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Everyday Spirituality: Cultivating an Awakening is meant to help people bring spirituality more fully into their daily lives. For those interested in spiritual awakening, it can help them create a space for that opening, although nothing can make a spiritual awakening happen.

This book is full of down-to-earth tips and practical ways to be more mindful and loving in your life.

If you’re just starting out, the ebook offers tips to build a spiritual path that works within the confines of your busy life.

If you need to heal, this book has a section that offers different ideas and practices to heal everything from your heart to your sexuality to your mind’s constant chatter.

If you’re ready to go deep, the Awaken section takes you further into yourself to amplify your energy and create space for deeper connection and potentially an opening into a profound experience.

For those already in a spiritual awakening, this can help to build a framework to understand your energy and what may be happening for you.

Above all else, this is a work that’s meant to help you understand yourself and pull together a lot of the different spiritual traditions that are available into something meaningful in your life. Ultimately, we are all our own greatest teachers; this book helps you to discover your own inner teacher.

Jim Tolles is a spiritual teacher, healer, and writer. He teaches from a wide mix of spiritual, religious, and philosophical influences, including Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, yogic teachings, sects of Hinduism, and other major religions and paths. His methodology is also influenced by contemporary teachers such as Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, and others.

He encourages those who work with him to find their truth among the many beautiful religions, philosophies, and spiritual paths. Hence, his first self-published book, “Everyday Spirituality: Cultivating an Awakening” encourages such an attitude. Ultimately, he believes that we are all our own greatest teachers, and he helps students and the many people who come to him for advice to go within to find that inner teacher.

Jim Tolles – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Dec 4, 2016

Also see https://batgap.com/jim-tolles/

Jim Tolles is a spiritual teacher who helps people to grow, heal, and embrace their spiritual paths.

Jim had a spiritual awakening in August 2007 and has been through an inner roller coaster ride of healing and spiritual growth, dropping away issues as he has moved more deeply into peace and love. The greatest of the shifts came in the 4th, 5th, and 6th years after awakening and truly consumed his life during those times. The intensity of the energy has since subsided into a more relaxed inner flow. Jim continues to grow and be guided by the divine flow while also relaxing into the beautiful oneness and perfection of each moment.

Jim teaches his students that we all have our truth and love within us by pointing students towards their innate divine oneness. He offers tools to help people cut away their lies and misconceptions so that they can be more firmly rooted in truth and love. He works with students on an individual basis via Skype, as well as offering free online talks via livestreaming on YouTube.

Book: Everyday Spirituality: Cultivating an Awakening

Website: http://spiritualawakeningprocess.com


Published on Dec 3, 2016

Tara Brach speaks on Trusting the Gold (given at retreat)

When we are unaware of the emotions and beliefs that shape our experience, we are in a trance characterized by an identity as a separate, incomplete self. Trance obscures the awareness and love that is our deepest essence. This talk explores the two key pathways of awakening from trance and recognizing and trusting the gold of our true nature.

Mary Reed ‘The Journey Of An Unwitting Mystic’ Interview by Iain McNay

Published on Dec 3, 2016

Mary Reed ‘The Journey Of An Unwitting MysticInterview by Iain McNay
Mary is author of the book, ‘Unwitting Mystic – Evolution Of The Message Of Love.’ In the Summer of 2000 she heard a voice deep inside her saying ‘You are supposed to be doing something very important.’ It didn’t leave her alone; the more she tried to ignore it the more persistent it became. She then started to have visions of Christ, Buddha, the Dalai Lama and others. She had no religious or spiritual background and tried to find help to understand and integrate them. Everything failed to make sense to her. Her life fell apart and she attempted suicide by taking 97 pills, but woke up 2 days later. She felt remorse and supreme surrender.
Eventually she found help which led her to India where she is now based in a Nunnery.
She tells her fascinating story and she talks about the realisations she has had.


Published on Dec 3, 2016

According to spiritual teacher Adyashanti we should question our sense of identity. And this enquiry on our true nature or on the question -Who am I?- should be taken seriously and with an open mind, without expecting answers. This is what Ramana Maharshi’s method invites us to do.

A guide to uncovering the enlightenment already within us

• Builds on Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist wisdom to express the timeless and ever-present nature of enlightenment

• Reveals the negative impact of social and cultural conditioning on our psyche and how to counteract this through meditation and reframing our understanding of time

• Shows how to uncover the original spontaneous awareness we were born with

In this philosophical, psychological, and spiritual exploration of enlightenment, Jason Gregory addresses how to access the original spontaneous awareness we all came into this world with. He exposes the illusion that we must strive to reach enlightenment, uncovering how our yearning for future accomplishments, attachment to the past, and reliance on authority outside the self are social constructs that distract us from the reality of the now. The author explains how our original enlightened nature has been obscured by social, cultural, religious, and egotistical conditioning of the mind caught in time.

Building on knowledge from spiritual traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism, Gregory expresses the timeless and ever-present nature of enlightenment. He illustrates how rigid practices and initiations can become a form of spiritual postponement, continually putting off our enlightenment because we feel we are doing something good and noble. To chase enlightenment through spiritual practice is to assume it is a quality bound to time. The author helps us see that we are already what we are seeking–once we understand that existing in this world is itself a miracle beyond words, then the magic and beauty of our world will unfold. In the same way we remember someone’s name without thinking about it, we also remember that we are enlightened when we stop searching for the experience.

Emerging from the Middle Way of the Buddha, Lao-tzu’s Way of the Tao, Yoga, the Great Work of Gnosticism, the Hermetic Art of Alchemy, and quantum physics, Gregory presents a way to the state of consciousness–enlightenment, nirvana, or samadhi–in which eternity and time are one. He shows us how to counteract the negative impact of social and cultural conditioning on our psyche through meditation and reframing our understanding of time. The author explains how meditation in its truest form takes our awareness of nowness from theory to practice. Guiding us away from a time-bound understanding of enlightenment, Gregory shows us how to find ourselves in the stillness of now where the peace you are is the peace you give to the world.



Jason Gregory
is a spiritual philosopher, independent scholar, writer, and teacher specializing in the fields of Eastern philosophy, Western esotericism, comparative religion, psychology, culture, and ancient civilizations. He is an ardent traveler who has searched ashrams, monasteries, and temples in some of the most remote places in the world. As a result of his travels, Jason has lived in Asia for several years studying the philosophy and culture of the East and how it can benefit civilization in the modern day. Originally trained in the meditation practices and philosophies of Vedanta in Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Zen Buddhism, Jason’s curiosity with the perennial thread throughout the world’s spiritual traditions expanded his work into the exploration of the Western esoteric traditions of Gnosticism and Hermeticism and their underlying relationship to the East.

Jason is the author of two books and the creator of one documentary. He is the author of the highly acclaimed The Science and Practice of Humility and the cult classic Way of the Weirdo, and the writer and director of the documentary The Sacred Sound of Creation. He continually writes articles for popular magazines and websites around the world. His work has been featured on hundreds of radio shows with his numerous guest appearances.

Jason Gregory spends his time traveling, writing, and teaching around the world through his lectures and workshops centered on his work. His lectures and workshops are said to be one of the most insightful and inspirational events one can attend, as he reveals through his work that enlightenment is not an end goal that we are searching for, but instead a way of life which is an art of living. This understanding leads to the essence of his work that enlightenment evokes a humility which is a universal science. http://jasongregory.org/

LOOK INSIDE

How to Write a Book | Jason Gregory’s Approach to Research, Editing, and Writing

Published on Oct 26, 2016

This is an inside view of how I write a book. I explain the research, editing, and writing methods that allow me to write more consistently. I use my new book Enlightenment Now to explain the process and also how it came together to be a published book.


Published on Sep 3, 2016

Excerpts taken from the following lectures(in order): -Jesus, His Religion -On Being God -(Unknown lecture) -On Being God.

From the lecture ‘Jesus: His Religion’. Alan Watts playlist (100+ videos):

From the lecture ‘Jesus: His Religion’. Alan Watts playlist:

Alan Watts ~ Cosmic Consciousness [Spiritual Wisdom] Divine inspiration is to fell that you love people, its a wisdom that is difficult to put into words. Mystical .

