Quote of the Week

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December 21st, 2006

Moment after moment,
completely devote yourself to
listening to your inner voice.
Shunryu Suzuki

Stephen's Comment
It is good to learn to discern between the true inner voice of your soul, and the many noisy tongues of the mind.
The more you listen and act upon your inner guidance - your intuition, your conscience - the clearer it gets.
In the quiet and stillness of being at peace in the present moment, effortless knowing spontaneously emerges.

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December 15th, 2006

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.
Lao-tsu, Tao Te Ching

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
Lao-tsu, Tao Te Ching

Stephen's Comment
The ultimate state described by Lao-tsu in the first quote above - which is filled with happiness, power and knowing - only appears beyond our capacity because we do not see how we can gradually progress towards it.
But if we make effort we lead ourselves to this state, bit by bit.
Gradually we allow ourselves to relax our body, breath and emotions in everyday circumstances of life, easing our attachment little by little.
And each time we practice our meditation, we are rehearsing
new ways of relating with ourselves, with others and with life.
These efforts to evolve are never wasted, there is always subtle benefit generated, whether this is obvious to us at the time or not.
Rather than focus on we haven't 'got' now, we can work towards being just a little more loving, aware and free in this moment (day) than in the previous one.
Like saving up for a holiday, eventually pay day arrives and we will automatically reap the rewards of our efforts.
So start today, start now and take another step towards freedom.
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November 28th, 2006

Only when our hearts
are empty
of the things of the mind
is there love
without separation, without fear.

There is only love.

There is no you
or me
in that state.

There is only
a flame
without smoke.
J.Krishnamurti
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November 21st, 2006

Do not seek for Truth.
Just stop having opinions.
Sengtsan

The Buddha was an enlightened man who gave up all in his search for truth. It wasn't until he did this - gave up his search and sat under a tree - that he became illumined. He was freed from the need to know and then he knew all things.
Paul Tisdell, Nine Steps to the River of Life

Stephen's Comment...
Having asked the question we must stop asking and relax if we are to create enough space for the answer to appear.
Knowledge arises in the present moment, the Truth is our very existance. We do not need to do anything for this realisation to dawn, we merely need to stop doing.
Become present, fall still, listen, wait and be open.
Your answer will gradually appear, piece by piece.

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November 13th, 2006

Contentment and happiness depend solely on the mind, not on external objects or circumstances.
Both heaven and hell are created by the mind.
Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

Stephen's Comment...
We have all witnessed or seen images of people who appear to have nothing and yet are smiling, happy and at peace. And we have all met people who are miserable as all hell despite having everything our culture tells us will bring happiness.
What's going on there?
Don't just ignore this evidence and continue to chase after the illusion!
As long as we condition our happiness on the having - or not having - of fluctuating external factors, we will likewise fluctuate in our level of happiness.
The keys to heaven lie
not in the having - or not having - of people and things, but in your internal state independent of external factors.
How do you master your internal state?
Meditation, loving action and other spiritual practices are all tools to help you get there.

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November 3rd, 2006

When you can laugh at yourself,
there is enlightenment !
Shunryu Suzuki
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October 24th, 2006

Stand before me on the sign of infinity, all you of the earth. With the granting of the law of provination comes the application of change. I will give you the key. And with this knowledge, please realise, comes the responsibility of sharing it. I will show you the way. It's very simple. Throughout the universe there is order. In the movement of the planets, in nature and in the functioning of the human mind. A mind that is in its natural state of order, is in harmony with the universe and such a mind is timeless. Your life is an expression of your mind. You are the creator of your own Universe - For as a human being, you are free to will whatever state of being you desire through the use of your thoughts and words. There is great power there. It can be a blessing or a curse - It's entirely up to you. For the quality of your life is brought about by the quality of your thinking - think about that. Thoughts produce actions - look at what you're thinking. See the pettiness and the envy and the greed and the fear and all the other attitudes that cause you pain and discomfort. Realize that the one thing you have absolute control over is your attitude. See the effect that it has on those around you. For each life is linked to all life and your words carry with them chain reactions like a stone that is thrown into a pond. If your thinking is in order, your words will flow directly from the heart creating ripples of love. If you truly want to change your world, my friends, you must change your thinking. Reason is your greatest tool, it creates an atmosphere of understanding, which leads to caring which is love. Choose your words with care. Go forth ... with love.
Dave Clark & David Soames, performed by Sir Laurence Olivier in the stage production Time
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October 16th, 2006

