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August 2017 – Relax and Retreat

PB himself supplied the titles of the 7 chapters in this volume. The first is “Take Intermittent Pauses” and the last is “Sunset Contemplation.” In-between are chapters on “Withdraw From Tension and Pressure,” “Relax Body, Breath, and Mind,” offering specific exercises such as sleep exercise, breathing exercises to calm the mind, and breathing exercises to remove fatigue. This is followed by “ Retreat Centers,” “ Solitude,” and “Nature Appreciation.” The next eteaching will cover some helpful quotes from the material in these chapters.

“ Take Intermittent Pauses” offers: “He can do nothing better for himself and, in the end, for the world than to step out of its current from time to time. If he uses the occasion well, he will bring back something worth having. (Page 4, para #11) In another gem, so appropriate today: “There is much in the outer world to abrase feeling, inflame passion, or weigh down mind. It is then that retreat into the inner world can be made into a healing, helping or calming one. “(Page 11, para 78)

The segment titled “Nature Appreciation” offers several quotes about the mountains and the sea. PB writes: “ I stood on the summit of Mount San Salvadore, looking by turns, at the enormous and glorious protecting circle of the Alps. It was one of those clear crystalline evenings when the sinking sun touched ice and snow with rose or gold, and when the Infinite Spirit touched heart and mind with peace or beauty. I thought of that other superb panorama, the lordly Himalayas, of the different years when I visited their eastern, central, and western parts, — 2,500 kilometers—from end to end. Salvatore—“Saviour”—the very name instilled hope and promised help, while the mountain itself seemed to whisper support.” (Page 123, para 101)

“ Autumn is the time for spiritual planting, winter for spiritual growth, summer for spiritual rest, spring for spiritual harvest. In short, the seasons of nature have a reverse effect on man spiritually to that which they have on him physically….” (Page 117, para 46)

Several quotes refer to nature’s cycles. “Just as sunrise and sunset are especially auspicious moments for prayer and meditation, so there are special times of the year, special seasons when the aspirant has opportunities for easier and quicker advancement than he has at other times. These seasons were known to the ancient religions of America, of Europe, of Africa, and of Asia. Hence they are universal dates and universally kept in the annals of mysticism. It is because of this knowledge, although somewhat obscure, that the religious festivals and sacred seasons like Christmas and Easter have been made part of various religions, both pagan and modern. Jewish and Greek mystics, as well as those of Egypt and Rome, observed them. These mystically auspicious times were the new moon days following the opening of each of the seasonal equinoxes or solstices. That is, the first new moon after March 21, June 21, September 21, and December 21. At such times the disciple should make a special effort to purify himself, to fast, pray, worship, and meditate because it is easier to achieve the result sought. (Page 117, para 49)

“ In looking for the beauty in Nature, a man is looking for his soul. In adoring this Beauty when he finds it, he is recognizing that he not only owns an animal body, but is himself owned by a higher Power.” (Page 120, para 72)