© Copyright 2010, Michael Alperstein You are encouraged to circulate this book to anyone who wants more clarity

and joy and less mind chatter. You are not allowed to sell this book, but you have full permission to give it away unchanged.

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Table of Contents
Introduction......................................................................................................................................4 What are the Key Ingredients to Transformation?...........................................................................6 Dropping Worry By Noticing Beauty................................................................................................10 How to Use Mind Chatter as a Teacher...........................................................................................19 How Do You Integrate Spirituality into Daily Life?.........................................................................29 Simple Secrets to Enjoy the Facade and Go Beyond it.....................................................................31 How to Treat Everything as a Spiritual Reminder............................................................................36 Recommended Products...................................................................................................................40 Recommended Websites...................................................................................................................41

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Imagine it’s a Monday morning and your yoga-golf-skiing-hiking-movie weekend ended yesterday and you are in line at the supermarket to grab a quick muffin before heading to the office. You’re in the “real world,” watching the chaos of life! As you unload your basket, your mind races with a million things you need to do--all in the next hour. How do you let go of the stress inside? Do you sit down on aisle seven in lotus position and take some deep breaths and chant a few mantras? Ummm... I've tried things like that before! Unfortunately, they do not go over well. But there are ways to relax, center ourselves, and bring calm to our mind. Societal rules do not have to be a barrier on our quest to dissolve our stress and mental chatter. We can choose to honor the rules and still de-stress. We can stay truly high long after a spiritual or weekend high has gone down. How can we access inner quietude in daily life? By seeing everything as our teacher. Every person you see, every object, every situation you encounter, has something to show you. The biggest bozo can teach you the deepest truths. Everything points beyond its appearance and nothing is as it appears to be. What you are experiencing depends which "layer" you are looking from. One way you can go from the surface layers of appearance to the core layers of inner knowing is by asking yourself powerful questions during the day: "What would love do here?" “What would love see here?” “What gift can be found in this situation?” The dance of life looks pretty crazy sometimes: adults rushing, kids whining, countries fighting. But there is always something deeper going on. There is a thread of sanity amidst the chaos. We just have to look below the surface to get in touch with it. What this really means is looking below our own surface selves, below the thoughts we are thinking on the surface of our being. It boils down to this: We can see craziness on the outside and let it affect us, or we can find sanity on the inside and let it nourish us. I live a rich, fulfilling, and amazing life. And..... things still get challenging. But I have developed a high capacity for transforming challenges into opportunities. I've opened new doors and brought higher levels of

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peacefulness to all kinds of situations, including the sudden death of my sister and the subsequent experience of helping to raise her son. For me, transformation is about being conscious every step of the way. It's not being attached to the outcome and enjoying the step I am on for the love of it. To be sane is to be conscious. To be conscious means shifting our attention away from ‘thought energy’ and into ‘heart energy.’ Consciousness is love. Love is like light. Being conscious means accessing an inner sense of luminosity that shines right through the bars of mind chatter. This is Presence, and to experience Presence we can incorporate everything around us and inside us into our meditation. This book is my gift to you. It is an opportunity to look at situations from a higher, loving, empowering perspective. Explore the practices and I am certain you will notice a transformation inside while you are taking care of business. Some of the practices are very simple, but often a few minutes with them can create miraculous changes. Many people have begun using these tools with great results. Simplicity is the antidote to complexity. Once you've read the book, I have a favor to ask in return: Spread the book around. The goal is to get it into as many hands (screens) as possible and my goal is to have over 60,000 people read it. You could email it to some friends or share it in a discussion board. If you are on FaceBook, you could post a favorite quote from it in a note or share your biggest takeaway with your facebook friends. Be sure to post a link to http://www.spiritualityebooks.com/ Or a link to my Facebook Page:

If you are connected to the Page, you could also spread these teachings by clicking the “Suggest to Friends” button underneath the photo. Thank you in advance for your time and I welcome hearing from you. You can reach me at: SpiritualityEbooks @ gmail.com (without the spaces) Enjoy! Michael

