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Follow the link to download these books, do share how you liked them and if you' d want some Like the Flowing River (EPUB | KB). Like the Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections ebook EPUB/PDF/PRC/MOBI/AZW3 free download. Like the Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections by Paulo Coelho. Like the Flowing River is a collection of reflections from Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. A breathtaking collection of reflections from one of the world's best loved storytellers, Paulo Coelho. In this riveting collection of thoughts and stories, Paulo .

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Download Like The Flowing River by Paulo Coelho: Download Book in PDF Download now: Like The Flowing River by Paulo Coelho: Book in PDF for FREE . Like the Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections. Paulo Coelho. READ FOR FREE. Introduction. Author. Paulo Coelho. Series. Tags. Fiction Inspirational . Like the Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo Like the Flowing . and thoughts I've had while travelling down particular stretches of the river of my life. .. I said that I would give the lecture for free, but the entrance fee must not EPub Edition © APRIL ISBN: http://ikindlebooks .

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Now we go walking with our poles, enjoying the world around us, and feeling our bodies being worked, moved and balanced. If I wanted to do a keep-fit workout rather than a kind of walking meditation, I would go to a gym. Jean Claude Carriere has an interesting story about precisely that feeling. A man was quietly eating his breakfast. Suddenly, the piece of bread that he had just spread with butter fell to the ground.

Imagine his surprise when he looked down and saw that it had landed buttered side up! The man thought he had witnessed a miracle. Excited, he went to tell his friends what had happened, and they were all amazed; because when a piece of bread falls on the floor, it nearly always lands buttered side down, making a mess of everything.

Since no one could come up with a credible answer, they went to see a Teacher, who lived nearby and told him the story. The Teacher requested that he be given one night to pray, reflect, and seek divine inspiration.

The following day, they all returned, eager for an answer. A few years ago, driven by the idea of getting the maximum quality of life with the minimum number of possessions, I made certain choices. Some of my friends male and female complain that, because they have so many clothes, they waste hours of their life trying to decide what to wear.

I took this decision for various reasons, and one of them was the sadness I felt at seeing how libraries, which have been painstakingly acquired over a lifetime, are often simply sold off as a job lot once the collector is dead, with no respect shown for them at all. Also why keep all these books at home? To prove to my friends how cultivated I am? To decorate the walls? The books I have bought would be of far more use in a public library than in my house. I used to say that I needed my books in case I ever wanted to look something up in them.

Now, however, when I want to find out something, I turn on my computer, type in the key word or words, and everything I need to know appears on the screen - courtesy of the internet, the biggest library on the planet. My intention is not to save forests or to be generous. I simply believe that a book has its own journey to make, and should not be condemned to being stuck on a shelf. Being a writer and living, as I do, on royalties, I might be working to my own detriment; after all, the more books that are bought, the more money I earn.

However, that would be unfair on the reader, especially in countries where a large part of the government budget for buying books for libraries is clearly not based on the two main criteria for making a serious choice - the pleasure one gets from reading a book, plus the quality of the writing.

Where am I now? Sitting in a cafe in a small Pyrenean town in France, enjoying the air- http: Thoughts and Reflections conditioning, because the heat outside is unbearable.

But why not put my theory to the test? I greet the owner, order a glass of ice-cold mineral water, go to a search engine, and key in some of the words of the one line I do remember, along with the name of the author. In less than two minutes, I have the poem before me: Amongst the books in my library I can see them now There are some I will never open again.

I felt exactly the same about many of the books I gave away: Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo Prague. He was so pleased with this sale, that he asked if he could draw a portrait of my wife - without charge. While I was waiting for him to finish the drawing, I realized that something strange had happened. We made ourselves understood by gestures, smiles, facial expressions, and the desire to share something.

That simple desire to share something meant that we could enter the world of language without words, where everything is always clear, and there is no danger of being misinterpreted. The organizers of the concert being arranged for the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi, would like me to write something for the event.

This is an honour I should not refuse; after all, Shirin Ebadi is a legendary figure. She may be less than five feet tall, but she has sufficient stature to speak out in defence of human rights, and to have her voice heard all around the world. At the same time, I feel slightly nervous about such a responsibility - the event will be televised in 1 1 0 countries, and I have only two minutes to talk about someone who has dedicated her whole life to other people. I walk in the forests near the old mill where I live when I am in Europe.

I travel to Oslo on 9 December, and the following day - a lovely, sunny day - I am in the audience at the award ceremony. The vast windows of the Prefecture provide a view of the port where, at about the same time of year, twenty years before, I had sat with my wife, looking out at the icy sea and eating prawns that had just been brought in by the fishing boats.

