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Sweet Friends 5-31-10

Hello my Sweet friends, here we go again, another weekend flown past. I send you Positive Blessings, much happiness and unconditional love. Wishing you a wonderful Week. Take care and be happy, Blessings Melodie

An Apache Legend

There was once an old man who was very fond of beaver meat. He hunted and killed beaver so frequently that his son remonstrated with him.

His son told him that some misfortune would surely overtake him as a punishment for his persecution of the sagacious animals, which were then endowed with the magic powers of the medicine-men.

The old man did not heed the warning, but continued to kill beaver nearly every day.

Again the son said, "If you kill them, they will soon catch and kill you."

Not long afterward the old man saw a beaver enter a hole in the bank. Disregarding his son's advice, he plunged head foremost into the burrow to catch the animal. The son saw him enter the hole, and went in after him. Catching the old man by the heels, he pushed him farther in.

Thinking another beaver had attacked him, the old man was at first too frightened to move, then he cried for mercy. "Let me go, Beaver, and I will give you my knife."

He threw his knife back toward the entrance, but received no reply to his entreaty. "Let me go, Beaver, and I will give you my awl." Again no answer. "Let me go, and I will give you my arrows."

The young man took the articles as they were handed to him, and hastened away without making himself known.

When the old man returned to the tipi, he said nothing of his adventures, and his son asked no questions. As soon as the old man left the tipi, the son replaced the knife and other articles in his father's fire-bag.
"Where is your knife?" said the son when the old man returned. "I gave it to the beaver to induce them to let me escape with my life."

"I told you they would catch you," said the son.

The old man never hunted beaver again.

I found again in the heart of my friend

I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where;

For so swiftly it flew, my sight could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, who has sight so keen and strong that it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak, I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of my friend.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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This was sent to me from a friend. I thought it was rather interesting and wanted to share it with all my friends. Blessings. MelodieConversation with GodPart I - Conversations with God...about Gold and Silver!Bix Weir*The following interview was conducted in a similar manner as was conducted in the best selling book series "Conversations With God" by Neale Donald Walsch. Although I do not possess the same intimate knowledge of spirituality as Mr. Walsch, my 10 year journey following precious metal markets has connected me to some very powerful spiritual monetary beings…and they have something to say. So let's begin.________________________________________Me: Is anybody there?God: Yes, I am here.Me: Hi God! How do I do this? I read the books but I don't want to sound like I'm anyone special because I can talk to God.God: But you are special…we all are. You just ask your questions and the answers will be provided by your thoughts. Don't stop to edit your thoughts.Just trust your answers and we will both provide the answers we need.Me: Ok. I'll start with an easy one. Are gold and silver markets manipulated?God: Of course they are… Duh!Me: Wait, is God supposed to say duh?God: Don't waste my time. What's your next question?Me: Who is doing it and why?God: There are many groups of people who manipulate all markets and they all have different reasons. Some are driven by money, some by power but the largest group is driven by fear.Me: Fear?! These people control the world…what could they be afraid of.God: They are afraid of you and people like you. They are afraid they will be found out and the world as they know it will come crashing down. They are afraid that the people of the world will begin to understand the fiat money fraud and will be angry.Me: Well don't the ones with the money, the rich and powerful, make the rules? Why would this ever end?God: The "rich and the powerful" are only rich with their monetary illusion. Without fiat currency they are not rich and their power crumbles. The rules will be changed very soon.Me: How soon? I thought this would be over years ago. What will stop them from running this scam FOREVER?God: You are stopping them…and people like you. There is also a group of people who have been working on taking these people down much longer than most know. They have been hoarding physical gold for many years and are preparing to go on a gold standard. They have been VERY secretive but they are ready to end the fiat money system.Me: When?God: They will pull the plug very soon…Me: Who are these people?God: They are mostly very patriotic Americans but also others around the world including a very powerful group within China.Me: Wait. Won't China be hurt by the destruction of the US Dollar since they are the largest holder?God: No. It was part of the plan. China never wanted US Dollars.They wanted to build their manufacturing infrastructure. Multi-national companies have spent Trillions building their factories in China. The destruction of the fiat currencies will leave China very well off.Me: Doesn't China need the US to sell all their goods at stores like WalMart?God: No. China has over a billion people. There is no shortage of domestic customers only a shortage of those fiat pieces of paper.Me: What about Globalization?God: Globalization will end with the fiat currencies. When the fiat money crashes every country will fend for themselves and take care of their own needs the best they can.Me: What will happen to the United States?God: They will benefit the most since they have the highest debt and the most natural resources.Me: Wait what will happen to debt? People are drowning in debt in the US.God: All debt will disappear without the fiat currency and a new monetary system will be put in place in each country. Fiat money will end.Me: Since we NEED some kind of money, how will the new money get distributed?God: There are many equitable ways but the best is through the Social Security system. In this allocation system those who are the oldest and have made the most money over the years will be allocated money first and in equitable amounts. This will also SOLVE the Social Security "problem" that has hung over the US Dollar for decades. This was Alan Greenspan's idea back in the early 1970's when he implemented the first computer market rigging programs.Me: So what will happen when the fiat system crashes? Will it be good, bad or the same?God: Like any change there will be some pain BUT most of that pain will be felt by the small number of very wealthy. 99% of the population of the world is already in pain and will FINALLY get to share in the wealth of their nations. They will feel rich because the wealth will be reallocated.Me: Isn't that kinda socialistic for the American system of government?God: It may feel like that to the rich but this would be a one time occurrence. A "restart" of the American Way that was stolen by the fiat money crowd. Just imagine no more debt and a more equitable distribution of the wealth of the USA. Almost everyone would feel like millionaires overnight!Me: Sounds great! Will the currency be backed by gold and silver again?God: The founding fathers never meant for the money to be "backed" by gold and silver. The money of the United States of America IS gold and silver. Period. If people chose to use paper script in lieu of carrying around metal that will be their choice. There is also no problem with many forms of money as long as they are transparent so there may spring up other methods of payment such as paper, electronic credits and barter. Individuals will be free to choose their own forms of money. Ultimately, gold and silver will prove to be the most sound of all the monetary choices available.Me: What if the current "Powers-That-Be" don't allow any of this to transpire?God: They have no choice. The power lies with the people now and although the bad guys continue to fight their defeat is at hand. The intent is to have a peaceful transition but there are some within the manipulation crowd that are resisting to the very end.Me: Where does the power to overthrow the bad guys come from?God: The power has always been with the people but the tools being implemented are within the financial computer systems of the world. The end of the fiat money system has been programmed in and is only awaiting the execute command. The world will change overnight.Me: I've been studying and preparing for this for years yet I still feel very afraid of this kind of drastic change. Is there anything I can do to prepare?God: Yes. Be prepared for a few months of chaos. Keep enough food and water on hand in case the transition takes longer than we hope. But most of all have faith that this is a VERY GOOD thing for humanity.Me: Is there anything else I should do?God: Yes. Get some sleep and stop thinking about all this stuff. Spend time with your friends and family.Me: Ok, can I come back with more questions? I have a lot of friends and colleagues who will wonder why I didn't ask more.God: Yes, I am always here with you.Me: Thanks. I feel better.God: Me tooMay the Road you choose be the Right RoadBix Weir
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Sweet Friends 5-28-10

