"Rich Americans Sue UBS to Keep Names Secret
TOPICS:North America | Western Europe | Laws and Legislation | Switzerland | Banking | Economy (U.S.)
By: Lynnley Browning, The New York Times | 25 Feb 2009 |
UBS was sued on Tuesday in a Swiss federal court by wealthy American clients seeking to prevent the disclosure of their identities as part of a tax-evasion investigation by the United States Justice Department.
The lawsuit accuses UBS and Switzerland’s financial regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or Finma, of violating Swiss bank secrecy laws and of conducting what Swiss law considers illegal activities with foreign authorities. It also named Peter Kurer, the chairman of UBS, and Eugen Haltiner, the chairman of Finma, as defendants.
The suit, filed by a lawyer in Zurich, Andreas Rued, on behalf of nearly a dozen American clients, underscores the growing clash between Swiss banking secrecy laws and those of the United States. Tax evasion is not considered a crime in Switzerland. Disclosing client names under Swiss law is a criminal offense and can expose bank executives and officers to fines, prison terms and other penalties.
UBS is the world’s largest private bank and Switzerland is the world’s largest offshore tax haven, with trillions of dollars in assets.
Update: Suspicions Grow About Rich Americans and Swiss Accounts
The lawsuit, which UBS described in an internal memo late Tuesday, stems from UBS’s agreement last week to turn over to federal authorities in Washington the names of 250 wealthy Americans suspected of using secret UBS offshore accounts and entities to evade taxes."
"Will Your Life Work the Way You Want It to in 2009?
By Jack Canfield February 24th, 2009
Source Dream Manifesto
"As I mentioned earlier, 2009 may bring greater uncertainty and more unsettling economic news than recent years, but these circumstances should compel us to take a deep breath, and pause to think about our lives.
When things happen in the world that seem so far beyond our individual control, it can feel unsettling.
Don't give up on your goals and dreams just because "the time isn't good"... you can still make 2009 the year you uncover a whole new you for the better!
Even in tough times, you get to decide how to respond to certain conditions, opportunities, and outcomes - both good and bad.
Life will always be a series of choices and YOU get to decide on what will move you closer to your goals, or farther away from them. External forces will always be part of the equation, even during the good times when the world is thriving.
When people ask me about the single most important ingredient to success, I always share the same response: realizing what's making you achieve success, and then realizing what is stifling your success.
Sometimes recognizing the things that are NOT working in your life can be painful, yet VERY powerful to shaping the life you want.
Don't try to rationalize them, make excuses for them, or hide them. This is when it's even more critical to take personal inventory and evict those excuses, rationalizations, and hidden habits that don't serve you. These things will keep you from the life you want to be living. Let me give you some examples. Ask yourself if you relate to any of these questions:
These things can be painful to look at because the truth is that you have to do something about them in order to make it work in your life.
You'll have to say no to the second helping of dinner and the dessert to follow and go through the awkward stage of getting into shape... You'll have to confront your partner about the areas that need work... You'll have to get past fears about changing your job or professional path... You'll have to cut back on your spending and be frugal... You'll have to take a good hard look at your personal relationships and perhaps consider your own shortfalls and weaknesses in communicating your needs and concerns.
Plain and simple, you will have to do something uncomfortable.
Successful people don't waste time in denial (or complain or make excuses for that matter). They face situations like a warrior. They look for the warning signs, they find out why things aren't working, and they go about fixing them- even when fixing requires problem solving, hard work, risk, and a level of uncertainty.
It's okay to identify a problem even though you haven't a clue about how to go about solving it right away.
The first step is just recognizing the issue, and then having faith that you'll figure it out with careful attention to it. That's how successful people live - in constant focus on goals, on results, on problem solving, and on the actions that get them to where they want to be.
Following are three things to do constantly in pursuit of your goals and dreams, however big or small:
Keep your awareness on the feedback you are getting from life and decide to address the situations immediately. Don't bottle up feedback, cast it aside, and avoid it like you would a pile of dirty laundry or a stack of unopened bills.
Life tells you things every day. Do this. Don't do that. Think about this. Try me. Forget that. We live in a world that seemingly encourages us to live on autopilot. Successful people fly manually every day and so should you. When those feedback signals come in, listen to them and use them in planning your next step.
Commit to finding out why things aren't working and learn what will fix them. Once you start the process it will be much easier to continue. Nothing fruitful stems from inaction.
Trust that making changes to the situation will ultimately bring about the best results. Sure you might go through a bit of discomfort during the change, and some unlikely or unwanted outcomes, but in the end you will triumph!
So are you ready to admit the things that just are not working out?
Make a list of the things in your life that are working against your success and ask how the situation can be improved. Commit to tackling just one of those issues and be brave!
If you need help organizing those "things" in your life, try using the following list of categories. I recommend reflecting on each of the 7 areas and ask yourself, what's not working here in each one and then brainstorm 3 potential solutions.
Remember, by facing what is not working, you can only improve your life!"
Abraham-Hicks Daily Quote
" The ability to imagine what you are wanting, rather than only observing what-is, is what takes you beyond. You are a physical being, but you are much more."
" Those that are succeeding and are thrilled and joyful in the unfolding will often tell you, "I've dreamed this since I was little. I imagined it, I pretended it, I used to practice with the hairbrush pretending it was a microphone." Purity is the alignment of energy. Doesn't matter what anybody else thinks about anything. It only matters what you think about it."
" Worthiness, in very simple terms, means I have found a way to let the Energy reach me, the Energy that is natural, reach me. Worthiness, or unworthiness, is something that is pronounced upon you by you. You are the only one that can deem yourself worthy or unworthy. You are the only one who can love yourself into a state of allowing, or hate yourself in a state of disallowing. There is not something wrong with you, nor is there something wrong with one who is not loving you. You are all just, in the moment, practicing the art of not allowing, or the art of resisting."
My cousin sent this in email.
As a bagpiper, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a grave-side service for a homeless man, with no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at a cemetery way back in the country, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost; and being a typical man did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew, who were eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight.
I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and stepped to the side of the
open grave, where I saw the vault lid already in place.
I assured the workers I would not hold them up for long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I played out my heart and soul.
As I played the workers began to weep. I played, and I played, like I'd never played before..... from Going Home & The Lord is my Shepherd to Flowers of the Forest . I closed the lengthy session with Amazing Grace and walked to my car.
As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another, "Sweet Jeezuz, Mary 'n Joseph, I never seen nothin' like that before - and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Perhaps they'd have better luck if they were seeking truth about earth cycles instead of emulating Chicken Little based on unproven computer models funded by agenda driven government funding.
Plant trees, buy seedlings and use water-gel to get them established. Mulch around them. Trees use CO2 for food and give off Oxygen as a by product ... perfect win/win exchange that's been in place millions of years.
"Satellite to Study Global-Warming Gases Lost in Space (Update2)
By Alex Morales
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- A satellite launched today from California failed to reach orbit, dooming a $273 million project to study global-warming gases.
"The mission is lost," National Aeronautics and Space Administration spokesman Steve Cole said in a telephone interview from the launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. "At this point no one is exactly sure what the cause is."
The NASA satellite was to orbit 438 miles (705 kilometers) above the Earth and observe how carbon dioxide enters and leaves the atmosphere, helping scientists predict future increases in the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.
Today's malfunction follows a Feb. 11 collision of U.S. and Russian satellites almost 500 miles above the planet, the first crash of its type, which created a space debris field of more than 300 pieces that could damage other satellites.
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite didn't reach orbit after its 1:51 a.m. local time launch because the "payload fairing" didn't separate, NASA said in a statement. The fairing covers the top of the satellite during launch and needs to come off so the satellite can detach from the rocket and enter orbit.
"If it's lost, it's disappointing because it was giving us novel information to help us move our understanding forward on global warming," Alan O'Neill, science director of the Reading, U.K.-based Centre for Earth Observation, said today in an interview.
Orbital Sciences Both the satellite and launch rocket were built by Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. A spokesman at the company wasn't immediately available for comment. NASA's investment was $273 million for the design, development and launch operations. Insurance details on the mission may be given at a briefing later today, a NASA spokesman said.
The craft contained a monitoring device designed to collect 8 million measurements every 16 days. Scientists hoped to use data gathered by the device to find out how much CO2 is absorbed by the forests, grasslands and oceans, which are collectively known as "sinks." Man-made CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere, is largely produced by power plants, vehicle engines and factories.
The data gleaned from the satellite was intended to help guide government global-warming policy, NASA said.
"An improved understanding of carbon sinks is essential to predicting future carbon-dioxide increases and making accurate predictions of carbon dioxide's impact on Earth's climate," NASA said on the mission Web site. "If these natural carbon-dioxide sinks become less efficient as the climate changes, the rate of buildup of carbon dioxide would increase."
The satellite was expected to have a minimum three-year life. Similar spacecraft have lasted five to 10 years, David Steitz, a NASA spokesman, said yesterday.
The collision of Russian and U.S. satellites destroyed an Iridium Satellite LLC communications craft and a defunct Russian Cosmos 2251, NASA said earlier this month.
At least 18,000 satellites, debris and other space objects orbiting the Earth are tracked by the U.S. Joint Space Operations center. The Soviet Union put the first satellite, Sputnik 1, into space in 1957.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at [email protected]
Last Updated: February 24, 2009 08:08 EST"
"Seek And Be Hungry For New Knowledge
By Bob Proctor February 22nd, 2009
Source Dream Manifesto
"Do you remember that first spark of hope you felt when you watched The Secret? I clearly remember the desire that filled my heart, knowing that - Yes, I can make my dreams come true - Finally!
But how many of you soon saw that hope dwindle into frustration? How many of you (and be honest now) started muttering things like:
* "It seems to work for other people, but I just can't get it right."
* "I'm frustrated that sometimes I can get it to work, but sometimes I can't. What's the trick?"
* "Why am I having so much trouble?"
* "I think the universe is against me."
* "I'm trying very, VERY hard but still nothing is happening!"
Don't worry, you're not alone. About 97% of people also couldn't make the Law of Attraction work for them the first time round. Think about it, just like anything else, you have to practice many times before you see success. A child doesn't learn to walk without falling over a couple of times, right?
But in practice, everything is easier said and done. When you're frustrated, it's hard to stay positive. And it's especially harder to stay positive when the evidence all around you is screams negativity like the unstable economy or senseless acts of violence such as those recently seen in Mumbai.
And do you know what happens when you fail to stay positive? That's right - you start attracting negative things in to your life.
So how can you make the Law of Attraction work for you - without getting frustrated? How do those who successfully implement the Law of Attraction do it with such confidence and finesse?
Well, here's three quick tips so you will never feel frustrated or tired of begging from the universe, because you know how to start manifesting like a pro.
1. Allow Yourself To Receive
Just like a lost child who approaches a police officer and asks, "Excuse me Sir, can you tell me how to go to the post office? Can you? Can you? Can you? Can you? Can you?" Well, if the child goes on and on asking, the police officer can't even give an answer, right?
Well, it's the same thing with your mind. If the only thing your mind is doing is transmit, transmit, transmit, the universe - which is trying to respond - can't give you a single thing because you're not allowing yourself to receive!
So, have the confidence in yourself and stop exhausting yourself by running around person to person begging for riches, and then wondering why nobody is dropping a penny in your cup (Hint: It's because you're running away too fast for them before they can even reach for their wallets).
Just think of your desires and leave it out there, go away, and trust that your cup will be filled with gold coins (or whatever it is you asked for) when the time is right.
2. Be Patient With Yourself
Receiving takes time. Sadly, many people give up just a couple of steps before the finish line because they've decided that if it's not working by now, it's never going to work at all. Worse still are those who throw in more and more energy because they think that with more resources, the results will come faster.
This is like expecting 9 mothers to conceive and deliver a baby in 1 month. You also can't bake cookies in half the time by doubling the temperature. You'll incinerate those cookies to ashes!
In simple terms: Everything in this world has a natural development time, and this fact will not change no matter what resources you throw at it.
So relax and be patient. Remember that you too, as part of the universe, are also governed by the laws of the universe, and you cannot change the natural development time.
If you remember this, you will less likely work yourself up into frustration, or worse, push yourself into a downward spiral of negativity.
3. Support and Educate Yourself
Like the child who is learning how to walk, you need support. You also need to guidance on how to do it, and also the role models to look up to.
Many people give up because they think that "The Secret" is the "be all and end all" solution. Well, it's NOT. "The Secret" is just a small portion. It was never intended, and has never been, the whole answer.
Coming to the conclusion that the Law of Attraction doesn't work when all you ever did to educate yourself was watch "The Secret" 19 times (without looking at changing the habits of other areas of your life) is like coming to the conclusion that exercising is not an effective way to lose weight because all you did is run on the treadmill for 2 hours a day (but you're still stuffing yourself with fried foods and cheesecakes).