I think of the long journey that has brought me from that port to this room, but my memories of the past are interrupted by the sound of trumpets and the arrival of the Queen and the royal family. The organizing committee hands over the prize, and Shirin Ebadi gives a passionate speech denouncing the way certain governments are using the so-called war on terror as a justification for trying to create a kind of worldwide police state.

That night, at the concert in honour of the prize-winner, Catherine Zeta- Jones announces that my text will be read. At that moment, I press a button on my mobile phone, and the phone rings in the old mill where I live this has all been planned beforehand , and my wife is suddenly there with me, listening to Michael Douglas as he reads my words. This is what I wrote, words which can, I think, be applied to all those who are working to create a better world.

The Persian poet Rumi once said that life is like being sent by a king to another country in order to carry out a particular task.

The person sent may do a hundred other things in that other country, but if he or she fails to fulfil the particular task he or she was charged with, it is as if nothing had been done. To the woman who understood her task.

Thoughts and Reflections To the woman who looked at the road ahead of her, and knew that hers would be a difficult journey. To the woman who did not attempt to make light of those difficulties, but, on the contrary, spoke out against them and made them clearly visible. To the woman who made the lonely feel less alone, who fed those who hungered and thirsted for justice, who made the oppressor feel as bad as those he oppressed.

To the woman who always keeps her door open, her hands working, her feet moving. To the woman who personifies the verses of that other Persian poet, Hafez, when he says: Not even seven thousand years of joy can justify seven days of repression. And may she travel slowly, because her pace is the pace of change, and change, real change, always takes a very long time.

Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo A Visitor Arrives from Morocco A visitor arrives from Morocco and tells me a curious story about how certain desert tribes perceive original sin. Eve was walking in the Garden of Eden when the serpent slithered over to her. Eve, who had been properly instructed by God, refused. Adam hid her in there. She immediately ate the apple the serpent was holding out to her. According to this same Moroccan tribe, a return to paradise is guaranteed to anyone who recognizes his or her reflection in the water and feels no fear.

Up until then, I had always been terrified at the thought that, one day, everything would end; but on one of the stages of that pilgrimage, I performed an exercise that consisted in experiencing what it felt like to be buried alive. It was such an intense experience that I lost all fear, and afterwards saw death as my daily companion, who is always by my side, saying: Therefore live life as intensely as you can.

I can remember many occasions when I have smelled the perfume of death: Or when, in August , I got lost on a climb in the Pyrenees. Finally, after wandering around for many hours, I managed to find a track that led me to a remote village. The journalist from The Mail on Sunday insists: Well, according to my will, there will be no funeral.

I have decided to be cremated, and my wife will scatter my ashes in a place called El Cebrero in Spain - the place where I found my sword. The sword that I found on the Road to Santiago will be thrown into the sea, and thus be returned to the place whence it came. And my money, along with the royalties that will continue to be received for another seventy years, will be devoted entirely to the charitable foundation I have set up.

But if I had to choose a phrase, I would choose this: They do everything on automatic pilot, unaware of the magic moment that each day brings with it, never stopping to think about the miracle of life, not understanding that the next minute could be their last on the face of this planet. The journalist leaves, and I sit down at the computer and decide to write this. And death is possibly the most important thing. We are all walking towards death, but we never know when death will touch us and it is our duty, therefore, to look around us, to be grateful for each minute.

She works in a bank in Wall Street, but one day she had a dream, in which she was told to visit twelve different places in the world and, in each one of those places, to create a painting or a sculpture in Nature itself. So far, she has managed to make four such works. She shows me photos of one of them - a carving of an Indian inside a cave in California. While she waits for further signs to be revealed to her in dreams, she continues working at the bank, and that way earns enough money to travel and to carry out her task.

I ask her why she does it. We can save or destroy many things with a simple gesture that might, at times, seem utterly pointless.

Some time later, when he was travelling to another town, the boy heard a man beside him remark: From then on, the boy decided to seek the Devil out, and when he found him, he said: I receive through the post three litres of a product intended to provide a substitute for milk.

Where do cows get calcium for their big bones? Yes, from plants! And protein? David Rietz is implacable: But it is the protein which may actually leach calcium from the body.


Countries that consume high protein diets also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. People who are now aged between 40 and 60 years old used to drive around in cars with no seatbelts, no head support and no airbag. Children sat in the back, making a tremendous racket and having a great time. Baby cribs were painted with brightly coloured paints, all highly suspect, since they might have contained lead or some other dangerous substance. The article continues: There were no mobile phones, and so our parents had no way of knowing where we were - how was that possible?

