes into greater emotional balance. We can more easily let go and let things be. The mind has a spaciousness which gives room for pain and anger and fear all to arise and pass, without our being broken by them, or needing to act them out.

Concentration is very powerful, but it’s only a tool. Despite its astonishing power, it cannot of itself lead to wisdom. When it’s balanced with mindfulness, the two together cut through conventional reality, and understanding unfolds by itself.


Wisdom is the last of the spiritual qualities. It is ongoing inspiration for the work of the other four, and also their fulfillment. Wisdom is not knowledge. It cannot be learned from books, for it is intuitive understanding that arises from close observation of experience. It is insight into reality, into the nature of things as they are.

One aspect of wisdom is seeing the omnipresence of anicca—impermanence. Wisdom knows that nothing in this conditioned realm will last. It knows that everything that arises passes away. It knows that change occurs at every level from the cosmic to the microscopic. A star, a civilization, a tree, a thought—each arises, evolves through time, disintegrates and disappears. Timetables differ of course, for every phenomenon and event. And change can be so rapid—or so slow—that it is not ordinarily seen at all. But the trajectory is always the same. Whatever is, will be was.

We may think we know this truth, and perhaps we do. But is it living wisdom? For each of us, the mark of impermanence reveals itself most intimately in our inescapable mortality. We all are going to die. However unwelcome that thought may be, death is at the end of every life. You and I are no exception. Everything that is born will die. But because we do not live our lives from this place of understanding, we suffer.

There is a constant clash between the nature of existence and our desires. In a world of radical change, we want permanence and security and enduring happiness, and they cannot be found. We live in an imaginary world, and grasp and cling to the way things used to be, or how we want them to be, and find it hard to accept the way they actually are. The result is dukkha—suffering, all the dissatisfactions and sorrows of the human heart. Dukkha is the second truth, which wisdom more and more deeply comes to know.

But the deepest lesson that wisdom has to teach is the fact of anattà—the fact that nothing is inherently substantial and real. We think that we are separate, solid entities, and struggle to protect and satisfy and gratify our precious sense of self, not understanding that at the closest level of examination, no permanent, unchanging self is ever to be found. The constituents of mind and body are, in fact, in constant flux. Body, sensations, thoughts, emotions, arise and disappear, arise and disappear, moment by moment by moment. Keen observation reveals that mind and body are an ever changing process, a moving energy field. There is no permanent being behind phenomena to whom it all is happening. There is no one here to suffer. A Sri Lankan monk summed this fact up very simply: “No self. No problem.” Yet this truth is baffling, and eludes us until the mind is purified.

The doors of perception are gradually cleansed as the spiritual powers gather strength. Mindfulness sees ever more deeply, and greed, hate and delusion diminish. Our endless likes and dislikes thin out and fall away. The confusion that clouds perception begins to dissolve. We glimpse the interweaving laws of impermanence, suffering and selflessness, and the knowledge is transforming. The way that we understand ourselves and live our lives begins to change.

We don’t hold on so much, and make fewer demands upon existence. We begin to relax, and ease more into the flow of things. We can delight in the good things of life when they are present, and accept change without protest when they end. The heart opens wider as it learns there is nothing to lose…

The sense of self lessens. We become less selfish, less self centered. As mindfulness reveals our dukkha and we experience its pain, we begin to feel the suffering of others. Boundaries disappear, and we turn to the needs of others as if they were our own. Gradually the delicate art of loving without possessing becomes apparent—the art of how to care, yet not to care. There is a growing sense of similarity, of oneness, of communion with all—which more and more means that the only possible response is concern and care for all.

Wisdom is very hard won. It comes from facing our own suffering and learning the profound lessons that suffering has to teach. The lessons are all about letting go. Not holding on to desire, but letting it go. Wherever we hold, the sense of self is present together with suffering. When we let go, self vanishes and suffering dissolves into lightness, ease and peace.

It is in the deep understanding of suffering that compassion comes to full bloom. For when the heart/mind no longer holds to anything, it is fully open. There is no self-centeredness and so, no separation. No I, no you. Love then is boundless, and ceaselessly responsive.