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THE BOOK
A GUIDE FOR LIFE

Lessons, Teachers, Teachings, Quotes, Poems and Stories


about Life, Wisdom, Inner Peace, Healing, Transformation,
and Protection.

Ricardo Pare Trejo Gonzlez


2016

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Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum

Grant your blessings so that my mind may follow the Dharma.


Grant your blessings so that my Dharma practice may become the
path.
Grant your blessings so that the path may clarify the confusion.
Grant your blessings so that confusion may dawn as wisdom.

No necesitan medico los que estn fuertes, sino los que estn mal; no
he venido a llamar a justos, sino a pecadores (Marcos 2:15-17).

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Contents
Dedication ........................................................................................................... XIII
About The Road .................................................................................................... XV
Preface ................................................................................................................ XVI
Introduction............................................................................................................. 1
Note To Readers ...................................................................................................... 4
The 12 Laws ............................................................................................................. 5
Native American Legend .......................................................................................... 9
Two Wolves .......................................................................................................... 9
Advice From A Tree ................................................................................................ 10
Zen Stories ............................................................................................................. 11
The Burden ......................................................................................................... 11
Is That So? .......................................................................................................... 11
Maybe ................................................................................................................ 12
The Blind Men And The Elephant ....................................................................... 13
Right And Wrong ............................................................................................... 14
Nothing Exists .................................................................................................... 15
The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz ........................................................... 16
Be Impeccable With Your Word ......................................................................... 16
Dont Take Anything Personally ......................................................................... 16
Dont Make Assumptions ................................................................................... 16
Always Do Your Best .......................................................................................... 17
The Egg .................................................................................................................. 18
Teachings From The Way Of Walking Alone ....................................................... 24
The Greatest Speech Ever Made ............................................................................ 25
Small Life Story ...................................................................................................... 28
Life Explained ..................................................................................................... 28
Instructions For Life ............................................................................................... 30
See God In All ........................................................................................................ 34
Advice To My Kids .................................................................................................. 37
14 Precepts Of Engaged Buddhism ......................................................................... 41

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Desiderata ............................................................................................................. 44
The 15 Laws Of Life ................................................................................................ 46
Kimos Hawaiian Rules ........................................................................................... 50
Metta..................................................................................................................... 51
A Fairy Tale ............................................................................................................ 53
The Practice Of Tonglen ......................................................................................... 56
A Bag Of Nails ........................................................................................................ 60
How To Take Insult ................................................................................................ 61
The Five Slogans Of Machik Labdron...................................................................... 62
To Surrender Oneself ............................................................................................. 63
When Emotion Overtakes You ............................................................................... 64
Why We Shout When In Anger .............................................................................. 66
The Buddhas Words On Kindness (Metta Sutta) ................................................... 68
Rules For Being Human .......................................................................................... 70
Six Right Livelihood ................................................................................................ 72
Consume Mindfully. ........................................................................................... 72
Pause. Breathe. Listen........................................................................................ 72
Practice Gratitude. ............................................................................................. 72
Cultivate Compassion And Loving Kindness. ...................................................... 72
Discover Wisdom ............................................................................................... 72
Accept Constant Change. ................................................................................... 73
Is Your Jar Full? ...................................................................................................... 74
Native American Code Of Ethics............................................................................. 76
The $20 Dollar Bill .................................................................................................. 79
The Modern Taoist Sage ........................................................................................ 80
A Harmony Of Paradoxes ................................................................................... 80
Equanimity ......................................................................................................... 80
The Innocent One ............................................................................................... 81
The Detached One.............................................................................................. 82
Genghis Khan And His Hawk .................................................................................. 84
The Story Of The Pencil .......................................................................................... 88


Ahimsa................................................................................................................... 90
Meaning Of Ahimsa ........................................................................................... 91
Benefits Of The Practice Of Ahimsa ................................................................... 91
The Diamond Sutra ................................................................................................ 93
The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success ...................................................................... 98
The Law Of Pure Potentiality ............................................................................. 98
The Law Of Giving And Receiving....................................................................... 98
The Law Of Karma ............................................................................................. 98
The Law Of Least Effort ...................................................................................... 99
The Law Of Intention And Desire ....................................................................... 99
The Law Of Detachment .................................................................................. 100
The Law Of Dharma ......................................................................................... 100
The Greatest Irony Of Life .................................................................................... 101
Tale Of Two Pebbles ............................................................................................ 102
Within You ........................................................................................................... 105
This Exam Is Final ................................................................................................. 106
The Dalai Lamas 18 Rules For Living .................................................................... 108
The Storm ............................................................................................................ 109
The Top Ten Quotes ............................................................................................. 110
Bob Marley .......................................................................................................... 115
Ten Commandments ............................................................................................ 117
Five Mindfulness Trainings .................................................................................. 118
Let Go .................................................................................................................. 121
The Greatest ........................................................................................................ 122
On Death ............................................................................................................. 123
I Promise.............................................................................................................. 125
Seven Cardinal Rules For Life ............................................................................... 126
Visvapani ............................................................................................................. 127
48 Laws Of Power ................................................................................................ 129
The Seven Main Chakras ...................................................................................... 132
Two Men ............................................................................................................. 136

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Invictus ................................................................................................................ 139
Ame Ni Mo Makezu ............................................................................................. 140
The Art Of Peace .................................................................................................. 141
My Roots ............................................................................................................. 144
Osho Kundalini Meditation .................................................................................. 146
Osho On How To Shake .................................................................................... 146
Instructions ...................................................................................................... 147
The Laughing Heart .............................................................................................. 148
A Few Chapters From The Tao Teaching............................................................... 149
Essential Phowa Practice ..................................................................................... 156
A Powerful Practice For The Moment Of Death ............................................... 157
Nothing We Do Is Ever Lost.............................................................................. 158
The Practice Of Essential Phowa ...................................................................... 159
Invocation ........................................................................................................ 159
Calling Out ....................................................................................................... 160
Receiving The Blessing ..................................................................................... 160
Dedicate Your Practice ..................................................................................... 161
Essential Phowa For Others ............................................................................. 161
Essential Phowa In A Sudden Death ................................................................ 162
Vedanta ............................................................................................................... 163
The Means ....................................................................................................... 164
Bhakti Yoga ...................................................................................................... 164
Jnana Yoga ....................................................................................................... 165
Karma Yoga ..................................................................................................... 165
Raja Yoga ......................................................................................................... 165
Read From Your Heart ......................................................................................... 167
The Seven Archangels .......................................................................................... 172
The Bhagavad Gita ............................................................................................... 175
The Subject Of Bhagavad Gita ......................................................................... 175
The Essence Of Vedic Knowledge ..................................................................... 178
Ten Steps To Self Care .......................................................................................... 181
Makes Me Think .................................................................................................. 182
Bodhichitta: The Excellence Of Awakened Heart ................................................. 183

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Cultivating The Witness ....................................................................................... 196
Laughing Trees ..................................................................................................... 198
In The Event Of My Demise .................................................................................. 199
The Flower Of Life ................................................................................................ 200
Alchemy ........................................................................................................... 201
Seed Of Life ...................................................................................................... 202
Fruit Of Life ...................................................................................................... 203
Metatrons Cube ............................................................................................... 203
Rewriting The Mind We Are What We Think ..................................................... 206
The Power Of The Subconscious Mind ............................................................. 207
How To Affirm Or Rewrite The Mind ................................................................ 207
Tips For A Better Life............................................................................................ 210
Unconditional Love .............................................................................................. 211
The Popol Vuh ..................................................................................................... 214
The Cab Ride I Will Never Forget .......................................................................... 215
Ayurveda The Science Of Life ............................................................................ 220
The Tomato Garden ............................................................................................. 221
Aztec Gods And Godesses .................................................................................... 222
Anger Uncontrolled ............................................................................................. 223
Eight Simple Affirmations You Should Whisper To Yourself ................................. 228
The Secret To Meditation Is Attention ................................................................. 230
The Ten Bhumis ................................................................................................... 232
Rules For Doing Good .......................................................................................... 236
Experience Life..................................................................................................... 237
Introduction To The Spiritual Masters And Teachers ........................................... 240
JESUS CHRIST ....................................................................................................... 242
BUDDHA .............................................................................................................. 245
SHIVA................................................................................................................... 251
KRISHNA .............................................................................................................. 253
LAO TZU ............................................................................................................... 256

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MUHAMMAD....................................................................................................... 258
PADMASAMBHAVA ............................................................................................. 260
MAHAVIRA .......................................................................................................... 263
MILAREPA ............................................................................................................ 265
MAITREYA............................................................................................................ 267
QUETZALCOATL ................................................................................................... 268
SHANKARA........................................................................................................... 271
RUMI ................................................................................................................... 273
METATRON .......................................................................................................... 276
ASHTAVAKRA ....................................................................................................... 277
PATANJALI ........................................................................................................... 279
BODHIDHARMA ................................................................................................... 281
GURDJIEFF ........................................................................................................... 284
RAMAKRISHNA .................................................................................................... 286
LONGCHENPA ...................................................................................................... 288
ZOROASTER ......................................................................................................... 290
CONFUCIOUS ....................................................................................................... 292
KABIR ................................................................................................................... 293
SHANTIDEVA ........................................................................................................ 296
TANG HOI ............................................................................................................ 297
JAMYANG KHYENTSE ........................................................................................... 298
PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA ............................................................................. 300
AL-MAARRI ......................................................................................................... 303
DILGO KHYENTSE RINPOCHE ................................................................................ 305
THE DALAI LAMA ................................................................................................. 308
OSHO ................................................................................................................... 311
J. KRISHNAMURTI ................................................................................................ 315
THICH NHAT HANH .............................................................................................. 319
THE 17TH KARMAPA ............................................................................................. 323

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SOGYAL RINPOCHE .............................................................................................. 327
EPICURUS............................................................................................................. 331
ARISTOTLE ........................................................................................................... 333
SOCRATES ............................................................................................................ 335
PLATO .................................................................................................................. 337
DESCARTES .......................................................................................................... 339
EINSTEIN .............................................................................................................. 341
TESLA ................................................................................................................... 345
VOLTAIRE ............................................................................................................. 347
NEWTON.............................................................................................................. 350
SCHOPENHAUER .................................................................................................. 352
NIETZCHE ............................................................................................................. 355
EDISON ................................................................................................................ 358
LINCOLN............................................................................................................... 360
BERTRAND RUSSELL ............................................................................................. 362
JEAN PAUL SARTRE .............................................................................................. 365
RUTHERFORD ....................................................................................................... 368
EMMET FOX ......................................................................................................... 369
J.R.R. TOLKIEN ..................................................................................................... 372
C.G. JUNG ............................................................................................................ 375
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR ......................................................................................... 378
MEISTER ECKHART ............................................................................................... 380
FRIDA KAHLO ....................................................................................................... 382
NERUDA ............................................................................................................... 384
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ................................................................................. 386
JORGE LUIS BORGES ............................................................................................. 390
OCTAVIO PAZ ....................................................................................................... 397
PAULO COELHO.................................................................................................... 400
CONNY MENDEZ .................................................................................................. 406


ALAN WATTS ....................................................................................................... 408
ECKHART TOLLE ................................................................................................... 411
RABINDRANATH TAGORE .................................................................................... 415
SWAMI GURU DEVANAND ................................................................................... 420
MAHATMA GANDHI ............................................................................................. 423
NELSON MANDELA .............................................................................................. 426
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. .................................................................................... 430
MOTHER TERESA.................................................................................................. 433
THE 12THTAI SITU RINPOCHE ................................................................................ 436
SRI SARADA DEVI ................................................................................................. 440
DILGO KHYENTSE YANGSI RINPOCHE ................................................................... 442
SADHGURU .......................................................................................................... 443
GURU NANAK ...................................................................................................... 446
GORAKHNATH ..................................................................................................... 448
CHATRAL SANGYE RINPOCHE ............................................................................... 450
AJAHN CHAH ........................................................................................................ 453
SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI ..................................................................................... 458
MOOJI .................................................................................................................. 460
DZONGSAR KHYENTSE RINPOCHE ........................................................................ 463
MATTHIEU RICARD .............................................................................................. 466
NEEM KAROLI BABA............................................................................................. 468
NYOSHUL KHEN RINPOCHE .................................................................................. 470
JACK KORNFIELD .................................................................................................. 472
SHUNRYU SUSUKI ................................................................................................ 474
MINGYUR RINPOCHE ........................................................................................... 477
YOGI BHAJAN ....................................................................................................... 481
JETSUNMA TENZIN PALMO .................................................................................. 484
MINDROLLING JETSUN KHANDRO RINPOCHE ...................................................... 487
JAGADISH CHANDRA BOSE .................................................................................. 488

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SRI AUROBINDO .................................................................................................. 489
NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS ............................................................................................ 491
MITSUO AIDA ...................................................................................................... 494
OKAKURA KAKUZO .............................................................................................. 496
SHECHEN RABJAM RINPOCHE .............................................................................. 497
SAINT FRANCIS..................................................................................................... 499
SAINT JUDE .......................................................................................................... 502
RAMTHA .............................................................................................................. 503
NICK VUJICIC ........................................................................................................ 505
PHAKCHOK RINPOCHE ......................................................................................... 507
JOHN LENNON ..................................................................................................... 509
DAVID GILMOUR .................................................................................................. 511
BRUCE LEE............................................................................................................ 512
Conclusion ........................................................................................................... 514
From The Book, Vedanta For The Western World ................................................ 514
Until Next Time ................................................................................................. 517
Prayers................................................................................................................. 520
Dedication ........................................................................................................... 528
Contact And Donations ........................................................................................ 529
Bibliography ........................................................................................................ 530

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DEDICATION
This book goes dedicated first of all to all the spiritual masters, the
enlightened beings, and everyone who is or has helped humanity in
becoming a better race and building a better world, to all those who guard
and guide us, even though their voice is most of the time silenced by our
thoughts.
To my mom,my compassion, to my dad my strength, my sister
my happiness, my brother my inner peace, my dogs Miztli and Tao my
loyal companions, my entire family and friends, to Dr. Luis Miguel
Salvador, thank you for all your guidance and teachings.
But also, it is dedicated to every sentient being which is a part of
me because I am also a part of you, we are all connected, everything in
this universe is connected and balanced thats why we must take care of
one another, insects, plants, trees and animals.
I want to thank especially my Root Guru, Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi
Rinpoche, also I want to thank Adzom Gyalse Tulku Rinpoche for their
blessing for this book. Thanks to everybody at Shechen Monastery for
your powerful teachings and guidance.

Its your road and yours alone.


Others may walk it with you,
But no one can walk it for you.
Rumi

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This book is especially dedicated to the memory of Adrian Gonzlez
Rojas (02/16/1992 06/20/2015), a great cousin, brother, friend, son and
human being.

Si para recobrar lo recobrado


deb perder primero lo perdido,
si para conseguir lo conseguido
tuve que soportar lo soportado,
Si para estar ahora enamorado
fue menester haber estado herido,
tengo por bien sufrido lo sufrido,
tengo por bien llorado lo llorado.
Porque despus de todo he comprobado
que no se goza bien de lo gozado
sino despus de haberlo padecido.
Porque despus de todo he comprendido
por lo que el rbol tiene de florido
vive de lo que tiene sepultado.
Francisco Luis Bernrdez

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ABOUT THE ROAD
When I talked to Matthieu Ricard about this book, he gave me a lesson I
will never forget.
We were at his office in Shechen Monastery at Kathmandu, and he
showed me the picture on his laptop of the Himalayas, then he pointed at
the Everest and told me; In order to get there, you can follow many
roads, but you cant split yourself in three and try three different roads
and you cant be changing roads every time because you will never get
there. So, the best thing you can do is follow one true road.
I will always be thankful for this; it is a very valuable lesson.
When you find a true road, follow that one, let it transform you into the
best version of yourself in order to benefit all sentient beings. Let it shake
you, break you and then enlighten you. We are here to serve; we are here
to help build a better world. All the rest is just an illusion.

The ultimate reason for meditating is to transform ourselves in order


to be better able to transform the world or, to put it another way, to
transform ourselves so we can become better human beings in order to
serve others in a wiser and more efficient way. It gives your life the
noblest possible meaning.
Matthieu Ricard

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PREFACE
This book is meant to reach you, whoever gets this book, whoever is
reading it, its time to change your life, and this is the signal you have
been waiting for. This is a book to help with the creation, with love, with
giving, with transformation, healing, inner peace, protection, knowledge
and other very useful life lessons and stories. I am not the author of many
of the things here published, it is just a book that has the intention of
helping people transform and live with an open heart, realize that we are
beings of light who can transform our life from hell to heaven forever.
I decided to put this book together because I had all this sacred
information, I was looking for a Guru and thanks to this book I found
Him. I didnt know what to do with all these teachings, hence I decided
I could make something valuable with it, something that could help
countless sentient beings, this is how I decided to put these teachings
together.
This book will be like a Guru in your life, I once read a book by
Swami Chaitanya Keerti, that the word Guru is divided into two words,
Gu which means darkness and Ru which means the remover of,
so a Guru is a remover of darkness, and this book will be a Guru for your
life and whoever you share it with so you can remove darkness from your
path. If I had a gift to my younger self, this book would be it.
Since I am not the author of most things in this book and it is a
compilation of lessons, experiences, poems, quotes and many other
teachings, this book is free, like inner and outer knowledge should be. I
thank all the teachers for all these teachings and for their wisdom, for
trying to take care of us and make us better human beings with a better

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life experience, for helping us learn how to turn life into heaven on earth.
My intention is to make a compilation of lessons in one book for the
benefit of all humanity. I apologize if any of the authors here feels ill-atease for being mentioned.
Whenever you need a signal, just open this book at random and there will
be a signal waiting to guide you. Every time you read something in this
book remember what Buddha said; Believe nothing, no matter where
you read it or who said it, no matter if I have said it unless it agrees with
your own reason and your own common sense.

Let yourself find the light you need.


Deeply breathe in and breathe out.
You are not alone in this.

Namast

They tried to bury us.


They didnt know we were seeds.
Mexican Proverb

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INTRODUCTION
In other eras and other civilizations, the road to spiritual transformation
was limited just to a small number of people; today, a great proportion
of the human race must sail towards the river of wisdom if we want to
protect the world from inner and outer dangers which are threatening it.
In these times of violence and disintegration, spiritual vision is not a
luxury, but something essential for our survival.
We create our own light, our own heaven and hell, right here on
earth, who knows what will happen when we die, I personally believe in
reincarnation and in what we do in this life, either good or bad will be
paid or enjoyed in this life and in our reincarnated life. In The Tibetan
Book of Living and Dying Sogyal Rinpoche tells us;
"We often wonder: 'How will I be when I die?' The answer to that is that
whatever state of mind we are in now, whatever kind of person we are
now: that's what we will be like at the moment of death if we do not
change. This is why it is so absolutely important to use this lifetime to
purify our mind-stream, and so our basic being and character, while we
can.
We must reflect on this and know that nothing is permanent, so
we must learn to enjoy every moment and stop focusing on the past and
the future, focus only on the present moment by breathing in and
breathing out. Our heart sends out the vibrations we feel inside attracting
both positive and negative energies, depending on our thoughts, words
and acts, a negative mind will attract more negative circumstances and a
positive mind will bring more positive circumstances.


Our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are all forms of energy.
What we think, feel, say, and do in each moment create our realities.
Energy moves in circles, so what goes around comes around. The
combined thoughts, feelings, words and actions of everyone on the planet
creates our collective consciousness, it creates the world we see before
us.
We must remember that every day is different, some days are
sunny or cloudy, and others warm or cold, all this happens to remind us
that each day is different, that every day we can start again, start new and
start fresh, we can change what we dont like about ourselves every
single day and keep improving and being better. Sometimes life is
sleeping, then comes pain and wakes it up because we havent been
living to our fullest.
Great stories and teachers are present in this book which have
contributed with their advice and wisdom. It is them, who speak in these
pages, it is their wisdom and their vision, their words, poems, stories and
teachings who take us through this learning journey, I pray for this book
to be able to transmit to the world some of their great teachings and
wisdom, and that thanks to these teachings, wherever you are, you can
be able to feel the presence, peace and wisdom of these teachers and find
a connection with them and with the world.
And remember that everything will take its right place if you are
focused on the divine light of existence.

May I have the courage today


To live the life that, I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
John ODonohue


NOTE TO READERS
It is not my intention to copy or steal the ideas of the teachers and authors
featured in this book. My only intention is to share the teachings and
make them accessible to more people for the welfare of all sentient
beings and especially for their own spiritual evolution and guidance. This
book is elaborated with the purest of intentions and I thank all the
teachers and teachings here featured.
I hope you enjoy and learn from these following pages. It has been my
pleasure gathering all this great information to be shared in a book that
puts all the things that I have learned and studied together to make it
simpler for people who intend to follow the spiritual path, the inner path,
the Dharma path in the way that suits them better with the guidance of
the following teachers and teachings.
Your Life is about to Change.

"The first obligation of every human being is to be happy; the second is


to make others happy."
Mario Moreno Cantinflas


THE 12 LAWS
Dr. Milanovich and McCune in, The Light Shall Set You Free(1998),
state there are 12 Universal Laws that describe ways in which cause and
effect are related. The Universal Laws can also be viewed as guidelines
for behaviors that will enhance our physical, mental, emotional and
spiritual growth.
1. The Law of Divine Oneness:
The Law of Divine Oneness helps us to understand that we live in a world
where everything is connected to everything else. Everything we do, say,
think and believe affects others and the universe around us.
2. The Law of Vibration:
This Universal Law states that everything in the Universe moves,
vibrates, and travels in circular patterns. The same principles of vibration
in the physical world apply to our thoughts, feelings, desires, and wills
in the Etheric world. Each sound, thing, and even thought has its own
vibrational frequency, unique unto itself.
3. The Law of Action:
The Law of Action must be applied in order for us to manifest things on
earth. Therefore, we must engage in actions that support our thoughts,
dreams, emotions and words.


4. The Law of Correspondence:
This Universal Law states that the principles or laws of physics that
explain the physical world energy, Light, vibration, and motion have
their corresponding principles in the etheric or universe. As above, so
below.
5. The Law of Cause and Effect:
This Universal Law states that nothing happens by chance or outside the
Universal Laws. Every action has a reaction or consequence and we
reap what we have sown.
6. The Law of Compensation:
This Universal Law is the Law of Cause and Effect applied to blessings
and abundance that are provided for us. The visible effects of our deeds
are given to us in gifts, money, inheritances, friendships, and blessings.
7. The Law of Attraction:
This Universal Law demonstrates how we create the things, events, and
people that come into our lives. Our thoughts, feelings, words, and
actions produce energies which, in turn, attract like energies. Negative
energies attract negative energies and positive energies attract positive
energies.
8. The Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy:
This Universal Law states that all persons have within them the power to
change the conditions in their lives. Higher vibrations consume and
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transform lower ones; thus, each of us can change the energies in our
lives by understanding the Universal Laws and applying the principles
in such a way as to effect change.
9. The Law of Relativity:
This Universal Law states that each person will receive a series of
problems (Tests of Initiation) for the purpose of strengthening the Light
within. We must consider each of these tests to be a challenge and remain
connected to our hearts when proceeding to solve the problems. This law
also teaches us to compare our problems to others problems and put
everything into its proper perspective. No matter how bad we perceive
our situation to be, there is always someone who is in a worse position.
It is all relative.
10. The Law of Polarity:
This Universal Law states that everything is on a continuum and has an
opposite. We can suppress and transform undesirable thoughts by
concentrating on the opposite pole. It is the law of mental vibrations.
11. The Law of Rhythm:
This Universal Law states that everything vibrates and moves to certain
rhythms. These rhythms establish seasons, cycles, stages of
development, and patterns. Each cycle reflects the regularity of Gods
universe. Masters know how to rise above negative parts of a cycle by
never getting too excited or allowing negative things to penetrate their
consciousness.


12.The Law of Gender:
This Universal Law states that everything has its masculine (yang) and
feminine (yin) principles and that these are the basis for all creation. The
spiritual Initiate must balance the masculine and feminine energies
within herself or himself to become a Master and a true co-creator with
God.

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask
for.
Keep on seeking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds.
And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)
Jesus of Nazareth


NATIVE AMERICAN LEGEND
Two Wolves
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. A fight is going
on inside me, he said to the boy.
It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil he is
anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, jealousy and ego. He continued,
The other is good he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and
faith. The same fight is going on inside you and inside every other
person, too.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his
grandfather, Which wolf will win?
The old Cherokee simply replied, The one you feed.

Ego says: Once everything falls


into place, I will find peace
Spirit says: Find peace and
everything will fall into place.
Unknown


ADVICE FROM A TREE
By Ilan Shamir
Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
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ZEN STORIES
The next are Zen stories all these stories have been recovered by Myrko
Thums webpage. Some of them are really inspiring and enlightening. It
is helpful to the mind to think about them and feel the deeper meaning.
Even if it is not possible to grasp them fully, the beauty and simplicity of
the message usually get through to us one way or the other.
The Burden
Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained
and there were puddles of water on the roadsides. At one place a beautiful
young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle
of water. The elder of the two monks went up to her lifted her and left
her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, Sir,
as monks, we cannot touch a woman?
The elder monk answered yes, brother.
Then the younger monk asks again, but then Sir, how is that you lifted
that woman on the roadside?
The elder monk smiled at him and told him I left her on the other side
of the road, but you are still carrying her.
Is That So?
The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure
life.

11


A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near
him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was
with child.
This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man
was but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger, the parents went to the master. Is that so? was all he
would say.
When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now
was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take
care of the child since it was his responsibility. Is that so? Hakuin said
calmly as he accepted the child.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents
the truth that the real father of the child was a young man who worked
in the fishmarket.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his
forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.
Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: Is that so?
Maybe
Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops
for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his
neighbors came to visit. Such bad luck, they said sympathetically.
Maybe, the farmer replied.
12


The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild
horses. How wonderful, the neighbors exclaimed.
Maybe, replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was
thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their
sympathy on his misfortune.
Maybe, answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men
into the army. Seeing that the sons leg was broken, they passed him by.
The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how good things had turned
out.
Maybe, said the farmer.
The Blind Men and the Elephant
Several citizens ran into a hot argument about God and different
religions, and each one could not agree with a common answer. So, they
came to the Lord Buddha to find out what exactly God looks like.
The Buddha asked his disciples to get a large magnificent
elephant and four blind men. He then brought the four blind to the
elephant and told them to find out what the elephant would look like.
The first blind men touched the elephant leg and reported that it
looked like a pillar. The second blind man touched the elephant tummy
and said that an elephant was a wall. The third blind man touched the
13


elephant ear and said that it was a piece of cloth. The fourth blind man
holds on to the tail and described the elephant as a piece of rope. And all
of them ran into a hot argument about the appearance of an elephant.
The Buddha asked the citizens: Each blind man had touched the
elephant but each of them gives a different description of the animal.
Which answer is right?
Right and Wrong
When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many
parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was
caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that
the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.
Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei
disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a
petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise, they
would leave in a body.
When Bankei had read the petition, he called everyone before
him. You are wise brothers, he told them. You know what is right and
what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but
this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach
him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you
leave.
A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen.
All desire to steal had vanished.

14


Nothing Exists
Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after
another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.
Desiring to show his attainment, he said: The mind, Buddha, and
sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is
emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no
mediocrity.There is no giving and nothing to be received.
Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he
whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite
angry.
If nothing exists, inquired Dokuon, where did this anger come from?

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.
At the first gate, ask yourself,
Is it true?
At the second ask,
Is it necessary?
At the third gate ask
Is it kind?
Sufi saying

15


THE FOUR AGREEMENTS
By Don Miguel Ruiz

Be Impeccable with your Word

Speak with integrity.

Say only what you mean.

Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip


about others.

Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Dont take anything personally

Nothing others do is because of you.

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their


own dream.

When you are immune to the opinion of others, you wont be


the victim of needless suffering.

Dont make assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really
want.

Communicate with others as clearly as you can, to avoid


misunderstandings, sadness and drama.

With just this one agreement, you can completely transform


your life.

16


Always do your best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment,


it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.

Under any circumstances, simply do your best,


and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.

When you come out of the storm you wont


be the same person that walked in.
Thats what the storm is all about
Haruki Murakami

17


THE EGG
By Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal
nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless
death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body
was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And thats when you met me.
What what happened? You asked. Where am I?
You died, I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
There was a a truck and it was skidding
Yup, I said.
I I died?
Yup. But dont feel bad about it. Everyone dies, I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. What
is this place? You asked. Is this the afterlife?
More or less, I said.
Are you god? You asked.
Yup, I replied. Im God.
18


My kids my wife, you said.
What about them?
Will they be all right?
Thats what I like to see, I said. You just died and your main
concern is for your family. Thats good stuff right there.
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didnt look like God. I
just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority
figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
Dont worry, I said. Theyll be fine. Your kids will remember you
as perfect in every way. They didnt have time to grow contempt for you.
Your wife will cry on the outside but will be secretly relieved. To be fair,
your marriage was falling apart. If its any consolation, shell feel very
guilty for feeling relieved.
Oh, you said. So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or
something?
Neither, I said. Youll be reincarnated.
Ah, you said. So the Hindus were right,
All religions are right in their own way, I said. Walk with me.
You followed along as we strode through the void. Where are we
going?
Nowhere in particular, I said. Its just nice to walk while we talk.
19


So whats the point, then? You asked. When I get reborn, Ill just
be a blank slate, right? A baby, so all my experiences and everything I
did in this life wont matter.
Not so! I said. You have within you all the knowledge and
experiences of all your past lives. You just dont remember them right
now.
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. Your soul is more
magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A
human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. Its like
sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if its hot or cold. You put
a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out,
youve gained all the experiences it had.
Youve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you havent
stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we
hung out here for long enough, youd start remembering everything. But
theres no point to doing that between each life.
How many times have I been reincarnated, then?
Oh! lots, lots and lots, and into lots of different lives, I said. This
time around, youll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.
Wait, what? You stammered. Youre sending me back in time?
Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your
universe. Things are different where I come from.
Where you come from? You said.
20


Oh sure, I explained I come from somewhere, somewhere else.
And there are others like me. I know youll want to know what its like
there, but honestly, you wouldnt understand.
Oh, you said, a little let down. But wait. If I get reincarnated to
other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.
Sure, happens all the time. And with both lives, only aware of their
own lifespan you dont even know is happening.
So whats the point of it all?
Seriously? I asked. Seriously? Are you asking me for the meaning
of life? Isnt that a little stereotypical?
Well its a reasonable question, you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. The meaning of life, the reason I made this
whole universe, is for you to mature.
You mean mankind? You want us to mature?
No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new
life, you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.
Just me? What about everyone else?
There is no one else, I said. In this universe, theres just you and
me.
You stared blankly at me. But all the people on earth

21


All you, different incarnations of you.
Wait. Im everyone!?
Now youre getting it, I said, with a congratulatory slap on the
back.
Im every human being who ever lived?
Or who will ever live, yes.
Im Abraham Lincoln?
And youre John Wilkes Booth, too, I added.
Im Hitler? You said, appalled.
And youre the millions he killed.
Im Jesus?
And youre everyone who followed him.
You fell silent.
Every time you victimized someone, I said, you were victimizing
yourself. Every act of kindness youve done, youve done to yourself.
Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or
will be, experienced by you.
You thought for a long time.
Why? You asked me. Why do all this?
22


Because someday, you will become like me. Because thats what
you are. Youre one of my kind. Youre my child.
Whoa, you said, incredulous. You mean Im a god?
No. Not yet. Youre a fetus. Youre still growing. Once youve lived
every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be
born.
So the whole universe, you said, its just
An egg, I answered. Now its time for you to move on to your
next life.
And I sent you on your way.

We cannot learn without pain.


Aristotle

23


TEACHINGS FROM THE WAY OF WALKING ALONE
By Miyamoto Musashi
1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor
others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things, have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is
useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your
honor.
21. Never stray from the way.

24


THE GREATEST SPEECH EVER MADE
By Charlie Chaplin
Im sorry but I dont want to be an Emperor thats not my business I
dont want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if
possible, Jew or Gentile, Black or White. We all want to help one
another; human beings are like that.
We all want to live by each others happiness, not by each others misery.
We dont want to hate and despise one another. In this world, there is
room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful.
But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned mens souls has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in machinery that
gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need
kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and
all will be lost.
The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very
nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for
universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is
reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men,
women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture
25


and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say Do not
despair.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness
of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass
and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to
the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish
Soldiers dont give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and
enslave you who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think
and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon
fodder.
Dont give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with
machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not
cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You
dont hate only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural.
Soldiers dont fight for slavery, fight for liberty.
In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written the kingdom of
God is within man not one man, nor a group of men but in all men
in you, the people.
You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power
to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and
beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of
democracy lets use that power let us all unite. Let us fight for a new
world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work that will give
you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things,
brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise,
26


they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people.
Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to
do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and
intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and
progress will lead to all mens happiness.
Soldiers in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Whatever obstacles we experience, if we can take them


the right way, they wont obstruct our spiritual path.
Rather, they will become a tool to stimulate our advancement
toward our destination: unconditional love and enlightenment.
So, try to feel joy when facing difficulties, for they provide
the chance to purify unvirtuous past deeds, the cause of ills,
and infuse us with the inspiration to generate yet greater
virtuous deeds, the cause of healing and enlightenment.
Tulku Thondup

27


SMALL LIFE STORY
Life Explained
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist
complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked
how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican.
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the
American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his
needs and those of his family.
The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with
my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a
few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help
you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the
extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
"And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second
one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate
directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.
28


You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los
Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge
new enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterward? Well, my friend, that's when it gets really interesting,"
answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big,
you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"After that, you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast,
sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with
your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

I dont like to commit myself about heaven and hell.


You see. I have friends in both places.
Mark Twain

29


INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
These are from a book called "Life's Little Instruction Book", by Jackson
Brown and H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Memorize your favorite poem.
3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you
want.
4. When you say, I love you, mean it.
5. When you say, I'm sorry, look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged for at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only
way to live completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slow but think quick.
13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer,
smile and ask, why do you want to know?
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great
risks.
15. Call your family.
16. Say, Bless you, when someone sneezes.
17. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
18. Remember the three R's: Respect for self, Respect for others,
Responsibility for all your actions.
19. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
30


20. When you realize, you've made a mistake, take immediate steps
to correct it.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your
voice.
22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, his/her
conversational skills will be as important as any other.
23. Spend some time alone.
24. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26. Read more books and watch less TV.
27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think
back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
28. A loving atmosphere in your home is important. Do all you can
to create a tranquil harmonious home.
29. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation.
Don't bring up the past.
30. Read between the lines.
31. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
32. Be gentle with the earth.
33. Never interrupt when you're being flattered.
34. Mind your own business.
35. Don't trust a lover who doesn't close their eyes when you kiss
them.
36. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
37. If you make a lot of money, put it to use while you are living.
That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.
38. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke
of luck.
31


39. Learn the rules, then break some.
40. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for
each other is greater than your need for each other.
41. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
42. Remember that your character is your destiny.
43. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
44. Be brave. Even if youre not, pretend to be. No one can tell the
difference.
45. Dont allow the phone to interrupt important moments. Its there
for your convenience, not the callers.
46. Dont burn bridges. Youll be surprised how many times you
have to cross the same river.
47. Dont say you dont have enough time. You have exactly the
same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur,
Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da
Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
48. Learn to say no politely and quickly.
49. Dont use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
50. Dont waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them
and move on.
51. No one ever said on his deathbed, Gee, if Id only spent more
time at the office.
52. Give people a second chance, but not a third.
53. Judge your success by the degree that youre enjoying peace,
health and love.
54. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
55. Leave everything a little better than you found it.
56. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
32


57. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing
is as important as it first seems.
58. Never cut what can be untied.
59. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never
underestimate your power to change yourself.
60. Remember that winners do what losers dont want to do.
61. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in
time its bottom will rot out.
62. Spend less time worrying whos right, more time deciding whats
right.
63. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your
life.
64. When facing a difficult task, act as though its impossible to fail.

Everything that has a beginning has an ending.


Make your peace with that and all will be well.
Jack Kornfield

33


SEE GOD IN ALL
Sri Ramakrishna - I have now come to a stage of realization in which I
see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself
alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious.
Therefore, when I meet different people I say to myself, "God in the form
of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the
righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous."
Holy Mother -- If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others.
Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own.
No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.
Swami Vivekananda -- This is the gift of all worship -- to be pure and
to do good to others. He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in
the diseased, really worships Shiva, and if he sees Shiva only in the
image, his worship is but preliminary. He who has served and helped one
poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste, creed, or
race, or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who
sees Him only in temples.
Buddha -- Goodwill toward all beings is the true religion; cherish in your
hearts boundless goodwill to all that lives.
Guru Nanak -- God is one, but He has innumerable forms. He is the
Creator of all and He Himself takes the human form.
Jesus Christ -- But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that
curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
despitefully use you, and persecute you. That you may be the children of

34


your Father which is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and
on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Judaism -- You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall
reason with your neighbor, lest you bear in sin because of him. You shall
not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own
people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Krishna -- He who sees the Supreme Lord abiding alike in all beings,
and not perishing when they perish - verily, he alone sees.
Mohammed -- All Gods creatures are His family, and he is the most
beloved of God who tries to do most good to Gods creatures.
Native American -- Every dawn as it comes is a holy event, and every
day is holy, for the light comes from your Father, Wakan-Tanka; and
also, always remember that the two-legged and all other peoples who
stand upon this earth are sacred and should be treated as such.
Rama -- It is the shadow of the Paramatman that you see reflected in all
the living beings as the Jivatman. Dont you see the great sky reflected
in each and every lake or river?
Shankara -- Vishnu alone it is who dwells in you, in me, in everything;
Empty of meaning is your wrath, and the impatience you reveal. Seeing
yourself in everyone, have done with all diversity.
Vedas -- The wise man beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all
beings; for that reason, he does not hate anyone.

35


Zoroaster -- Forget self and identify Ahura Mazda in every being and in
everything.

Something very beautiful happens to


people when their world has fallen
apart; a humility, a nobility, a higher
intelligence emerges at just the point
when our knees hit the floor.
Marianne Williamson

36


ADVICE TO MY KIDS
By Leo Babauta
I have six lovely children one of them now an adult, and a couple
more almost there and I give a lot of thought to what I think they
should know as they grow up and go out into the world.
What could I best teach them to equip them for life?
This is what Id like them to know:
You are good enough. Most people are afraid to do things because they
are afraid theyre not good enough, afraid theyll fail. But you are good
enough learn that and you wont be afraid of new things, wont be
afraid to fail, and wont need the approval of others. Youll be preapproved by yourself.
All you need to be happy is within you. Many people seek
happiness in food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, partying, sex because
theyre seeking external happiness. They dont realize the tools for
happiness arent outside them. Theyre right inside you: mindfulness,
gratitude, compassion, thoughtfulness, the ability to create and do
something meaningful, even in a small way.
You can start your own business. As a young man, I thought I
needed to go to college and then be employed, and that owning a business
is for rich people. That was all wrong. Its possible for almost anyone to
start their own business, and while youll probably do badly at first,
youll learn quickly. Its a much better education than college.

37


Everything useful Ive learned I didnt learn from college I learned
from doing.
That said, Ive had some amazing teachers. Theyre not always
in school, though: theyre everywhere. A friend I met at work, my peers
online, my mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts, my wife,
my kids, failure. Teachers are everywhere if youre willing to learn.
Spend less than you earn. Thirty percent less if you can manage.
Most people get a job and immediately spend their income on a car loan,
high rent or a large mortgage, buying possessions and eating out using
credit cards. None of that is necessary. Dont spend it if you dont have
it. Learn to go without, and be happy with less.
Put away some of your income to grow with the power of
compound earnings. Your future self will thank you. Learn to love
healthy food. Its all a matter of adjusting your tastebuds, slowly and
gradually. Learn to cook for yourself. Try some healthy, delicious
recipes.
Learn compassion. We start life with a very selfish outlook, we
want what we want, but compassion is about realizing we are no more
important than everyone else, and we arent at the center of the universe.
Does someone annoy you? Get outside of your little shell, and try to see
how their day is going. How can you help them be less angry, less in
pain?
Never stop learning. If you just learn something a little a day, it
will add up over time immensely.

38


Have fun being active. Sure, theres lots of fun to be had online,
and in eating sweets and fried food, and in watching TV and movies and
playing video games. But going outside and playing with friends, tossing
a ball around, swimming, climbing something, challenging each other
thats even more fun. And it leads to a healthy life, healthy heart, more
focused and energetic mind.
Get good at discomfort. Avoiding discomfort is very common,
but a big mistake. Learning to be OK with some discomfort will change
your life.
The things that stress you out dont matter. Take a larger
perspective: will this matter in five years? Most likely the answer is no.
If the answer is yes, attend to it.
Savor life. Not just the usual pleasures, but everything and
everyone. The stranger you meet on the bus. The sunshine that hits your
face as you walk, the quiet of the morning, time with a loved one, time
alone, your breath as you meditate.
Dont be afraid to make mistakes. They are some of the best
teachers. Instead, learn to be OK with mistakes, and learn to learn from
them, and learn to shrug them off so they dont affect your profound
confidence in who you are.
You need no one else to make you happy or validate you. You
dont need a boss to tell you that youre great at what you do. You dont
need a boyfriend/girlfriend to tell you that youre lovable. You dont
need your friends approval. Having loved ones and friends in your life
is amazing, but know who you are first.
39


Learn to be good at change. Change is the one constant in life.
You will suffer by trying to hold onto things. Learn to let go (meditation
helps with this skill), and learn to have a flexible mind. Dont get stuck
in what youre comfortable with; dont shut out whats new and
uncomfortable.
Open your heart. Life is amazing if you dont shut it out. Other
people are amazing. Open your heart, be willing to take the wounds that
come with an open heart, and you will experience the best of life.
Let love be your rule. Success, selfishness, righteousness these
are not good rules to live by. Love family, friends, coworkers, strangers,
your brothers and sisters in humanity. Love even those who think theyre
your enemy. Love the animals we treat as food and objects. Most of all,
love yourself.
And always know, no matter what: I love you with every particle
of my being.

If there is light, It will find you


Charles Bukowski

40


14 PRECEPTS OF ENGAGED BUDDHISM
By Thich Nhat Hanh
1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or
ideology, even Buddhist ones.
2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless,
absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present
views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to
be open to receive others' viewpoints.
3. Do not force others, including children, by any means
whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat,
money, propaganda, or even education. However, through
compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and
narrow-mindedness.
4. Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do
not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the
world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including
personal contact, visits, images and sounds. By such means,
awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the
world.
5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take
as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure.
Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with
those who are in need.
6. Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform
them when they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as
they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and
understand the nature of your hatred.
41


7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings.
Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in
the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous,
refreshing, and healing both inside and around you.
8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the
community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve
all conflicts, however small.
9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or
to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and
hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain.
Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure.
Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to
speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may
threaten your own safety.
10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit,
or transform your community into a political party. A religious
community, however, should take a clear stand against
oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation
without engaging in partisan conflicts.
11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature.
Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to
live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
12. Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible
to protect life and prevent war.
13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the
property of others, but prevent others from profiting from human
suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.

42


14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do
not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital
energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way.
(For brothers and sisters who are not monks and nuns:) Sexual
expression should not take place without love and commitment.
In sexual relations, be aware of future suffering that may be
caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights
and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility
of bringing new lives into the world.

Waking up this morning, I smile.


Twenty-four brand new hours
are before me. I vow to live
fully in each moment and
to look at all beings with
eyes of compassion
Thich Nhat Hanh

43


DESIDERATA
By Max Ehrmann, 1927
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there
may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms
with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If
you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for
there will always be greater of a lesser person than yourself. Enjoy your
achievements, as well as your plans, keep interested in your career,
however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you for what virtue there is; many persons strive for
high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in
the face of all aridity and disenchantment, its as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrendering the things
of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born
of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child
of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be
here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is
unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you
44


conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and your aspirations, in
the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all the sham
drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be Careful, Strive to Be Happy.

I want to be inside your darkest everything


Frida Kahlo

45


THE 15 LAWS OF LIFE

By Swami Vivekananda
1.Love is the Law of Life

All love is expansion; all selfishness is a contraction. Love is therefore,


the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying.
Therefore, love for loves sake, because it is the law of life, just as you
breathe to live.

2. It is Your Outlook That Matters

It is our own mental attitude, which makes the world what it is for us.
Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The
whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light.

3. Life is Beautiful
First, believe in this world that there is meaning behind everything.
Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see
something evil, think that you do not understand it in the right light.
Throw the burden on yourselves!

4. It is The Way You Feel

Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will
be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without
which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.
46


5. Set Yourself Free

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human
body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see
God in him that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds
vanishes, and I am free.

6. Dont Play the Blame Game

Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you
cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own
way.

7. Help Others

If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not,


it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.

8. Uphold Your Ideals

Our duty is to encourage everyone in his struggle to live up to his own


highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as
possible to the Truth.

9. Listen to Your Soul

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can
make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
47


10. Be Yourself

The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in


yourselves!

11. Nothing Is Impossible

Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest
heresy to think so. If there is a sin, this is the only sin to say that you
are weak, or others are weak.

12. You Have the Power

All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our
hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.

13. Learn Everyday

The goal of mankind is knowledge... now this knowledge is inherent in


man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a
man 'knows', should, in strict psychological language, be what he
'discovers' or 'unveils'; what man 'learns' is really what he discovers by
taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.

14. Be Truthful

Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for
anything.
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15. Think Differently

All differences in this world are of degree, and not of a kind because
oneness is the secret of everything.

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are,


you would never think a negative thought.

Peace Pilgrim

49


KIMOS HAWAIIAN RULES
Never judge a day by the weather
The best things in life aren't things
Tell the truth - there's less to remember
Speak softly and wear a loud shirt
Goals are deceptive - the un-aimed arrow never misses
He who dies with the most toys - still dies
Age is relative - when you're over the hill, you pick up speed
There are two ways to be rich - make more or desire less
Beauty is internal - looks mean nothing
No Rain - No Rainbows

Whatever happens to you, dont fall in despair.


Even if all the doors are closed, a secret path
will be there for you that no one knows.
You cant see it yet but so many paradises are at
the end of this path. Be grateful!
It is easy to thank after obtaining what you want,
thank before having what you want.
Shams Tabrizi

50


METTA

Metta (Pali) or Maitri (Sanskrit) means unconditional and unattached


loving kindness. It is one of the ten parameters of the Theravada school
of Buddhism, and the first of the four Brahmaviharas. The mettaBhavana
(cultivation of metta) is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism.
The object of metta meditation is to cultivate loving kindness
(love without attachment, non-exclusive love) towards all sentient
beings. The practice usually begins with the meditator cultivating loving
kindness towards themselves (though this is not specifically
recommended by the Buddha himself in the relevant suttas/sutras), then
their loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers and finally their enemies. It
is a good way to calm down a distraught mind because it is an antidote
to anger.
Someone who has cultivated metta will not be easily angered and
can quickly subdue anger that arises. They will be more caring, more
loving, and more likely to love unconditionally.
Buddhists believe that those who cultivate metta will be at ease
because they see no need to harbor ill will or hostility. Buddhist teachers
may even recommend meditation on metta as an antidote to insomnia
and nightmares. It is generally felt that those around a metta-full person
will feel more comfortable and happy too.
Radiating metta is thought to contribute to a world of love, peace
and happiness.

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The Essence of Compassion


Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and wrong
because sometime in your life you will have been all of these.

Buddha

52


A FAIRY TALE
By Paulo Coehlo
In ancient China, around the year 250 B.C., a certain prince of the region
of Thing-Zda was about to be crowned emperor; however, according to
the law, he first had to get married.

Since this meant choosing the future empress, the prince needed to find
a young woman whom he could trust absolutely. On the advice of a wise
man, he decided to summon all the young women of the region in order
to find the worthiest candidate.

An old lady, who had served in the palace for many years, heard about
the preparations for this gathering and felt very sad, for her daughter
nurtured a secret love for the prince. When the old lady got home, she
told her daughter and was horrified to learn that her daughter intended
going to the palace.
The old lady was desperate. But, daughter, what on earth will you do
there? All the richest and most beautiful girls from the court will be
present. Its a ridiculous idea! I know you must be suffering, but dont
turn that suffering into madness.
And the daughter replied: My dear mother, I am not suffering and I
certainly havent gone mad. I know that I wont be chosen, but its my
one chance to spend at least a few moments close to the prince, and that
makes me happy, even though I know that a quite different fate awaits
me.
53


That night, when the young woman reached the palace, all the most
beautiful girls were indeed there, wearing the most beautiful clothes and
the most beautiful jewelry, and prepared to do anything to seize the
opportunity on offer.

Surrounded by the members of his court, the prince announced a


challenge. I will give each of you a seed. In six months time, the young
woman who brings me the loveliest flower will be the future empress of
China.

The girl took her seed and planted it in a pot, and since she was not very
skilled in the art of gardening, she prepared the soil with great patience
and tenderness, for she believed that if the flowers grew as large as her
love, then she need not worry about the results.

Three months passed and no shoots had appeared. The young woman
tried everything; she consulted farmers and peasants, who showed her
the most varied methods of cultivation, but all to no avail. Each day she
felt that her dream had moved farther off, although her love was as alive
as ever.

At last, the six months were up, and still, nothing had grown in her pot.
Even though she had nothing to show, she knew how much effort and
dedication she had put in during that time, and so she told her mother
that she would go back to the palace on the agreed date and at the agreed
hour. Inside she knew that this would be her last meeting with her true
love and she would not have missed it for the world.

54


The day of the audience arrived. The girl appeared with her plantless pot,
and saw that all the other candidates had achieved wonderful results:
each girl bore a flower lovelier than the last, in the most varied forms and
colors.

Finally, the longed-for moment came. The prince entered and he


studied each of the candidates with great care and attention. Having
inspected them all, he announced the result and chose the servants
daughter as his new wife. All the other girls present began to protest,
saying that he had chosen the only one of them who had not managed to
grow anything at all.

Then the prince calmly explained the reasoning behind the challenge:
This young woman was the only one who cultivated the flower that
made her worthy of becoming the empress: the flower of honesty. All
the seeds I handed out were sterile, and nothing could ever have grown
from them.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear,


but the triumph over it. The brave man is not
he who does not feel afraid, but he who
conquers that fear.
Nelson Mandela

55


THE PRACTICE OF TONGLEN
By Pema Chodron
In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for
ourselves.

In particular, to care about other people who are fearful, angry, jealous,
overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish,
mean you name it to have compassion and to care for these people,
means not to run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves. In
fact, one's whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it
off and hiding from it, one could open one's heart and allow oneself to
feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make
us far more loving and kind.
The tonglen practice is a method for connecting with suffering ours
and that which is all around us everywhere we go. It is a method for
overcoming the fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness of our
heart. Primarily it is a method for awakening the compassion that is
inherent in all of us, no matter how cruel or cold we might seem to be.