As children, we were never right, we were occasionally punished, but we never had any psychological problems about feeling rejected or unloved. At school, there were good pupils and there were bad pupils: Psychotherapists were not called in to study the case - the bad pupils simply had to repeat the year. Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo And even so, we managed to survive with a few grazed knees and a few traumas. We not only survived, we look back nostalgically to the days when milk was not a poison, when a child was expected to resolve any problems without outside help, getting into fights if necessary, and spending much of the day without any electronic toys, and, instead, inventing games with friends.

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I decided to try the miraculous new product that could replace murderous milk. I got no further than the first mouthful. I asked my wife and my maid to try it, without telling them what it was. They both said they had never tasted anything so disgusting in their life. They will be very healthy and well balanced; and when they grow up, they will discover milk by then, it may well be illegal. Perhaps some scientist in will take it upon himself to rescue something that people have been drinking since the beginning of time?

Or will milk only be available from drug traffickers? I, Robot. I decided to go and see it, in homage to Smith and Asimov. However, for a series of entirely trivial reasons, I had to postpone going to the cinema until that Sunday. I ate supper early and drank half a bottle of wine with my wife. We invited our maid to come with us she resisted at first, but finally accepted ; we got there in plenty of time, bought some popcorn, saw the film, and enjoyed it.

I got into the car to make the ten-minute drive back to the old converted mill that is my home. I put a CD of Brazilian music on and decided to drive fairly slowly so that, during those ten minutes, I could listen to at least three songs. Before us lies a crossroads, clearly marked by posts. All this takes a fraction of a second. From then on, everything seems to happen in slowmotion. His car turns over on its side once, twice, three times. It hits the hard shoulder and continues rolling over and over, forward this time, with the front and back bumpers hitting the ground.

The car returns to the road and finally stops, lying on its left side. Thoughts and Reflections shirt. I stop beside him with just one thought in my head: I must get out and help him.

Like the Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections

I drive on for another hundred metres and park. The CD continues playing the Brazilian music as if nothing had happened. Everything seems so surreal, so distant. My wife and Isabel, the maid, run towards the scene of the accident. Another car, coming in the opposite direction, stops. A woman jumps out, looking very upset. Her headlights, too, have lit up that Dantesque scene.

What is the emergency number? She looks at me - everyone knows that! My mobile phone is switched off - at the cinema, they always remind patrons to do that. I key in the access code and we phone the emergency number - 51 51 My wife and the maid return: Nothing very grave, after what I saw, after turning over six times!

He staggers slightly when he gets out of the car; other motorists stop; the firemen are on the scene within five minutes; everything is all right. Everything is all right. But he had been a fraction of a second away from hitting our car and hurling us into the ditch; things, then, would have been very bad for all of us.

Very bad indeed. When I get home, I look up at the stars. Sometimes we encounter things on our path, but because our time has not yet come, they brush past us, without touching us, even though they were close enough for us to see them. I thank God for the awareness to understand, as a friend of mine says, that everything that had to happen happened, but nothing did.

A Rabbi gathered together his students and asked them: Another student said: And the Rabbi said: I pick up the newspaper from my mailbox, but it contains nothing of importance, only the things that journalists have decided we should know, feel involved in, and have an opinion about. I go over to my computer to check my e-mails. Nothing new, just a few unimportant decisions to be made which take me no time at all to resolve.

I try doing some archery, but the wind makes it impossible. I have things to do tomorrow and things which I finished yesterday, but today. Today I have absolutely nothing that requires my attention. I feel uneasy. We all have projects to develop, light bulbs to change, leaves to sweep, books to put away, computer files to organize. But how about just facing up to the void? I put on a hat, thermal clothes, and a waterproof jacket and go out into the garden.

That way, I should be able to withstand the cold for the next four or five hours. I sit down on the wet grass and start making a mental list of what is going through my head: Everyone else at that moment is busy, working hard. I work hard too, sometimes twelve hours a day. Today I just happen to have nothing to do. Why not jump in the car and go to the nearest town?

And I stop at that thought. Why is it so difficult to stay as I am now, doing nothing? A series of thoughts cross my mind: I have a long, hard struggle with myself not to get up and go to the stationery shop to buy that glue. I experience terrible feelings of anxiety, but I am determined to stay here doing nothing, at least for a few hours. Gradually, the anxiety gives way to contemplation, and I start to listen to my soul. Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo A Man L ving on the Ground On 1 July , at five past one in the afternoon, there was a man of about fifty lying on the sea front in Copacabana.

