£3 Edition 31 www.moretolifemag.co.uk
FAMOUS FACES ON SPIRITUAL PATHS Some Day My Prince Will Come (is it worth the wait?)
HOW MUCH DRAMA DO YOU ALLOW IN YOUR LIFE?
Do you look after your gifts?
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Editorial Edition 31
Deep, profound, intense
Hi everyone, Given the freshness of the coming season - the daffodils are out; the ducks are proudly marching their chicks up the path and the cream eggs are at the service station tills, I thought this edition should be inspired by the idea of 'clearing out' the old stuff once and for all and starting a new, vibrant and lighter chapter in which we can bloom. Its funny when you sit with something for a while, meditate on it and ask for guidance, it arrives every time, don't you find?
So, today I am making a pledge to my mind, my body and my soul that I will try to carefully choose the things I put on and in my body; the thoughts and actions I allow myself to have and take, and perhaps most importantly, choose the spiritual practices I follow with great discernment, listening to the guidance that is always there but which, all too often I choose to ignore. It is more than a spring clean really, it is time for a fundamental change in the way I live.
I found a leaflet in my handbag the other day, (I swear I don't remember picking it up), for lessons in gardening. One week the patio, the next your borders, herb garden etc etc. Intrigued where it came from and, quite tempted to join in the fun, I rang the number. No reply. Left a message, no response.
Now, I am nothing special, in fact I would say I am quite typical of most fifty plus ladies. The drama of my life has left some scars that I choose to cover up with humour and lipstick, my pelvic floor isnt what it used to be and my middle age spread has spread.
So, I sat with it...for a few hours....and then it came...
Is this collective consciousness in action? Is this shift to a more holistic lifestyle becoming mainstream? Is there anybody else out there who is feeling the need for deep cleansing? Fancy joining me?
It's not the garden borders requiring assistance - it is your spiritual garden. It is time for a Soul Spring Clean. Not just to tidy things up and make everything look pretty for the Summer months but actually digging down deep and getting rid of those damaging roots that cannot be seen but do the most damage.
Oh and before I forget, if you are the lady with the gardening leaflet, please give me a call. I need to start growing vegetables!! Jayne Lea, Editor
More to Life magazine is published by More to Life Publications Ltd. 1 Liverpool Road North, Liverpool L31 2HB T: 0151 527 1577 E:firstname.lastname@example.org. Reg: 6927353 VAT: 976 5944 53 Considerable care has been taken to ensure that the advertisements and features contain accurate information and no liability is accepted by the company for any loss or damage caused by any innacuracy or misprint of any advertisement or feature in this issue. Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
08 - the power to pack up and let go
35 - famous faces on spiritual paths 4
22 - some day my prince will come
38 - the yoga of Dr. George King
18 - open to inner peace pt3 More to Life
30 - do you take care of your gifts?
28 - sacred mantras
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
06 - how much drama do you allow in your life?
26 - chase the pigeon
12 - a loving exchange
How much drama do you allow in your life? Recently, waiting for my doctor’s appointment, I was watching TV in the waiting area and I was just in time for the news. At home I don’t watch TV and seeing the news that day made me recall the reason I made that decision over a decade ago. In the Romanian media there is a lot of dramatic news about accidents, the terrible trauma people experience, the politics behind the scenes, as if those are the only things happening in the world around us. I guess media focuses on this type of news because this is the one that sells. I think it is a bit of a Catch 22. People are drawn to things that are out of ordinary; mass media provides that which in turn raises the craving for this type of news. It has become a vicious circle: people might comment about it, but still they read their newspapers and watch those programmess as if their lives depend on it. They need their daily dose of drama. If there isn’t enough drama in their life, they create it since they feel it makes their lives more exciting.
'what is so wrong in having a simple life?' And that makes me wonder if they found their lives so boring and insignificant that they need to look for excitement in other people’s drama and get their needs for entertainment and novelty met like this. Are they so disinterested in their own lives that they go for the quick fix of watching the disasters happening in the world instead of making a small change to bring some novelty into their own lives? And why do they prefer horrible, terrible events to happy, joyful ones?
But how about if the news changes and presents us only the great achievements of the people around us, their moments of glory and accomplishment, their inventions that help a world a better place? Wouldn’t this make us more determined to make some changes in our lives since we saw it being possible for others, so it could work for ourselves as well. 6
But how about those people who choose to take drama out of the TV and directly into their lives? A co-worker, who is complaining constantly about her life situation, but does nothing to change it. She probably does not want to do anything, she just needs all that attention she gets from playing the victim. Or those people who are behaving nice, warm and welcoming one minute and cold, distant and cruel the next one. And we try to figure them out, failing to grasp what happened that made the behaviour to switch, attempting to anticipate what to expect and what the proper response might be. It feels like walking on eggshells, quite an exhausting and stressful situation. Or the boss, who tries to impose respect and be in control by shouting and belittling his subordinates. He might get attention from them, but respect is the last thing he manages to inspire in them. And our constant quest for drama makes me wonder what is so wrong in having a simple life? As for me, for 2015 I choose a simple life. Not ordinary, but simple. To laugh out loud. To cry tears of joy. To dance. To eat chocolate - every day. To inspire. To be inspired. To walk on a beach at sunrise. To scuba dive. To love and be loved. To write. To read. To listen to Albinoni, Chopin, Bruel, Cohen and Iglesias. To dare. To succeed. To fail. To pick myself up - and try again. To respect others’ choices. To let go. To respect my wishes. To recognise the chances life gives me. To choose wisely. To relax. To work smarter, not harder. To respect my promises - to myself. To myself and others. To walk away from situations that do not bring me joy. To move on. To embrace change. Not to compare myself with others. To enjoy moments with others. To communicate clearly. To listen. To connect. To bond. To agree to disagree. To appreciate the moments when I am alone. To dare to speak French even if I don’t speak it impeccably. To visit new places. To stroll along the narrow streets of a town I visit for the first time. To skydive in France. To ride a bike. To take photos. To know when to say No. To dare to say Yes. To take risks. To make mistakes. To own them. To apologise. To be forgiven. To forgive. To do contact improvisation. To learn to Tango. To grow. To do Yoga. To help. To reach out for help. To receive. To give. To hug. To sit in silence. To be patient. To take it one day at a time. To be myself. And to learn that it is enough. And drama doesn’t fit anywhere in it. What do you gain by having drama in your life? What do you lose by letting go of it? More to Life
Article by Simona Calu www.simonacalu.wordpress.com
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
More to Life
The Power to Pack Up and Let Go In a second you pack up all wasteful thinking about the past, present and future and remain positive, lighthearted and free of burdens and worries. So what is in your suitcase? Remember to travel light; less baggage in the mind makes for easy travel. Before moving to Asia, my friend volunteered to check my suitcase; she is a veteran traveller but to my alarm she advised me to cut it by half and then by half again. Convinced that I had been very clever in packing the minimum needs, I had to admit that those favourite CDs, clothes for interviews and nights out pushed the limits of necessity. But she said to me, “ You can buy all that cheaply where you are going, so leave it behind.” Respecting her advice and massively trimming the suitcase’s contents, I put the rest of my belongings—my complete household—into storage knowing that it would still be there, safe for me to pick up, when I returned if my friend’s advice had been too strict. So I headed overseas with one small suitcase and a box of books [my professional library] sent ahead as unaccompanied baggage.
weight because the new mantra was ‘travel light’.
