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Chapter 7, A Most Extraordinary Garden. Part 5
“Yogi Raman once told me that as a boy, he lacked confidence as he was smaller than the other boys his age. While they were kind and gentle to him given their environmental influences, he grew insecure and shy. To cure this weakness, Yogi Raman would travel to this heavenly spot and use the lake as a picture screen for images of the person he hoped to be. Some days he would visualize himself as a strong leader, standing tall and speaking with a powerful, commanding voice. Other days he would see himself as he wished to be when he grew older: a wise sage filled with tremendous inner strength and character. All the virtues he wished to have in his life, he saw first on the surface of the lake.
“Within a matter of months, Yogi Raman became the person whom he mentally saw himself becoming. You see, John, the mind works through pictures. Pictures affect your self-image and your self-image affects the way you feel, act and achieve. If your self-image tells you that you are too young to be a successful lawyer or too old to change your habits for the better, you never will achieve these goals. If your self-image tells you that lives rich with purpose, excellent health and happiness are only for people from backgrounds other than your own, this prophecy will ultimately become your reality.
“But when you run inspiring, imaginative pictures through the movie screen of your mind, wonderful things start to happen in your life. Einstein said that ‘imagination is more important than knowledge.’ You must spend some time every day, even if it is just a few minutes, in the practice of creative envisioning. See yourself as you want to be, whether this means serving as a great judge, a great father or a great citizen of your community.”
“Do I have to find a special lake to apply the Secret of the Lake?” I asked innocently.
“No. The Secret of the Lake was simply the sages’ name for the ageless technique of using positive images to influence the mind. You can practice this method in your own living room or even at the office if you really want to. Shut your door, hold all calls and close your eyes. Then take a few deep breaths. You will notice that after two or three minutes you will start to feel relaxed. Next, visualize mental pictures of all that you want to be, to have and to attain in your life. If you want to be the world’s best father, envision yourself laughing and playing with your kids, responding to their questions with an open heart. Picture yourself acting gracefully and lovingly in a tense situation. Mentally rehearse the way you will govern your actions when a similar scene unfolds on the canvas of reality.
“The magic of visualization can be applied to so many situations. You can use it to be more effective in court, to enhance your relationships and to develop yourself spiritually. Consistent use of this method will also bring you financial rewards along with an abundance of material gain, if this is important to you. Understand once and for all that your mind has magnetic power to attract all that you desire into your life. If there is a lack in your life it is because there is a lack in your thoughts. Hold wonderful pictures in your mind’s eye. Even one negative image is poisonous to your mindset. Once you start to experience the joy this ancient technique brings, you will realize the infinite potential of your mind and begin to liberate the storehouse of ability and energy that currently sleeps within you.”
It was as if Julian was speaking a foreign tongue. I had never heard anyone speak of the magnetic power of the mind to attract spiritual and material abundance. Nor had I ever heard anyone speak of the power of imaging and its profound effects on every aspect of one’s world. Yet, deep inside I had faith in what Julian was saying. This was a man whose judgment and intellectual abilities were impeccable. This was a man who was internationally respected for his legal acumen. This was a man who had walked down the path I was now journeying along. Julian had found something on his odyssey to the East, that much was clear. Looking at his physical vitality, his obvious tranquility, seeing his transformation confirmed that I would be wise to listen to his advice.
The more I thought about what I was hearing the more sense it made. Surely the mind must have a great deal more potential than most of us are currently using. How else could mothers lift otherwise immovable cars to save their crying infants who had fallen underneath? How else could martial artists break stacks of bricks with one fell swoop of their hands? How else could the yogis of the East slow down their heartbeats at will or endure tremendous pain without blinking an eye? Maybe the real problem was within me and my lack of belief in the gifts that every being possesses. Perhaps this evening sitting alongside a former millionaire-lawyer turned monk of the Himalayas was a sort of wake-up call for me to start making the most of my life.
“But doing these exercises at the office, Julian?” I responded. “My partners think I’m strange enough as it is.”
“Yogi Raman and all the kind sages with whom he lived, often used a saying that had been passed down to them through the generations. It is my privilege to pass it on to you, on what has become an important evening for both of us, if I may say so. The words are as follows: ‘There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.’ All I’m really getting at is that if you want to improve your life and live with all that you deserve you must run your own race. It doesn’t matter what other people say about you. What is important is what you say to yourself. Do not be concerned with the judgment of others as long as you know what you are doing is right. You can do whatever you want to do as long as it is correct according to your conscience and your heart. Never be ashamed of doing that which is right; decide on what you think is good and then stick to it. And for God’s sake, never get into the petty habit of measuring your self-worth against other people’s net worth. As Yogi Raman preached: ‘Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.'”