We begin the practice by taking on the suffering of a person we know to


be hurting and who we wish to help. For instance, if you know of a child
who is being hurt, you breathe in the wish to take away all the pain and
fear of that child. Then, as you breathe out, you send the child happiness,
joy or whatever would relieve their pain. This is the core of the practice:
breathing in other's pain so they can be well and have more space to relax
and open, and breathing out, sending them relaxation or whatever you
56


feel would bring them relief and happiness. However, we often cannot
do this practice because we come face to face with our own fear, our own
resistance, anger, or whatever our personal pain, our personal stuckness
happens to be at that moment.

At that point, you can change the focus and begin to do tonglen for what
you are feeling and for millions of others just like you who at that very
moment of time is feeling exactly the same stuckness and misery. Maybe
you are able to name your pain. You recognize it clearly as terror or
revulsion or anger or wanting to get revenge. So, you breathe in for all
the people who are caught with that same emotion and you send out relief
or whatever opens up space for yourself and all those countless others.
Maybe you can't name what you're feeling. But you can feel it a
tightness in the stomach, a heavy darkness or whatever. Just contact what
you are feeling and breathe in, take it in for all of us and send out relief
to all of us.

People often say that this practice goes against the grain of how we
usually hold ourselves together. Truthfully, this practice does go against
the grain of wanting things on our own terms, of wanting it to work out
for ourselves no matter what happens to the others. The practice
dissolves the armor of self-protection we've tried so hard to create around
ourselves. In Buddhist language, one would say that it dissolves the
fixation and clinging of ego.

Tonglen reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking


pleasure and, in the process, we become liberated from a very ancient
prison of selfishness. We begin to feel love both for ourselves and others
57


and also we begin to take care of ourselves and others. It awakens our
compassion and it also introduces us to a far larger view of reality. It
introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness that Buddhists call shunyata.
By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of
our being. At first, we experience this as things not being such a big deal
or so solid as they seemed before.

Tonglen can be done for those who are ill, those who are dying or have
just died, or for those that are in pain of any kind. It can be done either
as a formal meditation practice or right on the spot at any time. For
example, if you are out walking and you see someone in pain, right on
the spot, you can begin to breathe in their pain and send out some relief.
Or, more likely, you might see someone in pain and look away because
it brings up your fear or anger; it brings up your resistance and confusion.

So on the spot you can do tonglen for all the people who are just like
you, for everyone who wishes to be compassionate but instead is afraid,
for everyone who wishes to be brave but instead is a coward. Rather than
beating yourself up, use your own stuckness as a stepping stone to
understanding what people are up against all over the world.

Breathe in for all of us and breathe out for all of us. Use what seems like
poison as medicine. Use your personal suffering as the path to
compassion for all beings

58

Two people have been living with you all your life. One is the ego,
garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden
spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard
or attended to.
Sogyal Rinpoche

59


A BAG OF NAILS
Once upon a time there was a little boy with a bad temper. His father
gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper,
he should hammer a nail in the fence. The first day the boy had driven
37 nails into the fence. But gradually, the number of daily nails dwindled
down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those
nails into the fence.

Finally, the first day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He
proudly told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now
pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The
days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all
the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to
the fence.

"You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The
fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave
a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, it
won't matter how many times you say 'I'm sorry', the wound is still
there."

"It is natural for the immature to harm others.


Getting angry with them is like resenting a fire for burning."
Shantideva

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HOW TO TAKE INSULT
From the Akkosa Sutta
On one occasion, the Buddha was invited by the Brahmin Bharadvaja for
alms to his house. As invited, the Buddha visited the house of the
Brahmin. Instead of entertaining Him, the Brahmin poured forth a torrent
of abuse with the filthiest of words. The Buddha politely inquired:
"Do visitors come to your house, good Brahmin?"
"Yes," he replied.
"What do you do when they come?"
"Oh, we prepare a sumptuous feast."
"What do you if they refuse to receive the meal?"
"Why, we gladly partake of them ourselves."
"Well, good Brahmin, you have invited me for alms and entertained me
with abuse which I decline to accept. So now it belongs to you."

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of


throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
Buddha

61


THE FIVE SLOGANS OF MACHIK LABDRON
1. Confess your hidden faults.
2. Approach what you find repulsive.
3. Help those you think you cannot help.
4. Anything you are attached to, let it go.
5. Go to the places that scare you.

Someone who has acted carelessly,


But later becomes careful and attentive,
Is as beautiful as the bright moon emerging
from the clouds.
Nagarjuna

62


TO SURRENDER ONESELF

By St. Thrse Couderc - 1864


To surrender oneself is something more than to devote oneself, more than
to give oneself, it is even more than to abandon oneself to God. To
surrender oneself is to die to everything and to self, to keep it continually
turned towards God. Self-surrender is no longer to seek self-satisfaction
in anything but solely God's good pleasure. It should be added that selfsurrender is to follow that complete spirit of detachment which holds to
nothing; neither to persons nor to things, neither to time nor to place.
It means to accept everything, to submit to everything. But
perhaps you will think this is a difficult thing. Do not let yourself be
deceived; there is nothing so easy to do, nothing so sweet to put into
practice. The whole thing consists in making a generous act at the very
beginning, by saying with all the sincerity of your heart:
"My God, I wish to be entirely thine; deign to accept my offering"
then all is said. ...

You must always remember that you have surrendered yourself.


Whoever is fighting monsters
should see that in the process
he does not become a monster
Nietzsche

63


WHEN EMOTION OVERTAKES YOU
By Ram Dass
As your practice gets more and more powerful, what happens is you see
the stuff as it starts before it gets so overloaded and so invested with
adrenaline and all of that. You dont let it get so intense. By the time it
gets out of control and so immense, then you just wait. You wait. The
best thing to do at that point is to sit quietly and to let it pass.
Now when an emotional upset start, it may start out of a thought
process, but then it starts to involve all of the body the adrenaline and
all kinds of chemical reactions. Then often, one of the ways out of it is
to work with the body. For example, running or movement. Taking a
walk. Doing things which start to release the energy, the kind of chemical
buildup. Because you get that kind of nervous energy when you are
emotionally upset. Then there is meditationquieting down and allowing
yourself to see how lost youve gotten. I mean on the deeper devotional
path, there is the offering of the emotion to God. Saying, Here, You
take it. I offer it to You. There is appreciating your humanity. Yea,
here I am. Im human. I just lost it again. Ah so! Theres the Ah so
Right? Okay. Once more. Boy, am I hung up. These are all spiritual
techniques.
See, its the up leveling. Its the ability to see it without denying
it. Not saying, Im not really upset. I am upset. Far out. Here we are
again. Its like talking to God and saying Oh, look at how deliciously
human I am. Not to milk it. Not to keep feeding it, but not to push it
away. Thats the quickest way through. To acknowledge it, allow it, and
then use body energy to keep working out the chemical stuff thats built
64


up and the tension in the body thats been built up. And then get on with
it and just keep letting go, letting go, letting go. Sometimes music does
it. There are a lot of techniques that do it.
And then you see that its your expectations of your own mind
that are creating your hell. I expected you to be When you get
frustrated because something isnt the way you thought, examine your
thinking, not just the thing that frustrates you. And you will see that a
lot of your suffering is created by your models about how the Universe
ought to be. And your inability to allow it to be. If I meet somebody that
is a liar and a cheat, they are like an elm tree. They are the essence of
lying and cheating. If I have a model people shouldnt lie and cheat, then
I am immediately in opposition to that person. I dont have to play games
with them. I may say In the future, you and I cant play together because
you are a liar and a cheat and I cant play with you but I at least
appreciate and allow them to lie and cheat.
Thats their problem, not mine. My problem was my
expectations. If you have a model that everybody is good and then
somebody isnt, then you end up hating the world and being all upset
about the world because it isnt the way you expected it to be. Its like
you come here and its a beautiful day, so you expect the next day is
going to be beautiful. Then it rains, and you are disappointed. Isnt it
funny that when it rains, you should be disappointed? To take nature and
allow nature, when its in its natural state, to make you miserable. It says
something about you. Its like decaying and dying. If you are upset about
decaying and dying, youve got a problem. You really do.

65


WHY WE SHOUT WHEN IN ANGER

A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group
of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He
turned to his disciples smiled and asked.

'Why do people shout in anger at each other?'

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, 'Because we lose our
calm, we shout.'

'But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you?
You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.' asked
the saint.

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally, the saint explained:

'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To
cover that distance, they must shout to be able to hear each other. The
angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other
to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each
other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance
between them is either nonexistent or very small...'

The saint continued, 'When they love each other even more, what
66


happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to
each other in their love. Finally, they even need not whisper, they only
look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when
they love each other.'

He looked at his disciples and said.

'So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words
that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the
distance is so great that you will not find the path to return. They may
end up in divorce courts, for instance.

All that you seek is already within you.


In Hinduism, it is called the Atman,
In Buddhism, the pure Buddha-Mind.
Christ said the kingdom of heaven
is within you. Quakers call it the
still small voice within. This is the
space of full awareness that is in
harmony with all the universe,
and thus, is wisdom itself.
Ram Dass

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THE BUDDHAS WORDS ON KINDNESS (METTA SUTTA)
This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness, and who
knows the path of peace:

Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle in speech.


Humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied. Unburdened
with duties and frugal in their ways, peaceful and calm, wise and skillful,
not proud and demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing
that the wise would later reprove. Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
may all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be; Whether they are weak or strong,
omitting none, the great or the mighty, medium, short or small, the seen
and the unseen, those living near and far away, those born and to-beborn, may all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state. Let
none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another. Even as a mother
protects with her life her child, her only child, so with a boundless heart
should one cherish all living beings.
Radiating kindness over the entire world, spreading upwards to
the skies, and downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded, freed
from hatred and ill-will. Whether standing or walking, seated or lying
down free from drowsiness, one should sustain this recollection.

This is said to be the sublime abiding. By not holding to fixed views, the
pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, being freed from all sense
desires, is not born again into this world.
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Instead of resisting to changes, surrender.


Let life be with you, not against you. If you think My life will be upside
down dont worry. How do you know down it is not better than
upside?
Shams Tabrizi

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RULES FOR BEING HUMAN
1. You Will Receive a Body
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this
time around.
2. You Will Learn Lessons
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in
this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons - you may like
the lesson or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There Are No Mistakes, Only Lessons
There is a process of trial and error; experimentation. The 'failed'
experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that
ultimately 'works'.
4. A Lesson Is Repeated Until It Is Learned
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned
it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning Lessons Does Not End.
There is no part of Life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive,
there are lessons to be learned.
6. 'There' Is No Better Than 'here'.
When your 'there' has become a 'here', you will simply obtain another
'there' that will again look better than 'here'.

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7. Others Are Merely Mirrors Of You.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects
something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What You Make Of Your Life Is Up To You.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them
is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your Answers Lie Inside You.
The answers to Life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look,
listen and trust.
10. You Will Forget All This.
11. You Can Remember It Whenever You Want

I have seen nothing more conducive to righteousness than solitude.


He who is alone sees nothing but God, and if he sees nothing but
God, nothing moves him but the will of God.

Dhu-l-Nun

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SIX RIGHT LIVELIHOOD
Consume mindfully.

Eat with awareness and gratitude.

Pause before buying and see if breathing is enough.

Pay attention to the effects of media you consume.

Pause. Breathe. Listen.

When you feel compelled to speak in a meeting or conversation,


pause.

Breathe before entering your home, place of work, or school.

Listen to the people you encounter. They are Buddhas.

Practice gratitude.

Notice what you have

Be equally grateful for opportunities and challenges.

Share joy, not negativity.

Cultivate compassion and loving kindness.

Notice where help is needed and be quick to help

Consider others' perspectives deeply.

Work for peace at many levels.

Discover wisdom

Cultivate "don't know" mind (= curiosity).

Find connections between Buddhist teachings and your life.

Be open to what arises in every moment.

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Accept constant change.

Dont pray for an easy life.


Pray for the strength to endure
a difficult one.
Bruce Lee
\

73


IS YOUR JAR FULL?

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar.

A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items
in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very
large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf
balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it
was.

So, the Professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into
the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was
full. They agreed it was.
The Professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar
was full. The students responded with a unanimous "Yes."

The Professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space
between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the Professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends,
your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only
they remained, your life would still be full.
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The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,
your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first", he continued, "there is no room for
the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all
your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for
the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are
critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get
medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play with one
another, there will always be time to clean the house and fix the
disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really
matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

When he had finished, there was a profound silence. Then one of the
students raised her hand and with a puzzled expression, inquired what
the beer represented. The Professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just
goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's
always room for a couple of beers."

There will be a time when you believe


everything is finished.
That will be the beginning.
Louis LAmour
\
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NATIVE AMERICAN CODE OF ETHICS
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will
listen, if you only speak.

2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit,


anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find
guidance.

3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your


path for you. It is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with
you, but no one can walk it for you.

4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them
the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and
honor.

5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community,


the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not
yours.

6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth - whether it be people
or plant.

7. Honor other people's thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt


another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to
personal expression.

8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put
76


out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.

9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.

10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice
optimism.

11. Nature is not FOR us; it is a PART of us. They are part of your
worldly family.

12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and
water them with wisdom and life's lessons. When they are grown, give
them space to grow.

13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return
to you.

14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this
universe.

15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional
self, and Physical self - all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out
the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional
ails.

16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will
react. Be responsible for your own actions.

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17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the
personal property of others - especially sacred and religious objects. This
is forbidden.

18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you
cannot nurture and help yourself first.

19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.

20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.

Religion is for people who are


afraid of going to hell.
Spirituality is for those who
have already been there.
Vine Deloria, Sioux

78


THE $20 DOLLAR BILL
By Gary Wonning
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.
In the room of 200, he asked. Who would like this $20 bill?
Hands started going up. He said, I am going to give this $20 to one of
you but first, let me do this.
He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked. Who still
wants it? Still, hands were up in the air.
Well, he replied, what if I do this? He dropped it on the ground and
started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now
crumpled and dirty. Now, who still wants it?
Still, hands went into the air.
My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what
I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value.
It was still worth $20.Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled,
and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances
that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter
what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those
who love you. The worth of our lives comes, not in what we door who
we know, but by WHO WE ARE.
You are special dont ever forget it.

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THE MODERN TAOIST SAGE
By Jos Slabbert
A harmony of paradoxes
A wise man knows himself to be more precious than fame,
and so, obscure, remains.
The Taoist sage consists of paradoxes that would mortify most people,
but do not seem to bother him at all:
The sage
- is detached, yet compassionate;
- enjoys life, yet does not cling to it;
- is a perfectionist, yet indifferent to success or failure;
- is a man of honor, yet avoids reaping honor;
- ignores ethics and morals, but lives a life of the highest moral order;
- does not strive, yet achieves;
- knows the answers, but prefers to remain silent;
- has the innocence of a child, but incredible inner strength.
These paradoxes are in harmony in the sage, the same way nature itself
seems to be a harmonious blend of paradoxes. This makes it difficult to
describe the sage in conventional terms and categories. In fact, in most
societies, the sage's qualities would be seen as negative, even harmful.
Equanimity
When there is no desire,
all things are at peace.
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Calmness in victory, tranquility in defeat, serenity when confronted by
the inevitability of suffering. The sage does not rely on externals to
provide him with spiritual strength, for he knows: dependence on
external factors - such as status, wealth, popularity, hedonism, success,
knowledge and relationships - is the reason why modern man crumbles
so easily in the face of defeat, failure or loss.
The sage is indifferent to success or failure. He understands that life
driven by self-centered ambition will never make sense, no matter how
successful you are or with how many positive externals you care to adorn
it.
Life itself acquires meaning only when you satisfy your spiritual needs
by living in total harmony with the Tao.
The innocent one
He who is in harmony with the Tao
is like a new-born child.
The Taoist sage operates instinctively, intuitively and spontaneously.
Like a child, he is unaware of his innocence and his virtues. His
compassion is as natural to him as breathing, and he is as unaware of it
as he is of his own breathing.
He instinctively moves in close harmony with nature, like a baby
snuggling up to its mother's warm breasts.
His ignorance of his own virtues is his most endearing quality in a world
satiated with pomposity.

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The detached one
Other people are excited,
as though they were at a parade.
I alone don't care,
I alone am expressionless,
like an infant before it can smile.
The Taoist sage seems strangely detached. He functions unconstrained
by his own emotions. He knows that his own observations, emotions,
thoughts, concepts and judgments are just ripples on the mind's surface,
inconstant and perpetually changing. He realizes that the mind can only
reflect compassion clearly - like a tranquil pool the perfect moon - when
it has become free of the ripples of thoughts and emotions.
Acts of mercy are not acts of passion to him: they come as naturally to
him as sneezing or falling asleep.
Therefore, you can rely totally on the sage: his mercy is not dependent
on his emotional state, his affinity or aversion to an object, what he
believes or any thoughts that might be disturbing the tranquility of his
mind.
In a world of inconstancy and illusion, his compassion is constant and
real.

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Character cannot be developed in ease and


quiet. Only through experience of trial and
suffering can the soul be strengthened,
vision cleared, ambition inspired, and
success achieved.
Helen Keller

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GENGHIS KHAN AND HIS HAWK
By James Baldwin, The Book of Virtues
One morning Genghis Khan, the great king and warrior, rode out into
the woods to have a day's sport. Many of his friends were with him. They
rode out, carrying their bows and arrows. Behind them came the servants
with the hounds.
It was a merry hunting party. The woods rang with their shouts and
laughter. They expected to carry much game home in the evening.
On the king's wrist sat his favorite hawk, for in those days hawks were
trained to hunt. At a word from their masters, they would fly high up into
the air, and look around for prey. If they chanced to see a deer or a rabbit,
they would swoop down upon it swift as any arrow.
All day long Genghis Khan and his huntsmen rode through the woods.
But they did not find as much game as they expected. Toward evening
they started for home. The king had often ridden through the woods, and
he knew all the paths. So, while the rest of the party took the nearest way,
he went by a longer road through a valley between two mountains.
The day had been warm, and the king was very thirsty. His pet hawk left
his wrist and flown away. It would be sure to find its way home. The
king rode slowly along. He had once seen a spring of clear water near
this pathway. If he could only find it now! But the hot days of summer
had dried up all the mountain brooks.
At last, to his joy, he saw some water trickling down over the edge of a
rock. He knew that there was a spring farther up. In the wet season, a
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swift stream of water always poured down here; but now it came only
one drop at a time.
The king leaped from his horse. He took a little silver cup from his
hunting bag. He held it so as to catch the slowly falling drops. It took a
long time to fill the cup and the king was so thirsty that he could hardly
wait. At last, it was nearly full. He put the cup to his lips and was about
to drink.
All at once there was a whirring sound in the air, and the cup was
knocked from his hands. The water was all spilled upon the ground. The
king looked up to see who had done this thing. It was his pet hawk. The
hawk flew back and forth a few times and then alighted among the rocks
by the spring.
The king picked up the cup and again held it to catch the trickling drops.
This time he did not wait so long. When the cup was half full, he lifted
it toward his mouth. But before it had touched his lips, the hawk swooped
down again and knocked it from his hands.
And now the king began to grow angry. He tried again, and for the third
time, the hawk kept him from drinking. The king was now very angry
indeed.
"How do you dare to act so?" he cried. "If I had you in my hands, I would
wring your neck!"
Then he filled his cup again. But before he tried to drink, he drew his
sword.

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"Now, Sir Hawk," he said, "that is the last time."
He had hardly spoken before the hawk swooped down and knocked the
cup from his hand. But the king was looking for this. With a quick sweep
of the sword, he struck the bird as it passed.
The next moment the poor hawk lay bleeding and dying at its master's
feet.
"That is what you get for your pains," said Genghis Khan.
But when he looked for his cup, he found that it had fallen between two
rocks, where he could not reach it.
"At any rate, I will have a drink from that spring," he said to himself.
With that, he began to climb the steep bank to the place from which the
water trickled. It was hard work, and the higher he climbed, the thirstier
he became.
At last, he reached the place. There indeed was a pool of water; but what
was that lying in the pool, and almost filling it? It was a huge, dead snake
of the most poisonous kind. The king stopped. He forgot his thirst. He
thought only of the poor dead bird lying on the ground below him.
"The hawk saved my life!" he cried, "and how did I repay him? He was
my best friend, and I have killed him."

86


He clambered down the bank. He took the bird up gently, and laid it in
his hunting bag. Then he mounted his horse and rode swiftly home. He
said to himself,
"I have learned a sad lesson today, and that is, never to do anything in
anger."

True courage is about knowing


not when to take a life,
but when to spare one.
J.R.R Tolkien

87


THE STORY OF THE PENCIL
By Paulo Coelho
A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point, he
asked:
Are you writing a story about what weve done? Is it a story about me?
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the wordsis the
pencil Im using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.
Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didnt seem very special.
But its just like any other pencil Ive ever seen!
That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if
you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at
peace with the world.
First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget
that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He
always guides us according to His will.
Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener.
That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterward, hes much sharper.
So, you too must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they
will make you a better person.
Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any
mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily
a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.

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Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior,
but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening
inside you.
Finally, the pencils fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the
same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a
mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action

Now be silent. Let the One who creates the


words speak. He made the door. He made
the lock. He also made the key.
Rumi

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AHIMSA
By Sri Swami Sivananda
In the regeneration and divinization of man, the first step is to eliminate
his beastly nature. The predominant trait in beasts is cruelty. Therefore,
wise sages prescribe Ahimsa (non-injury). This is the most effective
master method to counteract and eradicate completely the brutal, cruel
Pasu-Svabhava (bestial nature) in man.
The practice of Ahimsa develops love. Ahimsa is another name
for truth or love. Ahimsa is universal love. It is pure love. It is divine
Prem. Where there is love, there you will find Ahimsa. Where there is
Ahimsa, there you will find love and selfless service. They all go
together.
The one message of all saints and prophets of all times and
climes, is the message of love, of Ahimsa, of selfless service. Ahimsa is
the noblest and best of traits that are found expressed in the daily life and
activities of perfected souls. Ahimsa is the one means, not only to attain
Salvation but also to enjoy uninterrupted peace and bliss. Man attains
peace by injuring no living creature.
There is one religion - the religion of love, of peace. There is one
message, the message of Ahimsa. Ahimsa is a supreme duty of man.
Ahimsa, or refraining from causing pain to any living creature, is
a distinctive quality emphasized by Indian ethics. Ahimsa or nonviolence has been the central doctrine of Indian culture from the earliest
days of its history. Ahimsa is a great spiritual force.

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Meaning of Ahimsa
Ahimsa or non-injury, of course, implies non-killing. But, non-injury is
not merely non-killing. In its comprehensive meaning, Ahimsa or noninjury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm
whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Noninjury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand.
Ahimsa is not mere negative non-injury. It is positive, cosmic
love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is
replaced by love. Ahimsa is the true sacrifice. Ahimsa is forgiveness.
Ahimsa is Sakti (power). Ahimsa is true strength.
Benefits of the practice of Ahimsa
If you are established in Ahimsa, you have attained all virtues. Ahimsa
is the pivot. All virtues revolve around Ahimsa. Just as all footprints are
accommodated in those of the elephant, so also do all religious and
ethical rules become merged in the great vow of Ahimsa.
Ahimsa is soul-force. Hate melts in the presence of love. Hate
dissolves in the presence of Ahimsa. There is no power greater than
Ahimsa. The practice of Ahimsa develops will-power to a considerable
degree. The practice of Ahimsa will make you fearless. He who practices
Ahimsa with real faith, can move the whole world, can tame wild
animals, can win the hearts of all, and can subdue his enemies. He can
do and undo things. The power of Ahimsa is infinitely more wonderful
and subtle than electricity or magnetism.
The law of Ahimsa is as much exact and precise as the law of
gravitation or cohesion. You must know the correct way to apply it
91


intelligently and with scientific accuracy. If you are able to apply it with
exactitude and precision, you can work wonders. You can command the
elements and Nature also.

The teaching is simple.


Do what is right.
Be Pure.
Buddha

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THE DIAMOND SUTRA
Once, the Buddha was staying at Anathapindikas retreat in the Jeta
Grove near the city of Sravasti, with a gathering of 1250 monks. After
dressing and making his begging rounds in the city and eating his one
meal, he sat with the monks.
The monk Subhuti paid his respects to the Buddha and asked a
question: What should one who wants to travel the Bodhisattva path
keep in mind?
The Buddha answered, A Bodhisattva should keep this in
mind: All creatures, whether they are born from the womb or hatched
from the egg, whether they transform like butterflies or arise
miraculously, whether they have a body or are pure spirits, whether they
are capable of thought or not capable of thought: All of these I vow to
help enter nirvana before I rest there myself!
But keep in mind, Subhuti, that in reality there is no such thing
as an I who helps, and no such thing as another whom I help. A
Bodhisattva who does not recognize this reality is no true Bodhisattva!
A true Bodhisattva takes no pleasure in this act of compassion
and has no interest in appearances. He simply helps others selflessly.
Can you measure the east, the west, the north, and the south,
Subhuti?
No, Lord.

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Neither can you measure the merit of someone who can help
others without thought of himself.
Subhuti! Can anyone tell who is a Buddha on the basis of
physical characteristics?
No, Lord. You have taught that Buddhahood is not a matter of
physical characteristics.
So one who is concerned with appearances will never see the
Buddha, but one is not concerned with appearances may.
Subhuti asked, Lord, will there always be people who
understand your message?
Buddha answered, Dont doubt it, Subhuti! There will always
be people who, hearing the message will adhere to the precepts and
practice our way. Our message will reach people simply because it is
true! There will come a time when many will no longer need words but
will be beyond words. We must all strive to go beyond the words
because words can be clung to, and we should not cling to
things. Understand that the words of the Buddha are like a raft built to
cross a river: When its purpose is completed, it must be left behind if we
are to travel further!
So tell me, Subhuti. Have I taught the ultimate teaching?
No, Lord. The ultimate teaching is not something which can be
taught because the ultimate teaching is not a thing which can be grasped
or clung to.

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The Buddha said, Tell me, Subhuti. If someone gave away a
universe full of treasures to help others, would he gain great merit?
Yes, Lord. His merit would be great. But you have also taught
us that, in order for this act of generosity to be genuine, he would not
have thought of gaining merit. In fact, he would not have thought of
himself at all!
The Buddha said, Now, if someone understands and passes on
even four sentences of my message to another, his generosity is even
greater. He is not just giving something; he is helping to create future
Buddhas!
Tell me, Subhuti. Would someone who is beginning to
understand my message say to himself I have accomplished something
grand?
No, Lord. Saying something like that would mean that the
beginner doesnt understand that there is no ego there to take credit for
anything at all!
And would someone who is highly advanced in his
understanding of my message say to himself I have accomplished
something grand?
No, Lord. Anyone saying such a thing would also be saying that
there is indeed an ego that attains something, and something to
attain. These are not the thoughts of someone who understands your
message.

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Lord, you have said that I have been successful in achieving
peace and freedom from passions. In fact, I no longer crave the status of
a saint. If I did, I am sure that you would never have thought so much of
me!"
Subhuti, If I say, Bodhisattvas adorn the heavens, would I be
speaking the truth?
No, Lord. Adornments are illusions, and illusions have no place
in the heavens.
And so Bodhisattvas should rid their minds of ego, and cease
their preferences for one odor or another, one sound or another, one sight
or another. A Bodhisattva should have no attachment or aversion to
anything.
The Buddha asked, Subhuti, if a man had a body as huge as a
mountain, would he be a great man?
No, Lord. Because a great man is only words, and being a
great man is an illusion, created by the belief in ego.
Then Subhuti asked the Buddha, Lord, what shall we call this
sermon?
The Buddha answered, Call it The Diamond Sutra on the
Perfection of Wisdom. Like a diamond blade, it can cut through all
delusion!
Then Subhuti suddenly had a full awareness of the meaning of
the sermon, and was moved to tears. Lord, thank you for this
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sermon. Anyone who hears it and understands it with a pure mind will
be moved by it. Even hundreds of years into the future, its clarity will
be appreciated.
Subhuti, if someone gave away enough treasure to fill a
universe, he would still not gain as much merit as someone who manages
to understand and pass on a few lines of this sermon.
So what should be on ones mind as one begins the Bodhisattva
journey?
"Like a falling star, like a bubble in a stream,
Like a flame in the wind, like frost in the sun,
Like a flash of lightning or a passing dream -So, should you understand the world of the ego.
Subhuti and the rest of the monks were filled with joy at hearing
the Buddhas sermon.

Stars cant shinewithout darkness


Unknown

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THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS
by Deepak Chopra
The Law of Pure Potentiality

Take time to be silent, to just BE. Meditate for 30 minutes twice a day.
Silently witness the intelligence within every living thing. Practice nonjudgment. We have unlimited pure potentiality all around us. We need to
be open and ready. The universe gives us the ability to manifest and do
what we like; we just have to know how to get it.
The Law of Giving and Receiving

Today bring whoever you encounter a gift: a compliment or flower.


Gratefully receive gifts. Keep wealth circulating by giving and receiving
care, affection, appreciation and love. We have to have the ability to
receive. When a person gives us something and we say no that is creating
an imbalance. It is important to give every day: give thanks,
gratitude, support, love freedom, what you can afford, time. All that you
give you will receive back bigger and better than ever.
The Law of Karma

Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind.


Choosing actions that bring happiness and success to others ensures the
flow of happiness and success to you. Everything you do has choices and
generates that energy that will be returned to you. Before you do
something, check to see if it is the highest good for you.

98


You will know if it is good if you feel good. If it feels bad, it will feel
like a knot in your belly after a choice that may not have been the highest
and best. But each choice is a learning experience
The Law of Least Effort

Accept people, situations, and events as they occur. Take responsibility


for your situation and for all events seen as problems. Relinquish the
need to defend your point of view. This one goes against what we have
learned; set a goal and work hard, spend a lot of time at it, you need hard
work to get things...all this is wrong. The universe and nature will find
the path of least resistance which is the law of least effort. We need to
work smart and listen to the signs that the universe is giving us that is the
path of least effort. When in a chaos do not get caught up in it and let it
get to you, take time and breathe, then just flow in the situation, the
outcome will turn out better than you can imagine.
The Law of Intention and Desire

Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment.
Make a list of desires. Trust that when things dont seem to go your way,
there is a reason. Set you intentions and desires and then let them be. You
may really want one outcome and think that is the best but if it does not
happen that is because there is something better for you. If you force
it you may get it but you will not be happy or be what you thought it
was. Set your intentions and desires for the highest and best for you.

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The Law of Detachment

Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. Do not force
solutionsallow solutions to spontaneously emerge. Uncertainty is
essential in your path to freedom. This is also in the same vain as the law
of least effort where you set your intentions and desires and the let them
be. Do not force it and keep working at it, you will be missing the real
opportunities for that intention. Also, as the law of intentions and
desires, do not be attached to any outcome that may not be to the highest
and best for you. You will get something better if you pay attention to
the signs.
The Law of Dharma

Seek your higher Self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how
you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and
serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance. When you live your
life that everything you do is for the highest and best for you and
everyone, you will be the happiest and all of the other laws are working
for you. You know you are in this when you do little efforts and
accomplish many things.

Just be calm and relax. You will get all your answers automatically.
Sri Sri

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THE GREATEST IRONY OF LIFE
The greatest irony of life is loving the right person at the wrong time,
having the wrong person when the time is right and finding out you love
someone after that person walks out of your life and sometimes you think
youre already over a person but when you see them smile at you, youll
suddenly realize that youre just pretending to be over them just to ease
the pain of knowing that they will never be yours again.
For some, they think that letting go is one way of expressing how
much you love the person. Most relationships tend to fail not because of
the absence of love; love is always present. Its just the one was being
loved too much and the other was being loved too little as we all know
that the heart is the center of the body but it beats on the left. Maybe
thats the reason why the heart is not always right.
Most often we fall in love with the person we think we love only
to discover that for them, we are just for past times, while the one who
truly loves us remains either a friend or a stranger. Heres a piece of
advice: let go when youre hurting too much, give up when love isnt
enough and move on when things are not like before. There is someone
out there who will love you even more, surely then, you will know true
love.
I love her, and thats the
beginning and end
of everything.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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TALE OF TWO PEBBLES
Many years ago, in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune
of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The money
lender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmers beautiful daughter.
So, he proposed a bargain.
He said he would forgo the farmers debt if he could marry his
daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the
proposal. So, the cunning money-lender suggested that they let
providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black
pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would
have to pick one pebble from the bag.
1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her
fathers debt would be forgiven.
2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her fathers
debt would still be forgiven.
3) If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.
They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmers field. As they
talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked
them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black
pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble
from the bag.

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Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have
done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have
told her?
Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should know that there were two black pebbles in the bag and
expose the money-lender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to
save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with
the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral
and logical thinking. The girls dilemma cannot be solved with
traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the
above logical answers.
What would you recommend that the girl do?
Well, here is what she did. . .
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without
looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn
path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

Oh, how clumsy of me! she said. But never mind, if you look into the
bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I
picked.

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Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had
picked the white one.
And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl
changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely
advantageous one.
Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we dont
attempt to think or we confuse worry with constructive thinking. There
is always a way out; you just have to find it.

If you want to see the heroic,


look at those who can love
in return for hatred.
If you want to see the brave,
look for those who can forgive.
Bhagavad Gita

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WITHIN YOU
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious
stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry,
and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry
traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him.
She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good
fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a
lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise
woman. "I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is,
but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more
precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me
the stone."

Trust in the Lord with all your heart


and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3, 5-6

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THIS EXAM IS FINAL
Two guys were taking Chemistry at the University of Mississippi. They
did pretty well on all of the quizzes and the midterms and labs, such that
going into the final they had a solid A. These two friends were so
confident going into the final that the weekend before finals week (even
though the Chemistry final was on Monday), they decided to go up to the
University of Tennessee and party with some friends.
They had a great time, however, with hangovers and everything,
they overslept all day Sunday and didnt make it back to Mississippi until
early Monday morning. Rather than taking the final then, they found
their professor after the final to explain to him why they missed the final.
They told him that they went up to the University of Tennessee
for the weekend, and had planned to come back in time to study, but that
they had a flat tire on the way back, and didnt have a spare, and couldnt
get help for a long time, so they were late in getting back to campus. The
professor thought this over and told them they could make up the final
on the following day. The two guys were elated and relieved. They
studied that night and went in the next day for the final.
The professor placed them in separate rooms, and handed each of
them a test booklet and told them to begin. They looked at the first
problem, which was worth 5 points. It was something simple about
Molarity & Solutions.
"Cool," they thought. "This is going to be easy." They did that problem
and then turned the page.

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They were not prepared, however, for what they saw on this page. It said:
(95 Points). Which tire?

Too often we underestimate the power


of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all which
have the potential to turn a life around.
Leo Buscaglia

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THE DALAI LAMAS 18 RULES FOR LIVING
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve
great risk.
2. When you lose, dont lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a
wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Dont let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize youve made a mistake, take immediate steps
to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but dont let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think
back, youll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current
situation. Dont bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. Its a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace youve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for
each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

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THE STORM
By Haruki Murakami
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions.
You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but
the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous
dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't
something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do
with you. This storm is you, something inside of you. So all you can do
is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging
up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step.
There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time, just fine
white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind
of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical,
symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be,
make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor
blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too; hot, red blood.
You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of
others.

And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it
through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact,
whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come
out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's
what this storm's all about.

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THE TOP TEN QUOTES BY CONFUCIOUS
By Eric Allen Bell
1. "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
Its the "Golden Rule" and the essence of real compassion. Not
compassion as in looking down on someone and have pity for another,
this is no real compassion. Compassion means seeing another person
100% equal to yourself (in value, not in differentials on the surface which
ultimately do not matter). In fact, it is seeing you in every other person.
Therefore, you cannot harm anyone without also harming yourself.
It doesnt mean to lose individuality or self-worth, on the contrary but
the other person earns the same gift.
2. "Real knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance."

This quote expresses something very profound which also is very useful
to know: Ignorance is a willful neglect or refusal to acquire knowledge.
It is not widening ones own perspective in order to see a broader truth.
As an example, it would be to have racist thoughts and not realizing that
all men are equal.

The ultimate truth therefore is where there is absolutely no ignorance,


meaning where the perspective or consciousness has become one with
all that there is. In Buddhism ignorance (Avidy) is seen as the primary
cause of suffering. Liberation is Enlightenment. Another quote by
Confucius here is Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without
moon and star.
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3. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

Those quotes are just perfect. What he is expressing here is that we have
to experience something ourselves in order to really understand it. If we
are hearing something it might be interesting. If we are seeing something
it might be beautiful. But only if we feel in happening to ourselves we
can really know how it is.

Picture something nice as winning an Olympic gold medal or picture


something terrifying as the loss of a loved one. Can you know this by
hearing it or by seeing it? Or do you have to do it and experience it
yourself to really know it?

Along with this realization comes the awareness that you cannot
understand someone or his actions from hearing or seeing it from the
outside. You have to feel empathic compassion for him to really know
what it is like. To know and not to do is really not to know. Only by
applying our knowledge we can validate its harmony with reality, its
truth.
4. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Amazing. It calls for dropping the inner mask through which we


constantly see and evaluate the world, distorted by our wants and beliefsystems. Here we have to look at things as they are. Just like a newborn
child would look at things. Then we are able to really see again, without
instant labeling of what we see and therefore only really seeing our label.
If we become able to do this just for a second without judgment, we
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can see that everything in nature is as it should be. And in this natural
perfection lies beauty.
5. The Superior Man is aware of Righteousness; the inferior man is
aware of advantage.
Another quote is The object of the superior man is truth. It is the value
of integrity: Do we act to our best knowledge of truth or do we bend
ourselves and violate our integrity in order to gain an advantage? Do we
play a fair game or use perfidious tactics?

To be truthful to ourselves is also important to the development of (good)


character. And it is the only straight way to liberation.
6. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Whatever you do and whatever you commit to, do it fully, give your all
one hundred percent. It is the essence of Carpe Diem Seizing the day
and its surely the best way to be satisfied with what we do and get the
best results.
7. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every
time we do.

There is no failure, there are only valuable learning experiences. Or as


Thomas Edison about inventing the light bulb said: I have not failed,
Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work. The important thing is not
giving up, but learning and then improving by using this feedback to get
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better and ultimately succeed. A quote expressing the same principle is
A man who has committed a mistake and doesnt correct it, is
committing another mistake.
8. He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does
not learn is in great danger.

Confucius explains the connection of learning and reflection. Reflection


of that what we learned by thinking or of the results we get by applying
the knowledge. Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection
without study is dangerous is a similar quote by Confucius. Learning is
only useful if we connect the learning within our own minds, with what
we already know and what is useful for us. This reflection of any
knowledge also saves us from blindly following any knowledge without
checking its truthfulness and validity to us.

I think everybody experience learning when what we really want is


knowledge and inter-weave it with what we already know. If there is a
need or problem we want to solve, the absorbed knowledge is much more
effective than it happens for students in many universities.
9. He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

This quote calls for planning and preparation. This includes getting and
improving the personal skills we need to be successful. If we want to
hold speeches, we have to become good with communication skills. If
we want to win a race we have to train for it. If we want to do a big
project, we need knowledge in project management.
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10. If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong
there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

It shows that our primary work lies within ourselves: to work on


ourselves and improve will automatically take care of the outside world
if we use our abilities then. When we see men of a contrary character,
we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. The solution to
problems is not out there. It is the Inside-Out approach: success and
happiness can only be found by working on ourselves. It also entails the
spiritual message to look inside and to discover ourselves full

For a star to be born, there is one thing


that must happen; a nebula must collapse.
So collapse. Crumble. This is not your
destruction. This is your birth.
Unknown

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BOB MARLEY
Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can
completely turn your world around. You tell them things that youve
never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and
actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that
will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many
disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful
happens, you cant wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in
your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are
hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do
they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough,
but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that
make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure,
jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around.
You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you
because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant
to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures
kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood
come back and are so clear and vivid its like being young again. Colors
seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where
before it was infrequent or didnt exist at all. A phone call or two during
the day helps to get you through a long days work and always brings a
smile to your face. In their presence, theres no need for continuous
conversation, but you find youre quite content in just having them
nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating
because you know they are important to this person who is so special to
you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you
do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind
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or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that
theres a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you
experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that
being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure
thats so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true
friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life
seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope
and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.


I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this,
in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my
hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.
Pablo Neruda

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TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
2.Show great respect for your fellow beings.
3. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
4. Be truthful and honest at all times.
5.Do what you know to be right.
6.Look after the well-being of mind and body.
7.Treat the earth and all that dwell there-on with respect.
8.Take full responsibility for your actions.
9.Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
10.Work together for the benefit of all mankind.

I shall not fear anyone on Earth.


I shall fear only God.
I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up
with all suffering.

- Mahatma Gandhi

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FIVE MINDFULNESS TRAININGS
By Thich Nhat Hanh

The First Training: Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of


life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of
people, animals, plants and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to
let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my
thinking and in my way of life.

The Second Training: Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation,


social injustice, stealing and oppression, I vow to cultivate loving
kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people, animals,
plants and minerals. I vow to practice generosity by sharing my time,
energy, and material resources with those in real need. I am determined
not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I
will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from
profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on earth.

The Third Training: Aware of the suffering caused by sexual


misconduct, I vow to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect
the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families and society. I am
determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a longterm commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am
determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others.
I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse
and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual
misconduct.

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The Fourth Training: Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful
speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving
speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others
and relieve others of suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness
or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire
self-confidence, joy and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I
do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which
I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division
or discord; or words that can cause the family or the community to break.
I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however
small.

The Fifth Training: Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful


consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental,
for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating,
drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace,
well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the
collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am
determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods
or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs,
magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage
my body and my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my
ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to
transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by
practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper
diet is crucial for self-transformation and the transformation of society.

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Religion is like going out to dinner


with your friends. Each may order
something different, but everyone
can still sit at the same table.
The Dalai Lama

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LET GO
Let go of that which is gone.
Let go of that which is lost.
Let go of that which is not yet happening.
What has happened in the past and what will happen in the future exists
only in your mind.
What is happening now is the infinite caress of the universe.
To touch the eternal now and let it enfold you in its infinite love.
What is happening now is the perfect outcome of all you have been, and
allyou have done.
It is all here to teach you.
It is all here to love you.
It is all here to liberate you.
And it is all perfect.
Release that which is going out.
Embrace that which is coming in.
Leave alone that which has not yet come.
Want nothing, and embrace everything.
Relax into what is, and what is will take care of you.
Let it be what it is.
Yogi Amrit Desai

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only


condition for happiness. If in our heart, we still cling to anything;
anger, anxiety, or possessions, we cannot be free.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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THE GREATEST
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
- Atisha

You are not alone because all the time there are numberless Buddhas
and Bodhisattvas surrounding you, everywhere loving you, guiding
you, that is what they do.
~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche

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ON DEATH
By Kahlil Gibran
You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless
you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil
the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto
the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the
beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of
spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands
before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honor.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the
mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the
sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless
tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to

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climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Darkness may reign in a cave for thousands of years, but bring in the
light, and the darkness vanishes as though it had never been. Similarly,
no matter what your defects, they are yours no longer when you bring
in the light of goodness.
Paramahansa Yogananda

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I PROMISE
By Marc and Angel Chernoff
I promise
I will accept everything I am, and everything I am not.
I will appreciate others for who they are.
I will speak kindly and consciously to others.
I will speak kindly and consciously to myself.
I will stop trying to control everything.
I will appreciate the beauty of small moments.
I will do what I think is right.
I will grow from my challenges.
I will realize and use my power.
I will follow the path my heart longs to take.
I will have some fun while Im doing it all.

Everything on earth has a purpose,


every disease a herb to cure it
and every person a mission
Unknown

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SEVEN CARDINAL RULES FOR LIFE
1. Make peace with your past, so it wont disturb your present.
2. What other people think of you is none of your business.
3. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
4. No one is in charge of your happiness. Except you.
5. Dont compare your life to others and dont judge them, you have no
idea what their journey is all about.
6. Stop thinking too much. Its alright not to know the answers. They
will come to you when you least expect it.
7. Smile. You dont own all the problems in the world.

Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your


dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere,
truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serveLearn to be detached
and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living
creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.
Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then,
you will achieve your destiny.
Krishna Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita

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VISVAPANI
The musicality of being is the clash of sabers, the hero panting, the
neighing war-horse.
It is the noble struggle of man against man, arm against arm
It calls all beings to fight against stagnation
By sending them forward into battle.
How can one progress without change?
How can one evolve without strength?
There is always choice:
To be a dawdling child forever, dependent, self-satisfied,
Sucking its thumb, unwilling and unable to leave its mother
Or to be free, proud, noble, and self-sufficient
Blessed with the power of choice.
I shake off the sleep of living death
I rouse the dreamer into reality
I call him from his childhood nest
Saying: Look around you! The world awaits!
There is nowhere you can hide from yourself
In opium-filled rooms or sensual tangles
Sooner or later the voice must come:
Who am I? Why am I here?
My sack provides the strength and the weapons
To find the answer.

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Why be swept about like a moth with no volition?
Why waste your time in hiding?
I am the voice of courage and I say unto youAdventure awaits you! Come forward!
There is death, but for the sake of life
There is slaughter, for one must survive
There is weakness and domination, there is defeat and conquest
A man may conquer his enemies, of sloth and alienation
Or he may die slowly.
The drums beat and the banners are waving
The call to self-assertion is everywhere
Fear your shadow or destroy it
Kill your fear, or have it kill you
March ever onwards, to grasp and hold
Your noble ideals.

May the stars carry your sadness away,


May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears.
And, above all, may silence make you strong.
-

Chief Dan George

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48 LAWS OF POWER
Here collected are ten quotes from Robert Greenes book, 48 Laws of
Power.
1. When you show yourself to the world and display your talents,
you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other
manifestations of insecurity... you cannot spend your life
worrying about the petty feelings of others.

2. When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you
say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even
if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you
make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people
impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the
more likely you are to say something foolish.

3. If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your


doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is
dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you
commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity.
Everyone admires the bold, no one honors the timid.

4. Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your lifes


artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care
of an artist.

5. Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most


dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses.
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Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display
defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and
appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead
can seem perfect with impunity.

6. Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and
competent.

7. Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create


yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention
and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image
rather than letting others define it for you. Incorporate dramatic
devices into your public gestures and actions your power will
be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

8. Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or
less important than you are. Some people are slow to take
offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their
skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you
offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with
a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness
to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so
politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is
impudent or their offer ridiculous.

9. There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing


more dangerous.

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10. But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains
constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will
turn wild and cause you grief.

You must not lose yourself in humanity.


Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops
of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does
not become dirty.
Gandhi

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THE SEVEN MAIN CHAKRAS

Image by MINDBODYGREEN, October 28, 2009

Chakras are centers of energy, located on the midline of the body. There
are seven of them, and they govern our psychological properties. The
chakras located on the lower part of our body are our instinctual side, the
highest ones our mental side.
The chakras can have various levels of activity. When they're
"open," they're considered operative in a normal fashion. Ideally, all
chakras would contribute to our being. Our instincts would work together
with our feelings and thinking. However, this is usually not the case.
Some chakras are not open enough (being under-active), and to
compensate, other chakras are over-active. The ideal state is where the
chakras are balanced.
There exist lots of techniques to balance the chakras. Mostly
techniques to open chakras are used. It makes no sense to try to make
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over-active chakras less active, as they are compensating for other
chakras. These seven chakra symbols are vital to our health. Negative
feelings hamper the spin of these chakras, resulting in sickness and
disease. A chakra is a vital energy center that resides in our bodies, that
is not detectable by most modern medicine means.
1 - Root chakra (Muladhara)
The Root chakra is about being physically there and feeling at home in
situations. If it is open, you feel grounded, stable and secure. You don't
unnecessarily distrust people. You feel present in the here and now and
connected to your physical body. You feel you have sufficient territory.
If you tend to be fearful or nervous, your Root chakra is probably underactive. You'd easily feel unwelcome.
If this chakra is over-active, you may be very materialistic and greedy.
You're probably obsessed with being secure and resist change.
2 - Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana)
The Sacral chakra is about feeling and sexuality. When it is open, your
feelings flow freely, and are expressed without you being overemotional. You are open to intimacy and you can be passionate and
lively. You have no problems dealing with your sexuality.
If you tend to be stiff and unemotional or have a "poker face," the Sacral
chakra is under-active. You're not very open to people.
If this chakra is over-active, you tend to be emotional all the time. You'll
feel emotionally attached to people and you can be very sexual.
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3 - Navel chakra (Manipura)
The Navel chakra is about asserting yourself in a group. When it is open,
you feel in control and you have sufficient self-esteem.
When the Navel chakra is under-active, you tend to be passive and
indecisive. You're probably timid and don't get what you want.
If this chakra is over-active, you are domineering and probably even
aggressive.
4 - Heart chakra (Anahata)
The Heart chakra is about love, kindness and affection. When it is open,
you are compassionate and friendly, and you work at harmonious
relationships.
When your Heart chakra is under-active, you are cold and distant.
If this chakra is over-active, you are suffocating people with your love
and your love probably has quite selfish reasons.
5 - Throat chakra (Vissudha)
The Throat chakra is about self-expression and talking. When it is open,
you have no problems expressing yourself, and you might be doing so as
an artist.
When this chakra is under-active, you tend not to speak much, and you
probably are introverted and shy. Not speaking the truth may block this
chakra.

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If this chakra is over-active, you tend to speak too much, usually to
domineer and keep people at a distance. You're a bad listener if this is
the case.
6 - Third Eye chakra (Ajna)
The Third Eye chakra is about insight and visualization. When it is open,
you have a good intuition. You may tend to fantasize.
If it is under-active, you're not very good at thinking for yourself, and
you may tend to rely on authorities. You may be rigid in your thinking,
relying on beliefs too much. You might even get confused easily.
If this chakra is over-active, you may live in a world of fantasy too much.
In excessive cases, hallucinations are possible.
7 - Crown chakra (Sahasrara)
The Crown chakra is about wisdom and being one with the world. When
this chakra is open, you are unprejudiced and quite aware of the world
and yourself.
If it is under-active, you're not very aware of spirituality. You're probably
quite rigid in your thinking.
If this chakra is over-active, you are probably intellectualizing things

Suffering compels us to reflect on our deeds.


Therefore, it is blessing from another point of view.
Unknown

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TWO MEN
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to
help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the rooms only window
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their
involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up,
he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he
could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where
his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color
of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model
boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color
and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

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As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man
on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this
picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing
by.
Although the other man could not hear the band he could see it in his
minds eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive
words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to
find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully
in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body
away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first
look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
It faced a blank wall.

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The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased
roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this
window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the
wall.
She said, Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.

Each person comes into this world with a specific destinyhe has
something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has
to be completed. You are not here accidentallyyou are here
meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do
something through you.

Osho

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INVICTUS
By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance


I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody; but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears


Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,


How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

It always seems impossible until its done.