Apart from that, this journey was for me to do new things. I was leaving behind years of work in the medical field so as to gain experience in publishing. This new and different perspective of myself was quite a gamble but in my heart I trusted that yes, this step was an important part of honouring the soul within, my essence. So the professional library was cut by half too.
Working my way through the bits and pieces I had accumulated, I could see clearly that each item brought with it a world of memories or a sense of ‘treasured love’. As this thought surfaced in my mind, I stood back and asked myself candidly, “Is the love bound to this object or is it something free and eternal and not bound by the shape, size or beauty? I discovered the item was definitely peripheral to the love.
A New Perspective I had to be open-minded like never before and the keys to success rested with what was inside me, those special qualities plus years of work experience and not what was in my bag!
Sorting It Out
Clearing The Clutter
The sorting process had been time consuming. My ‘things’ were precious and there was always a reason why they should stay in the suitcase; I just might need them, I reminded myself. However, my friend assured me that the object d’art or handbag had to stay behind.
My friend brought me several cups of tea during the sorting process and helped me see that not only should I carry less baggage but also why some things just had to go; it was not even worth putting them in storage for later retrieval. That was the hard part. Many of my belongings were my mother’s until her recent death and so they held special importance and relevance to my sense of connectedness and perhaps too, my identity. My mother had gone as if a free bird, and so that needed to be my lesson too; be free at all times. So, item by item, they were mindfully blessed and then offered to another family member, with love, but definitely out of my life. I cannot say this ‘letting go’ was a straight forward process but it was an important step.
Criteria such as the mix n’ match approach i.e. one piece could serve several uses, e.g. a sarong could be worn, slept under, used as a towel or as a tablecloth ensured that versatility was the name of the game when choosing what to take. The second litmus test was whether or not I could buy it in Asia. As most of the goods in our shops are manufactured in Asia, the easy answer was ‘yes’; so item by item was discarded; I had to limit the Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
As I worked on sorting my belongings, I was reminded of the story of a friend who had to flee Uganda with less than 24 hrs notice; in no time, the family took one bag with one change of clothes each and headed for the airport, departing their homeland with nothing but the small bag and its contents. The home, the utensils, the pets, the cars—all left behind in a moment. They had to start again, totally, but they were alive. That story rests in my mind, even now, when I try to simplify my life.
Letting Go After a 48-hour sorting process, my friend returned to my side as I lay spread eagled on the floor exhausted, passing me a restorative cup of tea. Strangely, as I lay on the dusty carpet, I felt blissfully light as if on a cloud. I owned little or nothing and no thing or no-one owned me. I reflected that material things are just energy and energy stagnates when unused. Possessions will burden the mind because they need taking care of even if unused. Let the energy flow and pass them on so that someone else can make use of them. It is the same with my thoughts, ideas, anger and arguments. Hold on to them and the mind becomes heavy. It is time to let go. >> 9
See In A Different Light >>I could see that the pain of all this packing up and letting go had brought me the gift of new sight. So much of what I had treasured and accumulated was in fact dispensable. In some sense, I had always known this but now, given the decision to live overseas for an indefinite period, I had to redefine myself as being intrinsically ‘whole’ and independent of things and mementos. Once I had claimed this new inner space with fresh enthusiasm, another unexpected gift came my way. As I let go of the past, I became free to think clearly and positively in the present. Resoundingly, I knew that “I am not my past”. Once I had embarked on this path of self discovery and enlightenment, I sought fresh air, not the recycled air-conditioned stuff! Meditation was working – I had found myself again and re-established a happy, loving connection with the ‘inner me’ that was previously loaded with all manner of old baggage and negative messages from parenting, school, relationships, work, and travels. This taste of the original self - the pristine inner core - tantalised me to go further and anchor my identity in the ‘soul’, away from the storms and winds of circumstances and people’s opinions. I saw clearly that there were redundant messages inside that spoke of “how others saw you”, “how others wanted you to be”, how you saw yourself” and “how you dreamt of being”, most of which were totally illusionary. The dictates of traditions, culture, approval-seeking, and other influences were all there but not me. If any of those dictates were ever at odds with my inner truth, then I battled inside and spun off into discord, disagreements and culture clash.
Small Bundles Now that my inner suitcase has been packed so thoughtfully, I affirm daily that I am a small bundle of sparkling light – a soul – and that I am stronger than anything that appears bigger than me! The only thing I lose when I let go of something I am afraid to live without is fear.
Affirmations For The Power to Pack Up You are powerful. To make a fresh start, you let go all painful memories and heart-wounds. Past is past. You are powerful. You release yourself from unhelpful beliefs and create a fresh self-image, based on actual talents and values. You are powerful. If the web of superior or inferior feelings seeks to trap you, you stay unbiased and let ideas flow, free of judgment. You are powerful. You cast aside the seductive threads of attachment and let yourself grow, unfettered by other people's expectations. You are powerful. If the past was hard, it does not mean the future has to be. You seek joy, not control, and walk carefree into the future. copyright Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (UK): Registered Charity Number 269971 (England & Wales) SC040512 (Scotland) 10
Reproduced with kind permission Eternity Ink www.eternityink.com.au
More to Life
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
A Loving Exchange
“Please, have some of my love.” “Oh, thank you, I will. It looks good. How much would you like for it?” “Well, it is some of my best. Quite valuable.” “Sure, no doubt about that. Mind you, the love I gave you last year was…” “Come on, you can’t seriously compare that? My love is much deeper. It’s the best you could get, in the circumstances.”
“Be reasonable. I have to hold something back, just in case… well, I might meet someone else who needs the real thing one day.” “You don’t think I need that?” “Well you don’t seem to appreciate what you’re offered.” “Yes, I do appreciate it, and I could do with some love right now. But I wonder if I shouldn’t look around for a while longer…” “So do you want my love or not, then?”
“I agree that it’s fine love. I’m just saying that what I gave you was exactly what you needed at the time, so that makes it special.You know, supply and demand. When love is rare…”
“How about I just try part of it for now?”
“You call that rare? It wasn’t even fresh. You’d been hanging on to it for ages. In fact you said it was left over from…”
“Fair point. I’ll let it go for now.”
“That doesn’t make any difference.You needed love and I had some. I remember you were pretty grateful at the time.” “We’re talking quality here. Some love is just better than others. Now, mine’s nearly top of the range.” “So what you’re offering me isn’t actually your best, then?” 12
“Don’t be silly. I can’t do that - what if someone comes along and wants all my love, then I wouldn’t have enough.”
“Suit yourself. But don’t come running to me if you change your mind because I may not still have love to give.” “I suggest you just hang on to it for a while.You never know…”
Nigel Peace © 2015 www.spiritrevelations.com More to Life
ou Are Y w o H ly t c self Exa r u o Y e v o Want L u o Y e f i L ehouse e it h h t W e e n t h a p a e r D with .... C
Classes in this first collection include: *Judgement & Criticism - How to love yourself and mean it. *Inner Child: Release negative patterns, memories and emotions. *Anger: Management & Release *Manifesting: A detailed but easy to understand look at the Law Of Attraction *Fears & Phobia's: Don't let yours hold you back *Meditation 1: A guided meditation with a explanation for beginners *Meditation 2: A 2nd guided meditation for connection with your higher self.
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
NOW Available on iTunes
Tel: 07779 453 302 or 0208 531 3441
Please note that these classes are recorded as live and the sound quality reflects that.
