Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who are the five people in your life you spend the most time with?

Who are the five people in your life you spend the most time with? Whether you like it or not, they are your unspoken "happiness tribe" (or unhappiness tribe). Since you catch the emotions of the people around you like you catch their colds, you are continually being affected by their vibes.
That's why I am a huge fan of consciously forming a happiness tribe, a mastermind or support group of people who are committed to supporting your greatest growth and happiness in life. (This doesn't mean a group of people who allow you to tell your "story" over and over and wallow in your problems).
I learned long ago the power of a support group when I read about the concept in Napoleon Hill's classic book Think and Grow Rich. Hill defines a mastermind group as the "coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose." Hill believed a mastermind group actually multiplies an individual's brain power and produces positive emotions as well as success in activity.
Napoleon Hill worked with Andrew Carnegie and later his associate Charles M. Schwab to unlock the keys to their success. began as manual workers and created their own huge steel companies, eventually becoming two of the richest men in the world. Carnegie and Schwab held regular brainstorming sessions and credited their success to the power of the mastermind.
I've been in some form of a mastermind or support group continuously since 1987, and they've been key in my life. The first one formed my when my ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend suggested we create a group to help me through my difficult break-up. I went for it and it worked!
In fact, the six of us met every week for 12 years until I moved away. We supported each other through many life changes and through achieving our most cherished goals, and we still get together whenever I visit. (My ex and his new girlfriend got married later that year and both continue to be dear friends of mine).
For women, support groups offer a particular fringe benefit. When women share their experiences, or "tend and befriend," it raises their levels of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps them handle stress more effectively.
Today, I prefer a different name for support and mastermind groups -- happiness groups, because that's their fundamental purpose -- to support you in experiencing greater levels of happiness.
Here's my recommendation for creating and sustaining a happiness group for yourself -- starting today:
1. Find three or more people you'd like to be in a happiness group with.
2. Decide to meet or connect by phone once a week or every other week.
3. Select a group leader for each week's meeting who will be responsible for moving the meeting along.
4. Use this format for the meeting (until you evolve one that works best for your group):
◦ Allow each person 2 minutes to recount their "wins" of the week.
◦ Allow each person 5 minutes to share "what's up" with them currently.
◦ Allow each person 2 minutes to state their intention for the coming week.
◦ End with an inspirational thought or quote offered by that week's group leader.
It's that simple. Try it and see how you experience more happiness and success in your life.
Happily yours,
Marci Shimoff

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Physical Earthly Body Training with David.

Use them all or just pick a few that speak to your specific goals. Either way, you'll be better off this year than last. To keep the progress coming, keep reading our e-mails that will offer you killer motivation, workout and diet tips that will get you looking the best you ever have!
For most people, cardio gets boring after awhile. And when cardio gets boring, cardio gets less effective at burning body fat, since you're more likely to "go through the motions" than to push yourself hard when motivation is lacking.
The solution: Break away from the obligatory 30-minute steady state cardio routine on a treadmill or elliptical and hit your local track. Work sprints into your program 2-3 times per week at lengths of around 40 yards to 400 meters (one lap around a track).
For the shorter distances (40-50 yards), work up to doing 10-15 all-out sprints with 30-60 seconds rest between each one. For the longer ones (400 meters), work up to 4-5 90% sprints with 2-3 minutes between each.
Mixing sprints of varying lengths in with your steady state cardio will ramp up your fat-burning efforts big time.
There's nothing more cathartic than whaling away on a heavy bag after a long day at the office. A crisply-landed jab-cross-hook combo does way more than just relieve stress.
Boxing gyms, which offer hour-long, group instructional classes, can burn anywhere from 400-750 calories in an hour. Boxing-related activities, such as jumping rope, medicine ball work and plyometrics can also help you tap into muscle fibers you forgot you had.
Plus, you get to learn a skill. Sure beats the treadmill.
These gyms are popping up everywhere and certainly keep things interesting and fun. Stars like Mario Lopez and Mark Wahlberg are just a few who have made boxing their primary workout with amazing results. Check one out in your area- it could be the best move you ever made.
Each month, our e-mails provide you with countless workouts, nutrition tips and supplement advice to help you improve your physique. But even the most committed of us get bored.
I know some people look at the start of a New Year and think about all the goals they can achieve, but sometimes I look at the start of the year and think, "crap, I have to work out all year again."
For some of you, avoiding that feeling will come from new goals: tighter abs, bigger arms, stronger legs, etc... For those of you who have been there and done that, I suggest you pick up a new sport or activity. Make this the year you learn how to box (and lift like Vladimir Klitchko). Or the year you finally go Mountain Biking (and train your legs like Lance Armstrong). Or make it the year you decide to swim (and lift like Michael Phelps).
This way, when it comes time to wrap up 2011, you won't only look better, you'll have accomplished something else along the way - a new talent to show off.
"One of the keys to success is to know and set your quest," says Mark Allen, six-time Ironman World Champion and co-author with Brant Secunda of Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You. Which really just means sitting down with yourself and saying, "Where am I going and why is this important to me?" It doesn't have to be a big psychological moment in your life.
This may sound like some pretty basic goal setting, but knowing why you're in the gym, and specifically meeting weekly, if not daily goals, will increase your chances of building the body you want.
Many of our readers are so focused on getting bigger that they keep training in the 8-10 rep range, rarely veering off that path. While that rep range is perfect for building muscle, if you stick only with that rep range, your muscle will get accustomed to that training impetus and will stagnate.
One way to prevent this is to change your rep range (and thus the weight you use to reach that rep range) at least every 6-8 weeks. I suggest you do this by starting the New Year with one of our strength programs that drops the reps down as low as 2-3 per set.
Not only will this prevent the stagnation that you are bound to run into, but it will let you take all your lifts to a heavier weight so that when you do get back to training in the 8-10 rep range you'll be able to go heavier than you did before, which will place greater overload on your muscles and help to take your muscle growth to new levels.
So start 2011 by getting stronger to get bigger.
When leaning out and trying to increase (or at least retain) muscle mass, don't count calories; know your protein needs and carbohydrate limits.
The old dogma of weight loss or gain being solely dependant upon caloric intake versus expenditure is as outdated as last year's calendar. Instead, you need to closely track your daily protein and carbohydrate intake as you work toward specific goals.
First, find a way to consume about six meals per day, evenly divided throughout and consumed at regularly timed intervals each day.
Next, determine your goal body weight (in pounds) and then multiply that weight by 0.8, 1.0 or 1.36 depending upon your activity level (low-moderate, moderate-high, or high-intensity, respectively).
The number you come up with is your total protein (in grams) per day. Divide this number by the number of meals you consume per day. This number represents the amount of protein you should consume per meal.
Next, multiply the protein amount per meal by 0.98 and 1.5.
This is the range of carbohydrates you're allowed to consume per meal, relative to the amount of protein you're consuming.
Stick to the lower number if you're female or trying to seriously cut body fat and minimize muscle loss; lean toward the higher number if you're trying to lean out and increase muscle mass.
Combine the protein and carb quantities (in grams) per meal and multiply by 4.
Take this number and divide by 0.7.
Then, divide that number by 9.
The value you come up with is the approximate amount of total fat you should consume per meal; the majority of which should come as mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, as well as from medium-chain triglycerides (a form of saturated fat).
It's a bit of math, but we're assuming you're willing to do some calculating to get where you want to go this year.
Start substituting protein and fat calories for some of your starchy carbohydrates.
More and more scientific and anecdotal evidence is making it clear that carbs drive insulin, and insulin drives fat storage. Unless you are a marathoner or triathlete, you only need enough carbs a day to fuel your brain and a relatively short (but hopefully intense) workout.
Cut back on the rice, pasta, and bread and consume more vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, nuts and oils.
It will feel funny at first to load up on salad dressing, nut butters and avocados, but invariably your energy levels will steady out, your hunger pangs will calm down and, since dietary fat promotes the burning of stored fat, you'll start looking more ripped.
As an added bonus, your antioxidant and vitamin intake will sky-rocket with the extra fruits and vegetables and your absorption will improve since many nutrients are fat-soluble.
Try this for a meal: a big green salad (the darker green the better) topped with chicken, chopped vegetables (tomatoes, onions, red peppers, broccoli) olives, avocado, sliced almonds, and dressed with oil and vinegar.
Maybe you haven't been in the gym for quite a while and you don't want to step foot in the gym just yet.
No problem.
For the next four weeks, start off the year by rebuilding yourself through bodyweight-only exercises. From push-ups (incline, decline and standard) to sit-ups and reverse crunches, to jump squats, pull-ups and thrusters.
There are countless ways to begin - or begin again.
Finally make sure to track your progress. In fact, you can track your progress from day 1, then at the end of 30 days look back and see how far you've come.
Beginning tomorrow, do 10 reps of each exercise. That's it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yours in the One Heart, Asatar