Sweet Friends 5-28-10

Hello my beautiful friends, I wish you a wonderful bank holiday weekend (for those of you that celebrate this holiday), may it be full of love, laughter, peace and joy. Blessings & Pure Energy coming your way, Melodie

Words of Kindness
People around us are hungry for kindness, I mean the genuine one, not the one in the commercials; giving a word of kindness can and it eventually will make the difference in someone’s life! What’s more, the day you’ll need that word yourself, it will return to you!

Medieval knights regarded kindness as one of their most supreme virtues. This quality is also highly esteemed in many religions and ideologies. It is part of the group of seven virtues opposing the seven deadly sins. The apostle Paul considers it an attribute of love, which is "patient and kind" (I Corinthians). References to kindness are also to be found in the Jewish Talmud which states that "deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments." Also in the Buddhist religion, loving kindness represents one of the so-called "paramitas" (the ten perfections). One of the Dalai Lamas’ followers named Tenzin Gyatso, made the following assertion: "my religion is kindness". He also wrote a book on this topic-Kindness, Clarity, and Insight. The celebrated Confucius commanded his disciples to reward kindness with kindness.

According to Aristotle, kindness is an emotion manifesting itself by the desire to help somebody in need, without expecting anything in return, just for the sake of that person. A human act can be considered as kind, according to Aristotle, if it is special, has a particular greatness, or is done at a certain specific time and in a particular place.

Nicolae Steinhardt, the Romanian monk of Rohia, Maramures, wrote an essay on kind words. He describes the passion scene. Christ is on the cross, with the crown of thorns on His head, in agonizing pain, naked, full of dirt and sweat. His hands and legs are pierced and bleeding. He has been mocked at, laughed at, ridiculed beyond limits. People are making fun of Him, urging Him to get off the cross and prove His divine nature.

Above all, all these happen in full daylight, under a hot burning sun. To make it even worse, all the "winning team" also pass by. There are two more crosses at His right and left sides, bearing two ordinary criminals, a fact which seems to increase Christ's shameful situation. The robber on the left tries to provoke Jesus, he mocks and insults Him. Yet, the robber on the right, on the contrary; although he is also in great suffering, craving for the releasing moment of death, he finds the power and patience to scold the other robber for addressing such rude words to an innocent man, and he also is able to manifest his kindness, altruism and noble heart by saying gentle, respectful words to Jesus. Although he cannot help him in any way, he cannot release him and get him off the cross, he cannot make it any easier on him, to shorten his agony. All he can do is bear with Him till the end. And what is Christ's answer? "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise!" (Luke 23:43)

How come the Saviour said such powerful, big words to a poor robber? Why did He show him such grace, when the other great prophets and spiritual giants like Moses, Isaiah, David were still on the "waiting list"? Why did He make the robber the enormous favour? Many may think it's because the robber suffered the same pain and shame as Jesus, but then again, so did the robber on the left. The reason Steinhardt gives for Christ's generosity is the fact that Dismas, the robber on the right, gave something that was miraculous, unnatural and divine at those exceedingly cruel moments - he said some words of kindness.

Dimas succeeded to completely forget his own suffering, and look at his neighbor with gentleness, mercy, sympathy, true and pure affection. This attitude has redeemed him, making him worthy of paradise, of joining Christ in the after - life eternal bliss. Just a few words were enough. Like a healing potion. Just a few words of respect, love, words meant to defend Jesus, to take his side, trustful words that managed to turn that sinister place, full of evil, malice, shrewdness, into an anteroom of paradise.

That is why we should not hesitate to tell others such words of kindness whenever we have the opportunity. They are far more valuable than gold, silver, money or any other material thing. Because sometimes all the sufferers need are words of kindness.

