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Turn Your Eyes Toward the Sky

Everyone talks about how visually stunning it is when the darkened moon fully covers the face of the sun in a total solar eclipse. And indeed, it is. But there are other unusual, truly strange happenings that occur when the moon passes in front of the sun. If you aren’t prepared to look for them, some of these weird phenomena are so fleeting that you can miss them. Following are descriptions of a number of those novel occurrences to be looked for on August 21st.
Long before totality (when the moon is only covering part of the sun’s face), go to a nearby tree and look in the shade of the tree’s shadow. You will see hundreds of crescent images of the partially covered sun all over the ground! In fact, this is a safe way to view all the partial phases of the eclipse without harming your eyes. Where do all these many images come from? The gaps between the tree’s leaves act like a pinhole camera by projecting the sun’s image on the ground.

Strange things occur when the darkened moon covers the face of the sun.

Anywhere from 60 to 90 seconds before totality or just after totality ends, closely look at any flat light-colored or white surfaces around you. You may see a very strange sight. At such times, dark lines called ‘shadow bands’ may be seen racing back and forth across the surfaces.

These shadowy lines are caused by sunlight peeking around mountains and through valleys around the outer rim of the moon, while turbulence in the air makes them appear to shift position. In the minutes before totality, all of your surroundings will appear dimly lit in a very strange and different way from what you experience at sunrise or sunset. Everything will seem somewhat similar to what you see when you wear very dark sunglasses, but with a kind of surreal sheen that can’t be described adequately.

As soon as the moon entirely covers the sun and causes the sky to completely blacken, the air will instantly chill, perhaps by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Animals will become confused. Bats may fly around thinking it is night. Birds may go to roost. Crickets or cicadas may begin to chirp.

Shadows take on the shape of the crescent sun as it’s covered by the moon.

If the land is flat for miles around your location or you are on a mountain top, you will be able to see the darkest part of the moon’s shadow (called the umbra) racing across the ground towards you just before totality and away from you afterwards.

An instant before the sun’s disk is completely covered by the moon, you should experience the visually stunning ‘diamond ring effect’. The slight bit of sun remaining will give the impression of a brilliant diamond with the ring being a faint glow around the darkened moon.

It is important to note that the brief few minutes of totality is the only time it is safe to look directly at the sun with no eye protection. If you are wearing special eclipse glasses, take them off when the moon completely covers the sun. But be sure to put them back on if you continue looking at the sun as soon as totality is finished.

It will become dark as night during totality. The stars will pop out and you will see two very bright points of light near the sun. They are really the planets Venus and Mercury. Most people never get to see Mercury because it is usually so close to the sun that it is blotted out by the sun’s glare. Mars and Jupiter will make an appearance. Those two planets will seem to be near the sun, when in reality they will be much farther away on the far opposite sides of their orbits. In total, four of the five planets that don’t require a telescope can be seen during the eclipse.

Sirius, the Dog Star, will show itself as the very bright star to the southwest of the sun. In fact Sirius is the second brightest star in our sky after the sun.

The diamond ring effect occurs at the beginning and end of totality.

If we are lucky, there will be eruptions from the sun that cannot be seen at any other time. These eruptions are called ‘prominences’ and will glow a bright, beautiful ruby red color.

The bluish white glowing corona (outer atmosphere of the sun) is made of charged hydrogen atoms, or plasma. During totality, the corona allows us to see the beautiful structure of the sun’s powerful magnetic field as the plasma is pulled by magnetism into graceful curving field lines. As pretty as this image is, no photo can capture the almost ethereal fluorescent hue that you will see when looking directly at the corona. Also, notice that you can see red prominences in this image near the bottom of the sun.

I hope this description of strange eclipse phenomena has piqued your interest and raised your excitement level about the upcoming total solar eclipse.


The grand religious stories that gave meaning to life and death in the past have crumbled under sceptical scrutiny. The dominant mainstream philosophy is now scientific objectivism, which describes a universe that exists for no reason and a life that ends in oblivion.

Pioneering philosopher Tim Freke addresses the ‘soul crisis’ in modern culture that has arisen from lack of meaning. He offers an intelligent ‘spiritual’ perspective on life and death to help us make sense of a paradoxical world, which is sometimes bleak and banal, but also can be magical and full of significance. He presents a revolutionary paradigm shift in our understanding of reality that integrates the deepest insights of science and spirituality to create a new model of human identity, which makes the idea of the immortal soul intellectually credible.

He explores the process of evolution, not as blind chance, but as the momentous story of the self-realising universe. The development of the material world has led to the emergence of ‘psyche’ or ‘soul’, which you are experiencing right now as a stream of thoughts and images that don?t exist in space and aren’t made of matter.

We are not insignificant specks in a vast purposeless cosmos. We are significant participants in the magnificent and meaningful story of soul. The universe is coming to know itself through each one of us and this process doesn’t end at death, because the evolution of soul has also been the evolution of immortality.

Tim Freke is an internationally respected authority on world spirituality and the bestselling author of more than 20 books, which have been translated into 15 languages. He is pioneering a new philosophy of awakening that has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. He presents life-changing events internationally and online. He has often been featured in the international media including the BBC and The History Channel. http://www.TimFreke.com

Soul Story by Tim Freke

Contemporary society is experiencing a soul crisis, caused by the demise of outdated religion and the rise of hard-headed science, which has left us adrift in a meaningless universe without purpose.

Pioneering philosopher Tim Freke offers a bold alternative to this bleak worldview, by urging a radical shift in our understanding of both science and spirituality.

He explores the new philosophy he calls emergent spirituality, which combines an innovative perspective on the scientific theory of evolution with a fresh understanding of perennial spiritual insights, to create a beautiful vision of the nature of reality and the deep purpose of life.

“Soul Story is one of those rare books that addresses the deepest question of life and existence in clear and understandable terms – with transparent logic and without dogmatism. Anyone interested in exploring these questions in company with the expert and even enlightened guidance of Tim Freke will gain lasting benefit — fresh insights that will enrich his or her life for the rest of his or her life.” — Ervin Laszlo.

Posted on August 18, 2017
Presence is already innate within us; the challenge that remains is to bring the presence to the forefront…


One of the most fundamental concepts that Eckhart Tolle has written extensively about is the transformative power of presence, a concept he first shared in his monumental first book “The Power Of Now.” He describes presence as the state of beingness in which one’s mind is set free from the thoughts that which preoccupation and worry stem from.

All this may sound mysterious and mystical, perhaps some teaching that can only be unlocked after we exert so much time and effort. But the truth is, it is not as profound as we think it is. In fact, this presence is something already within our nature as human beings. And we may not know it, but we actually feel glimpses of it a number of times in our lives, like after a strenuous or dangerous activity.

Presence is already innate within us; the challenge that remains is to bring the presence to the forefront and let our lives be transformed by it in a positive manner.

If you don’t know where or how to start tapping that presence in your life, you can read “The Power of Now.” Or watch “Milton’s Secret” and be witness as to how presence can bring out positive change in one’s life.
Source: Milton’s Secret

Image: Tomasz Alen Kopera

How to Develop an Evolutionary Relationship

It is critical to remember that this crisis we are facing is a crisis in which the sacred powers of love in the human soul are being diverted by distraction, by greed, by ignorance, by the pursuit of power, so that they never irrigate the world and transform it. What is needed is a vision of evolutionary relationship as a relationship that helps us come into the real, take responsibility for it, and enact our sacred purpose with a partner, and for the world: when two lovers come together in this dynamic love consciousness, they create a transformative field of sacred energy, from which both can feed to inspire their work in reality.

There are seven requirements necessary for evolutionary love to emerge in the world.


There are seven requirements necessary, I believe, for this tremendously potent vision of evolutionary love to emerge in the world.

Devotion to the Divine

The first requirement is that both beings need to be plunged individually into a deep and passionate devotion of the Beloved, by whatever name they know the Beloved, because without both beings centering their life in God, the relationship will never be able to escape the private circle. From the very beginning it must be centered in the Divine. It must be a relationship that is undertaken in the conscious presence of the Divine for the Divine’s great work in the Universe. Only a relationship that is centered in this higher power, and that has the Divine as the prime actor in the relationship, will be able to bear the vicissitudes of authentic love, of dealing with the challenges of life and service in the world.

Master of Solitude

The second requirement for an evolutionary love is that both beings must develop a mastery of solitude. In his Letters to a Young Poet,

Rilke wrote:

Authentic love is where two solitudes border, protect, and salute each other.

They ‘border’ each other, they don’t infiltrate each other’s domain. They ‘protect’ because they realize that the solitude that each one has is the source of inner wealth and inner revelation; they ‘salute’ because they understand that the work of solitude, the work that goes into solitude, the heart work, the yearning, the longing, the deep contemplation of one’s gifts and one’s faults, is a sacred work that is the secret foundation of healthy relationship. In too many relationships in our current narcissistic model, what threatens the person most is the solitude of the other. In a true evolutionary relationship, what can exhilarate one person the most is the other’s solitude, because they know that solitude has the potential to make them a billionaire of generosity, of insight, and of creativity.

Authentic love is where two solitudes border, protect, and salute each other.

Equality of Power

The third requirement is that in a true evolutionary relationship there is an equality of power, and that equality is born out of a profound experience of the sacredness and dignity of the other person’s soul. This new relationship that is trying to be given to us by the Mother is what I call the beloved-beloved relationship. One person isn’t the beloved and the other only the lover. Both partners recognize in each other the unique face that the Divine is turning to them in order to bring them the essence of divine truth, which is embodied love. From that recognition of each other as the Beloved flows a natural movement of passionate honoring and service of the other’s life. This gives each person the freedom and the energy and the joy that they need to go out into the world and fulfill their destiny. This is crucial because in the past there has been a vision of inequality of power. Now what’s emerging is the mutual recognition of holiness and sacredness expressed in tantric rapture, in an adoration and worship of the other in the core of life.

A Sacred Enterprise

The fourth requirement follows on from the third: if you are going to have a beloved-beloved relationship, you have to center your whole being and work and evolution in God. You have to be a master of your own solitude so that you can work on what is necessary to deepen that sacred relationship of the Divine. You must also bring the sacred practice of prayer and meditation into the very core of your life, so that the whole relationship can be enfolded in a mutually shared sacred enterprise.

A beloved-beloved relationship involves a sacred relationship with the Divine.

Acceptance of the Shadow

The fifth requirement is that both lovers completely abandon any Hollywood sentimentality about what relationships actually are. As love becomes more evolutionary and conscious, so does each lover’s understanding of each other’s shadow. One of the essential roles of this new love is to make each person in the relationship the safe-guarder of the other’s shadow—not the judge of the other’s shadow, not the denier of the other’s shadow, but someone who recognizes where the other has been wounded, and safeguards and protects them with unconditional compassion without allowing themselves to be mauled or manipulated by the other. This takes an immense effort, because it takes an immense effort to understand your own shadow, and an even greater effort to face and comprehend, without illusion, denial or repulsion, the shadow of the other.

Death and Rebirth

The sixth requirement is that if you are going to enter into the evolutionary process, you have to accept that it never ends, never stops unfolding. Evolution is fundamentally a death/rebirth cycle that repeats itself in higher and higher dimensions, and any authentic evolutionary relationship must have the courage to go through the deaths that engender the rebirths.

An evolutionary relationship reaches higher and higher dimensions.

Marion Woodman, the great Jungian analyst and pioneer of the sacred feminine, said to me:

I have had four marriages with my husband, and at the end of each marriage there was a crisis that we had to make the commitment to go through, a projection that had to die. But we stuck at it and we went through it, and the love that we know now in our eighties is the greatest and deepest love we have experienced.

A Collective Consciousness

The seventh principle requirement is that from the very beginning of this adventure into evolutionary love you must make the commitment for it not to be just a personal orgy, a cultivation of an oasis of private pleasure. You must engage consciously in this relationship to make you stronger, to serve the planet, to recognize that it is a relationship not only grounded in the Divine, not only infused by sacred practice, but it is from the very beginning dedicated to making both people more powerful, more reflective, more passionately engaged with the only serious truth of our time: The world is dying, and we need a major revolution of the heart to empower everyone to step forward and start doing the work of reconstruction and re-creation that is now desperately needed.

An excerpt from Evolutionary Love Relationships: Passion, Authenticity, and Activism


Published on Aug 18, 2017

Rupert responds to a questioner who wants to know why infinite awareness manifests in form.


At TEDxMiddlebury 2013 Polly Young-Eisendrath discusses the idea that we can control and manage our lives as counter to our happiness. After considering the true meaning of happiness, Polly highlights several uniquely human emotions—shame, guilt, envy, and jealousy—that pose as obstacles to this happiness and offers solutions to overcome these emotions.

Polly Young-Eisendrath is a speaker, writer, Jungian analyst and mindfulness teacher. She is a long-time practitioner of Zen Buddhism and Vipassana in the tradition of Shinzen Young (in which she is a certified teacher). She has published many chapters and articles on Buddhism, psychotherapy, spirituality, resilience and Jung’s psychology. She is also Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont and in independent clinical practice in central Vermont. Her 14 published books have been translated into more than 20 languages, including “The Self-Esteem Trap,” “The Resilient Spirit,” “Women and Desire,” and “The Cambridge Companion to Jung.” Polly is working on a spiritual memoir called “Love Broken Open.”

Awareness ~ Gary van Warmerdam


What some people construe as Awareness is often times the ego and intellect creating a story. Perhaps even a story of self rejection and self judgment. That kind of awareness won’t help you be happy, but the real kind will.

One of the problems in explaining enlightenment is that we have to use words. Words are only symbols and don’t give the real understanding. The letters of a word are merely a code that the mind translates into meaning. Words only have meaning if you already have an experiential knowledge of what the words mean. If you were blind could you understand color through just words? Can you describe music to someone using only words? Can you describe the emotion of love only using the symbols of words? Words are only effective at communicating experience if the experience is already known. You know color, music, and emotion because you have perceived them directly. Enlightenment is not an experience that one already has a reference for and so a word description is not likely to be meaningful enough to convey an understanding.

