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The #Ganga - The symbol of Love and Peace
A beautiful feeling of peace, love within you near the holy river Ganga, #Rishikesh, India. Find your deepest peace, do meditation near Ganga and get blessed with #siddhantschoolofyoga #yoga #ganga #rishikesh #india
Siddhant School of Yoga
4 Photos - View album

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"change. That is why we travel to far-off places. Whether we know it or not, we need to renew ourselves in territories that are fresh and wild. We need to come home through the body of alien lands. For some, these journeys of change are taken intentionally and mindfully. They are pilgrimages, occasions when Earth heals us directly.

"Mountains have long been a geography for pilgrimage, places where peoples have been humbled and strengthened. They are symbols of the Sacred Center. Many have traveled to them in order to find the concentrated energy of Earth and to realize the strength of unimpeded space. Viewing a mountain at a distance or walking around its body, we can see its shape, know its profile, survey its surroundings. The closer you come to the mountain, the more it disappears. The mountain begins to lose its shape as you near it. Its body begins to spread out over the landscape, losing itself to itself. On climbing the mountain, the mountain continues to vanish. It vanishes in the detail of each step. Its crown is buried in space. Its body is buried in the breath.

"On reaching the mountain's summit, we can ask, What has been attained? The top of the mountain? Big View? But the mountain has already disappeared. Going down the mountain, we can ask, What has been attained? Going down the mountain? The closer we are to the mountain, the more the mountain disappears. The closer we are to the mountain, the more the mountain is realized.

"Mountain's realization comes through the details of the breath. Mountain appears in each step. Mountain then lives inside our bones, inside our heartdrum. It stands like a huge mother in the atmosphere of our minds. Mountain draws ancestors together in the form of clouds. Heaven, Earth and Human meet in the raining of the past. Heaven, Earth and Human meet in the winds of the future. Mountain Mother is a birth gate that joins the above and below. She is a prayer house. She is a mountain. Mountain is a mountain.

"Mountains are extolled not only for their qualities but also for their effect on those who relate to them. Taking refuge in them, pilgrimaging to them, and walking around or ascending them has long been a way for the shaman and the Buddhist to purify and realize the mind of the mountain. The surface of inner and outer landscape, of the above and below, meet in the mountain body. The sense of place is confirmed in the mountain body. The spirit of place is confirmed when the mountain disappears into the landscape of the mind. Thus one reveres mountains.

"Some of us are drawn to mountains the way the moon draws the tide. Both the great forests and the mountains live in my bones. They have taught me, humbled me, purified me, and changed me: Mount Fuji, Mount Shasta, Mount Kailas, the Schreckhorn, Kanchenjunga. Mountains are abodes for ancestor and deity. They are places where energy is discovered, made, acquired and spent. Mountains are symbols, as well, of enduring truth and of the human quest for spirit. I was told long ago to spend time with mountains."

-- Joan Halifax

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"Never become too holy or too spiritual. Let the Spirit align itself within you. Become what humanity can be. Nothing more and nothing less. There is no such thing as spiritual development or Higher Self or Greater Self or Lower Self. There is nothing to find, nowhere to go, nothing to reach up to. There is, however, LIFE, human life capable of Being itself. And that is already present in every moment of every day ... By relaxing very deeply and allowing your body to reach a point of stillness, the delicate strings of your Self will be found dancing with the deep current of love that is the Earth. This love is the dance of the still point in the open moment ... your Self is love in action."

~ from LEAVING MY FATHER'S HOUSE by Marion Woodman

"We had two perfect days. July 14 I fell, or rather, my leg let go and I crashed on the rocks. Ross phoned the coast guard. Within half an hour the police boat splashed in; three big, handsome guys secured my leg, stretched me out into a big sling, carried me down the rocks, gently-so-gently drove the boat to Parry Sound, handed their bundle over to the waiting ambulance team, who deposited it in Emergency.
Ross and I returned to the island the next day, I with my crutches. So began the almost idyllic summer in the Lion Chair, in love with the loons, the sunrises and sunsets, and discussing with Ross his paper on the Baha’i Faith. I completely let go of everything, felt the radiance of Being. I felt no commitment to do anything, not even to entertain people who sailed in to visit..." -- Marion Woodman, Bone: Dying into Life

In 1993, Marion was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She recorded the subsequent two years of cancer treatment in a journal, which was later published as Bone: Dying into Life. She was listed in Watkins' Mind Body Spirit Magazine in 2012 as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

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This was sent from our friends, Linda and Kay visiting France:
The village of Conques is one of the most stunning surprises we've had. Dating from circa 800, it continues to cling to it's miniscule but fierce independence on a steep hillside where it is the guardian of the gold and jewel-encrusted reliquary of a saint, and has been for a thousand years. But who's counting? It's as if time has forgotten this ancient place.