By Claudia Miclaus

Listening is a far more difficult process than most people imagine. Really to listen in the way that is meant by the masters is to let go utterly of ourselves, to let go of all the information, all the concepts, all the ideas, and all the prejudices that our heads are stuffed with. If you really listen to the teachings, those concepts, which are our real hindrance—the one thing that stands between us and our true nature—can slowly and steadily be washed away.

Sogyal Rinpoche

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DailyOM - Fellowship with a Purpose

DailyOM - Fellowship with a Purpose

May 27, 2010

Fellowship with a Purpose

Starting a Group

If you are feeling the need for community, why not start a group in your area with people of similar interests.

Human beings, by their very nature, love to gather. Yet as much as we crave community, the rigors of real life frequently interfere with our efforts to come together with likeminded individuals. For this reason, fellowship is crucial to humanity's wellbeing now more than ever. Most towns and cities play host to a variety of small groups that allow people to congregate purposefully, but that does not mean we should not consider founding our own. When people with similar interests, ideals, or aspirations come together as a group, a community is built that provides a new dimensionality to our earthly experiences.

The formation of a group is like an invitation welcoming all those desiring companionship and camaraderie into a circle of support. You may feel driven to found a group for women, healers, knitters, readers, writers, or political activists. Rules need only be a part of your communal experience if you find that level of organization appealing, and it matters little whether your group is large, goal-oriented, or structured.

When you have a firm vision of the group you wish to bring into being, hang posters, reach out to acquaintances, and get in touch with similar groups to attract participants. Groups of likeminded individuals are to some extent inherently exclusionary, being that they serve as a supportive environment in which people who have something in common can gather.

Yet such groups can also transcend the boundaries that might otherwise keep people apart, The group you create will likely attract people from many different ethnic, cultural, and spiritual backgrounds, a! nd if you make these individuals feel equally welcome, your group will grow and thrive as a result.

Try to ward off any discouragement you feel when those intrigued by your group's purpose are not ready to contribute actively. They are likely waiting to see how it evolves and whether you are truly committed to serving as its heart and soul.

If the group you have founded is a positive influence in the life of even a single individual, it is well worth it. Your intention to bring people together will be the seed that develops into a source of nurturance and community that stays true to its purpose long after its initial inception.

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The Definition of Love

The Definition of Love.

What is the definition of love? For sure, it's a relative question, with a different meaning to each of us.

For some, the perception of love has been shaped by divorce, death, and other loss. An appetite created from the void of the aforementioned. For others, it's about birth, marriage, friendship. For many, it's affected by all of the above.

But children, in their innocence, define it differently. They use their simple words to convey a complicated emotion.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca - age 8

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4

Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss" Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen," Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka - age 6

"There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them." Jenny - age 8

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore," Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine -age 5
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross." Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget," Jessica - age 8

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

~ Inspiration by God Newsletter~

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Heavenletters # 2441 & #3447 & #2576

Heavenletters # 2441 & #3447 & #2576Heavenletters #2441Heavenletters™, bringing Earth closer to Heaven.HEAVEN is here to reach every soul on earth to reawaken:* Our connection to God ** Our belief in ourselves ** Our awareness of our shared worthiness to God ** Peace on Earth *God is always bringing us closer to Him.New Heaven News 26 May 2010, Opening DoorsOpening God Quote:"Be the breath of fresh air that you desire life to be. Be good to yourself in that you don't have to find fault. Find understanding instead. Find a place inside yourself where storm does not enter.Find a quiet corner of yourself where peace reigns. If you do sincerely want peace in your life, be the peace you desire. If you seek the Kingdom, where else will you find it but within yourself?"Heavenletter #2441 The Peace You DesireSubmitted by Jerry Weiner, Retired Teacher, Des Moines, IowaInspiration from a Heavenreader:Below is a painting that Suzanna Siroka created and posted on the Heavenletter Spiritual Community Forum for Heavenletter #3447, The Threshold of God's Heart:

Suzanna wrote:Dear God, I love to go back again and again to the entrance to Your heart, like in a movieset. I do so with my uncomplete dreams, and find it very helpful, so I will go often to this door to Your heart, and I made a drawing for You and your readers, which touches me and is a reminder to go to the entrance again, and to dare go in. Here I Am God, and I love with my heart full. Thanks, SuzannaThe story of the Solomon Islands:When Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira visited the Solomon Islands in 1568, he found some gold at the mouth of what is now the Mataniko River. By a turn of an amused fate, he thought that this could be one of the locations in which King Solomon had obtained gold for his temple in Jerusalem. Mendaña then named the islands after King Solomon—Solomon Islands.The islands are most widely known to the outside world for the World War II battles that were fought there, especially on Guadalcanal. Peace prevailed for most of the rest of the century in a country that was sometimes called the "Happy Islands."The Solomon Islands lie northeast of Australia in the South Pacific Ocean.There are a total of 992 islands in the Solomon Islands!.This Melanesian region of the Pacific is known for its polylinguism. Among Melanesians and Polynesians in the Solomon Islands, approximately 63 to 70 distinct languages are spoken and perhaps an equal number of dialects.Wow!Ending God Quote:"Do you think creation is more powerful than the Creator of it? What could be more powerful than the essence of life? Is the mighty oak mightier than the acorn from which it sprang? More visible, yes. More powerful? Do you really think so? That which is invisible is more powerful than that which is visible. The Source of manifestation outdoes the manifestation any day."Heavenletter #2576 Your Daily BreadSubmitted by Jerry Weiner, Des Moines, Iowa
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DailyOM - The Soundless Center