I got an interesting question recently:
"Hi Asatar, I enjoy reading your wonderful email posts. One thing I would like your opinion on. How is guided meditation similar to hypnosis? When I guide others in meditating I have several times heard someone say they thought it was like hypnosis or they were asking if it was similar. How would you respond to that?" --CS
Great question, CS!
In Puran and Susanna's book "Living from the Heart", there is a great diagram on p. 55 and discussion that goes into some detail on the differences between different states of consciousness, such as daydreams, lucid dreaming, trance and meditation.
Under hypnosis, a person enters a trance state, and though people differ in their experience of the trance state, typically there is some limited memory of what happened in that state, but very little inner awareness, little to no awareness of surroundings, nor is there control over the images one receives, as these are the product of hypnotic suggestion, where another person essentially controls the experience through the voluntary weakening of the conscious mind.
What we are looking for with Heart Rhythm Meditation is quite different.
We want a great deal of inner awareness, focused on the heart; while the awareness of your surroundings will naturally be somewhat less (because normally you meditate with your eyes closed and your body still), it is still very high, as you are aware of sounds, sensations in your body, and the feelings which come from the outer world. For example, you would probably sense it if someone were to enter the room while you were meditating, even if you could not see or hear the person, because you would become aware of the person's atmosphere.
When a person guides another in meditation, there is always the chance that this can become a form of hypnotic suggestion. What prevents this from happening is when the leader of the meditation focuses on that which is truly happening within your body and heart, directing your attention to your own inner experience. Your heart really is beating; you really are breathing in and out.
The more deep and rich your inner experience becomes, the more you can control your inner state, which carries over into the dream world, and other states of consciousness.
We do not seek to weaken our minds in meditation; we seek to energize our hearts. When your heart is full of energy, your emotional, mental, and physical body come into harmony, strengthening each as it helps each part of you work properly.
Yours in the One Heart,

King Joseph and Rabbi Samson!