Nelson Mandela

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AME NI MO MAKEZU
Following is David Sulzs translation of Kenji Miyazawas poem.

Be not defeated by the rain. Nor let the wind prove your better.
Succumb not to the snows of winter. Nor be bested by the heat of
summer.
Be strong in body. Unfettered by desire.
Not enticed to anger. Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything. Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely. Hold the learned lessons dear.
A thatch-roof house, in a meadow, nestled in a pine groves shade.
A handful of rice, some miso, and a few vegetables to suffice for the day.
If, to the East, a child lies sick: Go forth and nurse him to health.
If, to the West, an old lady stands exhausted: Go forth, and relieve her of
burden.
If, to the South, a man lies dying: Go forth with words of courage to
dispel his fear.
If, to the North, an argument or fight ensues:
Go forth and beg them stop such a waste of effort and of spirit.
In times of drought, shed tears of sympathy.
In summer, cold, walk in concern and empathy.
Stand aloof of the unknowing masses:
Better dismissed as useless than flattered as a Great Man.
This is my goal, the person I strive to become.

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THE ART OF PEACE
By Morihei Ueshiba
The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed
task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body
that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are
here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest
your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply
the Art to all that you can encounter.
A true warrior is always armed with three things: the radiant sword of
pacification; the mirror of bravery, wisdom, and friendship; and the
precious jewel of enlightenment.
Consider the ebb and flow of the tide. When waves come to strike the
shore, they crest and fall, creating a sound. Your breath should follow
the same pattern, absorbing the entire universe in your belly with each
inhalation. Know that we all have the access to four treasures: the energy
of the sun and moon, the breath of heaven, the breath of earth, and the
ebb and flow of the tide.
The heart of a human being is no different from the soul of heaven and
earth. In your practice always keep in your thoughts the interaction of
heaven and earth, water and fire, yin and yang.
The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is
nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil
intentions or contentious thoughts are vanquished. The Art of Peace is
invincible because it contends with nothing.

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There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible
because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind
of contention that we harbor within.
The Art of Peace is not an object that anyone possesses, nor is it
something you can give to another. You must understand the Art of
Peace from within, and express it in your own words.
To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression
without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.
Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise,
and take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your
own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you.
Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between
the rocks. Also, learn from holy books and wise people. Everything even mountains, rivers, plants and trees should be your teacher.
When your eyes engage those of another person, greet him or her with
a smile and they will smile back. This is one of the essential techniques
of the Art of Peace.
Each and every master, regardless of the era or place, heard the call and
attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading
to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit Love.
The totally awakened warrior can freely utilize all elements contained
in heaven and earth. The true warrior learns how to correctly perceive
the activity of the universe and how to transform martial techniques into

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vehicles of purity, goodness, and beauty. A warriors mind and body
must be permeated with enlightened wisdom and deep calm.
To practice properly the Art of Peace, you must: Calm the spirit and
return to the source. Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice,
selfishness, and desire. Be ever-grateful for the gifts received from the
universe, your family, Mother Nature, and your fellow human beings.
Practice the Art of Peace sincerely, and evil thoughts and deeds will
naturally disappear. The only desire that should remain is the thirst for
more and more training in the way.
Each day of human life contains joy and anger, pain and pleasure,
darkness and light, growth and decay. Each moment is etched with
natures grand design do not try to deny or oppose the cosmic order of
things.
Be grateful even for hardship, setbacks and bad people. Dealing with
such obstacles is an essential part of training in the Art of Peace.

There is mud, and there is the lotus that


grows out of the mud. We need the mud in
order to make the lotus.
Thich Nhat Hanh

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MY ROOTS
By Paulo Coelho
The Persian poet Rumi tells a story about Moavia, the first caliph of the
Omeya dynasty, who was asleep one day in his palace, suddenly a
strange man came and awakened him.
Who are you? he asked.
I am Lucifer.
And what do you want?
Its time for your prayer, and youre still asleep.
Moavia was impressed. But why was the Prince of Darkness, who
always wants the souls of men of little faith, trying to help him fulfill a
religious duty?
Lucifer explained,
Remember, I grew up as an angel of light. Despite everything that
happened in my life, I cannot forget my roots.
Knowing that something was amiss, Moavia desperately began to pray
for God to enlighten him. He spent all night talking and arguing with
Lucifer, and despite the brilliant arguments he had, Moavia could not be
swayed.
When the next day was dawning, Lucifer at last gave in, and said,
Okay, youre right. When I arrived this morning to wake you, my
intention was not to bring you closer to the divine light. I knew that
failing to fulfill this obligation, youd feel a deep sadness, and over the

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coming days would pray with double the faith, asking pardon for having
forgotten the correct ritual.
In Gods eyes, each of these prayers made with love and regret, is worth
the equivalent of two hundred ordinary prayers said automatically. You
would end up feeling like you are more purified and inspired, that God
loves you this much more, and I would be the farthest away from His
soul.

In me are the bones of


a better man
than this
Tyler Knott Gregson

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OSHO KUNDALINI MEDITATION
This sister meditation is best done at sunset or in the late afternoon.
Being fully immersed in the shaking and dancing of the first two stages
helps to melt the rock-like being, wherever the energy flow has been
repressed and blocked. Then that energy can flow, dance and be
transformed into bliss and joy. The last two stages enable all this energy
to flow vertically, to move upwards into silence. It is a highly effective
way of unwinding and letting go at the end of the day.
Osho on How to Shake
"If you are doing the kundalini meditation, allow the shaking don't do
it! Stand silently, feel it coming, and when your body starts a little
trembling, help it, but don't do it! Enjoy it, feel blissful about it, allow it,
receive it, welcome it, but don't will it.

"If you force, it will become an exercise, a bodily physical


exercise. Then the shaking will be there, but just on the surface. It will
not penetrate you. You will remain solid, stone-like, rocklike within. You
will remain the manipulator, the doer, and the body will only be
following. The body is not the question; you are the question.

"When I say shake, I mean your solidity, your rocklike being


should shake to the very foundations, so it becomes liquid, fluid, melts,
flows. And when the rocklike being becomes liquid your body will
follow. Then there is no shaker, only shaking; then nobody is doing it, it
is simply happening. Then the doer is not.

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"Enjoy it, but don't will it. And remember, whenever you will a
thing you cannot enjoy it. They are reverse, opposites; they never meet.
If you will a thing you cannot enjoy it, if you enjoy it you cannot will it."

Instructions
The meditation is one hour long, with four stages.

First Stage: 15 minutes


Be loose and let your whole body shake, feeling the energies moving up
from your feet. Let go everywhere and become the shaking. Your eyes
may be open or closed.

Second Stage: 15 minutes


Dance ... any way you feel, and let the whole body move as it wishes.
Again, your eyes can be open or closed.

Third Stage: 15 minutes


Close your eyes and be still, sitting or standing, observing, witnessing,
whatever is happening inside and out.

Fourth Stage: 15 minutes


Keeping your eyes closed, lie down and be still.
Swastha

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THE LAUGHING HEART
By Charles Bukowski
Your life is your life
dont let it be clubbed into dank submission.
Be on the watch.
there are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.
The gods will offer you chances.
Know them.
Take them.
You cant beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
And the more often you learn to do it,
the lighter there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Find what you love and let it kill you.


Charles Bukowski

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A FEW CHAPTERS FROM THE TAO TEACHING
By Lao Tzu
The Tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.


Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.


Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations


arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.


The gateway to all understanding.
When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
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High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore, the Master


acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.
If you over esteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The Master leads


by emptying people's minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

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Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place
The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.
It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.

It is hidden but always present.


I don't know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.
The Tao doesn't take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn't take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:


it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the center.
In harmony with the Tao,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creature flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
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endlessly renewed.

When man interferes with the Tao,


the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.

The Master views the parts with compassion,


because he understands the whole.
His constant practice is humility.
He doesn't glitter like a jewel
but lets himself be shaped by the Tao,
as rugged and common as stone.
The Tao is the center of the universe,
the good man's treasure,
the bad man's refuge.

Honors can be bought with fine words,


respect can be won with good deeds;
but the Tao is beyond all value,
and no one can achieve it.

Thus, when a new leader is chosen,


don't offer to help him
with your wealth or your expertise.
Offer instead
to teach him about the Tao.
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Why did the ancient Masters esteem the Tao?
Because, being one with the Tao,
when you seek, you find;
and when you make a mistake, you are forgiven.
That is why everybody loves it.
The ancient Masters
didn't try to educate the people,
but kindly taught them to not-know.

When they think that they know the answers,


people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don't know,
people can find their own way.

If you want to learn how to govern,


avoid being clever or rich.
The simplest pattern is the clearest.
Content with an ordinary life,
you can show all people the way
back to their own true nature.
When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.

Act for the people's benefit.


Trust them; leave them alone.
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Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.

The soft overcomes the hard;


the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.

Therefore, the Master remains


serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people's greatest help.

True words seem paradoxical.


If a country is governed wisely,
its inhabitants will be content.
They enjoy the labor of their hands
and don't waste time inventing
labor-saving machines.
Since they dearly love their homes,
they aren't interested in travel.
There may be a few wagons and boats,
but these don't go anywhere.
There may be an arsenal of weapons,
but nobody ever uses them.
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People enjoy their food,
take pleasure in being with their families,
spend weekends working in their gardens,
delight in the doings of the neighborhood.
And even though the next country is so close
that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.
True words aren't eloquent;
eloquent words aren't true.
Wise men don't need to prove their point;
men who need to prove their point aren't wise.

The Master has no possessions.


The more he does for others,
the happier he is.
The more he gives to others,
the wealthier he is.

Let the teachings be like the constant flowing of a waterfall.


Ricardo Pare Trejo

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ESSENTIAL PHOWA PRACTICE
By Christine Longakerfrom Sogyal Rinpoche
In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Phowa is considered the most valuable
and effective practice for death. The word phowa means the transference
or ejection of consciousness into the state of truth. Its success relies on
invoking the presence of a Buddha (a fully enlightened being), combined
with our receptivity and devotion, and the familiarity which comes from
having done the practice repeatedly throughout our life.
Sogyal Rinpoche has taught an Essential Phowa practice which
is not just for the moment of death. It also helps to purify our regrets,
harm and negativity, and it can be used to assist in emotional or physical
healing. The Essential Phowa is a practice for our whole life as well as
for the time of dying, and it is the principal practice we rely on to offer
spiritual support to others at the moment of death, and afterward.
If we practice the Essential Phowa again and again, our
compassionate motivation and our confident devotion will grow even
deeper, increasingly becoming part of our "flesh and bones." As we begin
to embody the practice, our heart and mind are opened, made more free
and limitless. If we prepare for our own death with this depth of
familiarity, devotion and trust, we'll reap other rewards. For instance, our
fear of death will diminish. And, even if we should be in a sudden
accident, facing death without warning, we'll know how to let go in the
best way, because this profound practice has become like a reflex.
Also, by practicing the Essential Phowa regularly and as strongly
as possible, we'll find that when a loved one is in great distress or is

156


dying, we can respond with all our love and compassion and offer this
rich spiritual practice for him or her. When we hear of a great tragedy or
natural disaster we will realize that we can counter our feelings of
helplessness by offering a practice to spiritually benefit those who are
suffering.
A powerful practice for the moment of death
If the dying person is interested, you can share the Essential Phowa
practice with them, finding ways to adapt it to their own spiritual beliefs.
Even though you can do the Essential Phowa throughout life, its special
power becomes apparent when you practice it just at the moment of
death. You may want to practice the Essential Phowa each time you visit
the dying person. The most important time to practice is right at the
moment of death, or as soon as you are informed of the person's death.
If you cannot be physically present when your loved one dies, then
visualize yourself practicing by their side at the place of their death.
As people come very near death, I have observed that their mind
and heart becomes less contained by their body and more atmospheric;
it feels as if their mind is filling the entire room. Thus, any strong
thoughts or emotions we bring into the space surrounding a dying person
have a powerful effect on their state of mind, for better or worse. Thus,
it is clear that if we have inspired ourselves with meditation before
entering a dying person's room, or if we have strongly invoked the
presence of a Buddha or Divine Being to whom we continue to pray, this
can have a tremendously positive influence on the dying person's state of
mind.

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When I first learned the Essential Phowa, I questioned whether a
beginner could effectively do the practice for a dying person. How could
I possibly offer spiritual support for another person? What if I did it
wrong? Sogyal Rinpoche responded to my doubts with these valuable
insights:
First, just at the moment of death, after the consciousness of the
dying person "faints into darkness," he or she will awaken into the
luminous expanse of the truth. Thus, our practice of Essential Phowa for
the dying person is simply a skillful guidance to help them unite with the
true nature of mind which will be dawning in their awareness at that time.
Second, in doing the phowa, we are invoking and relying on the
limitless enlightened qualities of a Buddha, a fully awakened being,
which include an unbiased, boundless compassion and love, and the
unlimited power to benefit and help all beings by responding to their
needs, especially in the direst of circumstances. As soon as we invoke
the presence of God, Christ, the Buddha, Padmasambhava, or another
saint or Divine Being, their blessings and presence are spontaneously
there. They will be present with the dying person in his or her hour of
need, and they will know what to do!
Nothing we do is ever lost
If done repeatedly, with strong compassion and devotion, the Essential
Phowa practice can help the dying on their journey toward liberation.
Any practice or prayers we do for the dying will help, at the very least,
to purify their negative karma or release them from the suffering and
turmoil of their death and enable them to die peacefully.

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Even if you are not an advanced practitioner, your practicing the
Essential Phowa cannot in any way harm an ill or dying person. On a
spiritual level, it will help them, even if you can't see or measure the
benefit tangibly. I encourage those of you who are professional
caregivers to do the Essential Phowa when your patients are dying, and
observe the results for yourself. Sometimes after doing the practice, I
have had a sense or a sign that the phowa has truly benefited the dying
person, and I allow this to inspire my confidence that the practice does
bring spiritual support, even on occasions when I don't perceive an
immediate result. Remember, nothing we do is ever lost.
The Practice of Essential Phowa
First sit quietly and settle yourself, bringing all the energies of your mind
and body back home. As far as possible, relax into the deep presence and
spacious awareness of your being. Before you begin, arouse a strong
compassionate aspiration such as that described in The Tibetan Book of
the Dead: "By means of this death, I will adopt only the attitude of the
enlightened state of mind, loving kindness, and compassion, and attain
perfect enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings who are as
limitless as space."
Invocation
With all your heart, invoke in the sky before you the presence of a
Buddha or a Divine Being for whom you feel a devotion. See the form
of this Presence, not as flesh and blood, but as radiant light. Recognize
that this being's qualities of perfect wisdom, boundless compassion, and
limitless power to benefit beings are no different from the qualities of
your own wisdom nature.

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Consider this Divine Presence you have invoked is actually present-alive, breathing, and gazing toward you with kindness and love. If you
cannot clearly visualize a Buddha or Divine Being, then simply imagine
that a brilliant and loving Presence, who is the embodiment of truth, is
in the sky in front of you, in the form of light. Allow yourself to relax
deeply and establish a personal connection with this Presence you have
invoked.
Calling out
Open yourself now, and acknowledge the aspects of your being that need
purification, forgiveness, and blessing. Acknowledge any regrets, harm,
negativity, or destructive emotions that you want to release and purify.
Become aware of any places in your body where there is disease,
weakness, or even a fear of illness. And recognize any doubts, fears, or
old wounds in your heart that need healing and love. Then call out
sincerely to the Divine Presence in front of you and ask for help.
Receiving the blessing
Immediately this Buddha or Divine Presence responds, sending love and
compassion from his or her heart in a stream of tremendous rays of light
directly into your being. Allow these powerful rays to penetrate you and
purify you--filling you with forgiveness, healing energy, confidence and
unconditional love. Consider that these brilliant light rays of compassion
and love dissolve all of your fears and defenses, so that you are totally
immersed in light. To make yourself more receptive, you may want to
recite a short prayer or mantra during this part of the practice.
Visualize that this profound blessing streaming towards you purifies and
transforms every aspect of your body and mind--even your painful
memories, part harm and regrets. Then, after some time, consider that
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the purification has been completely effected, so much so that your
whole being--body and mind--is entirely transformed into light. Now
your being in the form of light rises up and dissolves into the heart of this
Divine Presence--completely mixing with it, like light mixing with light.
Remain in this peaceful state as long as you can. This nondual, natural
simplicity and inspired openness is your being. If thoughts rise, or a
"sense of self" begins to form, simply allow them to dissolve back into
emptiness. Letting go, naturally remain.
At the conclusion, consider that your awareness is once again centered
within your body. Resolve to continue the presence of pure, clear
awareness as you enter into daily activities. And when you notice that
you have lost it, gently bring your mind home to its true nature, again
and again.
Dedicate your practice
Dedicate your practice as you conclude, sharing the merit of blessings
and wisdom with all beings, praying that, in whatever ways you can, you
may be able to relieve their suffering, bring them happiness, and,
ultimately, help them to realize the abiding peace of their deathless, true
nature of mind.
Essential Phowa for others
You can do the Essential Phowa for someone who is ill or dying, in
exactly the same way as for yourself, except that you visualize a Buddha
or Divine Presence above the head of the other person. Call out on behalf
of your friend, and visualize the Presence pouring down rays of light onto
him or her, purifying and transforming their whole being. Then visualize

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that the other person, now fully purified, dissolves into light and merges
indistinguishably with the enlightened Presence.
Essential Phowa in a sudden death
When someone has just died suddenly and you do not have much time,
such as at the scene of an accident, then you can do an abbreviated form
of the Essential Phowa. As you stay by his or her side, invoke strongly
the radiant presence of a Buddha or Divine Being. Visualize the
compassionate radiance emanating from this Presence filling the space
surrounding both of you with protection and blessings.
Consider that the consciousness of the newly deceased person takes the
form of a small sphere of light, and visualize it quickly flying out from
his or her body, like a shooting star, and dissolving into the heart of the
Divine Presence. In dedicating the practice, pray that the person may be
free from any of the sufferings or turmoil of their death, and released into
the luminosity and all-pervading space of the true nature of their mind,
in order to benefit all beings, especially those he or she is leaving behind.
Afterward, you can do the complete Essential Phowa practice again for
the person over the following days and weeks.

Not only is the Universe aware of us, but it also communicates with
us. We, in turn, are constantly in communication with the Universe
through our words, thoughts, and actions. The Universe responds with
events. Events are the language of the Universe. The most obvious of
those events are what we call coincidence.
Chris Prentiss

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VEDANTA
Vedanta represents the philosophical portion of the ancient scriptures of
India, the Vedas. Specifically, it refers to the final portion of the Vedic
literature, the Upanishads, but it also includes the Bhagavad Gita, the
great epics of India, as well as the Puranas, as well as many other texts,
hymns, and writings. The basic teaching concerns the ultimate identity
of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. The goal of Vedanta is for
the seeker to have the direct experience of his or her true nature, and it is
held that each and every one of us is qualified to have that highest illumination, if we are willing to put forth sincere and intense effort.
From the very earliest period, Vedanta has preached the harmony
of religions. We find this in the ancient words of the Rigveda, ekam sad
vipr bahudh vadanti (Truth is one, sages call it by various names)
as well as in the realizations of the modern day saint, Sri Ramakrishna
(The substance is One under different names, and everyone is seeking
the same substance; only climate, temperament, and name create differences. Let each one follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently
wishes to know God, peace be unto him. He will surely realize Him.)
According to Sri Ramakrishna, God is both formless and with
form, the Personal God of the devotee as well as the Impersonal Absolute
of the philosopher. We can call on God in any number of relationships,
but, Sri Ramakrishna believed, to look upon God as ones mother and
oneself as Her child is a very pure and effective means to realize God.
Vedanta also teaches that we are all members of a single family
and that our differences are merely superficial. This is one of the great
lessons we learn from the life of Sri Sarada Devi, the spiritual companion
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of Sri Ramakrishna, also known as the Holy Mother. By looking upon
all beings as her own children, she demonstrated the truth that no one is
a stranger, that the whole world is our own.
The Vedantic teaching that the Lord dwells within in all beings
was given special meaning by Swami Vivekananda through his doctrine
of the Living God. For him, the highest form of worship was to see
God dwelling within all beings, and especially in the poor and underprivileged. To serve the poor with the attitude that we are serving God was
to him the greatest worship of God.
The Means
According to the Vedantic teachers, there are various means and methods
that can be used to realize God or Self, based on our own particular
nature, inclination, and personality. These are known as the Four Yogas.
They can be practiced separately, or in combination. Swami Vivekananda taught that the strongest spiritual path was one which combined
the four yogas, though we may give special emphasis to the one that most
appeals to us.
Bhakti Yoga
This is the path of devotion, wherein the devotee approaches God
through a particular relationship and with a particular attitude. It emphasizes practices such as prayer, chanting the names and glories of God,
and meditation on God as a loving reality, ever present within our hearts.
Through this practice, one intensifies the feeling of intimacy and love for
God, and ultimately reaches the state of union or oneness with God.

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Jnana Yoga
This is the path of knowledge or philosophical discrimination, wherein
the seeker strives, through the power of reason, to discover the Self
within by casting off the false superimposition of the body, mind, senses,
intellect, and personality. As a result of this practice, the seeker realizes
the Supreme Reality to be present within as his own higher Self, and
knows himself to be the birth less, deathless, Reality, the One without a
Second.
Karma Yoga
This is the path of selfless work. For the devotee, it means to do all ones
work as an offering to God and to expect nothing personal in return. For
the philosopher, it means to see that all action is the interplay between
the mind and senses, on the one hand, and sense objects, on the other,
and to realize that the higher Self is merely the witness. It is to feel that
one is not the agent of action. In either case, it means to practice detachment and equanimity with regard to work, and to realize that the results
of all actions are not in our hands. Through such a practice, the mind
becomes purified, and the seeker comes to realize his or her true nature.
Raja Yoga
This is the Royal Path of meditation and is one of the main spiritual
practices for all seekers of God or Self, regardless of their spiritual attitude. Through the practice of meditation, one can experience higher and
higher spiritual states, culminating in the direct vision of the one reality
that remains when the mind no longer functions in its usual way. There
are various techniques available for the practice of meditation, but the

165


one emphasized by Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda involves the use of a mantra and some concrete or symbolic image
of the divine.

The only thing I know is this: I am full of wounds and still standing on
my feet.

Nikos Kazantzakis

166


READ FROM YOUR HEART

I promise you
I will try harder
to be better.
I have battled with things
inside me
for longer than you know;
I do not know
what they are
or why they are there,
I only know
that they feel manageable
defeatable,
when I am around You.
-

Tyler Knott Gregson

The purpose of life is not to


just be happy.
The purpose of life my love,
is to feel.
You must understand
that your pain,
is essential.
-

Christopher Poindexter

167


When I die
and they open a wound
to tuck me away
I hope I am broken
pulled apart
and spread throughout
the earth beneath your feet.
So, I can be the shoreline
and the mountain peaks
and the sprawling plains
that bring you new memories.
And when its time
I hope I am the roses
that rest on your casket
when you come back to me.
-

Tyler Kent White

There are Demons


inside of me
I dont know how many.
I believe there are
Angels too
I dont know how many.
What I know is that I pray
for my Angels to be
a lot more than my Demons.
And around You
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I hope I am counting
with one more.
-

Ricardo Pare Trejo

I have thought my entire life


I needed seas
or mountains
or magnificent
city lights
to be happy.
Truth is:
I do not care where
I am as long
as I have You.
-

Christopher Poindexter

How many invitations


must the universe send
before you understand
that the You
you have always wanted to be
has been waiting patiently
all this time
for your response?
-

Tyler Knott Gregson


169


Ive felt like I have been
through the four elements with you.
I have felt like I have been inside
a river drowning for you.
I have felt like I have been
burning in the most intense fire.
I have felt like I have been
blown away by the wind
and my body and soul disappearing.
But the most important thing is that
when I am with You,
I am back touching
this earth with bare feet.
-

Ricardo Pare Trejo

Give me what burdens you.


I will bury it inside of me
and when the roots take hold.
My body fails
and I finally fold.
Out of the remains
only beauty will grow.
-

Tyler Kent White

170


Tragically sewn
by the chaos
burning, burning
inside him,
he loved her
because she was
the thin thread keeping it all
together.
-

Joe Straynge

It is alright to break down


sometimes,
lovely humans.
We cry not because
we are weak,
but because we have
been too strong
for far too long.
-

Yashodhaan Burange

I promise, if you keep searching for everything beautiful


in this world, you will eventually become it.
Tyler Kent White

171


THE SEVEN ARCHANGELS
There are generally considered to be seven Archangels: Michael, Jophiel,
Chamuel, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel and Zadkiel. Archangels are the
supreme beings within the Angelic Realm. As with angels, Archangels
can be called upon to help us in our hour of need. Archangels (and Angels
for that matter) are not servants, they should be treated like a welcome
friend or guest.
The Archangel Michael
Michael is the Angel of Protection and is associated with the color blue.
Michael can be asked for protection against any sort of physical or
spiritual danger. These might include robbers, stalkers, accidents, astral
attacks, psychic attacks, witchcraft and the evil eye etc. Spiritually the
Archangel Michael can help restore your faith in God and free you from
self-doubt and fear.
The Archangel Jophiel
Jophiel is the Angel of Illumination and is associated with the color
yellow. Jophiel can help free you (or loved ones) from addictions. He
can help improve your memory, help you pass examinations etc.
Spiritually the Archangel Jophiel can help you to connect to your higher
self and show you the right way when difficult decisions need to be
made.
The Archangel Chamuel
Chamuel is the Angel of Love and corresponds to the color pink.
Chamuel is the angel of compassion, forgiveness, mercy and
understanding. This is the angel who can help you repair damaged
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relationships, or make new friends. Chamuel can help you to dispel
feelings of self-condemnation, guilt and low self-esteem.
The Archangel Gabriel
Gabriel is the Angel of Guidance and corresponds to the color white.
Gabriel can help you to organize your life as well as provide you with
advice and guidance - particularly with education or career. Spiritually
Gabriel can help you to find your life's purpose and to replace feelings
of discouragement with fulfillment.

The Archangel Raphael


Raphael is the Angel of Healing and is associated with the color green.
Raphael is responsible for the healing of body, mind, soul and spirit. He
can help put your daily bread on the table. When you are in need of
clothing, food or shelter, Raphael is the angel to call upon. Raphael can
also help your doctor make the right decision and aspiring musicians
make beautiful music. Spiritually Raphael mends broken spirits and
helps you accept the truth.
The Archangel Uriel
Uriel is the Angel of Peace and is associated with the colors purple and
gold. Uriel resolves all problems in personal, social and professional
relationships and helps to create harmony in life. Uriel is the angel of
nurses, doctors, counselors and teachers. Spiritually he can help you to
let go of bitterness and resentment, renewing hope in the hearts of those
that have lost faith. He is also the angel who manifests divine justice.

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The Archangel Zadkiel
Zadkiel is the Angel of Joy and is associated with the color violet.
Zadkiel is the angel to call upon if you need work as an actor, writer or
performer. He is also the angel of architects and engineers. Freedom,
happiness, justice and mercy are all championed by Zadkiel.

No, I never saw an angel,


but it is irrelevant whether
I saw one or not.
I feel their presence around me.
Paulo Coelho

174


THE BHAGAVAD GITA
By Madhudvisa dasa
The purpose of Bhagavad Gita is to deliver mankind from the darkness
of material existence. Every one of us is in difficulty in so many ways.
Just as Arjuna was in difficulty because of having to fight the battle of
Kuruksetra. Arjuna surrendered to Krishna and consequently the
Bhagavad Gita was spoken.
Not only Arjuna, but every one of us is full of anxieties because
of this material existence. We are trying to exist here in the material
world but the atmosphere of the material world is nonexistence. Actually
we are not meant to be threatened by nonexistence. Our existence is
eternal. But somehow or other we have been put into this temporary
material world and because of this we are threatened with nonexistence.
Out of so many human beings who are suffering, there are only a
few who are actually enquiring about their position, questioning what
they are, why they are put into this difficult position, and so on. Unless
one comes to this point of questioning his suffering, unless he realizes
that he does not want to suffer, but rather he wants to find a solution to
the suffering, then he cannot be considered a perfect human being.
Human life begins when this sort of enquiry is awakened in ones mind.
The Subject of Bhagavad Gita
The subject matter of Bhagavad Gita explains the science of God by
covering five basic truths:
The controller [isvara]
The living entities [jivas]
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Material Nature [prakrti]
Time [kala, the duration of existence of the whole universe]
Activity, work [karma]
In this world, every living entity is controlled. If a living entity
says that he is not controlled but that he is free, then he is insane. We are
controlled in every aspect of our lives, at least in the conditioned [nonliberated] state.
The subject matter deals with the isvara, the supreme controller
and the jivas, the controlled living entities, prakrti (material nature) and
time (the duration of existence of the whole universe or manifestation of
material nature) and karma (activity).
From Bhagavad Gita we can learn what God is, what the living
entities are, what prakrti is, what the cosmic manifestation is and how it
is controlled by time and what the activities of the living entities are.
It is established that Krishna, the Supreme Godhead, Brahman or
supreme controller or Paramatmayou may use whatever name you like
is the greatest of all. We living entities are in quality like the supreme
controller. For example, Krishna is the supreme controller. He has
control over the universal affairs, over material nature. Material nature
is not independent; she is working under the direction of the Supreme
Lord. So we, the jivas, or living entities are accepted as being part and
parcel of the supreme controller, isvara, Bhagavan, Lord Krishna, and as
such the living entities have all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in
minute quantities.

176


A particle of gold is also gold. A drop of water from the ocean is
also salty, similarly we the living entities, being part and parcel of the
supreme controller, have all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in minute
quantity, because we are minute isvaras, subordinate isvaras. We are
trying to control nature, and this tendency to control is in us because it is
in Krishna. But although we have the tendency to lord it over the material
nature, we should know that we are not the supreme controller.
The world revolves because every living being thinks that he is
the lord and creator of the material world. Material consciousness has
two psychic divisions. One is that I am the creator, and the other is that
I am the enjoyer. But actually, the Supreme Lord is both the creator
and the enjoyer, and the living entity, being part and parcel of the
Supreme Lord is neither the creator nor the enjoyer, but a cooperator. He
is the created and the enjoyed. For instance, a part of the machine
cooperates with the whole machine; a part of the body cooperates with
the whole body. The hands, feet, eyes, legs and so on are all parts of the
body, but they are not actually the enjoyers. The stomach is the enjoyer.
The legs move, the hands supply food, the teeth chew and all parts of the
body are engaged in satisfying the stomach because the stomach is the
principle factor that nourishes the bodys organization. Therefore,
everything is given to the stomach. One nourishes the tree by pouring
water on the root and one nourishes the body by feeding the stomach.
Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the enjoyer and creator and we, as
subordinate living beings, are meant to cooperate to satisfy Him. This
cooperation will actually help us, just as food taken by the stomach will
help all other parts of the body. If the fingers of the hand think that they
should enjoy the food themselves, they will be frustrated. The central
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figure of cooperation and enjoyment is the Supreme Lord, and the living
entities are cooperators. By cooperation they enjoy. The relation is also
like that of the master and the servant. If the master is fully satisfied, then
the servant is satisfied. Similarly, the Supreme Lord should be satisfied
although the tendency to become the creator and the tendency to enjoy
the material world also are there in the living entities because these
tendencies are also in the Supreme Lord who has created the manifested
cosmic world we see before us.
We shall find that the complete whole is comprised of the
Supreme Controller, the controlled living entities, the cosmic
manifestation, eternal time and karma, activities and all of these are
explained in the Bhagavad Gita. All of these items taken together
completely form the complete whole, and the complete whole is called
the Supreme Absolute Truth. The complete whole and the complete
Absolute Truth are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.
All manifestations are due to His different energies. He is the complete
whole.
The Essence of Vedic Knowledge
Bhagavad Gita is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge
is not a question of research. Our research work is imperfect because we
are researching things with our imperfect senses. Bhagavad Gita states
that we have to accept perfect knowledge which comes down by
parampara, disciples succession, beginning with the supreme spiritual
master, the Lord Himself, and handed down to a succession of spiritual
masters.
Arjuna, the student who took lessons from Lord Sri Krishna,
accepts everything that He says without contradicting Him. The Gita
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should be taken as the most perfect presentation of Vedic knowledge.
Vedic knowledge is received from transcendental sources and the first
words were spoken by the Lord Himself. The words spoken by the Lord
are different from the words spoken by a person of the mundane world
who is infected with defects.
Vedic knowledge is not imparted by such defective living
entities. It was imparted unto the heart of Brahma, the first created living
being in this universe and Brahma in turn taught this knowledge to his
sons and disciples as he originally received it from the Lord.
If we properly utilize the instructions of Bhagavad Gitathen our
whole life will become purified, and ultimately we will be able to reach
the destination which is beyond this material sky.
The ultimate destination is called the sanatana sky, the eternal
spiritual sky. In this material world, we find that everything is temporary.
It comes into being, stays for some time, produces some by-products,
dwindles and then vanishes. This is the law of the material world,
whether we use as an example this body, or a piece of fruit or anything.
But beyond this temporary world there is another world of which we
have information. This world consists of another nature which is
sanatana, eternal, and the Lord is also described as sanatana in the
Eleventh Chapter. We have an intimate relationship with the Lord and
because we are all onethe sanatana-dharma or sky, the sanatana
Supreme Personality and the sanatana living entitiesthe whole purpose
of Bhagavad Gita is to revive our sanatana occupation, or sanatanadharma, which is the eternal occupation of the living entity. We are
temporally engaged in different activities, but all of these activities can
be purified when we give up all these temporary activities and take up
179


the activities which are prescribed by the Supreme Lord. This is called
our pure life.

The man who sees me in everything


and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.

He who is rooted in oneness


realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.

When he sees all being as equal


in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga.

The Bhagavad Gita

180


TEN STEPS TO SELF CARE
1. If it feels wrong dont do it.
2. Say exactly what you mean.
3. Dont be a people pleaser.
4. Trust your instincts.
5. Never speak bad about yourself.
6. Never give up on your dreams.
7. Dont be afraid to say No.
8. Dont be afraid to say Yes.
9. Let go of what you cant control.
10. Stay away from drama and negativity as much as possible.

One day your heart will take you to your


lover.
One day your soul will carry you to the
Beloved.
Dont get lost in your pain.
Know that one day your pain will become
your cure.
Rumi

181


MAKES ME THINK
MMT is an online community where people share daily life stories that
provoke deep thought and inspire positive change. I am going to paste
here

some

of

the

stories

found

on

their

website

(www.makesmethink.com). I highly recommend you visit this website


by Marc and Angel Chernoff.
Today in downtown San Diego, I watched a blue collar Mexican man
get harassed for being Mexican. It was a blatant act of discrimination.
And the man actually began crying. As he left the office building, he took
off his jacket. His t-shirt underneath read, "I love the USA!"
Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe.
He said he hadn't eaten anything in over three days and looked extremely
skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the
sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, "We can share
it."
Today, I was working in a coffee shop when two gay men walked in
holding hands. As you might expect, heads started turning. Then a young
girl at the table next to me asked her mom why two men were holding
hands. Her mom replied, "Because they love each other."
Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of
the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the
tears off my face.
Today, my father told me, "Just go for it and give it a try! You don't
have to be a professional to build a successful product. Amateurs started
Google and Apple. Professionals built the Titanic."

182


BODHICHITTA: THE EXCELLENCE OF AWAKENED HEART
By Pema Chdrn
When I was about six years old I received the essential bodhichitta
teaching from an old woman sitting in the sun. I was walking by her
house one day feeling lonely, unloved and mad, kicking anything I could
find. Laughing, she said to me, Little girl, dont you go letting life
harden your heart.
Right there, I received this pith instruction: we can let the
circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly
resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and
more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.
If we were to ask the Buddha, What is bodhichitta? he might
tell us that this word is easier to understand than to translate. He might
encourage us to seek out ways to find its meaning in our own lives. He
might tantalize us by adding that it is only bodhichitta that heals, that
bodhichitta is capable of transforming the hardest of hearts and the most
prejudiced and fearful minds.
Chitta means mind and also heart or attitude. Bodhi means
awake, enlightened, or completely open. Sometimes the
completely open heart and mind of bodhichitta is called the soft spot, a
place as vulnerable and tender as an open wound. It is equated, in part,
with our ability to love. Even the cruelest people have this soft spot. Even
the most vicious animals love their offspring. As Chgyam Trungpa
Rinpoche put it, Everybody loves something, even if its only tortillas.

183


Bodhichitta is also equated, in part, with compassionour ability
to feel the pain that we share with others. Without realizing it we
continually shield ourselves from this pain because it scares us. We put
up protective walls made of opinions, prejudices and strategies, barriers
that are built on a deep fear of being hurt. These walls are further fortified
by emotions of all kinds: anger, craving, indifference, jealousy and envy,
arrogance and pride. But fortunately for us, the soft spotour innate
ability to love and to care about thingsis like a crack in these walls we
erect. Its a natural opening in the barriers we create when were afraid.
With practice, we can learn to find this opening. We can learn to seize
that vulnerable momentlove, gratitude, loneliness, embarrassment,
inadequacyto awaken bodhichitta.
An analogy for bodhichitta is the rawness of a broken heart.
Sometimes this broken heart gives birth to anxiety and panic; sometimes
to anger, resentment and blame. But under the hardness of that armor
there is the tenderness of genuine sadness. This is our link with all those
who have ever loved. This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great
compassion. It can humble us when were arrogant and soften us when
we are unkind. It awakens us when we prefer to sleep and pierces through
our indifference. This continual ache of the heart is a blessing that when
accepted fully can be shared with all.
The Buddha said that we are never separated from enlightenment.
Even at the times we feel most stuck, we are never alienated from the
awakened state. This is a revolutionary assertion. Even ordinary people
like us with hang-ups and confusion have this mind of enlightenment
called bodhichitta. The openness and warmth of bodhichitta is in fact our
true nature and condition. Even when our neurosis feels far more basic
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than our wisdom, even when were feeling most confused and hopeless,
bodhichittalike the open skyis always here, undiminished by the
clouds that temporarily cover it.
Given that we are so familiar with the clouds, of course, we may
find the Buddhas teaching hard to believe. Yet the truth is that in the
midst of our suffering, in the hardest of times, we can contact this noble
heart of bodhichitta. It is always available, in pain as well as in joy.
A young woman wrote to me about finding herself in a small
town in the Middle East surrounded by people jeering, yelling, and
threatening to throw stones at her and her friends because they were
Americans. Of course, she was terrified, and what happened to her is
interesting. Suddenly she identified with every person throughout history
who had ever been scorned and hated. She understood what it was like
to be despised for any reason: ethnic group, racial background, sexual
preference, gender. Something cracked wide open and she stood in the
shoes of millions of oppressed people and saw with a new perspective.
She even understood her shared humanity with those who hated her. This
sense of deep connection, of belonging to the same family, is bodhichitta.
Bodhichitta exists on two levels. First there is unconditional
bodhichitta, an immediate experience that is refreshingly free of concept,
opinion, and our usual all caught-up-ness. Its something hugely good
that we are not able to pin down even slightly, like knowing at gut level
that theres absolutely nothing to lose. Second there is relative
bodhichitta, our ability to keep our hearts and minds open to suffering
without shutting down.

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Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and
relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriorsnot warriors
who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of
the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the
middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that
warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate
suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal
reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic
undistorted energy of bodhichitta. We have many examples of master
warriorspeople like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther Kingwho
recognized that the greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds.
They devoted their lives to helping others understand this truth. There
are also many ordinary people who spend their lives training in opening
their hearts and minds in order to help others do the same. Like them, we
could learn to relate to ourselves and our world as warriors. We could
train in awakening our courage and love.
There are both formal and informal methods for helping us to
cultivate this bravery and kindness. There are practices for nurturing our
capacity to rejoice, to let go, to love, and to shed a tear. There are those
that teach us to stay open to uncertainty. There are others that help us to
stay present at the times that we habitually shut down.
Wherever we are, we can train as a warrior. The practices of
meditation, loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity are our
tools. With the help of these practices, we can uncover the soft spot of
bodhichitta. We will find that tenderness in sorrow and in gratitude. We
will find it behind the hardness of rage and in the shakiness of fear. It is
available in loneliness as well as in kindness.
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Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, and at
the same time we want to be healed. But bodhichitta training doesnt
work that way. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will
happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking
for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe.
But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is
part of the adventure, and its also what makes us afraid.
Bodhichitta training offers no promise of happy endings. Rather,
this I who wants to find securitywho wants something to hold on
tocan finally learn to grow up. The central question of a warriors
training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear, but how we relate to
discomfort. How do we practice with difficulty, with our emotions, with
the unpredictable encounters of an ordinary day?
All too frequently, we relate like timid birds who dont dare to
leave the nest. Here we sit in a nest thats getting pretty smelly and that
hasnt served its function for a very long time. No one is arriving to feed
us. No one is protecting us and keeping us warm. And yet we keep
hoping mother bird will arrive.
We could do ourselves the ultimate favor and finally get out of
that nest. That this takes courage is obvious. That we could use some
helpful hints is also clear. We may doubt that were up to being a warriorin-training. But we can ask ourselves this question: Do I prefer to grow
up and relate to life directly or do I choose to live and die in fear?
All beings have the capacity to feel tendernessto experience
heartbreak, pain and uncertainty. Therefore, the enlightened heart of

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bodhichitta is available to us all. The insight meditation teacher Jack
Kornfield tells of witnessing this in Cambodia during the time of the
Khmer Rouge. Fifty thousand people had become communists at
gunpoint, threatened with death if they continued their Buddhist
practices. In spite of the danger, a temple was established in the refugee
camp, and twenty thousand people attended the opening ceremony.
There were no lectures or prayers, but simply continuous chanting of one
of the central teachings of the Buddha:
Hatred never ceases by hatred
But by love alone is healed.
This is an ancient and eternal law.
Thousands of people chanted and wept, knowing that the truth in
these words was even greater than their suffering.
Bodhichitta has this kind of power. It will inspire and support us
in good times and bad. It is like discovering a wisdom and courage we
do not even know we have. Just as alchemy changes any metal into gold,
bodhichitta can, if we let it, transform any activity, word or thought into
a vehicle for awakening our compassion.
At one time the Buddha gathered his students together at a spot
called Vulture Peak Mountain. Here he presented some revolutionary
teachingsteachings on the wide open, groundless dimension of our
beingknown traditionally as shunyata, as unconditional bodhichitta, as
prajnaparamita.
The Buddha had already been teaching on groundlessness for
some time. Many of the students there on Vulture Peak Mountain had a
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profound realization of impermanence and egolessness, the truth that
nothingincluding ourselvesis solid or predictable. They understood
the suffering that results from grasping and fixation. They had learned
this from Buddha himself; they had experienced its profundity in
meditation. But the Buddha knew that our tendency to seek solid ground
is deeply rooted. Ego can use anything to maintain the illusion of
security, including the belief in insubstantiality and change.
So, the Buddha did something shocking. With the prajnaparamita
(perfection of unconditional wisdom) teachings, he pulled the rug out
completely, taking his students further into groundlessness. He told the
audience that whatever they believed had to be let go, that dwelling upon
any description of reality was a trap. This was not comfortable news for
the audience to hear.
It reminds me of the story of Krishnamurti, who was raised to be
the avatar by the Theosophists. His elders continually told the other
students that when the avatar manifested fully, his teachings would be
electrifying and revolutionary, shaking up the very foundations of their
beliefs. This turned out to be true, but not quite in the way they had
imagined. When Krishnamurti finally became head of the Order of the
Star, he called the whole society together and officially disbanded it,
saying that it was harmful because it gave them too much ground.
The Vulture Peak experience was something like that for the
Buddhas students. It wiped away all their existing conceptions about the
nature of reality. The Buddhas principal message that day was that
holding on to anything blocks wisdom. Any conclusions we might draw
must be let go. The only way to fully understand the bodhichitta
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teachings, the only way to practice them fully, is to abide in the
unconditional openness of the prajnaparamita, patiently cutting through
all our tendencies to hang on.
During this teaching, known as The Heart Sutra, the Buddha
actually didnt say a word. He went into a state of deep meditation and
let the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara, do the talking. This
courageous warrior, known also as Kuan-yin, expressed his experience
of the prajnaparamita on behalf of the Buddha. His insight was not based
on intellect but came through his practice. He saw clearly that everything
is empty. Then one of the principal disciples of the Buddha, a monk
named Shariputra, began to question Avalokiteshvara. This is an
important point. Even though a great bodhisattva was teaching and the
Buddha was clearly in charge, the profound meaning emerged only
through questioning. Nothing was taken complacently or on blind faith.
Shariputra is a role model for us as students. He wasnt willing
just to accept what he heard; he wanted to know for himself what was
true. So, he asked Avalokiteshvara, In all the words and actions and
thoughts of my life, how do I apply the prajnaparamita? What is the key
to training in this practice? What view do I take?
Avalokiteshvara answered with the most famous of Buddhist
paradoxes: Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form. Emptiness is no
other than form, form is no other than emptiness. When I first heard
this, I had no idea whatsoever what he was talking about. My mind went
completely blank. His explanation, like the prajnaparamita itself, is
inexpressible, indescribable, and inconceivable. Form is that which
simply is before we project our beliefs onto it. The prajnaparamita
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represents a completely fresh take, an unfettered mind where anything is
possible.
Prajna is the unfiltered expression of the open ear, open eye, open
mind that is found in every living being. Thich Nhat Hanh translates the
word as understanding. Its a fluid process, not something definite and
concrete that can be summed up or measured.
This prajnaparamita, this inexpressibility, is our human
experience. It is not particularly regarded as a peaceful state of mind, or
as a disturbed one. It is a state of basic intelligence that is open,
questioning and unbiased. Whether it comes in the form of curiosity,
bewilderment, shock or relaxation isnt really the issue. We train when
were caught off guard and when our life is up in the air.
We train, as Trungpa Rinpoche said, in not afraid to be a fool.
We cultivate a simple direct relationship with our beingno
philosophizing, no moralizing, no judgments. Whatever arises in our
mind is workable.
When Avalokiteshvara says, Form is emptiness, hes referring
to this simple direct relationship with the immediacy of experience
direct contact with blood and sweat and flowers; with love as well as
hate. First we wipe away our preconceptions and then we even have to
let go even of our belief that we should look at things without
preconceptions. We keep pulling out our own rug. When we perceive
form as empty, without any barriers or veils, we understand the
perfection of things just as they are. One could become addicted to this
experience. It could give us a sense of freedom from the dubiousness of

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our emotions and the illusion that we could dangle above the messiness
of our lives.
But emptiness also is form turns the tables. Emptiness
continually manifests as war and peace, as grief, as birth, old age,
sickness, and death, as well as joy. We are challenged to stay in touch
with the heart-throbbing quality of being alive. Thats why we train in
the relative bodhichitta practices of the four limitless ones and tonglen.
They help us to fully engage in the vividness of life with an open,
unclouded mind. Things are as bad and as good as they seem. Theres no
need to add anything extra.
Imagine a dialogue with the Buddha. He asks, How do you
perceive reality? and we answer honestly and say, I perceive it as
separate from me, and solid. He says, No, look deeper.
So, we go away and meditate and sincerely contemplate this
question. We return to the Buddha and say, I know the answer now. The
answer is that everything is not solid, everything is empty. And he says,
No. Look deeper. We say, Well, thats impossible. Its either one way
or the other: empty or not empty, right? and he says, No. If this were
our boss, perhaps we wouldnt care, but this is the Buddha, so we think,
Maybe I have to hang in here a bit and go further with the irritation Im
feeling at not being given any satisfaction.
We meditate and contemplate this question; we discuss it with
our friends. Next time we see the Buddha we say, I think I can answer
your question. Everything is both empty and not empty simultaneously.
And he says, No. Believe me, were feeling very groundless and that

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means rattled. Its uncomfortable not to be able to get ground under our
feet. But the process here is of unmasking: even though were irritated
and anxious, were moving closer to seeing the true unfixed nature of
mind. Since No is all we can get out of the Buddha, we go home and
spend the next year trying to answer this riddle. Its like a Zen koan.
Eventually, we return and say, Okay. Theres only one other
possible answer. The nature of reality is that it neither exists nor doesnt
exist. It is neither form nor emptiness. And we feel good! Its a beautiful
groundless answer. But the Buddha says, No, thats too limited an
understanding. Maybe at this point his No is such a shock that we
experience the wide-open mind of prajnaparamita, the mind that is
satisfied with no resting place at all.
After Avalokiteshvara told Shariputra that form is emptiness;
emptiness also is form, he went even further, pointing out that there is
nothingnot even the Buddhas teachingsto hold on to: no three
marks of existence, no suffering, no end of suffering, no imprisonment,
no liberation. The story goes that many of the students were so
dumbfounded by these teachings that they had heart attacks. A Tibetan
teacher suggested that more likely they just got up and walked out of the
talk. Like the Theosophists with Krishnamurti, they didnt want to hear
this. Just like us. We dont like to have our basic assumptions challenged.
Its too threatening.
Now if this teaching had come only from Avalokiteshvara, the
students might have been able to rationalize their fears. This is just a
warrior on the path, not so different from us. Hes very wise and
compassionate, of course, but he has been known to get things wrong.
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But the Buddha was sitting right there in deep meditation, clearly pleased
with this presentation of how to abide in the prajnaparamita. There was
no way out of this dilemma.
Then, inspired by Shariputras questioning, Avalokiteshvara
continued. He taught that when we understand that there is no final
attainment, no ultimate answer or stopping place, when our mind is free
of warring emotions and the belief in separateness, then we will have no
fear. When I heard this many years ago, before I had any interest at all
in a spiritual path, a little light bulb went off: I definitely wanted to know
more about No fear.
This instruction on prajnaparamita is a teaching on fearlessness.
To the extent that we stop struggling against uncertainty and ambiguity,
to that extent we dissolve our fear. The synonym for total fearlessness is
full enlightenmentwholehearted, open-minded interaction with our
world. Meanwhile we train in patiently moving in that direction. By
learning to relax with groundlessness, we gradually connect with the
mind that knows no fear.
Then Avalokiteshvara proclaimed the pith of the prajnaparamita,
the essence of the rug-pulling-out experience, the essence of the fearless,
open state of mind. It came in the form of a mantra: OM GATE GATE
PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA. Just as a seed
contains the tree, this mantra contains the entire teachings on abiding in
prajnaparamita, abiding in the fearless state.
Trungpa Rinpoches translation is, OM gone, gone, gone
beyond, gone completely beyond, awake, so be it. This is a description

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of a process, a journey, of always stepping out further and further. We
could

also

say,

OM

groundlessness,

groundlessness,

more

groundlessness, even beyond groundlessness, fully awake, so be it!


No matter where we are on the bodhisattva path, whether we are
just beginning or weve practiced for years, were always stepping
further into groundlessness. Enlightenment is not the end of anything.
Enlightenment, being completely awake, is just the beginning of fully
entering into we know not what.
When the great bodhisattva finished teaching, the Buddha came
out of his meditation and said, Good, good! You expressed it perfectly,
Avalokiteshvara. And those in the audience who hadnt walked out or
died from heart attacks rejoiced. They rejoiced at hearing this teaching
on stepping beyond fear.

