Book Club April 6, 2013 Chapter 8

Book Club April 6, 2013 Chapter 8
Mission Possible, (Asking Your Dreams for Creative Ideas)
This chapter focuses on the varied backgrounds of individuals who have used their dreams to help them in their work, in particular scientists and scholars.  She refers to Descartes, who based his work in methodology, algebra, physics and metaphysics on what was revealed to him in dreams.  Voltaire believed that “constructive ideas occur in sleep as well as when you are awake.” Pg 199.  “Mahatma Ghandhi used his dreams to find a non-violent response to England’s Rowlett Act” during the fight for liberation of India. Pg 200 Paul Webster, the author of Love is a Many Splendoured Thing “told his son and others that his dreams were a constant source of inspiration.” Pg 204
This chapter is written to help us “focus on examples of dreams that treat our creative needs centering around our philosophical, religious, artistic and work life.”  Pg 207  She goes on to say that “Dreams can provide some of the most beautiful and inspirational experiences of your life. …Some may show you a purpose in your life when you thought there was none.  I thought this was a very interesting and important point.  These dreams will impact your spirits whether you remember them or not.  However “if you cherish them, allow yourself to recall them, and even seek them out when you need them, they will become a far more frequent, potent influence upon your life.” Pg 208
“Where do these dreams come from?  Do they come from our highest self, our innermost being which has access to universal wisdom or maybe even God?   Our subconscious state of awareness where we have access to all the impressions and experience of our personal lives, which when creatively rearranged furnish us with inspirations that only seem to be beyond our normal powers of perception?” Pg 208 “ Carl Jung suggested that when we sleep we have access not only to our personal unconscious or subconscious but also to the more universal state of awareness he called the collective unconscious.” Pg 209 “Whatever the explanation people do have dreams in which they feel they experience or glimpse some ultimate reality and these experiences have led to the enhancement of their lives.” Pg210
The remainder of the chapter is of the various inspirational dreams that can and have occurred, some with life changing effects.  Some of these dreams are of such monumental significance, they are hard to put into words when the individual awakens, yet while asleep and even in recalling within their minds they understand the significance of these dreams.

Chapter 9, The Twilight Zone.
This interesting chapter was on predictive dreams, dreams where we dream of something before it occurs.  Several people in the dream group have experienced this, so we had some interesting discussion around this topic.  Another area of this chapter and of discussion was dreaming as if you are another individual.  She goes on to talk a bit further about “psychic dreaming” and quotes a professor of Psychology, Dr. H.J. Eysenck, as saying “there does exist a small number of people who obtain knowledge existing in other people’s minds or in the outer world by means as yet unknown to science.” Pg 226.
Gayle goes on to present dreams in which people dreamt something and then it happened sometimes to them, sometimes in the larger world.  She encourages us to read this and see if it inspires any of us to “explore our own psychic abilities.” Pg 226
On page 229 Gayle shares the “idea that we attract to ourselves the kinds of experiences we expect, fear, or generally concentrate on …(which) might explain why people who expect the best of life and dreams seem to have pleasant daily and dream lives.” Pg 229 The opposite idea being true as well, expecting negative and negative occurs.
Dreaming of dead relatives and friends occurs to many.  Some report that the deceased wanted them to know that they are fine, some ask for and receive advice and guidance from those who have passed over.  In this chapter again she talks about seeing the world from another person’s viewpoint or in another time.  Pg 233
She also suggests that if you wonder if you have lived other lives, you can ask your dream maker to let you know.  This too was interesting that sometimes people have the same dream.  Shared dreaming, or dreaming the same dream, raises the question of “whose dream is it really, whose creation? Pg 238.  The end of the chapter she once again has numerous questions to ask your dream maker if you want to experiment further along these lines.  Some of her suggestions are;
What happens after death?
Have I know my husband, (mother, sister) in another life?
What is like to see the world with ______’s eyes?
Thanks again to all who came to join us for dreams and discussion.  It is so interesting to hear all the interviewers questions, as each person in the room picks up on something different from the same dream.
Thanks to you for sharing as we all grow together.  See you next Saturday at 1 for chapter 10.