DailyOM - The Soundless Centertoday@dailyom.comMay 26, 2010The Soundless CenterSilence of the HeartIt takes a sensitive ear to tune in to the silence of the heart, it can offer us profound experiences if we listen.We spend a lot of time attempting to put the feelings in our hearts into words, to communicate to others our passions, our emotions, and our love. Often we are so busy trying to translate our heart’s roar into language that we miss the most profound experience the heart has to offer, which is silence.Every poem arises from this silence and returns to it. When all the songs have been sung, the soliloquies delivered, the emotions expressed, silence is what remains. As each wave of feeling rises and falls back into the silence, we have an opportunity to connect with the vast, open, powerfully healing wisdom at the soundless center of our hearts.Our hearts may seem noisy and tumultuous so much of the time that we do not even associate them with silence. It takes a sensitive ear to tune in to the silence of the heart, but it is there in each one of us, so close and so large that we do not even notice it. We can begin to become aware of it in the same way we become aware of the negative space in a still life, the background of a photograph, or the open sky that contains the sun, clouds, moon, and stars. We are accustomed to tuning in to objects and sounds that are one-pointed, solid, and three-dimensional. Seeing and hearing the apparently empty space that contains these sounds and objects takes a little practice.We can bring our awareness into our hearts by simply breathing into the general area of our heart. The first thing we may notice is feelings like joy or sadness and physical sensations like tightness or tenderness. We acknowledge these as we continue to breathe and focus, listening attentively. We surround these feelings and sensations with breath and recognize that they are contained and held in an immeasurable substance like water or air, intangible, ineffable, but utterly real.This is the silence of the heart, and the more we listen for it, return to it, and accept it, the more we bathe and purify ourselves in the soundless center of our being.
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Reasons Why You’re Blessed

Reasons Why You’re Blessed.May24Sometimes, we don't know how blessed we are until we get a little perspective.Here goes: If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following.There would be:57 Asians21 Europeans14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south (that includes us here in the United States).8 would be Africans52 would be female48 would be male70 would be non-white30 would be white70 would be non-Christian30 would be Christian89 would be heterosexual11 would be homosexual6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.80 would live in substandard housing70 would be unable to read50 would suffer from malnutrition(ONE)1 would be near death;(ONE)1 would be near birth;(ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education;(ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would own a computer.When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.And, therefore . . .If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.As you read this and are reminded how life is in the rest of the world, remember just how blessed you really are!
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How to Meditate For A healthy Mind And Body by Frank Iamin

Learning how to meditate is the same practice among many various cultures and religions. This stays true in every aspect of practicing meditation, from learning how to breathe properly, proper posture, when to meditate, picking the correct environment, planning your meditation and understanding our thoughts and emotions.

When you are just learning how to meditate don't worry too much about every little thing. Before you can begin to unwrap the many years of programming you will have to create within yourself a great desire and sense of urgency to want to change. It is necessary that you learn how to meditate the right way to get the most from your meditation experience.

Pick Your Environment

Find a room that is quiet and free from distractions and noise. Find a comfortable area that gives you a feeling of peace and serenity. The room you choose will begin to absorb the energy you create during your meditations so if at first you don't have a perfect spot don't fret you will be programming the spot you choose. This will help you to reach a deeper state of meditation in a shorter amount of time as you continue to program your meditation area

When Should You Meditate

It's a good idea to pick a consistent time each day to meditate. A good time to meditate would be in the morning before you've been bombarded with the stresses and demands of your day. Our daily responsibilities put us under a lot of stress and the demands make it harder for us to have a good meditation when we try to meditate and relax. Be consistent with your daily morning ritual and you will notice that your day will unfold in a much different joyful pattern.

A Meditation Plan

You must choose your meditation plan when you are just beginning. You must be in the right frame of mind to have a productive meditation. Don't meditate as soon as you get home from a long day because you will wind up spending too much time trying to relax your mind and body. A good idea would be to take a short walk to decompress from the demands of your day.

If you are tired than maybe you can take a cool shower or even an energizing fresh fruit drink. It is very important to approach your meditations with the best mindset and will help you get the most out of your meditations.

Best Position

There are many different positions you can use when you are meditating but when you are just learning how to meditate it is best if you were in a seated position. Sit on the floor on a cushion or in a chair that has a straight back. Picture the energy travelling from the ground through your body and out through your head. Envision an invisible string attached to your head, which is pulling your body upright. This will give the energy a free flowing channel to travel through.

Gently place your hands on your lap with your fingers relaxed and spread apart slightly. Tuck you chin down and begin to relax you jaw and your tongue. With your mouth open slightly put your tongue against the roof of your mouth. With half open eyes look out and relax your vision by seeing but not really focusing on anything.

Focus you awareness and picture yourself in a trance-like state. Do the same thing with any sounds you hear, you notice the sounds but you don't give them any importance. They become a background symphony for the experience of the meditation, having no more importance than the background noises we hear and ignore all day long.

The Breath

When you begin to learn how to meditate you will notice that your mind is jumping rapidly from thought to thought as our minds struggle to gain control once more. You must learn to let go of these thoughts and focus your attention on your breath. To stay focused on your meditation it is a good idea to count your breaths. As you breathe deep into your belly and then breathe out consider this a count of one. Begin by counting a series of 15 to 20 breaths, this will be long enough to help you to quiet your monkey mind.

Experience the Benefits Of Meditation.

You're starting to find that place inside yourself where you are in control and your thoughts and are guided by your intentions. That place within where the mind is no longer the master of your destiny and controller of your fate. You are beginning to relax and experience what it means to be in a basic state of goodness and joy, a boundless place of deep understanding and serenity.