Published on Dec 2, 2016

A discussion about self-inquiry and the question ‘Who am I?’ versus ‘Am I aware?’

The tragedy of our existence is that this beautiful planet is actually Heaven on Earth, but we are not aware of it. We are lost in the mind. We are lost in illusion and separation. We are not fully here, and so we do not know who we are or where we are.

Heaven on Earth is occupied by billions of unconscious humans. We have claimed dominion over this planet and that is our greatest mistake. We do not have dominion over anything. At most we are caretakers, which means that we should take care.

We are sharing this planet with millions of species, all of them more present than us. In our unconsciousness, we are causing so much harm to the other species and to the world of nature.

If we are to assume our true role as caretakers of Heaven on Earth, we will have to awaken into Presence. We will have to awaken into a level of consciousness where we experience the Oneness that is inherent in everything. We will have to become so present that we experience God as the silent Presence in all things present. We will have to recognize that everything in physical form is the body of God and that this planet is indeed Heaven on Earth. Perhaps then, will we take care!


Lisa Miller, Professor & Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, discusses spiritual development as it pertains to children and adolescents.

Gangaji – The Religion of ME


Published on Nov 29, 2016

Direct disciple of Papaji and spiritual teacher Gangaji says that – even if we don’t worship any God – we worship every single day something else: our EGO. And this is what keeps suffering in play.
A very interesting view on the nature of our minds!


Published on Nov 29, 2016

Adyashanti and Francis Bennett in a public dialog about the parallels and differences between Jesus and the Buddha, as two complimentary yet very different models of awakening. Where the Buddha emphasized inner peace and the transcendence of samsara, Christ emphasized embodying divine humanity in the midst of samsara, embracing the human condition in order to serve those who are lost in ignorance.

Adya came to a deeper appreciation of Jesus by way of his study of Zen, while Francis ─ a former Trappist monk turned non-dual teacher ─ came to Buddhism by way of immersion in mystical Christianity.

“The Christ comes to disturb, to stir up the pot, to descend to the chaotic earthly realm, and to get people to move out of their limited comfort zones and indifference toward others and life in general: to help us transform and transmute the personal and social dimension of what it means to be a human being in a human society. The Buddha comes to bring inner peace by awakening us up and out of our over-identification with the personal, and help us to realize who we are in transcendence, who we are as “trans-personal” persons. You need both approaches. They are opposite sides of the one “coin” of awakening.” — Francis Bennett

Adyashanti, is an American-born spiritual teacher and author devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

Website: http://adyashanti.org

Francis Bennett entered the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane in 1981 and in the 90’s subsequently lived at a “daughter house” of Gethsemane in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Until recently, he was living in a small urban monastery in Montreal Quebec. He has been a “spiritual seeker” during all those years, practicing in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition and working deeply with teachers in both the Vipassana and Zen Traditions as well. In 2010 he experienced a profound perceptual “shift” in which he realized the ever-present presence of pure Awareness, which some would call, the Presence of God.

You may contact Francis by email, Skype (francisdale3), his Facebook page, or through his website, http://findinggraceatthecenter.com. Francis’ book: “I Am That I Am: Discovering the Love, Peace, Joy and Stability of the True Self“.

Recorded 10/26/2016 at the Santa Cruz Open Circle.

Source: flickr.com

Source: flickr.com

We normally perceive ourselves as individuals, living inside our own brains and bodies. ‘You’ are an entity that seems to occupy your own mental space, inside your head, with the rest of the world appearing to be ‘out there’, on the other side. The conventional scientific view seems to validate this impression of individuality. It suggests that, in essence, we human beings are agglomerations of material particles, atoms and molecules that work together to form different parts of our bodies and organising the interactions between them. Our minds – and all our mental phenomena – are the result of the combined activity of brain cells.

So it seems indisputable that we are distinct, isolated entities living in separateness to one another. I have my body and brain, and you have yours, and we can touch each other physically or communicate with one another through language, but our sense of being – as produced by our brains – is essentially enclosed within the physical stuff of our bodies.

However, most of us regularly have experiences that seem to contradict this impression of separateness. I call these ‘interconnective experiences’, and identity three types of them.

Three Different Types of Interconnection

The first – and most common – is ‘interconnectedness of feeling’, or ‘empathic connection.’ Empathy is sometimes seen as a cognitive ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and imagine what they are experiencing. This is certainly a type of empathy, but only what I have called ‘shallow empathy.’ There is a deeper kind of empathy which stems from actually sensing – rather than just imagining – what another person is experiencing. In this ‘deep empathy’ our consciousness seems to expand outwards, and merge into other people’s. We seem to enter into other people’s mind-space, and share their feelings. If they are feeling sad, we sense their sadness. If they are hurt, we sense their pain. This often leads to altruism – acting to try to alleviate their suffering. We want to alleviate other people’s suffering because, in a sense, it is our own suffering.

The second type of experience is ‘interconnectedness of being.’ For many years, I have collected reports of what I call ‘awakening experiences’, in which people experience a more expansive and intense state of being. One of the most prominent characteristics of these experiences is a ‘transcendence of separateness.’ It’s very common for people to sense that they are deeply connected to – even one with – the natural world, other human beings or even the whole universe. There is a sense of sharing one’s being with other phenomena, a sense that we share the same fundamental essence as them. For example, in my research one person told me that “I feel a part of nature … I feel a connection with people, but I also feel connected with trees and birds and grass and hills.” Or more intensely, one person described to me how “the deep aliveness of space is so amazing it takes your words away. I don’t just feel connected to it. I feel like I am it.”

The third type of experience – which I admit is more controversial than the previous two – is ‘interconnectedness of knowing.’ There are many anecdotal reports of individuals spontaneously communicating with each other without any direct interaction. Common experiences are thinking of someone you haven’t seen for years and then receiving a phone call from them and bumping into them on the street. Other examples are having a ‘strong feeling’ that a friend is pregnant, has been diagnosed with a serious illness or has died without being told this – and then finding out that this is the case shortly afterwards. Such incidents might be explained away as coincidence, but there are also scientific experiments which appear to show that such communication can sometimes occur. Some of the most well known are ‘ganzfeld’ experiments, in which a person tries to ‘send’ a randomly chosen target image to a receiver, who then has to choose the correct image from four choices. Obviously, the success rate for this by chance should be 25%. However, ganzfeld experiments consistently show higher levels of success than this. Large scale ganzfeld experiments conducted under the most strongest scientific conditions typically show a success rate of around 35%. This doesn’t seem like a significant figure, but the odds against it occurring by chance are astronomical. Meta-analyses of thousands of experiments conducted over decades show similar results. (1) There is also evidence suggesting that animals – especially dogs – may have a telepathic connection with their owners, which enables them to sense when they are coming home. (2)
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Beyond Materialism

It’s difficult to account for these phenomena from a materialist point of view. Materialists would claim that ‘deep empathy’ doesn’t really exist, and that our altruistic impulses are not due to a sense of connection, but due to a disguised selfishness – e.g. a desire to impress other people, or feel good about ourselves, or a kind of insurance policy to make sure we are helped in return. The sense of connection which awakening experiences can perhaps be explained as wishful thinking, or in terms of unusual brain activity. Similarly, ‘interconnective knowing’ can be explained as coincidence, or in terms of flawed experimental procedures.

However, there is another possibility: that in actuality we are interconnected. It is possible that these three forms of interconnection are not illusions, but the manifestations of a fundamental lack of separation between human beings. This makes no sense from a materialist point of view, but it is possible that what we know as consciousness is not produced by the brain, but is a fundamental quality of the consciousness. This is what is sometimes known as the ‘panpsychist’ view, and it is becoming increasingly popular amongst philosophers and psychologists who struggle to explain consciousness from a materialist perspective. According to panpsychism, consciousness is not dissimilar to mass or gravity – a fundamental, irreducible quality which has always been ‘built into’ the universe. Consciousness is both fundamental and universal – that is, it is everywhere, and in everything (at least potentially). The function of the cells, nervous systems and the human brain is not to ‘receive’ this consciousness and channel it into individual beings.