I glanced down at him as I walked by; then I continued on to the stall where I usually go for a drink of coconut water. As a resident of Rio de Janeiro, I must have passed by such men, women, or children hundreds or even thousands of times. As someone who has travelled widely, I have seen the same scene in almost every country I have visited, from wealthy Sweden to impoverished Romania.

I have seen people lying on the ground in all weathers: People lying on the ground - drunk, homeless, tired - are not a novelty to anyone. I drank my coconut water. On the way back, I noticed that the man was still there, lying in the sun, and everyone who passed did exactly the same as I had: When I passed the man again, something stronger than myself made me kneel down and try to lift him up.

He did not respond. I turned his head and noticed blood on his temple. What now? Was it a bad wound? So he was alive; now what I needed to do was to get him out of the sun and to call the police. I stopped the first man who passed and asked him to help me drag the injured man over to the shade between the sea front and the beach.

The passer-by was wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase and various packages, but he put these down to help me - his soul was weary of seeing that same scene too. Once we had placed the man in the shade, I headed off to my house.

I knew there was a Military Police post nearby where I could ask for help. But before I got there, I met two policemen. It would be a good idea to call an ambulance. Right, I had done my duty. A boy scout is http: Thoughts and Reflections always prepared.

My good deed for the day The problem was in other hands now; it was up to them to deal with it. And the Spanish journalist would be arriving at my house at any moment. I had not gone ten steps, when a stranger stopped me. In garbled Portuguese he said: I walked back to where the policemen were standing, convinced that they would know who I was, that I wrote for the newspapers, that I appeared on television. I did so under the false impression that, sometimes, success can help to resolve matters.

They had no idea who I was. I was just an ordinary, anonymous man with no authority apart from my own weariness with all those years of seeing people lying on the ground and never doing anything about it. And that changed everything. There are moments when you are suddenly free from any inhibitions or fears. There are moments when your eyes have a different light, and people know that you are absolutely serious. The policemen went with me and called an ambulance.

On the other, there was the plan drawn up to resolve the problem of the missing brick: And so they did, and thus stuck to the original design. That afternoon, I thought for a long time about what had happened; how often, for the lack of one brick, we completely distort the original plan of our lives. In order to reassure him, she said: Ask your God Krishna to go with you. He will hear your prayer. Ask your brother Krishna to get you a present. The assistant did as he was told.

However, when he tried to empty the jug, he found that it immediately filled up again of its own accord. He informed the teacher, who was amazed and asked the boy: The boy started calling for Krishna, but he did not appear. The boy made one last desperate appeal. Please show yourself! They tell me that today is a national holiday and the market is closed.

We are going to visit the tomb of this saint. I know, of course, that it will take much longer than that. However, they have, up until now, respected all my wishes, so I had better give in on this one.

On this Sunday morning, I am in Yerevan, in Armenia. I reluctantly get into the car. I can see snow-covered Mount Ararat in the distance. I look at the countryside around me. I wish I could be out there walking, rather than stuck inside this metal box. They finally give up their attempts to make conversation, and we drive on in silence.

Fifty minutes later I knew it! They hand me a flower, lead me through the crowd of people attending mass, and we go down some steps behind the altar. I find myself before a tomb. I realize that this is where the saint must be buried; but before I place my flower on the tomb, I want to know who exactly I am paying homage to. The Holy Translator! My eyes fill with tears.

Today is 9 October The town is called Oshakan, and Armenia, as far as I know, is the only place in the world that has declared the day of the Holy Translator, St Mesrob, a national holiday and where they celebrate it in style.

As well as creating the Armenian alphabet http: Thoughts and Reflections the language already existed, but only in spoken form , St Mesrob devoted his life to translating into his mother tongue the most important texts of the period, which were written in Greek, Persian, and Cyrillic.

He and his disciples devoted themselves to the enormous task of translating the Bible and the main literary classics of the time. The Holy Translator. I hold the flower in my hands and think of all the people I have never met, and perhaps may never have the opportunity to meet, but who, at this moment, have one of my books in their hands, and are doing their best to remain faithful to what I have tried to share with my readers.

I think, above all, of my father-in-law, Christiano Monteiro Oiticica profession: I remember seeing him hunched over his old typewriter, often complaining about how badly paid translation was and, alas, still is.

He would immediately go on, though, to explain that the real reason he translated was because he wanted to share a knowledge which, but for translators, would never reach his own people. I say a silent prayer for him, for all those who have helped me with my books, and for those who have allowed me to read books to which I would never otherwise have had access, thus helping - anonymously - to shape my life and my character.