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgement wage war against your passion and your appetite.
Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.
But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?
Kalil Gibran, The Prophet

There is no part of me that is not of the Gods.
Aleister Crowley, Gnostic Mass

Know all things by their virtue.
Paul Tisdell

Stephen's Comment...
The hermetic approach is to accept and integrate all aspects of one's being so as to become more divinely whole. Everything within and without you is seen to contain God or goodness, a virtue or purpose. Wisdom is to know the correct place of a thing so that it can be put to benevolent use rather than remain a disowned, maverick or unbalanced force.
Even a body-oriented discipline such as Dragon Yoga can show you the reality of this. For example, each part of your body you can consciously connect with, and then integrate into your daily life, will transform a 'problem' or weakness in your body, into a 'strength' or healthy and joyful power.
So each time you find yourself complaining about something in yourself and others - judging it to be 'bad' or undesirable - stop and ask yourself, What could this thing by good for? How can I use this to help myself or others?

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October 5th, 2006

Memory is incomplete experience.
Krishnamurti

Stephen's Comment...
Oftentimes when you meditate you go through phases of integrating unresolved impressions from the past and unfulfilled desires for future experiences.
We only tend to dwell on things of the past when we leave a part of ourselves stuck in that
dream we call memory. Or perhaps we still have some realisation awaiting our reflection, some lesson we are yet to extract from our experience.
When we truly find peace with our past its hold on us releases. We have extracted the spiritual nourishment contained within the experience, have let go of whatever sensory packaging our experience came in, and we are free to live in the present.

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September 28th, 2006

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
Voltaire

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September 13th, 2006

Leave all worries behind and make your heart totally pure, like the face of a mirror with no image or design. Once your heart is cleansed of all images, it will contain them all.
Djalal ad-Din Rumi
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September 6th, 2006

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein

Only a change in consciousness can save us now.
Paul Tisdell (on impending environmental cataclysm)

At present, due to man's over-indulgence and evil acts, Nature's harmony has been lost. We have broken the laws set by Nature. Everything depends on the human mind. In the olden days when people were truthful and good-hearted and worked together with mutual love and sincerity, Nature also favoured them with prosperity. It rained during the time when it was needed, and only the necessary amount. The sun also shone in the same way. There was perfect balance between Nature and human beings. Whereas now things have changed. Everything is in chaos and confusion. Human beings act as they like. Morality, righteousness, truthfulness, mutual love, faith and sincerity have been lost. The balance has been upset. Nature has stopped favouring selfish human beings; now she is reacting. This is a great threat to the human race.
The combined forces of human intellect and modern science with all its weapons cannot obstruct Nature's course. We will be saved only if we change. Meditation, prayer, chanting and other spiritual practices are the only salvation.
This is not a punishment, but the way which God has provided to make us think, discriminate and act. If we don't change, it is like lying on our back and spitting up; the spittle will fall on our own body. We will be paving the way for our own destruction if we don't change.
Group chanting and prayer is very powerful. It can change anything. The lost harmony of the human mind can be restored only through a selfless attitude supported by prayer, meditation and chanting of mantras. First, the human mind should be harmonised, then the harmony of Nature will spontaneously take place. Where there is concentration, there is harmony.
Ammachi, Awaken Children: Vol 2

