Archives for March 2008

The Wisdom of the Desert Priests

By Paulo Coelho

Learning to choose

Saint Antí£o was living in the desert, when a young man came to him:

– Father, I sold all my belongings and gave to the poor. I kept only a few things in order to survive here. I want you to teach me the way to salvation.

Saint Antí£o asked the young man to sell the few things he had kept and, with the money, to buy meat in town. He was to return with the meat tied to his body.

The young man obeyed. On his way back, he was attacked by dogs and falcons, who wanted a piece of the meat.

– I am back – said the young man, showing his scratched, bitten body, and his clothes in rags. Why did you tell me to do that?

– To show that what you brought from your past, is of no use in your present. When you must choose a new path, do not bring old experiences with you. Those who strike out afresh, but who attempt to retain a little of the old life, end up torn apart by their own memories.

Changing attitude

A young man went to an abbot from the Sceta monastery, wanting to follow a spiritual path.

– For one whole year, give a coin to anyone who provokes you. – said the abbot.

For twelve months the young man gave a coin away whenever someone provoked him. At the end of a year, he returned to the abbot, to find out his next task.

– Go into town and fetch me food.

As soon as the young man left, the abbot disguised himself as a beggar and – taking a shortcut he knew – went to the gates of the town. When the young man approached, he began to insult him.

– How marvelous! – said the young man to the so-called beggar. – For a whole year I had to pay everyone who provoked me, and now I can be provoked for free, without having to spend a thing!

Upon hearing this, the abbot removed his disguise.

– Whoever is capable of not minding what others say, is a man on the path to wisdom. You no longer take insults seriously, therefore you are ready for the next step.

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Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

Decisions are only the beginning of something.
When someone makes a decision he is, in fact,
plunging into a powerful current
that carries him to a place
he had never even dreamed of
when he made that initial decision.
(The Alchemist)

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Conversation with the Master – Sex

By Paulo Coelho

(continuation of the transcription of notes of my conversations with J., from 1982 to 1990)

– Given that we must change our attitude toward sex, what is the first step?

– As I said: giving oneself up. People think that, before allowing themselves any pleasure, they must first solve all their problems, which is not the case. People can only solve their problems if they allow them to be themselves.

“However, there is a very curious thing: during the sexual act we are extremely generous, and one’s greater concern is for the partner. We think we will not be able to give the pleasure he or she deserves – and because of this, our pleasure also diminishes, or disappears completely.”

– Is that not an act of love, like you said?

– That depends. It is really an act of guilt, to believe one is beneath the expectations of another. In a situation such as this, the word “expectation” must be completely banished. If we are giving our best, there is no reason for concern.

“One must be aware that when two bodies meet, they are together entering an unknown territory. To transform this into an everyday experience is to lose the wonder of adventure.

“If, however, one allows oneself to be led on this journey, we will discover horizons we never imagined existed. ”

– Is there a key?

– The first is: you are not alone. If the other person loves you, he or she is having the same doubts, however secure you may seem.

“The second is: open the secret box of your fantasies, and do not be afraid to accept them. There are no sexual standards, and you must find your own, respecting only one restriction: never do anything without the other person’s consent.

“The third: give that which is sacred a sense of sanctity. For this one must be as innocent as a child, and learn to accept miracles as blessings. Be creative, purify your soul through rituals you invent yourself – such as creating a sacred space, making offerings, learning to laugh together, in order to break down the barriers of inhibition. Understand that what you are doing is a manifestation of God’s energy.

“The fourth: explore your opposite side. If you are a man, seek at times to think and act like a woman – and vice versa.

“The fifth: understand that the physical orgasm is not exactly the only objective of the sexual act, but a consequence, which may or may not occur. Pleasure has nothing to do with the orgasm, but with the encounter.

“The sixth: be like a river, flowing between opposite banks, such as a mountain and sand. On one side, natural tension, on the other, total relaxation.