A level of multi-dimensional consciousness that shows you once and for all that you are more than what you see on the surface. All your former illusions of self are now breaking down and you are on a journey to discover the truly divine being you are.

Become all that you were meant to be by learning how to meditate and let go of the self defeating beliefs you have built up over the years. Use these meditation techniques everyday for the best possible results.

After meditating for many years I can tell you that the benefits of meditation can't be denied. It is my opinion and the opinion of many studies that we all will live a longer stress free life if we just learn how to meditate . Start meditating today using the above meditation techniques . It may save your life......

Article Source: How to Meditate For A healthy Mind And Body

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Sweet Friends 5-24-10

Hello to my sweet friends, May the Universe, The Great One, and your guardian Angels bring you a week blessed with joy, prosperity and health! Much love and many blessings to you, MelodieA Jicarilla Apache Legend 2There was once an old Apache who went begging from camp to camp every evening. His wife tried to reform the old beggar by playing a trick upon him.One night during his absence she fetched a bleached horse's pelvis into the tipi, and painted it so that it somewhat resembled a face.The old man came home about midnight, and beheld, as he thought, the head of a monster glaring at him in the bright moonlight from the door of the lodge.Twice the woman held up the pelvis, when he turned in terror-stricken flight, calling, "Help, help! Something has killed my woman. Bring spears, bring arrows!" With a spear he cautiously lifted the side of the tipi, but his wife threw out the bone at the back, and he could not discover the cause of the apparition.The next night he went out to beg again. He found plenty of buffalo meat at one of the lodges, some of which was given him to carry home. There were several horses lying outside the lodge, and the old man mistook one of them for a log, and jumped upon its back. The frightened horse rose under him, and soon succeeded in bucking him off.As the Indians came out of the tipi to investigate the cause of the stampede of the ponies, the old man said, "I told you long ago to break this horse, and now I must do it myself!" Thus avoiding, in some measure, their ridicule, he groped about until he found his meat again, and then hastened home.The next morning he decided to move his camp. His family formed a large party, and he wished to precede them on the march. His sons were alarmed, and told him that the Cheyenne would kill and scalp him."Oh, no," said he, "nobody will attack a warrior like me," and he walked on ahead of the others.His three sons painted their faces black and white, so that they were no longer recognizable, and then ran around in front of their father. As they ran toward him he shot all his arrows, but was too frightened to shoot straight.The young men caught him; one ran his fingernail around his scalp, while another placed a fresh buffalo's heart on the old man's head. The blood from the heart ran down his face, and he thought he was scalped.His sons allowed him to go back toward the party; on the way he came to a river, where he stooped to drink, and saw the reflected image of the raw flesh upon his head. He was then sure that he had been scalped, and sat down to die.His sons made signs to him to cross the river and go back. Again frightened by their gestures, he ran until he reached the women, who all laughed at his story of being scalped by the Cheyenne.The sons had explained the joke to their mother, and when the old man appealed to his wife for sympathy she only laughed at him, as he sat and shook with fear before her. At last they pulled off the strange head-covering, and a fresh burst of ridicule of the "brave warrior" followed.The Shadows – Apache is a far more difficult process than most people imagine. Really to listen in the way that is meant by the masters is to let go utterly of ourselves, to let go of all the information, all the concepts, all the ideas, and all the prejudices that our heads are stuffed with. If you really listen to the teachings, those concepts, which are our real hindrance—the one thing that stands between us and our true nature—can slowly and steadily be washed away.Sogyal Rinpoche
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Heavenletters #3465

Heavenletters #3465

Heavenletters™, bringing Earth closer to Heaven.

HEAVEN is here to reach every soul on earth to reawaken:

* Our connection to God *
* Our belief in ourselves *
* Our awareness of our shared worthiness to God *
* Peace on Earth *

God is always bringing us closer to Him.

HEAVEN #3465 Time and Space, Heart and Mind, May 21, 2010

God said:

Time is such an elusive thing. It gets away from you! It dominates you, and yet how does it do that? You make lists in order to master time. You try to set priorities in order to master time. Whether you follow your lists or not, time seems to get the better of you.

And so it is with space. There is too much or not enough. You try to arrange it. You try to keep it one way or another.

Both space and time seem to have their own say. You try and try to keep them in place, and, yet, time and space speed, and sometimes you just can't keep up.

If you race time and space, you won't be the winner, or you won't be the winner for long.

Must time and space dominate your lives? Of course, time and space are the relative that you are dealing with. You may say you are dealing with people as well. Of course, the people you interact with are yourself in one shape or another. They too are trying to keep up with time and space. People seem to be your biggest issue, yet it may be that time and space are.

Of course, sometimes people are in your space. And sometimes people take up your time. Those same people, if they came without space and time and without their physical attributes, they would be easy for you. All that interferes with your love would fall away. All that interferes would not exist.

You would become two souls meeting as One.

What are some of the things in the world that do irk you? Speeding cars. Litter on the streets. People talking with their mouths full or making slurping noises.

And so your senses come into play. Counting is with your fingers and your toes. Counting is touch. All the senses are beautiful. It is your mind that would make something else of them. The five senses are your great intermediaries in life, yet the mind takes over. Your mind tells you what is worth keeping and what is not, and, yet, as strong as your mind is, you sometimes escape it.

What is the missing factor? Some might say it is habit. Some might call it will.

You would like to be above anger, and yet you find yourself angry, perhaps time and time again. You cannot contain yourself. Yet is not anger willful?

Is it will or lack of will that makes you help yourself to anger? What incurs your anger?

