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Transforming Problems: Self-Healing Visualization

There is a visualization technique that is used to positively recreate situations that are presently causing you pain, tension or distress. It is very effective in helping you to identify the inner cause of problems or illness, as well as your reactions to challenging situations in your life. You can also use this self-healing to transform areas in your body where you are experiencing discomfort or disease.

Healing the Cause of Problems

What we are using in this technique is the power of the mind. The mind is where the fundamental cause of all these problems lies. Other conditional causes include diet, genetics, environment, etc. In addition, since the mind and the body are linked, what happens in the mind affects the body. By using imagery or metaphors to “describe” how our body responds, we can access deeper or hidden experiences or images that are closer to the root of the problem, and then quickly change them. Since the body and mind are so connected, when we change the image or the metaphor in our mind, our emotions and body begin to respond to the new image. I have witnessed people who have experienced a complete healing of illnesses, a change of perspective, forgiveness and a very profound understanding when using this approach. After 15 years of doing this with thousands of people, I have never found anyone who was not able to use this method in an honest but graceful way. Since it is people’s own wisdom that accesses the image, they are able to readily integrate the transformed image. When you use this technique, it is your inner knowledge, rather than someone outside of you, that shows you what you can do.

This exercise can be done with or without drawing, at any time, but it is a good idea to do it with drawing whenever you can, because that helps you to integrate the transformation that is taking place, and to measure it symbolically. Once you became familiar with it, you can use the exercise very quickly and whenever you are challenged. While the method described below describes a relaxation as preparation, it is also possible to do the exercise in the heat of things, taking a few breaths first. However, on this occasion, let’s do the full relaxation, which is healing in itself.



Find a quiet place tosit down and relax – on a cushion, a chair or the floor. Lying down or sitting, breathe into your throat, into your chest, so that you feel the air coming in through your throat and down into your chest. Breathe 5 times deeply in this way.

Allow any tension or worries to float away or imagine breathing them out.

Alternatively, breath into each part of your body, breathing in, holding your breath a moment while you tense the muscles in that area, then breathing out and relaxing. Start with the muscles in your head and jaw and finish with your legs and feet.

Now that you are relaxed, let’s move to the main part of the exercise. You will need 2 sheets of paper and some color pencils or crayons.



  1. Recognize that there is a situation that you feel threatened or disturbed by, or there is physical or emotional discomfort or pain that you are experiencing. You can also focus on an area of illness.
  2. Acknowledge: Sit in a relaxed position and focus on your breath. Let your focus move into your body and scan your body looking for a point of tension, pain, heat or discomfort, just allowing your intuition to direct you to an area that is most appropriate. This may be the area in your body where you feel the discomfort that results from a situation in your life, or an area of illness. Just ask where this pain or discomfort is sitting in your body. If there is more than one place, just ask where to focus first, and trust your intuitive answer.
  3. Ask: Once you focus on that area, ask it to show itself to you allowing this to present itself to your mind as a symbol, color, feelings, sounds or words. Ask the following questions and let it show you more detail.
  • Is that area of feeling close to the surface or deep inside?
  • What size is it? How much area in there does it cover?
  • Is it flat or three-dimensional? What shape is it?
  • What color is it? Light or dark? Specific colors?
  • Is it solid or transparent, spongy or liquid? What is its density? If it were made of something, what would it be?
  • If it had its own mind or feelings, what is it feeling – anger, sadness, fear, etc.?
  • How old it is – young, old, or ancient?
  • It most likely had a job to do that helped when it was first put there. If it did, what has its “job” been? How may it have benefitted you in the past? Do you still need it in the form it is presently taking?

Taking whatever time you need, draw or document your image, and write key words for what it feels like.

  1. Check and see if you and that area are willing to let it change or transform in a way that benefits both it and you. You only need to be a little willing for this to happen. If you’re not, let that be OK. Know that this isn’t the right time, and you may be ready later. Just recognizing and being aware of it will begin to change process. Be gentle with yourself.
  2. Ask for help from your Spiritual Source of Omniscient Wisdom, Love and Compassion or that part of you which is connected with a power greater than yourself. It could simply be your Inner Wisdom. Let it come in whatever way is appropriate. Don’t limit it. Simply ask for help, relax, and begin to observe it like a video. All you need to do is allow the image to change in shape, feeling, form or color. Notice if anything comes into this inner picture, if it changes color, etc. You don’t have to do anything except listen, and watch for change, for words, whatever comes. You may simply begin to feel differently. Stay open and take the next few minutes to let it happen. If at any time you feel stuck, ask for help again and let go.

When you are ready, draw or document this new image and write a few key words for how it now feels.

  1. Compare the first and second drawings or images. Notice the changes. Does the second feel more comfortable or less comfortable? Does the second image feel partially or completely healed? If you feel there is more to heal, then repeat this exercise once more in a week to allow the next level of healing to take place. (See Results below for more explanation)
  2. Optional forgiveness step: Use this when your second image indicates complete healing. Imagine giving a duplicate of this new symbol to the person, people or situation that you initially believed was part of the cause of your problem. With your imagination, simply notice the response of the person or people receiving it, and whatever that shows you. Do not despair if they do not seem to receive it. The most important thing here is that you offer it.
  3. Thank the old symbol and your Spiritual Source for serving and helping you until now.
  4. Decide whether you can literally bring this new symbol into your everyday life for a couple of weeks to subconsciously remind you and to replace the gap that the departure of the symbol has left. You can use this new symbol to induce and integrate a new response or wellness. This can be done by putting the drawing on the wall or obtaining the symbol in some way.
  5. Trust that your mind has done its work, that all is well, and that your body will begin to physically dispel this feeling naturally, if it hasn’t done so already. Trust and give yourself permission to release or detoxify in whichever way is most natural for you. (This could be through tears, sweating, sinuses, bowels or bladder over several days to a week. Be aware that you may feel a sense of grieving and/or celebrating a new freedom. Drink lots of water.)
  6. Optional: Share your experience only with someone who can support you.
  7. You can repeat this exercise again and again to continue the transformative process.



There are many different ways you can experience this. All are valid and there is no wrong way to do this. Trust your experience.

Here are some possibilities:

  • At any time during this process the first image or feeling changes and becomes a more positive or healed image or feeling.
  • The first image changes, and the second (new) image is less comfortable, perhaps even stronger and more painful than the original image. This means you have accessed something perhaps more true to the cause of the problem, more honest. For example, the second image may be very angry or outraged, whereas the first image was one of slight frustration. Simply repeat the exercise with the second image and feeling as the starting point, and you will probably experience a major shift.
  • There is resistance to letting the first image change. This is common. Instead of feeling frustrated, or thinking that the exercise isn’t working, shift your focus to the resistance and where that feeling seems to be in your body. Transform that area first, and then recheck the initial area. It may have changed already, or you can focus on that area the next time.
  • Instead of an image or feeling that changes to another, you may find yourself in a new situation, or experience it as a journey from the first to the second, like watching a video. The important thing is to trust whatever you experience.
  • You can also use this exercise to focus on a strong or positive quality or situation you have and enhance it. This is great and strengthens the healthy areas you have in your body, or positive attributes and confidence.

You need to gauge whether a problem is something you can handle. If this does not begin to transform your experience of a physical disturbance or pain, seek professional medical or psychological help. Don’t take the risk – use emergency numbers if required!