If we take this view, our own individual consciousness is part of a wider network of consciousness, as a wave is part of an ocean. So it’s not surprising that we are able to tune in to other people’s feelings, to feel a sense of oneness with nature, or sometimes ‘pick up’ on information without any direct communication. We are simply experiencing the fundamental connectedness of all beings, and the universe itself. Feeling, being and information flow between us all, across this network of shared consciousness.
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So we are not enclosed within our own mental space. We are not islands, but part of the ocean. We don’t live in separateness, but in connectedness. We are not alone. Essentially, we are one.

Steve Taylor PhD is the author of several books on psychology and spirituality. http://www.stevenmtaylor.com

Follow Steve on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stevetaylorauthor

Or on twitter at https://twitter.com/SMTaylorauthor

Notes

(1) see Bem, D. J. (1996). Ganzfeld phenomena. In G. Stein (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the paranormal (pp. 291-296). Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. See also Parker. A. & Brusewitz, G. (2003). A compendium of the evidence for psi. European Journal of Parapsychology. 18: 33-51.

(2) In a long series of experiments over two years with a dog called Jaytee, the paranormal researcher Sheldrake found that it would sit by the window for a significant proportion of the time that her own was on her way home – 55% of the time, compared to just 4% during the rest of her absence. (The difference is highly statistically significant, with odds against chance of over 10,000.) There was a great deal of controversy when the skeptical researcher Richard Wiseman attempted to replicate Rupert Sheldrake’s experiments. Wiseman’s 4 experiments actually yielded an even more positive result than Sheldrake’s – Jaytee sat by the window 78% of the time that her owner was travelling home, compared to 4% during the rest of her absence (Sheldrake, 1999, 2000). % during the rest of her absence (Sheldrake, 1999, 2000). That would seem to be an incontrovertible successful replication of Sheldrake’s experiments. However, Wiseman chose to ignore this data, and instead to use a different criterion of success: Jaytee had to go to sit by the window at the exact moment that her owner set off home. If Jaytee went to the window before this, this would mean that she had ‘failed.’ And not surprisingly, by this criterion, the experiments were judged to be unsuccessful and bizarrely presented as ‘proof’ that Jaytee (and dogs in general) do not have ‘psychic powers’ (Wiseman et al., 1998; Sheldrake, 2000).

In this 8 minute video, Rupert Spira explains that since awareness is the essential ingredient of all experience, that awareness is shining brightly in all experience, it is important to dedicate our attention to honoring it…

Harri’s descriptions soar from the mundane to the sublime and take the intimate details, understanding and experience of the Awakened state to an entirely new level. He makes clear that this life of ours can be a delightful continuum of perception from the deep liveliness of expanded consciousness to the smallest details of daily life. It is not necessary to go to heaven in order to experience heaven or to be divine. Instead, these are natural aspects of individual awareness that are usually hidden and misunderstood. Harri shares with us his amazing life story from early childhood to the present through personal stories, photographs, poems and works of art.

Harri Aalto – 3rd Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Nov 25, 2016

Also see https://batgap.com/harri-aalto-3/

Harri’s descriptions soar from the mundane to the sublime and explain the intimate details, understanding and experience of the awakened state in an entirely fresh way. He shows us how this life of ours can be naturally transformed into the delightful liveliness of expanded consciousness even within the activity of daily life.

Harri has worked as a fine artist/designer, a businessman, and a meditation teacher for his whole life. Throughout these very busy years his experiences of refined states of consciousness and perception have expanded greatly.

He shares his insights in his book, The Landscape of Enlightenment: With Doors and Windows to Our World, which includes his amazing life story from early childhood to the present with very personal, simple stories, works of art and inspired understanding that will uplift your awareness and stir the onset awakening.

Websites: http://harriaalto.com http://aaltodesign.com


Published on Nov 27, 2016

http://www.amodamaa.com
An excerpt from the Berkeley Open Circle, November 2016

Published on Nov 25, 2016

In this video, Sruti reads recent emails anonymously and answers.

Sruti is a spiritual teacher who writes about her spiritual awakening within an experience with an uncommon and painful illness called Interstitial Cystitis. She has been interviewed on the Buddha at the Gas Pump talk show on YouTube about her experience of spiritual awakening in the midst of intense pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atG0z…

This ongoing and chronic condition challenged her to stay present with daily pain and to look further inward for answers. In an extreme moment of pain, in which consciousness began to fade, Sruti experienced the erasure of all that clouds over the earliest source of vision.

She watched as one by one the layers of the mind, the body and feelings disappeared before her. She asks the question: with whose vision are we seeing when the lights are going out? Has this early vision ever known anything at all?

Sruti’s book, The Hidden Value of Not Knowing, is available as an audiobook and an eBook online at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IBZFPIM
The book can also be ordered in print form: http://www.blurb.com/b/7133487-the-hi…

For more information about Sruti please visit http://www.srutisangha.org


Published on Nov 25, 2016

A discussion about an ‘enlightened person’.


Published on Nov 26, 2016

Michael A. Rodriguez is a spiritual Teacher and Author of the book “The Uncreated Light of Awareness”
In this interview Michael tells us about his spiritual yearning as a child and his voracious thirst for Truth, how he became disenchanted with academia and entering a monastic life. He ate, drank, breathed, lived and slept Non-Duality and went through a 5 year purification and alchemical transformation called “Poverty” by Meister Eckhart. He says: “If you think the Universe came first, you are it’s prisoner, when you know that you came first, you are free”.

Published on Nov 26, 2016

http://adyashanti.org – Adyashanti examines the common inquiry: Who am I?, and the common misconceptions that accompany it. Upon recognition of these unnecessary thought patterns, you can retire the old stories that encircle your mind and no longer serve you, and embrace the truth of your being. This brings to light the answers that have been ever-present, simply awaiting your acknowledgement. By paying attention to and trusting your own perception, the answers clarify themselves, and a new way of being emerges in front of you. Adyashanti reminds you that you need not wait for an answer, that all you have to do is explore the depth of your inquiry with sincerity and heart, to discover the answers that are ever-available and ever-present.

Video Excerpted From “The Awakened Nature of Being”:
http://bit.ly/2gekchI

Quotes from this video:

“This is the primary misunderstanding: I am the one that is conscious. Instead of: I am the consciousness itself.”

“When you think about it, you can always find a self. Then you stop thinking about it, and it’s gone.”

“The reason that I can’t see myself as anything specific is maybe because there isn’t one there.”

“The door to liberation is seeing: No, there isn’t some little entity that is aware. There isn’t a little me in there. Awareness itself is aware.”

From the Berkeley Open Circle, November 2016.
With questions and answers.


Published on Nov 23, 2016

This was recorded from a Facebook Live class. Trump has now changed from Rahu to Jupiter .. which could / should / May show some higher potential to come through. But how does Jupiter operate for him?


Published on Nov 23, 2016

Spiritual teacher Adyashanti ‘forces’ us to take an honest look at how we blame our parents for our suffering. He reminds us that every single moment we can make the decision to let go of blaming and clinging to past events. If we do that we see that horrible things may have happened in the past, but they don’t determine our happiness in this present moment.


Published on Nov 23, 2016

Tara Brach – The Wings of Awakening – Self-Honesty and Love (retreat talk)

We evolve our consciousness by bringing a clear and kind attention to the tangles of suffering. This talk explores how the “second arrow” of self-judgment imprisons us in emotional reactivity, and the pathways of awakening awareness that reconnect us with our full human potential. (This talk was given on November 6 at the 2016 IMCW fall retreat.)

photo: Jon McRay

Published on Nov 23, 2016

Non-duality teacher John de Ruiter explains how Ramana Maharshi’s method on the enquiry on ‘Who Am I?’ works. We have to go beyond our conditioned Western minds in order to attain self-realization.

John de Ruiter is a Canadian-born philosopher, an awakened being and a non-duality teacher. John holds regular meetings exploring, through dialogue and silent connection, the foundations and subtleties of being alive.

