Merle's Blog

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Archive for November, 2011

Silent chants at a monastery in Italy

Posted by Merle Levin on November 28, 2011

So many miles to traverse the earth, so many moments to discover the truth of who I am and what I bring to my life.

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Recommended meditation

Posted by Merle Levin on November 17, 2011


I have often written of Dr. Hew Len and the story of how he healed a ward of criminally psychotic patients by working on himself.  How he advocates cleaning out the old memories we carry around in our system, that hold a mortgage on our souls.  Last week Kristin Flood and I were redesigning (for the hundredth time), our upcoming week of silence in the Italian monastery (check out my website for details of these retreats if you are interested to know more:   We came upon a new meditation that has just been posted on U tube by Dr. Hew Len and I include it with my love and high recommendation.



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The Yes! of new brain cells

Posted by Merle Levin on November 11, 2011

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One of the sessions in our creative writing workshops is called: “create new habits”.  In essence, there is not much use in using precious life energy to undo the old bad habits we have accumulated. Rather use the energy to create new ones – but this time, ones that serve you, body mind and spirit.  To do this, we go for the things that give you a strong feeling of Yes!

OK I know the next question, I can feel it rumbling in. How do we know what serves us?  Chocolate gives a Yes! . Procrastinating gives a big fat Greek Yes!

OK so here’s the rub…the more honest you get with yourself, the more you feel the true Yes!and how it rings, how it strengthens and inspires.  Who cares if it’s chocolate or chips or an afternoon nap…there are at least a thousand other Yes!  moments in the day to work on.  And the research shows that every strong Yes! moment generates new brain cells.  How’s that for the new economy?  If you’re still reading, I’ll share a Yes! with you

I love to do the laundry.  This morning I got up at 6 and washed all my curtains.  I got a big fat Jewish Yes! out of it. Why? I ask myself, is this more exciting than exercising my hips to death?  I think it’s something about throwing in a load of soiled and getting back a load of clean.  It does my soul good.  It reinforces Dr. Hew Len’s theories about cleaning out the old memories. That load of old, soiled data that runs our lives; that puts a big fat American mortgage on our souls.  So the point of sharing this with you, on this beautiful full-moon, Cape Town morning, is that I am going to think “clean” today.  Every time an old tape starts tapping, I’m gonna throw it in the washer with a big fat South African Yes! Clean it out with a new idea, a new question, a new set of eyes.  Byron Katie gives freely and generously on her website of her wisdom.  I love this new economy that gives generously. My spiritual teacher Uranda said: Let love radiate without concern for results.  BK says, when you have a strong, recurring tape running –  ask yourself  “Is this true?  Is this really true?”  I would add: ask yourself, does this give me a Yes!  If not, do I need it in my life? Can I use this to create a new habit, a few new brain cells?  Am I adding to the woes of the world or am I part of a new economy that is not burdened by a big fat European debt.  Each time I hear the news, I’m gonna clean clean clean.  I don’t want that debt in my system.  I don’t want that message bogging me down.  I’m gonna throw it in the washer and turn myself to the multitude of Yes! to be focused on.  Not forever…just for today.  And maybe tomorrow…and well, for as long as I need new brain cells.




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Moses gave us 10; Gurdieff gave us 79

Posted by Merle Levin on November 9, 2011

Gurdjieff left these commandments to his daughter before he passed away.   George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was a 20th Century mystic who brought insight to psychology, philosophy, science and  ancient knowledge.  He also introduced the Enneagram to the West.  I scan these commandments to begin my day.  Gurdieff calls us to “self remembering”.  These commandments are a great beginning…and middle…and well, also the rest of it! Read the rest of this entry »

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This stuff works!

Posted by Merle Levin on November 3, 2011

I drove out early in the morning to my sister’s place – Caledon, 2 hours out of Cape Town, and stopped at the service centre on the highway near Somerset West. When I walked in, I was warmly, smilingly, laughingly greeted by the staff filling the petrol, and the waiters at the Wimpy where I decided to coffee. Everyone so warm and friendly. What a special day. “This stuff works!” I thought. Must be the meditation, the book by the Dalai Lama I am reading, my Kabbalah studies. Then the local police force arrived for their morning cuppa – about 12 hulking men with guns in their halters. They grinned at me, smiled a good morning as they passed me reading the Cape Times. “Gosh. This stuff really works! Everyone is so nice to me! Maybe I AM as special as I think I am!”

It wasn’t until I reached the bathroom sink to wash my hands that I realized the formula behind the friendliness pouring in my direction on this special day. It actually is able to be bottled! I had forgotten to take out the 4 rollers in my hair I had hurriedly stuck in before leaving my flat.

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