So seek and be hungry for new knowledge. Also, make an effort to be amongst people or communities where you can support each other, learn from each other and also share new knowledge that you have found.
While the Law of Attraction is not an overnight delivery service, it will indeed deliver, if you do your part too! "
Abraham-Hicks Daily Quote
" When you finally get it that the Universe is only answering your vibration, then you understand that if you are victim to anything, it's only your haphazard offering of vibration. The real desire that is being born within you is, "I want to vibrate on purpose. I want to set my Tone. I want to conclude and decide and offer it consistently and then watch the results of it." You cannot get it done, ever, and you cannot get it wrong. So you might as well relax and start having fun with this."
" What I think and feel and what I get are always a match. And so, if I want something different than what I've been getting, I have to, somehow, generate different feelings."
" Worthiness, in very simple terms, means I have found a way to let the Energy reach me, the Energy that is natural, reach me. Worthiness, or unworthiness, is something that is pronounced upon you by you. You are the only one that can deem yourself worthy or unworthy. You are the only one who can love yourself into a state of allowing, or hate yourself in a state of disallowing. There is not something wrong with you, nor is there something wrong with one who is not loving you. You are all just, in the moment, practicing the art of not allowing, or the art of resisting."
Great FREE interview with Terry Cole Whittaker about real self empowerment in our current economic situation.
Very worth time to listen online or download to your media player. Hope you enjoy!!!
On Demand Episodes 3761 Terry Cole Whittaker Original Air Date: 2/19/2009 6:00 PM
Law of Attraction Talk Radio This is where Science merges with spirituality and metaphysics as we explore the Universal Law of Attraction. Join as we talk to the experts on how to create the life we have always wanted! Another great show brought to you by the Law of Attraction Radio Network.
On Demand Episodes 3761 Original Air Date: 2/19/2009 6:00 PM
Thurs. Special! I am in the New Era
"Jewels (host) airs the I am in the New Era Show with host Dr. Harry as in interviews Terry Cole Whittaker. GREAT Show on Law of Attraction Radio Network. http://www.lawofattracttalkradio.com
One article I posted said some data stations in cold areas are located either on the roof of the weather station (heat from the inside drifts up from the heating flu), other data stations located in towns where steam heat was in open pipes close to sidewalks (Siberian city if memory is correct).
Now faulty sensor. Follow money trail per usual.
"Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated for Weeks Due to Faulty Sensor
By Alex Morales
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.
The error, due to a problem called "sensor drift," began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That's when "puzzled readers" alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.
"Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality- control measures prior to archiving the data," the center said. "Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.''
The extent of Arctic sea ice is seen as a key measure of how rising temperatures are affecting the Earth. The cap retreated in 2007 to its lowest extent ever and last year posted its second- lowest annual minimum at the end of the yearly melt season. The recent error doesn't change findings that Arctic ice is retreating, the NSIDC said.
The center said real-time data on sea ice is always less reliable than archived numbers because full checks haven't yet been carried out. Historical data is checked across other sources, it said.
The NSIDC uses Department of Defense satellites to obtain its Arctic sea ice data rather than more accurate National Aeronautics and Space Administration equipment. That's because the defense satellites have a longer period of historical data, enabling scientists to draw conclusions about long-term ice melt, the center said.
"There is a balance between being as accurate as possible at any given moment and being as consistent as possible through long time-periods," NSIDC said. "Our main scientific focus is on the long-term changes in Arctic sea ice."
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at [email protected]
Last Updated: February 20, 2009 08:15 EST
From a free newsletter I subscribe to. Hope you enjoy!
The Reality Shifting Legally Binding Contract
Tish Ann Mac
About a year ago, I decided to enter a singing contest that was to be aired on national television. I visited the contest's website and printed out the application and the legal contract that I was to sign in order to participate. Upon reading the contract, I was shocked to learn that if I planned on singing any of the original songs that I had written myself on the show that I would have to surrender my ownership/legal copyrights of the songs to the TV show. I re-read the contract several times to make sure that that is what the contract truly stated, and sure enough, it did. For some reason, however, I kept a printed copy of the contract anyway even though I had no intentions whatsoever of signing it nor of competing in the contest. I was angry at the thought of a national television network and a TV show with deep pockets trying to steal musicians' work, work that the musicians poured their own heart and soul, talent, time, and money into. I reasoned that it was just another case of the big sharks eating the little fish in the sea. After fuming for awhile, I prayed to the Lord, my spirit guides, and my spiritual teachers. I explained the situation to them and asked them to investigate it.
Even though I did not have any intentions of signing the contract the way it was written, I was hoping all along that the terms of the contract would change so that I could eventually participate in the contest.
Shortly thereafter, I re-visited the TV show's website again and re-read the contract, and to my surprise, the contract was re-worded differently. The contract no longer stated that musicians who sing their own original songs on the show would have to surrender their ownership/legal copyrights of the songs to the TV show. The re-worded contract stated that the legal ownership of the songs would remain with the musicians who wrote the songs. In fact, the website even went on to explain that the TV show would like musicians to attach a copy of their legal copyrights of their songs to their application as a safety measure against any lawsuits filed by TV viewers at home who watch the show and claim that they themselves wrote the songs. I also re-read the printed copy of the legal contract that I had kept and had no intentions of signing due to the stipulation about giving the show the ownership of my songs, and to my surprise, the legal contract that I had previously printed out was also re-worded the same way that the website was.
Right before the reality shift occurred, I had an intuitive feeling that I should return to the website and re-read the contract. Surprised and happy that it had actually changed, I then felt that I should re-read the copy that I had previously printed out, and I noticed that the terms of the printed contract had also changed.
Needless to say, I never did win the contest. I did not even get to the call back stage in the audition process, but the lessons I learned from this experience far outweighed the rewards of appearing on and winning a singing contest on national television. I learned that our reality truly isn't fixed. Even a legally binding contract that was printed out on the printer isn't fixed and can change, and I also learned about the power of prayer.
Note from Cynthia: Thank you so very much for sending me this reality shift story! I love the way you describe how physical evidence vanished once you noticed the change in the printed legal contract details. This is so very typical of reality shifts; once a shift has occurred, all we seem to have in the way of proof are our own memories. Due to the importance of memories, it's highly recommended that we document such reality shifts when they occur, since our notes usually stick around, even if no other substantiation exists. "
"Pillow Changes Color
Dubuque, Iowa, USA
I'm a retired Elementary-Junior High Teacher, now turning to some of my favorite things to do---art, reading, singing and dancing, music, and meditation. I'd like to share a reality shift I had the other day.
As I reached for the third of three red violet pillows I place on top of my bed, I noticed it was missing. After the final piece of searching, under the bed, I glanced at the top to see a third pillow, But it was mauve. Bemused and definitely curious, I checked the living room for my two mauve pillows. And yes, they were there. Back to the bedroom, and now, three pillows still on the bed and they're all red violet. Wow. I went to my living room to reflect. I was truly amazed when the mauve pillow showed up in the empty space between the two red purple pillows on the bed, and then changed colors after I'd been to the living room and back. I think I got the "pillow shift" because it's just too big to miss!
Note from Cynthia: While some people might not notice colors, it's clear that you're the kind of person who does (as evidenced by your use of the word "mauve," which some people aren't so familiar with). This is an excellent example of noticing a change in something you're paying attention to (color)... which often gets me wondering how many reality shifts are happening around us that we don't happen to observe, simply because they have to do with things we're not so closely observing. Thanks so much for noticing and sharing this shift! "
"Keys Reappear in Pocket
New York City, New York, USA
I live in an apartment in New York City and work out of my home. I had gone out for my weekly treat (eating lunch out one day a week) and had stopped on the way out to get my mail so I knew I had my keys with me since my mailbox has a key.
I went out for lunch, came back and since it was a nice fall day, I was sitting on the steps of my building enjoying the day until after 15 minutes or so decided I better get to work. I went to get my keys in my purse and couldn't find them. I patted the pockets of a light, unlined windbreaker I was wearing and no keys. I did the whole purse search again. Then I did the purse search with some things taken out. More patting of pockets. Stood up and patted and reached into both my windbreaker pockets and my pants pockets. No keys. I had a small bag with papers in it and searched that; shook it to see what came to the bottom. Nothing. I even opened my zip top wallet, thinking maybe the keys had somehow fallen in there.
These keys are more of a key ring -- 6 or 7 keys, plus a few of those store shopping discount tags, and a metal charm of a shark... finally the only explanation I could come up with is I must have left them in the restaurant. I tried to call the restaurant to save myself a trip, but got voice mail.
So I walked back to the restaurant, thinking they'd be laughing "Ah, we knew you'd return." Instead I got blank stares of No, we didn't find your keys. I had sat in a booth and I was (yuk!) reaching between the back and the seat looking for my keys. I was stumped.
I stood up and the bartender said, "Did you check your pockets?" and I was slightly peeved and said, "Of course I did" and then patted them again almost unconsciously. Well, there were my keys in my windbreaker jacket. I can't tell you how stunned I was. I started saying, "I swear these keys were not there" and the bartender was laughing, but said something like "I know, I believe you. These things happen."
So I was thinking that typically reality shift happens for the good... and here was a case where I felt "reality" was playing a trick on me. I swear I would have bet my life those keys weren't in my pocket. Finally, as I stood there sputtering, the bartender said, "Well, they're found now" and that's true.
I really do search for meaning for otherwise meaningless events... rather than just say "oh, I guess I missed the keys the 27 times I stuck my hands in my pocket." And I am a magazine writer, and I have a column due and I can basically write about whatever I want (within reason) but it sort of has to have some 'personal growth' element to it, and over lunch I had been thinking that I could write about "fear" since these are scary times.
So perhaps the universe was telling me: your home is safe (you have the keys after all!). When I got back to my apartment building, there's about six steps up leading to the front door and on the top step was a dime which had not been there when I left 10 minutes earlier when I went back to the restaurant. For me, I've often gotten the "sign" of "money on my doorstep" -- in fact, once I had change right outside the front door to my apartment -- money at my doorstep -- (Hmmm... how's that for a waking dream metaphor? and so my take-away from this was... I have a home and I have money at my doorstep (literally) -- and yes, I put the dime in my wallet!
Note from Cynthia: What a wonderful feeling to find your keys, and how astonishing to find them in a place you know for sure you'd checked earlier... when they were not there. This is the type of reality shift story that tends to seem less impressive to others as it is to ourselves, as others usually don't know how thoroughly we checked our pockets. What I really love about your story is the way you are able to recognize some marvelous messages to you from the universe here... such as that in finding first your keys and then a coin on your top step, everything is just fine. There's a sense I get in your story that you are being cared for, and even when it seems you might be losing things, all is well. This is truly lovely thing to remember! "
"Burned House Vanishes
Morristown, Tennessee, USA
One evening back around 2002, I drove to a friend's house and saw a house in the process of being burned to the ground on her street, Tom Treece Road. Only the foundation was left and flames were licking it. I found it odd since no fire trucks were there and no residents from nearby houses were out watching. I saw a house close by with its outside lights one, yet on one was out looking at this or seeming worried about it's close proximity, which is what made me halt in the road. I drove on to my friend's house, intending to tell her how I was so shocked and startled to see the burning foundation. Yet, I'd completely forgotten about it by the time I got to Jessica's house which was not far down the same road. We couldn't have seen the burning site from her front yard, since there was a bend in the road. I must have sat there for an hour talking to my friend once I'd arrived but not remembered the burning building and not said a word about it, when suddenly, I completely remembered driving past it on my way there. I couldn't believe I'd forgotten something so vivid. Jessica was pretty shocked, too. She suggested we immediately go check it out and we jumped up and got in the car to investigate. Jessica didn't believe me and said that she would know if a house were burning on her street. So we jumped in my car and drove off, so I could show it to her. We drove by the spot where the burning house was a short time earlier and everything was dark, there was no light, no fire. I slowed down, pointed and said, "It was about right here." No sooner had I said the words, then we saw a burning house with only the foundation left in flames. There was a flash or flame like someone had just struck a huge sputtering match and suddenly, there the whole scene was, just like I'd seen it perhaps an hour earlier. There had been absolutely no change in how much foundation had been burned. Jessica saw it go from nothing to burning building too. She wanted to get out of the car and examine the house, but I was scared. I yelled at her when she tried to open the car door to check the situation out, screaming like a maniac and stomping the gas. I was afraid that we'd get caught in the burning building place/time, and I felt a very real wrongness that made me panic. I remember being so scared, I was willing to leave her there if she got out, because I was so concerned about my safety. We went back in daylight and there was no sign of a burned house. There was no story reported in the newspapers, to my knowledge, and according to Jessica, no one in the neighborhood ever mentioned it happening, which is odd, because it stood out vividly in the darkness when I drove past alone. The whole thing had an 'out of time' feeling to it. I'd have believed I was hallucinating, except my friend, Jessica, saw it too. Thank God.