Ramana Maharshi was an Indian Sage who inquired deeply on the question ‘Who Am I?’ and achieved enlightenment / self-realization.

An Interview with Marianne Williamson on the role of the feminine, meditation and engaged spirituality in today’s world by Etan Ilfeld…

Etan Ilfeld: I notice that you mention God a lot, but you always use the masculine – why is that?

Marianne Williamson: I actually wrote a book called a Woman’s Worth, and it’s all about the Goddess – but I write primarily on the principles of the Course In Miracles. There’s one Truth and it’s spoken in many different ways. I do believe that they’re all just kaleidoscopic visions of universal, spiritual themes. But as someone who does lecture and write on the Course in Miracles, that is the language of the course; the traditional Judeo-Christian ‘God’ is He, and as I am Jewish and was raised Jewish, God being a he was never a problem for me. I appreciate that this may be a problem for some people and by all means they should use the language that works for them. Nobody up there is going “oh my god, get the words right!”

EI: Alanis Morissette played God in the film Dogma…
MW: As the Course in Miracles says, words are, at best, symbols. Now, I will say this as far as God being ‘he’. In the eastern religions there’s the Yin and the Yang. Yin is the feminine, earth principle and Yang is the masculine, sky or spirit principle. Now we call ‘Mother Earth’ feminine all the time – I never hear a man say “Why do we call it Mother Earth? Why don’t we call it FATHER Mother Earth?!”. Instinctively we relate to the energies of the earth as female; it’s kind of like a male or female plug, it’s not a genital issue, but it is a profound sense that the masculine enters into the feminine. In the sense that God is Masculine, Humanity is she, and the idea of God entering your heart, which is the mystical Christic perspective, that you are penetrated and impregnated by God, and out of your humanity, which is feminine, there is born the Christ which is neither masculine nor feminine. And so, there are ways in which the beautiful interplay of the masculine and feminine is experienced, as long as we keep it out of our anthropomorphic gender, genital based filters.

EI: You described a pseudo-Buddhist piece of Graffiti you once saw: “Don’t just do something, sit there!” . The Ego always wants to do something, and it’s important to, as you put it, “quietly seek the peace of God”. So often we forget that knowing how to not-do, is an action, too.

MW: Well, living in the modern world, we are constantly barraged by a clutter of ultimately meaningless stimulus. That’s day in, day out. Our ancestors didn’t have to deal with that, and the human brain literally is not set for that. When you do physical exercise you are training your physical muscles so that you can move. When you do spiritual exercise, you are training your internal, attitudinal muscles so you can remain motionless and non-reactive. People have no impulse control, the whole world has shpilkes, where the nervous system is like a crystal vase, too much water is coming in and everyone’s nervous system is shattered! And that’s what meditation helps with.

A lot of the spiritual reclamation of the soul has to do with the cultivation of a quiet mind, a quiet environment. In Judaism and Christianity, there is an expression: ‘the small still voice for God’. The ego speaks first and speaks loudest. And meditation gives us the capacity to hear this small still voice, that will not impose itself upon you but is there. Through meditation, prayer, serious spiritual practice we become finely tuned intuitional instruments.

EI: I understand you’ve got a new book coming out soon. I’d love to hear what it’s about.
MW: The title is ‘Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment’. View Here There has developed in our culture a way we’ve put a cheap yellow smile, the happy face, all over everything. It has given us a distrust of unhappiness. And just as there are storms in nature, and they serve a function, there are storms in normal life. People die, divorce, heartbreak, grief, financial loss, financial ruin, recovery, losing your job… and these can lead to very dark nights of trhe soul. What I think of as a psycho-therapeutic-pharmacological-industrial complex has kind of appropriated depression for its own purposes over the last few years, and woe to the person who questions that. Many depressing periods in life are certainly, validly deemed spiritual crises. And some may say “but you’re not a doctor!” and to them I would say, “How can I look to your mindset to heal a crisis of the soul if you don’t even acknowledge that the soul exists I hear people say that they have an anxiety disorder – this whole nation has an anxiety disorder!

Unfettered global capitalism is insane. The way we treat the planet is insane. We now know you can’t talk about the mental and emotional problems of an adolescent outside the context of the full family system. I think that now we need to talk about how we can’t take about the nature of individual suffering outside the context of the social-political structures of the nation. I think the issue is for us to realise is that over the last 100 years we have taken suffering and made it so much the issue of the individual that this has kept us from recognising some of the larger social forces that are depressing all of us, and that then keeps us from changing those forces.

EI: A Course in Miracles talks a lot about how Love and Fear are powerful drivers – the drivers. There’s a sentence that talks about how military power might try to take on terrorism, but only love has the power to dismantle the hate from which terrorism emerges. Could you explain that?

MW: First of all if, in the years previous to 9/11 if more people had seen the American flag decal on schools, roads, hospitals, supporting what they knew to be genuinely democratic institutions, then I think there might not have been a 9/11. There is no way to overestimate the part that the invasion of Iraq played in the creation of ISIL. In terms of spirituality, we have atoning to do. I don’t think Germany would be doing as well as it is today socially and economically if they had not done full mea culpa, full atonement, including reparations after World War 2.

Nations atone – the same spiritual principles that rule the transformation of an individual apply to a nation, because the nation is just a group of individuals. So, I don’t expect Tony Blair or George Bush to get on TV sometime soon and atone, but I think that is what we can do. The energy that pervades a system when a critical mass of the population comes to a new way of thinking can not be overestimated. The geopolitical economic principles that rule our society are not based on love, they’re based on short term economic gain for huge multinational corporate forces. As long as that is our bottom line as opposed to genuine humanitarian concern for a real effort to assuage unnecessary human suffering on this planet, then that will continue. Only deep spiritual reflectiveness and activism can make it right.

About the author: Marianne Williamson is an American spiritual teacher, author and lecturer. She has published eleven books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers. She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area, and the co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a grassroots campaign supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. She serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, which works to end poverty in the United States and around the world. Williamson is also the force behind Sister Giant, a series of seminars and teaching sessions that provides women with the information and tools needed to be political candidates. Through these seminars, she encourages women to run for office and align their politics with their spiritual values.

You can listen to the full interview on Watkins Books youtube channel.

Source: Watkins Magazine

Published on Nov 22, 2016

In this video spiritual teacher Gangaji explains what true stillness really is. It is not dependent on any circumstance and it is not dependent on our state of mind. But true stillness is our very nature, it is always there and we are it!


About the Book

The internationally recognized teacher, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love argues that our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence.

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. In Tears to Triumph, she argues that we—as a culture and as individuals—have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing.

Instead of allowing ourselves to embrace our hurt, we numb it, medicate it, dismiss it, or otherwise divert our attention so that we never have to face it. In refusing to acknowledge our suffering, we actually prolong it and deny ourselves the opportunity for profound wisdom—ultimately limiting our personal growth and opportunity for enlightenment. Frozen by denial, we are left standing in the breech. Whole industries profit from this immobility, and while they have grown rich, we have become spiritually poorer.

As Marianne makes clear, true healing and transcendence can only come when we finally face our pain and wrestle with what it has to teach us. Written with warm compassion and profound wisdom, Tears to Triumph offers us a powerful way forward through the pain, to a deeper awareness of our feelings, our lives, and our true selves.

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and activist. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books include A Return to Love, A Year of Miracles, The Law of Divine Compensation, The Gift of Change, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, Illuminata, and A Course in Weight Loss. She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose.

Marianne’s Talk Launching Her New Book, TEARS TO TRIUMPH

Marianne Williamson interview on her new book: Tears to Triumph

Published on Aug 24, 2016

Marianne Williamson talks to Alan Steinfeld of New Realities about her new book, Tears to Triumph. One of the keys points of the book and of the interview is that she feels that we—as a culture and as individuals—have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing. Our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence. Cinematographers: Joe Nardelli, James Carman and George Mitas

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. For more about her work go to: http://wwwMarianne.com

Subscribe to NewRealities for the latest in Consciousness and Spirituality: http://www.youtube.com/user/NewRealit…

Category
Education


Published on Nov 20, 2016

Audio: Adyashanti ~ Beyond Where All Paths End ~
Retreat Talk Day 2, October 2009, San Rafael CA
Talk Topics: The Art Of Receptivity, Heart Wisdom, Reality In Plain Sight.