Book Club: Meditation by Eknath Eawaran Chapter Three

Book Club, October 27, 2012, Chapter 3  Slowing Down
This was a great chapter and many of us at Book Club identified with it.  To begin the chapter Eknath tells about coming to America and being stunned at the speed with which everyone travels, whether on foot or in a vehicle, while eating, shopping, etc.  Most of what we do in North America is in a rush.  He describes life in India as going at a much slower pace, comparing it to that of an old bullock cart which goes about 3 miles an hour.  He states that he decided when he saw the rushing that he was not going to be rushed, he would go the speed of a bullock cart unless there was an emergency, then he would push his pace up to 4 miles an hour!  He states that “speed becomes a habit we do not know we have…it is mainly physical (initially)… but we become habituated to going faster and faster and speed gradually takes over the mind.” Pg 88 “Such a mind cannot take the time to perceive its own rapidity.”  In other words our bodies are rushing, our minds are racing and we are not aware that there is another way, we consider this life. It is when we rush that we make careless mistakes, have accidents and become like robots, we don’t even know why we are rushing sometimes, it becomes a habit.
When we rush, we impact others often in a negative way.  We become unaware of others feelings, we ignore others as we rush on by, and our anxious energy invades the space of all around us, making it hard for others to relax.  Fortunately, when a calm person comes into the room, the opposite effect can occur.  It is only when we become more self aware that we can choose to make a choice in our own lives how we will live.
Rushing impacts our health in negative ways, from ulcers to cardiac problems, anxiety disorders and depression.  It is our ways of thinking that create this, so we must become aware of our thoughts and make choices regarding our lifestyle.
Eknath states that there has been found to be a connection between the “hurry syndrome and the competitive drive so much encouraged today.” Pg 97 This competition can be at work or at play, either way it creates real problems for us.  “Winning and not enjoyment becomes the goal…” pg 97 “hurried work and work done under pressure yield no joy…or satisfaction” pg 105 This explains why so many people walk around looking stressed and unhappy.  We have created so many deadlines for ourselves, we have difficulty saying no, and because we are rushing along, we are not taking the time to choose what is mandatory and what can be given up.  We just continue to follow along the same old path.
An aware person (one who is not rushing) cannot only bring calm to a room, but is a deliberate individual who “acts promptly in emergencies…In every case the response will be appropriate and freely chosen, not dictated by compulsion.” Pg 108
It is also important when returning home from work, to leave work behind and be attentive to family and friends.  He says “think of your job as wearing apparel.  You walk in, slip into your occupational coat…at the end of the day, you take off this coat and hang it on a hook;  you don’t stuff a sleeve into your back pocket …and drag the rest on the ground behind you all evening long.” Pg 109 It is as important to be with family and friends in a mindfull way as it is to be mindfull at work.  He says that many people do not know how to relax.  “They have become addicted to excitement and excessive external stimulation.  Some head to the movies about demons and disasters certain to elevate their blood pressure and jolt them out of their humdrum experience.”
How can we reverse this?  He suggests getting up early.  This sets the pace for the day, you no longer have to rush, you have time for meditation, a leisurely breakfast with family, getting to work a bit early to visit with co-workers.  Then before leaving work for home, tidy up your work area, put things in order.  Choose to do in your off hours what stimulates and revitalizes you, avoid things that drain you.  When in your day you start to feel stressed, stop a moment and repeat your mantrum, this will help you slow the mind a bit.  If the phone rings and you are busy, let it ring.  As he says …”a phone call constitutes a request to talk to us, not an imperial command.” Pg 113 Be discriminating in deciding what has to be done and what can be delegated or just left off your to do list.  It is only once you become aware that you have choices that you begin to feel freedom.  “Making these changes will not be easy or painless…but the benefits are magnificent.” Pg 115  “We have embarked on a new course that will bring us abundant energy, better health, increased peace of mind, and more harmonious relations with others, rich creativity in work and play and a longer, happier lifestyle.  Pg 115

Next week we will meet on Saturday, although we had previously put on the Sunday.  So, Saturday Nov 3rd at 1  until 2:30
Place:  950 Hilltop Drive, behind the Weatherford Post Office
Take Santa Fe, turn east at the lights in front of the Post Office, (that is the only way you can turn), go about 2 blocks and it is the new stone building on your right.  Out front is a sign that says Stewart, Brooks & Bates.  Come around to the back door.
See you there!