Note from Cynthia: This is a really interesting story, since you had a witness, and later checked both newspapers and the surrounding area to see whether there were any later signs of fire. What most intrigues me about this story is the way the fire was seen by both you and your friend, yet it also seemed to have started up out of the black darkness of night both the first time you saw it alone, and the second time you saw it with your friend. This is such a mystifying experience, and I'd love to know more about it. Some people notice buildings vanishing or appearing... and others have seen tremendously destructive realities that later turned out not to be true, and I'd love to know if your story might be one of these. "
" We're going to give you a very powerful statement: Everything that you will some day live, in terms of life experience -- and by some day, we mean as soon as right now, tomorrow, the next day, or some day -- anything that you will some day live, you have first imagined. Because nothing will manifest in your experience without the imagination process happening first." Abraham-Hicks Daily Quote
"How to Accomplish More by Doing Less
By Marc Lesser February 16th, 2009
Source Dream Manifesto
"It is easy to fall into the trap of busyness - constantly going from one thing to another - from demands at home to demands at work to emails to exercise to relationships - with no time for stopping, reflecting, or recharging. We can become like a carpenter who doesn't have the time to stop and sharpen his or her tools. As a result, the tools become dull; more and more effort is required; less and less is accomplished. We think we must move faster, work harder. It's a vicious circle.
A doctor friend I have known for many years was recently severely injured in a head-on collision with a driver who had a seizure on the Golden Gate Bridge. She broke nearly every bone in her body and was in a coma for several months. It is a miracle that she has not only survived but appears to be in the process of a nearly complete recovery.
In her online journal, she writes with a sense of deep knowing and powerful urgency: "We must remember to get on with our lives. Do what is important. If you haven't been married, GET MARRIED. If you need to get divorced, get divorced. Just do what is essential and important. That is what matters."
The truth is, you are both carpenter and tools, for you are responsible for keeping the blade, which is yourself, honed. However, busyness not only dulls the blade, resulting in unnecessary and ineffectual effort, it can convince us that we don't even have the time to pull out the grinding stone and keep ourselves sharp.
Sometimes the day's furious deadlines make us believe we are so busy that we don't even have a minute - much less ten or twenty - to stop, pause, and reflect. We convince ourselves that we can't do the very things that we most want, or the things that would make all our efforts easier and more effective. In short, we become accustomed to using a dull tool, and we may stop even noticing how much extra effort we are exerting for such diminishing returns.
Unlike a carpenter, we don't need to do anything extra to return to our original state of sharpness and unbridled full-functioning. We only need to do less of what gets in the way. As Shunryu Suzuki, the author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, says, "You are perfect just as you are." And, as he adds somewhat cryptically, "You can use a little improvement."
When I first read that quote thirty years ago, I found it hard to comprehend. Yes, it was a paradox, but it seemed rather puzzling and not very helpful. Now that I have had many years to ponder it, I believe it is one of the kindest and most freeing pieces of wisdom to live by.
What is interesting is that we usually become overbusy for laudable reasons - we are pursuing our dreams, being responsible citizens, assisting our family members or colleagues, and seeking happiness and real freedom. Having a lot to do is not innately a bad thing. Most of us love being active. I do. But this becomes over-the-top busyness when it makes us feel depleted rather than complete, when we run down the path toward freedom and real accomplishment but find them getting farther away.
The Power of Sabbath
When my two children were in elementary school, a weekly day of doing less was an important part of our family ritual. We borrowed some ideas from the Jewish Sabbath as well as Buddhist Day of Mindfulness practices. At the heart of our day we had three simple rules that we applied from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday evening:
Rule #1: There was no spending money.
Rule #2: There was no watching television.
Rule #3: We did something together as a family.
These three guidelines produced significant results in the quality of those twenty-four hours. What a relief to not buy anything, not have the television on, and spend time simply enjoying each other's presence. My wife and I talked more with our two children; we read books, told stories, played games, went for walks, and shared meals. The biggest benefit of this structured break was that, for a day, the pace of our lives slowed down and our family connections increased.
One of my favorite parts of this ritual was the formal ending. We observed the Jewish tradition of looking for the first three stars to become visible on Saturday evening, signaling that Sabbath was over. It was fun and exciting for the four of us to stand on our deck together, seeing who could find the three stars as the sun faded and nighttime slowly emerged. Of course, since we live in Marin County, dense fog sometimes forced us to use our imaginations.
Instituting rest and simplicity is not a magic wand for perfection. There were occasional disagreements, grumpiness, and boredom. But our imperfections often emerge as the most endearing parts of ourselves, and those "Sabbath" days stand out as important building blocks, and are great memories, for our still-growing family. You don't need to have children to create a regular Sabbath or retreat in your life. In fact, you can do this if you live by yourself, with others, or a family of any size.
You Are Perfect the Way You Are
See if you can fully own the notion that "You are perfect, just as you are." Really let it seep into your mind and body, into your bones. We are born with all the wisdom, playfulness, and imagination we need; we just sometimes need help and reminders to return to our senses and get out of our own way.
It is the firm knowledge that nothing extra is required. You have everything you need; just let go of whatever distractions, fears, and busyness might be hampering you. It's that simple. Allow yourself to think and feel and live that way. Embodying and acting from this place results in greater composure, and when we act with composure, we are more effective.
Try these practices:
Busyness, and the difficulties and demands of our lives demand a good deal of attention, and respect. At the same time, by bringing our habits into greater awareness and experimenting with challenging our assumptions, we can produce surprising results."
"Large Area of USA below Avg. Temps last 12 months... Source Drudgereport.com
"Former astronaut speaks out on global warming
By Associated Press
Sunday, February 15, 2009 - Added 16h ago
"SANTA FE, N.M. - Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn't believe that humans are causing global warming.
"I don't think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect," said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.
Schmitt contends that scientists "are being intimidated" if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels.
"They've seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven't gone along with the so-called political consensus that we're in a human-caused global warming," Schmitt said.
Dan Williams, publisher with the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is hosting the climate change conference, said he invited Schmitt after reading about his resignation from The Planetary Society, a nonprofit dedicated to space exploration.
Schmitt resigned after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter, the 74-year-old geologist argued that the "global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making."
Williams said Heartland is skeptical about the crisis that people are proclaiming in global warming.
"Not that the planet hasn't warmed. We know it has or we'd all still be in the Ice Age," he said. "But it has not reached a crisis proportion and, even among us skeptics, there's disagreement about how much man has been responsible for that warming."
Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.
Schmitt also said geological evidence indicates changes in sea level have been going on for thousands of years. He said smaller changes are related to changes in the elevation of land masses - for example, the Great Lakes are rising because the earth's crust is rebounding from being depressed by glaciers.
Schmitt, who grew up in Silver City and now lives in Albuquerque, has a science degree from the California Institute of Technology. He also studied geology at the University of Oslo in Norway and took a doctorate in geology from Harvard University in 1964.
In 1972, he was one of the last men to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission.
Schmitt said he's heartened that the upcoming conference is made up of scientists who haven't been manipulated by politics.
Of the global warming debate, he said: "It's one of the few times you've seen a sizable portion of scientists who ought to be objective take a political position and it's coloring their objectivity."
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com
"Hamburgers are the Hummers of food in global warming
"When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of food, scientists say.
Simply switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as leaving the car at home a couple days a week.
That's because beef is such an incredibly inefficient food to produce and cows release so much harmful methane into the atmosphere, said Nathan Pelletier of Dalhousie University in Canada.
Pelletier is one of a growing number of scientists studying the environmental costs of food from field to plate.
By looking at everything from how much grain a cow eats before it is ready for slaughter to the emissions released by manure, they are getting a clearer idea of the true costs of food.
The livestock sector is estimated to account for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and beef is the biggest culprit.
Even though beef only accounts for 30 percent of meat consumption in the developed world it's responsible for 78 percent of the emissions, Pelletier said Sunday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
That's because a single kilogram of beef produces 16 kilograms carbon dioxide equivalent emissions: four times higher than pork and more than ten times as much as a kilogram of poultry, Pelletier said.
If people were to simply switch from beef to chicken, emissions would be cut by 70 percent, Pelletier said.
Another part of the problem is people are eating far more meat than they need to.
"Meat once was a luxury in our diet," Pelletier said. "We used to eat it once a week. Now we eat it every day."
If meat consumption in the developed world was cut from the current level of about 90 kilograms a year to the recommended level of 53 kilograms a year, livestock related emissions would fall by 44 percent.
"Given the projected doubling of (global) meat production by 2050, we're going to have to cut our emissions by half just to maintain current levels," Pelletier said.
"Technical improvements are not going to get us there."
That's why changing the kinds of food people eat is so important, said Chris Weber, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.
Food is the third largest contributor to the average US household's carbon footprint after driving and utilities, and in Europe - where people drive less and have smaller homes - it has an even greater impact.
"Food is of particular importance to a consumer's impact because it's a daily choice that is, at least in theory, easy to change," Weber said.
"You make your choice every day about what to eat, but once you have a house and a car you're locked into that for a while."
The average US household contributes about five tons of carbon dioxide a year by driving and about 3.5 tons of equivalent emissions with what they eat, he said.
"Switching to no red meat and no dairy products is the equivalent of (cutting out) 8,100 miles driven in a car ... that gets 25 miles to the gallon," Weber said in an interview following the symposium.
Buying local meat and produce will not have nearly the same effect, he cautioned.
That's because only five percent of the emissions related to food come from transporting food to market.
"You can have a much bigger impact by shifting just one day a week from meat and dairy to anything else than going local every day of the year," Weber said.
For more information on how to eat a low carbon diet, visit www.eatlowcarbon.org."
I really like Sanaya Roman's work, became acquainted with her around 1987. Many meditations seem so simple that they can't possibly work. However, they're based on quantum physics and are very effective if applied.
"Scarcity into Abundance an Orin meditation" link at bottom of page. Hope you enjoy!
"Follow The Spiritual Laws of Money and Abundance
By Sanaya Roman & Duane Packer February 7th, 2008
Source Dream Manifesto
"Money is neither good nor bad; it is energy. It is the way money is used that determines whether or not it is a positive energy that will benefit you and others. If you come from the highest level of integrity with your money, if you make it in ways that benefit people, through shifting their consciousness, or through serving and making a contribution, by giving your best, honoring others, and putting attention and consciousness into what you do, you are making a contribution to humanity and to yourself. When you use money in ways that serve your higher purpose and bring you and others joy, you are creating money of light. The more money is made and spent with integrity and light, the more it becomes a force of light for everyone.
True abundance is having all you need to do your life's work - the tools, resources, and living environment - and to live a life filled with joy and aliveness. Abundance is not an extravagant, glamorous style of living maintained purely to impress others or one that does not support your true aliveness and life's work. Part of the essence of spirituality is the belief in true abundance - of time, love, and energy. You teach others by setting an example. It may be hard, if not impossible, to help others lead abundant lives if you do not have a feeling of abundance about your own life. You do not want living at a survival level and experiencing lack to be the examples you set. When you have the right amount of money and money works in your life, people will learn about abundance from your example.
Most war and strife come from a belief in scarcity. People who believe in scarcity often try to squeeze more and more out of nature, wasting the planet's resources. If you want to contribute to planetary peace, you can start by believing in abundance for yourself and others. As society begins to believe that there can be abundance for everyone, new discoveries will be made that will provide unlimited energy and resources that do not pollute or deplete the earth, and there will be fewer reasons for war. There truly is the potential for abundance for everyone on the planet. If humanity believed in abundance for all, it could be created. Start by believing that it is possible for everyone to have abundance.
It is all right to have money. Some of you feel guilty about having money, especially when you look around and see others living in lack. Some people learn and grow as much by having a totally materialistic focus as others do by living in poverty. It is not more spiritual to be poor, nor is it better to be rich. If you are worried that it is not spiritual to have money, examine the times in your life when you had money, even if it was just a small amount. Remember how you used your money. You may have been able to help those around you even more. When you felt abundant, you probably felt generous and able to support others in their abundance.
The people who are clearest about money are not usually those who have large sums of money, or those who have none, but those who have just the right amount for them. People who have just the right amount are not burdened by too many possessions; their possessions serve them. They do not spend time and energy that would be best spent creating their life's work to acquire or take care of material things. Having too much money can take you off your path if you must spend a lot of time taking care of it. Not having enough money can also take you off your path if it requires a lot of your time and energy just to survive. It is important for you to have enough money to live on. If you do not have enough, if you spend most of your time worrying about your rent and food, your time and energy are not available to do the greater work you came here to do.