Right now we’re in a special and powerful position, because the world is having a spiritual awakening…When energy speeds up there is no space for playing small, and nothing can remain hidden. At some point, all lies are brought to the surface and truth comes forth no matter how hard we try to hide it. Cynics are filling the yoga studios and the spiritual choir is growing larger. There is a massive call for more lightworkers, and now is our time to rise up and bring more positivity to the world. When the masses begin to vibrate with an energy of love, the world will no longer be a container for war, violence, and lies.

The more we tune into our own frequency of love, the more love will spread. When love is the trend, there is no room for violence and war. Trust me when I say: Your commitment to love is crucial in the awakening of the world. Each person’s energy matters. Choosing love will bring you great joy and great happiness – that happiness is a choice you make.

It’s very easy to look for happiness outside ourselves; in a relationship, a dream job, or the perfect body weight. When we chase happiness externally, we’re simply looking for God in all the wrong places. The outside search is based on false projections we place on the world. These projections build up a wall against true happiness, which lies within us. This exercise will help you understand how nothing “out there” can save you from the conflict that resides within. You must develop a rich inner life to enjoy life altogether.

Each time we make this shift and choose happiness, we experience a miracle. Our mind shifts from fearful delusions and reconnects to our truth, which is love. Creating these shifts requires a dedicated commitment to choosing love. To begin your commitment to new perceptions, start by paying attention to attack thoughts toward yourself and others. Whenever you notice your thoughts detour into attack mode, say out loud or to yourself: Happiness is a choice I make. Make this your mantra.

The more you retrain yourself to choose happiness over fear, the more blissful you will be. Repeating a new behavior is what makes change stick. When you repeat a new pattern often, you literally change the neural pathways in your brain. This shift helps true change settle in. Happiness is your choice. You can choose today.

Your energy has far more power than you can even imagine. There is energy in your spoken words, in your emails, and in your physical presence. When we function from a fearful, low-level energetic state, our thoughts and energy can literally pollute the world. Conversely, when we function from a place of positive energy, the world around us becomes more positive. The truth is that fear cannot coexist with love. Therefore, we must learn how to dissolve all boundaries with love by taking responsibility for our own energy. In doing so, we’ll raise the energy around us.

Now, let’s get this miracle train on the tracks and start busting through your blocks, releasing anxiety, and living a fearless life. Let’s begin creating Miracles Now.

Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times bestselling author. Check out her newest book, Miracles Now. VIEW HERE

Website: gabbyb.tv
Source: Origin Magazine

Published on Nov 19, 2016

http://adyashanti.org – Adyashanti explores the human relationship with happiness, and how happiness and desire have been interlocked within the mind, even though they are two very distinct things. Looking deeply into the core of your being, what do you want? What will make you happy? Will anything make you happy? Or is there a subtle happiness that rests at the core of your being? Do you want to be undisturbed by anything in life, or do you want to deeply connect and engage with your fellow human beings, express your love and compassion, and commune with life? Adyashanti reminds you of the communal aspect of happiness and the ever-available choice to be happy always within your grasp.

Video Excerpted From “Awakening from the Trance of Thought” (DVD 84):
http://bit.ly/2eYmfBW

Quotes from this video:

“The happiest people in the world are not the people who have nothing impinging upon them, people who are completely without responsibilities, people who get to do basically whatever the hell they want in life, because the way life worked out for them. It just so happens that they don’t end up to be the truly happy people in life. So certainly getting everything we want doesn’t make us happy.”

“So even though we may have our ideas of what will make us happy and be free, so often they don’t actually stand up to our actual human experience.”

“I don’t think what we want is to be completely undisturbed by anything in life. I don’t think that’s actually what a human being wants in their deepest resources of their being.”

“Happiness has a communal component to it. Most people are not going to be happy, if they’re feeling very smashingly well, but everybody else in the world is suffering like a dog.”

“So this all comes down to us, doesn’t it? It comes down to us, and our minds and our hearts and our feelings and our actions or non-actions.”


Published on Nov 19, 2016

NonDuality weekly meeting at the loving home of Drs.Moschetta in East Hamptons NY.


Published on Nov 19, 2016

Cynthia Bourgeault ‘Seeing With The Eyes Of The Heart’ Interview by Renate McNay
The Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, Episcopal priest and writer. She divides her time between solitude and traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Cristian Contemplative and Wisdom Path.
Author of several books including, “Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening”,“Wisdom Jesus”, “The Meaning of Mary Magdalene”, “Love is Stronger than Death”.
In this Interview Cynthia tells us how her Christian Life began encountering the presence of Jesus when she received her first communion and then how she started searching for the missing message in the Church. Very important teachers were Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. She studied the Sacred Dances and Movements which threw her at times into a Rabbit Hole. She also talks about Freedom and the willingness to bare our suffering, GOD’s Love, Solitude and Silence.


One of the common misunderstandings about enlightenment or spiritual awakening is that you need a spiritual teacher to get there. This is a problematic idea that unfortunately is a part of more than a few religious and spiritual paths. In the not too recent past, I had someone email a long description about the how the teacher is supposed to transmit some kind of supernatural cosmic energy that will enlighten the student. But this is not how it is. Yes, spiritual teachers such as myself radiate a kind of energy. Yes, we can be tuning forks to help others find their own pitch, but that inner pitch or harmony is still yours. It will emerge into enlightened awareness on its on reconnaissance and at a timing that only the divine will can choose.

Letting Go of the Quest for Enlightenment
For many of you who packed your bags and gave up everything, it is now time to let go of your quest for enlightenment. By now, you’ve sat with many teachers–good, bad, and indifferent–and somehow today you’ve found this blog. Congratulations. I am here to tell you that what you have been searching for all along is inside you.

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard this many times, but unfortunately, you don’t actually believe it. This is not meant to sound punitive in anyway. The fact is that this world really gets us caught up in believing in external influences and forces. We are usually taught to believe that happiness is some place else other than right here and right now, and that’s the very ego programming that has to break down. In many respects, you aren’t ready for a true spiritual teacher in the external world until you no longer are looking for one. Because when you turn inwards, you can now hear your inner teacher, and hearing that inner voice makes it now very easy to work with a spiritual teacher in the physical world. The two kind of work together because you are no longer fighting both of them to try and get some place.

The Evolution of the Spiritual Teacher’s Role
Clearly you can see what most spiritual teachers have to do first: get people to go within. That’s the first and last step, and it’s usually the most avoided step. It’s amazing and sad how much going within for most people is like staring at a big dark scary cave with strange animal noises coming out of it. Most people are like, “What’s in there?” and “It sounds really scary. I don’t want to go in there.” But this is you. This is your own soul. Whatever is in there was put there by you about 90% of the time (I’m leaving a 10% for the random crazy karmic stuff that we carry, but you get the point). So when this turning inwards happens, the role of the spiritual teacher can now change.

What does it change to? Usually, it changes to whatever it is the student needs next. This varies widely, and for some teachers, their whole role in working with you was to help you turn inwards. Now that relationship resolves, and you are ready for a different external world teacher if you need one.

The Loss of the Desire for Enlightenment
Along the way, the desire for enlightenment will be illuminated. For many people, this desire is nothing more than the hope that a different state of awareness will make life happier or kinder for them. It is a very juvenile, yet very common idea. Furthermore, some people are actually looking for power, and this too is not what this path is about. Any power that comes to you is meant to be used responsibly. Otherwise, there are a lot of hard lessons on their way to teach you the lesson of arrogance and the misuse of “spiritual” power.