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“Meditation doesn’t take us to the end of the rainbow--it opens the possibility of completely embodying our enlightened qualities by making our mind an ally.” -- From Turning the Mind Into an Ally, by Sakyong Mipham

What are the Key Ingredients to Transformation?
One key is to cultivate a giving attitude. While you are out and about, look for new ways to give of your self and you will find you become more centered. Suppose you are in a grocery store, for example. Strike up a conversation with the person behind you in line, smile at a child, make eye-contact with the clerk. Eye contact is so important for healing. If it is vulnerable for you, that is okay. It's the energy of the exchange that is most important. Allow the vulnerability to be okay and it will give way. The more you give and receive, the less vulnerability will be there. It is impossible to be giving and worried simultaneously. To give is to be an open vessel. You don't have to “work hard” to give; let giving come through you. Stand true and clear, and the Universe naturally wants to give through you. Give others your appreciation. Allow appreciation to come through your eyes and your words. How? By bringing depth to everyday chit chat. Suppose you ask someone: “How is your day going?” Instead of thinking of this question as polite chit chat, bring depth and authenticity to the asking. Make the question a supportive act, an expression of your inner most being. Turn it into a precious gift. Look them in the eyes and make it a heartfelt question. It is the heartfelt asking that matters and that is more likely to elicit a genuine response. Genuineness creates a spark of connection, a holy moment between strangers. Mind chatter and stress cannot survive under such circumstances.

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When someone answers your question, listen carefully to the other person. Honor how they sound, their gestures and where they’re coming from. Listen through their words. Draw your attention out of your head and into your heart, being, and soul. This means holding a safe space for their answer within your self.

You appreciate another person by route of appreciating your self

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Realize that as you ‘give away’ appreciation, you will receive it as well, because the act of giving is an internal space opener. You will receive it from within. Begin by looking around in daily life. Notice with soft eyes what the person standing behind you is wearing or doing. Whether you admire someone silently or offer this stranger a compliment out loud, watch how this increases your inner well-being. You can also give something more tangible away. Drop off some food to a homeless shelter. Let someone go ahead of you in line. Donate a few coins to a good cause. Bring your own bag to the store. Throw away some trash you see on the ground. Give ‘courteousness’ by placing the divider on the conveyor belt for the person behind you. If you place it with as much presence as you would feel if you were in the most holy spiritual place, you will slice through worry like a knife.

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly” ~ Sam Keen

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The other ingredients which fuel stress-free living are simple and powerful new agreements. I am talking about inner agreements, commitments with yourself. It’s important to realize that you can create new agreements with yourself. Silent ones. Powerful ones. Confidential ones. Here is a list of seven powerful self-agreements or self-commitments to make that will start to untangle you from the web of mental noise and stress: 1. I commit to treat mind chatter as a teacher, showing me what is true and what is illusion. 2. I agree to take new action when I feel stuck on the treadmill of my mind. 3. I agree to accept myself when I think negative thoughts or feel stress. 4. I commit to zero complaining about my life, people, and events. 5. I agree not to be harsh with myself when I cannot shut my mind off. 6. I agree to use mind chatter to show me a larger self identity, one already free inside. 7. I agree to use play and humor as ladders to raise me out of mental noise.

Let each of these work themselves into your awareness throughout the day.

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Dropping Worry By Noticing Beauty
Seeing beauty separates us from worry and mind chatter. The moment we see beauty, we are no longer trapped in judgment. Try this experiment: Next time you walk into a store or restaurant, hold the intention that you will see as much beauty as possible during your time there. I’m not talking about beauty in only the feminine sense of the word. I’m talking about natural attractiveness, the kind that is in everything when we notice and sense what lives underneath appearances. Brightness, aliveness, radiance. Put attention on the inner glow.

“You are wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from human relationships. God’s placed it all around us, it’s in everything, in anything we can experience. People just need to change the way they look at those things.” ~ From the movie, Into the Wild, spoken by Emile Hirsch, who plays "Chris McCandless.”

