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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bless you all this Thanksgiving with love & gratitude.

If you have the time, I think you will all benefit from reading this inspiring letter.


If we feel God's love in someone's love for us, then that is right and good. I remember once in India telling the woman saint, Anandamoyi Ma, how much I and others in America loved her. Her reply was, "There is no love except God's love."

The worldly ego might take her reply as a put-down, but I understood it as a reminder that we can truly love others only to the degree that we do so consciously as instruments of God's love.

It is easy to feel love for those who are kind and good, and easier still if they love us. But the test of godly love is to be able to feel it also for those who hate us. And especially for those who are determined to destroy us. God says to us, "They are My children, too." In other words, "If you love Me, you must love them also, for they are Mine." We must love not only them, but all the tests that God sends us.

Ultimately, the only important thing you can do in life is love God. The only fact that truly matters in life is that God loves you.

It is a simple fact that the more we try to do good, the more enemies we will have--along with those who sincerely love, appreciate, and support us. But even were everyone to turn against us, the supremely important fact of God's love will never change. The tests we face, therefore, are always blessings. If nothing else, they inspire us to keep that one divine priority fixed ever before our gaze. Everything else passes. Our relationship with God is eternal. He is our own, as no one else ever will or ever can be.

The solution to our worries is love, and more--divine love, not egoic love (the ego's love is rooted in likes and dislikes). As the Bible says, "Perfect love casteth out fear."

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." When your love for Him is effortless and completer, you will have Him.

In Divine Friendship
Excerpt from Swamiji's book: "In Divine Friendship"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


How many times a day does some situation pop up that leads to moments of frustration and anxiety? 

Surrendering your head to your heart in those moments will lead you to balance and fulfillment. 
As you listen to your spirit, peace follows. 
So follow your spirit. 
Build your foundation in your heart. 
Love must be your innermost and spontaneous response towards every person you encounter. 
Say to yourself inside, "I just love." 
Use these words as a key to start the engine running in your heart and watch life brighten with new love and understanding. Surrender to your new awareness and let love unfold the purpose of creation to you. 

Sara Paddison.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Text by Alex Bell

The Heart

Just as the Sun is our source of external light and warmth, the Heart is our source of internal light and warmth: Awareness and Love. The light of awareness radiates out from the center of our heart, energizing every cell of our body and illuminating our mind as it does so. When we center our awareness back at its very source, we experience peace, clarity and the inner warmth that we call Love.
When we notice ourselves looking for security and comfort in thoughts and intellectual understandings, it is a clear indication that our heart is contracted - our awareness has become disconnected from its source, separated from our body and isolated in our mind. While we are completely involved in the contents of our thoughts, we cannot be conscious of the peace, freedom and deep sense of aliveness that emanates from our heart.

Over the years, our awareness gets squeezed out of our heart as it physically contracts more and more, in response to our deep fear of feeling vulnerable and sensitive in what feels like a false and insensitive world. This contraction is why we experience inner pain, darkness, coldness and a loss of vitality. It is like a mighty river trying to flow through a small hole. We can only feel fully alive when our heart is relaxed, open and expansive.

What is the cause of suffering ?
The experience of suffering is the result of an inner conflict between the ultimate desires of the Heart and of the dysfunctional mind: The heart's desire for us to expand, to fully attune ourselves to its subtle communication and to experience inner freedom (or 'joy'), and the dysfunctional mind's desire for us to contract, to doubt all communication from the Heart and to experience the illusion of mental security, which we call 'knowledge'.

Experiencing mental security and experiencing inner freedom are mutually exclusive - each one excludes the other. By deriving our sense of security from the acquisition of 'knowledge', money and possessions we sacrifice the simple yet profound experience of peace that comes from being connected with our own heart, and by strengthening the connection with our heart we end our hungry pursuit of all that can be acquired and we experience greater freedom.

Our compulsion to continually interpret the fluid experience of life into two-dimensional 'knowledge' for the dysfunctional mind to hold on to is born from a deep fear; the fear of the pain that life will inflict upon us if we fully relax our heart and completely re-integrate ourselves with our highly sensitive intuitive nature. Our fear of fully feeling - and the contraction this causes in our entire being - is what keeps us isolated in thought and prevents us from resting in the inner realm of the Heart, which is our true home.

