Sacred Medicine of Bee, Butterfly, Earthworm, and Spider Shamanic Teachers of the Instar Medicine Wheel By (author) Linda Star Wolf By (author) Anna Cariad-Barrett

Spiritual lessons from insect archetypes of the Medicine Wheel

• Reveals the sacred wisdom inherent in Honeybee’s pollinating, Butterfly’s transformation, Spider’s weaving, and Earthworm’s recycling

• Provides experiential practices, such as Shamanic Breathwork journeys, to connect with insect teachers and harness their consciousness-activating patterns

• Shows how Dragonfly, Cicada, and Cricket connect us with the Great Star Nations, the depths of Mother Earth, and the music of life

• Includes Cricket Chorus meditation CD

Our insect brothers and sisters are some of the most ancient beings and teachers on planet Earth. Their powerful skills of adaptation and their plight, such as the widespread colony collapse facing honeybees, have brought them to the forefront of collective consciousness, as every being on Earth faces a time of incredible transformation. The archetypal energies of these sacred Wisdomkeepers can guide us through this evolutionary time with new pathways of shamanic healing and transformation to realize the highest potential of humanity.

Exploring the insect and arachnid archetypes of the Sacred Instar Medicine Wheel, authors Linda Star Wolf and Anna Cariad-Barrett reveal the consciousness-activating patterns in the pollen flight of Honeybee, the transformative chrysalis of Butterfly, the creative weavings of Spider, and the alchemical recycling of old into new of Earthworm. They show how Dragonfly, Cicada, and Cricket connect us with the Great Star Nations, the depths of Mother Earth, and the music of life, as demonstrated on the accompanying CD. Each chapter includes experiential practices, such as Shamanic Breathwork journeys, to help you embody the strengths of these humble teachers, live within the natural cycles of planet Earth, and discover a higher octave of sacred purpose.

About the Author(s) of Sacred Medicine of Bee, Butterfly, Earthworm, and Spider
Linda Star Wolf, Ph.D., founder and president of Venus Rising University for Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies, is the creator of the Shamanic Breathwork Process and the author of several books, including Visionary Shamanism. She lives at Isis Cove Retreat Center near Asheville, North Carolina.

Anna Cariad-Barrett, D.Min., is a shamanic counselor, environmental education consultant, and faculty member at Venus Rising University. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Click Here To Download pre-publication sample pages in PDF format

Mandi Solk 1 – ‘Self Enquiry – Know Yourself’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Mandi Solk – ‘Self Enquiry – Know Yourself’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Author of ‘The Joy Of No Self’ talks about her complete turn around of her belief that there is nothing you can do to awaken … to “YES” there is something you can do……Mandi found lasting freedom through the method of “Self Enquiry” by Ramana Maharshi.

Mandi Solk 2 – ‘Self Enquiry – Know Yourself’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Mandi Solk 3 – ‘Self Enquiry – Know Yourself’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Mandi Solk 4 – ‘Self Enquiry – Know Yourself’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Mandi Solk 5 – ‘Self Enquiry – Know Yourself’ – Interview by Renate McNay

The Lightness of Body and Being ~ Kutira Decosterd

All the blessings of life – from material wealth to relationships – are dependent upon our health. The body is our point of pleasure, our tangible connection to the outer world, and that which sustains us so that we can enjoy all that life has to offer.

Dare to say “yes” to profound weight loss and ageless living! This book is a key into a new world of long-lasting happiness and a youthful, vibrant, and powerful new you!

I invite you to explore this groundbreaking approach to personal transformation.

>Nurture your body, empower your soul and connect you with your essential self and higher purpose.

>Lose weight effortlessly and cultivate the state of mind that keeps the pounds off permanently – no more yo-yo dieting!

>Prepare healthy, easy menus that you’ll want to share with others.

>Awaken the Eco Soul – through organic ways of sustainable living that remind us we are all onnected.

>With this consciousness, it is easier to achieve optimal health and spiritual wellbeing.

Kutira Décosterd is the founder of the Kahua Hawaiian Institute, established in 1985. She has spent her entire adult life studying the power of body and mind. With her husband Raphael, and internationally renowned composer and musician, she teaches Embodied Spirituality, Sustainability, and Body-Mind-Morphing at their ‘off the grid’ Maui Eco Retreat. Together, they have been changing lives for over 25 years.

Kutira Decosterd on the Lighteness of Body and Being

Kutira Decosterd from her beautiful home at talks to Alan Steinfeld about the way she changed her body with the HCG formula.

This body morphing technology along with diet and exercise is the key to her new book called The Lightness of Body and Being. It is now available on iTunes. In this text she compares this same way of taking care of our bodies to taking care of the planet and morphing our ecological problems with love and kindness. We are here to merge with the Eco soul of the Earth and give her the same attention she needs to morph our civilization into one of peace, hope and prosperity.