But more to the point, turning towards the awakened self that already is within you will remove and dissolve a lot of these desires. Where you resist this dissolution is where your path will stop or get stuck. People often get stuck around the idea that they can’t give something up, but with enlightenment or spiritual awakening (they’re pretty much the same term to me), you can’t keep anything. Every attachment, desire, pleasure, passion, fear, and happiness gets tossed into it until there is nothing left but the pureness of you in this moment.

The Spiritual Teacher and Intellectual Training
Today, I will say there are three core steps of the spiritual path and awakening. Tomorrow, I may make something else up. It’s all made up, however. That’s important to remember. It’s important to remember that these are just my words, and that only as you go to your inner teacher can you find what truth is most appropriate for you today. And tomorrow, you may need to re-read this to hear the truth that you weren’t ready for.

With that said, intellectual training is the preparation of the mind for the spiritual path. There’s a whole kind of preparation through life and the necessity of the soul being ready that also happens. That can’t be forced, and I’m pretty keenly aware of whether someone is actually ready for this path or is simply playing a game with themselves. However, there is a point when someone really is ready to be taught. That teaching generally starts with breaking open the ego and mind so that you can think in new ways and see different perspectives. This can go on for a long time. There is no time table to it, and if it goes on for a long time, that is not a bad thing. Any ideas around getting enlightened quickly are misconceived, and in truth, this type of training isn’t about getting enlightened. This is about tilling the soil for whatever is ready to sprout in your life to sprout, beit enlightenment or something else.

The Spiritual Teacher and Experiential Exploration
The intellectual training is meant to prepare the student to understand the experiences s/he has on the spiritual path. Without the proper understanding, it’s easy to lose oneself in different experiences. This happens all the time when someone has an amazing experience–meaning that it feels really good. They think that this is how the spiritual path should feel or how enlightenment would be. Then they get lost in trying to recreate that scenario again and again until they are utterly frustrated.

But enlightenment is a kind of state-less state. It’s in all things. So there is no one enlightened feeling. There are many. It has many qualities, tastes, touches, and sounds, and with the proper understanding, the student begins to see the truth, lessons, and love in each experience that arises in their life. This can go on for life-times, but gradually, the student is letting go of their desires for the outside world on many levels. I think Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha illustrates some of this quite well. Because enlightenment is ultimately simply in the space of being.

The Spiritual Teacher and Resting in Being
The teacher does not take you to being. You are already here. If you did have a teacher helping you through the experiential phase, there aren’t going to be too many teachers who can help you rest in being.

And how could there be much to do anyway?

Being is. You are already right here. I’m going to use Hesse’s Siddhartha again (I encourage you to read it or re-read it) because I think this is a nice literary illustration of coming into presence. After awhile, all is the river of life. There is nothing to do. You can enjoy listening to the river of life with its many different sights, sounds, and what not. You can join in when it pleases you, but there is nothing to do.

The spiritual teacher at this point is usually just you. If you do have someone in the physical world, this person is a powerful ally and reminder of this truth. But there’s nothing to be said or done or learned. You are both resting in being.

Am I Enlightened Yet?
The funny thing in all of this is that after awhile, becoming enlightened doesn’t matter. You will know if you feel like you’ve crossed that inner threshold. You will know that there is no going back without trying to re-create a whole lot of inner separation and pain again. To try and unenlighten yourself will generally seem absurd. But walking the spiritual path and having a spiritual teacher won’t necessarily lead to enlightenment the way most people think. It will simply lead you to you. If awakening arises into your everyday consciousness, then that is what happens. If you are meant to walk a difficult path full of pain, then working with the spiritual teacher will take you down that direction. The teacher–the true teacher who is not working from some hidden agenda either to be a do-gooder or make money–is simply in service to the path of the student’s soul. And there are many sacred paths that souls will walk.

So, you may not be enlightened. Instead, I encourage you to simply do what you love, and if you don’t know, the spiritual path is a great way of finding all the things in the way of love in your life. I have come to enjoy sharing this saying that I made up, “Before awakening, do what you love. After awakening, do what you love.” Because enlightenment/spiritual awakening is just about love anyway, and the true spiritual teacher is a servant of love. Remember that wherever you are on your spiritual journey, and if enlightenment arises then, it is a welcome gift that will help you be more present in love than you could ever have imagined.

The photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky Stiller. You can check out her beautiful work on her flickr link.


Published on Nov 18, 2016

The inspiration behind this new podcast is powerful and simple. Our own “aha moments” are contagious and have the potential to ignite epiphanies in others, including those that we will never meet.

“Epiphany is about support for your own awakening. In listening to these stories you recognize that this is ordinary awakening that is happening with ordinary people, who are in themselves extraordinary.” ~Gangaji

Help us caption & translate this video!


Published on Nov 18, 2016

Also see https://batgap.com/adyashanti-susanne…

Join Susanne Marie and Adyashanti in an exploration about an often misunderstood subject. Beyond the traditional landing places that mind creates (commonly discussed in non-dual circles), lies an indescribable landscape of living as pure, direct experiencing. Prior to this opening, the habitual subjective filter creates a veil of separation of which one is not even aware. This is true even within expanded, unified states of consciousness. Once this filter falls away, life is experienced directly, as itself, without any intermediary.

Adyashanti, is an American-born spiritual teacher and author devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

Website: http://adyashanti.org

A lifelong spiritual explorer, Susanne Marie offers teachings in support of freedom, meeting in sacred mutuality, and celebrating our common essence of Love and Unity with all life. Her work is transformational and empowering, as she points to the remembering of That which we have always been, allowing truth to become ever more conscious of Itself through a human life. Susanne, the mother of two teenagers, lives in Northern California and works with individuals and groups, offering spiritual mentoring to those who feel called to work with her. She is available for Skype and phone sessions as well as open to invitations to share with groups.

Website: http://susannemarie.org


Published on Nov 18, 2016

A discussion about the impact of the recognition of our true nature on the body.

Published on Nov 16, 2016

This video is from our FREE Consciousness for the Next Generation Webinar series. Learn more and sign up! http://noetic.org/community/nextgen/w…
After many years struggling to make the study of Consciousness a reality at the University of Washington, in 2014 Kate was finally able to create and launch a transdisciplinary and integral Minor in Consciousness at the University of Washington Bothell campus. In this webinar, she will discuss the rationale for and content of the five courses that she teaches annually, as well as her current research that documents the profound transformative effects that studying Consciousness from this perspective has on students’ lives. Because teaching and learning about Consciousness at a mainstream, public research university continues to be highly controversial, she will also discuss strategies for promoting this work and the critical importance of student engagement in creating and expanding academic opportunities.


Published on Nov 15, 2016

The recent U.S. election has stunned virtually every thoughtful person in the world. In the midst of this intensification of future uncertainty and the insecurity that generates, Richard speaks about how we can honor our reactions to this election by dedicating ourselves through our consciousness practices to embody, to the best of our abilities, the mind and heart of Love.

Published on Nov 13, 2016

Seeking What’s True – Within Ourselves, Beyond Our Self, With Each Other – (Part 3 of 3) ~ Tara Brach (10/19/2015)

The ground of the spiritual path is realizing the nature of reality and living our lives from this awakened heart and mind. The first of this three-part series examines the process of radical self-honesty – the non-judgmental recognition of what’s going on inside us, and especially what has been outside of our conscious awareness. The second talk deepens this process with the practices of self-inquiry, looking directly into the one who is seeking truth. The third part explores the challenges and blessings of honesty in our relationships.

Audio available here: https://www.tarabrach.com/seeking-wha…

by Jason Gregory
This article first appeared in Watkins Mind Body Spirit, issue 43.

The effortless universal virtue of humility is what evokes enlightenment in life. The big problem with this mystical virtue is generally we only have fleeting moments of its power, as we constantly get sucked back into the subjective dramas of the world in our mind. As a result, we revere the sage for their sustained absorption in the lowest and paradoxically most powerful state of humility. A master absorbed in the humble and most refined state of consciousness has truly accepted life as it is. They have no desire to promote their own agenda, as from this state all agendas have evaporated like dewdrops on a hot sunny day.