When I leave the church, I see some children writing the alphabet with sweets in the shape of letters and with flowers and more flowers. When Man grew ambitious, God destroyed the Tower of Babel, and everyone began to speak in different tongues. However, in His infinite grace, he also created people to rebuild those bridges, to enable dialogue and the diffusion of human thought. That person, whose name we so rarely take the trouble to notice when we open a foreign book, is the translator.

Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo Before a Lecture A Chinese writer and myself were preparing to give a talk at a meeting of American booksellers. The Chinese woman, who was extremely nervous, said to me: Suddenly, she turned round, smiled and said softly: Look at the name of the bookshop run by the woman sitting behind me.

We both managed to do an excellent presentation of our respective books because the angels gave us the sign we were hoping for. Whenever that happens, I am sure there is something that is not quite right. Elegance is usually confused with superficiality and fashion. That is a grave mistake. Human beings should be elegant in their actions and their posture, because the word is synonymous with good taste, graciousness, balance, and harmony. We must not, of course, become obsessed, worrying all the time about how we move our hands, sit down, smile, look around; but it is good to know that our body is speaking a language, and that the other person - even if only unconsciously - is understanding what we are saying beyond our words.

Serenity comes from the heart. Although often tormented by thoughts of insecurity, the heart knows that, through correct posture, it can regain its equilibrium.

That is why, whenever you feel uncomfortable in that correct posture, you should not think that it is false or artificial. It is true because it is difficult. It makes the path feel honoured by the dignity of the pilgrim. And please do not confuse it with arrogance or snobbery. Elegance is the right posture to make our every gesture perfect, our steps firm, and to give due respect to our fellow men and women.

Elegance is achieved when all superfluous things have been discarded and the human being discovers simplicity and concentration. The simpler and more sober the posture, the more beautiful it will be. Snow is beautiful because it has only one colour; the sea is beautiful because it seems to be a flat surface. But both the sea and the snow are deep, and know their own qualities. Walk joyfully and with a firm step, without fear of stumbling.

Your every step is being accompanied by your allies, who will help you if necessary. But do not forget that your adversary is watching too, and that he knows the difference between a firm hand and a tremulous one. Therefore, if you feel tense, breathe deeply and believe that you feel calm, and http: Thoughts and Reflections through one of those inexplicable miracles, you will be filled with tranquillity. When you make a decision, and set it in motion, try to review mentally each stage that led you to take that step, but do so without tension, because it is impossible to hold all the rules in your head.

With your spirit free, as you review each step, you will become aware of which were the most difficult moments, and how you overcame them.

This will be reflected in your body, so pay attention! To make an analogy with archery, many archers complain that, despite many years of practice, they still feel their heart beating anxiously, their hand trembling, their aim faltering. Archery makes our mistakes more obvious. On days when you feel out of love with life, your aim will be confused, complicated. You will find that you lack sufficient strength to draw the bow, that you cannot make the bow bend as it should.

And when, on that morning, you see that your aim is bad, try to discover the cause of such imprecision. This will force you to confront the problem that is troubling you, but which had been hidden up until then. You discovered the problem because your body was feeling older and less elegant. Change your posture, relax your head, stretch your spine, face the world with an open chest.

When you think about your body, you are also thinking about your soul, and one will help the other. There is a definition for every kind of miracle. It may be something that goes against the laws of nature, an act of divine intervention at a moment of great crisis, something that is considered scientifically impossible, etc.

I have my own definition: Sometimes it manifests itself in the form of a cure, or a wish granted. The end result is that, when the miracle occurs, we feel a profound reverence for the grace God has granted us. Twenty or more years ago, when I was going through my hippie phase, my sister asked me to be godfather to her first daughter. The baby was bom, a year went by, and no christening. I thought perhaps my sister had changed her mind and so I went to ask her what had happened.

She replied: My hippie phase passed, and I became an executive working for a record company. My sister had another child, and still no christening. Finally, in , a decision was taken, and the two families, hers and that of her ex-husband, went to Baependi. There I learned that Nha Chica, who did not have enough money to keep herself, had spent the last thirty years building a church and helping the poor. I was going through a very turbulent period in my life and no longer believed in God, or, rather, I no longer believed that the spiritual world was very important.

What mattered were the things of this world and what you could achieve here. I had abandoned the mad dreams of my youth - amongst them the dream of becoming a writer - and I had no intention of going back to that dream-world. I was in that church merely to fulfil a social duty. Two rooms, a small altar with a few images of saints, and a vase containing two red roses and one white one. On an impulse, quite out of keeping with my thinking at the time, I made a promise: If http: I bought a picture of Nha Chica, purely as a souvenir of the christening.