Does your mind actually make your choices for you? Does the heart? What makes you tick?

What does rule you, beloveds? What makes you swim in the dark. What makes you use a blindfold?

Whatever, come nearer to Me. Stay close to Me. In truth, Our hearts are One.

Your thoughts, fostered by the world, pull you off track and unsettle Our arrangement. Let Our minds be One as well. Come closer to My way of thinking, for I earnestly seek you to see in new ways. Be open to My heart, and be open to My mind, for I would like you to be attuned to all that good and true. I speak of your inheritance. My heart and mind are for you.

The reality is that not even are My mind and heart separate, one from the other. Our One Heart and Mind embrace its One Self in the same manner that you and I, as One, embrace.

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Daily OM – Clinging to the Core

Daily OM – Clinging to the Core

May 21, 2010

Clinging to the Core

When Our World Falls Apart

When it feels as if your world is falling apart, know at your core that you are a strong being of light.

There are times when our whole world seems to be falling apart around us, and we are not sure what to hold onto anymore. Sometimes our relationships crumble and sometimes it’s our physical environment. At other times, we can’t put our finger on it, but we feel as if all the walls have fallen down around us and we are standing with nothing to lean on, exposed and vulnerable. These are the times in our lives when we are given an opportunity to see where we have established our sense of identity, safety, and well-being. And while it is perfectly natural and part of our process to locate our sense of self in externals, any time those external factors shift, we have an opportunity to rediscover and move closer to our core, which is the only truly safe place to call home.

The core of our being is not affected by the shifting winds of circumstance or subject to the cycles of change that govern physical reality. It is as steady and consistent as the sun, which is why the great mystics and mystical poets often reference the sun in their odes to the self. Like the sun, there are times when our core seems to be inaccessible to us, but this is just a misperception. We know that when the sun goes behind a cloud or sets for the night, it has not disappeared but is simply temporarily out of sight. In the same way, we can trust that our inner core is always shining brightly, even when we cannot quite see it.

We can cling to this core when things around us are falling apart, knowing that an inexhaustible light shines from within ourselves. Times of external darkness can be a great gift in that they provide an opportunity to remember this inner light that shines regardless of the circumstances of our lives. When our external lives begin to come back together, we are able to lean a bit more lightly on the structures we used to call home, knowing more clearly than ever that our true home is that bright sun shining in our core.

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Without inflammation, cholesterol won't accumulate in bloodvessel walls and cause heart disease• Posted by Dr. Darius Homi Umrigar MD (AM) on May 21, 2010 at 9:49am• Send Message View Dr. Darius Homi Umrigar MD (AM)'s blogWithout inflammation, cholesterol won't accumulate in blood vessel walls and cause heart diseaseHeart Surgeon Admits Huge Mistake!All Physicians with all the training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong.So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong.. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries,today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labeled "opinion makers."Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted fromthe simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol. The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake.The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.It Is Not Working!These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year. Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended.It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.Inflammation is not complicated -- it is quite simply your body's natural defense to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the bodyto injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation.Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial. What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully. The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease,stroke, diabetes and obesity.Let me repeat that. The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine. What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causingthe body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades.These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone. How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your bloodsugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels. While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there.I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean.Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life.While omega-6’s are essential –they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s. If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimaland healthy.To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils. There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables.Cut down on or eliminate inflammation-causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them. One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labeled polyunsaturated.Forget the "science" that has been drummed into your head for decades.The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent.The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak.Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today. The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation.Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in yourarteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.Dr Darius H Umrigar
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Sweet Friends 5-21-10

Hello sweet friends, I hope that you have some wonderful positive things going on this weekend. Either way, have a happy, joyous, positive time full of fun and laughter. And peace and rest for those of you that need it. Love & Blessings. Melodie

A Jicarilla Apache - Legend 1An Apache boy, while playing with his comrades, pretended to be a bear, and ran into a hole in the hillside. When he came out his feet and hands had been transformed into bear's paws.A second time he entered the den, and his limbs were changed to the knees and elbows.Four times he entered the den, and then came forth the voracious cac-tla-yæ that devoured his former fellow-beings.One day the bear met a fox in the mountains. "I am looking for a man to eat," said Bear."So am I," said Fox, "but your legs are so big and thick you cannot run very fast to catch them. You ought to allow me to trim down those posts a little, so you can run as swift as I."Bear consented to have the operation performed, and Fox not only cut the flesh from the legs of Bear, but also broke the bones with his knife, thus killing the dreaded man-eater. Taking the leg bones of Bear with him, he went to the home of the bear family, and there found two other bears.These monsters preyed upon the people, who were unable to kill them, as they left their hearts at home when off on their marauding expeditions.Fox remained in hiding until the bears went away. When they ran among the Indians, Fox responded to the cries for assistance, not by flying to attack the bears, but by hastening to cut their hearts in two.The bears were aware that their hearts had been tampered with, and rushed with all speed to rescue them, but fell dead just before they reached Fox.Thus Fox destroyed one of the most dreaded of man's enemies of that primeval time.*******************When you try your best, but you don't succeed,When you get what you want, but not what you need,And the tears come streaming down your face,When you lose something you cannot replace,Lights will guide you home,And I will try to fix you.My friend, I will try to fix you."Fix You" from the CD "X & Y" by Coldplay
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Elizabeth Cusova


The orangutan was in a rescue and not doing well. This old hound wandered in absolutely emaciated and the orangutan snapped to like his buddy had arrived. He stayed with the hound night and day until he was well and in the whole scenario, found a reason to live. They are now inseparable.

