350 Chapters
Medium 9781608680306

Part 4: One-Minute Mindfulness for Health and Well-Being

Donald Altman New World Library ePub

The choices we make every waking minute are a statement of how well we care for ourselves. Morning presents us with an opportunity to cultivate inner hospitality. Even if the morning feels like a frantic blur, small preparations and beneficial activities go a long way toward preparing mind and body for the day ahead.

It’s easy to underestimate all the good things we do for ourselves in the morning. Simply noticing gestures of self-kindness we already practice can be an important step toward developing a greater awareness of our morning care. Use the next minute to take a personal inventory of the six beneficial behaviors that follow:

•    Brushing your teeth, showering, and general hygiene

•    Moving, stretching, and exercising

•    Eating nutritious food

•    Choosing clothes to help you feel good about your appearance

•    Focusing with an intention, a meditation, or a centering practice

•    Minimizing negativity and anxiety-producing stimuli

If you regularly practice two of the body-care and two of the mind-care activities listed above, you are devoting valuable time to your morning care, even if you didn’t think so. Which of the morning practices tend to slide under your radar? How would it feel if you were to find time for these nurturing activities? What obstacles prevent you from doing so?

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Medium 9781608681457

4. Magic in a Nutshell - The Art of True Healing

Marc Allen New World Library ePub

4

MAGIC IN A NUTSHELLTHE ART OF TRUE HEALING

Within every man and woman is a force

that directs and controls the entire course of life.

Properly used, it can heal every affliction

and ailment we may have.

— ISRAEL REGARDIE, The Art of True Healing

In my early twenties, I conducted a sloppy, disorganized, lazy, and intuitive search through the books of Western magic. Most of the books are vast and complicated. They include systems that take decades to master, and many of them seem to require a committed group of people to work with — in many cases, with a rigid hierarchy of different levels of mastery.

One little book, however, avoids all that complexity. It’s a little precious jewel, originally published in 1932, that is the best summary of Western magic I have ever encountered: The Art of True Healing by Israel Regardie.

The essence of the book (as we’ve already seen) is contained in a little exercise called the Middle Pillar Meditation. The very first words of the book give us the tools of magic in two simple sentences: Within every man and woman is a force that directs and controls the entire course of life. Properly used, it can heal every affliction and ailment we may have.

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1. Dream, Imagine, Create - The Power of the Worlds Within Us

Marc Allen New World Library ePub

1

DREAM, IMAGINE, CREATE — THE POWER OF THE WORLDS WITHIN US

Be at least as interested in what goes on

inside you as what happens outside.

If you get the inside right,

the outside will fall into place.

Primary reality is within, secondary reality without.

— ECKHART TOLLE, The Power of Now

Dreams Are Essential

It all begins with a dream. It all begins with a little, ephemeral, vulnerable wish that flits through your mind. Of course — where else can it begin? Everything anyone has ever created first began with a dream.

It begins with an act of courage. Most people lead unsatisfactory lives because they don’t dare to dream of an expansive, fulfilled, creative life. Why don’t we dare to dream, and why don’t we dare to do whatever we can to fulfill those dreams?

The answer is simple: Most of us are filled with fears, and our fears and anxieties overwhelm our vulnerable little dreams. Most of us fear failure so much that it keeps us from doing the things that we really want to do, the things that make us happy, excited, filled with life.

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Medium 9780253204677

Chapter 1: Possession’s Many Faces

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

In order to understand possession, we need first of all to come to terms with the concept of the soul. The behavioral sciences, such as psychology or anthropology, consider human beings to be biopsychological systems. According to this view, all experience results from the interaction of the various parts within this integrated unit. Obviously, there is no room for the soul in a theory of this sort. As Virchow, a famous German surgeon of the nineteenth century, used to say, “I never found a soul with my scalpel.” We may ask, of course, whether the scalpel is the most useful tool for finding the soul. Ancient sages as well as religious specialists active in societies today the world over, including our own, certainly never used it for that purpose. They simply took the existence of the soul for granted, building their entire belief system on the conviction that indeed humans do have at least one or possibly even several souls.

The two opinions are clearly at loggerheads with each other, and although as Westerners, we are inclined to opt against the soul theory, we should at least be fair and ask the following question: If you disagree with the idea that humans are integrated systems, a heap of cells having unimaginably complex interconnections as well as psychological dimensions, but nothing else, then what are you going to propose as a countertheory? The answer we will get from those cleaving to the “soul hypothesis” is that in their view, humans consist of a shell, something like a box, namely, the body, and an ephemeral substance or essence residing within, usually termed the soul. All the various religious faiths and systems we are going to become acquainted with in these pages take the soul theory for granted, as a given, as their unshakable foundation.

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Medium 9781608680474

Introduction: What Is Meditation?

Patricia Monaghan New World Library ePub

Meditation means many things to many people. To some, it means simple relaxation; to others, a deep blissful surrender to the divine. To some, meditation means rigorously following a prescribed path; to others, it means exploring a path unique to the self.

Meditation can be any or all of these things, but however it is defined, it is always a practice. Whether that practice means sitting still or moving, reading inspirational words or emptying the mind of all words, meditation is something we do. This book will present you with many ways to meditate, but you will not know what works for you until you put the practices into action.

Meditation involves choice. You choose to be present — now, now, now, and now. Meditation is a practice of training your attention by focusing it on something in the present moment, such as a flower, a candle, a sound, or your own breath. Through the practice, the mind settles down.

Meditation is not a religion. It is not a doctrine or something to be acquired. Meditation is play rather than work. While you are playing, your mind is open. As long as you practice with a lightness of approach, you will experience freedom from desire and ambition.

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