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No one’s shadow can survive in Light. The most worrisome feelings break down with TRUST IN LIGHT. But Light as a concept or metaphor will not help you much. You have to feel a sense of Light in your BODY, in your cells. When you see the twinkle in someone’s eyes or the rays of the sun, and you feel a twinkle inside yourself, wake up. Smile. The outer mirror is guiding you back to your inner circle of Light. To experience inner light directly, you can put “beauty shopping” side by side with whatever else you are shopping for. You find beauty by turning your attention toward it. Everything has a beautiful inner glow to it. It is visible in everyone if you look between your thoughts. This isn’t always easy. Most of us are professional fault finders. However, an “ugly filter” over your eyes can wash away and transform into a recognition of beauty or handsomeness. You have to stay with the practice though and feel your perceptions. Don’t let your mind chatter distract you from seeing inner beauty.

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If you see something or someone that your mind initially labels as “ugly,” don’t turn away from your perception. Instead, experience it with curiosity. If it is really persistent, try thinking it a few times on purpose: “Ugly, ugly, ugly!” Don’t fight the perception; allow it instead. It will subside. It is just a label you are attaching to someone. Make it an inner practice to explore the label without a fight and it will lead you beyond itself. The label will reveal something to you. You will experientially answer the questions: Does this ugliness label reside “out there” on the other person, or is it in me? What is the label attached to? What purpose does it serve? Our labels or judgments on others teach us things about ourselves. The teacher Byron Katie suggests turning inner statements or beliefs around. For example, if you think “That guy is homely,” or “Her hair is too messy.” Try turning these statements around to “I’m homely looking,” or “My hair is too messy.” See if, in your judgment of the other, there is also a self-judgment.

“Every object, every being is a jar full of delight.” -Rumi
We judge what we are afraid of. A judgment of another may not directly apply to you, but it may be something you are afraid applies to you. Let your judgments show you what you really think about yourself. With awareness of a self-judgment, you pierce a hole in it, so to speak. It loosens. The cell bars spread apart a little.

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We see the beauty in others by way of first seeing it in our selves. You will sense your own natural beauty. Judgment subsides. Be wiling to see beauty and it will show up. It will reveal itself to you. You can then witness beauty in the most innocuous things: a store display, a photograph on a food box, a tangerine stem. Let yourself see the beautiful cornucopia of fruit, activity, aliveness and nourishment everywhere.

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“There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh "Just stop for a minute and you'll realize you're happy just being. I think it's the pursuit that screws up happiness. If we drop the pursuit, it's right here." ~James Hillman

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"Without concern for results, perform the necessary action... Though the unwise cling to their actions, watching for results, the wise are free of attachments, and act for the well-being of the Whole World."
~The Bhagavad Gita

A Powerful Practice: Next time you go shopping, walk into the store with the intention to walk out with “less.” I am talking about less on the inside: Less mind noise, less stress, less focus on the future... Make it your practice to let everything go. Drop it all. Empty your mind. Visualize putting worries and concerns back ON the shelves at the store. Offer them all back to the Universe. Breathe.... Walk humbly. In this way, shopping instantly becomes a powerful and sacred living meditation.

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I remember hearing the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle speak about this topic. He said something along these lines: “I just like admiring things in shops, but I have very little interest in buying them. They won't add to my sense of accomplishment if they were in my home. Simply admiring them in the shop is enough.” Of course buying things is fine, but don't take them too seriously. Enjoy the feeling of “less” on the inside. Notice how much lighter you feel when you walk out of the store.

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How to Use Mind Chatter as a Teacher
When your mind starts jumping and thumping in daily life, realize your spiritual teacher has just appeared. You are blessed! Each busy thought in your head is saying, “I’m here and I have a gift for you. In order to see it you have to feel it.” A good spiritual teacher always points you back to yourself.

"True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own." -Nikos Kazantzakis, poet and novelist (1883-1957).

That is true even of stress. It will eventually collapse and leave you grounded and at Home in your true Self. Remember this: You are not your feelings. You are not your stress. They move through you, but you are beyond them, bigger than them. Let your noisy mind remind you that a quiet mind starts from within. For example, suppose a repetitive thought catches hold of you: “Life is difficult. Life is difficult.” What can you do?