Some three hundred years ago, in the city of Vienna, capital of Austria, there lived a famous rabbi, Rabbi Samson Wertheimer. (Rabbi Samson Wertheimer was born in Worms in 1658 and died in Vienna at the age of 66. Through his great friend, Samuel Oppenheimer, the great financier, Rabbi Samson was presented to the royal court and, together, they were of great assistance to King Leopold the First. Later, after the death of Oppenheimer, Rabbi Samson took over his post, which he kept also during the reign of King Joseph.)
This rabbi was renowned not only on account of his riches and high government position, but also on account of his wisdom and fine character. He was King Leopold’s Finance-Minister, and was entrusted with all the financial secrets of the country. He also supplied much of the war material for the army in the great war with Spain at that time.
Rabbi Samson used his great influence at court to benefit his oppressed Jewish brethren, and with his great wealth he supported the poor and needy. He took great pride in his Judaism, and he fought against those who told malicious lies about the Jewish people and their traditions. His piety and kindliness made him beloved by all Jews.
At that time a certain bishop (who was surely a direct descendant of the wicked Haman) won the king’s favor. The bishop could not bear to see the king giving so much honor to, and having so much faith in, a Jew. He tried all methods to place Rabbi Samson in the king’s disfavor. Try as he would, the bishop could not find any excuse to cause the king to mistrust him.
The bishop once came to the king and said: “Your majesty, there is a Jew whom you have trusted with all the wealth of the kingdom. Do you know if he is faithful and honest? Maybe he enriches himself at the king’s expense? Do you know if he has earned his wealth honestly?” The king replied: “I certainly do have faith in him. Have you any proof that he has cheated me?”
“I have no doubt whatsoever that he cheats you”; continued the bishop, “but I also have a way to prove to your majesty that my accusations are not groundless. I bribed a bookkeeper of your Jewish finance minister, and he gave me a copy of his books. I didn’t believe my eyes when I saw what a huge amount of money he has amassed! Let the king ask him how much he is worth and see what he answers you. If his answer will conform to the amount written in his books, then I will also admit that he is an honest man. But if he states a sum less than that mentioned in the books, then you know that he is a swindler. The king may then give him over into my hands, and you can rest assured that he will receive his just punishment.”
“Very well! I am willing to try out your test,” the king answered. “You will then see that all your suspicions are groundless . . .”
“One condition, I would ask of your majesty,” the bishop went on. “If it will be proven that Wertheimer has lied, he must be burnt alive, and, meanwhile, your majesty can have the furnace heated, so that the death sentence can be carried out immediately . . .”
The king allowed himself to be influenced, and the furnace was prepared. Meanwhile the king gave orders to his hangmen that, if a person, no matter who it may be, should come to them and ask in the king’s name: “Have you carried out the king’s order?” they should straight away grab him and throw him into the furnace without any questions!
The bishop left the palace in high spirits, rubbing his hands gleefully at the thought of ridding himself of his Jewish enemy, Wertheimer.
The king then had his Finance Minister Rabbi Samson Wertheimer brought before him. He did not tell him that this was a matter of life and-death, but just started a friendly discussion with him. The king led the conversation up to the point where the king asked him about his personal welfare and inquired if he was satisfied.
“Praised be the Almighty, I cannot complain,” the rabbi answered humbly.
“Do you receive suitable pay for your devoted service? About how much is your personal wealth, my good friend?” the king asked matter-of-factly.
“The king has to be told an exact amount, and that is difficult to estimate on the spot . . .”
“I don’t mean to the exact gulden,” the king interrupted. “How much are you certain of, that you have no doubts about?”
Rabbi Samson Wertheimer thought for a moment and then mentioned a certain amount.
The king could hardly restrain his astonishment and anger. Rabbi Samson had mentioned an amount roughly one-tenth of the amount he was supposed to own, according to the books. It looked as if the bishop was right. His trustworthy and reliable finance minister had apparently fooled him!
The king then told him to go to the furnace and ask the hangmen if they had carried out the king’s orders.
Rabbi Samson went to carry out the king’s order, not dreaming that he was going to a certain death.
On the way he met a Jew who was very pleased to meet him. “Worthy rabbi, today my newborn son is eight days old. I have to carry out the holy mitzvah of circumcision, and I cannot find another mohel. I beg of you, Rabbi, please come with me and perform the ceremony . . .”
In addition to his many qualifications, Rabbi Samson Wertheimer was a mohel. He was always happy to carry out this great mitzvah, and never charged any money for it. Now Rabbi Samson was at a loss what to do. “The king sent me on an errand; how can I delay? I am obliged to carry out his order . . .”
“And I have been sent by the King of Kings!” the Jew persisted. ‘The sacred mitzvah of circumcision can certainly not be delayed! I will not leave you, dear rabbi, until you grant my wish . . .”
The rabbi, seeing that such a great Mitzvah came his way, did not hesitate too long, and went with the Jew.
The house was already filled with guests. Rabbi Samson was greeted with great honor and joy. After the ceremony, a meal in honor of the mitzvah was served, and wine was drunk, with everyone expressing good wishes for a healthy life.
As soon as Rabbi Samson drank a glass of wine he felt slightly dizzy; he lay down for a while and soon fell asleep. No one wanted to awaken the honored guest . . .
That night, the bishop could not sleep. He had heard that the king had sent his Jewish finance minister to his certain death. He also had heard that the king had confiscated Rabbi Samson’s possessions; the bishop was in the seventh heaven. “I must go personally and make sure,” the bishop thought. “I will still manage to see the Jew’s bones burning in the furnace . . .” and with a devilish smirk on his face he went to the furnace . . .
“I have come to see with my own eyes if you have carried out the king’s orders!” the bishop remarked gaily.
“Aha! We are waiting for you . . .” the hangmen answered. They grabbed hold of him and started dragging him towards the furnace . . .
They took little notice of the bishop’s protests and cries . . . they stopped up his mouth and threw him into the furnace . . .
Meanwhile, Rabbi Samson woke up and hurried home. It was already after midnight, and he felt disturbed at having to leave the king’s order until the next day.
He found the house in an uproar . . . his family were worrying about him because all his possessions had been sealed by the king’s servants and they felt that they were all in great danger . . .
In the morning, straight after morning prayers, Rabbi Samson hastened to carry out his king’s command . . .
“Yes! We carried out our orders to the letter,” the hangmen replied. “You should have seen the bishop tremble . . . but it served him right . . . I always knew he was a false person . . .” one of the hangmen remarked with a smile.
Rabbi Samson remained standing, unable to understand what had happened. He ran to the king and became even more bewildered when he saw the king looking at him, as if he, Rabbi Samson, were a ghost . . .
Rabbi Samson excused himself for having been unable to carry out the royal command the same day, due to a most urgent matter, and he was forced to postpone it till the following day. He hastened to reassure the king, however, that his command had been carried out, and the bishop had been burned according to the king’s order . . . On the other hand, he could not understand why the king had confiscated all his property that he, Rabbi Samson, had so honestly earned . . .
The king suddenly broke out into uncontrollable laughter. He laughed and laughed until he could hardly remain standing. He then embraced Rabbi Samson and pressed him to his heart, and continued to laugh joyfully, tears coming to his eyes.
Rabbi Samson regarded the king in amazement and waited patiently until the king would come to himself.
Finally the king told him the whole story about the bishop’s accusation, and what a remarkable escape the rabbi had enjoyed from the certain death that the bishop had prepared for him, but had himself suffered.
“I am now assured that you are a religious, G‑dly man, whom your great G‑d has saved from a certain and unearned death,” the king said earnestly. “But tell me, why did you deny the truth and not admit the full amount of your riches?”
“G‑d forbid!” Rabbi Samson replied. “I would not tell the king a lie. When the king asked me how much I was sure I possessed, I could not state the amount in the books. That was not definitely mine. Only yesterday I had this amount, and today the king confiscated everything . . . The only certain possessions that I have are those that I have donated to charity . . . they cannot be taken away from me. I am used to giving a tenth of my earnings to charity, and therefore that is the amount that I stated . . .”
The king was extremely pleased with Rabbi Samson’s explanation.
“There can be no question any more of confiscating your properties,” the king remarked, beaming. “I grant you them once more, with pleasure. Please tell me how I can repay you for the unpleasantness I caused you so unnecessarily?” the king asked.
“The king has already sufficiently rewarded me, with his trust and friendship,” Rabbi Samson replied. “Even so, I would like to ask a favor of his majesty: I would like to build a large synagogue in Vienna, where my devoted brethren would be able to come to serve G‑d.”
Rabbi Samson’s wish was granted and a great synagogue was erected in the capital, known as “Rabbi Samson’s Synagogue.”
Rabbi Samson lived out his years in Torah study, charity and good deeds, and he accomplished a lot of good both for the Jews and for the country. Before his death he willed a large part of his possessions to charity: this “Wertheimer Fund” existed till the first World War, and gave much help to charitable causes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Justice is the divine correction for injustice. Injustice is the basis for all the judgments of the world. Justice corrects the interpretations to which injustice gives rise, and cancels them out. Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice, since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit's verdict upon the world. Except in His judgment justice is impossible, for no one in the world is capable of making only just interpretations and laying all injustices aside. If God's Son were fairly judged, there would be no need for salvation. The thought of separation would have been forever inconceivable.
Justice, like its opposite, is an interpretation. It is, however, the one interpretation that leads to truth. This becomes possible because, while it is not true in itself, justice includes nothing that opposes truth. There is no inherent conflict between justice and truth; one is but the first small step in the direction of the other. The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases and time ends with it. But somewhere one must start. Justice is the beginning.
All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body's eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. Selectively and arbitrarily is every concept of the world built up in just this way. "Sins" are perceived and justified by careful selectivity in which all thought of wholeness must be lost. Forgiveness has no place in such a scheme, for not one "sin" but seems forever true.
Salvation is God's justice. It restores to your awareness the wholeness of the fragments you perceive as broken off and separate. And it is this that overcomes the fear of death. For separate fragments must decay and die, but wholeness is immortal. It remains forever and forever like its Creator, being one with Him. God's Judgment is His justice. Onto this,--a Judgment wholly lacking in condemnation; an evaluation based entirely on love,--you have projected your injustice, giving God the lens of warped perception through which you look. Now it belongs to Him and not to you. You are afraid of Him, and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.
Pray for God's justice, and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. God's justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. It accepts all evidence that is brought before it, omitting nothing and assessing nothing as separate and apart from all the rest. From this one standpoint does it judge, and this alone. Here all attack and condemnation becomes meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see!

Monday, July 11, 2011

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS SECTION 15 -- Is Each One to Be Judged in the End?