Allow yourself up to two weeks for this to integrate. When you store these things in your body, then change them, it is like removing one file from your ‘database’ or mental continuum, and then replacing it with another. This has been done on a spiritual/mental level, and will then move through your emotional level, then your physical level. That may mean you will feel up and down, light then sad, or you may even grieve. This is because, although the old situation was uncomfortable, it was more familiar than this new one. Since the old situation was toxic in your body, it may need to move out physically, looking for any orifice or opening that will allow it to do that. This could be crying, sinuses discharging, sweating, elimination though urine, or even diarrhea. Don’t worry – this is a good thing! Just let it out. Allow it to happen.

It is a good idea to throw out or file the first image you drew or wrote about. Let the second image reinforce the change. Become familiar with it, and it will continue to work subconsciously. Put it on the wall somewhere where you can see it regularly. Another alternative is to select some aspect of the symbol, or the symbol itself, and see if you can literally bring that into your life somehow.

You can do this technique every week, especially if you feel the final image is not a complete healing image and needs a few more steps to feel completely whole or good. You can do it “formally”, the way you have just done it now, or “informally” whenever you are faced with an adverse reaction in everyday life. With practice, it can take the same amount of time to transform this as a trip to the washroom, or a coffee break at work.

As you may have experienced, this technique can be very powerful, and very easy to do. Even children, who are usually quick visualizers and differently abled people can use it.


For more information, please visit www.lamponthepath.org.

What I Would Say to Osama Bin Laden

Interview of Thich Nhat Hanh. (Friends call him “Thay”)

Anne Simpkinson

He is a Zen Buddhist Monk who worked tireless for Peace in Vietnam and helped rebuild destroyed villages. He is internationally known for his teaching and writing on mindfulness. He shares his thoughts on responding to the terrorist attacks. Here are some excerpts from this interview:

Question: If you could speak to Osama bin Laden, what would you say to him? Likewise, if you were to speak to the American people, what would you suggest we do at this point, individually and as a nation?

Answer: If I were given the opportunity to be face to face with Osama bin Laden, the first thing I would do is listen. I would try to understand why he had acted in that cruel way. I would try to understand all of the suffering that had led him to violence. It might not be easy to listen in that way, so I would have to remain calm and lucid. I would need several friends with me, who are strong in the practice of deep listening, listening without reacting, without judging and blaming. In this way, an atmosphere of support would be created for this person and those connected so that they could share completely, trust that they are really being heard.

After listening for some time, we might need to take a break to allow what has been said to enter into our consciousness. Only when we felt calm and lucid would we respond. We would respond point by point to what has been said. We would respond gently but firmly in such a way to help them to discover their own misunderstandings so that they will stop violent acts from their own will.

For the American people, I would suggest that we do everything we can to restore our calm and our lucidity before responding to the situation. To respond too quickly before we have much understanding of the situation may be very dangerous.

The first thing we can do is to cool the flames of anger and hatred that are so strong in us. As mentioned before, it is crucial to look at the way we feed the hatred and violence within us and to take immediate steps to cut off the nourishment for our hatred and violence.

When we react out of fear and hatred, we do not yet have a deep understanding of the situation. Our action will only be a very quick and superficial way of responding to the situation and not much true benefit and healing will occur. Yet if we wait and follow the process of calming our anger, looking deeply into the situation, and listening with great will to understand the roots of suffering that are the cause of the violent actions, only then will we have sufficient insight to respond in such a way that healing, and reconciliation can be realized for everyone involved. In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has made attempts to realize this. All the parties involved in violence and injustice agreed to listen to each other in a calm and supportive environment, to look together deeply at the roots of violent acts and to find agreeable arrangements to respond to the situations. The presence of strong spiritual leaders is very helpful to support and maintain such an environment. We can look at this model for resolving conflicts that are arising right in the present moment; we do not have to wait many years to realize this.

America is burning with hatred. That is why we have to tell our Christian friends, “You are children of Christ. You have to return to yourselves and look deeply and find out why this violence happened.”

Why is there so much hatred? What lies under all this violence? Why do they hate so much that they would sacrifice their own lives and bring about so much suffering to other people? Why would these young people, full of vitality and strength, have chosen to lose their lives, to commit such violence? That is what we have to understand.

We have to find a way to stop violence, of course. If need be, we have to put the men responsible in prison. But the important thing is to look deeply and ask, “Why did that happen? What responsibility do we have in that happening?”


Question: In your new book, “Anger”, you give an example of “compassionate listening” as a tool to heal families. Can that tool be used at a national level, and if so, how would that work?

Answer: This past summer a group of Palestinians and Israelis came to Plum Village, the Practice Center where I live in southern France, to learn and practice the arts of deep listening and loving speech. (Around 1600 people come to Plum Village each summer from over a dozen countries to learn how to bring peace and understanding to their daily lives.) The group of Palestinians and Israelis participated in the daily schedule of walking meditation, sitting meditation, and silent meals, and they also received training on how to listen and speak to each other in such a way that more understanding and peace could be possible between them as individuals and as nations. With the guidance and support of the monks and nuns, they sat down and listened to each other. When one person spoke, no one interrupted. Everyone practiced mindfulness of their breathing and listening in such a way that the other person felt heard and understood.

When people spoke, they refrained from using words of blame, hatred, and condemnation. They spoke in an atmosphere of trust and respect. Out of these dialogues the participating Palestinians and Israelis were very moved to realize that both sides suffer from fear. They appreciated the practice of deep listening and made arrangements to share what they had learned with others upon returning to their home countries.

We recommended that the Palestinians and Israeli talk about their suffering, fears, and despair in a public forum that all the world could hear. We could all listen without judging, without condemning in order to understanding the experience of both sides. This would prepare the ground of understanding for peace talks to occur.

At the end of the two weeks practice, they gave us a wonderful, wonderful report. One lady said, “Thay, this is the first time in my life that I see that peace in the Middle East is possible.” Another young person said, “Thay, when I first arrived in Plum Village, I did not believe that Plum Village was something real because in the situation of my country, you live in constant fear and anger. When your children get onto the bus, you are not sure that they will be coming home. When you go to the market, you are not sure that you will survive to go home to your family. When you come to Plum Village, you see people looking at each other with loving kindness, talking with others kindly, walking peacefully, and doing everything mindfully. We did not believe that it was possible. It did not look real to me.”

But in the peaceful setting of Plum Village, they were able to be together, to live together, and to listen to each other, and finally understanding came. They promised that when they returned to the Middle East, they would continue the practice. They will organize a day of practice every week at the local level and a day of mindfulness at the national level. And they plan to come to Plum Village as a bigger group to continue the practice.

The same situation now exists between the American people and people of Islamic and Arabic nations. There is much misunderstanding and lack of the kind of communication that hinders our ability to resolve our difficulties peacefully.

I think that if nations like America can organize that kind of setting where people can come together and spend their time practicing peace, then they will be able to calm down their feelings, their fears, and peaceful negotiation will be much easier.


Question: Is it realistic to think people can feel true compassion now?

Answer: Without understanding, compassion is impossible. When you understand the suffering of others, you do not have to force yourself to feel compassion, the door of your heart will just naturally open. All of the hijackers were so young and yet they sacrificed their lives for what? Why did they do that? What kind of deep suffering is there? It will require deep listening and deep looking to understand that.

