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A Tiny Paddle on the River of Life

Written by Nirmala on .

Q: I would like to know whether thoughts create our reality.  I  think a lot of negative and fearful thoughts, which tend to become reality. So I want to know for sure whether it is true or is it just my assumption.

A: This is a good question. My sense is that thoughts do affect our experience, but much less than we imagine. There are so many influences in every moment that affect what actually happens that while thoughts do have an effect, it is not that much of an effect. The problem is that we tend to really notice the times when something we think about then happens, and we overlook all of the times when we have had a negative or fearful thought and nothing ever came of it.

I would invite you to test this out. For the next five days, take some time each day to write down 20 or so fearful or negative thoughts you have about the next day or so. Include anything that comes to mind. Then on the sixth day, go through the five lists of negative thoughts and check for yourself how many actually came true. And also take note of any thing that happened, positive or negative, that was not on your lists.

Then just to be thorough, for the next five days after that, write down 20 positive and hopeful thoughts about the next 24 hours. On the sixth day, go through the lists and see how many came true. Once again, take note of any thing that happened, positive or negative, that was not on your lists.

This will show you very directly how many of your thoughts come true. It might allow you to stop giving much attention to what you think when you find out how rarely they actually come true. Then you can become simply curious about what does happen whether you thought about it or not. There is a deep and profound wisdom that is unfolding life and that is responsible for most of what happens. It moves through you and through everything in the world to affect what happens. As I said, our thoughts can also affect this a little, but for the most part what is meant to happen will happen whether we think about it or not.

You might also reflect some on how you felt during the five days of writing down negative thoughts compared to the five days of writing down positive thoughts. This may possibly be the main way your thoughts actually affect your experience: by changing how you feel as your life unfolds. Having more positive thoughts will probably not change much about what actually happens, but you may feel differently on those days.

As a final experiment, I would suggest that for five days write down 10 negative things and 10 positive things, and then tear up the piece of paper and forget about all about them, and never check if any of them came true or not. And notice how you feel on the days when you do not give any importance to what you think will or won't happen. Does it feel better to have lots of positive thoughts or does it actually feel better to not really pay attention to your thoughts at all?

A good metaphor is that in life we are in a small boat on a very large river. We are given a tiny little paddle that we can use to move the boat this way and that way, but in the end, we are still going to go where the river is going. Similarly, your thoughts and even your choices are not likely to change the overall direction of your life in any profound way. You can paddle a lot, just paddle a little, or not paddle at all and the river will still take you where it takes you. You may find it makes sense to pay more attention to the river and to the direction that life is already flowing than to your little thoughts that are like a tiny paddle.

Let me know how it goes for you if you try this little experiment.

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The Truth Is Not Necessarily Comfortable, It Is Just True

Written by Nirmala on .

Q:I am a retired minister. Getting to where I now am has taken 45 years. I am terrified to publish my work or speak openly about what I now believe. I could be charged with heresy and stripped of my ordination. How does one deal with such a transformation in belief systems? What does one do with this? My answer for now is to just be and when asked to preach or teach -- to then translate.

A: I would simply suggest you listen to your own heart. The truth is what opens your heart and quiets your mind. Does your fear open your heart? If not, if it closes your heart and constricts your awareness, then it simply is not very true or very important. The things you fear might still happen, but so what? If they are not actually very important, then just let them happen. And also, if your fears are not very true, then it might even be pretty unlikely that what you fear will happen.

All there is, is truth. So your fears are all true.....just not very true. They could happen, but it might be very unlikely or very unimportant if they do happen. My favorite example of something that is true, but not very true is a lottery ticket. It is true that you could win, but unfortunately, it is not very true. In fact it is a ridiculously small truth. And even if you did win the lottery, it would not really matter that much as there is not much truth in the imagined value of money or material possessions either.

Listening to your heart can put all of this back into perspective. Following the truth that your heart shows you will not necessarily be successful, admired, financially rewarding, comfortable or easy, but it will be true, real, meaningful, deeply satisfying and fulfilling. All of that is so much more important and true than anything your fears might be pointing to.

You may want to re-read part two of Living from the Heart (available for free here) to reinforce this perspective of orienting to the truth. It is not so important what we think, what we feel, or even what we want. What matters is simply what is true.

I hope this is helpful my friend.




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Several Newly Free Ebooks!

Written by Nirmala on .

 Free ebook by NirmalaOne of the favorite things we get to do at Endless Satsang Foundation is give away free ebooks. Over the years, we have given away hundreds of thousands of our ebooks on our own site and on all of the major ebookstores and free ebook websites. With the upcoming season of gratitude and giving, we have decided to offer several more books to download for FREE. Titles that are now available include Living from the Heart by Nirmala and Ten Teachings for One World by Gina Lake. These ebooks are available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo, so if you just got a new ereader or tablet computer, this is a great time to stock up on some free reading. Here is the page where download links for these books and other free ebooks by Nirmala and Gina are found, including links to the free versions of the books on the various ebookstores. 

Free ebook by Gina LakeRequest for Donations: Nirmala and Gina have been busy this past year launching four new books by Gina, updating their websites, and having more of Nirmala's free ebooks professionally translated into Spanish. And while Nirmala's health still limits him from traveling, he works with as many people as he can through individual spiritual mentoring sessions which are offered by donation. As you may know, Endless Satsang Foundation is a recognized 501c3 religious organization, and so donations are tax-deductible. If you feel moved to make a donation during this season of giving, it will be deeply appreciated. Note: You can make a donation and view financial statements for Endless Satsang here:
Special request: We would love to reach even more people with the free ebooks we give away. If you have enjoyed our free ebooks over the years and would like to support us in spreading the word about our free ebooks, please include a note with your donation and we will be sure to use all of the funds you donate for spreading the word. There are many new ways to reach people on the internet, and we would love to be able to have thousands or even millions more people read our books at no charge.

If a donation is not possible at this time, here are some suggestions for other ways you can help support our work and also help spread the word about our free ebooks:


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Free Ebooks and Book Excerpts by Advaita Spiritual Teacher, Nirmala

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