Think of being rich as having enough wealth to carry out your life's work. You may not need many material possessions to have enough. For instance, your life purpose may be to work with nature. You may live in a log cabin, spend little money, and still have all the natural resources you need to carry out your purpose. In that case, you would be rich. What is important is having enough money to do the work you came to do, and not having so much that it keeps you from the work you came to do. Having enough money means being able to put your vision into action, to transform the energy around you into a higher order. Some people may need many material things to accomplish their life purpose. They may need to work with a group of people who will only listen to and respect them if they have an appearance of wealth and power.
Material possessions may provide some with a spiritual experience, teaching them what they need to learn in this lifetime, just as not having money may be a great teacher for others. Some people gain great freedom and growth from having money; some people gain freedom and growth from not having money.
How much money people need is an individual matter; do not judge others for what they have or do not have. Some people may be amassing fortunes that will later be used for the good of humanity, even if at present they don't plan on using their money this way and aren't on a spiritual path. You cannot know the larger purpose of anyone's path. It is good to measure people's success not by how much money they make or have, but by the degree to which they are fulfilling their life purpose, are happy about their lives, have the right amount of money, and believe in themselves.
As you become more prosperous yourself, it is likely that you will be around prosperous people. As you think in terms of prosperity, your vibration begins to change and you attract other people who think in terms of abundance as well. Do not feel jealous or threatened by someone who is successful. Realize that if you are close to a person who is succeeding, you are beginning to have that same vibration of success yourself. Begin now to believe that everyone's success means even more success for you. If everyone around you begins to succeed, then you are surrounded with the vibration of success, and your success will grow even faster. When you hear of other people's good fortune, appreciate their success, knowing that it affirms the abundance that is available for you as well.
Many of you think that you have to get your work out to a large number of people or be number one in your field to truly be successful. It is not wrong to feel competitive if that feeling helps you do your best at your job, but don't feel that others who succeed in what you are doing can take away from your success. There is an unlimited supply of success. Every person in the world can be successful. Realize that you have your special place, and what you are here to do is in some way special and unique, no matter how many people are doing similar things. Are there people or companies you are competing with? Are you worried that their success might mean a loss to you? Take a moment to picture them succeeding beyond your wildest dreams. Then, imagine a reason why their success will be beneficial to you.
Know that there is no one else in the world who is going to do your work exactly as you do it. Even if it appears that others are doing the same work, they are probably reaching a different group of people, or reaching the same group in a different way. It is better to focus on living up to your potential. Are you putting the wants of people you serve first? Are you following your inner messages? As you do, you will shine. You will have all the business and abundance you want. Enjoy the process of getting your work out, not just to strive for recognition and fame. Let it be all right not to be number one, have the most clients, make the most money, or do it all yourself.
Do not worry about someone else taking away your idea, or doing what you are doing better than you are. As long as you do the best you know how and put out the finest quality product or service you can offer, you will be richly rewarded. It doesn't matter what other people do. Even if someone is claiming the credit right now for your good work, don't stop putting out quality work. You will be rewarded eventually. As with the tortoise and the hare, the one who works consistently and steadily, doing a good job all the time, will have more abundance and make a greater mark in the world than the person who takes shortcuts to beat everyone else out.
If you are competing with other job applicants for a job, or with other businesses for a client, or are wanting to get a grant or funding, do not view yourself as competing with others. If it is for your highest good to get the money, client, or job, you will. Always do your best in your grant applications, job interviews, and sales presentations; write or go to only those people your inner messages direct you to, and you will find your money or job. If you get it, do not worry that you have taken something away from someone else.
The universe is perfect and abundant, and others will receive exactly what is best for them. You cannot take away from others. Your opportunities are meant for you, and those that aren't for you will be given to others. If you are competing for anything right now - a job, funding, a loan, a scholarship, or an apartment - see if you can let go of your worry and trust that the best outcome will occur for all of you. Trust that what is meant to be yours will be yours; the universe is always working to bring your higher good to you.
Don't view your coworkers or those around you as competitors; see them as friends. Cooperation will get you much further than competition. One man who worked for a company wanted to be the vice president in a short period of time. He went around telling everyone of his ambitions, often praising his own work. He undermined the work of other employees so that his own work would appear better, and tried to take the credit himself for work that others had done. Another man in the same company simply wanted to do the best job he could. He was constantly thinking of his fellow employees, took on extra jobs, helped his boss out whenever he could, and performed the job he was hired for with attention and love. The first man was not promoted and quit in anger with many grievances against the company that "just couldn't appreciate him." The second man went on to become vice president.
When you think of others and yourself, have thoughts of riches, prosperity, success, and goodness. Having such thoughts helps make them come true. Let your thoughts about everyone be of their increased good. Picture everyone as successful. Sometimes people bring financial hardship to themselves by dwelling on other people's financial difficulties, for what you focus on is what you draw to yourself. Rather than talking about how hard life is for people, send them compassion and light; see them getting out of their difficult situations and experiencing abundance. The positive pictures and love you send out will come back to you many times over.
One storekeeper increased his business dramatically by sending love and envisioning success for everyone who came into his store. People were magnetically drawn to his shop. If you hear friends complaining of lack, remind them of what they do have. When you are around people who talk of financial problems, see if you can change the subject or help them appreciate the abundance they have already created.
You may be hoping that your wealth will come from winning a lottery. To win, be ready to receive the money. While many of you hope to win, you don't truly expect to win. People who win are committed to winning, and have dealt with their beliefs that say getting money this way is too easy, or too good to be true. Even more important, if winning the money would stop you from doing your life's work, your higher self will keep you from winning. Winning a large sum of money can create more challenges than you think. It is important to have the right amount of money, and if a huge windfall would put your life out of balance, your higher self will most probably keep it from you.
Depending on how prepared you are to have a large windfall, many things in your life will change. Getting money gradually, at a pace you can adjust to, is a gift. You can get used to handling a larger energy flow in a balanced, stable way. You have the time to try out various actions before large sums are involved. If you aren't prepared to handle a larger amount and you do get it, your higher self may find many ways for you to let go of it. Many people who have won or inherited large sums have also lost or spent them in just a few years; their own energy and the larger sum of money weren't in harmony. Those who do keep their windfalls often keep the same jobs and homes and bank the money, slowly getting used to the increased amount.
Play lotteries if you grow from the process. For many people lotteries provide an opportunity to visualize themselves as abundant, and that picture helps them draw in abundance in other ways. Every time they buy lottery tickets, they feel the possible joy of winning, and bring that feeling into their lives. That may be precisely the feeling their souls want them to develop. You can create the same experience by visualizing your success, imagining having what you want, and making the picture as real and vivid as possible.
When you have money, see your money as a source of good; see it as potential to create higher purpose that has yet to be converted into substance and form. Keep picturing all your money in the bank or in your wallet as money that is awaiting your command to go out and create good for you and others. Appreciate your abundance, and realize that you have learned to tap in to the unlimited abundance of the universe. Your money is awaiting the opportunity to bring you good, and to improve your life and the lives of others.
About the author:
Sanaya Roman has been channeling Orin, a wise and gentle spirit teacher, for more than twenty years. All of Orin's work assists people in unfolding their potential, finding their inner wisdom, and in growing their spirituality. Duane Packer has been channeling DaBen for many years, teaching people how to sense subtle energy and work with it to transform their reality."
"Scarcity into Abundance an Orin meditation
"The Soulmate Secret - Interview with Arielle Ford
By Arielle Ford February 11th, 2009
Source Dream Manifesto
" 1. What is the Law of Attraction? Why does a person who is looking for their soulmate need to understand how this law works as they go about searching for that one special person?
The Law of Attraction is a universal principle which states that we draw to us people, events and circumstances in the outer world that match our inner state of being. It's important to understand this law because if we approach the process of finding a soulmate with a feeling of resignation or desperation, we unwittingly send out a signal that repels the very thing we are seeking. The Soulmate Secret provides a proven formula to ready ourselves on all levels - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - to attract the man or woman of our dreams.
2. You write, "This wonderful universe of ours is set up to deliver to us the people and experiences that are consistent with our personal belief systems." Can you explain this? What if our belief system comes from hurtful experiences or perhaps a childhood that told us we deserve nothing, we are worthless, and we should be ashamed of ourselves?
Well, I think you've just described 99% of the population! The fact is, most of us operate from limiting beliefs we picked up unconsciously in childhood... and nowhere do these beliefs become more apparent than in our intimate relationships. In the book, I show people how to begin to dismantle their negative beliefs about themselves and about relationships and replace them with beliefs that affirm their inherent lovability. As we make this shift, our new beliefs act like a magnet that pulls in greater love and appreciation into our lives.
3. Can you share with us your own experience in finding your soulmate? How did you prepare yourself to meet your soulmate and what did you learn about attracting great love along the way?
The period of time right before I met Brian was incredibly productive and fertile. I had spent the previous year practicing all the techniques I share in the book: I clarified exactly what I wanted in a husband, I made my Soulmate List and released it to the Universe, and I made space in my home and in my heart for another person. As I fell more in love with myself and my life, I attracted love from every possible source: friendships were deeper and more fulfilling, business opportunities came with greater ease, and I experienced more success on every level. The way Brian and I actually met was so magical that it could never have been planned - I tell the whole story in the book. It's worth the read because it highlights how many clues the Universe gave me along the way ... clues that I could have easily missed if I hadn't done all the work to prepare myself ahead of time.
4. How did learning on Oprah that Barbra Streisand had found her soulmate solidify your belief that your soulmate was somewhere out there?
I happened to be watching the show one day just after Barbra Streisand and James Brolin had just fallen in love. I remember thinking, Here is this super-wealthy, ultra famous diva who is "reputedly difficult" and practically inaccessible. How many men could be a match for her? Then I realized, If the Universe could find somebody for her, then I'll be a piece of cake! That moment was truly a state of grace. It reminded me of something my grandmother had always told me: "There's a lid for every pot." Somehow, seeing that even Barbra Streisand's pot came with a good fitting lid strengthened my belief.
5. What can block a person from finding their soulmate? How can one remove these blocks from their life?
There are a lot of things that people do to unconsciously block love. In my own case, I realized that there were several issues that were preventing me from manifesting the love I desired. First, I didn't believe I deserved a great relationship; second, I didn't love myself; and third, I had a lot of emotional baggage. I began using everything I had ever learned about manifestation, psychology, spirituality, and the Law of Attraction and applied it to my love life. Whatever blocks you may have to receiving love - whether it be physical, emotional or energetic - The Soumate Secret formula will help you to dissolve it.
6. You wrote, "Finding true love is possible for anyone at any age if you're willing to prepare yourself, on all levels, to become an energetic match for the love you're seeking." Do you really believe any woman, at any age, can find true love if she truly applies the principles in this book? How can a person prepare themselves to be an energetic match for the love they are seeking?
I absolutely believe that finding true love is possible for all of us - regardless of our body type, our past history, or our financial status. I also believe that to find our match, we have to be willing to work on ourselves - to unhook from the past, to clear the clutter from our hearts and our home, and to invest the time in discovering the qualities that are really important to us. This book offers practical techniques, rituals and processes that readers can begin doing right now to ready themselves for BIG LOVE.
7. What words of advice do you have for a woman who is in her 40s or 50s, and has gone through a lot of hurt and disappointments in her life, who feels that it isn't in the cards for her to have true love?
Healing your heart from wounds of the past is an essential step toward manifesting your soulmate. You have to be gentle with yourself and take all the time you need to recover from a bad breakup. Once you're ready to move on, you can use the emotional release techniques outlined in The Soulmate Secret to forgive yourself AND the other person. When you are no longer harboring resentments or disappointments from the past, you send out a signal of readiness and clear the way for love to find you.
8. What is a 'feelingization"? How does it differ from a visualization, and how can it be used to manifest a soulmate?
Feelingizations are processes to put you into the "feeling" state of already being, doing or having whatever it is that you want to manifest. If you want more love, you first need to evoke from within you the experience of love. It is from that feeling space that you manifest more love into your life.
9. How can a person get themselves to actually believe there is plenty of love in the world, and that they are worthy of love, if perhaps they've lived a long time without love or they have gone through many painful rejections?
Belief is an important first step on the journey of meeting your soulmate. As we release some of the disappointments and heartaches from the past, it becomes easier to nurture the belief that we deserve to be cherished, seen, and adored. In the same way we trust that there is enough air for us to breathe and enough water for us to drink, we can learn to trust that there is enough love in the world for everyone. As we make this shift in our core belief system, we begin to accumulate evidence that supports it.