Lightness of Body and Being,

Published on Aug 30, 2012
Kutira Decosterd’s Lightness of Body and Being book tour is taking her to Australia, and Bali.

The Cup of Our Life: A Guide for Spiritual Growth ~ Joyce Rupp

From the publisher…

Anyone thirsting for a more intimate and disciplined life of prayer will find a rich wellspring in The Cup of Our Life. In this original and practical book Joyce Rupp shares how the ordinary cups that we use each day can become sacred vessels that connect us with life and draw us ever closer to God. She explores how the cup is a rich symbol of life, with it emptiness and fullness, its brokenness and flaws, and all of its blessings.

This creative guide for individual and group prayer offers six weekly themes based on different images of the cup. The open cup, the chipped cup, the broken cup, the blessing cup … each in turn becomes a teacher in prayer. For each day the author offers a short inviting essay, a wisdom saying, a scripture verse, a brief meditation, questions for journaling, and a suggestion for keeping the theme close to one’s heart throughout the day. The reflective art that accompanies each theme offers yet another inspiration for prayer. The Cup of Our Life can also be used with groups that meet regularly for spiritual growth. Simple, helpful suggestions for group sharing and ritual are provided for each of the six weeks.

The Cup of Our Life will both revitalize and enrich your relationships with the Divine.

Thoughts from the Author…

“…I have found the cup to be a powerful teacher for my inner life. The ordinariness of the cup reminds me that my personal transformation occurs in the common crevices of each day. The cup is an apt image for the inner process of growth. The cup has been a reminder of my spiritual thirst. As I’ve held it, filled it, drunk from it, emptied it and washed it, I’ve learned that it is through my ordinary human experineces that my thirst for God is quenched. In the cup I see life, with its emptiness, fullness, brokenness, flaws, and blessings.

A cup is a container for holding something. Whatever it holds has to eventually be emptied out so that something more can be put into it. I have learned that I cannot always expect my life to by full. There has to be some emptying, some pouring out, if I am to make room for the new. The spiritual journey is like that–a constant process of emptying and filling, of giving and receiving, of accepting and letting go.

“…the main purpose of a cup is to have its contents given away.”

The cup has taught me many valuable lessons for my spiritual growth. I have learned that my life holds stale things that need to be discarded and that sometimes my life feels as wounded as a broken cup. I have learned that I have flaws, chips, and stains, just as any well-used cup may have, but that these markings of a well traveled life need not prevent me from being a valuable gift for others. I have learned that the contents of my life are meant to be constantly given and shared in a generous gesture of compassion, just as the main purpose of a cup is to have its contents given away. I have especially learned gratitude for all those moments when the unexpected has transformed my life into an abundant cup of blessings.
“…The spiritual life is a journey toward becoming whole, a day-to-day movement of continually growing into the person we are meant to be.”

(The) yearning for greater spiritual oneness with God is the foundation of The Cup of Our Life. I hope that this six-week guide, which is centered around the many facets of the cup, will inspire you to grow in your relationship with God and will fill your cup of life to overflowing. – Joyce Rupp

Click here to browse inside.

Click here to view her previous book “The Cosmic Dance – an invitation to experience our oneness”

The Experience of This Moment, Satsang with Nirmala

In this satsang with Nirmala, he invites you to a deeper experience of your true nature.
Nirmala is a nondual spiritual teacher in the Advaita tradition of self inquiry. He offers satsang gatherings across the United States and around the world as a celebration of the possibility, in every moment, of recognizing the limitless love that is our true nature. He also offers Nondual Spiritual Mentoring, or spiritual guidance, in one-on-one satsang sessions either in person or over the phone. He is the author of several books about nonduality, spirituality, enlightenment, and spiritual awakening, including a collection of spiritual poems entitled Gifts with No Giver. More information about mentoring sessions and free downloads of his books are available on his website at


The Wisdom of Compassion: Stories of Remarkable Encounters and Timeless Insights ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Victor Chan.

The Wisdom of Compassion offers rare insights into the Dalai Lama’s life and his efforts to translate compassion into action through deeply engaging, behind-the-scene stories about his interactions with remarkable people from all walks of life.

This is the Dalai Lama at his most human, and most humane. We see how he approaches the world with playfulness, optimism, and a profound empathy for the suffering of others. Through his own conduct, he shows us the tangible benefits of practicing kindness, forgiveness and compassion. And he demonstrates that opening our hearts and minds to others is the surest path to true happiness.