We can begin right now to practice calming our anger, looking deeply at the roots of the hatred and violence in our society and in our world, and listening with compassion in order to hear and understand what we have not yet had the capacity to hear and to understand. When the drop of compassion begins from in our hearts and minds, we begin to develop concrete responses to our situation. When we have listened and looked deeply, we may begin to develop the energy of brotherhood and sisterhood between all nations, which is the deepest spiritual heritage of all religious and cultural traditions. In this way the peace and understanding within the whole world is increased day by day.

To develop the drop of compassion in our own heart is the only effective spiritual response to hatred and violence. That drop of compassion will be the result of calming our anger, looking deeply at the roots of our violence, deep listening, and understanding the suffering of everyone involved in the acts of hatred and violence.

The Way of Peace

Peace Pilgrim

THIS IS THE WAY OF PEACE: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.

It is hard for people to understand that all war is bad and self-defeating. People in their immaturity attempt to overcome evil with more evil, and that multiplies the evil. Only good can overcome evil.

My simple peace message is adequate – really just the message that the way of peace is the way of love. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things. One in harmony with God’s law of love has more strength than an army, for one need not subdue an adversary; an adversary can be transformed.

One day as I was walking along the highway, I began to sing peace words to a familiar tune which I believe sums up the present world situation in a nutshell:

The world is feverishly working to build the things of war,

The world is preparing destruction of a kind unknown before.

I hear much cursing of enemies, and arguments increase,

But, oh, the world is longing, is yearning,

Is praying for peace – for peace!

The nuclear bomb says to us: “Make peace or perish!” We recognise that we can no longer think in terms of military victory, that a nuclear war would mean mutual annihilation. Many face this critical situation with apathy, some with frustration, but only a few face it constructively.

There is such a great need for constructive peace action. We live at a crisis period in human affairs, and those of us who are living today face a very momentous decision: A choice between nuclear war of annihilation and a golden age of peace. All who are living today will help to make this choice, for the tide of world affairs now drifts in the direction of war and destruction. So, all who do nothing in this crisis situation are choosing to let it drift. Those who wish to choose peace must act meaningfully for peace. And become a part of the stirring and awakening which has begun and is accelerating. And help to accelerate it sufficiently to turn the tide. In this crisis situation peace is certainly everybody’s business! The time to work for peace is now.

Ultimate peace begins within; when we find peace within there will be no more conflict, no more occasion for war. If this is the peace you seek, purify your body by sensible living habits, purify your mind by expelling all negative thoughts, purify your motives by casting out any ideas of greed or self-striving and by seeking to serve your fellow human beings, purify your desires by eliminating all wishes for material possessions or self-glorification and by desiring to know and do God’s will for you. Inspire others to do likewise.

Some will prefer to work on an interim peace – a setting up of mechanisms to resolve conflicts in the world where conflicts still exist – so that although there may still be psychological violence there will no longer be physical violence. If this is the peace you seek, work on a world scale for world disarmament and reconstruction, for a world government which will include all people, for world thinking: place the welfare of the human family above the welfare of any nation. Work on a national scale for changing the function of the so-called Defence Department from destruction to construction. So much constructive work is needed among the less fortunate peoples in the world, and for the adjustment for our economy to a peacetime situation. Lots of problems to solve here. Get others to work with you.

We can work on inner peace and world peace at the same time. On one hand, people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centred life into the life centred in the good of the whole. On the other hand, one of the ways of working for world peace is to work for more inner peace, because world peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it.

Transcending The Gates of DEATH

Robin Pan

Since the Industrial Revolution, society has rapidly adopted a materialistic perspective. This has also led to gross misunderstanding of spirituality and religion. For example, many people think that Christianity promises heaven after death for those who believe in God. Some people do not even consider the importance of doing virtuous deeds while alive. This is a big mistake.

Dr. Rudolf Steiner has written several books and spoken many times on the commonality among different religions. He holds the view that all religions are similar in terms of their practices and objectives; however, because of differences in time, location, and audience, the practices promulgated have been difference. Dr. Steiner believes that the desire to surpass oneself is a good start-subsequent continuation with spiritual practice will allow one to experience and see the spiritual world. After that? This may surprise you, but Dr. Steiner also discusses the method of “overcoming life and death”, which has the objective of enabling people to serve and sacrifice for all others, just as Jesus did.

In the book “Knowledge of the higher world and its attainment”, Dr. Steiner points out humans has the natural ability to see the spiritual world. According to ancient mystics, what they document about the spiritual world are as real as what we see in this physical world with our eyes. Training based on the method proposed by these high-ability mystics is called occult training, and the method is called occult teaching or spiritual science.

Some people may think that if occult teaching is so important, it should not be made a secret. In actual fact, it is like learning to write. Those who have not learned how to write do not know how. However, with the correct method, they can learn how to do so. In fact, those who have learned the method can even be teachers. Furthermore, you do not need to specially look for a teacher. As the Taoists say, it is not the disciple who seeks the teacher; rather, it is the teacher who seeks the disciple. Spiritual initiates agree on three principles: (a) not to withhold the teachings to those who deserve to be taught, (b) not to teach those who do not deserve to be taught, and (c) not to control the will of others.Dr. Steiner says that it was easy to engage in spiritual training in the past because the spiritual temples or abodes were observable to the naked eye. However, these are not observable these days as the modern society is less spiritual. However, these spiritual temples are everywhere, and those who are willing to find them can do so.



The first prerequisite prior to training is that you must have a special trait embedded deep in your soul or true nature. If you don’t, you will need to put in the effort to develop it. This special trait is the respectful mind, that is, the mind that respects and seeks the true method. It is a blessing to have this trait and is particularly rare among children. If we do not have the attitude that “there are beings or things that are superior to us and deserve our respect”, we will not have the strength to elevate ourselves to higher levels of spiritual practice. Hence, we can say that “to climb the spiritual stairway, we need to go through the door of humility”. Only through respect will you get the true teaching.

Dr. Steiner points out that the respectful mind is particularly important in the modern era because modern culture is characterized by criticism and blame of others, not respect for and service to others. Every criticism you levy against others weakens your spirituality; in contrast, a respectful attitude enhances your spirituality. Spiritual practice was easier in the past when life was simpler because ordinary things in life would engender the positive energies of praise and respect. These positive energies have been substituted by negative energies in the highly materialistic world, and spiritual practice is now made more difficult; hence, we need to practice harder to improve ourselves. This positive attitude does not come from research and listening, but from actual practice in our daily lives, from continuous internal reflection, and from generation of an aspiration to serve others. If I keep criticizing others, I am weakening my practice; if I praise his virtues, I am accumulating energies for my practice. Only spiritual practitioners will know the great importance of avoiding evil and promoting the virtuous.

Besides externally observing this “precept” of not criticizing others, it is important to thoroughly transform our internal mindset to serve and not criticize others. This will open our spiritual eyes, and we will find that the people, events, and things that we encounter are no longer the same, and that our experiences have a new meaning. We may look the same, but our minds have changed. Just as sunlight will bring life to living things, respect and the calling to serve others can lead us to have a new lease of life in terms of how we view others.

In the beginning, it may be hard to believe how these attitudes have anything to do with the power of our spiritual sensitivity. This disbelief stems from our thinking that spiritual sensitivity and our souls have nothing in common. Note that the soul needs feelings just like the body needs food. The feelings of respect and serving others are food for our souls, particularly our spiritual sensitivity. In contrast, disrespect, loathe, and underrating others are feelings that hurt our spiritual sensitivity. People who have opened their spiritual eyes can sense all these from a person’s aura. Respect can also awaken one’s compassion within the soul and attract positive energies around us. Thus, respect is very important.