10. What are some affirmations and rituals a person can do to make themselves into a magnet for love and bring their soulmate to them?
I share dozens of them in the book, but one of my favorite exercises to practice beaming love at everyone I meet. I like to imagine that within the space of my heart there is a light - like a torch or a flame or a GPS switch - that grows brighter as I place my attention on it. Place your awareness around the area of your heart and imagining this light growing brighter and brighter, broadcasting your lovability to every man, woman, child, and sentient being on the planet. This is a fun practice, not only because it feels great and makes us incredibly attractive, but because somewhere deep within his or her being, your beloved can feel the energy you are sending out and this, I believe, draws him or her to you at some primordial level.
11. What if a person is still carrying some great hurt from a broken marriage or relationship, how can they let this pain go so that they are able and ready to welcome a soulmate?
We first have to fall in love with ourselves before we open the door to receiving love from anyone else. There are plenty of great processes out there, including therapy and personal growth workshops that support people in overcoming the pain of the past so they can let new love in. Anything we do to find more love, compassion, and excitement about ourselves is well worth the time and energy.
12. How can one prepare their home for their future soulmate? Why is this type of physical preparation important?
Well, imagine for just a moment that you were planning to move to a new city. Think of all the planning, preparation and research you would likely invest in the move. Making space in your life for your soulmate requires at least as much preparation as moving to a new city. By taking the time to transform your home into a haven where you feel cozy and sensual, you are rolling out a cosmic welcome mat that sends out an undeniable signal that you are ready for him or her to enter your life. When I was preparing to meet Brian, I enlisted the help of several Feng Shui experts, all of whom taught me a great deal about rearranging my space so it was a conduit for attracting love. The very best of their advice is outlined in the book.
13. How can a person change from feeling desperate and hopeless about meeting their soulmate, to living as if their soulmate is about to arrive with certainty and conviction? Can you explain the principle of 'living as if'?
"Living as if" basically means deciding not to postpone your happiness until after your soulmate arrives. Whatever you dream that you'll be, do, have, or feel once you meet the love of your life, begin being and doing that now. It's easy to fantasize about how great we'll feel, how good we'll look, and what excellent choices we'll make once we have someone to share our lives with. But this approach is all backward! By looking for things to appreciate about ourselves and our lives right now, we generate the feeling state that we are loved and adored. This is the perfect state of being for love to find us.
14. What are your best five tips for those who have prepared themselves emotionally, spiritually and physically for their soulmate and are now ready to take action? What actions are appropriate for someone to take to find his or her soulmate?
Jack Canfield, who wrote the afterword for The Soulmate Secret, points out that there are really two types of action. The first he calls "obvious actions," which operate under the common sense principle that in order to succeed in any area of life, we first have to put ourselves onto the playing field. Obvious actions for finding your soulmate include joining an online dating network and regularly putting yourself in the types of environments where you are likely to meet people with similar interests. The second type of action is what Jack calls "inspired actions." These are impulses that arise within you that don't appear to logically or directly correlate with the goal of falling in love - yet they are as important to follow through with as obvious actions. There are countless stories in the book about people who followed an intuitive hunch to go to a certain event, or went on a blind date because they had a gut feeling that they should - and ended up meeting the love of their life. It's the combination of the two - obvious actions and inspired actions - that will win you the big prize!
15. This is truly a beautiful book on finding one's soulmate. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved hearing from people who used these manifestation techniques to attract BIG LOVE into their lives. I also loved the ease with which the message seemed to flow through me. The whole premise of the book is that by preparing ourselves inside to receive love, our inevitable rendezvous with our soulmate is spontaneous and effortless. Spontaneous and effortless also describes the writing of this book. It feels like a message I was meant to share. .........."
"Breaking Through the Shell of Restricted Thinking
By Chris Prentiss February 7th, 2009
Source Dream Manifesto
"I was waiting at a small airport many years ago, when I struck up a conversation with one of the airport workers, a young man of about twenty. During our talk he found out I had a private pilot’s license, and he said that he would love to get his pilot’s license. I asked him why he was waiting.
“It’s too expensive,” he said. “As soon as I found out how much the lessons cost, I gave up the idea.”
“There’s opportunity all around you,” I responded energetically. “You work at an airport! Talk to the owners of the planes, talk to the pilots, talk to the crew members, find out if there’s something you can do in exchange for lessons. When you decide you can’t do it, it’s over. You can just as easily decide to do it and, in time, you’ll have your pilot’s license!”
He shrugged his shoulders, looked at me as if I were a little strange, and said, “Nope, I don’t think so. It’s too expensive. When I heard how much it cost, I just turned away from it.”
“But you’re turning away from life, from yourself, from opportunity, and you’re acting as if you’re powerless! Are you powerless?”
He shrugged his shoulders, laughed a little, looked at me again as if I were strange, and walked away.
This young man was faced with the same two choices we are all faced with at varying times in our lives. You can either take positive action to bring about what you want or you can shrug your shoulders and walk away.
Your success or failure is foretold by your actions, by what you believe. For a limitation to be valid, you must accept it. If you’ve lived your life believing that having what you want is limited, your actions have been based on that belief and you have produced results consistent with your belief. Your belief was then reinforced by the reality you created.
It is important that you fully understand what it means to “produce results consistent with your belief.” If you believe you can do something, you will act based on that belief. If you believe something is impossible to do, you will fail to even begin. Your action or inaction will bring about results consistent with what you decide.
Many years ago, I was training a small group of salespeople about how to outgrow restricted thinking. One of them, Walter, took to the teaching immediately. During the training, the following incident occurred, and it gave him an opportunity to put what he was learning into action.
Another member of the sales team, James, had listed a house for sale. The house was in a very rough part of town, where several tough gangs regularly vandalized houses. So to protect the house until the escrow closed, the company hired a night watchman to look after the property. The very first night, one of the gangs beat up the night watchman and vandalized the house with a lot of graffiti. The next morning, when the salesmen heard about it, James said, “Well, that’s the end of that sale. The buyer will never buy the house now.”
“That’s what you think!” said Walter. “Do you mind if I call your seller?” James agreed. Walter picked up the phone and called the seller and told him what had happened. He told the seller that unless he could get a price reduction, the sale would be lost. The seller agreed to a five-thousand-dollar price reduction.
Walter then called the buyer and said, “I have some great news for you!” He told the buyer what had transpired the night before and then said, “And I used that incident to get you a five-thousand-dollar price reduction!” The buyer, who knew it was a rough neighborhood, was delighted and thanked the quick-thinking salesman profusely.
One of those men saw the incident as a piece of bad luck that would ruin his sale, and the other saw it as an opportunity to make the sale more firm. One used the event to envision failure, and the other used it to envision success.
Walter used a Universal principle - the one that says that how we respond to an event determines its outcome - and he used it perfectly to ensure success. That day he was only using it so he and his friend could make a sale, but I knew he would go on to use the same principle in a much bigger arena, perhaps to purchase the house that everyone says is not for sale or to invent a new machine that everyone says cannot be invented.
That attitude, that “inner knowing,” when fully developed, will be “what’s true for Walter,” and it will carry him to the fulfillment of his dreams and a wonderfully satisfying life, having things the way he wants them."
Great article, hope you enjoy. Have an awesome winning weekend all.!!!
"Invite the Light That Shatters Self-Limitation
By Guy Finley July 12th, 2008
Source Dream Manifesto
"We are not created to spend our lives in fearful preparation over what may come – but rather to use whatever comes our way, each moment, to help us perfect our understanding that God is good.
In those moments when we meet a challenge that stands in our way, we are not meeting some immovable, transient object. In reality, we are meeting nothing more than our own present understanding of that event. Wherever we are - whatever we encounter - we meet there our own understanding.
This is such an important insight for us to ponder: the dimension – the breadth and depth of any event transpiring before us – is a reflection of the level of self that perceives it. In other words, life cannot be any deeper, wiser, shallow, or selfish than permitted by what we are capable of understanding about it.
There is such beauty and freedom in this realization about the nature of our reality: we look at life through the mirror of our consciousness and what we see there – whether all bound up or boundless – is determined by our present level of self-understanding. In other words, whenever our present nature meets some barrier, a limit of any kind, all it’s really run up against is itself. The self that sees limitation . . . is the limitation it sees; this is why it can’t see past that point! It is the “end” it sees; they are one thing.
On the other hand, true spiritual success is one and the same as our realization that, in real life, nothing ends without the birth of something else taking place in that same moment.
Our True Self is the creative Ground of a ceaseless genesis; our great task in life – through our awareness of the whole of it – is to be a kind of midwife to this eternal miracle of birth. And what is continually being born in us and into this world of ours – whether for its bitterness or brightness – depends on how we meet these changes that drive creation forward. Let’s see how these grand ideas reveal themselves in our daily affairs.
As life pours itself out in the stream of passing time, and we run into challenges seemingly greater than our ability to answer, each of these encounters “asks” this question of us:
“Are you willing to change (who you have been) in order to realize a higher possibility of yourself?”
And though moments like these trouble us because of their uncertainty, here’s why we should be very grateful for their continuing appearance in our lives: this unwanted experience of realizing our limitations is the only way life can ask us if we wish to go beyond them. So this unknown moment of not understanding (what is to be) is actually the beautiful seed of a new order of our being, providing we’re willing to see it as such.
Unfortunately, most of us automatically resist the unknown. Whenever we can’t understand the nature of some unwanted situation, we fall, by default, into the hands of a nature whose answer to this ache is always the same: get negative and then try to protect ourselves from anything that can’t be otherwise controlled. The rest takes place in us on automatic pilot: in the wink of an eye, we begin to see the “way out” of our situation: blame him, fix that, fight or flee. But here’s what we don’t see: in that moment, our guiding light is a dark reaction dedicated, in one way or another, to avoiding what that moment came to give us. This false nature takes what was a celestially planned event – for the purpose of our further spiritual perfection – and turns it into a dead end.
We have all heard about people receiving messages, instructions from God. What you probably don’t realize is that “communications of a celestial kind” are raining down on us every waking moment. In fact, each impression we receive – wanted or not – is just that: the Divine Life speaking to us, asking, “Would you like entrance into a larger world, one without fear and hatred? Do you wish to be more patient, loving, and kind? Are you interested in developing a relationship with a living Light that never goes out, and whose peace passes all understanding?” But before we can hope to affirm our answer, we must first see how these questions are being put before us.
Life repeatedly brings us moments that introduce us to some unseen limitation in our present level of self. For example, when conditions get too stressful, we can keep neither our patience nor our temper under control. Too often, though we know better, cruel words spring from our mouth as our way of answering cutting remarks from someone else. Perhaps we see how the fear of being betrayed (again) colors all our relationships, limiting our ability to give ourselves freely to those we would love.
The point should be clear: Time and time again, interior trials such as these return to help us see one thing: we can’t get past them as long as we remain who and what we have been – because who and what we have been is what we are meeting in these same moments! Another way of stating this same insight is startling: Resisting what life shows us – not wanting those moments wherein we’re invited to see the truth about our present level of Self – ensures they will return again! This is the interior meaning of reincarnation: the recreation of self through resistance to the negative effects of its own manifestations. It doesn’t have to be this way. We are meant to rise above creation, not repeat our life through it in ever-descending cycles.
There’s only one way for us to transcend the limitations of our present nature. We must see – as has been the purpose of this whole lesson – this one great fact: These limitations don’t belong to us any more than the clumsy body of the caterpillar belongs to the butterfly liberated from its husk. Then, we must act on this new understanding by daring to let go of any part of us that wants us to embrace its limited view of life as our own.
True freedom is not an achievement; it is our awakened relationship and participation with the genesis of real life. We cannot create a life without limits by trying to overcome what we think stands in our way. Real limitless living is the fruit of this higher understanding: what is in our way is part of the Way. To know this is to know that all of creation has been made for you, just as surely as you have been made for everything that happens to you within it."
Abraham-Hicks Daily Quote
" Whatever you are giving your attention to is already vibrating. And when you give your attention to it, if you maintain your focus for as little as 17 seconds, you begin to include its vibration, whatever it is, in your vibration. When you see something you want, and you give it your attention, and you say yes to it, you are including whatever its vibration is in your vibration. When you see something you do not want, and you shout no at it, you are including whatever its vibration is in your vibration. In this vibrational world, which is everything, you are far more vibrational beings than you are verbal beings. You are communicating with everyone far more on a vibrational basis, than you are on a verbal basis."
" Whatever you're thinking about is literally like planning a future event. When you're worrying, you are planning. When you are appreciating, you are planning...What are you planning?"
"The Place of Religion in the Modern World
By Dalai Lama February 5th, 2009
Source Dream Manifesto
"Your Holiness, how important is religion in the modern world? Do we really need it?