One lady shared with me her concern about starting to Meditate even though she knows that she can’t do it every morning.  I know that Eknath says do it every morning for best results, yet I feel that  meditating when you can gets you started and then see how it works to go on a daily basis.  I encourage everyone who reads this to meditate.  Pick a time, a spot where you will be undisturbed and begin.

See you all next Saturday.  Have a great week.

Meditation by Eknath Easwaran

Book Club, October 20th 2012.  Chapter 2 The Mantram
First, thank you to all who joined us at Book Club.  What an interesting and interactive group we had.  The energy in the room was amazing; of course it was the same room in which we had meditated an hour earlier and I know that helped us along as well.
Chapter 2 on the Mantram starts off with Eknath telling of the elephants in India, who are decorated in beautiful colors and are part of the Festival Parade that travels through the small winding streets on Festival Days.  Along the streets are the vendors selling their fruits and    vegetables.  As an elephant walks, his trunk is in perpetual motion, swaying from side to side and of course helping himself to whatever he finds.  As the street vendors are very simple peasants, they cannot afford to have their produce eaten by the elephants as they walk by, so the elephant trainer (mahout), asks the elephant to grasp a stick in his trunk.  Once the elephant has something to hang onto, and is doing this for his trainer who he loves, he holds the stick aloft and the procession goes through the streets without incident.
This Eknath says is what a mantram does for us, it gives us something positive to focus our minds upon, as we go throughout our day.  This becomes increasingly important when we start to feel stressed, or upset about something.  It is very comforting to be able to grab onto our mantram and bring ourselves back to center.
In a class I am taking right now at the School of Metaphysics in Fort Worth, in this week’s lesson we are discussing goals.  The formula we are looking at is Goal +Purpose + Activity = Success.  I think this ties in beautifully with this story and with the mantram.  It is up to each of us to determine our Goal.  For each it will be a little different, we are each unique.  The next step is to identify the Purpose behind the goal, why am I doing this and how strongly or passionately do I feel about this goal?  This will be key in the next step which is Activity, for it is only when we take action that anything happens.  In Yoga, the body doesn’t feel any different watching someone else do Yoga, you must do it yourself.  The same with the mantram, we can read about it all we want, but until we have a purpose or a reason why we choose to try it, nothing is going to change within us.
I had a perfect opportunity to try this as I was reading this very book 2 weeks ago.  I was in the doctor’s office waiting room.  I pulled out my book to read the intro, then chapter one, then chapter two.  By the end of chapter two I realized I could be like the elephant and hold onto my stick or I could get upset.  I closed the book, and I choose to try the mantram.  It was very helpful to keep my mind from going further into angst mode.  We all have these opportunities throughout the day, take them and use them wisely.
This chapter has so much great material.  He gives us many choices of words or phrases for the mantram and encourages each of us to find one that resonates with us and stick with it.  He feels that by changing your mantram, we will be like the farmer who starts drilling for water, then tries a new spot , and then another new spot, and he never does find water.  Do what works for you, but initially you may want to try his suggestion.  Eknath does say it is important to choose a spiritual word or phrase “that has been sanctified by long use-one of proven power, that has enabled many men and women before you to realize the unity of life.” Pg 69  He feels the mantram can “permeate and utterly transform our consciousness.” Pg 61  The aim is to “drive the mantram to the deepest levels of consciousness, where it operates not as words but as healing power.  So avoid anything that holds you to the surface level; otherwise, you are in the position of someone trying to dive to the bottom of a lake while wearing water wings.” … avoid counting your repetitions or using your rosary, … (as in) keeping track of numbers or remembering what your hands are doing binds you to the physical level.”  Pg 71
The mantram is different from meditation in that you can use it anywhere, with eyes open or closed.  There is no ritual, just repeat the word over and over.  “Skill at holding the mantram increases with practice. …(initially) the grip feels tentative…in time the fingers grow stronger and the mind can grasp firmly…after a long while, the mind… has a permanent hold on the mantram.” Pg 85
I encourage everyone to read the chapter, find your mantram and realize your purpose for practicing your mantram and then take action.
See you all next week at our NEW LOCATION and NEW TIME.
1  until 2:30  at 950 Hilltop Drive, behind the Weatherford Post Office
Take Santa Fe, turn east at the lights in front of the Post Office, (that is the only way you can turn), go about 2 blocks and it is the new stone building on your right.  Out front is a sign that says Stewart, Brooks & Bates.