Through years of schooling we are taught to believe that if we can describe something accurately with words then we “know” it. This is a very limited kind of knowing. It’s like reading someone’s experience of surfing and assuming you know what it is like. Or reading the flight manual for an airplane and assuming you “know” how to fly because you “know” what is in the book.

The best we can do in explaining enlightenment in everyday language is to accurately give words to the experience. Perhaps for some the description will inspire their imagination and give them the desire to experience it themselves. This is just like a good flying story that inspires others to reach for the sky.

If you’ve ever had an epiphany you have had a little awakening. In that moment of realization your mind stopped thinking and you knew and felt beyond an intellectual logic. You perceived something directly in a way that transcended word descriptions. It is the kind of knowing that makes you look at the world, or yourself in a brand new way. Those little awakening experiences are moments when our previous assumptions or belief paradigms burst. My high school science teacher would say “the light went on.” Enlightenment is the big light bulb. It is the direct perception of knowing the nature of the world in one great continuous epiphany.

The Divine Comedy

When you have the spiritual awakening of enlightenment it is like seeing the funniest joke ever played. It appears that you are at a costume party and everyone is role playing the character they dressed up as. Except their costume is the personality made up of all their beliefs about what they are, should be, shouldn’t be, should do, and shouldn’t do. Their personality mask is a big set of agreements about themselves. The most hysterical part is that behind the mask is actually a being of infinite consciousness that is wearing the personality.

The Infinite Consciousness is so powerful that their intent to play the personality role at the party of life keeps them in the role for years, sometimes even a whole life time. In this way they have completely thrown themselves into the role of their costumed personality. They are acting in a silly personality of pretend and are ignoring the consciousness and power of their Divine make up.

Seeing something all knowing and powerful pretending to be a human personality is a phenomenal performance of folly. One of the particularly funny aspects is how seriously the personality believes everything when another part of their consciousness knows it is just made up.

I went to see a hypnotist once. During one of the sessions he took a group of people and hypnotized them into believing they were in the first day of kindergarten. I was rolling off my chair laughing at adults really believing and acting like they were children. In another session he had a man acting like a chicken. You know these people are capable adults just temporarily believing they are something they are not. It is belly aching funny to watch. The difference with people in the world is that they hypnotized themselves by believing their thoughts or someone else’s suggestion.

Seeing with Enlightened Eyes is Funny

My explanation with words certainly isn’t that funny but direct perception is. That’s because you can’t explain what is funny. What makes us laugh is not logical. It’s like a Far Side cartoon that rocks you with laughter. When you try to explain it with words the direct perception is lost in the symbols. Humor can’t be explained with the logic of words. The symbols of words start engaging the mind and analytical thinking takes over. When the analytical program of the personality is engaged our opportunity for direct perception is lost to the mind.

When we are laughing at something funny our internal dialogue is generally turned off. We are not analyzing or being logical with our thinking mind. We directly perceive and we know something is funny. We may not be able to explain what is funny, but we know by direct experience. Having a quiet mind allows a person to perceive directly and is an attribute of an enlightened state.

If you are evaluating spiritual teachers take notice of their sense of humor and how much they laugh. The measure of their humor, happiness, and laughter can be a measure of how clearly they see the world as it is. No need to make this the only criteria but consider it with many others.

The Enlightened Mind is Quiet

What keeps us from seeing the beauty and humor of humanity dressed up in personality masks is that we interpret through our mind. The mind adds dialogue of descriptions and interpretations about what we see. Most come from the voices of the inner judge and victim. We then hypnotize ourselves by believing what we think about what we see. Our attention fixates on these descriptions and we perceive our descriptions instead of perceiving the world directly. Like explaining or interpreting a joke, these descriptions generally aren’t that funny.

Spiritual traditions will describe this paradigm as being steeped in illusions. Our eyes are closed and we are asleep in a dream of our own interpretations. Some will call these interpretations filters, lenses, stories, projections, or false beliefs.

Consider the woman who is anorexic. She doesn’t see her body as it is. Instead she sees what she believes her body looks like. To measure this distorting dialogue you might notice the opinions you have about this article, your body, or other people. Often this dialogue is most obvious when we sit to mediate quietly and find that we can’t turn it off.

When we dissolve the dialogue in the mind and start living in a realm of silence we open our eyes to see a different world. Rather than see a world made of descriptions and opinions, we see one that is orchestrated by a conscious intelligence that transcends words. For communication purposes I’ll use the symbol “Divine” to denote that intelligent force of Life. It is the force that makes plants and grass grow, the planet spin, and the sun and stars shine. It’s a pretty incredible force. And darn smart too.

How to become enlightened

If it is enlightenment that you seek you will need to engage in experiential practices. These are actions that will quiet your mind so that you can perceive directly. Spiritual traditions around the world each have their own methods. They quiet the internal dialogue by eliminating the false beliefs, dissolving personal importance, and they train you to focus your attention into a silent world. Meditation and prayer are practices that engage you towards direct experience.

I direct you to practices instead of reading books because symbols aren’t likely to lead you to the experience. The more you read the more you fill your head with concepts, descriptions, interpretations, and expectations that form the matrix that traps perception. Reading conceptual ideas makes our analytical mind more dominant instead of more silent.

There are wonderful books that can help you with small epiphanies, but do not expect them to take you to your final destination of direct perception. Use what you read to give you some guidance and new perspectives if you like but more importantly practice something directly.

Humility is the Path to Freedom

Much of the chatter in the mind is born out of the beliefs we have invested in. Some of the major beliefs to be eliminated have to do with our self importance. Self importance relates to believing that you personally are the cause or center of what happens. This kind of belief paradigm comes in two forms. One paradigm is that we have the solutions to the world’s problems. The other paradigm is that we are somehow the cause of the world’s problems. In one direction we are the greatest person in the world and in the other direction we are the worst person in the world. (I use to think that if everyone approached their life the way I did the world would be a better place. At the time I didn’t notice it as self importance. I just thought I was right.) In either case our mind focuses on us in the story. A clue to our self importance is the number of times we use the words “I” or “me” in a sentence or thought.

You might find the inner judge and victim use these references to our selves to do comparisons between us and other people. When you dissolve the beliefs relating to your self importance you will have dissolved many of the stories in the mind and gone a long way towards inner silence. Without these false beliefs filtering your perception you can more easily see the world as it is. You will also see yourself more clearly as you really are.

The result of dropping your self importance is humility. Many people misinterpret humility to mean that they are less than other people. They take it as the opposite of arrogance. Humility doesn’t mean believing you are less than anyone else. It means being aware that you aren’t more important than anyone else while at the same time being aware that no one is more important than you. You treat yourself with respect and you treat everyone else with respect also. You no longer compare yourself to others in any way because you know through direct perception that everyone is equal.

You will find that highly conscious people who have dropped their self importance don’t make much of an effort to be heard or seen. A humble person will more likely listen than speak. They may be quiet and inconspicuous to the point that they don’t make much of an impression on you. In this way you might be in the presence of a master and not even know it.

An enlightened person will not generally put their agenda ahead of yours, even if your agenda will lead you into illusion and emotional suffering. Their respect for you as an equal capable of making your own decisions and dealing with your own consequences relieves them of any need to direct your life or worry over it.

To Become Enlightened Practice Expressing Love

Being happy is the result of expressing love. As you dissolve self importance and other agreements in the mind we spend less time thinking and more time feeling our emotions. Without judgments we don’t have excuses to not express our love. We don’t have to be serious and important all the time. Instead we learn to be childlike which is what great masters taught. The seeking of pleasure and enjoyment is our natural way and results in expressing love in everything that we do. The result of expressing love is that we are happy like children.

All aspects of elevating consciousness produce greater happiness. It is not linear as we will have our momentary ups and downs during the journey. Over all, happiness in your life is one of the best barometers to use to determine if you are headed towards higher consciousness. Don’t measure progress weekly or even monthly. As you wrestle with your inner demons, give yourself time to get back on your feet before determining if you are going forwards or backwards in your overall happiness. I personally suggest referencing back at least six months to measure real progress.

A World of Non-Duality is an Intermediate Step

If you are fortunate enough to make the journey to dissolve your self importance, quiet your mind, and open to love unconditionally you have done the hard part. In this level of consciousness you no longer react or feel victimized. You can live your life without fear, and be at peace within. Quite a few make it to this point of quieting the internal dialogue, and expressing love. (Quite a few is a relative term meaning about 1 in one million people.) In this state one lives their life full of compassion with everyone in the world as their equal.

Some people refer to this level of consciousness as enlightenment; however in my experience there is still further one can go. The final step is to open your spiritual eyes and see directly the Infinite consciousness alive in everything. With these eyes open you are aware of the costume of personality that Consciousness is wearing.

From this level of awareness the dance of life becomes that Divine comedy I mentioned earlier. It is not a simple trick to shift your perception to this heightened state of awareness. It is usually a challenge to do something that you haven’t done before. And since it takes place in the field of the mind behind the eyes you can’t just model someone else’s movements. It is difficult to elevate ourselves to a level of consciousness when we don’t know where that level is. It is for this kind of leap in perspective that an experienced teacher is extremely helpful. They may be able to give you a boost that opens your eyes to a world you hadn’t imagined before.

Once attained it is not likely that you will hold this enlightened point of view. The first time it may only last a few minutes or a couple hours. But once you have experienced this viewpoint you can bookmark it so you know where to evolve your consciousness in the future if you desire. Like opening your heart or being consciously happy, it often happens only for moments in the beginning. As you consciously practice those moments become longer and with less time in between until it is your normal state of being.

If you never make this final step you won’t be disappointed or feel like the failure. You will still be walking around with a quiet peaceful mind and love and happiness flowing out of you. With a fully compassionate mind there is no failure, disappointment, or sense that your journey has been wasted. The benefit of a quiet mind and experiencing your love coming out of you is enough to satisfy you everyday of your life. Enlightenment or not.

In the Beginning was the Word, and Immediately Following was Misinterpretation
When I describe that an enlightened person laughs at people some people are confused. They may interpret that the laughter comes from laughing “at” someone. This type of interpretation usually comes from the mask of the victim or judge personality. There is laughter, but it is not without love and compassion. Most often the laughter is only expressed inward. Outward it may only appear as a calm smile.

It can be funny listening to children make up ridiculous things. You love the children but you know that they are not aware enough to know what they are doing. They make you laugh while you adore them and their stories of fantasy. You don’t believe their stories, but you love them.

When you see a dog chase its shadow you don’t think less of the dog. You love the dog and you laugh at its antics. Their antics might even make you love the dog more. You are aware that the dog doesn’t know the difference between its shadow and something real and therefore you don’t judge the dog or think less of it

When you see a human chasing stories and illusions in the mind it can also be funny. With awareness it is clear that believing in the illusions is ridiculously funny. You laugh at their antics. At the same time their illusions about relationship and a false self image may be causing them emotional suffering. The emotional suffering aspect is not funny. Awareness doesn’t mean that it is without compassion and understanding for their emotional pain. Enlightenment allows us to be compassionate while at the same time being aware that the end of suffering can be just a shift in perspective away.

Becoming Enlightened in Steps

If you desire to become enlightened I suggest that you break up your journey into some smaller steps. The first task is to practice love and become happy. Enlightened people are both happy and loving. A simple step towards being loving is to accept where you are on your journey of conscious evolution. It might seem counter productive to accept yourself just as you are when you are striving for consciousness. But this is usually the distorted logic of the mind that doesn’t know the way to enlightenment.

Enlightened people accept themselves just the way they are. This begins by being aware of any self critical thoughts and then deciding that they are not true. The second act of acceptance is to accept other people and the world as they are. Enlightened people love and accept others just the way they are too. This also begins with being aware of thoughts and opinions and deciding not to believe them. Do what enlightened people do and you will be headed in their direction. I said these were simple steps but I didn’t say they would come easy.

If you are finding it challenging to be completely accepting of yourself and the world it is likely that you are stumbling over self importance issues and agreements in the mind. These are likely to show up through the inner judge and victim that make up the voice in your head. To overcome these obstacles to happiness and love you will need to identify and change these stories of the personality.

Once you have taken care of this bit of business you will be happy in your life and love will be easy. After that enlightenment just becomes a matter of expanding your consciousness to the point of view of Infinite. Becoming enlightened isn’t a way to measure your spiritual progress or success. This is just something the inner judge does. The enlightened person doesn’t measure success because there is no failure.

Source: Pathways To Happiness

Gary van Warmerdam combines the wisdom spiritual traditions have in eliminating suffering with common sense in a way that is both practical and effective. Gary has studied with best selling author of The Four Agreements, Dr. Miguel Ruiz since 1994. His experiences include spiritual journeys worldwide and many trips exploring the teachings of ancient Mexico. He co-developed and taught the Four Agreements Facilitators training at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY and the Crossings in Austin Texas. His teachings are based in universal principles of common sense and unconditional love found in all spiritual traditions. Gary teaches workshops throughout the country, leads spiritual retreats to Mexico, and coaches individual clients. His book, MindWorks, is available in print and in digital formats in numerous places.

Gary has previous professional experience in sales and management in both small and large businesses. He served as a nuclear trained officer in the US Navy and as officer of the deck of an aircraft carrier. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Published on Aug 14, 2017

James Wood works with groups and individuals to discover the fundamental Reality of our essential nature. Having awakened in 2002 after years of study, he began to express a spontaneous teaching whose form continues to evolve. His message is that awakening is possible for anyone committed to finding Truth.

Originally, James studied philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin and transformational studies with Richard Moss, M.D. He has combined his education and experience to express a modern, integrated vehicle for others to use as a means of growth in consciousness leading to awakening. He is dedicated to communicating the essence of the true Teaching to those who are ready to receive it.

Book: Ten Paths to Freedom: Awakening Made Simple

Website: http://jameswoodteachings.com

Nothing is Personal

There is an ancient and well-kept secret to happiness which the Great Ones have known for centuries. They rarely speak of it, but they use it all the time, and it is fundamental to good mental health. This secret is called The Fine Art of Not Being Offended. In order to truly be a master of this art, one must be able to see that every statement, action and reaction of another human being is the sum result of their total life experience to date.