It is only with the heart that one can see


rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint Exupry

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CULTIVATING THE WITNESS
By Ram Dass
One way to get free of attachment is to cultivate the witness
consciousness, to become a neutral observer of your own life. The
witness place inside you is simple awareness, the part of you that is aware
of everything just noticing, watching, not judging, just being present,
being here now.
The witness is actually another level of consciousness. The
witness coexists alongside your normal consciousness as another layer
of awareness, as the part of you that is awakening. Humans have this
unique ability to be in two states of consciousness at once. Witnessing
yourself is like directing the beam of a flashlight back at itself. In any
experience sensory, emotional, or conceptual theres the
experience, the sensory or emotional or thought data, and theres your
awareness of it. Thats the witness, the awareness, and you can cultivate
that awareness in the garden of your being.
The witness is your awareness of your own thoughts, feelings,
and emotions. Witnessing is like waking up in the morning and then
looking in the mirror and noticing yourself not judging or criticizing,
just neutrally observing the quality of being awake. That process of
stepping back takes you out of being submerged in your experiences and
thoughts and sensory input and into self-awareness.
Along with that self-awareness comes the subtle joy of just being
here, alive, enjoying being present in this moment. Eventually, floating
in that subjective awareness, the objects of awareness dissolve, and you

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will come into the spiritual Self, the Atmn, which is pure consciousness,
joy, compassion, the One.
The witness is your centering device. It guides the work you do
on yourself. Once you understand that there is a place in you that is not
attached, you can extricate yourself from attachments. Pretty much
everything we notice in the universe is a reflection of our attachments.
Jesus warned us, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt . . . For where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also. Desire creates your universe; thats just the way
it works.
So, your first job is to work on yourself. The greatest thing you
can do for another human being is to get your own house in order and
find your true spiritual heart.

You need to spend time


crawling alone through
shadows to truly appreciate
what it is to stand in the sun.
Shaun Hick

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LAUGHING TREES
In certain African tribe, when someone does something harmful, they
take the person to the center of the village where the whole tribe comes
and surrounds them.
For two days, they will say to the man all the good things that
he has done. The tribe believes that each human being comes into the
world as a good. Each one of us only desiring safety, love, peace,
health and happiness. But sometimes, in the pursuit of these things,
people make mistakes.
The community sees those mistakes as a cry for help. They
unite then to lift him, to reconnect him with his true nature, to remind
him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth of which he had
been temporarily disconnected: I am good. Shikoba Nabajyotisaikia!
NABAJYOTISAIKIA, is a compliment used in South Africa
and means: I respect you, I cherish you. You matter to me. In
response people say SHIKOBA, which is: So, I exist for you.

There is nothing to worry


there will be good times
and bad times;
They all come and go
nothing stays.
Sri Sri

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IN THE EVENT OF MY DEMISE
By Tupac Shakur
In the event of my demise
when my heart can beat no more
I hope I die for a principle
or a belief that I had lived for.

I will die before my time


because I already feel the shadow's depth
so much I wanted to accomplish
before I reached my death.

I have come to grips with the possibility


and wiped the last tear from my eyes
I loved all who were positive
In the event of my demise.

My mama always used to tell me:


'If you can't find somethin' to live for,
you best find somethin' to die for.'
Tupac Shakur

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THE FLOWER OF LIFE
By David Wilcock

The flower of life is a geometrical shape composed of multiple evenlyspaced, overlapping circles arranged in a flower like pattern with six-fold
symmetry like a hexagon. The perfect form, proportion and harmony of
the flower of life has been known to philosophers, architects and artist
around the world. Pagans consider it to be sacred geometry containing
ancient religious value depicting the fundamental forms of space and
time. In the pagan sense, it is believed to contain a type of Akashic
Record of basic information of all living things and is the visual
expression of the connections of life that run through all sentient beings.

In New Age thought, the Flower of Life has provided what is considered
to be deep spiritual meaning and forms of enlightenment to those who
have studied it as sacred geometry. There are groups of people all over
the world who derive particular beliefs and forms of meditation based (at
least in part) on the Flower of Life.

The flower of life symbol represents important meaning to many


throughout history. The symbol can be found in manuscripts, temples
200


and art throughout cultures around the world.

The most common form of the 'Flower of Life' is hexagonal pattern


(where the center of each circle is on the circumference of six
surrounding circles of the same diameter), made up of nineteen complete
circles and thirty-six partial circular arcs, enclosed by a large circle.
Alchemy

Components of the Flower of Life have been a part of the work of


Alchemists. Metatron's Cube is a symbol derived from the Flower of Life
which was used as a containment circle or creation circle.
Leonardo da Vinci studied the Flower of Life's form and its mathematical
properties. He drew the Flower of Life itself, as well as various
components such as the Seed of Life. He drew geometric figures
representing shapes such as the platonic solids, a sphere, a torus, etc., and
also used the golden ratio of phi in his artwork; all of which may be
derived from the Flower of Life design

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Seed of Life
The 'Seed of Life' is formed from seven circles being placed with sixfold symmetry, forming a pattern of circles and lenses, which acts as a
basic component of the Flower of Life's design. According to some, the
seed of life depicts the seven days of creation in which God created life.

Egg of Life

The 'Egg of Life' is also a symbol composed of seven circles taken from
the design of the Flower of Life. The shape of the Egg of Life is said to
be the shape of a multi-cellular embryo in its first hours of creation.

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Fruit of Life

The 'Fruit of Life' symbol is composed of thirteen circles taken from the
design of the Flower of Life. It is said to be the blueprint of the universe,
containing the basis for the design of every atom, molecular structure,
life form, and everything in existence. It contains the geometric basis for
the delineation of Metatron's Cube, which brings forth the platonic
solids.

Metatrons Cube
Metatron's cube depicts the five platonic solids which may be derived
from the flower of life. The five platonic solids are geometrical forms
which are said to act as a template from which all life springs, according
to spiritual belief. The Platonic solids are five structures that are crucial
because they are the building blocks of organic life. These five structures
are found in minerals, animated and organic life forms, sound, music,
language, etc. Metatron's cube is also considered a holy glyph, used to
ward off evil spirits. The Kabbalah's Tree of life is also thought to be
derived from the flower of life.

203

The following are some of the locations in which the Flower of Life
symbol can be seen:

The Temple of Osiris at Abydos, Egypt contains the oldest known


examples of the Flower of Life. They are at least over 6,000 years old
and may date back to as long ago as 10,500 B.C. or earlier. It appears
that it had not been carved into the granite and instead may have been
burned into the granite or somehow drawn on it with incredible precision.
It is thought to possibly represent the Eye of Ra, a symbol of the authority
of the pharaoh. Other examples can be found in Phoenician, Assyrian,
Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and medieval art.
China - The Forbidden City and various temples.
Israel - ancient synagogues in the Galilee and in Mesada.
Japan - Various temples.
India - The Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Hampi, and the
Buddhist Temples in Ajanta.
Turkey - City of Ephesus, in Izmar
Italy - Italian art from the 13th century
Spain - Cordoba, in 'la Mezquita'

204

If you bring forth what is within you,


what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
Jesus of Nazareth

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REWRITING THE MIND WE ARE WHAT WE THINK
By Zeena Merchant Syal
In order to rewrite the mind positively we need to understand its
composition. The mind is composed of three parts, the conscious, the
subconscious and the superconscious.
The conscious mind is the part we are aware of the part that
does the thinking, worrying, planning and creating. It is a tiny part of the
structure; it is the subconscious that is the looming bulwark, a massive
entity with incredible powers and potentials. Its unique characteristic is
that it can create anything that we command it to create, by virtue of the
thoughts we think.
If you believe that you cannot achieve something, if you believe
that you cannot have something, the subconscious will create conditions,
so that your beliefs are proved. To transform your life, it is very
important that you seek the help of the subconscious.
Thus, the negative thoughts that create our negative conditioning,
can be overthrown by affirming their opposite. The belief that we are
lazy, can be overwritten by the affirmation that we are hardworking and
industrious.
To transform your life, you must have a picture of yourself as you
wish to be. The picture that we paint of ourselves is assimilated by our
subconscious. The subconscious is there to obey you. It is a very obedient
servant who takes orders from his master. Its decisions are to be made
by you.

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The Power of the Subconscious Mind
Louise L. Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, one of the first books
to shine a light on the spiritual and psychological causes of illness, uses
affirmations extensively as a tool for creating better health.
She writes in her website, LouiseHay.com:
Our thoughts are creative. This is the most important law
of nature that we need to knowthoughts are like drops of water-they
accumulate. As we continue to rethink the same thoughts over a period
of time, they become puddles, ponds, lakes or oceans. If theyre positive,
we can float on the oceans of life.
Affirmations have helped people, who live alone, cope with fears
of getting a stroke in the middle of the night. The affirmation that I am
healthy, I am young, I am powerful is one that can bring about immense
positive thoughts, thereby helping us cope and face lifes challenges with
new fervor.
How to Affirm or Rewrite the Mind
The subconscious is physically located at the back, where the base of the
skull and the spine meet. The best way to harmonize the conscious,
subconscious, and superconscious (the divine potential) is to combine
affirmation with meditation.
The peace of meditation, filters not only into the conscious but
also into the subconscious and the superconscious self. There can be little
doubt that when affirmations are made in meditative stillness, they are
more effective. Deepak Chopra, for instance, suggests that we release all
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intentions into the gap between thoughts, which is arrived at through
meditation.
There are however, several guidelines to help us affirm more
effectively, because the subconscious does not discriminate and takes
what we say literally:
1. Construct your sentences positively. Choose I am slim to I am not
fat. The subconscious does not recognize negatives and would translate
the latter sentence as I am fat.
2. Use the present tense. I am love, joy and compassion is preferable
to I will be or I want to be The subconscious lives in the moment
and does not recognize future tense. The phrase I want reflects
powerlessness and all you will get is the state of want and not the actual
state.
3. Believe in what you say. Know that it will happen or manifest for
sure.
4. Put as much intensity as you can in your affirmations. You must
develop the will to speak to it with magnetic determination.
5. Repeating an affirmation loudly three times, softly three times and
in a whisper four times is most effective.
6. The times before you go to sleep or immediately on waking up, are
when the subconscious is most receptive to commands.
7. If you can meditate, do so. When your conscious mind is peaceful
and still, seeding the subconscious is a cinch.
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When you start practicing positive affirmations in your daily life, you
will instantly see the benefits coming to life. Start with one affirmation
and pretty soon, you will have rewritten your mind to be more positive.
The results WILL astound you!
You will Become what you think.

People who believe they have bad luck create bad luck.
Those who believe they are very fortunate,
that the world is a generous place filled with trustworthy people,
live in exactly that kind of world.

Chris Prentiss

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TIPS FOR A BETTER LIFE
1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day.
2. Sit in silence for at least ten minutes each day.
3. Sleep for seven hours.
4. Live with the 3 Es Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Play more games.
6. Read more books than you did the previous year.
7. Spend time with people over the age of seventy & under the age
of six.
8. Dream more while you are awake.
9. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food
that is manufactured in plants.
10. Drink plenty of water.
11. Smile and laugh more.
12. Dont waste your precious energy or time on gossip.
13. Forget issues of the past. Theyll just ruin your present
happiness.
14. Dont have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems
are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like
algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a
beggar.

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UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
By Sandy Stevenson
FOR HER
I love you as you are, as you seek to find your own special way to relate
to the world.
I honor your choices to learn in the way you feel is right for you.

I know it is important that you are the person you want to be and not
someone that I or others think you "should" be. I realize that I cannot
know what is best for you, although perhaps sometimes I think I do.
I have not been where you have been, viewing life from the angle you
have. I do not know what you have chosen to learn, how you have chosen
to learn it, with whom or in what time period. I have not walked life
looking through your eyes, so how can I know what you need.
I allow you to be in the world without a thought or word of judgment
from me about the deeds you undertake. I see no error in the things you
say and do. In this place where I am, I see that there are many ways to
perceive and experience the different facets of our world. I allow without
reservation the choices you make in each moment. I make no judgment
of this, for if I would deny your right to your evolution, then I would
deny that right for myself and all others.

To those who would choose a way I cannot walk, whilst I may not choose
to add my power and my energy to this way, I will never deny you the
gift of love that God has bestowed within me, for all creation. As I love
you, so I shall be loved. As I sow, so shall I reap.
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I allow you the Universal right of Free Will to walk your own path,
creating steps or to sit awhile if that is what is right for you. I will make
no judgment that these steps are large or small, nor light or heavy or that
they lead up or down, for this is just my viewpoint. I may see you do
nothing and judge it to be unworthy and yet it may be that you bring great
healing as you stand blessed by the Light of God. I cannot always see the
higher picture of Divine Order.

For it is the inalienable right of all life to choose their own evolution and
with great Love I acknowledge your right to determine your future. In
humility, I bow to the realization that the way I see as best for me does
not have to mean it is also right for you. I know that you are led as I am,
following the inner excitement to know your own path.

I know that the many races, religions, customs, nationalities and beliefs
within our world bring us great richness and allow us the benefit and
teachings of such diverseness. I know we each learn in our own unique
way in order to bring that Love and Wisdom back to the whole. I know
that if there were only one way to do something, there would need only
be one person.

I will not only love you if you behave in a way I think you should, or
believe in those things I believe in. I understand you are truly my brother
and my sister, though you may have been born in a different place and
believe in another God than I.

The love I feel is for all of God's world. I know that every living thing is
a part of God and I feel a Love deep within for every person, animal, tree
212


and flower, every bird, river and ocean and for all the creatures in all the
world.

I live my life in loving service, being the best me I can, becoming wiser
in the perfection of Divine Truth, becoming happier in the joy of
Unconditional Love.
And never forget, I Love You

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the


starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace
and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed
truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

213


THE POPOL VUH
The Popol Vuh may be divided into three parts. The first part pertains
to the creation of the world, whilst the second and third parts are about
the Hero Twins Story and the Genealogy of the Quich-Maya Dynasty
respectively. In the creation myth of the Popol Vuh, there were two
creator gods, Gucumatz and Tepeu. After creating the earth out of the
primordial sea, they decided to populate it with animals. They realized
later that the animals were unable to speak, and so could not worship,
invoke, or glorify them. Thus, the gods failed with their first effort. In
order to be worshipped, the gods decided to create human beings,
whilst the animals became food for humans.
The gods first attempted to create human beings with mud. It was,
however, a mistake Next, the gods experimented with wood. The
people carved out of wood could speak, and began to populate the
earth. They did not possess, however, hearts and minds, and were
destroyed by a flood. Those who survived were said to have been
transformed into monkeys.
After the story of the Hero Twins, the Popol Vuh returns to the creation
of human beings. This time, the gods succeed, and human beings were
created out of maize. Until today, maize is still seen as a sacred and
divine food, and honored as such.
This time the beings shaped by the gods are everything they hoped for
and more: not only do the first four men pray to their makers, but they
have perfect vision and therefore perfect knowledge.

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THE CAB RIDE I WILL NEVER FORGET
By Kent Nerburn
There was a time in my life twenty years ago when I was driving a cab
for a living. It was a cowboys life, a gamblers life, a life for someone
who wanted no boss, constant movement and the thrill of a dice roll every
time a new passenger got into the cab. What I didnt count on when I
took the job was that it was also a ministry.
Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a rolling
confessional. Passengers would climb in, sit behind me in total
anonymity and tell me of their lives. We were like strangers on a train,
the passengers and I, hurtling through the night, revealing intimacies we
would never have dreamed of sharing during the brighter light of day. I
encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me
laugh and made me weep. And none of those lives touched me more than
that of a woman I picked up late on a warm August night.
I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet
part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or
someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or someone going off to
an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town.
When I arrived at the address, the building was dark except for a single
light in a ground-floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers
would just honk once or twice, wait a short minute, then drive away. Too
many bad possibilities awaited a driver who went up to a darkened
building at 2:30 in the morning. But I had seen too many people trapped
in a life of poverty who depended on the cab as their only means of
transportation.
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Unless a situation had a real whiff of danger, I always went to the
door to find the passenger. It might, I reasoned, be someone who needs
my assistance. Would I not want a driver to do the same if my mother or
father had called for a cab? Hence, I walked to the door and knocked.
Just a minute, answered a frail and elderly voice. I could hear
the sound of something being dragged across the floor. After a long
pause, the door opened. A small woman somewhere in her 80s stood
before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil
pinned on it, like you might see in a costume shop or a Goodwill store or
in a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The sound had
been her dragging it across the floor.
Would you carry my bag out to the car? she said. Id like a
few moments alone. Then, if you could come back and help me? Im not
very strong. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the
woman. She took my arm, and we walked slowly toward the cab. She
kept thanking me for my kindness.
Its nothing, I told her. I just try to treat my passengers the way I
would want my mother treated.
Oh, youre such a good boy, she said. Her praise and appreciation were
almost embarrassing.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, Could you
drive through downtown?
Its not the shortest way, I answered.

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Oh, I dont mind, she said. Im in no hurry. Im on my way to a
hospice.
I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. I dont have
any family left, she continued. The doctor says I should go there. He
says I dont have very long.
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. What route would you like
me to go? I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the
building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove
through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when
they had first been married. She had me pull up in front of a furniture
warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing
as a girl. Sometimes she would have me slow in front of a particular
building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying
nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, Im
tired. Lets go now.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low
building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed
under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled
up. Without waiting for me, they opened the door and began assisting the
woman. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They
must have been expecting her; perhaps she had phoned them right before
we left.

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I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase up to the door. The woman
was already seated in a wheelchair.
How much do I owe you? she asked, reaching into her purse.
Nothing, I said.
You have to make a living, she answered.
There are other passengers, I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held on to me
tightly.
You gave an old woman a little moment of joy, she said. Thank you.
There was nothing more to say.
I squeezed her hand once, then walked out into the dim morning light.
Behind me, I could hear the door shut. It was the sound of the closing of
a life. I did not pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly,
lost in thought. For the remainder of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was
impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had
honked once, then driven away? What if I had been in a foul mood and
had refused to engage the woman in conversation?
How many other moments like that had I missed or failed to
grasp?

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We are so conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great
moments. But great moments often catch us unaware. When that woman
hugged me and said that I had brought her a moment of joy, it was
possible to believe that I had been placed on earth for the sole purpose
of providing her with that last ride.
I do not think that I have ever done anything in my life that was
any more important.

You cannot save people.


You can only love them.
Anais Nin

219


AYURVEDA THE SCIENCE OF LIFE
Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes
three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer
environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in
Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary
forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each
of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature.
If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic,
energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend
to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite
for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and
nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one
or two elements that predominate.
For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression. When
Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too
much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety,
insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is
functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly,
disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of
balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer
from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced,
a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of
balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus
congestion. An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a persons ideal
state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer
interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments,
music, and meditation to reestablish balance.
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THE TOMATO GARDEN
An old Italian gentleman lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant
his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground
was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.
The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:
Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I wont be
able to plant my tomato garden this year. Im just getting too old to be
digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be
over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old
days. Love, Papa.
A few days later he received a letter from his son:
Dear Papa, dont dig up that garden. Thats where the bodies are
buried. Love, Vinnie.
At 4 a.m. The next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug
up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old
man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his
son:
Dear Papa, go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. Thats the best I
could do under the circumstances. Love you, Vinnie.
Do what you can, with what
you have,
where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt

221


AZTEC GODS AND GODESSES
Quetzalcoatl: The feathered serpent, god of the wind and civilization.
Quetzalcoatl was the special benefactor of humans, bringing them corn
and teaching them how to live.

Huitzilopochti: God of the sun and of war (the war going on inside us),
considered the spiritual leader and patron god of the Aztecs.

Tlaloc: The god of rain and of agriculture.

Chalchiuhtlicue (also known as Jade Skirt): The goddess of water, wife


of Tlaloc.

Coatlicue: Goddess of the earth, associated with serpents. She is the


mother of Huitzilopochti, the moon, and all the stars.

Tezcatlipoca (also known as Smoking Mirror): This complex god has


played different roles in different times and places in the Aztec world.
He is associated with both light and darkness, and with both destruction
and creative energy. He is often portrayed as an antagonist to
Quetzalcoatl.

Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war
when he is old.
George R.R. Martin

222


ANGER UNCONTROLLED
By Osho
Anger is that you wanted something, and somebody prevented you
from getting it.
Somebody came as a block, as an obstacle. Your whole energy was going
to get something and somebody blocked the energy. You could not get
what you wanted. Now this frustrated energy becomes angeranger
against the person who has destroyed the possibility of fulfilling your
desire. You cannot prevent anger because anger is a by-product, but you
can do something else so that the by-product does not happen at all.
In life, remember one thing: never desire anything so intensely as if
it is a question of life and death. Be a little playful.
I am not saying, dont desire because that will become a repression in
you. I am saying, desire but let your desire be playful. If you can get it,
good. If you cannot get it, perhaps it was not the right time; we will see
next time. Learn something of the art of the player.
We become so identified with the desire, then when it is blocked
or prevented our own energy becomes fire; it burns you. And in that state
of almost insanity you can do anything, for which you are going to
repent. It can create a series of events that your whole life may get
entangled with. Because of this, for thousands of years, they have been
saying, Become desireless. Now that is asking something inhuman.
Even the people who have said, Become desireless have also given you
a motive, a desire: if you become desireless you will attain to the ultimate
freedom of moksha, nirvana. That too is a desire.

223


You can repress desire for some bigger desire, and you may even
forget that you are still the same person. You have only changed the
target. Certainly, there are not many people who are trying to get
moksha, so you will not have any great competition. In fact, people will
be very happy that you have started going towards moksha one
competitor less in life. But as far as you are concerned nothing has
changed. And if anything can be created which disturbs your desire for
moksha, again the anger will flare up. And this time it will be far bigger,
because now the desire is far bigger. Anger is always proportionate to
desire.
I have heard, there were three monasteries, Christian monasteries,
very close together in the forest. One day three monks met at the
crossroads. They were coming from the villages back to their
monasteries; each belonged to a different monastery. They were tired.
They sat down under the trees and started talking about something to
pass the time.
One man said, One thing you will have to accept is that as far as
scholarship is concerned, learning is concerned, our monastery is the
best.
The other monk said, I agree, it is true. Your people are far more
scholarly, but as far as austerities are concerned, discipline is concerned,
spiritual training is concerned, you dont come anywhere near to our
monastery. And remember, scholarship will not be able to help you
realize the truth. It is only spiritual discipline, and we are the best as far
as spiritual discipline is concerned.

224


The third monk said, You are both right. The first monastery is
best in learning, scholarship. The second monastery is best in spiritual
discipline, austerities, fasting. But as far as humbleness, egolessness is
concerned, we are the tops. Humbleness, egolessnessbut the man
seemed to be absolutely unaware of what he was saying: As far as
humbleness, egolessness is concerned, we are the tops.
Even humbleness can become an ego trip. Egolessness can
become an ego trip. One has to be very aware. You should not try to stop
anger. You should not, in any way, keep the anger controlled, otherwise
it will burn you, it will destroy you. What I am saying is: you have to go
to the roots. The root is always some desire which has been blocked, and
the frustration has created the anger. Dont take desires very seriously.
Dont take anything seriously.
It is unfortunate that no religion in the world has accepted the
sense of humor as one of the basic qualities for the religious man. I want
you to understand that a sense of humor, playfulness, should be the
fundamental qualities. You should not take things so seriously, then
anger does not arise. You can simply laugh at the whole thing. You can
start laughing at yourself. You can start laughing at situations in which
you would have been angry and mad.
Use playfulness, a sense of humor, laughter. It is a big world, and
there are millions of people. Everybody is trying to get to something. It
is very natural that sometimes people may get into each others ways
not that they want to, it is just the situation, it is accidental.

225


I have heard about one Sufi mystic, Junnaid, who every day in
the evening prayer used to thank existence for its compassion, for its
love, for its care. Once it happened that for three days they were traveling
and they came across villages where people were very antagonistic
against Junnaid, because they thought his teachings were not exactly the
teachings of Mohammed. His teaching seemed to be his own, and, He
is corrupting people.
So from three villages they had not got any food, not even water.
On the third day, they were really in bad shape. His disciples were
thinking, Now let us see what happens in the prayer. How can he now
say to existence, You are compassionate to us; your love is there. You
care about us, and we are grateful to you.
But when the prayer time came, Junnaid prayed the same way.
After the prayer, the followers said, This is too much. For three days,
we have suffered hunger, thirst. We are tired, we have not slept, and still
you are saying to existence, You are compassionate, your love towards
us is great, and you take so much care that we are grateful to you.
Junnaid said, My prayer does not depend on any condition; those
things are ordinary. Whether I get food or not I dont want to bother
existence about it such a small thing in such a big universe. If I dont
get watereven if I die, it does not matter, my prayer will remain the
same. Because this vast universeit makes no difference whether
Junnaid is alive or dead.
This is what I mean when I say, dont take anything seriouslynot
even yourself.

226


And then you will see anger simply has not happened. There is no
possibility of anger. And anger is certainly one of the great leakages of
your spiritual energy. If you can manage to be playful about your desires,
and still be the same whether you succeed or you fail.
Just start thinking about yourself at easenothing special; not
that you are meant to be victorious, not that you have to succeed always
in every situation. This is a big world and we are small people. Once this
settles in your being then everything is acceptable. Anger disappears, and
the disappearance will bring you a new surprise, because when anger
disappears it leaves behind it tremendous energy of compassion, of love,
of friendship.

If you suffer it is because of you, if you


feel blissful it is because of you. Nobody else is
responsible, only you and you alone. You
are your hell and your heaven too.
Osho

227


EIGHT SIMPLE AFFIRMATIONS YOU SHOULD WHISPER
TO YOURSELF
1.I am worthy.
Worthy of love. Worthy of peace. Worthy of praise. Worthy of
happiness. Worthy of pleasure.
2.My thoughts create my reality.
Be aware of the thoughts that drift to and fro in your mind; they are direct
reflectors of not only your inner world but your outer world. Believe in
and aspire to positivity. If you believe that you are abundant, you will
create abundance. If you believe you are blessed, you will create
imminent blessings.
3.Be kind.
Smile sweetly. Compliment a stranger. Ask someone how they are and
really care about their wellbeing. Exude friendliness and warmth,
because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Radiate
compassionate consideration. Give until it hurts.
4.The opinions of others dont really matter.
Filter the words you hear throughout the day. Only internalize the ones
that resonate with your natural rhythms. And when you do listen to the
wisdom of others, take it with a grain or two of salt. Cherish your ability
to make sound choices; rely on it. Listen to your heart; itll never steer
you wrong.
5.I am stunning.
Repeat five times more for good measure. Hammer this into your brain.
Never forget it.
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6.Life is beautiful.
Through the trials and tribulations, through the intricate complexities and
complications life and your existence within it is beautiful. Dwell on
that.
7.Breathe.
Be conscious of every breath you take. Relish in the sensation of your
lungs filling up with air; inflate them to their fullest capacity. And when
you exhale, smile.
8.Be in this moment.
Stay mindful, stay present, stay centered. And when you feel yourself
drifting out of inner consciousness, remind yourself that the past & future
are elaborate illusions; that the only time is now.

You have brains in your head.


You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And you are the one who'll decide where to go.
Dr. Seuss

229


THE SECRET TO MEDITATION IS ATTENTION
By Kip Mazuy
Wherever you turn your attention you become.
You keep your attention fixed on your problems, your knowledge, your
desires, your judgments, then that is what you experience yourself to be.
That is your prison. All of your energy drains into that.

But if you want to awaken to what is beyond the "me.", then you allow
the "me" to be as it is and you allow your attention to relax beyond it.
You may focus on a mantra, a guru, the shakti (spiritual energy) the
feeling of being or even just the breath, and then you realize
yourself to be that.

Even simply by allowing yourself to be as you are and witnessing that


happening, you move beyond yourself, you become the witness. Not in
the negation of yourself but in the relaxation of yourself.

You see, you are always getting caught up in the idea that you are your
thinking mind. You experience life from the presumption that the
thinking mind is what you are. And from that presumption you try and
solve an equation that only exists in the mind.

So trying to solve the equation only keeps you stuck in the mind. Trying
to change yourself into something different simply keeps you bound to
the me, it even keeps you bound to the non-acceptance of me which is
suffering. So just allow the me to be as it is.
230


You allow the thoughts and feelings and sensations to be as they are and
you let it go. Even just in this allowing you get to the essence of what is
here. You see that the whole universe is lighting you up as you are in this
moment. The whole universe is in you and as you.

You do not need to become the whole universe. You simply have to
allow yourself to be as you are, allow everything to be as it is, and let
your attention expand beyond the thinking mind into that which is
infinite, formless and serene.

Blessings,

Each river is different, but they all eventually lead to the ocean. No
matter what were doing or when, or whether it brings us happiness or
remorse, gain or loss, were all on our individual paths to enlightenment.
Even when weve done something we consider wrong, were still on our
path to enlightenment.
Chris Prentiss

231


THE TEN BHUMIS
By Barbara Obrien
Bhumi is a Sanskrit word for "land" or "ground," and the list of ten
bhumis are ten "lands" a bodhisattva must pass through on the way to
Buddhahood. The bhumis are important to early Mahayana Buddhism.
A list of ten bhumis appears in several Mahayana texts, although they
are not always identical. The bhumis also are associated with the
Perfections or Paramitas.
Many schools of Buddhism describe some kind of path of
development. Often these are extensions of the Eightfold Path. Since this
is a description of the progress of a bodhisattva, much of the list below
promotes the turning from concern for self to concern for others. In
Mahayana Buddhism, the bodhisattva is the ideal of practice. This is an
enlightened being who vows to remain in the world until all other beings
realize enlightenment. Here is a standard list, taken from the
Dashabhumika-sutra, which is taken from the larger Avatamsaka or
Flower Garland Sutra.
1. Pramudita-bhumi (Joyful Land)
The bodhisattva begins the journey joyful with the thought of
enlightenment. He has taken bodhisattva vows, the most basic of which
is "May I attain Buddhahood for the welfare of all sentient beings." Even
at this early stage he recognizes the emptiness of phenomena. In this
stage, the bodhisattva cultivates Dana Paramita, the perfection of giving
or generosity in which it is recognized there are no givers and no
receivers.

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2. Vimala-bhumi (Land of Purity)
The bodhisattva cultivates Sila Paramita, the perfection of morality,
which culminates in selfless compassion for all beings. He is purified of
immoral conduct and dispositions.
And according to Nagarjuna,
The second is called the Stainless
Because all ten [virtuous] actions
Of body, speech, and mind are stainless
And they naturally abide in those [deeds of ethics].
Through the maturation of those [good qualities]
The perfection of ethics becomes supreme.
They become Universal Monarchs helping beings,
Masters of the glorious four continents and of the seven precious
objects.
3. Prabhakari-bhumi (Luminous or Radiant Land)
The bodhisattva is now purified of the Three Poisons. He cultivates
Ksanti Paramita, which is the perfection of patience or forbearance, now
he knows that he can bear all burdens and hardships to finish the journey.
He achieves the four absorptions or dhyanas.
4. Archismati-bhumi (The Brilliant or Blazing Land)
Remaining false conceptions are burned away, and good qualities are
pursued. This level may also be associated with Virya Paramita, the
perfection of energy.

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5. Sudurjaya-bhumi (The Land That Is Difficult to Conquer)
Now the bodhisattva goes deeper into meditation, as this land is
associated with Dhyana Paramita, the perfection of meditation. He
pierces through the darkness of ignorance. Now he understands the Four
Noble Truths and the Two Truths. As he develops himself, the
bodhisattva devotes himself to the welfare of others.
6. Abhimukhi-bhumi (The Land Looking Forward to Wisdom)
This land is associated with Prajna Paramita, the perfection of wisdom.
He sees that all phenomena are without self-essence and understand the
nature of Dependent Origination -- the way all phenomena arise and
cease.
7. Durangama-bhumi (The Far-Reaching Land)
The bodhisattva acquires the power of upaya, or skillful means to help
others realize enlightenment. At this point the bodhisattva has become a
transcendent bodhisattva who can manifest in the world in whatever form
is most needed.
8. Achala-bhumi (The Immovable Land)
The bodhisattva can no longer be disturbed, because Buddhahood is
within sight. From here he can no longer fall back to earlier stages of
development.
9. Sadhumati-bhumi (the land of good thoughts)
The bodhisattva understands all dharmas and is able to teach others.
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10. Dharmamegha-bhumi (The Land of Dharma Clouds)
Buddhahood is confirmed, and he enters Tushita Heaven. Tushita
Heaven is the heaven of contended gods, where there are Buddhas who
will be reborn only one more time. Maitreya is said to live there also.

The tenth is the Cloud of Dharma because


The rain of excellent doctrine falls,
The Bodhisattva is consecrated
With light by the Buddhas.
Nagarjuna

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RULES FOR DOING GOOD
Do all the good you can,
In all the ways you can,
To all the People you can,
In every place you can,
At all the times you can,
As long as ever you can.

Consider the case of gold mingled with iron.


Initially it may seem that the gold is not pure
because it is mixed in with the iron and its
purity cannot be seen, but if it is separated from
the iron it will be seen to have never been stained
by the iron. It has always been pure.
Similarily, you should see that the nature
of phenomenal existence the world and all
the beings that dwell within it is primordially pure.
Yangthang Rinpoche

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EXPERIENCE LIFE
Charles Bukoswki tells us Do what you love and let it kill you. I totally
agree with him, I agree with him in the way that you should lose yourself
in everything you love doing, because if you LOVE doing it then it is
made out of love, and things made out of love are always positive things
with positive outcomes. So, I say to you, lose yourself in writing, lose
yourself in helping, lose yourself in meditating and in transforming
yourself, because that is the only way to live and love, by working on
ourselves every single day.
There are so many things we can do each day to transform ourselves like
leaving bad habits forever, like drinking, drugs, smoking, insulting
people, having meaningless sex, gossip, anger, jealousy and so many
things we can change today, things that make our life unhappy and
negative, when it feels bad its cause its negative, when it feels good its
cause its positive, its that easy and our body communicates with us.
Maybe, we think these things make us happy for a moment, but after that
moment is gone, then we feel depressed, we feel incomplete and when
we feel this way, it is our mind, our body, our spirituality that is telling
us that we are not on the right path. So, we must change.
The way to change is to spend time alone, time meditating, time being
conscious in our every though and every breath. This is the way to
understanding and loving ourselves, and if we understand this, we will
always be joyful; the only way is working on ourselves. So, you must be
the change you want to see reflected around you, if you want peace, then
you must have peace of mind and soul, if you want beauty, then your
thoughts must be beautiful and if you want happiness, then you must be
truly happy and the rest will manifest and flow around you.
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We must change our thoughts, our form of living, our form of talking,
we must change certain friendships, and all these things that make us
miserable and unhappy, because we are truly the captain of our lives, and
we all wish to have a long, beautiful and healthy life. The world has so
many great things to offer, but our eyes are clouded by our dark thoughts,
so we must bring in the light of peace, the light of love and the light of
wisdom, and the only way to do this is by working on ourselves day by
day.
We must also learn to accept change, change is the only constant thing
in life, everything is always changing, and the more we cling to things
the more we will be in pain when we lose those things, specially
relationships, we must learn to let go and get used to change, this will
help us to suffer less. We must also understand that pain is essential for
growth, and that everything is a blessing, no matter how hard it looks, it
will always be a blessing. The only form of things is that everything is
formless, and that is the only form, so whenever we expect any outcome,
we are giving form to things, when the form of things is formlessness
and we must also accept this.
We are so blessed to have all these teachers, all these teachings that guide
us to a way of living, to a joyful living, because everything we need is
inside of us, so we must stop looking for happiness on the outside, since
everything comes from within. When we learn to be happy with what we
are, with who we are, heaven will be all around us, so the best thing is to
keep working on ourselves, keep improving and keep helping others. We
already have, thanks to all the teachers, ascended masters and
enlightened beings all the help that we need, its just a matter of opening

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our heart to their teachings and we will be on the right path for
experiencing a positive, abundant and beautiful LIFE.

Nobody can save you but yourself.


You will be put again and again
into nearly impossible situations.
They will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and force
to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly inside.

Nobody can save you but yourself


and it will be easy enough to fail so very easily
but dont, dont, dont. Just watch them.
Listen to them. do you want to be like that?
A faceless, mindless, heartless being?
Do you want to experience death before death?

Nobody can save you but yourself


and youre worth saving. Its a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then this is it.

Think about it. Think about saving yourself.


Charles Bukowski

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INTRODUCTION TO THE SPIRITUAL MASTERS AND
TEACHERS
All the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, ascended masters, teachers, elohims,
archangels and enlightened beings are present in every moment to aid us,
protect us, heal us and guide us, all their blessings are focused directly
to us, it is just a matter of asking for their protection, guidance, healing
and blessings to whomever we have more faith in, it is just a matter of
visualizing their presence sending us light in different colors and they
will immediately answer our prayers and begin healing our pain or fixing
whatever needs fixing, you dont have to believe me, experience it for
yourself.
The next pages are dedicated to remembering those great words
and teachings from different Buddhas, enlightened beings, ascended
masters and teachers from different kinds, all of them left a message for
us to understand and apply in our daily living, to become better human
beings for us and those around us, and to transform our world in the
paradise we should be experiencing. Applying their teachings from the
very moment we finish reading them, we will start experiencing change,
growth and inner peace and we will have our own heaven right here on
earth, remember to read them often so you become accustomed to them.
These teachings are the gift they left us, some are very old, others
are recent teachings, but if we analyze them, they all agree with each
other, which is what amazes me the most, without most of them knowing
each other, living in different continents, different countries, even
different eras, their teachings are all in harmony which tells us that

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following them will have us on the right road towards peace, success,
enlightenment or whatever it is that we seek for.
There are many more great gurus and teachers, but these are the
ones that came into my life for a reason, and these are the ones featured
in this book for anyone who is reading it to learn from them. I thank all
of the gurus, teachers and ascended masters that are working and have
worked for every sentient being that are not here mentioned. They all
give me the courage to finish this book and to work on a next one thanks
to their infinite teachings and blessings. Follow the examples of these
Light bearers and Light workers. Ah. Lama khyenno. Ah. Lama
khyenno.
Sangye chdang tsogky choknam la
Jangchub bardu dagni kyabsu chi
Dag gi jinsog gyipey snam kyi
Drola penchir sangye drubpar shog
Jamdang nyingje chogmey jongwa dang
Dndam Ihanchig kyepey yeshe ni
Gyalwa seychey namkyi togpa tar
Dagsog ngnsum togpar jingyi lob.

Were all just walking


each other home."
Ram Dass

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JESUS CHRIST

Without a doubt, Jesus was the greatest metaphysical master the earth
has ever seen, the metaphysical Master of Love, and mostly everything
he spoke is meant in a metaphysical way. Jesus prayers were answered
because He always dwelt in the consciousness of perfect harmony with
the Father. When we ask in His name, it is with an earnest desire for that
consciousness which Jesus possessed. The Christ within each of us is
ever seeking perfect expression, and it should be our earnest effort to
have our mind and heart clear and open channels in order that He may
more perfectly work through us. When we ask in the name of Christ Jesus
we ask in the consciousness that in reality we are perfect children of the
Father. This harmonious relationship between God and man is attained
by prayer and meditation and by constantly affirming God's presence and
power. If we would have God manifest through us, we must endeavor to
raise our thoughts and feelings to the standard of God.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the
door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; those who
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seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened (Luke 11:910).
Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and
opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me
(Revelation 3:20)
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and
whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Truly I say to you
whoever believes has eternal life, here is the bread that comes down from
heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. This bread is my
flesh, which I will give for the life of the world truly I say to you, unless
you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life
in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and
I will raise them up on the last day. (John 6:35, 47-51, 53-54).
Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and
humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is
easy and my load is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
Peter came and said to him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin
against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I
do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven
(Matthew 18:21-22).
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and
with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the great and
foremost commandment. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor
as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these' (Mark 12:2831).
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You have heard that it was said: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a
tooth. But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps
you on your right cheek, turn to him the other alsoYou have heard that
it was said Love you neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you,
love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that
you may be children of your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:38,39, 4345).
All who draw the sword will die by the sword (Matthew 26:52).
Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke
23:34).
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are
the gentle for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the
merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called
sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of
righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when
you are insulted and persecuted and said evil against falsely on account
of me, rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great
(Matthew 5:3-12).
It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY BUDDHA
By Cristian Violatti

Siddhartha Gautama was the leader and founder of a sect of wanderer


ascetics (Sramanas), one of many sects which existed at that time all over
India. This sect came to be known as Sangha, to distinguish it from other
similar communities. The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama are
considered the core of Buddhism: after his death, the community he
founded slowly evolved into a religious-like movement which was
finally established as a state religion in India by the time of Emperor
Ashoka.
Traditionally, the meaning of the term Buddha is understood as a person
who has awakened from the deep sleep of ignorance. In Indian tradition,
the expression was already used before, during, and after the life of
Siddhartha by many religious communities, but it became most strongly
linked to the Buddhist tradition.

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The Four Noble Truths:

1. All things and experiences are marked by suffering/ disharmony/


frustration (dukkha).
2. The arising of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration comes from desire/
craving/ clinging.
3. To achieve the cessation or end of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration,
let go of desire/ craving/ clinging.
4. The way to achieve that cessation of suffering/ disharmony/
frustration, is walking the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path to the cessation of suffering:

1. Right Understanding of the following facts:


the truth about suffering ... (The Four Truths);
everything is impermanent and changes;
there is no separate individual self- this is an illusion.

2. Right Determination to:


give up what is wrong and evil;
undertake what is good;
abandon thoughts that have to do with bringing suffering to any
conscious being; cultivate thoughts of loving kindness, that are based on
caring about others' suffering, and sympathetic joy in others' happiness.

3. Right Speech:
Abstain from telling lies.
Abstain from talk that brings harm or discredit to others (such as
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backbiting or slander) or talk that creates hatred or disharmony between
individuals and groups.
Abstain from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious, or abusive language.
Abstain from idle, useless, and foolish babble and gossip. Abstain from
recrimination and negative statements.
Abstain from harsh speechpractice kindly speech.
Abstain from frivolous speechpractice meaningful speech.
Abstain from slanderous speechpractice harmonious speech.
Speak the truth if it is useful and timely. Practice only necessary
speech. Let your speech be filled with loving kindness. Speak that which
alleviates suffering.

4. Right Action:
Peaceful, honorable conduct; abstain from dishonest dealings; take
concrete steps necessary to foster what is good.
Do things that are moral, honest, and alleviate suffering. Do not do
things that will bring suffering to others or yourself.

5. Right Livelihood:
Abstain from making your living from an occupation that brings harm
and suffering to humans or animals, or diminish their well-being. This
includes: activities that directly harm conscious beings, and activities
that indirectly harm sentient beings, e.g., making weapons or poisons.

6. Right Effort:
Foster good and prevent evil;
Work on yourselfbe engaged in appropriate self-improvement. The
essence of right effort is that everything must be done with a sense of
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proper balance that fits the situation. Effort should be balanced between
trying too hard and not trying hard enough. For example, strike the
balance between excessive fasting and over-indulgence in food. Trying
hard to progress too rapidly gets poor results, as does not trying hard
enough.

7. Right Mindfulness or wakefulness:


Foster right attention.
Avoid whatever clouds our mental awareness (e.g., drugs).
Systematically and intentionally develop awareness.

8. Right Concentration:
Developed by practicing meditation and/or mental focusing. Proper
meditation must be done continuously while awake, and should include
work on awareness of body, emotions, thought, and mind objects.

Five basic precepts:

1. Abstain from killing living beings (from destroying/taking life)or


practice love.
2. Abstain from taking the not-given (from stealing)or practice
generosity, practice giving.
3. Abstain from sexual misconductor practice contentment.
4. Abstain from false speech (from lying)or practice truthfulness.
5. Abstain from taking intoxicating drinksor practice awareness and
mental clarity.

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Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the
mind on the present moment.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring
peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a
man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all
wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
The mind is everything. What you think you become.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the
mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more
deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that
person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody
in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then
the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by
demons, heaven or hell.
Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.
Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.
Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal
rule.
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what
good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.
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Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully
did you live? How deeply did you let go?
Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters
most.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on
our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with
an evil thought, suffering follows him as the wheel follows the hoof of
the beast that draws the wagon.... If a man speaks or acts with a good
thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.
All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can
wrong-doing remain?
I am not the first Buddha who came upon Earth, nor shall I be the last.
In due time, another Buddha will arise in the world - a Holy One, a
supremely enlightened One, endowed with wisdom in conduct,
auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a
master of angels and mortals.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SHIVA

Lord Shiva is the destroyer of the world, following Brahma the creator
and Vishnu the preserver, after which Brahma again creates the world
and so on. Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and
destruction and in the positive sense of destroying the ego, the false
identification with the form. This also includes the shedding of old habits
and attachments. All that has a beginning by necessity must have an end.
In destruction, truly nothing is destroyed but the illusion of individuality.
Thus, the power of destruction associated with Lord Shiva has great
purifying power, both on a more personal level when problems make us
see reality more clearly, as on a more universal level. Destruction opens
the path for a new creation of the universe, a new opportunity for the
beauty and drama of universal illusion to unfold.
In Shiva the art of meditation takes its most absolute form. In
meditation, not only mind is stopped, everything is dropped. In deep
meditation or samadhi, even the object of the meditation (like a mantra)
is transformed into its formless essence, which is the essence of
everything and everyone. Thus, Shiva stands for letting go of everything

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in the world of forms. The path of Lord Shiva is the path of the ascetic
yogi.
The independent state of supreme consciousness is the reality of
everything.
Through the higher spiritual intelligence, there is the realization of the
Light of the Self.
"O goddess, disciplining of the mind is far more excellent than many a
horse-sacrifice. It is conducive to salvation. It is inaccessible to those
who adhere to sensual objects."
"Yoga is enhanced by practice"
"The practice of Yoga quells all ailments, fevers and many other
distressing ills."
"Yoga is the fixation of the mind in me (Shiva) along the path indicated
by me, restraining other activities."
The flowers, the incense, grain, spices, and honey offered in worship
are made out of the same divine stuff as you. Who then is worshiped?
When a yogi meditates that the entire universe or his body is
simultaneously filled with the supreme bliss of the joy of self, then
through the flow of that joy, he becomes one with supreme joy.
Whatever appears as maya, creator, creature, mind, world, names and
forms are the pure Brahman-Self only and not apart from that Self.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY KRISHNA
By Osho

Krishna is not a seeker. It would be wrong to call him a seeker. He is a


siddha, an adept, an accomplished performer of all lifes arts. And what
he says in this siddha state, in this ultimate state of mind, may seem to
you to be egoistic, but it is not. You cannot judge from the outside
whether a man is wise or foolish because sometimes their acts may be
the same. Krishna says in the Gita to Arjuna, Fight, but fight with
absolute surrender to God. Become a vehicle. Now, to surrender means
absolute awareness, otherwise you cannot surrender. Surrender means
dropping the ego, and ego is your unconsciousness. Krishna says, Drop
the ego and then leave it to God. Then let his will be done. Then
whatsoever happens is good.

Arjuna argues. Again and again he brings new arguments and he says,
But to kill these people innocent people, they have not done anything
wrong just for the kingdom to kill so many people, so much violence,
so much murder, so much bloodshedhow can it be right? Rather than
killing these people for the kingdom I would like to renounce and go to
the forest and become a monk.
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Now, if you just look from the outside, Arjuna seems to be more religious
than Krishna. Arjuna seems to be more a Gandhian than Krishna.
Krishna seems to be very dangerous. He is saying, Drop all this
nonsense of being a monk and escaping to the Himalayan caves. That is
not for you. You leave everything to God. You dont decide, you drop
this deciding. You simply relax, be in a let-go, and let him descend in
you and let him flow through you. Then, whatsoever happens. If he
wants to become a monk through you, he will become a monk. If he
wants to become a warrior through you, he will become a warrior.

Arjuna seems to be more moralistic, puritanistic. Krishna seems to be


totally different. Krishna is a Buddha, an awakened being. He is saying,
Dont you decide. Out of your unconsciousness, whatsoever you decide
is going to be wrong, because unconsciousness is wrong. And the
foolish person lives in unconsciousness. Even if he tries to do good, in
fact he succeeds only in doing bad.

Whenever dharma declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I


manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to
destroy evil, and to reestablish dharma.
Among animals I am the lion; among birds, the eagle Garuda. I am
Prahlada, born among the demons, and of all that measures, I am
time.
Just remember that I am, and that I support the entire cosmos with
only a fragment of my being.

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With a drop of my energy I enter the earth and support all creatures.
Through the moon, the vessel of life-giving fluid, I nourish all plants. I
enter breathing creatures and dwell within as the life-giving breath. I
am the fire in the stomach which digests all food.
There are three gates to this self-destructive hell: lust, anger, and
greed. Renounce these three.
When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of
a lamp in a windless place.
Those who remember me at the time of death will come to me. Do not
doubt this. Whatever occupies the mind at the time of death determines
the destination of the dying; always they will tend toward that state of
being.
They are forever free who renounce all selfish desires and break away
from the egocage of I, me, and mine to be united with the Lord.
This is the supreme state. Attain to this, and pass from death to
immortality.
The meaning of Karma is in the intention. The intention behind action
is what matters. Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits
of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the
results of what they do.
You and I have passed through many births, Arjuna. You have
forgotten, but I remember them all.
No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here
or in the world to come.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY LAO TZU

Lao Tzu was the most important spiritual Chinese sage. His name, which
is also often called Laozi, literally means Old Master and is generally
considered an honorific.
The purpose of Taoism is to explain how the world operates and
the best way to navigate through life. As such, Taoism's Tao Te Ching,
written by its founder Lao Tzu, is a practical philosophical manual with
principles for achieving daily contentment. This is no easy task in a
world full of "chaos, absurdity, and suffering," but Lao Tzu is able to
help us with his ancient wisdom. He defined contentment as the only
measure by which we should gauge personal success and how to use it
as a filter through which society's values should be passed. By adhering
to this strict test, dysfunctional impulses, like fame and fortune, can be
warded off. Finally, the religious aspects of Taoism teach us that a
content physical existence will best prepare the soul for that time when
the body is cast off. Whether physical, mental, or metaphysical,
contentment is the ultimate goal.

