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What does it really mean to be kind?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
-- Plato



In honor of World Kindness Day on Nov 13th, Karma Tube offers this video by Humanity Healing Network...a journey through the teachings of kindness.

With a soundtrack by Enya, mesmerizing photos and wide ranging quotes from an Arabian proverb to Mother Teresa to Marianne Williamson, this photo essay asks:

What does it really mean to be kind (including to ourselves)?

www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2172

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 11/25/2010 2:02AM

    This is so lovely! Definitely a link to keep and watch again and again. Thank you and bless you!
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PUDLECRAZY 11/22/2010 4:08AM

    Wonderful, thank you!

Chris

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TX_3XDAD 11/18/2010 4:59PM

    & peace be with you!

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LIVELIGHTENFREE 11/15/2010 10:50PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Maha. I so like how seeds of kindness / seeds of our "loving universe" are represented by the seeds of dandelions. Dandelion seeds also remind me of childhood wonder. And the soundtrack featuring Enya - the best! I so enjoyed this beautiful video and will also be sharing it.

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ERIN4771 11/14/2010 9:47AM

    you really do have an awesome energy chica!! thanks for spreading it thru sparkland!!!!

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CNIANE 11/14/2010 3:46AM

    Kindness is individual just like everything else. If it truly comes from the heart and is well intentioned I believe it is kind. No matter how awkwardly packaged or presented. Nice post!

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XENA1956 11/13/2010 11:34PM

    Thanks, this was so great that I pasted onto my FB page. What a wonderful idea! emoticonTeri

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DDOORN 11/13/2010 11:17PM

    Thank you 'Maha for paying YOUR kindness forward and inspiring myself and SO MANY to do the same!

Don

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CMRAND54 11/12/2010 10:11PM

    Lovely. Kindness is something I've been working on for a long time. I think every act of kindness enriches me and makes the next act of kindness easier. One of the best things about SP is the opportunity to meet so many kind people, and to practice kindness myself.

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DEUSMACHINA 11/12/2010 5:55PM

    Thanks Maha! I've really come to believe that kindness is essential. I wasn't a very kind person when I was younger. But now I strive to be kind, compassionate, considerate and non-judgmental. I don't always achieve my lofty goals, but I'm trying! Thanks for the focus!

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FRANCESCANAZ 11/12/2010 5:36PM

    I really liked the links on this site. There were many random acts i could share with my students. Hey did you get the DVD in the mail yet? Jim says "Hi" Love ya, Francesca

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KAKIPOPUP 11/12/2010 5:34PM

    This is lovely - thank you!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/12/2010 5:10PM

    Thank you for sharing that. It is beautiful.

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PENNYAN45 11/12/2010 2:23PM

    How appropriate that this comes from YOU -- one of the kindest people I know!

Thanks for posting and sharing this with us!



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GIRANIMAL 11/12/2010 1:39PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing, Maha.

Much love and light,
Angie

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WALKINGANNIE 11/12/2010 12:53PM

    emoticon Maha. Great idea - although I agree that we shouldn't need a special day. That said, anything that encourages more kindness, empathy, understanding and humanity has to be a good thing.

Thank YOU for being a consistently positive influence in the world.

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SLASALLE 11/12/2010 10:53AM

    OK - Now I've signed up for KarmaTube myself!!!! Maha strikes again!!! xoxoxo

Hope you have an amazing day since you're an amazing woman!!!

xoxoxo

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ROSIE777 11/12/2010 10:14AM

    emoticonthank you for sharing it. emoticon
¸¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨) Many Blessings, Rosie
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆
;¸.•*´¨`*♥


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SUCHAHOOT 11/12/2010 9:56AM

    Hey MAHA!

this is very beautiful. I linked to it from a blog. Thanks for sending it our way!

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MOOKBALL 11/12/2010 9:54AM

    Isn't it a shame that we have to have a day to practice kindness? But it's a start for those with ice in their hearts and a ready middle finger for salutes.

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More: War Over Monsanto Gets Ugly

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thanks to special SparkFriend Don Doorn who just sent me this important information. I'm shaking my head...in sadness, disgust, and amazement. Will we ever learn...change...raise our collective consciousness?

Hope springs eternal....