“The seventh: identify your fears, and share them with your partner.

” And, finally, the eighth: allow yourself to have pleasure. Just as you are anxious to give, the other person wants to do exactly the same. If, when two bodies meet, both want to give and receive, any problems vanish.

“Alexander Lowen said that man’s natural behavior is open to life and to love. However, our culture has led us to believe that this is not so, that we must be closed and mistrustful. We think that by acting in this way, we will not be hurt by life’s surprises – but in fact what happens is, we are not taking advantage of our lives.”

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Every day you receive up to 300 e-mails at your virtual address. What do people write to you?

There is complicity between my readers and I. It seems that we see the same Universe, although both my readers and I have different answers.

What do you think about reincarnation?

In Brida, a book of mine that will be published in various countries (from March onwards), I touch on the subject of reincarnation. Of course, theoretically, this goes against the dogmas of my religion (catholicism). But, even in the New Testament, there’s a moment in which Jesus clearly states that old souls reincarnate in new bodies: “But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
What’s your opinion about that?

This book was released on March 3rd.
To buy, click here

You can also visit our e-cards page to send Brida Quotes to your friends or add to your blog. To go directly, click here

Warrior of the Light Newsletter no.168

Read the new issues from “Warrior of the Light Online” :

Edition n° 168 : Mysticism Sufi

Edií§í£o n° 168 : Misticismo Sufi

Edición n° 168 : Misticismo sufi

Édition n° 168 : Mysticisme soufi

Edizione n° 168 : Misticismo Sufi

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

Life moves very fast.
It rushes us from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.
(Eleven Minutes)

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Conversation with The Master – Sex

By Paulo Coelho

(Here I have transcribed some notes on conversations with J. between 1982 and 1990)

– Why has sex become a taboo?
– Because it is a process of alchemy: it transforms a vast manifestation of spiritual energy, which is love, into a physical gesture.
“It is imposible to understand sex as we see it nowadays – a mere response to a few physical stimuli. In reality, it is far more than that, and carries with it man’s and humanity’s entire cultural burden. Each time we face a new experience, we bring with us all past experiences – both good and bad – as well as those concepts which civilization has made into rules.
“This is not right, and we must recondition the brain so that each sexual experience is unique, just as each loving experience is unique.”
– Very difficult.
– Very. But one must try, because almost all human beings need to keep this energy in movement. So, the first thing one must understand is that it is made up of two extremes, which walk side-by-side during the entire act: relaxation and tension.
“How can one set these opposite states in harmony? There is only one way: through giving oneself completely. How does one give oneself? By forgetting the traumas of the past, and by not forming expectations about the future – in other words, the orgasm. How can one do this? Very simply: by not being afraid to err.
“In reality, what usually happens is that we begin a sexual relationship thinking that everything might go wrong. But even if it did, what importance would that have? One must merely be conscious of the fact that one must give one’s best, and any wrongs immediately are put right.
“Once the search for pleasure is being carried out by giving oneself, with sincerity, one senses the body becoming tense, like the string of an archer’s bow, while the mind becomes more and more relaxed, like the arrow being made ready to be fired. The brain no longer governs the process, which begins to be guided by the heart. And the heart uses the five senses to show itself to the other.
– The five senses?
– Touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste, all of them are involved. Oddly enough, in most sexual relations, people try using only touch and sight: acting thus, they diminish the fullness of the experience.
– Do both partners need to know all this?
– If one partner gives himself completely, he breaks down the barriers of the other, however strong they may be. Because the act of giving means: “I trust you”. The other, who to begin with may feel rather intimidated, wanting to prove things which aren’t even under discussion, is unarmed by the spontaneity of such an attitude, and relaxes. At that moment, true sexual energy comes into play.
“And this energy is not only present in those parts we call “erotic”. It spreads throughout the entire body, into each strand of hair and expanse of skin. Each millimeter is now shining a different light, which is recognized by the other body, and which combines with the other.
“When this happens, we enter a sort of ancestral ritual, which is an opportunity for transformation. All rituals, in whatever form, demand that one be ready to allow oneself to be led to another perception of the world. It is this will which lends the ritual meaning.”
– Isn’t all this rather complicated?
– It is far more complicated to have the sex one sees being carried out nowadays, a mere mechanical act, causing tension during the act, and emptiness afterwards. Everything spiritual manifests itself visually, everything which is visual turns into spiritual energy, I don’t think this is so difficult to grasp. After all, we are born knowing we have a body and a soul: why not understand that sex also has them?”