In other words, the majority of people in our world say and do what they do from their own set of fears, conclusions, defences and attempts to survive. Most of it, even when aimed directly at us, has nothing to do with us. Usually, it has more to do with all the other times, and in particular the first few times, that this person experienced a similar situation, usually when they were young.


Study of the Soul

Yes, this is psychodynamic. But let’s face it, we live in a world where psychodynamics are what make the world go around. An individual who wishes to live successfully in the world as a spiritual person really needs to understand that psychology is as spiritual as prayer. In fact, the word psychology literally means ‘the study of the soul’.

Every statement, action and reaction is the result of our total life experience to date.

All of that said, almost nothing is personal. Even with our closest loved ones, our beloved partners, our children and our friends. We are all swimming in the projections and filters of each other’s life experiences and often we are just the stand-ins, the chess pieces of life to which our loved ones have their own built-in reactions. This is not to dehumanize life or take away the intimacy from our relationships, but mainly for us to know that almost every time we get offended, we are actually just in a misunderstanding.

Are They Hurting?

A true embodiment of this idea actually allows for more intimacy and less suffering throughout all of our relationships. When we know that we are just the one who happens to be standing in the right place at the right psychodynamic time for someone to say or do what they are doing—we don’t have to take life personally. If it weren’t us, it would likely be someone else.

This frees us to be a little more detached from the reactions of people around us. How often do we react to a statement of another by being offended rather than seeing that the other might actually be hurting? In fact, every time we get offended, it is actually an opportunity to extend kindness to one who may be suffering—even if they themselves do not appear that way on the surface.

Getting offended is an opportunity to extend kindness to one who may be suffering.

All anger, all acting out, all harshness, all criticism, is in truth a form of suffering. When we provide no velcro for it to stick, something changes in the world. We do not even have to say a thing. In fact, it is usually better not to say a thing.

People who are suffering on the inside, but not showing it on the outside, are usually not keen on someone pointing out to them that they are suffering. We do not have to be our loved one’s therapist. We need only understand the situation and move on. In the least, we ourselves experience less suffering and at best, we have a chance to make the world a better place.

No Harm to Self

This is also not to be confused with allowing ourselves to be hurt, neglected or taken advantage of. True compassion does not allow harm to ourselves either. But when we know that nothing is personal, a magical thing happens. Many of the seeming abusers of the world start to leave our lives. Once we are conscious, so-called abuse can only happen if we believe what the other is saying.

We don’t feel abused because we know that what the other is saying is not about us.

When we know nothing is personal, we also do not end up feeling abused. We can say, “Thank you for sharing,” and move on. We are not hooked by what another does or says, since we know it is not about us. When we know that our inherent worth is not determined by what another says, does or believes, we can take the world a little less seriously. And if necessary, we can just walk away without creating more misery for ourselves or having to convince the other person that we are good and worthy people.

The great challenge of our world is to live a life of contentment regardless of what other people do, say, think or believe. The fine art of not being offended is one of the many skills for being a practical mystic. Though it may take a lifetime of practice, it is truly one of the best kept secrets for living a happy life.

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” ~Dalai Lama

If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s that we want to feel happy; and on the other side of that coin, we want to avoid hurting. Yet we consistently put ourselves in situations that set us up for pain.

We pin our happiness to people, circumstances, and things and hold onto them for dear life. We stress about the possibility of losing them when something seems amiss. Then we melt into grief when something changes—a lay off, a breakup, or a transfer.

We attach to feelings as if they define us, and ironically, not just positive ones. If you’ve wallowed in regret or disappointment for years, it can seem safe and even comforting to suffer.

In trying to hold on to what’s familiar, we limit our ability to experience joy in the present. A moment can’t possibly radiate fully when you’re suffocating it in fear.

When you stop trying to grasp, own, and control the world around you, you give it the freedom to fulfill you without the power to destroy you. That’s why letting go is so important— letting go is letting happiness in.

It’s no simple undertaking to let go of attachment—not a one-time decision, like pulling off a band-aid. Instead, it’s a day-to-day, moment-to-moment commitment that involves changing the way you experience and interact with everything you instinctively want to grasp.

The best approach is to start simple, at the beginning, and work your way to Zen.

Experiencing Without Attachment

Accept the moment for what it is.

Don’t try to turn it into yesterday; that moment’s gone. Don’t plot about how you can make the moment last forever. Just seep into the moment and enjoy it, because it will eventually pass. Nothing is permanent. Fighting that reality will only cause you pain.

Believe now is enough.

It’s true—tomorrow may not look the same as today, no matter how much you try to control it. A relationship might end. You might have to move. You’ll deal with those moments when they come. All you need right now is to appreciate and enjoy what you have. It’s enough.
Call yourself out.

Learn what it looks like to grasp at people, things, or circumstances so you can redirect your thoughts when they veer toward attachment—when you dwell on keeping, controlling, manipulating, or losing something instead of simply experiencing it.

Define yourself in fluid terms
.

We are all constantly evolving and growing. Define yourself in terms that can withstand change. Defining yourself by possessions, roles, and relationships breeds attachment, because loss entails losing not just what you have, but also who you are.

Enjoy now fully.

No matter how much time you have in an experience or with someone you love, it will never feel like enough. So don’t think about it in terms of quantity; aim for quality instead. Attach to the idea of living well from moment to moment. That’s an attachment that can do you no harm.

Letting Go of Attachment to People

Friend yourself.

It will be harder to let people go when necessary if you depend on them for your sense of worth. Believe you’re worthy whether someone else tells you or not. This way, you relate to people, not just how they make you feel about yourself.

Go it alone sometimes.

Take time to foster your own interests, ones that nothing and no one can take away. Don’t let them hinge on anyone or anything other than your values and passion.

Hold lightly.

This one isn’t just about releasing attachments; it’s also about maintaining healthy relationships. Contrary to romantic notions, you are not someone’s other half. You’re separate and whole. You can still hold someone to close to your heart; just remember, if you squeeze too tightly, you’ll both be suffocated.

Interact with lots of people.

If you limit yourself to one or two relationships, they will seem like your lifelines. Everyone needs people, and there are billions on the planet. Stay open to new connections. Accept the possibility your future involves a lot of love whether you cling to a select few people or not.

Justify less.

I can’t let him go—I’ll be miserable without him. I’d die if I lost her—she’s all that I have. These thoughts reinforce beliefs that are not fact, even if they feel like it. The only way to let go and feel less pain is to believe you’re strong enough to carry on if and when things change.

Letting Go of Attachment to the Past

Know you can’t change the past.

Even if you think about over and over again. Even if you punish yourself. Even if you refuse to accept it. It’s done. The only way to relieve your pain about what happened is to give yourself relief. No one and nothing else can create peace in your head for you.

Love instead of fearing.

When you hold onto the past, it often has to do with fear—fear you messed up your chance at happiness, or fear you’ll never know such happiness again. Focus on what you love and you’ll create happiness instead of worrying about it.

Make now count.

Instead of thinking of what you did or didn’t do, the type of person you were or weren’t, do something worthwhile now. Be someone worthwhile now. Take a class. Join a group. Help someone who needs it. Make today so full and meaningful there’s no room to dwell on yesterday.

Narrate calmly.

How we experience the world is largely a result of how we internalize it. Instead of telling yourself dramatic stories about the past—how hurt you were or how hard it was—challenge your emotions and focus on lessons learned. That’s all you really need from yesterday.
Open your mind.

We often cling to things, situations, or people because we’re comfortable with them. We know how they’ll make us feel, whether it’s happy or safe. Consider that new things, situations, and people may affect you the same. The only way to find out is to let go of what’s come and gone.
Letting Go of Attachment to Outcomes

Practice letting things be.

That doesn’t mean you can’t actively work to create a different tomorrow. It just means you make peace with the moment as it is, without worrying that something’s wrong with you or your life, and then operate from a place of acceptance.
Question your attachment.

If you’re attached to a specific outcome—a dream job or the perfect relationship—you may be indulging an illusion about some day when everything will be lined up for happiness. No moment will ever be worthier of your joy than now because that’s all there ever is.

Release the need to know.

Life entails uncertainty, no matter how strong your intention. Obsessing about tomorrow wastes your life because there will always be a tomorrow on the horizon. There are no guarantees about how it will play out. Just know it hinges on how well you live today.

Serve your purpose now.

You don’t need to have x-amount of money in the bank to live a meaningful life right now. Figure out what matters to you, and fill pockets of time indulging it. Audition for community theater. Volunteer with animals. Whatever you love, do it. Don’t wait—do it now.

Teach others.

It’s human nature to hope for things in the future. Even the most enlightened people fall into the habit from time to time. Remind yourself to stay open to possibilities by sharing the idea with other people. Blog about it. Talk about it. Tweet about it. Opening up helps keep you open.

Letting Go of Attachment to Feelings

Understand that pain is unavoidable.

No matter how well you do everything on this list, or on your own short list for peace, you will lose things that matter and feel some level of pain. But it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. As the saying goes, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Vocalize your feelings.

Feel them, acknowledge them, express them, and then let them naturally transform. Even if you want to dwell in anger, sadness, or frustration—especially if you feel like dwelling—save yourself the pain and commit to working through them.

Write it down.

Then toss it out. You won’t always have the opportunity to express your feelings to the people who inspired them. That doesn’t mean you need to swallow them. Write in a journal. Write a letter and burn it. Anything that helps you let go.

Xie Xie.

t means thank you in Chinese. Fully embrace your happy moments—love with abandon; be so passionate it’s contagious. If a darker moment follows, remember: It will teach you something, and soon enough you’ll be in another happy moment to appreciate. Everything is cyclical.

Yield to peace.

The ultimate desire is to feel happy and peaceful. Even if you think you want to stay angry, what you really want is to be at peace with what happened or will happen. It takes a conscious choice. Make it.

Zen your now.

Experience, appreciate, enjoy, and let go to welcome another experience.

It won’t always be easy. Sometimes you’ll feel compelled to attach yourself physically and mentally to people and ideas—as if it gives you some sense of control or security. You may even strongly believe you’ll be happy if you struggle to hold onto what you have. That’s okay. It’s human nature.

Just know you have the power to choose from moment to moment how you experience things you enjoy: with a sense of ownership, anxiety, and fear, or with a sense of freedom, peace, and love.

The most important question: What do you choose right now?


About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest book Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

Are spiritual experiences becoming more common?

What are spiritual experiences? I don’t think of them in religious terms. I see them as moments in which our awareness becomes more intense and more expansive than normal, so that the world around us becomes more real and alive, and we feel a strong sense of connection to nature and other human beings. We might feel a sense of joy or inner stillness, and feel that somehow the world around us is “in harmony” or has a meaning that we find difficult to express.

If a person from a religious background has such an experience, they may well interpret it in religious terms. They might see it as a gift from God, and believe that the aliveness and harmony they perceive is a glimpse of the divine, or of heaven. But if you’re not religious, there’s no reason to think in these terms. The experience is just a psychological one. It suggests that our normal vision of the world is limited and in some ways even aberrational. In awakening experiences, there is a strong sense of ‘seeing more,’ of expanding beyond limits and perceiving a more authentic reality.

My research shows that awakening experiences are connected to certain activities and situations. They are associated with contact with nature, spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer, sporting activities (such as running and swimming), and sex. They are also strongly associated with states of intense psychological turmoil. That is, paradoxically, they often occur in the midst of stress and depression, or in relation to traumatic life events such as illness, divorce or bereavement.

However, one of the most interesting things about these experiences is that they are apparently becoming more common. In a 1962 Gallup poll, just 22 percent of Americans reported that they had “ever had a religious or mystical experience.” In 1994, 33 percent of people answered yes to the same question, while by 2009, the figure had risen to 49 percent. Research by the Pew Research Center in the U.S. has shown a similar trend. In 2007, 52 percent of Americans reported that they regularly felt a “deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being.” In 2014, the figure stood at 59 percent. In 2007, 39 percent of Americans said that the regularly felt a “deep sense of wonder about the universe”—a figure which had increased to 46 percent in 2014. Perhaps significantly, these increases coincided closely with a decrease in interest in organized religion.

In the U.K., the surveys of the Spiritual Experience Research Centre have had similar findings. In a 1969 survey, the question “Have you ever experienced a presence or power, whether you call it God or not, which is different from your everyday self?” was answered affirmatively by 29 percent of people. In 1978, the figure had risen to 36 percent, and then to 48 percent in 1987. In 2000, there was a further steep rise to 75 percent—a 27 percent increase in 13 years (which was, coincidentally or not, exactly the same figure by which church attendance declined over the same period). (1)

A Collective Movement?

Why should spiritual experiences be more common now than they were a few decades ago? It could simply be that people are simply getting better at recognizing them, or are more open about discussing them. Now that there is more general awareness of spirituality in our culture, and concepts such as “spiritual peace and well-being” are a more common part of discourse, it could simply be that more people are describing their experiences in this way, when they might have described them in other terms in earlier decades.

Or perhaps it’s right to take the research at its face value. Perhaps spiritual experiences actually are becoming more common. This is the approach I take in my new book The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening. I suggest that spiritual experiences are glimpses of a new state of being that is slowly becoming more normal to human beings. This is a higher-functioning state that I call “wakefulness,” in which a person feels an enhanced sense of well-being, clarity, and connection. They have a more intense awareness of the world around them, a greater sense of appreciation of nature, a broad global outlook, and an all-embracing sense of empathy with the whole human race. In many ways, it is a permanent, ongoing variant of the ‘awakening experience.’

I have found many examples of people who shift into this higher-functioning state in the midst of intense psychological turmoil – for example, bereavement, serious illness, or alcoholism—I describe some of these examples in The Leap. This shift is quite common, and can be seen as a variation of “post-traumatic growth”—I sometimes refer to it as “post-traumatic transformation.” There are also hundreds of millions of people around the world who are gradually cultivating wakefulness by following spiritual practices such as meditation and service, or spiritual paths such as Buddhism, Yoga, or the Kabbalah. A constantly increasing interest in self-development, spiritual practices, and traditions is one of the most significant cultural trends of our time.