The village of Conques is located at the confluence of the Dourdou de Conques and the Ouche. It is built on a hillside and has classic narrow medieval streets. As a result, large vehicles such as buses cannot enter the historic town centre but must park outside. Consequently, most day visitors enter on foot. The town was largely passed by in the nineteenth century, and was saved from oblivion by the efforts of a small number of dedicated people. As a result, the historic core of the town has very little construction dating from between 1800 and 1950, leaving the medieval structures remarkably intact. The roads have been paved, and modern-day utility lines are buried. The town is situated in a valley. Its name originates from from Old French conche, meaning 'basin', which is derived from Latin concha, meaning 'shell'.

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Why don’t we laugh right now..?

“There are both Sunni and Shia Sufis. In fact, there are also non-Muslim Sufis, primarily Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus who practice Sufi spirituality and call themselves Sufis. How is this “dual citizenship” possible? Sufis explain this with a metaphor. During prayer, Muslims bow and prostrate themselves in the direction of the symbolic house of God, the Kabah in Mecca. What happens if non-Muslims, following their chosen path, become enlightened? It is as if they are praying inside the Kabah. In that state, does it matter in what direction the prayer rug is pointing..?

• If God wanted, He could have sent full-blown enlightened beings to Earth, but He chose to send imperfect beings like us.
• How astonishing that God hides from humanity, creating wild speculations and crazy strife. As Rumi exclaims, “The lover visible, the Beloved invisible: whose crazy idea was this?”
• All traditions that mention God proclaim that Divinity is genderless, yet the holy books and practitioners insist on calling God by a masculine pronoun.
• No human being who has arrived here from the mysterious realms has ever come with a mandate or mission statement, yet some of us talk and argue as if we know why we are here, and others talk as if they don’t care.
• None of our revealed holy books has ever been accompanied by footnotes, yet we argue as if we know the real meanings.
• We are all afraid that one day we shall pass away into nonexistence. But if the truth be known, nonexistence is trembling in fear that it might be given human shape.
• When we go over to the other side and look back at our dramas and melodramas, we shall laugh and laugh. So why don’t we laugh right now..?

The Mulla stories convey a common thread of Sufi teachings, which can be summarized as follows:

• Every human has a divine spark veiled by the layers of personality. Whether we call it Allah, Jesus, Elohim, Krishna, or any other name, that spark is the same and we are foolish not to realize our astounding potential.
• An essential spiritual practice is to observe and witness oneself continuously and compassionately, acknowledging and laughing at foibles and weaknesses while working relentlessly to evolve into higher consciousness.
• The light of persistent awareness is bound, little by little, to dissolve our false self and bring us closer to our authentic self. We may not become perfect human beings, but that is not the goal. The goal is to become more aligned with our higher self and expand our worldview as we learn to see the Face of God in everyone we meet.
• Institutions and those who serve institutions cannot be trusted to acknowledge their weaknesses and serve the common good, and we would be wise to emulate the Mulla’s healthy skepticism about their moral leadership.
• Our human understanding of divine verses, such as those in the Qur’an, can be less than divine.
• With grace and courage we must work to change or eliminate religious customs and scriptural interpretations that do not meet the test of divine compassion and generosity.”

~ Imam Jamal Rahman, Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla's Comic Teaching Stories and Other Islamic Wisdom

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The Moon is reflected in a puddle one inch wide
The entire sky is reflected in one dew drop on the grass
~ Dogen

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"What is the secret of your serenity? Said the Master "Wholehearted cooperation with the inevitable." -- Anthony de Mello

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Once the blush of the Beloved graces you, there is no going back to becoming a green apple.

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The fool who knows he is a fool
Is that much wiser.
The fool who thinks he is wise
Is a fool indeed ~ Buddha, Dhammapada

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…the shortest distance between a person
and the truth
is a story.
~ Anthony de Mello
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