At this time, we can engage in another practice to enhance the strength that arises from respect. This practice involves not being distracted by stray thoughts and events around us and requires that we turn our focus inwards to discover the spiritual life-force within us. The outside world may be filled with pristine brightness, but we have to experience the spiritual holiness within us before we discover the holiness outside.

We need to set aside some quiet time every day to be with ourselves and re-experience what has gone by during the day. Over time, we will discover that it is almost like experiencing a brand-new external world. We will feel joy, but do not be fixated on it; just realize the message in these experiences. Otherwise, we will increase our attachments and violate the objectives we set out to achieve. Understand that our practice is not for ourselves. The transmission of occult teaching has a basic principle – “For all practices, if the purpose is for one’s own benefit, then one has strayed from the correct path.” If the purpose of the practice is for the universe and to purify human nature, then one has progressed.



In terms of formal practice, seek to achieve calmness and quiet internally. Quieten down, and while in this state of quietude, contemplate on what is non-moving and essential (termed the “owner”), and what is constantly moving and non-essential (termed “temporary defilements”).

You must be sincere and strict in carrying out this practice. Set aside some time every day to reflect on the joy and sorrow encountered during the day. Contemplate on what you cared about, experienced, did, and felt-re-assess everything again from a third person’s perspective. For example, something very unfortunate happened to me today. If it happened to my neighbor, how would I feel? Would I be uncaring, or would I rejoice in his misfortune? In other words, we should be objective, face our true nature (free of any pretenses), and assess ourselves. If we attained a real quietude, the “owner” and “temporary defilements” will be separated! Before we reach this stage, we have to sincerely preserve on this practice. Those who preserve to the end will open their spiritual eyes and see a brand-new world.

Those who practice this method will discover that the power of concentration enables them to be stronger, and not to be perturbed and influenced by things around them. They are no longer angry at things that would have angered them in the past. Nor are they frightened by things they had feared in the past. They gradually develop the ability to determine the impact that external things have on themselves. For example, while they would have been hurt in the past when scolded by others, they can be immune from it due to their power of concentration. In the past, they would have been very impatient in a long queue; now, they take their time to observe their minds. The space within which we grow comes from the quiet in our minds. Understand that we will not grow if we are influenced by external events-under such circumstances, we are not the owners of our reactions as we are controlled by external events. If external events determine whether I am angry, I have not found my true “owner”,

After reflecting on ourselves, we need to surpass ourselves and put our aspirations on advanced spiritual attainment. In this way, we will gradually have internal realizations and understand that we belong to an advanced spiritual world. We will then shift our lives’ focus to this internal true nature. The spiritual practitioners can hear their own inner voices while they are in concentration. They can now transcend what goes on in their daily lives – everything has quietened down, the external world is quiet, and they enter into a world of pure thoughts.

At this time, learn how to experience this world of thoughts. Be blissful at this focus on the spiritual nature. Experience how this world of pure thoughts is even more real than the external world. The thoughts being observed are more real than the material things around us. During this stage, we will discover that our thoughts seem to have images and sounds. In the past, our ears are the only organs that hear. Now, the sounds float into our spiritual worlds, and we discover a new internal language. Students who experience this stage will have a great sense of joy. As a result, a radiance coming from within will shine forth on the external world, and a brand new life begins within each of them.

This new life is termed meditation and is the tool that allows one to surpass our sense organs and mundane knowledge. At this point in time, confused students who are attached to this sense of joy will be unable to realize the true spiritual knowledge. The student has to maintain a sense of clarity to move on. If problems are encountered at this stage, read existing literature related to meditation, or consult an experienced meditation master. Be observant of all that happens at this time; the point is not to lose connection with the practical world. In fact, the student will realize that everything that he does has its meaning and involves a lesson to be learned. The student now understands that the purpose of all his sufferings and exhaustion in the past is so that he can learn, and that they have a bigger meaning associated with the universe and spiritual nature. Hence, meditation allows him to be strong and not be festered by feelings of suffering and exhaustion. Meditation also allows his indestructible true nature (that is unrestricted by death) to surface.

Hence, meditation is the only key to spiritual knowledge. However, further practice is necessary. Spiritual science teaches the following three methods:

  • Preparation: Opening the spiritual senses,
  • Enlightenment: Igniting the spiritual light, and
  • Initiation: Connecting with the higher spiritual world.

Recomposing The Melody of Life – Fasting and Realization

Robin Pan

Most people associate fasting with hunger, drinking only water and being weak. As a result, they are not interested. Then 55 ½-year-old Dennis Paulsen, with his 30 years of experience in teaching the art of fasting as a way to keep fit; may be able to change this perception. Dennis has clients all over the world.

According to Dennis, fasting has the following advantages:

  1. Slimming

Fasting naturally has the effect of depleting the body of excessive fat.

  1. Detoxification (as a form of therapy)

Fasting is the most effective detoxifying method. Other methods such as acupuncture, acupressure and the use of herbs, are not able to remove toxins that are deeply buried in the organs and fat cells; only fasting can achieve this. The body is restored to its healthy state once more.

  1. To increase the energy level

Contrary to general belief that fasting weakens the body, fasting actually increases the body’s energy level.

  1. The mind is more alert

The body need not dispatch extra energy to digest solid food substances, and the conserved energy allows the mind to be more alert.

  1. Reinforcement of spiritual awareness

The most important and yet most surprising fact is the strengthening of spiritual awareness as a result of practicing fasting over a long period of time.

Fasting is effectively therapeutic. It is also the speediest and safest therapeutic method. Dennis pointed out two interesting examples.

  1. Prisoners of war were kept in concentration camps with little to eat during the Second World War. They were starved constantly but their initial sickness contracted before the imprisonment disappeared.
  2. Using rats and rabbits in dieting experiments, it was discovered that the lifespan of these creatures extended a few times longer when their food intake was reduced.

In explaining the point regarding the strengthening of spirituality; we could look back upon the history. We could see many great thinkers and philosophers practiced fasting. Dennis pointed out that the Lord Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert when he was 30 years old; and thereafter attained a state of togetherness with God. Dennis further pointed out that lay people like you and I could also achieve this state. On the other hand, the 35-year-old Lord Buddha attained enlightenment after fasting and meditating under the Bodhi tree for 49 days. The Lord Buddha declared that there is no secret in the path to Enlightenment, one simply has to put effort to obtain ultimate wisdom.

For this reason, Dennis believes that the physical body is an entity comprising of the body,mind and spirit; and we inherit the basic right to have this entity in the best of health; which can be achieved by fasting and adequating well-balanced nutrients intake. We have to know that our potential is exactly identical to those of any historical great being in the past.

Why is fasting necessary to reach the state of perfect health? Ultimately, it does not only benefit oneself. When you have a healthy body, you would have the ability to help others lessen their unnecessary sufferings. When you have a longer life, you would be able to help more people. When you have a clear mind, you would be more confident and able to maximize the quality of every moment of existence.

Fasting has to be carried out on sound theoretical argument and practical feasibility simultaneously. If one only understands the theories of fasting without actually trying them out personally, one is not able to benefit from fasting. Dennis has several wealthy clients who are in this category, and they will never receive the goodness of fasting. On the contrary, many of his clients who put the theory of fasting to practice, have their lives changed.