On the way back to Rio, there was an accident: We parked at the roadside, not knowing what to do. I reached into my pocket for a cigarette, and there was the picture of Nha Chica with her silent message of protection. My journey back to dreams, to the spiritual search and to literature, began right there; and, one day, I found myself once again fighting the Good Fight, the fight you undertake with your heart full of peace, because it is the result of a miracle.

I never forgot the three roses. Finally, my fiftieth birthday - which had seemed so far off at the time - arrived. And it almost passed by. During the World Cup, though, I went to Baependi to fulfil my promise.

Like the Flowing River

Someone saw me arriving in Caxambu where I spent the night , and a journalist came to interview me. When I told him what I was doing, he said: Her body was exhumed this week and the beatification process is with the Vatican now. People should be giving their accounts of their experiences with her. The only possible sign would be someone speaking on her behalf!

I stopped some way from the church, remembering the record company executive who had gone there all those years before, and the many things that had brought me back again. As I was going into the house, a young woman came out of a dress shop and said: I bet she was really pleased. But that was the sign I was waiting for. And this is the public statement I needed to make. Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo Rebuilding the House An acquaintance of mine ended up in serious financial difficulties because he could never manage to bring together dream and reality.

Worse, he dragged others down with him, harming people he had no wish to harm. Unable to repay the debts he had accumulated, he even considered suicide. Then one afternoon, as he was walking down a street, he saw a house in ruins.

He found out who the owner was and offered to carry out the necessary work; the owner agreed, although he could not understand what my friend stood to gain. Together they managed to get hold of roof tiles, wood, and cement. My friend put his whole heart into the work, though without knowing why or for whom.

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But as the renovation work progressed, he felt his personal life improving. By the end of the year, the house was ready. And all his personal problems had been resolved. Printed in four colours, on excellent paper, with no mention of any particular church or religion, this pamphlet bore only a prayer on its reverse side.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the name of the author of this prayer - ME! It had been published in the early s on the inside cover of a book of poetry I did not think it would stand the test of time, or that it would return to my hands in such a mysterious way; but when I re-read it, I did not feel ashamed of what I had written. Because it appeared in that pamphlet, and because I believe in signs, I felt it only right to reproduce it here.

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I hope it encourages every reader to write a prayer of their own, asking for themselves and for others the things that theyjudge to be most important. That way, we place a positive vibration in our heart that touches everything around us. Here is the prayer: Lord, protect our doubts, because Doubt is a way of praying.

It is Doubt that makes us grow because it forces us to look fearlessly at the many answers that exist to one question. And in order for this to be possible. Lord, protect our decisions, because making Decisions is a way of praying.

Give us the courage, after our doubts, to be able to choose between one road and another. Once we have chosen our road, may we never look back nor allow our soul to be eaten away by remorse. And in order for this to be possible Lord, protect our actions, because Action is a way of praying. May our daily bread be the result of the very best that we carry within us. May we, through work and Action, share a little of the love we receive. Lord, protect our dreams, because to Dream is a way of praying.

Make sure that, regardless of our age or our circumstances, we are capable of keeping alight in our heart the sacred flame of hope and perseverance. Lord, give us enthusiasm, because Enthusiasm is a way of praying. It is what binds us to the Heavens and to Earth, to grownups, and to children; it is what tells us that our desires are important and deserve our best efforts.

It is Enthusiasm that reaffirms to us that everything is http: Thoughts and Reflections possible, as long as we are totally committed to what we are doing. Lord, protect us, because Life is the only way we have of making manifest Your miracle. May the earth continue to transform seeds into wheat, may we continue to transmute wheat into bread. And this is only possible if we have Love; therefore, do not leave us in solitude.

Always give us Your company, and the company of men and women who have doubts, who act and dream and feel enthusiasm, and who live each day as if it were totally dedicated to Your glory.

Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo Copacabana. She was about sixty years old, sitting in a wheelchair, lost in the crowd. My wife offered to help her and the woman accepted the offer, asking us to take her to Rua Santa Clara.

There were a few plastic bags hanging from the back of the wheelchair. On the way, she told us that they contained all her belongings. She slept in shop doorways and lived off handouts.

We reached the place where she wanted to go. Other beggars were gathered there. The woman took out two packets of long-life milk from one of the plastic bags and gave it to the other members of the group. Well, according to statistics, in that same space of time, people will die, and another will be born.