Indeed, yes! No one can escape God's Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him. He will hear his sinlessness proclaimed around and around the world, setting it free as God's Final Judgment on him is received. This is the Judgment in which salvation lies. This is the Judgment that will set him free. This is the Judgment in which all things are freed with him. Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:
Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God. Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?
Is this your judgment on yourself, teacher of God? Do you believe that this is wholly true? No; not yet, not yet. But this is still your goal; why you are here. It is your function to prepare yourself to hear this Judgment and to recognize that it is true. One instant of complete belief in this, and you will go beyond belief to Certainty. One instant out of time can bring time's end. Judge not, for you but judge yourself, and thus delay this Final Judgment. What is your judgment of the world, teacher of God? Have you yet learned to stand aside and hear the Voice of Judgment in yourself? Or do you still attempt to take His role from Him? Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.
You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. God's Judgment waits for you to set you free. What can the world hold out to you, regardless of your judgments on its gifts, that you would rather have? You will be judged, and judged in fairness and in honesty. There is no deceit in God. His promises are sure. Only remember that. His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone, will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it to your heart, and offer it to all the world to keep it safe.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Keep the Desire Burning

Framework is the nature of the universe. Each planet has its orbit. Every week has seven days. Every year has its seasons. Life falls into its own rhythm. It’s meant to. So it’s easy to fall into a rut. A routine.
There’s nothing wrong with routine, unless we allow it to drain the passion form our lives. Personally, I seek to involve myself in something that speaks to my soul every day. And even if you’re punching in and punching out, day in and day out, you must find moments to invigorate your soul in this very same way.
It’s important to identify what it is that speaks to your soul when it comes to work, relationships, and spiritual practice. Many of us fall into careers or relationships that are less than satisfying because we simply aren’t aware of what speaks to us.
In the midst of our routines—when it is most difficult to ignite the internal fires—we must take time to create some sparks.
But once you identify what you want to do, which is only 1 percent of the issue, you need to look at how you do it, which is the remaining 99 percent.
When kabbalists speak of the energy of passion, they actually refer to it as excitement. They explain that excitement is not something that is a result of just enjoying what you are doing or who you are doing it with. Excitement is something you consciously inject into an action or situation.
When I say excitement, I don’t mean jumping up and down and pumping your fist. I mean embracing whatever you are doing with 100 percent of your attention and dedication, whether it’s going to dinner with the family, initiating a project at work, making spiritual connections, or just going to the gym.
This week, if you notice that you like what you are doing but just aren’t feeling passionate about it, try injecting excitement into it.
And most important, meditate with the Name below and let the Light be your guide.
All the best,

Free Yoga! By Lucus Rockwood

Traditional yoga relies on specific sets yoga postures
done over and over until mastery.
Here's how it works:
(1) You go to class.
(2) The teacher gives you some poses to do in a
specific order (poses that she has practiced for YEARS
and that work for her and her students).
(3) You do those poses 6 days a week until the teacher
tells you to do something else.
Ashtanga, Sivananda, Integral, Bikram - all these styles
rely heavily on the structure and discipline of a fixed
And here's why I get pissed off...
There's a movement among senior yoga teachers to
"do whatever you feel in the moment" or to "do
spontaneous yoga!"
Now if you've never done this before, it is a lot of fun,
and it is a great way to practice... sometimes. Like on
the weekends. Put on some music with some friends
on a Friday night, roll out your mats and just play.
I love that.
But here's the BIG catch. You're probably not really
ready to flow yet (hardly anyone is), and if you "free
flow" every day, you won't experience half the juice
that structured yoga practice has to offer...
... most of which are real life benefits, not even anything
to do with the yoga poses themselves.
And here's the rub: every one of those teachers that
advocate free flow, spontaneous yoga practices comes
from a highly structured, disciplined background.
To understand this better, think of a gifted child piano
player. She plays Mozart, she plays Bach. She's awesome
Wins the talent show.
She plays her whole life, every day for an hour; but by
the time she's 40, she never plays the classics anymore.
She plays jazz at a local cafe on Sundays. She sits down
with a drummer and bass player - sometimes people she's
never met before - and they just play.
And it's awesome. It's magic.
And it's actually BETTER than the highly structure
disciplined practice she knows so well but is now ready
to leave behind.
But the ONLY reason she can improvise and jam on
the fly is because she spent decades hammering
away at the fundamentals. Learning the classics. And
getting the notes ingrained into her body and mind
Flowing is great fun, but for now, use it as a fun break
from your discipline. Success leaves clues, and in yoga,
structure is always the mother of success.
Stay bendy,
p.s. What do you think about this "do what your body
wants" practice idea?
Share your thoughts here:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS SECTION 13 -- What Is the Real Meaning of Sacrifice?

Although in truth the term sacrifice is altogether meaningless, it does have meaning in the world. Like all things in the world, its meaning is temporary and will ultimately fade into the nothingness from which it came when there is no more use for it. Now its real meaning is a lesson. Like all lessons it is an illusion, for in reality there is nothing to learn. Yet this illusion must be replaced by a corrective device; another illusion that replaces the first, so both can finally disappear. The first illusion, which must be displaced before another thought system can take hold, is that it is a sacrifice to give up the things of this world. What could this be but an illusion, since this world itself is nothing more than that?
It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give. What can the sacrifice of nothing mean? It cannot mean that you have less because of it. There is no sacrifice in the world's terms that does not involve the body. Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice. Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the "hero" to whom all these things belong? Could they mean anything except to a body? Yet a body cannot evaluate. By seeking after such things the mind associates itself with the body, obscuring its Identity and losing sight of what it really is.
Once this confusion has occurred, it becomes impossible for the mind to understand that all the "pleasures" of the world are nothing. But what a sacrifice,--and it is sacrifice indeed!--all this entails. Now has the mind condemned itself to seek without finding; to be forever dissatisfied and discontented; to know not what it really wants to find. Who can escape this self-condemnation? Only through God's Word could this be possible. For self-condemnation is a decision about identity, and no one doubts what he believes he is. He can doubt all things, but never this.
God's teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world. Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children's toys? Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house? No one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation. Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice its values would demand of him. To them he sacrifices all his peace. To them he sacrifices all his freedom. And to possess them must he sacrifice his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father's Love. Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?
What is the real meaning of sacrifice? It is the cost of believing in illusions. It is the price that must be paid for the denial of truth. There is no pleasure of the world that does not demand this, for otherwise the pleasure would be seen as pain, and no one asks for pain if he recognizes it. It is the idea of sacrifice that makes him blind. He does not see what he is asking for. And so he seeks it in a thousand ways and in a thousand places, each time believing it is there, and each time disappointed in the end. "Seek but do not find" remains this world's stern decree, and no one who pursues the world's goals can do otherwise.
You may believe this course requires sacrifice of all you really hold dear. In one sense this is true, for you hold dear the things that crucify God's Son, and it is the course's aim to set him free. But do not be mistaken about what sacrifice means. It always means the giving up of what you want. And what, O teacher of God, is it that you want? You have been called by God, and you have answered. Would you now sacrifice that Call? Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you. There is no other hope in all the world that they can trust. There is no other voice in all the world that echoes God's. If you would sacrifice the truth, they stay in hell. And if they stay, you will remain with them.
Do not forget that sacrifice is total. There are no half sacrifices. You cannot give up Heaven partially. You cannot be a little bit in hell. The Word of God has no exceptions. It is this that makes it holy and beyond the world. It is its holiness that points to God. It is its holiness that makes you safe. It is denied if you attack any brother for anything. For it is here the split with God occurs. A split that is impossible. A split that cannot happen. Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible. And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen. It seems to happen at the "sacrifice" of truth.
Teacher of God, do not forget the meaning of sacrifice, and remember what each decision you make must mean in terms of cost. Decide for God, and everything is given you at no cost at all. Decide against Him, and you choose nothing, at the expense of the awareness of everything. What would you teach? Remember only what you would learn. For it is here that your concern should be. Atonement is for you. Your learning claims it and your learning gives it. The world contains it not. But learn this course and it is yours. God holds out His Word to you, for He has need of teachers. What other way is there to save His Son?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS SECTION 11 -- How Is Peace Possible in This World?