HH: Religious influence is mainly at the individual level. Irrespective of one's faith or philosophy, transformation takes place within. In a way, that should give us hope. Materially, many have lost hope. However, at a deeper level, faith will sustain hope.
Hope is a contributing factor for religion today. Once hope is lost, one becomes mad, commits acts of violence, participates in destructive behavior, or ultimately commits suicide.
Society is made up of individuals. Because of individuals who have lost hope and behave negatively, there is more and more madness in society today. If their numbers increase, all of society will suffer. If we utilize and understand religious traditions properly, individuals benefit, and so can society as a whole.
Unfortunately, religions today place too much emphasis on ceremony and rituals. This is sometimes old-fashioned and often limiting. What is necessary now is to find the essence of what is important in our daily lives and to connect relevant religious messages, advice, or inspiration with this.
I feel an important factor in religion is to be "God-fearing." Even though the individual believes he or she has individual power and faculties, a faith in God ensures there is some discipline. Many countries today face a moral crisis, and crimes are increasing. The disciplinary powers of society have conventional methods to control crime, but the individuals involved in wrongdoing are becoming more evasive and sophisticated in their methods. So without self-discipline, some acknowledgment of the spirit within one's self, and a sense of individual responsibility, it will be very difficult to exercise control. Therefore, various religious traditions have an important, effective role.
What would you say is the essential message of religion?
HH: I believe all major religions teach us to be more compassionate. All religions carry the message of love, compassion, and forgiveness. And forgiveness reflects tolerance and an understanding of the value of another's rights and views. This is the foundation for harmony.
Perhaps, at a deeper level, our views are transformed because of religious traditions. Religion teaches us some obvious things, but there are some deeper meanings, deeper forces, and deeper influences that it imparts. These widen our view of life. For instance, if an individual has to face pain or suffering, a religious experience or understanding will give deeper meaning to the incident and help reduce the mental burden, anxiety, and pain that are endured.
For example, Buddhists believe in the karmic law, the law of causality, so they know that whatever is happening in their lives is because of some past action, or karma. Ultimately, they know they must take responsibility for those actions. This helps to reduce mental frustration and anxiety.
Even if all religions have the same goal, there tend to be different ideas and areas of emphasis. As someone engaged purposefully in interfaith dialogue, how would you articulate the common ground or the basis for harmony between various religions?
HH: Although all world religions carry the message of love and compassion, it would not be correct to say that all of them have the same objective or beliefs; there are substantial differences. For example, some religions believe in a Creator, and others do not-that represents a fundamental difference.
There exist fundamental differences between the philosophical approaches of the world's religions. Why did all these diverse philosophies develop? I believe there is a good purpose for these multiple views. Within humanity, there are many different dispositions; and one philosophy, one belief, simply cannot satisfy all. Therefore, the great ancient masters had to demonstrate different philosophies and traditions.
For example, some like spicy food; others do not. Spirituality is food for the mind, and different religions are very necessary for different mental dispositions. For some, the philosophy that the person is nothing and the Creator is most important is suitable. If everything is in the hands of the Creator, one should do nothing against the wishes of the Creator.
If people act accordingly, it gives them a kind of mental satisfaction and moral stability. There are others who approach philosophy with logic. They have a sort of independence or some such power. If it is explained to them that everything is not in the hands of an Almighty Creator but is in their own hands, that really makes a difference.
Irrespective of the different philosophies, the most important point is to have a tamed and disciplined mind and a warm heart. It is unfortunate that today there is so much conflict, division, and bloodshed in the name of religion.
When I was in Tibet, there was no contact with other religious traditions. At that time, my thinking was different. Today, as a result of the many opportunities I have had to meet people from different religious traditions, I am completely convinced that they all have the same potential to produce good human beings. My eyes were opened after speaking with such great people as the late Thomas Merton, Mother Teresa, and so many more. We exchanged deep spiritual experiences, and I realized it is important to come together and work closely with each other.
As a Nobel laureate whose contribution toward secularism is especially lauded, what is your message on religious pluralism?
HH: In India, there are many different traditions of thought and philosophy, including the traditions of other cultures. India is like a supermarket of many religious traditions, and I think that is one of the beautiful things about this country. And because of that reality, religious ahimsa [the doctrine of refraining from harming any living being] has become a part of the Indian tradition. In this, India has set an example for the world. People can live side by side as brothers and sisters despite following many different religious faiths.
This is how the world is becoming smaller and so interdependent. In the past, nations and continents remained more or less isolated. The concept of one truth, one religion, was very relevant then. But today the situation is different. Pluralism in religious faith is necessary and relevant in today's world.
It is important for me as a Buddhist to believe that Buddhism is the true religion or one truth. It is just as important for a Christian to believe that Christianity is the true religion for him as it is for others. But how do we overcome the contradiction that there is relevance for different truths and traditions?
In reality, there is no contradiction. For the individual, the concept of one truth, one religion, is very important. However, in terms of society and the masses, the concept of several truths, several traditions, is relevant. I'm Buddhist, and I believe that Buddhism is the best. That does not mean that any one of my brothers-whether Hindu, Christian, Muslim, or Jewish-is following a religion of lesser validity. We are all involved in a religion that is appropriate for us.
Today we have the opportunity for closer contact with different traditions, which helps us develop the idea of pluralism and appreciate the values and sanctity of other customs. I learn many valuable things from other traditions. Similarly, some of my friends are also eager to learn from the Buddhist tradition. This is a healthy way to enrich one's own tradition and develop genuine mutual respect and admiration. I think that's a sound basis for religious harmony.
What is the Buddhist view of converting an individual from one faith to another? Today, in the West especially, there are many people of different faiths who have shown an interest in Buddhism. What advice would you give them?
HH: Conversion is one-sided when it is without alternatives and is coerced. This is wrong. Voluntary conversion is when an individual makes a choice according to his mental disposition. This seems more suitable to me. Sometimes disaster and confusion follow a change of religion, so it is safer and healthier, perhaps, for people to involve themselves in their own cultural traditions.
My advice to people who wish to convert: First, if one has to follow some faith, it is better to follow one's own traditional values or religion. Some Westerners who change their religion suddenly, without proper or careful thought, experience confusion. In case you find the Buddhist way or approach more effective and logical, think carefully. Time spent thinking and examining is worthwhile. Finally, if you really feel it is more suitable to your mental disposition, it is okay. An individual has the right to embrace a new religion.
And to digress a bit, when one changes one's personal religion, there is a tendency to be critical of the original religion in order to justify one's decision. That's very bad. It must be avoided. Buddhism may be more suitable for many, yet that does not mean that millions of other people have no values. Those millions do benefit from their religions.
Some practitioners of Buddhism have expectations that are too high, possibly because some of our teachers say that you can achieve Buddhahood within three years. Such a teaching is simply propaganda-you cannot achieve the highest spiritual realization in such a short period, except in exceptional cases. Too many expectations, in the beginning, are wrong. I myself think about the limitless eons that have given me inner strength. One hundred years of a life period is nothing.
Some practitioners cling to one practice without understanding the whole Buddhist system. The transformation of our mind cannot be achieved through just one effort or one practice. Our mind is both very weak and very strong, and it is very sophisticated. When your emphasis is more on learning, you may develop pride. If your emphasis is less on pride, sometimes you lose self-confidence. When you develop more self-confidence, pride also follows.
The mind is very sophisticated, so the antidote to it should also be sophisticated. Think about impermanence; think about eons; think about Buddha's nature, about the ultimate reality of emptiness; and also think about the mental potential. Think in various ways, and adopt different methods for different situations. That's the way to shape or change our mind. It takes time. For that reason it is very important to know the basic structure of the Buddhist practice. That's my advice or suggestion.
How does one discern which practice is best? For example, Buddhist practices depend much on logic, reasoning, and the mind. However, when there are "extraordinary" experiences, one might face a contradiction of sorts and want to dismiss them as "illogical."
HH: I think, in the beginning, you should simply think of different reasons or different methods that you feel are most effective. That is the only way to judge. Later, at a higher stage, I think that through dreams or sometimes through different kinds of unusual experiences, you can investigate different ways.
To give an explanation from tantra: We can infer certain experiences through the gross levels of our mind and others through the subtle mind. During sleep, in the dream state, our consciousness has reached a subtler level than during the waking state.
This provides us with the opportunity to get a glimpse of certain experiences that are not possible during the waking state when the mind is active at grosser levels. Because of that, one can actually engage in certain investigations during the dream state. Therefore, one can also say that certain things exist that one can only understand through unusual experiences or experiences in dreams.
As I said earlier, all major religions have a single aim-to make good human beings. In this respect, they are the same. Beyond that, there are differences within the different spiritual traditions. One group-for example, Christians-believe that human beings ultimately reach Heaven. However, Buddhism, Jainism, and some ancient Indian traditions accept nirvana, moksha. Within Buddhism, there are different definitions and interpretations of moksha.
The main point is that among the systems that agree on the existence of nirvana and moksha, there are differences. Even among Buddhists, there are differences in the presentation of what is meant by nirvana. Buddhists explain nirvana as the true cessation of all delusions, a mind free of delusions. However, if we were asked whether other systems existed in which such a state could be achieved, the answer would have to be no. In the same way, if we Buddhists were asked if a Buddhist practice existed by which we could achieve going to Heaven-as Christians do-the answer would again have to be no.
A complete system of methods has to be practiced in order to achieve the state of nirvana as explained in Buddhism. There are many people who are not interested in practicing that type of path. There are many people to whom faith appeals more than reason.
Would it be correct to say that to those to whom logical reasoning and investigation appeal, Buddhism is the ideal complete path?
HH: I would agree. However, your question implies that Buddhist teaching presents the path in an exclusively logical way, but if we analyze this, it may not be immediately obvious.
There are different levels of direct experience and perception of both ultimate and relative truth that can be achieved through intense meditative and yogic practices. During the early stages, we can understand such experiences only by using logic and reasoning. We cannot experience them directly. There are only a few people who have had these deep, nuanced, and direct insights of the different levels of truth, for example.
Three types of phenomena exist: some are obvious, some slightly hidden, and others are completely hidden. For example, when we ask how this book came into existence, the usual explanation is that it was produced by causes and conditions. When we ask why it came into existence through such causes and how all these conditions and causes aggregate it, and then, if we delve further, we will come to the point where we will have to say that it was possible due to the karma of the person who has contact with this book. If we investigate even further in order to explain the book's existence, we might have to go as far as the big bang theory-the beginning of the universe.
The continuity of matter, even simple matter, goes like this, back to the previous stage, then to a stage before that stage, right to the beginning of the whole cosmos. The next question is: what is the reason for the creation of such things? Either God or some different instance is the answer. If the answer were the Creator God, it might solve one problem but create others, create more questions.
There is no beginning; this is endless because of sentient beings, because of the continuity of consciousness. That is the Buddhist explanation. This may not answer all the questions, but it answers some. This theory gives some satisfactory answers, which can be established through reasoning.
For example, certain facts cannot be proved, and we have to rely on the statements of a third person. We know that we are a certain number of years old, but we do not know this through our own experience, nor can we prove it through reasoning. We have to believe our mothers. We have faith in our mothers because there is no reason why they should lie. When we finally find that a person is completely reliable, we accept his or her statements. What is meant by reasoning or faith is to understand the consequences of certain actions that have accumulated over a certain period of time.
If we are to rely on the direct perceptions of a Buddha, we have to be convinced that the Buddha is free of ignorance and obscuration. We realize that there is no reason for him to tell lies and that the statements are not inconsistent and have no contradictions. When these conditions are fulfilled, we believe him and have faith in him."
Abraham-Hicks Daily Quote
" There are as many different worlds as there are perceivers or Beings or individuals. You are not here to create one world where everyone is the same, wanting and getting the same. You are here to be that which you want to be, while you allow all others to be that which they want to be."
Really good article, think most of us are a work in progress adopting these ideas. Hope you enjoy!
"How to Think Like a Millionaire (part 1)
By M. Fisher & M. Allen August 5th, 2008 Source Dream Manifesto
"Socrates, the Greek philosopher, was profoundly aware of the weakness in his own nature. Yet he came to realize that people are evolving beings, capable of changing and growing toward an ideal. People can always improve themselves.
That is part of our greatness. And that ability to improve ourselves can develop at any moment in life.
Believe You Can Be Successful
You have to believe you can be successful before you will ever succeed. Sounds like a cliché, doesn't it? But take time to stop and think about it. Where else can you begin? Your beliefs create your life experience - it's not the other way around. And no matter what you believed before, you can change your beliefs and change your life. It's impossible to create success without believing - deeply - that you are capable of being successful.