Stephen's Comment...
When I first heard this idea many years ago - that a spiritual solution was essential for the world's very physical environmental problems - I didn't quite see how that could be true.
But over the years I am increasingly realising how our actions and their consequences are entirely an expression of what's inside of us. An expression of our thoughts, feelings, desires and viewpoint on what will make us happy. And these all fluctuate depending on our state of consciousness at the time.
As long as we are selfish, greedy or unaware of our actions we can't help but dig a hole for ourselves to fall in.
Conversely, I have come to see how we naturally act harmoniously with the rest of life when we successfully achieve the states of consciousness which meditation and other spiritual practices produce.
I am also increasingly aware that the environmental crises we face are not minor, nor are they merely scaremongering by vested interests. As a species we are in serious, serious shit and the clock is ticking before our quality of life becomes radically compromised. Already in many parts of the world it is radically compromised by environmental problems.
So how can you help the environment?
Imagine if we were fully conscious of our actions and their consequences! Imagine if we were overflowing with love and vitality! Of course we would stop messing in our own beds. Of course we would act wisely and not create environemental imbalance.
I am not suggesting that you abandon practical solutions but rather that by being sincere and ardent in your spiritual practices you help make those solutions possible. If you generate a state of inner harmony it will naturally radiate into the world around you bringing peace and harmony to all you encounter.
This is not pie-in-the-sky idealism and impracticality. Try it and see how the sphere of your own life transforms, and notice the ripple effects that spread to others!
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August 23rd, 2006

If we are silent, we can listen, and so learn.
But if we are talking the gates of entrance to the mind are closed.
Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

Stephen's Comment...
There is far more to Silence than is normally credited.
The first level of silence - gross or physical silence - is to literally stop talking and to cease physical activity. To silence the protests and demands of the body is to bring it to peace - for example via yoga, relaxation techniques and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
The next level
of silence - subtle or mental / emotional silence is to stop all the internal chatter. To some this may seem an impossible feat, but for those with a strong, regular meditation practice - supported by a balanced lifestyle - it becomes a familiar state.
In the peace and space created by at least a relative degree of both outer and inner silence, the spiritual aspect of the individual may reveal itself. It is in these quiet moments of solitude that an inner knowing of your essential nature will spontaneously arise.
If we are able to silence - or transcend - even this individual note of beauty, then we may merge with the Silence of all things, becoming one with the divine itself.
This beautiful progression - from outer noise to cosmic Silence - is very simple to start. Just choose to have some quiet time to yourself every day. If you can do so in nature, all the better. And if you can learn to simply listen to the sounds of nature
- just listen - She will lead you into Silence.
Enough said!
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August 10th, 2006

One good thing about music... when it hit you, you feel no pain.
Bob Marley, Trenchtown Rock

Forget your troubles, and dance.
Forget your weakness, and dance.
Forget your sickness, and dance.
Bob Marley, Belly Full (But We Hungry)

It ascends from Earth to Heaven and again descends to Earth; and revives the strength of the Superiors and of the Inferiors.
Hermes, The Emerald Tablet

Stephen's Comment...
Dance, music, art, sex, literature, the beauty of nature, drama, exercise, trance, chanting and a variety of other techniques have been used since time immemorial to elevate our consciousness above any mundane concerns of the day.
Once our point of attention returns to our earthly life, we find that our sojourn into the heavens has left us changed. We are refreshed in body and in spirit.

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June 26th, 2006

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; in the expert's mind there are few.
Shunryu Suzuki

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus, Matthew 18:4

Stephen's Comment...
An open hand can receive. A hand which is already clinging to something is not able to take the gift being offered to it.

When we don't breath out properly we retain our stale air. We must exhale before we can breath in the new, fresh air.

How can you empty out the complexity, noise, opinions and preconceptions of your mind? How can you cultivate a mind which is humble, silent, open, simple, present, an 'uncarved block' as the Taoists call it?

Relax your body.
Regulate your breath.
Then attempt to focus your mind on one thing only, continually surrendering any distractions which arise.
Finally, rest in the stillness you have generated before returning to the world transformed.

In a word... Meditate!
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June 19th, 2006

The Cosmos is all Life.
From its first foundations there has never existed a single thing which was not alive.
There is not,
and has never been,
and never will be,
anything in the Cosmos that is dead.

The Cosmos is the image of Atum,
and since Atum is All-Goodness,
the Cosmos is also Good.
Hermes Trismegistus, The Hermetica

If your attitude is positive and accepting, you live with God even while in the world. Then the world becomes God, and you experience God's presence every moment.
Ammachi

Stephen's Comment...
Note: Atum is an ancient Egyptian name for God. The Hermetica was penned in Ancient Greece and attributed to the Egyptian god of Wisdom.