This is a question everyone must ask. Certainly peace seems to be impossible here. Yet the Word of God promises other things that seem impossible, as well as this. His Word has promised peace. It has also promised that there is no death, that resurrection must occur, and that rebirth is man's inheritance. The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God's Word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently, if His promises are to be accepted. What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you choose this.
Again we come to the question of judgment. This time ask yourself whether your judgment or the Word of God is more likely to be true. For they say different things about the world, and things so opposite that it is pointless to try to reconcile them. God offers the world salvation; your judgment would condemn it. God says there is no death; your judgment sees but death as the inevitable end of life. God's Word assures you that He loves the world; your judgment says it is unlovable. Who is right? For one of you is wrong. It must be so.
The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. Into this strange and paradoxical situation,--one without meaning and devoid of sense, yet out of which no way seems possible,--God has sent His Judgment to answer yours. Gently His Judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. How is peace possible in this world? In your judgment it is not possible, and can never be possible. But in the Judgment of God what is reflected here is only peace.
Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. How easily, then, is your judgment of the world escaped! It is not the world that makes peace seem impossible. It is the world you see that is impossible. Yet has God's Judgment on this distorted world redeemed it and made it fit to welcome peace. And peace descends on it in joyous answer. Peace now belongs here, because a Thought of God has entered. What else but a Thought of God turns hell to Heaven merely by being what it is? The earth bows down before its gracious Presence, and it leans down in answer, to raise it up again. Now is the question different. It is no longer, "Can peace be possible in this world?" but instead, "Is it not impossible that peace be absent here?"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Four Easy Steps to Get Insane Ripped Abs

Do you spend hours doing crunches or sit ups and yet, you are not getting ripped or six pack abs? Chances are you've been doing it all wrong!
It's a common mistake in most people who want visible abs to do abdominal exercise only. Sure, you develop abdominal muscle but it's only hidden under a layer of fat. In fact, you may find your ab getting bigger as a result of the increased muscle mass.
If you want visible abs, your focus should be on reducing excess body fat.
Low body fat = ripped abs
You achieve low body fat by burning more calories than you consume.
Here are 4 tips for losing belly fat effectively and permanently.
1. Interval training
Research has shown that interval training is more superior to slow, steady cardio for fat loss. Your metabolism remains elevated post workout, thus resulting in the after burn effect. Effectively, you continue to burn calories even after an interval workout but not after a long, steady cardio workout.
Also, if you don't have long hours to spare in the gym, interval workouts enable you to achieve the most fat loss in the least amount of time.
Some examples of interval workouts are wind sprints, hill sprints, swimming sprints and speed rope jumping. You can also do intervals on a treadmill, stationary bicycle, stairclimber, rower and elliptical machines.
2. Nutrition
Proper nutrition is the key to fat loss. No matter how much or hard you train, you'll never get visible abs if you live on chips, sodas, fast food, cookies and other crap.
Don't fall for any of the low carb, low fat, high protein and other fad diets. Instead, eat a healthy and well balanced diet that includes various food groups - carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Eat 5 - 6 small meals a day to keep your energy levels stable. Choose wholesome, natural foods, preferably organic, and avoid processed foods.
Avoid refined and simple carbs that contain white flour and white sugar. Your main sources of carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Include a source of high quality, lean protein with every meal. There are several benefits to consuming lean protein. Your body burns more calories from digesting protein than carbs or fats. Protein keeps hunger at bay and gives you a feeling of satiety. It is also necessary for building lean muscle that controls your metabolism and burns calories.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to speed up fat loss.
Consume healthy fats from avocado, flax seed (or flax oil), nuts, seeds, fish (or fish oil), etc. Essential fatty acids help to regulate appetite and burn fat.
Take a HGH supplement like HGH Energizer to help increase energy and boost your immune system, allowing you to burn more fat.
3. Resistance training
Resistance training not only sculpts your body but is important for building muscles. Like interval training, it raises your post workout metabolism so your body continues to burn calories even when you are doing nothing.
Aim for low rep resistance training, i.e. 8 reps per exercise, as it has been shown to boost metabolism after the workout.
If your goal is to burn fat, don't isolate your body parts by training certain muscle groups using single-joint movements.
Isolation exercises such as leg extension, bicep curl and tricep kickback burn little body fat. Shift your focus from single-joint to multi-joint muscle movements such as squats, lunges, split squats, pushups, chinups, rows, step ups and deadlifts. These are full body movements that work many muscles at one time, burn more calories during each workout and increase your metabolism post workout.
4. Reduce stress
Stess has been associated with belly fat. In stressful situations, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Excess cortisol production leads to build up of belly fat.
A fat belly is more than ugly looking. Accumulated fat in the abdomen increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Be aware of your stress level and learn to manage it through yoga, meditation, qi gong, tai chi and other stress reduction techniques.
The truth is there's no quick fix for losing belly fat.
The good news is that you can attain a set of lean or six pack abs through a healthy diet plan and effective training program that promote fat loss.
You ABSOLUTELY can get 6-pack abs with these easy steps- it takes commitment and a will to succeed. You have the knowledge- now put it to good use!
Get pumped!
David Andrews

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS SECTION 9 -- Are Changes Required in the Life Situation of God's Teachers?

Changes are required in the of God's teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God's plan. It is most unlikely that changes in attitudes would not be the first step in the newly made teacher of God's training. There is, however, no set pattern, since training is always highly individualized. There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. By far the majority are given a slowly evolving training program, in which as many previous mistakes as possible are corrected. Relationships in particular must be properly perceived, and all dark cornerstones of unforgiveness removed. Otherwise the old thought system still has a basis for return.
As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God's Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. The world's training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one's judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation.

A New Spiritual Orientation

Evolution is a new spiritual orientation. Most of us with a Western education are familiar with the idea of cosmic evolution—we're aware that the cosmos is in a process of ever-greater complexification and that we are part of that evolving process. We're aware of the Darwinian notion of biological evolution and accept the scientific evidence about how life has evolved. And some of us are even aware of the notion of cultural evolution, the recognition that culture has been developing over time through a series of stages. But very few of us are really awake to the notion of spiritual evolution. Seeing evolution as a spiritual unfolding that has an exterior and an interior, and understanding that our own experience of subjectivity is the leading edge of the interior of that creative process, is a very recently emerging idea. Traditionally, spiritual teachings pointed to a static attainment. The aspiration for enlightenment was the aspiration to come to rest in a steady state—in nirvana, in heaven. But when spirituality is reinterpreted from an evolutionary perspective, it is the aspiration for infinite becoming. The evolutionary impulse is an infinite reaching towards the future that affects the way we think about everything. Now we are no longer looking for spiritual liberation and release beyond the world, or after we die. We realize that the spiritual release is found in unconditionally, radically, and totally embracing the creative process of infinite becoming, as ourselves. It's a very different orientation to spiritual liberation.

