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One Life One Heart One Love
The Non-Dual World of Advaita, Zen, Dzogchen & Mahamudra

Issue #18
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Philosophy One to One Beautiful Words Sights & Sounds Funny One!


Chain Reaction: Healing Your Mind, Body and World

KARMA IS OF THREE VARIETIES — that of thought, speech, and action. To say that after the decomposition of the body nothing is left is very unscientific. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, the eighteenth century chemist, said, “Nothing is born, nothing can die.” What will happen after your body disintegrates? The answer is you are continued by your thoughts, your words, and your physical actions.

When we go back to ourselves and we know what’s going on, we have the power to shape our continuation. Our continuation will not be something in the future. Our continuation takes place right here and right now. That is why you still have the sovereignty to determine your future. If you have done something good, you are glad. You say, “I can continue to produce more thought, more speech, and more action of the same kind. I am assuring a good future for myself and my children.” And if you have by chance produced something negative, you know you are capable of producing things of the opposite nature in order to correct it, in order to transform it. Free will is possible in the here and the now.

Suppose yesterday I said something not very nice to my younger brother. That is something already done. It has created damage within me and within him. And today I wake up and realize that I have produced a karma, an action that was destructive. Now I want to rectify that. I am determined that today when I meet him, I will say something different. From my insight, my compassion, my love, I utter a sentence. This sentence is produced now, not yesterday, but it will touch the sentence I said yesterday and transform it and correct it. Suddenly I feel healing taking place in me and taking place in my brother.

The Buddha proposed that we practice right thinking, thinking that goes in the direction of nondiscrimination, compassion and understanding. We know we are capable of producing a thought of nondiscrimination. Every time we produce such a thought, it will have a good effect on our body and on the world. A good thought has the effect of healing your body, your mind and the world. That is action. If you produce a thought of anger, hate, and despair, that is not good for your health or the health of the world.

We can conceive of our thought as a kind of energy that will have a chain reaction in the world. That is why it’s good to take care that we produce many good thoughts of compassion, understanding, brotherhood, and nondiscrimination. And they each bear our signature, they are us, they are our future, they can never be lost. It is very clear that a thought of compassion, a thought of brotherhood, understanding and love has the power of healinghealing your body, healing your mind, and healing the world. Free will is possible, because you know that you can produce such a thought with the help of the Buddha, with the help of your brother, your sister in the community, with the help of the Dharma you have learned.

Your speech may express understanding, love and forgiveness. As soon as you use right speech, it has a healing effect. Right speech has the power of healing and transforming and can be used at any moment. You have the seed of compassion, understanding and forgiveness in you. Allow them to manifest. You can stop reading right now and call someone, and using right speech, express compassion, empathy, love and forgiveness. What are you waiting for? That is right action. Reconciliation can be obtained right away with the practice of loving speech. Right speech is in the direction of forgiveness, understanding and compassion. Pick up the phone and do it. After you do it you will feel much better, the other person will feel much better, and reconciliation will occur right away. The thoughts you produced and the words you have spoken will always be there as your continuation.

What can you do to relieve suffering? What kind of action can be taken every day to express compassion? Physical acts are the third aspect of your continuation. And we know we are capable of doing something to protect people, to protect animals, to protect the environment. Each day we are in control of our karma, in little ways and big ways. And yet so often we feel as if we have no free will or control.


Writing:  Buddha Mind, Buddha Body
Thich Nhat Hanh

One to One

Conquer and Transcend

Q: Has man any free will or is everything in his life predestined and preordained?

A: Free will is associated with individuality. As long as individuality lasts, so long is there free will. All the sastras are based on this fact, and they advise directing the free will in the right channel. Find out to whom free will or destiny matters. Abide in it. Then free will and destiny are transcended. That is the only purpose of discussing these questions. To whom do these questions arise? Find out and be at peace.


Q: Can you speak more about free will and destiny?

A: Whose will is it? “It is mine,” you may say. You are beyond will and fate. Abide as that and you transcend both. That is the meaning of conquering destiny by will. Fate can be conquered; it is the result of past actions. By association with the wise, the bad tendencies are conquered. One’s experiences are then viewed in proper perspective.

Free will is implied in the scriptural injunctions to be good. It implies overcoming fate by wisdom; the fire of wisdom consumes all actions. Wisdom is acquired by association with the wise, or rather, its mental atmosphere.

Man owes his movements to another Power, whereas he thinks that he does everything himself. Action is impelled by desire; desire arises only after the rise of the ego; and this ego owes its origin to a Higher Power on which its existence depends. It cannot remain apart. Why then prattle, “I do, I act, I function.”

There are only two ways to conquer destiny or be independent of it. One is to enquire, “For whom is this destiny?” Discover that only the ego is bound by destiny and not the Self, and the ego is non-existent.

The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the Lord by realizing one's helplessness and saying all the time, “Not I, but Thou, oh Lord.” And giving up all sense of 'I' and ‘mine’, and leaving it to the Lord to do what he likes with you. Complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self-enquiry or bhakti.


Writing: Talks with Ramana Maharshi

Beautiful Words

Inspire and Astonish

INEFFABLE IS THE UNION OF MAN AND GOD in every act of the soul. The simplest person who in his integrity worships God, becomes God; yet for ever and ever the influx of this better and universal self is new and unsearchable. It inspires awe and astonishment. How dear, how soothing to man arises the idea of God peopling the lonely place, effacing the scars of our mistakes and disappointments!

When we have broken our god of tradition and ceased from our god of rhetoric, then may God fire the heart with His presence.

It is the doubling of the heart itself, nay, the infinite enlargement of the heart with a power of growth to a new infinity on every side.

Writing: Ralph Waldo Emerson
From: The Over-Soul
Art: Griselda Tello

Sights & Sounds

Free Will
6:21 min


Funny One!

Letter to God


Dear God,

So far today, I've done okay. I haven't gossiped or lost my temper. I haven't been greedy, crabby, mean, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. And I'm grateful for that.

But dear God, in a few minutes I'm going to get out of bed, and then I'm probably going to need a lot more help!




 The End

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