It is said that when looking at the outside world the enlightened sage sees only their own reflection.
On a cosmic level it is said that God (the Self of all things) sees Himself mirrored in the whole of creation.
This means that the world is the body of God. The air we breathe is His (Her) breath, the ground Her flesh, the sun His inner fire.
Shamans and mystics throughout history have had this revelation - that everything around us, every person we encounter, every object we come in contact with, is charged with the same divine consciousness which is at our own innermost core.
Hence, creation becomes sacred, intelligent and alive.
We can start
to approach this awareness by remembering to be as a child... for children see the world around them (and all the people and things in it) as a continual source of wonder.
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June 7th, 2006

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Matthew 7:7

My opinion is that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it.
Chuang Tzu

Who is the greatest human being in this world?
The one who is always satisfied.
Sathya Sai Baba

Stephen's Comment...
Our questing for happiness is the drawing back of the bow. Without it the arrow goes nowhere.
Our faith enough to let go and trust that we shall receive what we need is the releasing of the arrow and allowing it to take its course without interfering with it.
Our satisfaction allows us to actually have the happiness we originally desired. This allows the consummation or marriage of our desire for happiness (the arrow) with our having of the happiness (the target).
Desire, then letting go, then
attainment.
Enjoy!
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May 24th, 2006

Transcending the weaknesses of the mind and living in love is Godliness.
Ammachi

The more we take the welfare of others to heart and work for their benefit, the more benefit that we derive for ourselves. This is a fact that we can see.
The Dalai Lama

Love thy neighbour as thyself.
Leviticus 19:8

Stephen's Comment...
Selfless service for the greater good has always been a strong component in any comprehensive spiritual training. This is not just a moral thing. You see, the ego is mainly concerned with selfish self-interest. This is not to condemn the ego - it is a valuable stage of personal development to learn how to look after oneself properly.
However, if we remain limited to our ego's petty concerns we will eventually become trapped in an existential illusion of competition, fear and neurosis.
The way out of our self-created prisons is to expanding our awareness and connect with the broader physical, social, spiritual and divine reality.
To act with selfless love we must surrender our mental weaknesses. In doing so it is we
who are filled with love and it is our own selves which transcend the limitations of our ego.
Then we may realise that loving others and loving our own best interests are not really two separate loves to be balanced, but rather the One True Love in which our hearts may soar.
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May 17th, 2006

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Shakespeare, Hamlet

Stephen's Comment...
In your heart you will know whether you are living a life which is true to yourself.
Once you start leading a life which is more harmonious with your inner nature you will be of benefit not only to yourself, but to all people, to nature and all life.
This is not just a floury ideal - this is an actual experience. Test it in the laboratory of your own life, and you will discover the truth of this for yourself.

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May 11th, 2006

Someone asked a Mahatma [enlightened person], "Who are you?"
"I am not," he replied.
"Are you God?"
"No, I am not."
"Are you a saint or a sage?"
"No, I am not."
"Are you an atheist?"
"No, I am not."
"Then who are you?"
"I am what I am. I am pure awareness."
Ammachi

Stephen's Comment...
By being present, here and now, we can practice detached awareness. The doors and window of our mind are open, and we are able to not only perceive that which surrounds us, but also that which lies within.
Taken to its ultimate conclusion, the practice of detached awareness leads to spiritual enlightenment and merging with the Divine.
For the Divine is pure awareness.

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May 3rd, 2006

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunten.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
Lao-tzu

Stephen's Comment...
By learning to surrender our inner emotional tensions and make peace with our immediate experience of life in the moment now, we may finally become free of the limitations of the world.
In this space, bliss and satisfaction may be experienced, regardless of our outer circumstances.
This is a very powerful place to come from - you are no longer merely reacting to outside influences, but are free to truly act.
Real progress in life only takes place by grace, and when we act from our centre.
So how can you reach this state of detachment and centredness? Meditate!