Andrew Cohen

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

It's Independence Day here in the U.S., and I've been reflecting
all day on both the beauty and the limitations of the fierce
independence so deeply rooted in our culture.
The call to independence is, in its essence, a call to freedom, and
has been responsible for profound cultural advances from the ending
of publicly condoned slavery to the steady advancement of human
Where our spirituality is concerned, however, our attachment to
independence may be one of the greatest obstacles on our path.
As a spiritual guide and teacher, I've worked with thousands of
people aspiring to realize their spiritual potential. And, if I've
learned anything in the process, it is that to evolve on the
spiritual path, we need each other.
To truly realize our highest potentials, we need to engage in
transformative interactions with other people who share our
aspiration to evolve.
It's a simple idea. But it's implications run deep.
Notice the complexity of how it lands for you, and perhaps you'll
see what I mean.
For instance, this notion that we can't walk the spiritual path
alone may resonate with the part of you that longs for connection
and support on your journey.
But you might also notice that another part of you finds it
difficult to swallow.
In our modern world, in which independence has become almost a
religion, the notion that we need other people for anything seems
like heresy. Indeed, if we were to embrace such an idea, wouldn't
we be giving away our power, and our freedom?
When we think about traditional depictions of the spiritual path,
the picture that often comes to mind is also of a solitary,
independent journey. The lone sage on the mountaintop. The yogi
alone in the cave. The hermit in a hut. The wandering pilgrim.
Even if we attend church services or classes or meditation groups,
most of us still tend to think of our spiritual path as a private,
internal, solo quest in which we are the sole determining factor of
our own spiritual destiny.
But how independent are we really?
If you've ever attended a personal growth workshop or spiritual
retreat, you've probably noticed that in an environment where
everyone is focused on our higher evolutionary potentials, it's
relatively easy to experience a spiritual "high" or to break
through to new ground within ourselves.
But what happens when you come home from such an event, and find
yourself again surrounded by people who don't share your higher
values and aspirations?
For most of us, in the absence of a supportive social container for
our awakening, we find ourselves quickly losing touch with the new
potentials that had seemed so accessible in the retreat or workshop
Although we like to think of ourselves as independent, the reality
is that we are social creatures. Our ability to co-exist with one
another depends on our willingness to abide within a matrix of
shared values, assumptions and agreements about what is real, what
is important, and most importantly, what is acceptable behavior.
So, unless we surround ourselves with others who share our highest
spiritual values and aspirations, we will almost inevitably find
ourselves fighting against a kind of invisible but powerful "social
gravity" pulling us back into the unenlightened, unevolved "world
mind" we're trying to break free from.
It's not impossible to generate "escape velocity" on one's own.
But, for most of us, a sustained context of "evolutionary
partnership" with kindred spirits becomes essential.
Where and how do we begin to create such an environment?
Begin by asking yourself some important questions:
-Of everyone I know, who can I truly be my highest self with?
-Among my friends, family and colleagues, who truly shares my
deepest values and highest spiritual aspirations?
-Do I have any social structures in my life in which I feel free to
stretch myself--and my relationships--beyond my and our comfort
zones? To reach into new territory without being concerned that
I'll "rock the boat" or scare others off in my efforts to awaken
and evolve?
If a number of people come to mind, count yourself among the
fortunate, and then arrange a meeting with your newly identified
"evolutionary partners" to begin to create a conscious container
for ongoing evolutionary partnership.
In that meeting, make your shared agreements and values explicit.
As a starting point, I invite you to discuss with them one of the
Principles of Evolutionary Relationship I teach in my courses:
Evolutionary Relationship Principle #5:
We agree that the context for our relationship will be leaning into
our evolutionary edges. Rather than meeting in our limitations and
problems, fears anddoubts, we take a stand for meeting in the
expression of our highest potential. We take up the challenge of
showing up and engaging from that place, stretching to manifest
that potential now, and explore that potential with each other.
This is one of seven Principles of Evolutionary Relationship we explore
in my online course, but even on its own, if engaged with
sincerity, it can serve as a powerful foundation for deepening into
evolutionary partnership.
However, if your relationship inventory does not immediately reveal
a core group of potential evolutionary partners, you may need to
begin searching for a new group of kindred spirits with whom you
resonate at the deepest level.
You can do that in your local area, and thanks to the
ever-expanding power of the internet, you can also now find
community online. More and more opportunities are emerging all the
time for us to not only find loosely knit spiritual community, but
to find true kindred souls whose aspiration and focus is deeply
aligned with our own.
To our interdependence,

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS SECTION 8 -- How Can Perception of Order of Difficulties Be Avoided?

The belief in order of difficulties is the basis for the world's perception. It rests on differences; on uneven background and shifting foreground, on unequal heights and diverse sizes, on varying degrees of darkness and light, and thousands of contrasts in which each thing seen competes with every other in order to be recognized. A larger object overshadows a smaller one. A brighter thing draws the attention from another with less intensity of appeal. And a more threatening idea, or one conceived of as more desirable by the world's standards, completely upsets the mental balance. What the body's eyes behold is only conflict. Look not to them for peace and understanding.
Illusions are always illusions of differences. How could it be otherwise? By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. Illusions are travesties of creation; attempts to bring truth to lies. Finding truth unacceptable, the mind revolts against truth and gives itself an illusion of victory. Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others.
Where do all these differences come from? Certainly they seem to be in the world outside. Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that interprets the eyes' messages and gives them "meaning." And this meaning does not exist in the world outside at all. What is seen as "reality" is simply what the mind prefers. Its hierarchy of values is projected outward, and it sends the body's eyes to find it. The body's eyes will never see except through differences. Yet it is not the messages they bring on which perception rests. Only the mind evaluates their messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful.
It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. The mind classifies what the body's eyes bring to it according to its preconceived values, judging where each sense datum fits best. What basis could be faultier than this? Unrecognized by itself, it has itself asked to be given what will fit into these categories. And having done so, it concludes that the categories must be true. On this the judgment of all differences rests, because it is on this that judgments of the world depend. Can this confused and senseless "reasoning" be depended on for anything?
There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? Will he agree more quickly to the unreality of a louder voice he hears than to that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to kill than a shout? And do the number of pitchforks the devils he sees carrying affect their credibility in his perception? His mind has categorized them all as real, and so they are all real to him. When he realizes they are all illusions they will disappear. And so it is with healing. The properties of illusions which seem to make them different are really irrelevant, for their properties are as illusory as they are.
The body's eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. There will be those who seem to be "sicker" than others, and the body's eyes will report their changed appearances as before. But the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. This is the gift of its Teacher; the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. And of these two, but one is real. Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place--for differences cannot exist within it--so too are illusions without distinctions. The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing. The one answer to all illusions is truth.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS SECTION 7 -- Should Healing Be Repeated?

This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing. It is now the teacher of God himself whose mind needs to be healed. And it is this he must facilitate. He is now the patient, and he must so regard himself. He has made a mistake, and must be willing to change his mind about it. He lacked the trust that makes for giving truly, and so he has not received the benefit of his gift.
Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal, because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. Now the teacher of God has only one course to follow. He must use his reason to tell himself that he has given the problem to One Who cannot fail, and must recognize that his own uncertainty is not love but fear, and therefore hate. His position has thus become untenable, for he is offering hate to one to whom he offered love. This is impossible. Having offered love, only love can be received.
It is in this that the teacher of God must trust. This is what is really meant by the statement that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more that he could do. By accepting healing he can give it. If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it. Thus is his doubt corrected. He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn. That was a mistake, but hardly one to stay with. And so the teacher of God can only recognize it for what it is, and let it be corrected for him.
One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God's teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him.
The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God's Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. And that necessarily implies that trust has been placed in an illusory self, for only such a self can be doubted. This illusion can take many forms. Perhaps there is a fear of weakness and vulnerability. Perhaps there is a fear of failure and shame associated with a sense of inadequacy. Perhaps there is a guilty embarrassment stemming from false humility. The form of the mistake is not important. What is important is only the recognition of a mistake as a mistake.
The mistake is always some form of concern with the self to the exclusion of the patient. It is a failure to recognize him as part of the Self, and thus represents a confusion in identity. Conflict about what you are has entered your mind, and you have become deceived about yourself. And you are deceived about yourself because you have denied the Source of your creation. If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. If you really want the problem solved, you cannot doubt. If you are certain what the problem is, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Calculating your Karmic Numbers,

To refresh your memory, calculate your Karmic number by
eliminating all the vowels from your name. Assign the
consonants the numerical equivalents as designated on the
chart below and then reduce the number to a single digit.