It seems to me that there is a collective moment towards awakening, which is manifesting itself in a variety of ways—one of which may be the increasing frequency of spiritual experiences.

(1) I am grateful to my fellow author Jules Evans for bringing my attention to this research.

Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He is the author of The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.
Source: Psychology Today

The most important key to awakening is to learn the art of being present. It is only from Presence that you can be unconditionally loving and accepting of yourself.

This includes all those things you would like to change about yourself. Jealousy, possessiveness, control, judgment, haplessness, inadequacy, blame, guilt, uncertainty, unworthiness, arrogance, expectation, resentment, anger, sadness, frustration, just to name a few. To want to change any of these qualities in you is a subtle rejection of them, which is not unconditional acceptance. The key is to identify, own, acknowledge and confess all of these qualities as they arise within you. Hide absolutely nothing from yourself. Own and acknowledge all of these things with love, acceptance and compassion. The more you own and accept whatever arises without judgment, the more you will relax and be released out of the past into deeper and deeper levels of Presence.

The second key to awakening is to come into right relationship with your feelings. This is only possible as you become present. There are many emotions from the past, which you repressed, for good reasons then. But now they want to be released, so it is necessary to find an opportunity to feel and express repressed emotions like anger, hurt, pain and sadness. Just be present with the feelings whenever they arise within you. Allow the authentic expression, but do not identify with the story woven into the feelings. The feelings are from the past, which you are projecting into the present. Do not try to get rid of these feelings. That would be a judgment of them. Simply allow them to complete their journey through you. Once released, they will be gone forever. It is important to take full responsibility for your emotional reactions. No one can make you angry unless you have anger repressed within you from your past. No one can hurt you unless you have hurt repressed within you from your past.

As these repressed emotions are liberated from you, you will begin to feel a level of love, peace and freedom that you did not know was possible.

The third key to awakening is to confess. This has nothing to do with the Catholic idea of confession. You have not committed any sin, which needs to be confessed in order for you to be absolved. If you confess these qualities to someone who is absolutely non-judgmental, and who is fully present with you, it will help you to own the quality of which you are confessing. In your confession, you are saying, “This is me. This is who I have become. I am possessive and controlling.” Or “I am blaming.” Or “I always get angry when I don’t get my own way.” Or “I will not allow myself to get too close to people because I am afraid I might be rejected.” By confessing and owning it with love, acceptance and compassion, it is released. And you are freed to the level of Presence where none of these qualities exist. They cannot exist because they are not a part of the true nature of Being. They exist only at the level of mind. If you cannot find someone who is present enough to receive your confession then confess to a tree or a flower, or God who exists at the very center of your Being.

The fourth key is to come into right relationship with the ego. The ego is not the enemy. It is your friend and protector in a painful world where no one is truly present. Once you know the ego’s true role in your life, you will come to appreciate it. You will befriend it, and gradually the ego will relax and it will allow you to be more present. And you become established in Presence, the ego will surrender and its role in your life will be transformed.

The fifth key is to bring conscious awareness to all the ways that you lose yourself in others. If you look to others for love, acceptance, or approval, you are losing yourself in them. If you fear judgment or rejection from others, then you are losing yourself and you are giving away your power and your freedom. To awaken is to come back to yourself, and release yourself from entanglement in others.

The fifth key to awakening is to accept full responsibility for yourself. This will release you form the world of expectation, resentment, blame and guilt. It will lead you into total freedom.

The sixth key to awakening is to let go. Dance. Celebrate. Lose control.

Excerpt from Words From Silence by Leonard Jacobson (ps. 128-131)

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an awakened spiritual teacher, mystic and author, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. Find more of Leonard’s work Here.
Source: AWAKEN

Published on Aug 12, 2017

Excerpts from the book Magical Mind, Magical Body. A Perfect Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit Is Your Birthright. The key lies in your mind — which has much more power than you ever realized possible. With Magical Mind, Magical Body, that power will be brought into your life.

Published on Jul 21, 2017

“Escape the prison of the mind and become free from suffering.” JV. 3 

Great Enlightened beings Sadhguru, Mooji and Eckhart Tolle tell us the way to end the suffering. (A must watch)


In most people, the Consciousness identifies socially conditioned Ego. At a number of people
this identification is so powerful that they are unaware that their life is governed by a socially conditioned mind. On our Journey we may ask ourselves the question, How can we get rid of the Ego?

Based on the book
„The Awakening of Consciousness”
by Frank M. Wanderer


Every morning we wake up and regain consciousness — that is a marvelous fact — but what exactly is it that we regain? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio uses this simple question to give us a glimpse into how our brains create our sense of self

A 13 year old boy asks Rupert if magic exists.

From the seven day retreat at Buckland Hall, May 2017. For access to the full length recording see link: http://non-duality.rupertspira.com/wa…

Published on Aug 10, 2017

http://adyashanti.org – Adyashanti addresses one of the most common spiritual questions: How do you live from your own depth? Living with that curiosity informs your actions and has the potential to transform your life.

Video Excerpted from “Silent Meditation Day Vol. 3” (ID# 676):

http://bit.ly/2dDIRf8

Quotes from this Video:

“’What would it be like to live this moment from my depth?’ There’s no prescription for how to do it. You just live with that curiosity.”

“Human beings naturally feel this pull to live a rich, meaningful existence. So we have to live from a rich and meaningful place inside of us.”


Published on Aug 1, 2017

Possible objections to the following:
1. There is consciousness;
2. Consciousness is real;
3. Consciousness is independent from the appearances in consciousness
4. Consciousness is my real nature

2016 09 17 dialogue with Francis Lucille in Temecula, CA 4


Published on Aug 8, 2017

Ira Schepetin does it again better then ever on his outstanding anual talk about NonDuality on Steps to Self-Realization at The Drs. Moschetta’s loving home in East Hampton, NY. on 8-3-2017.


Published on Aug 8, 2017

https://www.amodamaa.com/

‘Love Yourself to Death’ – an excerpt from a series of Meetings given in Seattle, July 2017.

Book: EMBODIED ENLIGHTENMENT.
US: http://a.co/iOmBgxf
UK: http://amzn.eu/9CcUw8B


Published on Aug 8, 2017

Tara Talks: Reflection on Impermanence – with Tara Brach

This guided practice helps us live from the realization of life’s ever-changing stream with a sense of love and wisdom.


Published on Aug 8, 2017

You can watch the full interview by becoming a supporter of SAND here: https://www.scienceandnonduality.com

Sharon Strand Ellison
, the author of Taking the War Out of Our Words, is a pioneer in the field of eliminating defensiveness. An international communication consultant and award-winning speaker, Sharon is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Powerful Non-Defensive Communication. In this interview she describes and gives examples of defensiveness and explains how openness, honesty and curiosity results in connection and communication with others.

Published on Aug 7, 2017

How I was inspired to spend an entire year reading, researching, and meditating on Lao-tzu’s messages, and practicing the wisdom of the Tao te Ching. Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer

Rowdy, ecstatic, and sometimes stern, these teaching stories and fables reveal new and very human properties in Rumi’s vision. Included here are the notorious “Latin parts” that Reynold Nicholson felt were too unseemly to appear in English in his 1920s translation. For Rumi, anything that human beings do—however compulsive—affords a glimpse into the inner life.

Here are more than 40 fables or teaching stories that deal with love, laughter, death, betrayal, and the soul. The stories are exuberant, earthy, and bursting with vitality—much like a painting by Hieronymus Bosch or Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The characters are guilty, lecherous, tricky, ribald, and finally possessors of opened souls.

Barks writes: “These teaching stories are a kind of scrimshaw—intricately carved, busy figures, confused and threatening, and weirdly funny.

This is an entertaining collection from one of the greatest spiritual poets of all time, rendered by his most popular translator.

“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”Rumi

Coleman Barks is an American poet, a former faculty member at the University of Georgia, and a renowned interpreter of Rumi and other mystic poets. He makes frequent international appearances and is well-known throughout the Middle East. His work has contributed to the creation of a strong Rumi following in the English-speaking world and the dissemination of Sufi ideas across many cultural boundaries. Barks received an honorary doctorate from Tehran University in 2006. He is the author of many books and lives in Athens, Georgia.

Rumi on Love By Coleman Barks

Published on Jul 31, 2017

The ecstatic poems of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born 807 years ago in 1207, have sold millions of copies in recent years, making him the most popular poet in the US. He’s a poet of joy and of love.

“This We Have Now” – An Interview with Coleman Barks

Published on Aug 4, 2015

This interview was recorded at Science and Nonduality Conference http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/. We talk with Coleman Barks about how he has come to translating Rumi’s poetry, how he met his teacher and how his teachings unfolded in his life.


Published on Aug 7, 2017

Discussion of this interview at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Batga…

Trained in the 90’s as a teacher in spiritual therapy. The search stopped, among other ‘things’, mainly through the confrontation with Nisargadatta’s I am That, and Ramana Maharshi’s glare and words and the spontaneous recognition of Awareness (Consciousness) as reality. ‘After’ that awakening the ‘I Am/Consciousness’ was recognised to be the first identification.

Since ’98 Hans has led hundreds of satsangs, retreats and private sessions. He published eight books and a booklet, many many articles and columns, youtube satsang video’s (one in English) and seven homemade music cd’s. Hans is sometimes judged as being too confrontational or direct, or, more kindly, as very clear. On the other hand people credit him for his creativity and patience. Funny, right?

The following points and others reflecting Hans’ perspective were discussed in the interview: When spirituality is not alarming, it’s not worth mentioning. Burn-out is never about work. It’s a spiritual crisis. Not feeling and listening leads to inauthenticity which at a certain point makes the ‘soul’ scream for change. Self-inquiry is for internal use only. Not for beating others down, or to be used as an excuse for lousy behavior. Becoming aware isn’t necessarily pleasant. It will always bring clarity though. Reality is never a problem until we start to project our beliefs, fears, expectations and judgements onto it. You are far too much interested in solutions, and in the meantime it is your mind (what you believe) who is creating the trouble in the first place. Ego-mind has only two modes: trying to get something and trying to get rid of something. Sprituality based on this doesn’t deserve the name. Unresolved issues keep you from being truly present and real. Avoidance is one of the most weakening tributes of identification with the mind. A lot of (your) spirituality is insincere. It’s mostly based on trying to get rid of something, avoiding authenticity, masking what is really there, taking on a new persona. Not feeling things fully. Not facing facts. Trying to force an outcome. Overreacting and looking for approval. All sings of immaturity. Sub-human attitudes. What you truly are has never been hurt or treated badly, it’s not lacking anything. It’s completely free, whole and shining. NOW. ALREADY. It’s fearless!

Website: http://hanslaurentius.nl

After being inspired to expand their awareness and walk the path of higher consciousness, people can lose motivation…

Modern society has so much stress and rush—relieved by endless distractions—that a consciousness-based lifestyle seems out of joint. Meditation retreats may show a stark contrast to all this hustle and bustle, but when you come home, the pull of everyday life can feel inescapable.

Look at yourself today. How much time and effort will you expend on the duties and demands of work and family? How tired will rushing around make you? How much will you long for a distraction to take your mind off everything? In practical terms, this is what the pull of “real life” means. The mind is filled with the noise of constant activity just to keep up with everything. By itself, a meditation session or two isn’t enough to counter the pull away from inner silence and self-awareness.

In the world’s wisdom traditions this obstacle was fully recognized. As long as the restless mind has existed, it really doesn’t matter if someone lived in ancient India at the time of the Buddha or today in the middle of a noisy city. The traditions of sages and teachers have offered a solution, which can be called the “pull of the self.” When you attune yourself to this inner magnetism, as it were, you can maintain your inspiration to grow and evolve over years, decades, and a lifetime.

The pull of the self means reorienting your attention from external situations, but that doesn’t imply that you ignore the outer world or resist it, either. To ignore is a form of denial. To resist strengthens the hold of what you are trying to push away. Instead, I’m talking about a new relationship between two worlds, the one “in here” and the one “out there.” Think of this relationship as a sliding scale, a line with two end points.

The Pull of the Outer World

At one end point the pull of the outer world totally dominates. Life will then have certain inevitable qualities, as follows:

  • Feeling unsafe and insecure, constantly vigilant to protect yourself from the next threat from outside.
  • A sense of insignificance in the face of titanic natural forces.
  • Pressure to protect yourself by conforming to social norms and behavior.
  • A constant need for outward pleasures, since only they can stimulate a sense of enjoyment from life.
  • Fear of disease, aging, and death.

Since no one actually exists at this extreme, it sounds far removed from daily experience, and yet somewhere along the sliding scale we all feel overwhelmed by the insecurity that comes from being very small in a very big, empty universe.

The pull of the outer world induces us to put physical reality first, and life becomes a struggle to find security and happiness under the threat that everything could collapse at any moment. Besides anxiety, there are other feelings that mask our insecurity, like the rush of thrill-seeking, the hypnosis of entertainment, and the drive to succeed.

The Pull of the Inner World

At the opposite end point the pull of the self is total. Life will then have very different qualities, as follows:

  • Being centered and quiet inside is a constant state that cannot be shaken by external circumstances.This leads to a sense of complete security.
  • One’s own awareness provides the joy and fulfillment that life is meant to bring.
  • Change is no longer threatening, because you see yourself as the still point in a turning world.
  • Experience passes through you without altering your state of being.
  • You live in the eternal now, which makes aging and death irrelevant–they have dropped away as part of the illusion of change.
  • By living from your source, your true self, you are always in touch with the source of creativity and renewed possibilities.
  • You have no conflicts within yourself or with other people, because the wholeness of pure consciousness eradicates the play of opposites, including the play of light versus darkness, good versus evil.

This extreme may sound remote, but any experience that draws your attention in this direction has been caused by the pull of the self. If you pay attention, there are many moments when you feel safe and secure; life looks beautiful; the mind is quiet and calm; you feel free of regret and worries; the past brings no bad memories; you find it easy to accept and appreciate your life and the people in it; an inner joy bubbles up; or you feel somehow that a higher presence exists and enfolds you.