How can we be free of suffering ?
Only our inner fire can bring light and warmth to the cold darkness created by the dysfunctional mind.

By becoming more aware of our innocent desire to experience peace by setting free whatever is being held within, and then seeing all the thoughts, doubts and clever arguments presented to us by the extremely sophisticated yet fearful mind, we learn to discriminate between what is real and what is illusory.

The actual reality of this earth exists separately from the realm of intellectual thought, and is a reality in which we have full freedom to envision, create and enjoy the actualization of our heart's desire. The conceptual 'understandings' of this reality - given to us by a thought-addicted mind - are like endless landscapes of cloud that dominate the sky and absorb the light from the sun, draining the colour and warmth from the land below.

From the outside, these clouds give the illusion of either a soft and inviting lanscape, a dark and threatening one, or somewhere in between, but in reality clouds - like thoughts - are completely insubstantial in essence and incapable of harming us - or supporting us - in any real sense. And no matter how beautiful they look from the outside, when we investigate inside the view is always the same and our perspective always becomes limited.

Up in the clouds is actually an extremely cold, empty and alien place to be, although it can appear to be the opposite when we see them magnificently illuminated from high above or from down below.

So, like clouds that block the sun but never offer any rain, idle thoughts serve us no purpose at all - other than to help us avoid the experience of our real self. In contrast, creative thoughts - like clouds bringing rain to a thirsty lanscape - physically motivate us into action, which leads directly to growth on the earthly level and to a continually expanding experience of our true self.

Creative thought is an essential aspect of our natural human functioning. A healthy mind will act as a servant to the Heart, interpreting the Heart's desire into information, ideas and visions which can then be acted upon, thus giving shape and form to what originates from the formless and weaving the two worlds together.

But i feel only sadness in my heart.
What is the way out of this ?
Sadness is what we experience when we become aware of the pain in our heart, and it is good because it means our heart is successfully communicating with us.

As the Heart releases its pain, we experience sadness, and then we usually start looking for ways to stop feeling it, thus preventing the Heart from fully releasing its burden.

Trying to run away from sadness is impossible and exhausting, and the only way to be free of it is to allow it to be there for as long as it is needed. By doing so we are allowing the Heart to heal itself in the most natural way possible.

I just feel angry with all this talk about
the Heart.
The more anger we are feeling, the closer we are to freeing ourselves from the ultimate cause of our frustration and suffering. Anger is the aggressive final line of defense that lies between us encountering and releasing the contraction which is held in our heart, and the degree of anger which we are feeling reflects the degree of fear (contraction) which lies beneath.

Our heart beats with a strong, passionate desire to express whatever it feels, but we usually allow thinking to interfere with any spontaneous expression, for fear of the consequences. As soon as we begin to hold back from expression, an inner pressure begins to build up, and we experience frustration. Frustration is our passion for self-expression being restrained by reason, and in any moment it is fully within our power to release it back into passion.

Words by Alex Bell

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Astrological Alphabet

The Astrological Alphabet

SIGNS - The Twelve Human Archetypes or Universal Qualities ~
The Script
ARIES - The Initiator, Pioneer, Warrior
TAURUS - The Earth Spirit, Manifester, Builder
GEMINI - The Communicator, Networker, Student
CANCER - The Nurturer, Mother, Water Child
LEO - The Leader, Golden Child, Performer
VIRGO - The Server, Healer, Worker, Humble One
LIBRA - The Harmoniser, Diplomat, Relater
SCORPIO - The Transformer, Seeker, Psychologist
SAGITTARIUS - The Philosopher, Explorer, Wise Teacher
CAPRICORN - The Purposeful One, Father, Time Lord
AQUARIUS - The Humanitarian, Reformer, Global One
PISCES - The Compassionate One, Mystic, Dreamer