Karmic Number 1

Your best way to reap good karma in this life is to
concentrate less on your own aims, and show others the way
to their success. Practicing stewardship, mentorship and
philanthropy helps you make decisions about the course of
your own life. Your biggest fear is to be ignored. You may
appear as controlling or selfish to others at first

Karmic Number 2

Loving yourself and taking care of yourself will enable you
to love and take care of others in this life without
sacrificing your dignity and self-esteem. Practice letting
go of such toxic emotional habits as possessiveness,
jealousy and obsession. Your biggest fear is abandonment.
Others' first impression of you may be that of a needy or
manipulative individual.

Karmic Number 3

Do the creative things you love just for the sheer joy of
doing them and the money will come. If you start feeling
that the world owes you a living, immediately go out and
practice an act of random kindness or charity to humble
yourself. Being smothered, bored or trapped are among your
biggest fears. You may appear threatening or meddlesome to
others at first impression.

Karmic Number 4

Achieving world peace is one thing, but first one must be
harmonious inside. As you are such a caretaker of others,
you are advised to take time out from your focus on others
and regularly reconnect with your higher self by practicing
yoga or meditation. Your biggest fear is that things will
slide into disorder or chaos. You may appear to others as
fanatical or boring at first impression.

Karmic Number 5

You attract the best karma by sacrificing the spotlight to
others once in a while, no matter how untalented they may
seem to you. Realize that everybody has a right to express
themselves without judgement or criticism from you.
Dispensing with pride and learning to be humble is often
corrective to your karma. Others first impression of you
might be of an egotistical or judgmental individual.

Karmic Number 6

You attract the best fortune by doing unto others, as they
would do unto you. Your karma is vastly improved if you can
get past the idea that you must save up your love for that
one special someone and treat everyone you meet as specially
as you would your soul mate. Your biggest fear is that
others will take credit for your work. On first impression,
others may see you as a social climber or as taking others
for granted.

Karmic Number 7

Number 7's can improve their karma by extending a helping
hand to those they would normally consider to be
contemptible in behavior. Snobbishness can also be a
problem. 7's can also create good karma by learning to
master their greatest fears such as fear of abandonment and
fear of "letting go." The first impression that others may
have of you is that you are too complicated or neurotic to
get to know well.

Karmic Number 8

Number 8's reap the greatest karmic rewards by having faith
and working diligently to accomplish their goals no matter
what others say. As 8s are often wealthy, they reap what
they sow by donating at least 10% of their income to
charities. Your biggest fear is poverty. Others' first
impressions of you might be of a greedy or shallow

Karmic Number 9

Number 9's can correct their karma by displaying more faith
in the concept that the universe is a benevolent, rather
than a cruel place. Detaching from their emotions and
consistently displaying an upbeat and positive attitude
usually brings them great rewards. Your biggest fear is that
others will never trust you or vice versa. Others' first
impression of you might be of a person that is desperately
seeking approval or as passive aggressive.

Karmic Number 11

Master number 11's reap the greatest karmic rewards by
having faith in their intuition as opposed to their rational
minds. Elevens's need to work on their faith and trust in
other people as fate has a way of only bringing them what
they expect. If an 11 expects the worst than he or she will
get the worst. If she or he expects the best, then they are
usually blessed. Your biggest fear is that there is no God.
Other people's first impression of you might include words
such as "flaky" or "eccentric."

Karmic Number 22

Master number 22's succeed the best if they learn to control
the thoughts that rule their subconscious mind. As they are
the ultimate manifesters of dreams into reality, a 22 reaps
the greatest rewards by choosing his or her thoughts
carefully. Positive thoughts bring a 22 positive things.
Negative thoughts often manifest as roadblocks to success or
prosperity. Your biggest fear is that you will let others
down. Others first impression of you is often very positive.
They see you as a leader or mentor and they are right.

Mike Madigan

Friday, July 1, 2011

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS SECTION 4 -- What Are the Characteristics of God's Teachers?

The surface traits of God's teachers are not at all alike. They do not look alike to the body's eyes, they come from vastly different backgrounds, their experiences of the world vary greatly, and their superficial "personalities" are quite distinct. Nor, at the beginning stages of their functioning as teachers of God, have they as yet acquired the deeper characteristics that will establish them as what they are. God gives special gifts to His teachers, because they have a special role in His plan for Atonement. Their specialness is, of course, only temporary; set in time as a means of leading out of time. These special gifts, born in the holy relationship toward which the teaching-learning situation is geared, become characteristic of all teachers of God who have advanced in their own learning. In this respect they are all alike.
All differences among the Sons of God are temporary. Nevertheless, in time it can be said that the advanced teachers of God have the following characteristics:

This is the foundation on which their ability to fulfill their function rests. Perception is the result of learning. In fact, perception learning, because cause and effect are never separated. The teachers of God have trust in the world, because they have learned it is not governed by the laws the world made up. It is governed by a power that is them but not them. It is this power that keeps all things safe. It is through this power that the teachers of God look on a forgiven world.
When this power has once been experienced, it is impossible to trust one's own petty strength again. Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him? And who would place his faith in the shabby offerings of the ego when the gifts of God are laid before him? What is it that induces them to make the shift?
First, they must go through what might be called "a period of undoing." This need not be painful, but it usually is so experienced. It seems as if things are being taken away, and it is rarely understood initially that their lack of value is merely being recognized. How can lack of value be perceived unless the perceiver is in a position where he must see things in a different light? He is not yet at a point at which he can make the shift entirely internally. And so the plan will sometimes call for changes in what seem to be external circumstances. These changes are always helpful. When the teacher of God has learned that much, he goes on to the second stage.
Next, the teacher of God must go through "a period of sorting out." This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. He will find that many, if not most of the things he valued before will merely hinder his ability to transfer what he has learned to new situations as they arise. Because he has valued what is really valueless, he will not generalize the lesson for fear of loss and sacrifice. It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful. It is only to the extent to which they are helpful that any degree of reality should be accorded them in this world of illusion. The word "value" can apply to nothing else.
The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called "a period of relinquishment." If this is interpreted as giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. Few teachers of God escape this distress entirely. There is, however, no point in sorting out the valuable from the valueless unless the next obvious step is taken. Therefore, the period of overlap is apt to be one in which the teacher of God feels called upon to sacrifice his own best interests on behalf of truth. He has not realized as yet how wholly impossible such a demand would be. He can learn this only as he actually does give up the valueless. Through this, he learns that where he anticipated grief, he finds a happy lightheartedness instead; where he thought something was asked of him, he finds a gift bestowed on him.
Now comes "a period of settling down." This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests a while in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning. Now he begins to see the transfer value of what he has learned. Its potential is literally staggering, and the teacher of God is now at the point in his progress at which he sees in it his whole way out. "Give up what you do not want, and keep what you do." How simple is the obvious! And how easy to do! The teacher of God needs this period of respite. He has not yet come as far as he thinks. Yet when he is ready to go on, he goes with mighty companions beside him. Now he rests a while, and gathers them before going on. He will not go on from here alone.
The next stage is indeed "a period of unsettling." Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for. And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed!
And finally, there is "a period of achievement." It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all "emergencies" as well as tranquil times. Indeed, the tranquility is their result; the outcome of honest learning, consistency of thought and full transfer. This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven's state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would "go" anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete? And who would seek to change tranquility for something more desirable? What could be more desirable than this?