We value such experiences without being told to; they are satisfying by themselves. That’s the hallmark of the pull of the self. Outer circumstances no longer matter, and it doesn’t matter if this feeling persists for two days or two minutes—it is timeless for as long as it lasts. Or to be more precise, you slip out of time into another place that is simply here and now.

If you want to evolve, meditation and leading a life with positive choices are important. But evolution won’t truly take hold unless you pay attention to the pull of the self. Human beings aren’t robots whose wiring can be changed simply by plugging our brains into meditation, prayer, positive thinking, or the influence of wise teachers and mentors. I’m not discounting those things—they have their valued place in the world’s wisdom traditions. But the context of life is always the pull of the outer world, which is noisy and fretful, happy one day and sad the next, and full of pain and pleasure in unpredictable proportion.

The pull of the self is quiet but true, oblivious to the rise and fall of everyday situations. Finding non-change in the midst of change has long been the byword in the evolution of consciousness. The pull of the self, which we can notice every day, is the secret for making non-change a living reality.
Source: Chopra

Presence and Reincarnation; A Contradiction in Terms?

We talked in class, about the importance of presence, and the role of meditation in bringing us back to the only moment that has ever, and that will ever, exist—Now. And then a student asked a question:

“But Hindus believe in reincarnation—isn’t that a future-worry?”

At the heart of meditation, in Hinduism, and in all the Dharmic traditions, including Buddha Dharma and Sikh Dharma, is the importance placed on nurturing our power of focused awareness. It strengthens the mind’s ability to consciously choose, anew in each moment, where to focus its attention. As it happens, the best thing to focus on is now, and although there are countless reasons why, these are the three most important ones:

1. Now is it the most incredible and momentous event of our lives.

2. Now is the only time and place joy lives.

3. Now is the only time and place we can discover how the mind really works, and thus, get it to work better.

Now starts with the simple sensation of our own breath flowing in through our noses, and down into our lungs. Watching this is where presence begins and where true meditation begins.

I can appreciate my student’s concern about reincarnation, and the idea that if it happens at a future time, then thinking about it would seem to constitute future thinking—a direct contradiction to the enterprise of staying present.

However—and this is at the heart of my response—Just because you know the rest of the staircase is there, doesn’t mean you ever walk more than one step at a time!

The subtler nuances of my response concern the idea of reincarnation itself, which may be conceived of in myriad ways.

Ask a Zen Buddhist what she thinks of reincarnation and get one answer. Ask 10 others and get 10 more. Ask a Hindu, get another one still. Life and death happens every moment. It happens because you change every moment. In each and every moment, the forces of creation, preservation and destruction happen within you and without you, on every level of your physical, spiritual and mental existence. On the cellular level there is a war going on, and in the world of our minds, as meditation clearly shows us, we are forever duking it out.

But we only notice the aftermath and inevitable changes that follow, when something moves us and shakes us to such a degree that we’re thrown into shock—when we’re sure nothing will ever be the same again. We must remember though, that at any moment, we may proclaim with absolute certainty, that nothing will ever be the same again. We always notice only later, when, seen through the bittersweet palette of our mind’s eye, we gaze nostalgically back upon the events of our lives.

Reincarnation, conceived of in the most brute sense, as the soul taking up residence in a new physical vessel, after the complete physical death of the prior, is still just an extension of the way life is already—you know there’s a tomorrow, but you don’t live there. You know you’ll die, but you choose to live, while you’re alive.

In this unrefined interpretation of reincarnation, the soul’s rebirth is determined by the karmic balance left after our physical existence is done. But in the meantime, and in realtime, through meditation, we can redeem our innumerable debts. When we say we choose to live, we can really do it, by waking up now. The Hindus call it Moksha. We can all call it liberation.

Source: AWAKEN

The principle maintained in the philosophy of Yoga is that consciousness is unlimited… This is a very important point that we have to remember at the very beginning. Here, when we encounter the definition or meaning of consciousness, we are likely to face several difficulties: What is consciousness? Where is it situated? What is its origin? How is it related to us? And what is its final importance?

The history of philosophy has been a long record of varieties of definitions and answers to this great question. Endless definitions have been provided by various thinkers and philosophers throughout the history of thought. One of the insurmountable difficulties faced in this connection is the habituated feeling that consciousness is inside the body. We can never forget that this is the fact. Where is your consciousness? “It is inside me; it cannot be anywhere else.” Of course, we are prepared to concede that consciousness is inside everybody else also, but that does not help the matter. Though we do agree that consciousness is inside every person, that it is inside a person is very important to remember.

When we say it is inside, what do we actually mean? Water is inside a bucket; fruits are inside a basket; we are all inside a room. Do we mean that consciousness is inside us in this sense? That which is inside in the examples cited is totally different from that within which it is located. The fruits are not the basket; the people are not the room, and so on.

Going along this analogy, it would mean that consciousness is not the body, because we say it is inside the body. Or, are you prepared to say that it is the body itself? If you say that perhaps consciousness is not inside in the sense explained, that it is inseparable from the body, then inseparableness also involves a kind of relation. Two brothers in a family may be inseparables, as partners in a business. Husband and wife may be inseparables, socially. But, in spite of the fact that they are inseparables, they are not one person; they are not identical.

So, in view of this problem, you will find that you cannot easily decipher the location of consciousness. When you think, you will agree that it is consciousness that is responsible for thinking. Who is thinking? Is it your body that is thinking, or is there something else that you think is thinking? You, as an intelligent, educated person, may not agree that the body is thinking, because when you say a person is coming, you do not mean that a body is coming. You mean something else in the concept of a person coming, for instance.

“I shall speak to you.” When you make statements like this, who exactly is making this statement? Is this body speaking? Any application of common sense will not permit the idea that the body is speaking. Who is speaking when you speak? “I am speaking.” What do you mean by this “I am speaking”? Who are you? You may scratch your head one hundred times without coming to a definite conclusion.

It has been held by certain thinkers who are affiliated to a materialist doctrine that there is a certain unavoidable relationship between body and consciousness, because the body, also, is conscious. When you prick the body with a needle, you will know that the body is pricked. If the consciousness is not vitally related to the body, organically, so to speak, consciousness cannot feel the prick.

Here, one may feel that one cannot separate consciousness from the body. The doctrine known as epiphenomenalism, or the theory that consciousness is a function of the organism of a person, has led to the conclusion that consciousness is perhaps an emanation from the bodily individuality, as fire emanates from a matchstick. It is an exudation, an emanation, a kind of product arising as an effect of the physical organism, and this is the reason why no one can feel that oneself is a consciousness; there is always an insistent feeling that one is a body only. Any kind of theoretical argument against this assumption does not cut ice. There is an intense fondness for the body. It is taken care of as identical with one’s own self: It is me, and I cannot be different from what I appear to be.

If, on this assumption, we go back to our question of where consciousness is located, we would not be able to give a correct and final answer. If it is true that consciousness, for the purpose of our present argument, is accepted to be inside the body only, whatever be its relation to the body, then it cannot be outside the body.

It was pointed out last time that if the consciousness is only inside the body, there would be no means of knowing that there are things outside the body. It is this peculiar situation of it being necessary for consciousness to know that there are things outside it also, that takes us beyond the original concept of the inwardness of consciousness, as located in the body. There seems to be something very strange about this operation, not as it appears to be for all ordinary commonsense thinking.

How do we know that there is an object outside us? There have been various theories – realistic, and idealistic, and various other approaches – which tell us how we come to know that there is an object outside us. Often, it is said that the objects, as they really are, are never known by us. The objects are known by us only as they appear to our mind or consciousness. This is to say that we have a descriptive knowledge of the behaviour of objects, but we do not come directly in contact with the objects as they are in themselves.

A difference has been noticed between what people call the primary qualities of an object and its secondary qualities. The secondary qualities are the descriptive characteristics by which we apprehend the nature of an object. That is to say, the way in which an object reacts to the sense organs is the secondary quality. But the reaction of an object upon the senses cannot necessarily be considered as the nature of the object itself. Something may produce a reaction for reasons other than what the thing itself is. So, the nature of a reaction cannot be the definition of the object as it is.

The true nature of the object is supposed to be constituted of what are known as primary qualities. Here we have another problem which has been pointed out vigorously by idealistic thinkers. If only the secondary qualities are available for cognition to the sense organs, and the mind and the intellect only play second fiddle to the operations of the senses, how will we come to know that there are things called primary qualities? In other words, how do we know that things exist at all, except in the sense of a reaction produced by them in a representative manner, not as a direct contact with the object? There is no means, it is said, of really coming in contact with the essence of an object.

Here we come to the great prescription of a sutra in the system of Patanjali, who accepts this distinction of the primary qualities or essence of an object as it is, and the object as it appears to us. In deep meditation, which is the principal subject of Yoga, we seem to be coming in contact with the object of meditation in some way. But, in what way do we come in contact with the object of meditation? The sutra of Patanjali is very definite in its conclusion that what we know as an object is only a mixture of certain characteristics foisted upon the object by our perceptual or cognitional faculties.

What does this mean? We cannot decipher a particular object unless it has a nomenclature, a name. Only if an object is designated by a particular description called name, we can know what that object is. This is one point.

The second point is, apart from the name or the verbal description of an object that is necessary in order that we may locate the object, there is also, in our mind, an idea of what the object is. We cannot know the object, except in the manner in which we are able to entertain an idea about the object. We have an idea that a tree is tall. We cannot conceive the tree as flat, or as only a stub. In a similar manner, we have a particular idea of every other thing in the world.

The Yoga System points out that our idea of the object cannot be regarded as an ultimately correct description of the object, because it is already stated that the so-called object, of which we have an idea, is known only through descriptive characteristics according to the capacity of the sense organs to cognise or perceive the object.

There is, therefore, the mental quality foisted upon the object on one hand, and the name or verbal designation is also another aspect which is foisted upon the object. But, what is the object by itself?

Here, we go to the fundamental metaphysics of Yoga. For all practical purposes, we may take it for granted that the philosophy of the Samkhya, with much of which the Vedanta also agrees, is the basis of the Yoga doctrine. Yoga is the practical application of the deduction arrived at through the philosophical investigations of the Samkhya, which in basic principles does not differ much from the Vedanta. The Samkhya is a word which means, actually, a method of enumeration of the categories of reality. To understand what these categories are, we can use an illustration by common example.

There is an object called a hard stone or granite. We take for granted that this granite is exactly as it appears to the sense organs. But, by investigation we can know that this hard, impenetrable object called granite is constituted of little particles. We can break the stone into minute elements so small that we may not be able to visualise them with our naked eyes. Such invisible constituents we call the particles of matter seem to constitute the visible object we call the solid stone. Invisible constituents become visible objects. These particles can be divided further into more and more minute components until they become indistinguishable from the basic components of all things in the world. Material or non-material, things in general have basically a uniform characteristic of material constitution, and they tend to become ubiquitous in their nature at the end, so that the fundamental essence of these objects seems to be a uniformly distributed essence. This essence, being the basic reality of the so-called varieties of things, makes us conclude that there is a unity at the back of the apprehended duality and multiplicity of objects.

The stages by which we dissect an object and enter into its basic components are actually the categories of the Samkhya, which leads finally to a principle which is not capable of further dissection. We can dissect or reduce to basic components a thing that is distinguishable from another object. That which is indistinguishable cannot be so subjected to dissection or further analysis.

There is a point where all analyses cease. That point is the all-pervading nature of the fundamental essence of the objects. The Samkhya calls this fundamental ubiquitous material essence as Prakriti. The word ‘Prakriti’, though it appears very vigorously in the Samkhya philosophy, appears also in Vedantic scriptures like the Bhagavadgita, Mahabharata, Manusmritti, etc. They differ in certain matters which are not our concern at the present moment.

This all-pervading universal basic indistinguishable essence of material existence is Prakriti. It is the ultimate objectivity of all things. It is best described as objectivity, and not an object. Objectivity is a characteristic and an object is a thing, as we conceive it. Inasmuch as our body, which is material in its nature, also is subject to reduction to its fundamentals in the manner we do other objects, it may mean that we, as physical existences, so-called, are also inseparable in our basic material essence from this ubiquitous Prakriti, so that we cannot stand outside Prakriti as physical embodiments.

Now, inasmuch as this all-pervading physical essence, which is called Prakriti or the matrix of all things, includes even the individualising physical part of even the observer of all things, we may have to concede here that an observer of this material content is not so individualised as it appears in common sense perception of objects by our so-called individuality, because here in the reduction of all materials into this fundamental, material, all-pervading essence, our so-called individual bodily essence necessary for perception externally also gets melted down into this all-pervading material essence.

Then, who becomes conscious that there is a Prakriti? It is not possible that any individualised centre of consciousness can apprehend this all-pervasive material content. That which apprehends an all-pervading thing cannot be finitely located somewhere, because finitude contradicts the all-pervadingness of the object. Hence, the Samkhya concludes by the very force of logic that the knower of this ubiquitous material essence should also be ubiquitous. That is to say, the knowing consciousness cannot be located in any particular centre, because if that had been the case, there would be nobody to know that there is a universal material content.

Today in modern physics, for instance, we are told that everything is cosmic universal energy, space-time continuum, etc. How does anyone comprehend this all-pervading, ubiquitous space-time complex? That comprehending principle, which is the consciousness, cannot be located in one place only, and then conclude that the thing that is known is all-pervading. That would be a logical contradiction. So, the Samkhya is forced to accept a knower who is equal in its capacity to the nature of the object known as Prakriti. That is to say, the consciousness that knows this fundamental, material, all-pervading substance should also be all-pervading. This consciousness that apprehends this universal material essence is called Purusha, which should not be identified with man or a human essence. It is a metaphysical definition given to the consciousness which is supposed to know that there is a universally distributed material essence. Consciousness cannot be identified with matter because there is a total dissimilarity between consciousness and matter. Matter does not know itself. Consciousness knows itself. This is the distinction between objectivity and pure subjectivity. This subjectivity, so-called, is also, as we have to remember, a universally spread-out unlimited consciousness; so, according to the Samkhya, Purusha is infinite, all-pervading, and the Prakriti that is known by it also is all-pervading.