According to Dennis, fasting sounds simple but to practice it skillfully is not something that everyone can easily achieve. Because many unexpected physical and mental symptoms would suddenly appear during fasting, and these require the guidance of an experienced teacher; and at time consultation with a medical doctor.


The following are some interesting events that may occur during fasting:

  1. After 3 or 4 days of fasting when all solid food have been discharged, you will not experience any more hunger pangs.
  2. When drugs, tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar and other addictive substances have been eliminated from the body, symptoms such as headache and cold perspiration may happen. These substances hurt the body when they first enter and once again when they leave. However, after 7 to 10 days of fasting, the addiction will be completely overcome.
  3. As you experience the sufferings during the detoxification process, you would also gradually feel comfortable and energized. This is so because solid food deprives 10% of the body’s energy to digest it. Fasting means no or minimal solid food.
  4. After prolonged fasting, your mind would be crystal clear. You would no longer crave for unnecessary material needs. You would slow down to take stock and re-examine your purpose in life. Your confidence would be boosted. You’ll believe that you’ll succeed. Dennis further pointed out that according to his observation all over the world, 95% of the people are materialistic; being influenced by family and society which regard happiness as possessing beautiful houses, cars and clothes. Thus these people drift along busily to and from work aimlessly every day even though most of them do not like the work they are doing; if not for the pay which allow them to maintain their present standard of living, they would most probably not want to continue with their jobs. The other 5% of the people are very happy although they do not have big houses, cars or branded clothes. This is so because happiness cannot be derived from external material wealth, but it has to come from within you. Their work is what they really want to do, and it involves helping others to reduce sufferings.

Dennis also told a story about a person who followed her heart:

Many years ago, a 31-year-old Catholic nun arrived in India from Armenia. She found that the local people lived in extreme poverty and hardship. So she chose to remain in the most improvised place to help the people overcome their unnecessary sufferings there. Each morning, she would roam the streets seeking out and helped the sick and the poor, including the ‘untouchables’ who were social outcast of the lowest caste. She turned her home into a hospice. Her exemplary actions encouraged several women to volunteer their help and they formed a sister club to care for the underprivileged. The nun is now 86 years old** and is none other than the famous Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mother Teresa.

**NB: Late Mother Teresa passed away in 1999, this passage was first published in 1997.

Thus no one will pat you on your back to announce your destiny or tell you “Hey! You’ll be the next Mother Teresa!”. Your future depends on whether you choose to follow your heart to be one of the 5% who lead a truly rewarding life; or follow the tide of the 95% who pursues a materialistic life without really being happy at all.



  1. Those who are not supposed to fast: growing children (below 18 years of age), expectant mothers, nursing mothers (toxin discharge during this period may be harmful to the nursing baby), diabetics who are using insulin and persons who are undernourished.
  2. Water fasting is not recommended; fasting is best done under professional guidance to ensure safety.
  3. It is necessary to reduce the amount of food taken gradually before reaching the fasting state. In the same way, gradually increase the food intake to normal level after the fasting period.
  4. During fasting, continue to consume fruit juice, vegetable soup and herbal brew to maintain the minimum nutrient requirement for the body. These include 60 kinds of minerals, 60 kinds of vitamins, 12 kinds of amino acids and 3 kinds of fatty acids. Your brain needs four basic elements namely, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium; to sustain normal functions.
  5. During fasting, large amounts of toxin is discharged into the large intestine. Daily colonic irrigation (a process of cleansing the large intestine) is recommended in order to avoid toxin being reabsorbed into the system and being discharged through other organs. Please note that one should not be dependent on colonic irrigation at other times so as not to allow the colon to lose its normal functionality. (Details on Colonic Irrigation could be obtained from the Lapis Lazuli Light office by mail request. Please attached a prepaid return envelope)
  6. How long should you fast in order to eliminate all toxins from the body? The answer is your age plus 17 days. For instance, if you are 35 years old, then it will be 35 + 17 = 52 days; and broken into sections according to your physical health.
  7. It is normal to lose weight during fasting. In general, it takes about 2 months to gain back your normal weight afterwards.



Be true and sincere to thyself. Maintain a good lifestyle, eat a healthy vegetarian diet limiting to 2 meals a day of organically grown food, and exercise.


Dennis serves as a fasting consultant to the international community through e-mail and the Internet. You may wish to visit his website at http://www.fasting.com for more information and reference material.

If Love is Forever

Robin Pan

Love, when misused could cause more harm. There are countless sad stories on the love of a couple and love of parents and children. Modern medical researches and statistics have demonstrated a strong co-relationship between cancerous conditions of females and their emotional problems. Emotional health is indeed the wellspring of physical health.

A healthy marriage is most essential to emotional health. Marriage is the inception of the family. Family is the framework of the society. Everyone comes from a family; the well-being of families has a direct impact on the harmony of a society. Therefore, a happy marriage is important.

The era of matchmaking is over; modern marriages are the result of mutual liking. Martial problems are therefore due to the inability to resolve differences and maintain the relationship. These problems are usually bad habits that should be corrected. This may sound simple. However, in the book “Love Buster”, authored by Dr Willard Harley, the marriage counsellor of twenty-five years pointed out five obstacles to martial happiness, which are basically the results of:

Violent Rage

A flurry of temper can cause one to forget the reason for being angry. The weaker party would resort to other means to take revenge. This revenge would then lead to another round of fury; these negative emotions became endless. This habit may cause danger to your partner. A family living in fury affects the emotional health of the offspring.

Disrespectful Criticisms

Criticism is never welcomed in marriages. Disrespectful criticism is an arrogant behaviour. It is used to force others to accept one’s view.

Irritable Habits

Usually, it is the females who find males’ bad habits intolerable. Changing these habits are not difficult; it is a matter of will. The party having difficulty should be tactful in requesting for change and the party needing change should view the change as a personal challenge and progress.

Selfish Requests

Dr Harley pointed out that none of the parties in a marriage wants to be a slave. Between a lover and a slave, you can only opt to be one. Whether male or female, one should seek the consent of the other party for any kind of assistance.


Dishonesty is not restricted to infidelity; it includes not disclosing one’s feelings. If you are used to not expressing your feelings, the other party will never know how you really feel. If you do not express and bottle up unhappiness, it will not only lead to the main reason for marital breakup but also to chronic diseases.

In fact, a successful marriage needs effort. This effort involves getting attention and time. These are being mentioned in Dr Harley’s book “His Needs, Her Needs”.

Giving attention involves understanding what one’s spouse really wants? How to satisfy his/her wants? The Chinese traditionally wishes newly married couples “Hundred Years of Harmony” and harmony requires giving attention to living harmoniously.

On giving time, Dr Harley suggests couples should spend fifteen hours together without the intervention of external parties. Remember that being together is to satisfy each other’s needs. A marriage that needs repairs demands having more time for each other.

The book also lays down the different methods of resolving conflicts in a marriage, one of which relates to career. People nowadays place great importance on materialism, leading to sacrificing family life due to work. Many because of career change or promotion, change residence without considering the effect it might have on the family and children. Dr Harley advises one not to sacrifice marriage for the sake of career. In the course of his work, he has not met anyone at his/her deathbed regretting not having spent sufficient time at work. Instead, regrets are more on not spending enough time with loved ones and enjoying family life.