Suryia and Roscoe - Best Of Friends

Where you lead, I will friends Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick hound.

Doggy paddle's the order of the day here for the couple who live at the Tigers sanctuary in Myrtle Beach , South Carolina .

Suryia and Roscoe spend hours together every day - they're particularly keen on swimming.

The two mates see the funny side of most things.

There's always time to chill.

For once, Roscoe's letting it all hang out.

The three-year-old orangutan goes everywhere with Roscoe.

A dog's not just a man's best friend, he's an orangutan's too.

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Reunited with the Vietnamese 'girl in the picture'

Nick Ut's famous image of Kim Phuc fleeing the napalm attack on her village

By Rebecca Lumb
BBC News

Kim Phuc, the Vietnamese girl in one of the unforgettable images of the Vietnam War , has been reunited by the BBC with Christopher Wain, the ITN correspondent who helped save her life 38 years ago.

When Chris last saw Kim, she was lying on a hospital bed with first-degree burns to more than half of her body, after a South Vietnamese napalm bomb attack.

It was 8 June 1972 and Chris and his crew had been in Vietnam for seven weeks, covering the conflict for ITN.

I found our reunion much more moving than I'd anticipated... Kim was quite emotionally charged, and that's catching

Christopher Wain

He remembers the day clearly: "That morning we'd arrived at the village of Trang Bang, which had been infiltrated by the North Vietnamese two days earlier. They were dug in, awaiting a counter-attack.

"In the late morning, two vintage Vietnamese bombers started to circle overhead - this wasn't anything unusual, but because we had been into the village we knew something was going wrong."

Many of the villagers had already fled to the shelter of a temple, among them nine-year-old Kim.

"We thought this would be a safe place - but then I saw the plane - it got so close," she remembers.

"I heard the noise of the bombs then suddenly I saw the fire everywhere around me.

"I was terrified and I ran out of the fire. I saw my brother and my cousin. We just kept running. My clothes were burnt off by the fire."

Chris and his crew were about 400m from the point where the four canisters of napalm had exploded.

"There was a blast of heat which felt like someone had opened the door of an oven. Then we saw Kim and the rest of the children. None of them were making any sound at all - until they saw the adults. Then they started to scream."

Lasting memory

A Vietnamese photographer, Nick Ut, was also covering events in South Vietnam that day.

As Kim ran down the road, her arms outstretched and screaming for help, he took what is now seen as one of the most memorable images of the Vietnam War.

She was still running when Chris stopped her and poured water over her, while directing his crew to record the terrible scenes.

Chris helps Kim as the horrific scenes are captured on film

"We were short of film and my cameraman, the late, great Alan Downes, was worried that I was asking him to waste precious film shooting horrific pictures which were too awful to use. My attitude was that we needed to show what it was like, and to their lasting credit, ITN ran the shots."

Nick took Kim to the nearest hospital, the US-run Saigon First Children's Hospital. Shortly afterwards, his photograph and the film footage appeared all over the Western media.

One result was that everyone wanted to know what had happened to the little girl.

It was Chris who found Kim the following Sunday, in a small room at the British hospital.

"I asked a nurse how she was and she said she would die tomorrow," he says. So he got her moved to a specialist plastic surgery hospital, for life-saving treatment.

Kim stayed in hospital for 14 months and went through 17 operations, remaining in constant pain to this day.
Her image became a lasting memory for a generation - but the little girl herself disappeared from public view.

Powerful gift

Then, 10 years later, a journalist from Germany tracked Kim down.

She was at university studying medicine but the Vietnamese government cut short her studies and ordered her back to her village to be filmed and interviewed. She was now a propaganda tool.

Even when she succeeded in resuming her studies, this time in Cuba, she was still expected to fulfil her duties as a "symbol of war".

I realised I have a powerful gift... now that I have freedom I can control that picture

Kim Phuc

It was at Havana University that she met Toan, a fellow student from Vietnam. They married and took a honeymoon in Russia, which provided them with a unique opportunity to flee to Canada.

"I heard rumours that a lot of Cuban students stay in Canada on the way back from Moscow, when the plane stops to refuel. By doing this I was finally able to gain my freedom."

Kim settled down to a peaceful and anonymous life in Canada with her husband and two children, but in 1995 she was traced by another journalist and the picture was splashed across the front page of the Toronto Sun.

"I wanted to escape the picture because the more famous it got, the more it cost me my private life. It seemed to me that my picture would not let me go," she says.

However, the realisation came to her she did not have to remain an unwilling victim. The photo was, in fact, a powerful gift that she could use to help promote peace.

"I realised that now that I have freedom and am in a free country, I can take control of that picture," she says.

'Impressive woman'

This idea led her to establish the Kim Phuc Foundation, which provides medical and psychological assistance to child victims of war.

Chris continued with ITN for another three years as defence correspondent, covering amongst other things the Yom Kippur War and the invasion of Cyprus. Later he moved to the BBC.

He retired in 1999 and never expected to see Kim again.

"At the time, it was just another story, though an appalling one. It was certainly the worst thing I ever saw.

"Later, when interest was rekindled, I felt that Kim was being used. That was why 10 years ago I declined a proposed on-screen reunion with her on the Oprah Winfrey Show - it sounded exploitative."

Now, having met Kim, he's changed his mind, and no longer thinks of her as a victim of that picture.

"Despite everything that has happened to her, and all she's endured, she's become a very impressive woman."

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Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico in maps and graphics

A massive operation is under way in and around the Gulf of Mexico to halt a leak from a blown-out oil well and prevent the spread of the slick.