Though this position is very helpful to us in our practice of meditation, on a final logical analysis of the situation, we will observe a contradiction because two infinites cannot exist. We cannot have one infinite of consciousness knowing, and another infinite of material ubiquitousness. This is, as the Vedanta would point out, a defect of the Samkhya doctrine. If we are able to overlook this metaphysical defect of the basic deductions of the Samkhya as pointed out, and are not concerned with this problem metaphysically, we will have a practical guidance from this system of the categorisation of the evolution of this Prakriti into material form, which will be described gradually.

This all-pervading Purusha comes in contact with this ubiquitous material substance in some way, and we can only say “some way”, because exactly in what way it comes in contact, we cannot know. The usual example given by the Samkhya philosophy is that consciousness does not really come in contact with this material object, because they are dissimilar in nature. What happens is that the consciousness reflects within itself the presence of this ubiquitous material substance, as a crystal which is pure in itself, and has no colour by itself, can reflect the colour of an object such as a rose flower brought near it, and because of the proximity of this coloured object, the whole crystal may also look red.

In this manner, the Samkhya explains that consciousness – wrongly, we must say – begins to associate itself with the objects in the world and the basic Prakriti, universal matrix of things originally, and creates a wondrous universal situation. That objectified consciousness, which has arisen on account of this reflection of the ubiquitous material substance on the all-pervading consciousness, is the ultimate metaphysical reality of the Samkhya, called Cosmic Being, which knows Itself as all-pervading.

It knows Itself as all-pervading by coming in contact with this all-pervading ubiquitous substance of material essence, by getting reflected in Itself. Otherwise, the omnipotence or omnipresence or omniscience of this all-knowing consciousness cannot be explained, because in order that something may be omnipresent, there must be a field of ubiquitousness in which it operates as all-pervading. Or, to put it crudely, unless there is space, there cannot be the question of omnipresence. Presence everywhere – that is the meaning of omnipresence. The idea of everywhereness arises on account of the presence of space, because there is no such thing as everywhere, minus the idea of space. All-knowing means it is omniscient. Knowing all things means all things must exist in order that this omniscience may be possible. So is omnipotence, all power – all power means the capacity to exert its authority on things which are other than itself. It cannot exert authority on itself only.

This is a conceptual categorisation of the original manifestation of objectivity, according to the Samkhya philosophy. It calls this condition Mahat-tattva, the great knowing Logos, as religions would say. It is the original intelligence which knows all things. This idea of all things, omniscience, omnipotence arises on account of this so-called association of the otherwise infinitude of consciousness with this material ubiquitous substance.

The Samkhya goes down further, to the point where we are living now, by bringing into its operation another principle – namely, the self-assertive character of this omniscient, omnipotent Being. It is to be known clearly that there is a distinction between just that featureless all-pervadingness of the principle of omniscience, and the self-consciousness associated with this all-pervading essence. The omnipresent Being should know that it is omnipresent; otherwise, it would be just Being-as-such. This is a particular descent from the original stage of pure omnipresence or omniscience, wherein there is a universal self-consciousness of the fact of being omnipresent. “I am” is the feeling of this omnipresent Being. It is not the “I” of myself or yourself. It is a universal omnipotence and omnipresence asserting Itself, “I am”.

Religions tell us that God is the great “I am,” “I am what I am”, or “I am that I am”. God cannot be described by any other way than “He is”; and God can regard Himself as “I am”. There is no other possible definition available to this great “I”, which includes every other conceivable little dot of “I’s”, like ourselves.

This self-consciousness attributed to this otherwise all-pervading omnipresence suddenly manifests itself in a threefold form. That threefold form is known in Vedantic language as the objective reality called adhibhuta, the subjective reality called adhyatma, and the divine superintending connection between the subjective side and the objective side known as adhidaiva. Here we are coming into certain very important practical issues in our daily attempt to enter into Yoga meditation. The world appears to be external to the knowing consciousness, and the knowing consciousness places itself as a subjective knower of this world that is outside, and for reasons well known, as has already been explained, this connection between the subjective knower and the objective world cannot be established unless there is a link between the subjective side and the objective side.

This is the reason why you cannot know what is happening between you and the object when perception takes place. Some invisible operation which is consciousness by itself seems to be operating, because the link between the knowing subject and the object cannot but be conscious. We need not go further into this subject because I have already touched upon it the other day.

Now, something happens by way of a further evolution from the adhibhuta or the objective side, from the adhyatma or the subjective side, and the adhidaiva or this superintending conscious principle. This is a very important subject which requires a detailed explanation so that you may understand what it means and how it is relevant to your Yoga practice. This matter I shall take up another time.

The Nature and Location of Consciousness

Swamiji discusses the nature of consciousness according to the Sankhya and Yoga philosophies.

Source: Swami Krishnananda

Being Content, No Matter the Circumstance

There are three ways in which consciousness can flow into what you do and thus through you into this world, three modalities in which you can align your life with the creative power of the universe. Modality means the underlying energy­ frequency that flows into what you do and connects your actions with the awakened consciousness that is emerging into this world. What you do will be dysfunctional and of the ego, unless it arises out of one of these three modalities. They may change during the course of a day, although one of them may be dominant during a certain stage in your life.

Each modality is appropriate to certain situations. The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all–from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.

Acceptance

Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.
For example, you probably won’t be able to enjoy changing the flat tire on your car at night, in the middle of nowhere and in the pouring rain, let alone be enthusiastic about it, but you can bring acceptance to it. Performing an action in the state of acceptance means you are at peace while you do it. That peace is a subtle energy vibration which then flows into what you do.

” Accept what is“To complain is always non-acceptance of what is.” ~ Eckhart Tolle.

On the surface, acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it is active and creative because it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, that subtle energy vibration, is consciousness, and one of the ways in which it enters this world is through surrendered action, one aspect of which is acceptance. If you can neither enjoy or bring acceptance to what you do–stop. Otherwise, you are not taking responsibility for the only thing you can really take responsibility for, which also happens to be one thing that really matters: your state of consciousness. And if you are not taking responsibility for your state of consciousness, you are not taking responsibility for life.

Enjoyment

The peace that comes with surrendered action turns into a sense of aliveness when you actually enjoy what you are doing. Enjoyment is the second modality of awakened doing. On the new earth, enjoyment will replace wanting as the motivating power behind people’s actions. Wanting arises from the ego’s delusion that you are a separate fragment that is disconnected from the power that lies behind all creation.

Through enjoyment, you link into that universal creative power itself. When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do–and with it, the quality of your life–increases dramatically. Joy is the dynamic aspect of Being. When the creative power of the universe becomes conscious of itself, it manifests as joy. You don’t have to wait for something ‘meaningful’ to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The ‘waiting to start living’ syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state.

Make the present moment your focal point and you will naturally find joy.

Expansion and positive change on the outer level are much more likely to come into your life if you can enjoy what you are doing already, instead of waiting for some change so that you can start enjoying what you do. Don’t ask your mind for permission to enjoy what you do. All you will get is plenty of reasons why you can’t enjoy it. “Not now,” the mind will say. “Can’t you see I’m busy? There’s no time. Maybe tomorrow you can start enjoying….” That tomorrow will never come unless you begin enjoying what you are doing now. When you say, I enjoy doing this or that, it is really a misperception. It makes it appear that the joy comes from what you do, but that is not the case.

Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you. The misperception that joy comes from what you do is normal, and it is also dangerous because it creates the belief that joy is something that can be derived from something else, such as an activity or thing. You then look to the world to bring you joy, happiness. But it cannot do that. This is why many people live in constant frustration. The world is not giving them what they think they need. Then what is the relationship between something that you do and the state of joy? You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present, any activity that is not just a means to an end. It isn’t the action you perform that you really enjoy, but the deep sense of aliveness that flows into it. That aliveness is one with who you are. This means that when you enjoy doing something, you are really experiencing the joy of Being in its dynamic aspect. That’s why anything you enjoy doing connects you with the power behind all creation.

How to Bring Empowerment and Creative Expansion into Your Life

Make a list of a number of everyday routine activities that you perform frequently. Include activities that you may consider uninteresting, boring, tedious, irritating, or stressful. But don’t include anything that you hate or detest doing. That’s a case either for acceptance or for stopping what you do. The list may include traveling to and from work, buying groceries, doing your laundry, or anything that you find tedious or stressful in your daily work. Then, whenever you are engaged in those activities, let them be a vehicle for alertness. Be absolutely present in what you do and sense the alert, alive stillness within you in the background of the activity. You will soon find that what you do in such a state of heightened awareness, instead of being stressful, tedious, or irritating, is actually becoming enjoyable. To be more precise, what you are enjoying is not really the outward action but the inner dimension of consciousness that flows into the action. This is finding the joy of Being in what you are doing. If you feel your life lacks significance or is too stressful or tedious, it is because you haven’t brought that dimension into your life yet.

Find the joy of Being in everything that you do.

Being conscious in what you do has not yet become your main aim. The new earth arises as more and more people discover that their main purpose in life is to bring the light of consciousness into this world, and so use whatever they do as a vehicle for consciousness. The joy of Being is the joy of being conscious. Awakened consciousness then takes over from ego and begins to run your life. You may then find that an activity that you have been engaged in for a long time naturally begins to expand into something much bigger when it becomes empowered by consciousness.

Some of those people who, through creative action, enrich the lives of many others, simply do what they enjoy doing most without wanting to achieve or become anything through that activity. They may be musicians, artists, writers, scientists, teachers, or builders, or they may bring into manifestation new social or business structures (enlightened businesses). Sometimes for a few years, their sphere of influence remains small and then it can happen that, suddenly or gradually, a wave of creative empowerment flows into what they do, and their activity expands beyond anything they could have imagined and touches countless others. In addition to enjoyment, an intensity is now added to what they do and with it comes a creativity that goes beyond anything an ordinary human could accomplish. But don’t let it go to your head because up there is where a remnant of ego may be hiding. You are still an ordinary human. What is extraordinary is what comes through you into this world. That essence you share with all beings. The fourteenth­ century Persian poet and Sufi master, Hafiz, expresses this truth beautifully:

I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through. Listen to this music.

Enthusiasm

Then there is another way of creative manifestation that may come to those who remain true to their inner purpose of awakening. Suddenly, one day, they know what their outer purpose is. They have a great vision, a goal, and from then on they work toward implementing that goal. Their goal or vision is usually connected in some way to something that on a smaller scale they are doing and enjoy doing already. This is where the third modality of awakened doing arises: enthusiasm.

When something you enjoy doing becomes empowered by consciousness, its potential expands.

Enthusiasm means there is deep enjoyment in what you do, plus the added element of a goal or a vision that you work toward. When you add a goal to the enjoyment of what you do, the energy­ field or vibrational frequency changes. A certain degree of what we might call ‘structural tension’ is now added to the enjoyment, and so it turns into enthusiasm. At the height of creative activity fuelled by enthusiasm, there will be enormous intensity and energy behind what you do. You will feel like an arrow that is moving toward the target–and enjoying the journey. To an onlooker, it may appear that you are under stress, but the intensity of enthusiasm has nothing to do with stress. When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed. The balance between enjoyment and structural tension is lost, and the latter has won. When there is stress, it is usually a sign that the ego has returned, and you are cutting yourself off from the creative power of the universe. Instead, there is only the force and strain of egoic wanting, and so you have to struggle and ‘work hard’ to make it.

Stress always diminishes both the quality and effectiveness of what you do under its influence. There is also a strong link between stress and negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger. It is toxic to the body and is now becoming recognized as one of the main causes of the so­-called degenerative diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Unlike stress, enthusiasm has a high energy frequency and so resonates with the creative power of the universe. This is why Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.

The word enthusiasm comes from ancient Greek–en and theos meaning God. And the related word enthousiazein means “to be possessed by a god.” With enthusiasm, you will find that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. In fact, there is nothing of significance that you can do by yourself. Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy, and all you have to do then is ‘ride the wave.’ Enthusiasm brings an enormous empowerment into what you do, so that all those who have not accessed that power would look upon your achievements in awe and may equate them with who you are. You, however, know the truth that Jesus pointed to when he said, “I can of my own self do nothing.” Unlike egoic wanting, which creates opposition in direct proportion to the intensity of its wanting, enthusiasm never opposes. It is non­-confrontational.

Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy.

Its activity does not create winners and losers. It is based on inclusion, not exclusion, of others. It does not need to use and manipulate people because it is the power of creation itself, and so does not need to take energy from some secondary source. The ego’s wanting always tries to take from something or someone; enthusiasm gives out of its own abundance. When enthusiasm encounters obstacles in the form of adverse situations or uncooperative people, it never attacks but walks around them, or by yielding or embracing, turns the opposing energy into a helpful one; the foe into a friend. Enthusiasm and the ego cannot coexist. One implies the absence of the other. Enthusiasm knows where it is going, but at the same time, it is deeply at one with the present moment; the source of its aliveness, its joy, and its power. Enthusiasm ‘wants’ nothing because it lacks nothing. It is at one with life and, no matter how dynamic the enthusiasm­ inspired activities are, you don’t lose yourself in them. And there remains always a still, but intensely alive, space at the center of the wheel; a core of peace in the midst of activity that is both the source of all and untouched by it all.

Through enthusiasm, you enter into full alignment with the outgoing creative principle of the universe, but without identifying with its creation; that is to say, without ego. Where there is no identification, there is no attachment–one of the great sources of suffering. Once a wave of creative energy has passed, structural tension diminishes again and joy in what you are doing remains. Nobody can live in enthusiasm all the time. A new wave of creative energy may come later and lead to renewed enthusiasm. When the return movement toward the dissolution of form sets in, enthusiasm no longer serves you. Enthusiasm belongs to the outgoing cycle of life. It is only through surrender that you can align yourself with the return movement–the journey home.

To sum up:

Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work towards, becomes enthusiasm.

Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose. Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also, make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you. Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested Source of all life through you, for the benefit of all.

This piece is an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth.