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Realize there is a spiritual message contained in the thought. But the message is not another thought or an idea; it is an inner event, an entire experience. It’s the experience of first stepping into, then stepping out of the worrisome thought. In other words, the repetitive thought arrives. It puts you in a trance, but it also carries with it the message to wake you up from its trance and to shift your focus back to the creator that you are. To become able to hear and unwrap the spiritual teaching from a busy thought or unpleasant feeling, you can learn to feel two things at once:

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For example, one time I was really pissed off at my mother. We disagreed about whether or not we should hire someone to help us with something and I felt she was relying on me too much. We argued for a bit.... And then.... with a conscious breath... I opened into my frustration ... I moved into sacred time and sacred space.. and I let the feeling take me deeper.... This can happen in the moment or it may happen later. For me, it is both. In the situation with my mom, I shed a tear or two... and peace returned and the conduit re-opened. In a way, I was still angry at her but there was LOVE around this anger. More and more I have developed a capacity to feel two things at once.... and this has brought me back to spiritual joy... Feeling both big and small, open and closed, good and bad... When we can consciously feel two things at once... the flow flows... Don't think one or the other. Think BOTH. Surround your smallness with BIGness... Bring Light into your Worry. Surround your closedness with Openness. And the great thing is.... you don't need to do this.

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It already is done. You just have to notice it. Be it. Feel it. Accept it. Something in you knows how to do it. Conscious feeling of two things at once is an intrinsic ability. It's built in to your biology. The spiritual teaching available from a thought is never what you THINK it is. It's more about feeling. It’s always outside of the thought. It’s the consciousness that contains the thought. Consciousness is like a brick road and thoughts are like the bricks that comprise it. Metaphorically speaking, here is what causes stress and mind chatter: You stop on a road made out of bricks (thoughts). You pick up a loose brick on purpose or out of habit. (Some worrisome thought you've had before.) You look at the brick. You’re so fascinated by it, you think it’s all there is. It sucks you in and weighs you down. Your mind gets stuck in a fearful pattern.

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Now, here is what erases mind chatter:
You realize you’re carrying this heavy brick (a limited thought or feeling). You wake up to it. You accept it as it is. You feel it. You become okay with where you are. If you hate where you are, you bring an ounce of okayness to hating where you are. You are not supposed to be feeling anything other than what you are feeling. Take the pressure off. You become open to the idea that this worrisome thought contains a gift. So you begin to look at it to see the Truth it contains, or rather the truth that surrounds it and is inside it. You look up, down, and all around. You notice deeply this thought is NOT all there is. It is not all-consuming. Other thoughts ARE possible. You notice where the brick came from. (The road.) You let it drop, like letting go of a hot coal. You draw your attention back to the whole road. You accept your BIGness and inner strength.

Every thought points to the vastness from which it came. And this vastness is right under our feet. We just have to feel the ground to get it. This is the ground of life, your innate life force. You are the road. You don't need to walk a spiritual path; you are the Path. Be the Path. You are Source. At every instant we can feel the Ground of Being from whence all thought arises.

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Effortlessness is NOT incongruent with taking action. Taking action is vital! But its power increases when we take one step at a time, without being attached to the outcome. Action can be intuitive, easy, and effortless. Explore this for yourself. Try this simple practice periodically throughout the rest of your day: Take a deep breath…. Move your body or change your position as effortlessly as possible. Use only the muscles that are needed. Observe your breath and the motion of your body. Notice how your heart pulses effortlessly. Let this be a pointer to truth. Notice your breathing. Your breath, both voluntary and involuntary, is a gateway into effortlessness. Explore this gateway for at least five minutes and periodically throughout the day. It's deceptively simple, yet this exploration can erase long-held patterns of over-effort.

When you are open to allowing ease of movement with your body, this will transfer to other areas of life.

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I have taught many workshops on The Zen of Juggling. The teaching is not about keeping three balls up in the air. It is about surrender and self-acceptance. Part of my teaching is to remind people to use JUST the necessary muscles for the movement. Are shoulders tense? Brow furrowed? What muscles can be relaxed that are not needed in the art of juggling?