PLANETS - Psychological Urges & Needs or Aspects of the Personality ~
The Actors

THE SUN - Creative potential, Personal Identity - the urge to create and to be
THE MOON - The Past, Nurturing, Receptivity - the urge to nurture, respond and feel
MERCURY - Thinking, Analysing, Networking - the urge to know, to think and to communicate
VENUS - Relating, Love and Beauty, Sense of Values - the urge to love, appreciate and relate
MARS - Energy, Aspiration, Motivation, Sexuality - the urge to act and motivate
JUPITER - Expanding, Philosophising, Searching for Meaning - the urge for growth and meaning
SATURN - Boundaries, Limitations, Concretisation - the urge to build structure and stability
CHIRON - Healing, Integrating, Wholemaking, Teaching, Mentoring - the urge to be healed, to heal, teach and mentor others
URANUS - Collective Mind, Illumination, Awakening - the humanitarian urge
NEPTUNE - Collective Feeling, Universal Love, Imagining - the spiritual urge and the need for unity
PLUTO - Transformation, Purpose, Regeneration - the urge for evolutionary growth
NORTH NODE - The Path of Future Growth
SOUTH NODE - The Past, Karma, Inherited Potential

HOUSES - The 12 Universal Departments of Life or Fields of Experience ~
The Stage

1st - Self Awareness, Self Discovery, Persona
2nd - Personal Resources, Values, Skills
3rd - Communication, Mental Activity, Learning
4th - The Hearth, Feeling at home, Inner Security
5th - Creative Extensions of the Self, Children
6th - Self Improvement, Daily Life, Work, Health
7th - Awareness of Others, Relationships
8th - Depth Interactions, Sharing, Letting Go
9th - Awareness of the Cosmos, Religion, Travel
10th - Vocational Purpose, Taking Power, Career
11th - Group Contribution, Collectives, Friends
12th - Transcendence, Spiritual Path, Solitude


1st - Awareness of Self; 7th - Awareness of Others
2nd - Personal Resources; 8th - Shared Resources
3rd - Immediate Environment; 9th - Expanded Horizons
4th - Inner World (Home); 10th - Outer World (Vocation)
5th - Personal Creativity; 11th - Group Creativity or Contribution
6th - Daily Life; 12th - Spiritual Life


ASCENDANT - ASC - cusp (beginning) of 1st house - The degree of the zodiac rising on the Eastern horizon at the moment of our birth. The point of Self Awareness. "I am".
THE NADIR - IC - cusp of 4th house - The degree of the zodiac directly below us at the moment of birth. The most private and deepest parts of ourselves. The Inner Self. "My Roots".
THE DESCENDANT - DESC - cusp of the 7th house - The degree of the zodiac rising on the western horizon at the moment of birth. The point of Awareness of Others. "I Relate to An Other".
THE MIDHEAVEN - MC - The cusp of the 10th house - The degree of the zodiac directly above us at the moment of birth. The most public and outer part of ourselves. "I Function in the World".

ELEMENTS - Patterns of Energy - The Four Temperaments

Fire - The path to LOVE (Focussed on Identity) - Choleric
Earth - The path to SERVICE (Focussed on Materiality) - Melancholic
Air - The path to BROTHERHOOD (Focussed on Mental and Social Interactions) - Sanguine
Water - The path to PEACE (Focussed on Emotional & Feeling Realm) - Phlegmatic


Yang - outgoing, active, freedom oriented - Fire and Air signs
Yin - ingoing, reflective, security oriented - Earth and Water Signs

MODALITIES - Energy Movement

Cardinal - Initiating Action
Fixed - Manifestation of Purpose
Mutable - Adapting to Change

THE Sun-Moon-Ascendant TRIAD

THE SUN - our essence, core self, conscious purpose and sense of identity, creative potential. The Integrated Personality. The Present.
THE MOON -  the innermost core of our being, private feelings, subconscious habits. Karma. The Past.
THE ASCENDANT -  our outer self, how others see us, our persona, the filter through which all the planets are expressed. The Soul's Purpose. The Future.

Planetary Aspects

* Aspects are the angular relationships between the planets.
* They describe pathways of energy.
* The meaning of a planet in the birth chart is determined by its position in a particular sign and house, and is further modified by its relationships to all the other planets (the aspects).
* The interpretation of a birth chart is the art of synthesising all of these individual factors into a whole.
The Conjunction - 0 degrees. A powerful concentration or marriage of the planetary energies. The potential for Strength through Unification and Subjectivity.