All other traits of God's teachers rest on trust. Once that has been achieved, the others cannot fail to follow. Only the trusting can afford honesty, for only they can see its value. Honesty does not apply only to what you say. The term actually means consistency. There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. Such are the truly honest. At no level are they in conflict with themselves. Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything.
The peace of mind which the advanced teachers of God experience is largely due to their perfect honesty. It is only the wish to deceive that makes for war. No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict. Conflict is the inevitable result of self-deception, and self-deception is dishonesty. There is no challenge to a teacher of God. Challenge implies doubt, and the trust on which God's teachers rest secure makes doubt impossible. Therefore they can only succeed. In this, as in all things, they are honest. They can only succeed, because they never do their will alone. They choose for all mankind; for all the world and all things in it; for the unchanging and unchangeable beyond appearances; and for the Son of God and his Creator. How could they not succeed? They choose in perfect honesty, sure of their choice as of themselves.

God's teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. Judgment without self-deception is impossible. Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers. How, then, could you not have been deceived in yourself? Judgment implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bedrock of the teacher of God's whole thought system. Let this be lost, and all his learning goes. Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? Without judgment are all men brothers, for who is there who stands apart? Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn.

Harm is impossible for God's teachers. They can neither harm nor be harmed. Harm is the outcome of judgment. It is the dishonest act that follows a dishonest thought. It is a verdict of guilt upon a brother, and therefore on oneself. It is the end of peace and the denial of learning. It demonstrates the absence of God's curriculum, and its replacement by insanity. No teacher of God but must learn,--and fairly early in his training,--that harmfulness completely obliterates his function from his awareness. It will make him confused, fearful, angry and suspicious. It will make the Holy Spirit's lessons impossible to learn. Nor can God's Teacher be heard at all, except by those who realize that harm can actually achieve nothing. No gain can come of it.
Therefore, God's teachers are wholly gentle. They need the strength of gentleness, for it is in this that the function of salvation becomes easy. To those who would do harm, it is impossible. To those to whom harm has no meaning, it is merely natural. What choice but this has meaning to the sane? Who chooses hell when he perceives a way to Heaven? And who would choose the weakness that must come from harm in place of the unfailing, all-encompassing and limitless strength of gentleness? The might of God's teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thoughts came neither from God's Son nor his Creator. Thus did they join their thoughts with Him Who is their Source. And so their will, which always was His Own, is free to be itself.

Joy is the inevitable result of gentleness. Gentleness means that fear is now impossible, and what could come to interfere with joy? The open hands of gentleness are always filled. The gentle have no pain. They cannot suffer. Why would they not be joyous? They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. God's teachers trust in Him. And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. They hold His gifts and follow in His way, because God's Voice directs them in all things. Joy is their song of thanks. And Christ looks down on them in thanks as well. His need of them is just as great as theirs of Him. How joyous it is to share the purpose of salvation!

God's teachers have learned how to be simple. They have no dreams that need defense against the truth. They do not try to make themselves. Their joy comes from their understanding Who created them. And does what God created need defense? No one can become an advanced teacher of God until he fully understands that defenses are but foolish guardians of mad illusions. The more grotesque the dream, the fiercer and more powerful its defenses seem to be. Yet when the teacher of God finally agrees to look past them, he finds that nothing was there. Slowly at first he lets himself be undeceived. But he learns faster as his trust increases. It is not danger that comes when defenses are laid down. It is safety. It is peace. It is joy. And it is God.

The term generosity has special meaning to the teacher of God. It is not the usual meaning of the word; in fact, it is a meaning that must be learned and learned very carefully. Like all the other attributes of God's teachers this one rests ultimately on trust, for without trust no one can be generous in the true sense. To the world, generosity means "giving away" in the sense of "giving up." To the teachers of God, it means giving away in order to keep. This has been emphasized throughout the text and the workbook, but it is perhaps more alien to the thinking of the world than many other ideas in our curriculum. Its greater strangeness lies merely in the obviousness of its reversal of the world's thinking. In the clearest way possible, and at the simplest of levels, the word means the exact opposite to the teachers of God and to the world.
The teacher of God is generous out of Self interest. This does not refer, however, to the self of which the world speaks. The teacher of God does not want anything he cannot give away, because he realizes it would be valueless to him by definition. What would he want it ? He could only lose because of it. He could not gain. Therefore he does not seek what only he could keep, because that is a guarantee of loss. He does not want to suffer. Why should he ensure himself pain? But he does want to keep for himself all things that are of God, and therefore for His Son. These are the things that belong to him. These he can give away in true generosity, protecting them forever for himself.

Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety. Patience is natural to the teacher of God. All he sees is certain outcome, at a time perhaps unknown to him as yet, but not in doubt. The time will be as right as is the answer. And this is true for everything that happens now or in the future. The past as well held no mistakes; nothing that did not serve to benefit the world, as well as him to whom it seemed to happen. Perhaps it was not understood at the time. Even so, the teacher of God is willing to reconsider all his past decisions, if they are causing pain to anyone. Patience is natural to those who trust. Sure of the ultimate interpretation of all things in time, no outcome already seen or yet to come can cause them fear.

The extent of the teacher of God's faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning, while keeping others apart? If so, his advancement is limited, and his trust not yet firmly established. Faithfulness is the teacher of God's trust in the Word of God to set all things right; not some, but all. Generally, his faithfulness begins by resting on just some problems, remaining carefully limited for a time. To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness. Nothing but that really deserves the name. Yet each degree, however small, is worth achieving. Readiness, as the text notes, is not mastery.
True faithfulness, however, does not deviate. Being consistent, it is wholly honest. Being unswerving, it is full of trust. Being based on fearlessness, it is gentle. Being certain, it is joyous. And being confident, it is tolerant. Faithfulness, then, combines in itself the other attributes of God's teachers. It implies acceptance of the Word of God and His definition of His Son. It is to Them that faithfulness in the true sense is always directed. Toward Them it looks, seeking until it finds. Defenselessness attends it naturally, and joy is its condition. And having found, it rests in quiet certainty on that alone to which all faithfulness is due.

The centrality of open-mindedness, perhaps the last of the attributes the teacher of God acquires, is easily understood when its relation to forgiveness is recognized. Open-mindedness comes with lack of judgment. As judgment shuts the mind against God's Teacher, so open-mindedness invites Him to come in. As condemnation judges the Son of God as evil, so open-mindedness permits him to be judged by the Voice for God on His behalf. As the projection of guilt upon him would send him to hell, so open-mindedness lets Christ's image be extended to him. Only the open-minded can be at peace, for they alone see reason for it.
How do the open-minded forgive? They have let go all things that would prevent forgiveness. They have in truth abandoned the world, and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. Nothing is now as it was formerly. Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before. And above all are all things welcoming, for threat is gone. No clouds remain to hide the face of Christ. Now is the goal achieved. Forgiveness is the final goal of the curriculum. It paves the way for what goes far beyond all learning. The curriculum makes no effort to exceed its legitimate goal. Forgiveness is its single aim, at which all learning ultimately converges. It is indeed enough.
You may have noticed that the list of attributes of God's teachers does not include things that are the Son of God's inheritance. Terms like love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge and eternal truth do not appear in this context. They would be most inappropriate here. What God has given is so far beyond our curriculum that learning but disappears in its presence. Yet while its presence is obscured, the focus properly belongs on the curriculum. It is the function of God's teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking it is unlearning that they bring, for that is "true learning" in the world. It is given to the teachers of God to bring the glad tidings of complete forgiveness to the world. Blessed indeed are they, for they are the bringers of salvation.

This message is brought to you by Chris Cade and