(continued tomorrow)

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Has an editor or a publisher got some influence on your books?

Why should they? After all, I sell so well, and I am published in so many different countries and cultures – they trust me, and I trust them.

Edizione nº 168 : Misticismo Sufi

Il turbante di Nasrudin

Nasrudin si presentí² a corte con un magnifico turbante, chiedendo la carití  di un po’ di denaro.

– Sei venuto a chiedermi denaro e porti sul capo un ornamento tanto caro. Quanto è costato questo copricapo straordinario? – domandí² il sovrano.

– Cinquecento monete d’oro – rispose il saggio sufi.

Il ministro sussurrí²: “íˆ una menzogna. Nessun turbante costa questa fortuna”.

Nasrudin insistette:

– Non sono venuto qui solo per chiedere, sono venuto anche per negoziare. Ho pagato tanto denaro per il turbante perché sapevo che, in tutto il mondo, solo un sovrano avrebbe potuto comprarlo per seicento monete, affinché io potessi dare il ricavato ai poveri.

Il sultano, adulato, pagí² cií² che Nasrudin chiedeva. Uscendo, il saggio commentí² con il ministro:

– Tu potrai conoscere bene il valore di un turbante, ma sono io che conosco fin dove la vanití  possa condurre un uomo.

Tale e quale al matrimonio

Nadí¬a passí² tutto l’autunno seminando e preparando il suo giardino. In primavera, i fiori sbocciarono – e Nadí¬a notí² alcune piantine di dente di leone che non aveva piantato.

Nadí¬a le strappí². Ma il polline ormai si era sparso, e cosí¬ ne crebbero altre. Lui allora cercí² un veleno che colpisse soltanto i denti di leone. Uno specialista gli disse che qualsiasi veleno avrebbe finito per uccidere anche gli altri fiori. Disperato, chiese aiuto a un giardiniere.

– íˆ tale e quale al matrimonio – commentí² il giardiniere. – Insieme alle cose buone, alla fine vengono sempre anche alcuni inconvenienti.

– Che faccio?

– Niente. Anche se sono dei fiori che non hai programmato di avere, essi fanno parte del giardino.

Accettando la compassione

– Come purifichiamo il mondo?- domandí² un discepolo.

Ibn al-Husayn rispose:

– C’era a Damasco uno sceicco che si chiamava Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Tutti lo onoravano per via della sua sapienza, ma nessuno sapeva se fosse un uomo buono.

“Un pomeriggio, un difetto di costruzione fece crollare la casa dove lo sceicco viveva con sua moglie. I vicini, disperati, cominciarono a scavare tra le macerie. A un certo momento, riuscirono a localizzare la moglie dello sceicco”.

Disse la donna: “Lasciatemi. Salvate prima mio marito, che stava seduto pií¹ o meno lí¬”.

“I vicini rimossero le macerie nel luogo indicato e trovarono lo sceicco. Questi disse: “Lasciatemi. Salvate prima mia moglie, che stava sdraiata pií¹ o meno lí¬.”

“Quando qualcuno si comporta come si comportí² questa coppia sta purificando il mondo intero”

Édition nº 168 : Mysticisme soufi

Le turban de Nasrudin

Nasrudin se présenta í  la cour avec un magnifique turban, et demanda de l’argent pour la charité.