We seek to attain this level of perception through our spiritual practice but we get lost in social and cultural habits of thinking linearly, as we strive to succeed by gaining “spiritual powers.” This has more to do with showmanship than mysticism. We shed our old persona for a new and improved “spiritual persona.” Still driven by the ego we are attempting to define ourselves as someone “special” in relation to the world. Our spiritual practice becomes more about how to stick our head above the rest of the crowd.

But enlightenment has no relationship to such an approach. Enlightenment is evoked by resting in the lowest place of humility. Water corresponds to this low place of humility. Water is the lowest force of nature, yet paradoxically it is the most powerful. Humility, like water, is the low and receptive virtue of nature within our psychology and linked to the unconscious, which paradoxically is the most powerful state of being that transforms the world without any intention to do so.

Enlightenment is not something we can strive to attain. It is as natural as water moving down a mountain stream undisturbed, where the destination and journey are one. Humility is the state of consciousness when destination and journey, self and other, individual and universe, samsara and nirvana, reveal their intrinsic unity disguised as mutual opposites. Humility evokes this perception of enlightenment, which is actually the fruit of all spiritual practice and also life. We don’t perceive this in our life or practice because we are indoctrinated by culture to focus on the foreground of life instead of the background. We only perceive and are attracted to chaos in the world which is a reflection of the attraction to chaos within our mind. This eventuates because we have not refined our consciousness into the pure jewel of transparent and reflective awareness. When we are caught in the detail/drama of life we are trying to control the universe to suit our egotistical desires and cravings. We are still playing a game of one-upmanship with the world because we appall the low road of humility that unites us with the source of the universe.

Humility evokes enlightenment when we give up trying to control life and instead trust the universal flow in the same way that water trusts the contours of a river without resisting its own clear nature of transparency and reflectivity. We are out of sync with the universe because we have lost this innate trust. Our trust continues to sleep dormant because we are trying to change the world to suit our conditioning according to sensory pleasures with the absurd exclusion of pain.

Changing the world is the primary focus of most people. We feel as though we are saving the world but we don’t know who or what from. We believe we are a prisoner in this beautiful garden. We seek to save ourselves from its claustrophobic steel bars that develop in our mind so we can someday enjoy the aroma of the flowers. But we were never enslaved, nor is there anything to free ourselves from. We have invested too much time and energy on the chaos of the world within our mind without realizing it is only the detailed foreground of an orderly background.

Intrinsic to chaos is order. This is the evolved perception of a sage. If our perception is too contracted we lose sight of reality as it is. We perceive chaos within and without, and believe it is stagnant and not undergoing any fundamental change. We become frustrated as a result and seek to force change with an intention that is solely our own. Trying to change or save the world implies that reality is not already perfect and that somehow we are isolated from it as a stranger in this cosmos. Contrary to this common feeling, when we let go and trust the universe, as a sage does, we realize deep within a “sense of unity” that is the goal of all spiritual practice and life.

The fundamental paradox of life is we can never know true and authentic unity if we do not trust the universe. You cannot strive for unity because unity is evoked by the trust you live. Though, this unity is not the same unity that we dream about in images of world peace. It is the unity which dawns on an individual consciousness when opposites merge and chaos becomes perfect order from a state of perception so pure that the nature of the universe is finally seen as it truly is. Only then is world peace possible because our perception of order instead of chaos has given us the humility to receive the world with open arms and an agenda-less mind. Our struggles in life are born from not perceiving perfection in what others erroneously believe is imperfect. Our fundamental notion of duality between self and the universe continues to eclipse this beautiful perfection from our eyes. Living the science of humility is the sage’s medicine for our blindness.

About the author: Jason Gregory is a teacher and international speaker specializing in the fields of Eastern and jason-gregoryWestern philosophy, comparative religion, metaphysics, and ancient cultures. For several years he studied with masters in Buddhism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Hinduism, and Taoism, travelling to some of the most remote places in the world. The filmmaker of the documentary The Sacred Sound of Creation, he divides his time between Asia and Australia.

Jason Gregory
The Science and Practice of Humility: The Path to Ultimate Freedom
view here


Published on Nov 14, 2016

To say that the US presidential election of 2016 has created a firestorm around the world would be an understatement. While some people are happy with the outcome, the election of Donald Trump has left many shocked, angry and in fear of the future. In this special episode, Gangaji responds to some of the questions and reactions that have naturally come to the surface. Do we have the capacity to bear the fallout from this, no matter what side we’re on? Important questions for the sobering times we find ourselves in. Some of us feel blindsided. Where do we go from here? More from Gangaji Radio https://gangaji.org/radio/


Published on Nov 14, 2016

http://www.amodamaa.com
The Truth About Relationship
Excerpt from the Sebastopol Satsang with Amoda Maa – November 2016


Published on Nov 13, 2016

Seeking What’s True – Within Ourselves, Beyond Our Self, With Each Other – (Part 2 of 3) ~ Tara Brach (10/12/2015)

The ground of the spiritual path is realizing the nature of reality and living our lives from this awakened heart and mind. The first of this three-part series examines the process of radical self-honesty – the non-judgmental recognition of what’s going on inside us, and especially what has been outside of our conscious awareness. The second talk deepens this process with the practices of self-inquiry, looking directly into the one who is seeking truth. The third part explores the challenges and blessings of honesty in our relationships.

Audio available here: https://www.tarabrach.com/seeking-wha…

The inner critic is the voice inside our heads reminding us that we are never “good enough.” It’s behind the insidious thoughts that can make us second-guess our every action and doubt our own value. The inner critic might feel overpowering, but it can be managed effectively. Meditation teacher and therapist Mark Coleman helps readers understand and free themselves from the inner critic using the tools of mindfulness and compassion. Each chapter offers constructive insights into what creates, drives, and disarms the critic; real people’s journeys to inspire and guide readers; and simple practices anyone can use to live a free, happy, and flourishing life.

Mark Coleman is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, an executive coach, and the founder of the Mindfulness Institute, which brings mindfulness training to organizations worldwide.

LOOK INSIDE

Mark Coleman introduces Make Peace with Your Mind

MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR MIND author Mark Coleman explains how mindfulness & compassion can free you from your inner critic

: We start communicating from the instant we take our first breath…

Our first cry is a communication to our mother, and to the world, that we have arrived. And till our last breath, we are in constant communication.

Yet, good communication is much more than mere words. It is an art and effective communication has dimensions that are larger than what is spoken. The ability to communicate affectionately with one and all is a skill worth possessing.

Be Sensitive and Sensible

We must respect the viewpoints of the person or persons we are communicating with. Communication is the art of being sensitive and sensible at the same time. Some people are too sensitive, thereby losing their sensibleness. Their speech lacks clarity and is inarticulate. And there are people who make perfect sense, but they are insensitive. They say the correct things, but they are not aware of the emotional response of the audience. We need that beautiful combination of sensitivity and sensibleness.

Your state of mind matters!

You cannot improve someone by getting angry at them. You only ruin your peace of mind.

Your communication does not have the impact it ought to have had. Your mental state is heard by your listeners before the words. A calm state of mind, and a smile, will conquer the most difficult of people.

Humor coupled with care and concern

A good sense of humor relieves you from fear and anxiety.
Humor is not just about words- reading and repeating jokes. It is the lightness of your being that brings out the authentic humor. And this lightness comes up with taking life itself not too seriously, having a sense of belongingness with everybody (including those who are not friendly), practicing yoga and meditation, having unshakable faith in the Divine, being in the company of those who live in knowledge and are humorous.

Heart to Heart Communication

Almost all relationships break down due to too much talking and explaining about oneself. “I am this way. Don’t mistake me. Don’t misunderstand me.” If you keep silent when required, everything will work out much better. Don’t explain things of the past, brood over them, or ask for explanations. When the heart speaks and the heart listens, harmony is produced.

Real Communication is beyond Words

All of us have experienced at one time or the other, an amazing phenomenon. Whether in one-to-one communication, or in addressing a huge audience, something intangible moves people more than the words. We try to rationalize by attributing this to charm, charisma, presence, body language, etc.