Posted on August 3, 2017 

A lot of people take things personally…



And because they get so caught up in this unhealthy game over who is right and who is wrong, they fail to realize that other people’s opinions of them don’t matter at all.

Today I would like to share with you 10 awesome reasons why you should no longer take things personally…

so that you can live your life in peace and harmony and focus on what truly matters.

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NO LONGER TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
1. It has nothing to do with you

Whether people love you or hate you, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. It’s all about them. The things they see in you are mirroring back at them what’s already within them. Don’t take it personally.

2. None of it has any real value

You might think that other people’s opinions of you have the power to add or take value from you and your life. But that’s not true at all. You are who you are and nothing others say or do to you can make become a more valuable, or less valuable human being. None of it has any real value.

3. Truth needs no defending

Who you truly are underneath it all needs no defending. And if you ever catch yourself trying to defend yourself, know that what you are defending is just an illusion. Truth needs no defending. Let it go. Don’t take it personally.

4. It’s all just a distraction

The things you take personally are all meant to distract you from what truly matters in life and slow down your spiritual progress. It’s all just a distraction.

5.When you stand with your two feet on the ground, you will always keep your balance

In the Tao Te Ching, more than 2500 years ago, Lao Tzu spoke about this in a way that only he knew how:

“Whether you go up the ladder or down it, your position is shaky. When you stand with your two feet on the ground, you will always keep your balance.” ~ Lao Tzu

6. It’s not worth it

No matter how many silly things people will say to you and about you, and no matter how hard they will try to convince you that their opinion of you has any real value, you should never try to defend what is being “attacked”. Nor should you try to argue with them. Nonsense is just nonsense and it should be treated as such. Don’t waste your time and energy on it.

7. People will try to attack what they don’t understand

Whenever someone tries to judge or criticize you, instead of taking things personally, remember this awesome quote from Star Trek:

“Small words from a small being, trying to attack what it doesn’t understand.” ~ Borg Queen

8. Hurt people hurt people

Hurt people hurt people. And if somebody tries to make you feel anything other than loved, it’s only because they are hurting inside. Just look how beautifully Don Miguel Ruiz spoke about this in his book, The Four Agreements:

“But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You are hurting yourself. There is no way I can take this personally.” ~ Miguel Ruiz

9. What we put out there will always come back to us

Be wise enough not to judge, attack or criticize those who judge or criticize you. Instead, send them your peace and a silent blessing. Always remember that what you put out there, will come back to you. Put only good.

10. If others don’t value you is only because they don’t value themselves

We are all sacred beings whose real value can’t be counted. We were all born this way – priceless. And if other people don’t recognize your true value, that’s only because they don’t recognize their own. Don’t take it personally.

Source: Purpose Fairy


It’s tempting, when confronted by political malfeasance…to become so absorbed with its symptom that we give too little attention to treating its cause. In fact, behind every dangerous political phenomenon lies the ideology that produced it. Everything that happens in the material world is created first on the level of thought.

Political propaganda seeks to affect the way people perceive the world in order to affect the way they behave. Political propaganda is the biggest tool in the extremist’s arsenal. It’s at an all-time high today in terms of sophistication and effectiveness, as Madison Avenue public relations acumen has been insidiously and nefariously applied to the political sphere. Our problem is not just that some politicians flat out lie; our bigger problem is the power of their propaganda to dismantle the ability within many people’s minds to even realize they’re being lied to. People are vulnerable to extremism not because they like extremism, but because in too many cases today extremism is hugely successful at posing as something else.

No external force is as threatening to our democracy today as is the political propaganda war being currently waged against it. Our freedom is being attacked from within, but instead of fighting this tide in many ways our country is flowing with it. Why? In large part, because of the Big Lies that fuel the propaganda machine and generate its power. Identifying the Big Lies of corporate fascism is an essential part of resisting it.

Whether or not a Big Lie has been proven to be false seems to have minimal bearing on whether or not it is believed. It is the conviction and consistency with which the Big Lie is stated, not the proven accuracy or inaccuracy of its claim, that determines its effect on voters’ minds and thus the way that they vote.

The first Big Lie being used against the American people today is the idea that the business sector is our primary “job creator.”

Successful businesses create jobs; that is true. But the notion that if we cut taxes enough for the very rich and for already hugely profitable businesses, then all that money will trickle down to everyone else in the form of job creation is simply false. Yet it is a lie that has been used in the United States for propaganda purposes for decades, despite all economic evidence to the contrary. Tax breaks and other financial breaks that favor the wealthiest among us do not create greater prosperity for all; they simply siphon off more and more money to those who already have it, and more and more money away from those who do not. They do not promote wealth-creation opportunities that benefit all; they simply redistribute wealth from those who do not have to those who already do. If we give a huge amount of money to the rich, we simply don’t have enough money left over to help those who are not.

Business is important, and successful businesses are essential to a healthy economy. But the business sector is no more important or more essential to our economic good than is education, health care or any other avenue by which people are aided in their ability to self-actualize.

Who and what then create jobs, if not the business sector? The answer is often hidden from plain sight for two reasons: one, because so many within its ranks are women, and two, because it doesn’t have the funds to create a huge public relations machinery to lay out its case. Education, not big business, is the biggest job-creating sector. The greatest job-creator in America is not the businessperson but the educator — not simply someone who can give you a job, but someone who can prepare you for a job; someone who can provide you with the internal and external tools to do it well. It is not just overseas outsourcing that has taken our jobs away; it is in equal measure our failure as a society to provide for the preparation of our citizens, from the earliest age, for the challenges of living in the 21st Century.

Tax revenue currently proposed to help the top .001% should be used to create the largest matrix of technical colleges and free institutions of higher learning in the world. The fact that it is not is a travesty of economic justice, and a legacy of ancient serfdom. We have acquiesced to an aristocratic economic system, forced there not by the tyranny of kings but rather lured there by political propaganda designed to convince the abused that the abuser is their friend.

Millions in America today – hard-working people who should have every right to feel securely ensconced in the middle class — are only a few unfortunate steps (a health crisis here, a lay off there) away from the ranks of the poor, and they know it. Their anger and despair are totally valid, yet often they are looking to the actual source of the problem to solve it.

The huge matrix of corporate power in America is not a huge job-creating machine; it is a huge wealth-destroying machine for anyone but itself. Our current economic power structure – led by banks, huge multi-national corporate entities and the politicians they can afford to buy — is a system of economic abuse. It is a system that creates huge amounts of economic stress, and then presents itself as the job-creating machine that will relieve the stress. It’s like a thief who steals from you, then changes clothes and arrives at your door thirty minutes later dressed as Santa Claus.

And when it comes to wealth creation opportunity, the average American isn’t even asking for Santa Claus; he or she is asking for simple fairness and decency and respect. The values of brotherhood and justice that form the framework of any right relationship form the framework of a health society. And that applies to the economy too. Treat every person with the respect they deserve as a child of God from the time they’re born, and watch what they will create for themselves.

Every person has within us the deep desire to create the good, the true and the beautiful. Walk into any pre-school or kindergarten and you will see that this is true. If every human being is truly a precious creation of God, then there is no amount of money too much to spend on education, cultural enrichment, and any and all opportunities to provide for their ability to create success for themselves.

Traditionally, America has known this.

After World War II, the United States Congress created the G.I. Bill for our returning veterans. This allowed millions of returning soldiers to attend college and enter the workforce at a higher level than they would have otherwise. A nation devastated by World War II then realized that our biggest opportunity for economic re-greening lay in educating the American population and rebuilding our infrastructure. This civic wisdom led to an explosion of economic prosperity among us and the creation of America’s great middle class.

Abraham Lincoln, who our current president has referred to as “low energy Abe,” in fact released the energy of a thousand suns when he articulated for the ages the highest aspiration of the American people: that ours would be a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” What a travesty we are making of our own national creed, as we acquiesce to the takeover of the United States government by forces who, however much they rant and rave their support for “the American people,” are dedicated to placing the reins of our government in the hands of those with nothing but contempt for the notion of a government “for the people.” These “economic royalists,” as Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to them, have done extraordinary damage to our history and are doing extraordinary damage now. But whenever they appear, they are an aberration and not an inevitability. We have stopped them before and we will stop them again.

The second Big Lie at the heart of the extremist propaganda machine is that the poor are those who simply will not and do not help themselves. The demonizing of America’s poor has been one of the great successes of the corporate extremists, insidiously turning those being systematically pushed into the ranks of the poor into the greatest proponents of the system that is doing the pushing. If I don’t like you, I’m less likely to stand up for you; if I don’t stand up for you, then I’m not going to know to stand up for myself when those same forces are coming after me.

So the strategy of the propaganda war is obvious: stereotype the faceless minions of corporate extremism as your economic savior, even when they’re not; and the most disadvantaged among you as your enemy, even when they’re not. That way you won’t rebel against your abuser, and you won’t side with those held down by the same forces that will get around to you if you allow them to. It’s a brilliant strategy and at the moment it’s working. But it will not work forever, because while the American people can be fooled and fooled too easily, that doesn’t mean that we’re fools. Even the smartest people have been taken in by frauds, whether fraudulent lovers who made us think they cared or salesmen who made us believe in their fraudulent products. It happens to the best of us. But once you know what’s being done to you, something changes. You’re no longer asleep and you will no longer be held down. You are awake to your rights and no longer blinded by those who would deny them.

What we need now is an American Awakening. Political propaganda has no real power in the face of an awakened citizenry. Sometimes Americans are kind of slow to realize what’s going on, but historically we slam it like nobody’s business once we do. And we will have learned from all this. We will have learned the dangers of going to sleep at the wheel of American democracy. We will have learned that democracy cannot be taken for granted. And we will have learned that citizenship is a serious responsibility.

The question isn’t, “But what can we do?” The question is, “What will YOU do?” The midterm elections are November 6, 2018. Write that day in your calendar and etch it on your heart; prepare for that day in every way you can. Do not be distracted and do not lose courage.

It is the day when we can turn all this around.
Source: The Huffington Post

Eckhart Tolle leads a meditation on “The Power of the Present Moment” at Wisdom 2.0 2014.

As we pass through life on the physical plane, things happen. We contract flus and colds and viruses, and we sustain physical injuries, like falling off our bikes as children or experiencing sports injuries. As adults, we may throw our back out or experience a serious car accident, in the process, acquiring bruises, cuts, sprains, infections, lacerations, and sometimes broken bones.

Some of us may also experience serious illnesses of an internal nature like cancer or hepatitis, heart disease or multiple sclerosis. Eventually we pass through old age and the progressive infirmity and death of the physical body. These are the givens–they are all to be expected as part of what it means to be an embodied, living being. But these are all effects, and what the shaman is primarily interested in is the cause.

Watch a video of Hank discussing the three causes of spiritual illness:

Cause and Effect
In looking through the shamanic healer’s eyes, the ultimate causes of virtually all illness are to be found within the imaginal realms–in those same regions from which illness derives its initial power to affect us adversely. Because of this, it is not enough to simply suppress the effects of illness with medication on the physical plane and hope for the best. For true healing to occur, the causes of the illness must be addressed.

From the shaman’s perspective, there are three classic causes of illness, and interestingly, they are not microbes or bacteria or viruses. Rather, they are negative internal states that appear within us in response to negative or traumatic life experiences. The first among these is disharmony.

Disharmony
Disharmony is what we experience when life suddenly loses its meaning or when we have lost an important connection to life.
Let’s take the case of an elderly couple who have had a long marriage, and suddenly one of them dies. They may not have had a perfect relationship, yet there is a deep bond between them because of all they have shared together. The survivor may go into crisis upon the loss of their mate, and within a short time, he or she may come down with something medically challenging, like cancer. Suddenly, they’re gone too.

That’s disharmony.

The state of disharmony that we experience in response to such life situations causes a diminishment of our personal power. This can happen in a subtle manner on the one hand, or in a catastrophic, life-shaking way on the other like losing your job, and in the process losing your livelihood. When we experience disempowerment, or “power loss,” it affects our energetic matrix, rendering us vulnerable to illness.

Fear
The second classic cause of illness is fear. A person who is walking around with a chronic sense of fear gnawing away at them is doubly vulnerable to illness because their anxiety aggressively and progressively diminishes their sense of well-being, and this, in turn, affects their feeling of being safe in the world.

This sense of well-being is the base upon which our personal health system stands. When this foundation is affected negatively, it diminishes the ability of our immune system to function. And when our immune system goes down, we’re in trouble.

It’s not too difficult to see that there is a feedback mechanism at work here. Fear, and the anxiety it creates, produces disharmony. In the same breath, disharmony generates fear, and if the two of them are working together, it doubly affects the protective mantle of the body’s immune system, as well as the energetic matrix. Illness is the inevitable result.

It is no surprise to Western medical practitioners that disharmony and fear can manifest themselves in diseases that are recognizable to science. Almost 500 years ago, the Renaissance physician Paracelsus observed that “the fear of disease is more dangerous than the disease itself.”

This brings us to consider the third classic cause of illness–the phenomenon known to indigenous healers as soul loss.

Soul Loss
Among the traditionals, soul loss is regarded as the most serious diagnosis and the major cause of premature death and serious illness, yet curiously, it’s not even mentioned in our Western medical textbooks. The closest acknowledged context is “He/she has lost the will to live”.

In Western society, soul loss is most easily understood as damage to a person’s life essence, a phenomenon that usually occurs in response to trauma. When the trauma are severe, this may result in a fragmentation of that person’s soul cluster, with the shattered soul parts dissociating, fleeing an intolerable situation. In overwhelming circumstances, these soul parts may not return.

The causes of soul loss can be many and varied. There may be traumatic perinatal issues that happen around the child’s birth experience such as arriving into life only to discover that they are not wanted, or that they are the wrong gender—they’ve come in as a girl when everyone was hoping for a boy.

Soul loss can also occur when a child is mercilessly bullied or teased at home or at school, day after day, or when a young person is molested by the one who is supposed to be caring for them. When someone has been raped or assaulted, has suffered a shocking betrayal, a bitter divorce, a traumatic abortion, a terrible car accident, or even a serious surgery, soul loss is assured.