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Since Taoism's philosophical and religious system is built on a
holistic view of reality, its yin/yang symbol is foremost a representation
of Universal Oneness with black and white colors alternating within a
single circle. Thus the duality of all phenomena whether summer and
winter, male and female, or life and death are shown to be opposing
manifestations of the same principle and should not to be viewed as
independent phenomena. This depiction of oneness and its opposites are
integral to understanding all of Lao Tzu's poetry.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving


someone deeply gives you courage.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you
realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them;
that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally
forward in whatever way they like.
Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
Care about what other people think and you will always be their
prisoner.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
Silence is a source of Great Strength.
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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MUHAMMAD

At the age of forty, Muhammad received his first revelation from God
through the Angel Gabriel. The revelations continued for twenty-three
years, and they are collectively known as the Quran.
As soon as he began to recite the Quran and to preach the truth
which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers
suffered persecution from unbelievers.
The Prophet Muhammad was a perfect example of an honest,
just, merciful, compassionate, truthful, and brave human being. Though
he was a man, he was far removed from all evil characteristics and strove
solely for the sake of God and His reward in the Hereafter. Moreover,
in all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful and fearful of God.
You will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe
until you love one another. Let me guide you to something in the doing
of which you will love one another. Give a greeting to everyone among
you.
God is merciful to those who show mercy to others.
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Power consists not in being able to strike another, but in being able to
control oneself when anger arises.
The best people are those who are most useful to others.
From morning until night and from night until morning keep your
heart free from malice towards anyone.
Greet those whom you know and those whom you dont know.
He is not of us who is not affectionate to the little ones and does not
respect the reputation of the old.
Whoever restrains his anger when he has the power to show it, God
will give him a great reward.
Keep yourselves far from envy, because it eats up and takes away
good actions as fire consumes and burns the wood.
What actions are most excellent?
To gladden the heart of a human being,
To feed the hungry, to help the afflicted,
To lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the
injured.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY PADMASAMBHAVA

Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) is perhaps the most universally


cherished realized being in all of Tibetan Buddhism. Padmasambhava
came to Tibet from India in the 8th century and helped establish a pure
lineage which is still practiced today by all four major schools of Tibetan
Buddhism around the world. The name of Padmasambhava, literally
means born of the lotus flower. This means to be born fully
illuminated.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche lauds Padmasambhavas contribution to
humanity: Due to Padmasambhavas great compassion, Tibetan
Mahayana Buddhism flourished in Tibet and now has spread throughout
the entire world. Because of that, so many people have experienced the
path to enlightenment and achieved enlightenment. Due to his great
compassion, the lives of infinite number of sentient beings have become
meaningful.
It is said that just looking at the image of Padmasambhava,
anything that you ask of him will be fulfilled, looking into his eyes and
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having faith, he will help accomplish anything you need. No matter how
hard or impossible you believe it to be.
Listen, beautiful one having the form of a goddess, for those sentient
beings who have not met me, statues of me in the future will become the
light eliminating the darkness of ignorance. Whoever builds such
statues of me, which become objects of offering and so forth, all their
future lives will become meaningful and they will establish the banner
of the teachings.
I am present in front of anyone who has faith in me, just as the moon
casts its reflection, effortlessly, in any vessel filled with water.
The eagle that is flying high in the sky should not forget that it should
come down one day to see its shadow.
Now when the bardo of dying dawns upon me, I will abandon all
grasping, yearning, and attachment, enter undistracted into clear
awareness of the teaching, And eject my consciousness into the space
of unborn Rigpa; As I leave this compound body of flesh and blood I
will know it to be a transitory illusion.
Although my view is higher than the sky, my respect for the cause and
effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour.
For anyone, man or woman, who has faith in me, I, the Lotus Born,
have never departed I sleep on their threshold.

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Seeing me, all the Buddhis are seen, accomplishing my practice, the
practice of all the Buddha is accomplished, For I am the embodiment of
all the sugatas (fully enlightened beings).
Unstained by objective clinging, Unspoilt by the grasping mind,
sustaining the naked and empty awareness Is the wisdom mind of all
the Buddhas.
May I recognize all the manifestations that appear to me in the bardo
(intermediate state) as being my own projections; emanations of my
own mind.
When I am in the bardo of birth till death, May I waste no time;
Abandoning laziness, may I engage without distraction in the study,
assimilation of, and meditation on the teachings, May I practice,
integrating on the path appearance and mind.
Guru Rinpoche, Buddha of the three times, Lord of all siddhis who is
the one of great bliss, Dispeller of all obstacles, wrathful tamer of
Mara (demon), We supplicate you; please grant your blessings. Grant
your blessings that outer, inner and secret obstacles be pacified and
that our intentions be spontaneously accomplished.
-Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum (A mantra for
protection, healing, transformation and inner peace).

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MAHAVIRA
By Sri Swami Sivananda

Mahavira lived a life of absolute truthfulness, a life of perfect honesty


and a life of absolute chastity. He lived without possessing any property
at all. Maha means great and Vira means a hero. Mahavira was
immersed in Self-contemplation. He knew that the pleasures of this
world were transitory and that they strengthened the letters of Karma. He
knew that renunciation would lead to the attainment of eternal bliss.
Mahavira became extremely penitent. He resolved to give up
everything worldly. He gave up attachment to his parents, friends and
relatives. He thought over the twelve Anuprekshas or matters of deep
thinking according to the Jain scriptures:
1. All worldly things are temporary.
2. The Soul alone is the sole resort.
3. This world is beginningless and crooked.
4. There is nothing to help the Soul, but the Soul itself.

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5. Body, mind, etc., are essentially separate from the Soul.
6. The Soul is essentially pure and the body, etc., are essentially impure.
7. The Souls bondage is due to the inflow of Karma in it.
8. Every being ought to stop this inflow.
9. Emancipation is attained when Karma is absolutely got rid of.
10. The emancipated Souls remain fit the foremost top of the filled
spaces.
11. In this world, to have the birth of a human being and to meditate on
the nature of the Soul are the greatest blessings.
12. To have the three jewels as described by the Omniscient is the only
morality
All the objects of the world are evanescent like water bubbles. Where
can one get happiness in this world which is the abode of disease,
sorrow, pain and death? I must leave this world".

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MILAREPA
By Timothy Conway

Jetsn Milarepa is certainly one of the most interesting and beloved


figures in all of spiritualityan outstanding exemplar of Jesus and the
Buddhas commandment to love thy enemy. Milas case is
paradigmatic: he overcame evilothers evil and his own evil to
become a superhuman Buddha in one lifetime. His is a life of sincere
effort, tireless dedication, and amazing austerity culminating in
supremely enlightened wisdom and all-embracing compassion. Milarepa
manifested astonishing miraclese.g., healings, control of physical
elements, levitation, bodily transformations, flying, bi-locating his form
in remote places simultaneously.
What most endeared Milarepa in the hearts of the monks, nuns,
yogis, laity, royalty, peasants and merchants who visited him was his
clear, authoritative spiritual instruction on their behalf. He usually sang
these counsels in lilting poetic hymns. A stirring blend of sublimity and
earthiness, soulful strength and gentle humor, pervades these teachings.
Many of his songs speak of the beauty of this dream-like world, but
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underline the terrible danger of being enslaved by ones unwholesome
karmas.
According to a blessing Milarepa uttered towards the end of his
life, anyone who but hears the name Milarepa even once attracts an
instant blessing and will not take rebirth in a lower state of existence
during seven consecutive lifetimes. This was prophesied by Saints and
Buddhas of the past even before his lifetime.
All worldly pursuits have but the one unavoidable end, which is sorrow:
acquisitions end in dispersion; buildings in destruction; meetings in
separation; births, in death. Knowing this, one should, from the very
first, renounce acquisition and heaping up, and building, and meeting;
and faithful to the commands of an eminent guru, set about realizing the
Truth (which has no birth or death)."
If you do not acquire contentment in yourselves, Heaped-up
accumulations will only enrich others. If you do not obtain the light of
Inner Peace, Mere external ease and pleasure will become a source of
pain. If you do not suppress the Demon of Ambition, Desire for fame will
lead to ruin and to lawsuits"
If you lose all differentiation between yourselves and others, fit to serve
others you will be. And when in serving others you will win success, then
shall you meet with me; And finding me, you shall attain to
Buddhahood."

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MAITREYA
By Lama Yeshe

Maitreya's name is derived from the Sanskrit 'maitri' meaning 'universal


loving-kindness'. Infinitely compassionate and all-knowing, Buddhas
teach by their words and example in order to guide us along the path to
our own spiritual maturity.
While practicing as a bodhisattva he specialized in the meditation
on great love. He not only taught this path to others but also meditated
upon it continuously himself, often stationing himself at the gate of a city
and contemplating deeply on loving kindness. His meditation was so
powerful that people passing by close enough to touch his feet would
themselves receive the realization of great love.

Maitreya Buddha is the embodiment of loving-kindness. Throughout


the entire universe, peace comes from the good heart, from lovingkindness.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of Maitreya Project
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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY QUETZALCOATL
By Mark Cartwright

Quetzalcatl was one of the most important gods in ancient


Mesoamerica. The god known as the Plumed Serpent is a mix of bird and
rattle snake and his name is a combination of the Nahuatl words for the
quetzal - the emerald plumed bird - and coatl or serpentHe was regarded
as the god of winds and rain and as the creator of the world and mankind.
In Central Mexico from 1200 CE he was also considered the patron god
of priests and merchants and considered the god of wisdom, science,
agriculture, crafts and the arts. He also invented the calendar, was
identified with Venus, the rising morning star, and even discovered corn
(maize) with the help of giant red ant that led him to a mountain packed
full of grain and seeds.
Quien dice que las aves ya no vuelan
si las alas de Quetzalcoatl aun andan por los cielos,
quin dice que las plumas sagradas ya no brillan,
si en los rayos del sol aun palpitan, entregndose
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al hombre y ste que se niega a recibirlas.
mas cual pjaro hombre que su serpiente asciende
y devora la podredumbre de la ignorancia
y la insensatez.
Quin osa decir que esto es tierra marchita,
si an la misma tierra hace vivir, muere
y vuelve a nacer todo lo que de ella surge.
Para vivir hay que morir, y para morir,
hay que vivir de instante en instante.
ni las mariposas negaran su existir,
ni los sabios se halagaran porque les rindieran elogios.
pues es ms terrible la situacin de los que se creen sabios, cuando hay
quienes ignoramos que ignoramos.
La sabidura no se regala, se hace una con nosotros mismos, hasta en
el templo de Delfos hace mencin a esto,
pues la entrada a ella es comenzar con nosotros mismos.
el jade y las piedras preciosas no son de quien las posee,
sino de quien las hace suyas, les da forma y las perfecciona.
Quin dice que lo antiguo ya no vive,
si corre por nuestras venas.
Ni las aguas, ni los ros se atreveran a decir semejante cosa,
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ms cuando los tesoros han sido cubiertos
con el manto de la sabidura celeste.
Quetzalcoatl vive y quiere que nosotros vivamos
y no como ahora que tan solo existimos.

Getzabela Lzgare

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SHANKARA
By Sri Swami Sivananda

Shankara is the foremost among the master-minds and the giant souls
which Mother India has produced. He was the expounder of the Advaita
philosophy. Shankara was a giant metaphysician, a practical philosopher,
an infallible logician, a dynamic personality and a stupendous moral and
spiritual force. His grasping and elucidating powers knew no bounds. He
was a fully developed Yogi, Jnani and Bhakta. He was a Karma Yogin
of no mean order. He was a powerful magnet. There is not one branch of
knowledge which Shankara has left unexplored and which has not
received the touch, polish and finish of his superhuman intellect. The
loftiness, calmness and firmness of his mind, the impartiality with which
he deals with various questions, his clearness of expression-all these
make us revere the philosopher more and more. His teachings will
continue to live as long as the sun shines.
Shankara's scholarly erudition and his masterly way of exposition
of intricate philosophical problems have won the admiration of all the
philosophical schools of the world at the present moment. Shankara was
an intellectual genius, a profound philosopher, an able propagandist, a
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matchless preacher, a gifted poet and a great religious reformer. Perhaps,
never in the history of any literature, a stupendous writer like him has
been found. Even the Western scholars of the present day pay their
homage and respects to him. Of all the ancient systems, that of Shankar
Acharya will be found to be the most congenial and the easiest of
acceptance to the modern mind.
"Space seems broken and diverse because of the many forms in it.
Remove the forms and pure space remains. So, too with the Omnipresent
Self."
"Like the waves in the ocean, the worlds arise, live and dissolve in the
Supreme Self, the substance and cause of everything."
"Like the appearance of silver in mother of pearl, the world seems real
until the Self, the underlying reality, is realized."
"The world, like a dream full of attachments and aversions seems real
until the awakening."
"[I am] the nature of Pure Consciousness. I am always the same to
beings, one alone; [I am] the highest Brahman, which, like the sky, is
all-pervading, imperishable, auspicious, uninterrupted, undivided and
devoid of action. I do not belong to anything since I am free from
attachment. [I am] the highest Brahman... ever-shining, unborn, one
alone, imperishable, stainless, all-pervading, and nondual-That am I,
and I am forever released.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY RUMI

Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of


mankind and was the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order, a leading
mystical brotherhood of Islam.
If there is any general idea underlying Rumis poetry, it is the
absolute love of God. His influence on thought, literature and all forms
of aesthetic expression in the world of Islam cannot be overrated.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I'll
meet you there.
The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
What you seek is seeking you.
Dont grieve. Anything you lose comes around in another form.
Carry the burden smilingly and cheerfully, because patience is the key
to victory.

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You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up
there.
Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am
wise, so I am changing myself.
Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not
thunder.
Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.
Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide
from beyond.
This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A
joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an
unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest
honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the
door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you
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have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come,
come.
I know you're tired but come, this is the way.
Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those
who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your
house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves
from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in
their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath
have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better
things will take their place.
You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really
love. It will not lead you astray.
What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.
These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY METATRON

Metatron and Sandalphon are probably the only two angels within the
heavenly spheres who were once human. It was written that he walked
with God and was taken up into Heaven where he was made an
Archangel. It is thought too that it was Metatron who stopped Abraham
from sacrificing his son Isaac to God.
Metatron can help us find the proper measure in love, work and
recreation so that we live balanced, healthy lives, rich in harmony and
serenity. He will also be a witness to the good we do, perhaps those acts
of love or kindness not recognized by others. He can also help us when
we have put effort and toil into making something work, whatever it is:
it could be anything from trying to make a relationship work, losing
weight, or giving up an addictive or damaging habit, to throwing
ourselves fully into a cause or team effort.
We can pray to The Archangel Metatron to guide our efforts and
to help us find the right measure for our output and activities. We can
ask Metatron in our meditation to assist us in knowing when enough is
enough, or when we need to do more for ourselves or others.
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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY ASHTAVAKRA

Ashtavakra was a famous seer and teacher of the early Vedic period. His
teachings and philosophy are available to us in the Ashtavakra Gita.
According to tradition, Ashtavakra was born to Kahoda and Sujata, both
of whom where students of Uddalaka. Ashtavakra was born in a family
of eminent teachers and he was the teacher of Patanjali, the author of the
Yogasutras.
According to traditions he was born with eight deformities which earned
him the name Ashtavakra (it is said he later lost his deformities due to
his great self-knowledge). The young Ashtavakra must have spent
considerable time traveling with his parents and grandparents and
learning the secrets of the Vedanta from them.
The Ashtavakra Gita was composed in the form of a dialogue between
Ashtavakra and King Janaka on the nature of soul, the nature of reality,
the cause of bondage and the means of liberation. This is the work of a
self-realized seer who had experienced oneness with the supreme self.
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Know that you are neither the body, nor the mind, nor the senses, but
pure witnessing consciousness.
The world appears because of your ignorance and it will disappear
when you truly know who you are.
The whole reality is one. The duality between the subject and the object,
the knower and the known arise because of ignorance.
When you achieve the supreme state of non-duality by realizing that
you are in everything and everything is in you and you know who you
truly are, there is nothing that can bind you to this world.
Abandon desire and gain and look on everything like a dream with
dispassion, equanimity and detachment.
Live with a sense of abandon, with an empty mind, freed from deliberate
action, setting aside all preferences and pairs of opposites, without
interest in action or inaction, renunciation or acquisition, gain or loss
and the very need to become liberated. This is the mark of a truly
liberated person who is at peace wherever he is.
Know that you are God himself and that everything is in yourself. Live
with this faith.
Not to get involved with samsara or remain passive is difficult for
ordinary human beings, because of the tendency to feel important, to be
part of something, to identify ourselves with some event or movement or
other people.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY PATANJALI

Patanjali was the author of Yoga Sutra, a major work containing pithy
on the philosophical aspects of mind and consciousness. Patanjali was a
Hindu Vedantist. The Yoga Sutra, his culminating work, is his
distillation of human knowledge. His sutras are concise and compact. In
recent times Yoga Sutras, have become very popular as the Yoga practice
has become much more common. Patanjali Yoga Sutras is the ancient
treasure narrating how to keep the body healthy. This yoga sutra is now
one of the most acclaimed elements of everyday life.
Patanjali documented the famous Yoga Sutras in a very concise manner.
The sutras give us the earliest reference to the popular term Ashtanga
Yoga, which translates literally as the eight limbs of yoga popularly
known as the eightfold path. They are: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama,
pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. The Mahabhasya, his great
grammar, an archetypal work for fostering correct language was
followed by his book Ayurveda, the science of life and health. Patanjali's
final work on yoga was aimed at man's psychological and devout
evolution.
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Patanjali's sutras were the earliest and are still the most perceptive and
enlightening study of human consciousness. He describes the enigma if
human existence. In his sutras, Patanjali confirms that yoga practice
helps us to transform ourselves, gain mastery over the mind and
emotions, as well as overcome obstacles to our spiritual development.
Patanjali's works are followed by yogis to this day in their effort to
develop a refined language, a cultured body and a civilized mind.
Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness
toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous,
and indifference toward the wicked.
For those who have an intense urge for Spirit and wisdom, it sits near
them, waiting.
It is only when the correct practice is followed for a long time, without
interruptions and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that
it can succeed.
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary
project, all of your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends
limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find
yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties
and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater
person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
When one is confirmed in celibacy, spiritual vigor is gained.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY BODHIDHARMA
By Vajra Regent DongShan Wu-Tsen

Bodhi dharma is credited with bringing Zen Buddhism to China and he


is the First Patriarch of Chinese Zen Lineage. Bodhi dharmas Buddhist
Master, Prajnatara, was the twenty seventh Patriarch of Indian
Buddhism, he taught Bodhi dharma for many years. Following the
instruction of his Master to transmit Dharma to China, Bodhi dharma
traveled east. When he arrived in Kwang Chou, he was ceremoniously
welcomed and greatly honored by the local military official named Shao
Yang. The same year, he was invited to the Capitol, Nanjing, to meet
Emperor Wu Di of the Liang dynasty. Because the communication
between the Emperor and Bodhi dharma was mutually unsatisfactory,
Bodhi dharma left the palace, crossed the Yangtzu River, and continued
north until he arrived at the Shao Lin Temple in Ho Nan Province. It was
here that Bodhi dharma became famous for meditating nine years facing
a wall (it is said that his impression remains on the cave).
Bodhi dharma instructed his disciples that the Lankavatara Sutra (I
recommend you read it) be used to seal the mind. The method of
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cultivating practice transmitted by Bodhi dharma pointed out that we
should pay attention closely to this important sutra. His major teaching
is there are two paths to enter Dharma Gate: Study and Practice. Study:
through the study of Buddhist sutras and scriptures, you will understand
Buddha Nature. Your Buddha Nature doesn't manifest because it is
clouded by defilements, such as: greed, attachment, passion, aggression
and ignorance. Practice: when you follow Buddhist principles in your
daily life, you discover that your Buddha Nature is equal to the Buddha's.
1. Bao Yen Hsin: The willingness to accept, without complaining,
suffering and unhappiness because you understand it is your own
karma.
2. Sui Yen Hsin: Understanding that all situations are the
consequences of karmic causes, and therefore, you maintain
equanimity in all circumstances, both negative and positive.
3. Tsung Fa Hsin: Realizing through practice the essence of your
Buddha Nature, which is equanimity.
"The mind is the root from which all things grow if you can understand
the mind, everything else is included."
"The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is
rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion."
"According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships and good deeds
result in blessings."
"Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher's
help."

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"To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture
your awareness, and accept what life brings."
"A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad."
"As long as you look for a Buddha somewhere else, you'll never see that
your own mind is the Buddha.
"Buddha means awareness, the awareness of body and mind that
prevents evil from arising in either."
"The essence of the Way is detachment."
"The Dharma is the truth that all natures are pure."
"Whoever realizes that the six senses aren't real, that the five aggregates
are fictions, that no such things can be located anywhere in the body,
understands the language of Buddhas."
"Those who remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path."

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY GURDJIEFF

Gurdjieff was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the


twentieth century. In his early years, he participated in expeditions that
went in search of ancient teachings, partly documented in his book
Meetings with Remarkable Men. His quest led him to a secret
brotherhood, from which he seemed to have returned in possession of a
unique system. He called his discipline the Fourth Way, a blend of the
three traditional ways of the Fakir, the Monk and the Yogi. Gurdjieff
migrated and eventually ended up in France, where he opened his
Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man.
A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in
order to die he must first awake.
It is the greatest mistake to think that man is always one and the same.
A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom
remains the same even for half an hour.
Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of selfchange. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation
itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to

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understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a
means of awakening.
Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and
functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself
and he will always remain a slave.
A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are
people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It
is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what
a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead
people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.
A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his
suffering.
A sin is something which is not necessary.
A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it.
This must be understood from the very beginning. One must learn from
him who knows.
Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West and
then seek.
All energy spent on conscious work is an investment; that spent
mechanically is lost forever.
We must destroy our buffers. Children have none; therefore, we must
become like little children.
We attract forces according to our being.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY RAMAKRISHNA
By Swami Adiswarananda

Sri Ramakrishna, represents the very core of the spiritual realizations of


the seers and sages of India. His whole life was literally an uninterrupted
contemplation of God. He reached a depth of God-consciousness that
transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal. Seekers of God
of all religions feel irresistibly drawn to his life and teachings. Through
his God-intoxicated life Sri Ramakrishna proved that the revelation of
God takes place at all times and that God-realization is not the monopoly
of any particular age, country, or people. His message was his Godconsciousness. Drawn by the magnetism of Sri Ramakrishna's divine
personality, people flocked to him from far and near -- men and women,
young and old, philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and
humanists, atheists and agnostics, Hindus and Brahmos, Christians and
Muslims, seekers of truth of all races, creeds and castes. Everyone who
came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless
love, and universal outlook. Each seeker saw in him the highest
manifestation of his own ideal. By coming near him the impure became
pure, the pure became purer, and the sinner was transformed into a saint.
The greatest contribution of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world is his
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message of the harmony of religions. To Sri Ramakrishna all religions
are the revelation of God. They are not contradictory but complementary.
Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of different
religions and came to the realization that all of them lead to the same
goal. Thus, he declared, "As many faiths, so many paths."
Men are like pillow-cases. The color of one may be red, that of another
blue, and that of a third black; but all contain the same cotton within. So
it is with man; one is beautiful, another is black, a third holy, and a fourth
wicked; but the Divine Being dwells in them all."
"Egotism is like a cloud which keeps God hidden from sight."
"As the blacksmith keeps alive the fire of his furnace by blowing the
bellows, so the mind should be kept clean and glowing with the help of
pious company.
"Let a man be a Christian in the matter of mercy, a Moslem in the matter
of strict observance of external forms, and a Hindu in the matter of
universal charity, charity towards all living creatures."
"Dive deep, O mind, dive deep in the Ocean of God's Beauty: If you can
plunge to the uttermost depths, there you can find the gem of Love."
God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why we suffer.
Different creeds are but different paths to reach the same God.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY LONGCHENPA
By Khenpo Shenga

Due to the kindness of Guru Padmasambhava, there have been many


great holders of the teachings in Tibet. Longchenpa, who was the equal
of the Jowo Kadampa geshes in terms of his ethical discipline and
practice of training the mind (lojong), and who was like Jetsn Milarepa
in how he first served his teacher and then spent his life meditating in
solitude on the gurus instructions. Longchenpa, by contrast, was the
master of countless teachings from profound transmissions. He
possessed all manner of instructions, which had been passed down from
vidyadharas and accomplished siddhas, from dakas and dakinis, or
received directly from Guru Padmasambhava and so on. This meant he
could lead the holders of his tradition to attainment by encouraging them
to practice diligently those instructions for which they felt the greatest
affinity. Longchenpa is believed to be the unique embodiment of the
enlightened qualities of all the learned and accomplished masters of
Tibet.

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Respect and develop pure perception and devotion toward those who
are practicing Dharma as the noble sangha. If you see faults in others,
think that theyre the reflections of your own delusions. If you see good
qualities in others, meditate on rejoicing over them. Disclose and expel
your own faults. Generate virtuous qualities and act with astonishing
perseverance. Be with holy people and abandon evil friends. Stay in
solitary places and promise to pursue meditation. Make sure that
whatever you do is consonant with Dharma practice.
From the soil of loving-kindness grows the beautiful bloom of
compassion, watered with tears of empathic joy, under the cool shade of
the tree of equanimity.
Whatever exists is only its own nature; and whatever ends is only its
own nature: there is no movement at all in pure mind and that stillness
is the body of Buddha. Every word that is uttered is only its own purity;
and every vibration is only its own purity: nothing is spoken or uttered
in pure mind, which is the speech of Buddha. Every thought and intention
is intertwined only as its own spaciousness, and every intuition is
realized only as its own spaciousness; nothing at all is thought or intuited
in pure mind, the mind of Buddha past, present and future.
The true nature of the world is the true nature of the mind. It is never
born and is beyond sorrow. Liberation will be attained by seeing the
nature of the mind itself, the true nature of phenomena. There is no other
peace to attain.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY ZOROASTER

Zoroaster, also called Zarathustra, was an ancient Persian prophet who


founded the first world religion - Zoroastrianism. He is said to have
received a vision from Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, who appointed him
to preach the truth. Zoroaster began preaching his message of cosmic
strife between Ahura Mazda, the God of Light, and Ahriman, the
principle of evil. According to the prophet, man had been given the
power to choose between good and evil. The end of the world would
come when the forces of light would triumph and the saved souls rejoice
in its victory.
This dualism was part of an evolution towards monotheism in the
Middle East. Zoroaster's teaching became the guiding light of Persian
civilization. After Alexander the Great conquered Persia Zoroastrianism
began to die out in Persia, but it survived in India where it became the
basis of the Parsi religion.

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Now the two primal Spirits, who reveal themselves invision as Twins,
are the Better and the Bad, inthought and word and action. Between
these two thewise ones chose aright; the foolish not so.
That which is good for all and any one, for whomsoever- that is good for
me. . .What I hold good for self, I should for all. Only Law Universal is
true law.
A knife of the keenest steel requires the whetstone, and the wisest man
needs advice.
When you doubt, abstain.
Doing good to others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own
health and happiness.
Taking the first footstep with a good thought, the second with a good
word, and the third with a good deed, I entered paradise.
Turn yourself not away from three best things: Good Thought, Good
Word, and Good Deed.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS OF CONFUCIOUS

Confucious whose Chinese name was Qiuo or Zhong Ni was clever, kind
and fond of studying. He became well known for his learning at the age
of 30 and attracted disciples from near and far. When he was 54, he and
his disciples started to travel from one state to another to learn and teach
rites, music, archery, riding, calligraphy, and mathematics, and to
persuade Emperors to implement his politics of governing by ethics.
Confucianism is in brief a theory of the ethical behavior of a gentleman:
educating the self, organizing the family, governing the state and ruling
all nations. Confucianism most important contribution lies in making
feudal society orderly and lawful by teaching people how to behave and
educate themselves, and take responsibility for their family and society.
Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that
is in others.
What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is
in others.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY KABIR
By David Courtney

Kabir is a very important figure in Indian history. He is unusual in that


he is spiritually significant to Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims alike. We do
not know much about the birth of Kabir. According to one legend he
was of a virgin birth. It is said that his mother becomes pregnant after
visiting a Hindu shrine. Upon delivery, the child is given up for
adoption.
His early upbringing is much clearer. Kabir was raised among a
Muslim community of weavers. He was never formally educated and
was almost completely illiterate. I emphasis the word "almost" because,
according to legend, the only word that he ever learned how to write was
"Rama".

The

basic

religious

principles

he

espouses

are

simple. According to Kabir, all life is an interplay of two spiritual


principles, one is the personal soul (Jivatma) and the other is God
(Paramatma). It is Kabir's view that salvation is the process of bringing
into union these two divine principles.

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The social and practical manifestation of Kabir's philosophy has
rung through the ages. It represented a synthesis of Hindu, and Muslim
concepts. Kabir has written much poetry and song. His lyrics are
characterized by a free use of the vernacular, and is unfettered by the
grammatical bonds of his day. It is this quality which has made his
philosophy accessible to generations.
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against
yours. You will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor
in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs
winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me instantly you will find me
in the tiniest house of time. God is the breath inside the breath.
Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten.
The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will
remain.
All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the
ocean merges into the drop.
If you want the truth, Ill tell you the truth: Listen to the secret sound,
the real sound, which is inside you.
The river that flows in you also flows in me.
I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty.

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You don't grasp the fact that what is most alive of all is inside your own
house; and you walk from one holy city to the next with a confused look!
Go wherever you like, to Calcutta or Tibet; if you can't find where your
soul is hidden, for you the world will never be real
If you don't break your ropes while you're alive, do you think ghosts
will do it after?
The sun is within me and so is the moon
The Lord is in me, the Lord is in you, as life is in every seed, put false
pride away and seek the Lord within.
As long as a human being worries about when he will die, and what he
has that is his, all of his works are zero. When affection for the I-creature
and what it owns is dead, then the work of the Teacher is over.
Slowly, slowly O mind...Everything in own pace happens, Gardner may
water a hundred buckets...Fruit arrives only in its season.
Whether I be in the temple or in the balcony, in the camp or the flower
garden, I tell you truly that every moment my Lord is taking His delight
in me.
A diamond was laying in the street covered with dirt. Many fools passed
by. Someone who knew diamonds picked it up
When the bride is one with her lover, who cares about the wedding
party?

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SHANTIDEVA

The Bodhicharyavatara was written by Shantideva, a famous scholar and


yogi of India in the 8th century. Shantideva was a prince who became a
monk and studied in the legendary Nalanda university. He was always
very devoted to Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.
For as long as space endures and for as long as living beings remain,
until then may I, too, abide to dispel the misery of the world.
All the joy the world contains has come through wishing happiness for
others. All the misery the world contains has come from wishing pleasure
for oneself.
If with kindly generosity one merely has the wish to soothe the aching
heads of other beings, such merit has no bounds.
Whenever I catch sight of others, By thinking, It is through them, That
I will reach awakening, I'll look with sincerity and love.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY TANG HOI
By Thich Nhat Hanh

Tang Hoi, the earliest known Buddhist meditation master of Vietnam.


Tang Hoi was born in the region that is now Vietnam three hundred years
before Bodhidharma went to China. He is revered by Vietnamese
Buddhists as the first patriarch of the Vietnamese meditation school, and
his life and work tells us much about the roots of Buddhism in Vietnam
and southern China.

As the life of Tang Hoi shows, Vietnam was the fertile soil for a unique
form of Buddhism that blends the teachings of both the early Buddhist
Theravadin tradition and later Mahayana.
"When the impurities have been destroyed, the mind gradually becomes
clear...brighter than precious jewels or the light of the moon. The
attention of the mind to sensual desire and the impurities of the mind,
which are like mud sticking to a clear mirror, are all wiped clean...the
mind is very deep and wonderful.

297


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JAMYANG KHYENTSE
By Sogyal Rinpoche

Jamyang Khyentse was the most outstanding Tibetan master of the last
century, and the teacher of many lamas who were to teach in the West.
An authority on all traditions, and holder of all the lineages of
Tibetan Buddhism, he was the heart of the Rim movement in Tibet. This
was a kind of spiritual renaissance, which rejected all forms of sectarian,
partisan bias, encouraging each tradition to master completely the
authentic teachings and practice of its own lineage, while at the same
time maintaining a spirit of openness, harmony and co-operation with
other Buddhist schools.Jamyang Khyentse was the master who
recognized Sogyal Rinpoche as the incarnation of Lerab Lingpa Tertn
Sogyal. He supervised Rinpoches training and raised him like his own
son.
Jamyang Khyentses spiritual wife, Khandro Tsering Chdrn
was one of the most highly respected woman masters of our day. She
served as Jamyang Khyentses attendant and devoted companion,

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receiving countless teachings and transmissions, requesting practices
and prayers and putting questions to him in the form of songs.
As Sogyal Rinpoche wrote in the Introduction to The Tibetan Book of
Living and Dying:
Jamyang Khyentse is the ground of my life, and the inspiration of this
bookHad I not met my master Jamyang Khyentse, I know I would have
been an entirely different person. With his warmth and wisdom and
compassion, he personified the sacred truth of the teachings and so made
them practical and vibrant with life. Whenever I share that atmosphere
of my master with others, they can sense the same profound feeling it
aroused in me. What then did Jamyang Khyentse inspire in me? An
unshakable confidence in the teachings, and a conviction in the central
and dramatic importance of the master. Whatever understanding I have,
I know I owe it to him. This is something I can never repay, but I can
pass on to others.

299


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY PARAMAHANSA
YOGANANDA

Paramahansa Yoganandawas the first yoga master of India to


permanently live and teach in the West. When Yogananda arrived to
America he traveled throughout the United States on what he called his
'spiritual campaigns'. His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls.
Yogananda's lectures and books were extensively written about by the
major media of the era, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Life.
He was even invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge.
Yogananda's initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting impact
has been even greater. Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, helped
launch a spiritual revolution throughout the world. His message was
nonsectarian and universal. Yogananda's Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar,
sent him to the West with the admonition, "The West is high in material
attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God's will that
you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material
with an inner, spiritual life."
Yogananda brought clarity to hundreds of thousands of people
regarding the ancient teachings of India - previously shrouded in the
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cultural assumptions and terminology of an era long past. These
teachings include the path of Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the
fastest route to God, consisting of ancient yoga techniques to hasten the
spiritual evolution of the student.
"Self- Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that
you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have
to pray that it come to you; that God's omnipresence is your
omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing."
Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The
future will take care of itself.
Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how
uncomplicated and happy your life can become.
Read a little. Meditate more. Think of God all the time.
Making others happy, through kindness of speech and sincerity of right
advice, is a sign of true greatness. To hurt another soul by sarcastic
words, looks, or suggestions, is despicable.
You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that
nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world. Show that
God's creative principle works in you.
There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That
magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live
for others, they will live for you.

301


If you permit your thoughts to dwell on evil you yourself will become
ugly. Look only for the good in everything so you absorb the quality of
beauty.
Forget the past, for it is gone from your domain! Forget the future, for
it is beyond your reach! Control the present! Live supremely well now!
This is the way of the wise.
The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.
Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find
out how easy it is to get along.
Be afraid of nothing. Hating none, giving love to all, feeling the love of
God, seeing His presence in everyone, and having but one desire - for
His constant presence in the temple of your consciousness - that is the
way to live in this world.
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past,
worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present
moment wisely and earnestly.
The wave is the same as the ocean, though it is not the whole ocean. So
each wave of creation is a part of the eternal Ocean of Spirit. The Ocean
can exist without the waves, but the waves cannot exist without the
Ocean.
I will never give up my job about you. Not only will I ever forgive you,
but ever lift you up no matter how many times you fall.

302


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY AL-MAARRI

Al-Maarri was a blind Arab philosopher, poet, and writer. He was a


controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and
rejecting the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths
they claimed. He was a strict vegetarian who argued for animal rights.
At his deathbed, he was ordered to take some chicken soup. When
served, the blind Maarri burst into tears, reciting a heart-wrenching
requiem to the slaughtered bird, adding that he felt easier dying than
eating the broken body of the luckless creature.
The world's best moment is a calm hour passed
In listening to a friend who can talk well.
How wonderful is life from first to last!
But ancient Time keeps ever young in tooth:
His ruin cuts down nations in their prime.
In every region Time prepares their graves
None ever digs the grave of Time.
The body, which gives you during life a form, Is but your vase: be not
deceived, my soul!
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Cheap is the bowl for storing honey in,
But precious for the contents of the bowl.
You are diseased in understanding and religion.
Come to me, that you may hear something of sound truth.
Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up,
And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals,
Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught
for their young, not noble ladies.
And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs;
for injustice is the worst of crimes.
And spare the honey which the bees get industriously
from the flowers of fragrant plants;
For they did not store it that it might belong to others,
Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.
I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I
Perceived my way before my hair went gray!
They all errMoslems, Jews,
Christians, and Zoroastrians:
Humanity follows two world-wide sects:
One, man intelligent without religion,
The second, religious without intellect.

304


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BYDILGO KHYENTSE
RINPOCHE

The teacher is at the very center of the Tibetan Buddhist world. Dilgo
Khyentse Rinpoche was the archetype of the spiritual teacher. His inner
journey led him to an extraordinary depth of knowledge and enabled him
to be, for all who met him, a fountain of loving kindness, wisdom, and
compassion. When he was still in his mothers womb, he was recognized
as a tulku or incarnation by the illustrious teacher, Mipham Rinpoche.
He was later enthroned as an emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo,
one of the most important tertons (treasure-finders) and writers of the
19th century. Khyen-tse means wisdom and love. Khyentse Rinpoche
was widely regarded as one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of his time
and was the teacher of many important lamas including the Dalai Lama,
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and other teachers from the four schools
of Tibetan Buddhism.
To expect happiness without giving up negative action is like holding
your hand in a fire and hoping not to be burned. Of course, no one
actually wants to suffer, to be sick, to be cold or hungry but as long as
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we continue to indulge in wrong doing we will never put an end to
suffering. Likewise, we will never achieve happiness, except through
positive deeds, words, and thoughts. Positive action is something we
have to cultivate ourselves; it can be neither bought nor stolen, and no
one ever stumbles on it just by chance.
You have not obtained this precious human life just by chance. It is the
result of having heard the Buddhas name in a past life, having taking
refuge in him, accumulated virtuous actions and developed some
wisdom. There is no certainty that you will obtain this vessel again. If
you fail to practice the Dharma in this life, it is certain that you will not
obtain a human life. To neglect such an opportunity would therefore be
very foolish. Do not waste it. Practice every day.
A good mind is like a rich ground of gleaming gold, lightening up the
whole sky with its golden radiance. But if body speech and mind are not
tamed, there is very little chance that you will achieve any realization
whatsoever. Be aware of your thoughts, words and actions at all times.
If they take the wrong direction, your study and practice of the Dharma
will be of no use.
Spending your time with true spiritual friends will fill you with love for
all beings and help you to see how negative attachment and hatred are.
Being with such friends, and following their example, will naturally
imbue you with their good qualities, just as all the birds flying around a
golden mountain are bathed in its golden radiance.
Sooner or later, you will have to part from even your dearest friends.
But one friend will never leave you, even though you may never be aware

306


of its existence. It is the Buddha-nature, pure awareness. You begin to
discover it by listening to the teachings of a spiritual master. The ties
will deepen as you cultivate sustained mental calm and profound insight
into reality. In the end, you will discover that it has always been near
you and will always be with you. This is the truest friendship you can
ever cultivate.
Mind, like a crystal, is colored by its surroundings. You are bound to
reflect the qualities and shortcomings of the good or bad friends whose
company you keep. If you associate with the malevolent, the selfish, the
rancorous, the intolerant, and the arrogant, their faults will affect you.
You would do better to keep your distance.
The compassion and wisdom of all the Buddhas is beyond partiality,
yet it is those possessing faith and confidence who are proper vessels to
receive their blessing.
The wind blows through the sky and flies over continents without
settling anywhere. It traverses space and leaves no trace. Thus, should
thoughts pass through our minds, leaving no karmic residues and not
altering our realization of fundamental simplicity.
If you master your mind, it will remain naturally concentrated, peaceful
and aware. You will even be able to wander around in a crowd without
being distracted and carried away by desire or aversion.
Never forget how swiftly this life will be over, like a flash of summer
lightning or the wave of a hand. Now that you have the opportunity to
practice dharma, do not waste a single moment on anything else.

307


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY THE DALAI LAMA

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as
a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born
to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo,
northeastern Tibet. At the very young age of two, the child who was
named Lhamo Dhondup at that time, was recognized as the reincarnation
of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.

The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara


or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of
Tibet. Bodhisattvas are believed to be enlightened beings who have
postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve
humanity. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he
was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the
liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of nonviolence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first
Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global
environmental problems.

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Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own
actions.
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a
mosquito.

Someone once asked the Dalai Lama what surprises him most. This was
his response:
Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he
sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious
about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that
he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never
going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.
There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source
of strength.' No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience
is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I
have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to
use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others;
to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to
have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think
badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.
Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for
each other exceeds your need for each other.

309


Silence is sometimes the best answer
If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something
about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is
no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just
because theyre not on your road doesnt mean theyve gotten lost.
This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for
complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple.
Your philosophy is simple kindness.
When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways--either
by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the
challenge to find our inner strength.
We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace
with ourselves.
All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in
the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction
True change is within; leave the outside as it is.

310


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY OSHO

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was born Rajneesh Chandra Mohan in


Kuchwara, a town in central India. Various sources state that "Bhagwan"
means either "The Blessed One" or "God" and that "Shree" means
"Master". At the end of his life, he changed his name to Osho. His
parents' religion was Jainism. However, Osho never subscribed to any
religious faith during his lifetime. He received "samadhi" (enlightenment
in which his soul became one with the universe) at the age of twentyone. Rajneesh obtained a masters degree in philosophy from the
University of Saugar. He taught a syncretistic spiritual path that
combined elements from Hinduism, Jainism, Zen Buddhism, Taoism,
Christianity, ancient Greek philosophy, many other religious and
philosophic traditions, humanistic psychology, new forms of therapy and
meditation, among others. He taught a form of Monism, that God was in
everything and everyone. There is no division between "God" and "NotGod". People, even at their worse, are divine. He recognized Jesus Christ
as having attained enlightenment, and believed that he survived his
crucifixion and moved to India where he died at the age of one hundred
and twelve.
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Relationship is the need of those who cannot be alone. Two alone
persons relate, communicate, commune, and yet they remain alone.
I love this world because it is imperfect. It is imperfect, and thats why
it is growing; if it was perfect it would have been dead.
Take life easily, lovingly, playfully, non-seriously. Seriousness is a
disease, the greatest disease of the soul and playfulness the greatest
health.
It does not matter if you are a rose or a lotus or a marigold. What
matters is that you are flowering.
Discover yourself, otherwise you have to depend on other peoples
opinions who dont know themselves.
Love is happy when it is able to give something. The ego is happy when
it is able to take something.
A serious person can never be innocent, and one who is innocent can
never be serious.
Desire disappears as you become more and more aware. When
awareness is one hundred percent, there is no desire at all.
When you are different the whole world is different. It is not a question
of creating a different world. It is only a question of creating a different
you.

312


Dont be unnecessarily burdened by the past. Go on closing the
chapters that you have read; there is no need to go back again and
again.
Accept yourself as you are. And that is the most difficult thing in the
world, because it goes against your training, education, your culture.
A comfortable, convenient life is not a real life the more comfortable,
the less alive. The most comfortable life is in the grave.
If you love a flower, dont pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies
and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love
is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.
The word devil is very beautiful, if you read it backwards it becomes
lived. That which is lived becomes divine and that which is not lived
becomes the devil.
Nobody else can destroy you except you; nobody else can save you
except you. You are the Judas and you are the Jesus.
The less the head, the more the wound will heal. No head there is no
wound. Live a headless life. Move as a total being, and accept things.
When you really laugh for those few moments you are in a deep
meditative state. Thinking stops. It is impossible to laugh and think
together.
Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.

313


Be. Dont try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming,
your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is
ignorance.
If you love yourself, you will be surprised: others will love you. Nobody
loves a person who does not love himself.
The Mind: a beautiful servant, a dangerous master.
Misery comes the moment you become clinging, attached. The moment
you put conditions on life.
Sadness comes, joy comes, and everything passes by. What remains
always is the witness. The witness is beyond all polarities.
Drop the idea that attachment and love are one thing. They are
enemies. It is attachment that destroys all love.
Humanity will never be religious unless all organized religions
disappear and religion becomes an individual commitment towards
existence.
If jealousy disappears and love still remains, then you have something
solid in your life which is worth having.
Nobody has the power to take two steps together; you can take only one
step at a time.
Paradise is within you, in your state of no-mind. And hell is also within
you, in your very mind.

314


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY J. KRISHNAMURTI

Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and


religious teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or
religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our
everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its
violence and corruption, of the individual's search for security and
happiness, and the need for mankind to free itself from inner burdens of
fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow. He explained with great precision the subtle
workings of the human mind, and pointed to the need for bringing to our
daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.
Krishnamurti belonged to no religious organization, sect or country, nor
did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the
contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide human
beings and bring about conflict and war. He reminded his listeners again
and again that we are all human beings first and not Hindus, Muslims or
Christians, that we are like the rest of humanity and are not different from
one another. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without
destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his
listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend man315


made belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism. At the
same time, they give new meaning and direction to mankind's search for
truth. His teaching, besides being relevant to the modern age, is timeless
and universal.
Our minds are conditioned that is an obvious fact conditioned by a
particular culture or society, influenced by various impressions, by the
strains and stresses of relationships, by economic, climatic, educational
factors, by religious conformity and so on. Our minds are trained to
accept fear and to escape, if we can, from that fear, never being able to
resolve, totally and completely, the whole nature and structure of fear.
So our first question is: can the mind, so heavily burdened, resolve
completely, not only its conditioning, but also its fears? Because it is fear
that makes us accept conditioning.
We look at conditions prevailing in the world and observe what is
happening there the students riots, the class prejudices, the conflict of
black against white, the wars, the political confusion, the divisions
caused by nationalities and religions. We are also aware of conflict,
struggle, anxiety, loneliness, despair, lack of love, and fear. Why do we
accept all this? Why do we accept the moral, social environment knowing
very well that it is utterly immoral; knowing this for ourselves not
merely emotionally or sentimentally but looking at the world and at
ourselves why do we live this way? Why is it that our educational
system does not turn out real human beings but mechanical entities
trained to accept certain jobs and finally die? Education, science and
religion have not solved our problems at all.Looking at all this
confusion, why does each one of us accept and conform, instead of
shattering the whole process in ourselves?
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If people who say they love their children meant it, would there be war?
And would there be division of nationalities would there be these
separations?
Then there is the question of dying, which we have carefully put far
away from us, as something that is going to happen in the future the
future may be fifty years off or tomorrow. We are afraid of coming to an
end, coming physically to an end and being separated from the things we
have possessed, worked for, experienced wife, husband, the house, the
furniture, the little garden, the books and the poems we have written or
hoped to write. And we are afraid to let all that go because we are the
furniture, we are the picture that we possess; when we have the capacity
to play the violin, we are that violin. Because we have identified
ourselves with those things we are all that and nothing else. Have you
ever looked at it that way? You are the house with the shutters, the
bedroom, the furniture which you have very carefully polished for years,
which you own that is what you are. If you remove all that you are
nothing. And that is what you are afraid of of being nothing. Isnt it
very strange how you spend forty years going to the office and when you
stop doing these things you have heart trouble and die? You are the
office, the files, the manager or the clerk or whatever your position is;
you are that and nothing else. And you have a lot of ideas about God,
goodness, truth, what society should be that is all. Therein lies sorrow.
To realize for yourself that you are that is great sorrow, but the greatest
sorrow is that you do not realize it. To see that and find out what it means
is to die.
If I think I am very beautiful and you tell me I am not, which may be a
fact, do I like it? If I think I am very intelligent, very clever, and you point
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out that I am actually a rather silly person, it is very unpalatable to me.
And your pointing out my stupidity gives you a sense of pleasure, does it
not? It flatters your vanity; it shows you how clever you are. But you do
not want to look at your own stupidity; you want to run away from what
you are, you want to hide from yourself, you want to cover up your own
emptiness, your own loneliness. So you seek out friends who never tell
you what you are. You want to show others what they are; but when
others show you what you are, you do not like it. You avoid that which
exposes your own inner nature.
Now, there are many people who will tell you the purpose of life; they
will tell you what the sacred books say. Clever people will go on
inventing various purposes of life. The political group will have one
purpose, the religious group will have another, and so on and on. And
how are you to find out what is the purpose of life when you yourself are
confused? Surely, as long as you are confused, you can only receive an
answer which is also confused. If your mind is disturbed, if it is not really
quiet, whatever answer you receive will be through this screen of
confusion, anxiety, fear; therefore, the answer will be perverted. So the
important thing is not to ask what is the purpose of life, but to clear away
the confusion that is within you. It is like a blind man asking, What is
light? If I try to tell him what light is, he will listen according to his
blindness, according to his darkness; but from the moment he is able to
see, he will never ask what is light. It is there.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY THICH NHAT HANH

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace
activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and
bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace.His key teaching is that,
through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present
momentthe only way to truly develop peace, both in ones self and in
the world.Thich Nhat Hanh has published over 100 titles on meditation,
mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, as well as poems, childrens
stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts.
Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer in bringing Buddhism to the West,
founding six monasteries and dozens of practice centers in America and
Europe, as well as over 1,000 local mindfulness practice communities,
known as sanghas.He has built a thriving community of over 600
monks and nuns worldwide, who, together with his tens of thousands of
lay students, apply his teachings on mindfulness, peace-making and
community-building in schools, workplaces, businesses and even
prisons throughout the world. Thich Nhat Hanh, the man Martin Luther
King called An Apostle of peace and nonviolence. The media has

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called him The Father of Mindfulness, The Other Dalai Lama and
The Zen Master Who Fills Stadiums.
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply
within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need
punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your
smile can be the source of your joy.
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You dont need to be accepted by
others. You need to accept yourself.
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of
the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But
I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but
to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't
even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious
eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the
lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer,
or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have
problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if
we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.
Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using

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reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning,
no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that
you understand, you can love, and the situation will change
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for
happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything - anger, anxiety, or
possessions - we cannot be free.
Smile, breathe and go slowly.
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing
is my anchor.
Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole
cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want
to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will
be able to love everyone and all species on Earth... This is the real
message of love.
Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling
in the present moment I know this is the only moment.
You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our
understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with
acceptance, joy, peace and love.
It is my conviction that there is no way to peace - peace is the way.