If you are firmly established in the zone of silence, if your mind is calm, you will find yourself suddenly being able to influence individuals, groups, and masses.

Be a good listener

Listening not just to words, but also to feelings and expressions. Observe infants. They listen to expressions and gestures. Even without understanding words, they communicate with you. Somewhere in the journey of life, we have lost this ability. Let’s make an attempt to regain it.

This world is varied, beyond our imagination. We need to establish communication on three levels – communication with oneself, communication with society, and communication with nature. There is always something to share, learn, and teach.
Source: WISDOM


Published on Nov 13, 2016

Seeking What’s True – Within Ourselves, Beyond Our Self, With Each Other – (Part 1 of 3) ~ Tara Brach (10/05/2015)

The ground of the spiritual path is realizing the nature of reality and living our lives from this awakened heart and mind. The first of this three-part series examines the process of radical self-honesty – the non-judgmental recognition of what’s going on inside us, and especially what has been outside of our conscious awareness. The second talk deepens this process with the practices of self-inquiry, looking directly into the one who is seeking truth. The third part explores the challenges and blessings of honesty in our relationships.

Our True Self (And A Koan)

by Dhanpal-Donna Quesada: Spiritual guides often say that the end of suffering is found when the true self is realized…

What is the true self, anyway, and how does it make life “better?”

Before explaining further, consider this random list of everyday concerns and experiences:

I can see signs of aging
I need to lose weight by summer
I feel so rejected
Is she going to call?
I’ll beat him at his own game
That was MY idea!
Is he ever going to shut up?
Will this traffic never let up?
I will make sure they notice me
I should be making more money by now
My colleague just got promoted; I better be next
When am I going to find the right love match?
There’s never enough time in the day
I need a new car
I bet I appeared nervous
I looked stupid when I said that
Daylight savings makes me depressed
I will prove that I thought of it first
I’m no good with public speaking
I always have problems with her

So, how will relating to your true self eliminate these everyday concerns? Firstly, consider the prevalence of judgment, comparison, lack and expectation in the list. Where do judgment, comparison, lack and expectation come from?

There is a Zen koan that says: “Show me your original face before you were born.” A variation is: “Without thinking of good or evil, show me your original face before your mother and father were born.”

Like all koans, this perplexing question reads more like a riddle and is not meant to be answered logically. Rather, it invites us to let go of the analytical mind and melt into a place that resides beyond the realm of thinking altogether.

In this particular koan, we are called to relate to ourselves in a way that is pure, in a way that precedes the experiences that shaped our sense of identity and even our habitual ways of thinking.

By transcending the analytical mind, we also transcend the learned tendency to challenge, argue, or squabble over aspects of the koan that may seem “nonsensical.” In other words, if we were to appear before the Zen master and try to impress him/her by our astute observation that I couldn’t have had a face if I wasn’t born yet, so the koan must be flawed to begin with, our teacher would shoo us out quicker than we could make our exiting bow.

In our contemplation of this well-known koan, we can return to our original face, meaning…who we were before we had anything to prove. Who were we before we adopted ideas about ourselves that were based on other peoples opinions (which became our own), and thus, before the judgments, comparisons, sense of lack and consequent expectations developed?

In the purity of this unshaped Self-ness, there was no sense of lack and nothing to prove.

Every judgment, e.g., I looked stupid when I said that, piggybacks on an insecurity and an implicit comparison to something else (a child has no sense of “looking stupid” because she also has no sense of “looking cool”).

What is it that gives rise to these kinds of insecurities?

The ego, of course. And ego is not your true Self. It is a masquerader shaped from those expectations and opinions mentioned above. Although commonly associated with arrogance, it is much more subtle that that. It is the insecure part of us that needs constant recognition, approval, and reassurance. And because it is born when our sense of separateness is born, it is competitive and comparative. It needs to be right. It needs to be better. And because of the fear generated by its exaggerated sense of self, it is in a constant state of anxiety and distrust.

How many of the issues on our list would vanish if we were engaging with life from a higher place than ego. What is that place? Where is that place?

It is our original and true Self, of course!

Or, put differently, if ego is the head, than our true self is the heart. The ego worries about what the Yogis call “lower-chakra” concerns…getting and having, issues that go back to basic survival needs, and there’s always more to get and others who have more, so competition rules the day.

And the heart—as corny as it sounds—is love. And in love, there simply is no room for self-doubt and insecurity, and all the comparisons and judgments that come along for the ride. And by love, I don’t mean mushy romantic stuff—which is just more ideas that come from images and stories—I mean, rather, total acceptance, trust and knowing.

Knowing what?

That everyone has their own place, purpose and is supported in their mission…and that no one else can fulfill this mission in quite the same way, so there’s no sense in worrying about what others are doing. Just congratulate them and mean it wholeheartedly, because they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing and you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing and there’s room for all of us and so, we can all just relax and be happy.

To put it in even riskier terms, we could say that when we live from the heart, we are dwelling in God. And God doesn’t take things personally or get involved in drama. God doesn’t compare, judge, get wrecked by anxiety and unfulfilled expectations and certainly has nothing to prove and no sense of lack.

So, that takes care of the entire list!

And it also takes care of the conditions we place on our own happiness. We can also read that list as a list of conditions that we think need, in order to be content and fulfilled in life.

So, in answer to the koan, our original face is free from the struggles that accompany the ego and of the judgments that come from other people’s opinions and expectations. So, when we strip off the masks we took to wearing as a kind of armor plate, we become free, in turn, to live in a natural and relaxed state, where the only thing lacking is drama.
Source: AWAKEN


Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar speaks to anyone concerned with the sustainability of Mother Earth, the role of elders in our society, the seemingly unconsciousness of science and corporations, and the subtleties of unseen realities, resulting in spiritual growth, a deeper relationship with nature, and a better world for all. An avatar is a manifestation of the Supreme Being—usually in human form—that descends from the transcendental realm to Earth to heal the planet and restore peace and harmony by eliminating the harmful souls that prey on Mother Earth. In Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar, Vedic expert and teacher Jeffrey Armstrong explains the ancient Indian wisdoms embodied in the word “avatar,” and that behind the notion of avatar is a view that sees the sacredness of all life and the soul of all beings as eternal—meant for freedom and made of divine essence.

Jeffrey Armstrong (Dec 1947- ) Born in Detroit and currently living in Vancouver BC. I spend most of my time teaching the Philosophy and Lifestyle of Yoga in Canada, USA,UK, Europe and India. My passion is writing mystical poetry – go to my site and I’ll read you some!

I’m currently working on a new translation of the Bhagavad-gita and hope to have it out early 2015 – thanks for all your kind emails. http://www.JeffreyArmstrong.com

Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar speaks to anyone concerned with the sustainability of Mother Earth, the role of elders in our society, the seemingly unconsciousness of science and corporations, and the subtleties of unseen realities, resulting in spiritual growth, a deeper relationship with nature, and a better world for all. An avatar is a manifestation of the Supreme Being—usually in human form—that descends from the transcendental realm to Earth to heal the planet and restore peace and harmony by eliminating the harmful souls that prey on Mother Earth. In Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar, Vedic expert and teacher Jeffrey Armstrong explains the ancient Indian wisdoms embodied in the word “avatar,” and that behind the notion of avatar is a view that sees the sacredness of all life and the soul of all beings as eternal—meant for freedom and made of divine essence.

Jeffrey Armstrong is a visionary, spiritual teacher, and the founder of the Vedic Academy of Sciences & Arts. As a charismatic guest speaker, lecturer, or speaking on his award-winning book, God the Astrologer, he is a sought after guest on television and talk radio. Jeffrey has earned degrees in psychology, English literature, history and comparative religions. He studied Sanskrit from a Banares Pundit at the University of Hawaii. He has a vast knowledge of Ayurveda, Jyotisha, and many of the related historical Vedic texts. In 1986, Jeffrey began a career as a motivational speaker and high tech corporate humorist. For the past eleven years he has delivered a series of talks that integrate the timeless wisdom of Eastern philosophy into clear, modern language that inspires today’s corporations and executives.

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