Things are only difficult when we try too hard to do them. Contemplate: What unneeded effort can you let go of today?

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How Do You Integrate Spirituality into Daily Life?
We can study ancient spiritual texts, go to weekend retreats, immerse ourselves in meditation, eat a ton of granola, and yet…. Monday still rolls around! How do we take spiritual teachings into our hearts and daily lives? Here are some ways I have discovered: 1. We can surround ourselves with good books and uplifting material. But as we do this, it is helpful to honor the sense of inner silence while we read. Inner silence is where intuition speaks to us. Can you feel this simple feeling in your gut? ‘Read between the lines’ is good advice. The answers we seek are in our awareness. They’re in the small, still voice in our hearts that can be heard in quietude.

Reading a spiritual book does not mean that the answers you are looking for are outside of you; reading is a process to teach you to access the answers inside you.

2. We can take conscious breaks from seeking and reading and going to teachers. We’ve all had times of over-doing it. We read book after book or take class after class hoping for the answer to jump out at us! It helps a lot to take a break after we read a book or take a workshop. Do something just for fun or do something ordinary or mundane, like mowing the lawn. Let LIFE be the teacher. Treat each moment as a meditation.

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3. Take action. Everything we read or hear from spiritual teachers becomes more available when we act on it. This does not have to be a driven kind of action. In fact, as we have discussed, the opposite is often true: It may be an effortless action, but it is still action. When intuition comes, act on it. Action sparks change. 4. We can let go of hierarchies. I am grateful to all the authors and teachers who have inspired me, but I believe they touch upon gifts we all have. Let’s shine a light on a sense of equality. We are all teachers and students for each other. Even if someone is more peaceful than me, this does not make them more worthy. Inner peace increases as comparison decreases. 5. Be a teacher. Help others. Share an uplifting story from your life on a message board or with a few friends. Write down insights that come to you and share them in a blog, in art, in conversation, in a book, or wherever. Teaching others strengthens our inner knowing.

“What life is about is not trying to arrive. True arrival is being present with what already is.”
-Bruce Terrell

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Simple Secrets to Enjoy the Facade and Go Beyond It
If you look about in most daily situations, you see a flurry of humans running around, making transactions and taking care of business. But always remember to look for what is underneath the facade. There is more than meets the eye. Can you see the innocent child that lives hidden within the guise of a harried business person? Can you see the dreams in the eyes of the teenager on the bus? What do you suppose the person standing near you wants most? Love? Kindness? Draw your attention to the deepest desires we all share underneath the roles we play. Look with soft and conscious eyes. See the pain. Use it as a wake up call for yourself.

Look in everyone's eyes and realize we all want love.

Whenever you feel your mind starting to spin, take a deep breath and feel who you are; feel underneath your fears and facades. We all face similar issues. When we see the common denominators that unite us, mind chatter vanishes and we feel appreciation amidst our changing world.

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Read these words with a gleam in your eye. Allow. Pause. Trust. You are what you are looking for. SLOW TIME DOWN until it comes to a halt. We’re so used to looking for things on the outside, we forget the feeling of BEING ourselves is the grandest find of all. Start here. Know that what you are is good and there is a gleam in your eye that never goes away. Don’t look for the gleam. Look WITH the gleam.

Two Powerful Breath Meditations:

Dropping Comparison Through Breathing
If we feel frustration about ‘Where we are in life,’ we are likely comparing it to ‘Where we want to be in life.’ There is nothing wrong with setting our sights in a new direction, but if we are judging where we are, this is a recipe for frustration. A simple and effective practice for letting go of comparison is in the breath.

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…Simply breathe… …..In & out…. Try it now.... Deep Breath....

Notice the similarity between the in-breath and the out-breath. Build a bridge between inhaling and exhaling until comparison between them disappears. Make your breath “circular,” one continuous flow. Effortlessly, give this attention. Releasing comparison between inhaling and exhaling can transfer to other areas of your life. It can help you look at situations in a new light. As within, so without. Do this often during your day and it will carve a path to peace wherever you are.