Many of the young men and women who were sent to war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Viet Nam, Korea and beyond, came home personally damaged because they had suffered terrible soul loss. Our medical specialists labeled their disorders as post-traumatic stress syndrome, but they had little to offer these “walking wounded” in terms of true healing, and many who survived are still deeply traumatized at the soul level by what happened to them in war.

Symptoms of Soul Loss

Soul loss is easily recognizable if you know what you’re looking for. Here’s a checklist of some of the classic symptoms:

• feelings of being fragmented, of not being all here.
• blocked memory–an inability to remember parts of one’s life.
• an inability to feel love or receive love from another.
• emotional remoteness.
• a sudden onset of apathy or listlessness.
• a lack of initiative or enthusiasm.
• a lack of joy.
• a failure to thrive.
• an inability to make decisions.
• an inability to discriminate.
• chronic negativity.
• addictions.
• suicidal tendencies.
• melancholy or despair.
• chronic depression.

Perhaps the most common symptom of soul loss is depression. In the early 1990s, Time magazine did a cover story on depression in America that revealed 60 million Americans were taking anti-depressant drugs on a daily basis, representing about 30% of our population.

Today that number is closer to 80 million, representing about 40% of society at large, and sometimes that number jumps in response to a national trauma. On the Friday following 9/11, a television newscast revealed that 7 out of 10 Americans polled were experiencing significant depression in response to the tragedy, an indicator of soul loss on a national scale.
Although the term “soul loss” is not familiar to most Westerners, examples of it are expressed daily in our language and descriptions of personal hardships. Media interviews and news reports include individuals’ comments such as “I lost a part of myself when that (trauma) happened” and “I have not been the same since.” When discussing soul loss with inquiring individuals, most everyone has a sense of having lost a “part” of themselves at some time in life, yet virtually no one has the awareness that the missing part(s) could be recovered.

They can.

About Dr. Hank Wesselman

Research paleoanthropologist Hank Wesselman is one of those rare cutting edge scientists who truly walks between the worlds. A native New Yorker, he has spent much of his life living and working among traditional tribal peoples, primarily in Africa and Polynesia. He served in the US Peace Corps in the 1960′s, living among people of the Yoruba Tribe in Western Nigeria for two years. It was there that he first became interested in indigenous spiritual wisdom.

Since 1971, he has conducted research with an international group of scientists, exploring eastern Africa’s Great Rift Valley in search of answers to the mystery of human origins. During this time, he has worked alongside such worthies as Dr. Don Johanson, Lucy’s discoverer; Professor Tim White, whose expeditions have been featured in several TIME magazine cover stories, as well as members of the famous Leakey family. He is one of the primary investigators involved in the discovery of the “Ardi” sites (Ardiptithecus ramidus) in Ethiopia–recently revealed to be the famous missing link between humans and apes that Charles Darwin predicted would be found in Africa. Hank’s research is involved with the paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the sites (4-6 million years old) at the time they were laid down.

Hank is also a shamanic student, practitioner and teacher, now in the 28th year of his apprenticeship.

In addition to his scientific papers and monographs, his books include his autobiographical trilogy: SPIRITWALKER: MESSAGES FROM THE FUTURE (Bantam, 1995), MEDICINEMAKER: MYSTIC ENCOUNTERS ON THE SHAMAN’S PATH (Bantam, 1998), and VISIONSEEKER: SHARED WISDOM FROM THE PLACE OF REFUGE (Hay House, 2001). These unusual books are focused upon a series of altered state experiences that began spontaneously out in the bush of Africa and document his investigations into a hidden reality that most of us have heard about, but few have experienced directly. In his explorations of these inner worlds, Hank may have also provided us with a glimpse into the possible evolutionary future of humanity. Combining the sober objectivity of a trained scientist with a mystic’s passionate search for deeper understanding, his books also contain revelations of the generally secret teachings of the Hawaiian kahunas.

His smaller teaching books include THE JOURNEY TO THE SACRED GARDEN: A GUIDE TO TRAVELING IN THE SPIRITUAL REALMS (Hay House 2003) and SPIRIT MEDICINE: HEALING IN THE SACRED REALMS (Hay House, 2004) co-authored with his wife Jill Kuykendall.

Hank is the co-author with Sandra Ingerman of the award-winning book Awakening to the Spirit World, voted the best Body-Mind-Spirit book of 2010 by the Independent Publishers Association.

His most recent book is The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman, a compilation of his mystical talks with the Hawaiian Elder and kahuna Hale Makua over the last eight years of his life.

Larry Dossey MD has described Hank Wesselman as an expert guide who fully realizes that he is playing with scientific and spiritual dynamite.

Hank currently lives on the Kona coast of Hawai’i island with his family, where they are involved in sustainable food production on their farm in Honaunau. He continues to write and to teach workshops across the country and abroad.

Learn more about Hank at SharedWisdom

Article courtesy of Hank Wesselman, Phd. and SharedWisdom.com

To be on a spiritual path means to live mindfully, paying attention to the signs along the road and being conscious of our body — the vehicle we are traveling in — and of the needs and safety of others on the journey.

To be on a spiritual path means to look inward as often as outward, knowing that the externals of our lives are reflections of our thoughts and words, manifestations of that which we are imagining and energizing into being with the fuel of our passion.

To be on a spiritual path means to use the rear-view mirror to be sure that the path behind is clear of debris and that we do not obstruct another’s journey with clutter of our own. It means making peace with our past, knowing our future contains it, and summoning the courage it takes to acknowledge, forgive, and release whatever we have clung to that impedes our movement.

To be on a spiritual path is to take responsibility for creating our own creed, based on our commitments, and to respect the rights of others to do the same. It also means to reflect anew on what beliefs we’ve inherited to be sure they are compatible with our wisdom and compassion.

To be on a spiritual path is to embrace the mystical paradox that while we are singular, physical beings on this journey, we are also profoundly connected to one another, animated and sustained by the same vast Spirit that abides in the star, the petal of an iris, the howl of the wolf.

To be on a spiritual path, it is necessary to forgive yourself for wrong turns, for failing to yield, for driving under the influence of others. These are minor and forgivable infractions. The more important rules of this road are to be attentive, to notice when you stray, and to get back on the path as soon as possible.

We could all use a road map for the journey inward, a guide away from the crowded thoroughfare to the quiet path of our own true calling; a reminder that it is not the destination, but the journey, that is important. The fourteenth-century Italian saint Catherine of Siena once wrote, ‘All the way to heaven is heaven.’ Perhaps this is roadmap enough — this one stark line enough to keep us walking, reminding us that the wind we feel on the back of our necks is nothing less than the breath of God.

Jan Phillips, from “Finding the On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Path: A Road Map to Joy and Rejuvenation

http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=988

Published on Aug 4, 2017

A participant asks Rupert to elaborate on freedom in intimate relationships.

Published on Aug 3, 2017

Do you ever notice that you never think yourself into moments of revelation? Adyashanti explores the importance of having a foundation in your spiritual life that is not based on words. Listening beneath the words and ideas, there is a quiet, still space of awareness that is always available. Relaxing into this foundational stillness allows for moments of revelation to find you.

Video Excerpted From “The Full Aliveness of Being”:

http://bit.ly/2u5AoWq

Quotes from this Video:

“It is important to have a foundation in your spiritual life that is something other than words, ideas, and spiritual philosophies.”

“Be still means to stop interfering with what’s happening.”

“You’ll be amazed that when you have a little bit of foundation of being quiet now and then, that you can listen to anything from a much deeper place.”

“When you are listening from that deep place, that’s not trying to acquire anything, it’s a very pregnant ground. It’s a place where moments of insight – that’s where they come from. Moments of insight come from that place of silence.”

Published on Aug 1, 2017

Alan Watts: Don’t follow rules imposed from the outside

TRUE HAPPINESS COMES FROM LIVING LIFE IN HARMONY WITH ALL THAT IS
►People who display a genius mindset, often display the same recurring personality traits.
If you do any type of research on this topic you will find that there are many winning traits.

Of course everyone has their own personality and life would be boring if we were all the same. What you need to learn is how to take your own personality and then nurture it with the traits outlined in this channel.

When you develop that genius mindset you will be identified as someone who has the power to attract people to your side. Successful sales people often have this type of personality. They do not have to oversell, instead they attract people to them so that they see the value in what they have to offer.

FAIR-USE COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER

Published on Aug 1, 2017

Sri M – spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist – was born into a Muslim family on November 6, 1949 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His transformational journey, from a young boy to a living yogi, is a fascinating story symbolized by single-minded discipline and dedication.

Entranced by mystical stories of Sufi saints and a brief encounter with a numinous Swami at a relatively young age, he was not only drawn to the ‘truth’ but also the compelling landscape of the snow-clad Himalayas. At the age of nine, his spiritual transformation was initiated by his future Master, Babaji (also known as Maheshwarnath Babaji), who miraculously appeared under a jackfruit tree in the compound of his house in Thiruvananthapuram. Though only fleeting, this meeting definitively set the stage for their future reunion in the Himalayas at Sri M’s age of nineteen.

The next three and half years, he lived and travelled extensively through the Himalayas with his Master. Maheshwarnath Babaji guided him right through his initiation, his Kundalini awakening, the grueling journey to Tholingmutt and, the eventual meeting with the Grand Master, Sri Guru Babaji also known as Sri Mahavatar Babaji.

A few years after his Master passed away, he received the spiritual go-ahead to commence his mission. In 1998, he started his teachings, eventually leading to formation of the Satsang Foundation.

In response to a query on the spiritual progress of a person and the path to that evolution, he responds, “Though, my parampara is kriya yoga, I don’t think it suits all aspirants. I propound satsang even between two people. It cuts across barriers of caste and creed. Spiritual evolution is not diverse from regular living. Intervals of solitude are necessary but you cannot shut yourself totally. The world around you is your touchstone to spiritual practice.” Conversant with teachings of most major religions, Sri M says: “Go to the core. Theories are of no use.” His message seeks to transcend the outer-shell of all religions, by exploring their mystical core to nurture the innate goodness in every human being.

Website: http://satsang-foundation.org

Books:

  • Journey Continues: A Sequel To Apprenticed To A Himalayan Master
  • Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography
  • Wisdom of the Rishis: The Three Upanishads: Ishavasya, Kena & Mandukya
  • Jewel in the Lotus: Deeper Aspects of Hinduism
  • The Little Guide To Greater Glory And A Happier Life

Interview recorded 7/30/2017

When you’re a lover of what is, it’s obvious that the world is your own face in the mirror. But how do you become a lover of what is? The “how” has been a mystery till now. Now it’s clear that all you need to do is investigate your stressful thoughts. The four questions and turnaround of The Work will take you as deep as you want to go.

People think that they need to get “enlightened” in order to be free, and nobody knows what enlightenment is. Yes, it’s in the sacred texts, and yes, this guru or that lama says he has attained it, but that’s just a concept; it’s the story of a past. The truth is that there’s no such thing as enlightenment. No one is permanently enlightened; that would be the story of a future. There’s only enlightenment in the moment. Do you believe a stressful thought? Then you’re confused. Do you realize that the thought isn’t true? Then you’re enlightened to it. It’s as simple as that. And then the next thought comes, and maybe you’re enlightened to it as well, and maybe not.

I have found that there are no new stressful thoughts, they’re all recycled. People try to “let go” of their thoughts. That’s like telling your child you don’t want her and kicking her out onto the street. I used to go out into the desert to get away from the world, and I took the whole world with me in my head — every concept that had ever been experienced. I was undoing the thoughts that run through the mind of every human being. Thoughts are no more individual than the TV program that everyone watches. I have found that all over the world, in every language and culture, people suffer because they believe the same stressful thoughts: “My mother doesn’t love me.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m fat.” “I need more money.” “My husband should understand me.” “My wife shouldn’t have left me.” “The world needs to be saved.” Of course, I would never ask people not to believe their thoughts. Not only would that be unkind; it isn’t possible for people not to believe what they believe. We can’t help believing our thoughts until we question them. That’s the way of it.

Source: Huffington Post


Published on Jul 28, 2017

Devaji details his path to removing egoic concerns, answering questions about Shakti Transmission and letting go of beliefs and thought

https://www.devaji.org

How Taoist and Buddhist philosophies can help us connect to life

You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.
– Eckhart Tolle

If I had to summarize what I’ve learned from Taoist and Buddhist philosophy it’s been a deeper understanding of how to both let go and connect with life. It’s a kind of yin and yang approach to everything.

How to both let go and connect with life

Reducing Stress, Finding Peace

In the Tao Te Ching the advice is to yield with difficulties, reduce clutter, create space, let go. So over the years I’ve tried to apply this to my thoughts, emotions, goals, expectations and opinions, especially when these are creating fear, anxiety or unhappiness.

This approach has helped me to let go of stress, flow with problems, accept situations that were difficult, and to find deeper peace.

Letting go of stress

Falling Back into Communion

On the flip side the great masters of the East offer wonderful advice on how to connect more closely with the world around us, with nature, with creative activities and people, with the great flow of all existence. They emphasize how we are each a part of Nature, unique sentient expressions of our Universe.

As we let go of our limited human thoughts and obsessions, we fall back gracefully into communion with the Source of all things, connecting directly with the Universal field of life and energy that has brought us into being.

Back to the Source of all things

Our Primal Virtue

This is who we really are, the sages and masters tell us. We are this great dance of creative awareness, relationships and activity. Breathing in deeply and mindfully we pull the outer world into us, breathing out slowly we let it go.

Carrying body and soul
and embracing the one,
Can you avoid separation?

Attending fully and becoming supple,
Can you be as a newborn babe?

Washing and cleansing the primal vision,
Can you be without stain?
Loving all men and ruling the country,
Can you be without cleverness?

Opening and closing the gates of heaven,
Can you play the role of woman?
Understanding and being open to all things,
Are you able to do nothing?

Giving birth and nourishing,
Bearing yet not possessing,
Working yet not taking credit,
Leading yet not dominating,
This is the Primal Virtue.

– Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching

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