Next Meditation Session is Saturday, November 3rd from 11:00 to 1:00 PM!  See you then!

The Power of Affirmations

Our body goes through seasons just as nature does.  Our longest cycle is obviously birth to death.  There are, however many shorter cycles of expansion and contraction in terms of our health.  Just as nature has four seasons a year our body also moves through cycles of spring (growth), summer (abundance), fall (breakdown), and winter (death).

When a “breakdown” or illness manifests inside the body we may tend to believe this is negative and that this state is “forever.”  Thoughts of defeat and depression may appear.  This is a time to put your spiritual awareness into high gear!!  Use heightened awareness to work your way through life challenges.  I love the quote below.  It always brings me peace and reminds me that there is a reason for everything even if I don’t see it.  There is a hidden blessing even in our suffering.

“Your joy is divine, and so is your suffering. There’s so much to be learned from both.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

When fear lurks inside the mind my hope and prayer is that you can immediately recognize it as such and move towards shifting your thoughts towards ones that are constructive and healing.

“The things you fear do not really exist except as thoughts in your mind.”

Remember that your subconscious mind doesn’t know how to take a joke. It takes you for your word.  You alone can choose to plant seeds of healing or seeds of illness according to what you let “garden” inside your mind.

Next time there is a break down in your body try repeating some of these affirmations the moment you become aware that your thoughts are affirming your illness.

* My healing is already in progress.

* I trust the process of Life.

* I am in the process of Positive Change.

* I release all fears and doubts.

* Life supports me.

* My future is GLORIOUS!

* I am SAFE.  It is only change.

* My life works beautifully.

* Divine wisdom guides me.

Focus on these affirmations and absolutely refuse to give any power to the negative conditions or to admit for a second that healing will not come.  This attitude of mind brings about the harmonious union of the conscious and subconscious mind, which will release healing power.

See if you can plant these positive and constructive seeds inside your mind and remember that winter is ALWAYS followed by spring.

Full Moon Energy and Self-Awareness

I used to bartend and wait tables.  I did this all throughout college.   I remember nights bartending when I never took my head out of the well.  I would be making margaritas and cocktails non-stop without ever having the chance to look up!  I couldn’t keep up with how quickly drinks where being ordered and slammed.  These nights, I always knew, were full moon nights.  I could always call it.  The energy of the group as a collective was high, vibrant, chaotic, a little wild, and always unexpected and interesting.  It ALWAYS felt unstable.  As we’d wrap our nights up and walk to our cars I’d look up at the bright moon and call out “hello old friend!”

Did you know that emergency rooms more often than not are more busy on full moons?   Did you know that luna means moon and is of Latin origin?  And that the word lunatic comes from the word lunaticus which means “of the moon” or “moonstruck.”  The word lunatic means dangerously foolish or unpredictable.

I think that if the moon can affect the ocean’s tide twice a day it can certainly have an effect on us.  I don’t think it affects everyone the same.  I think certain people are more sensitive to the effects of the moon than others.  Just like some people are more sensitive to chemicals, environmental toxins, smoke, dairy, etc.  I do think that since  we are over  70% water and that the brain is made up of mostly water it can effect us in various ways. I do notice though the longer I practice Yoga the more sensitive I become.

I use the full moon energy to help me fine tune my self-awareness.  Each full moon is different.  I always try to remain more alert.  It’s the perfect opportunity to practice.  I know when a full moon is coming because I tend to have trouble falling a sleep one to two nights before because of increased energy.  I wake up bright and early.  Sometimes before 5 AM but fully ready to go!   Today, I am remaining more watchful because I feel very emotionally sensitive.  I have already teared up several times which is out of sync with my regular pattern.  As long as I remain watchful I remain balanced.   I feel a little impulsive and a little reckless, could that be the “luna” effect on me?  Could the moon’s gravitational pull be effecting rhythms in the brain?   I think the pull can effect our hormone balance temporarily.  I think it pulls on us subtly just as it effects the whole.  I try to stay watchful so that I recognize what is “me” and what is the moon’s pull on me.

I love full moons because it gives me an excellent opportunity to watch my inner-self.  I practice self-awareness and try to feel my way through what is real and what is illusion.  Why am I writing about this today?  Because today is a super moon!

