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The ideal of a secret paradise is woven through fairytales, myths, legends and religions of every race and culture.

This paradise might take the form of a garden, a bodiless realm of light, a heaven beyond the stars. We catch glimpses of such a realm in our sleeping dreams and in our inspired imaginations.

A belief or faith in such a realm is strong in most of us: spiritual seekers and idealists mould their lives in the hope of finding it while some embrace death for a chance of entering it.

This perfect realm is generally felt to exist somewhere else: out of our present reach.

Yet our secret paradise is closer than we imagine: we are living and breathing inside our ultimate secret paradise at this very moment – and every moment.

All the qualities we most treasure and yearn for – peace, love, light, bliss, fulfilment –are within us and all around us. We are in their midst; they are the fabric of our deeper consciousness.

Our problem is we do not perceive our secret paradise because we are so enmeshed in the distractions and complexities of our minds. Our minds are like a huge security fence excluding us from that very domain we most yearn for.

To enter into and become our secret paradise, we do not need to undertake austerities and we certainly do not need to die: we need only to silence our mind.

A silent mind is not merely the absence of sound: it requires the complete absence of thought. Our thoughts are so pervasive that we take their constant presence as inevitable – yet they need not be. Just as they can constantly change, so they can be brought under control and, eventually, stilled.

Inside the silent, thoughtless mind, our secret paradise blossoms.

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