'they'orbs wantwant to be to be present when people present when people enjoy themselves'?' enjoy themselves' 14
More to Life
The Beauty and Magic of Orbs I saw my first orbs while celebrating the new millennium, standing in my garden at Les Labadous, in Rennesle-Chateau in the south of France with a group of friends, watching a huge bonfire. There I took a picture with my old analogue camera. I noticed some strange ‘light bulbs’ on the photos but didn’t know what they were. Maybe they were caused by dirt on the film or the lens, or maybe something had gone wrong during the processing of the film. I didn’t know, but I was intrigued. Then, a few years later, my pictures taken with a new digital camera were suddenly full of light. The orbs had shown themselves in ever-increasing numbers and in ever-growing variety. Real, beautiful orbs! First there were the multi-coloured ones and the opaque, white traditional orbs. Next came the shooters , sometimes with ‘afterburners’. Then orbs in rods appeared, straight and rounded, and green wires with curious shapes. I saw orbs with holes in them, looking like faces, and orbs with segments missing at the edges. Then huge ones appeared, filling large caves or church portals, followed by bright blots coming out of the ground or floating in the air. Some looked like UFOs, others like fairies. Next came the clouds, huge and white, swirling around me and consisting of hundreds of orbs in the shape of a dragon, a dog or a huge vortex. My pictures soon went really wild and hundreds of orbs in all kinds of colours appeared. Brilliant rays were ‘falling’ out of the sky. Huge white veils could be seen as well as angel figures and umbrella-shaped orbs. When I took pictures of a friend, the camera did not focus on her but on the orbs. ‘Orb’ is an English word meaning light bulb, light circle or light ball. The orb phenomenon is something from the last ten to twenty years. They are now appearing on most digital cameras, but not on every camera and not to every person or at every moment or location. Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
We don’t know what they are for sure but there are many theories, varying from the souls of people who have passed away to extra-terrestrials, from spirits to high frequency energies. We do, however, know that they often appear in the infrared light spectrum, that they are intelligent and ‘like’ humid conditions. They also seem to love ceremonies, children and animals, and want to be present when people enjoy themselves. Professional photographers, as well as critics of anything paranormal, will tell you that the orbs are caused by reflections of particles in the air in front of the lens. But that is highly unlikely. Just try to get some orbs by throwing dust in the air. Some blame the appearances on malfunctions of the camera, or on photographing into the light. Indeed, you can get wonderful pictures when photographing into the light, but they are not orbs and it is easy to check. When you take several pictures in a row and they all look about the same, you can be sure that these are photographic effects. Such a thing never happens with ors and you will never get the same picture twice. Many people, including myself, think that the orbs carry an important message for mankind, saying that we are not alone in this world, that there is a spirit world near to ours. We have an immortal soul and should not be afraid of death; we should use our abilities for the welfare of mankind and take better care of ourselves and the world. But we can also ask the orbs for help. Isn’t that wonderful?>> 15
>>We live in special times, witnessing some of the most incredible spiritual phenomena such as the reading of chakra fields, creating things with our minds and healing people with our minds and hands. But there are also the highly technical phenomena of quantum physics, manipulation of DNA strings, bio-photon technology, vortices, torsion fields and so on… Most interesting is that these phenomena seem to be converging, the spiritual and the technical. They may even be the same! And isn’t it curious that highly scientific people, like Tesla and Einstein and many others, were also highly spiritual people? It is wonderful to see how the two separate worlds of spirituality and technology, always kept strictly apart, are now coming together. The orbs are exactly the same. They are a technical phenomenon of high frequency energies, invisible to our eyes, but they are also emanations of the spirit world. And do we humans realise that we ourselves are also made up of all those invisible particles and energies, that we have a divine spark inside us, our spirit, and that we possess an immortal soul? Even though we don’t know where it is and what it looks like. It could very well be that the orbs are now showing us the way, telling us that there is a spirit world waiting for us. And that our souls are both energy and spirit just like the orbs, pure energy encoded with our spirit and our basic characteristics, our history, our destiny and our future. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
JAAP RAMEIJER has self-published a book on orbs in English, called The Beauty and the Message of Orbs. It has over 400 pictures and is available on Amazon.com as a paperback or an eBook. Jaap is also the author of ‘Jamie on his Cloud’, a spiritual fable published by Local Legend (ISBN 978-1-907203-60-2). Read further information and an extract at www.local-legend.co.uk.
More to Life
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
Open to Inner Peace the third in a four part series In this article we will take a therapeutic and personal development perspective on meditation. We will describe some of the principles of mindfulness, introduce some ‘mindful’ meditations and provide an insight into how to incorporate it into our daily lives and gain fairly immediate benefit. Mindfulness provides tools to help us develop awareness and control our attention. This enables us to recognise we have ‘choices’ as to how to respond to situations rather than reacting on auto-pilot. This leads to an increased sense of well-being and helps us be more effective and productive. Shamash Alidina in “Mindfulness for Dummies” defines Mindfulness as “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, with qualities like compassion, curiosity and acceptance.” He goes on to say that “Through being mindful, you discover how to live in the present moment in an enjoyable way rather than worrying about the past or being concerned about the future. The past has already gone and can’t be changed. The future is yet to arrive and is completely unknown…. the present moment is the only place you can create, decide, listen, think, smile, act or live”. Below are some mindful meditations.
How can you benefit from Mindfulness ? Studies have demonstrated that practicing mindfulness 30 to 45 minutes every day for 8 weeks will result in a significant difference to our ability to concentrate, focus our attention and relate to those around us. If we are more aware of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations we will be in a better position to take mindful action instead of automatic reaction.
How do I find the time ? Commuting on public transport is ideal – do a body scan or meditate on the sounds and sensations that the train or bus is creating. Use the 3 Step Breathing space for a minute or two if you feel stressed or before making an important decision or communication. Even pausing to take a few deep breaths will help. Do routine tasks mindfully – eating a meal, walking, gardening, housework. 18
With practice it will become second nature and we will begin to live our whole lives mindfully – then we will get the real benefits. Three Step Breathing Space This short practice can be used at any time in the day when we are stressed, feeling down, agitated or just need to pause and reconnect with ourselves. It can be done seated, standing or lying. It is in three equal parts, each can take a minute or so or as long as you feel: Become aware - Get into a comfortable position and bring yourself into the present moment and then ask what is going on for you right now: Thoughts – What thoughts are in your mind - about your day, planning, thoughts, worries? Be aware of them, don’t judge as to what you should or should not be thinking. Accept and allow that these are the thoughts in your mind right now in this moment Emotions and feelings – How are you feeling - joy, happiness, anxiety? Is there an emotion or feeling you cannot put a label on? Be aware that these are the emotions you are feeling right now, don’t try to change, but accept and allow them Physical sensations – What physical sensations are you aware of in your body - sensations linked to thoughts or emotions, the feel of your breath? Notice, acknowledge and accept all these experiences without judging them. Stay with them, allowing any negative feelings or experiences to be present. Gather - Then gently focus your full attention to your breath, to the movement of the breath through your nose to your lower abdomen. Hold your attention in your abdomen experiencing how it raises slightly on the in breath and sinks slightly on the out breath. Be aware of this breath, follow this breath, experience this breath. Your breath can function as an anchor to bring you into the present moment and help you tune into a state of awareness and stillness. Expand - Expand your awareness to your whole body, and the space it takes up, as if your whole body is breathing expand as you breath in, contract as you breath out. Move your attention out to your skin, feel your clothes or the air on your skin, sense the space around you. To end this practice, gently bring your attention to your connection to the floor. Feel connected and grounded and take the positive sensations and feelings that came out of this practice into whatever comes next for you in your day. This breathing space provides a way to step out of automatic pilot mode, where we may just react without thinking, and reconnect with the present moment.>> More to Life
Body Scan Meditation >>The body scan meditation is a wonderful way to develop our awareness and control our attention. If your attention drifts at any time, congratulate yourself for recognising it and gently return to your practice. - Sit or lie and get comfortable - Start with breath -watching for a few moments - Move your attention around your body alternately focusing very narrowly on a specific bit in turn eg toes, sole, ankle etc and identifying any sensations or lack of sensations. Then broaden your attention to a larger part eg whole leg and as you breathe in, sense the breath going into that whole part and it expanding and then contracting as you breathe out. The order and exact way you approach this is not critical, but taking your time and focusing your attention in and out is. Here is an example: Left leg to your toes, sole, top of foot, ankle, calf, knee, thigh and hip individually then whole leg Right leg and do the same Pelvis and up your back to your collar bones and down your chest to your lower abdomen, then your whole torso Shoulders and down both arms in steps, then the whole of your arms Neck and up into your head including your face and scalp, then your whole head Finally, as you breathe in, sense the breath going into your whole body and it expanding and then contracting as you breathe out As your practice comes to an end be aware of your contact with the earth through the floor that is grounding you. When you are ready open your eyes and gently move into the rest of your day taking any learning with you.