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At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your
spirit or further away from it.
We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is
only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we
know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we
cannot love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the
needs, aspirations, and suffering of the person we love. This is the
ground of real love. You cannot resist loving another person when you
really understand him or her. From time to time, sit close to the one you
love, hold his or her hand, and ask, 'Darling, do I understand you
enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn
to love you properly. I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so
because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so
that you can be happy." If you say this in a voice that communicates your
real openness to understand, the other person may cry. That is a good
sign, because it means the door of understanding is opening and
everything will be possible again. Maybe a father does not have time or
is not brave enough to ask his son such a question. Then the love between
them will not be as full as it could be. We need courage to ask these
questions, but if we don't ask, the more we love, the more we may destroy
the people we are trying to love. True love needs understanding. With
understanding, the one we love will certainly flower.
If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves,
we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the
foundation for loving another person.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY THE 17TH KARMAPA

Karmapa means the one who carries out Buddha-activity or the


embodiment of all the activities of the Buddhas. In the Tibetan tradition,
great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously control their
rebirth in order to continue their activity for the benefit of all sentient
beings and have played a very important role in the preservation of the
study and practice lineages of Buddhism. As a scholar and meditation
master, as well as painter, poet, songwriter and playwright, the Gyalwang
Karmapa embodies a wide range of the activities that Karmapas have
engaged in over the centuries. As an environmental activist, computer
enthusiast and world spiritual leader whose teachings are often webcast
live, the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa has brought the Karmapa
lineages activities fully into the 21st century benefiting countless
sentient beings.
We may talk about the equality of ourselves and others, or exchanging
ourselves with others, but we do not understand that this happens in
everyday life. We think that it is something special or extraordinary, yet
it is happening in our lives on a daily basis. We give something, and that
opens the possibility of receiving: we naturally receive something when
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we give. This is how we live, whether it is in the business world, in our
social lives, or in any other context. Giving and taking is happening all
the time. Living is dependent on giving: we give and therefore we receive.
This interdependence is natural; however, it takes a special effort to train
our mind to know this well enough so that our understanding is clear and
strong.
The student needs to have faith and longing, and if this faith and
longing come together then I don't think that sort of a student will have
any difficulty finding a genuine, authentic Lama. The reason is that all
the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are ready at all six times of day and night
to do things to benefit sentient beings. They're all ready and waiting. If
you have both faith and longing, then they'll all come rushing towards
you to help you. You just have to open that door of faith and devotion.
Just look within to the virtuous thoughts you have had, and you will
always find a reason to love yourself. Take joy in your sincere intentions.
Everything starts with an intention. If you have been able to have
beautiful aspirations, these aspirations will always be part of you, a
beautiful part.
True compassion is something that is always on the move, and
something is always in a state of readiness. We usually think of
compassion as something that sometimes moves, sometimes is
responsive, and sometimes is dormant. We might see a very serious
situation of a sentient being suffering, then we think that our compassion
rises to the occasion and performs some tasks. And then, after that
situation has passed, our compassion goes back to a dormant state.

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But true compassion isn't really like that. Of course, compassion is not a
physical thing, but I think it's appropriate to say that compassion is
always on the move, it's always ready for action or ready to accomplish
the mission, if you will. Compassion is there in any occurrence of
happiness or suffering that might be before us, whether it's directly
before our eyes or whether it's simply in our heart and in our mind. If we
can stay with this type of ever moving, ever active compassion at all
times, then I think that's what the meaning of true compassion is.
We sometimes wake up fresh in the morning yet still go through the day
half asleep. Our busy 21st century lives overwhelm us with a relentless
stream of immediate tasks. We lose sight of how precious it is just to have
a human life.
This is an awareness that we need to feel in our hearts. I would like to
share with you a practice that I call 'living your whole life in a single
day.' You can do this by starting with this thought in the morning: 'I am
starting a whole new life. It begins right now'. Initially, leave yourself a
note at your bedside to remind you, and then slowly cultivate the habit
of waking up with this thought.
Your body is fresh from the night's rest; when you wake up with this
awareness, so does your mind. Ask yourself what kind of person you want
to be in the life that you will live today. Throughout the day, remind
yourself that your life is happening right now. In the afternoon, check to
see how your life is going and readjust as needed. A whole lifetime of
possibilities stretches out before you every moment.
This is the basic truth of interdependence. Conditions are constantly
shifting, and what seemed impossible earlier can suddenly become
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possible. Every moment counts. Every action counts. A single kind act
can have a positive impact on the future of many others you share the
earth with. You can change the course of the future in any moment. Do
so consciously, and the whole world will benefit.
The way to accomplish happiness in the world is to do meaningful work
in ones own life with a positive motivation that sees all people and all
traditions as equal.
The practice of dharma is like exercising or carefully following a
course of training, which is powerful and deeply significant. For
example, if you are in the military, you train every day. In the same way,
with the dharma, you have to train your mind daily. Not just to relax but
to be able to relate to whatever is happening around you. You integrate
your practice with whatever conditions you meet so that you are not
carried away by them and do not lose your patience.
To live as equals with others requires a wide range of experience. The
wise have much experience and fools have little. To gain experience, you
need to go through good and bad times. How can you grow if your
experiences are always the same? Anything that happens, good or bad,
can be constructive in the end as long as you learn something useful
from it. So when you face difficulties, don't feel too bad.
The deepest reasons to love yourself have nothing to do with anything
outside you.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SOGYAL RINPOCHE

Born in Kham in Eastern Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche was recognized at an


early age as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the
nineteenth century, Tertn Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, a teacher to the
thirteenth Dalai Lama. He received the traditional training of a Tibetan
lama under the close supervision of Jamyang Khyentse Chkyi Lodr,
one of the most outstanding spiritual masters of the twentieth century,
who raised Sogyal Rinpoche like his own son.Sogyal Rinpoche went on
to study with many other great masters, of all schools of Tibetan
Buddhism, especially Kyabj Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabj Dilgo
Khyentse Rinpoche
Rinpoche traveled to many countries, observing the reality of
peoples lives, and searching how to translate the teachings of Tibetan
Buddhism so as to make them relevant to modern men and women of all
faiths, by drawing out their universal message while losing none of their
authenticity, purity and power. Out of this was born his unique style of
teaching, and his ability to attune these teachings to modern life,
demonstrated so vividly in his ground-breaking book, The Tibetan Book
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of Living and Dying. Rinpoche is also the founder and spiritual director
of Rigpa, an international network of more than 130 Buddhist centers
and groups in 41 countries around the world. He has been teaching for
over thirty years and continues to travel widely in Europe, the USA,
Australia and Asia.
Whatever we have done with our lives makes us what we are when we
die. And everything, absolutely everything, counts.
When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are
dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of
the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from
this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.
There would be no chance at all of getting to know death if it happened
only once. But fortunately, life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth
and death, a dance of change. Every time I hear the rush of a mountain
stream, or the waves crashing on the shore, or my own heartbeat, I hear
the sound of impermanence. These changes, these small deaths, are our
living links with death. They are death's pulses, death's heartbeat,
prompting us to let go of all the things we cling to.
In the Buddhist approach, life and death are seen as one whole, where
death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is the mirror in
which the entire meaning of life is reflected.
Ask yourself these two questions: Do I remember at every moment that
I am dying, and that everyone and everything else is, and so treat all
beings at all times with compassion? Has my understanding of death and
impermanence become so keen and so urgent that I am devoting every
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second to the pursuit of enlightenment? If you can answer "yes" to both
of these, then you really understand impermanence.
At the moment of death, there are two things that count: whatever we
have done in our lives, and what state of mind we are in at that very
moment. Even if we have accumulated a lot of negative karma, if we are
able to make a real change of heart at the moment of death, it can
decisively influence our future, and transform our karma, for the moment
of death is an exceptionally powerful opportunity to purify karma.
Light must come from inside. You cannot ask the darkness to leave; you
must turn on the light.
We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don't know who
we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or
believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for
control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere,
in all directions, leaving nobody at home.
We must never forget that it is through our actions, words, and thoughts
that we have a choice.
What we have to learn, in both meditation and in life, is to be free of
attachment to the good experiences, and free of aversion to the negative
ones.
The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself
in this life. For it is only through meditation that you can undertake the
journey to discover your true nature, and so find the stability and

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confidence you will need to live, and die, well; Meditation is the road to
enlightenment.
At the beginning of meditation training thoughts will arrive one on top
of another, uninterrupted, like a steep mountain waterfall. Gradually, as
you perfect meditation, thoughts become like the water in a deep, narrow
gorge, then a great river slowly winding its way down to the sea; finally,
the mind becomes like a still and placid ocean, ruffled by only the
occasional ripple or wave.
Just as if you put your finger into water, it will get wet, and if you put
it into fire, it will burn, so if you invest your mind in the wisdom mind of
the Buddhas, it will transform into their wisdom nature.
It is compassion, then, that is the best protection; it is also, as the great
masters of the past have always known, the source of all healing.
Each time the losses and deceptions of life teach us about
impermanence, they bring us closer to the truth. When you fall from a
great height, there is only one possible place to land: on the ground-the
ground of truth. And if you have the understanding that comes from
spiritual practice, then falling is in no way a disaster, but the discovery
of an inner refuge.
Generally we waste our lives, distracted from our true selves, in endless
activity. Meditation is the way to bring us back to ourselves, where we
can really experience and taste our full being.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY EPICURUS

Epicurus founded one of the major philosophies of ancient Greece,


helping to lay the intellectual foundations for modern science and for
secular individualism. Many aspects of his thought are still highly
relevant some twenty-three centuries after they were first taught in his
school in Athens, called the Garden. For Epicurus, the purpose of
philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by
ataraxiapeace and freedom from fearand aponiathe absence of
painand by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He
taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and evil;
death is the end of both body and soul and should therefore not be feared;
the gods neither reward nor punish humans; the universe is infinite and
eternal; and events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and
interactions of atoms moving in empty space.
Epicurus's philosophy combines a physics based on an atomistic
materialism with a rational hedonistic ethics that emphasizes moderation
of desires and cultivation of friendships. His world-view is an optimistic
one that stresses that philosophy can liberate one from fears of death and
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the supernatural, and can teach us how to find happiness in almost any
situation. His practical insights into human psychology, as well as his
science-friendly world-view, give Epicureanism great contemporary
significance as well as a venerable role in the intellectual development
of Western Civilization.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember
that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
Don't fear the gods, don't worry about death; What is good is easy to
get, and what is terrible is easy to endure.
Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that,
when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.
Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far
the most important is the acquisition of friends.
The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the
wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity.
You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships every
day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging
adversity.
It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power
to obtain by himself.
The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY ARISTOTLE

The Greek philosopher Aristotle made significant and lasting


contributions to nearly every aspect of human knowledge, from logic to
biology to ethics and aesthetics. Though overshadowed in classical times
by the work of his teacher Plato, from late antiquity through the
Enlightenment,

Aristotles

surviving

writings

were

incredibly

influential. In Arabic philosophy, he was known simply as The First


Teacher; in the West, he was The Philosopher.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a
habit.
Memory is the scribe of the soul.
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies
Anyone can become angry -- that is easy. But to be angry with the right
person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and
in the right way -- this is not easy.

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I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers
his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who
produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act
rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those
because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
To write well, express yourself like common people, but think like a
wise man. Or, think as wise men do, but speak as the common people
do.
Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is
reaching out and striving for his goals.
Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.
It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled
habit of performing such actions.
No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way.
We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing
temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.
We cannot learn without pain.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SOCRATES

Socrates believed that philosophy should achieve practical results for the
greater well-being of society. He attempted to establish an ethical system
based on human reason rather than theological doctrine. He pointed out
that human choice was motivated by the desire for happiness. Ultimate
wisdom comes from knowing oneself. The more a person knows, the
greater his or her ability to reason and make choices that will bring true
happiness. Socrates believed that this translated into politics with the best
form of government being neither a tyranny nor a democracy. Instead,
government worked best when ruled by individuals who had the greatest
ability, knowledge, and virtue and possessed a complete understanding
of themselves. Socrates didnt lecture about what he knew. In fact, he
claimed to be ignorant because he had no ideas, but wise because he
recognized his own ignorance. He asked questions of his fellow
Athenians in a dialectic method (the Socratic Method) which compelled
the audience to think through a problem to a logical conclusion.
Sometimes the answer seemed so obvious, it made Socrates's opponents
look foolish. For this, he was admired by some and vilified by others.

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Plato pointed out that in the eyes of his students, Socrates possessed a
different kind of attractiveness, not based on a physical ideal but on his
brilliant debates and penetrating thought. Socrates always emphasized
the importance of the mind over the relative unimportance of the human
body. This credo inspired Platos philosophy of dividing reality into two
separate realms, the world of the senses and the world of ideas, declaring
that the latter was the only important one.
To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being
wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything
that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to
them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of
evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we
know what we do not know?
True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we
understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.
The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and
you to live. Which is better? Only God knows.
I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.
The hottest love has the coldest end.
I pray Thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY PLATO

According to Aristotle, Plato developed the foundations of his


metaphysics and epistemology by studying the doctrines of Cratylus, and
the work of Pythagoras and Parmenides. When Plato met Socrates,
however, he had met his definitive teacher. As Socrates' disciple, Plato
adopted his philosophy and style of debate, and directed his studies
toward the question of virtue and the formation of a noble character.
Plato's most influential work, The Republic, is also a part of his middle
dialogues. It is a discussion of the virtues of justice, courage, wisdom,
and moderation, of the individual and in society. It works with the central
question of how to live a good life, asking what an ideal State would be
like, and what defines a just individual. These lead to more questions
regarding the education of citizens, how government should be formed,
the nature of the soul, and the afterlife. The dialogue finishes by
reviewing various forms of government and describing the ideal state,
where only philosophers are fit to rule. The Republic covers almost every
aspect of Plato's thought. In his theory of Forms, Plato suggests that the

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world of ideas is constant and true, opposing it to the world we perceive
through our senses, which is deceptive and changeable.
Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to
it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover
with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they
have to say something.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy
of life is when men are afraid of the light.
At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.
Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves or
their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by
themselves or others.
He best keeps from anger who remembers that God is always looking
upon him.
Self-conquest is the greatest of victories.
For just as poets love their own works, and fathers their own children,
in the same way those who have created a fortune value their money, not
merely for its uses, like other persons, but because it is their own
production. This makes them moreover disagreeable companions,
because they will praise nothing but riches.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY DESCARTES

Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician and scientist. He is


best known for his philosophical text Meditations on First Philosophy
where he seeks to doubt everything he has ever learned, in order to see
what it is that he can actually know with certainty. Descartes soon
realizes that the only thing he is certain of is that, since he is doubting,
he must be thinking. This leads him to famously remark I think,
therefore I am (cogito ergo sum). From this fundamental principle, he
puts forth what he believes are rational arguments for the existence of
God as well as the world. Descartes is considered to be the Father of
Modern Philosophy and was a key figure of the Scientific Revolution
in the 17th century. Descartes reasoned that the senses can only tell us
about the appearance of things, but not about their true nature. Descartes
believed that true knowledge must therefore be based not on sensory
experience, but on reason. This is known as rationalism.
In the Meditations, Descartes then realizes that it is possible that there
are no external things in the first place. The world could be an illusion,
since he could either be dreaming, or alternatively he could be deceived
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by what he calls an evil genius. Descartes will only be able to
overcome this skeptical doubt by explaining that, since God is perfect,
God would not deceive him in this way. Descartes recognized that as
human beings, our thoughts cause our bodies to do things, and likewise
our bodies can cause thoughts to occur in our minds. The understanding
of ourselves as human beings that are composed of a body and a mind
has deeply influenced Western thought since as science continues to try
and better understand this relationship. Descartes believed that what
separates humans from animals is that animals dont have minds.
Descartes is considered to be the Father of Modern Philosophy because
he represents a break with the philosophical and scientific tradition of
the past that was rooted in the thoughts of Aristotle.
I think; therefore, I am.
The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men
of past centuries.
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least
once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
I suppose therefore that all things I see are illusions; I believe that
nothing has ever existed of everything my lying memory tells me. I think
I have no senses. I believe that body, shape, extension, motion, location
are functions. What is there then that can be taken as true? Perhaps only
this one thing, that nothing at all is certain.
Doubt is the origin of wisdom
Conquer yourself rather than the world.
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.
340


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY EINSTEIN

The German-born physicist Albert Einstein developed the first of his


groundbreaking theories while working as a clerk in the Swiss patent
office in Bern. After making his name with four scientific articles
published in 1905, he went on to win worldwide fame for his general
theory of relativity and a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his explanation of the
phenomenon known as the photoelectric effect. An outspoken pacifist
who was publicly identified with the Zionist movement, Einstein
emigrated from Germany to the United States when the Nazis took power
before World War II. He lived and worked in Princeton, New Jersey, for
the remainder of his life.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited.
Imagination encircles the world.
I want to know Gods thoughts. The rest are details.
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
Only the one who does not question is safe from making a mistake.

341


Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to
acquire it.
Everything is determinedby forces over which we have no control. It
is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings,
vegetables, or cosmic dustwe all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned
in the distance by an invisible piper.
I lived in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the
years of maturity.
Strenuous intellectual work and the study of Gods Nature are the
angels that will lead me through all the troubles of this life with
consolation, strength, and uncompromising rigor.
The aim [of education] must be the training of independently acting
and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the
community their highest life problem.
Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with themthese are the best
guides for man.
The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure
and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.
Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of
duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards
objective things.
Where there is love, there is no imposition.
If there is no price to be paid, it is also not of value.

342


Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of
value.
The most important endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions.
Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only
morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity for life.
I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for
peace. Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes,
such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe,
such as war?
Mozarts music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of
the inner beauty of the universe.
The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of
manthough often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the
least.
[I] must seek in the stars that which was denied [to me] on earth.
I admit that thoughts influence the body.
A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will
sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment.
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.
The more a country makes military weapons, the more insecure it
becomes: if you have weapons, you become a target for attack.

343


I have come to know the mutability of all human relationships and have
learned to insulate myself against both heat and cold so that a
temperature balance is fairly well assured.
There is only one road to human greatness: through the school of hard
knocks.
Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of
belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth,
beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.
If you dont.t understand it simply, you dont understand it well
enough.
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The
world will have a generation of idiots.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a
tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Of all the communities available to us, there is not one I would want
to devote myself to except for the society of the true seekers, which has
very few living members at any one time.
Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social
being.
There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe:
(1) the world as a unity dependent on humanity; (2) the world as a reality
independent of the human factor. (From a Conversation with
Rabindrath Tagore).

344


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY TESLA

Inventor Nikola Tesla contributed to the development of the alternatingcurrent electrical system that's widely used today and discovered the
rotating magnetic field (the basis of most AC machinery). He arrived to
the United States and briefly worked with Thomas Edison before the two
parted ways. He sold several patent rights, including those to his
alternating-current machinery. His invention, the "Tesla coil," is still
used in radio technology today.
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena; it will make
more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its
existence.
Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe.
Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere
of external influence extends to infinite distance.
Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the
firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can
feel them.

345


Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside
world.
Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter.
When they separate, man is no more.
Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All
my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made
new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life.
Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human
movement is ignorance, what Buddha called the greatest evil in the
world.
We crave for new sensations but soon become indifferent to them. The
wonders of yesterday are today common occurrences.
Three possible solutions of the great problem of increasing human
energy are answered by the three words: food, peace, work.
Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal
enlightenment.
Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas
are born.
Invention is the most important product of mans creative brain. The
ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material
world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs.
It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more
ignorant we become.

346


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY VOLTAIRE

Voltaire was known for his sharp wit, philosophical writings, and
defense of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and the right to a
fair trial. He was an outspoken supporter of social reform despite strict
censorship laws in France and harsh penalties for those who broke them.
A satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize
Church dogma and the French institutions of his day. Voltaire is
considered one of the most influential figures of his time.
We all look for happiness, but without knowing where to find it: like
drunkards who look for their house, knowing dimly that they have one.
Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for
nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and
is a living lesson.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit
atrocities.
Love truth, but pardon error.

347


I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord,
make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it."
I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in
love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid
melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be
eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away,
to loathe ones very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that
devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us,
the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the
soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.
Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any
harm to the world.
Men who are occupied in the restoration of health to other men, by the
joint exertion of skill and humanity, are above all the great of the earth.
They even partake of divinity, since to preserve and renew is almost as
noble as to create.
This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the
provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary, it is dear to us,
it gives us pleasure, and we must conceal it.
"I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and
detesting superstition."
Let us cultivate our garden.
348


It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother,
because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to
harm us
I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two
hundred rats of my own species.
The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.
Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure
consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking,
merging finitude in infinity.
If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each others
throats; but if you have thirty religions, they will dwell in peace
L'homme est libre au moment qu'il veut l'tre.
I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.
It is love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the
universe, the soul of all sentient beings, love, tender love.
One always begins with the simple, then comes the complex, and by
superior enlightenment one often reverts in the end to the simple. Such
is the course of human intelligence.
God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of
living well.
Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

349


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NEWTON

Sir Isaac Newton was an English Physicist and Mathematician well


renowned for his expertise in Astronomy, Natural philosophy, Alchemy
and theology. Newtons three laws of motion are perhaps the most wellknown of his works, and site the following. The first law or The Law of
Inertia states that an object at rest will remain at rest and an object in
motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
The second law states that acceleration is produced when an external
force acts on a mass. Newtons third law of motion states that for every
action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newton invented the first
reflecting telescope and devised a theory of color. The theory was based
on the observation that a prism breaks down white light into many visible
colors. Newton is attributed with the development of Differential and
Integral Calculus, as well as the Generalized Binomial Theorem.
A highly religious man, much of Newtons writings consist of
biblical and occult studies. Sir Isaac Newton is considered by many to
have one of the greatest scientific minds in our history.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
350


I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to
have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself
in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than
ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.
What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean.
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who
sets the planets in motion.
Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity
and confusion of things.
And to every action there is always an equal and opposite or contrary,
reaction.
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only
proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful
Being.
If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to
patient attention, than to any other talent.
He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really
thinks has to believe in God.

351


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SCHOPENHAUER

Certainly, one of the greatest philosophers, Schopenhauer seems to have


had more impact on literature and on people in general than on academic
philosophy. Perhaps that is because, first, he wrote very well, simply and
intelligibly, second, he was the first Western philosopher to have
accessed translations of philosophical material from India, both Vedic
and Buddhist, by which he was profoundly affected, to the great interest
of many, and third, his concerns were with the dilemmas and tragedies,
in a religious or existential sense, of real life, not just with abstract
philosophical problems. Schopenhauer offers some of the most original
thought in the Western tradition. For one, he is among the few Western
philosophers to draw significantly from the Eastern traditions. For
another, Schopenhauer had remarkable influence upon philosophers
such as Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. Schopenhauer was strongly
influenced by his knowledge of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. One of
the important ideas in Buddhism is that the world (all that we can
experience and know) is illusion. That is, we can only know the world
through our own perspectives that inevitably distort reality. This
philosophical view is attributed to Sidhartha Gautama, the Buddha.
352


Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of
character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to
animals cannot be a good man.
The greatest wisdom is to make the enjoyment of the present the
supreme object of life; because that is the only reality, all else being
merely the play of thought. On the other hand, such a course might just
as well be called the greatest folly: for that which in the next moment
exists no more, and vanishes utterly, like a dream, can never be worth a
serious effort.
A man never is happy, but spends his whole life in striving after
something which he thinks will make him so; he seldom attains his goal,
and when he does, it is only to be disappointed; he is mostly shipwrecked
in the end, and comes into harbor with mast and rigging gone. And then,
it is all one whether he has been happy or miserable; for his life was
never anything more than a present moment always vanishing; and now
it is over.
Every satisfaction he attains lays the seeds of some new desire, so that
there is no end to the wishes of each individual will.
If the lives of men were relieved of all need, hardship and adversity; if
everything they took in hand were successful, they would be so swollen
with arrogance that, though they might not burst, they would present the
spectacle of unbridled follynay, they would go mad. And I may say,
further, that a certain amount of care or pain or trouble is necessary for
every man at all times. A ship without ballast is unstable and will not go
straight.

353


A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not
love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that
he is really free.
The real meaning of persona is a mask, such as actors were accustomed
to wear on the ancient stage; and it is quite true that no one shows
himself as he is, but wears his mask and plays his part. Indeed, the whole
of our social arrangements may be likened to a perpetual comedy; and
this is why a man who is worth anything finds society so insipid, while a
blockhead is quite at home in it.
No one knows what capacities for doing and suffering he has in himself,
until something comes to rouse them to activity: just as in a pond of still
water, lying there like a mirror, there is no sign of the roar and thunder
with which it can leap from the precipice, and yet remain what it is; or
again, rise high in the air as a fountain. When water is as cold as ice,
you can have no idea of the latent warmth contained in it.
It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find
it anywhere else.
Consciousness is beneficial because it gives us a stronger will to live.
It makes us think we are special and unique, giving us a fear of death
that increases our survivability. Its evolutions victory of intelligence
over will, but comes at a cost of allowing us to see lifes vain and futile
character. Yet even with individual character, most humans lead generic
forms of existence.

354


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NIETZCHE

In his mature writings Nietzsche was preoccupied by the origin and


function of values in human life. If, as he believed, life neither possesses
nor lacks intrinsic value and yet is always being evaluated, then such
evaluations can usefully be read as symptoms of the condition of the
evaluator. He was especially interested, therefore, in a probing analysis
and evaluation of the fundamental cultural values of Western philosophy,
religion, and morality, which he characterized as expressions of the
ascetic ideal.
Nietzsche often thought of his writings as struggles with nihilism,
and apart from his critiques of religion, philosophy, and morality he
developed original theses that have commanded attention, especially
perspectives, the will to power, eternal recurrence and the superman.
Nietzsche's revitalizing philosophy has inspired leading figures in all
walks of cultural life, including dancers, poets, novelists, painters,
psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and social revolutionaries.
Without music, life would be a mistake.
355


It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy
marriages.
That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those
who could not hear the music.
There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some
reason in madness.
You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct
way, and the only way, it does not exist.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not
become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss
will gaze back into you.
You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being
overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and
sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of
owning yourself.
No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must
cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.
The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which
are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher
esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.
356


The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.
What, if some day or night a demon was to steal after you into your
loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have
lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ...
Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the
demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous
moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never
have I heard anything more divine.
There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.
I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my
darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.
There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to
know, and those who want to believe.
One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses
control of the head too.
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; how could you
rise anew if you have not first become ashes?
That which is done out of love is always beyond good and evil.
Invisible threads are the strongest ties.
There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.

357


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY EDISON

Thomas Edison acquired a record number of 1,093 patents (singly or


jointly) and was the driving force behind such innovations as the
phonograph, the incandescent light bulb and one of the earliest motion
picture cameras. He also created the worlds first industrial research
laboratory. Edison had become one of the most famous men in the world
by the time he was in his 30s. In addition to his talent for invention,
Edison was also a successful manufacturer and businessman who was
highly skilled at marketing his inventionsand himselfto the public.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they
were to success when they gave up.
If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would
literally astound ourselves.
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this - you
haven't.

358


Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all
evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still
savages.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to
succeed is always to try just one more time.
Negative results are just what I want. Theyre just as valuable to me as
positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I
find the ones that dont.
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his
patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and
prevention of disease.
The most necessary task of civilization is to teach people how to think.
It should be the primary purpose of our public schools. The mind of a
child is naturally active; it develops through exercise. Give a child plenty
of exercise, for body and brain. The trouble with our way of educating is
that it does not give elasticity to the mind. It casts the brain into a mold.
It insists that the child must accept. It does not encourage original
thought or reasoning, and it lays more stress on memory than
observation.
To do much clear thinking a person must arrange for regular periods
of solitude when they can concentrate and indulge the imagination
without distraction.
I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.

359


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY LINCOLN

Abraham Lincoln, one of the great leaders in American history is


remembered for his honesty, compassion and character. He saw slavery
as hypocritical for a nation founded on the principle that all men are
created equal.
When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my
religion.
I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the
earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up
into the heavens and say there is no God.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's
character, give him power.
It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do
wrong.
Whatever you are, be a good one.
360


Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?
My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.
And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it's the life in
your years.
My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is
to be on God's side, for God is always right.
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I
didn't have the heart to let him down.
Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't
very new after all.
Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because
thorn bushes have roses.
I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way
of a whole human being.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right
as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are
in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne
the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve
and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all
nations.
361


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY BERTRAND RUSSELL

Bertrand Russell endures as one of humanitys most lucid and luminous


minds an oracle of timeless wisdom on everything from what the
good life really means to why fruitful monotony is essential for
happiness to love, sex, and our moral superstitions. In 1950, he was
awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his varied and significant
writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of
thought. On December 11 of that year, 78-year-old Russell took the
podium in Stockholm to receive the grand accolade. Russell points to
four such infinite desires acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, and love of
power.
Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true
happiness.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong have governed my
life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity
for the suffering of mankind.

362


The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to
burn.
It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that
prevents us from living freely and nobly.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my
life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity
for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have
blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of
anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that
I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this
joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible
loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the
world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally,
because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the
prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined.
This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life,
this is what--at last--I have found.
With equal passion, I have sought knowledge. I have wished to
understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine.
And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number
holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward
the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries
of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by
oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole
363


world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human
life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live
it again if the chance were offered me.
If there were in the world today any large number of people who
desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of
others, we could have paradise in a few years.
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of
happiness.
It is essential to happiness that our way of living should spring from
our own deep impulses and not from the accidental tastes and desires of
those who happen to be our neighbors, or even our relations.
The use of self-control is like the use of brakes on train. It is useful when
you find yourself in wrong direction but merely harmful when the
direction is right
Love can flourish only as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to
be killed by the thought of duty. To say that it is your duty to love so-andso is the surest way to cause you to hate him of her.
The man who is unhappy will, as a rule, adopt an unhappy creed, while
the man who is happy will adopt a happy creed; each may attribute his
happiness or unhappiness to his beliefs, while the real causation is the
other way around.
To realize the unimportance of time is the gate to wisdom.

364


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JEAN PAUL SARTRE

Jean-Paul Sartre was a pioneering intellectual and proponent of


existentialism who championed leftist causes in France and other
countries. Sartre and de Beauvoir, a feminist and philosopher, challenged
the cultural and social expectations of their respective "bourgeois"
backgrounds. The conflict between oppressive conformity and
authenticity, which the pair openly addressed and confronted in their
personal lives, became the dominant theme of Sartre's early career.
Sartre prized his role as a public intellectual. After World War II, he
emerged as a politically engaged activist. He was an outspoken opponent
of French rule in Algeria. He embraced Marxism and visited Cuba,
meeting with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. In October 1964, Sartre was
awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He declined the prize, becoming
the first Nobel Laureate to do so. Sartres principled mode of living
involved few possessions. He remained actively committed to
humanitarian and political causes until the end of his life.

365


If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.
Do you think that I count the days? There is only one day left, always
starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.
Better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees.
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he
is responsible for everything he does.
It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.
You are -- your life, and nothing else.
Everything has been figured out, except how to live.
Life begins on the other side of despair.
All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.
My thought is me: that's why I can't stop. I exist because I think and
I can't stop myself from thinking. At this very moment - it's frightful - if I
exist, it is because I am horrified at existing. I am the one who pulls
myself from the nothingness to which I aspire.
The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the
clearer we should see through it.
He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine,
free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the
game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come. He
could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would
be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being.

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You and me are real people, operating in a real world. We are not
figments of each others imagination. I am the architect of my own self,
my own character and destiny. It is no use wringing about what I might
have been, I am the things I have done and nothing more. We are all free,
completely free. We can each do any damn thing we want. Which is more
than most of us dare to imagine.
To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.
The individual's duty is to do what he wants to do, to think whatever he
likes, to be accountable to no one but himself, to challenge every idea
and every person.
To think new thoughts you have to break the bones in your head
I looked anxiously around me: the present, nothing but the present.
Furniture light and solid, rooted in its present, a table, a bed, a closet
with a mirror-and me. the true nature of the present revealed itself: it
was what exists, and all that was not present did not exist. The past did
not exist. Not at all. Not in things, not even in my thoughts. It is true that
I had realized a long time ago that mine had escaped me. But until then
I had believed that it had simply gone out of my range. For me the past
was only a pensioning off: it was another way of existing, a state of
vacation and inaction; each event, when it had played its part, put itself
politely into a box and became an honorary event: we have so much
difficulty imagining nothingness. Now I knew: things are entirely what
they appear to be-and behind them... there is nothing.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY RUTHERFORD

Ernest Rutherford is the father of nuclear chemistry and nuclear physics.


He discovered and named the atomic nucleus, the proton, the alpha
particle, and the beta particle. He discovered the concept of nuclear halflives and achieved the first deliberate transformation of one element into
another, fulfilling one of the ancient passions of the alchemists.
Of all created comforts, God is the lender; you are the borrower, not
the owner.
Now I know what the atom looks like.
Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It's time to start thinking.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY EMMET FOX

Fox taught that Jesus came to teach us to think correctly (not to redeem
man from the penalty of sin). According to Fox, all evil originates from
wrong thinking, and everything in reality originates from thought. Evil
is not from sin -- sin is actually thinking incorrectly, and all illness
originates from negative thinking. These are all New Thought tenets.
Fox's views included beliefs that the dead are not elsewhere, but are all
around us and sometimes come to our aid; you must "have faith in your
own faith;" and the Bible needs a special spiritual key to understand it.
In short, if you are a Christian according to the historic faith, you do not
understand the Bible properly, and Fox is more than happy to guide you
away from the traditional view of the Bible. The risk in reading Fox is
that some of what he writes sounds accurate, and he uses familiar
Christian or biblical terminology that seems appropriate if the reader
does not know what Fox means by it. This is a danger with most New
Thought teachings and books. According to Fox's book, The Sermon on
the Mount, "the term 'Christ' is "not identical with Jesus, the individual"
but rather is a "technical term" that represents "Absolute Spiritual Truth".
In other words, Fox says that Jesus and Christ are not one and the same.
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This is a central teaching of New Thought. "Christ" in Divine/Christian
Science is a higher spiritual understanding or state of consciousness that
Jesus, a man, merely achieved and exemplified for the rest of humanity.
Fox writes that Jesus came to teach us to change our consciousness. In
fact, Fox says that changing our consciousness "is in truth the only thing
that is really worth doing at all".
If you could only love enough, you could be the most powerful person
in the world.
There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer: no disease that
love will not heal: no door that enough love will not open...It makes no
difference how deep set the trouble: how hopeless the outlook: how
muddled the tangle: how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of
love will dissolve it all. If only you could love enough you would be the
happiest and most powerful being in the world...
Do it trembling if you must, but do it!
The art of life is to live in the present moment and to make that moment
as perfect as we can by the realization that we are the instruments and
expression of God himself.
The root of all difficulties is a lack of the sense of the Presence of God.
It is not possible that you could ever find yourself anywhere where God
was not fully present, fully active, able and willing to set you free.
As you grow in true spiritual power and understanding you will
actually find that many outer rules and regulations will become
unnecessary; but this will be because you have really risen above them;
never, never, because you have fallen below them. This point in your
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development, where your understanding of Truth enables you to dispense
with certain outer props and regulations, is the Spiritual Coming of Age.
When you really are no longer spiritually a minor, you will cease to need
some of the outer observances that formerly seemed indispensable; but
your resulting life will be purer, truer, freer, and less selfish than it was
before; and that is the test.
Your Heart's Desire is the Voice of God, and that Voice must be obeyed
sooner or later.
All day long the thoughts that occupy your mind, your Secret Place, as
Jesus calls it, are moulding your destiny for good or evil; in fact, the
truth is that the whole of our lifes experience is but the outer expression
of inner thought. Now we can choose the sort of thoughts that we
entertain. It will be a little difficult to break a bad habit of thought, but
it can be done. We can choose how we shall thinkin point of fact, we
always do chooseand therefore our lives are just the result of the kind
of thoughts we have
If you have no time for prayer and meditation, you will have lots of time
for sickness and trouble.
You can have anything in life that you really want, but you must be
prepared to take the responsibilities that go with it. God is ready the
moment you are.
Prayer does change things.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN

Philologist, author, mythmaker and creator of "Middle Earth", Professor


of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, a brilliant philologist, and a selfdescribed "hobbit," J.R.R. Tolkien created two of the best-loved stories
of the 20th century, "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". The
Hobbit was a simple fairy tale and adventure for children, hinting at evil
things, it still ends in a happy ending for all and is primarily concerned
with a triumph of good over evil.
The Lord of the Rings, soon became quite different to The Hobbit, both
in scope and dimension. Putting its roots into the Silmarillion, it became
an epic of unprecedented depth. No longer was Tolkien writing a
simplistic adventure story; the triumph of good over evil is no longer so
complete. Even in the missions success there is no obvious happy
ending. There is a feeling of permanent change; nothing can remain as it
is. As well as being a fascinating story line, the book deals with many
issues of how people respond to certain choices and the influence of
power and ego. It can be read in many ways, but it does offer an

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underlying moral and spiritual dimension, which is inherent in the
development of the story.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
Gandalf the Grey
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it
would be a merrier world. Thorin Oakenshield
It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want
to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the
world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But
in the end, its only a passing thing this shadow. Even darkness must
pass. Samwise Gamgee
Not all those who wander are lost.
Its a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto
the road, and if you dont keep your feet, theres no knowing where you
might be swept off to. Bilbo Baggins
It is not the strength of the body, but the strength of the spirit.
It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing. Frodo
Baggins
Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised. Aragorn
Even the smallest person can change the course of history. Lady
Galadriel
I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.
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Where there's life there's hope.
War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would
devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the
arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that
which they defend.
Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very
wise cannot see all ends.
You can only come to the morning through the shadows.
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.
May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the
moon walks.
So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.
Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you
give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.
What does your heart tell you?
End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one
that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and
all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
How do you move on? You move on when your heart finally
understands that there is no turning back.
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY C.G. JUNG

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of a neo-psychoanalytic


school of psychology, which he named Analytical Psychology. Jung's
unique and broadly influential approach to psychology has emphasized
understanding the psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art,
mythology, world religion and philosophy. Although he was a theoretical
psychologist and practicing clinician for most of his life, much of his
life's work was spent exploring other realms, including Eastern and
Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature
and the arts.
His most notable contributions include his concept of the psychological
archetype, his theory of synchronicity and the collective unconscious also known as "a reservoir of the experiences of our species." Jung
emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that
modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit
from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm.
Jung's work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a
spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed, is
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to discover and fulfill our deep innate potential. Based on his study of
Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and other
traditions, Jung believed that this journey of transformation, which he
called individuation, is at the mystical heart of all religions. It is a journey
to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by
making the darkness conscious.
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better
understanding of ourselves.
Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life,
is without trouble.
The healthy man does not torture others generally it is the tortured
who turn into torturers.
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical
substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for
living that suits all cases.
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to
kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into
movement without emotions.
A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never
overcome them.

376


In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.
It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in
themselves.
Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the
darkness of other people.
Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal
which robs the second half of life of its purpose.
No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to
hell.
The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest
of things without it.
The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not
between right and wrong.
The word happiness would lose its meaning if it were not balanced
by sadness.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain.
We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not
liberate, it oppresses.
Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but
lives in our very blood?
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR

Simone de Beauvoir was one of the most preeminent French


existentialist philosophers and writers. Working alongside other famous
existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Maurice
Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir produced a rich corpus of writings including
works on ethics, feminism, fiction, autobiography, and politics. She
produced an articulate attack on the fact that throughout history women
have been relegated to a sphere of immanence, and the passive
acceptance of roles assigned to them by society. The emphasis on
freedom, responsibility, and ambiguity permeate all of her works and
give voice to core themes of existentialist philosophy. Her most famous
and influential philosophical work, The Second Sex (1949), heralded a
feminist revolution and remains to this day a central text in the
investigation of womens oppression and liberation.
I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to
be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me
completely. I have only myself

378


I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman
and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work
much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and
to be unselfish You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then
when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.
I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finite. I
want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.
When I was a child, when I was an adolescent, books saved me from
despair: that convinced me that culture was the highest of values.
In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal
should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human
being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.
Thats what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you
always feel as if it costs you nothing.
Ones life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others,
by means of love, friendship, and compassion
On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her
weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not
to abase herself but to assert herselfon that day love will become for
her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger.
What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important
than those you put in.
Change your life today. Dont gamble on the future, act now, without
delay.
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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MEISTER ECKHART

The deeply influential German Catholic mystic theologian and spiritual


psychologist Meister Eckhart was the most illustrious spiritual instructor
of his day. He was also unjustly condemned as a heretic by the papacy
after an impressive career of writing, teaching, preaching, directing souls
and serving as a high-level administrator of the Dominican Order.
Eckhart, virtually forgotten by the Church for centuries, is seen by
growing numbers of people in the modern era to be one of the worlds
pinnacle nondual mystics. His influence is greater now than at any time
since the 14th century.
If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.
The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God
sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing,
one love.
Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.
And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the
magic of beginnings.

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Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.
Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running
away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world.
Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever
we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.
Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in
sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.
I am as sure as I live that nothing is so near to me as God. God is nearer
to me than I am to myself; my existence depends on the nearness and the
presence of God.
Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow, and to
love Him as they love a cow - for the milk and cheese and profit it brings
them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward
wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God, when they love
Him for their own advantage.
Some people prefer solitude. They say their peace of mind depends on
this. Others say they would be better off in church. If you do well, you do
well wherever you are. If you fail, you fail wherever you are. Your
surroundings don't matter. God is with you everywhere -- in the market
place as well as in seclusion or in the church. If you look for nothing but
God, nothing or no one can disturb you. God is not distracted by a
multitude of things. Nor can we be.
The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.

381


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY FRIDA KAHLO

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, pain


and passion, and bold, vibrant colors. She is celebrated in Mexico for
her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists for
her depiction of the female experience and form. Life experience is a
common theme in Kahlo's approximately 200 paintings, sketches and
drawings. Her physical and emotional pain are depicted starkly on
canvases, as is her turbulent relationship with her husband, fellow artist
Diego Rivera, who she married twice. Frida Kahlo is one of the
highest-selling women in art.
My painting carries with it the message of pain."
The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint
whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.
Feet, what do I need you for, when I have wings to fly?
I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days
and nights that I am away from you.

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I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the
person I know best.
"Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything
revolves, everything flies and goes away."
"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, but then I
thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone
just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would
imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too.
Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that yes,
it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you."
"The most important thing for everyone is to have ambition and become
'somebody,' and frankly, I don't have the least ambition to become
anybody."
"You deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few
people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the
only thing that really counts."
"At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we
can."
Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to
abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.
Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.
I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NERUDA

Born Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto, Neruda adopted the


pseudonym under which he would become famous while still in his
early teens. Numerous critics have praised Neruda as the greatest poet
writing in the Spanish language during his lifetime. An added difficulty
lies in the fact that Nerudas poetry is very hard to translate; his works
available in English represent only a small portion of his total output.
Nonetheless, declared John Leonard in the New York Times, Neruda
was, I think, one of the great ones, a Whitman of the South.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,in secret, between the
shadow and the soul.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you
simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do
not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that
when I fall asleep your eyes close.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
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No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go, we will go
together, over the waters of time. No one else will travel through the
shadows with me, only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
But I love your feet only because they walked upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters, until they found me.
In one kiss, youll know all I havent said.
You must know that I do not love and that I love you, because everything
alive has its two sides; a word is one wing of silence, fire has its cold
half. I love you in order to begin to love you, to start infinity again and
never to stop loving you: thats why I do not love you yet. I love you, and
I do not love you, as if I held keys in my hand: to a future of joy- a
wretched, muddled fate- My love has two lives, in order to love you.
There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal:
to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and
difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted
place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song
- but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites
of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a
common destiny.
He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in
herself, dies slowly.
Every day you play with the light of the universe.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

Nobel Laureate, Garca Mrquez was known for his capacity to create
vast, minutely woven plots and brief, tightly knit narratives in the fashion
of his two North American models, William Faulkner and Ernest
Hemingway. The easy flow of even the most intricate of his stories has
been compared to that of Miguel de Cervantes, as have his irony and
overall humour. One Hundred Years of Solitude promptly established
Garca Mrquez as the defining member of what was called the boom in
Latin American writing and a movement known as magic realism; yet,
really, he was throwing open the gates for writers from forgotten
everywhere.
No medicine cures what happiness cannot.
It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.
What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember
and how you remember it.
He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings
are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them,
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but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to
themselves.
It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old,
they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.
There is always something left to love.
If I knew that today would be the last time Id see you, I would hug you
tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this
would be the last time you pass through this door, Id embrace you, kiss
you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last
time I would hear your voice, Id take hold of each word to be able to
hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, Id
tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it
already.
The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.
If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little
bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability. I wouldn't,
possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more
thoughtful of all I say. I would give merit to things not for what they are
worth, but for what they mean to express. I would sleep little, I would
dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes,
we waste sixty seconds of light. I would walk while others stop; I would
awake while others sleep. If God would give me a little bit more of life, I
would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun,
leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy. To all men I
would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling
in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when
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they stop falling in love. I would give wings to children, but I would leave
it to them to learn how to fly by themselves. To old people I would say
that death doesn't arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.
I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants
to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is
obtained in the journey taken and the form used to reach the top of the
hill. I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand,
his father's finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.
I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at
another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.
Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the
last time that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my
strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of
your soul. If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would
say 'I love you'. There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another
opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all
that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you and that I
will never forget you.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be
the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn't wait; do it
today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you
wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you
were too busy to grant them their last wish.
Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces
how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well;
take your time to tell them 'I am sorry';' forgive me',' please' 'thank you',
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and all those loving words you know. Nobody will know you for your
secret thoughts. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.
Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.
Send this letter to those you love. If you don't do it today...tomorrow will
be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn't matter, either, the
moment to do it is now.
Age isn't how old you are but how old you feel.
Never stop smiling not even when you're sad, someone might fall in love
with your smile.
And the two of them loved each other for a long time in silence without
making love again.
Just because someone does not love you as you want, it does not mean
that you do not love with all his being.
Just because someone does not love you as you want, it does not mean
that you do not love with all his being.
I would not have traded the delights of my suffering for anything in the
world.
What is essential, therefore, is not that you no longer believe, but that
God continues to believe in you.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JORGE LUIS BORGES

Jorge Luis Borges was a renowned writer, essayist, and poet from
Argentina. He is counted among one of the greatest heroes of the country
in the field of literature. Borgess imagination and innovative literary
skills were commendable. His works are admired as the character of
unreality in all literature. Borges was greatly influenced by European
culture and English literature. He offered a noticeable contribution to the
magical realism genre. Some of the most appreciated works are
Ficciones and The Aleph. These are basically collection of short
stories based on the themes like dreams, labyrinths, libraries, fictional
writers, religion and God.
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read,
all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the
cities I have visited.
Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure
time.
The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream.
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After some time, you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand
and imprisoning a soul;
You learn that love does not equal sex,
and that company does not equal security,
and you start to learn.
That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises,
and you start to accept defeat with the head up high
and open eyes,
and you learn to build all roads on today,
because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans
and the future has its own way of falling apart in half.
And you learn that if its too much
even the warmth of the sun can burn.
So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you.
And you learn that you can actually bear hardship,
that you are actually strong,
and you are actually worthy,

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and you learn and learnand so every day.
Over time you learn that being with someone
because they offer you a good future,
means that sooner or later youll want to return to your past.
Over time you comprehend that only who is capable
of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing you
can bring you all happiness.
Over time you learn that if you are with a person
only to accompany your own solitude,
irremediably youll end up wishing not to see them again.
Over time you learn that real friends are few
and whoever doesnt fight for them, sooner or later,
will find himself surrounded only with false friendships.
Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of anger
continue hurting throughout a lifetime.
Over time you learn that everyone can apologize,
but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls.
Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshly
it is very likely that your friendship will never be the same.

392


Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends,
you cry for those you let go.
Over time you realize that every experience lived,
with each person, is unrepeatable.
Over time you realize that whoever humiliates
or scorns another human being, sooner or later
will suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold.
Over time you learn to build your roads on today,
because the path of tomorrow doesnt exist.
Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen
causes the finale to be different form expected.
Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future,
but the moment you were living just that instant.
Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around
you,
youll yearn for those who walked away.
Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness,
say you love, say you miss, say you need,
say you want to be friends, since before
a grave, it will no longer make sense.
393


But unfortunately, only over time
Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written;
I'd rather boast about the ones I've read.
You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that
dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of
grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die
before you have truly awakened.
When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an
incarnation."
Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me
along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the
tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.
Don't talk unless you can improve the silence.
A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space
with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands,
fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time
before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the
lineaments of his own face.
No one is anyone; one single immortal man is all men. Like Cornelius
Agrippa, I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am
world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.
Any life, however long and complicated it may be, actually consists of
a single moment the moment when a man knows forever more who he
is.
394


If I could live again my life,
In the next Ill try,
- to make more mistakes,
I wont try to be so perfect,
Ill be more relaxed,
Ill be more full than I am now,
In fact, Ill take fewer things seriously,
Ill be less hygienic,
Ill take more risks,
Ill take more trips,
Ill watch more sunsets,
Ill climb more mountains,
Ill swim more rivers,
Ill go to more places Ive never been,
Ill eat more ice creams and less lima beans,
Ill have more real problems and less imaginary ones,
I was one of those people who live
prudent and prolific lives each minute of his life,

395


Of course, that I had moments of joy but,
if I could go back Ill try to have only good moments,
If you dont know thats what life is made of,
Dont lose the now!
I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umbrella and without a parachute,
If I could live again I will travel light,
If I could live again Ill try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn,
Ill ride more carts,
Ill watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live but now I am 85,
- and I know that I am dying

396


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY OCTAVIO PAZ

"The poetry of Octavio Paz," wrote the critic Ramn Xirau, "does not
hesitate between language and silence; it leads into the realm of silence
where true language lives.
A prolific author and poet, Paz published scores of works during his
lifetime, many of which have been translated into other languages. His
early poetry was influenced by Marxism, surrealism, and existentialism,
as well as religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. His poem, "Piedra
de sol" ("Sunstone"), written in 1957, was praised as a "magnificent"
example of surrealist poetry in the presentation speech of his Nobel
Prize. As an essayist Paz wrote on topics such as Mexican politics and
economics, Aztec art, anthropology, and sexuality. Ilan Stavans wrote
that he was "the quintessential surveyor, a Dante's Virgil, a Renaissance
man.
Whatever is not stone is light.
The beloved is already in our being, as thirst and "otherness." Being is
eroticism. Inspiration is that strange voice that takes man out of himself
to be everything that he is, everything that he desires; another body,
397


another being. Beyond, outside of me, in the green and gold thicket,
among the tremulous branches, sings the unknown. It calls to me.
Every moment is nothing without end.
A flower without a stem, is beauty waiting to die. A heart without love,
is a tear waiting to cry.
The Mexican...is familiar with death. He jokes about it, caresses it,
sleeps with it, celebrates it. It is one of his favorite toys and his most
steadfast love.
It is not proper to project our feelings onto things or to attribute our
own sensations and passions to them. Can it also be improper to see in
them a guide, a way of life? To learn the art of remaining motionless
amid the agitation of the whirlwind, to learn to remain still and to be as
transparent as this fixed light amid the frantic branches this may be a
program for life.
Poetry, in the past, was the center of our society, but with modernity it
has retreated to the outskirts. I think the exile of poetry is also the exile
of the best of humankind.
Deserve your dream.
What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their
attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By
suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different
civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death. The
ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress
and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world

398


that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a
possibility of life.
I thought that the world was a vast system of signs, a conversation
between giant beings. My actions, the cricket's saw, the star's blink, were
nothing but pauses and syllables, scattered phrases from that dialogue.
What word could it be, of which I was only a syllable? Who speaks the
word? To whom is it spoken?
A civilization that denies death ends by denying life.
Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only
being who knows he is alone, and the only one who seeks out another.
His nature - if that word can be used in reference to man, who has
invented himself by saying no to nature - consists in his longing to
realize himself in another. Man is nostalgia and a search for communion.
Therefore, when he is aware of himself he is aware of his lack of another,
that is, of his solitude.
Today we all speak, if not the same tongue, the same universal
language. There is no one center, and time has lost its former coherence:
East and West, yesterday and tomorrow exist as a confused jumble in
each one of us. Different times and different spaces are combined in a
here and now that is everywhere at once.
It is always difficult to give oneself up; few persons anywhere ever
succeed in doing so, and even fewer transcend the possessive stage to
know love for what it actually is: a perpetual discovery, and immersion
in the waters of reality, an unending re-creation.