« Tu es venu me réclamer de l’argent et tu portes sur la tíªte une parure très onéreuse. Combien a coí»té cette pièce extraordinaire ? s’enquit le souverain.

– Cinq cents pièces d’or », répondit le sage soufi.

Le ministre murmura : « Mensonge. Aucun turban ne coí»te une telle fortune. »

Nasrudin insista :

« Je ne suis pas venu ici seulement pour réclamer, mais aussi pour négocier. J’ai payé ce prix pour le turban parce que je savais que, dans le monde entier, seul un souverain pourrait l’acheter pour six cents pièces, afin que je puisse offrir le bénéfice aux pauvres. »

Flatté, le sultan paya ce que demandait Nasrudin. í€ la sortie, le sage déclara au ministre :

« Tu connais peut-íªtre très bien la valeur d’un turban, mais moi je sais jusqu’oí¹ la vanité peut mener un homme. »

Comme le mariage

Nadia passa tout l’automne í  semer et préparer son jardin. Les fleurs s’ouvrirent au printemps, et Nadia remarqua quelques pissenlits, qu’elle n’avait pas plantés.

Elle les arracha. Mais le pollen s’était déjí  répandu et d’autres repoussèrent. Elle se mit í  la recherche d’un poison qui n’atteindrait que les pissenlits. Un spécialiste lui expliqua que n’importe quel poison finirait par tuer les autres fleurs. Désespérée, elle demanda de l’aide í  un jardinier.

« C’est comme le mariage, déclara le jardinier. Avec les bonnes choses, on finit toujours par découvrir quelques inconvénients.

– Que fais-je, alors ?

– Rien. Míªme si ce sont des fleurs que vous n’avez pas souhaitées, elles font partie du jardin. »

Accepter la compassion

« Comment rendons-nous le monde plus pur ? » demanda un disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn répondit :

« Il y avait un cheik í  Damas du nom d’Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Tous l’honoraient pour sa sagesse, mais personne ne savait s’il était un homme bon.

« Un après-midi, un défaut dans la construction fit s’effondrer la maison oí¹ le cheik vivait avec sa femme. Les voisins, désespérés, commencèrent í  creuser les ruines ; í  un moment donné, ils parvinrent í  localiser l’épouse du cheik. »

« Elle s’écria : “Laissez-moi. Sauvez d’abord mon mari, qui était assis í  peu près lí .”

« Les voisins remuèrent les débris í  l’endroit indiqué, et ils trouvèrent le cheik. Celui-ci déclara : “Laissez-moi. Sauvez d’abord ma femme, qui était couchée í  peu près lí .”

« Quand quelqu’un agit comme a agi ce couple, il purifie le monde entier. »

Edición nº 168 : Misticismo sufi

El turbante de Nasrudin

Nasrudin apareció en la corte con un magní­fico turbante, pidiendo dinero para caridad.

– Has venido a pedirme dinero y, sin embargo, estás usando un adorno muy caro en tu cabeza. ¿Cuánto te costó esta pieza extraordinaria? – preguntó el soberano.

– Quinientas monedas de oro – respondió el sabio sufí­.

El ministro susurró: “Es mentira. Ningún turbante cuesta esta fortuna”.

Nasrudin insistió:

– No vine aquí­ solo para pedir, vine también para hacer negocio.

Pagué tanto dinero por el turbante porque sabí­a que en el mundo entero, solo un soberano serí­a capaz de comprarlo por seiscientas monedas, para que yo pudiese dar esa ganancia a los pobres.

El sultán, lisonjeado, pagó lo que Nasrudin le pedí­a. Al salir, el sabio comentó al ministro:

– Tú puedes conocer muy bien el valor de un turbante, pero soy yo quien conoce hasta donde la vanidad puede llevar a un hombre.

Igual al casamiento

Nadia pasó el otoño entero sembrando y preparando su jardí­n. Las flores se abrieron en primavera, y Nadia reparó en algunos dientes de león, que él no habí­a plantado.