It's impossible to live abundantly without believing that you deserve abundance. Our education, society, and other forms of mental conditioning are all, unfortunately, more pessimistic than optimistic. How often has someone told you not to waste your time on pipe dreams, that you have to be realistic, that you can't have what you want? Because we hear this so often and, as a result, believe it to be true, wealth always seems reserved for the fortunate few. Success seems an exclusive party to which we are cordially not invited.
But this is simply not true. If success and prosperity are an exclusive club, it's because they are so in the minds of people whose attitudes bar their own entry. Every successful person at some point came to believe that one day he or she would be successful.
Your beliefs about success are, no doubt, deeply ingrained, and you have to be open to changing them before you'll ever succeed. Examine your beliefs to see how they have affected your life. Many people needlessly sabotage themselves because of unexamined "core beliefs" about how the world operates. Marc Allen sums it up in Visionary Business:
It's important - in some cases critically important - to regularly take time to examine our lives. The first thing to do is to take a look at our past - as clearly and honestly as we can - and discover the important events and influences that have shaped our lives....Some of these shaping events have led to very good core beliefs - and those moments should be remembered, and those beliefs should be encouraged and supported.
All of us have had someone in our lives who saw our potential and supported us in one way or another. We've all had glimpses of our genius, as children, and we've all had other forces that have sought to crush our genius, through doubt, through cynicism, through lack of faith.
We need to reflect on these things occasionally.
Those shaping moments that have had a negative impact on us need to be looked at, and we need to discover the negative core beliefs we formed as a result. Once those beliefs are identified, they can be let go of. Because they aren't true - they're simply self-fulfilling things that become true if we believe them. This is the process of becoming conscious - becoming aware of the forces that drive us, and learning how to act on those forces, how to shape our destiny, how to become powerful. How to achieve what we want in life.
What Are Your Beliefs About Success?
Don't be afraid to analyze your thoughts more closely; you may be surprised at the barriers you have put between yourself and success, once you think about it. When you realize that you can change even your most deeply held beliefs, you can come to see that not only is it possible for you to become as successful as you would like - in all areas of your life - but also that it's easy, much easier than you have ever dreamed possible.
In fact, dozens of opportunities appear to you every day. Profitable ideas flash through your mind, but you usually let them slip away without pursuing them with concrete action. The art of self-suggestion, which is discussed throughout this book, helps you discover how to develop your powers of intuition - the sixth sense for success. You already have these qualities, but you may not be fully aware of their existence. You only need to access them - and you can, quite easily.
Succeeding Is No Harder than Failing
For most people, failure has become a way of life. Failure is a hard habit to break; after all, our social climate has given us high expectations, but our social conditioning has given us low morale. It's a vicious cycle. In order to become successful, we have to understand that success is basically no more difficult than failure. It's simply based on a different kind of mental programming, one to which the subconscious mind is not inherently opposed.
Doesn't every failure involve a highly complex combination of circumstances? Consider what it takes to miss perfect opportunities, to misfire every time you attempt something, to avoid meeting the people who can help you on your path of success, to dismiss your ideas as useless when they could lead to something worthwhile, and to continually repeat the motions that lead to defeat.
It's quite an achievement to fail, and yet the subconscious mind accepts defeat as natural. Throughout this book, we analyze the vital role the subconscious plays in manifesting success. When we understand how to get the power of our subconscious mind working on success rather than failure, we will succeed. It is inevitable.
We create all sorts of excuses to block our success. How many of these thoughts creep into your mind?
Everything was much easier in the good old days.
This excuse is proven wrong every single day of the year. While negative, shortsighted people drone on about unemployment, downsizing, and outsourcing, thousands of small businesses start and flourish every year. Thousands - globally, millions - of people become millionaires each year! Think of the movies produced, the books published, the new opportunities in computer science and Internet media! Think of the parts of the world that are opening to free trade! Becoming successful is not only possible today; it's actually easier than it used to be. The entire world is ours to offer our new ideas, products, services - whatever gift we have to give. Success depends far less on outside circumstances than on our mental attitude, our beliefs about ourselves and the world.
I'm too young.
Tell this to Debbie Fields, founder and owner of Mrs. Fields Cookies, who was in her twenties when she achieved success, or Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers, who made his first million when he was twenty-three, his first ten million at twenty-four, and his first hundred million at twenty-five. There is an old saying: "A youth with a single aim in life arrives early at the harvest." Youth is more often than not an asset. Lack of experience can be compensated for by boldness, daring, instinct, and originality. History shows that most successful people started out completely inexperienced and learned as they went along.
I'm too old.
Colonel Sanders and Georgia O'Keeffe would disagree. Napoleon Hill's survey of the wealthy showed that many successful people don't reach their goals until midlife and beyond. It could be that this is the time of reaping the benefits of a series of earlier efforts, while many others are thinking of retirement. Work does not kill. Idleness, on the other hand, is often deadly; people who take early retirement often die younger than those who keep working. The fact remains that many people begin a second or third career, sometimes the most successful of all, late in life. Age is irrelevant. Your years of experience, even if you have failed, are priceless to you.
I have no capital.
Most people don't, in the beginning. Money isn't essential when we start out. A good creative idea or business idea and a positive mental outlook are essential. Everyone in the world has at least one talent, one passion, one hobby that can become profitable if applied correctly. Contrary to popular belief, there is no shortage of money in the world. The money for launching ideas and furthering good in our world is always available.
Poverty seems to be a tradition in far too many families, an inherited trait like the color of one's hair or eyes, passed down from generation to generation. It's often more difficult for people whose families have always been poor to imagine that one day they can become rich. The image we get of ourselves and of life in general is often tinged with hopelessness and pessimism, and the role models that surround us are not always very inspiring. But there are so many exceptions to this - look at Charlie Chaplin, for example, one of history's wealthiest actors. He spent his youth in poverty, wandering the streets of London. The humiliation of poverty and early contact with life's harsh realities have in many cases spurred people on to great achievement.
I'm not educated.
Thomas Edison left school before the age of sixteen. Microsoft's Bill Gates is a college dropout. Even though many successful people weren't educated
in the formal sense, they did acquire an in-depth knowledge of the industry in which they made their fortunes.
I don't have any special talent.
Many successful people displayed no early signs of being destined for fame, fortune, and fulfillment.
J. Paul Getty said, "I most certainly was not a born businessman." Many people talk themselves into believing that they don't have an inborn talent or what it takes to change their lives. They go to great lengths to justify their lack of success. But in reality, everyone in the world has some talent, some kind of gift. Once we discover our own unique gift, it becomes our purpose to develop it, and doing so leads to our success.
I don't have the energy it takes.
There is often an important difference between those who succeed and those who fail: their levels of energy. Every action we take requires a minimum amount of energy, especially mental or psychic energy. Low vitality inevitably breeds low motivation. This appears to be another inescapable vicious cycle. But all it takes is a tiny spark to ignite the resources of energy that lie dormant within us. The potential energy we all have is enormous. In many people, it is hibernating, waiting to be activated.
Yet at the same time, it takes much more energy to do something we don't like than something we enjoy. Think of the energy you have and how time slips away when you're absorbed in your favorite project. When we do what truly interests and motivates us, the energy flows easily and effortlessly.
I'm afraid of failure.
We're born with two fears: falling and loud noises. All other fears are acquired. Unfortunately, the fear of failure is powerful and widespread - and it is paralyzing. Often deeply embedded within us, it results from past failures, from a lack of confidence bred unknowingly by our parents, and it's enforced by society's general negative, short-sighted thinking.
The fear of failure is sometimes expressed overtly but is most often unconscious and subtly disguised. People don't admit they're afraid of failing; instead, they denigrate others for building castles in the air, and they scorn dreams and creative ideas. They're champion excuse-makers: family obligations, problems, lack of time, lack of money. But wouldn't the family prefer a spouse or parent who is content with his or her work? Wouldn't time be better spent in creative expression? Wouldn't creating fulfillment resolve many problems?
Then there are the "if only" people: If only their boss would notice them....If only they could come up with a good idea....If only they had more talent, ability, time, money, or luck....If only they had been born in different circumstances, or under another astrological sign....
Obviously, if you never try anything, chances are you will never fail. But then, you're not likely to succeed either. Success doesn't miraculously appear out of the blue. It's always the result of concrete action and a positive mental attitude. Thomas Edison made hundreds - some say thousands - of attempts before perfecting the incandescent lightbulb. Abraham Lincoln lost eighteen elections before becoming president of the United States. We're not singing the praises of failure, but we know through experience that every personal defeat can be an education in itself, at least if it's accepted with an open mind.
All I've done is fail.
One underlying reason for many people's paralyzing fear of failure is that they have already failed, or at least believe they were unsuccessful in the past. Each new setback reinforces this feeling and undermines their self-confidence. People start with one failure and see themselves as losers, and this in turn leads inevitably to more aborted attempts. These failures reinforce their loser mentality, and soon it becomes habitual. They end up believing that life is a series of hard knocks, defeats, struggles, and frustrations.
Why have you failed until now? Maybe you wanted to fail - at least on some level, possibly subconsciously. If the success you're entitled to always slips through your fingers, ask yourself why you've condemned yourself to mediocrity. And reassure yourself that even the strongest, most powerful negative programming can be changed - quickly and completely.
Once you examine it closely, you may be surprised at your inner resistance to success. You may be surprised at your negative inner monologue, which most people relentlessly repeat out of habit. Here's an important point: Your mind is always working for your welfare - it just may be working for a long outmoded goal. For instance, maybe your high energy or enthusiasm for something as a child brought harsh criticism from your parents or siblings. You very quickly learned to be quiet and restrained. But now, as an adult, there's no reason to remain unseen and unheard - yet no one told your subconscious mind.
Look at it this way: Our failures should be seen as stepping-stones that bring us closer to our goal. Our failures give us tremendous feedback. Isn't it true that with each perceived failure we learn something of value? Failure is our way of learning and growing. In reality, there is no such thing as failure: It's just part of our education on the way to our inevitable success - if we look at it that way.
Your situation will not improve if you do nothing about it. Of course, this is obvious. But then why are so many people waiting for their big break, or to win the lottery, or for some other miracle? Most people live with the idea that everything will magically work out. And then comes disappointment. Success isn't handed to us on a silver platter; we have to take action, we have to challenge our old beliefs, and we have to risk failure.
To be continued... " http://www.dreammanifesto.com/millionaire.html
"How to Think Like a Millionaire - Part II
By M. Fisher & M. Allen August 7th, 2008 Source Dream Manifesto
"What do most people do when they need money? Some borrow, and get deeper in debt. Others tighten their belts and adapt their needs to their meager income. Instead of challenging themselves and their world to fulfill their dreams, most people limit their dreams to their perceptions of the world's constraints. They have a passive, wait-and-see attitude - "Let's see if this miracle happens." And, most often, it doesn't happen.
Our Lives Reflect Our Beliefs - Unlimited Success Comes from an Unlimited Belief System
To improve your financial situation, to track down a job, to get a raise in your salary, to double your income, to become fit and healthy, you have to passionately want to improve your life. You have to take action, adopt precise measures, and change your attitude.
This has to become a fixed objective. This overriding desire is mandatory to create the life you want. Determination and will are all the strength you need. Kazuo Inamori, CEO of Kyocera International and author of A Passion for Success, puts it this way:
An entrepreneur must first have a clear vision of what he or she wants. A mere dream of what you want is not adequate. Instead, cultivate a desire so strong and a vision so clear that they become part of your subconscious mind.
So many people honestly desire to improve their lives but still fail in their attempts to become successful. The reason is that they have mistaken wishing for wanting. Wishful thinking is far more common than really wanting something. A wish is weak, changeable, and passive. It's not strong enough to overcome procrastination or other obstacles that may arise in the process of getting what you want. Really wanting something is a spur to action. It does not tolerate delays. It bypasses obstacles. It gives us wings to fly.
One day a wise man was asked by a disciple what it took to obtain wisdom. The sage led the disciple to a river and plunged his head underwater. After a few seconds, his anxious follower began struggling, afraid he was going to drown. But the teacher continued to hold his head underwater. The student struggled even harder.
Finally, the wise man let him go just before he would have drowned and asked him, "When your head was underwater, what did you want most?" "To breathe," the frightened boy answered. "Well, there you have it. That's exactly how much you must want wisdom." And for those of us seeking to improve our lives, that's how much we must want success.
Life gives you what you sincerely want. James Allen wrote in his classic work As You Think, "If you cherish a vision, a lofty ideal in your heart, you will realize it....You will become as great as your dominant aspiration." If you content yourself with mediocrity, that is what you will have.