Heather George, a Yoga Alliance registered Senior Yoga Teacher and Pilates teacher, specialises in Yoga for health including remedial. She provides classes for Spas, schools, private and corporate clients. Tony Davis is a meditation teacher and long distance walker. He has a particular interest in the benefits of meditation and mindfulness in the workplace and combining meditation with walking. Together they run workshops and retreats. Go to www.omtropy.com or ring 01784 492500 for more details. 20
More to Life
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
Some Day My Prince Will Come I recently met a small group of wonderful women: successful, spiritual, independent, beautiful souls. A couple are married with children and the others are not, but all still live in hope of meeting their perfect man. I am reminded of the popular religious parable of the man waiting for God to intervene during a flood, as he declines mortal help and time and time again, before actually drowning. Have women become so enlightened that they are now ‘blinded to the charms, physical pleasures and emotional teachings of mortal men? Society, quite rightly, encourages women to break away from violent, abusive or destructive relationships, but it would appear many, potentially deserving men don’t now even get a look in – they are not empathetic enough, not strong enough, not good-looking enough, too old, too inexperienced, too poor, too ignorant… Women seem to have either lost or abandoned their talent for nurturing men, preferring to wait for not just any old prince, but an enlightened prince among men; their very own ‘Archangel’, with perfectly balanced chakras, flawless aura and a direct link to the Divine.
'the issue is in the original storytelling' In the esoteric world of all things ‘light and love,’ such creatures are depicted with flowing locks, rippling torsos rarely ageing beyond 30! Now I can appreciate that is how Archangel Michael might look – let’s face it, wielding a sword all day, cutting cords and saving souls in distress will keep him trim, but Raphael – the healer - I would expect a wise, older, bearded herbalist figure of a man, a little worse for wear perhaps and when it comes to the messenger Gabriel, well, I wouldn’ t expect a man for starters. This is also subtly promoted and endorsed by the legions of ‘alternative’ selfhelp courses and cure-alls. Singletons are praised for ‘loving’ themselves enough not to ‘settle’ for just 'anyone’; given charts, readings and the like to map out when ‘He’ will come and what ‘He’ will look like. Yet rarely does this manifest. As for the married ladies, of whom I am one, it would appear we have exhausted all nurturing reserves and are still left wanting, the fairy tale never quite having panned out. We have the children, the home, even careers etc. but the husband has not fully evolved as we expected. And less able to jump ship, temptation and regrets start to creep in: did we settle too soon, or for the wrong reasons… is it all too late? Which is worse, to be ‘left on the shelf’ or to be ‘chained to the sink’?>> 22
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by Kate Osborne
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
'a life of solitude is not what we were designed for' >> Perhaps the issue is in the original storytelling. We precious little princesses or damsels in distress are told to look sweet and be pure and our prince will come and we will live happily ever after. But it is a story; we (men and women) are not mythical creatures living out some candy-coated Disneyesque movie. We are wonderfully flawed, emotionally motivated, sensually driven creatures of flesh and blood. And whilst striving for enlightenment is a noble cause, it is the journey itself that is the real unfolding treasure. As we are now, a life of solitude is not what we were designed for, nor chose to experience, so our need to find love and be loved should not be taken lightly, nor forgotten – the very reason why the concepts of ‘true-love’, ‘soul-mates’ and ‘twin-flame’ are so popular. They all sound romantic and idealistic, but often just a little out of reach, simply because you expect just one person to embody the ideal. But you know what they don’t tell you? That you can love many people truly, you would never think to question which of your children is the ‘true’ child? Soul mates can come in all forms and in great numbers and your twin flame is a rather modern concept that would have you believe you are incomplete or only half of what you could be…
Thing is, many people also change or grow as they discover life, and so will their expectations of the ‘right’ relationship. And so I ponder, are the singletons wrong to wait or are the married folk reckless not to? I can only think that each person must do what feels right for them in that moment, but know that this life is indeed short and sometimes it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. As it happens, is it so strange to take the view that perhaps my ‘prince’ is not one single individual, but is made up of my relationships with several men, from my past, present and even in the future… So, rather than sitting pretty in my ivory tower waiting for ‘Him’, I am scaling the tower to speak to and love all manner of men folk that pass by, from prince to pauper, in the belief that time spent loving each of them is indeed coming to love my ‘perfect man’ over my entire lifetime.
To find out more about this and other thought-provoking material visit www.solarusltd.com
VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE A delicious treat full of healthy ingredients that can be prepared in advance and shared with friends on a warm Summer's day. Ingredients 1 ripe avocado 1/4 cup cocoa 1/4 cup raw agave nectar 1/4 cup almond milk 1 tspn vanilla extract Simply puree until smooth and serve chilled in gorgeous cups with amples of raspberries and a generous dollop of love.
'A recipe has no soul. You must bring soul to the recipe'
Giving to the self doesn’t do it. Giving to others to get reward doesn’t do it. But doing something worthwhile is a different matter…. In a moment in time, in a moment in space, the eternal essence of simplicity can be found. Un-realised, it waits silently, enlisting its alchemical nature to be given life through love eternal. But what is this love? Is it love for another? Is it love for the self? Or is it the life expressed as love? To many this may seem a little altruistic; others may be striving for it already. But how can I put this? How can I explain that the seeking and searching for love, happiness, self-worth and so on, cannot be found by directly seeking or forcing? Love comes in an instant, it comes in a moment. We spend so much time trying to perfect ourselves, be it our looks, our clothes, our behaviour. Does this bring happiness? No. Too much time is wasted trying to perfect others – does this bring them or us happiness? No. All of this is superficial. We seek and search for that which we feel we do not have. This has an effect similar to two magnets repelling each other: that which we desire is driven just out of reach, time and time again. If you are seeking self-worth, you may imagine your self worth improving with new clothes but the ones you want are probably too expensive. You may see it as losing those few last pounds but they will be the hardest to lose.You may feel you can gain it through the helping of others but then wait disappointedly for the gratitude and thanks that never comes.