Nadia los arrancó, pero el polen ya se habí­a esparcido, y otros volvieron a crecer. Trató entonces de encontrar un veneno que afectara solamente a los dientes de león. Un técnico le dijo que cualquier veneno terminarí­a matando a las otras flores. Desesperado, pidió ayuda a un jardinero,

– Es igual que el casamiento – comentó el jardinero. Junto con las cosas buenas, terminan siempre viniendo algunos pocos inconvenientes.

– ¿Qué hago?

– Nada. Aunque sean flores que tú no pensabas tener, ya forman parte de tu jardí­n.

Aceptando la compasión

-¿Cómo purificamos al mundo? – preguntó un discí­pulo.

Ibn al-Husayn respondió:

– “Habí­a un sheik en Damasco llamado Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Todos lo honraban por causa de su sabidurí­a, pero nadie sabí­a si era un hombre bueno.

Cierta tarde, un defecto de construcción hizo que se derrumbase la casa donde el sheik viví­a con su mujer. Los vecinos, desesperados, empezaron a cavar las ruinas, hasta que en cierto momento consiguieron localizar a la esposa del sheik.

Ella dijo: “Dejadme. Salvad primero a mi marido, que estaba sentado más o menos allí­”.

Los vecinos removieron los destrozos en el lugar indicado, y encontraron al sheik. Este dijo “Dejadme. Salvad primero a mi mujer, que estaba acostada más o menos allí­”.

Cuando alguien actúa como actuó esta pareja, está purificando el mundo entero”

Edií§í£o nº 168 : Misticismo Sufi

O turbante de Nasrudin

Nasrudin apareceu na corte com um magní­fico turbante, pedindo dinheiro para caridade.

– Vocíª veio me pedir dinheiro, e está usando um ornamento muito caro na cabeí§a. Quanto custou esta peí§a extraordinária? – perguntou o soberano.

– Quinhentas moedas de ouro – respondeu o sábio sufi.

O ministro sussurrou: “É mentira. Nenhum turbante custa esta fortuna”.

Nasrudin insistiu:

– Ní£o vim aqui só para pedir, vim também para negociar. Paguei tanto dinheiro pelo turbante, porque sabia que, em todo o mundo, apenas um soberano seria capaz de comprá-lo por seiscentas moedas, para que eu pudesse dar o lucro aos pobres.

O sultí£o, lisonjeado, pagou o que Nasrudin pedia. Na saí­da, o sábio comentou com o ministro:

– Vocíª pode conhecer muito bem o valor de um turbante, mas sou eu quem conhece até onde a vaidade pode levar um homem.

Igual ao casamento

Nadia passou o outono inteiro semeando e preparando seu jardim. As flores se abriram na primavera – e Nadia reparou alguns dentes-de-leí£o, que ní£o havia plantado.

Nadia arrancou-os. Mas o pólen já estava espalhado, e outros tornaram a crescer. Ele procurou um veneno que atingisse apenas os dentes-de-leí£o. Um técnico disse-lhe que qualquer veneno ia terminar matando as outras flores. Desesperado, pediu ajuda a um jardineiro.

– É igual ao casamento – comentou o jardineiro. – Junto com coisas boas, terminam sempre vindo algumas poucas inconveniíªncias.

– Que faí§o?

– Nada. Mesmo sendo flores que vocíª ní£o planejou ter, fazem parte do jardim.

Aceitando a compaixí£o

– Como purificamos o mundo?- perguntou um discí­pulo.

Ibn al-Husayn respondeu:

– Havia um sheik em Damasco chamado Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Todos o honravam por causa de sua sabedoria, mas ninguém sabia se era um homem bom.

“Certa tarde, um defeito de construí§í£o fez com que desabasse a casa onde o sheik vivia com a sua mulher. Os vizinhos, desesperados, comeí§aram a cavar as ruí­nas; em dado momento, conseguiram localizar a esposa do sheik”.