399


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY PAULO COELHO

When Coelho was thirty-eight years old, he had a spiritual awakening in


Spain and wrote about it in his first book, The Pilgrimage. It was his
second book, The Alchemist, which made him famous. He determined
early on that he wanted to be a writer but was discouraged by his parents,
who saw no future in that profession in Brazil. Coelho's rebellious
adolescence spurred his parents to commit him to a mental asylum three
times. Coelho eventually got out of institutional care and enrolled in law
school, but dropped out to indulge in the "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll" of
hippie life in the 1970s. He was also attracted by Occultism. After
drifting among several professions, Coelho changed his life's course
while on a visit to Spain. Coelho walked more than five hundred miles
along the Road to Santiago de Compostela, a site of Catholic pilgrimage.
The walk and the spiritual awakening he experienced en-route inspired
him to write The Pilgrimage, an autobiographical account of the trek that
would entirely change his life following his inner calling. He quit his
other jobs and devoted himself full-time to the craft of writing and
inspiring people worldwide.

400


And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping
you to achieve it.
When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we
strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better
too.
Life has many ways of testing a person's will, either by having nothing
happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.
One day you will wake up and there wont be any more time to do the
things youve always wanted. Do it now.
Be Brave. Take Risks. Nothing can substitute experience.
It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life
interesting.
One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the
fear of failure.
So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find
you.
The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight
times.
The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the
wise can see them.
401


Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do
is the worst kind of suffering.
If pain must come, may it come quickly, because I have a life to live,
and I need to live it in the best way possible.
Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but
making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me?
Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because
I didn't have the courage to say "yes" to life?
Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead
their lives, but none about his or her own.
When someone leaves, it's because someone else is about to arrive.
Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When
we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it
leaves us feeling lost and confused.
Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your
treasure.
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering
itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its
dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with
God and with eternity.
We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only
their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the
right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.
402


When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being
who I am, I found myself.
A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to
always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his
might that which he desires.
No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in
the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it.
When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have
sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and
despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.
Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is
right twice a day.
When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and
willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending
that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The
challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than
enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.
Don't waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they
want to hear.
If I am really a part of your dream, you'll come back one day.
Tears are words that need to be written.

403


There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing
to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have
overcome them will we understand why they were there.
The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for
the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we
encounter.
But love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or
a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can
consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We
simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we
reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a
hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to
take love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of
disappointment and sadness. The moment we begin to seek love, love
begins to seek us and to save us.
You are what you believe yourself to be.
Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally
comes to realize that nothing really belongs to them.
Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines
should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the
whole bottle.
No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true
experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world
without owning it
404


Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its
most brilliant.
What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something,
but someone who inspires the student to give the best in order to discover
what he already knows.
When each day is the same as the next, its because people fail to
recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the
sun rises.
Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never
explained. Love is such a thing.
You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen
to what it has to say.
You have to take risks, he said. We will only understand the miracle of
life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. Every day, God gives
us the sun--and also one moment in which we have the ability to change
everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we
haven't perceived that moment, that it doesn't exist--that today is the
same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really
pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic
moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something
mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in
the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things
that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists--a moment when all
the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform
miracles.
405


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY CONNY MENDEZ

Conny Mendez began in metaphysical studies and later became a direct


disciple of the famous metaphysical teacher and lecturer Emmet Fox. In
1960 she learns the teachings of Master Saint Germain from which she
receives instructions for two years in New York. She is the first person
who writes and teaches about metaphysics in the Spanish-speaking
world, revealing the Rays, the Teachers and the Law of Mentalism. She
is also a painter, cartoonist, composer and performer of her own songs.
Every word that you utter is a decree. Positive or negative. If it is
positive, it is manifested in goodness. If it is negative it is manifested in
evil, whether it is against others is the same as if you were decreeing it
against you. It returns to you. If you are kind and sympathetic toward
others, you'll receive kindness and understanding of others towards
you.
When you are with other people and negative conversations occur, say
mentally: I dont accept this, neither for me nor for them.

406


I am intelligent, with the intelligence of God himself, since I am created
to the very essence of the creator, by the intelligence, with the
intelligence and from the intelligence of God. I am not afraid. I don't
want fear. God is love, and in all creation, there is nothing to fear. I have
faith. I want to feel faith.
Whenever we hear or read something new, unknown to us, cells that
were asleep in our brain, start to wake up.
I declare that the truth of this issue (problem or issue) is harmony, love,
intelligence, justice, wealth, life, health, whatever the opposite of the
negative condition that is manifesting at this time... Thank you Father,
for having heard me.
I deny the appearance of any negative physical condition. I do not
accept it either for me or for anyone. The only truth is in the spirit and
everything below molds to my word, recognizing the truth. In the name
of Jesus Christ who authorized, I decree that I and all are life. Life is
health, strength, and joy. Thank you Father, for having heard me.
I deny the very existence of this grief (grief or depression). God does
not authorize it. I delete any tendency towards negativity in me. I don't
need it. I do not accept it. God is joy, happiness, bliss. I'm joy, happiness,
bliss. Thank you Father for... (List everything you have, up to the most
insignificant).

407


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY ALAN WATTS

Alan Watts was profoundly influenced by the East Indian philosophies


of Vedanta and Buddhism, and by Taoist thought, which is reflected in
Zen poetry and the arts of China and Japan. Alan Watts, known for
spreading Eastern philosophy in the West via his books, lectures and
radio appearances, was a maverick British philosopher who moved to the
US. His life story includes becoming an Anglican priest, blending
Christianity with Eastern mysticism, experimenting with psychedelics,
teaching Zen, as well as becoming a Fellow at Harvard University. Watts
famously described himself as a philosophical entertainer.
Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.
We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and
emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages
and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our
society.

408


This is the real secret of life to be completely engaged with what you
are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it
is play.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with
it, and join the dance.
The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and
so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were
necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.
The art of living is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor
fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to
each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the
mind open and wholly receptive.
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist
in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be
lifeless.
A scholar tries to learn something every day; a student of Buddhism
tries to unlearn something daily.
Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is
peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make
no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and
badly arranged constellations.
409


Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up
now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to
sleep.
Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears,
the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through
which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.
Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who
you really are. In our culture, of course, theyll say youre crazy and
youre blasphemous, and theyll either put you in jail or in a nut house
(which is pretty much the same thing). However, if you wake up in India
and tell your friends and relations, My goodness, Ive just discovered
that Im God, theyll laugh and say, Oh, congratulations, at last you
found out.
Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery the only thing you need to
know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets is this: that for
every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside,
and although they are different, they go together.
We do not come into this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a
tree. As the ocean waves, the universe peoples. Every individual is
an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total
universe.
In reality there are no separate events. Life moves along like water, its
all connected to the source of the river is connected to the mouth and the
ocean.

410


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY ECKHART TOLLE

Eckharts profound yet simple teachings have already helped countless


people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in
their lives. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation
radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted
to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which
marked the beginning of an intense inward journey.At the core of the
teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening
that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of
this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of
consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but
also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet. He is the
author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Now
(translated into 33 languages) and the highly acclaimed follow-up A New
Earth, which are widely regarded as two of the most influential spiritual
books of our time.
The past has no power over the present moment.

411


Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution
of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need?
Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.
Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize
that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your
thoughts about it.
Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the
foundation for all abundance.
Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won't die. You
will come to life. And don't be concerned with how others define you.
When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem.
Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function
or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose
something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.
Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than
defending or hanging on.
To love is to recognize yourself in another.
Time isnt precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive
as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: The Now;
That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on timepast and
futurethe more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.

412


Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in
you.
Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does
not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the
love of God but the "love" of ego. However, the intensity with which true
love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love
back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that
person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love
relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person
is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on
a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with
which it is felt differs.
Life isn't as serious as the mind makes it out to be.
You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but
by realizing who you are at the deepest level.
Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.
Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes.
Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner
peace does not.
Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose
Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything
to do with your state of consciousness.

413


Always say yes to the present moment. What could be more futile,
more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what
could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always
now? Surrender to what is. Say yes to life and see how life suddenly
starts working for you rather than against you.
Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been
stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least
you learn something, in which case it's no longer a mistake. If you remain
stuck, you learn nothing.
Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as
if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.
Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy
arises from within.
This, too, will pass.
You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the
goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to
emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in
your state of consciousness.
If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary
reality is within; secondary reality without.
All problems are illusions of the mind.

414


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Rabindranath Tagore, also known as Gurudev, is best known as a poet


but he was a man of many talents. On the one hand, he was the first nonEuropean to win a Nobel for literature and on the other, a novelist who
wrote and composed an entire genre of songs. He was a philosopher and
educationist who established a university that challenged conventional
education. Tagore was a painter who played an important role in
modernising Bengali art. And he was a nationalist who gave up his
knighthood to protest British policies in colonial India after the
Jallianwala Bagh massacre. On July 14, 1930, Albert Einstein welcomed
into his home on the outskirts of Berlin the Indian philosopher, musician,
and Nobel laureate. The two proceeded to have one of the most
stimulating, intellectually riveting conversations in history, exploring the
age-old friction between science and religion. Also, it was Tagore who
conferred the title of 'Mahatma' on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Tagore is thus the only person to have composed the national anthems of
three countries.
It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.
415


Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher
storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will
prevent you from seeing the stars.
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in
facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart
to conquer it.
You cant cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was
service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times... In
life after life, in age after age, forever. My spellbound heart has made
and remade the necklace of songs, that you take as a gift, wear round
your neck in your many forms, In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain, it is an ancient
tale of being apart or together. As I stare on and on into the past, in the
end you emerge, clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of
time. You become an image of what is remembered forever.
You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.At
the heart of time, love of one for another. We have played alongside
millions of lovers, shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting, the
distressful tears of farewell, Old love but in shapes that renew and renew
forever.

416


Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you, The love of all
man's days both past and forever: Universal joy, universal sorrow,
universal life. The memories of all loves merging with this one love of
ours - And the songs of every poet past and forever.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream
precedes the goal.
Don't limit a child to your own learning, for she was born in another
time.
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp
because the dawn has come.
Most people believe the mind to be a mirror, more or less accurately
reflecting the world outside them, not realizing on the contrary that the
mind is itself the principal element of creation.
By plucking her petals you do not gather the beauty of the flower.
If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door- or Ill
make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the
present.
Music fills the infinite between two souls
Let my thoughts come to you, when I am gone, like the afterglow of
sunset at the margin of starry silence.
Those who are near me do not know that you are nearer to me than they
are. Those who speak to me do not know that my heart is full with your
417


unspoken words. Those who crowd in my path do not know that I am
walking alone with you. Those who love me do not know that their love
brings you to my heart
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of
man.
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs
through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life
that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of
grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
Children are living beings - more living than grown-up people who
have built shells of habit around themselves. Therefore, it is absolutely
necessary for their mental health and development that they should not
have mere schools for their lessons, but a world whose guiding spirit is
personal love.
The highest education is that which does not merely give us information
but makes our life in harmony with all existence.
Love adorns itself; it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty.Love
does not claim possession, but gives freedom. Love is an endless mystery,
for it has nothing else to explain it. Love's gift cannot be given, it waits
to be accepted.
This is my prayer to thee, my lord---strike, strike at the root of penury
in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
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Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before
insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.
My dearest life, I know you are not mine forever; but do love me even
if its for this moment. After that I shall vanish into the forest where you
cast me, I wont ask anyone for anything again. Give me something that
can last me till I die.
Where is heaven? you ask me, my child, the sages tell us it is beyond
the limits of birth and death, unswayed by the rhythm of day and night;
it is not of the earth. But your poet knows that its eternal hunger is for
time and space, and it strives evermore to be born in the fruitful dust.
Heaven is fulfilled in your sweet body, my child, in your palpitating
heart. The sea is beating its drums in joy, the flowers are a-tiptoe to kiss
you. For heaven is born in you, in the arms of the mother- dust.
When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and
know that I had my wounds and also my healing.
Great calm, generous detachment, selfless love, disinterested effort:
these are what make for success in life. If you can find peace in yourself
and can spread comfort around you, you will be happier than an
empress.
If you shut your door to all errors truth will be shut out.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SWAMI GURU DEVANAND

Swami Guru Devanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj is a Monk of the Ascetic


Order of Shankara, of Hindu origin. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, and
later moved to India, where he studied the philosophy of life and Mantra
Yoga Meditation for many years. He is a Spiritual Teacher who gives his
teachings for the benefit of all humanity. He was a disciple of the famed
Teacher Mauna Swami, known as the Great Saint of India, who lived at
an altitude of 7,000 meters. He did further studies with the
Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math: Shri Swami Shantanand Saraswati Ji
Maharaj.

After

intensive

practice,

he

later

achieved

direct

Enlightenment, thus dissipating all his doubts and allowing him to


understand the true essence of life.
Today, the West benefits from his wise teachings and his
extraordinary experience. His Holiness teaches us the technique of
Mantra Yoga Meditation. Human beings know enough about the exterior
world, but they know nothing about themselves. Who Am I? Where Do
I Come From? And Where Am I Going? These are the questions which
concern us. Nevertheless, there is an automatic technique, which is
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Mantra Yoga Meditation, through the practice of which man comes to
understand that happiness is found within oneself. No one wants
unhappiness; we flee from it as darkness flees from light. Man was born
to be happy, but by unawareness, he falls victim to his own negative
actions, and these produce disagreeable situations which we call
Unhappiness. You Are What You Think. The only instrument that the
Human Being has in order to be happy is his Mind. Train your mind by
practicing Mantra Yoga Meditation.
"It's best not to criticize anybody. If instead we'd use that time to focus
on ourselves, we'd find that we'd be so busy working on our own flaws
that we wouldn't have time to even look at others."
"World peace can be achieved through individual peace, in each of our
hearts."
When the moral and spiritual principles decline and humanity falls into
the purest ignorance, then the Supreme Being takes human form,
manifesting itself as a Spiritual Master to guide humanity towards the
Divine Realization which is the source of universal light.
If you do not take the time for a spiritual development. Why do you take
the time to regret the course that your life is taking?
Happiness is within yourself. Remember that there will be no world
peace until there is peace in the heart of every human being.
You have only triumphed, when you have achieved Divine Realization.

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"I do not ask for you to believe in me, it is sufficient thatyou trust in
yourself and that you try to improve yourself."
You are perfect, infinite, wise, immortal, and supreme. That is your
lineage. Realize this and you will be eternally blissful.
If your mind is disorganized, everything you do or try to do will be
disorganized. If you do not love yourself, how do you intend for others
to love you? If you do not accept yourself, how do you intend for others
to accept you?
The purpose of living is to regain the divine paradise. Mantra Yoga
Meditation guides you straight to wisdom.
Absolute truth. Thought cannot imagine it, words cannot explain it,
only direct experience comes to it.
The Spiritual Master is the guide; He is the light that ignites the fire
inside the prepared disciple. He is the instrument through which
Universal Wisdom is manifested clearly taking human appearance. The
Master is the Great Shepherd who takes care of his sheep and routs them
towards green pastures and clear waters. He is without a doubt, the
dispeller of darkness produced by ignorance; He illuminates every day
and in different ways the Path to Wisdom.
In what we think, we become. It is now the time to change our mental
programming. We need to program ourselves with healthy, positive, and
limitless ideas. Begin to change already,right now.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MAHATMA GANDHI

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, byname Mahatma Gandhi was an


Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the
leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. As
such, he came to be considered the father of his country. Gandhi is
internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest
(satyagraha) to achieve political and social progress. In the eyes of
millions, Gandhi was the Mahatma (Great Soul). The woes of the
Mahatmas, he wrote, are known only to the Mahatmas. His fame
spread worldwide during his lifetime and only increased after his death.
He spent his remaining years working diligently to both remove British
rule from India as well as to better the lives of India's poorest classes.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live
forever.
An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.

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Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are
in harmony.
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth
and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and
for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.
Think of it--always.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and
then you win.
Where there is love there is life.
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so
unlike your Christ.
Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of
one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than
words without a heart.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make
mistakes.
Nobody can hurt me without my permission.
God has no religion.
I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

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Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your
habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying
to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by
really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief
that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may
not have it at the beginning.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the
way its animals are treated.
My Life is My Message
You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body,
but you will never imprison my mind.
It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to
do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time,
that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right
thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if
you do nothing, there will be no result.

425


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NELSON MANDELA

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of
Mvezo. Hearing the elders stories of his ancestors valour during the
wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to
the freedom struggle of his people. Mandela never wavered in his
devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible
provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life is an
inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; and to all who are
opposed to oppression and deprivation.The Nobel Laureate lived one of
the most remarkable lives of the twentieth Century. Born in an era of
racial segregation and oppression in South Africa, he made it his lifes
mission to fight for an equal and democratic society in his country. After
twenty-seven years in jail, Mandela helped prevent civil war and became
South Africas first black president. By the time of his death he'd become
a renowned statesman and global icon.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way
that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change
the world.
When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no
choice but to become an outlaw.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over
it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers
that fear.
A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But
when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something
very special.
It always seems impossible until it's done.
I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or
nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head
pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many
dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would
not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and
death.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin,
or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they
can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more
naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your
enemies.

427


There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to
find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I
have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that
after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills
to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the
glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have
come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come
responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell
down and got back up again.
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on
trying.
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom,
I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in
prison.
As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can
never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great
peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
A winner is a dreamer who never gives up

428


One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I
changed myself, I could not change others.
It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its
jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens,
but its lowest ones.
Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like
Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can
be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes
it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation.
Let your greatness blossom.
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the
African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have
fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a
democratic and free society in which all persons live together in
harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live
for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared
to die.
You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will
through acts of retribution.
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what
difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the
significance of the life we lead.
The brave man is not the one who has no fears, he is the one who
triumphs over his fears.
429


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s life had a seismic impact on race relations in the
United States. Years after his death, he is the most widely known
African-American leader of his era. His life and work have been honored
with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him,
and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, D.C.Among many
efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal
role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the
South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil
Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. King received the Nobel Peace
Prize among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968,
and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded AfricanAmerican leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I
Have a Dream."
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot
drive out hate: only love can do that.
I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.

430


Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole
staircase.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the
silence of our friends.
If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk
then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and
conscientious stupidity.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of
comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and
controversy.
Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have
to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject
and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul
generated by love.
No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die
for.

431


Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, "Love your enemies."
It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power
there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to
that person. Just keep loving them, and they cant stand it too long. Oh,
they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings,
and sometimes theyll hate you a little more at that transition period, but
just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down
under the load. Thats love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why
Jesus says love. Theres something about love that builds up and is
creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is
destructive. So love your enemies.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content
of their character.
We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in
which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or
seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow
the latter course.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military
defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual
doom.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative
altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

432


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MOTHER TERESA

Mother Teresa taught in India for years before she experienced her call
within a call" to devote herself to caring for the sick and poor. Her order
established a hospice; centers for the blind, aged, and disabled; and a
leper colony. In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her
humanitarian work. She died in September 1997 and was beatified in
October 2003. Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to
Mother Teresa, clearing the way for her to be canonized as a saint in
2016.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great
love.
I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we
die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many
good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much
love did you put into what you did?

433


Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that
person, a beautiful thing.
Kind words canbe short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly
endless.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the
living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in
your eyes, kindness in your smile.
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your
family.
It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.
At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have
received, how much money we have made, how many great things we
have done.
We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat,
I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the
waters to create many ripples.
The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being
unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with
medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is
love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but
there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a

434


different kind of poverty -- it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also
of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.
These are the few ways we can practice humility:
To speak as little as possible of one's self. To mind one's own business.
Not to want to manage other people's affairs. To avoid curiosity. To
accept contradictions and correction cheerfully. To pass over the
mistakes of others. To accept insults and injuries. To accept being
slighted, forgotten and disliked. To be kind and gentle even under
provocation. To never to stand on one's dignity and to choose always the
hardest.
Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at
His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.
I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can
do great things.
God made the world for the delight of human beings-- if we could see
His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our
needs: the phone call we've waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter
in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. As we
remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with
Him because He is so busy with us -- you just can't resist Him. I believe
there's no such thing as luck in life, it's God's love, it's His.
Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
A life not lived for others is not a life.

435


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY THE 12THTAI SITU RINPOCHE

The present 12th Tai Situpa is a Buddhist master of the Karma Kagyu
tradition. He was one of the closest students of the 16th Gyalwang
Karmapa, and in turn became the main teacher of the current Gyalwang
Karmapa. Situ Rinpoche oversees a vast network of Karma Kagyu
monasteries, retreat centers, and Dharma centers worldwide, and has
made great contributions toward training the next generation of Buddhist
masters. He is also a scholar, poet, calligrapher, artist, author, architect,
and geomancer. Born in 1954 to a family of farmers in the Derge area of
the Tibetan province of Kham, Pema Dony Nyingche Wangpo was
considered an emanation of the future Buddha, Maitreya. On the day of
his birth, the entire region witnessed two solar orbs illuminating the sky.
The details of his birth were completely in accordance with the
prediction the 16th Karmapa made in a letter written after he had a vision
concerning Situ Rinpoches rebirth.
We shouldnt get carried away. We shouldnt get lost when things
happen to us. Getting lost in good things is as bad as getting lost in bad
things. We should not get lost in anything. We should always be aware
and mindful. We should always follow the path no matter whether we are
436


taking baby steps, elephant steps or kangaroo steps. Kangaroo steps are
pretty big. Elephants cannot jump because their knees bend backward
not forward, but Kangaroos can. Anyway, whether our steps are big or
small we will get there. Our destiny is nothing more and nothing less
than our potential, and our ultimate potential is no less and no more than
Prince Siddharthas. Whatever he was able to attain, we will attain. Do
not worry too much about your life. Enjoy it. Just do not be too indulgent.
Practice diligence but do not let your practice become a burden for you.
That is not very good karma. You may find yourself thinking, Oh no, I
have to do my practice. I have to do this hard work. I dont like it but I
have taken vows so I have to do it. This is very negative. Do not let it
happen. Instead practice comfortably, happily, joyfully with honor and
gratitude. It may be bad karma for me to speak like this but if it helps
you to understand more clearly then that is okay.
When we have any kind of lust or attachment, which is very natural for
all of us, then instead of looking at it as an enemy and as being terrible,
or embracing it as wonderful and desirable, just leave it alone and look
at that state of mind, which is very noticeable and very clear because of
the lust and the desire. We all try to see our mind but we cannot. This is
a totally inappropriate example but somehow it helps you to understand.
If there was a ghost and you had some special ghost-revealing dustpowder, if you threw the powder on the ghost you would see a powder
body with two or four arms and maybe no head; scary. So it is like that
we cannot see our mind but when it is manifesting as second or third
generation, as attachment or anger, we can see it, no problem. So instead
of looking at the emotion as negative or embracing and going after it,
just look at it. Then you are able to see the nature of your mind, which is
manifesting negatively in a form of attachment, but in essence it is the
437


kuntog thobpa yeshe (wisdom of perfect discernment or wisdom of
great joy) or nyampa nyi kyi yeshe (wisdom or equanimity) or so sor
tog pai yeshe (discriminating wisdom). That way it manifests and is how
you are able to transform it ultimately. But relatively it is also very
good.
You are Buddha in your essence. Nothing can corrupt that, nothing can
shake that. That is real confidence.
Out of all the aspects of practice then, the most important is meditation,
because without meditating one cannot attain Buddhahood. It is
impossible without meditating. This is because what has to be
enlightened is our mind, and our mind has the perfect essence in it, as
the embodiment of it, and we have to let it manifest. And how can it
manifest if we dont let it manifest? So meditation is letting it manifest,
and in this way, meditation is the most important aspect of practice.
Until we have true devotion nothing deep is going to happen, that is for
sure.
I remind you that each one of you, all sentient beings, ultimately, right
now, are in essence perfect, they are Buddha. The only thing is that they
dont realize this. They are not pretending to not realize, they sincerely
and truly do not realize this, including me. This way I thought to
remind you about the same thing that helps me very much, by reminding
myself. And I remind myself all the time, You are not just Tai Situ, you
are Buddha in the making. You are an unenlightened Buddha, a
primordial Buddha. You are not as bad as you might think, but also you
are not as good as you should be, very far from being as good as you

438


should be. So this helps me very much. This does not give me much
chance to have any so-called depression, so-called stress, so-called
pride or, so-called disappointment. When somebody does something
terrible, I dont like it, but then deep inside I think, why not? Because the
person does not know he or she is a Buddha, then why not? When
somebody does something wonderful Im very happy. Im very delighted.
But deep inside I think, why not? He is a Buddha, she is a Buddha, so
why not? This way it really benefits me personally, tremendously, and
all the credit goes to my great masters because everything is because of
them. So I am very happy to share this with you.
This sacred substance [the nature of everything] we have to, and
should, respect, appreciate, uphold and cherish it as it is. I will give a
simple example, when you feel shaky, kind of not certain and become
confused, then face a mountain and look at the mountain. Mountains do
not move. And when you feel so small and so incapable, so inferior, then
look at the sky. Your mind is as limitless as sky. You are limitless. You
have no limitation. You are not inferior or incapable, that has no space.
Space is limitless. Mind is like space, in fact mind is space. That is why
some of you could be born here and have come from billions of light
years away, because for mind, it covers everything, it is all-pervading.
Therefore, you can die billions of light years away and be born here in a
split second. It does not take millions of light years to get here.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SRI SARADA DEVI

In the history of humanity there has never been another woman who
looked upon herself as the Mother of all beings, including animals and
birds, and spent her whole life in serving them as her children,
undergoing unending sacrifice and self-denial. About her role in the
mission of Sri Ramakrishna on earth, she stated: My son, you know the
Master had a maternal attitude (matri-bhava) towards every one. He has
left me behind to manifest that Divine Motherhood in the world.
On account of her immaculate purity, extraordinary forbearance,
selfless service, unconditional love, wisdom and spiritual illumination,
Swami Vivekananda regarded Sri Sarada Devi as the ideal for women in
the modern age. He believed that with the advent of Holy Mother, the
spiritual awakening of women in modern times had begun.
Open your grief-stricken heart to the Lord. Weep and sincerely pray,
'O Lord, draw me towards You; give me peace of mind.' By doing so
constantly you, will gradually attain peace of mind.

440


Pray to God with tears in your eyes whenever you want illumination or
find yourself faced with any doubt or difficulty. The Lord will remove all
your impurities, assuage your mental anguish, and give you
enlightenment.
We have to surrender ourselves completely to the Lord with faith and
devotion in Him, serve others to the best of our capacity, and never be a
source of sorrow to anybody.
Such is life, here today, gone tomorrow! Nothing goes with one, except
one's merit and demerit; good and evil deeds follow one even after
death.
He who has really prayed to the Master, even once, has nothing to fear.
By, praying to him constantly one gets ecstatic love (Prema Bhakti)
through his grace.
The whole world is a dream; even this (the waking state) is a dream ...
What you dreamt last night does not exist now.
Everything, husband, wife, or even the body, is only illusory. These are
all shackles of illusion. Unless you can free yourself from these
bondages, you will never be able to go to the other shore of the world.
No doubt, God alone has become all these objects, animate and
inanimate, but in the relative world all beings act and suffer according
to their past Karma and innate tendencies.
We suffer as a result of our own actions; it is unfair to blame anybody
for it.

441


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY DILGO KHYENTSE YANGSI
RINPOCHE

Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche is the incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse


Rinpoche who passed away in 1991 at the age of 81. When Khyentse
Rinpoche passed away, his close students requested Trulshik Rinpoche,
his most senior and accomplished disciple, to find his incarnation. He
had numerous dreams and visions that clearly indicated the identity of
the incarnation. His Holiness the Dalai Lama confirmed that this child
was the tulku or reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He is a very
compassionate and kind young teacher who has a deep commitment and
sense of caring for the future of Buddhism. He is always working in order
to benefit all sentient beings.
Enlightenment, inherent though it is in the mind, seems so difficult to
unveil. But if you develop fervent devotion and fuse the gurus
enlightened nature with your ordinary mind, enlightenment can be
realized. Truly, to meditate on the benevolent teacher is a spiritual
practice more profound than any other.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SADHGURU

Jaggi Vasudev, a yogi and profound mystic of our times, is a visionary


humanitarian and a prominent spiritual leader. A contemporary Guru,
rooted as strongly in mundane and pragmatic matters as he is in inner
experience and wisdom, Sadhguru works tirelessly towards the physical,
mental, and spiritual well-being of all. His mastery of the mechanisms of
life, an outcome of his profound experience of the Self, guides in
exploring the subtler dimensions of life. He is perhaps the most unusual
mystic that one can encounter. Marking a clear departure from mere
customs and rituals,

Sadhguru's scientific methods for

self-

transformation are both direct and powerful. Belonging to no particular


tradition, Sadhguru incorporates and presents what is most valid for the
contemporary life from the yogic sciences.
When your happiness is dependent upon what is happening outside of
you, constantly you live as a slave to the external situation.
Once a person has a certain mastery over his life energies, he can
completely change the course of his life.

443


Do not try to fix whatever comes in your life. Fix yourself in such a way
that whatever comes, you will be fine.
When you get up in the morning, the first thing you should do is smile.
At whom? No one. Because just the fact that you woke up is not a small
thing.
When you walk the spiritual path, your inner situation is on fastforward.
We dont need more Hindus, more Christians, more Muslims; we need
more Buddhas, more Jesuss, more Krishnasthe real ones. Live ones.
That is when true change will happen. And that potential is innate in
every human being.
The quality of your life will change not by changing the content of your
life; it will change only by changing the context of your life.
You become unhappy and depressed when what you want does not
happen. When you are already joyful, what happens or does not happen
is not the issue. You are released from the fruit of action even before you
start the action. This is not because you develop some dispassion or
renunciation about but simply because you are so joyful.
If you want everyone to fall in love with you, the first thing is, you must
fall in love with all of them.
Health is essentially based on balance and harmony within you and
with everything around you.

444


May the religions of the world strive for an inclusive and harmonious
world.
Every problem is a problem only because you call it so. In life, there
are no problems there are only situations.
It does not matter what happens as long as at the end of the day, you
can look back on your stupidity and laugh at yourselfnot at the other.
If you think there is something more important in this life than you
being alive right now, you are bound to end up bitter and frustrated with
life.
Peace and happiness is neither in the silence of the mountains nor in
the din of the marketplace. It will only be a permanent station for those
who explore the dimensions of inner nature.
Just desire the highest in life. All your passions, direct them to the
Highest. Even if you get angry, direct it only towards Shiva.
As long as youre continuously aware that by doing whatever you are
doing, you are making a huge contribution to peoples lives, then every
activity that you do is successful. It doesn't matter what you do.
If you are truly joyful, you wont be looking for satisfaction.
People have come to the conclusion that body means pain. And yet, just
the right food, practices and a little change in attitude, and this body
becomes a miracle.

445


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY GURU NANAK

Guru Nanak was an Indian saint who founded Sikhism and became the
first of the Sikh Gurus. A visionary and a great soul, he was an original
spiritual thinker. His religious ideas draw on both Hindu and Islamic
thoughts, but are also unique in their own right. He started displaying
signs of his greatness early on in childhood. Even as a boy he used to
spend long hours in meditation and was deeply spiritual. He questioned
the meaningless rituals his family performed in the name of religion
and refused to participate in them. His radical spirituality shocked his
parents and they tried to involve him in worldly matters. The kindhearted young boy distributed his fathers money to the poor and needy
thus greatly angering his pragmatic father who hoped that his son
would one day become a businessman. Even an arranged marriage at an
early age did not prevent Nanak from venturing further on the spiritual
path. Eventually he went on to found Sikhism, a monotheistic religion
that advocates the concept of the oneness of God. He traveled far and
wide, mostly on foot, spreading the message of oneness of God who
dwells in all living beings.

446


Burn worldly love, rub the ashes and make ink of it, make the heart the
pen, the intellect the writer, write that which has no end or limit.
Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion
cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God.
He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.
Dwell in peace in the home of your own being, and the Messenger of
Death will not be able to touch you.
For each and every person, our Lord and Master provides sustenance.
Why are you so afraid, O mind? The flamingos fly hundreds of miles,
leaving their young ones behind. Who feeds them, and who teaches them
to feed themselves? Have you ever thought of this in your mind?
There is but One God, His name is Truth, He is the Creator, He fears
none, he is without hate, He never dies, He is beyond the cycle of births
and death, He is self-illuminated, He is realized by the kindness of the
True Guru. He was True in the beginning, He was True when the ages
commenced and has ever been True, He is also True now.
Speak only that which will bring you honor.
What should the yogi have to fear? Trees, plants, and all that is inside
and outside, is He Himself

447


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY GORAKHNATH

Osho regarded Gorakhnath as one of the four great innovators of Indian


religion, alongside Patanjali,Buddha, and Krishna, who are to be
regarded as originating the paths of yoga, meditation, and love
respectively. Gorakhnath is one of the acknowledged saints of the Nath
tradition. He is revered as the Supreme Manifestation of the Supreme
Divinity. He is the originator of the yogic system of Hatha Yoga.
Legends also state that Goddess Parvathi, seeing Guru Gorakhnath in
Samadhi asked Lord Shiva about the Yogi. Lord Shiva said that the saint
was His own manifestation. It is believed that the Lord took incarnation
in the form of Gorakhnath to teach and expand the knowledge of Yoga,
whenever people forgot it or when Yogic beliefs got distorted.
Gorakhnath speaks of six limbs of Hatha Yoga. He does not accept
Patanjalis eight limbs. He accepts only asana, pranayama, pratyahara,
dhaarana, dhyaana and Samadhi. It is believed that this saint has been
around for thousands of years, watching over the welfare of humanity.
A Yogi always destroys diseases by Asanas; sin by Pranayama and
mental disturbance by means of Pratyahara.

448


In this way, Pranayama becomes like fire to the fuel in the form of sins.
It is always called a mighty bridge across the ocean of sins by the Yogis.
One should inhale breath slowly and exhale it likewise. One should
neither retain breath more than enough i.e. not exceeding one's capacity
to retain it, nor should one exhale it rapidly.
When the air moves, the bindu also moves; when it is immovable, [the
bindu also] becomes motionless, [and] the yoga practitioner obtains
steadiness. For this reason, one should restrain the air.
As long as the air stays in the body, so long it is called life; its departure
is death. For this reason, [one should] restrain the air.
"When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; When the breath is still,
all is still; Remain aware of the phenomena of breath, carefully.
Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body, Retention gives
steadiness of mind and longevity, Exhalation purifies the body and
emotional spirit."
The mind itself is the abode of the good as well as of the evil. One may
either let the good prevail or may allow free play to the evil instincts.
This mind is pure and pious only when it lets the good in it prosper. If
the mind promotes the evil instincts residing in it then it becomes impure
and impious. Yoga is the means by which the mind can be trained to
promote and sustain the good instincts.
Speak not in haste, walk not in haste. Take slow cautious steps. Let not
pride overtake you. Lead a simple life.

449


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY CHATRAL SANGYE
RINPOCHE

Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche is one of the most accomplished


Tibetan Buddhist yogis of our time. In 1947, he had the lofty status of
being the head spiritual master of Regent Retingthe political leader of
Tibetbut he always preferred to live as a humble yogi in a simple
dwelling without the distractions of fame and fortune. He practiced what
he preached without compromise and as a result is beloved throughout
the Himalayan region by people of all faiths. At age 15, Rinpoche
decided to leave his family in order to study and practice Buddhism with
the masters of the area. This act of renunciation began his life-long
journey as a carefree yogi seeking Enlightenment at any cost in order to
effectively help other beings with compassion. From the onset, Rinpoche
was highly principled, traveling exclusively on foot and refusing a horse
when offered. He stayed only in hermitages, caves or his small tent to
avoid involvement with householders and their worldly preoccupations.
Chatral Rinpoche is actually considered to be the manifestation of Guru
Padmasambhavas mind, due to prophecies written about Rinpoches
emergence and his proven wisdom.

450


I am just an ordinary sentient being and there is nothing special about
me. I just follow the teachings of Lord Buddha. Without any cheating on
my part, I stand firmly on the ground in practicing the Dharma and in
helping all sentient beings. I wish that all sentient beings could let go of
the acts of self-deception and self-aggrandizement, so that they can
really practice the Dharma in order to liberate themselves from cyclic
existence and to help other sentient beings. Otherwise, it will be too late
when they are feeling remorseful!
The chances of finding a human existence are one in a hundred. Now
that you have found one, if you fail to practice the sublime Dharma, How
could you possibly expect to find such an opportunity again? This is why
its crucial that you take advantage of your situation.
To obtain real peace and happiness in this world one has simply to
follow the path of ahimsa nonviolence which naturally is common to
all the religions of the world. If we do not like to experience any pain or
suffering of any kind, how can we expect any other creature whether
big or small to feel otherwise? There is no better prayer or worship we
can offer to Lord Buddha than being thoughtful, kind, compassionate and
abstaining from taking the life of any fellow human being, animal, bird,
fish or insect.
There are three kinds of dharma practitioners: firstly, there are those
who look like practitioners outwardly, but inwardly they are not real
practitioners; secondly, there are those who talk very high, but have no
realization at all; thirdly there are those who do not look like
practitioners outwardly, but who are in fact genuine practitioners
inside.
451


No matter where you stay be it a busy place or a solitary retreat the
only thing that you need to conquer are minds five poisons and your
own true enemies, the eight worldly concerns, nothing else.
Turning us back from the road to the lower realms, it shows us the road
to the higher realms, and leads to where there is no old age and death.
To this bodhicitta, in homage I bow. I bow to those who have given birth
to this most precious and sacred of minds, who bring bliss to even those
who cause them harm. In such sources of happiness, I take refuge.
The word 'chatral' has the connotation of an ascetic yogi who abandons
all. Usually names are given as labels. But in the one now passing into
paranirvana, the name Chatral was not just a label. He was the epitome
and embodiment of what the word chatral really means. Many lamas like
myself, who make the loudest noises, display the most jarring images,
and travel every inch and corner of the world, have achieved next to
nothing compared to this man who appears never to have done anything
except for keeping his meditation mat from ever getting cold. And if he
did manifest in action, this is the man who spent 99.99% of what he had
rescuing the lives of animals. So for ignorant beings like us to try and
express the great qualities of this enlightened being is like trying to
measure the depth and width of the sky.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

452


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY AJAHN CHAH

Ajahn Chah practiced in the style of an ascetic monk in the austere Forest
Tradition, spending his time in forests, caves and cremation grounds,
ideal places for developing meditation practice. He wandered through
the countryside in quest of quiet and secluded places for developing
meditation. He lived in tiger and cobra infested jungles, using reflections
on death to penetrate to the true meaning of life. On one occasion he
practiced in a cremation ground, to challenge and eventually overcome
his fear of death. Then, as he sat cold and drenched in a rainstorm, he
faced the utter desolation and loneliness of a homeless monk. Wisdom
is a way of living and being, and Ajahn Chah has endeavored to preserve
the simple monastic life-style in order that people may study and practice
the Dhamma in the present day. Ajahn Chah's wonderfully simple style
of teaching can be deceptive. It is often only after we have heard
something many times that suddenly our minds are ripe and somehow
the teaching takes on a much deeper meaning. His skillful means in
tailoring his explanations of Dhamma to time and place, and to the
understanding and sensitivity of his audience, was marvelous to see.
453


Sometimes on paper though, it can make him seem inconsistent or even
self-contradictory! At such times the reader should remember that these
words are a record of a living experience. Similarly, if the teachings may
seem to vary at times from tradition, it should be borne in mind that the
Venerable Ajahn Chah spoke always from the heart, from the depths of
his own meditative experience.
Do everything with a mind that lets go. Dont accept praise or gain or
anything else. If you let, go a little you a will have a little peace; if you
let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will
have complete peace.
You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers cant solve your own
doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside.
Knowing yourself is most important.
The heart is the only book worth reading.
Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and
suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a
teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from
suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward
it.
If it isn't good, let it die. If it doesn't die, make it good.
The Buddha told us to see the way things are and let go of our clinging
to them. Take this feeling of letting go as your refuge.

454


Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do
not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be.
When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. If you havent
wept deeply, you havent begun to meditate.
Just try to keep your mind in the present. Whatever arises in the mind,
just watch it and let go of it. Don't even wish to be rid of thoughts. Then
the mind will return to its natural state. No discriminating between good
and bad, hot and cold, fast and slow. No me and no you, no self at all
just what there is. When you walk there is no need to do anything special.
Simply walk and see what is there. No need to cling to isolation or
seclusion. Wherever you are, know yourself by being natural and
watching. If doubts arise, watch them come and go. It's very simple. Hold
on to nothing. It's as though you are walking down a road. Periodically
you will run into obstacles. When you meet defilements, just see them
and overcome them by letting them go. Don't think about the obstacles
you've already passed; don't worry about those you have not yet seen.
Stick to the present. Don't be concerned about the length of the road or
the destination. Everything is changing. Whatever you pass, don't cling
to it. Eventually the mind will reach its natural balance where practice
is automatic. All things will come and go of themselves.
If our body really belonged to us, it would obey our commands. If we
say, Dont get old, Or I forbid you to get sick does it obey us? No!
It takes no notice. We only rent this house, not own it. If we think it
does belong to us, we will suffer when we have to leave it. But in reality,
there is no such thing as a permanent self, nothing unchanging or solid
that we can hold on to.

455


All bodies are composed of the four elements of earth, water, wind and
fire. When they come together and form a body we say its a male, a
female, giving it names, and so on, so that we can identify each other
more easily. But actually there isnt anyone there only earth, water,
wind and fire. Dont get excited over it or infatuated by it. If you really
look into it, you will not find anyone there.
We say that a meditator should not walk the way of happiness or
unhappiness, rather he should know them. Knowing the truth of
suffering, he will know the cause of suffering, the end of suffering and
the way leading to the end of suffering. And the way out of suffering is
meditation itself. To put it simply, we must be mindful.
We dont meditate to see heaven, but to end suffering.
Our birth and death are just one thing. You cant have one without the
other. Its a little funny to see how at a death people are so tearful and
sad, and at a birth how happy and delighted. Its delusion. I think that if
you really want to cry, then it would be better to do so when someones
born. Cry at the root, for if there were no birth, there would be no death.
Can you understand this?
Death is as close as our breath.
Dharma is in your mind, not in the forest. Dont believe others. Just listen
to your mind. You dont have to go and look anywhere else. Wisdom is
in yourself, just like a sweet ripe mango is already in a young green one.

456


Anyone can build a house of wood and bricks, but the Buddha taught
us that sort of home is not our real home. Its a home in the world and it
follows the ways of the world. Our real home is inner peace.
When you do something bad, there is nowhere you can go to hide. Even
if others dont see you, you must see yourself. Even if you go into a deep
hole, youll still find yourself there. Theres no way you can commit bad
actions and get away with it. In the same way, why shouldnt you see
your own purity? You see it all, the peace, the agitation, the liberation,
the bondage; you see all these for yourself.
There are two kinds of suffering. There is the suffering you run away
from, which follows you everywhere. And there is the suffering you face
directly, and so become free.
With even a little intuitive wisdom we will be able to see clearly the
ways of the world. We will come to understand that everything in the
world is our teacher.
It is so easy once you understand. It is so simple and direct. When
pleasant things arise, understand that they are empty. When unpleasant
thing arises, see that they are not yours. They pass away. Dont relate to
them as being you, or see yourself as the owner of them.
In truth, happiness is suffering in disguise. If you cling to happiness,
its the same as clinging to suffering, but you dont realize it. When you
hold on to happiness, it is impossible to throw away the inherent
suffering. So be careful! When happiness arises, dont be overjoyed, and
dont get carried away and when suffering comes, do not despair.

457


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI

Sri Ramana Maharshi was probably the most famous sage of the
twentieth century both in India and the rest of the world. He was
renowned for his saintly life, for being fully realized, and for the
powerful transmissions that often occurred to visitors in his presence. At
age 16 he realized spontaneously and ran away to Arunachala, one of
India's traditional holy sites, where he stayed for the rest of his life. So
many people came to see him there that an ashram was built around him.
Many of his close devotees were regarded by their peers as self-realized.
Ramana Maharshi always said that his most important teaching was done
in silence. He meant that when people were in his physical presence, in
his sannidhi, their minds were affected. In some cases, the effects were
astonishingly strong. Self-enquiry was taught by Sri Ramana as the
continuous effort to focus attention as keenly as possible on the I-thought
in order to recognize the I-thought's source, the Self. When this is done,
awareness intensifies and thoughts diminish. The practice must be
performed continuously for long periods in order to achieve results.

458


The only true nature of life is impermanence. Accept this and walk your
journey in contentment.
Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is
seeking it outside when it is inside.
Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the
world.
Your duty is to be and not to be this or that. 'I am that I am' sums up the
whole truth. The method is summed up in the words 'Be still'. What does
stillness mean? It means destroy yourself. Because any form or shape is
the cause for trouble. Give up the notion that 'I am so and so'. All that is
required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that?
Wanting to reform the world without discovering one's true self is like
trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on
stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.
Have faith in God and in yourself; that will cure all. Hope for the best,
expect the best, toil for the best and everything will come right for you in
the end.
Realization is not acquisition of anything new nor is it a new faculty. It
is only removal of all camouflage
If you go on working with the light available, you will meet your
Master, as he himself will be seeking you.
It will come all right in the end.

459


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MOOJI

Mooji (Anthony Paul Moo-Young) is a disciple of the great Advaita


master, Sri H.W.L. Poonja or Papaji, as he is affectionately known by
devotees. Mooji was born in Jamaica. He later moved to Brixton,
London. Here, Grace brought an encounter with a Christian mystic that
caused Mooji to walk out of his lifean expression he uses to convey
the profundity of that meeting. There was no longer a sense of personal
autonomy. In his own words he says, I felt I was sitting on the lap of
God. A deep peace and trust in the Supreme arose inside my heart and
has remained to this day. Intrigued by this major shift in perception and
wanting to merge fully in Truth, Mooji discovered the teachings of the
great Indian saint, Sri Ramakrishna, whose utterances satisfied his heart
deeply. Recognising Moojis radiance, people from various parts of the
world began to approach him in search of the direct experience of Truth.
The capacity to guide them arose spontaneously in him. Although
Moojis presence carries a devotional fragrance, the words that spring
from his being are of the nature of non-duality. His guidance evokes the
love for and the direct recognition of the timeless Self we are.
460


Dying to your own attachments is a beautiful death. Because this death
releases you into real life. You have to die as a seed to live as a tree.
Step into the fire of self-discovery. This fire will not burn you, it will
only burn what you are not.
There is a presence, a silence, a stillness which is here by itself. There
is no doer of it, no creator of this stillness. It is simply here in you, with
you. It is the fragrance of your own self. There is nothing to do about
this, it is naturally present. This fragrance of peace, this spaciousness, it
is the fragrance of your own being.
If you make human company too important you will not discover your
true Self. Relationships not based in truth are never entirely reliable and
are rarely enduring. Taking time to discover yourself is the best use of
time. Prioritize this. One should not excessively seek partners or friends,
one should seek to know and be oneself. As you begin to awaken to the
Truth, you start noticing how well life flows by itself and how well you
are cared for. Life supports the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual
needs of the one who is open to self-discovery. Trust opens your eyes to
the recognition of this. Surrender allows you to merge in your own
eternal being.
I dont have to be anything at all. I dont even have to be myself,
because there is no such thing as not being myself. I am inescapably
myself.
Dont be a storehouse of memories. Leave past, future and even present
thoughts behind. Be a witness to life unfolding by itself. Be free of all
attachments, fears and concerns by keeping your mind inside your own
461


heart. Rest in being. Like this, your life is always fresh and imbued with
pure joy and timeless presence. Be happy, wise and free.
You say you want to get rid of the noise, but you and the noise go
together. You have to be you without 'you' and all noise will stop. The
real You is the formless witness within. The person, the noisy one, is only
imagined. To recognize this is Freedom.
Everything that happened, you never saw it coming. The greatest things
in your life, you did not expect, they simply unfolded. As you begin to
recognize and accept this, you relax and see that your life is unfolding
inside a greater harmony. Free will, destiny, all of these things are only
pertaining to your body-mind expression, not to your real Self, which is
beyond all that.
Who gave us this crazy idea that we should know how to live? Does a
tree know how to grow? Does a cloud know how to float? Does the wind
know where it is blowing? Does a road know that is going somewhere?
Dont know how to live, just recognize that you are life, and life just is.
All of Gods gifts are perfectly attuned to support your awakening
perfectly auspicious. Dont go by the size but by the potency. An attitude
of gratitude opens your eyes and heart to make the best use of these
gifts.

462


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY DZONGSAR KHYENTSE
RINPOCHE

The present Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Thubten Chkyi


Gyamtso, was recognized as a tulku by H.H. Sakya Trizin, and received
empowerments and teachings from many of the greatest masters of
Tibetan Buddhism, including H.H. the 16th Karmapa; H.H. Dudjom
Rinpoche and Lama Sonam Zangpo (his paternal and maternal
grandfathers); Chatral Rinpoche; Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Khenpo
Appey, and many others. His root guru was Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche,
who began training Rinpoche from the age of 7. While still a teenager,
Rinpoche built a small retreat center in Ghezing, Sikkim and soon began
traveling and teaching around the world. In the 1980s, he began the
restoration of Dzongsar Monastery in Derge, the responsibility of which
he had inherited from his previous incarnation, Jamyang Khyentse
Chkyi Lodr. He established Dzongsar Institute in Bir, India, which has
grown to be one of the most respected institutions for advanced
dialectical study. He also oversees two monasteries in Bhutan and has
established dharma centres in Australia, Europe, North America, and
463


Asia. He has written several books and made award-winning films.
Rinpoche continuously travels all over the world, practicing and teaching
the Dharma.
What is the particular view that Buddhists try to get used to? Buddhism
is distinguished by four characteristics, or seals. Actually, if all these
four seals are found in a path or a philosophy, it doesnt matter whether
you call it Buddhist or not. You can call it what you like; the words
Buddhist or Buddhism are not important. The point is that if this
path contains these four seals, it can be considered the path of the
Buddha.
Therefore, these four characteristics are called the Four Seals of
Dharma. They are:
All compounded things are impermanent.

All emotions are painful. This is something that only Buddhists would
talk about. Many religious worship things like love with celebration and
songs. Buddhists think, This is all suffering.