It was now seven minutes past midnight. Remarkably, I didn’t feel the least bit tired. When I shared this with Julian he smiled once again. “You have learned yet another principle for enlightened living. For the most part, fatigue is a creation of the mind. Fatigue dominates the lives of those who are living without direction and dreams. Let me give you an example. Have you ever had an afternoon at the office where you were reading your dry case reports and your mind started to wander and you started to feel sleepy?”
“From time to time,” I answered, not wishing to reveal the fact that this was my modus operandi. “Sure, most of us feel drowsy at work on a regular basis.”
“Yet, if a friend calls on the phone to ask you if you want to go out to the ball game that night or asks you for advice on his golf game, I have no doubt that you would spring to life. Every trace of your fatigue would vanish. Is that a fair assessment?”
“That’s fair, counselor.”
Julian knew he was on a roll. “So your tiredness was nothing more then a mental creation, a bad habit your mind has cultivated to act as a crutch when you are performing a tedious task. Tonight you are obviously enchanted with my story and keen to learn the wisdom that has been revealed to me. Your interest and mental focus give you energy. This evening, your mind has not been in the past nor has it been in the future. It has been squarely focused on the present, on our conversation. When you consistently direct your mind to live in the present you will always have boundless energy, no matter what time the clock reflects.”
I nodded my head in agreement. Julian’s wisdom seemed so obvious and yet so much of it had never occurred to me. I guess common sense is not always so common. I thought about what my father used to tell me when I was growing up: “Only those who seek shall find.” I wished he was with me.
Master Your Mind
Cultivate your mind – it will blossom beyond your expectations
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts
There are no mistakes – only lessons. See setbacks as opportunities for personal expansion and spiritual growth
The Heart of the Rose
The Secret of the Lak
The secret of happiness is simple: find out what you truly love to do and then direct all of your energy towards doing it. Once you do this, abundance flows into your life and all your desires are filled with ease and grace.
Chapter 8, Kindling Your Inner Fire. Part 1
Trust yourself. Create the kind of life you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into the flames of achievement.
Foster C. McClellan
“The day that Yogi Raman shared his mystical little fable with me, high atop the Himalayas, was actually quite similar to this day in many respects,” said Julian.
“Our meeting began in the evening and carried on well into the night. There was such a chemistry between the two of us that the air seemed to crackle with electricity. As I mentioned to you earlier, from the first moment I met Raman, I felt as if he was the brother I never had. Tonight, sitting here with you and enjoying the look of intrigue on your face, I feel the same energy and bond. I will also tell you that I have always thought of you as my little brother since we became friends, I’ll tell you the truth, I saw a lot of myself in you.”
“You were an amazing litigator, Julian. I will never forget your effectiveness.”
It was obvious that he had no interest in exploring the museum of his past.
“John, I’d like to continue to share the elements of Yogi Raman’s fable with you, but before I do this, I must confirm something. Already you have learned a number of highly effective strategies for personal change which will do wonders for you if you apply them consistently. I will open my heart to you tonight and reveal everything I know, as it is my duty to do. I just want to make sure that you fully understand how important it is that you, in turn, pass this wisdom on to all those who are searching for such guidance. We are living in a very troubled world. Negativity pervades it and many in our society are floating like ships without rudders, weary souls searching for a lighthouse that will keep them from crashing against the rocky shores. You must serve as a captain of sorts. I’m placing my trust in you to take the message of the Sages of Sivana to all those who need it.”
After consideration, I promised Julian with conviction that I would accept this assignment. He then continued passionately. “The beauty of the whole exercise is that as you strive to improve the lives of others, your own life will be elevated into its highest dimensions. This truth is based on an ancient paradigm for extraordinary living.”
“I’m all ears.”
“Basically, the sages of the Himalayas guided their lives by a simple rule: he who serves the most, reaps the most, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. This is the way to inner peace and outer fulfillment.”
I once read that people who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened. Here, perhaps for the first time, I saw a man who truly knew himself, perhaps his highest self. In his austere clothing, with the half-smile of a youthful Buddha gracing his supple face, Julian Mantle appeared to have it all: ideal health, happiness and an overriding sense of his role in the kaleidoscope of the universe. Yet, he owned nothing.
“This brings me to the lighthouse,” said Julian, remaining focused on the task at hand.
“I was wondering how that fit into Yogi Raman’s fable.”
“I’ll try to explain,” he responded, sounding more like a well-schooled professor than a lawyer turned monk who had renounced the sensual world. “You have now learned that the mind is like a fertile garden and for it to flourish, you must nurture it daily. Never let the weeds of impure thought and action take the garden of your mind. Stand guard at the gateway of your mind. Keep it healthy and strong — it will work miracles in your life if you will only let it.”