Indeed, pursuing a successful career is not a sin, except that success causes one to lose one’s self and become greedy. Success sometimes causes one to feel that the existing partner or friends are no longer suitable for one. These cases happen in history and still exist now. Greed leads one to encourage the husband to be successful and when success comes, the wife lives to regret the husband abandoning her.

Hence, there are many cases of love turning to hatred between couples. These love and hate relationships occur in every generation. Fate brings a couple or parents and children together. Therefore, one should treasure the togetherness, remind oneself to kick off undesirable habits and train one’s self to be at peace with others. By not overindulging in any relationships, one is relieved of emotional stress which eventually leads to good health.













Healing With Loving Kindness

Mariette Risley

When someone is very ill they need loving kindness as much as they need medicine. The medicine, hopefully, will help to reduce physical illness but loving kindness will benefit that part of the person known as the soul as well as aid in lessening physical problems. The patient treated with loving kindness will be more interested in getting better, will be more interested in what is going on daily, will be more aware of life than the person who is being treated only with medicine.

Why this is so is not really a mystery. Picture a gravely ill person in a hospital. There are several people involved in her health – her doctor, nurses who check on her night and day, keep tabs on her pulse, blood pressure and temperature, bathe her, see that she eats properly.

If all these people attend the patient in every way they know to make her more comfortable the sick person certainly is being well taken care of physically.

But! It’s the caregiver who makes the patient feel like a human being and not an object in bed, who will ask permission to enter the room, who will smile, who will ask permission to hold the ill one’s hand, who will look at her while she talks, who will feel and show loving kindness – this caregiver will have a tremendous effect on the sick person’s recovery.

If the patient is too ill to be aware of loving kindness, someone sitting quietly by her bed can have a very beneficial effect.

Where is the will to get better if one is treated only physically?

If one is treated as a human being, treated with loving kindness and respect, the will to get better is almost automatically set in motion. The patient starts to smile back at a friendly face, at someone who is non-judgemental, someone who is not giving advice.

If nurses and doctors and caregivers all treat the patient with attention, acknowledgement, affection and acceptance, that patient will show marked improvement faster than a patient who is not treated as humanely.

Dr. Dean Ornish in his latest book Love & Survival talks about the need people have for emotional support which involves the verbal and nonverbal communication of caring and concern. He emphasizes that it is not only people who are ill, who need emotional support, who need to be acknowledged, who are accepted as they are, who are given as much affection as they can handle (some people love hugs, others are comfortable with just a handshake), and who are listened to, and not patronized nor given advice. Illness can actually be prevented by treating people with loving kindness.

What a wonderful and peaceful world this can be if we all treat each other with acceptance, affection, attention, respect and acknowledgement; if we give each other emotional support; if we treat others as we wish to be treated. People would be healthier, happier, more confident, and it follows there would be less crime.












Clear Mind, Clear Body – An Interview With Robin Pan

Thor Peng Tiong


Robin’s articles and translation make regular appearances in Taiwan’s Lapis Lazuli Light quarterly magazines. His creative way of writing has brought to life the stories of people from all walks of life, of how they started on the path of total health, and I have certainly gained a lot from reading them. He has benefitted readers by allowing them the opportunity to learn about the courage and determination of those people who appear in his stories.

“The Holographic Universe” is a book which receive a lot of comments from readers. Many who read this book expressed that they had indeed gained precious knowledge on the Laws of the Universe from this book. This is not a book which is easy to read or understand, and it is even tougher to translate it. And yet, Robin is the translator of this book. To do such a good translation job, he must have a good grasp of scientific knowledge, a sound basic in the teachings of Buddha and knowledge of the Universe.

I was fortunate to have the chance to interview and at the same time learn from Robin when we met in California. We had a good time talking about everything under the sun, from our links with Lapis Lazuli Light to the great poets of China.

Having interviewed so many people, Robin is definitely their best representative. Here, allow me to share part of my conversation with him.

Q: When did you get to know about Dr. Lai and Lapis Lazuli Light?

A: My family and I attended a seminar conducted by Dr. Lai in Taipei in 1993. That day, Dr. Lai led the participants to visualize golden light, and I felt a cleansing energy through my whole being. It was similar to those instances when monks lead believers to go through a 7-day Zen meditation. At that point of time, my perception was that she possesses special ability to lead us to such achievements.

When I returned to the States in 1994, my wife attended the workshop conducted by Dr. Lai, and got to know some of the volunteers from Lapis Lazuli Light. From that time on, we started on the diet recommended by Dr. Lai, and I really benefitted from it.

Q: Did you attend Dr. Lai’s workshop yourself?

A: Yes, I attended once. That time, I was the Mandarin-to-English translator for Dr. Lai. It was necessary because there were quite a few participants who did not understand Mandarin. After that, it became a regular activity for me to help out at such events. To me, it is helping myself, as what I gained definitely exceeded what I gave.

Q: When did you start becoming a vegetarian?

A: Actually, I was already a Buddhist and a vegetarian before I knew Dr. Lai. It was actually a habit in my life. At that time, I was lost, and I returned to the place where I was born in an attempt to change environment. Incidentally, my sister just started learning the teachings of Buddha, and I went along with her!

After reading some Buddhist scriptures, I thought about it and decided that, if I did not go vegetarian, it will be going against the Buddha’s teachings on Compassion of Heart. It would also have been going against myself, and other loving beings (animals). Therefore, I literally forced myself to embark on this path. Human beings tend to be greedy where food is concerned. Therefore, I had to get rid of this greed, and at the same time felt much better not to eat meat. However, I am not a vegetarian for health reasons.

In the initial stages of learning Buddhism, it was equivalent to starting from the spiritual aspect of my life. Hence, in descending order, health was not of utmost concern then. Understanding the concept of total health and natural healing can put us on the right pathway to health very quickly. However, when we look at it as such a descending order, it becomes a slower process. On the contrary, if we start from the bottom rung, that is, to start cleansing the body, it will actually be a more balanced process. I am really grateful to Dr. Lai for her courage in encouraging this concept of total health.

Q: Did changing your diet help in spiritual advancement?

A: Being more alert mentally, I was able to advance better spiritually too. Being tired mentally, it is easy to get discouraged. I am a quick-tempered person, and I am still trying to improve on this aspect. From the viewpoint of a Buddhist, everything arises from your heart. The external environment and factors only assist. To change, we have to start from ourselves, while everything outside only affects the process, be it positive or negative.

Q: Did you make a big change in your diet after getting to know Dr. Lai?

A: Actually, where this is concerned, I have to thank my wife. At that time, I was rather disconnected. That is, I felt a distance from the external world, and was not enjoying a solid presence. I felt that I was “up there”. My wife, on the other hand, was able to handle a lot of matters in a more practical way. She is what I would call, more “earthly”. We sort of complement each other.

Q: Is this the norm for most people?

A: Maybe! I was probably brought on by our old habits that die hard. Therefore, my wife helped me greatly in this, both physically and spiritually.

Q: We know your child is the healthy Vegetarian Baby. Was he born after you and your wife changed diet? What is the difference between him and other children?

A: Yes, we had him only after we changed our diet. Actually, this child does not have a very good temper. But the good thing is that he does not worry easily like some other children do. Many people say that parent’s energy will affect a child. I guess my own personality is a rather big influence on him too. Like Rudolf Steiner ever mentioned before, when a child is young, his whole body is like a sensor. They absorb fully whatever influence their parents have on them. This actually served as a big warning to me, that I was always careful of what I did that could affect my child adversely. Steiner said that the influence one has on his child is not what he says, and it is not even what he does. It is actually what you are. Therefore, a parent has to change himself positively to have a positive influence on his child. Of course, it is not easy to achieve this, as whatever we are is actually brought forward from our previous lives. What Steiner teaches only serves as an alert to us.