'imagine the spark of light....which brought you into existence' This is because that which you are chasing, that which you want so badly is being magnetically driven away by the strength of your wants and desires. This may sound harsh. It is not. It is like watching children chasing pigeons in the town square: they are almost in reach, the child runs towards them arms outstretched, the pigeon flies off just in time, then lands just out of reach once again. So what can we do? How do we catch that pigeon? There is something called ‘de-centralisation’ of the self. We have to know ourselves: warts and all, to acknowledge and recognise our good parts and our not so good parts (and I am not just talking physical here!). From this we start to seek something else. But what? There are many words which could be used here, but these names will probably only seek to confuse by conjuring up a pre-conceived and possible mis-representation of what I wish to convey. 26
So let us imagine instead…. imagine the spark of light, the life-giving essence which brought you into existence ….. that light is actually part of you. Not outside you, or separate from you, but a point of light within. Like a lighted network of flowing life, this point of light connects you to others. It contains your future, your present and your potential. For many it has been hidden away and mis-perceived as 'being outside ourselves’ . We seek and we strive, running in many directions, looking for answers, looking for acceptance, when that which we seek is already within us. We are conditioned to believe that we have to try hard, conform, be this way or that, in order to be accepted and loved; in order to be a worthwhile person; to be spiritual but no one teaches us to be ourselves. How ironic that only then will we find happiness, acceptance, self-worth and love. So many books and teachings claim we have to purge ourselves of many character flaws and faults, of personal indulgences and actions making us feel even worse about ourselves and our misgivings. In this state of being we are more likely to become critical of others. And, if we are doing well, we then think we can become judge and jury over others and their actions and behaviours. So what should we do? We come back to the earlier word, De-centralisation. When we centre ourselves within, at our inner most core, our point of divine light, we begin to connect to other ‘lights’, making us aware of others’ needs and our destined purpose in life. Is our destined purpose in life to simply hone and perfect our own life? Or is it to help and inspire others in some way? When the focus is entirely on our own progress and happiness etc., we become like the child in the town square chasing the pigeon. However, when we centre within our inner light, our inner voice – and this is no easy task, as the voice of others will undoubtedly be playing very loudly in your inner worlds, be that from teachers, parents, peers, partners etc. So, first we need to silence all that has been heard….. All that is being played back to us through our internal dialogue… when we can quieten that, we are in with a chance of hearing our own inner voice. Your true inner voice will accept you as you are…. It is not about how perfect you are, but what you can selflessly do for others. Again, it is no good doing good for the purpose of gratitude and self-acceptance, for that will not be the case. We give because that is what we do. We respond to need, for that is why we are here and, in this giving, we are de-centralising from the self as we are focusing on the need of others. When this happens, we stop chasing the pigeon and become still. The pigeon turns into the dove and this brings us the gift of freedom. Freedom from the limitations of the mind, the limitations of others and the limitations of their beliefs.
Clare Carter - www.thecrystalbarn.co.uk More to Life
Catch the Pigeon
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
More to Life
THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF THE
I recently scrolled past a quiz on a social-media site called “What Is Your Personal Mantra?”. I paused for a moment to recollect briefly on how mainstream this ancient Sanskrit word has become—a “buzzword” really. For many in the West, the meaning of the word mantra has become synonymous with affirmation— a phrase that uplifts or inspires us to do or be our best.
There is no doubt that the power of positive thinking can have far-reaching effects on our state of mind, and I have found affirmations to be good reminders that I can handle anything life sends my way. However, I always follow up an affirmation by repeating my Sacred Mantra: My God and My All. Positive words might temporarily convince us that all is well, but there is a place inside each of us that does not require any reminding or convincing. This is our deep knowing within, our ever-present source of strength, confidence, love, compassion, and well-being. The mantra, in the ancient sense of the word, is the vehicle that connects us to this place of unwavering power. This is not another thought in the mind, but rather it is a sacred tool to connect our mind to our heart where we can fully experience this inner knowing that all is well. I call these words Sacred Mantra to differentiate between a general positive statement and a spiritual tool that leads us to this place of knowing.
'a sacred tool to connect our mind to our heart' A Sacred Mantra is a word, phrase, verse, or prayer with a long history of use that is hallowed or considered holy by the tradition or culture from which it originated. There are many Sanskrit mantras that have been in use for thousands of years—the sounds or vibrations of which are believed to have deeply spiritual qualities. As these sounds may feel unfamiliar or difficult for some of us to pronounce, turning to prayer words or sacred verses from whatever traditions we relate to can serve the same purpose. Choosing a Sacred Mantra is an intimately personal experience, because the traditional concept is that you will use it to support you for the rest of your life. As convenient as it might be, you will not find your personal mantra by taking a quiz! You will, however, find one that has deep meaning by making a mindful choice among sacred words, verses, or prayers that resonate with you and make you feel connected within. When we use our Sacred Mantra, we are calling upon the strength of all the great saints, masters, and traditions for support, spiritual well-being, and deep connection. It truly is a comforting staff that helps us traverse the rocky terrain of life. I often refer to my Sacred Mantra as my sacred friend— this is the kind of friend you can lean Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
on for support when times are tough but also celebrate with when everything is running smoothly. While my meditation practice has greatly enhanced my life these past thirty years, the support my Sacred Mantra brings to me throughout my days is unparalleled. If I have a worrisome, fearful, or stressful thought running through my mind, I repeat my Sacred Mantra a few times to access the space between those thoughts and reconnect with my source, and I immediately feel more at ease. The transformation is instantaneous. My Sacred Mantra provides me with a feeling of renewed strength, and I am able to deal directly with whatever is causing my stress, practically and mindfully. I often say, “If worrying worked, let’s keep doing it!” We know worrying doesn’t make things better but actually worse. The Sacred Mantra provides clarity of thought, allowing room for the next right action. Sacred Mantra repetition does not replace meditation. Instead, it supports a consistent practice by allowing us to immediately access the sense of calm we tap into during our meditation practice. I find that, although more and more people are beginning a practice of meditation as a way to find calm and deal with the stress of the outside world, the Sacred Mantra is often overlooked as an adjunct to meditation. The beauty of the Sacred Mantra is that, unlike our meditation cushion, we can take this tool with us wherever we go and use it with every circumstance and situation we encounter throughout the day—in business meetings, while shopping, when interacting with others, if we are sitting in traffic, and during our ordinary tasks. With the Sacred Mantra, we always have a way to return to the present moment to connect fully to what is going on right in front of us. This is truly being mindful, something we all strive to be today. When we connect to our source within, this state of being—mindfulness — is a natural by product.
