Book Club Channel
The Lotus and the Lily: A Book Excerpt
11. There are two engines of change: the mandala and full-body spoken prayer. Combine these two consciously and unconsciously every day, and your world will change. It has to. It is the natural order.
12. When one creates a personal universe of joy, all are lifted. As your life becomes sweeter, you kiss the world.
A Few Words on Time
The Lotus and the Lily is laid out over thirty days. Many people go through the process in November and December, so they are ready to have a Soul Day and create a new Intention Mandala on January 1. I teach a live telecourse on the process every November to December for that reason. But you don't have to do it then. Go through this program thirty days before a special date, like a birthday, or any time you feel the urge to create or recreate your world. Whatever date you choose for your Soul Day, be sure to give yourself thirty days to play through the process beforehand, so you can have the whole experience.
For some, thirty days is not enough. They find they want to linger over some of the experiences. If you are going through the Lotus and the Lily with a group, try to keep pace with them. Mark the parts you want to revisit, but give yourself at least a taste of the days the rest of the group is experiencing. That way you can participate in the group discussions. You will find that you learn something in the discussion that you might not have discovered on your own. Group sharing is often the richest part of the entire experience. (Go to janetconner.com for information on group-facilitation guides and certification.)
If you are going through the program on your own, progress at your own pace. If you feel you want more than a day for an experience, take more than a day. But please, don't let yourself get stalled on a particular experience trying to finish it "completely" or "perfectly." These rich spiritual practices make up the adventure of a whole lifetime. Each time you return and repeat the process, you'll have a deeper experience. The Lotus and the Lily is not a one-time experience. It is a way of living, a way of walking; it's an ongoing dance of creating life. And as with all dances, we move more easily with practice.
Don't Forget Your Body
You are an embodied soul. That means what your soul experiences, your body experiences. So treat your whole self with tender loving care. Here are a few gifts you can give yourself:
Time. We stay so busy that the truth of our lives can't catch up with us. Set aside thirty minutes or more for the Lotus and the Lily experiences. This gift of time will return to you a thousandfold.
Silence. There is no substitute for silence, because it is in silence that the soul speaks. Turn off the radio; put down your iPod. Make friends with silence.
A media diet. Cut down or eliminate your consumption of fear-filled media. If nothing else, do not watch TV, especially the news, at night. Don't take fear to bed with you.
Prayer and meditation. Spiritual practice is a muscle that strengthens with use. Use those muscles.
Movement. The physical body holds toxins. Throughout this program, you will release many deeply embedded toxic thoughts and beliefs. Help your body release them with yoga, walking, tai chi, massage—something to get your muscles moving.
Water. Drinking pure water helps your body release toxins. Drink a lot of it.