Here is the link to the article. It's not a short, easy read, but a very important one:
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www.truth-out.org/war-over-genetical
ly-modified-crops-gets-ugly-birth-defe
cts-superweeds-and-science-intimidation64915

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Maha

BTW, here is the other recent Monsanto blog -- www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3759710

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 11/25/2010 1:54AM

    Monsanto is evil. Thanks for helping to spread the word.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 11/24/2010 1:11PM

    P.S. We have to continue to believe that world peace will come, no matter how utopian the idea may seem. It's the only way that the awakening can spread.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 11/24/2010 1:09PM

    I too am equally frustrated with my present day view of the world.

You said it bang on...

"Will we ever learn...change...raise our collective consciousness?"

I have been brewing up a blog on this. HUGELY been my area of focus. SO much, as that I am exhausted, and my husband is zoning me out when I speak of it... hahaha!

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CNIANE 11/12/2010 3:47AM

    I'm glad you are posting these articles. Our need for money is fueling our decline environmentally and socially. Corporations don't care about us, they care about the bottom line. It's a very sad commentary on the world today and also an indicator from the past of the decline of a culture. Greed and glut are precursors to failure. Moderation in all is recommended but rarely heeded.



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ONECOOKIETWO 11/10/2010 7:20PM

    This makes me sick.
In so many ways.

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IUHRYTR 11/10/2010 5:40PM

    Before she died, Mom was a member of a class-action settlement against Monsanto in Alabama where it had been shown that the company for years had polluted the soil and water with cancer causing ingredients. But it apparently is a better business decision for companies like this to pay out millions of dollars in lawyer fees and settlement costs and then continue doing what they had been doing. The payout, though, doesn't heal Mom or others who contracted cancer after growing up in that area, playing in the water, using it for crops and bathing, etc. So sad. -- Lou

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LOSETHEWTIN08 11/10/2010 5:14PM

    It hurts me deeply when I read about exploitation of any type.I found one way to wage my own personal war against such companies...I make sure my financial portfolio only has conscientious companies and subsidiaries...its a small gesture but it works for me.

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GOANNA2 11/10/2010 3:48PM

    It's all about money, isn't it?
Shame on them and what do we
do as humans - stupidly the majority
buy Monsanto stuff. Ugh...
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WALKINGANNIE 11/10/2010 2:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

Their actions might well be costing the earth.

I get a feeling of utter impotency to challenge this on the necessary scale and this makes it all the more upsetting, annoying, frustrating and depressing.

We can all make small changes ourselves and influence those who we can influence others with more power.

Thanks for raising awareness.

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MARCHMAID 11/10/2010 2:22PM

    I doubt we will change. Humans are a stupid bunch in general--fully capable of destroying themselves through ignorance as much as greed.

Now that the Supreme Court has sanctified corporations as persons, I may begin to favor the death penalty. : )

My thoughts (via Aldo Leopold author of A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC):
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." And this: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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ERIN4771 11/10/2010 12:58PM

    just a creepy company in general.....i think the scariest part of them is the "world domination" they seem to be going for, the not caring about anything but themselves mentality.....and at the cost of who?

Comment edited on: 11/10/2010 1:00:29 PM

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VEGGIE_POWERED 11/10/2010 12:56PM

    Best way to fight them is to go 100% organic, raise as many of your own vegetables as possible in your garden or window sill, and encourage others to do the same. The only way to defeat a corporate giant of this magnatude is to slowly but surely remove the demand for their product. Take the power back!
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HARISHABAD 11/10/2010 12:38PM

    Corporations' hunger for profit and lack of decency will destroy our planet.

So sad.

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FRANCESCANAZ 11/10/2010 11:39AM

    It saddens my Soul. emoticon

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CONTENTANDFIT 11/10/2010 10:42AM

    My goodness! The sad thing is that neither party has the political interest in the USA to do something about frankenfoods.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/10/2010 9:52AM

    I believe what goes 'round, comes 'round....Monsanto will eventually reap what it has sown and regret the decisions they are currently making.

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MOOKBALL 11/10/2010 9:14AM

    There are some warped business plans out there, sales at any price. When did "making a better produc" get replaced by "a product you can't refuse?" Monsanto and companies like it that monopolize markets need to be found guilty and do some community service, such as providing care for the persons affected by their GM crops and herbicides.

It's enough to make you stop eating!

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DDOORN 11/10/2010 6:38AM

    Truthout and Alternet do a terrific job of reporting such important news as this...!

Thx for forwarding, 'Maha! :-)

Don

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NANABABY5 11/10/2010 6:07AM

    Leaves a sour spot in the stomach. Truly this is about greed in money, and not about the health of any person, or the Earth itself.

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DOR2BFIT 11/9/2010 11:38PM

    They are truly despicable.

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And a little child shall lead them....