All phenomena are empty; they are without inherent existence. This is
actually the ultimate view of Buddhism; the other three are grounded on
this third seal.
The fourth seal is that nirvana is beyond extremes.
You do not wash the cup, you wash the dirt; if you were to wash the
cup, it would disappear completely. So, it is the dirt that is washable and

464


has nothing at all to do with the cup. This example is quite a good
illustration of one of the most profound theories of the bodhisattvayana:
we all have the potential to become Buddhas because we have Buddha
nature. The problem is we have yet to realize it.
If one knows that everything is impermanent, one does not grasp, and
if one does not grasp, one will not think in terms of having or lacking,
and therefore one lives fully.
Then if you ask me, then why do we need the guru? Because you want
the enlightenment fast, thats why. Its as easy as that.
If you have devotion, the Buddha is always right in front of you.
Ideally the ultimate retreat is to retreat from the past and the future, to
always remain in the present.
Generally speaking, the ultimate message of Buddhism is that you
possess Buddha nature. In other words, you already and quite naturally
have within you the qualities of complete enlightenment. But you need to
realize this. The fact that you dont have this realization is the reason
why you are wandering in samsara. According to Nagarjuna, the Buddha
didnt say that you need to abandon samsara in order to gain
enlightenment. What he said was that you need to see that samsara is
empty, that it has no inherent existence. This is the same as saying that
you need to recognize your essential Buddha nature.

465


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MATTHIEU RICARD

Sometimes called the "happiest man in the world," Matthieu Ricard is a


Buddhist monk, author and photographer. After training in biochemistry
at the Institute Pasteur, Matthieu Ricard left science behind to move to
the Himalayas and become a Buddhist monk -- and to pursue happiness,
both at a basic human level and as a subject of inquiry. Achieving
happiness, he has come to believe, requires the same kind of effort and
mind training that any other serious pursuit involves. His deep and
scientifically tinged reflections on happiness and Buddhism have turned
into several books, including The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to
the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet. At the same time, he
also makes sensitive and jaw-droopingly gorgeous photographs of his
beloved Tibet and the spiritual hermitage where he lives and works on
humanitarian projects.
We try to fix the outside so much, but our control of the outer world is
limited, temporary, and often, illusory.
There is a possibility for change because all emotions are fleeting.

466


Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree. It completely
changes your brain and therefore changes what you are.
Some people might think that the smartest way to guarantee their own
well-being is to isolate themselves from others and to work hard at their
own happiness, without consideration for what other people are
experiencing. They probably assume that if everybody did that, wed all
be happy. But the result would be exactly the opposite: instead of being
happy, they would be torn between hope and fear, make their own lives
miserable, and ruin the lives of the people around them too.
I have also come to understand that although some people are naturally
happier than others, their happiness is still vulnerable and incomplete,
and that achieving durable happiness as a way of being is a skill. It
requires sustained effort in training the mind and developing a set of
human qualities, such as inner peace, mindfulness, and altruistic love.
One is not born wise; one becomes it.
The ultimate reason for meditating is to transform ourselves in order
to be better able to transform the world.
May every moment of my life and of the lives of others be one of wisdom,
flourishing, and inner peace!
Happiness is a state of inner fulfillment, not the gratification of
inexhaustible desires for outward things.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NEEM KAROLI BABA

Maharaj-jis teachings were simple and universal. He often said, Sub


Ek All is One. He taught us to love everyone, serve everyone,
remember God, and tell the truth. Strongly connected to Hanuman, the
Hindu God in the form of a monkey, Maharaj-ji taught in a highly
personalized, non-traditional way that reflected the deep devotion of the
bhakti path of the heart. Known as the Miracle Baba throughout north
India, He manifested many siddhis (powers), such as being in two places
at once or putting devotees in samadhi (state of God consciousness) at
the touch of a finger. Maharaj-ji is best known for the unconditional love
He showered on all who came into His presence as well as those who
never met Him in the body but established a connection to him beyond
the physical plane.
"I don't want anything. I exist only to serve others."
"Love all men as God, even if they hurt you or shame you. Be like Gandhi
and Christ."

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If you want to see God, kill desires. Desires are in the mind. When you
have a desire for something, don't act on it and it will go away. If you
desire to drink this cup of tea, don't, and the desire for it will fall away."
"Love is the strongest medicine. It is more powerful than electricity."
"If you desire a mango at the moment of death, you'll be born an insect.
If you even desire the next breath, you will take birth again."
"Lust, Greed, Anger, Attachment - These are all paths to hell."
"The best service you can do is to keep your thoughts on God. Keep God
in mind every minute."
"You can leave me. I won't leave you. Once I catch hold of you, I don't
let go."
"Everything is impermanent, except the love of God."
"Whoever works for God, his work will be done by itself. "
Even if a person hurts you, give him love. The worst punishment is to
throw someone out of your heart... You should love everyone as God,
and love each other. If you cannot love each other, you cannot achieve
your goal.
All religions are the same. They all lead to God. God is everybody ...
The same blood flows through us all, the arms, the legs, the heart, all are
the same. See no difference. See all the same.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NYOSHUL KHEN RINPOCHE

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche was a revered Tibetan meditation master,


scholar, and poet, whose extraordinary presence and brilliant teaching
style made a deep impact on the current generation of Tibetan lamas and
on the transmission of Tibetan Buddhism to the West. A principal lineage
holder in the Rime (nonsectarian) movement of Tibetan Buddhism,
Nyoshul Khenpo counted twenty-five teachers from all of the Tibetan
lineages as his masters. Foremost, he was an authority on the teachings
of the Nyingma master Longchenpa and the Longchen Nyingthig, a cycle
of teachings that focus on revealing the minds fundamental nature of
luminous purity. Rinpoche also mastered many of the highest practices
of the other Tibetan lineages, including the Six Yogas of Naropa,
Lamdre, Kalachakra, and Chod. In India, he received teachings from
exiled Tibetan masters such as Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse
Rinpoche, and the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. Later, these same lamas, as
well as others (including Tai Situ Rinpoche, Pema Norbu Rinpoche,
Sakya Trizin, and Dzogchen Rinpoche) invited him to teach at their
monasteries.

470


Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind, Beaten helpless by
karma and neurotic thoughts Like the relentless fury of the pounding
waves in the infinite ocean of samsara. Rest in natural great peace.
Profound and tranquil, free from complexity, Uncompounded luminous
clarity, Beyond the mind of conceptual ideas; This is the depth of the
mind of the Victorious Ones. In this there is not a thing to be removed,
nor anything that needs to be added. It is merely the immaculate looking
naturally at itself.
An effortless compassion can arise for all beings who have not realized
their true nature. So limitless is it that if tears could express it, you would
cry without end. Not only compassion, but tremendous skillful means can
be born when you realize the nature of mind. Also you are naturally
liberated from all suffering and fear, such as the fear of birth, death and
the intermediate state. Then if you were to speak of the joy and bliss that
arise from this realization, it is said by the Buddha that if you were to
gather all the glory, enjoyment, pleasure and happiness of the world and
put it all together, it would not approach one tiny fraction of the bliss
that you experience upon realizing the nature of mind.
The nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral, those with dualistic
perception regard suffering as happiness, Like they who lick the honey
from a razors edge. How pitiful they who cling strongly to concrete
reality: Turn your attention within, my heart friends.
Emptiness is the nectar of immortality.

471


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JACK KORNFIELD

Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of


Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally
since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist
mindfulness practice to the West. He met and studied as a monk under
the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi
Sayadaw of Burma. Returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the
Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Over the years, Jack
has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International
Buddhist Teacher meetings with the Dalai Lama and worked with many
of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology
and is a father and activist. His books have been translated into 20
languages and sold more than a million copies.
In the end, just three things matter:
How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go
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Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love
and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family,
or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in
the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and
actions, not on our wishes.
You hold in your hand an invitation: to remember the transforming
power of forgiveness and loving kindness. To remember that no matter
where you are and what you face, within your heart peace is possible.
There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others, have betrayed
or abandoned them, caused them suffering, knowingly or unknowingly,
out of my pain, fear, anger, and confusion. Let yourself remember and
visualize the ways you have hurt others. See the pain you have caused
out of your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret.
Sense that finally you can release this burden and ask for forgiveness.
Take as much time as you need to picture each memory that still burdens
your heart. And then as each person comes to mind, gently say: I ask for
your forgiveness, I ask for your forgiveness.
When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose
connection with one another - and ourselves.
Even Socrates, who lived a very frugal and simple life, loved to go to
the market. When his students asked about this, he replied, "I love to go
and see all the things I am happy without.
Open to whatever you experience without fighting.

473


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SHUNRYU SUSUKI

Shunry Suzuki is probably the most well-known of the early Zen


pioneers in North America. His two dharma heirs, son Hoitsu Suzuki and
the American Zentatsu Richard Baker, have together created a whole
new generation of teachers actively passing on his lineage in the modernday. His was truly a simplistic practice centered around shikantaza.
Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something
else.
If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to
everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the
expert's mind there are few.
Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun
and the stars you see. You are one with everything. That is more true
than I can say, and more true than you can hear.
I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in
nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and
474


no color--something which exists before all forms and colors appear...
No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached
to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea.
Even though you try to put people under control, it is impossible. You
cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be
mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your
sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is
with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the
best policy. To ignore them is not good. That is the worst policy. The
second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them,
just to watch them, without trying to control them.
When you accept everything, everything is beyond dimensions. The
earth is not great nor a grain of sand small. In the realm of Great Activity
picking up a grain of sand is the same as taking up the whole universe.
To save one sentient being is to save all sentient beings. Your efforts of
this moment to save one person is the same as the eternal merit of
Buddha.
Calmness of mind does not mean you should stop your activity. Real
calmness should be found in activity itself. We say, "It is easy to have
calmness in inactivity, it is hard to have calmness in activity, but
calmness in activity is true calmness.
When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and
mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it
completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire. You

475


should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely,
a trace of yourself will be left in what you do.
When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit, you should just sit;
when you eat, you should just eat.
Now it is raining, but we don't know what will happen in the next
moment. By the time we go out it may be a beautiful day, or a stormy
day. Since we don't know, let's appreciate the sound of the rain now.
Each existence depends on something else... there are no separate
individual existences. There are just many names for one existence.
So even though you have some difficulty in your practice, even though
you have some waves while you are sitting, those waves themselves will
help you. So you should not be bothered by your mind. You should rather
be grateful for the weeds, because eventually they will enrich your
practice.
Renunciation is not giving up the things of this world, but accepting
that they go away.
We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. We
should find perfection in imperfection... The eternal exists because of
non-eternal existence... We should find the truth in this world, through
our difficulties, through our suffering... Pleasure is not different from
difficulty. Good is not different from bad.

476


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MINGYUR RINPOCHE

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche possesses a rare ability to present the ancient


wisdom of Tibet in a fresh, engaging manner. His profound yet
accessible teachings and playful sense of humor have endeared him to
students around the world. Most uniquely, Rinpoches teachings weave
together his own personal experiences with modern scientific research,
relating both to the practice of meditation. Rinpoche is a rising star
among the new generation of Tibetan Buddhist masters. From a young
age, Rinpoche was drawn to a life of contemplation. He spent many years
of his childhood in strict retreat. At the age of seventeen, he was invited
to be a teacher at his monasterys three-year retreat center, a position
rarely held by such a young lama. He also completed the traditional
Buddhist training in philosophy and psychology, before founding a
monastic college at his home monastery in north India.
In addition to extensive training in the meditative and
philosophical traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, Mingyur Rinpoche has
also had a lifelong interest in Western science and psychology. At an
early age, he began a series of informal discussions with the famed
477


neuroscientist Francisco Varela, who came to Nepal to learn meditation
from his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. He teaches throughout the
world, with centers on five continents. His candid, often humorous
accounts of his own personal difficulties have endeared him to thousands
of students around the world. His best-selling book, The Joy of Living:
Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, debuted on the New
York Times bestseller list and has been translated into over twenty
languages. In early June, 2011, Mingyur Rinpoche left his monastery in
Bodhgaya, India to begin a period of extended solitary retreat. In
November of 2015 Mingyur Rinpoche returned after four years of
solitary retreat. He is currently teaching his monastic and western
students living around the world.
Meditation is a uniquely personal process, and no two peoples
experience is alike.
Thoughts are just thoughts. Feelings are just feelings. Sensations are
just sensations. They come and go in waking life as quickly and easily as
they do in dreams.
When we meditate in this objectless state, were actually resting the
mind in its natural clarity, entirely indifferent to the passage of thoughts
and emotions. This natural clarity which is beyond any dualistic
grasping of subject and object is always present for us in the same way
that space is always present.
In very simple terms, the most effective approach to meditation is to try
your best without focusing too much on the results.

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Thoughts arent really fixed realities, but simply movements of the mind
that is thinking.
Though were conditioned to identify with the thoughts that pass
through our awareness rather than with awareness itself, the awareness
that is our true nature is infinitely flexible. It is capable of any and every
sort of experience even misconceptions about itself as limited, trapped,
ugly, anxious, lonely, or afraid. When we begin to identify with that
timeless, pristine awareness rather than with the thoughts, feelings, and
sensations that pass through it, weve taken the first step toward facing
the freedom of our true nature.
Any attempt to capture the direct experience of the nature of mind in
words is impossible. The best that can be said is that it is immeasurably
peaceful and, once stabilized through repeated experience, virtually
unshakable. Its an experience of absolute well-being that radiates
through all physical, emotional and mental states even those that might
ordinarily be labeled as unpleasant.
I feel that happiness is really found in appreciation and rejoicing.
Everything is a display of clarity, love, and wisdom. This is related to the
main view of Vajrayana Buddhism: that we all are Buddha. This
enlightened nature is not just within you. Its everywhere. You can see it
and appreciate it. Thats the main cause of happiness gratitude and
appreciation.
Our life is not preordained. We can change and control the direction
of our life regardless of our past or present circumstances. But
recognizing that we will die energizes our aspiration to create good

479


karma. Everything is impermanent, and death comes without warning.
Understanding karma makes our life meaningful right now. Each
moment provides an opportunity to turn toward awakening; and we are
more likely to take advantage of each moment once we accept that these
moments are limited. If we believe in reincarnation, then the aspiration
to create good karma becomes magnified because we want to create the
very best conditions for our rebirth, and right now offers the best
opportunity. Behavior that leads away from unhappiness and from
harming ourselves and others will help alleviate difficult circumstances
in our future lives
I feel that happiness is really found in appreciation and rejoicing.
Everything is a display of clarity, love, and wisdom. This is related to the
main view of Vajrayana Buddhism: that we all are Buddha. This
enlightened nature is not just within you. Its everywhere. You can see it
and appreciate it. Thats the main cause of happiness gratitude and
appreciation.
When we begin to accept, that change expresses the inevitable mature
of relative reality, then we can begin to close the gap between what we
want and what we get.
Accepting the impermanence of all phenomena is the best antidote to
suffering.
The truth of impermanence becomes the wind at our backs, urging us
not to squander the precious opportunity that we have right now.
If we want to be happy, we must figure out what causes and conditions
lead to well-being.
480


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY YOGI BHAJAN

Traveling extensively in the seventies and eighties, Yogi Bhajan


crusaded tirelessly to educate, uplift, and enlighten everyone he met. His
basic message was "It is your birthright to be healthy, happy, and holy".
Yogi Bhajan founded 3HO SuperHealth, a remarkably successful
drugless, drug rehabilitation program, blending the proven ancient yogic
wisdom of the East with the modern technology of the West. Embodying
a rare combination of spiritual and down-to-earth practical wisdom, Yogi
Bhajan was equally at home in the pulpit, the podium, the board room,
the living room, or sitting on the grass in a park, teaching and educating
people in all walks of life. His expertise and influence extended into the
realms of communication, the healing arts, business, religion, and
government.
"You have to understand the purpose of life. The purpose of life is to do
something which will live forever."
"If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all".

481


When God gives good times, He wants you to forget him and sleep.
When God gives you bad times, He wants you to wake up and face him.
When you don't go within, you go without.
An attitude of gratitude brings great things.
Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.
Make yourself so happy so that when others look at you they become
happy too.
The purpose of life is to watch and experience living. To enjoy living
every moment of it. And to live in environments, which are calm, quiet,
slow, sophisticated, elegant. Just to be. Whether you are naked or you
have a golden robe on you, that doesnt make any difference. The ideal
purpose of your life is that you are grateful - great and full - that you are
alive, and you enjoy it.
When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, beautiful.
Feel good, be good, and do good.
"Your mind is your servant, your body is your vehicle and your soul is
your residence."
"There is nothing outside of us. It's all in us."
The greatest art is to sit, and wait, and let it come.
Our purpose in this life is to live in higher consciousness and to teach
others to live in higher consciousness. But the best test to that
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consciousness is humility, selflessness, and sweetness. When you teach,
teach with honesty, truthfulness, and straightforwardness. As a teacher,
never compromise. As a man, always compromise. The teacher who
compromises is an idiot; a person who does not compromise is an idiot.
Because the teacher does not teach for himself, but for the higher
consciousness. And higher consciousness will never compromise with
lower consciousness. This is a straight law and that has to be considered
as a law; that has to be observed as a law.
The whole planet Earth shines with exactly the same radiance, and I
am a part of it, and it is a part of me. And I know it is all temporary.
Earth has given me a vehicle for staying on it, and I am beyond the
vehicle. The day I have to leave, that vehicle has to be left back on this
earth, deposited in its bosom safely and securely.
Life is a book of changes. It should be read only to understand how it
works. You can't help the changes in life; they must come whether they
are good or bad because the good must follow the bad and the bad must
follow the good.
For every beautiful thing, you have to pass through a valley of
hardship. There is no liberation without labor. There is no freedom
which is free. To create in you the power to create the intelligence which
will give you power to be effective in your own living and give you
satisfaction in your own joy, you have to work for it, you have to earn
it.

483


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JETSUNMA TENZIN PALMO

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo was raised in London and whilst in her teens she
became a Buddhist. At the age of twenty, she decided to go to India to
pursue her spiritual path. There she met her guru, His Eminence the
Eighth Khamtrul Rinpoche (Gyalwa Dokhampa), a great Drukpa
Lineage lama, and became one of the first Westerners to be ordained as
a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She remained with Khamtrul Rinpoche and his
community in Himachal Pradesh, northern India, for six years and then
he directed her to the Himalayan valley of Lahaul in order to undertake
more intensive practice. Tenzin Palmo stayed in a small monastery there
for several years, remaining in retreat during the long winter months.
Then, seeking more seclusion and better conditions for practice, she
found a nearby cave where she remained for another 12 years. Before
H.E. Khamtrul Rinpoche passed away in 1980, he had on several
occasions requested Tenzin Palmo to start a nunnery. She understood the
importance of this and remembers when in 1993, the Lamas of the
Khampagar monastery in Himachal Pradesh India again made the
request. This time Tenzin Palmo was ready to take on the formidable task
484


and she began slowly raising interest worldwide. In January 2000, the
first nuns arrived and in 2001 the construction of Dongyu Gatsal Ling
Nunnery began and is now, with the ongoing construction of the
traditional Temple, nearing completion. In February 2008 Tenzin Palmo
was given the rare title of Jetsunma, which means Venerable Master, by
His Holiness Gualwang Drukpa, spiritual head of the Drukpa Lineage in
recognition of her spiritual achievements as a nun and her efforts in
promoting the status of female practitioners in Tibetan Buddhism.
The answer lies within ourselves. If we can't find peace and happiness
there, it's not going to come from the outside.
Ultimately there is light and love and intelligence in this universe. And
we are it, we carry that within us, its not just something out there, it is
within us and this is what we are trying to re-connect with, our original
light and love and intelligence, which is who we are, so do not get so
distracted by all this other stuff, you know, really remember what we are
here on this planet for.
One of the advantages of being born in an affluent society is that if one
has any intelligence at all, one will realize that having more and more
won't solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or
even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can't find
peace and happiness there, it's not going to come from the outside.
We have to cultivate contentment with what we have. We really don't
need much. When you know this, the mind settles down. Cultivate
generosity. Delight in giving. Learn to live lightly. In this way, we can

485


begin to transform what is negative into what is positive. This is how we
start to grow up.
If we greet situations with a positive attitude, we will eventually create
positive returns. If we respond with a negative attitude, negative things
will eventually come our way.
Meditation is for you to realize that the deepest nature of your existence
is beyond thoughts and emotions, that it is incredibly vast and
interconnected with all other beings.
Each of us has something to do in this lifetime. We all have negative
emotions to be purified and positive emotions to be cultivated. All of us
need to reconnect to our source and drop our personal stories, don't we?
Men, women, old, young, from here, from there - it is the same. All you
can do is your practice. There is nothing else. Don't get caught up. Don't
stop. We have to learn how to get out or our own way. Because
ultimately, the only thing standing in our way is ourselves.
Develop confidence in your innate qualities and believe that these
qualities will be brought to fruition.
We have produced many of our problems through our confused mental
states.
I have made a vow to attain Enlightenment in the female form - no
matter how many lifetimes it takes.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MINDROLLING JETSUN
KHANDRO RINPOCHE

Jetsn Khandro Rinpoche began receiving teachings and transmissions


from a very young age from some of the most revered Tibetan masters,
such as Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche,
Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche, Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, Kyabje
Tulku Ugyen Rinpoche and Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche. The Jetsnmas,
daughters of various Mindrolling Trichens over the generations, have
been some of the greatest and most inspirational figures in the history of
Tibetan Buddhism. For the past two decades, Jetsn Khandro Rinpoche
has been teaching in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Simply put: by cultivating diligence in building mindfulness,


mindfulness will free you from becoming a cause of suffering to others.

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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JAGADISH CHANDRA BOSE

Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose is often described as the Indian Polymath for
having dabbled in various sciences from technical physics to plant
biology. He also was an archeologist. Bose is one of the most prominent
first Indian scientists who proved by experimentation that both animals
and plants share much in common. He demonstrated that plants are also
sensitive to heat, cold, light, noise and various other external stimuli.
Bose contrived a very sophisticated instrument called Crescograph
which could record and observe the minute responses because of external
stimulants. It was capable of magnifying the motion of plant tissues to
about 10,000 times of their actual size, which found many similarities
between plants and other living organisms.

They who behold the One, in all the changing manifoldness of the
universe, unto them belongs the eternal truth, unto none else, unto none
else.

The true laboratory is the mind, where behind illusions we uncover the
laws of truth
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WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SRI AUROBINDO

Sri Aurobindo had begun the practice of Yoga in 1905 in Baroda. In 1908
he had the first of several fundamental spiritual realizations. In 1910 he
withdrew from politics and went to Pondicherry in order to devote
himself entirely to his inner spiritual life and work. During his forty years
in Pondicherry he evolved a new method of spiritual practice, which he
called the Integral Yoga. Its aim is a spiritual realization that not only
liberates man's consciousness but also transforms his nature.
True knowledge is not attained by thinking. It is what you are; it is what
you become.
There is nothing mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind's
immobility and thought-free stillness. When mind is still, then truth gets
her chance to be heard in the purity of the silence.
But few are those who tread the sunlit path; Only the pure in soul can
walk in light.

489


Life is life--whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there
between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for
man's own advantage.
Then there is the life-force, the Prana, that works in our vital being and
nervous system. The Upanishad speaks of it as the first or supreme
Breath; elsewhere in the sacred writings, it is spoken of as the chief
Breath or the Breath of the mouth, mukhya, asanya; it is that which
carries in it the Word, the creative expression. In the body of man there
are said to be five workings of the life-force called the five Pranas. One
specially termed Prana moves in the upper part of the body and is preeminently the breath of life, because it brings the universal life-force into
the physical system and gives it there to be distributed. A second in the
lower part of the trunk, termed Apana, is the breath of death; for it gives
away the vital force out of the body. A third, the Samana, regulates the
interchange of these two forces at their meeting-place, equalizes them
and is the most important agent in maintaining the equilibrium of the
vital forces and their functions. A fourth, the Vyana, pervasive,
distributes the vital energies throughout the body. A fifth, the Udana,
moves upward from the body to the crown of the head and is a regular
channel of communication between the physical life and the greater life
of the spirit. None of these are the first or supreme Breath, although the
Prana most nearly represents it; the Breath to which so much importance
is given in the Upanishads, is the pure life-force itself, - first, because all
the others are secondary to it, born from it and only exist as its special
functions. It is imaged in the Veda as the Horse; its various energies are
the forces that draw the chariots of the Gods.

490


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS

Kazantzakis, much more of a philosopher than a writer, was deeply


influenced by the writings of Nietzsche and Bergson, and the
philosophies of Christianity, Marxism and Buddhism.
In his work, he attempted to synthesize these different world views.
I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of
wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea.
Nothing else.
I hope nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.
This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as
if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet
to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to
your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has
accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.
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.
491


God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can
recognize him in all his disguises.
A man needs a little madness, or else... he never dares cut the rope and
be free.
Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see
reality.
You can knock on a deaf man's door forever.
The only thing I know is this: I am full of wounds and still standing on
my feet.
I was happy, I knew that. While experiencing happiness, we have
difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and
we look back on it do we suddenly realize - sometimes with astonishment
- how happy we had been.
I said to the almond tree, 'Sister, speak to me of God.' And the almond
tree blossomed.
You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint the paradise, then
in you go.
When everything goes wrong, what a joy to test your soul and see if it
has endurance and courage! An invisible and all-powerful enemysome
call him God, others the Devil, seem to rush upon us to destroy us; but
we are not destroyed.

492


All my life one of my greatest desires has been to travel-to see and touch
unknown countries, to swim in unknown seas, to circle the globe,
observing new lands, seas, people, and ideas with insatiable appetite, to
see everything for the first time and for the last time, casting a slow,
prolonged glance, then to close my eyes and feel the riches deposit
themselves inside me calmly or stormily according to their pleasure,
until time passes them at last through its fine sieve, straining the
quintessence out of all the joys and sorrows.
For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of
nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should
confidently obey the eternal rhythm.
The highest point a man can attain is not Knowledge, or Virtue, or
Goodness, or Victory, but something even greater, more heroic and more
despairing: Sacred Awe!
Reach what you cannot
We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the
luminous interval life.
When everyone drowns and I'm the only one to escape, God is
protecting me. When everyone else is saved and I'm the only one to
drown, God is protecting me then too.
Man is able, and has the duty, to reach the furthest point on the road
he has chosen. Only by means of hope can we attain what is beyond
hope.

493


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY MITSUO AIDA

Mitsuo Aida was a Japanese poet and calligrapher known as The Poet
of Zen. As a brush-and-ink calligrapher and poet, Mitsuo Aida
continued to pursue his own words and his own calligraphy, not imitating
anyone. As a young man in the period of upheaval during and following
World War II, he established his original style and produced a great
number of works while contemplating the preciousness of life. He
honestly expresses himself in an unfeigned manner as a human, not
hiding his own weaknesses and dependence on others. At times, the
effects of his writings permeate softly into the hearts of people living in
the now. And at other times, his writings reach out and grab you with
gripping force.

494


If you take something by force there is never enough. If you share it,
there will always be something left over.
Because it has lived its life intensely
the parched grass still attracts the gaze of passers-by.
The flowers merely flower,
and they do this as well as they can.
The white lily, blooming unseen in the valley,
Does not need to explain itself to anyone;
It lives merely for beauty.
Man, however, cannot accept that 'merely'.

If tomatoes wanted to be melons,


they would look completely ridiculous.
I am always amazed
that so many people are concerned
with wanting to be what they are not;
what's the point of making yourself look ridiculous?
You don't always have to pretend to be strong,
there's no need to prove all the time that everything is going well,
you shouldn't be concerned about what other people are thinking,
cry if you need to,
it's good to cry out all your tears
(because only then will you be able to smile again).

495


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY OKAKURA KAKUZO

Okakura Kakuzo was a Japanese writer and art curator. He is credited


with "explaining" Asian art to American intellectuals. His most famous
works are The Ideals of the East and The Book of Tea.
In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.
Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the
sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the
mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is
essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to
accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.
Tea ... is a religion of the art of life.
Those who cannot feel the littleness of great things in themselves are
apt to overlook the greatness of little things in others.
Everyone has to build anew his sky of hope and peace.

496


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SHECHEN RABJAM
RINPOCHE

Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche is the grandson and spiritual heir of Dilgo


Khyentse Rinpoche. Since his grandfathers passing, Rabjam Rinpoche
has taken the responsibility of transmitting Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoches
teachings, and is bringing his vision for the preservation of Tibetan
Buddhist teaching and culture to fruition. Rabjam Rinpoche is the
seventh in the line of the Rabjam succession. Rabjam Rinpoche began
taking teachings from his revered grandfather and today holds this
unbroken lineage. He was raised by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and
attended almost every teaching, drupchen (9-day ceremony), and
empowerment that he gave during twenty-five years. He traveled
throughout the world with Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche supervised the
education and upbringing of Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, the young
incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

497


If youve been practicing for years, you should be seeing some results.
If youre not, you may be missing the point.
The result of spiritual practice should be our inner transformation into
better human beings. After practicing for months or years, we should be
less prone to anger, pride, and jealousy. Our practice should lead us to
a vaster, calmer mind.
For example, the whole point of dieting is to lose a few pounds, not to
collect knowledge and become an expert on each and every diet. You
may have heard about different diets and read many books, but you wont
lose weight unless you put one of them into practice in your everyday
life. Similarly, if you do not implement the teachings, your destructive
emotions and self-clinging will not diminish, and the Dharma
instructions will be of no use to you, no matter how many you receive.
You can find a particular antidote to destroy each afflictive emotion.
To conquer desire, you can meditate on the unappealing aspects of the
object; for hatred, meditate on loving-kindness; for jealousy, joy; and so
on. This is how you discard negative mental factors.

498


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SAINT FRANCIS

Francis saw very clearly how necessary it is for all who seek union with
God to be humble, to trust Divine Providence, to obey their spiritual
guide. Saint Francis had all the shining virtues: courage and humility,
love and purity, joy and compassion, courtesy and holiness; so had other
saints. It is in the expression of these qualities that he excels them all. No
human soul so bright as his ever shone out so clearly through the fleshly
veil; there seems to be an actual radiance about him. By reason of this
heavenly quality he ranks with the great poets as the creator of the
common imagination of mankind; and the simple stories of his life take
their place in the worlds literature with those of Dante and the Bible.
Ramakrishna shared with Francis this divine quality; he was a poet at
heart and he explained to his disciples the deepest truths of religion, not
in an abstruse, philosophic language, but by using, with telling effect,,
simple and homely parables and images full of charm and beauty. They
both loved music and song, because, living in direct communion with
God, only in song they could express, at least in a part, the ecstatic love
and the unutterable joy that filled their hearts.

499


Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
"Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance."
"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our
preaching."
Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly
you are doing the impossible.
"We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh, but, instead,
we must be simple, humble and pure."
"Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor
doubt."
A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.
500


Keep a clear eye toward life's end. Do not forget your purpose and
destiny as God's creature. What you are in his sight is what you are and
nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take
nothing that you have received...but only what you have given; a full
heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.
No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one
does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.
Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that
of overcoming self.
He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear
today
I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work
through anyone.
If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the
shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise
with their fellow men.
We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer.

501


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY SAINT JUDE

St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Hope and impossible causes and one of
Jesus original twelve Apostles. He preached the Gospel with great
passion, often in the most difficult circumstances. Through the power of
the Holy Spirit, he made profound differences in peoples lives as he
offered them the Word of God.
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the
salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for
the faith that the Lord has once for all entrusted to us, his people.
Be merciful to those who doubt
Save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy,

502


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY RAMTHA

Ramtha is a legendary Master Teacher who mastered his own humanity


centuries ago and returned in our modern times to tell his story and teach
us what he learned. He explains that in his lifetime he addressed the
questions about human existence and the meaning of life, and that
through his own observation, reflection, and contemplation he became
enlightened and conquered the physical world and death. His philosophy
reflects the experience of his own life. Ramtha's teachings are not a
religion. They offer a unique perspective from which to view the mystery
of life. Ramtha's teachings emphasize that each individual is responsible
for their own reality, that your thoughts and attitudes affect and create
your life, and that you can intentionally change your life by artfully
changing your thought. Ramtha communicates his wisdom by
channeling through the body of JZ Knight. She is the only channel
through whom Ramtha has chosen to deliver his message. She and
Ramtha have inspired audiences worldwide for the last three decades,
bridging ancient wisdom and the power of consciousness together with
the latest discoveries in science.

503


Love your body. Be kind to it, nourish it, tender it. It is the pure
instrument of expression that allows you to experience life on this
plane.
To let life happen to you is irresponsible. To create your day is your
divine right.
Whatever thoughts you allow yourself to know through your wonderful
receiver will become an experienced reality, seen first within your
embodiment and then through the conditions of your life. And whatever
you desire, you have the ability through knowing to manifest into
your life in the twinkling of an eye. That is how you create the kingdom
of heaven on Earth.
Face your fears and allow yourself to unmask their illusion.
How does thought create the experiences of your life? The pineal is the
seal of knowing into manifestation. Whatever knowingness you allow
yourself to receive will become a reality first in your body, for the pineal
is responsible for sending that thought as an electrical current
throughout your body, to be registered as emotion. The more unlimited
the thought, the greater and faster the frequency that is shot throughout
your body; thus the greater the high or rush experienced in your body.
That feeling is then recorded and stored in your soul as a given
frequency. The feeling of every thought, recorded in your soul, is then
put forth into your aura as an expectancy, and that expectancy activates
the electromagnetic portion of your light-field to draw to you much
like a magnet the likeness of whatever your collective-attitude thinking
is.

504


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY NICK VUJICIC

Nick Vujicic is an Australian motivational speaker with a rare congenital


disorder called Tetra-Amelia Syndrome. He was born with an absence of
four limbs, which inspired him to found a non-profit organization called
Life Without Limbs at the age of 17. Nick Vujicic is an author of an
inspirational book called Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a
Ridiculously Good Life. Heis one of the worlds motivational speakers
and has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions,
sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity, speaking to a range of diverse
groups such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals
and church congregations of all sizes. Today this dynamic young
evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime.
If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet,
then He will certainly use any willing heart!
If you can't get a miracle, become one.

505


If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to
try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It
matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?
It's a lie to think you're not good enough. It's a lie to think you're not
worth anything.
Life isn't about having, it's about being. You could surround yourself
with all that money can buy, and you'd still be as miserable as a human
can be. I know people with perfect bodies who don't have half the
happiness I've found. On my journeys I've seen more joy in the slums of
Mumbai and the orphanages of Africa than in wealthy gated
communities and on sprawling estates worth millions. Why is that? You'll
find contentment when your talents and passion are completely engaged,
in full force. Recognize instant self-gratification for what it is. Resist the
temptation to grab for material objects like the perfect house, the coolest
clothes or the hottest car. When you look for happiness in mere objects,
they are never enough. Look around. Look within.
I never met a bitter person who was thankful. Or a thankful person who
was bitter.
I encourage you to accept that you may not be able to see a path right
now, but that doesn't mean it's not there.
If I fail, I try again, and again, and again

506


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY PHAKCHOK RINPOCHE

The Venerable Kyabgn Phakchok Rinpoche was born into an illustrious


family of great Tibetan Buddhist masters including Urgyen Tulku,
Chokling, Tsoknyi, Mingyur and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. He is a
lineage holder of the Profound Treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa from the
Nyingma School of Early Translations and one of the throne-holders of
the Riwoche Taklung Kagyu Lineage. Phakchok Rinpoches primary
root gurus are his grandfather, the late Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche,
and late Kyabje Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche.
Phakchok Rinpoche has received a traditional education from the
Dzongsar Shedra in India, the complete Chokling New Treasures lineage
from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Kyabje Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche,
and the Great Perfection lineage from Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche.
Rinpoches teaching style is direct, addressing the needs of those present;
traditional, not compromising the methods of practice and transmission
in the slightest; and, accessible, teaching the profound meaning in a way
that is able to be understood and glimpsed by people of diverse
backgrounds.
507


Having the dignity, the confidence that knows Yes, I can change and
I know what to change because I have the role model of the Buddha.
when you can tell yourself Yes, I can do it. No matter what. When you
have that kind of attitude, half your work on the path is already done.
Then all your doubt, and low self-esteem, is gone, its finished, even your
distraction is not a problem because you have the dignity that not one
single condition can take away from you.
Karma in your day to day life simply means that your actions, are 100%
your responsibility. And that is the most empowering spiritual path.
The real results from your practice arise from not hoping for results.
You have the motivation to benefit, without the hope. Please contemplate
this important point.
More judgment you have, the more ego you have. The less judgment
you have, the less ego you have.
The only way to change your world is to change your own mind. Before
you change, you tame. Taming the mind IS the Dharma.
My friends, don't waste your time. This is the whole point of
remembering impermanence. Every day is passing. You cannot buy any
more moments, anymore hours. Every day you are getting closer to your
ending. So please, cherish your precious life. Don't go into fear and
expectation. Think about the value of your time. You need to challenge
yourself to cherish your life. That is impermanence.

508


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY JOHN LENNON

John Lennon was the most iconic Beatle. He was group's most committed
rock & roller, its social conscience, and its slyest verbal wit. Lennon's
brutally confessional solo work and his political activism were a huge
influence on subsequent generations of singers, songwriters and social
reformers. After the Beatles' breakup, he and wife Yoko Ono recorded
together and separately, striving to break taboos and to be ruthlessly,
publicly honest in their music and public performances.
There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are
afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that
life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to
learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we
cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others
or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest
in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.
I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the
myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that
dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?
509


When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was
the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be
when I grew up. I wrote down happy. They told me I didnt understand
the assignment, and I told them they didnt understand life.
If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then
there'd be peace.
I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I
believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that
what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right.
It's just that the translations have gone wrong.
War is over ... If you want it.
I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out
of one car, and into another.
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.
When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not
be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most
of the audience still sleeps.
We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence
is practiced in broad daylight.
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

510


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY DAVID GILMOUR

David is one of the all-time guitar greats, with an instinctive and


distinctive sound; he was voted 'Best Fender Guitar Player Ever' in a poll
in Guitarist magazine, beating such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Eric
Clapton. In 2005, David was made a CBE for services to music. He is an
inspiration; the moment you hear his guitar you can feel he is
communicating with God.
Our music has depth, and attempts philosophical thought and meaning
with discussions of infinity, eternity and mortality. There is a line which
people cross that turns it into some magical, mystical realm, for which I
don't claim responsibility and don't hold any great truck with.
Make life an art rather than art from life.
It's not true that you fall in love only once in your life. But it is true that
you only fall in love a certain way, with a certain absoluteness, once.

511


WORDS AND TEACHINGS BY BRUCE LEE

Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key
figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his
movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts
film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream
North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has
over the past four decades.
Im not in this world to live up to your expectations and youre not in
this world to live up to mine.
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult
one
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but
adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If
nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

512


Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water
into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it
becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now,
water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is
specifically your own.
Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit
them.
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can
learn from a wise answer.
If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything
else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no
limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must
go beyond them.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the
man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.
Don't fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great
attempts, it is glorious even to fail.
If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it
done.
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.

513


CONCLUSION
FROM THE BOOK, VEDANTA FOR THE WESTERN WORLD
The Hindus, Buddhists and Christians all teach that the Kingdom of God
is within, and that is what the mystics of all faiths emphasize, that heaven
is within your very soul, and that by completely attaining to this divine
realization you attain salvation, or liberation from ignorance and from
the bondage of life and death.
Christ and Buddha and all the great illumined souls, and all the
scriptures point out to us this one truth: that there is salvation from the
bondage in which we live; that we can be saved from our limitations and
finitude and that we can attain that eternal life, that felicity, if only we
enter the Kingdom of God which is within our very souls.
Yoga has been defined by Patanjali as the complete control of the
waves of the mind. One who can control the waves of the mind attains
Yoga, that state when the true nature of the Self becomes revealed.
This control of the waves of the mind is not as simple as it would
at first appear. It is a complete transformation of the character, when the
mind becomes absolutely pure and tranquil. St. Paul said: Be ye
transformed by the renewal of your own mind. That is it, and this control
is the blessedness of purity which Jesus spoke of when He said: Blessed
are the pure in heart for they shall see God. He meant that complete
transformation, that complete overhauling of the mind.
In every religion, we find the same truth taught, that the Kingdom
of God is within; the Reality is to be found within our own Self. As long
as we forget this truth, as long as we seek the Reality outside of ourselves
so long shall we be disappointed. We must learn to look within.
514


All true religions and all spiritual teachers worth the name are
empathic in pointing out that the one and only purpose of human life and
existence is to attain moksha or liberation, which is the same as
perfection and which is attained by entering the Kingdom of God within.
All spiritual wisdom in the world tells man that he can
consciously unite himself with the divine while living in this body and
thus may attain perfection. For in each man is God concealed. Purity,
freedom, illumination, peace, perfection is all identical with the immortal
Self which only remains to be uncovered. As people ignorant of a
golden treasure that has been hidden underground may walk over it again
and again and yet never find it, so all beings, though every moment living
in Brahman, never find him, for he is hidden by a covering of ignorance.
St. Augustine wrote: I, Lord, went wandering like a strayed
sheep, seeking thee with anxious reasoning without, whilst thou wast
within me I went around the streets and squares of the city of this
world seeking thee, and I found thee not, because in vain I sought without
for him who was within myself.
To seek for the perfection in Godhead, to seek for the truth that
gives us freedom, is to seek for our true Self. Religion is not anything
extraneous to ourselves that we have to acquire, neither is it something
which we may or may not believe, but it is something living in the soul
of each man. And as no man can jump out of himself, so no man can free
himself from this living religion. Only it remains hidden in most men and
it awaits their finding. Mother Nature, however, is patient and she
gradually leads each man by the hand to awaken in him ultimately that
which is his birthright.

515


Man may incarnate again and again until he has learned his lesson
and is awakened to the worth, the golden treasure, the Kingdom of God
which lies within the depths of his own soul.
In this world, there are many religions such as Christianity, Islam,
Hinduism, Buddhism and so forth. When you look at the essential
purpose of all these religions, the essential message of all of them what
is it?
The essential purpose of all religions is to bring happiness to others and
to avoid harming others and causing them pain.
Khensur Rinpoche

516


UNTIL NEXT TIME
It is just like going to the gym, you wont see the results you want in just
a day, but you will start seeing results working on it day by day, and life
will be starting to change around you, this I promise, I am a living
example of all of this, I am a living proof that the way to live is with all
these teachings these great teachers have left us, because this book has
saved my life. This book heals me more and more every time I read it,
every time I open it I learn something which transforms my mind. I
recommend you keep reading about these teachers and their teachings,
this is just to guide you through them, but from here, your inner journey
and creating your own heaven here on earth begins or continues.
All these spiritual masters and teachers are Gurus, for our life,
because they dissipate the darkness of ignorance with their knowledge
and their wisdom. They are all teachers who have eliminated their own
darkness with their wisdom and inner knowledge. There are many more,
but what matters is that they all lead us towards our inner light, our
Kingdom of God.
We must always remember that we are Gods, inside a human
body, and we are here to experience the physical world, but the important
part is exploring what is inside of us, that divine light. We must know
that everything is within and there is no point in looking without. We
must acknowledge our true inner light and always remember that we are
divine beings, with unlimited power.
Teachings from these masters and teachers, are very important
because they all teach us that enlightenment is possible, and that is why
they are also an inspiration. These teachers are who inspired me in
517


putting together this book, because it is them who have been showing me
the path within. I hope this book inspires you to follow the road within,
to meditate, to change negative thoughts and habits, this is the whole
intention of putting it together, to make you realize you are perfect and
complete.
I know this book will change your life, because it has already
changed mine. When I was in darkness, these teachings where my light
and now they are your light, use them every time you feel youre on the
wrong road, they will not lead you astray. I send you blessings.
Que Dios Te Bendiga Siempre.

When I breathe in,I am the student,


When I breathe out, I am the Master.
Ricardo Pare Trejo Gonzlez (Jigme Dorje)

Without books the development of civilization would have been


impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world,
"Lighthouses" as the poet said "erected in the sea of time." They are
companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind,
Books are humanity in print.
Arthur Schopenhauer

518

You keep going, that is the bodhisattvas way. As long as it benefits


even one being, you have to, without any sense of discouragement, go
on.
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. 16th Karmapa

519


PRAYERS
Now, please close your eyes, gently breathe in and breathe out and say
this prayers focusing in every word, lets help all who are in darkness,
sickness, sadness, hunger and poverty, lets pray for them. At the end of
every prayer, smile knowing that words are power and every prayer said
with our heart and soul are equivalent, in the eyes of God, to two hundred
prayers said in an automatic and ordinary way.
Buddhist Prayer for Peace
May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind
quickly be freed from their illnesses.
May those frightened, ceases to be afraid, and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power and may people think of befriending one
another.
May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wildernesses - the
children, the aged, the unprotected - be guarded by beneficent celestials,
and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
- U.N. Day of Prayer for World Peace
Padmasambhava Seven Line Prayer
In the north-west of the land of Oiya,
In the heart of a lotus flower,
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,
You are renowned as the Lotus-born,
Surrounded by many hosts of kins.
Following in your footsteps
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing

520


Apache Blessing
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
may the moon softly restore you by night,
may the rain wash away your worries,
may the breeze blow new strength into your being,
may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days
of your life.
My Prayer
Lord, bless our legs which take us far and let us run and feel the breeze.
Lord, bless our arms which let us hug our beloved ones.
Lord, bless our mind which we must learn to control in a positive way.
But above anything bless our soul which will leave our physical body in
its path to finding peace and eternity.
-Ricardo Pare Trejo
Shanti devas Bodhisattva Vow
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
May all who say bad things to me
Or cause me any other harm,
Those who insult me and mock me,
Have the fortuneto fully awaken.

521


May I be the protector for those without one,
A guide for travelers on the way,
A path for them to walk on,
May I be a bridge, a boat, a ship
For all who wish to cross the water.
The Prayer Of The Chalice
Father, to Thee I raise my whole being,
a vessel emptied of self. Accept Lord,
this my emptiness, and so fill me with
Thyself - Thy Light, Thy Love, Thy
Life - that these, Thy precious Gifts
radiate through me and overflow
the chalice of my heart into the
hearts of all with whom I
come in contact this day
revealing unto them the beauty of
Thy Joy and Wholeness
And the serenity of Thy Peace
which nothing can destroy
~ Francis Nuttall
A Buddhist Prayer for the Dead and Dying
Oh Buddha and Bodhisattvas abiding in all directions,
Endowed with great compassion,
Endowed with foreknowledge,
Endowed with divine eye,
Endowed with love,
522


Affording protection to sentient beings,
Please come forth through the power of your great compassion,
Please accept these offerings, both actually presented and mentally
created.
Oh Compassionate Ones, you who possess
The wisdom of understanding,
The love of compassion,
The power of doing divine deeds,
And of protecting in incomprehensible measure,
[...................................] is passing from this world to the next,
[He/she] is taking a great leap,
The light of this world has faded for [him/her],
[He/she] has entered solitude with their karmic forces,
[He/she] has gone into a vast silence,
[He/she] is borne away by the great ocean of birth and death ..
Oh, Compassionate Ones, protect [......................] who is defenseless.
Be to [him/her] like a mother and father.
Oh, Compassionate Ones, let not the force of your compassion be weak,
but aid them.
Let [...........................] not go into the miserable states of existence.
Forget not your ancient vows.
Prosperity Prayer

I am the source of all wealth. I am rich with creative


ideas. My mind abounds with new, original, inspired
thoughts. What I have to offer is unique, and the world
desires it.
My value is beyond reckoning. What the world
523


Needs and desires, I am ready to produce and give.
What the world needs and desires, I recognize and fulfill.
The bounty of my mind is without hindrance or limit.
Nothing can stand in the way of my inspired creativeness.
The overflowing power of God life energy overcomes
every obstacle, & pours out into the world, blessing &
prospering everyone, & everything through me.
I radiate blessings, I radiate creativity, I radiate
prosperity, I radiate loving service. I radiate Joy,
Beauty, Peace, Wisdom & Power.
Humanity seeks me and rewards me.
I am beloved of the world.
I am wanted wherever I go.
I am appreciated. What I have to offer is greatly desired.
What I have to offer brings a rich reward. Through my vision
the world is blessed. Through my clear thinking
& steadfast purpose, wonderful new values come into expression.
My vision is as the vision of the mighty ones. My faith is
as the faith of the undefeatable. My power to accomplish
is unlimited. I, in my uttermost God Source, am all wealth,
all power, all productivity. I hereby declare my financial
freedom, NOW and henceforth forever
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things, I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
524


Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr
I am One with my Father
I am one with my father and the universe.
I am one with mother earth.
I am one with everyone within the reach of my voice.
And, in this togetherness, we ask the divine intelligence to eradicate all
negatives from our hearts, from our minds,
from our words, and from our actions.
And, so be it.
The Daily Prayer

One of the most important Jain prayers is the Namaskara Sutra which
praises the five great beings of Jainism:
I bow down to those who have reached omniscience in the flesh and teach
the road to everlasting life in the liberated state.
525


I bow down to those who have attained perfect knowledge and liberated
their souls of all karma.
I bow down to those who have experienced self-realisation of their souls
through self-control and self-sacrifice.
I bow down to those who understand the true nature of soul and teach the
importance of the spiritual over the material.
I bow down to those who strictly follow the five great vows of conduct
and inspire us to live a virtuous life.
To these five types of great souls I offer my praise.
Such praise will help diminish my sins.
Giving this praise is most auspicious.
So auspicious as to bring happiness and bliss.
The prayer of forgiveness

The prayer of forgiveness begins by forgiving all beings for anything.


I grant forgiveness to all living beings
May all the living beings please forgive me.
I have friendship with all the living beings.
I have no hostility towards anyone.
Dedication of Merit
Grant your blessings that we may train in impartial love and
compassion,
And directly realize the ultimate and co-emergent wisdom
As all the Buddhas and their sons and daughters have done.

526


By this virtue may all beings perfect the accumulations of merit and
wisdom,
And may they attain the sacred two kayas resulting from that merit and
wisdom.

527


DEDICATION
(Inspired from one of Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup Rigsel
teachings)
I am very happy you read these teachings. That is very good, whatever
was mentioned in this book it is necessary for your life and your future
lives. So thank you very much.
We have the merit of receiving and giving these teachings. Thus
we have a lot of merit, we now dedicate it to the cause for us to become
an enlightened being to benefit all sentient beings. We strongly dedicate
in this way.
Also we dedicate, through this merit, to purify our negativities
and remove any diseases, sicknesses, mental and physical problems,
including that of our family, our loved ones, our country and the world.
And to stay healthy, happy and peaceful, so we dedicate this merit and
pray strongly for this.
And through this merit, for the numberless Buddhas,
bodhisattvas, and arya beings, whatever are their wishes, we pray for
them to be fulfilled.
So now there is a lot of merit through praying and making
dedications to benefit others. It also increases our merit if we rejoice. We
are now closer to Buddhahood, so now you can completely rejoice today
in our wonderful, incredible, inconceivable perfect merit, so completely
rejoice! Thank you!
TADYATHA OM MUNE MUNE MAHA MUNEYE SVAHA
528


CONTACT AND DONATIONS
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or inquiries.
Also, if you would like to make any donations for THE BOOK
Donations to support people with cancer.
Or Donations for orphan kids.
Thanks!
ricardotrejo.sma@gmail.com

529


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