Q: How is your child’s state of health?

A: Very good. He has definitely benefitted from all these changes. My wife breast-fed him, thus he is practically free from all childhood illnesses. Occasionally he gets the flu, but nothing major, and it only takes him a day or so to recover. He never has to see the doctor. In my opinion this is also his own good destiny, which led him to be born in a family of vegetarians. He probably has good karma from previous lives.

Q: After getting to know Dr. Lai, was there any change in your thinking and life’s path?

A: Yes. I feel that Dr. Lai is indeed a precious “scarcity” I practice Tibetan Buddhism, and yet I still hope that I can be like Dr. Lai, to have the courage to be the first to “light the lamp”, Dr. Lai reminds me of a brightly lighted candle which goes around lighting up other candles, and yet does not diminish itself. After attending Dr. Lai’s seminar, I return to my own country and started practising what I learnt from her, and to me, that is a form of spreading the light too.

Q: How do you intend to spread the concept of total health in the near future?

A: I do not have the answer to such a question. I will let nature run its own course, I guess. Its all fate and destiny. I think, if the beings in the world do not have them, Dr. Lai would not have appeared, and Lapis Lazuli Light would not exist.

Q: Have you ever made the wish to follow Dr. Lai the whole of your life? Or is there any other wish you have made before?

A: It’s my good fortune to have known Dr. Lai, and I am really grateful to her. Actually, I have not really made any wish, but I believe that once you have decided to step on a certain pathway, even if you have not made the decision to follow whoever, the right people will still appear to lead you in the right direction.

If I have to state a wish I have ever made, it would be that when I came to this earth, I decided that if I did not step on the path of righteousness, I will suffer from illness and pain.

Right now, I need pain and suffering to advance myself. Like Steiner said, suffering is present because we want to improve ourselves spiritually.

Q: What was your feelings like when you were translating “The Holographic Universe”?

A: I found this book too condensed, and hence more difficult to comprehend. The author included too much content in it. If a comprehensive explanation of it is to be given, the book would be very thick. In the process of translation, we are also not supposed to include any sort of explanation on behalf of the authors themselves.

As a matter of fact, I was translating word for word at that time. Therefore, I was pretty much restricted by the words themselves. I guess it is possible to translate this book in a more “balanced” manner. However, due to time constrain at that time, I did not put in my utmost effort in translating that book.

The main point of this book is actually the fact that all things arise from the heart. If the readers had understood this point when reading the book, the author had achieved his aim. My knowledge of science and Buddhism helped me a lot when I was translating this book.

Q: From what you have learnt from Rudolf Steiner’s (publications), what have you actually learnt and achieved?

A: I feel that the Buddha is really a noble and wonderful being. From Steiner’s books, I have comprehended the detail of the mundane world, what it is really like. For instance, the daily morning and night meditation and scripture-chanting routine was never clarified by Tibetan Buddhism, but in Steiner’s concepts, we could clearly see the importance of these routines. He teaches in a manner that reaches our heart directly, he teaches us how to solve problems in the most straightforward says. Human beings tend to think of doing this, accomplishing that, but that is where we stop too, the word “think”.

In this case, what is the point of knowing what the end result would be like? Reading and understanding Steiner’s works has indeed increased my confidence in what Buddha teaches and advocates.

Steiner’s teachings have also benefitted me on other planes of understanding. For example, I used to think that Christianity is all about heaven and earth, which to me was definitely not substantial enough. After Steiner, I realized that I had been too narrow-minded all along. I discovered that what Christians meditate on also help them to advance spiritually. Therefore, never turn your nose at religions other than your own.


With destiny on our side, I was able to go into retreat with Robin in Los Angeles. In that short period of time, we learnt together, and discussed about Buddha’s teachings, which undoubtedly benefitted me to a great extent.

Oozing with the type of confidence and easiness that can only come from poets and spiritualists, Robin exuded a unique charm. What is wonderful about him is that he was so modest, never hinting at all that he was so full of wisdom and knowledge, and the level he has reached spiritually.

We were once talking about the day I interviewed him, and I revealed to him that I had felt like I was chatting with a monk, and surprisingly he said that he had felt similarly about me, and we could not help but start chuckling away at each other.











The Path

Barry Long

When one chooses to walk upon the Path of Life (the Path of Inner Obedience), then one takes control rather than being buffeted by the waves of life. Although the waves continue to hit our vessel through our actions and those of others, we are steadfast in our conviction.

The Path is a path of Love. It is a Love which is not flimsy and weak but powerful in its answering pursuit of its purpose. To become conscious of this Love, we need to listen to the voice of the God within. This is not the voice of knowledge or intellect but your personal voice guiding your daily existence here upon the earth. This voice of Love inspires us while shopping or readying, nurtures us when sleeping and lifts the Soul from its current situation to a new position in life, if the effort warrants it. We then form an inseparable bond between us and our Beloved. This bond is formed through inner obedience to the Lord within. If the voice says turn left but you go right out of habit, then separation rather than bonding takes place.

The Universe often presents us with two paths or two opportunities in life. It is not that one path is right, and the other is wrong, rather it is our free will that is enabling us to make a choice. In effect, both paths are correct. The important point is that the decision as to which one we choose must come from within, rather than influenced by friends and family. When you make the choice yourself, you are not making it alone because the Lord and our Lady, the Mother of God share every moment with us if we invite them into our lives. Even if you feel at times you have failed or are lost; they will be ever present if you ask for them.

We are chosen in as much as we choose. The purity of the Light demands a pure palace to live within and so purity of thoughts, words and actions are paramount to progress. We never fail, so if you stumble, pick yourself up and go back to basics. When you feel all around you have crumbled, think of a river flowing from the mountain to the sea. Sometimes, the river travels through beautiful countryside, perhaps within woods and at other times, it travels through towns and villages. Some rivers travel through cities, each giving off a different vibration. Focus on the sea, for as sure as night follows day, the sea, the light, is your destination.

Through prayer and constant dialogue between you and the Beloved, the bond tightens. Ask to be graced by the presence of the Light that you have chosen to adhere to. Make no judgement of others as we all have different paths to walk. Know the power of silence. Through silence and observation, much is learnt. Be concerned with your own thoughts, words and actions for we are the world, and the world is us. By changing ourselves, we change the world.

By listening within, we know when to act. If you are at a party and the voice tells you it is time to go, listen. If the voice tells you to buy when shopping, buy. When the voice tells you to be still, be still. Deviation from this disrupts the inner peace that it obtainable through inner obedience. God so loves humanity that he has created a path for each of us. We all have the opportunity to walk in the Light, the true Light of reason, the Path of Truth.

Perseverance is the key to success upon the Path. So many stops en route to the freedom that is within their grasp just before they reach the crest of a wave. No-one ever said that the Path was easy, but the rewards are great.


Trust always

“Know yourself – and you will know the Universe and the Gods. To yourself be true”










Wise Man of the World – An Interview with Mr. Goenka

Thor Peng Tiong


Originating from India, Mr. Goenka was born in Myanmar in 1924. In 1969, he was handed the baton by renowned Buddhist teacher the Venerable Obakim to instruct students on Vipassana Meditation. Now he is based in Bombay, spreading to the people the teachings of Buddha. He also travels to Europe and America to instruct Vipassana courses.