The graphic above shows the scene 1,524m (5,000 feet) beneath the waves where oil is leaking out of the damaged remnants of the oil well apparatus.

Below we explain the various attempts to stem the leak from the damaged oil lines on the sea bed.
Underwater efforts to cap oil leak

Initially, BP tried to lower a 125-tonne, 18-metre (59 feet) high container dome over the main leak on the sea floor. However, this failed when gas leaking from the pipe mixed with water to form hydrates, ice-like crystals, that blocked up the steel canopy.

Meanwhile, four robotic submersibles have been trying to activate the blow-out preventer, a set of huge valves designed to seal the well.

Experts believe the blow-out preventer (BOP) must have partially triggered otherwise the flow of oil to the surface would be more extreme than it is.

In an unusual move, BP, the British oil giant which contracted another company to drill the well, has also started using dispersant chemicals down at the leak site as well as on the surface.

A long-term solution is also in progress - drilling a relief well which can tap into the leaking well and take the pressure off the broken well. However, it could be three months before this is operational.

Up to five thousand barrels a day are thought to be leaking from the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig which sank on 22 April after an explosion in which 11 workers lost their lives.

The delicate eco-system of the gulf coastline is rich in wildlife including the brown pelican, many species of duck, turtles, and whales.

There are fears that the disaster could reach the scale of the 11m gallon Exxon Valdez spill off Alaska in 1989.

How the oil has spread

Approximate oil locations 22 April - 15 May


Emergency teams are using several methods in attempts to deal with the oil at the surface, which has created a slick covering about 2,000 sq miles (5,200 sq km).

More than 275 vessels, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels, are being used.

Skimmers, which skate over the water, brushing up the oil are also being employed and more than 90,000 barrels of oil-water mix have been removed.

Around 190 miles of floating boom are being used as part of the efforts to stop oil reaching the coast. A US charity is even making booms out of nylon tights, animal fur and human hair. Hair donations have been sent from around the world to help make the special booms, which will be laid on beaches to soak up any oil that washes ashore.

Dispersant chemicals, rather like soap, are being sprayed from ships and aircraft in an effort to help break down the oil - which is also degraded by wind and waves.

Burning is another method used to tackle oil spills - although it can be tricky to carry out and has associated environmental risks such as toxic smoke.

So far emergency crews have had little success in containing the spill using those methods.
New underwater technology aimed at stopping crude oil rising to the surface at the site of the leak has had some success.

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12 Vows of Medicine Buddha

12 Vows of Medicine Buddha

1. I vow that my body shall shine as beams of brilliant light on this infinite and boundless world, showering on all beings, getting rid of their ignorance and worries with my teachings.

May all beings be like me, with a perfect status and character, upright mind and soul, and finally attaining enlightenment like the Buddha.

2. I vow that my body be like crystal, pure and flawless, radiating rays of splendid light to every corner, brightening up and enlightening all beings with wisdom. With the blessings of compassion, may all beings strengthen their spiritual power and physical energy, so that they could fulfil their dreams in the right track.

3. I vow that I shall grant by means of boundless wisdom, all beings with the inexhaustible things that they require, and relieving them from all pains and guilt resulting from materialistic desires. Although clothing, food, accommodation and transport are essentials, it should be utilised wisely as well. Besides self-consumption, the remaining should be generously shared with the community so that all could live harmoniously together.

4. I vow to lead those who have gone astray back to the path of righteousness. Let them be corrected and returned to the Buddha way for enlightenment.

5. I vow that I shall enable all sentient beings to observe precepts for spiritual purity and moral conduct. Should there be any relapse or violation, they shall be guided for repentance. Provided they truly regret their wrong-doings, and vow for a change with constant prayers and strong faith in the Buddha, they could receive the rays of forgiveness, recover their lost moral and purity.

6. I vow that all beings who are physically disabled or sick in all aspects be blessed with good health, both physically and mentally. All who pays homage to Buddha faithfully will be blessed.

7. I vow to relieve all pain and poverty of the very sick and poor. The sick be cured, the helpless be helped, the poor be assisted.

8. I vow to help women who are undergoing sufferings and tortures and seeking for transformation into men. By hearing my name, paying homage and praying, their wishes would be granted and ultimately attain Buddhahood.

9. I vow to free all beings from evil thoughts and its control. I shall lead them onto the path of light through inculcating them with righteousness and honour so that they will walk the Buddha way.

10. I vow to save prisoners who have genuinely repented and victims of natural disasters. Those who are sincere will be blessed by my supreme powers and be freed from sufferings.

11. I vow to save those who suffer from starvation and those who committed crime to obtain food. If they hear my name and faithfully cherish it, I shall lead them to the advantages of Dharma and favour them with best food and eventually lead a tranquil and happy life.

12. I vow to save those who suffer from poverty, tormented by mosquitoes and wasps day and night. If they come across my name, cherish it with sincerity and practise dharma to strengthen their merits, they will be able to achieve their wishes.

Extracted from The Sutra of the Master of Healing.

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Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

185 voices. 243 tracks. 12 countries. A choir unlike any other. What started as a simple social media experiment, has become a poetic metaphor of our shared humanity and the power of connection.

Acclaimed composer and conductor Eric Whitacre offered the sheet music of his original composition, "Lux Aurumque", as a free download and invited singers to submit a video of themselves performing one part (soprano, alto, tenor, or bass).

These rather ordinary videos of solo performances were then pieced together to form a choir of singers who have never met each other...but have unwittingly created music in perfect harmony together.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Sleep'
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