I might take half an hour to write each page: Everything seems perfectly normal, and yet, during those thirty minutes, 3, people have died, and 6, have just seen the light of the world for the first time. Where are those thousands of families who have just begun to mourn the loss of someone, or to smile at the arrival of a son, daughter, nephew, niece, brother, or sister?

I stop and reflect a little. Perhaps many of those people were reaching the end of a long and painful illness, and some people are relieved when the Angel comes for them.

Then again, hundreds of those children who have just been born will be abandoned the next moment and will go on to form part of the death statistics before I have even finished writing this page. How strange. I think to myself that I was once part of the birth statistics and will, one day, be included amongst the numbers of dead. It is good to be aware that I will die. Ever since I walked the road to Santiago, I have understood that, although life goes on and we are all eternal, this existence will one day end.

People do not think very much about death. They spend their lives worrying about absurdities; they put things off, and fail to notice important moments. They complain a lot, but are afraid to take action. They want everything to change, but they themselves refuse to change. If they thought a little more about death, they would never forget to make that much- postponed phone call.

They would be a little crazier. They would not be afraid of this incarnation coming to an end, because you cannot fear something that is going to happen anyway. The Indians say: Thoughts and Reflections I hope that you, dear reader, have got this far. It would be foolish to be frightened by death, because all of us, sooner or later, are going to die.

And only those who accept this fact are prepared for life. It was a fairly difficult birth, and my mother dedicated me to Sao Jose, asking him to help me to survive. Jose - or Joseph - has become a cornerstone of my life. Every year since , the year after my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, I have given a party in his honour, on 19 March.

I invite friends and other honest, hard-working people, and before we have supper, we pray for all those who try to preserve the dignity of what they do. We pray, too, for those who are unemployed and with no prospects for the future. In all of these cases, he is always being persuaded by an angel to do exactly the opposite of what he was planning to do. The angel asks him not to abandon his wife, even though she is pregnant.

The angel tells him to go into Egypt. His answer could well have been: The angel asks him to return from Egypt.

Joseph could have thought: He knows that he has a destiny to fulfil, which is the destiny of all men on this planet - to protect and support his family. Like millions of anonymous Josephs, he tries to carry out this task, even if it means doing things that are beyond his comprehension. Later, both his wife and one of his children are transformed into the cornerstones of Christianity. The third pillar of the family, the labourer, is only remembered in nativity scenes at Christmas, or by those who feel a special devotion to him - as I do, and as does Leonardo Boff, for whom I wrote the preface to his book on the carpenter.

I give below part of an article by the writer Carlos Heitor Cony, which I came across on the internet: People are sometimes surprised that, given my declared agnosticism and my refusal to accept the idea of a philosophical, moral or religious God, I am, nevertheless, devoted to http: Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo certain saints in our traditional calendar.

God is too distant a concept or entity for my uses or even for my needs. Saints, on the other hand, with whom I share the same clay foundations, deserve more than my admiration, they deserve my devotion.

St Joseph is one of them. The Gospels do not record a single word spoken by him, only gestures and one explicit reference: Since he was a carpenter and not a judge, one must deduce that Joseph was, above all else, good. A good carpenter, a good husband, a good father to the boy who would divide the history of the world.

Beautiful words from Cony. And yet I often read such aberrant statements as: In my imagination, I like to think that the table at which Christ consecrated the bread and the wine would have been made by Joseph, because it must have been the work of some anonymous carpenter, one who earned his living by the sweat of his brow, and who, precisely because of that, allowed miracles to be performed.

Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo The Importance of the Cat in Meditation When I wrote Veronika Decides to Die , a book about madness, I was forced to ask myself how many of the things we do are really necessary, and how many are simply absurd. Why do we wear ties?

Why do clocks move clockwise? If we live with a decimal system, why does the day have 24 hours of 60 minutes each? The fact is that many of the rules we obey nowadays have no real foundation.

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As long as this goes on, society will continue to create systems that, with the passing of time, will cease to make any sense, but will continue imposing their rules on us. An interesting Japanese story illustrates my point. A great Zen master, in charge of the monastery of Mayu Kagi, owned a cat, who was the real love of his life. During meditation classes, he always kept the cat by his side, in order to enjoy its company as much as possible.

One morning, the master, who was already quite old, was found dead. The oldest disciple took his place. In homage to the memory of his former teacher, the new master decided to allow the cat to continue attending the classes on Zen Buddhism.