Saturday, November 06, 2010



I shared the video of Birke Baehr with various friends yesterday, and decided that it needs a wider audience! Birke is an extraordinary home-schooled child, 11 years old, ranting about what's wrong with our food system on TEDx(*) in Asheville, NC. It's a MUST-WATCH!
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www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2132
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I just found a blog, OUR NATURAL LIFE: Provocative Discussions About Leading A Holistic, Sustainable, and Healthy Life, that featured Birke and how he inspired his own family:
ournaturallife.com/blog/2010/09/birk
e-baehr-inspires-his-family-and-a-move
ment/


I also think this sweet comment from Birke's mom to someone who had criticized him on the YouTube site was worth sharing here:

"As this 11 yr. old's mother I can assure you Birke plays outside more than most kids and he doesn't sit in front a computer 24/7. He also reads more than just about organic foods -- he is quite the historian, knows a lot about geography, sports and other subjects. His 'soul' is quite intact and isn't lost or pitiful. He has a mind of his own and is curious about the world around him and is allowed the freedom to follow his interests. He is also much better at spelling than you are."

(*) BTW, for those of you who are familiar with TED, here's the scoop on TEDx:

Created in the spirit of TED’s mission, "ideas worth spreading," the TEDx program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.
www.ted.com/tedx

(TED: www.ted.com/ )

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOKBALL 11/7/2010 2:13PM

    The message was good but the kid needs to control his hands. I felt nervous just watching him.

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CONTENTANDFIT 11/7/2010 10:24AM

    Can I repost your blog post on the San Antonio Sustainable Living blog (with credit of course)? The video is great and so are your comments.

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DDOORN 11/6/2010 10:00PM

    TED has many, MANY great offerings...and THIS is quite the addition!

Thx so much for the head's up!

Don

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CMRAND54 11/6/2010 7:16PM

    What a great kid. He can inspire us all.

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WALKINGANNIE 11/6/2010 5:16PM

    emoticon He is being educated in the truest sense.

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DOR2BFIT 11/6/2010 4:24PM

    What an amazing boy! emoticon emoticon

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BLUBUTTERFLY4 11/6/2010 3:53PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I really loved this!!! Birke is great!!! I hope that this gets out to other people especially kids. Thank you again. emoticon

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Thank you Mary Oliver...

Friday, November 05, 2010

...for your gift, that keeps on giving!


Square Top Mountain and Green River, Wyoming

FLARE

12.

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Flare_12.htm
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLASALLE 11/8/2010 6:28PM

    Beth's brother, Bill, was very recently turned on to Mary Oliver, just one poem he found somewhere. He was sharing it with me and I said "That sounds like Mary Oliver." But that's the only exposure he had. So as a gift when we went to visit, I bought him one of her books of poetry. He has told me SEVERAL times since the visit how awesome she is and how much he's enjoying the book.

Thank you, my dear friend, for introducing me!

xoxxoxo

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 11/6/2010 8:45PM

    Just what I needed tonight.

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MARCHMAID 11/6/2010 6:24PM

    Reminds me of JB--Archibald MacLeish play about a modern Job--nothing makes sense but "the little green leaves and the wind on the water."

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WOOLANDWOOD 11/6/2010 3:06PM

   
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

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WOOLANDWOOD 11/6/2010 3:03PM

    I love Mary Oliver! (thanks for the welcome back Maha!) I can see her grow on a parallel path to mine; she always speaks to my heart.

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ROBINSNEWNEST 11/6/2010 10:40AM

    ahhhh! "...and untidy in your exuberance"

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Maha, your posts thrill me! Please keep 'em coming...
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Robin

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DDOORN 11/6/2010 12:42AM

    "A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life."

Now isn't THAT the truth!

Many thx for another wonderful share!

Don

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FLUENTFROG 11/5/2010 10:39PM

    Yummmm. What a great picture to go with her ever-wonderful words. Thanks for posting!

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CMRAND54 11/5/2010 10:14PM

    Wonderful poem from a wonderful poet. Thanks for sharing.

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ONECOOKIETWO 11/5/2010 3:34PM

    Mary Oliver is truly one of my favorite poets. It is poetry that restores my soul more than anything. Real poetry. And she is one of the best poets.

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MOOKBALL 11/5/2010 3:06PM

    No one know nature and the soul better than Mary Oliver.

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WALKINGANNIE 11/5/2010 2:50PM

    Thank you for enriching another day with beautiful words and thoughts to relect on.

