Oneness with All Life by Eckhart Tolle

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oneness with all life

I have the Treasury Edition of this book. It’s hardcover and beautiful. I don’t normally go for hardcover books as they are heavy but this is one of those books that I will keep near my desk and go back to it many times. Oneness with All Life is the concentration of Tolle’s book: A New Earth. Here’s my favourite selections from the book:

The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.

You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present…

The true or primary purpose of your life cannot be found on the outer level. It does not concern what you do but what you are—that is to say, your state of consciousness.

Do I want the present moment to be my friend or my enemy?” ….Become friendly toward it, welcome it no matter in what disguise it comes, and soon you will see the results. Life becomes friendly toward you; people become helpful, circumstances cooperative….But that one decision you have to make again and again and again – until it becomes natural to live in such a way.

If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.

Be aware that what you think, to a large extent, creates the emotions that you feel. See the link between your thinking and your emotions. Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.

Most people’s lives are cluttered up with things: material things, things to do, things to think about. Their lives are like the history of humanity, which Winston Churchill defined as “one damn thing after another.” Their minds are filled up with the clutter of thoughts, one thought after another.

Heart of Darfur by Lisa French Blaker

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heart-of-darfur

When days are good in Darfur you relish every one. You never know–it may be your last.

An African mother doesn’t grieve less because she does it often. I’ve heard people say, ‘It’s different there,’ when they hear of death and dying in Africa. They say, ‘Those people are used to death and for them it’s natural.’ Stand listening to a crying mother as she holds her dead child in her arms and tell me if you really believe that. They cry and grieve and ache inside and the aching never goes. The difference is they have no choice without the care we take for granted. Their children die and they can only watch. So they lift the body, tie it to their backs with a colourful sheet and carry another baby home to bury in the sand.

Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg

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wild-mind

What writing practice, like Zen practice, does is bring you back to the natural state of mind, the wilderness of your mind where there are no refined rows of gladiolas. The mind is raw, full of energy, alive and hungry. It does not think in the way we were brought up to think—well-mannered, congenial.

A book about writing isn’t enough. Being a writer is a whole way of life, a way of seeing, thinking, being. It’s the passing on of a lineage. Writers hand on what they know.

The old essentials are still necessary. Stay with them under all circumstances. It will make you stable—something unusual for a writer.