Since you're reading this book, you're probably not completely satisfied with your situation. But this dissatisfaction is a gift, as there is something intensely motivating about dissatisfaction: it fuels dreams. As we mentioned before, many successful people had difficult, impoverished childhoods. They felt humiliated. Their desire to rise above poverty and low social status was so intense that it propelled them toward their dreams.
It is important to bear in mind, however, that even if you have high aspirations, you will still encounter obstacles. "Even with such strong desires, circumstances will change..." Inamori says. "Still, do not use these circumstances as excuses. Your determination should be so strong as to overcome any obstacles, foreseen or unforeseen."
The dreams you carry and nourish in your heart are your most noble part. Those who stop dreaming, those who ignore their most intense yearnings are living a life of emptiness and frustration. Don't let this happen to you. Change your life by daring to let yourself be carried away by your dreams and to live out your dreams to the fullest.
This philosophy may appear naive - it is. Without naivete, without the innocence of dreams, nothing great would have been created in this world. Humans would not fly; epic films would not have been made; Ford wouldn't have created the mass-produced automobile; Edison wouldn't have lit the world. A serious outlook, cynicism, and even strictly rational thought are great obstacles to success.
We aren't arguing in favor of extravagant, irrational behavior. Far from it! The truth is: At the root of every great discovery and exceptional success story lies a dream, an aspiration, a desire. This desire transcends cynicism and strictly rational thought.
Within your deepest desires and highest dreams are the keys to your success.
Summary and Recommended Action
To sum up this first chapter, there are four initial conditions to fulfill in order to become successful:
1. Believe you will be successful.
The first prerequisite is having faith, believing that you can attain success, believing in yourself. This belief can be created by using self-suggestion to change your old programming. If you don't believe in yourself or your ideas, you'll never convince anyone else to believe in them. Success never comes out of the blue, handed to you on a silver platter. The obstacles you'll have to overcome, the difficulties you'll inevitably meet, and the sustained effort you need to make all require a good dose of faith to spur you on.
2. Be aware that your situation will not magically change if you do nothing about it.
Set a clear goal, and take whatever steps you can each week to move a little closer to the goal. Great success is the result of a great many small steps. It doesn't require taking huge, scary leaps; it only requires taking the next obvious step in front of you.
3. Passionately desire to improve your life.
Make a list of the excuses and the inner monologues that keep success at bay. This stage is absolutely essential. It makes you aware of your limiting beliefs. Once you know them, you can overcome them. Successful people have learned to release doubt from their minds. They have tremendous faith in both themselves and in their plans, despite any opposition they may face.
4. Dare to dream - and to dream great dreams.
Within your deepest desires and highest dreams are the keys to success. Your subconscious mind knows only those limitations you have imposed upon it through your own limiting beliefs - and those beliefs can be changed, using the tools in this book."
Global warming eh.?????????
"Snow In The UK: Britain Suffers Travel Chaos, Schools Close, Six Million Workers Stay At Home
| UK News | Sky News
"Another day of travel chaos is expected today as temperatures plummet and heavy snowfalls hit northern parts of Britain, Scotland and Ireland.
Lorry abandoned in thick snow - a familiar scene in many parts
The worst winter weather for 18 years has caused massive disruption to rail and air services and caused major problems on the roads.
Thousands of schools were closed and over six million workers are said to have stayed at home.
Analysts have put the cost to business at £1.2bn - but say the figure could be a lot higher.
Earlier, major airports closed runways, dozens of trains were suspended and there were no buses in London during the morning rush hour.
On the London Underground, 10 of the 11 lines were either completely or partly suspended.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the authorities were doing "everything in our power" to get the country moving again.
An army of snow ploughs and gritters worked non-stop to clear the roads but motorists were still caught in huge tailbacks.
At 20cm (8ins) the snowfall was the heaviest in Britain since February 1991, when about 10cm fell.
Your Snow Pics
Over 2,000 primary and secondary schools were forced to close, with those in southern England among the worst affected.
Many are expected to remain shut for another day at least - much to the delight of pupils.
Around 80% of the London Underground is now operational while around 100 out of 700 London bus routes are running a limited service.
But air, rail and bus operators are warning of more travel problems on Tuesday and are urging travellers to check the latest information before setting out.
Network Rail said it would do everything possible to get trains running.
Maintenance teams would be out "in force" overnight clearing and de-icing tracks and points.
However, a rail spokesman admitted: "It all depends on the weather."
The Highways Agency said snow and ice would make road conditions hazardous. It is urging drivers not to travel unless it is "essential".
BAA which operates Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports says further disruption is inevitable.
More than 800 flights were cancelled at Heathrow alone on Monday.
London and the South East were worst hit by the snowfall which is expected to move northwards and westwards overnight.
Sky News weather presenter Francis Wilson said conditions would remain unsettled and wintry on Tuesday.
He warned ice would be the main problem facing people in the morning.
"All week we're going to have unsettled, wintry weather - but the snowfalls will get less and less and the depth of frost less and less," he added."
Found this article particularly good, hope you enjoy!
"Do You Have What it Takes? … Success Begins with Believing
By Jack Canfield February 1st, 2009
Source Dream Manifesto
"In previous editions of Success Strategies, we’ve talked about how in order to be successful, we must first define what success means to us, and that means getting CLEAR about what you want, writing it down, and thinking BIG!
Success Begins with Believing. If you are going to be successful in spite of a recession and create the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. You have to believe you have the right stuff, that you are able to pull it off.
You have to believe in yourself. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-assurance, it is a deep-seated belief that you have what it takes - the abilities, inner resources, talents, and skills to create your desired results.
Ultimately, you must learn to control your self-talk, eliminate any negative and limiting beliefs, and maintain a constant state of positive expectations.
Control Your Self-Talk
Researchers have found that the average person thinks as many as 50,000 thoughts a day. Sadly, many of those thoughts are negative — I’m not management material… I’ll never lose weight… It doesn’t matter what I do, nothing ever works out for me.
This is what psychologists call victim language. Victim language actually keeps you in a victim state of mind. It is a form of self-hypnosis that lulls you into a belief that you are unlovable and incompetent.
In order to get what you want from life, you need to give up this victim language and start talking to yourself like a winner - I can do it… I know there is a solution… I am smart enough and strong enough to figure this out… Everything I eat helps me maintain my perfect body weight.
You Are Always Programming Your Subconscious Mind
Your subconscious mind is like the crew of a ship. You are it’s captain. It is your job to give the crew orders. And when you do this, the crew takes everything you say literally. The crew (your subconscious) has no sense of humor. It just blindly follows orders. When you say, “Everything I eat goes straight to my hips,” the crew hears that as an order: Take everything she eats, turn it into fat and put it on her hips!
On the other hand, if you say, “Everything I eat helps me maintain my perfect body weight,” the crew will begin to make that into reality by helping you make better food choices, exercise, and maintain the right metabolism rate for you body.
This power of your subconscious mind is the reason you must become very vigilant and pay careful attention to your spoken and internal statements. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they are committing negative self-talk, which is why it is best to enlist another person — your success partner — in monitoring each other’s speaking. You can have a signal for interrupting each other when you use victim language.
Use Affirmations to Build Self-Confidence
One of the most powerful tools for building self-worth and self-confidence is the repetition of positive statements until they become a natural part of the way you think.
These “affirmations” act to crowd out and replace the negative orders you have been sending your crew (your subconscious mind) all these years. I suggest that you create a list of 10 to 20 statements that affirm your belief in your worthiness and your ability to create the life of your dreams.
Of course, what to believe is up to you, but here are some examples of affirmations that have worked for others in the past:
Believing in Yourself is an Attitude
Believing in yourself is a choice. It’s an attitude you develop over time. It’s now your responsibility to take charge of your own self-concept and your beliefs. It might help to know that the latest brain research now indicates that with enough positive self-talk and positive visualization combined with the proper training, coaching, and practice, anyone can learn to do almost anything.
You must choose to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to - anything at all - because, in fact, you can!"
Abraham-Hicks Daily Quote
" People say. "If I'm always setting goals and reaching for the future, then am I not squandering my now?" And we say if in your now you're using a future event to make you feel good, you are still feeling good in your now. And that's the best use of now that you could ever find."
" Make up your mind that nothing is more important than how I feel now, because now is everything. Now is the whole enchilada. Now is the power of me. Now, now, now, now, now… You might as well start somewhere, and it might as well be now. Why not start improving your life now, now, now?"
The idea of a strike in this economic climate is reprehensible, repugnant and a power play against our very existence. I wish all unions would implode due to their arrogance, obsolescence, their abusive self-serving short-sighted actions ...... and become a footnote in history whose time belonged in the early part of the last century.
Dream on about alternate fuels, this threat is in the NOW .... Unions have taken down the American auto industry and couldn't care less about the rest of the nation so long as they have their country clubs and golf courses. See second article.
"Strike by 24,000 refinery workers averted for now
Source My Way News
Feb 1, 8:14 AM (ET)
"HOUSTON (AP) - A strike by some 24,000 refinery workers was averted, at least for now, as both sides agreed to extend negotiations for at least 24 hours.
Workers at refineries near New Orleans, Houston and as far away as Billings, Mont., will show up for scheduled shifts Monday, though negotiators will be back at the table on Sunday.
"We have made progress in that there was no strike at midnight," said Lynne Baker, a spokeswoman for the United Steelworkers, which represents more than 30,000 oil workers nationwide. "But there are still issues that need to be worked out and notice of a strike could be given at any time if that progress stalls."
The union agreed to a rolling 24-hour extension, which allows the union to give the required one-day notice to strike.
The nation's biggest refiner, Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) (VLO), said it would shut down some facilities if workers walk out. So did European oil company BP PLC. (BP) (BP)
Shell Oil Co., the lead negotiator for the industry, along with Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) (XOM), said its refineries would continue to make gasoline, diesel and other fuels using nonunion or replacement workers.
Chemical refiners would also be affected. LyondellBassell Industries said it was bringing in managers from locations not involved in contract negotiations to keep refineries going.
A strike would affect 60 producers, Baker said.
Thursday, union negotiators turned down the most recent offer of a 2.5 percent wage increase for each of the next three years, in addition to changes in medical coverage.
The impasse comes with refiners already cutting back production and industry experts are divided over whether a strike would hit the pocketbooks of motorists.
Job numbers are in free fall, which has led to unprecedented declines in miles driven by Americans.
Motorists cut their driving by 12.9 billion miles in November, down 5.3 percent from the same month a year earlier, the largest such decline of any November since monthly data estimates began in 1971, the Federal Highway Administration said this month.
On the surface, that suggests retail gasoline prices should be falling, but refiners are reading the same headlines and have aggressively cut back production.
Refiner cutbacks and the threat of a strike pushed gasoline futures up throughout the week on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Friday, gasoline futures rose nearly 4 cents to $1.27 per gallon. When gasoline futures rise, retail prices tend to follow. The national average for a gallon of gasoline hit $1.846 on Friday. While that's still $1.14 less than last year at this time, gas is getting closer to $2 a gallon just a month after bottoming out at $1.61.
With refiners turning away oil shipments, crude storage levels have risen by about 20 million barrels in the past month, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Antoine Halff, an analyst with Newedge Group, said workers may actually be doing the industry a favor by going on strike with demand for gasoline so low.
Many of the refineries are on the Gulf Coast, near Houston and New Orleans. There are about 4,000 refinery workers in Houston alone. But the strike would reach into states like California and Tennessee, which also have refineries with labor contracts expiring.
Valero told employees Friday that it would close its facilities in Delaware City, Del., and Memphis, Tenn., if there is a strike.
The company said it would keep its Port Arthur, Texas, plant open with a contingency work force that is being trained.
"We would rather reach an agreement without a work stoppage at all," said spokesman Bill Day.
Exxon Mobil said plants would remain operational until a collective bargaining agreement was reached. "
"Autoworkers Union Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for Members at $33 Million Lakeside Retreat
" The United Auto Workers may be out of the hole now that President Bush has approved a $17 billion bailout of the U.S. auto industry, but the union isn't out of the bunker just yet.
Even as the industry struggles with massive losses, the UAW brass continue to own and operate a $33 million lakeside retreat in Michigan, complete with a $6.4 million designer golf course. And it's costing them millions each year.
• Click here to see photos of the UAW's $33 million retreat.
The UAW, known more for its strikes than its slices, hosts seminars and junkets at the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center in Onaway, Mich., which is nestled on "1,000 heavily forested acres" on Michigan's Black Lake, according to its Web site.
But the Black Lake club and retreat, which are among the union's biggest fixed assets, have lost $23 million in the past five years alone, a heavy albatross around the union's neck as it tries to manage a multibillion-dollar pension plan crisis.
Critics call it a resort for union leaders that wastes money from union dues. ....."
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