New on the Night Lotus Website:
The Diamond Sutra
In an earlier newsletter, I shared with you the request we received to record an English rendition of the great Buddhist text "THE DIAMOND SUTRA." This was quite an undertaking, which required going through many different translations to come up with a new version that would be appropriate for singing and easier for listeners to grasp. This scripture consists of a conversation between the Buddha and his disciple Subhuti, and is inherently an advanced text, which the scripture itself says is "not for lesser vehicle practitioners," but none of you are lesser vehicles, are you? I don't think so.
The new Diamond Sutra recording is now available to listen to online in streaming realplayer at our new page: www.diamond-sutra.org. It is also available as a CD for purchase, and will soon be available through iTunes and other digital services. Upon hearing the recording, Tricycle, America's leading Buddhist magazine, has asked to include the recording on their next weekly audio dharma teachings broadcast.
CLICK HERE to visit our new Diamond Sutra page and listen to this powerful recording
NOTE: CDs of other offerings available in streaming audio on our Chanting and Devotional Singing pages, are also available for purchase, including Shree Guru Gita, Shree Rudram, and the Glorious Bhagavad Gita Sung in English. More will soon be added. Advance copies of Night Lotus Book's upcoming Secrets of Spiritual Happiness book are also available. Visit our PURCHASE PAGE for more information.
The Jyoti Mandir Concert
Last month's ecstatic concert is now available to listen to online, either as a single audio file, or a selection of separate introductions, stories, and songs from Indian, Sufi, and Christian traditions.
CLICK HERE to go to the concert page
Sample songs from the concert (click on titles to play):
GOSPEL SONG "LABOR IN VAIN"
KIRTAN CHANT "JAGADO DHARINI MATA DURGA"
An Upcoming Event
The Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival
September 8 - 11, 2006, Sun Valley, Idaho
Workshops, lectures, and panel discussions
with Dr. Matthew Fox, Dr. Nathan Katz, and Sharon Janis
and lots of very inspiring spiritual films!
CLICK HERE for more info
CLICK HERE to visit our Workshops page with video and audio clips from workshops, seminars, and interviews
A Real Angel
In 1996, having just gone through some seriously challenging times, I moved to a precious and wonderful little house in beautiful Cardiff by the Sea. It would take years to recover my health, and my reputation in my spiritual community had been virtually destroyed by rumors spread by someone I'd considered to be a close friend. I was very much into being in hermit mode while healing from these things, and hadn't even given my forwarding number to old friends from Hollywood. However, after several months of being almost completely alone, I suddenly felt deeply lonely. This was unusual, because I usually love being alone, and often spend 98% of my time alone, however, in this moment, I felt a tearful longing for some friendship and affection in my life.
In that moment, I started to cry, and dared to tell God that I was lonely. I say dared, because once before in my life, I'd told God that I was lonely, and what happened afterwards turned into as traumatic an experience as anything I'd ever experienced. You can read about what happened after the first time I told God I was lonely in the new chapters from the upcoming 2nd edition of my memoir, Never to Return: A Modern Quest for Eternal Truth.
On this day, just months after moving to this new town in 1996, I sat on my couch, weeping and asking God to fill my loneliness -- without having any idea of what I was asking for. Certainly, I was not looking for another romantic relationship, but I really didn't know what exactly I was requesting.
Then, right there, and right in that moment, I heard a "meow" at the back door, and opened it to find a sweet little cat looking up at me.
Now, I got it that God/The Universe was answering my prayer by sending this sweet little being to comfort me, however it didn't occur to me that she was going to stay and never again leave the property, which is what happened. Eventually I realized that she was here to stay, and asked her what her name was. Inside, I heard a response, "Angel."
And an angel, she was. For ten years, we've been best friends. Every morning, she'd hop into bed for a morning snuggle-snooze, and she was always friendly and well-tempered, though with a bit of mischevious flavor. One acquaintance called her "Kumuda in cat form." She was different from most cats -- wasn't interested in the usual cat toys or playing. In fact, she'd lay out on the table in front of my house, with birds hopping and bathing all around her, without even being phased by it or attacking them. When I'd take her to the pet store for a nail clipping, she'd happily sit in the basket as I pushed it around to visit all the birds, fish, and less fortunate kitties in cages. Every day when I returned from my sunset walk to the ocean, her little face would be in the window waiting for my return. Yet, she also had her own independence, and would spend every day lounging in various areas of our front and back yards, enjoying nature.
Angel loved to sit on my desk while I was writing my books, and was a true friend and angel, at a time when I needed both. Three and a half years ago, the vet said that she had kidney failure, and that without either a kidney transplant or dialysis, she might not live for more than two months. Being a penniless pauper for most of the past decade, these things were not even options. Instead I started to give her IV's of fluids every day, along with some natural supplements, all her favorite foods, and endless love. This went on for 3 and 1/2 years, as our friendship grew closer and closer.
We never argued, and we never fought. No misunderstood words, no cheating, no deception or manipulation. Just pure mutual giving and receiving of love. It was a divine and very pure friendship indeed. I will miss having her sweet being in my life, and at the same time, what I feel most is deep gratitude for how beautifully God answered my prayer on that day, ten years ago.
Our Home Page is:
Free spiritual multimedia resources
We're always adding more music, video, writings, photos, and other resources to our website offerings, so please do check in every now and then for a spiritual refresher or online retreat. Some of our more popular offerings are:
- Night Lotus Music (realplayer streaming audio of chanting and devotional singing)
- Night Lotus Video (Inspiring videos -- some new additions!)
- Night Lotus Books (Initial webpage with covers and links to more information about each book)
- The Peace Pilgrim Documentary: An American Sage who Walked Her Talk (realplayer video)The Glorious Bhagavad Gita Sung in English
Things that Make You Go Oooommmmm
Gentle Sanskrit chanting of Sri Guru Gita (realplayer audio)
Om Sri Ganesha Group Kirtan Chant (realplayer audio)
Click below to enjoy our offerings
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