Some disciples from neighbouring monasteries, who travelled widely in the region, discovered that, in one of the most famous temples in the area, a cat took part in the meditations. The story began to spread. Many years passed. The cat died, but the students at the monastery were so used to its presence that they acquired another cat. A generation passed, and technical treatises on the importance of the cat in Zen meditation began to be published.

A university professor developed a thesis, accepted by the academic community, that the cat had the ability to increase human concentration and to eliminate negative energy. And thus, for a century, the cat was considered to be an essential part of the study of Zen http: Thoughts and Reflections Buddhism in that region.

Then a master arrived who was allergic to cat hair, and he decided to remove the cat from his daily practices with the students. Everyone protested, but the master insisted. Gradually, monasteries - always in search of new ideas and weary of having to feed so many cats - began to remove cats from the classroom. Another century passed, and the cat vanished completely from the Zen meditation ritual in that region.

But it took two hundred years for everything to return to normal, and all because, during that time, no one thought to ask why the cat was there. How many of us, in our own lives, ever dare to ask: Why do we not find a different way of behaving?

I decide to visit the place and, as I am standing there before it, a man at the door says: Suddenly, going into that castle has become very important to me. There is only one alternative: I walk towards the door. He looks at me, but does nothing. As I am leaving, two other tourists arrive and they, too, walk in.

The old man does not try to stop them. I feel as if, thanks to my resistance, the old man has decided to stop inventing ridiculous rules. Sometimes the world asks us to fight for things we do not understand, and whose significance we will never discover. Both lead to the same place.

Power directs us towards our destiny; the gift obliges us to share with others what is best in us. Anyone who fails to use this virtue transforms it into a curse, and others will choose for them.

This personal legend manifests itself in our enthusiasm for the task. It is important to use discipline with intuition, and to use intuition with objectivity. We will love our enemies, but not make alliances with them.

They were placed in our path in order to test our sword, and we should, out of respect for them, struggle against them. We will choose our enemies.

Thoughts and Reflections Coelho, Paulo 13 All religions lead to the same God, and all deserve the same respect. Anyone who chooses a religion is also choosing a collective way of worshipping and sharing the mysteries. Nevertheless, that person is the only one responsible for his or her actions along the way and has no right to shift responsibility for any personal decisions on to that religion.

From now on, everything is sacred. I ask what the waste ground is for and the man in charge explains: Every twenty years, we destroy the temple you see before you now and rebuild it again on the site next to it.

Paulo Coelho

This means that the monks who have trained as carpenters, stonemasons, and architects are always using their practical skills and passing them on to their apprentices. It also shows them that nothing in this life is eternal, and that even temples are in need of constant improvement.

Thus we look ahead with the fear of someone who has already made a lot of mistakes in life and we lack the courage to take the next step. At such moments, it is good to remember the words of Lord Salisbury: They are part of life, and bring joy to all who participate in them. The warrior of light never loses sight of what endures, nor of bonds forged over time. He knows how to distinguish between the transient and the enduring. There comes a moment, however, when his passions suddenly disappear.

Despite all his knowledge, he allows himself to be overwhelmed by despair: He continues to pray and to attend religious services, but he cannot deceive himself; his heart does not respond as it once did, and the words seem meaningless. At such a moment, there is only one possible path to follow: Say your prayers out of duty or fear, or for some other reason, but keep praying. Keep on, even if all seems in vain. The angel in charge of receiving your words, and who is also responsible for the joy of faith, has wandered off somewhere.

However, he will soon be back and will only know where to find you if he or she hears a prayer or a request from your lips. According to legend, after an exhausting morning session of prayer in the monastery of Piedra, the novice asked the abbot if prayers brought God closer to mankind. The sun rises in obedience to a universal law. God is close to us regardless of how much we http: Thoughts and Reflections pray. If he only prays, he will not have time to carry out the work that the world so desperately needs.

According to another legend, this time from the Verba Seniorum, the abbot pastor used to say that Abbot John had prayed so much that he need no longer worry - all his passions had been vanquished. He called together the novices after supper. Let us ask the Lord to send Abbot John a great temptation, and if he manages to conquer it, let us ask the Lord to send him another, and another.

And when he is once more struggling against temptations, let us pray that he may never say: At one point, Moses - Charlton Heston - lifts up his rod, the waters part, and the children of Israel cross over.

Skip to content 26 September, 28 September, Wajdi Almowafak. His stories are simple and direct, yet they have the power to change lives and inspire you with the courage to follow your dreams… Here is the collection of the best of Paulo Coelho Novels in Epub, PDF format. Instructions to download these e-books: Twitter Facebook Email LinkedIn. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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