Bodhi Tree Presents: Paulo Coelho, Who Dares Wins

In this series we take a deep dive into the history of wellness literature. This month: Destiny and alchemy with Paulo Coelho.

The Bodhi Tree metaphysical bookstore for spiritual seekers was founded in 1970 in L.A., and many considered it to be the birthplace of the modern conscious lifestyle movement. Some of the world’s best-known authors, musicians, artists, visionaries, and wisdom teachers browsed and taught at the iconic store. Bodhi Tree is expanding with an online presence in early 2016.  In celebration of an ongoing partnership with Wanderlust, further explore and expand your consciousness with this free Bodhi Tree mini-reader download and free audio talks with Bodhi Tree speakers, including one with Paulo Coelho. 
The Alchemist is one of those special books that comes up in conversation at 1:30 a.m. on a promising first date. It’s an electric, potentially deal-breaking moment. One person will find the courage to ask, “So, have you read The Alchemist?” It's not rare that the other person would reply: “It’s my favorite book.” What is this mystical insight among spiritual seekers that makes this novel the penultimate? Simple. The Alchemist is a book of the heart. The author, Paulo Coelho, is big on omens. He writes about them often. He looks for them regularly in his own life. (The appearance of a white feather told him to write one of his recent books). Coelho has also said that he doesn't believe in mistakes. This belief is, in fact, the premise of the book's first chapter in The Alchemist in which the boy, Santiago, finally heeds the call of destiny and promptly gets all his money stolen. These tests come to each of us. In hindsight, they are part of the magic. The mistakes you make turn out to be the very things that guide you deeper into your destiny, and toward the buried treasure of your best life. In the ancient esoteric art of alchemy, there are four principles that lead us to the treasure of our best selves:

Everything is Connected

The ancient alchemists called this principle “Anima Mundi” or “The Soul of the World." It means you are responsible for all the relationships you create and share in this world, even the invisible connections that link your life to all beings on this earth that have ever been or will be. To an adept (a student of the teachings of alchemy), this means you must address the suffering of others as if it were your own.

Listen to Your Heart

Simple to say, but challenging to do sometimes. Your heart will never guide you wrong, whereas over-analyzing a situation in your head can eclipse your heart’s gentle wisdom. Remember, you have a compass inside you that tells you which door to step through, which phone call to make, and who in your life is telling the truth. Listen to it. Trust it. Create sacred time to silence your mind so you can hear your heart.

Watch for Omens

The universe speaks to each one of us in a language we understand. Coelho believes that the whole universe is eavesdropping on your every desire. Get into relationship with that divine force, by whatever name you know it. Then relax and pay attention.

Follow Your Destiny

Easier paths will always appear that are more lucrative, more popular, less hassle than the true course of your destiny. It’s your job to get in touch with the gifts inside you, discipline yourself to improve them, and serve the world in the way only you were born to. You are the center of your story, and only you have the power to live your destiny. “Who dares, wins,” says Coelho. There are no mistakes. Everything that has happened has brought you to this moment, and this moment will give birth to the rest of your life. Trust that force to guide you, and look for the omens that show you the hidden path of your destiny. — author-kaiaKaia Van Zandt is the author of Written in the Ashes, an esoteric novel about who burned the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt. She is currently the marketing goddess for the Bodhi Tree, leads yoga retreats in Europe, and wild dolphin trips in the Bahamas. Her beloved writing mentor is bestselling novelist/humorist, Tom Robbins.