In February 1998, I was in New Delhi, India to attend in the ten-day Vipassana Meditation course. As the Chinese saying goes, “Only the one who drinks the water knows whether it is warm or cold; hence only those who have gone through the Vipassana course will really know what it is like.” This ten-day course indeed roused a huge chance within myself, and I was able to let go of my previous rigid beliefs and fanciful thoughts. That was the first time in my life that I ever experienced such peace and tranquillity.

I am really grateful to all the friends and the teacher who had prompted me to attend this course, because what I gained from it was simply so bountiful! And special thanks go to Mr. Goenka for organizing so many Vipassana courses worldwide, and for allowing people who seek spiritual improvement and tranquillity to learn this unique art. I am one of those who benefitted greatly from his generosity and concern!

Last year, Mr. Goenka was in Singapore for a two-day seminar. Response was enthusiastic, and many interested friends who came to know more about Vipassana have been practicing regularly since then. This is certainly gratifying.

I was fortunate enough to meet up with Mr. Goenka then, and had a meaningful chat with him. His wisdom and “beyond mundane” state of mind is really rare. Let us take this opportunity to step into his inner world together, and let his words cleanse us spiritually…

Q: We are keen to have a course similar to Vipassana for children in Singapore. Its emphasis would be on activating their self-potential. How should we go about achieving this?

A: Vipassana courses for children started in India, and since then have spread to Taiwan, Burma, Thailand and some Western countries. They have been successful. However, it is important to take note only to organize two or three-day courses for children, and not the normal ten-day course. The teacher, on the other hand, must be an individual who has gone through the ten-day course.

Q: Has there been any research done so far?

A: Yes, lots of it. It has been found that, with Vipassana, the students have sharper memories and their ability to understand increases. In addition, Vipassana helps a student to focus on an object with no distraction. For example, in exams, many students previously failed because they are distracted by anxiety. Vipassana teaches the students the technique to observe (the paper) before starting and helps the mind to calm down. It is good to start Vipassana at a young age as it aids in character-building. When they reach sixteen or eighteen years of age, their minds will be more open when they take the full course.

Q: Many people relate meditation to religion. How, in this case, can we convince the government to help in this cause?

A: Convince them that the teachings of Buddha is not a religion. Buddha never founded a religion, the fact is that it was only six, seven hundred years after Buddha that his teachings became organized. He originally taught only morality, that everyone must lead a moral life, and learn how to control the mind in order to lead a moral life. This goes true for other communities and religions. To purify the mind is not a religious subject. It is the intellect, the science of the mind! It is about how sensation arises, how ignorance arises. There are no rites, no rituals, no religious ceremonies, and there is no philosophy. Buddha was the super-scientist who discovered that everything that arises in the mind flows with the sensation of the body. He was the one who found out that we are reacting to sensations and not anything external. This is pure science, which we practice, which anybody can practice! We use Buddha’s name like we use Einstein’s name.

We use the word “Buddha”, but we do not say we are “Buddhists”. The bottom line is … be a good human being. Therefore, we have to convince the authorities that Buddha was the great scientist who understood the interaction between mind and matter, how impurity arises, and how, with every impurity, comes misery. Buddha found the way for us to come out of it. His position is to help people come out of sickness.

Q: Is it necessary for Vipassana meditators to be vegetarians?

A: During the course, they have to be vegetarians. Later on, we do not insist that they continue their vegetarian diet. However, we have found out that, most of the time, after a Vipassana course, they automatically become “full-time” vegetarians.

Q: Can you elaborate on the root problem of suffering?

A: It is a mental impurity! Buddha found out that one is miserable because of the impurity in the mind. A craving arises not because of external factors, but because of the sensations which arise in one’s body. Buddha discovered that life starts with mind and matter. With this comes contact, then sensation, and it is this sensation that we react to. He taught us the world of sensation and change. Anybody can do this at any place!

Q: What about modern diseases?

A: Vipassana will treat any medical disease totally. With regard to physical ailments, there are cases of diseases, for instance, cancer, being reversed after Vipassana. However, we do not say that Vipassana will cure any physical ailment. Instead, we say that Vipassana helps a person be positive (about his/her desire). When your mind is sound, it reflects on your body, and vice versa. This is the law of nature.

Non-meditators usually think too much unnecessarily, while Vipassana teaches one to be equanimous about one’s disease. Whatever treatment he or she is given, he or she takes it positively. However, Vipassana should not be taken for treating physical illnesses. It is more for mental purification, that is, to make your mind healthier. With the mind healthy, naturally the body starts getting healthier too.

Q: How do we love a person without attachment?

A: The love we usually talk about is commercial love. When we love someone, we expect that person to love us back. It is conditional. With Vipassana, we get to know pure love. We give this love to others without expecting anything in return. This is the love that is effective.

Q: Is it not very difficult to love without expecting love in return?

A: It is not difficult! You just have to practice properly, and you will find yourself developing. You will find that this love is so pure, and you just want to give and give without expecting anything in return! You can call this a one-way traffic. And as you practice more, it becomes natural. This is why so many teachers go around teaching without expecting any sort of pay-back. They are so happy to give, and they have so much love for everybody.

When your mind is filled with hatred (impurities), what sort of love can there be? But when your mind is purified, what you possess is real love, the kind that Buddha wanted people to have, the kind he wanted people to practice. However, unless you practice (purifying your mind), everything is just a ritual.

Q: What is our mission in life?

A: To live a good life, one which is good for ourselves and for others. A life with peace and harmony, and to generate nothing but peace and harmony for others, so that they, can live in peace and harmony.

Q: How do we overcome fear?

A: Nothing can arise in the mind without sensation in the body. If fear arises in your mind, you just have to accept that it is present in your mind at that moment, but do not let it lead you into doing things. Otherwise, it would become an intellectual game in which you keep rolling in. Any sensation that you have in your body at that precise moment is related to that fear. A good Vipassana meditator would notice what sensation that is, and see how long it last. He or she would then notice the fear slowly and gradually diminishing. This is true for anger, obsession, egoism or any impurity in the mind. When you have a crisis, and you are suffering from depression, accept that it is in your mind and do not relate it to the cause. Just observe the sensation (of this depression) and you will come out of it.

Q: How can a busy businessman lead a peaceful life without giving up his business?

A: It is not necessary to give up your business in order to lead a peaceful life. Instead, the attachment to your business should go. Be detached from it and you can work much more effectively. My personal experience is such that I used to feel exhausted at about eight O’clock at night after working the whole day. However, after fourteen years of practicing Vipassana, at that time (eight O’clock), I feel refreshed and could keep on working.

I am not the only one to have experienced it. Hundreds of others have found that their capacity to work increased after Vipassana. At the same time, they are able to look out for other responsibilities as well, e.g., family, business and social responsibilities. When a business is attached to his business, he becomes very tense. But when he is detached, there is no tension.



Mr. Goenka’s affable nature was certainly unforgettable. I could feel that every single sentence and every answer he gave came sincerely from the deepest part of him. Sitting beside him, I felt a natural sense of peace arising. It was as though he was a benign father teaching his children how to live a peaceful and meaningful life.

I believe that all who had ever met him, like me, loves and deeply respect him, because the love emanating from him is so strong that there is no choice but to be touched by it!