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Showing posts from August, 2012

the reality of being - the fourth way of gurdijeff

a book review by Tracy Cochran
“Gurdjieff brought us a knowledge of consciousness, a science that shows what we are and our potential capacity, what needs to be developed,” writes Jeanne de Salzmann in a work that offers a long-needed clarification and exploration of what G.I. Gurdjieff called the Fourth Way. “It is a real understanding of the energies in us, of their relation in our­selves and with everything around us. He came to bring a teaching, show a way toward consciousness. What is a ‘way’? And what is a teaching of a way?” The light she shines is a watershed event in the development of the teaching, and in spiritual search in the West.
The Fourth Way by Álexándra Léxx Nórdóttír
In the eyes of the world, the test of a true spiritual way is that it allows a student to attain realization. Drawn from notebooks kept meticulously over forty years, this book is the expression of a journey to consciousness following the Fourth Way. The Reality of Being marks…

healing properties of fluorite

Fluorite, also known as fluorspar, is the most important natural fluoride. In the past fluorite was known as spatum vitreum or calx fluorata. The current name "fluorite" derives from the Latin word fluere which means "to flow" and pertains to the fact that fluorite was, and still, is used as flow agent in iron smelting. Thanks to its ionic nature, fluorite has the capacity to increase fluidity. It reaches the melting point at 1360 centigrade. This qualities were first mentioned in 1530 by Georgius Agricola in his work on metals.

Fluorite is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride. It is an isometric mineral with a cubic habit, although octahedral and even more complex crystal forms are not uncommon. So called crystal twinning is rather common and adds complexity to the observed crystal habits.
Although fluorite gave its name to fluorescence in 1852, not all specimen of fluorite are fluorescent. Many fluorites, however, emit a fascinating blue-vi…

rejected gifts

Near Tokyo once lived a great Samurai, now old with age, who decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people.

One afternoon, a warrior - known for his complete lack of scruples - arrived there. The young and impatient warrior had never lost a fight. Hearing of the old Samurai’s reputation, he had come to defeat him in order to increase his fame.
All the students were against the idea, but the old man accepted the challenge.
All gathered on the town square, and the young man started insulting the old master. He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted every insult under the sun and even insulted the old man's ancestors.

For hours, he did everything to provoke the old man, but the old man remained impassive. At the end of the afternoon, by now feeling exhausted and humiliated, the impetuous, hot headed warrior left.

Disappointed by the fact that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students asked:
- How could you bear such indignit…

the art of intuition

A book review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Sophy Burnham is the author of 12 books including The Path of Prayer and The Ecstatic Journey. She begins this expansive exploration of intuition with a list of some of the words usually associated with it: a hunch, a gut feeling, an inspiration, a premonition, precognition, clairvoyance, and second sight.

The root of the word in Latin is tueri, which means "to guard, to protect." Whereas 60 percent of adult Americans believe in intuition, clairvoyance, and ESP, 96 percent of scientists from the National Academy of Sciences claim to be skeptics, though 10 percent of them think that para-psychological research should be encouraged. That gulf is why Burnham is right in saying that "intuition is some kind of swift intelligence that operates differently from reason and has nothing to do with smarts." Studies and polls have also shown that women are more intuitive than men.

In a series of illuminating probes, B…

quiet food and the cake the Buddha ate

by Dominique Allmon
A few years ago, while browsing at a Waterfront bookstore in Cape Town, I discovered a true treasure: "quiet food: a recipe for sanity" which is a wonderfully illustrated cookbook. The black & white images invite contemplation and you definitely feel like trying out the "Zen pilaf," the "frog in the pond pudding" or the "morning glory" dishes while still perusing the book. Each recipe is more tempting than the last. 
Published in 2008 by a Buddhist Retreat Center in Ixopo, South Africa, this is a very special cookbook. I call it an oasis of peace and sanity in a hurried and sometimes very disturbed world. The experience of preparing and eating food is elevated here to a level that is rather unknown in the fast-paced, modern world. Cooking becomes meditation.

Anyone who loves cooking knows that preparation of a meal can be a very satisfying affair, especially if one can free one's mind from judgment and unnece…

how to make a gem elixir

Gems and crystals fascinated people since the beginnings of humanity. Their beauty was only one aspect that attracted attention of our ancestors. Most importantly, they discovered their magical powers and learned how to apply their healing properties. Over the ages gems became a vital element of the holistic approach to health.

Gems were used for healing in many cultures. We find them in the Stone Age cultures, in ancient Egypt, China and India. We read about them in Old Testament and in works of Aristotle and find prescriptions in Middle Ages.
The modern crystal therapy is based mostly on the work of the Medieval abbess Hildegard of Bingen who systematized crystals and their properties and incorporated gems into a holistic health concept. She used gems and crystals both, externally and internally: the healing stones were either placed on the body or used in preparation of elixirs that were to be ingested by the patients. 

To make a gem elixir simply place cleansed gems - raw or t…

one hand clapping

The master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protege named Toyo who was only twelve years old. Toyo saw the older disciples visit the master's room each morning and evening to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidance in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering.

Toyo also wished to do sanzen.*
"Wait a while," said Mokurai. "You are too young."
But the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.
In the evening little Toyo went at the proper time to the threshold of Mokurai's sanzen room. He struck the gong to announce his presence, bowed respectfully three times outside the door, and went to sit before the master in respectful silence.
"You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together," said Mokurai. "Now show me the sound of one hand."
Toyo bowed and went to his room to consider this problem. From his window he could hear the music of the geishas. "Ah, I have i…