Awakening to Source Through Breathing
Another way to accelerate the transformational process is to direct our attention into our breath with a willingness to get back to the Heart of what we are. Try this now and periodically throughout your day:

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Bring your attention to your breathing... Take a deep breath.. With an almost effortless focus.... allow each inhalation and exhalation to reveal from Whence you came from. Travel the breath back to Consciousness... back to the knowing of Presence.. This is the Spiritual Well inside your Heart where Inner Peace is already real. We're playing the game that inner peace is not real, but that is only a story. Treat your dreams as real. Kids do this all the time. Treat inner peace as real. When you do it, then you find it showing up in your life and you feel as if it was there all along. Negativity will dissipate naturally...

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How to Treat Everything as a Spiritual Reminder.
We can treat everything we read, see, or hear as a spiritual wake-up call. Suppose you are in line and you glance over at a magazine cover and it has written on it: “Find Balance and Creativity.” Instead of thinking that those are qualities to be sought after within the magazine, intend to embody them now. Be balance and creativity, rather than being someone who is looking for them in a magazine. Be open to receiving cosmic winks--the Universe is always talking to us.

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Here is the secret: Mind chatter is complicated. Inner peace is simple. The answer to complexity is simplicity. The more you simplify, the less mind chatter you will have. Simplification is internal. It is in how we do things, not what we do. Zen is simple. It’s awareness. It’s putting your full attention on what you are doing. Everything then becomes spiritual. Think of a new project you are starting. Find the simplest, smallest action to take towards the fulfillment of this project and fall in love with that small step. Fall head over heals in LOVE with it. This paves the way to success and removes stress more than anything I know.

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You don’t have to seek for spirituality. It lives in your heart. Is sitting on a Zen cushion more spiritual than sitting on a pad at a baseball game? Is shopping any less spiritual than yoga? Treat all of life as a sacred meditation, because that is what it is.

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Recommended Products: Visit http://www.spiritualityEbooks.com for more information on these products located in the book available on our site.
The Shadow Effect Debbie Ford's work is terrific for understanding and unwrapping the inner gifts in our emotions. City Dharma eBook A powerful guide to handling stress and busyness in daily life.

Meditation and Relaxation DVD Rodney Yee is a great teacher of relaxation and being in the body. The Sedona Method This is a course I took years ago and it has stayed with me. Self-awareness tools you can use anywhere to help you let go of fear, dissolve the need for approval, and let go of attachment. Ask Your Guides By Sonia Choquette. There is no better way to feel spiritually connected in day to day living than to foster a partnership with your Spirit Guides. Sounds True Spiritual Talks There are so many fabulous audios available here. I especially recommend listening to talks by Adyashanti or Eckhart Tolle. Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life The work of Thich Nhat Hanh is powerful. There is a simplicity and elegance to his teachings that support mastery and peace wherever you are. http://www.facebook.com/MagicalBeautifulPowerful.Spiritual.Books.and.Films http://www.spiritualityebooks.com/ Page 40

Recommended Websites:
http://www.soulfulliving.com/ This site is a fantastic spiritual treasure chest, inspiring wholeness and well being. http://www.successconsciousness.com A terrific site with many great teachings to awaken the wisdom within you. http://www.learningmeditation.com This is a beautiful website with relaxing meditations and powerful teachings. http://www.peaceinourlifetime.org/ A wonderful initiative for us to stand together to create peace.

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For more support finding happiness in daily life, sustaining spiritual or weekend highs, and going from breakdown to breakthrough, connect with my Facebook Page here: http://www.facebook.com/MagicalBeautifulPowerful.Spiritual.Books.and.Films Also stay connected by visiting SpiritualityEbooks.com and sign up for our email list. This book is a taste of an incredible body of teachings available (or soon to be available) on the site. I am grateful to have shared this book to support you in your journey. I'd love to hear from you: SpiritualityEbooks@gmail.com Thank you in advance for the word-of-mouth and internet sharing you do of this book.

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