Ela disse: “Deixem-me. Salvem primeiro o meu marido, que estava sentado mais ou menos ali”.

“Os vizinhos removeram os destroí§os no lugar indicado, e encontraram o sheik. Este disse: “Deixem-me. Salvem primeiro a minha mulher, que estava deitada mais ou menos ali.”

“Quando alguém age como agiu este casal, está purificando o mundo inteiro”

Mysticism Sufi

Nasrudin’s turban

Nasrudin appeared at court wearing a magnificent turban and asking for money for charity.

‘You come here asking for money, yet you are wearing an extremely expensive turban on your head. How much did that extraordinary thing cost?’ asked the sultan.

‘Five hundred gold coins,’ replied the wise Sufi.

The minister muttered: ‘That’s impossible. No turban could cost such a fortune.’

Nasrudin insisted:

‘I did not come here only to beg, I also came to do business. I paid all that money for the turban because I knew that, in all the world, only a sultan would be capable of buying it for six hundred gold coins, so that I could give the surplus to the poor.’

The sultan was flattered and paid what Nasrudin asked. On the way out, the wise man said to the minister:

‘You may know the value of a turban, but I know how far a man’s vanity can take him.’

Just like marriage

Nadia spent the whole autumn sowing and preparing his garden. In the spring, the flowers opened, and Nadia noticed a few dandelions that he had not planted.

Nadia pulled them up. But the seeds had already spread, and others grew. He tried to find a poison that would kill only dandelions. An expert told him that any poison would end up killing all the other flowers too. In despair, Nadia sought help from a gardener.

‘It’s just like marriage,’ said the gardener. ‘Along with the good things, there are always a few inconveniences.’

‘What should I do, then?

‘Nothing. They may not be the flowers you intended to have, but they are still part of the garden.’

Accepting compassion

‘How can we purify the world?’ asked a disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn replied:

‘There was once a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone respected him because of his wisdom, but no one knew for certain that he was a good man.

One evening, the house where the sheik and his wife lived collapsed, apparently because of some fault in the construction. The neighbours began desperately digging amongst the rubble. At one point, they managed to find the sheik’s wife.

She said: “Don’t bother about me. Save my husband first, he was sitting more or less over there.”

The neighbours shifted the rubble in the place she had indicated and found the sheik. He said: “Don’t worry about me. Save my wife first, she was lying more or less over there.”

When people act as that couple did, they are purifying the whole world.

Saint Joseph Day

thanks, Pilar!
Today I will be celebrating the feast of my patron saint, Joseph. Together with friends and readers (selected, as you remember, from myspace, facebook, and my blog, using their birthday month) we will take a boat in Paris, and when we are in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral, around 21:45 ( GMT + 1:00) we will read a prayer in five different languages (Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and Italian) a prayer.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor,

obtain for me the grace

to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations;

to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor

the gifts I have received from God,

to work methodically, peacefully,

in moderation and patience,

without ever shrinking from it through difficulty to work;

above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness,

having unceasingly before my eyes

the account I have to render of time lost,

talents unused, good not done,

and vain complacency in success.

St. Joseph, inspire and guide me for the time to come.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

Sometimes certain blessings from God come crashing in through the windows.

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Reflections of the Warrior of Light

By Paulo Coelho

A warrior of the light never stumbles; but he knows how to distract his adversary.

However anxious he is, he plays with the resources of strategy in order to reach his objective. When he realizes his strength is running out, he makes the enemy believe he is in no rush. When he must attack on the right, he moves his troops to the left. If he intends to begin the fight immediately, he pretends he is sleepy and prepares himself for sleep.

The friends comment: “see how he has lost his enthusiasm “. He pays these comments no attention, for his friends know not the tactics of combat.

A warrior of light knows what he wants. There is no need to spend time explaining.

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