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April 23rd, 2006

The mind, or the past, is not the problem; the problem lies in your identification with the mind, with your past. The unintelligent attachment, the feeling of 'I and mine,' is the problem. Once you learn the art of withdrawing your attachment and being a witness, then something changes in the way you see everything.
Ammachi

Let go and let God.
Unknown

Time conditions love into yesterday and tomorrow... Be unattached to yesterday and tomorrow. Be in radiant love now... Be here now.
Paul Tisdell, Law of Repulsion and Non-Attachment

Stephen's Comment...
Sometimes we find it hard to practice non-attachment; we find it hard to let go. Perhaps we do not feel safe. 'If I let go I will lose something precious' or 'If I let go I might get hurt'.
To surrender the old is to trust that life will replace it with the new, and that the new will be better for us than the old was. This requires faith and hope, and a preparedness to experience
the unfamiliar. But if we refuse to let go we become imprisoned in a life without growth or positive change.
So how do we develop enough faith and trust in life to set ourselves free of our past limitations? By practicing meditation we learn the art of relaxing our internal attachments, and by practicing letting go in a thousand little ways in daily life.
Gradually you will discover just how safe, supported and loved by life you really are.
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April 11th, 2006

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure...
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Maryanne Williamson

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you must stop and look fear in the face.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do!
Eleanor Roosevelt

Up ye mighty race! You can accomplish what you will.
Marcus Garvey

Stephen's Comment...
Imagine you are lying on your deathbed looking back over your life. What would you like to have done with the rest of your time from this day onwards? What legacy would you like to leave behind you?
The mind produces many reasons for us not to follow what is in our hearts. But in the quiet moments of communion with yourself you will know how true to yourself your choices are.
Choose to follow your heart right now! Choose today to step towards your dream, your ideals, and what you were born to be and do.
In practical terms it takes regular, steady efforts to bring your heart's desire to life. It takes courage, faith and commitment to your inner vision. It does not mean abandoning your common sense or strategic thinking, but rather directing these inner resources towards manifesting your goal.
Start today! Start now! Before
this day is over take at least one small step in the direction of fulfilling your life's potential.
And tomorrow when you awaken, remember to take another step.
In this way you can't help but move towards the fulfillment of your life's true purpose.
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April 4th, 2006

As Within: So Without.
Hermetic Axiom

In meditation you distill, purify your being and discover who you really are. Once you realise yourself, you may change that which is fixed.
Paul Tisdell, The Oracle

By changing a very common misconception - the idea that your problems are to be found in the outer situations of life - you can remove your problems once and for all.
Understand that the difficulties are to be found within your own mind. Once you become aware of this, you can begin the process of removing your inner weaknesses. Meditation is the method that is used to achieve this. Only the inner silence, stillness and relaxation which you gain through meditation will help.
Ammachi

Stephen's Comment...
Note that the teachers above are not saying to neglect our outer world or our outer life.
Rather, they are stressing the importance of removing
our inner obstacles and undergoing personal transformation as well as working towards improving our outer circumstances.
From the viewpoint of enlightened consciousness there is really no separation between the inner world of mind and the outer world of forms. God above and Nature below are as lovers forever entwined.
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March 28th, 2006

Children, don't try to still your mind by force when you sit for meditation. The thoughts will rise up with ten times their original force if you do that. It is like pressing down a spring. Try to find out where the thoughts arise from, and control them with that knowledge. Don't place the mind in any kind of tension. If any part of your body is tense or feels any pain, the mind will linger on that. Relax every part of the body, and watch your thoughts with absolute awareness. Then the mind will subside by itself.
Ammachi

Stephen's Comment...
This is a great description of one particular approach to meditation. In my own work this approach is taught in the course on 'Stillness & Present Moment Awareness'. Students are also guided through this specific practice in track one of the Stillness CD.
This is a patient practice! Yes, the mind will subside by itself but don't expect inner silence in 5 minutes and don't expect it on the first day of practice!
If you persist in following these instructions in a daily meditation practice, however, you will eventually meet success.
I can assure you that this peace and Self-awareness is better than anything in the world - well worth the work in getting there.
Good luck!
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March 21th, 2006

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Jesus, Mark 6:7

Stephen's Comment...
The basic message in this biblical quote is that merely repeating something in empty words is not enough to produce miraculous results. If you wish to be loving you must not merely think loving thoughts - although this is an good start - you must learn to feel loving and act lovingly.
It's like the difference between someone saying 'I love you' out of habit versus someone who has fallen head over heels in love and can't hold the words back any longer.
So if you are going to use a word-based spiritual practice such as prayer, affirmations, chanting or the use of mantras
then it will work much more powerfully if you are present, connected with and emotionally committed to whatever it is you are doing.
The same goes for a yoga practice, for meaningful work and in your close relationships.
By impregnating your life with awareness, sensitivity, passion and commitment your actions will become as prayers, charged with vitality, meaning and the power of the miraculous.

