Love Serve Meditate Realize

Monday, Mar 29, 2010 This week’s Food for Thought – March 29, 2010

No matter what you are doing, keep the undercurrent of happiness, the secret river of joy, flowing beneath the sands of your various thoughts and the rocky soil of your hard trials.  Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite of all circumstances, and say to yourself:

“Happiness is the greatest divine birthright—the buried treasure of my soul.  Having found it at last, I shall be secretly rich beyond the dreams of kings.”

…The joyous rays of the soul can be perceived if you interiorize your attention.  This can be done by using your mind to enjoy the beautiful scenery of thoughts in the invisible, intangible kingdom within you.  Do not search for happiness only in beautiful clothes, clean houses, delicious dinners, and soft cushions and chairs.  These can imprison your happiness behind bars of externality. Rather, in the airplane of your interior visualization, glide over the vast tracts that comprise the limitless empire of thoughts.  There behold the mountain ranges of unbroken, lofty, spiritual aspirations.  If you have made up your mind to find joy within yourself, sooner or later you will find it.

The nemesis of darkness must be driven away by the burning light of smiles.  You must find joy in the warmth of your smiles melting away the frost of others’ gloom.  Wherever you go, you should build a big fire of smiles in the souls of men.

Learn to throw the light of joy into all hearts, so that they may burn away the darkness and find the light within themselves.  You should spread the fire of smiles; and those smiles should be saturated with the smile of God, which comes through right meditation.  Your smile should be the laughter of the gods—the echo of the Infinite.

—Paramahansa Yogananda

Happy Passover!  Happy Easter!  Happy Everything!

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 This week’s Food for Thought – March 15, 2010

Silence—whether called quietude, contemplation, meditation, or some other term—has been universally valued as an antidote to our noisy, chattering mind, so that deeper truths can be revealed.  As author Carlos Castaneda writes, “Whenever the dialogue stops, the world collapses and extraordinary facets of ourselves surface, as though they have been kept heavily guarded by our words.”  The spiritual writer Satperm advocates extending silence to thought itself:  “(I)f the power to think is a remarkable gift, the power not to think is even more so.”  We find the same message in the writings of Lao Tzu: “‘He who knows does not speak/He who speaks does not know.”  St John of the Cross agrees: “For whereas speaking distracts, silence and work collect the thoughts and strengthen the spirit.”

These comments, spanning nearly three millennia, reveal the great value all mystical traditions attribute to silence.  Silence of mouth and mind is one of “nothing’s” greatest paradoxes.  By thinking and saying nothing, we apprehend everything.  Thus, historian of religions Edward Carpenter notes:

“Of all the hard facts of science, I know of none more solid and fundamental than the fact that if you inhibit thought and persevere, you come at length to a region of consciousness below or behind thought, and different from ordinary thought in its nature and character… [It is a world in which] one’s soul is in touch with souls of all creatures.  It is to be assured of an indestructible and immortal life of joy immense and inexpressible.”

Again the message is the same:  If this “joy immense and inexpressible” is to be realized, we must become nothing and nobody—a state in which, as Huxley says, “…there is no separate selfhood to obscure or refract…the ‘white radiance of Eternity’…the Thing in itself can be perceived—but only by one who, in himself, is no-thing.”

Larry Dossey, M.D., The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 This week’s Food for Thought – March 8, 2010

When a man begins to have a vision larger than his own truth,

when he realizes that it is much larger than at first seemed,

he begins to become conscious of his morals.

His perspective on life necessarily changes,

and his will take the place of his desires.

So comes about the conflict between our inferior self and our superior self,

Between our desires and our will,

between our greed for objects that appeal to our senses

And the purpose that comes from the bottom of our heart.

—Rabindranath Tagore

TO YOUR HEALTH: HOMEMADE GINGER ALE   Tired of ginger tea? Try this tasty soda recipe.  The pungent heating qualities of ginger can help keep spring colds at bay.  Combine 1/2 cup of freshly grated ginger, 1 cup of cane sugar, and 4 cups of water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 9 minutes.  Cool and strain.  To serve, add about 1/3 cup of ginger syrup to a chilled glass.  Top with seltzer water and garnish with lime.  Adjust the proportions to taste.  Serves 4—6.  Refrigerate leftover syrup for later; flavor intensifies.

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 This week’s Food for Thought – March 1, 2010

The Seer is nothing but the power of seeing which,

although pure, appears to see through the mind.

Even though the light is pure and never-changing, it appears to change because of the medium of nature.  The sun’s rays appear to bend when they pass through a section of water, although they do not actually bend.  A filament gives pure light but appears to be red because of the red glass that surrounds its.  Likewise, we are all the same light, but we don’t look alike, act alike or think alike because of the nature of our bodies and minds.  If the mind accumulates some ideas of law, we become lawyers; some knowledge of medicine, we become doctors.  If we have no ideas, we are called fools.  So, although the original substance is the same, we appear to be different.

Through Yogic thinking we can see the entire humanity as our own.  We can embrace all without any exceptions.  Even the worst sinner will be loved by us because we ourselves were once sinners.  Today’s sinner is tomorrow’s saint.  We will never criticize a sinner if we realize that we were once in the same boat.  Instead, we can give the so-called sinner a helping hand.  If a baby dirties its diaper, you take it out of the crib, clean it and put on a new diaper.  You don’t criticize it.  If you wish to criticize it you have no business being with that child.

So Yoga helps in every aspect of our lives, from the White House to the outhouse.  It’s not something to be experienced only after sixty years of practice, but something that can benefit everyone now.

Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, Book II, Verse 20

RECOMMENDED READING:  The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long Term Health — T. Colin Campbell, PhD & Thomas M. Campbell II

“Everyone in the field of nutrition science stands on the shoulders of
Dr. Campbell, who is one of the giants in the field.  This is one of the most
important books about nutrition ever written—
reading it may save your life.” —Dean Ornish, MD