The Wisdom of Compassion
is an intensely personal portrait of the Dalai Lama. It recounts the story of his friendship with a blind Irishman, how they first met and how in later meetings the Dalai Lama comes to call him his one and only hero. It explores the Dalai Lama’s collaboration with a neuroscientist and how it results in significant discoveries about the human brain. It also brings to life poignant accounts of his uncommon encounters with a little beggar girl, a disabled boy in a critical care ward, a man who trains grandmothers to become solar engineers, and many others.

The Dalai Lama’s wisdom principles revolve around the practical application of compassion. Enhanced by his seven decades of practice and elucidated through captivating anecdotes of his own experiences, they will help readers lead more fulfilling lives. As the Dalai Lama has written many years ago: if you want others to be happy, practice compassion; if you want yourself to be happy, practice compassion.

About the Author
Tenzin Gyatso
, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. His tireless efforts on behalf of human rights and world peace have brought him international recognition. He is the recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Congressional Human Rights Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2006, His Holiness was recognized with Honorary Citizenship by the Governor General of Canada.

Victor Chan is the author of the Tibet Handbook: A Pilgrimage Guide. Together with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he co-authored The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys (Riverhead, 2004). In 2005 he founded the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education in Vancouver with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Click here to browse inside

Victor Chan

Adapted from THE WISDOM OF COMPASSION: Stories of Remarkable Encoutners and Timeless Insights by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Victor Chan

The Dalai Lama affects people in different ways. Many go to see him because they are curious, drawn to him because he is a global celebrity. Or they expect that his teachings can help them lead a more fulfilling life.

Some people react to the Dalai Lama in less favorable ways. In a washroom in a synagogue on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, I overheard two businessmen exchanging notes about a talk given by the Dalai Lama that they had just heard. They were dismissive. They thought that the talk was simplistic; it didn’t meet their expectations. On another occasion, the Dalai Lama gave a one-day Buddhist teaching in Oslo. I came into the auditorium ten minutes late and saw a couple storming out and demanding their money back.

But I have also met many who were moved to tears by his sheer presence. A few have felt intense joy after they managed to shake his hand as he walked past. Others were surprised by the little nuggets of insight that hit home with unexpected force.

In 2000, I accompanied the Dalai Lama to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he first met Richard Moore, the man he called his hero.He gave a speech to a large crowd of Catholics and Protestants, two Christian communities who have been in a state of conflict for many years. He said to them, “When human emotions come out of control, then the best part of the brain where we make judgments cannot function properly. Try to minimize violence, not by force but by awareness and respect. Through dialogue, taking others’ interests and then sharing one’s own, there’s a way to solve the problems.”

The Dalai Lama then asked the crowd, “Is this useful? If useful, please remember, and eventually implement. If you feel this too idealistic, not practical, then you forget. No problem.”

I thought that was a realistic conclusion to his talk. The Dalai Lama had no illusions that his speech could easily resolve the intractable, generations-old conflict. But he understands that his ability to bring people together, to inspire them to persevere, is a valuable attribute. To bring two communities that have been at war for decades together under one roof, to have a Protestant minister and a Catholic priest standing side by side next to him, was in itself significant.

The wisdom of the Dalai Lama is honed from seven decades of daily spiritual practice and prolonged retreats. He is trained to look at all ideas, including Buddhist teachings, as something offered up for reflection rather than carved in stone. And he is encouraged to retain what is useful and discard what he feels is at odds with reason or experience.

The Dalai Lama’s main message is that our goal in life is to be happy. And he says that the path to happiness is through practicing compassion. He says, “All the people, even if they are hostile, are living beings like me who fear suffering and want happiness. They have every right not to suffer, and to achieve happiness. That thought makes us feel deep concern for the well-being of all others. It is the basis of genuine compassion.”

But “compassion,” like “peace,” has become something of a cliché, and many pay lip service to it. Some of its potency and resonance has been lost. This book will focus on the essential nature of compassion, and, at the very least, its power to remind us to do the right thing. The Dalai Lama infuses every moment of his life with compassion, and it is the core message that he wants to convey to the world.

The Dalai Lama’s words point the way to living a happier and more meaningful life. Much of what he says is simple, everyday good sense. Adult or child, educated or illiterate, rich or poor— he asks us all to deepen our compassion as a means to genuine well-being. By his example he shows us how to improve our peace of mind, and he hopes that we translate compassion into tangible action.

Compassion and Civic Responsibility — the Dalai Lama at the University of Washington

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks on compassion and civic responsibility at the University of Washington in Seattle on April 14th, 2008. After his address, His Holiness took questions from the audience. As part of the event, the University of Washington conferred upon the His Holiness the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. (

Video courtesy of the University of Washington.