Note: The word 'heathen' means 'those who live on the heath' implying backward country folk. I doubt Christ had such a silly prejudice against rustics so no doubt the term was introduced during the editing, translation, etc that the bible has gone through over the last couple millenia.
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March 14th, 2006

Alchemy is about change. Each of us changes - life itself does that to us. Hopefully, we all finish off our lives a little wiser than we started.
But the work of alchemy makes different demands. It is for those who consciously seek change on a bigger scale - not change for change's sake, but for the growth of the spirit.
Cherry Gilchrist, Everyday Alchemy

Be clear as to your motive.
Paul Tisdell

Stephen's Comment...
Know that every time you consciously exercise your power to choose, you became an agent of change.
What choices have you made today? What motivated you to select one thing over another? Where do your priorities lie?
And if you keep choosing this way where will you eventually end up?
Every choice leads you either further in an established direction, or off in a new direction. Where you end up in the long run is up to you. Choices are yours.

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March 7th, 2006

In this body, in this town of Spirit, there is a little house shaped like a lotus, and in that house there is a little space. One should know what is there.

What is there? Why is it so important?

There is as much in that little space within the heart, as there is in the whole world outside. Heaven, earth, fire, wind, sun, moon, lightning, stars; whatever is and whatever is not, everything is there.
Chhandogya Upanishad

Heaven is for those that are masters of themselves. They can move anywhere in this world at their pleasure.

Through mastery a wise man knows the Self.

Silence is the mastery of oneself; for through that mastery man attains the meditation upon the Self.
Chhandogya Upanishad
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February 28th, 2006

Innocence comes when there is love. Divine love makes you like a child. Love makes you accept everything. When one truly loves, one's intellect becomes empty. One stops thinking. No thoughts, no mind, nothing. Only love remains.
Ammachi

Love yourself now.
Paul Tisdell
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February 21st, 2006

Resist not evil.
Jesus, Matthew 5:39

What you resist, persists.
Unknown

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Mahatma Ghandi

Stephen's Comment...
Whatever you fight against you energise. This is useful at times to bring certain things out of the closet and into clear awareness. But at some point, having gained awareness you must accept what is - stop fighting against it - and start creating what you really want.
This is not suggesting you become a doormat or that you surrender healthy boundaries or the creative aspects of applying your Will with strength and purpose.
Rather it is recognising that whatever you fight against you actually feed with your creativity and your attention. If you really want to get rid of something try focussing on the opposite instead.
For example, rather than fighting hate, create love. Rather than fighting poverty, create prosperity. Rather than fighting disease, create health. (And rather than fighting terror, choose to feel and be safe - safe for yourself and safe for others.)
At first your mind may object and keep trying to emphasise the importance of 'the problem'. We love our dramas !
But if you persist in redirecting your point of attention, eventually you will become so absorbed in your beloved solution you will forget 'the problem' even existed.

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February 14th, 2006 (Valentine's Day)

I have a secret glory for them that love me.
To love me is better than all things.
I love you ! I yearn to you ! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you : come unto me !
Sing the rapturous love-song unto me ! Burn to me purfumes ! Wear to me jewels ! Drink to me, for I love you !
I love you !
I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset ; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.
To me ! To me !
The Egyptian Goddess Nuit, The Book of the Law