It is the largest full moon of 2012.  The moon is passing by the earth even closer than usual so the gravitational pull is different.  I am staying alert, staying present, and staying the watcher of the whole experience.  This is Yoga.  We are meant to be the inner watchmen.  In watching ourselves we make clear what is real and what is maya, illusion.  In seeing clearly we see reality.  Full moons give us a perfect chance to practice self-awareness.  We can use the moon’s energy to help guide us back to Self.

Brightest Blessings,

Sandra Vanatko

www.indrasgrace.com

Join us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IndrasGrace.Yoga.Weatherford?ref=ts

I Got an A+ On My Yoga Pop Quiz

I sit down tonight to write  before going to bed. I know in the morning the meaning and urgency will be less, skewed, and possibly unclear. I might just miss an opportunity to write.  So often I hear my heart whisper “write” but I do not find myself in front of the computer often enough.  Tonight is different.  I recognize and honor that the heart has something to say.  I honor it by making time.

Today was an interesting day.  I feel like the Universe gave me a pop quiz….. AND, I am proud to say I think I passed with an A+   I passed today with flying colors.  Yoga is working.  I kicked back and laughed as I realized that all the hard work I continue to put in on my mat continues to step in and help when “stuff” comes up.  It’s beautiful, yes, oh so beautiful!

So Tuesdays are BUSY!!  Tuesdays are my first day back in class after the weekend.  Today, on my way to class while driving I found that I was driving slanted and everything was bumpy.  I arrived at the studio and realized that I got a flat and  it’s not a flat like pump me up and get somewhere flat, it’s flat as a doornail flat.

Then skip forward to this evening.  I get home it’s 8:20 PM and I’m excited because I made miso soup last night so that it would be ready because I know my weekdays get BUSY and I’m hungry by this time and am excited that something is ready and dinner will be easy tonight.  When I pull my soup out and take the lid off I watch with big eyes as my soup is….well…..fermenting.  It’s bubbling slightly.  I’ve made miso soup a thousand times and it’s never been ALIVE!!!!  I watch it fascinated.  I take a spoon to it and watch as goo drools off the edge of the spoon.  My soup is FUNKY!!  I am curious and puzzled and decide that this is probably not fit to eat.  LOL. This takes me to an investigation of the fridge and I find  that the fridge is out.

When I realized this I tilted my head back and laughed, and said, Universe, pop quiz today?  I smiled and picked up the phone to call a neighbor to see if they had a number for a good fridge guy.

Why am I writing all this?  Because I want share that there was a time not very long ago that all of this would have been met with so much RESISTANCE.  Today, however each situation seemed to spontaneously be looked at as a challenge, not a problem.  Instead of resisting the present moment I seemed to spontaneously move with the present moment.  I know these are gifts from my daily practice.  I know that in the past I might have been irritated with having to take time out of “my” schedule to deal with a flat tire.  Funny thing is for about the last two weeks I’ve been wanting to get to Discount Tire because I needed to rotate my tires but hadn’t because of a busy schedule.  Funny how things take care of themselves.  Coincidence?  I will let you decide.  Today after changing my flat and rotating the tires I told the Universe thank you. I giggled and said you know me and you KNOW how to get me in here and take care of this.

Tonight after visiting with the repair man and getting details of the repair there was no stress.  Again, there was no resistance to what was.  There was no taking the situation personally.  I know I used to personalize EVERYTHING.  “WHY IS THE HAPPENING TO ME??!!” would have been my immediate response to something like this.  Or I might argue, what did I do to deserve this or perhaps  “this isn’t fair!!!

None of that exists inside anymore.  What’s left is full acceptance of what is without personalization, judgement, or criticism.  I got my tires rotated and I cleaned my fridge out today!  Wow!  I searched for the blessings in today. I always search for blessings in everything.  I trust that if I don’t see the blessing than I need to change my inner sight.  I need to change the way I’m looking to find the blessing.   And, today, really wasn’t that bad.  I know it would have been BAD to the me not too long ago.  Now, I see things aren’t that big of a deal if you just move with the moment.