Barb Schmidt is author of THE PRACTICE: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness, published by Souvenir Press, £10 29
Do you take care of your gifts? Yesterday, browsing youtube.com I stumbled upon Jeff Bezos’ speech for Princeton graduates, a speech that I first watched a few years ago and which had a deep impact on me. And the idea that struck me was this: “It is harder to be kind than clever. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy – they are given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts, if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.” I believe that all of us are extraordinary talented people, who have the potential to be anything we want to be and have within ourselves the resources to accomplish anything we put our mind to. And what differentiates us are the choices we make, what we deem important to put our focus on and the way we consider to make use of those talents. We are diverse, therefore the talents are different for each of us. Some are better in sports, others in science, others have artistic skills, or are very good at cooking or any other ability that allows us to perform an activity that makes us and the ones around us proud. I believe having a talent is a responsibility; we were born with it and it is up to us to nourish it and treat it as a gift. It is not enough to take our gifts for granted, we need to show up, to put some work into them, to challenge ourselves to improve. We need to allocate time for them, to make them a priority in our everyday activities, to be patient and perseverant and even if sometimes we show up unprepared to keep on going. No matter what. Because they are our gifts. And we need to honor them. 30
Or we could choose to neglect our gifts and focus on minor things, to fill in our time with meaningless activities and get content to just get by. This is easily done, because life could always get in the way and could derail us from our path if we are not careful enough. There is always something to do, errands to run, assignments to complete and we could very ease get swamp by all the things that life throws at us. And if we do not watch out for our gifts, we could find that life passes us by and our gifts atrophy and wither within us. And it could always be that we get so cocky and confortable with our gifts that we choose cleverness over kindness. It could be that we have worked hard, we put time and efforts into our gifts and we have accomplished our dreams. And we could get so worked up in this cosy successful situation that we could get arrogant and instead of keep pursuing our gifts we could not help but entertain the feeling of entitlement. And we might not realize it then, but in those moments we choose to take the focus off of our gifts to feed our ego. And since we cannot have focus on two things simultaneously our gifts get neglected and in the end we are the ones at a loss. The choices we make define us, whether there are big, meaningful ones or small apparently insignificant ones. Because tiny choices add up over time. And I believe this is the biggest failure of all: to take our gifts for granted and not to take care of them, either being distracted by insignificant things or being wrapped up in our own ego. Do you choose to be kind or clever?
Article by Simona Calu www.simonacalu.wordpress.com
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' Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx'
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
A Spiritual View J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit is the story of a journey ‘there and back again’, in the words of one Bilbo Baggins. As many know, we return from such an adventure changed, tempered like steel by the trials and tribulations met along the way. Such a journey was undertaken by thirteen dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard (for part of the way). At journey’s end, Gandalf cheerfully remarks that Bilbo is not the hobbit he was. And this is true, for Bilbo and companions bravely elected to undertake the most perilous journey of all: to go into their subconscious minds and face down their most fearful and painful memories. With many misgivings, they agree to travel through the vast and dreaded Forest of Mirkwood. The rucksack of provisions on each of their backs represents the individual bag of past troubles that we carry around with us. We know we are entering a dead and forgotten world as soon as the companions step into the dark forest. The path is narrow and they must walk in single file, each on their own personal journey. A short distance into the woods and all light ceases to penetrate: there is just a stifling, airless silence but for the invisible scufflings of forest creatures and their luminous eyes. These are the fears they must confront and see for what they truly are – phantasms that have no real substance but are kept alive through our fear. As the dwarves and hobbit continue to trek warily through their subconscious minds, the fearful memories are drawn ever more urgently to them seeking release, especially when they light a fire at night. But it is not the right kind of light: only the inner light of understanding and self-forgiveness will work. Still too frightened to face their fears, they cease making fires. As the travellers near the end of the forest path, the fears become desperate for recognition and release. They resort to luring them into the forest, off the protected pathway - the connection to the conscious mind - through lights and the vision of a feast. Finally forced to encounter their inner demons, the dwarves become paralysed with fear. Bilbo, lost in the dark silence and utterly alone, also soon starts to succumb to his deepest fears. But then he finds his courage, the inner
By Cassie Martin light is sparked and starts to flame brightly, as symbolised by his sword, Sting. Squarely he faces the inner demon and is no longer afraid. Ablaze with his hard - won self - knowledge, and reunited with the light within, he goes in search of his lost companions. They, seeing his fearlessness, take heart. Feebly at first, they begin to find their own inner light and together, in a weak, staggering huddle, as one, they confront, accept and let go of each fear until there are none left. The quest is achieved. With their rucksacks empty, they leave the forest. The purpose of Thorin and company’s journey is to recover the dwarvish kingdom and all its gold. There is just one tiny problem: a large and fearsome dragon still inhabits their mountain kingdom and, furthermore, he has gathered in all the treasure and is sleeping soundly on his priceless couch. However, against all the odds, the dragon is killed. Then the real trouble begins because, suddenly, all thoughts of Middle Earth’s inhabitants turn to the Treasure and everyone wants a slice – dwarves of course but, also, Men, Elves and Goblins. This is a story of greed, which naturally culminates in war and is only resolved when the Earth’s wealth is fairly shared amongst all. Beorn, the bear/man shapeshifter is untouched by greed: his reward is to have taken part in the destruction of the hated goblins who, eons ago, stole his mountain home. In particular, it is Bilbo Baggins who saves the day and, he too, is free from greed.
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'enlightenment comes from facing our deepest fears'
The Hobbit is also a story of enlightenment and the dragon symbolises our greed. Only when our hearts are pierced by the Arrow of Truth are we freed from our delusional beliefs. Bilbo discovers there is only one place on the dragon’s soft underbelly that is not encrusted with precious stones; it is the heart, which is later pierced by Bard’s Black Arrow. Bard is well-named as it is the Welsh bards, poets and minstrels who shared the higher understanding through word and song. Enlightenment also comes through facing our deepest fears (Black Arrow) as the ancient mystery schools knew. We then see the truth. When the armies station themselves before the gates of the dwarvish mountain home Thorin, now king, having rightfully taken back the kingdom of old, hastily blocks off access through the main gate with a makeshift wall. But when the orcs suddenly and unexpectedly descend on dwarves, men and elves alike, Thorin prepares for battle and, clad in a suit of shining golden armour, he breaks down the wall, and rushes out to join in the battle, followed by his eleven companions. Having found the treasure within and clothed in the golden light of our own true selves, we break out of the prison walls we have constructed around us through greed and ignorance. We have become ‘king’ of our own self and we rush out to embrace Life, free at last. And that priceless gem, The Arkenstone – the Heart of the Mountain, is returned to its rightful owner, the Earth. Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
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Famous faces that follow a spiritual lifestyle.. Richard Gere says his Buddhist faith is at the centre of everything he does and every decision he makes in his life. "It's relevant to everything I do. Buddhism is the camel of my life" The Hollywood actor is a firm believer in the Asian religion, which focuses on personal spiritual development. It's there everywhere. I don't think you have to be Buddhist to get it, quite honestly. I'm more interested in secular ethics, about what we all have in common. What is good? What is happiness? Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll is not just a powerhouse on stage. She is also a longtime Buddhist, having begun her practice in the 1970s while struggling to end an abusive relationship with musician Ike Turner. Soka Gakkai, the tradition to which Tina Turner adheres, is like other schools and subschools of Nichiren Buddhism; it focuses on the Lotus Sutra and teaches that chanting its title in Japanese—Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—ultimately enables chanters to embrace the entirety of the text and uncover their buddhanature. George Harrison was perhaps one of the most spiritual of popular musicians of our times. His spiritual quest began in his mid 20s, when he realised for the first time that "Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot..." This search led him to delve deep into the mystical world of Eastern religions, especially Hinduism, Indian philosophy, culture, and music. Harrison had a great affinity towards India. travelling there in the '60's to study the sitar with Pandit Ravi Shankar. In search of social and personal liberation, he met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which prompted him to give up LSD and take up meditation. It is reported that Madonna has "relied" on the Kabbalah ever since she started studying the school of thought shortly before the 1996 birth of her daughter Lourdes. Whilst she admits that she "doesn't understand" everything connected with it, she is glad the discipline has provided her with some guidance throughout her career. She said: "I started studying Kabbalah when I was pregnant with my daughter, so I guess they're connected. "It made me become more conscious of my choices, my decisions, what I wanted to say, how it affected people, stuff like that. Russell Brand 's call for a Spiritual Revolution in 2014 caused a great stir amongst the establishment - suggesting to his 8 million plus followers on Twitter that the world can be run peacefully, by the people, with respect, love and spiritual awareness. He says "The spiritual Revolution, the Revolution we are about to realise, will be fast because the organisms are in place; all that needs to shift is consciousness, and that moves rapidly. In a way this Revolution will be a doddle because it isn't so much about creating new systems, it's more about disregarding obsolete ones." John Lennon was one of those rare people who was more influenced by peace and harmony than living a rockstar lifestyle. His words were not only deep but inspiring. While John did not lead a very long life, his words remain immortal. A few of his most famous lines are; “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” And, “Love, Love, Love. All you need is love. Love is all you need.” And then perhaps most famously, “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
A New World in the making
People everywhere are waking up and long for change, convinced that a better world is possible. Awaited by people of all faiths and those of none, Maitreya, the World Teacher, is here to inspire us to re-build our world. Maitreya says: “Sharing and Justice, Brotherhood and Freedom are not new concepts. From the dawn of time mankind has linked his aspiration to these beckoning stars. Now, My friends, shall we anchor them in the world.” For 40 years Benjamin Creme has been preparing the way for the emergence of Maitreya, the World Teacher, and the Masters of Wisdom. Millions around the world have heard Creme’s ‘message of hope’ and wait expectantly for this momentous event. “When I read Share International information it was like lighting a lamp of hope that had previously faded away…. It gave me back the hope and joy that I had lost..” – A.P, Edinburgh, UK For information and Benjamin Creme’s London lectures visit
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protect yourself from electromagnetic radiation
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WHEN YOU BUY A bioDOTâ„˘STARTER PACK
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
Destiny smiled upon me the day my path aligned with that of the yoga master, Dr. George King. I was immersed in the wisdom of the East – wonderful gurus like Swami Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda and the Yogi Ramacharaka – when the distinctive teaching of Dr. King was clearly presented to me by a guest speaker during a Buddhist and Vedanta Society meeting at my university. I was searching the spiritual treasure troves of Asia only to discover the jewel I sought had already been revealed on these shores by an Englishman who would later become my personal teacher and very close friend. In the 1970s it was “trendy” to take up yoga and meditation, though my interest did not fade with the fashion, growing ever deeper over the years. But for Dr. King in the post-war London of the 1940s it was anything but the “done thing”. He threw himself into the practice of yoga disciplines, including those of Raja, Gnani and Kundalini, with a will I have never encountered anywhere else. As a young man in the prime of his life rather than pursuing wealth, personal relationships or just plain fun, he chose to practise advanced yoga techniques for eight hours a day for ten years, as well as working to earn a living. No wonder he achieved his goal and mastered this ancient science by the age of 35. Nowadays yoga is generally seen as a programme of physical exercise for health and fitness. For many it has become more about their outer appearance than the path to inner realisation it was originally intended to be. The ancient Rishis, who graced the caves and forests of Himalayan regions thousands of years ago, gave the student who was ready a sure-fire, practical route to a blissful realisation of their inner potential at the deepest spiritual level. Two things have changed. One is that over the last hundred years or so some of this knowledge has travelled to the West and become widely available to all, ready or not. But something else has happened too which has been championed by Dr. George King more than any other, and encapsulates his yoga. This is no longer a time for personal development above all else. Today it is service, service, and then more service. Karma Yoga, or selfless action, has always existed. Now it has been dusted off, enhanced and turbo-charged with rocket propulsion units to take us into the stratosphere of world salvation. “You too can heal” proclaimed Dr. King more than 50 years ago, when even leading healing organisations believed that healing could only be done by those with a special gift. He took prayer out of
the cloisters of the anointed and into the everyday habitats of ordinary people, empowering them to radiate boundless spiritual energy wherever it is most needed. He combined eastern mantras and mudras with western prayers and affirmations and produced karmic gold. Into the spiritual drought which has reaped bare harvests for our world, new seeds have been sown, which sooner or later must bring positive results. Karma is not always as instant as John Lennon sang, but we are creating it twenty-four hours a day. They say that what goes around comes around and, sooner or later, it must. Even though our motive is to serve others, in doing so we will discover our own heritage of inner peace and true enlightenment. Dr. King said: Of all the yogas I have studied, Karma Yoga is the greatest yoga of all! It is Karma Yoga which will save the world! The other yogas are necessary to obtain the powers and to get the inspiration, but then you must use your powers and inspiration for the benefit of all. They must be brought in to living manifestation in order to be of any good to the world. This could be the manifesto for his last book, Realize Your Inner Potential, which I was honoured to co-author with him in 1997, and which contains many of his core teachings and practices. I know they work because I have practised them all and have used some of them daily for over 40 years. Thousands of others have done so too, with wonderful results.
'it is Karma Yoga which will save the world' At that university meeting we were given a spiritual practice to perform, in which we raised our hands so that they were facing forwards. We visualised white light coming down from above the head, flowing along the arms, through the palms and out to the world as love energy. We also visualised it flowing through the heart centre. Afterwards we sealed the flow by passing our palms across each other. I tried it after the talk and the powerful tangible effect of the energy flowing through me was undeniable. It was not a matter of faith, but of fact. The speaker, John Holder, and I formed a group at university performing this exercise hundreds of times for absent and world healing. This is just one of the spiritual weapons in the life-giving armoury in the yoga of Dr. George King. At its heart is service which, according to his classic book, The Nine Freedoms, is: the jewel in the rock of attainment. I found this jewel that day I discovered my destiny for, as the great humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer said: I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
Richard Lawrence is an international best-selling author, spiritual teacher and Executive Secretary for The Aetherius Society in Europe. www.richardlawrence.co.uk 38
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Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk
Sarah-Jane Grace weaves together a special fusion of inspirational, esoteric, soul-focused and intuitive astrology.. Her aim is to inspire, empower and enlighten. As well as her natural gifts, she has studied many healing techniques, spiritual philosophies and teachings over the years.
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Living the life you were born to live continues to take centre stage over the weeks and months ahead as you take the somewhat brave step of opening your eyes to look deeply into your soul.
Breathing space looks set to be your mantra over the weeks ahead as you begin to explore new avenues to create some much needed room in your life.
The concept of ‘less is more’ continues to take centre stage over the weeks ahead as you contemplate the difference between the life you dream of living, the life you think you’re living and the life you’re actually living.
Gazing into your soul is akin to gazing into a mirror, and whilst it's easy to be selective, noticing only those aspects you are ready to notice, there is a sense that you are ready now to turn and face your full reflection. It's easy to fear the unknowable depths of your soul, but they are a part of you. At the same time, perhaps it's the fear itself that is the barrier preventing you from living the life you were born to live? You are a vibrant soul and yet a thread of fear has surreptitiously wrapped itself around your consciousness, holding you back from being the courageous you that you know yourself to be.
The act of creating breathing space suggests activity, whereas breathing space itself feels far more serene and tranquil, so it may, at first, be hard to feel the essence of space within you. You can find it so hard to be still as there is always so much to do, see and complete, yet trying to reach a point when your 'to do' list is finished before you rest in stillness keeps you away from tranquillity as there will always be things to do, people to see and places to go, so it seems important that you find a new way to introduce stillness into your life.