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KALIGIRL 11/5/2010 2:02PM

    Gorgeous photo and thoughtful poem - we are graced with such awesome beauty and often don't 'see' it because we forget to be 'present'.
Love studying the Stoics and their concept of time and attachments. We could be happy all the time if we could only see...
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SLASALLE 11/5/2010 11:32AM

    For once, somebody I am familiar with (albeit because of you); I was starting to feel very "unread" when it came to poetry.

She's definitely a good one with great words to share!

xoxoxo
Stephanie

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SUCHAHOOT 11/5/2010 11:09AM

    Ever-so-beautiful, MAHA! Thank you!

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Love is a sacred skill

Friday, November 05, 2010


Thomas à Kempis on Mount Saint Agnes, where the monastery he was invested with was located (painting from 1569)
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One that is not prepared to suffer all things, and to stand to the will of the Beloved, is not worthy to be called a lover of God. A lover ought to embrace willingly all that is hard and distasteful, for the sake of the Beloved; and not to turn away for any contrary accidents.
-- Thomas a Kempis
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Love is a sacred skill that we must work to maintain. And learning to bear up under changes in attitude and circumstance with an inner toughness is the best practice for loving. If we do not develop this kind of toughness, our love will not be strong enough to support the weight of close relationships.

One of my quarrels with contemporary civilization is the way it trivializes life. We have very little left that is sacred. In a scientifically advanced era, with the benefit of culture and education, we should grieve to discover that our love barely scratches the surface of life -- no wonder, then, that it fails to nourish us. Loving is already something of a lost art.

When we finally realize we are missing out on something sacred, we may no longer know where to turn. Love is so exquisitely elusive. It cannot be bought, cannot be badgered, cannot be hijacked. It is available only in one rare form: as the natural response of a healthy mind and healthy heart.
-- Eknath Easwaran
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Eknath Easwaran, originally from Kerala, India, came to the USA as a Fulbright Scholar. He founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Tomales Bay, CA. He is a favorite teacher of mine. A Sanskrit scholar, he also earned a Ph.D. in English Literature. He is a gifted writer and translator and I would recommend any of his books:
tinyurl.com/2fdp4ag

I subscribe to Sri Easwaran's daily commentary on a spiritual text, Thought for the Day. www.easwaran.org/Thoughts Today's is just so relevant to the journey of our hearts, our communities, our country, our world, that I feel compelled to share it.

The last paragraph of his commentary so very powerfully sums it up: "When we finally realize we are missing out on something sacred, we may no longer know where to turn. LOVE IS so exquisitely elusive. It cannot be bought, cannot be badgered, cannot be hijacked. It is available only in one rare form: as THE NATURAL RESPONSE OF A HEALTHY MIND AND HEALTHY HEART."

Easwaran comments on a text by Thomas a Kempis, a great Christian mystic, who wrote among other works, The Imitation of Christ, one of the best known Christian books on devotion. His name means "Thomas of Kempen", his home town in Germany. He was born at the Lower Rhine region in 1380 and died in 1471. I highly recommend learning more about this amazing soul:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_%C3%A0_
Kempis



Eknath Easwaran, 1910-1999, teaching what is thought to be the first credit course on meditation offered at a major university in the U.S. at University of California, Berkeley in 1968.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eknath_Easwara
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Easwaran comments on a text by Thomas a Kempis, a great Christian mystic, who wrote among other works, The Imitation of Christ, one of the best known Christian books on devotion. His name means "Thomas of Kempen", his home town in Germany. He was born in the Lower Rhine region in 1380 and died in 1471. I highly recommend learning more about this amazing soul:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_%C3%A0_
Kempis

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVELIGHTENFREE 11/9/2010 12:24PM

    Thank you.

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SLASALLE 11/7/2010 9:11PM

    This is totally perfect as I just came home from an amazing 90-minute Kripalu yoga class (meditation, breathing, deep/long stretching) - the perfect Sunday night thing for me!!!

Such a nice complement to my class. Thank you, my dear!!!

With love,
Stephanie

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MSOASIS 11/5/2010 10:09PM

    Hi Maha, I can't tell what part of this is your commentary, but I agree with the thoughts. emoticon emoticon

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THECITYMOUSE 11/5/2010 8:37AM

    As of right now, my mind and heart are both healthy...and getting better every day.

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What a beautiful soul you are, Maha.

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MEDDYPEDDY 11/5/2010 1:46AM

    Hehe, then I admit that right now my mind and heart is not that healthy... emoticon

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HEARTSTOPPER 11/5/2010 1:39AM

   
Your backround photo is beautiful!

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