The Sextile - 60 degrees. An aspect of opportunity and productivity calling for the practical application of one's understanding and experience. The potential for Realizing One's Goals through Building New Talents, Skills and Techniques and Making New Connections.

The Square - 90 degrees. An aspect of confrontation, challenge, internal tension, construction, strength and motivation. The potential for Action, Productivity and Achievement through the Mobilization and Focus of Energy.

The Trine - 120 degrees. An aspect of harmony, co-operation, creativity, growth, vision, flow and ease. The potential for Creative Expression.

The Quincunx - 150 degrees. An aspect of contradiction and paradox. The need for adjustment between the real and the ideal. The potential for Transformation, Focus, Maturity and Clarification through Adjustment.

The Opposition - 180 degrees. An aspect of conflict between opposing energies, calling for awareness, cooperation and compromise. The potential for Integration and Objectivity through Balance.

CREDIT: The 'Potential' Keywords have been adapted from the work of Demetra George and Douglas Bloch in 'Astrology for Yourself', A Workbook for Personal Transformation, p. 163.

Copyright © 1984, 1995 by Candy Hillenbrand

What is Astrology?

What is Astrology?
Simply put, astrology is a symbolic language. The word astrology is derived from the Greek words astron meaning 'star' and logos which means 'word'. Astrology therefore, literally means the "language of the stars". Astrology is based on an ancient law known as 'AS ABOVE, SO BELOW', otherwise known as the Law of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm. The Macrocosm is the universe, symbolised by the sky, or the starry dome which we can see from Earth. The Microcosm is us: man or woman, the human, the individual here on Earth.

So, astrology says that the same laws that guide the universe also guide humanity. We are not separate from the universe - we are a part of it. Its energies are our energies, and we must therefore work in the same way that it works. It is an astrological assumption that if we learn to look above for understanding, we will come to understand more about ourselves.
There are various approaches to astrology, but for now I will take a brief look at two very opposite types of astrology. One is a very mediaeval, fate-oriented approach. In this approach, everything is seen as predestined, and the underlying belief is that we have no freedom to choose and direct our own lives. Astrologers who practise this approach, and there are many, see humans as puppets manipulated by cosmic forces outside their control. This is the type of astrologer who is into predicting specific events, telling you what is going to happen when, and advising you the best thing to do with your life.

The other approach is a more modern, choice-centred one, and this is the approach that I use. This type of astrology is sometimes called humanistic astrology. Here, the belief is that there is a creative force within each of us which seeks to be expressed. In this world view, we are seen as co-creators in our own destiny. It is not free will versus destiny, but free will and destiny. The birth chart is viewed as a tool which can help us to better know ourselves, to identify our personality traits, both 'positive' and 'challenging', and ultimately to choose to transform our conflicts into harmony. Using this approach, we can to some degree at least, choose to be free from that which limits us. In this view, character is destiny, which means that when we change our character, we change our destiny.

Humanistic astrologers believe that the purpose of the birth chart is to use it as a tool for self knowledge so that we can learn to increasingly identify and express our highest potential. We need to work with the problem areas identified by the chart until they are transcended. This means that we do not accept our problems as fate, but we use our awareness of them to overcome them and to learn from them. The idea is that the more aware we are of ourselves and our purpose in life, and the more we are consciously in tune with the energies which govern our planet, the more our destiny is in our own hands. A Humanistic astrology focusses on awakening our realization of our gifts, our purpose and our creative potential.

Some humanistic astrologers also believe in the concept of karma and reincarnation. The philosophy of reincarnation says that we all possess a spiritual essence or soul which continues on after death, and incarnates in different physical bodies in different lives. The purpose is to learn different lessons through experience, and to gradually walk the path towards perfection or wholeness. The philosophy of karma says that we are responsible for our own actions. We sow what we reap, or for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You make your bed and you lie in it. All of these sayings are describing this ancient doctrine of karma. It is, however, not at all necessary to believe in karma or reincarnation. The same concept can be explained through biological inheritance or genetic predisposition.
by Candy Hillenbrand