Stephen's Comment...
Oftentimes in inspired texts the spiritual seeker and the divine are depicted as lovers.
This can be seen in the Sufi poet Rumi and his yearning for 'the beloved', in The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, in The Song of Solomon in the Bible, in the writings of Christian saints and mystics, and in the pagan views on sex, love and relationship. Even Christ's parables of brides and bridegrooms hint of this relationship.
Devotional love leads to ecstatic states of consciousness, spiritual awakening and finally into spiritual union with the divine. The awakened one has gone beyond any personal conception of love and bears an expansive love for all.
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February 7th, 2006

As above; So below.
As within; So without.
Man is a microcosm of the macrocosm, a universe in miniature.
Hermes Trismegistus

Mankind, know thyself and thou shalt know all things.
The Temple of Delphi

Stephen's Comment...
Any quality, object or attitude you can perceive in the outer world is but a reflection of a part of you. You are a whole being and contain everything there is within you. Much of it is latent, subconscious and unexpressed but if you truly delve within yourself you may discover anything you desire.

What qualities do you admire in others? Seek the part of yourself that is capable of being like this, however tiny or distant it may seem at first. Step into this part of yourself, try it on for size, use it in lots of little ways in your daily life and you too will develop these virtues.

Please note: When the tradition refers to 'man' and 'mankind' it is referring to all humankind, both male and female. There is no intention towards sexism - indeed the esoteric tradition has practiced and taught equality of the sexes for thousands of years - long before it became a part of popular culture.
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January 31st, 2006

The mind is like a wild horse - the first time you go to master it you are likely to be thrown off.

Be not discouraged.

It takes much patience, discipline and love to make a wild horse your loyal steed.
from The Law of Adaptation by Paul Tisdell
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January 24th, 2006

No work is meaningless. It's the amount of love - of heart - you pour into your work that determines how beautiful and meaningful it will be.
from Messages from Amma edited by Janine Canan

Work is love made visible.
from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Follow your bliss.
Joseph Campbell

Stephen's Comment...
Identifying what you love to do, and working towards being able to make a living from this is a process which takes time.
In the meantime choose to love what you do, whatever it is. Not only will this attitude transform your work life, it also becomes a spiritual path in itself.
If you choose to 'do what you love and love what you do' you will be in bliss throughout your working life. Without thinking about it you will start to radiate joy and
upliftment towards the people you come into contact with.
This is not just a pie-in-the-sky ideal!
It is attitude that must be cultivated a little bit more each day until it becomes a habit, giving up old habits of negativity, complaint or dissatisfaction.
And if you really can't find much for your heart to sing about in what you do, then perhaps it's time to do something else.
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January 17th, 2006

All that we on the mountain do is simple and natural and no more out of the ordinary than what animals do.

...the cat is spiritual. She meditates. When she sits at the windowsill or in front of a mouse hole, she is unmoving and concentrates just like our masters. You've seen her waiting for a rat. Nothing distracts her. Her mind is only on one point. She can sit for almost an entire day at one hole until the rat comes out and she catches it. Yin and Yang. Perfect stillness and concentration, perfect action and strength.

Our cat... preserves energy, knows the art of breathing, heals itself, and is skilled in meditative concentration. Study the cat, Saihung. Everything you need to learn, she already knows.
from Chronicles of Tao: The Secret Life of a Taoist Master by Deng Ming-Dao
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January 10th, 2006
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All happens perfectly without effort.
from The Law of Economy (Above) by Paul Tisdell

Stephen's Comment...
I do not believe Paul is suggesting that we be lazy, slothful or negligent and expect grand results !

This Law rather suggests we aspire to a state of effortless action through which the perfection of nature may express itself without undue interference or heavy-handedness.

Spirit is not outside of us - it is us at the most profound level, and it also is everything else at the same time. Once we learn to allow actions to take place through our minds and bodies, without stress, strain or personal attachment then we become vehicles for the Spirit.

This state is the same as 'the Zone' of the athlete, and is an ideal of Taoism, Karma-Yoga and Zen. When Jesus said, 'Be in the world but not of it,' he was also encouraging us to perform actions without identifying with the machinery of action, or with the material results which follow.

Now if effortless perfection in action is the ideal, how do we get there? The paradox is we may have to work hard, and even strive for a time, to get our actions up to speed before we can surrender them.

The babe must make efforts to stand and the toddler must concentrate on walking before the child is free to run and dance with effortless joy.

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