Deepak Chopra on Channeling and Cosmic Consciousness with Alan Steinfeld and New Realities

Deepak interviewed by Alan Steinfeld as one of the special doorways to the new consciousness… and his way of tuning into the great universal consciousness. Part of a longer interview about his latest book: Muhammad: The Story of the Last Prophet.

Click here to view more on Deepak Chopra’s book on Prophet Muhammad.

Who Am I? – (Nan Yar?) : The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Who Am I? – (Nan Yar?)

As all living beings desire to be happy always, without misery, as in the case of everyone there is observed supreme love for one’s self, and as happiness alone is the cause for love, in order to gain that happiness which is one’s nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep where there is no mind, one should know one’s self. For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form “Who am I?”, is the principal means.

1 . Who am I ?

The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus),

I am not: the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste,
and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and

I am not; the five cognitive sense-organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying,

I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc.,

I am not; even the mind which thinks,

I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects,
and in which there are no objects and no functionings, I am not.

2. If I am none of these, then who am I?

After negating all of the above-mentioned as ‘not this’, ‘not this’, that Awareness which alone remains – that I am.

3. What is the nature of Awareness?

The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss

4. When will the realization of the Self be gained?

When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self which is the seer.

5. Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken as real)?

There will not be.

6. Why?

The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substrate will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substrate will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed.

7. When will the world which is the object seen be removed?

When the mind, which is the cause of all cognition’s and of all actions, becomes quiescent, the world will disappear.

8. What is the nature of the mind?

What is called ‘mind’ is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva).

9. What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?

That which rises as ‘I’ in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought ‘I’ rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind’s origin. Even if one thinks constantly ‘I’ ‘I’, one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the ‘I’ thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.

10. How will the mind become quiescent?

By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’. The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.
11. What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought ‘Who am I?’

When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: ‘To whom do they arise?’ It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, “To whom has this thought arisen?”. The answer that would emerge would be “To me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?”, the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called “inwardness” (antar-mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as “externalisation” (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the ‘I’ which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity “I”. If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).

12. Are there no other means for making the mind quiescent?

Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought “I” is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa). Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.

Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.

13. The residual impressions (thoughts) of objects appear wending like the waves of an ocean. When will all of them get destroyed?

As the meditation on the Self rises higher and higher, the thoughts will get destroyed.

14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?

Without yielding to the doubt “Is it possible, or not?”, one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep “O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?”; one should completely renounce the thought “I am a sinner”; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds – one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds – auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.

The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one’s self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one’s self arises all arises; when one’s self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.

15. How long should inquiry be practised?

As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry “Who am I?” is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.

16. What is the nature of the Self?

What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no “I” thought. That is called “Silence”. The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is “I”; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self.

17. Is not everything the work of God?

Without desire, resolve, or effort, the sun rises; and in its mere presence, the sun-stone emits fire, the lotus blooms, water evaporates; people perform their various functions and then rest. Just as in the presence of the magnet the needle moves, it is by virtue of the mere presence of God that the souls governed by the three (cosmic) functions or the fivefold divine activity perform their actions and then rest, in accordance with their respective karmas. God has no resolve; no karma attaches itself to Him. That is like worldly actions not affecting the sun, or like the merits and demerits of the other four elements not affecting all pervading space.

18. Of the devotees, who is the greatest?

He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one’s self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?

19. What is non-attachment?

As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.

20. Is it not possible for God and the Guru to effect the release of a soul?

God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. In truth, God and the Guru are not different. Just as the prey which has fallen into the jaws of a tiger has no escape, so those who have come within the ambit of the Guru’s gracious look will be saved by the Guru and will not get lost; yet, each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one’s own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else’s. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?

21. Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?

Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.

22. Is there no difference between waking and dream?

Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously.

23. Is it any use reading books for those who long for release?

All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one’s Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one’s Self with one’s own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them. Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.

24. What is happiness?

Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep, samadhi and fainting, and when the object desired is obtained or the object disliked is removed, the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.

25. What is wisdom-insight (jnana-drsti)?

Remaining quiet is what is called wisdom-insight. To remain quiet is to resolve the mind in the Self. Telepathy, knowing past, present and future happenings and clairvoyance do not constitute wisdom-insight.

26. What is the relation between desirelessness and wisdom?

Desirelessness is wisdom. The two are not different; they are the same. Desirelessness is refraining from turning the mind towards any object. Wisdom means the appearance of no object. In other words, not seeking what is other than the Self is detachment or desirelessness; not leaving the Self is wisdom.

27. What is the difference between inquiry and meditation?

Inquiry consists in retaining the mind in the Self. Meditation consists in thinking that one’s self is Brahman, existence-consciousness-bliss.

28. What is release?

Inquiring into the nature of one’s self that is in bondage, and realising one’s true nature is release.

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