I LOVE YOGA!!  The longer I practice the more I watch the miracle of awareness and mindfulness grow inside.  I watch as judgement, analyzation, and criticism disappear from my mind.    Each time I get on my mat and work even when I don’t want to I am learning to discipline the mind. I am learning SURRENDER.  I am learning that God, The Universe,  or The Infinite doesn’t personalize anything.  Everything just is.  Today was the perfect pop quiz to see if all the Yoga I’m doing is working.  I am so pleased to say I passed with flying colors.  I am happy because I remember a time not so long ago when a day like this would have been so difficult.  It would have drained me of energy because of the resistance to the now.  I am sure there would have been tears of frustration, and the day would have finished with a headache because of my inner tension and struggle with the reality of what is the present moment.  Tonight, instead, I am very happy.  I passed my quiz!   Yoga is 1/8 physical the rest is how you react/act to Life off your mat.

To sum this up, Life will give you a pop quiz once in a while to see if you are learning your life lessons.  Sometimes too, we will get tests as well!  Today was a quiz.  I am thankful that I was able to manage gently and efficiently while not blaming anything or anyone for the situation.  It just is what it is.  How lovely is that?  Free from personalization we become free ourselves.

To finish, I am adding one of my favorite quotes and pictures to go along with this article. I am happy.  I am thankful.  I am grateful that this experience today got me to sit down and write!  The Universe knows exactly what to do to get you honoring your heart.  And for that I feel like the little girl below.  It’s so perfect.  You might have to adjust your filter so that you can see just how PERFECT it all really is.

Sending all my love this evening,

Sandra Vanatko

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” – Buddha ~ ♥ ~

Everyday Is a Blessing

I love this quote.  One of my students posted this on facebook yesterday.  I love it!  I’ve taken it to heart so that I do not take one day for granted and so that I don’t take my body which is my primary vehicle in life for granted.

“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered, ‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived,'”

If you take this one quote to heart you will start living every day more fully.  You can chase money and you chase material goods but you die empty-handed.  I think when we live solely for material gain when death approaches it is a empty experience.  The only thing we can take with us when we die is blessing.  All else stays, we can only take our blessings with us.  Why are we sacrificing our health for money?  Why do we take our bodies for granted?  We don’t take care of our bodies until they start breaking down on us.  A crisis situation is often times the situation that puts people back in touch with their bodies.  Your body talks to you through aches and pains, LISTEN!!  We often ignore symptoms by taking medicine instead of acknowledging that there is a problem.  Medicine often time is just symptom treatment.  How often when you have a headache or ache or pain just reach for a pain reliever instead of contemplating why there is pain.  If you have a headache you should first ask why.  Could you have a headache because you didn’t drink enough water?  Or that you have too much stress? Or that you didn’t get enough sleep?  Do you see how your symptoms are your body’s way of communicating with you trying to tell you that you need to switch your pattern? If you look deeply into what is causing the pain, you can focus on switching the pattern to avoid future pain but there has to be mindful awareness present to do this!  I am not saying medicine is bad but we should not be using it unconsciously.  Your body talks to you through aches and pains.  Listening to your body helps avoid breakdowns!

I heard that Alexander the Great was sick days before his death.  As he was preparing for his death he asked that his coffin be built with a place for both his arms to hang out the sides of the coffin.  After his death, Alexander the Great was paraded through town and when asked why his hands hung outside the coffin palms up, it was said that it was because he wanted everyone to know that he had spent his whole life trying to conquer the world and now he was leaving this world empty handed.

Find balance!  There should be equal time between work, play, spiritual development, sleep, exercise, and rest!  We need to balance physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually daily to be optimally healthy!  Nothing is more important than taking good care of your body. Your body comes first.  Even if you have all the money in the world, if you don’t have health you cannot enjoy your wealth.  Even if  you have all the time off in the world but you are not feeling well, you cannot enjoy it.  Do not sacrifice your health for anything!  Your body is the temple that houses your soul.  Think of your body like the garage that houses your soul.  Should you not be doing some temple maintenance daily?  The cleaner the temple the more clear the connection to your soul.

Someone sent this story to me this week.  I want to share it here.  I think it ties in nicely with Dalai Lama’s quote and philosophy:

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King’s 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her!!!

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, “I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I’ll be all alone.”

Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”  “No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.

The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you all my life.  Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”  “No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to remarry!”  His heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”  “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.” Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.

Then a voice called out: “I’ll go with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go. “The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!”

In truth,
we all have the 4 wives in our lives:

Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.

Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the farthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

And our 1st wife is our Soul.  Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity.

Sending all my love this morning.

Sandra

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