Although it’s easy to tick along, doing well and feeling quite content, there is a risk that unless you take stock of your reality, you could lose sight of the bigger picture of your life. If you are happy to tick along, bumbling through each day, then there really isn’t an issue with this but if you are feeling even slightly out of kilter then it could be worth pausing for a while to take a big deep breath to re-focus.
Let it go now and set yourself free...
Being busy is something that comes naturally to you, so why not channel this into creating a haven of tranquillity where you can retreat, albeit briefly, from the hustle? It's in your hands...
Of course, with you being you, it’s most unlikely that you would be content with bumbling of any kind, so it seems clear that in order to establish a new equilibrium, you need to step consciously into the present moment with your eyes wide open and stay there...
June 22 - July 22
July 23 - August 23
August 24 - September 22
Self-compassion continues to be a powerful theme for you over the weeks ahead as you begin to explore the relationship you have with yourself.
Dancing with the ebb and flow of life continues to play a central role in your life over the weeks ahead as you begin to breathe freely once again.
You are fast approaching a time of breakthrough in your life as you turn to face your depths and start digging.
Although, on the surface, it would be easy to think you know yourself intimately, yet, within your heart, you know you need to take a closer look as there is a feeling of incongruity that’s been troubling you.
Although breathing is something that happens unconsciously, there is a sense that when life gets tough or challenging, you hold your breath in slightly in order to make it through unscathed.
You take great pride in doing your best and in striving to do more, be more and achieve more, but this often comes with a cost. This cost is you as you beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan. Although you are very open-minded about the concept of self-compassion, when it comes to being self-compassionate you struggle because you are so used to giving yourself a hard time. Stop for a while and listen to your inner dialogue; if a friend spoke to you that way how would you feel? Point made! Change the record now and be com-
Winter 2012 | www.moretolifemag.co.uk passionate.
Whilst this reaction is also, by and large, unconscious, there is a sense that, over time, holding your breath in has become second nature and you now do it all the time without actually realising. The result of this holding of breath is a disconnection from the true ebb and flow of life: you feel the breeze as it touches your skin and you can feel the urge within you to tap your toes to the rhythm of life, but when it comes to letting go and becoming one with the flow, you sense a gap between where you are and where you intuitively know you need to be. So, take a breath, set it free and dance...
You seem keen to break through a layer within that has slowly been thickening and hardening over time; akin to a layer of sand that settles and, in time, becomes a layer of sedimentary rock. Although such a process takes millennia, there is a sense that your very own in-built layer of 'stuff ' has been slowly growing over many years. The stuff is an accumulation of oughts, shoulds, musts and all of their polar opposites. You are very good at trying to be the person you think you should be and you hate the idea of giving up or letting others down. However, the time has now come for you to realise that the only one that truly suffers when you push on is you. Of course, it's not necessarily as simple as stopping what you do as life is rarely as simple as this, but look within and let your soul be your guide...
September 23 - October 22
October 23 - November 22
As one of life's thinkers, there is a sense that you have pondered the meaning of the universe and the point of existence on more than one occasion. It can be easy to get lost in existential contemplation as itâ€™s so far-reaching and questions lead to new questions, rarely to answers.
Today is a new day. Yes, your last forecast did start with these exact words, but it seems important to re-affirm their importance as there is a need for you to consciously grasp the message of living in the moment; not just acknowledging the concept but wholeheartedly embracing and living it instead.
Despite your tendency to ponder so deeply, you are acutely aware of an over-riding inner drive to live life as consciously as possible as being present is the key to living as richly as possible. You accept the fragility and impermanence of life, and these inspire you to embrace the concepts of vulnerability, acceptance and authenticity. Being real, being awake and being alive are all fed by your willingness to be yourself. Being yourself is far easier said than done as you so often contemplate what being you truly means. It seems important now to step even more consciously into this moment, to over-think a little less and to savour each and every moment by being yourself and loving yourself for it... 42
Every day is a new day but it's so easy to get lost looking backwards or forwards trying to make sense of the present or trying to escape it by trying to re-enact the past or chasing a better future. Of course, being human, such actions are understandable, but as a vibrant and fluid soul, getting stuck in linear time can lock you into a kind of stasis that prevents you from breathing fully into life and reaching your full present-moment potential. You may wonder what your present-moment potential actually is, and this is the paradox: you won't know until you step fully into the present moment! So, step into today and be here, now...
November 23 - December 21 It's easy to feel as though you are a piece of driftwood being carried along by the currents of life; you feel like a powerless pawn in the ebb and flow of life. Whilst there are undoubtedly times when this is true, there are also times when your perception of a situation leads to you feeling akin to driftwood but the reality suggests an alternative perspective! How you see life and the path you walk does flavour your experience as your perception feeds your enthusiasm and inner spark. It would therefore seem easy to suggest that, by shifting your perception, you can ride the waves with courage and confidence, and whilst this is true to some extent, it's not quite as simple as this as you also need to wholeheartedly believe that you are not drifting. The currents may still shape the flow of your life but when you feel consciously a part of them, you can reclaim your passion and enthusiasm, re-shaping your conscious experience of life in the process... More to Life
Capricorn December 22 - January 20
As you continue to seek out little pieces of peace in amongst the busy-ness of life, there is a sense that you are ready now to allow these pieces of peace to grow and expand into something more tangible. It’s as though your focus on the little pieces of stillness here and there have allowed them to coalesce and merge together giving you not only more substantial pieces of peace but also giving you a stronger sense of balance and equilibrium in your life. On the face of it, peace and stillness don’t sound very dynamic but this is the point as it’s the stillness that reminds you to step beyond the distraction and busy-ness of keeping on keeping on, opening you up to the bigger picture and to the awareness that life is about more than keeping busy. Maybe you’re not keen to stir up a hornet’s nest by exploring the terrain beyond your ‘what is’ but you seem ready now to at least contemplate ‘what if ’...
Aquarius January 21 - February 19
Some people dream and see themselves as an active character as a part of the dream. Others seem to watch themselves as a character and others still sit on the periphery watching a dream unfold as if they were a spectator not a participant. There is clearly no right or wrong way to dream as we are all unique and yet, when the dreams shift away from night time musings to aspirations and hopes, it seems clear that being an active part of these kind of dreams is really rather important! Of course, you know only too well that having dreams and manifesting them into being take courage, focus and belief, and you have these by the bucket load, however, taking that final step and launching yourself head first into the dream is slightly harder for you as your mind can get in the way with over-thinking and over-pondering the possible ramifications of any choice you make or do not make. This is not a time to become frozen in indecisive ponderings: trust your instincts and become the dream...
February 20 - March 20 There’s no doubt its complicated being you as no one else can truly understand you and your intricate workings. As a result, you often feel on the periphery of life, wondering how to ride the maelstrom of currents that swirl in and out of your consciousness at any one moment in time. It’s easy to feel isolated when life feels so overwhelming and the issues you face feel so ‘big’, but no one gets an easy ride; it’s just that everyone deals with it differently. Your perception that you are in this alone is easy to understand, but it’s a powerful belief and the more you buy into it, the more isolated and disconnected you become. By nature you are a fluid, free-flowing soul, interconnected and a vibrant part of the flow, and the time has come for you to feel this once again and to break free from the thought patterns that keep you isolated to instead become one with life once again...
A vibrant edition to get 2015 under way from the UK's most loved Mind Body and Spirit magazine